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.

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.

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!

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.

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.)

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!