Health and wellness

How is 2017 treating you so far?

Yin-at-happe-for-yoga-newsletter-750x310How are you feeling as 2017 begins?

I have been asking my yoga students that question a great deal this month.  It seems that many people are facing health challenges as the New Year dawns.  If you are like me and are sensitive to world events, pollution, food, etc– you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed and for most of us, our health is a barometer of our emotions and the world around us.

So here are a few ways I am dealing with stress-related issues such as fatigue, musclmy feet on sand 225e aches, poor digestion and difficultly sleeping.

Instead of ramping it up during the day, I am slowing down.

I have been taking naps

I have been taking frequent short walks in nature

I have been shifting my yoga practice to a restorative and yin practice

I am not drinking tap water (too much chlorination and fluoridation). Spring water is a better choice according to my Chinese Medicine Doctor.

I am snacking on seaweed.  (a source of iodine, since so many of our natural sources are depleted)

I am drinking bone broth.

I am making my own foods with organic vegetables as much as possible.seaweed snack

I am using essential oils.  In fact, I made a mixture of coconut oil and oregano and applied it to my feet and my lower back started feeling better.

I am turning off the TV and going to bed early.

I am focusing on what is right in my body and my world and shutting out negativity.

 

When I feel stronger and can deal with the crazy world again, I will emerge a stronger, more centered self.  I hope this helps any of you who feel similarly.

Here is the thing.  As Danna Faulds says in one of my favorite poems of hers.   Let it all go. “Save your strength to swim with the tide. The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.”

Andrea being calm for blog

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

 

 

The Holy Grail of Chakras

Crown chakra image

The Crown Chakra is the Holy Grail of Chakras—it’s the pinnacle—the highest level of your subtle energetic Chakra body

The seventh chakra is the connection between you, the world and whatever God you believe in.  And to be honest with you, it is not that attainable for most of us “everyday folk”.  But does that mean you should not try — no way. Enhancing your crown chakra in any shape or form will enhance your life. Raising your level of consciousness will ease “physical and emotional pain and release endorphins which create happy and blissful experiences for us,”  according to Ambika Wauters , who wrote The Book of Chakras. Chakras_map.svgAnd she adds, “Once we start living from and within the Crown Chakra, we start to be thankful for our lives exactly as they are.  … we accept  trials and hardships that have shaped our spirit.” In all of the readings I have done throughout my yoga training, it is the ritual of working toward higher levels of connection that enhance your live, not necessarily the goal of pure bliss or Samadhi as it is called in Sanskrit.  In fact, according to Vedic tradition, no goal can ever be guaranteed in yoga or life, so the daily practice becomes the goal.

In helping my students work the Crown or Sahasrara Chakra, which in Sanskrit means thousand petals, we spend more time in quiet reflection than in our other Chakra practices.  When I offer my students either doTERRA Rosemary  essential oil if they are having too many visions or Frankincense oil if they need assistance in accessing the higher realm, I invariably get few takers for the Rosemary and many for the Frankincense.

“Frankincense, considered a Holy oil, is used for meditative contemplation, for achieving tranquil states of mind, and for attaining spiritual liberation.  The spiritual and psychological benefits of Frankincense have long been recognized by many cultures and spiritual traditions. On a physical level, the oil of Frankincense helps with nervous system conditions. Because of the high levels of sesquiterpenes, a type of molecules that have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, Frankincense may help to oxygenate the pineal and pituitary glands, according to www.chakra-anatomy.com .Frankincense is so highly touted in treating a number of physical and emotional diseases and the medical community continues to research more and more of its health benefits.   To top it off, it smells great making it a top seller at doTERRA. Even though it is very expensive, I offer my students to try it topically to help with focus and meditation.frankincense banner

The Crown Chakra Yoga Practice

We do a variety of the hip and hamstring poses to get ready to meditate. See my  Youtube video on sitting comfortably in easy seat.

gentl neck stretch 300 by 225Andrea doing twist 300Tree pose 300dpi

Gentle neck stretches, side to side stretches and twists are done to make sure all blockages leading from the base of the spine to the crown of your head are cleared.  Tree pose is our balance pose to ensure our focus and connection with all living things.

An appropriate relaxation activity for activating the crown chakra is Yoga Nidra.  When I did thisyoga nidra image practice with my students recently, I had several students report some fascinating results.  One student reported being able to visualize the blue pointed star at all 61 points that I mentioned.  Another visualized a colorful Chinese dragon dancing.

I introduce my students to a variety of other ways to quiet their mind and feel connected to their higher self.  Visualizing the color purple,  chanting the OM sound or using either crystal bowls or a 108 bead mala to assist in meditating.  Each of us respond differently to the various approaches of this practice, so I give the students a sampling and encourage them to practice at home.  To find out more about my Chakra balancing series, please fill in this contact form.

 

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

 

Are you a Warrior or a Servant? Exploring the Manipura Chakra

 Yellow flower wide shot manipura chakraThe Manipura Chakra is not only strength in your abdomen but also strength in  your convictions.

Are you a warrior or a servant? That is the one of the questions to ask yourself when exploring the Manipura Chakra, the third of the seven energy wheels that start at the base of your spine. (for basic explanations of the Chakra system see this earlier post ) Located in the Solar Plexus region of your body, the Manipura Chakra is considered your energetic wheel of strength.  It is commonly known as the core.  Yellow is the color associated with this Chakra, which makes sense since the sun is considered the ruling element of the Solar Plexus. Energy here provides the fire needed to help digest your food and the world.

Chakras_map.svg

Determining if you Chakra is Over-active or Under-active

If your chakra is over-active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net,  “you may be judgemental or critical – and you will easily find fault in others. An overactive solar plexus chakra can turn you into an arrogant, self-centered power grabber. You end up chasing name and fame to the exclusion of everything else. Soon enough the ‘my way or the highway’ lifestyle inevitably results in dysfunctional relationships and high levels of stress.” according to www.do-meditation.com.

“If this chakra is under active, according to www.oneworldhealing.net,  it can cause severe emotional problems. You may have a lot of doubt and mistrust towards the people in your life, and worry too much about what other people might think about you. You may also run on “auto pilot” avoiding your feelings of depression orchakra picture courageous anxiety; you may feel afraid or alone when you start to look at what you have been avoiding. You also may feel that you are not good enough and be seeking a constant approval of others. “A blocked third chakra could lead to low self-esteem, hyper-sensitivity to criticism and attention seeking behavior. The resultant indecisiveness, poor self-confidence and self-image, and fear of rejection can prevent you from accomplishing important tasks and turning dreams into reality. Both over-active and under-active Manipura Chakra can lead to physical problems such as digestive disorders and anxiety.

 

Of all the Chakras, Manipura is the one mostly closely associated with your ego. Your identity including feelings of self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence is often established in your teens.   As an adult, it affects your feelings of personal power and freedom of choice, according to Ambika Wauters, author of the The Book of Chakras.

In teaching a Yoga class on the 3rd chakra, I offer my students the following doTERRA essential oils — Bergamot if they feel like they need to fortify themselves or Wintergreen if they are feeling overly aggressive.   Bergamot is a member of the citrus family and helps one feel more secure and abundant.  Wintergreen has a cooling effect.  Learn more about doTERRA oils by checking out my information page.

Here is a Manipura Chakra Yoga Routine.  Feel free to do at home or join me for one of my public offerings of Yoga.

Childs pose 225 by 241Andrea doing cow 225 by 241Andrea doing cat 225 by 241

Andrea doing balance on the mat

IMG_98013 Downdog      High Lunge Andrea 600 dpi Andrea doing reverse triangle   Andrea doing Boat poseAndrea doing bridge pose

Throughout the practice (shown above and described below)be aware of your strength, which should give you confidence to move through life’s changes. Pictures are in order from left to right and top to bottom. Start in child’s pose Balasana and focus on your breath.  Feel the ground supporting you offering you safety and security.  If you are undergoing a major change in your life or are feeling ungrounded, affirm yourself with a statement such as “I have the strength to weather these changes and I have a right to the life I chose.” Move into cat Marjaiasana cow Bitilasana stretch. Coordinate the next series with your breath.  Then move into Balancing Table Pose dandayamna-bharmanasana. Raise the arm as you inhale and lower as you exhale.  Repeat three times.  One breath in between and then three times on the other side.  Then raise your leg as you inhale and hold it for three complete breaths.  You can add your opposite arm to make the balance and core work more challenging.   Rest in child’s pose (picture 1). Whenever you need to rest your wrists, go back to child’s pose. Move into a cat cow stretch with one leg bending and bringing your knee toward your  nose compressing your abdomen .   Then hold in plank Kumbhakasanafor three to eight counts.   You can modify on your forearms or hands and knees -Dophin Plank.  Move back into a downward dog -Adho mukha śvānāsana , making sure to engage both your inner thighs and your abdomen.  Move in and out of downward dog and plank several times—generating heat and becoming aware of your core strength. Come up to the top of your mat by bringing one left forward and end up in a Forward Fold. Safely come up to  chair pose Utkatasana (7). Be sure to engage your core and fronts of your thighs. There are many ways to both amplify and modify chair pose depending on how much or little you need to stoke the fires of your solar plexus.  If you have a strong sense of yourself, you might not need to push as hard.  If you tend to be afraid to try new thinAndrea meditatinggs, then pushing yourself may allow you through this challenging experience may develop the courage you need. High Lunge with or without a twist Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana . Repeat on both sides. Move into Triangle and/or Reverse Triangle Pose Utthita Trikonasana(shown above). Come down to seated and set up for Boat Pose Navasana  which if done properly put yours puts your spine in a sated V.  Because this pose requires so much core strength,  I am modifying it by holding my legs with my hands. (12) Moving Bridge works the core and strengthens the back from the ground. Be sure to feel the front body engaging and to not squeeze the buttocks. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Make sure to do Constructive Rest. Savasana .

A great way to finish  the Manipura chakra work, is to do a seated meditation using the following seed sound mantra– RAM, RAM, RAM.  Notice how this sound actually causes a vibration in your solar plexus region. Remember, the fire at our navel center is vital to your spiritual growth and fulfillment!

 

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

Staying Healthy in September

Why is September so hard on many of us?

Letting Go Of Summer

 

soup small

Homemade Bone Broth

As we move from summer to fall, you may notice that your energy levels begin to change.  In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Indian Medicine known as Ayurveda, there is a good reason for this. Seasonal changes signal changes in our physical and emotional constitutions. “Traditional Chinese Medicine views the environment as an extension of the body. Therefore, living in harmony with the season helps to keep your body healthy,” according to www.eggsfromtheeast.com.  If we do not follow the rhythm of the seasons, it often shows up as dis-ease in the body. There are several ways to ease the transition into fall and possibly prevent your body from shutting down.

1) Go to bed earlier and rise earlier.  The sun is setting earlier and our circadian rhythms shift as well.

2) Eat fewer salads and smoothies and switch to cooked foods and soups. This is especially important if your primarily a Vata dosha (see my blog post  for further explanation).

3) While summer was about going and doing, fall is about reflecting, organizing, clearing out and preparing for winter. Even though we do not really have cold winters, there is still a seasonal clock at work here.

4) Add Yin yoga to your routine.  My yin yang yoga class is now Fridays at 9 am at Happehatchee.

 

While the yoga may poses look familiar, they have different names and  different purposes in Yin

Andrea doing mountain brook on the mat

For instance, Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana) in the Yang style of yoga is called Butterfly in Yin.  Butterfly is a slightly wider -legged pose, looking more like a diamond and it is often held for three to five minutes.   In this pose you relax all muscles and let your upper body hang without focusing much on alignment.

IMG_3252

Butterfly Pose

 

Yin yoga emerged out of the Taoist traditions of China.  Just as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Indian medicine (Aruyveda) come from a common tree, so do Yin and Hatha yoga.  Here in the west, Yin has been catching on, particularly among athletes, martial artists and people who want a more grounding, quieter type of yoga practice.   While Yang yoga often involves flowing sequences with 40 or more Asanas (poses) being held for 3 to 5 breath rounds, a Yin Yoga sequence might include just 10-15 poses each held for three to 10 minutes.

Bernie Clark, who studied under some Yin Masters and authored YinSights, says “Yin targets connective tissues… (ligaments, joints and bones, and is complimentary to the dynamic styles of yoga, which are focused on muscles.”  For many tennis players, runners and other athletes whose sports are so dynamic, having a less dynamic yoga practice can be very balancing.  For anyone suffering from injuries or recovering from illnesses, Yin may be just the right prescription for health.

The three basic rules of Yin according to Mr. Clark, are

1) Come into the pose at an appropriate depth.  One of my teachers described that as just short of your edge.  So come to your edge and ease off just enough so that you can maintain this position for the duration. You should feel sensation, but not pain.

2) Resolve to remain still except for your breathing.  You may not always succeed, especially if you are naturally a fidgety person, but maybe say to yourself when you want to flee, I will stick with it ten more seconds.

IMG_3370 (1)

Cat Pulling Its Tail

3) Hold the pose for a length of time upward of a minute, preferably 3-5 minutes.  This is important for several reasons.  For one thing, it takes at least 45 seconds before your muscles stop contracting.  It is necessary for your muscles to relax in order to go deeper into the connective tissue matrix of your body.

Mr. Clark describes what is often an initial reaction to practicing Yin. “Your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he says.  You want to fidget or escape.  But by breathing into the pose and paying attention to the sensations without judgment, you learn to stay calm and still in the midst of sensation, which our minds translate into suffering.  This skill, with practice, can translate off the mat in everyday life

I was first introduced to Yin Yoga 10 years ago when one of my favorite Yoga teachers in Charlottesville, Virginia came back from a workshop and spent the next five Sundays exploring Yin with us.   She would talk to us throughout the long held poses to keep us from releasing the pose too soon.  Her commentary and her eclectic style of teaching kept me coming back for more. Little did I know then, that I would follow in her footsteps.  She was also a school teacher, as I am.   In the fall of 2014 during the Yoga teacher training at Joyful Yoga, I was again, introduced to Yin Yoga through two of my teachers.  I was immediately drawn to the grounding nature of this style of yoga and the way my body felt after the practice was finished.

If you are interested in exploring the Yin Yoga Practice, come to  my Friday 9 am Yin/Yang Yoga class at Happehatchee.  The cost is just $10 and you get the added benefits of practicing Yoga in Nature and supporting a beautiful not-for-profit eco spiritual center that is working actively to protect land in Estero . I am also available to do private yoga classes.  Schedule your class today.

Yin at happe for yoga newsletter

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

6 Ways to Use Essential Oils for your Daily Wellness Routine—They work for me!

Doterra imageWhen I was young I used to be amazed at how long it took my mother-in-law to get ready to leave the house and for that matter, to get ready for bed.  Little did I know then, how important this daily routine was for being healthy as one ages.  Thank you, Joyce Trank.

Joyce Trank for blog on essential oils

I want to share with you part of my daily health routine involving essential oils, not to gloat, but to provide you with some tips that have worked for me that you might want to add that might work for you.

  • Lemon Oil in warm water.

I started using essential oils as part of my daily health regiment a year ago.  I started small.  I bought the Doterra Lemon oil and added it to my room temperature water every morning.  If I skip this simple small routine I know it.  Thank you sensitive stomach!!!

  • Diffusing Lavender and On Guard for room freshening and sleep

I bought a diffuser next and experimented with several different oils to help us sleep at night.  Most of the time, I mix Lavender with a blend called On Guard,  Doterra’s proprietary combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils.  Sleeping soundly is so important for my health and happiness. I also use the On Guard Toothpaste and their throat lozenges .

  • Peppermint to cool down and reduce headache symptoms

doterraI use Peppermint on the back of my neck and wrists to abate hot flashes and help reduce headache symptoms. A friend of mine told me she puts Peppermint in her water before playing tennis.  I also use Peppermint, on occasion, to wake my children.   I put some Peppermint on a clean wash cloth and come up to their beds and wave the wash cloth near their noses. They get up immediately and have told me they feel more alert.

  • Breathe for respiratory symptom relief                                                                     

Dealing with respiratory symptoms always includes breathing in the Breathe proprietary blend which includes Lemon, Peppermint Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa and Cardamom which clears my airways.  I also rub them on my palms and bottoms of my feet.

  • Diluted Clove Oil for tooth ache

During recent tooth work to repair a crown, I mixed a blend of Clove oil (1-2 drops) and Coconut Oil (10-20 drops) and dabbed into the affected area with a Q Tip. Not only did I feel a lessening of discomfort, but it seemed to help the healing of that area.

  • Deep Blue Proprietary Blend for muscle aches

After teaching 3 yoga classes and playing a physical tennis match,  I reach for my Doterra Deep Blue Blend which has a proprietary mixture of  Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum and Osmanthus .  I immediately get a feeling of relaxation in my muscles allowing me to go on with my busy life and day.

I am discovering new uses for my DoTerra products daily.  I feel good about using these products due to the fact that they are non toxic and extracted from the plants using the strictest controls of manufacturing and distribution.

DoTERRA-Oils-Chart resized

It is becoming well known that  one of the keys to protecting your health in the long run is eliminating toxics from your environment.  Use of essential oils is one small step you can take. If you are interested in learning more about Doterra Oils and its uses, I can help.  The reason I added this job to my long list of jobs is that my scientific and thorough approach is needed by clients out there.  I do not want someone working with me that does not take the time to research carefully a product’s benefits, uses and effects.  Like everything I do, when I commit to something, I pour myself into it.  So you can be sure before I recommend a product for you, I will thoroughly research it and work with you to become educated.  Email me  at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com if you want a copy of an informational PDF on Essential Oils and Working with your Chakras.

 

I wish you health and joy in your day and in 2016!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

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Add a little Yin to your Yang Life

Why Yin Yoga has a place in your health routine!

2015-10-08 19.56.36

 

Some of the Yoga poses look very familiar but when practiced in the Yin style of Yoga they have different names and often, different purposes.  For instance, Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana) in the Yang style of yoga is called Butterfly in Yin.  Butterfly is a slightly wider -legged pose, looking more like a diamond and it is often held for three to five minutes.   In this pose you relax all muscles and let your upper body hang with focusing much on alignment.

IMG_3252

Yin yoga emerged out of the Taoist traditions of China.  Just as Traditional Chinese  Medicine (TCM) and Indian medicine (Aruyveda) come from a common tree, so do Yin  and Hatha yoga.  Here in the west, Yin has been catching on, particularly among athletes,  martial artists and people who want a more grounding, quieter type of yoga practice.    While Yang yoga often involves flowing sequences with 40 or more Asanas (poses) being  held for 3 to 5 breath rounds, a Yin Yoga sequence might include just 10-15 poses each  held for three to 10 minutes.

 

Bernie Clark, who studied under some Yin Masters and authored YinSights, says “Yin targets connective tissues… (ligaments, joints and bones, and is complimentary to the dynamic styles of yoga, which are focused on muscles.”  For many tennis players, runners and other athletes whose sports are so dynamic, having a less dynamic yoga practice can be very balancing.  For anyone suffering from injuries or recovering from illnesses, Yin may be just the right prescription for health.

The three basic rules of Yin according to Mr. Clark, are

1) Come into the pose at an appropriate depth.  One of my teachers described that as just short of your edge.  So come to your edge and ease off just enough so that you can maintain this position for the duration. You should feel sensation, but not pain.

2) Resolve to remain still except for your breathing.  You may not always succeed, especially if you are naturally a fidgety person, but maybe say to yourself when you want to flee, I will stick with it ten more seconds.

3) Hold the pose for a length of time upward of a minute, preferably 3-5 minutes.  This is important for several reasons.  For one thing, it takes at least 45 seconds before your muscles stop contracting.  It is necessary for your muscles to relax in order to go deeper into the connective tissue matrix of your body.

IMG_3370 (1)

Mr. Clark describes what is often an initial reaction to practicing Yin. “Your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he says.  You want to fidget or escape.  But by breathing into the pose and paying attention to the sensations without judgment, you learn to stay calm and still in the midst of sensation, which our minds translate into suffering.  This skill, with practice, can translate off the mat in everyday life

I was first introduced to Yin Yoga 10 years ago when one of my favorite Yoga teachers in Charottesville, Virginia came back from a workshop and spent the next five Sundays exploring Yin with us.   She would talk to us throughout the long held poses to keep us from releasing the pose too soon.  Her commentary and her eclectic style of teaching kept me coming back for more. Little did I know then, that I would follow in her footsteps.  She was also a school teacher, as I am.   In the fall of 2014 during the Yoga teacher training at Joyful Yoga, I was again, introduced to Yin Yoga through two of my teachers.  I was immediately drawn to the grounding nature of this style of yoga and the way my body felt after the practice was finished.

If you are interested in exploring the Yin Yoga Practice, come to  my Saturday 9:30 am Yin yoga class at Happehatchee.  The cost is just $10 and you get the added benefits of practicing Yoga in Nature and supporting a beautiful not-for-profit eco spiritual center that is working actively to protect land in Estero .

Yin at happe for yoga newsletter

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

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