Thursday, September 14, 2017

Do You Really Know How To Breathe?

Our breath.  It’s something that most of us take for granted.  We go throughout our daily life not thinking much of it.  Assuming we’re ‘doing it right’.  I mean, it happens automatically, what’s there to think about?  Actually, a lot. 

Our breath is the only autonomic system we can manipulate.  Have you ever paused to ask yourself why?  Why would we be given the ability to control our breath?  Other than for the obvious, holding our breath under water.  But there must be more to it than that.  This is where the enlightening words of Deepak Chopra whisper in my ear….”You are not breathing.  You are being breathed.”  What!? The first time I heard him say that, I almost fell out of my chair.  You know when you hear something that is a lightning bolt of truth, a powerful epiphany?  This was that for me.  I am not breathing, I am being breathed!  This is why we can control our breath.  It is our connection to our soul!  It is literally the breath of life from the un-manifest to the manifest (Prana, life fore).  It is a constant reminder that we are much more than this physical body.  Powerful!  Now that we know the ‘why’, let’s look at how most of us take our breath for granted, what that does, and how to change it.




OF COURSE I KNOW HOW TO BREATHE!
Most people go about their day unaware of their breath.  And if you’re like most people, you have too much to do and not enough time.  This is a recipe for stress, anxiety, and shallow breathing.  A majority of the people I work with don’t even realize they’re breathing shallow (in their chest) and worse, holding their breath.  When we’re in fight or flight mode (which unfortunately in today’s society happens on the daily over things like the barista forgetting that extra shot of espresso) we not only take short shallow breaths but you’ll find yourself pausing, holding your breath for a few seconds.  This wreaks havoc on your physical and emotional body.  Over an extended period of time, this bad habit leads to anxiety, stress, pulmonary weakness, even panic attacks! 

OKAY I GET IT.  SO, NOW WHAT DO I DO?
Throughout your day, pause periodically and pay attention to your breath.  This only takes 30-60 seconds of observation.  I don’t care how busy you are, you’ve got that kind of time for yourself.  Got your breathing time checks down? Good!  Here’s what to do.
Witness your normal breathing first.  Where are you breathing?  Place one hand on your chest and the other on the center of your belly.  Now close your eyes and just breathe how you normally would.  Don’t try to change anything at first.  Observe.  Is your breath up high in your chest?  Or down in your belly?  How is the quality of your breath?  Quick and short breaths?  Or slow and even?  Now that you’ve observed and know what your natural tendency is if it’s slow belly breathing, great!  Keep doing what you’re doing and check in periodically to ensure you’re breathing stays full, smooth, and relaxed.  If you’ve found you’re a shallow chest breather, don’t panic!  Just implement these tips below daily and in no time, you’ll be a slow soulful belly breather!

NATURAL BREATHING TECHNIQE
  1. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on the center of your belly.
  2. Gently and slowly inhale a normal amount of air through your nose, filling only your lower lungs. (Your stomach will expand while your upper chest remains still.)
  3. Exhale easily.
  4. Continue this gentle breathing pattern with a relaxed attitude, concentrating on filling only the lower lungs.

In yoga, we learn in detail how divine and healing our breath is. There are countless breathing techniques for everything from detoxification, stress-reduction, restful sleep, to enlightenment.  These should be practiced under the supervision of a professional who can instruct with detail and observe.  To me, the most important breath is the natural breathing we do thousands of times a day that has the biggest impact in our life.  Let’s begin by mastering our natural rhythm of breath to cultivate health, awareness, and peace.

In Love & Gratitude,

Joy Arnold

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What People Are Saying About Serenity Spa!

Ruthie Ridley, a well known blogger, recently posted an article on her Sunday Funday spent in the Folsom Palladio.  Part of that amazing day was spent right here at Serenity Spa!  Take a look at what she had to say (excerpt from article below).




Massage Time at Serenity Spa

After shopping, running around and being on a tight schedule we were shot!! Our next stop was the Serenity Spa! Oh my goodness!! We slipped into cozy robes, got into quiet rooms, took a deep breath and relaxed.  Our massage session started with the most relaxing foot rub, followed by an incredible full body massage.  I did not want to move after that! Amazing!! I am looking forward to booking my next massage there in a few weeks!



Thank you Ruthie!  We're looking forward to seeing you in the spa again!


Ruthie Ridley
CLICK LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE!

http://ruthieridleyblog.com/sunday-funday/

Friday, August 25, 2017

Yoga Poses For A Restful Nights Sleep

So many people struggle with insomnia.  Whether it's difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, if this is you, you're not alone.  Creating a bedtime routine is crucial in setting the stage for your mind and body to begin to let go and slip into a peaceful nights sleep.  Yoga can also be extremely powerful in creating that deep state of relaxation and there are specific poses that have been proven to help encourage a good nights sleep. Lena Schmidt from Chopra blog wrote about this in an article she wrote.  Here's some of what she wrote below;


Follow the sequence below, or do the poses your body is craving.
Cat/Cow Pose
  • Come to hands and knees.
  • Align your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Inhale and arch your back, gazing forward.
  • Exhale and round your back, gazing in towards your belly.
  • Repeat slowly several times to release your spine and joints from the day’s activities.
Child’s Pose
  • From hands and knees bring your big toes together and widen your knees however much is comfortable.
  • Sit your hips back towards your heels and rest your torso on a bolster or just between your legs.
  •  Reach your arms forward and rest your forehead on a block or the ground.
  • Stay for 3-5 minutes breathing deeply.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose
  • Come to your back.
  • Bring the bottoms of your feet together.
  • Allow your knees to open to the side. For an even more restorative variation, recline onto a bolster and roll up blankets for under your head and knees.
  • Stay for 3-5 minutes.

Spinal Twists
  • From your back, hug your knees into your chest.
  • Stretch your arms open to your sides like a “T” and let your knees fall to one side.
  • Adjust to make sure you’re comfortable: knees can stay together or wrap one around the other, one leg could extend, or a blanket between the knees may feel best.
  • Stay for 2-3 minutes and switch sides.

Happy Baby Pose
  • From your back hug your knees into your chest.
  • Separate your knees and draw them to your shoulders.
  • Reach your hands up towards your feet or ankles.
  • Move your elbows inside of your knees and pull down.
  • It may feel nice to rock gently or to remain still as you breathe.
  • Stay for 1-2 minutes and release.

Legs Up the Wall Pose
  • Sit next to the wall and roll down to your side.
  • Swing your legs up the wall and move as close to the wall as is comfortable for the backs of your legs.
  • Rest a blanket under your head as a pillow and under your low back for support.
  • It can also feel grounding to put a folded blanket on top of your feet, especially if it’s the weather is cold.
  • P.S.: If your bed is against a wall you can do this one right in bed and then slide into sleep.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed that the creation of an evening routine will just be an addition to your to-do list, consider what elements among these suggestions you may like to incorporate. Start with one thing that really strikes you (such as, “yeah, I could drink some tea before bed, that’s manageable”) and begin to add on from there as you carve out more time for self-care before bed. Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What's The Difference Between Empathy, Compassion, and Sympathy?

Recently, I was having a conversation with someone about the difference between empathy and compassion.  Surprisingly, many people don't quite understand the difference.  Days after that conversation I stumbled upon this amazing article on chopra.com.  Below are excerpts from the enlightening article.  





Empathy

Empathy is viscerally feeling what another feels. Thanks to what researchers have deemed “mirror neurons,” empathy may arise automatically when you witness someone in pain. For example, if you saw me slam a car door on my fingers, you may feel pain in your fingers as well. That feeling means your mirror neurons have kicked in.
You may not always automatically feel how another is feeling, and that’s when you need to rely on your imagination. You have most likely heard the phrase, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” That’s the other route to empathy.
For example, perhaps you saw me slam my fingers in a car door, but you didn’t automatically feel that pain. Instead, you can imagine what it might be like to have your fingers slammed in a door, and that may allow you to feel my pain.
By the way, empathy isn’t just for unpleasant feelings. You can feel empathy when you see someone happy, too. Isn’t it great when someone walks in the room smiling, and that makes you smile?

Sympathy

It’s not easy to differentiate sympathy and empathy. The main difference is that when you have sympathy, you are not experiencing another’s feeling. Instead, you are able to understand what the person is feeling. For example, if someone’s father has passed away, you may not be able to viscerally feel that person’s pain. However, you can employ your cognitive skills to understand that your friend is sad.
It makes sense, then, to send sympathy cards when you understand that someone is suffering. You are not feeling that person’s pain, but you want them to know you are aware of their suffering.

Compassion

Compassion takes empathy and sympathy a step further. When you are compassionate, you feel the pain of another (i.e., empathy) or you recognize that the person is in pain (i.e., sympathy), and then you do your best to alleviate the person’s suffering.
At its Latin roots, compassion means “to suffer with.” When you’re compassionate, you’re not running away from suffering, you’re not feeling overwhelmed by suffering, and you’re not pretending the suffering doesn’t exist. When you are practicing compassion, you can stay present with suffering.
Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., is the Dalai Lama’s principal English translator and author of the course Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT). Jinpa posits that compassion is a four-step process:
  1. Awareness of suffering.
  2. Sympathetic concern related to being emotionally moved by suffering.
  3. Wish to see the relief of that suffering.
  4. Responsiveness or readiness to help relieve that suffering.
An important distinction between empathy and compassion is how they can affect your overall well-being. If you are frequently feeling the pain of another, you may experience overwhelm or burnout. This is a common problem for caregivers and health care providers, and it’s been labeled “empathy fatigue.”
Compassion, however, is a renewable resource. When you are able to feel empathy but then extend a hand to alleviate someone’s pain, you are less likely to burn out.
Research indicates that compassion and empathy employ different regions of the brain and that compassion can combat empathetic distress.
Don’t take it from me, though. The Dalai Lama famously said in the book The Art of Happiness, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

What are your thoughts or experience with the difference between these emotions?  Let us know!  Comment below!

To read the article in its entirety click the link below;

http://www.chopra.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-empathy-sympathy-and-compassion#sm.000disimd1aqlf86pv32mr7o3ud1q

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ayurvedic Foot Care




Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner
NAMA Professional Member 

If there is one part of your body that works hard for you, it is your feet. Every day, walking and other activities bring the weight of your entire body to bear on your feet. And that workload may come with a cost — your feet are the area of your body most subject to injury.
Yet most of us pay little attention to our feet, unless of course there is an injury or imbalance. Here are a few tips to give your soles some love and avoid hot, tired, overworked feet.
Comfort is Key
If there’s one easy tip for caring for your feet, it’s to wear comfortable shoes. Many foot problems start just because the toes are too cramped, the heels are too high, or there’s no supportive arch in your shoes. With so many options for comfortable, supportive shoes these days, the investment in good shoes is worth it.
Keep Them Clean and Dry
Wash your feet daily with warm water and natural soap — try one of our creamy herbal soap bars. Wash between your toes, and dry your feet just as carefully as you wash them. Athlete’s foot and other fungi can start from perspiration or dampness between the toes. Tip: If you are prone to skin irritation, blow dry your feet after a shower and before putting on socks and shoes. You'll be surprised at the difference this makes.
Allow Your Feet to Breathe
Wearing synthetic socks can keep your feet from “breathing” and contribute to foot odor. Opt for organic, cotton socks when possible. Or spend a portion of your day barefoot.
DIY Foot Massage
The feet are an engineering wonder of 26 bones (1/4 of the bones of your whole body), 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments! And because every nerve in your body finds its home in your feet, a foot massage can affect your entire nervous system. Massaging your feet helps detoxify your body, balance emotions, and improve blood and lymph circulation. A foot massage before bed helps to create deeper sleep, and is also a quick way to recover from travel tiredness.
  1. After washing and drying your feet, apply Youthful Skin® Massage Oil or a massage oil of your choice to each of your feet. You'll be surprised how quickly "scaly heel" goes away with some of our oil and a gentle massage.
  2. Start by gently rubbing the base, sides and top of your smallest toes. Continue with each toe. Massage, stretch and pull each toe gently.
  3. Move to the ball and sole of your foot and rub in circular or long motions. Apply a gentle massaging pressure on both sides of your heels. Massage the sides of your ankle bones in a clockwise motion. This improves circulation and energy for the entire body.
  4. Note any areas that feel tight and give them extra attention.
  5. Finish by massaging your calf muscles to release tension, using long, up-and-down strokes.
Soak for Softness — A Wonderful Evening Ritual
Are your feet hot and tired from too much activity? Or do you have hard calluses on the soles of your feet?
A good soak in warm herbal water is not only relaxing — water will help soften your skin and release stress from not just your feet, but your whole body. Here’s how to create a therapeutic foot soak:
  1. Bring a quart of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and pour the water into a large bowl or pot (large enough for your feet). Or purchase online a foot-massage tank. Add to your water — loose leaf, or in a pouch — dried or fresh lavender, sage, and rosemary. Let it steep for 20 minutes.
  2. Adjust the temperature, if needed, by adding cold or hot water, until it is slightly above body temperature (100-110 degrees F).
  3. Soak your feet for 20 minutes. Gently rub your feet with the water or pouch.
  4. Dry each foot thoroughly with a soft, clean towel.
  5. Moisturize your feet with Youthful Skin® Massage Oil.
  6. Put on socks and climb into bed.
Just a few simple self-care practices, such as these foot-care tips, added to your routine can go a long way toward keeping your entire body, and mind, balanced and healthy.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

7 Ways To Protect Your Skin From Aging


Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner
NAMA Professional Member 


Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars on beauty products to prevent their skin from aging. Yet keeping your skin youthful takes much more than applying a moisturizer. Knowing your skin type, eating the right diet, and daily cleansing are essential for fresh and young-looking skin.

Protect yourself from the sun

In our world of ozone holes and 30+ sunscreens, many people have come to think of the sun as an enemy to the skin. Yet the sun, besides being the source of energy for mind and body, also nourishes the skin. It's the best source of Vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption and healthy bones. Doctors today recommend 15 minutes of direct exposure to the sun on the hands and face to absorb the minimum daily requirement of Vitamin D. Overprotecting from the sun is not a good idea. The challenge is to maximize the benefit from the sun and at the same time protect the skin from damage.
While people with Caucasian skin definitely should avoid direct exposure to the midday sun, short periods of exposure to the early morning sun is soothing and mild on the skin, and allows even very sensitive skin to absorb necessary Vitamin D. The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians recommends avoiding long exposure to the sun whenever you are angry, hungry or emotionally upset, as these factors increase heat in the body and make the skin more sensitive to sun damage. At these times it's important to protect yourself by wearing a hat and sunglasses. People with more Pitta in their body should always take care to protect themselves from the midday sun. It's also a good idea to cool the body from the inside if your skin is very photosensitive. Eating green leafy vegetables and fruits such as raisins, pears, apples, and pomegranates, for instance, will help nourish and restore balance to the skin.
Amla Berry, available as a supplement called Organic Premium Amla Berry and also contained in Amrit, is also an excellent antioxidant and rasayana for the skin. Cooking your food with a skin-protecting spice mixture to stimulate digestion but not overheat your skin helps. Sauté equal parts turmeric, coriander, fennel and cumin in ghee and add it to your vegetables and grains. Even in winter, people with photosensitive skin should avoid eating too much ginger, garlic, aesofetida (hing), red chilies or any types of hot peppers if you are sensitive to the sun.

Avoid Chemicals

Harsh chemicals in your shampoo, skin products, or soaps irritate the skin. They cause Bhrajaka Pitta, the subdosha of Pitta that governs absorption and enzymatic changes of the skin, to become overworked and overheated. A strong preservative or antibacterial agent in skin-care products, for instance, kills harmful bacteria but at the same time destroys enzymes that trigger absorption and lubrication. The result might be permanent dry patches, oversensitive skin, or susceptibility to sun damage. Even synthetic aromas in skin products can be irritating because they affect your emotions. For this reason, all skin care products and soaps made by Maharishi Ayurveda Products International are free of sodium laurel sulfate, which dries and irritates the hair and skin; and are also free of other chemicals which can be carcinogenic, or cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions. Maharishi Ayurveda products contain all-natural ingredients and are designed to balance and nourish all seven layers of the skin.
It's also essential to avoid eating chemicals in your food — buy organic foods whenever possible. Eat fresh, organic, unprocessed, unpackaged foods for the healthiest skin. Chemicals, preservatives, and additives in foods accumulate in the liver and kidneys, and many of them mix with sweat and are released through the skin. When sweat mixes with the toxic chemicals in foods, it creates foul or strong body odor. Another source of harsh chemicals can be your water. If your water is chlorinated or contains pesticides and chemical fertilizers from nearby farms, it can cause imbalance in all the layers of the skin and result in irritation and drying. It's worth investing in a reverse osmosis water filter for drinking and a shower unit for bathing, to hydrate your skin with the purest water.

Eat for your skin type

To figure out which foods are best for your skin, first determine your skin type. Vata skin is dryer, thinner, small-pored, delicate, and cool to the touch. Vata skin may age faster, and tends to be dry, rough and flaky when out of balance. Or your skin may be more Pitta — fair, sensitive, soft, warm, and of medium thickness. When out of balance, Pitta skin can flare up in rashes, rosacea, acne, or sun spots. Kapha skin tends to age slower and form less wrinkles than the other two types. It is thick, oily, pale, soft and cool. Kapha skin types may struggle with dull complexion, enlarged pores, excessive oil, blackheads, pimples, moist types of eczema and water retention.
Once you determine which kind of skin you have, you can follow the VataPitta, or Kapha-pacifying dietary guidelines to keep your skin balanced, healthy and youthful. Vata skin types, for instance, will want to eat more warm, unctuous foods to counteract the cool dryness. While eating all six tastes is important for everyone, favoring the sweet, sour and salty tastes will balance the dry, rough, moving Vata dosha. Eat plenty of cooked, leafy green vegetables spiced with cumin, coriander and turmeric. If you have Pitta skin, you will thrive on sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, as found in sweet, juicy fruits, Organic Rose Petal Spread, and cooked greens. You'll need to favor cooling spices such as cumin, coriander, fennel and licorice. Avoid hot, spicy foods. The oiliness of Kapha-type skin calls for a diet that is warmer, lighter, less oily, and free of heavy, hard-to-digest foods. Eating more bitter, astringent and pungent tastes helps stimulate digestion and balance Kapha skin. Flavor your food with ginger, black pepper, turmeric, cumin and coriander.
Soothe Away Stress
There are three types of stress, and all three impact the skin in different ways. Mental stress starts a chain reaction that ends in the drying out of Shleshaka Kapha, the subdosha of Kapha that governs moisture balance in the skin. The drying of Shleshaka Kapha causes skin to become thin and age earlier. If the stress is not brought into balance, the shrotas (microchannels) that carry nutritive fluid to the skin also start to shrink, resulting in wrinkles and stress lines. Emotional stress also affects the skin — just notice how anger or embarrassment can make your face turn red. This shows the connection between Sadhaka Pitta, the subdosha of Pitta that governs the emotions, and Bhrajaka Pitta, which governs the skin. If emotional stress becomes chronic, then Bhrajaka Pitta will burn Shleshaka Kapha. The result is acne, sun sensitivity, and other Pitta-based problems. Physical stress is caused by exercising too much, working too much or straining the body over a period of time. Like mental stress, this causes the drying out of skin moisture resulting in rough, aged skin.
To counteract mental stress, try Worry Free TeaTablets, and Aroma Oil. Maintain a Vata-pacifying diet and daily routine. To bring emotional stress into balance, follow a Pitta-pacifying diet and routine and try Blissful Joy tablets and Blissful Heart Aroma Oil. Stop whatever work or exercise is causing the strain. In Maharishi Ayurveda, too much work or exercise means anything more than fifty percent of your physical stamina. And for all types of stress, practice the Transcendental Meditation® program, which has been shown by hundreds of scientific studies to be the most effective technique to alleviate mental, emotional and physical stress.
Cleanse and gently exfoliate
Every skin type needs cleansing, but Kapha skin needs it the most. This is because people with Kapha skin often have low agni. Consequently ama collects in the body, clogs the channels of the skin and causes oil to collect on the surface. Many people with Kapha skin try to counteract the oiliness by using products that are too drying. This is not really necessary. What is necessary is to cleanse the pores and channels so the skin's own balance can be restored, and the skin can be nourished from the inside. But of course the Kapha person should be really careful not to clog their pores by using greasy creams, exposing their skin to freezing weather, or by eating heavy, sweet, oily foods.
Keep the pores and channels open by taking warm baths and cleansing with Youthful Skin Herbal Soap. Vata skin types should avoid any products that are too drying. The Youthful Skin Herbal Soap is especially formulated to cleanse dry skin without disturbing its moisture balance. Pitta types should avoid products that are too abrasive or heating. The Youthful Skin Herbal Soap also works well for cleansing Pitta skin.
Rehydrate from the inside and outside
First of all, it's important to moisturize your skin from the inside to provide necessary nutrients and to keep the inner layers of the skin from drying out. Drink lots of water, but add some spices to the water to help the water get absorbed and transported to the skin. Kapha skin types should steep 2 thin slices of fresh ginger root, 2 basil leaves, 2 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds and 2 pinches licorice powder in hot water and sip hot through the day. For Pitta types The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians recommends steeping 2 pinches of Indian sarsaparilla powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 pinches of licorice powder, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds in hot water, to be drunk at body temperature throughout the day. And Vata types will benefit from a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 3 pinches of ashwagandha root powder and 1 pinch whole root licorice powder in hot water, to be drunk warm as needed through the day.
In cold weather, most people benefit from drinking hot water, as it opens the channels and helps clear away toxins. If you have sensitive, Pitta-based skin you will want to stick to room-temperature water. Including plenty of vegetables and sweet, juicy fruits in your diet also helps moisturize the skin. Be sure to eat moderate amounts of healthy oils, such as ghee and olive oil, to provide additional lubrication. To moisturize from the outside, use Youthful Skin Cream on your face, and use Youthful Skin Massage Oil for Men or Women for your body. Youthful Skin Cream contains a blend of essential oils that are extremely effective in restoring elasticity, moisture, and nutrition to the skin. No harsh chemical solvents or preservatives are included, as these would destroy the holistic effect of the herbs. An independent study showed that after just three months of using Youthful Skin Cream twice daily, there were significant improvements in moisture, color, tone, clarity, and thickness. Skin moisture improved an average of 47% and reduced wrinkles an average of 39%.
To really moisturize the skin, the skin cream must be comprised of molecules that are smaller than the pores of the skin, so they can slip into the pores and nourish the deeper layers.
Massaging your body skin on a daily basis is also essential to keep the skin young and healthy, and The Council recommends Youthful Skin Massage Oil for Men or Women, to rejuvenate and nourish the skin. This powerful blend of over two dozen restorative herbs and essential oils keeps the skin supple and youthful. By design it absorbs easier than any other herbal oil, penetrating and nourishing the deeper levels of the skin rather than just staying on the surface. For best results, massage your whole body before your bath or shower.
Nourish your skin
Besides following the diet for your skin type, these foods are terrific skin-enhancers: leafy green vegetables; easily-digested proteins such as panir, milk, tofu, sunflower seeds; foods high in zinc such as quinoa; and beta carotene-rich foods such as carrots and sweet cherries. Almonds and walnuts support the skin with their protein and lubricating fat content. Some skin-friendly spices include turmeric, which nurtures the different layers of the skin; cumin, which rids the body of ama; black pepper to cleanse the channels; and fennel to balance the transformational ability of the skin. All antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as pomegranate, apple, pear, and bitter, green leafy vegetables are also excellent for the skin.
Eat only intelligent foods, which are fresh foods and preferably organic. Stay away from packaged, canned, frozen, processed, and packaged foods. Leftovers are also a no-no. Some nutritional supplements that are nourishing for the skin are Organic Premium Amla Berry, which is rich in Vitamin C, and Radiant Skin tablets, which are targeted to enhance the radiance of skin and keep it clear.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

This article was posted on Mapi and re-posted with permission from Manas Kshirsagar

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Yoga And Cardiovascular Health



While reading through some current studies pertaining to yoga and mainstream fitness, I stumbled upon this amazing article written by B Grace Bullock, PhD, E-RYT 500.  In this study, she sites research showing how a regular yoga practice not only has an effect on cardiovasular health but improves it.  Check it out!



Yoga Boosts Cardiovascular Fitness and Psychological Health Study Shows

By Grace Bullock, PhD, E-RYT 500

There has been an ongoing debate regarding yoga’s ability to improve cardiovascular and physical fitness. A new study suggests that, for sedentary college students, regular Vinyasa yoga practice may boost both fitness and mental health, and reduce stress.

In the study, researchers tested the hypothesis that yogis who performed sun salutations that increased their heart rate into cardiac endurance zones, would demonstrate physical and heart health benefits. They randomly assigned twenty-five, sedentary college students to either 8-weeks of Vinyasa yoga, 1 hour per day, 3 days per week (11 students), or a no-treatment control group (14 students). They measured change along a number of dimensions of health before and after the intervention in both groups.

Following 8 weeks, sedentary students in the yoga group showed significant physical gains compared to the control group. These included decreased cardiac output, and increased cardiac efficiency, and decreased plasma control. In addition, yoga group members had a significantly reduced body fat percentage, and greater upper and lower body muscle strength. Collectively, this suggests that yoga group participants experienced significant physical and heart health benefits after only 8 weeks of consistent yoga practice.

Yoga group members also demonstrated improved psychological wellbeing at the end of the Vinyasa yoga intervention. This included significantly lower ratings of perceived stress, greater self-acceptance, and better relationships with others. In addition, plasma cortisol levels, a biomarker of stress, were significantly lower in yoga group participants than controls.

Taken together, these findings suggest that Vinyasa yoga may promote physical and psychological health and well-being in sedentary college students, and also provide the important function of stress relief. This may be particularly important for those who are reluctant to take up other forms of vigorous aerobic exercise like running or cycling.