Thanksgiving is a November holiday that we know well, but are you aware that World Peace Day is the 17th? I know we don't get that day off, but let's take a moment now to contemplate the idea of peace. What does world peace look like to you? Do you feel you can make a difference in the bigger picture? Praying for peace is easy, but it isn't the only way we can help facilitate peace. "Being" peace is something that we, perhaps, don't give much thought to. When we are peaceful, however, when we FEEL peaceful, we share that vibration with everyone around us.
The Dalai Lama has said "World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not the absence of violence; peace is the manifestation of human compassion." I believe he is correct. Many times I have seen examples of how a simple act of compassion for another human being changes others, thus making a larger difference than I expected.
Look around you in the grocery store. There is often an elderly person in a wheelchair shopping cart. It's very hard to reach some of the shelves from those carts - offer to get something off the shelf or to carry something that might not fit on their cart. And the person bagging your groceries may be someone with a physical or mental challenge. How about smiling and making conversation with that person instead of ignoring or thinking about how slowly they are packing? Compassion is easy to share with others. First, we have to look around and truly see the people we often ignore.
I find that shopping in any store is the easiest way to find people that are in need of my contagious smile and a kind word. And the best part is that when I see, acknowledge, smile, and chat with people, others around me often take a moment to share a smile and a kind word too. Then the people behind them in line do, too, and the ripple spreads out peace and love to many. Try it yourself and see what a difference you can make!
The Autumn Equinox has come and gone, the leaves on the trees are doing their brilliant redesign, and colder weather has arrived in the Berkshires. I have already started wearing my fleece lined jeans.
While I do love the colors and the brisk air in the fall, I do not like the idea of heading into winter. In my classes this week, that was a topic of conversation, and most of us are not looking forward to winter. Being the Pollyanna that I am, it made me think of things that we can do to help ourselves enjoy the colder weather more, and be less stressed by it. The result of that thinking is a new video I've added to my YouTube channel.
Tapping is something I not only recommend and teach, but use myself on a regular basis. So, I have created a tapping routine for enjoying the cold! I plan to use it this winter and hope you will, as well!
I've been trained in Integral Yoga, a traditional form of yoga which includes a meditative practice, breathing practices, deep relaxation, and service to others, along with the physical asanas (yoga poses).
This, to me is Yoga. There isn't any aerobics, or use of weights, etc. Yoga is a lifestyle of healthy habits!
I specialize in helping people with back, hip, knee pain.
Below is a great yoga asana that opens the hips and makes walking easier! Try it - you'll like it.
And if you want more help with your chronic pain issues, contact me HERE for your very own personalized coaching plan!
If you suffer from Piriformis Syndrome, you know how painful those spasms can be!
Not to mention that the pain makes your lower back ache, can cause headaches, and most definitely causes your body to release more of those dreaded stress hormones!
Well, here's a simple technique that uses an Acupressure point to ease the pain. Now keep in mind that it will most likely hurt like the dickens when you begin, (what's a dickens anyway?) but trust me on this one - breathe through it and after about a minute, you'll feel the spasm release. That will bring that smile back to your face!
Countless people have come in to see me lately with shoulder problems.
Some have injured themselves doing push ups or plank, so we'll talk a bit about the correct way to do those - without injury!
Let's cover correct form. Most people know by now that you can't let your lower back sag down toward the floor without causing injury to your lower back. Keeping the body as straight as possible is the way to go. Unfortunately, there are many other incorrect ways to do a push up that are not so well known.
Do your push ups in front of a mirror, or have someone watch you, to make sure your shoulders are level. This is the most common problem that I see with my clients (mainly women). We usually have one arm that is stronger than the other and when we lower towards the floor, the shoulder of the stronger arm goes lower than the other, causing an imbalance. The action of pushing back up from this imbalance can cause injury. I recommend doing knee push ups, with your lower legs up off the floor, to begin with. This position uses the same muscles but it's a little easier to feel whether one arm is going lower than the other. Once you are stronger, and sure of your good form, you can go back to the military style.
Also, When doing a push up, make sure that your elbows do not flare out from the body. That is most likely how we learned to do them as kids, but it's really bad form as an adult when we are lifting over 100 lbs! This position puts a lot of stress on the rotator cuff, leading to injury. Keeping your elbows tucked closer into the body might make your push up a little more difficult, but it will most definitely help prevent rotator cuff injuries. One of the ways I teach people to remember to do that is through using a heavy hand barbell. Place the barbells on each side of the body so that when you grab the barbell your palms are facing each other. Complete all of your push ups with hands grabbing the barbells and this will make it easier to keep the elbows in while at the same time, saving your wrists from strain - A win-win solution.
Another common bad habit is letting your body simply drop toward the floor. Don't use gravity, use your muscles in a controlled movement both down and up. Ignore all those TV shows where you see guys doing push-ups so fast, you can't even count them. For proper form, you need to go slow and concentrate on using all of your back, shoulder, abdominal and arm muscles. Keep those abs tight so that they can protect your lower back.
Pay attention to HOW you do your exercisesand your body will be much happier!
Summer is short - let's get out there and EXERCISE!
One thing that I never go without doing, is, stretching before and after a hike. When we walk, run, or hike, often, our leg muscles tighten up. There are a couple of simple stretches that can make all the difference between an enjoyable next day and a painful one. Sometimes, our tense leg muscles can even keep us awake at night. Here are a few recommended, excellent, stretches:
Here are some more simple and fun ways to detox your body:
You may recognize this popular Maple Detox Cocktail, as it's been around for a number of years. The reason for that is - it works!
Pour a dash of cayenne pepper into a 10 ounce glass (experiment with your threshold for cayenne)
Add 4 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fill the glass with warm water and stir thoroughly
Add ½ tsp. of organic maple syrup to sweeten the mixture
Drink on an empty stomach to help cleanse your colon. Cayenne pepper breaks down mucus in your colon, while lemon juice eliminates toxins
Speaking of fiber, here are some foods high in fiber that we should all be eating daily. Most of us do not get enough fiber in our diets.
Legumes - beans, lentils, peas. These are the highest in fiber, containing 10-16 grams per cup
Cooked artichokes have about 10 grams per cup
Raspberries, about 8 grams per cup
Barley, 6 grams per cup
Broccoli, brussel sprouts, and turnips have about 5 grams per cup
Medium pears and apples, 4-5 grams each
The daily recommendation of fiber intake for optimum health is 25-40 grams (less for women, more for men). Most of us don't get anywhere near that amount. Try to build up to this during the spring - trust me on this one, you need to build slowly! 🙂
Today feels like spring so let's talk about detoxifying our bodies from the long cold winter; spring is the perfect time for a good internal cleaning. Here are some tools to detoxify your system from the winter so you can flourish into the summer! Now, I know the word, "detoxify," scares some people, but I'm not talking about any extreme detox regimens that will have us living on the toilet for the week... Here are some simple and fun ways to detox your body:
Sweat it out! Get outside and do some running, jumping, dancing or anything you like to do that makes you sweat. Exercise makes us feel refreshed AND some experts agree that sweat can flush toxins out of the body quicker than most commercial detoxifying products.
Fasting for a day or two and replacing foods with natural juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables is a good idea for spring. Giving your body a chance to rest this way, gives it time to recuperate and rejuvenate. When our organs don't have to be focused on digestion and breaking down our food, and more toxins, they have a chance to recharge, and that means that you are getting back to your natural energy and a more effective digestive system. Cool!
Hydrate more! Yes, drinking more water is good for our bodies. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that drinking plenty of water helps prevent constipation and makes your dietary fiber work more effectively in the body.
Once your body is operating at full speed again, you'll feel much more energized and want to take advantage of Mother Nature for more outdoor activities!
In my home, arnica gel is the go-to pain remedy for bruises and sore muscles, and now, research has shown it can also help soothe arthritis aches and pain. Several studies, including one with 204 people who suffered from osteoarthritis in their hands or knees found that using arnica gel for 21 days worked better than ibuprofen or anything else they’d tried!. Arnica gel is a non steroidal anti inflammatory.
I highly recommend picking some up for your medicine cabinet!