HolisticGoddess

Holistic lifestyle, healthy eating, yoga, & Life!


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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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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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People Can Draw Energy From Other People The Same Way Plants Do….

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/people-can-draw-energy-people-way-plants.html

https://i0.wp.com/themindunleashed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/auraa.jpg

A biological research team at Bielefeld University has made a groundbreaking discovery showing that plants can draw an alternative source of energy from other plants. This finding could also have a major impact on the future of bioenergy eventually providing the evidence to show that people draw energy from others in much the same way.

Members of Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse’s biological research team have confirmed for the first time that a plant, the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, not only engages in photosynthesis, but also has an alternative source of energy: it can draw it from other plants. The research findings were released this week in the online journal Nature Communications published by the renowned journal Nature.

Flowers need water and light to grow and people are no different. Our physical bodies are like sponges, soaking up the environment. “This is exactly why there are certain people who feel uncomfortable in specific group settings where there is a mix of energy and emotions,” said psychologist and energy healer Dr. Olivia Bader-Lee.

Plants engage in the photosynthesis of carbon dioxide, water, and light. In a series of experiments, Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse and his team cultivated the microscopically small green alga species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and observed that when faced with a shortage of energy, these single-cell plants can draw energy from neighboring vegetable cellulose instead. The alga secretes enzymes (so-called cellulose enzymes) that ‘digest’ the cellulose, breaking it down into smaller sugar components. These are then transported into the cells and transformed into a source of energy: the alga can continue to grow. ‘This is the first time that such a behavior has been confirmed in a vegetable organism’, says Professor Kruse.‘That algae can digest cellulose contradicts every previous textbook. To a certain extent, what we are seeing is plants eating plants’. Currently, the scientists are studying whether this mechanism can also be found in other types of alga. Preliminary findings indicate that this is the case.

“When energy studies become more advanced in the coming years, we will eventually see this translated to human beings as well,” stated Bader-Lee. “The human organism is very much like a plant, it draws needed energy to feed emotional states and this can essentially energize cells or cause increases in cortisol and catabolize cells depending on the emotional trigger.”

peopleBader-Lee suggests that the field of bio-energy is now ever evolving and that studies on the plant and animal world will soon translate and demonstrate what energy metaphysicians have known all along — that humans can heal each other simply through energy transfer just as plants do. “Human can absorb and heal through other humans, animals, and any part of nature. That’s why being around nature is often uplifting and energizing for so many people,” she concluded.


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The Benefits of Pranayama (the yogic science of breath)

Right now, bring your attention to your breath…….Ok, good!

Now take a deep inhale in…….then slowly exhale. Doesn’t that feel good? Now repeat….

Breathing is such an important part of our daily lives that we don’t even take time to notice it….it just comes naturally. Our breathing patterns are constantly changing throughout the day depending on our emotional state. When we’re feeling tense, angry, stressed, or anxious, our breathing becomes more concentrated in our chest, hence all the “huffin n’ puffin”  that goes on. When we’re in a state of relaxation however, whether we’re reading a good book, in the company of those we cherish, listening to relaxing music, or just before that moment we go into a sleep state, our breathing will be more focused in our lower abdomen.

When we breathe through our upper chest, the oxygen intake is cut short, so we’re not able to relax…and think clearly. On the other hand, if we learn to breath deep into the lower part of our lungs, the lower belly, more oxygen is being taken in…hence more oxygen to the brain. Now you get the point?

When we’re born, we all breathe the correct way. Babies don’t even think about it, it just happens. It’s when we grow and start to form words and sentences that we change this pattern and become chest breathers. The goal in practicing yogic breathing is to breathe into the bottom of our lungs, THEN carry it up into our upper chest, and breathe out. So we’re able to stay focused and centered….no matter what’s going on outside of us.

There’s a breathing technique used in yoga called Ujjayi, pronounced: OO-JAH-ee, (Ocean breath). The English translation means “To become victorious” or “To gain mastery”.  This particular style of breathing is said to enhance yoga practice and balance both sides of the brain as well as increase oxygen production in the body.

To create Ujjayi, first start with slow breaths, taking a deep inhale into the lower abdomen, flowing it into the upper chest, then as you begin to exhale, constrict the back of the throat…similar to the constriction made when speaking in a whisper. Therefore, it is an audible breath that is often compared to the sound of the ocean. Although there is constriction in the throat, Ujjayi breath flows in & out through the nostrils, with the lips remaining gently closed.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Balancing both the left & right sides of the brain
  • Keeps us in the present moment, diminished distractions and allows you to become self aware grounded
  • Instills endurance in yoga practice & creates a meditative quality that maintains the rhythm of movement
  • Releases tension and tight areas in the body
  • Additional benefits include:  Diminish pain from headaches, decreases phlegm production, & strengthening of the nervous and digestive systems

So whether you’re on or off the yoga mat,  listen to & pay close attention to your breath. It will tell you a lot about how you’re feeling at the moment. Practice relaxing the muscles of the face as you breathe. I find that relaxing the face can have a domino affect on the rest of our bodies in helping to release any tension we may be holding on to at the moment.

Remember,

Breathe…Relax…..and SMILE! 😀


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The Journey to Self-Love…..

As we are constantly bombarded with “perfect” images of what we’re supposed to look like…. from the media, magazines, the internet…..even friends and family,  sometimes they try to make it difficult to look at yourself as anything but the box that you’re put into. To be able to consistently see, feel, touch, and know the greatness inside ourselves takes practice. Because a lot of times, the things we’re told about how we look & feel about ourselves runs deep…..sometimes all the way from childhood.  But with consistent practice, this idea can be transformed in 3 easy steps……

The first step would be to separate yourself from toxic comments and thoughts of others. This may go as far as completely separating them from your life. The people you may have grown up with or been in a relationship or friendship with for a long time may only be able to see you one way….as the image they have in their minds of you…..and nothing else. Only when they’re evolved to the point of expanding their mind can they be able to see the beauty and strength that lies inside you, and help bring it out of you, instead of trying to constantly tear you down . Since we are ALWAYS changing, growing, and evolving, those kind of people are poison to the mind and will leave you stagnant. The more you listen….the more you get sick. There will be a constant battle between learning to love yourself and to try to prove to others that you do. If you have to try to prove that to anyone, then you might as well look at it as a second job…

The second step is to begin to surround yourself with positive,  energizing people and images. Do your friends, family and relationships help bring out the best in you?….or the stress in you? Who or what do you look up to for inspiration? Do you read any uplifting books ? Do you take time to notice the little things we tend to take for granted in life? Such as: the wind brushing up against your face, hearing the birds as the sing in the trees, noticing the beauty of the night sky as the stars shine in the vastness of our universe. What kinds of things are you saying to and about yourself out loud and mentally? Our mind & bodies are like big “tape recorders”…..always listening, even to our own voice. And it will believe whatever we say to it. Always say nothing but loving and positive things to and about yourself….

Starting with the first time you get up in the morning…..yup, I said it! Look yourself in the mirror, this might be uncomfortable in the beginning and you even may giggle, lol! But the journey to self-love always starts with YOU! In the mirror, start by saying sweet things to yourself like “You are so beautiful!” or “Look at you…..you sexy beast!” Say it…and mean it!  Get bold, get creative! It might feel very weird at first, but when you begin to see the beauty in yourself FIRST, others will too. It begins to draw people to you like a magnet! Try this for at least 21 days non-stop and notice the difference…. 🙂

Photo: THE HEART: A multi-chambered, muscular organ with pipes(arteries), crisscrossed with electrical circuitry, that pumps at a constant rhythm to carry oxygen and nutrients within the blood throughout th entire body. This rhythmic pumping also ...creates a magnetic field at the heart center that encases the entire body. My Question is: What is the connection between or is there a connection at all, between the literal heart and the figurative heart? between the physical heart and the mystical heart? FORUM IS OPEN: <3 Good Afternoon and Namaste <3

The third and final step is to begin to do something healthy and beneficial for your mind and body. For the mind, meditation is a great place to start. Even if you have “monkey-brain” like I do and your brain just won’t shut the hell up, it is possible. Instead of just closing your eyes and forcing your brain to be quiet, because believe me, your brain WILL start to fight back by by giving you all kinds of images out of nowhere and making you think of the most craziest things like “Did I pay that phone bill?” or “I can’t believe what so-and-so said to me the other day!” Then you begin to think of comeback lines you should have said to that person, then you’ll start to regret not saying those things to them in the first place and…….there you go……you brain won, and you lost. See what I’m talking about?

Start by closing your eyes &  focusing on the breath, notice HOW you are breathing at first…without changing anything. Then begin to notice little things like the coolness of the air as you inhale, the coolness of the air in the back of the throat, then equally notice the now warm air as it flows through the back of the throat and out the nostrils, deepen the inhale and exhale, breathing to the lower belly first then carrying it up to the upper chest….then slowly exhale.

See…the goal isn’t to totally quiet the mind, but to keep the brain occupied with something else….in this case, the breath. If your starting out, first try it for 5 mins., then 10, 15, and so forth. And before you know it, the time will pass you by and you will feel so much better, calmer, and more centered.

For the body, exercise is the natural “feel good” remedy! It increases endorphins in the mind & body and helps us to feel and sleep better. Something simple as taking a walk around the block will make you feel the difference almost immediately!

So, the journey to self-love may indeed feel like a long, winding road, but the the feeling of finally being able to reach your destination of Peace, Love & Joy, to go from seeing yourself as a plain piece of coal to a diamond, shining brightly from the inside out is priceless….makes it  oh so worth it ! ❤ 🙂


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This is your brain. This is your brain on Yoga…..any questions?

Meditation is good medication for the brain…. 🙂

http://yogainternational.com/article/view/this-is-your-brain-on-yoga

We all know that yoga does wonders for the mind. Even novices of asana, pranayama, and meditation report feeling increased mental stability and clarity during and after practice. Now, thanks to sophisticated brain imaging technologies, neuroscience is proving what teachers and practitioners have known for ages—that yoga and meditation can literally change your brain. But what exactly is going on up there? Take a peek inside—a basic understanding of brain anatomy and function can serve as a handy road map for your inner journey.

The frontal lobe is the hub of higher cognitive functions—including planning, discriminating, abstract thinking, personality, and behavior. The Bihar School refers to the breathing practice of kapalabhati as “frontal brain purification,” due to the rejuvenating effects it has on this area of the brain.

Known as the seat of conscious functioning, the cerebrum is the largest part of your brain. It’s divided into right and left hemispheres. On the physical level, the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right. On the level of the subtle body, ida nadi (the lunar energy channel) is connected to the right half of the brain, and pingala nadi (the solar energy channel) is connected to the left side of the brain.

The pituitary gland is related to the sixth, or ajna, chakra. Ajna literally means “command center.”
The anterior part of the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, is the most evolved part of the brain and is responsible for positive capacities like concentration, happiness, creativity, and rational thinking. Studies using EEG have shown that meditation strengthens communication between the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain.

Roughly the size of a pea, the pituitary gland is the endocrine system’s master gland, producing and releasing hormones that control growth, metabolism, and the function of other hormones. On a more subtle level, the pituitary gland is related to the sixth, or ajna, chakra. Ajna literally means “command center.”

Neurotransmitters serve as the brain’s chemical messengers, relaying information between nerve cells. Neurological disorders are often the result of a neurotransmitter snafu—for instance, low levels of a neuro-transmitter known as GABA are linked to depression and anxiety. Recent studies show an association between regular asana practice and increased GABA levels.

The brain stem, which connects the brain and the spinal cord, plays a crucial role in digestion, heart rate, and diaphragmatic breathing. Neurons found in the brain stem send a nerve impulse to the diaphragm, which causes it to contract, thereby initiating inhalation.

A 2010 study found that subjects who meditated 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala—which is linked to fear and anxiety.
The cerebellum controls balance, muscle coordination, reflexes, and movement. Asana would be impossible without it.

The limbic system is comprised of structures related to memory and emotion, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus. A 2010 study found that subjects who meditated 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala—which is linked to fear and anxiety—and an increase of gray matter in the hippocampus, which plays a vital role in memory formation.

As the primary visual processing center of the brain, the occipital lobe helps you follow along visually in yoga class. And you can thank the temporal lobe for your ability to process verbal asana cues—it’s responsible for auditory perception.

The parietal lobe is associated with limb movement, understanding speech, and sensing pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in April 2011, brain scans of this region demonstrated that mindfulness meditation can dramatically reduce sensitivity to pain—even more so than morphine.