Transformation, Yoga

What’s the Deal with Energy Healing?

Energy Healing is no longer just a hot topic in metaphysics, “new age” philosophy and followers of alchemy or pagan beliefs. It is “entering” the yoga field too. More and more yoga studios are offering Reiki training as well. We see places around town carrying crystal and stone for healing, even be retail is getting on the energy healing train carrying necklaces and earrings that carry real or artificial versions of this all natural way of living. 

Two points I really want to cover here are 1. Energy healing is a huge part of yoga, not the classic American yoga but of the ancient natural healing that has been around for over 5,000 years and many other practices as well – this isn’t “new age” this is old age stuff and it shows up almost every religion. 2. The process of energy healing is not that the crystals heal you or another person heals you – its that they help you in the healing process, if you don’t allow the healing to happen (which means you have to participate at a certain level) then it typically won’t happen. 

www.facebook.com/figleaf.fit

Within Yoga, energy is addressed as chakras and pranayama, that there is energy within us, energy blockages, energy building with yoga postures (like tai chi builds and gets your energy flowing), energy calming with restorative. We now tie a lot of this with stress management. What is stress in the body or mind but negative energy? This is why yoga (and other empowering practices) focuses on having the person themselves pushing through the [energy] change. You are moving your body to transform the negative energy into calm, fire or regulation. These can also be described with the four elements of Earth, Water, Air & Fire. 

Many religions refer to the light within. Growing your light, Sharing your light. Pictures of holy figures with light at their hands, surrounding their body or head. Often text refer to light and love interchangeably and ask you to let the light of you or someone else (referring to a loving or wise future) to guide you. 

You have light within you. Some of our inner candles may need more oil, but it is there and you can ask for help and guidance, you just have to open the door and trust your own lamp and light. So often we reach for crystals and other objects or people because we don’t have the confidence in our own ability to heal. Be sure that it is because you want help and you need someone to hold your hand and walk beside you, not that you want to play follow the leader. A healer is a guide, someone who has done an intense amount of healing on themselves and is committed to guiding to and sharing the light.

Know that you are so much more than you think. You are an energetic being having a human experience. 

Step into your own light. 

Your Coach & Yoga Therapist,

Izzy Nalley

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Anatomy, Fitness, Yoga

Move Your Hamstrings

Your Hamstrings are a large muscle group of 3 muscles on the back of your thigh. Tight Hamstrings can cause a host of problems from Hip & Low Back Pain to Tightness in the Knee. Get to Know Your Hamstrings.

So, what is the path to HEALING YOUR HAMSTRINGS?

First you need to MOVE them. Yes, not stretch first but MOVE them.

Why do we MOVE them first?
We need the movement to bring in the blood flow and nutrients.
You wouldn’t want to tug and pull on a dry rubber band and expect good results, right?

This is exactly why in yoga class we start with warming up the muscles with strength postures to fire up a muscle before we get into a deep stretch.

5 Exercise to MOVE YOUR HAMSTRINGS

  1. Dead Lift – Can be completed with weight, but is not a requirement. The big trick is to have the chest & collar bone open. So, you might try this: wooden rod or weighted bar at the back of the shoulders. *Keep the legs straight but not locked.
    Good Morning Hamstring Exercise
  2. Sumo Deadlifts – Keep the back straight and get a double muscle workout with this glute and hamstring workout. (Both of these Deadlift exercises 1 &2 with also help with low back strength and back health). Again, you can use minimal weight or a weighted bar.
    Sumo Deadlift Hamstring Exercises
  3. Hamstring Curl (Machine)
    Hamstring Curls Exercise
  4. Glute Bridge – Laying on the floor push the hips up – be sure to Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings at the top of your bridge.
    Image result for glute bridge
  5. Lunges – Keep the alignment of Shoulders over hips, bottom knee under the hip.
    Image result for lunges

 

Resources:

https://www.sweat.com/blogs/fitness/best-hamstring-exercises-for-women

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a19962155/hamstring-exercises/

Strengthen Your Hamstrings With These 7 Exercises and 3 Workouts

 

Anatomy, Fitness, Yoga

Get to Know Your Hamstrings

You might be surprised to know that tight hamstrings could be causing you low back pain, pulling on your knee and causing mobility problems with your hips and glutes.

Let me introduce you to your hamstrings in this post and then learn how to Move Your Hamstrings followed by how to restore & stretches to help loosen the tightness and heal your body to help prevent future injuries.

Location: Posterior (back side) of body between the Hip and just below the Knee

Muscles: Consists of 3 muscles: from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris.

(Image1 Ref 2)

Nerves: branch of Sciatica Nerves

Actions: Flexion (bend) of the knee joint and extension (straighten) of the hip joint.

“The hamstrings play a crucial role in many daily activities such as walking, running, jumping, and controlling some movement in the gluteus.”

Injuries: The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

“At the hip, the hamstrings play a role in a posture condition known as flat low back. This is because the result of their contraction at this location is a pulling down of the pelvis in back, a move also known as a posterior pelvic tilt. The posterior pelvic tilt, in turn, tends to elongate the natural low back curve, overstretching and/or weakening the muscles in that area and possibly predisposing you to disc injury. Tight hamstrings may also play a role in sacroiliac dysfunction.” 2

(Image 2 Ref 3)

Hamstring injury risk factors include:

Prior hamstring injury. After you’ve had one hamstring injury, you’re more likely to have another one, especially if you try to resume all your activities at pre-injury levels of intensity before your muscles have time to heal and rebuild strength.

Poor flexibility. If you have poor flexibility, your muscles may not be able to bear the full force of the action required during certain activities.

Muscle imbalance. A muscle imbalance may lead to hamstring injury. When the muscles along the front of your thigh — the quadriceps — become stronger and more developed than your hamstring muscles, you may be more likely to injure your hamstring muscles.

Sports that require sprinting or running, or other activities such as dancing that might require extreme stretching, make a hamstring injury more likely.” 1

Injury Prevention:

“As part of an overall physical conditioning program, regular stretching and strengthening exercises can help minimize your risk of hamstring injury. Try to be in shape to play your sport; don’t play your sport to get in shape.” 1

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hamstring-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20372985

  2. https://www.verywellhealth.com/hamstring-muscles-296481

  3. http://www.aspirechirodfw.com/important-posture/

Yoga

5 Tips to Prevent Tech Neck Pain

Looking down at your phone, tablet, or laptop can cause ongoing neck pain. When you hold this tilted, head-forward posture for long periods of time, you may develop a repetitive stress injury or muscle strain.

5 Tips to Prevent Tech Neck Pain

This ailment is commonly referred to as tech neck (sometimes called text neck) and can be avoided by changing a few habits. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to prevent the pain:

1. Raise your screen higher

Hold your phone or tablet up close to eye level to avoid sloping your head forward or bending your neck down. If your arms get tired from holding the screen higher, buy a holder to elevate your device, or rest your elbows on a tabletop to prop your arms up comfortably. If you work on a laptop, get a second monitor and adjust the height.

2. Take breaks often

If you have to look at a screen for an extended period of time, take breaks. Develop a habit of taking a 2- or 3-minute break every half hour, and set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Use these breaks to change your posture and move around, keeping your muscles loose and spine aligned. Try this quick stretch on break: tuck your chin down, then slowly raise it upward. Then gently turn your head over one shoulder, then the other.

3. Sit in a chair with a headrest

The ergonomics of your chair can help you maintain correct posture and avoid tech neck. Switch to a chair that has a headrest and keep the back of your head flush against the headrest while you use your screen. Holding your head in this position will prevent you from looking down with your neck flexed forward.

4. Strengthen and stretch your muscles

Strengthening and stretching your chest, neck, and upper back can help to prevent muscle imbalances caused by forward head posture. 

Over time, muscle imbalances can develop due to long-term forward head posture. To prevent these imbalances, it helps to strengthen and stretch your chest, neck, and upper back muscles. Keeping these muscles in good shape helps support the weight of your head and minimize strain on your cervical spine.

You can also perform exercises that target your abdominals and lower back. While it may seem counterintuitive to work out this part of your body to prevent tech neck, these muscle groups play a role in supporting your upper body, including your neck.

5. Use pain as a warning sign

If you experience pain in your neck, between the shoulder blades, numbness or tingling in the arms, or frequent headaches, there may be a more serious issue going on. Pay attention to these warning signs and act quickly to make changes to reduce or eliminate any head-forward posture straining your neck.

See What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Try all or some of the above methods and see which ones work for you. If your neck pain symptoms don’t improve, it may be time to seek help from a qualified health professional.

Learn more:

Workplace Ergonomics and Neck Pain

Forward Head Posture’s Effect on Neck Muscles

 

original post: https://www.spine-health.com/blog/5-tips-prevent-tech-neck-pain

 

Stress Management, Yoga

The Air Surrounds You

Would a fish recognize that it is in water? That a fluid surrounds it?

It may feel the wave from a bigger fish swimming but does it (or would it) recognize the power of water? The water that sustains it, that it breathes?

All around our human body, we are surrounded by air. Just like the fish, we are swimming in this clear gas that moves as we move it. Even the flap of a butterfly’s wing creates a ripple effect that can travel. Air has density, just as the pressure is greater at lower depths of water, air is also thinner at higher altitudes.

Does a fish consider itself swimming just as we simply consider walking?

How would your day be different if you imagined yourself swimming or dancing through air all day?

What if we took the time to really breathe and feel the air surrounding us?

What if we became more mindful?

Activity:

Find Yourself a comfortable seat and begin with feeling your breath.

See if you could imagine breathing to simulate a jellyfish inflating and deflating within your rib cage.

Once you have connected with this breath then begin to tune into feeling the air all around you.

The air on your skin and surrounding.

You might enjoy slightly lifting the arms and shoulders to simulate this jellyfish breath with your body too.

Try this for 5-10 minutes.

I find it is helpful to set a timer in order to not get lost in time or worry about how long it has been.

Just Be.

Your Yoga Teacher,

Izzy Nalley

Stress Management, success mindset, Sustainability, Yoga

Yamas & Niyamas

If you’re new to yoga practice or yoga philosophy, the yamas and niyamas are a great place to begin your exploration. They form the very foundation of what yoga is and are part of the 8-Limbed Path. They make up the disciplines and practices that cultivate real changes; without them, we’re just stretching.

“Practice of asanas (physical postures) without the backing of yama and niyama is mere acrobatics.”

— B.K.S. IYENGAR

Yoga exists to break patterns. It was created as a systematic method to notice, study and break free from any and all of our samskaras(patterns) that create bondage. As we integrate the yamas and the niyamas into our physical asana practice and into our thoughts and behavior, they help us to discover all of these patterns that make up our reactions and habits.

Yamas & NiYamas

Take a look at the following descriptions of each yama and niyama. How might you incorporate each one into the way that you move your body? How do they impact your relationships? Your speech? Your job?

THE 5 YAMAS:

  1. Ahimsa: Ahimsa translates to ‘non-harming’ or ‘non-violence.’ You can easily practice ahimsa by speaking lovingly, being compassionate toward yourself and others, or practicing awareness and care within your yoga asanas. Ahimsa means that we’re always practicing toward the greater good of all.
  2. Asteya: Non- stealing. It might be obvious to not steal other people’s possessions, but what about other people’s joy, security or hope? We can practice non-stealing for ourselves by seeking balance, and for others by honoring boundaries and giving credit where credit is due.
  3. Satya: Satya means ‘non-lying’ or ‘truth speaking.’ Satya is very powerful when we realize how often we might say ‘yes,’ when we really mean ‘no,’ or make decisions outside of what our heart really needs. We must practice truthfulness with ourselves by understanding what our body is saying and listening, truthfulness by having clear speech and relationships, as well as honoring the deepest sense of Truth within us.
  4. Aparigraha: Take a deep exhalation to practice aparigraha. It means non-greed. All greed comes from fear, so in order to practice aparigraha we must practice trust. Trust that there is enough of everything to go around, trust that you ARE enough right now and rid yourself of poverty/victim mentality.
  5. Bramacharya: Bramacharya loosely translates to non-sensuality. Traditionally, bramacharya was the practice of sexual abstinence, not for deprivation, but so that the excess sexual energy could be used toward something else for a time. You might think of it in a similar way to how Christians view Lent: temporary withdrawal or self-control from one activity in order to prioritize another.

THE 5 NIYAMAS:

  1. Sauca: Sauca means purity: purity of thought, actions, body and spirit. We are called to cleanliness by eating well, organizing our environment, maintaining a healthy body and mind and working to remove mental impurities such as jealousy, pride, anger…etc. Cleansing the mind involves rigorous observation, honesty, non-attachment and forgiveness.
  2. Santosha: Contentment. ‘San’ means ‘completely’ or ‘entirely’ and ‘tosha’ translates to ‘contentment’ or ‘acceptance.’ So santosha means accepting the truth (the body, the relationship, the discomfort…etc) as it is and learning from it. In this way, we develop an attitude of calm happiness, regardless of circumstances.
  3. Tapas: Tapas means steady self-control. It comes mostly from the breath and learning how to control it. With balance and tapas, we have a sense of being unaffected by opposites, such as heat and cold, hunger and thirst, sitting and standing, etc.
  4. Svadyaya: Through meditation, prayer, curiosity, study and self-inquiry, we strive to know more and more about ourselves, our reactions, our emotions and our soul. Self-study (svadyaya) is the real crux of yoga. We work to refine ourselves just by this gentle studying of ourselves and/or yoga philosophy.
  5. Isvarapranidhana: Spiritual devotion. Whether you are comfortable with spirituality or not, it is within all of us. Yoga is not a religion, but it supports, enhances and strengthens our spiritual connection. Yoga sadhana (daily spiritual practice) is a beautiful way to grow on your spiritual path.

Keep these tenants in the back of your mind. Next time you practice yoga or encounter a stressful situation, consider how these simple practices might change your responses. Allow them to challenge and change you. Perhaps even take the time to meditate on each one, acknowledging ways in which you might grow in your understanding.  Just like exploration in asana, the yamas and niyamas are tools for your healing.

“Seeking out people and experiences we would normally avoid provides a fertile place to learn new things about ourselves and about life.”

— DEBORAH ADELE

yamas+&+niyamas

To download this to-do and not to-do, visit:
Reposted from: http://wholehearteryoga.com/blog/yamas-niyamas

Career, success mindset, Transformation

It Starts with a Vision Board

A simply way to describe a vision board is a collection of images that represent your goal(s). Its a visual representation.

Why do you need this?
Well, if you write down your goals you are more likely to accomplish them,
if you verbalize your goals you are even more likely to accomplish them and
if you can visualize your goals you are even more likely.

But what makes a big impact, the biggest impact is if you visualize and create that warm and fuzzy feeling of you getting your goals as often as possible. That is way more likely if you have this board full of pictures that represent that vision very clearly in a place that you can see daily or multiple times a day.

This isn’t something that just highschool girls do.
No!
This is something successful CEOs do!

Yes! Grab some magazines or print some pins.
You can old fashion glue it to a poster board craft it or simply use push pins and a cork board.

How do you choose picture?

Well, there are 2 ways, and I personally think it just depends on the person.
If you are really clear about your goals then printing out picture might be really easy.
If you have a general idea of goals then browsing through some magazines might be a good option.

2 different ways of doing this: values or checklists.

I have made a vision board of my general values I want to hold onto for the year and broad goals. These type of vision boards tend to stay with me, I keep them up for years or until I’m tired of looking at it (it no longer holds an emotional value) and then I re-create a new one.

I have a been really clear before and created a collage of photos that represented the previous checklist/bucket list I had already wrote out for the year. This is fun because you can actually put a big green check on the photo after it has been completed and then you can visually see all your success as your board fills up with indications of completion.

Either way you go about it, you are still spending time thinking about what you want in life, what will create you happiness and give yourself feel-good-feelings. And it can make a great girl’s night, couple’s night, or leadership gathering.

Subscribe for the future post of How to Utilize your Vision Board. 

And Stay Tuned for YouTube Videos on How to Set a Goal or Find the Vision for Inspiring Your Vision Board.

Your Success Coach,
Izzy Nalley

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