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Oct 31st

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose

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Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna) – Upward Facing Dog Pose

In Downward Facing dog we ground down and turn inward, while in Upward Facing Dog we turn up, lift and open the heart. As well as being a powerful heart opener, it is a backbend, and when performed in a gentle way as all backbends should be, it will create space and warmth within the heart center as well as release through the back. This pose can be done alone holding for a few breaths or as a pose in a vinyasa sequence after chaturanga and before downward facing dog.

Benefits (from yogajournal.com)

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists
  • Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
  • Firms the buttocks
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica
  • Therapeutic for asthma

(more…)

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Oct 30th

Oil of the Month – Arise {Enlightening Blend}

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Emotions are a complex sum of the activity of multiple systems in the brain and body. For instance, think back to a day when you had a lot on your mind but just a few hours of sleep to get you through everything. Your central nervous system was probably agitated and stressed, while your periphery nervous system probably felt sluggish and struggled to keep up. As you can see, a single stimulus can affect multiple body systems in different ways, causing a complex response that can be just as complex to manage. With this complexity in mind, doTERRA scientists and yoga specialist Elena Brower worked together to design doTERRA Arise, a new blend that helps calm the mind and energize the body. This unique combination of invigoration and relaxation promotes profound feelings like freedom, inspiration, and enlightenment.

(more…)

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Oct 13th

Anjaneyasana (AHN-jah-nay-AHS-uh-nuh)

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Crescent Lunge or Anjaneyasana is a dynamic standing pose that energizes and utilizes major muscle groups in the body. It strengthens and stretches both upper and lower body, all while creating balance and awareness. This pose can be met with great enthusiasm as it can meet anyone at any level in their practice (yes, even those with sciatica pain!). For beginners this pose can be gentle with the support of the opposite knee on the earth with a mild backbend incorporated if wanted and for advanced students the knee can be lifted, deep backbend met or twist/binds added.

Benefits (from gaia.com)
  • Strengthens your quadriceps and gluteus muscles
  • Stretches the hips
  • Relieves sciatica pain
  • Expands and opens the chest, lungs and shoulders
  • Engages and tones thighs
  • Prepares the body for childbirth by creating more room in the pelvis
Directions
  • Start in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
  • On exhalation step right foot through and place inside right palm. Line up right ankle up with right knee and lower left knee to the earth keeping it behind the hips. Toes can stay curled under for stability or lower to the top of the foot to the earth.
  • On inhalation raise torso and sweep arms up and over your head with palms facing each other. Relax shoulders down and away from the ears allowing the shoulder blades to roll down the back. On the next exhale allow the hips to relax forward and down until you feel a nice stretch in the front of the left leg.
  • Slightly tuck the tailbone, lengthening your back muscles and engaging the core. Start to draw you thumbs back (even hooking thumbs if you’d like), lift through the heart and shift gaze up for a little backbend.
  • Stay here with the supported leg down or curl toes under if they weren’t already, lift the left knee and lengthen leg for Full Crescent Lunge.
  • To come out of pose frame the right foot with palms and step back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat with the left leg forward.
Variations
  • Palms can touch when raised overhead or palms come to the sides for a “V” shape.
  • Add a twist by bringing hands to heart center and twisting to the right first or place left palm to the inside of the right foot on the earth or a block and twist open to the right.
  • For advanced students you can add a bind by coming to a twist to the right, allowing the left forearm to press into the outer right thigh, right arm comes behind you and clasp hands together between the legs (use a strap or scarf to build to full bind).
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Jul 30th

Healing Journey: Freedom – None but Ourselves

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Freedom cannot be given to you and neither can be it be taken away. It isn’t a right or a privilege. It cannot be granted. Not true freedom.

True freedom has nothing to do with politics, religion or money though there are some who may hope we believe it does. Holding on to true freedom in this world requires a constant bravery. Exercising true freedom requires a commitment to truth and integrity. And understanding true freedom requires a deep reverence for all life and a deep respect for ourselves. Freedom cannot be bought or sold, it cannot be taught or learned. But like all precious Truths, freedom must be realized.

In the discovery that we are each our own, we find our freedom. When we realize we are not like anyone else and our freedom will not look like anyone else’s. When we understand that we are under no obligation to be anything but ourselves. That is freedom. An empowering freedom, because it is completely our own. No one can take it. And no one can wake us up to it and bring us to our fullest potential, though some may feel more powerful if we stay asleep.

When we realize our freedom lies within and we open up to it, we open to the true power of being ourselves. The power in being willing to follow our hearts and souls through this life. When we are not preoccupied with others’ perceptions or judgements we can be fully occupied with our own inspiration and imagination. And suddenly, our whole world may change. For true freedom lives where the liberated mind and courageous heart unite.

If, right now, you feel alone and unfree, if you have not discovered your freedom, I beg you to look again. In some place deep within your boundless soul, you know you are your own. Maybe it was hidden away, maybe you let it slip or maybe you were told it does not exist for you. But it is there. This untouchable place where you know you are whole and you are enough. That you are the stars. It is there. Look. Within you.

When you find it, you will know that all that has happened to you, all that has been taken from you, all that you have survived, my dear, is all just part of your story. And if or when you have fear for what comes next, remember it is you who holds the pen. It is you with your own heart and your own mind that decides how your story goes. When you remember this superpower of yours, sweet darling, you will be free.

Nikki is a Mother, Wife, Healer, Hopeful Suburban Homesteader acknowledges words are her mind’s tools; writing her soul’s craft; and this circus of life her heart’s muse. Read more from Nikki here on her blog, The Way I Bee. Nikki’s massage therapy and energy healing, including reiki/cranio with some spontaneous journey work, are part of the offerings at Nourishing Storm Wellness Company.

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Jun 16th

Watermelon Salad

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Today we are talking Watermelon! Watermelon is one of those “super fruits”, there is so many benefits there’s too many to list!

Benefits of Watermelon:

– High in Antioxidants
– Helps lower Blood Pressure: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common condition seen in primary care and commonly leads to heart attacks, strokes, and other fatal diseases if untreated. Clinical trials have shown that supplementation with watermelon and watermelon juices can actually reduce your aortic blood pressure and may even provide cardio protection to keep your heart healthy and working smoothly
– Helps Detox the Kidneys: There’s an abundant supply of calcium and potassium, each of which contribute to helping flush out the toxins in the kidneys
– Cancer Fighting: Lycopene, found in Watermelon, is a dietary component that seems to interfere with the numerous stages in the development of cancer. With the incredible antioxidant potential and the impact of lycopene, all factors make this amazing fruit an even better cancer-fighting food.
– Weight Loss
– Healthy Bones, Skin & Hair

When shopping for watermelon:

– Choose fruit with the deepest color of flesh and without any white streaking
– If the seeds are visible (pre-cut), make sure they are also deep in color or white
– Heavy watermelon means more water, which means the fruit is riper.
– Knocking on the watermelon can also tell you whether or not the watermelon is satisfactory. A fully ripened watermelon should have a deep, hollow sound when you knock on it rather than a solid, shallow sound.

Watermelon Salad Recipe:
4 cups of fresh watermelon, cubed
1 cup of feta, cubed or crumbled
Handful of chopped mint
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1/2 a lime, juiced
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Start by removing the skin of the watermelon and the seeds & cut into small cubes and place in a salad bowl
2. Cut the feta into similar sized cubes and add to the watermelon
3. Chop the fresh mint into small pieces and sprinkle over the salad
4. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lime, sea salt and black pepper
5. Pour over the watermelon salad before serving and gently toss to coat the salad evenly
6. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until serving

Alternatives:
– instead of dressing from above use a balsamic glaze
– make it a meal and top it on arugula or spinach
– add nut of your choice for added crunch
– top with some fresh basil!!

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