Lose the Lizard Legs

It doesn’t take much to really nourish your skin and it’s a powerful practice in reducing anxiety. Your skin is a system of the body called the Integumentary System and needs care just as much as the inside of your body.

I keep this do-it-yourself (DIY) scrub in the shower for when my skin is calling for attention. Today was one of those days. I had lizard legs this morning, so I reached for this scrub.

Take care of the skin you’re in, save money, and make use of something that would otherwise go to the compost or trash. Trifecta!

DIY Body Scrub

Mix together:

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 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!

Pause

I don’t know about you, but speaking candidly, I’m having a hard time staying focused these days. Starting, stopping, starting again, maybe finishing, maybe not. I’ve accepted that this is my current state of mind. What I do find helpful in the midst of moving, but not actually going anywhere, is taking time to pause. Pausing to look at how beautiful the clouds are especially against the bright blue sky, pausing to feel the sun on my face, pausing to inhale the outdoor scents of blooming trees, bushes, and flowers, pausing to notice patterns in the stone tile in my house I’ve never noticed before and taking time to just be in that moment.

Each day I think about all the things in my life I am grateful for. I try not to focus on what I don’t have, but turn toward the abundance that I do have. What do you notice when you pause?

#thistooshallpass

Toning Your Immune System

During this season of awareness of our immune systems, there are practices and suggestions quite helpful for keeping the immune system toned. Sharing some of the many:

1. Reduce and regulate your exposure to stress. Stress affects the entire body and weakens the immune system as well as the digestive system. This involves the way you process stressful events in life as well.

2. Evaluate your lifestyle. Eat and sleep well. Focus on foods that are anti-inflammatory. Manage time and don’t over book or over burden your life. Being well rested helps your immune system fight and repair. It also helps the liver do its job detoxifying. Check out the Love your Liver Workshop coming up in April at this link: http://feelthepeaceblog.lynsirota.com/about/

3. Keep hands clean and away from the face. Sanitizing is good, but it is possible to overdo this. We need good bacteria too.

4. There are many foods, spices, herbs, and supplements that help the immune system. One of my personal favorites is Black Elderberry Extract. You can find it in stores under the name Sambucus and online. Try looking for a brand that is organic with little to no sugar.

4. Stay tuned in to your body and what it needs. Cultivate balance in the body and in life by staying deeply connected through physical movement especially yoga. Balance the body/mind through meditation.

Always check with your medical professional if you are concerned about your immunity or if you are thinking of trying new herbs and/or supplements to ensure no contraindications.

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!