Archive Monthly Archives: February 2016

Four Yoga Poses for Back Health

This series of four poses is designed to support spinal health and relieve back pain through yoga.

Pelvic Tilts

1. Come to lie in your back with the knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor.

2. Do 5-10 Pelvic Tilts to warm up the spine.

 

Supported Bridge Pose

1. Have a yoga block nearby.

2. Press into the soles of the feet to lift the hips. Slide a yoga block under your sacrum, coming into Supported Bridge.

3. This should be a comfortable resting position that you may want to hold for several minutes.

4. To come out, press into the feet the lift the sacrum off the block, slide the block out, and slowly lower your back on to the floor.

 

Reclined Big-Toe Pose – Supta Padangusthasana

1. Have a yoga strap nearby.

2. Release your left leg flat on the floor (you may keep it bent with the sole on the floor if this is more comfortable) as you draw the right knee in to your chest.

3. Loop the strap over your right foot and straighten the leg coming in to Reclined Big Toe Pose – Supta Padangusthasana.

4. Repeat on the other leg.

 

Supine Spinal Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana

1. Lift your hips slightly off the floor and shift them about an inch to your right.

2. Bring your right knee into your chest and extend the left leg on the floor.

3. Drop your right knee over to the left side of your body, coming in to Supine Spinal Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana.

Tips to Love Yourself

We are quickly approaching Valentine’s Day and possibly looking to do something special for loved ones, oftentimes neglecting ourselves. Please know it is perfectly right and necessary to take steps to love yourself.  Here are some tips you can begin to do to improve well-being:

1. Set the tone for your day

  1. Wind chime phone alarm sounds.
  2. Snooze.
  3. Scroll through Facebo–STOP.

We’re at the mercy of the external world when we launch into the day without plugging into ourselves first. Maybe we need to cancel a meeting or spend more time on our personal lives.

2. Take five minutes in the morning for meditation

Stop saying you’ll start meditating once you have a better handle on your schedule. Just taking five minutes in the morning benefits you all day.

3. Be honest with yourself—and listen to what you’re saying

Meditation creates a space for honesty in all its beautiful (and brutal) forms. That means we accept responsibility for our own decisions and how they aid and abet relationship issues and frustrations. “Stop saying yes when we want to say no, and quit running around doing things that don’t matter to us because we don’t feel complete.

4. Add a positive filter to friendships

Women are especially guilty of making jokes about how fat or how bad we look, but when we do that, we empower other women (or men) to do the same. On the other hand, articulating something we love about ourselves gives a friend permission to feel good too.

5. Slow your dinner roll

Are you eating what you want to eat or did someone throw down a deep-dish and make the choice for you? Give yourself the space to consider how to nourish and fuel your body, and you’ll leave the table feeling good about yourself.

6. Handle food frenemies strategically

Have a pal who always ropes you into splitting nachos and chocolate cake derailing your diet and sense of wellbeing in the process? You’re not alone: In a 2012 Stanford University study, 90% of women who started a weight loss journey did not feel supported by their friends when they tried eating healthfully.

If it isn’t possible to schedule an activity away from a dinner menu, prepare a set response to shut down any second-guessing. A simple “That’s right, I am not having the dessert again” may do the trick.

7. Choose mood-boosting foods

Feeling low on self-love may be solved with food science. Diets rich with Omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, flaxseeds, and hemp) reduce inflammation in our brain and help improve our moods. Similarly, spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts are bursting with folate, a nutrient linked to lower depression rates.

8. Repeat 100X: “Me time” is not a guilty pleasure

Just because work, friends, and family place large demands on us, carving out time for ourselves isn’t selfish: Ultimately, it’s an investment in those around us.

Ways to Quiet Your Mind During Meditation

Everyone thinks that the purpose of meditation is to handle stress, to tune out, to get away from it all.  That is part of the process for sure. But the most important thing for you to know is that small doses of regular meditation actually are intended to make you MORE mindful of your situation and the world, and to handle stress better… rather than merely avoiding it.

Practicing meditation is not to just de-stress, but to find that peace within, the peace that spiritual traditions talk about that passes all understanding.

Deepak Chopra says ” meditation is a way to get in the space between your thoughts. You have a thought here, a thought here, and there’s little space between every thought”  Here’s more from Deepak on this …

How to Quiet Your Mind During Meditation

Keep your eyes closed, and bring your awareness into your heart, right in the middle of the chest. With all of your awareness try to see, sense, feel your heartbeat. See if you can sense your heartbeat either as a sound or a sensation.

Now that you’re experiencing your heartbeat as a sound or a sensation, bring your awareness to your fingertips, to your hands. See where my hands are? Bring your awareness into your fingertips. You can open you eyes and peek for a second and then go back with your eyes closed. Feel your heartbeat in your fingertips. You feel that? You’ve just diverted blood flow to your hands. This is one of the fastest ways to relieve a migraine headache.

Now bring your awareness back into your heart and just mentally repeat the four words that I’m going to ask you to repeat, mentally.

Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love.

Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love.

Do that for two minutes and now move your awareness anywhere in your body that you want to bring healing to. You don’t have to visualize anything, you don’t have to say anything, just bring your awareness. Just bringing awareness to these different parts of your body will bring consciousness, which is healing.

Finally, come back to your heart, and in one minute or so say again those four words: Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love. Remember those are the goals of all the other goals in our life, whatever we want, ultimately that’s what we want. So repeat: Peace. Harmony. Laughter. Love.

Now keep your awareness in your heart and just for one minute, experience gratitude. You experience gratitude by thinking of all the things you’re already grateful for. The more you experience gratitude, the more you’ll attract things in your life that will make you feel even more grateful. Do that for a second, a few seconds, relax into your body, and open your eyes. This is a healing meditation.

Now that is a simple technique.  If you really spend time with those 4 words… and really put your heart into them…. you WILL bring peace, harmony, laughter and love into you life in greater and greater amounts.