Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Myth vs. Fact: How Yoga Helps Detox Your Body

The body’s detoxification systems are designed to run without any external forces. A regular yoga practice, including vigorous asana and pranayama, as part of an overall wellness plan, can help the natural detox system run more efficiently

Other ways to help your body run at a prime level include:

Limit your intake of high-fat foods and alcohol to maintain a healthy liver.

Drink plenty of water to help the digestive tract flow smoothly and to eliminate waste.

Replace prepackaged food with whole food.

Limit or avoid chemicals in self-care products such as lotion and makeup.

Participate in a regular exercise routine.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Garden Time

I had decided this year I was not going to do my front gardens.

It's too time consuming. It's too hot. I have to water every night because of this God-awful Memphis heat. It's too expensive buying mulch and flowers. I have too much else to do. I hate the weeding part of it all.

But each day as I drove into my driveway and walked up the steps to the house it just looked awful. The gardens were overgrown with weeds. There was grass growing between the sidewalk.

It looked pitiful.

So about 11pm last night I decided today was the day and I was going to make a garden again this year.

I started about 9am when it was only about 85 degrees outside. I took my first break at 11:30 when it hit 95. I kept working outside all day between distractions and other obligations.

I was hot. I was dirty. I was bug bitten. I had a headache from forgetting to eat.

But about 6:30pm I was finally finished.  And I was happy.

There are so many projects inside the house that need completed (big ones like needing to drywall the ceiling from the heater leak this winter) that depress me when I look at them, that I wanted to at least smile when I first came home after a long day at work.

Even the kids said the front looks so much nicer now.

Next up, make the back yard look nice again.

And fix the hole in the ceiling from the heater leak :(

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Note From An Old Friend

I've been silent for months.

For all the usual reasons; work, time, energy, lack of creativity, Netflix.

And then I got a very unexpected card in the mail and I've been buzzing ever since.

My old friend Kat McNally of dilettante & druid sent me the most lovely card all the way from Australia. It even had one those neat overseas postages on it. And Kat is so cool that she has her own seal for her cards that my kids were fascinated by.

The card was random and completely unexpected.

And an absolute lovely end to my day. Kat remembered me! She had been thinking of me! All the way from Australia!

But, Kat also send me some magical fairy dust. I've been buzzing ever since wanting to write again. My brain won't shut up this week about getting back to writing book #2. I was even up at 5am today on my yoga mat!

I'm not sure what magic Kat has in Australia, but I'm forever grateful that she has shared it with me.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Yoga for Addiction: 7 Ways Yoga Can Support Your Treatment Program

7 Ways Yoga Can Complement a 12-Step Strategy

Yoga makes a natural companion to 12-step programs in a variety of other ways as well:

  1. Teaching pranayama, or controlled breathing, to gain control of thoughts and emotions
  2. Emphasizing the spiritual connection through meditation and prayer
  3. Gaining a sense of self-discipline to avoid impulsive or negative actions
  4. Releasing negative energy through movement with the asanas
  5. Developing a sense of accomplishment leading to increased self-esteem and decreased feelings of inadequacy
  6. Creating a stronger, healthier body leading to a stronger, healthier mind
  7. Developing a connection to other like-minded yogis in recovery

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Look Back 2017

In 2013 I wrote my own version of a bucket list. I've mostly forgotten about it, but every now and then I remember to take a look at the list and see where I'm at. As in years past, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that I can cross off a few more items now!

  1. Travel more - Our family vacations these past couple years have been to military graduations. Early 2016 we toured Chicago and went to a Cubs game to see Kid 2 graduate Navy boot camp. Later that same year we spent time up in the Ozark Mountains area of Missouri during Kid 3's Army boot camp graduation. This summer we spent a fabulous weekend in Charleston, SC playing in the ocean, riding jet skis and touring historic downtown after Kid 2's graduation from Naval Nuclear Engineering School.                                                                                                          The past couple summers we have also travelled to Iowa for my girls national dance competition. (Grand National Champions 2017 thank you very much!)                                                                                                  This past August the kids and I drove up to Kentucky to see the total solar eclipse. It was simply amazing!
  2. Dance more 
  3. Ride in a hot air balloon - I had forgotten this was on my list. Every year our little town hosts a Goat Days Festival (read about the best yoga class ever here). This year the festival had hot air balloon rides and since I was teaching Goat Yoga (the best yoga class ever!), my and the kids got passes for a free ride. We only went up about 50 feet in the air but it was still pretty exciting. 
  4. Finally find a sun dress that doesn't make my butt look huge -2017 is the year I learned to dress for my body shape without hating my body shape. (Finally right?) A job promotion at work took me out of sneakers and yoga pants and in to professional work attire. Fortunately I took the advice of a friend and walked into a store out of my price range to shop for a new look. The sales woman asked if I needed help and I told her not only do I need help is she ready for all  the help I need?! I stayed in the fitting room while she brought me outfits to try on, taking all the stress away from me. She taught me more about how to shop for clothes in that one afternoon than I think I've ever learned.
  5. Skydive
  6. See the Grand Canyon
  7. Not wait for special occasions to dress up - Although I sometimes miss the ease of wearing black yoga pants and sneakers every day, most days I enjoy dressing nice to go to work. I even went to our local Merle Norman and let the shop owner paint me up in adult make up. Every morning I carefully put on my make up with the tricks she taught me. 
  8. Swim with dolphins
  9. Go on a cruise
  10. Whale watching - written about January 1, 2015
  11. Take an aerobics class in Los Angeles with Richard Simmons at his Slimmons Gym
  12. Ride a cable car in San Francisco
  13. Visit all 50 states - Iowa, Kentucky and South Carolina 
  14. Have more fresh flowers in my house 
  15. Take a surfing lesson
  16. Take ballroom dance lessons - written about April 17, 2013
  17. Be more spontaneous 
  18. Publish my book -  Published and available for sale here! 
  19. Attend Summer Solstice in Times Square - written about January 1, 2015
  20. Finish my 500 hour RYT
  21. Get back to a regular yoga practice again- I'm always planning on getting back to a regular practice. Someday
  22. Get back to a semi-regular meditation practice again 
  23. Stress less about finances
  24. Make time to read more 
  25. Redecorate my kitchen - written about January 1, 2015
  26. Take more pictures 
  27. Walk more - I walked/ran the St Jude Half Marathon! For real! 
  28. Get a Labradoodle dog - technically I don't own a Ladradoodle. However, I get to dog sit a Labradoodle a few times a year for some friends. 
  29. Be able to afford a house cleaner
  30. Watch my kids grow up to be healthy, productive adults - Kid 1 is living on his own with some good, sober roommates. Kid 2 is a Naval Nuclear Engineer. Kid 3 is in the Army National Guard and working a full time job with great growth potential. That's 3 productive adults so far! I'm 50% to my goal of 6 healthy and able young adults. 
  31. Stay healthy into my old age
  32. Walk the beach more - After driving 10 hours to Charleston, SC the first thing we did is drive 30 minutes further to get my feet in the sand and run through the waves.
  33. Take more chances
  34. Attend more live theater 
  35. Find a way to combine what I love to do with a way to support myself financially - although I'm not financially stable like I want to be, I can say I am making a living doing what I love to do
  36. Laugh more 
  37. See my book for sale on Amazon - Creating A Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learned From Yoga and My Mom
  38. Be debt free
  39. Care a little less what people think
  40. Paint a baseball field onto my backyard - I don't know why I haven't crossed this off the list before. But I've had a baseball field mowed into my backyard for a couple summers now. 
  41. Take the kids to Disney World
  42. Find balance 
  43. Be happy- I was asked recently if I'm happy. Of course I have times of worry and still a lot of financial stress and fear, but overall, yes I am happy. 

The year the Cubs won the World Series

Folly Beach, SC

Hot air balloons rides at night


Not really our own Labradoodle with
definitely our own rescue pup

Grand National Champions

Total solar eclipse, Kentucky

Folly Beach, SC

Monday, December 11, 2017

High Blood Pressure: How Yoga Can Help Stabilize Blood Pressure Naturally

The most recent update from the Centers for Disease Control says 70 million Americans, about 29% of the population, have diagnosed high blood pressure, known medically as hypertension. Hypertension is diagnosed when the top number, systolic, of a blood pressure reading is higher than 140 and the lower number, diastolic, higher than 90.

Hypertension increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, two of the top three causes of death in the United States.

Although systolic blood pressure tends to rise naturally as people age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries and long-term build-up of plaque, there are ways to naturally combat elevated blood pressure, including yoga.

Click here to read the rest of High Blood Pressure: How Yoga Can Help 

Stabilize Blood Pressure Naturally

Saturday, December 9, 2017

I Went MIA But I Ran a Half Marathon!

Two months!

It's been two months since my last post. That just makes me sad and a bit ashamed.

So to catch you up, here's what I've been doing:

I'm still working my new job and it's still going well, except October was budget time and I've never been responsible for a budget that large before and how do I know how much revenue each department will bring in during 2018 and oh my god what if I budget wrong and this is really stressing me out and then I got sick, just my yearly Southern fall upper respiratory thing but then kid 5 had a serious injury and we were in LeBonheur Children's Hospital for two days and then literally the next day Kid 4 had a very serious injury and she was admitted to LeBonheur Children's Hospital for two days and I didn't even go to work for a couple days but I have the best co-workers in the world and it wasn't even an issue and we are still running to follow up appointments and Kid 4 is still having signs of spinal chord trauma which is pretty scary and then because of all that I forgot I was sick so then I got really sick and gave in and paid $150 for the doctor to tell me I was sick and prescribe an antibiotic but I guess it was too late at that point because a few days later I had to pay another $150 for a different doctor to tell me I was really really sick and I needed a stronger antibiotic  so I came home and slept for 12 hours straight and then 5 days later I RAN A HALF MARATHON!

Along Riverside Drive. This is the downhill part
where I was blissfully unaware of the hill
coming up next. 
I really did it. I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon.

And actually crossed the finish line!

The night before a friend and fellow personal trainer texted me and said "just remember don't get caught up in all the excitement and start out too fast. Go at your own pace."

Good advice.

That I totally ignored and took off like a bat out of hell.

It was really exciting to be running the streets of Memphis with people lined up all along the way to cheer us on.

I was feeling really good and had my best split at mile 5 which is the dreaded Beale Street hill. But I powered up that hill like it was nothing and at the very top got a text from Kid 2 who had been tracking me on the St Jude Race Tracking app.

 Heck yeah! I am moving baby. I got this! But it's also about that point I realized I had got caught up in the excitement and I needed to slow down. My broken foot from last year was starting to remind me that it never really healed properly and it was starting to get warmer outside.

Remember, I hadn't trained for a month since getting sick and dealing with the kids injuries. My last training day had been on an unusually cold day and when I left my house at 6am the day of the race I was dressed for a chilly day.

But at this point I still felt good.

Running along Beale Street

And then, about mile 8 reality set in. Holy hell I still have five more miles to go. And my own race GPS was telling me I was a half mile ahead of every race marker I saw so I was getting really discouraged and a bit pissed off.

Why did I even decide to do this anyway. I'm not a runner. I hate running. This sucks.

About mile nine another text from Kid 2

I did not make it under three hours because those last four miles just sucked. Like sucked big time. The route took us through the less interesting parts of Memphis where there weren't as many people lined up cheering you on.

Honestly what happened was I got in my head here.  We were on the same stretch of road for two miles so it felt like I was getting nowhere, I was tired, I was hot and I was ready to be done.

Finally I could see the mile marker 13 up ahead and I could see AutoZone Park, so I knew the finish line was getting close. I was trying to will my feet to go faster when all of a sudden my phone went crazy with notifications.

It was messages from eight of my lifeguards and two of my kids telling me how proud they were and congratulations and I was almost there. What are the odds that all those messages came through at that exact moment when I needed the encouragement the most?

I powered through and I crossed that finish line like a boss!

I heard someone call my name as I came
through the finish. She snapped this pic of me as I
officially crossed.


And I even have the medal to prove it.