Health

Honoring Our Earth

Lupin in BHMtns 

New Earth Prayer 

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven:

Light of sun,

Radiance of moon,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of wind,

Depth of sea,

Stability of earth,

Firmness of rock.

     ~~ Saint Patrick ~~

 

NO Comparisons ~ Accepting our Uniqueness with FLAIR!

There has never been another person like you since time began, so there is nothing and no one to compare with…

Sharing part of this delightfully uplifting affirmation by Louise L.Hay from her book: “Meditations to Heal Your Life” is my way of welcoming you ALL into 2014! Enjoy the journey, moment by moment ~ keep breathing and taking time for your own self-care!

Blessings & Peace ~~ Teddy

“I am incomparable! I am here to learn to love myself and to love other people unconditionally.

Even though every person has measurable things about them, such as height and weight, there is far more to me than my physical expression.

The immeasurable part of me is where my power is … 

… We are ALL unique, wonderful beings, each different and special …

… Everything in the physical world changes.  As I flow through these changes, I keep relating to that which is inside me that is deeper than any change.” 

L. L. Hay

 

ANIMAL ZEN!

Think all yogis are human. Think again. ~~ from ‘Best Friends Magazine’

Thanks to Cel Hope from Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter, my friend who cherishes the little 4-legged creatures as much as I do, who recently gave me a terrific article  on “Animal Zen” with fantastic animal Yoga pose photos (September/October 2013 issue of BEST FRIENDS MAGAZINE) ~~ Ahhhh I  THOUGHT !! ~~ PERFECT for my next blog ~ !!

How great is it that we remind ourselves that our “best” friends and other little creatures we observe in nature can teach us about the importance of relaxation and awareness practices in our daily lives.

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Buddy, my little 11-1/2 year old Maltese and my best friend for almost 12 years is a prime example! As I sit here typing away on this blog, Buddy is relaxing (in ‘Child Pose’) right at the doorway of my home office. He will not miss a moment (VERY MINDFUL!), and he will follow close behind me when I leave “my space”, even to the bathroom. AHHHHH ~~ best friend, keeping tabs on me throughout the day.

I notice every morning, as we start our day, how Buddy bends ~~ twists ~~ and stretches ~~ right into Downward Dog! Then he continues his early morning “Yoga practice” with more stretching ~~ Upward Dog, Puppy Pose, Hunting Dog, ‘Galloping Happy Dog’, Warrior Poses galore ~~ and OF COURSE ~ his own perfect version of Savasana at the end of a long day! (better known as ‘Pet My Stomach Pose’ at our place:-)))

There has been much research recently on the health and wellbeing of pet owners versus those who do not have pets in their lives. Some of those studies have found that pet owners overall make fewer visits to their doctors, have lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Of course, there may be other contributing factors to consider, but at any rate, what I know is that my little Buddy keeps me sane, when all else appears to be completely chaotic in my life. He is there for me at all times, providing not only company, but licking my tears away, settling next to me when I meditate (I am SURE he is meditating too!), doing his Downward Dog as I practice my early morning asanas (poses). He always is strutting ahead of our Dog and Cat Shelter “gal” Tika on our walks, leading the way in his own “Warrior” manner.

I am definitely better off physically, emotionally, mindfully, and no doubt spiritually because of my little Buddy!

In practicing mindful awareness, we learn to accept both our pleasant and unpleasant daily experiences, through time well spent in our formal meditative moments. Word of wisdom from John Kabat-Zinn: “Since you have moments to live, why not live them completely, and find out what it might mean to be true more of the time to your own deepest, most authentic nature.”

I have learned so much from my dear Buddy, who brings me such a special gift of unconditional love ~ he is truly also one of my best teachers.

OFF TO WALK MY KIDS ~~ Blessings & Peace to ALL ~~

May Day … May Day!!! – Adding Meditation to your Springtime Blossoming!!!

Meditation is more of an awareness heightening practice in self-care, as opposed to just relaxing, although that can be one of the benefits, too. Physical benefits include enhanced central nervous system functioning, improved heart health and better sleep, plus the emotional, mental and spiritual benefits that can occur…. TYQ (Check the other tabs on this website for further explanations)

Meditation Myths – Let go of these and allow yourself to take some time for self-compassion & self care:

If you have not yet tried meditating, you might have some preconceived notions about what such a practice involves ~~ these may even be standing between you and reaping great benefits of your personal meditation practice.

1. You do not have to turn off your brain.

Sometimes you are able to fully quiet your mind, but turning off all thoughts and emotions is not the idea in a mindful meditation practice, not even possible as human beings. Thoughts and emotions will naturally come and go, and mindful meditation is about acknowledge, accepting and attending to them ~ bringing some understanding to yourself about them, then allowing yourself to come back to your focus, whether it be your breath, your heart rate, or even a mantra sound.

It IS absolutely natural to experience these outside thoughts and emotions while you are meditating. Again, just allow yourself to “sit” with them ~ pleasant or unpleasant ~ acknowledge and accept that they are just thoughts or emotions (NOT reality/NOT fact), then let them go as you return to your meditation focus (mantra, breath or other).

2. You do not have to meditate for long, extended periods of time.

Even 5~10 minutes of meditation can benefit your health & well being. You CAN fit it into your day ~~ before you get out of bed, on your lunch break, while supper is in the oven or just before you go to bed. Make it practical and a part of your day!

3. You do not have to tune out sounds.

You cannot make sounds disappear while you are meditating ~ in fact, the “soundscape” can become a wonderful background for your meditating time. If you are meditating and unpleasant sounds occur, just acknowledge them (like your thoughts/emotions), and direct your focus back to your inhalations and exhalations ~~ the sounds will soon fade into the background and become that “soundscape”.

4. Sitting up straight is NOT a requirement.

You do not have to sit up to meditate. It is a way of really bringing focus to your meditation and “taking your seat” ~~ but it is essential to find a position that works for you. Sometimes, lying down on the couch or the bed can work – on a yoga mat on the floor, propped up by blankets, bolsters and/or pillows can help, too.

You are more apt to fall asleep mid-practice if you are lying down ~ so keeping your eyes open for awhile will help! But if you do fall asleep, you probably really needed that type of rest. No worries ~ NO STRESS! You are still learning to focus your mind.

On Monday and Wednesday evenings at Santosha Yoga, I am offering Meditation 101 from 6:40 ~7:00pm ~ a short 20 minutes! – These sessions are free to students who take the 5:30 pm evening calming yoga class on those days, and offered free (donations accepted) to all! Hope to see you all there soon:-))) – find Santosha Yoga location on this website on the SY tab!!!

Magic Moments ~ *Balancing Life as a Caregiver*

… approximately 20 million Americans (one out of eight baby boomers) are juggling taking care of an older parent while raising or supporting a child. In Wyoming some 72,000 family caregivers make tremendous sacrifices at home and in their careers to care for a loved one. (Oshinnaiye, C.; Seven Tips for Better Life Balance; The Wyoming Sage, January, 2013)

Over the past few years, I have been the primary caregiving family member for our Dad, now 92+!! Balancing multiple roles added to daily life as we take on such responsibilities can be overwhelming, to say the very least. Some common stressors caregivers experience include:

  • Fear / Uncertainty with heavy responsibilities / Some “scary situations”
  • Shifts in Roles
  • Financial Pressures
  • Isolation / Less connection with others outside the home
  • Little time alone / Potential demands for constant caregiving
  • Guilt / Burn out / Frustration

Despite these great challenges, most caregivers want to be totally supportive of those who need their care and, as a result, many struggle to balance their personal lives. According the Wyoming Sage article mentioned above, the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP have found that average family caregivers spend almost 20 hours/week in tasks such as meal planning and preparation, record-keeping & bill paying, transporting the care receiver to appointments and events. In my case, keeping Dad safe yet as independent as possible (because he is pretty vibrant and feisty!) is continually on my mind ~~ my mission. Balancing my life continues to be challenging, however I try to ‘practice what I preach’!! SO … try some of these ways to bring more calmness into your life (As I do!:-):

  • Delegate responsibility, look for help outside the home ~ reach out to family, friends, social groups, home health care, and others … You need not do it alone.
  • Take time for yourself ~~ take care of your own health & wellbeing ~ find ways to reduce STRESS (Ahhhhh … Yoga practice, walks, meditation, workouts, movies, long baths … Ahhhhh)
  • Discuss your feelings & emotions with close friends, clergy members, professional counselors, support group members ~ it IS okay ~ many have been “there” ~ and they are so willing to listen to you ~ this WILL help reduce your stress.
  • Last ~~ but NOT Least … BREATHE ~~ Inhale ~ Exhale ~ Repeat.

(PS ~ Check out www.aarp.org/caregiving for more information)

 

 

 

Valuable Tips for WINTER & Colder Days & Nights!

With all the challenges of our Wyoming winter, beat the “blahs” with a Healthy Attitude AND these Tips!
  • Eat Healthy, Staying Active: These should be year round practices, but tend to become more challenging during winter, so focus on nutrition that enhances your energy and get creative with activity: walk indoors with a co-worker or family on stormy days!
  • Travel Safely: When attending parties where social drinking is involved, always appoint a designated driver before you start ~ ONLY WAY TO GO!
  • Stay Warm:  Stay tuned to weather forecasts ~ dress accordingly.  Protective footwear keeps you warm & can prevent injuries, such as slipping on sidewalks. Slow down, use “trackers” (rubber, spiked shoe coverings),  watch out for ~~ and help elderly folks!
  • Deal with Stress:  WOW! Way more “chaos” in our lives over the winter (holiday season etc.!!), so prioritize commitments ~ embrace some down time to relax!

Self-Care ~~ #1 Priority in Avoiding Burn Out!

Living life in a constant state of pushing ourselves beyond our “max” = BURN OUT!

In our fast-paced world, we get caught up with wanting to do and be more.  Can we truly give 110% to everything we do all day long without suffering burn out?  As chronic stress builds up in one’s system through taxing it day after day, something has to give ~~ it is impossible to live life at a constant frantic pace without suffering because of it.

We ALL need rest, we ALL need to relax, and we ALL need to recharge!  The failure to acknowledge our humanity in this sense will cause us to suffer consequences ~~ sooner or later! Look over this checklist:

  • Using caffeine or sweets to get through your day?
  • Getting the amount of sleep that your body really needs?
  • Spending enough quality time with friends or family?
  • When was the last time you did something just for FUN?
  • Are you truly LIVING your life or just moving from task to task?

Think about taking time and doing these 3 simple things to slow down:

1. Give 60-80% to certain projects instead of 110% to everything

Pace yourself ~~ look for projects where you can give 60-80% and still be proud of the outcome.Embrace a life that meets your desires but that does not rely on unhealthy quantities of certain foods, drinks or cutting out relationships and fun.

2. Spread your efforts more evenly to all areas of your life

Shift your efforts and thinking to prioritizing your health, your family, & yourself. Spread energy and efforts evenly across all areas of your life. Allow yourself to S.T.O.P. ~~ Stop! ~~ Take a moment! ~~ Observe what is happening in your body & how you are feeling right now! THEN ~~ Proceed with your day ~~

3. Take care of yourself ~~ T.L.C. for the B.O.D.Y.!

At the end of the day, be your own best friend. Respect your body. Give yourself some real tender loving care with stress-relieving Yoga and mindful meditation practice. Get a massage. Share a delicious healthy meal with a friend. Take a walk. Just REST…..

THIS is the kind of fuel your BODY/MIND/SPIRIT need to be nourished and to rejuvenate. 

 

TIPS for Enjoying More Restful Sleep ~~ AHHHHH!!

 

 QUICK TIPS for Enjoying More Restful Sleep

  • Create a sleep ambience & a ritual that works for you
  • Keep a regular sleep cycle, whenever possible
  • Decrease caffeine consumption
  • Learn to meditate ~ moment -to-moment focus to the breath ~ LENGTHEN the exhale …
  • Exercise to help flush out stress hormones 
  • Decrease caffeine consumption
  • Move the TV out of the bedroom
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal before bed
  • Limit alcohol intake around bedtime
  • Avoid tobacco use (MAJOR sleep inhibitor!)