Kiss and Tell…

Dear Friends,

I’m happy to tell! Here’s the deal. I’ve made some changes in my wellness blog, Feel the Peace, and the address has changed. I don’t want to lose you and I don’t want you to miss out on some great new content. Please go to this link: Feel the Peace.

Then:

-Look toward the right and add your email address.

-You will get a confirmation email that might go into your spam folder. Please check.

-Confirm your subscription and you’re in!

Kisses all around, hugs too. More to follow…

 

Eco-Friendly Body Scrub

Take care of the skin your in, save money, and make use of something that would otherwise go to the compost or trash. Trifecta! The best scrub ever is one I make myself. Making use of coffee grounds from my organic coffee (any coffee grounds will do), sugar, organic coconut oil, and cinnamon. That’s it…

1/4 C organic coconut oil

1/4 C sugar

1/4 C coffee grounds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

A small jar or container with a lid (I use a small plastic container that had powder in it since I leave it in the shower and wouldn’t want broken glass). Also, note, the coconut oil will make the floor of the shower slippery, so please be careful.

AND, it smells and works great!

Osteoporosis and Yoga

Practicing yoga with osteoporosis can benefit the body if done mindfully. Many postures and practices can help improve strength and balance as well as restore function and relieve pain. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises against the following movements.

Bending forward from the waist
Twisting or bending the torso to an extreme
Toe touches, abdominal crunches, and sit-ups

In being mindful, it is always important to take the lead during a group yoga class to ensure your own safety. Skip poses that your doctor does not recommend. Most poses can be modified in order to be practiced safely. Particularly helpful for osteoporosis are weight-bearing poses like chair pose, planks, and balancing poses.

Here are a few tips if you have osteoporosis:

Keep the spine long. Avoid rounding the back.
Keep the head on the ground when lying on the back.
Hinge from the hips, not the waist. Tilt the pelvis forward and keep spine long.
Practice with the support of a chair or the wall.
Move relaxed and smoothly. Avoid jerky movements.
Consider lying down rather than sitting to relax the spine.

Uniting the body, mind, and breath in a mindful practice can be a beautiful gift!

Brain Yoga

You may have heard of eye yoga, aerial yoga, or even wall yoga. But brain yoga? Well, not in the true postural sense. However, yoga has many benefits to the body and the brain. Here are just a few of the many.

-Yoga benefits memory and helps ward off cognitive issues.

-Hatha yoga improves the brain function and processing (speed and accuracy).

-It prompts and enhances self-awareness and reduces stress.

-Yoga helps improve psychological health in the areas of anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. There are studies that suggest yoga can produce effects similar to anti-depressants and therapy.

-Yoga helps with anger management and emotional resilience.

-The meditative aspects of yoga help to lower blood pressure, improve immunity, improve sleep, lower the risks of heart disease, and calm the nervous system.

-Clinical studies have shown that yoga stimulates skin pressure receptors that boost brain activity. This influences the production and release of hormones.

The benefits of yoga and meditation are far too numerous to list. Find your yoga today and make your brain happy.

Ahimsa

The term, ahimsa, is something you may have heard in a yoga class. The word is derived from the Sanskrit language meaning to practice nonviolence on and off the yoga mat.

Ahimsa suggests for us not to push beyond our physical limits just to please the ego. “No pain, no gain” is definitely not the yoga way! Is doing 108 sun salutations worth it if you wind up exhausted and sore instead of exhilarated? (Answer: no.)
The practice of mental non-violence is important, too. As we move through the asanas or yoga postures with ahimsa in mind, we can release negative thoughts we may have about our strength or flexibility in any pose. The idea is to move toward love and acceptance of our bodies just as they are in the present moment.

Embracing ahimsa, on and off the mat, can improve our own well-being. It can also have a positive impact on those around us.

This post was written by our guest blogger, Dianne Ochiltree. Diane is a certified 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher. She serves as regular Teaching Assistant for yoga classes at Parkinson Place, a facility dedicated to clients with Parkinson’s disease; and teaches chair yoga at her home studio, Yoga from the Heart, in Sarasota, Florida. She is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). And a children’s author too! www.dianneochiltree.com

Behold

Behold the beauty and benefits of Tree Pose (Vrikshasana). Such as life, achieving balance and stability is a daily challenge. By adding this pose to a yoga practice, it helps with focus, concentration, and balance. Trees are grounded and strong. Tree pose strengthens and stabilizes the standing leg or “trunk” up through the buttocks due to the weight-bearing aspect of it. The toning of the hip bones through this pose provides stability in the pelvic region of the body.

Like a majestic cherry tree blooms and reaches toward the sky, the spine lifts in Vrikshasana through the crown of the head. The stretch expands the calves, ankles, thighs, and groin as well as the chest and shoulders. It further strengthens the ligaments and tendons of the feet.

See

how tree

can help

thee

For some additional foundation work with tree pose, check out this video by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVE4XXFFO70

Your Epidermis is Showing!

Our skin makes up one of the eleven systems of the body (specifically the integumentary). Products we use on it are absorbed through it, so being mindful of what we use could make a significant impact. Deodorant is absorbed through the skin in the lymphatic area of the body responsible for fighting disease and infection. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in your deodorant? Going natural is not only better for the body, but less expensive. It’s non-toxic, sustainable, effective…and it’s really easy. Try it!

  • 5-6 tablespoons coconut oil (the coconut oil can go from solid to liquid depending on the storage temperature)
  • 1/8 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Scent Option: You can leave it unscented or add several drops of lavender or bergamot oil
Mix the powders together in a small jar (the “ball” brand makes a nice small glass jar) and slowly add the coconut oil until you create a “pomade” consistency and the powders are mostly dissolved. Add a few drops of oil until your reach your desired scent.

Scoop out a small amount and rub it between your fingers to melt and create a smooth texture. Or use a thin, round make-up sponge as an applicator. Apply under the arms and rub any left into your hands as a moisturizer.

 

Yoga and Digestion

 

digestion image      There is far more going on in a yoga session than meets the eye. The blend of yoga postures, or asanas, with deep breathing and twists, stretches, massages and moves intestinal toxins out of the body. This helps with gas, bloating and constipation that can lead to more serious digestive disorders like heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and pain. Many of the yoga postures that benefit digestion also help to flatten and tone the stomach.

Here are a few yoga postures that specifically target the digestive area:

  1. Vajrasansa (thunderbolt pose) properly aligns the body for digestion in this seated, kneeling posture. The buttocks sit back toward the heels. To enable ease and comfort in this posture, try putting a block under the buttocks or a blanket in between the buttocks and calves. This posture is wonderful after a big meal or any meal.
  2. Seated or reclining twists like Ardha Matsyendrasana (half lord of the fishes pose) or Supta Matsyendrasana (supine spinal twist) in combination with breath, provide a deeply targeted massage of the digestive region. Twists can also be done in a seated cross-legged position or in a chair with one leg crossed over the other. Twists squeeze out toxins from the body facilitated by deep breathing.
  3. Uttanasana (standing forward fold) improves digestion due to the compression of the abdominal area. It prompts circulation within the region and movement. It is also a multipurpose pose in that it calms the nervous system and allows for relaxation. Because the heart is higher than the head in this posture, there is a reversal of blood flowing to the brain.
  4. Balasana (child’s pose) Positioning the upper body to lay directly onto the thighs helps the digestive process as well targets the digestive region.

A strong, regular practice of diaphragmatic breathing, inherent in some yoga classes, moves the digestive organs giving them a steady massage. It activates digestion and burns away toxins. A regular yoga practice incorporating the above-as well as good food choices-is a great way to do something healthy and beneficial for the body and mind.

 

Deepening your Drishti

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In Sanskrit, the word drishti can mean point of view, vision, and even wisdom.

Using a drishti – or focal point – harnesses awareness and directs it energetically. It builds and develops concentration. By focusing with a soft gaze,  attention can be shifted from distractions in a room to continuing our inner work.

A drishti can serve us by removing obstacles that prevent us from seeing our true selves. This technique can be helpful when used with asanas (yoga postures) and balancing/standing poses.

Behold your drishti!

The benefits of meditation are endless. So why isn’t everyone partaking? There appears to be a mystique around it. As a practitioner and an instructor, the hardest part is getting started and figuring out (and keeping to) the regularity. It’s simple. The best times are at sunrise and sunset because the earth becomes very still then. If that doesn’t work, then anytime is the right time. It is best to develop a workable, accessible routine.

To further simplify meditation, there are apps that you can use on a computer or phone. Not everyone can get to yoga or a class to practice meditation. That shouldn’t hinder the process. The picture above shows 3 apps: Sattva, Headspace, and Insight Timer. I have used all three and recommend them.  All three have different options. All three are free. For beginners, Headspace has the option for a “Take 10.” It provides a little instruction each day for 10 days. See how you can tune in with your thoughts and relieve stress and anxiety.  Every answer you seek, you will find. You just have to know where to look. Within.