January 8, 2010

Neti Worth: Stock in the value of nasal irrigation is up

Posted in Ayurveda, Colds & Flus, Essential Oils, Respiratory Conditions, Uncategorized, Yoga tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:37 pm by moondeva

 Just found this great article at Well & Good  on using the Neti Pot. Neti Worth: Stock in the value of nasal irrigation is up «

If you’ve never tried, it really is a fantastic help for sinus-related problems, and for fending off colds. I’ve never managed to do it daily, which I’d like to work up to. But, I do use it when I have hay-fever, respiratory cold, or sinus infection to enormous benefit. If only I could convince my 9-year old to try!

I have a couple items to add to the conversation. Firstly, it is very beneficial to follow your neti by lubricating the nasal passages with Sesame Oil (raw, organic, cold-pressed). After completing the neti, apply a small amount of sesame oil with your finger or cotton swab inside the nostrils. This will help keep them lubricated and enhance their filtering power. Think of it like this: you always moisturize your face after washing, right? Same here.

The article mentions doing a steam with Eucalyptus which is also a great way to clear sinuses. If you do both neti and steam, do neti first.  Eucalyptus essential oil is extremely antibacterial and it’s pungent vapors are also anti-inflammatory so it will clear your sinuses and fight infection at the same time.

There are many varieties of Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus is the most common, but the Eucalyptus Radiata is my favorite since it has a great lemony sweet aspect (not as harsh as globulus) and is very safe for children. I get mine through YoungLiving Essential Oils. Other excellent essential oils to combat sinus infections are Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana), Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), and Bay (Lauris nobilis). Inhale straight from the bottle, add them to your steam, add a couple drops to your diffuser, or add to massage oil and rub into feet, chest and throat.

Here’s to breathing free!

 (full disclosure: I am a distributor of YoungLiving Essential Oils and the link is to my affiliated site – they are the  only source I have found for that particular variety of Eucalyptus)

January 2, 2010

Essential Oil Teething Remedy

Posted in Children's Remedies, Essential Oils tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:33 pm by moondeva

OK mommies and daddies – a lot of you have teething babies at home. Here’s a remedy for you. Well, for your baby.

Clove Bud Essential Oil (Syzygium aromaticum) has anesthetic properties and is used by dentists to numb the gums before administering shots. It’s surprisingly numbing. Adults can try a drop on a finger or cotton swab directly on their own gums to feel the effect. For teething babies the essential oil needs to be diluted in a carrier oil. Pretty much any nice organic vegetable or nut oil will do (olive, almond, grapeseed, jojoba…). Read the bottom 0f the post for suggestions on where to get good, therapeutic-grade essential oils. 

In a nice clean (small) bottle or jar:

2 drops Clove Bud essential oil 
1 teaspoon carrier oil
(store in a cool place, not exposed to direct sunlight)

Test a bit on your own gums and tongue so you make sure it’s a delicate effect.  My baby absolutely loves this remedy and shows it by eagerly opening is mouth for my finger when he sees me getting the bottle. I just dip the tip of my finger in the bottle and rub the mixture all over his gums. You could also use a cotton swab instead of your finger. I don’t suggest adding the mixture to the surface of teething toys since it could easily make it’s way into baby’s eyes and be very irritating.

If for any reason your baby has a strong adverse reaction to this remedy, immediately apply some of your plain carrier oil to the gums. This will immediately dilute the blend and restore comfort. This goes for any essential oil that might accidently get into your eye – immediately wash area with plain carrier oil.

Sourcing therapeutic-grade essential oils:
If you are in the vicinity of a good health-food store, most will have a decent selection of medicinal quality essential oils. Good common brands are Aura Cacia, Floracopeia, and Wyndemere. If you would like to order through me online, you can visit my YoungLiving Essential Oils affiliated website http://www.youngliving.org/nicoleb

Stay tuned for how to use the rest fo that bottle of Clove Essential Oil after the teething days are gone. If you have any questions about this or other essential oil/aromatherapy needs, feel free to contact me by email or in comments. nicole “at” anamiyoga “dot” com

Resolutions: Don’t Give Up! Give In.

Posted in Mindful Living tagged , , , , , , , at 2:54 pm by moondeva

Welcome to 2010!
Although I’ve never been a big New Year’s resolution-maker (I set intentions throughout the year), a lot of people find the beginning of the calendar year a motivational time to reflect on their lives and what they do or do not want.
 
With any resolution, the most important thing that I’ve discovered is to frame the desired change in a positive way, and focus on the underlying need that you are trying to meet. Maybe you’re resolving to get more sleep. Great idea! There are many reasons why you might not be getting enough sleep, and many strategies to get more. Regardless of what your particulars are, in general you are motivated by an underlying need for _______(fill in the blank). Rest? Repair? Quiet? Slowing down? By naming your underlying need, the part of yourself that needs attention knows that you are listening, and that you want to attend to it. You know how good it feels when you’ve been searching for the right word, and then finally, you remember it? Same thing with naming your need. It’s a relief on so many levels.
 
Now, getting more sleep may mean that you are “giving up” something else, like your favorite late-night tv show or fitting in all the chores before you go to bed. Shift your focus to what you are “giving to” yourself and envision (often) how your life/mind/body will feel once you have given to yourself. You may miss the season finale and the dishes might be dirty when you wake up but, you will also be refreshed, rested, clear-minded, calm, and healthier. Hold these positive outcomes in your thoughts every time you find yourself struggling with your resolve. I like to think of this aspect of a resolution as “Giving In” – giving much-needed care and attention Inward by listening to your needs and responding to them by making healthy choices.
 
As you listen in, what are some needs that are wanting to be met? How will you meet those needs? What kind of care will you “Give In” ? I’m interested in your process, let me know!
 
Also, if you want to super-charge your intention setting, you’re invited to my upcoming Sound, Silence & Stillness Mini-retreat. 4 hours of nurturing that’s not to be missed!

December 21, 2009

Making Peace with Winter

Posted in Mindful Living tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by moondeva

Today marks the first day of winter, the longest night of the year. All over the world people celebrate this change of seasons with fires, candles, and lights to welcome the return of the sunlight and the promise of new life that it brings. 

I am always surprised by how many people never notice the start of a new season. “Oh, today is the first day of winter?” There are others who are acutely aware of, and dread, the season either for its holidays stresses or lack of daylight and tendency toward depression. How do we acclimate to, and honor the change of seasons in our everyday actions?

While we hustle and bustle to create and enjoy holiday celebrations with friends and family it is important that we recognize what Nature (that also means you!)  is up to. Daylight is at a minimum, plants and animals are slowing, storing up, or stopping for winter,and the weather cools. Nature is conserving energy now in order to provide for new growth in spring.

If you notice you are getting a little more tired, hungry, even a little antisocial, take time to honor your body’s desire to attune with the natural cycles. Go to bed early if you are feeling tired, take some time to sit quietly with your favorite warm beverage and a book, or enjoy a long soak in the tub.

If you can, say no to holiday activities that do not truly nourish you, and if you say yes, make sure you have made peace with your choices so you are not at odds with your conscience. Like, if you have to go to Aunt Sally’s even though you have never gotten along with her, get clear on why you’re going. “Have to” usually means at some level you feel it’s important, otherwise you really wouldn’t go. Name why it’s important to you. Is it the idea of Family? Putting Aside Differences? Seeing other family members who will be there? Participating in traditions? …

To help your body stay in harmony with the shorter days and longer nights, try to get as much exposure to daylight as you can, and try this fun experiment:

When the daylight wanes, instead of turning on the electric lights, light candles around the house, keep the TV and computer off, and let yourself naturally wind down with the early arrival of evening. This is a wonderful time to make a fire in the fireplace if you have one, read or take a bath by candlelight, or just sit and talk with family and friends. You might be surprised that you feel ready for bed a lot earlier than usual – go with it! If you can’t make it from sundown to bedtime without electric lights, try 1 or 2 hours of candlelight before your usual bedtime.

A traditional meditation technique is to sit quietly and comfortably gazing at the flame of a candle. The image of the flame represents clarity, purification, and Truth. You might envision a similar flame residing in your Heart that keeps you connected to your inherent Wisdom, and True Nature which is free of obstacles and impurities.

Whatever tradition that you celebrate, may your season and new year be meaningful and abundant.

December 15, 2009

Good and Sticky: How to clean your yoga mat

Posted in Essential Oils, Yoga tagged , , , , , , , at 11:27 am by moondeva

It’s not often that Sticky means Clean. Except in the case of your yoga mat. Either you’ve been using it forever and it’s dirty and the stick is gone or, it’s brand new out of the package and slippery. Either way, the solution is to Wash It!

Either by hand in your bathtub, or on Delicate setting in the washing machine. ONLY A LITTLE SOAP. Hang dry. Putting it in the dryer will cause a strange burning plastic smell to permeate your entire house and you will end up with not just a sticky, but positively GOOEY mat (and dryer). Trust me, I learned the hard way. If you do put it in the dryer, use that AIR setting which is NO HEAT.

Voila!  Clean and Sticky Mat. The way it should be!

Depending on how often you use your mat, and how quickly it becomes dirty – like if you’re doing a lot of hot yoga, wash your mat once a month or every few months. In the mean time you can surface clean it with a little homemade spray. Put 10 drops each of lavender and tea tree essential oils in a spray bottle with water (and sometimes a tbs of vinegar too) and spritz on your mat, wipe dry. Lavender and tea tree both have  antibacterial and deodorizing properties and will leave your mat disinfected and smelling so fresh and so clean!

December 11, 2009

Holisti-Mom Is Born

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 8:54 pm by moondeva

All Moms wish they had extra arms. Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, Beauty, and favorite among Women, has 4. If you need more, go ask Durga. She has 8! Anyway, inspired to make an Avatar (you know that is a Sanskrit word, right?), I photo-shopped this beauty into existence. All rights reserved, please.  Look! She can keep house, make natural remedies, recycle, raise kids, practice yoga, all while keeping a beneficent smile on her face!

December 7, 2009

Best of ’09

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 5:18 am by moondeva

Thanks, Gwen Bell for this idea to help us reflect positively on our year. It’s been a big one! If all of you want to post your best of ’09 also, visit her blog for the instructions.  

Posting for a group of them for Dec. 1-6 since I am making up for lost time here!  

December 1 Trip. My best trip this year was definitely the birth of my son, Jozef, on April 21st. What a ride!  It had been 8 years since I gave birth to my daughter, and although I knew I could rock it out sans medication, I had forgotten (conveniently) just how intense it was.  But, after a relatively quick labor (sixish hours) of riding the waves of an unmedicated birth trip, the little guy surprised all of us by peeking his head out while I was standing up. Peek is maybe not the best word since it sounds all sweet and gentle. Out of nowhere as a contraction came along I was overtaken by a huge force and looked like one of those olympic weight lifters in a mega-vein-busting squat. Jozef was charging the gates! You should have seen the midwife, she had apparently just been standing around chatting with my sister while I was laboring and then when I did the crazy Goddess of Birth squat she leapt into action – hustling to get this whole blue paper suit on (what were we delivering? nuclear materials?) Then she told me to get on the table. All I remember is that I kept repeating “I don’t know how I’m supposed to do that! ” as this baby/my body is NOT STOPPING PUSHING! Somehow I was hoisted to the table and a few minutes later, Voila (easy as that, she says), I have my beautiful little guy cuddling up to my chest as I kiss his warm, wet head. 

December 2 Restaurant moment. For sure my best restaurant moment was the day before Jozef was born. I am 85 months pregnant and it was a super hot day out. Something about the heat, and probably being constantly hungry, had me craving for Indian food for lunch. So, the hubby and I head to our favorite Indian lunch place and order up the works. As we are waiting for our food to arrive, I am overcome by a feeling of LOVE.  I reach across the table and touch dear Szymon’s hand and tell him (feeling all romantic and sentimental), “I hope we will grow very, very old together.” Now, the smell of Indian food and chai and mango lassi can very easily drive me into a mystical fervor and day of the week, but this was different. Like I was on, as Aunt Becky says, The Drugs.  Since I was just a few days out from my due date I realized that my body must be getting ready for labor by turning on the Serotonin Factory. I’m telling you, I’ve never had Indian Food that tasted SO GOOD!  It was like eating Heaven. 

December 3 Article. Speaking of Serotonin you have to read this Article: The Brain-Gut Connection” on AltMedAngel.  It goes into the answers to these three questions: Why do we get butterflies in our stomach before a performance? Why does indigestion produce nightmares? Why are antidepressants now also being used for gastrointestinal ailments?

I’ve read about this topic before, but this article had some great information that I’ve never read before. I’ll post more about this topic another time.

December 4 Book. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. My friend, Kim, who has forever been the one to turn me on to the good read, gave me a thrashed copy of this book that had already been passed around to everyone else and finally made its way to me. Since my father was a young boy in Germany during WWII, I felt like a had a small window into his experience. He told me many stories that were similar to the characters’. Such a vivid, touching book that managed to make even the dark places humorous.

December 5 Night out.  My favorite night out was at my friend, Ashley’s wedding. It was an absolute fairytale wedding. She rode up to the aisle in a freakin’ cherried out horse-drawn carriage!!  As her Maven of Honor (because I’m obviously not a maid any more, but too Hot to be a Matron), I got to unload two Spectacular Speeches at the rehearsal dinner, and reception. I’m just So Talented! 

December 6 Workshop or conference. I didn’t do much workshop-attending this year as mostly I was pregnant or maternity-leaving or being a human pacifier. But, in September I led a 4-hour mini-retreat for the Fall Equinox. We honored the past year, and the passing of the long days by practicing traditional Sun Salutations. It was a great beginning to my 09/10 Mini-Retreat Series. Updates on that soon!

December 5, 2009

Ready.Set.Blog!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 7:40 pm by moondeva

Argh! Just want to get this blog going already! I’ve spent several weeks trying to think of The Most Clever Blog Title Ever. Trying to be clever is tiring! So, I will probably change the title of this blog several times. Keeps it interesting, right? I’ve put a list of potential titles at the end of this post. Let me know what you think of the current title, or which one(s) you like or, suggest one of your own.

A little about me (in no particular order): Yoga Teacher, Holistic Aromatherapist, student of Eastern Medicine  & Nutrition, Massage Therapist, Wife, and Mom of 2. My own favorite comedian. Always wanted to write a book. Will start with blog! Ideally, this blog is a way for me to share tidbits of life, laughter, love, and learning. about natural health, yoga, the humorous and challenging pieces of everyday life. To save me writing more here now, you can see what I’m up to with my Holistic Health Practice at http://www.anamiyoga.com/

I’ve also been holding off posting anything since I wanted to have special pages like all those other pretty blogs. Different pages for the categories of What I Do, What I’m Interested In, What I Think I Want To Blog About. But, I kept running into the same problem which is that most of the stuff I think I will post could belong to more than one category (because look at me I’m So Holistic!). So, in order to get things started I’m doing away with the compulsion to categorize and I will just POST! Maybe categories will reveal themselves later.

Potential Blog Titles:

Connected Living (too boring?)

The Holistic Householder (I like this one…)

Live.Laugh.Love.Yoga. (the first one I had up for a while)

The Nameless Formless Blog…. (thought of this at 3 a.m. while nursing baby)