Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

30 Day Yoga Challenge

Yoga is a lifestyle, and there are many different ways you can incorporate yoga into your daily life. Try this 30-day yoga challenge and get a month’s worth of transformational practices and ideas. You can add to your practice from the previous day or do one each day.

Day 1

Get out your yoga mat and do three sets of Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). Count in pairs, starting with the right foot back first and then the left foot. You’ll be doing a total of six. (Third limb of yoga: asana

Day 2

For five minutes, practice the three-part breath, Dirgha, and the Ujjayi breath. (Fourth limb of yoga: pranayama)

Day 3  

Practice ahimsa or non-violence. Be non-violent in thought and deed. Everything about your being is to emulate non-harming, not even to a bug. Try not to hold onto any thoughts of anger, revenge, or lack of forgiveness. (First limb of yoga: yamas)

Day 4

Work on three balance postures: tree pose (Vrikshasana), standing bow or dancer’s pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana), and eagle’s pose (Garudasana). Make sure you practice on both legs and not just the one that’s easy. (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 5

Practice satya, truthfulness. Go throughout your day in truth or stay silent. Pay attention to when you’re tempted to tell a lie, even a small one. (First limb of yoga: yamas)

Day 6

Do 10 minutes of the Satnam meditation to settle your mind. (Seven limb of yoga: dhyana)

Day 7

Increase your sets of the Sun Salutations to 6 or 12 in all. Try to practice a few with your eyes closed. (Third limb of yoga: asana and fifth limb of yoga: pratyahara)

Day 8

Do 10 minutes of pranayama in the morning and in the evening. Start with Dirgha, progress to theUjjayi breath, and finish with alternate nostril breathing, Nadi Shodhana(Fourth limb of yoga:pranayama)

Day 9

Focus your attention on one goal all day today. Do not let your thoughts waver. Keep your thoughts positive about your one goal. One-pointed attention will help you attain it. (Sixth limb of yoga: dharana)

Day 10

See your world from a different perspective. Work on inversions today. Any pose where your head is lower than your heart is an inversion. Examples are downward-dog pose (Adho Mukha Shvanasana), bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana), shoulder stand (Sarvangasana) and plow pose (Halasana). (Third limb of yoga: asana

Day 11

Take 15 minutes today to read and absorb a piece of spiritual literature. It could be related to your religion, poetry, or anything that inspires you. (Second limb of yoga: niyamas-svadhyana)

Day 12

Use the Satnam mantra to do a walking meditation for 15 to 20 minutes today. (Seventh limb of yoga: dhyana

Day 13

Practice lying down poses on your back. Start with knees-to-chest pose (Pavanamuktasana), move to supine spinal twist twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) and finish will your legs up on the wall. (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 14

Increase your sets of Sun Salutations to 7 or 14 in all. (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 15

Practice Brahmacharya. Channel your sexual and creative energy in a positive way. Be open to your creative potential and know that you are as creative as your Creator. (First limb of yoga:yamas)

Day 16

Today is spinal twist day. Practice your twists such as seated spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) or reclining open leg twist (Supta Matsyendrasana). (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 17  

Turn off as many electronic devices as you can throughout the day. Try to eat at least one meal in silence. (Fifth limb of yoga: pratyahara)

Day 18

Practice the warrior series (Virabhadrasana). Do a flow from Warrior II to Exalted Warrior to Warrior I. (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 19

Practice your pranayama series from day eight and add the bhastrika or the bellows breath at the beginning of the series. Make sure you practice this one on an empty stomach. (Fourth limb of yoga: pranayama)

Day 20

Cultivate the practice of Aparigraha, generosity. Go through your closet and give away objects that you no longer need. Also, give away something you don’t really want to give away. Finally, lend a material object to someone that you normally wouldn’t lend. (First limb of yoga: yamas)

Day 21

Get your cardio on. Put on some upbeat yoga music and do your Sun Salutations for 20 minutes straight to get a cardio workout. (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 22

Spend today being entirely grateful for everything in your life. With an attitude of gratitude, you’ll be practicing santosha or contentment. (Second limb of yoga: niyamas)

Day 23

Practice Karma Yoga, which is yoga of service. Do random acts of kindness all day today. (First limb of yoga: yamas)

Day 24

Do poses on all fours for your spine. Try Cow pose (Bitilasana), Cat pose (Marjaryasana), Wag the Tail pose (Khanjanasana), Twisted Table-Top pose and Child’s pose (Balasana). (Third limb of yoga:asana)

Day 25

Shoucha means purity. Choose experiences today that are pure. Try going without artificial foods. Get outside to breathe in fresh air. Stay away from gossip. (Second limb of yoga: niyamas)

Day 26  

Open up your sixth chakra, your center of intuition, with the bee breath (Bhramari) and alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana). (Fourth limb of yoga: pranayama)

Day 27

Do your 20 minutes of Sun Salutations, adding Standing Bow pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana) and ending in Crocodile pose (Makarasana). (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 28

Have a Namasté Day today. The essence of namasté is honoring the soul within all other beings. Look into everyone’s eyes you meet to day and bid them a silent, “Namasté.”

Day 29

Get an eye pillow or a rolled-up towel to put over your eyes and lie down in Savasana, or corpse pose, for 10 minutes. (Third limb of yoga: asana)

Day 30

“Tapas”means austerity or discipline. If you’ve made it to today, it shows that you have the fire within and the tenacity of tapas. Keep going on the right track and integrate meditation,pranayama, and yoga into your daily routine. (Second limb of yoga: niyamas)


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

4 Key Nutrients in Your Leafy Greens

Do you wrinkle your nose at the thought of eating more leafy green vegetables each day? While leafy greens may be an acquired taste, they are one of the most important foods that you can consume to benefit your health. You have plenty of options to choose from—such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, arugula, and collard greens.  
If you need extra motivation to stock your fridge with these nutritional powerhouses, here are four top nutrient groups available in leafy greens that can provide a plethora of health benefits.  

1. Vitamins and Minerals 

Leafy greens are extremely high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including the following. 
    • Vitamin K: Can help prevent osteoporosis and inflammatory diseases.
    • Vitamin A: Plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cellular function, and immunity. 
    • Vitamin E: Is important for immune and metabolic processes. Some studies have shown the potential for vitamin E to help preserve vision and reduce risk of heart disease, but further research is needed to confirm these benefits.
    • Vitamin C: Promotes healing, helps the body absorb iron, and plays an important role in the health of skin, bones, and connective tissue. 
    • Folate: Only 50 percent of the folate you consume is actually bioavailable, or absorbable by your body. (Note that some of the following benefits were experienced through supplementation with folic acid, which is the synthetic folate form present in supplements and fortified foods and has a higher level of bioavailability but can also cause negative reactions.) Folate can: 
      • Improve fertility for men and women
      • Promote normal fetal development 
      • Decrease risk of dementia
      • Lower risk for colorectal cancer
      • Lower cholesterol levels 
    • Magnesium: Decreases risk of developing type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, and can reduce frequency of migraines and lower blood pressure. 
    • Potassium: Plays an important role in the function of every cell in the body. Is involved with heart function and muscle contraction. May help prevent osteoporosis. 
    • Calcium: Is important for bone health. Could potentially protect from cardiovascular disease and cancer, although research is inconclusive.  

2. Fiber 

Leafy greens are not only high in important vitamins and minerals: They can also help you reach your recommended daily intake of fiber, which is approximately 38 grams per day for men and approximately 25 grams per day for women. For reference, one cup of spinach provides 0.7 grams of fiber, and one cup of romaine lettuce provides one gram of fiber. 
It’s important to consume the recommended daily amount, or more, of fiber, for a variety of benefits. Fiber may help
    • Protect against cardiovascular disease
    • Prevent diabetes
    • Serve as a laxative
    • Control appetite
    • Prevent colorectal cancer
Fiber is also critical to feeding your gut microbes. If you don’t get enough fiber, some microbes can die and others can eat the mucus lining in your stomach, as indicated through a study that was presented at a Keystone Symposia conference on the gut microbiome in 2015. 
When the bacteria in your digestive tract metabolize fiber, they produce short chain fatty acids, which may help: 

3. Phytonutrients 

Phytonutrients are compounds found in leafy greens (along with other vegetables and fruits) and include carotenoids, flavonoids, and lignans. Phytonutrients are thought to provide a variety of health benefits, including:  
    • Lower risk of heart disease
    • Decreased risk of cancer
    • Lower risk of macular degeneration

4. Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is the term for several green pigments that are found in plants. Chlorophyll plays a vital role in plant photosynthesis (during which plants absorb energy from light), and it also may provide the following benefits to health: 
    • Accelerate wound healing
    • Help prevent cancer
    • Detoxify the liver
    • Boost the immune system
    • Help treat anemia  
Because the type and amount of nutrients vary within each leafy green, it’s important to consistently rotate through a variety of them to make sure you’re exposing yourself to the wide spectrum of their health benefits.   

Thursday, August 25, 2016

10 Cool Facts You Didn't Know About Pomegranates

Sweet and tart. Tangy and juicy. Delicious. 
That's the pleasure you get when you crack open a fresh pomegranate and suck on the deep red seeds of the luscious fruit. Or when you simply crack open a bottle of pure pomegranate juice and take a satisfying gulp.
Not only are pomegranates tasty, but they're also full of natural health benefits. After all, this fruit's rich ruby-red look comes from polyphenols, the potent antioxidants. Plus, both the fruit and its outer skin are rich in flavonoids (a compound with important health benefits). That's part of the reason pomegranates have recently generated a flurry of excitement in the scientific community.
Here's a look at some of the fascinating benefits of pomegranates discovered by researchers around the world:

1. They're anti-inflammatory.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University discovered that eating pomegranates reduces the production of chemicals that cause inflammation. In other words, they could provide relief of chronic inflammatory conditions and have anti-aging effects.

2. They're good for the heart.

As we know, pomegranate juice is rich in polyphenols with high-antioxidant potential. Research from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing notes that it's a heart-healthy fruit that can help reduce blood pressure.

3. They can assist with weight loss.

Chinese researchers found that a polyphenol in pomegranate might help reduce obesity caused by high-fat diets and protect against metabolic disorders.

4. They help protect your skin from damage.

The strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate might help protect skin against sun-induced damage, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

5. They could improve sexual health.

Pomegranate juice has been shown to enhance blood flow. And a pilot study found that pure pomegranate juice could have beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction.

6. They protect the liver.

Chinese researchers found that polyphenols and flavonoids, the major antioxidant components harnessed from pomegranates, might protect people from liver damage.

7. They help fight infection.

Pomegranate has been recognized for its antimicrobial effects. For example, the dried powder of pomegranate peel has been shown to strongly inhibit candida and yeast.

8. They could help women in labor.

study from the University of Liverpool discovered that pomegranate extract has the potential to be used to encourage the uterus to contract during labor, through a rise in calcium, which is necessary for any muscle to contract.

9. They protect against arthritis.

Pomegranate is used as a nutritional therapy in alternative medicine for inflammatory conditions like arthritis. U.S. scientists discovered that pomegranate could help reduce severe arthritis and joint inflammation and help keep your bones strong.

10. They help with brain health.

An international team of researchers led by the University of Huddersfield discovered that a natural polyphenol compound found in pomegranate can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells, to help prevent or slow down Alzheimer's development.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Power of Stones

Healing stones are a holistic, natural approach to maintaining harmony within the body mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. For thousands of years, ancient civilizations have used the structure, wavelength, and frequency of these naturally formed stones to match the different frequencies of the various parts of our body.

Combining nature's natural healing stones with the energy centers in our body is important to cleanse, revitalize, and balance our health. 

We carry many of these stones in our boutiques in Roseville & Folsom, so please stop by and pick up a few after your next yoga class or spa treatment!

Pick A Chakra, Then A Stone

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Healing With Reiki

Reiki, pronounced ray-key and is a Japanese term that translates to universal (rei) and life force energy (ki).  This is an energy-centric healing technique with Japanese roots that has only officially been around since the 1920s. Reiki is a simple and natural healing method that reduces stress, induces relaxation and promotes deep healing within oneself.

When you experience illness, depression, anxiety or any other sickness, it's because your life force energies are off balance. Reiki Masters can work with you to tune into those energies and re-balance the body so it can heal itself.  This is done by placing their hands on, or slightly over the head, torso and legs in a series of positions near the body's major energy meridians and centers. Energy is then transferred through these centers allowing your body to self-heal. 

Reiki's Roots

Reiki was created by the Japanese scholar Mikao Usui who developed it after a 21-day fasting meditation trip to Mount Kurama.  Following this spiritual revelation, he returned to develop the practice. He worked with locals, healed his neighbors and "gave away" his energy.

During this time, he trained reiki's next grand master: Chujiro Hayashi, a naval officer and physician. Hayashi then opened a reiki clinic in Tokyo, where he worked with many sick individuals, including Hawayo Takata, a Japanese-American woman from Hawaii. She became the third grand master and is credited with introducing the practice to the Western world in Hawaii in the early 1940s. Over the last 70 years Reiki has become more common, with countless certified students and masters.

Managing Misconceptions

It's important to understand what reiki isn't. reiki is different from massage because it is the movement of energy, not tissue or muscle.  Also, reiki practitioners don't diagnose or treat medical or psychiatric conditions. They simply offer supportive therapy that can promote balance, comfort and pain relief during treatment but is not to be a primary source of care for health concerns.

Book a Reiki Ritual Today!