By Sheena Mannina of Raw Republic It’s generally simple to advise on internal cleansing as our bodies naturally begin to detox in the absence of the inflammatory items we consume regularly, namely processed foods, caffeine, sugar, soda, meat, dairy and medications. For this reason, we cleanse when we sleep. Though you would benefit significantly by… [Continue Reading]
Warning, you might get stuck on this page. YOGA LAGNIAPPE will unglue your stickiest yoga questions in our Sticky Mat section. You’ll hear from local teachers and students about the challenges they find on and off their yoga mats. If you have a question for the Sticky Mat contact us.
5 Things You Can Add-In to Help You Clean-Out!
By Sheena Mannina of Raw Republic
It’s generally simple to advise on internal cleansing as our bodies naturally begin to detox in the absence of the inflammatory items we consume regularly, namely processed foods, caffeine, sugar, soda, meat, dairy and medications. For this reason, we cleanse when we sleep.
Though you would benefit significantly by reducing your consumption of any of the aforementioned ‘bad guys’ perhaps you’re not ready to let them go. And that’s okay! These are steps that you can add-in to help you clean out!
1. Drink the juice of half an organic lemon.
Lemon, we all know, is a nutritional powerhouse for its high vitamin C, immune-boosting content; however, lemon acts as a cleansing agent because of its gentle diuretic properties.
An ideal time and way to consume lemon juice would be in a large glass of water on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. This alkalizing mixture will help guide out the toxins your body has released while you were sleeping, instead of allowing your body to reabsorb the yuck.
2. Chew ‘em, Juice ‘em, Blend ‘em.. Greens!
Greens so are important for so many reasons. When we observe monkeys, who have a similar digestive system to humans, we see that greens are a staple for them and should be for us as well! Greens are chock full of amino acids – the body’s recognizable form of protein – and chlorophyll, which delivers increased levels of oxygen to our blood, helping the body to cleanse itself. Chlorophyll has also been recognized to bind and remove heavy metals from the body and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Chlorophyll is a must if cleansing the gut is your goal.
3. Take digestive supplement aids, properly.
Probiotics and digestive enzymes are important supplements to include into your daily routine, especially if you’re not eating an incredibly clean diet.
Probiotics help to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut, which helps to maintain balance and functionality throughout your digestive system. Enzymes specifically assist in breaking down the food you eat.
Always buy high quality supplements from trusted sources. Take probiotics first thing in the morning or on an empty stomach before bed. Enzymes can be taken before or after meals or before bed.
4. Pay attention to your lymph system!
Your lymph system is one of your body’s most important components of detoxification, yet it is often neglected! Unlike our circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems, the lymph does not have its own ‘pump’ and could use movement, massage and attention to help it do its job. A couple of ways to assist your lymph system in moving and removing toxins are: dry skin brushing, rebounding (Bouncing! Yes, on a trampoline!), inversions and massage. Yep, I’m going with the massage too!
5. Make sure you are going… you know.
We are so shy and afraid to talk about this topic, which probably makes us more constipated. The most important bodily function in detoxification and cleansing is elimination. Frankly, if you’re not eliminating, you are reabsorbing all that your body does not want and storing it in your organs and fat cells. You must go #2 at least once or twice a day (a well-functioning system eliminates after every meal…think of your pets). If you’re not ‘going’ regularly your problems may be:
- you’re dehydrated
- you’re not getting enough fiber or your diet isn’t well balanced
- you’re stressed or are holding on to something emotionally
Eating more plant-based foods, drinking more clean water, meditating and calming anxiety may all help you become more regular. Supplements should be taken sparingly and with the advise of a natural health practitioner to decide on the best option for you.
Alternative Healing Series: What is Reiki?
By Nikki Carter, photo courtesy of Amberly Fox
Each month in 2014, YL will seek to help you understand a certain type of alternative healing method. For this feature post, I chose Reiki and spoke with Amberly Fox, a local yoga teacher and Level-II Reiki practitioner. Reiki is a Japanese technique that literally means “spiritually guided life force energy” and involves the Reiki practitioner using his/her hands to help channel energy toward healing of the physical body or spirit.
There are two main branches of Reiki: Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki. Amberly is trained in the Japanese tradition and is also a certified animal Reiki practitioner. She says that Reiki will only flow to those who are willing to receive it and can even be incorporated into Savasana pose at the end of a yoga class to help students relax fully.
If you’re considering Reiki but nervous about what to expect, not to worry – Amberly says “one need only approach Reiki with an open mind. Coming to a Reiki session for the first time is similar to receiving a massage. With the client fully clothed, the practitioner will move through a series of hand positions down the body. Whether touching or not, the Reiki energy will flow to where it is most needed, and one may experience warmth or tingling during this process. Having a Reiki treatment will leave you immediately relaxed, calm, and any physical pain may have lessened.”
5 Yoga Poses to Do at Work
Working at a desk all day can have negative effects on your body, breath and mood. While going to a yoga class a couple of times a week or more is a wonderful way to undo the stress of the workday, it’s also helpful to take the skills that you learn in yoga class to the office. Here are 5 simple yoga poses and concepts that are easy to implement and will help relieve tension throughout your day.
Take a Mini-Meditation Break -
Ideally stand up and walk for at least 2-3 minutes for every 20-30 minutes of sitting. It’s easy to set a timer on your smart phone or use http://e.ggtimer.com/20minutes to remind you when it’s time to move. You can think of this time as a moving meditation by bringing awareness to your breath and the way your body feels as you walk. If walking isn’t possible you can still take a mental break at your desk. Simply stop the tension of the moment by pausing and focusing on your breath. If you’re comfortable, close your eyes and listen to your breath. If you are still tense, try placing your tongue against the roof of your mouth as you exhale relaxing your jaw, face, neck and shoulders.
Mountain Pose -
All this yoga pose requires is for you to stand strong and tall. Focus on feeling the power of your legs and the length in your spine. With eyes open or closed take 6 to 10 deep breaths using your diaphragm (feel your abdomen expand on inhales and soften on exhales). Diaphragmatic breathing turns on the part of your nervous system that is responsible for relaxation. Recognize your own power and be confident in your ability to make good choices for your own wellbeing. Feel as strong and steady as a mountain, with the top of your head pointing toward the sky.
Wall Dog -
Since you can’t always get the privacy you would like at the office, traditional downward facing dog probably isn’t going to a be good choice while you’re at work. However, you can get similar effects by using other objects in your office as if they were the floor. In this case place your hands on the wall and walk them down while also walk your feet back. You should feel steady and supported. Spread your fingers wide apart and press the tips of your fingers and the heels of your hands evenly into the wall. Draw your upper arm bones into their sockets and lengthen your waist. Let your chest softly descend toward the floor.
Desk Dog -
Put both hands on the end of your desk and walk backward until you are folding forward at a little more than a 90 degree angle, softly bend your knees and lift your sitting bones upward, with your feet parallel and toes pointing toward the desk in front of you. Gradually straighten your arms and let your heart melt toward the floor. If you feel tension near your neck, move your hands wider apart and relax the top of your shoulders. Hold this position for 6 to 10 breaths.
Seated Twists -
You can hold onto your chair or another sturdy object such as your desk to help you gain leverage and twist. Inhale, lengthening your spine, then exhale as you turn your gaze and upper torso in one direction, hold this position and breathe in and out of your nose feeling your abdomen expand on inhales and contract on exhales. If you feel you can twist slightly deeper after a few breathes be sure to move deeper as you exhale. Slowly come back to center and repeat the twist in the other direction for approximately the same number of breaths for balance.
Yoga helps you enjoy your life more, both on and off the mat!
By Nikki Carter January 29, 2014 Each month in 2014, YL will seek to help you understand a certain type of alternative healing method. For this feature post, I chose Reiki and spoke with Amberly Fox, a local yoga teacher and Level-II Reiki practitioner. Reiki is a Japanese technique that literally means “spiritually guided life force… [Continue Reading]
By S. Brooke Bailey January 8, 2013 It’s a new year and you’re ready to create a new you, or maybe simply make one lasting positive change this year. Now that you’re a week or so into this commitment, you may feel as if there is already a brick wall standing between you and your resolution(sankalpa… [Continue Reading]
An Interview with Krystall Snemyr, by S. Brooke Bailey Together with USA Yoga, Bikram Yoga New Orleans is hosting the USA Yoga Southeastern Regional Championships in New Orleans on January 4, 2014 starting at 5p.m. This is the first time the championships will be held in New Orleans. Participants will come from Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky to compete in… [Continue Reading]
By S. Brooke Bailey Last weekend was so cold and foggy, I felt like I was in London instead of New Orleans. It was the perfect weather to stay indoors and watch a good movie. That’s when I came across the documentary Enlighten Up! The filmmaker, Kate Churchill, decided she would pick someone who had never… [Continue Reading]
If you’re looking for great gifts to give the yogis in your life, shop local. We’ve selected a few of our favorite items from across New Orleans. You might even want to add them to your own holiday wish list! Pictured items from top left to bottom right: Maduka Pro Mat, reCAP Mason jar lid,… [Continue Reading]
This past weekend the Sanders Beach Community Center in Pensacola hosted a few hundred yogis from across the Gulf Coast and even some from as far as Chicago and Annapolis. It was an exciting weekend. This was the second year of the Mahabhuta Yoga Festival so there was a sense of reunion for those who… [Continue Reading]
Review by Nikki Carter I wasn’t extremely familiar with Baron Baptiste prior to reading his latest book, Being of Power: The 9 Practices to Ignite an Empowered Life. I had been a subscriber of his newsletter since a local yoga teacher introduced me to his 4o-day programs, and the newsletter is how I found out… [Continue Reading]
By Brooke Bailey Let the sun shine on you and soak up some vitamin D this weekend with any of these wonderful opportunities to practice yoga outside. Enjoy these great classes and don’t forget to bring your own mat, towel, water bottle, and of course…a friend! Share the Yoga Lagniappe! Friday, October 11, 2013 Yoga for Mom… [Continue Reading]
The Dalai Lama’s visit to New Orleans focused on his message of moving beyond the violence of the 21st century toward a 21st century that is characterized by peace. As we remember those who have fought for our country and for peace in the world this Memorial Day, let’s reflect on how we as individuals… [Continue Reading]