Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yoga for Wellness


I recommend yoga to virtually everybody, clients included when I give homework. Yoga is the most effective way I know to gain a sense of overall wellness and to ease overwrought muscles. It is healing to the entire body, internal organs included and that is something that I have experienced first-hand. This form of mind-body wellness gives you a chance to "reset" your body gently and on your own terms.

I am not a yoga instructor. I am, however, a very enthusiastic student. When I am not at class, I keep up my home practice and sometimes devote whole practices to the asanas (poses) that I find the most difficult. Not to clobber myself, mind you. Just to gently approach what I find difficult and strengthen my body, my peace of mind, and my health.

Yoga absolutely relieves stress which is going to boost your immune system but only if you can drop the need to compete.  This is not easy to do at first because we are all taught to compete, even if it is against ourselves but once that initial resistance has been overcome, it becomes a simple and relieving thing to step on the mat and be in a place that is just about connecting with yourself. It is a beautiful thing.

If you are chronically stressed, my guess is that you are also chronically sick and chronically in pain. This, invariably, creates a vicious cycle that lets in disease. This is a pattern that can be disrupted through yoga (and, ahem, massage too). For people who are inclined to taking responsibility for their own health and healing, this is one of those tools that is readily available. Anyone can do yoga because it is so adaptable to personal needs and current physical limitations. It adapts to any age, size or physical needs such as those who have sever arthritis, cerebral palsy, are wheel-chair bound, etc.

Yoga, among it's many gifts, will give you clarity of thought. It will give you positive body awareness and if you approach it as a way to bring growth into your life, it will give you gratitude. Because of this it is ideal for people struggling with depression.  Depression seems to be off the charts these days and we can't go on pretending that mental health and physical health are not connected.  Healing is about finding tools that connect the two and address them both. Yoga will do that.

For all those who have a desire to grab hold of their own health, yoga is too available to ignore. Websites, magazines, books, videos, and classes abound. So do styles of yoga and if you don't care for one, you will be bound to find a type that suits you. Taking more control of your own health is not a grim thing at all. It is joyful, exciting, and liberating. Be willing to explore and to try new methods for the results that you want to accomplish. Above all, be kind to yourself. That is the first place that healing begins.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus Limon)

Lemon essential oil is one of my most used. Not the most used but definitely up there. It blends well with almost anything scent-wise (It blends with cinnamon better than you'd think.) and can be used in many different ways, including homemade cleaners. Lemon oil is fairly inexpensive and a little goes a long way.

The therapeutic uses of lemon oil are antidepressant (Komori, 1995), Antitumoral, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral (perfect for flu season), anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant, diuretic, calming. This does not include cosmetic uses of which there are many possibilities.

*Do not use on the skin if you are intending to be out in the sun for any length of time or the tanning bed. Lemon is phototoxic, meaning that it reacts to UV rays and will burn you.

Perfumery Note: Top Note

Blends well with: lavender, rose, benzoin, sandalwood, eucalyptus, juniper, neroli, geranium, and tea tree. (For medicinal smelling blends that include eucalyptus and tea tree, lemon works especially well and equalizing the aroma.)

Finding your focus...

One of the things I love most about working for myself is that I can set the goals I really want to pursue in my work and I don't have to answer to anyone else or put my energy into their goals. That may sound selfish at first glance but I am talking about how privileged I am to put my life force toward something I love, something that I am growing as opposed to stagnating in a job that doesn't feed my soul.