And, let’s talk about why we’re talking about it.
It’s so very common to hear the quick chatter about “having an Attitude of Gratitude changes your life” or “Stinkin’ Thinkin’” or “Change your Thoughts, Change your Life” ….. but, the reality is, it’s pretty darn hard to change sometimes! And, it doesn’t matter how many affirmations you post on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or dashboard, this is Tough Stuff and the truth is: you have to get yourself to a place where you WANT to change and sometimes that’s pretty daunting.
You know I’m right! We’ve ALL felt this way. Yet here we are, right back into the holiday swing of things, and right back to facing up to things like: hey, did I meet my goals this year? How much of what was on my list did I really accomplish.
So this month let’s focus on the WHY of our practice, and by practice, we could mean doing yoga on a mat, or meditating, or just sitting in silence for five short minutes a day. Why do we constantly and continually talk about this? Because it will change your life. And, trust me, you do not have to stand on your head to make this work for you.
In our busy lives, even five minutes a day is hard to fit in. Yet I KNOW that this simple habit can save you from depression, from insomnia, anxiety, and stress.
Here are five ways to help you be strong in hard times:
And this quote by Anmol Andori, is a reminder that Yes, tough times do make things harder, but also stronger:
So, feel free to acknowledge your feelings even if they are not the most uplifting, but have a little grace for yourself and love yourself as you are, even if last year’s goals did not get all checked off.
For an easy, heartwarming yogic breathing technique to combat depression, fatigue and anxiety, try the technique below, Humming Bee Breath courtesy of http://yogicwayoflife.com
In Bhramari pranayama the humming sound is produced during slow exhalation. The eyes and ears are closed using the fingers during this process. This cuts off external sense inputs of sound and sight and helps to internalize the consciousness. The practice of Bhramari pranayama can be a prelude to Nada Yoga or the science of meditation on internal sounds.
How to do Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath)?
1. Sit in a comfortable meditative pose. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Ardha Padmasana, Swastikasana or even Sukhasana can be used as a sitting posture. Keep the spine erect. Do not do this in a lying down position.
2. Breathe normally and relax the whole body.
3. Keep the mouth closed and the teeth apart.
4. Plug both the ears with the index fingers and close the eyes. Some also use the thumb to close the ears. In this variation, the eyes are kept closed by using the middle finger.
5. Take a slow deep breath and fill the lungs fully.
6. Then exhale slowly, making a continuous humming sound from the throat. The sound should reverberate in the head.
7. Feel the sound vibration in the head. Be aware of only the continuous drone that the sound produces.
8. This drone is similar to the humming sound of the bee.
9. This is one round.
Start with 5 rounds and increase it as per your convenience.
Benefits of Bharamari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath)
1. Bhramari pranayama calms the nerves and reduces tension and anxiety.
2. It helps to reduce anger and frustrations.
3. It gives the practitioner a good sonorous voice. It can also help remove throat ailments.
4. It helps to reduce blood pressure.
5. Bhramari pranayama is a good prelude to the practice of Nada yoga. In Nada Yoga, the consciousness is internalized and practitioner meditates on the subtle internal sounds.
6. Bhramari pranayama helps to attain the state of Pratyahara, or the state of withdrawal from the senses before the start of meditation
Recipe of the Month: Minestrone Soup
On a cold winter day try cooking up a batch of this heart-warming easy Minestrone soup: Delicious!
WHOLESOME & HEARTY
“Hearty and nutritious, minestrone soup is a tasty crowd-pleaser and is super-easy to tweak according to the vegetables you have in the house.”
COOKS IN: 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES
Jamie’s Food Revolution
BY JAMIE OLIVER
1 clove of garlic
1 red onion
2 sticks of celery
1 small leek
1 large potato
1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
2 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 fresh bay leaf
2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
1 litre organic vegetable stock
1 large handful of seasonal greens , such as savoy cabbage, curly kale, chard
100 g wholemeal pasta
½ a bunch of fresh basil , optional
1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Trim and roughly chop the carrots, celery and courgette, then add the vegetables to a large bowl.
2. Cut the ends off the leek, quarter it lengthways, wash it under running water, then cut into 1cm slices. Add to the bowl.
3. Scrub and dice the potato. Drain the cannellini beans, then set aside.
4. Finely slice the bacon.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry gently for 2 minutes, or until golden.
6. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, courgette, leek, oregano and bay and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
7. Add the potato, cannellini beans and plum tomatoes, then pour in the vegetable stock. Stir well, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
8. Cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through. Meanwhile…
9. Remove and discard any tough stalks bits from the greens, then roughly chop.
10. Using a rolling pin, bash the pasta into pieces while it’s still in the packet or wrap in a clean tea towel.
11. To check the potato is cooked, pierce a chunk of it with a sharp knife – if it pierces easily, it’s done.
12. Add the greens and pasta to the pan, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. This translates as ‘to the tooth’ and means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of a bite and firmness to it. Try some just before the time is up to make sure you cook it perfectly.
13. Add a splash more stock or water to loosen, if needed.
14. Pick over the basil leaves (if using) and stir through. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then serve with a grating of Parmesan and a slice of wholemeal bread, if you like.
IN THE NEWS:
WE ARE NOW OFFERING A BI-WEEKLY (on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons) THERAPEUTIC GROUP CLASS AT OUR NEW OFFICE IN ROCHESTER HILLS
PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR APPOINTMENTS. FIRST CONSULTATION ALWAYS FREE
ALSO FORMING A CLASS FOR CARDIAC PATIENTS.
I AM TEACHING A WEEKLY CLASS IN ROCHESTER AT THE OLDER PERSONS COMMISSION FOR BREAST CANCER PATIENTS IN TREATMENT OR RECENTLY OUT OF TREATMENT.
THIS IS A STUDY FUNDED BY BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD AND DIRECTED BY OAKLAND UNIVERSITY. FREE TO PARTICIPANTS.
PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW MAY BE INTERESTED.