Take Care of Yourself

December 17, 2012

In the midst of the busiest of all seasons, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the tragedy in Connecticut, can we take the time to honor our feelings?

Every year at this time, I find it easy to stuff my feelings and sensations into the background so that I can plow through the mile-long to-do list of holiday shopping, baking, and decorating, not to mention the normal day-to-day work that doesn’t disappear just because it is the holidays. And this year, on top of the normal stresses, we are also faced with the fear and pain that comes from witnessing the tragedy and heartbreak of our neighbors up north.

It is in these moments that our practice guides us to listen. To trust the instincts of our bodies. To give ourselves permission to feel.

This is permission to feel anything. No matter how appropriate or inappropriate you might think it is. No matter how serious or silly. With sense or without. Feel.

How can we take care of ourselves in these moments? The ways are as endless as the needs. Some of my personal efforts this week will include –

– soup: to me, nothing is as nourishing and soothing as a warm bowl of soup. I lean toward the homemade variety but if a can is all I have time for, I’ll savor that can as if it came from scratch.

– candlelight: there is something so satisfying about the light of a candle. Warm, pure. I will light a candle and actually look at it each day this week.

– sleep: can I get a holla on this one? we can all use more sleep, can’t we? This week I have written 9 p.m. “bedtime” on my calendar for Monday – Wednesday. It will happen and I will be better for it.

– practice: often, I struggle with the shoulda, woulda, coulda syndrom in my practice. I should practice more intense postures. I could have done 10 more minutes of pranayama. I would be better if… This week I give myself permission to let my practice take whatever shape it needs to take. I will let it soothe my soul and help my heartbreak. I will let it help my find the spirit of this season again.

This week, as we practice together, I invite you to feel and to take care of yourself in whatever ways feel right to you.

“Or, the light within which is free from all suffering and sorrow.” ~Yoga Sutra 1.36

Namaste

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December 11, 2012

Join Octavia Raheem & Meryl Arnett for a Winter Solstice Yoga Community Celebration.

In a unique space, above Room & Board in the White Provisions shopping center, we will honor the shortest day of the year as a day of change, a day of intention and the empowerment of our darker sides.

DJ Renee Leach will spin tunes as we breath, sweat, meditate and set our intentions for the longer days ahead.  Everyone is encouraged to stay afterwards to enjoy the community and light refreshments.

What: Winter Solstice Yoga Community Event

When:  Friday, Dec. 21, 2012

Where: Westside Provisions District

Meet at Lululemon Howell Mill for walking  directions to our space

Time:  6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Other: This class is donation only.  Please consider donating to help support the Women’s Resource Center to End Violence (cash only).

Sponsored By: lululemon athletica & Perrines Wine Shop

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Therapeutic Yoga

December 11, 2012

Yoga sees the person as a multidimensional being and that pain/dysfunction can come from imbalances of the physical body, the person’s relationship to energy (anxiety, stress, depression) or the mind (thoughts and emotions manifest as physical issues or anxiety/depression/stress). Yoga therapy works to create balance on all these levels.

Therapeutic yoga classes are a combination of physical postures taught with mindful alignment individualized to each person’s shape and condition, breath awareness, and working with the mind and emotions. The physical postures are taught with an emphasis on stabilizing the joints. From a place of stability we work with stretching and strengthening to correct imbalances that cause pain. In pain, nervous system regulation is very important to create balance in the mind and body. Through breath techniques and the physical postures we work with creating relaxation through the nervous system and regulating the nervous system. The practice of mindfulness creates a strong container of the mind so that you learn to “watch” thoughts and emotions, the patterns they create in the body, and discover how to create balance in the mind and body.

This book was recommended to me by my dear yoga love, Octavia Raheem, and as I expected, it was exactly what I needed to read. A beautiful look at how the Yoga Sutras apply to our own lives as modern householders rather than the renunciate yogis of historical times.

Check it out here.

Carrot Cayenne Cold Remedy

December 10, 2012

This juice is a favorite of mine for cold season. It uses lots of citrus and root veggies which are easy and relatively cheap this time of year. It won’t make your cold disappear but it does give you a kick of energy, help clear your sinuses and help you to recover faster. And it goes without saying that it’s great even if you’re feeling well, too!

Makes 16 – 18 oz.

6 carrots (I often use a mix of carrots and parsnips)

1 small navel oranges, peeled and quartered

1 small lemon or grapefruit (your choice), peeled

1 inch knob of fresh ginger

Dash cayenne pepper

 

Prep and wash all produce.

Juice all ingredients except cayenne pepper. Add a dash of cayenne pepper to juice, and mix well. Serve.

extra tidbit: I usually add a few leaves of kale or a handful of spinach. It ruins the beautiful color but the added nutrients make it worth it!

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