Sunday Deep – Sharing some profound quotes from Pema Chodron:

1. “Learning how to fail will help us more than anything else in life.”

2. “Protecting ourselves from pain—our own and that of others—has never worked. Everybody wants to be free from their suffering, but the majority of us go about it in ways that only make things worse.”

3. “When our main goals are to gain comfort and avoid discomfort, we begin to feel disconnected from, and even threatened by, others. We enclose ourselves in a mesh of fear.”

4. “Some people work hard, day and night, in the field of helping others, but their strongest motivation is to stay busy so they can avoid feeling their own pain.”

5. “It’s said that if we want to learn about our past, we should look at our present circumstances, for they are the result of our past actions. If we want to learn about our future, we should look at what we’re doing now.”

6. Though we can’t predict or control what will come up next or how we will feel about it, we can do something about how we react. We can work on how we relate to whatever comes up.”

7. Every time we catch ourselves going down the rut of a habitual reaction, we have a chance to interrupt the momentum and discover a whole new direction and depth to our life.”

8. “To the degree that we can open to our own discomfort, we can open to others’ as well, and vice versa. This is so because in reality there’s no difference between our pain and that of others.”

9. “When you become conscious, the first thing you discover is why you stayed unconscious all those years. Being conscious means you really have to feel what you feel, which is frequently very vulnerable and raw.”

10. “The interesting thing is that the more willing you are to step out of your comfort zone, the more comfortable you feel in your life. Situations that used to arouse fear and nausea become easier to relax.”

11. Accepting something, by the way, isn’t the same as liking it. To accept a feeling that we habitually associate with discomfort doesn’t mean we immediately turn around and start enjoying it. It means being okay with it as part of the texture of human life.”

Need a Little Kelp?

Kelp or seaweed is a rich source of minerals and vitamins. There are many types growing naturally in the ocean in thick forests. Marine life depends on it for their habitat and as a food source.

What most don’t realize is that it’s extremely healthy in our diet. It’s filled with calcium (plant based), vitamin K (not easy to find in most foods), vitamin A, vitamin B-12, iron, and magnesium. Seaweed is good for metabolism, eye health, bone health, and the immune system.

Kelp is great for the skin because it’s high in antioxidants. It’s an effective moisturizer and can help keep skin bright and clear. I’d been putting it in dog food as a supplement for my fur babies and now I’m grabbing some for myself.

*Note: As with anything dietary, please check with your physician first to ensure this is not contraindicated.

Address Your Stress

Stress and anxiety are pervasive issues that compromise health in very deep, significant ways. There is endless research about the connection. It may seem like there isn’t much to do about it or any choice, especially if the perceived source of stress isn’t anything that can be changed. But…there are many ways to balance and mitigate stress/anxiety. Here are just a few tips I’ll share from my class, Gentle Yoga for Stress, Anxiety, and Busy Minds. To have a fuller experience with this using Mindfulness and Subtle practices, join my next class and/or my email list for classes/programs:

-Important! Look very closely at screen time. Anxiety was never as prevalent as it is post smart phones.

-Eat mindfully. Taste your food. Eat slowly, chew well, and stay present with beautiful, calm things around you, if possible. Your body will absorb nutrients better and process the food more effectively.

-Take care of your body including your skin by using essential oils, massage oil, organic oils, etc. Look at the ingredients of what you put on your skin including make-up and deodorant. There is a great DIY easy, natural recipe for deo on this site, Feel the Peace, as well as body scrub. There is also a great post on this site about this topic. Your skin is part of your integumentary system, one of the 11 body systems.

-Address your strong emotions, don’t stuff them. Emotions, pain, and loss will find a way into your body and create issues. Find productive ways to address this through all modalities including counseling and medication (if necessary). Slower, gentler, more meditative yoga classes are very beneficial for this. Sometimes classes aren’t what they actually say they are so be careful, but in general, look for labels like Gentle, Restorative, and Yin.

-Stay in the present. There is a saying by Lao Tzu “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

 

 

 

Don’t Miss This Unique Opportunity

Happy almost New Year! You’re invited to kick off the new year with a blended class of Beginners Mind/Winter Qigong and Yin Yoga. Beginners are most welcome and do bring friends and family! Here are the details: 

Class: January 1st from 2:30 to 4:30.

Where: Sand Hills Wellness Center, 57 Sand Hills Road, Kendall Park

Cost: $40 (cash only) at the door. Pre-registration required. RSVP to lyn.sirota@gmail.com. If anything changes, do let us know ASAP, space is limited.

Beginners Mind: Winter Qigong (Chinese Medicinal Movements)

The kidney is the predominant winter organ and it needs to flow when it is cold outside. The kidney area in Chinese Medicine is called the Jing, which means germ or essence. In the Chinese belief system we all originated from water and this liquid carries our original template – our very essence. The kidney holds the mystery to our lineage and the capacity for refining our lives. Using gentle, graceful, and deliberate Qigong forms, the kidney is reminded to flow, even though the cold winter may create some icy conditions.

Yin Yoga: A more passive and meditative form of yoga where students are fully supported in poses with various props. Our yin practice will also focus on the kidney in a quiet practice that allows the body to sink deeply into poses. Yin opens and stretches the body along the organ meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine while the student is still/quiet. This allows the practitioner to stay in the body and feel, without being overtaken by the “thinking mind.”

Bio: Dr Robin Shapiro, a Neuro Scientist, has been a pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine for almost 40 years. Exploring methodology to blend Eastern and Western Medicine has been what she has dedicated her practice to for her entire career. A holistic thinker, ROB believes that healing is a process, not an event. Her studies in Qigong, Moving Medicine is the under pinning of her health and wellness approach. Her current work includes the development of UBWell Associates where Medical Diagnosis Advocacy is offered. 

Bio: Lyn Lilavati Sirota is a certified 200-hour instructor who teaches Gentle Yoga, Chair Yoga, and Meditation. Lyn completed a 180-hour Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training program, a 100-hour Yin Yoga teacher training as well as a program in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. She authors a Wellness Blog called Feel the Peace. Please visit/subscribe at: http://feelthepeaceblog.lynsirota.com/. Lyn is also an author of non-fiction children’s books and articles with 30+ books in print. 

Shower Power

Invite the practice of mindfulness into your morning or evening shower. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and feel the sensations of the water on all sides of the body. Alternate left/right shoulders, front body/back body. Inhale the steam and smells of soap and shampoo. Listen to the rhythmic cadence of the water for a few slow, deep breaths. Notice your shower habitat as if it’s the first time you’re seeing it. Can you find something you hadn’t noticed before? Stick out your tongue and let the shower water bathe and cleanse your palate. Pause after you shut off the water and feel the very moment the comfort of the heat turns to chill. Feel the chill. Give yourself a hug and start the day with the affirmation, “Today will be a good day. I’m grateful to be alive to experience this new day.”

Carpe Diem – Seize the day, peeps!

Your Friend Frank

Guest post by Beverly McGivney


Meet FRANKinscense (Boswellia Carterii). Considered a Holy Oil, it dates back to ancient Egypt (16th century B.C.) as being used in prescriptions and recipes. When used regularly — topically and internally — it may support overall well-being and healthy immune function. Note: if you are ingesting, ensure your essential oil is 100% therapeutic grade.

Frankincense has a visual tightening effect on the skin and may benefit mature skin and slow signs of aging.  A drop can be added to daily moisturizer. Research indicates that when inhaling the pure properties in essential oils, they stimulate the olfactory receptors and activate regions in the brain’s limbic system associated with memory, emotion, and state of mind. In Frank’s case, its earthly and uplifting aroma has wonderful therapeutic benefits!

The pineal gland in the brain loves Frank! This gland is considered “the seat of spiritual connection.” Frank can be used to enhance practices such as prayer and meditation. It’s grounding effect can promote feelings of relaxation and tranquility. The pineal gland also loves to be stimulated by frankincense because it aids in its production of melatonin, a serotonin derived hormone that regulates sleep patterns. Diffuse or spray Frank during bedtime as a great sleep aid. Quite Frankly, you’ll feel happy you did.

For Spray: and add equal parts of filtered water and witch hazel with 15 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil.


Read more about Beverly McGivney (YL # 1149206) here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebodhiseed1121; Instagram: @thebodhiseed1121
Beverly, the creator of the Bodhi Seed, has a passion for whole person wellness. During her personal exploration of whole person wellness body, mind and spirit, Beverly was inspired to create The Bodhi Seed. The Bodhi Seed is a platform to educate and advocate on wellness using nature’s energy while inspiring purpose and abundance! She believes in creating non-toxic living mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically!

Dinner for Breakfast

It’s not unheard of to have breakfast for dinner. But, what about dinner for breakfast? I was recently on a lovely retreat and each day for breakfast, we had Miso Soup with various toppings. The Miso is fermented making it a great choice for the digestive system as a probiotic. And, it’s tasty and really easy to make.

Miso Soup

8 C water

3-4 scallions Chopped and save some as a topping

1/2 C grated carrots

1/4 C chopped celery

1/2-1 sheet chopped wakame or kombu sea vegetable (I just used snacking seaweed from Costo)

1/2 tub Miso (or Miso to taste-I bought Mellow Miso from Whole Foods). There are various types and some that are non-soy.

Options: Add Mushrooms Toppings: Sauteed Kale with garlic and ginger, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, tofu, tempeh, sesame seeds, use your imagination

Boil water and remove 1 1/4 C before adding scallions, carrots, celery and seaweed to partially cook (about 5 minutes). Mix miso paste with hot water. Important, turn off the heat before adding paste mixture to the pot (if you boil the miso it kills the healthy properties…also don’t boil when reheating. Just heat till warm to the palate.)

Trikonasana-Triangle Pose

Trikonasana (TREE-kone-AA-SUN-aa) — is an asana (posture) that activates and moves energy through the entire body by stretching the side body and challenging the balance. This asana is named from the Sanskrit words, Trikona, meaning triangle, and asana.

Some of the benefits

Stretches and opens the hips, chest, and lengthens the spine.

Opens the hamstrings, groin, calves, and shoulders.

Stretches and tones the muscles of the legs.

Stretches the intercostal muscles of the rib cage.

Strengthens the neck. Note: ensure the head isn’t droppping down to the shoulder.

Can bring relief to backaches and menstrual cramps.

Gives a deep, full, nourishing stretch to the sides of the body.

Strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms, and chest.

Increases mental and physical balance.

Improves digestion.

Reduces anxiety, stress, back pain, and sciatica

Try Something New

Now I can hear some saying, Ew. And what’s more, I know exactly who is rolling their eyes at me!

While browsing the yogurt section at Shoprite, I came across two new brands of yogurt I hadn’t heard of and this was one of them. I’m always looking for yogurt that has less sugar than what is typically available and non-dairy. This one was a surprise! Not only non-dairy, less sugar, but Golden Milk yogurt? For those of you not familiar with golden milk, it is a drink with turmeric that is great for insomnia and inflammation. The chia is packed with protein and omega. Having it for lunch is pretty great too. Added some blueberries and gluten-free coconut granola. Voila!

Yawning

Many of us lead stressful, hectic lives and exist in a sympathetic state. This means the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) — the “fight or flight” response — is more active that the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the ANS that is linked with rest, digestion, and relaxation.

While yawning seems to be associated with fatigue or boredom, it also plays a role in transitions from waking to sleeping and vice versa. Yawning increases the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid and helps relax the body and reduce stress levels.

Our scientific community is looking at the importance of yawning. It’s crucial to our overall well-being. Repetitive yawning helps lower the temperature of the brain and assists in balancing inflammation and combating other harmful effects on the nervous system. Frequent yawning releases many neurologically beneficial processes.

While yawning is involuntary, you can bring about a yawn by just trying it. So… fake it till you make it!

Finding Savasana

Savasana, or more fondly, Corpse Pose is not an easy pose to find. According to the yoga masters, the hardest pose to practice. Letting go and being in stillness is a tall order. Life gets in the way, but it doesn’t have to.

Take a few moments of your day to connect with the earth through your body. Walk barefoot and really feel the earth with mindful, slow steps. Connect through your eyes, through your nose. Watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. It’s a great start!

Managing Anxiety

Ever notice how prevalent even the word anxiety has become since the evolution of smart phones? This connection is ‘food for thought.’ Notice and observe screen time (phones, computers, devices). Notice posture and the structure of the body.

In addition, another body system is deeply impacted. Our respiration. Find some time in the day, even first thing or last thing, to breathe deeply. In gentle yoga classes we practice deep yogic breathing at the beginning of every class, no matter the type of class, or the body parts we’re focusing on. This targeted method of deep breathing goes by many different names, but they all mean the same thing. Deep breathing using the lower belly signals the nervous system to calm down. Building this breathing practice benefits sleep patterns, lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, and enhances the digestive system.

Research indicates that 9 out of 10 people are chest breathers who take short, shallow breaths into their chest all day. This method of breathing tells the nervous system the body is under stress. The body reacts by releasing cortisol, increasing blood pressure. The body and immune system become strained. Next time something or someone is prompting anxiety – find your breath – it’s right under your nose!

Come learn more about deep breathing in my Gentle Yoga classes. Go to the “About, Programs, Schedule” page of this blog to find out more about classes/programs or contact me at lyn.sirota@gmail.com.