6 Tips For Your Best Winter Skin

February 6, 2019 | Naturopathic Medicine

Winter in Indiana.  It’s cold and dry.  The gray days have a big impact on a lot of us.  It all wears on us, and can show up on our skin.  Besides being a protective shell, skin has many functions such as regulating our body temperature, making and storing Vitamin D, and eliminating toxins. In fact, it is responsible for releasing one third of the body’s toxins.Instead of hunching over and waiting for spring to come, keep your skin soft and fresh using these six tips.HydrateWinter is such a harsh season for our skin.  The lack of humidity in the air can cause the moisture on the top layer of skin to evaporate.  Dehydrated skin can look flakey, scaly and cracked.  Staying well hydrated helps our organs to work more efficiently.  When our organs work properly, it helps to relieve the skin from the duty of sweating out toxins.  Easy ways to … Continued

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Tapas – Burn Off The Heaviness

January 2, 2019 | Yoga

The term tapas is derived from the Sanskrit root “tap” meaning “to burn.” Tapas can mean either cultivating restraint or burning away impurities physically, mentally and emotionally.  It implies a sense of fiery discipline or passion. Tapas also refers to the heat that gets our heart pumping and motivates us toward change. Lois Nesbitt (yoga teacher) described the heat of tapas as coming from “the friction generated by going against the grain of habit, of complacency, of doing what is easiest” (2009, para. 5). The purpose of tapas is to burn off the heaviness in our bodies, energy flow, and mental processes to awaken the dormant energy within.  You can activate tapas during asana, pranayama and meditative yogic practices. Tapas in Yoga PracticeDuring asana (the physical practice of yoga), tapas can be the simple discipline of making time for our personal practice. It can also apply to the type of practice we do – … Continued

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TLC for a Healthy, Happy Gut

November 27, 2018 | Naturopathic Medicine

The digestive system is the power center of the body. There are more organs in this system than any other system. It keeps things moving in the right direction. Regular bowel movements are the cornerstone of good health as can ensure proper detoxification and absorption of nutrients. Anything interfering with these processes interferes with energy, sleep, mood, immune function and more. Therefore chronic constipation may lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, yeast overgrowth (candida), migraines and allergies. As a naturopathic doctor, chronic constipation is a common issue that I help address. After each meal, you should produce a bowel movement. Although it is very common, finding the underlying cause can be complex and differ from person to person.  Blanket treatments such as laxatives often do not address the true issue and long term use can come with side effects. The body is very complex and the root issue must be found for overall health.   Constipation is usually a symptom of other issues caused … Continued

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6 Steps to Begin a Meditation Practice (and why do it)

November 2, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Have you heard that you should meditate? There are many potential benefits from meditating like reducing your stress, clearing your mind, feeling less tired, getting happier, etc. Interested, but not sure what this meditation stuff is?The practice of meditation is simple. Find a place to sit or lie down, close your eyes, and focus your attention on one thing (like your breath or sensations or visual aid). Actually practicing meditation is not so easy.Some folks get caught in the “I don’t have time for this” barrier. It feels like you’re doing nothing and there are SO MANY things to do! Some folks sit still and just fall asleep – so you get a nice nap, but no enlightenment.Some people try meditating and get frustrated with the constant chatter of their mind. They feel that they are not good at meditating, so why waste the time.Some people can set aside time … Continued

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Yoga for Hip Mobility

October 17, 2018 | Yoga Movement Therapy

Maintaining a balance between strength and flexibility in the hips is essential for general movement throughout the day, decreasing your risk of injury, and/or reducing pain. If you are an athlete, avid runner or naturally tight in this area of the body, practicing hip opening poses on a regular basis can be helpful in maintaining healthy mobility. Check out one of my favorite yoga flows to improve your hip mobility!

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Expect Obstacles!

October 4, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Yoga philosophy is based on the idea of evolution toward mental clarity and reduced suffering. Patanjali described in the Yoga Sutras methods for achieving this goal. Three consecutive sutras (1.30-1.32) describe potential obstacles along the path and how to overcome them.1.30 vyadhi styana samshaya pramada alasya avirati bhranti-darshana alabdha-bhumikatva anavasthitatva chitta vikshepa te antarayahDistractions arise (disease; dullness; doubt; carelessness; laziness; craving; distorted perspective; inability to know the true meaning and purpose of one’s practice; and inability to remain grounded) as obstacles naturally encountered on the path of evolution and self-awareness.1.31 duhkha daurmanasya angam-ejayatva shvasa prashvasah vikshepa sahabhuvaAs a result of encountering the obstacles listed in the previous sutra, four consequences arise: 1) duhkha = mental or physical pain, 2) daumanasya = sadness or dejection, 3) angam-ejayatva = shakiness or restlessness, and 4) shvasa/prashvasah = irregularities in the inhalation/exhalation.1.32 tat pratisedha artham eka tattva abhyasahTo prevent or deal with these nine … Continued

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Sthira & Sukha: Stability & Ease

August 31, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, sutra 2.46 is “sthira-sukham asanam”. This sutra is commonly understood as “yoga postures should be stable, and the body be at ease.” This understanding focuses the practice of yoga postures and movements.  Aiming for steadiness and ease when practicing yoga movement is a valuable concept, but there is a deeper meaning.Patanjali used the sutras to describe a path toward developing samadhi, cultivating mental focus and clarity. In this perspective, this sutra would referr to the quality of a practitioner’s meditation pose or seated posture. The practice of asana leads to an ease in the body and allows for extended time in physical stillness to shift the practice to concerns of the mind.Yoga postures should be stable, and the body be at ease – sutra 2.46A more literal translation of the sutra could be “in yoga, we should resolutely abide in a good space.” Sthira etymologically … Continued

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Learning to Breathe

May 11, 2018 | Yoga Philosophy

Pranayama is the yogic practice of breath control. This Sanskrit term is made up of two smaller words; prana and ayama. The term prana refers to the subtle energy that pervades all things. Ayama translated as “to stretch” or to expand. The practice of controlling breath allows us to expand breath capacity and manage subtle energies.Pranayama is also the fourth limb in Patanjali’s 8-Fold path as described in the Yoga Sutras. According to the sutra 2.50 (bahya abhyantara stambha vrittih desha kala sankhyabhih paridrishtah dirgha sukshmah):“Pranayama has three aspects of external or outward flow (exhalation), internal or inward flow (inhalation), and the third, which is the absence of both during the transition between them, and is known as fixedness, retention, or suspension. These are regulated by place, time, and number, with breath becoming slow and subtle.” – translation from SwamiJ.comThe mechanics of breath involve the process of pulling in oxygen … Continued

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Calf Envy

March 29, 2018 | Yoga

Before yoga class this morning my students were talking about what they wanted to work on in class. Several of them had lower back issues.Another confided to me that she’s trying to gain weight.

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