Reiki

30 12 2013

The first time I experienced Reiki, I was hooked. I went in knowing nothing. I wanted it that way. An open mind would keep me from expecting to feel something, anything.

Yoga is known to assist in balancing the chakras, so the concept of these energy centers was not new to me. In fact, I design yoga classes to concentrate on a specific chakra or to align all the chakras, when needed. Certain poses, along with the breath, affect specific chakras to keep the energy flowing throughout the body. If one chakra is blocked, it can hinder the flow and may show physically in the body and/or our thoughts and feelings.

I always feel better after practicing yoga. Even when my focus is not on the chakras, the chakras benefit from the practice. After my Reiki experience, I felt there was more I could give to those looking for a way to receive greater relaxation, reduce their stress and balance their chakras.

Peace and gratitude are part of my daily life since I started practicing Reiki. Before Reiki, I strove to feel a closer connection, incorporating yoga, meditation, and prayer into my day. The connection was attainable though more effort was needed and the sense of connection was not as strong.

My journey continues, opening my eyes and my heart to more than I could ever have imagined.

Namaste’





Healthy Holidays

13 12 2012

The holiday season is fast approaching. Christmas decorations are on the shelves, the must-have toys are advertised on TV, and images of sugar plums are dancing in my head. I enjoy the holidays, but sometimes the hustle and bustle can make me feel stressed and run-down. You would think the season would be a time of joy and excitement, but with the lack of sunshine due to the shorter days, my mood can tend to lean towards the gloomy side, if I am not careful. This is when I need to take care of my immune system to avoid getting sick.

Sleep is important. During the holidays my routine may be  interrupted by changes at work, get-togethers with family and friends, kids coming home, which then my concern is not only sleeping, but getting enough sleep. Personally, I know I need 7-8 hours of sleep to function during the day. If I am unable to reach the 7 hours, I try to take a half hour power nap sometime during the day. I have even taken 10-15 minute naps in my car. You would be surprised what those few minutes of relaxation can do.

Diet is a tricky thing for me to control at this time of year. When I say diet, I don’t mean I am trying to lose weight. By diet, I am suggesting a way of life. My goal most days is to eat as healthy as possible, knowing there will be days that I veer off course. But, I have found that if I am consistent with my diet 80-90% of the time, I can easily get back on track. So, when I am looking over the buffet of food I am tempted with only once a year, I enjoy myself in moderation.

Learn to say “No”. This is a suggestion where you do as I say, not as I do. I am not good at saying “no”. I enjoy helping others and want to please, sometimes at the expense of my own mental and physical health. During the holidays, it is easy to try to squeeze one more thing onto the agenda: one more gift to buy, one more cookie to bake, another party to attend. I am learning to think twice before committing myself to something I may regret and causes undue stress. I pick and choose want to do rather than what I feel obligated to do.

I love to shop. I don’t mind the crowds, but then I have never ventured out the day after Thanksgiving. Shopping online has become a great way for me to comparison shop, or to find an item that wasn’t available at the store, or to make a purchase when I don’t have the time to shop. One of my friends does all her shopping online. Another friend tries to avoid crowded stores that are packed with all types of germs. To each his own.

Exercise. Now, as much as any other time of year, it is important for me to keep up with my workout routine. It keeps me mindful of my eating, my sleep, my energy, and my mood.

Lastly, I need to set aside time for myself, time to relax. A good book, a bath, mediation can be forms of relaxation to rejuvenate and refresh. We all need to take care of ourselves. Listen to your body for signs of a cold or sluggishness and respond with some self care.

 Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Attempt to sleep 7-8 hours per night.

Body: Maintain your workout routine as much as possible.

Soul: Choose to “taste” the holiday treats or share with a friend.

I would love to hear from you.  Contact me through email at Tammy@TammYoga.com and Facebook at TammYoga and Twitter @TammYoga.

Namaste

Tammy

 





Mindful Eating

19 11 2012

“Food and emotional nourishment are intimately bound together in the depths of our unconscious. Just as you might fill an inner emptiness with food, so you can reject or deny your needs, and therefore reject food, in the misbelieve that the smaller the body the less the longing for love.” Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Eating mindfully is not a diet or special formula for weight loss, but a way to live in the moment and notice behaviors that may not be serving us. Most of these behaviors have become habitual reactions to common triggers we encounter throughout our day.

One trigger may be stress. Stress is our body’s way of redistributing energy: our hearts start to race, our blood sugar rises, and we are more alert. This is good if it is for a short period of time, but our lifestyles have put our body’s stress mode into overdrive. This causes the adrenal glands to produce higher than normal levels of cortisol, which has been linked to increased weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area.

Sleep may be a cause for some that deal with weight problems. Too much or too little sleep has been proven to increase hormones that affect our ability to read the signs of hunger and fullness.

There is no easy or quick way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You may need to go deeper into your current patterns for dealing with stress. Do you eat to feel better? What feelings do you associate with certain foods? What foods do you eat to suppress feelings of anger or loneliness? What is preventing you from breaking through these habits?

Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Examine your feelings about your body, relationships, and other areas of your life. Are these feelings true? Begin to notice negative thoughts running through your mind and replace them with life-affirming thoughts to heal those feelings. It may not be easy at first, but you may be surprised at the thoughts that may be keeping you from being the person you would like to be.

Body: Focus on a healthy body. Find exercise that you like to do. Realize that what you are capable of may not be what your spouse or friend is able to do. Your body is built different, you are at different places in your life, but you are doing what you know to be best for you.

Make room for plenty of rest.

Explore ways to reduce stress: yoga, meditation, journal, etc., and incorporate them regularly into your daily life.

Soul: Spend time to discover your passion. What do you enjoy doing? What do you do well? Explore your passion and share it with others. Send that positive, loving energy out into the world.

How are you taking care of yourself?

Namaste

Tammy





Legs Up the Wall Reduces Stress

19 08 2012

It just takes five minutes in Legs Up the Wall pose to relieve stress. Sometimes I like to end my yoga session with Legs Up the Wall, or midday to rejuvenate my body and mind. This pose is considered an inversion pose and all inversion poses help to clear the mind. Situations, relationships, and we take on a new perspective when we are looking up, rather than down.

Practiced regularly, Legs Up the Wall may help to:

 Calm the mind

 Relieve low back tension

 Aid in relieving minor anxiety and depression

 Ease stress on the adrenal glands

 Reduce swelling and cramping in the legs and feet

 Aid in digestion

 Relieve minor headaches

 May help regulating blood pressure

 Insomnia

 May relieve some symptoms of menopause and PMS

CAUTION: Legs up the wall is generally not recommend for those menstruating, with eye problems, with neck or back problems, after third month of pregnancy, and anyone with heart problems. Check with your yoga teacher first. during this pose, bend your knees, touch your soles together, and slide the outer edges of your feet down the wall, bringing your heels close to your pelvis.

Moving into Legs Up the Wall:

Before beginning, you may want to have a blanket or two handy to use, if needed for support. Remember, comfort is important.

1: Stand next to wall with your left shoulder and left hip against the wall. Sit to the floor with the shoulder and hip remaining against the wall. (Option: place a folded blanket close to the wall and place buttocks on blanket when sitting.)

2: Swing around to bring your bottom up close to the wall and legs reaching up the wall towards the ceiling. Lower back and head to the floor. (Option: If using a blanket, position hips comfortably on blanket to relieve any back or leg discomfort.)

3. Move hips away from the wall if hamstrings are tight or lower back is uncomfortable. (Option: Bring soles of the feet together, bend knees out to the sides, and slide outside edges of feet down the wall towards the pelvis.)

4. Make sure the neck is comfortable. A folded towel under the head or neck may be helpful.

5. Arms are placed out to the sides away from the body with palms up. (Option: Body temperature may drop slightly. A blanket to cover up with may be helpful.)

6. Close the eyes and breathe deeply. Inhale and exhale slowly, filling and expelling the lungs.

7: After 5- 10 minutes, bring knees toward chest and roll to your right side. Remain on the right side and take 2-3 deep breaths before sitting up slowly.

Experiment with the blankets and positioning of the hips and legs.

Need to de-stress before going to bed? Grab a blanket and head for the nearest wall.

Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Do what is necessary to be able to sleep 8 hours each night.

Body: Trade workout DVDs with a friend or borrow one from the library. Ask a friend to join you!

Soul: Smile at yourself each time you look in the mirror. You must love yourself before anyone else is able to love you.

Namaste

Tammy





Water and Lemon

1 08 2012

What is the saying? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. What if you tried making the lemonade to avoid the lemons altogether?

I have found a great way to start my day. It has become a part of my morning ritual, along with washing my face and flossing and brushing my teeth. I drink a glass of warm water with the juice of one half of a lemon. It is easy and the benefits make it a priority for me.

Benefits:

  • Stronger immune system: A strong immune system helps to ward of disease. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps in fighting off colds. The potassium found in lemons helps to control blood pressure and has been shown to stimulate brain and nerve function.
  • Balances pH: A healthy body is alkaline. Lemons are an acidic food. But, when we consume lemons our bodies shift it to alkaline, creating a balanced pH.
  • Weight loss: The pectin fiber found in lemons, helps to reduce food cravings. So, maybe lemon and warm water in the morning will make for better food choices for the remainder of the day. It has been shown that people who eat a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
  • Digestion: Warm water helps to stimulate the digestive tract and the muscle contractions to move foods through the digestion process. Lemon nutrients help to rid toxins in the digestive tract.
  • Natural Diuretic: Lemon juice increases urination and flushes out toxins. So, the toxins will be eliminated faster due to the increased rate of movement through the urinary tract.
  • Healthy skin: Lemon juice eliminated toxins from the blood helping to keep the skin clear. The vitamin C found in lemons helps to prevent wrinkles and blemishes.
  • Hydrates the body: Start the day off right by hydrating the body. When the body becomes dehydrated, the organs have a hard time functioning properly. This can lead to other health problems: stress, toxic buildup, and constipation, to name a few.

Do you think you could benefit from warm water and lemon juice every day?

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Pamper yourself with a good book, a nap, a bath….

Body: Call a friend and take an exercise class together.

Soul: Call a loved one and tell them, “I love you”.

I would love to hear from you.  Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





Downward Facing Dog

31 01 2012

Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

adho = downward     mukha = face     svana = dog

Benefits

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energizes the body
  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

Strengthens: Shoulders, upper back, abdominals, lower back

Stretches: Glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, calves

From Child’s Pose, reach forward with your handcs and press them into the mat with fingers spread wide. Lift your hips into an inverted V. Push back through the balls of your feet.

Keep your head between your arms as you lift your tailbone to the sky. Sink your heels toward the floor without rounding your back. If your back rounds, bend your knees.