These tips are for anyone who resist discipline, schedules, routine, exercise etc. but wants to feel better and somehow begin somewhere. This is why I say "be gentle with yourself" - a little bit a day is better than none. We all have many pockets in our day to practice or incorporate these simple mindful tips:
1) Next time you are watching TV, lie on the floor and start stretching your legs and back...maybe add some sit-ups or place a tennis ball in those tight spots.
2) If you ride BART, need to wait for a doctor's appointment or a friend for coffee... instead of checking your phone for emails, FB post or playing games... take 2 minutes to close your eyes and do a body check. Take three deep breaths, filling in your lungs and belly then slowly exhaling. Each time you breath in oxygen, you are expanding your rib cage, stretching the muscles, calming the central nervous system and helping your body digest food efficiently.
3) If you work on a computer all day, set your phone alarm clock every hour to remind yourself to stretch your neck and shoulders, take three deep breaths and drink a tall glass of lemon water. This will refresh your mind and prevent brain fog.
4) Do calf lifts when you brush your teeth or standing in the check out line in a store. This will help prevent ankle swelling, loosen up clunky joints and strengthen your feet & calf muscles.
5) When you are waiting for an appointment, kids, activities, doing computer work or reading a book... massage your jaw and neck muscles. Make funny faces (it will make someone smile) and squeeze your neck muscles. Add some essential oils to open your senses or tiger balm to sooth aching tight muscles.
6) Play frisbee, catch, hoops, walk, bike, hike, swim, or even show your kids how to lift weights, jump rope, or do yoga. This is a great way to spend time with your family while teaching them how to take good care of their health too.
7) I love having my first cup of coffee out on my patio in the morning. I do a quick meditation to visualize my day or connect with my Higher Spirit.
8) "Contract & Release" - this is a mindful exercise that helps connect your mind with your body. Too often we may walk around unconsciously with a muscle in constant contraction. Eventually this muscle can fatigue or cause other muscles to kick in and do more work causing body pain. This technique helps retrain your body and mind to identify when a muscle is contracting or is relaxed.
I'm not gonna lie... "letting go" of habits, people, food, pain, things etc. can be a process and even a journey.
I started journaling again. A new year, reflecting on the last and planning for the next. What am I grateful for? What does my heart desire? What is draining me (energetically, mentally, physically, spiritually or financially). What am I doing? Where am I going? What makes me happy?
Recently I turned 45 and I have felt stuck in my marriage and work. Is this a mid-life crisis? Am I living the life I imagined? Often times around my birthday, I find myself pondering these questions and seeking answers. Maybe it is to encourage growth, change, or return to balance. My yoga practice has helped me in so many ways. The breath work alone helps move out toxic blood so fresh oxygenated blood can circulate in my body. Today the instructor gave the message of "Surrender". Surrender into the pose even when you are feeling the pain...breath. Such a simple message!
Couple days ago I received a massage from a friend who shared with me a mantra he had been practicing for the last 6 monthes. This mantra has really helped him feel more peace and serenity in his life. "Cannot argue what is!". Yes...."Cannot argue what is!". A simple message of accepting what is, what we cannot change and surrender to what is.
I take these simple messages to heart, maybe because they resonate with my life and at the same time they are simple reminders of what I already know and have read or heard in satsang. I also know that many people seek the same ... peace, happiness, balance, love. There are so many simple techniques that can support times of transition or guide us back on track. Journaling workshops, Meridian Tapping (EFT), Nutritional Response Technique (NRT), daily meditation books by Melody Beattie, massage, yoga, and quality time with friends.
If you are interested in learning more about my fun workshops, EFT sessions, or receive my bi-monthly emails on natural health tips, massage and wellness, you can call me at #925-785-3066.
One of my favorite places to retreat for rejuvenation is Harbin Hot Springs. I usually like to spend a couple nights so I can slow down, soak in the mineral bathes, eat organic, walk the labrynth, meditate in the gardens, take in a yoga class, hike, participate in art or receive a healng massage or watsu treatment.
This last visit was only a half day visit with my son who loves to swim in the mineral pools. Our mind had already begun to shift as we drove through the georgous Napa Valley painted in Autumn colors and misty fog. The journey was exciting for us as we knew we were headed towards a peaceful place to unwind and retreat.
As a ritual, I like to include a massage because it seems to deepen the experience for me. I also like to learn new techniques or even be reminded of the simple tools that can aid in a healing experience. In our everyday life, it is easy to spend time in our head thinking, while our body moves us through our day. Something as simple as breathing can be forgotten. When I received my massage the therapist guided me into deep breathing as he gave me an amazing sixty minute massage. Of course, I set the intention myself to fully allow myself to receive, breath and relax. I left feeling nurtured and whole again.
This short visit to Harbin was a simple reminder for me that I do not need a long vacation to slow down, quiet the mind and breath. Sometimes a simple day trip and giving myself permission to receive and breath can be enough.
I've been practicing massage since 1997 and one thing that I have noticed through the years is that people are taking less and less time out of their busy schedules to rest and care for themselves. People are working longer hours and shuffling their kids to more activities. Meals are on the go and sleep is restless due medications, alcohol and active minds. Technological communications through cell phones and computers has increased and personal quality time with loved ones has decreased. Quality of food, healthcare, and customer service has gone down, while prices of everything including stress levels have gone up.
People are pushing themselves to do more and more each day which means multi-tasking to the point of exhaustion. This treadmill that people keep themselves on has lead to adrenal fatigue, headaches, insomnia, stomach pain, inflammation and even heart attacks. They have become so tired they think they are depressed, but often it is really their body saying "STOP"..."REST"..."RECHARGE". Unfortunately the mental monkey keeps telling them to do more..."you should be able to do more, don't rest, do more". Deep down the spirit is yelling out softly, "take better care of yourself, slow down and rest".
Twelve years ago, people did make more time for relaxation and nurturing care. They scheduled a monthly massage as part of their self care program, which included exercise, healthy diet, and quality time with friends. Their capacity levels were higher because they made time to rest and recharge for the month to come. Their priorities were more focused on self care, self awareness and fun vs. who's doing what on the internet.
If you find yourself caught up on the above treadmill of self destruction, then please....GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO REST AND RECHARGE. Get a massage BEFORE the pain starts to creep in, BEFORE your body becomes exhausted from lack of sleep or you suffer from chronic headaches. Get off the treadmill and back on track with a healthy "self care" regimen!
BOOK A MASSAGE NOW! #925-785-3066
This last year has been extremely tough with many changes happening in my career and personal life. On top of that my son has become high energy, like any 4yr old boy is, but more than I can enjoy when I am not feeling strong in my own body. So I started taking a yoga class at my local gym which I had been very lazy about using for several years now. It was Fall and a great time to go inward to breath, stretch and strengthen my body. In the past I had taken many yoga classes from Ashstanga, Bikram, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Hatha, Kundalini to Anasura. My body adapted and responded quickly to being back into a yoga practice. I started to feel strong again, loved the teacher and found myself going at least 2-3 days a week and feeling a difference. My body was releasing emotional pain with the breath work and stretches while my mind became confident and clear.
So today I woke up to my son crying because he did not have any fuzzy fleece shirts to wear (because they were dirty). After 30 minutes of meltdowns about clothes, breakfast and not wanting to go to school, I was relieved when he finally left the house with his dad. I was excited to get ready for my yoga class, to clear my mind and start my own day. However, to my surprise I showed up and there were pregnant women, and mostly grey haired people, but a couple students I recognized from my Ashtanga class. The teacher was different and so was the class. "What is going on here?", I said to myself. I could feel resistance in my body and mind to this new class that I was unaware of. "Did they change the schedule with out saying anything?" Of course I stayed and went along with it, trying to figure out if I liked it or not. Some of it was slow and easy, but then other poses were challenging. We used balls, straps and slow reps.
After class the teacher came up to me and thanked me for taking her class. Still confused, I asked her, what the name of her class was and if it was replacing my favorite yoga class. To find out, it was a Pilates II and my regular yoga class was after her class. "What?, I arrived an hour early and took the wrong class?". I laughed inside and realized that maybe today this was what my body needed. I learned the importance of "letting go of resistance to change and opening my mind to something new".
Then I got home and opened up a daily meditation book called "The Language Of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie. At the end of her daily message called "Morning Cues", she writes an affirmation: God, help me let go of my need to be in resistance to the harmonic flow of life. Help me learn to go with the flow and accept the help and support that You have to offer me.
What a perfect reflection of what is going on in my life right now. Thank you spirit for guiding me towards this lesson and message today. ~ Namaste
Like you, I prefer to stay healthy during the holidays. Recently, I felt called to purchase some ginger root from my local farmers market. It sat in my refrigerator waiting to be used in some amazing dish I thought I would whip up for dinner one night. While chatting with a close friend whom helps me stay spiritually grounded and practicing a healthy lifestyle, we started to discuss the weather changes, dry skin, sore throats, swollen joints, and feeling emotionally tired from the economical struggles in the world. I told her I had this ginger root sitting around and wondered if she had any suggestions or recipes to use it in. She reminded me of an old, yet simple recipe that is great for this time of year...lemon ginger tea!
Mince up fresh ginger root and add it to a pot of water. Bring to a boil and simmer. I also add a couple dashes of sea salts and cayenne powder for some extra punch. Then I add fresh squeeze lemon and honey (or maple) and strain into a cup for sipping. Warm, soothing and really works! Enjoy.