Revolution Yoga

7:09 AM

What is REVOLUTION: 31 Days of Yoga?
“31 Days of free yoga practice, an act of self-love, a rigorous boot camp and an act of personal storytelling all tied up in a feel-good bow.

The goal: to be more present.

Further results: feel more smiley, enjoy body image, sit taller, walk lighter, move with more ease and have more energy for crushing it at life.”

Adrienne’s’ Revolution yoga is unlike any other yoga program I’ve done before. It really has very little to do with the actual act of Yoga and forming a pose. How Crazy, right?! I LOVE IT. It’s about really feeling every movement and working with our values we explore on the mat but also making sure we take those same principles off the mat for balance, and all those feel good type vibes.

When you sign up you will receive a calendar and a daily email from Adrienne to help guide you on your journey! Below are some of our favorite Yogi’s on You Tube. Personally, I love a good home practice! Don’t get me wrong, going to a class is just as amazing, and sometimes it’s best to get out of your usual (possibly chaotic) environment, and enter a new space that doesn’t have any attachments – besides the grounded goodness you leave with! But for those of you who can’t always afford a yoga class or don't have the time...I think we’ve got some awesome alternatives and a quick description of what you’ll find! Enjoy!

Yoga with Adriene –
Yoga quickies, bedtime yoga, yoga for healing, Vinyasa style yoga, foundation yoga, yoga challenges, and some work with Pranayama.

Fightmaster Yoga –
Beginner and intermediate yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Vlogs, gentle yoga and meditation, yoga quickies, yoga for pregnancy, yoga for kids, and various yoga challenges.

Bad Yogi –
Questions and answer vlogs, pose tutorials and how-to’s, gentle yoga, meditation, yoga challenges, and some personal vlogs.

Sarah Beth Yoga –
30-day yoga challenge, prenatal yoga, bedtime yoga, detox yoga and meditation practice.

Yoga with Kassandra –
Yin yoga, yoga tutorials, meditation challenge, and advanced and intermediate yoga classes.

Pranidhi Varshney –

Traditional Ashtanga, sun salutations, chanting, and music – she has an amazing voice!)

DIY Toothpaste

11:18 AM

Most consumers purchase toothpaste and other personal hygiene products without even bothering to read the list of ingredients, I know I used to ... blindly trusting manufacturers to have my best interests at heart. Toothpaste contains many potentially harmful ingredients, including some that can lead to serious long-term health problems. Sodium fluoride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and DEA are just a few ingredients you'll want to avoid!

So why not just do it yourself!

  • 2 tbs baking soda
  • 1/2 tbs sea salt
  • 10-20 drops essential oils (peppermint and wintergreen are great for that minty fresh feel!)
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs coconut oil




Add a little more baking soda for a thicker consistency. The salt will take a little getting used to, but I promise you, your teeth will have never felt cleaner with all that salty exfoliation! The coconut oil also helps to whiten teeth.

Also, ditch your plastic toothbrush and invest in a bamboo one you're able to compost when done, instead of contributing to the landfill. Lastly, don't forget to scrape your tongue! 

2:39 PM

The Bee's Knees



Let me tell you a little bit about Bee's Wrap... it's pretty much the Bee's Knees! We love it!

Bee's Wrap is a sustainable food storage product started by Sarah Kaeck in 2012. Her goal was to find a solution that could eliminate plastics in our kitchens for a more sustainable and healthier way to store our foods. Bee's Wrap is made by infusing organic cotton with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. As a result, you have washable, reusable, and compostable alternative to plastic wrap! Hoorayy! 








The beeswax is sourced from sustainably-managed hives in the US, and Bee’s Wrap packaging is recyclable and plastic-free!

"Our products are reusable, biodegradable, and compostable. At the end of your wrap’s useful life in the kitchen, cut the wrap into strips to add to your compost heap, or wrap them around pieces of kindling and use as a natural and effective fire starter."




"As a Green America certified company, Bee's Wrap® is committed to using our business as a vehicle for social change, and to bettering the lives of our customers, employees, community, and planet. As a family business, we are vested in the values and environment we pass along to future generations."

➤➤ http://www.beeswrap.com/

Mindfulness

10:38 AM


We hear the term quite often these days...mindfulness, being mindful, mindfulness meditation...etc. and we know that mindfulness typically refers to the act of bringing in a heightened sense of awareness.  But to what? What is it really and why is that important? Mindfulness can be best described as paying attention to the present moment with intention and compassion; fully immersing yourself in the here and now and doing so without judgement. It's an art form, really, to live in the present moment. In a world that relies heavily on technology both for socialization and everyday use (think calendars, alarm clocks, text messaging, inquiring Google about every little thing you're unsure of) this can be pretty challenging, too. We also live in a world where "busy-ness" has become a norm which causes a lot of us to go through life on autopilot. Going through life on autopilot in turn, elicits unhappiness as we tend to focus too much on only our negative thoughts...the ones that contribute to stress, anxiety, and illness. When we practice mindfulness we bring awareness to our thoughts, feelings and sensations but in an objective manner. Doing this allows us to recognize that a lot of the thoughts and accompanying habitual responses contributing to such stress + anxiety are unnecessary to begin with.

So what happens when we incorporate some mindfulness into our day? Research indicates mindful practices can significantly reduce stress, lesson egocentric behavior/thought processes, help one to better regulate emotions, fight PTSD + symptoms of depression, fight memory loss, increase focus and academic/work performance, help one develop a greater sense of compassion and empathy and increase relationship satisfaction. Not to mention - a host of physical benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, improving chronic pain, promoting healthy sleep patterns and strengthening the immune system. Ummmmm...whoa. In even more "awe-inducing" research, mindfulness meditation has even been proven to increase telomerase, which are the 'caps' at the end of our genes, so to speak. These caps are said to reduce cell damage which can ultimately lengthen our lives. SOLD.

Now we get into the how. There are several, and I mean s-e-v-e-r-a-l different ways to incorporate mindful practices and I encourage you to delve more into the topic independently to find practices that suit you and your unique lifestyle the best. The positive thing is it's simpler than you may think and you are the only true tool you need for it. Another note before you begin your journey of mindfulness is to approach everything with compassion, particularly with yourself. As with anything, it will get easier/feel more natural with time and beating yourself up about how you 'think you are doing' is contradictory to what it is you are trying to accomplish. Have patience, friends, and the lasting benefits will be felt.


As mentioned there are many different approaches and practices out there, but here I've narrowed down FOUR daily practices that seem to pop up most often in research and that will also be easy for mindfulness newbies:

1. Mindful Eating: Many of us rush through our meals or multi-task while eating for the sake of time. If trying to incorporate mindfulness, try to eat without the noise of technology and dedicate your time to the nourishment you are about to receive. Really focus on the smell, texture, and taste of the food you have in front of you. Doing so will help to increase our appreciation for food and cultivate a healthy routine. This may also help you to make healthier food choices in general as you'll notice the foods that aren't really providing much nourishment. Benefits: reduces stress, improves digestive functioning and reduces overeating and weight gain. 

2. Body Scan Meditation: Requires only a few minutes. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably in a seated position and close your eyes. Slowly start to bring awareness to different parts of your body, starting from your toes and working your way up to your head (e.g. toes, ankles, core, fingers, shoulders, etc.). Notice the feeling in each of these parts; you can slowly wiggle, rock or sway and notice the feeling with gentle movements as well. I actually use a similar technique with my clients for stress-reduction training called "progressive muscle relaxation" quite often. In this technique the only difference is that instead of gently wiggling or moving each body part, you are tensing the muscle associated with that part as much as you can and then releasing the tension to notice the feeling of relaxation. Bringing awareness to the difference between a tensed and relaxed state will help one to identify differences in their body when they are stressed...thus enabling them to self-correct more quickly. Benefits: reduces stress, helps with emotion regulation and improves overall mood.

3. Deep, Mindful Breathing: To do this you will have to dedicate approximately 5 minutes of your time. If you can't seem to carve that out then you can do this during 'down-time' activities such as while in the shower or before you lay down to sleep at night. Get comfortable and start to bring awareness to your breath by noticing the rate at which you breathe. Start to slow that rate and breathe deeply. As you inhale and exhale imagine your breath as waves in the ocean. It's going to be important to make sure your inhales + exhales are equal, as you can actually induce feelings of anxiety if one is shorter/longer than the other. Do this for 5 minutes. When finished, practice gratitude by thanking your body for your breath, your source of life. Benefits: stress & anxiety relief, increases positive mood and physiological benefits such as improving heart health, digestion and immune system functioning.

4. Connect with Nature: This doesn't mean hop on a flight to the mountains (but I mean hey, if you can do that, go for it!). This is one of the simplest but most rewarding ways one can incorporate mindfulness into their day. Go for a walk outside and pay attention to the details of nature. Look at the sky, the trees, animals/wildlife around you and really observe them. If you cannot get outside, look out a nearby window and focus on what you are drawn to first. Think about the color, shapes, height and details. If no window, find a nearby plant. This can literally be anything found in nature. You'll start to notice a heightened sense of appreciation for the world around you after doing this for even a few minutes. Benefits: increases compassion, lessons egocentric thoughts, increases mood and reduces stress.

Remember there are a ton of ways to make mindfulness a part of your life. Find what fits your lifestyle the best, and enjoy!








8:30 AM

Aromatherapy

Oh, the power of Aromatherapy! Nature has given us some immensely powerful and diverse matter.  Some of the healing that has taken place with such material would be unbelievable if we didn’t have the scientific basis for explaining how essential oils work. Aromatherapy is far from a "new age" therapy, it is actually one of the oldest therapies. Herbal medicine dates back 6000 years, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 85% of the world's population still relies on herbal medicine today, and many of them are used aromatically. Aromatherapy does not just mean using the aroma of the oil; aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils, and they are an effective remedy that can help you stay healthy.

Essential oils are highly volatile droplets produced by a plant to help ward off disease, to control growth and hormones, and to restore damaged tissue of the plant. The reservoirs of plant medicine are stored in the plant's veins, glands, or sacs, of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, and flowers, and when they are broken, the EO is released along with the aroma. There are approximately 300 essential oils being used today by professional practitioners, but the typical household could accomplish its needs with about 10. The oils are extracted from the plant by a variety of ways depending on the species.  Only steam distillation or expressed extracts can be referred to as essential oils. These two methods produce an unmodified product without additional solvent or impurities. Typically an EO contains around 100 components. The leaders of these are terpenes, alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, and phenols with much more being discovered – I won't go into much further detail with the specific chemistry. However, the aromatic chemicals found in an essential oil are from phenylpropane, and these are where amino acids stem from, which then link to make proteins, and proteins provide building blocks for just about everything in the human body!  

By taking essential oils into our bodies, we are ingesting the high-grade fuel of plants, and all the goodness they have to offer. Conversely, for effective therapeutic use, it is vital that only pure essential oils be used. Reconstituted products or chemical copies of the natural essence will not work for therapeutic purposes. The most effective way to use oils is by external application or inhalation. Oral ingestion is actually the least effective approach as it must pass through the digestive system, where it comes into contact with digestive juices, and other substances that alter the chemistry of the oil. EO's do not remain in the body, like chemical drugs. They are excreted through waste, perspiration, and exhalation, depending on the oil used. They will typically remain in a normal healthy body for about 3-6 hours and possibly up to 14 hours in an obese or unhealthy body.

The different chemical components of an oil travel via the nose to the olfactory bulb. Nerve pulses travel to the brain to an area called the limbic system where the aroma is processed. The limbic system contains the amygdala, an organ that directs your emotional response. The limbic part of the brain also contains another organ called the hippocampus that is involved in the creation and recovery of explicit memories. Therefore, some aromas can trigger memories that may have been suppressed for years! Scents can have a psychological effect even when the aroma is below the level of human awareness. When essential oils are absorbed through the skin, they act very much in the same way as medicine does when administered in patches. The dermis and fat layers of the skin act as reservoirs before the elements within the EO’s arrive into the blood stream. The diverse levels of action from EO’s are not limited from one another. There may not only be physical effects and effects on the skin, but also effects on the emotional and energetic levels. No matter the application, we always encounter the various effects to one degree or another.

Herbs, food, and even the human body have a bioelectrical frequency – a measurable rate of electrical energy that is constant between any 2 points. Clinical research has shown that essential oils can raise the frequency of the human body quite quickly, therefore restoring it to its normal, healthy level. Bruce Tainio and D. Gary Young, a North American expert on essential oils, used a biofrequncy monitor to determine the relationship between frequency and disease. Most essential oils were found to have a frequency between 52-320 MHz (million Hertz). The human body was found to be between 62-68 MHz, cold symptoms began at 58 MHz, cancer at 42 MHz, and death began at 25 MHz. Another interesting result of this study was the powerful influence that thoughts have on frequency. Negative thoughts can lower a frequency by 12 MHz, and positive thoughts raised the frequency by 10 MHz. In addition, prayer and meditation increased frequency levels by 15 MHz. The power of the mind!

Nearly all essential oils have been tested by the food and beverage industry, and the majority of used essential oils have generally been regarded as safe (GRAS). Nonetheless, Herbs can interact with some medications. Always consult with a trained professional before use.

Testing the purity of Oils:
  • When pure EO’s are dropped on blotting paper, they will saturate it, then evaporate and disperse, leaving no oily patch.
  • Look for pure EO in shops are that concerned with health and wellness, such as health food stores.
  • Keep in mind that no trustworthy EO supplier sells essential oils all at the same price, as sometimes producing the purest of oils can be very costly. It may require several hundred pounds, or even several thousand pounds, of plant material to extract 1 pound of pure essential oil.
Brands we trust/use: Rocky Mountain Oils, Mountain Rose Herbs, Doterra, and Young Living – do your research! We’re sure there are many other reputable sellers out there that we have yet to discover! Please share your favorite sellers with us!
In another post, we’ll explore some easy DIY recipes, as well as more specific ways to use aromatherapy in your day to day!  


Sources:  
Eliopoulos, C. (2009). Invitation to Holistic Health. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Higley, C., & Higley, A. (2016). Reference Guide for Essential Oils. San Rafael: Abundant Health.
Lavabre, M. (1997). Aromatherapy Workbook. Rochester: Healing Arts Press.
Worwood, V. A. (1991). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. California: New Worl Library.