HolisticGoddess

Holistic lifestyle, healthy eating, yoga, & Life!


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This is your muscles on Yoga……any questions?

Bethania Bacigalupe made this excellent video that illustrates what your body does when you Yoga it up; basically, her pants clearly show the muscles involved and what is being stretched.

Beautiful video, so cool! 🙂

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Benefits of Savasana (Corpse Pose)

shah-VAHS-anna)sava = corpse

This pose is also called Mrtasana (pronounced mrit-TAHS-anna, mrta = death)

 

Savasana is a pose of just total relaxation. It can actually be one of the most challenging of yoga poses because you are lying totally still. But it is also perhaps the most important part of a yoga practice. It serves many purposes: physical, spiritual and philosophical.

All of the practices that we do in Yoga, from the Pranayama or breathing exercises, to the physical practice, to the end at Savasana…..is all a metaphor for Life. When we begin, we are focusing on our Breath, the Beginning of Life, our birth into this world. Just like when a baby is born, the first thing they all learn to do is to breathe in air outside the womb, breathing into our belly….this is what makes the first part of the physical yoga practice.

Then we come to the second part, which is the actual body movement, the challenging poses, and balance. This represents our teen and adult years when Life becomes more challenging, requiring more out of you, to push yourself to the limit, and even then….a little further.

Then finally we come full circle, to the completion of  Life which we will all have to enter someday….Savasana. This represents the End and yet it can also represent the Beginning, when we once again come back to the Breath and become reborn fully refreshed and once again, ready for the outside world. When you begin to look at Yoga in that sense, your practice becomes more meaningful and the poses more positive.

 

 

After the exertions of the practice, Savasana allows the body a chance to regroup and reset itself. After a balanced practice, the entire body will have been stretched, contracted, twisted and inverted. These means that even the deepest muscles will have the opportunity to let go and shed their regular habits, if only for a few minutes.

Furthermore, the physiological benefits of deep relaxation are numerous and include:

  • A decrease in heart rate & rate of respiration
  • A decrease in blood pressure
  • Significantly lowers muscle tension
  • Reduces general anxiety
  • A reduction in the number and frequency of panic attacks
  • Provides an increase in energy levels
  • Increases focus and concentration
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Creates deeper and sounder sleep
  • Improves self-confidence

 

Savasana provides a perfect time for inner focus an integration. After so much time being bound to the actions of the body, the practitioner’s awareness is hopefully turned inwards and purified of sensory distraction. Savasana then becomes the beginning of deeper, meditative yogic practices. In state of sensory withdrawal it becomes easier to be aware of the breath and of the state of the mind itself. Savasana also gives the nervous system a chance to integrate that in what can be thought of as a brief pause before coming back to everyday Life.

 

There are different variations to achieving Savasana:

  • Lying flat with a folded blanket or small pillow under the head

Corpse pose

  • Placing a pillow or bolster under the knees. This position is perfect for those with back or knee issues or pregnant women.

  • Legs propped up on a chair with blanket under the hips

  • A folded blanket under the back

 

Which ever variation you choose, make sure you body is fully supported in a way that fits you so that you can be able to completely enjoy the meditative and restorative experience that Savasana has to offer. Softly begin to close your eyes, refocus on the breath, slowly deepening as you progress, and relax and allow the Earth to support you. Savasana can be performed anywhere between 2-7 mins. is sufficient time to allow the body time to restore and integrate all the energy that has been raised.

 

Remember to just breathe…….and let go. 🙂

 

 

 

 


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Let’s talk EGGPLANT!

Is it an egg? Or is it a plant? 😀

Eggplant belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. While different varieties of Eggplant can vary slightly in taste and texture, they can generally be described as having a  bit of a bitter taste and spongy texture. It’s that unique texture that makes Eggplant a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many different types of recipes.

Eggplant also comes in a variety of colors ranging from lavender, to jade green, orange and yellow…and in a variety of shapes and sizes. Eggplant is a great source of Potassium, Dietary fiber, Copper, B1 Thiamin, Manganese, and Beta Carotene. In addition to the vitamins and minerals that it contains, Eggplant’s health-promoting properties are also provided by an anthocyanin called nasunin; this phytonutrient provides protection from oxidative damage to cellular structures and also provides Eggplant with its deep rich color and flavor.

You can find Eggplant pretty much all year round. Usually, its peak season runs from August through October. From what I’ve researched, these are the months when its concentration of nutrients and flavor are the highest.

And of course, I can’t leave without providing you all with one of my simple recipes for this beautiful vegetable! For a quick snack, you can make Eggplant Mini-Pizzas:

1 Large Eggplant

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup of pasta sauce

4 oz of shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

 

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut Eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds

Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, & garlic powder

Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet, and place in oven for about 7 min. or until tender.

Top Eggplant with pasta sauce & Mozzarella cheese

Continue to bake slices until cheese is melted. Serving size: 2

Enjoy! 🙂


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Hooray, it’s SPRING!!!

 

Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the exciting and sometimes terrifying task of spring cleaning. Simplifying your life is an important piece of the wellness puzzle, so it’s natural to want to dive headfirst into the challenge. If you’re putting together your spring cleaning plan of attack, consider bumping these three often-overlooked areas to the top of the list, and you’ll find the rest becomes a whole lot easier.

1.  Online

Spring cleaning doesn’t stop in our everyday life, but in our internet life as well.  Cleaning out your online “space” can help you feel more organized and relaxed — particularly if you spend a lot of time online. If your email inbox looks anything like mine, you probably have a lot of unnecessary clutter, old letters, even junk mail. Take the time to clear the inbox, and don’t forget to unsubscribe to regular updates you no longer want. Apply the same principles to your social media. Is your Facebook news feed feeling a little crowded these days? Maybe it’s time for a friends list purge! Is your Pinterest account stressing you out? Reorganize those boards and toss a couple of dormant ones. Your brain will thank you.

 

2. Workout regimen

Spring is symbolic for new beginnings, a new start. Do you want to start a gym membership? Or feel more comfortable working out at home? Whatever exercise fitness routine you choose, always start out slow and remember to take rest days in between. I know how it is when you haven’t worked out in awhile and when you start, the feeling is so good that you sometimes feel as though you can do it 7 days a week….slow is always best. Your body actually recovers and builds more from rest days, so take advantage of it, smile….and have fun!

 

3. Start a morning “Mind & Body” routine

 

 

Drink a glass of water before breakfast.

The benefits of proper hydration are invaluable. Get some water into your system early to keep your energy up, and jump start your digestive system.

Wake up early enough to get ready without rushing.

Give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes in the morning to slow down your routine and provide a buffer for emergencies. The extra time can prevent arriving at work already stressed out.

Meditate

Begin a short 5-10 min. meditation sequence. Meditations works wonders for our brain and a fantastic way to start mornings with a calm and centered being. Set a positive intention for yourself and perhaps write it down on a piece of paper or sticky note and take a look at it throughout your day as a reminder.

Do one thing that makes you happy before breakfast.

Listen to music, look at pictures of puppies online, or watch a cartoon. Do one thing that makes you smile, then go tackle your day a little happier and healthier! 😀


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Aloha Festival on the “Island” of Tempe, Arizona

I went to the Aloha Festival a couple of weeks ago and had a BLAST! I try to go every year when they have it around March when the weather starts to warm up down here, usually in the high 70’s to mid 80’s.  Being in the atmosphere: the delicious smells of various Polynesian cuisine prepared by the vendors, the sounds of drum beats from the music, and the beauty of the dancers representing cultures from many islands of the South Pacific always fills my soul and brings a smile to my face 😀 !

Me at Tempe Town Lake which is next to the festival. You can take boat rides out here and enjoy the wonderful scenery:

Polynesian performers:

So if you’re ever in the Phoenix area around the beginning of March, come come and stop by to experience the richness of this beautiful event! All entertainment is FREE, the only thing you pay for is food and if you want to purchase clothes, jewelry, & keepsakes from many of the vendors. You won’t leave disappointed! 😀

 


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15 tips for Empaths & Highly Sensitive People…

I’ve been an Empath for as long a I can remember. There were times when I could not endure crowds because of the large amount of energy I would receive from many different directions, or watch the news and witness all the bad things that happen and have those images and feelings to stay with me for days at a time. Now that I’m older, I’ve learned to ground & center myself and release those energies I should not be stuck with.

These are some great tips for those having the same issues dealing with the plethora of energies around them 🙂 :

Empathic ability allows you to read and understand people’s energy. This ability may be genetic, passing from generation to generation. You may share this ability with a relative, so look at your family tree; does anyone else seem to fit the description? Empaths have the ability to scan another’s energy for thoughts, feelings and possibly for past, present, and future life occurrences. Most empaths are unaware of how this really works, and have accepted that they are sensitive to other people’s energy. The ability to correctly perceive and to some extent mirror the energy of another is a challenge. This gift allows us to steer ourselves through life with added perception. You need to be selective and have coping skills in place, if not you will easily be overwhelmed.

These are some excellent methods for coping:

https://i2.wp.com/themindunleashed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/empaths.jpg

1. Schedule time with you:

Spending time alone creates the space needed to release emotion, energy and stress.

2Positive Affirmations:

Short messages that train thought patterns. An example: “Let me receive what is in my best and highest good at this time”

3. Shielding:

Placing a protective shield of white light that is around and encasing you in a bubble, remember to make a grounding cord so you don’t float away!

4. Chakra Cleansing and Balancing:

Regular cleaning of the chakras will keep your energy field free of negative or unwanted energy. Re-balance them by bringing in energy that will create alignment and balance.

5. Centering:   

Align yourself with spirit and get out of Ego.  Try to live in the moment and whatever emotion comes up express and release it.

6. Stones:

Some people find that crystals and gemstones aid in clearing negative energy and maintaining balance. Choose yours by trying several different stones,and by paying attention to how each feels.

7. Aroma therapy:

Essential oils can enhance well being. Choose what elevates or calms your mood.

8. Forgiveness:

Forgiving others and forgiving self is one of the most powerful tools you have. It will clear your energy and raise your vibrational rate.

9. Grounding:

We have a grounding cord in the root chakra that connects us to the earth. Being aware of this and using this cord to both send negative energy into the earth where it is absorbed and drawing nourishing energy up from the center of the earth will increase your energetic flow.

10. Meditation: 

Quiets the mind so you can center, be present and listen to the voice within.

11Soothing Sounds:

Relax yourself using music or nature sounds.

12. Animals and Nature:

Being in Nature or spending time with our pets is a great way to relax, clear energy and connect.

13. Smudging: 

The Native Americans have been doing this with great results for years. Burning sage while stating an intention is a great method for clearing energy.

14. Yoga: 

Yoga is effective because it combines breathing, centering and grounding. A wonderful way to raise vibrational energy.

15. Gratitude and intention journal:

Ending the day by writing a list of things you are grateful for and then stating an intention to work towards keeps the energetic flow steady.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/15-tips-empaths-highly-sensitive-people.html


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The “Fuzz” Speech….

As we get older, stretching becomes more and more important to maintaining good muscular health. This “Fuzz” buildup he speaks of (it’s actually filmy fascia),  can continue to collect over time, thus limiting our range of motion. The physical practice of Yoga, the gentle stretches,  helps to decrease this by consistently keeping the muscles “Fuzz” free!

If not stretched out or released through body work (such as massage), the filmy fascia begins to coagulate and intertwine. This makes people SERIOUSLY inflexible. This is also why older people are prone to injury…their limited range of motion leads to falls!

So what’s the take away? Be patient with yourself and others; sometimes the body takes time to open. But keep up with your Yoga practice and eventually you wont be so…fuzzy. This is the whole reason Yoga is so important….