Tag Archives: health

Week of January 28, 2018 (Reflection + Playlist + Yoga Sequence)

These past few weeks have presented slight but unforeseen challenges. Though, in more ways than one, I am having the best time of my life, I can’t help but sometimes fall prey to  the stress and anxiety regarding my future and purpose in this world as a 25-year-old millennial. I believe, the cause of this stress,  is a feeling of not being in control and among this uncertainty I need to trust in the ever-present universal assistance . Applications to my potential PHD programs went out December 1, and it has been roughly two months since this endeavor was completed. I am now waiting to hear back from my universities (six schools along the west coast from Vancouver down to LA), and within the next month will start receiving acceptances, denials, and hopefully interview opportunities. There is something to say about this ‘waiting game’. I spent the six months prior, pre-applying, preparing my life to fit comfortably in this elevator-sized  little package, and it’s a form I’ve grown familiar with. My application identity, a pair of shoes that I started liking to wear, is now awaiting ACCEPTANCE. Oh the ultimate aspect of survival.  Now, this creative and adorned manifestation of me is marching up to the iron gates of these exciting institutions in her best dress hoping to be accepted and seen for her worth and this makes me NERVOUS.

But here’s another thing I’ve been realizing and meditating on, and that is the power of resilience.  No matter the outcome, (whether it be utter denial from world of academia, or more simply, recovering from a conversation that touched a nerve) I will be ok. My pretty little PHD self, will live on regardless of acceptance and this is something I’ve had to cope with. This, limbo—wondering, will I live here or there, will my life change AT ALL has been a stress.  The familiar, like dairy, found in a grilled cheese sandwich is readily coming to my side. Hello old friend. And other undesirable old strategies for coping are sitting in line hoping to be chosen to provide either instant or long-term relief. In a way, it’s quite beautiful. My consciousness is acting on this body to try and help soothe me. The very nature of reaching towards a stimulus for comfort is an act overflowing with compassion. Like a dear friend we are reaching towards what makes us feel better. Even if sometimes what we reach for, in turn, doesn’t provide us with relief. On some level—we hope it will. And the sheer act of seeking and providing comfort within ourselves is a delicate and unshaken relationship.

There’s a part of me that’s been feeling super energized. I’ve been making lists like crazy and knocking ‘to-dos’ off left and right. I’m packed and ready 4 days in advance for my trip down to LA (Can you tell I’m excited?), and have the meal plan down to the last granule for our two day camping adventure. I’m feeling very inspired, writing yoga sequences and soothing myself through the resources found in being organized and racking my brain making lists so as to not have any lingering considerations slip through the cracks. On one hand I am really feeling together and with it. Like I can take on the world, and more importantly have fun doing it! I’m reaching lots of goals, preparing that bomb ass lentil meatloaf that I’ve been excited about for weeks. But there is also this gnawing feeling from the not-knowing about what’s next. It’s hard to commit full-force to any project when my future could be so blissfully and spontaneously uprooted in the next month. So there is this gnawing of uncertainty and with that, I’ve been seeking to regain control and a semblance of certainty.  I’m coping with a lot of pleasure and reward stimulus. “Ahhhh I want something and can have it”, this relieves the pain of “ahhh I have no idea whats happening and I am completely at the hands of anothers approval”.

It all makes great sense, so as 2018 is ramping up and I’m having the time of my life, I am becoming increasingly aware of my stress, triggers, and coping mechanisms. Awareness of this, and mastery of the “dance” sounds to me like the ultimate control. It’s interesting, as I’m facing the potential reality of a lifetime in academia—seen to some as a stodgy and dry profession, I feel incredibly creative. Most of my creative energy, I’m finding is landing on lots of goal-orienting and future-planning, and while it is giving me bliss to FANTASIZE, reeling my energy back to the grounding now, is something I am learning and working on. Here’s a yoga sequence to do just that. Energizing and opening up the heart, strengthening the shoulders, allows for increased learned coping with sensation uncertainty and vulnerability , some grounding breaths and hip-opening poses to help with presence, and some self-soothing, because hey I think we could all use a little more of that. Enjoy.

Playlist:

Sequence: (Maybe, I will start making videos/audio…typing out sequences is quite exhaustive…and might not be that effective)

(Runs: About an hour/ Seating: Mandala formation )

Child’s pose

Hero’s pose…lean backwards

Shoulders to ears (inhale up, exhale down)

Sitting on our heels, extend arms directly out from body, arms straight, palms up pinkies facing eachother, put block towards forearms between elbows. Make a 90 degree angle with arms, fingertips facing the ceiling. Lift finger tips up (resembling a pull-up position), strengthen shoulders.

Plank (3 minutes): last minute, experiment

Side Plank (3 minutes each side): last minute, experiment ( ‘tree legs’)

Cat/Cow (X10)

Puppy Pose

From tummy, body is in a T-shape, Roll to one side-open shoulder, and the other.

Downward Dog

Sway in Ragdoll (walk your hands towards your feet, forward fold)

Roll up Vertebrae

Mountain pose

grounding breaths  (for these, standing in mountain pose, imagine that you are drawing energy up from the ground, on the inhale, let it circulate throughout your entire body, and on the exhale bring that energy back down to the ground through your feet)

Opening A: (variation)

-Inhale look between hands

-Exhale forward fold

-I flat back

-E plank pose (hold it for 10 seconds)

-I prep for Chattaranga

-E Chattaranga (ELBOWS IN)

-I Upward Dog

-E Downward Dog

-I Extend R leg up and back

-E Warrior 1

-I Deeper in stretch (extend arms up up up , while still remaining in sockets)

-E Sink into the knee

-I Extend arms

-E Triangle

-I Warrior 1

-E Triangle

-I Warrior 1

-E Plank pose / Chattarange

-I Upward Dog

-E Downward Dog

 

DO OTHER SIDE

-E hop forward fold

-I Flat back

-E forward fold

-I reverse swan dive

-E Mountain Pose

Opening B: (variation)

-I/E Chair (hold for 10 seconds)

-I Flat Back in chair

-Chair twist (both sides)

-E Forward fold

-I Hands to shins

-E Chattaranga/ Plank

-I Upward Dog

 

-E Downward Dog

-I Right leg extends

-Warrior 1 (R)

-Warrior 2

-Reverse Warrior -> Side Angle (X3)

-Extended Side Angle/ Bird of Paradise

-High Lunge->Bring Back leg forward and bent held up in front of you (X3)

-Warrior 3

-Half moon

-Standing splits

DO OTHER SIDE

Star ->Goddess (X10)

Skandasana (side lunge) both sides (X3)

Malasana Squat (10 seconds)

Extend feet: Hands behind back, shoulders come up over head (goal: touch head to the ground)

Dolphin

Headstand

Handstand Prep

Camel pose (lean back reach for your heels)/ back and forth X 10

Boat -> Canoe  X10

Bridge/Wheel (X3)

Shoulder stand

Twist (Both sides)

Happy baby

Reverse Suptavarakanasana (sp?)

Face yoga, face/head/neck shoulder taps, Belly Rubs

Savasana (10 minutes silence)

 

Aromatherapy: In Hospitals, and Suggested Uses.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. “With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. “You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you” [Exodus 30:34-38]

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“Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds for improving psychological or physical well-being. [Wikipedia]

It is even making it’s way into hospitals… 

aromatherapy 1

“Studies already have found that inhaled Mentha piperita reduces the need for Zofran in chemo-induced nausea, she said. Also, the M technique, with or without essential oils such as frankincense or lavender, can be effective in reducing terminal agitation at the end of life, Buckle says.”

Fort Worth Hospital Incorporates Aromatherapy, 2008

The following mentioned study had statistically significant results, and evidenced the use of lavender oil to improve the quality of sleep of patients.

Effect of aromatherapy on the quality of sleep in ischemic heart disease patients hospitalized in intensive care units of heart hospitals of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 2010

Now, this use of aromatherapy is called “complementary medicine”: “Complementary medicine (CM) or integrative medicine (IM) is when alternative medicine is used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it improves the effect of treatments.” [Wikipedia]

aromatherapy 3

If done mindfully, and safely, we can experiment with aromatherapy at home. Explored in a controlled and conscious way we can do self-study on its effects. Here are some common ailments, and the suggested essential oils said to provide relief:

Agitation: Chamomile, Lavendar, Mandarin, Sandalwood

Anxiety/ Fear: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavendar, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood

Aphrodisiac: Clary Sage, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang

Fatigue: Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood

Isolation: Chamomile, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Rose

Memory Boosters: Basil, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary

Sadness/Grief: Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang

Self Esteem: Bergamot, Cypress, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange, Rosemary

Stress Relief: Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Patchouli, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang

aromatherapy 4

 

Copaiba

One of my new favorite things.

“Considered to be one of the most anti-inflammatory substances on earth”

So Young Living is a brand that carries very high-grade essential oil. I have been enjoying using some of their essential oils to flavor my water. I recently learned about Copaiba, and it’s taste is unparalleled.

copaiba

It is said to:

  • reduce pain
  • eliminate inflammation
  • protect against infection (Disinfectant)
  • heal the skin (astringent) (add a few drops to a cotton ball or add to moisturizer)
  • prevent fungal growth
  • boost respiratory health
  • improve health of skin and hair
  • improve bladder control
  •  speed healing (Cicatrizant)
  • tighten skin (Astringent)
  • lower blood pressure
  • treat varicose veins
  • moisturizer (Emollient)
  • aids in expelling phlegm (Expectorant)

Wikipedia

 

Susun Weed: Herbal Medicine Blog Radio

 

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Susun Weed: Herbal Medicine Blog Radio provides listeners with a free opportunity to connect weekly with herb expert, Susun Weed, on various topics pertaining to herbs and herbal medicine. She often invites guests to share their wealth of knowledge and provides an opportunity for Q&A.

Have some herbal questions? Why not check it out, and let your toes dip a little deeper into this medicinal world.

Tuesdays, 8-9:30PM EST

Call in at # 646-929-2463 or click on this link: www.blogtalkradio.com/susunweed