Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self-control. Energy within and energy without. -Ymber Delecto
Basics: Yoga is physical, mental practice that unites breath control with meditation and physical movement.
History: Yoga is believed to have originated around the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. within ancient Hindu circles. The Sanskirt word yoga translates to “to unite”. The ultimate goal of traditional yoga is moksha, which means “freedom”.
Begin here: There are countless poses to explore. You can research what might benefit your personal goals. Here are 3 foundation poses to try:
- Mountain pose. Strengthens posture, tones core, calms mind.
- Downward dog. Elongates and relaxes spine, strengthens arms and shoulders.
- Warrior pose. Strengthens legs, arms, and back, develops core stamina, stretches hip flexors.
- Improves flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Develops healthy posture
- Promotes fluid cartilage and joints
- Lengthens and energizes the spine
- Strengthens bones
- Encourages blood flow
- Boosts immunity by clearing lymphatic system
- Improves cardiovascular conditioning
- Naturally uplifts mood
- Sharpens focus
- Deep relaxation for sound sleep
Aromatherapy is a caring hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation to increase energy to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body and soul.- Robert Tisserand
Basic: The national association for holistic aromatherapy defines it as ‘the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”
An essential oil is a distillation of natural materials. The means of extracting the essence varies on the type of natural material.
History: Essential oils have been used for spiritual, hygienic, therapeutic and ritualistic practices in many ancient civilizations across Europe and Asia.
- Lemon (fresh, sour, citrus). Revitalizes, relieves stress, enhances mood
- Lavender (sweet, pine-like, floral). Topical: antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Aromatherapy: Sleep-enhancing, stimulating, headache relief, eases anxiety.
- Sandalwood (warm, earthy, sensual). Topical: Astringent, soothes inflamed skin. Aromatherapy: Grounding, soothing, aphrodisiac.
Benefits: The benefits we can enjoy aromatherapy depend on the scent used. It can relieve stress, spark creativity, lift mood, ease anxiety, encourage movement, and evoke passion. The possibilities are as endless as the planets flora. Aromatherapy is often a vital component to massage.
Ignite romance with these aphrodisiacs
- Chili peppers
Basics: Oil( most often coconut or sesame) is swished in the mouth and then discarded. It is believed to promote oral health by reducing inflammation and bacteria.
History: It seems like a new folk remedy, but the practice stems from ancient Ayurvedic medicine.
Begin here: This is a simple and economical practice to try. The anti-microbial quality of coconut oil makes it ideal.
- Gently swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, pulling it through your teeth.
- Begin with 5 minutes a day and build your way up to 20 minutes a day.
- Discard the oil in the trash, never the drain. It can clog pipes.
- Continue to brush and floss.
- Fights gingivitis
- Combats bad breath
- Brightens and cleans teeth
- Detoxes the mouth and body
- Reduces headache intensity
- Coconut oil may inhibit tooth decay
The corporation for national and community service states that through volunteering, we:
- Solve problems
- Strengthens communities
- Improve lives
- Connect to others
- Transform our own lives
And that research establishes ‘a strong relationship between volunteering and health; those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”
Take a deep breath
Feelings come and go like clouds in the windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”-Thich Nhat Hanhn
You can do this any time, anywhere. Chest breathing is ingrained in us by society, but this practice is not normal or beneficial. Deep abdominal breathing is more ideal, as it soothes the heartbeat and stabilizes blood pressure.
- Find peaceful, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Take a normal breath.
- Take a deep breath by inhaling slowly through your nose until your chest and belly rises as your lungs fill. Let the abdomen expand fully.
- Release the breath slowly through your mouth or nose, whatever feels more natural.
Enjoy inflammation fighting foods
Our bodies are our gardens, our wills are our gardeners.”-William Shakespeare
- Whole grains
- Oily fish
- Dark leafy greens
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.:-Buddha
Basics: Meditation encompasses techniques that induce relaxation, cultivate internal energy, develop compassion, and encourage forgiveness. It clears the mind and promotes awareness.
History: The practice of meditation predates recorded history. Rythmic chants, such as today’s mantras, have been present within many religions across time.
Begin here: There are countless ways to meditate. It is about bringing complete awareness to your actions. To start, try this:
- Sit or lie comfortably.
- Shut your eyes.
- Just breathe naturally.
- Focus on the rhythm of your breath, noticing how your body moves with the inhalation and exhalation. If your attention wanders, return focus to your breath.
- Try this for a few minutes to start, then gradually build your concentration.
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers blood lactate
- Eases tension-induced pain
- Boosts serotonin production
- Augments immune system
- Increases energy levels
- Eases anxiety
- Builds emotional stability
- Boosts creativity
- Induces a sense of happiness
- Fine-tunes intuition
- Promotes clarity and inner peace
- Boosts ability to focus
Sleep on it!
This is easier said then done, of course. Enough sleep is essential for physical, emotional, and mental well being. Here are a few tips to foster healthy sleep:
- Establish a bedtime schedule. This means staying close to this time everyday, even on weekends. You can ease your body into this by shifting towards your desired bedtime in 15 minute increments.
- Spend more time outside during daylight. This will help naturally align your body with a healthy sleep schedule.
- Invite as much natural light as possible into your home and workplace.
- Do not read from back lit devices at night. Artificial light sabotages melatonin production, which is crucial for deep sleep.
- Cardio and aerobic exercise enhances the depth and length of your sleep, but only if you finish 4 hours before bedtime. This gives your body time to cool down, triggering the brain to release sleep-inducing melatonin.
Walk often, walk far
An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day”.-Henry David Thoreau
Walking is an easy, natural blessing we can bestow upon our body and mind. Try to walk as often as you can, varying environment by exploring parks and forests.
By walking you:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Strenghten your bones
- Regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Promote the sense of emotional well-being
- Help maintain a healthy body weight
- Enjoy the comforting and stimulating sights of nature
You cannot open a book without learning something.”-Confucius
Balance your chakras
Basics: In Hindu tradition, chakras are energy nodules throughout the non-physical body. Life force flows through these nodes. If they get blocked by negative energy, physical and emotional ailments might develop.
Begin here: The chakras provide a visualization of what ails us. Let’s focus on the root chakra:
- Yoga honors our physical connection to the earth. By realigning the body, we can clear the root chakra.
- Connect to your roots with earthy aromas like cinnamon, ginger, patchouli, and nutmeg.
- Take a walk.
- Do squats to physically strengthen the lower body.
Keep a journal
I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”-Anne Frank
We all have story to tell and emotions to sort out. to jumbled thoughts and gnawing worries. By expressing yourself to a blank page, you:
- Clarify your emotions
- Understand yourself more deeply
- Alleviate stress by releasing angry and painful feelings
- Solve problems in calm and creative ways
- Resolve issues with others by taking time to understand their views
Dance, run, walk,swim, lift, jump, hike, bike, spin! We all know the joys and benefits that exercise has to offer. You have got one body; elevate it with movement!
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.-Buddha
By giving happiness, you can receive happiness. No compassion deed is too small. Not only are you uplifting others, you are nourishing your own heart. Some simple ways to practice compassion:
- Smile at someone
- Say “I love you” to someone that you love
- Send flowers to a friend out of the blue
- Offer your bus seat to a pregnant woman or elderly person.
- Let someone speak without interrupting
- Offer compliment that is genuine and unique
This healing practice relies on the power of light and naturally present field energy. When applied in the right frequencies, it can help improve certain ailments and bring relief to symptoms.
This Buddhist form of alternative medicine involves the healing power of touch. A reiki practitioner will guide “life force” energy through the body to promote healing.
Thin needles are gently applied at specific acupuncture points to stimulate healing and relieve pain, especially for low back conditions.
Your environment affects your physical and emotional well being. Feng shui is about harmonizing your surroundings with color, light, air flow, and materials so that you feel comforted and energized by your home.
Listen to your body and your soul. Every one of us is imbued with intuition that can guide us towards healing and happiness. These practices can help, but ultimately you are the captain of your vessel.