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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 30th

Healing Journey: Inspire – For Larry – Getting to Terrapin

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I am inspired in the truest sense of the word.  Spire means breath.  And I am breathing still.  I have life within me.  My muse today isn’t kind.  This day’s inspiration is quite painful.  But inspiration strikes however it will.

They come unannounced, these moments that remind me of what is most important in life.  These moments that rob me of my breath and force purpose into my next inhale.  To draw life within again.  I let the breath mingle with my soul hoping to hold it there but knowing I must exhale.  And I exhale a part of my life back out into the wind.

We share the same breath, you and I and everything.  The same wind.

Drawn within and released back out again to go on inspiring as it may.  With the grace of a gentle breeze through my hair, with the joy of a playful whirlwind of leaves or, as it has me now, with the full force of a fierce tempest through my soul.  Same wind.

I draw it in again.  Same air you exhaled.  I let life back in.  Let this breath fill me up with everything it has.  I hold it in my lungs, hold it in my heart.  I let it inspire me to love harder. Let it stir me in its bittersweet way. Then let it go.  Off into the gales that whip around me, off with a piece of my love for you. That like the wind, you will go on forever.

– 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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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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Apr 30th

Finding time that I somehow didn’t know I had …

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” As a wife, mother, RN and CCM, I am much more comfortable taking care of others rather than myself. Firmly in middle age and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, I was well aware of the gamble that I was taking with my future health. Then, a wonderful friend asked if I could come with her to Nourishing Storm. I had never done yoga and was still fairly skeptical after signing up for the 30 day introductory offering. Well, that was about 8 months ago. I typically go now about three times a week to one of the yoga classes – finding time that I somehow didn’t even know I had. I have now tried a variety of their classes, even meditation, and dream of the day that I can do a crow pose. Everyone is welcoming, kind and thoughtful. I cannot believe how quickly my fitness level has risen even with the beginner classes and some shifts have definitely occurred with my perspective on life in general. I was even pleasantly surprised when my husband asked me a few months into my yoga practice if he could come to a class noting how he saw me benefiting and was intrigued for himself. Finally, besides the fun and inviting studio and cafe atmosphere, I would be remiss if I did not mention that they also make an amazing espresso!”
– Pattie
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