Supine Breathing Teacher aka Diaphragmatic Breathing

This exercise will encourage you to return to the natural form of breathing. During times of stress we automatically revert to chest breathing and can easily become locked into this pattern. This style of breathing drives the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) responsible for our stress response. Things such as caffeine, sugar, a frenetic lifestyle and stressful job will all push us further into the chest breathing and stress responses which can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Diaphragmatic Breathing is hugely relaxing and helps to switch the body back into its PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) pathway which is one of rest/repair/digest.

Breathing Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Lie on your back with your knees bent.

2 – Place 2 light weight, church candles or tin cans, once over the belly button and one on the chest, support with your hands.

3 – Inhale through the nose, into the stomach allowing the weight over your belly button to rise, then slowly breath into the chest allowing the weight here to rise.

4 – Gently pull the belly button in towards the spine as you exhale through the lips.

5 – Over time slowly allow your legs to straighten out, eventually you will be able to to this on your side, all fours, kneeling and eventually standing.

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The mineral magnesium is truly healing reducing PMS, migraines, headaches and muscle cramps. It also promotes relaxation and can support good quality sleep! Making your own easy to use, inexpensive magnesium oil spray is a great natural support supplement.

Ingredients:
1 cup beauty grade magnesium salts/flakes
1 cup mineral water
Glass spray bottle

Did you know that magnesium is:
•    Needed for more than 300 enzyme reactions in your body
•    Relaxes the muscles
•    Required for stable blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. Sugar consumption actually depletes magnesium
•    Vital for cardiovascular health
•    Key for balancing hormones for both men and women because it supports balanced minerals in the body
•    Needed in increased quantities during periods of increased emotional or physical stress, since stress burns through magnesium stores
•    Essential for mood regulation, particularly reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of wellbeing

The winter months in nature are focused on a conservation of energy and like nature pushing ourselves too hard physically will only leave us tired, unwell and prone to injury at this time of year, if we are not careful.
Working In and being outdoors in winter is crucial to our physical health so this month’s exercise focuses on bringing energy or Chi back into the body. Try this exercise each day in the morning for an instant burst of uplifting energy. We love defying the winter chill and getting out barefoot in our garden as the sun rises to perform this simple pattern, giving us a reall boost of energy and vitality!

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Adrian enjoying his practice on the beach in Sardinia last year 🙂

  • Stand with your rams raised straight out in front of you
  • Inhale and bring your hands back in towards your body
  • Exhale and push your arms straight out with the intent of projecting energy from your core out of your arms and hands
  • Repeat, pushing to the centre, front left, front right and back left and back right
  • As you push to the sides and back, keep your feet planted and turn your body towards the direction you are pushing
  • For the back position, only go as far as you can comfortably. Do not over rotate your spine.The motion through the rib cage massages the organs of digestion

 

Overcoming the Winter Blues Naturally
In the UK it has become a bit of standing joke to talk about the weather. I am sure we are known in other countries as the country who incessantly moans about the weather 😉 Now unless you are planning to up sticks and move to a different country the general pattern for our weather is not likely to change drastically anytime soon. Winter brings with it, shorter daylight hours, colder temperature, grey skies and plenty of wind and rain.

This time of year particularly January and February can also feel depressing after all of the fun and frivolities of the festive season so how do we combat the winter blues so that we don’t drive everyone around us crazy with our depressed and lethargic demeanor?

Well getting clear on how you are actually feeling is step one. Stop; take a minute and truly feel your feelings and think your thoughts… sounds weird right? BUT it really works. Once you have felt and thought, joy down what you have noticed. Are you experiencing:

  • Lethargy
  • Low mood / apathy
  •  Low libido
  • Increased hunger Cravings for carb based foods
  • Withdrawal from friends and family / social situations
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Difficulty waking and getting up in the morning

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Image supplied by David Goehring

Most of will have a ticked a couple of these, no matter what time of year it is, however if you have ticked most of them, or notice a marked difference in how you feel in the summer months to the winter months then you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or a big, black, cloud shaped dose of the Winter Blues.

SAD defined:
A combination of a change in seasonal light, our hectic lifestyles and the periods of darker days and poorer weather, can result in dramatic effects on our circadian rhythms. These factors have diminished the body’s natural ability to regulate the body clock and this work/life change has resulted in a dramatic increase in light deficiency symptoms.
Historically we only ever worked outdoors; two hundred years ago 75% of the population worked outdoors now less than 10% of the population work in natural outdoor light. Whilst this is fine in the Summer months when there are longer daylight hours, in the Winter months, people tend to go to work in the dark and go home in the dark and don’t get to enough natural daylight.
Like many mammals in the natural world, the human body responds to light. As a result our bodies are tuned in to the daylight hours in order to maintain our circadian rhythms. These rhythms regulate many important bodily functions and if you do not receive the correct daylight signals at the correct time this can have significant affects on your well being. Circadian Rhythms help to regulate and control; food digestion, appetite for food, energy levels, sleep quality and length, and mood. Your Circadian Rhythm are effectively your body’s internal clock and if these rhythms are disrupted it can result in you suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (excerpt taken from http://www.sad.org.uk )

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Combating the Winter Blues Tips:
1.    Get to bed on time and create consistency. The ideal time is 10:30pm, with 8 hours minimum being shown as the bare minimum we should be looking to get for optimal health
2.    Get out in nature every day for at least 15minutes. A simple walk around the block is better than nothing
3.    Purchase a lumi lamp to help regulate and balance hormone levels http://www.lumi.com
4.    Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar consumption as it will only make your peaks and troughs in mood and energy worse and disrupt your sleep further
5.    Join some type of social activity that you find fun, engaging and inspiring. We have just started Salsa classes with some friends, we are terrible at it but it is incredibly good fun and releases a big dose of feel good hormones as we laugh off our poorly timed dance steps!

If you suffer from asthma, allergies, winter depression or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) this natural little salt lamp could be just the ticket. This is one of our favourite holistic home gadgets, we love it’s healing properties and it looks so beautiful lit up too! You can also purchase salt tea light holders of all shapes and sizes.

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Image supplied by Darcy

 

Salt Lamp Benefits:

Salt lamps are prized for their negative ion production. They attract moisture from the air to the lamp surface, where, due to the warmth, the water evaporates quickly. The evaporation produces negative ions (source).

Pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and allergens in the air all carry a positive charge, and that is how they can be suspended in the air. The negative ions neutralize these positive ions so they can no longer be airborne.

Numerous studies show that negative ions boost mood, relieve seasonal affective disorder, and improve breathing problems such as asthma.

At this time of year cough, colds and sinus infections are common place. Instead of reaching for chemical filled vapour rubs why not make your own?

365.184: Garden herbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image supplied by Jessica Spengler
1/2 cup organic coconut oil

2 Tbsp. beeswax

4 drops peppermint essential oil

4 drops eucalyptus essential oil

3 drops rosemary essential oil

3 drops lavender essential oil

 

 

To Make:

1. Melt the oil and beeswax base in a Bain Marie. Remove from the heat.

2. Add the oils one at a time, mixing each drop thoroughly into the base oil.

3. Once you have thoroughly mixed the oils into the base, let cool a bit, just enough to test on your skin.

4. Smell and test the batch on the inside of your wrist.  If the rub is too strong, melt the rub again and blend in a little more coconut oil to dilute. If the rub doesn’t smell strong enough, add 1 or more drop of each essential oil until you reach your preferred strength.

5. Pour finished rub chest and upper back for relief of chest and sinus congestion, as needed.

6. Store in the fridge, lasts indefinitely.

 

Original recipe from Small Family Footprint

Believe it or not healthy living does NOT have to be complicated, difficult or expensive. If you don’t believe us check out our simple tips below and have a go. You can make conscious decision to begin a healthy lifestyle right away Holiday season or not!

1 – Swap your breakfast cereal for a vitamin rich smoothie or juice at least every other day to super boost your vitamins, minerals and enzymes for a stronger immune system, less coughs and colds.

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Image supplied by bertholf

2 – Swap your top 10 most brought food items for organic alternatives to decrease toxins in the body and increase nutrients giving you increased energy and clearer skin.

3 – Swap weekly take away or ready meal for a homemade alternative to help reduce weight and release stored fat.

4 – Swap your late nights for a 10:30pm bedtime at least 3 times a week for increased energy and more balanced mood

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Image supplied by Cindi Albright

 

5 – Swap your late night computer work for a good book and a bath to calm the nervous and hormone systems promoting deep, refreshing sleep.

6 – Swap bright lights for candles to avoid stimulating your ‘get up and go’ stress hormones triggered by bright light allowing you to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

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Image supplied by ElTico68

7 – Swap your computer chair for a Swiss Ball to promote the pumping of spinal fluid along the spine, thus avoiding seated posture lead back aches and pains

8 – Swap the car for a bike ride to incorporate additional exercise without trying to slot in an extra training session

 

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Image supplied by Incase

 

 

 

 

9 – Swap at least 1 gym session for the great outdoors, stimulating exercise in a play environment whilst connecting in nature

Which Swap do you fancy trying out? Pop your comments below…