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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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Jun 1st

Utthita Tadasana – Five-Pointed Star Pose

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Five-Pointed Star Pose is an active, invigorating yoga pose that energizes the body and improves posture, bringing balance in all areas of your life. Its open stance feels expansive, and it is often considered to be a pose that brings joy and allows the heart to shine! Practicing this pose on a regular basis will bring poise, strength, and equanimity to your everyday routine! You can practice Star Pose anytime you need an extra burst of openness and joy!

Directions

1.Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) at the top of your mat with your arms at your sides. Bring your hands to rest comfortably on your hips.

2. Turn to the right and step your feet wide apart. Turn your toes out slightly, so they point to the corners of your mat.

3. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder-height with your palms facing forward. Your feet and wrists should be about the same distance apart; adjust your stance if needed.

4. Press down through your heels and straighten your legs fully, but do not lock or hyperextend your knees. Ground your feet firmly into the earth, pressing evenly across all four corners of both feet.

5. Tuck in your tailbone slightly, but don’t round your lower back. Lift the back of your thighs, but release your buttocks.

6. Bring your pelvis to its neutral position. Do not let your front hip bones point down or up. Instead, point them straight forward. Draw your belly in slightly.

7. As you inhale, elongate through your torso. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head.

8. Spread your fingers and reach out strongly through your fingertips.

9. Broaden across your collarbones.

10. Elongate your neck. Your ears, shoulders, and hips should all be in one line.

11. Keep your breath smooth and even. With each exhalation, feel your body elongating in all directions: Up, down, left, right, forward, and backward. Softly gaze forward toward the horizon. Hold the pose for up to one minute, and then release your arms to your sides and step your feet back together at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose.

Benefits

– stretches and lengthens the body in all directions at once
– improve posture and reduce back and shoulder pain
– strengthens the legs, ankles, abdomen, and back
– reduce the effects of sciatica and flat feet
– improves circulation and respiration
– relieve stress and improve concentration

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May 5th

Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Dolphin Pose

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Dolphin Pose – Variation with Leg Lift – Peacock Pose *No cats were harmed during photoshoot*

If you lift weights, play sports, draw, work on a computer, play guitar, or play video games, you might be familiar with sore wrists. Additionally, women who are pregnant often get carpal tunnel syndrome, and Dolphin Pose can be a useful modification to their regular pre-natal yoga practice!

Practicing Dolphin Pose can be a great way to warm, strengthen, and stretch your whole body. It’s also a great modification for those with wrist troubles in Downward Facing Dog. It adds variety and fun to your practice, while challenging your muscles and inspiring your mind. Vary your practice with Dolphin Pose and you might discover joy and freedom in movement, just like those friendly creatures of the sea!

Directions

1. Do not practice Dolphin Pose if you have a recent or current shoulder, back, arm, or neck injury. Also avoid this pose if you have high blood pressure, or infections of the eye or inner ear.

2. Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips.

3. Lower your elbows to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel to each other and to the side edges of your mat. Distribute your weight evenly across both forearms.

4. Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Keep your knees bent as you lengthen your spine and broaden across your shoulder blades.

5. Then, gently begin to straighten your legs. Bring your torso and legs into the shape of an “A.” Do not walk your feet closer to your hands — keep the extension of your whole body. If your upper back begins to round, bend your knees again until your spine is straight.

6. Align your ears with your upper arms. Relax your head, but do not let it dangle. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.

7. Hold for 5-25 breaths.

8. To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to the floor. Press back into Child’s Pose and relax.

Benefits
– Relief from headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and mild depression
– Improved memory and concentration
– Relief from stress and anxiety
– Improved digestion
– Relief from back pain
– Prevention of osteoporosis
– Relief from sinusitis, asthma, flat feet, and menstrual discomfort

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Mar 31st

Paripurna Navasana – Boat Pose

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Paripurna Navasana (nah-VAHS-uh-nuh)

Strengthen your core and cultivate resilience. Boat Pose is accessible to most since there are variations to keep hands and toes/feet on the earth. Overtime and with a little resilience to not give up on the pose, you can have a beautiful boat that you can melt into with ease.

Directions
1. Begin seated with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands resting beside your hips.
2. Keeping your spine straight, lean back slightly and lift your feet, bringing your shins parallel to the floor.
3. Draw in your low back, lift your chest, and lengthen the front of your torso. Then, extend your arms forward, in line with your shoulders with your palms facing each other.
4. Balance on your sit bones, keeping your spine straight. Take care not to let your lower back sag or chest collapse.
5. Lengthen the front of your torso from your pubic bone to the top of your sternum.
6. With an exhalation, straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle from the ground, bringing your body into a “V” shape.
7. Keep your breath easy, steady, and smooth. Focus your awareness within. Soften your eyes and your face. Gaze at your toes.
8. Spread your shoulder blades wide and reach out through your fingers, actively engaging your hands.
9. Stay in the pose for five breaths. To release the pose, exhale as you lower your legs and hands to the floor.

Benefits (from yogajournal.com)
Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine
Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines
Helps relieve stress
Improves digestion

Variations
Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)- Recline back, bringing your hands and toes closer to the floor as you continue to draw your belly in and up while you build core strength
To go deeper, add a flow by extending your legs straight out while your shoulders lower back and then hug your knees into your chest and repeat.

Modifications
Bend the knees, can hold the outside of the legs lightly
Bend the knees, toes to floor

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