Eco-Friendly Body Scrub

Take care of the skin your in, save money, and make use of something that would otherwise go to the compost or trash. Trifecta! The best scrub ever is one I make myself. Making use of coffee grounds from my organic coffee (any coffee grounds will do), sugar, organic coconut oil, and cinnamon. That’s it…

1/4 C organic coconut oil

1/4 C sugar

1/4 C coffee grounds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

A small jar or container with a lid (I use a small plastic container that had powder in it since I leave it in the shower and wouldn’t want broken glass). Also, note, the coconut oil will make the floor of the shower slippery, so please be careful.

AND, it smells and works great!

Osteoporosis and Yoga

Practicing yoga with osteoporosis can benefit the body if done mindfully. Many postures and practices can help improve strength and balance as well as restore function and relieve pain. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises against the following movements.

Bending forward from the waist
Twisting or bending the torso to an extreme
Toe touches, abdominal crunches, and sit-ups

In being mindful, it is always important to take the lead during a group yoga class to ensure your own safety. Skip poses that your doctor does not recommend. Most poses can be modified in order to be practiced safely. Particularly helpful for osteoporosis are weight-bearing poses like chair pose, planks, and balancing poses.

Here are a few tips if you have osteoporosis:

Keep the spine long. Avoid rounding the back.
Keep the head on the ground when lying on the back.
Hinge from the hips, not the waist. Tilt the pelvis forward and keep spine long.
Practice with the support of a chair or the wall.
Move relaxed and smoothly. Avoid jerky movements.
Consider lying down rather than sitting to relax the spine.

Uniting the body, mind, and breath in a mindful practice can be a beautiful gift!

Brain Yoga

You may have heard of eye yoga, aerial yoga, or even wall yoga. But brain yoga? Well, not in the true postural sense. However, yoga has many benefits to the body and the brain. Here are just a few of the many.

-Yoga benefits memory and helps ward off cognitive issues.

-Hatha yoga improves the brain function and processing (speed and accuracy).

-It prompts and enhances self-awareness and reduces stress.

-Yoga helps improve psychological health in the areas of anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. There are studies that suggest yoga can produce effects similar to anti-depressants and therapy.

-Yoga helps with anger management and emotional resilience.

-The meditative aspects of yoga help to lower blood pressure, improve immunity, improve sleep, lower the risks of heart disease, and calm the nervous system.

-Clinical studies have shown that yoga stimulates skin pressure receptors that boost brain activity. This influences the production and release of hormones.

The benefits of yoga and meditation are far too numerous to list. Find your yoga today and make your brain happy.

Ahimsa

The term, ahimsa, is something you may have heard in a yoga class. The word is derived from the Sanskrit language meaning to practice nonviolence on and off the yoga mat.

Ahimsa suggests for us not to push beyond our physical limits just to please the ego. “No pain, no gain” is definitely not the yoga way! Is doing 108 sun salutations worth it if you wind up exhausted and sore instead of exhilarated? (Answer: no.)
The practice of mental non-violence is important, too. As we move through the asanas or yoga postures with ahimsa in mind, we can release negative thoughts we may have about our strength or flexibility in any pose. The idea is to move toward love and acceptance of our bodies just as they are in the present moment.

Embracing ahimsa, on and off the mat, can improve our own well-being. It can also have a positive impact on those around us.

This post was written by our guest blogger, Dianne Ochiltree. Diane is a certified 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher. She serves as regular Teaching Assistant for yoga classes at Parkinson Place, a facility dedicated to clients with Parkinson’s disease; and teaches chair yoga at her home studio, Yoga from the Heart, in Sarasota, Florida. She is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). And a children’s author too! www.dianneochiltree.com