Finding Healing With Mother Nature

Archive for the ‘wellness’ Category

Effective Water Workouts for Summer Slim Down

  

Summer is here and the time is right for getting wet! You don’t have to stop exercising now that’s it’s hot; just change it up. Dip into the refreshing water. Since water provides 10-15X more resistance than air. you can burn more calories and gain overall toning quickly while burning 3 1/2 times more calories than if you walked at an average pace.

You don’t have to know how to swim or need fancy equipment. Two pool noodles are about all you’ll need.

1. Psuedo lap swim  – Walking in the water while the arms windmill complete rotations.  Walk at least 15 minutes.

2. Water walking – To add intensity speed up the pace or use water dumbbells as you swing your arms through the water. Try to walk at least 15 minutes without stopping

3. Leg Lifts – One leg at a time swings front to back 10x then out to side pulling the leg in to the center of the body.

4. Tread Water – This is a more challenging exercise but SO effective.  In deeper water lift your feet off of the bottom and do a gentle scissor kick as your arms are out to the sides sculling hands (making figure 8’s on the water surface)

5. Noodle or Kickboard – This is a challenging exercise. Hold the noodle or kickboard in front of you, lay on your belly and start kicking your feet. The object is to propel yourself across the pool surface. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up.

It’s fun, but make sure you are drinking plenty of water! You may not feel thirsty in the water but you still sweat.

Need some extra help and have your own pool? Let me assist your pool workout with a private one hour session. Or, get your friends together and I’ll lead a fun water fitness class for your group.

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5 Easy Stretches for Stiff, Sore Muscules

Feeling Stiff and Sore? 
Try These 5 Easy Stretches for relief
 
Whatever the reason for your stiffness, whether it’s from too much sitting or too much yard work, these stretches will help relieve those aches and pains. Do them everyday or at least 3x per week for maximum benefit.
1. Child’s Pose
Relieves lower back tension and stretches shoulders. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
2. Runner Stretch
Step one foot forward, bend front knee as you lower it to the ground while the back leg stretches out behind you. Try to place the top of your foot on the ground. For a deeper stretch lift straight leg knee off the  ground.
Stretches hips, quadriceps and hip flexors. Hold 10-20 seconds
3.Straight  Leg Reach
Inhale and reach for your toes  as you exhale keeping your back straight. No rounded shoulders. It’s okay if you can’t reach your toes. Hold at the point of max stretch.
Stretches: Hamstrings, glutes &  lower back.
Pull toes toward you for a calf stretch too.
4. Straddle Stretch
Sit on floor with wide legs. Inhale, slowly exhale while walking your hands forward until you feel the stretch in your inner thighs and hips. Hold for 10-20 seconds & walk hands out further & hold for 10-20 seconds.
5. Downward Dog
This a more challenging pose but stretches
from your calves to your shoulders. Start in kneeling position, slowly lift knees and try to straighten your legs. It’s okay if your knees are bent. Hold 10-20 seconds at the point you feel the stretch.
Stretching everyday keeps the muscles and ligaments loose and supple. When muscles are loose, blood, oxygen and nutrients can circulate more easily giving you energy.
If you would like more stretches for a particular area of your body feel free to contact me!

The Blessings of Solitude

be with yourself

 

In a world that seems to move ever faster in this always on, always connected lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to, It is no wonder we are more stressed and anxious. We feel lonely but are never alone. Maybe that is part of the problem. We need more alone time. When was the last time you were alone with yourself doing something you enjoy, for yourself? Not by yourself on your phone or on the computer but alone in quiet solitude.

Now a days it seems people are afraid of being alone. Perhaps they are afraid of what thoughts or feelings might arise that they’ve been avoiding, even denying. Maybe others view spending time alone as selfish or taking away from their loved ones.

It is perfectly healthy and normal to desire, to claim time for you.

Maybe your loved ones won’t understand why you need to be alone, they might become upset by it if you haven’t done it before. Stand your ground and do it anyway. They’ll soon see the happier you and will be encouraging you to do it more often.

Time alone is actually a gift to yourself.

What would happen if people spent more time alone?
For me, spending time alone allows me to re-charge and gain clarity into my life.
1. Spending time alone allows you to enjoy your own hobbies for the joy it brings. You don’t have to be an expert.
2. When alone, your mind wanders away from thoughts allowing creativity to flourish.
3. There’s no demands or deadlines so you can detach and destress.
4. you get to know yourself better and begin to enjoy your own company.
5. Spending time alone gives you the opportunity to nurture your soul and explore your inner world.  Alone time is nourishing and empowering sending the message: “I am important.”
How do you spend alone time? if it’s been awhile since you’ve given yourself some quality time, here’s some suggestions.
Take a walk, especially in nature – Scientific studies found walking in a woodland setting lowers blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormone levels and boosts immune function.
Write in a journal, garden, The possibilities are endless!
Receiving bodywork is another positive way to give yourself time to nourish body, mind and spirit. Although, in a massage you are with the therapist you can still be alone. Instead of conversing, stay quiet and be with yourself.
Visit our website to read about our upcoming retreats. They are the perfect way to claim time for nurturing yourself.  www.fullcirclewellnessllc.com

enjoy

A New Year, A New Opportunity

“The Sun doesn’t wait for anyone to notice it before it shines. Don’t hide your shine!”

new year

We’ve been hearing the New Year, New You slogan a great deal. While it is a New Year, you are still the same person you were a week ago. Only now you have the opportunity to do things differently, to learn from the past year. You can’t change anything that happened or mistakes made but you can learn from them, let them go, forgive yourself and look ahead.

 

What do you want this year? Decide what you want to change or to create. Then, most importantly take ACTION, however small the steps. Nothing will change if you don’t ACT.

 

At the start of a new year we feel charged and committed but oftentimes as the months progress old habits creep back. If we are not paying attention we find ourselves back in our comfort zone doing the same things we’ve always done. Now that’s not a bad thing, it just won’t help to get us where you want to go. 

It is certain that doing something different will feel awkward, scary and uncomfortable.  Just like when you were learning to drive, or learning a new skill. But, the more you did it the easier it became.

challenge

It takes at least 21 days to make a new habit permanent. In my younger years when faced with a decision to make positive changes my dad would always say: “A day is going to go by anyway.”

21

 

If you are looking to make changes in your life, you have to start somewhere and sometime. That sometime might as well be NOW!  NO more procrastinating or dwelling on the fear. Instead, focus on the outcome and how amazing you’ll feel when you see the results of your efforts.

Making changes in one area of your life will most definitely create positive change in other areas also.

So where do you start?

  1. Decide what it is you’d like to change or create. Keep it simple and achievable.
  2. What are the necessary steps to take to begin?
  3. Get someone to help you. They can act as an accountability partner or give you support when struggling.

new year quote

Try not to make your resolutions “shoulds” instead, make certain it is a true desire. While you are at it remember to include nourishing your mind and spirit along with your body.  Now that’s a FUN resolution! Nourishing yourself!

If you feel you need support to get started we offer a 20 minute FREE consultation. Tell us what you want to change or create and we’ll help you get there. Email us, full.circle@comcast.net.

Let this year be your year to LET YOUR  LIGHT SHINE!!inner light 2

inner light

Relieve chronic stress with meditation

meditation

A little stress in life is okay. It helps motivate you to get things done and keeps you safe. However, too much stress experienced over time will wear down your body making you sick both physically and mentally.
During stressful situations your body releases cortisol (stress hormone) triggering the fight or flight response. During this response your blood pressure rises as your heart beats faster, breathing quickens, muscles tighten and immune system is suppressed, your body stores fat and cells including brain cells begin to break down.  Your body is preparing itself to fight the danger or flee.
In our society we are always “on”, over scheduled and always connected to our electronic devices and cell phones leaving little time for quiet moments. Each person handles stress differently. Our bodies were not designed to handle long term, chronic stress without consequences.
Stress is experienced on every level. On an emotional level stress may make us feel agitated, overwhelmed, moody, tearful or depressed.
On a physical level stress can cause us to feel low in energy, headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and may even feel like a heart attack. One may also experience insomnia, frequent colds or infections. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are additional signs of physical stress.
When we are under stress we tend to worry more, become forgetful or have racing thoughts or an inability to focus along with negative thinking which only makes us sink further into a downward spiral to depression.
Certainly our behavior is also affected with stress. We may lose our appetite or over eat, procrastinate and even avoid our responsibilities. Some may turn to using alcohol, drugs or cigarettes as a means of self-medicating. Of course nail biting, pacing and fidgeting are also common signs of feeling stress.
Long term consequences of stress even affect our mental health causing depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and strokes.
The daily clutter of incessant thoughts in our minds becomes a nagging presence. However, just as we spring clean our homes and de-clutter closets, garages and attics. We also need to de-clutter our minds.
Meditation is great way to reduce stress and is the number one reason people practice it. Regular meditation creates benefits on all levels of being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
You don’t have to sit and chant for hours. The purpose is to quiet the mind while strengthening the relationship between your mind and body to focus on the present moment. It sounds easy but with our over active thoughts, sitting quietly can be daunting even frustrating at first.
Meditation isn’t about doing it “right” but becoming acutely self-aware. It’s learning to listen with your heart. The more aware you are of the sensations in your body, the feelings in your heart and thoughts in your mind, the better you can understand your life and how your thoughts effect your emotions which affect you physically. Becoming a master at monitoring yourself and your thoughts and feelings puts you in the driver seat to your life so you are able to steer it onto the desired path instead of allowing life to happen to you making you feel like a victim.
Meditation helps you transform your self-image into greater confidence and self-belief by getting to know who you really are and learning to accept and embrace every part of your true self. Through meditation, you will discover that your doubts, insecurities and fears you thought defined you, are only superficial. Then you can tap into your true unlimited potential that is within you.
Benefits of meditation:
Decreased blood pressure
Lower cholesterol levels
Improved oxygen use by the body
Increased production of the anti aging hormone DHEA.
Studies have found that as little as eight weeks of daily meditation not only helped people feel calmer but produced growth and changes in areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy and sense of self.
So why meditate?
1. Reduce your stress – Helps you focus on the present moment not in the past or future.
2. Helps to clear the mind and become aware of your inner dialogue.
3. Helps reduce physical pain
4. Improves overall mood through the day.
5. Helps to create distance from situations or events to gain a new, more objective perspective, observing from the outside rather than being immersed and reacting to these situations or emotional triggers.
Are you ready to sit in the driver’s seat of your life? Here are some techniques to help you get started with a meditation practice.
Before meditating do some simple stretches which helps to start the process of going inward.
1. Light a candle and stare at the flame. Sit quietly and pay attention to the flame, color changes, how it dances with air movement. Whatever thoughts, emotions come up allow them to come and go without judging them or attempting to push them away. Be aware of them then continue to focus on the flame.

2. Sit quietly for 5 minutes each day either before your start your day in the morning or when you are quiet just before bed. Focus on your breathing. Slowly, deep inhale through the nose for a count of 4, hold for 4 seconds then slowly exhale for 4 count, Allow thoughts to come and go. Repeat breathing sequence.

3. Weather permitting, sit outside with eyes closed and pay attention to the sounds, scents and sensations. Birds chirping, wind blowing, leaves rustling. As you sit, scan your body noticing any tightness or sensations. Remain aware of thoughts, emotions and how your body feels. If you are feeling any particular emotion, can you identify it and where you may feel it in your body?

4. Use a mantra, which is a word or phrase to help quiet the mind. Try So Hum (I Am). Say in your mind as you inhale “So”, as you exhale say in your mind “Hum”. Repeat for as long as you remain in meditation.

Sat, Chit, Ananda (Love, Consciousness, Bliss) is another mantra or you may use any positive phrase that resonates with you.

If you find you are becoming frustrated, remember to breathe and let it go, then re focus. Start your meditation 5-10 minutes long and as you become more experienced you will find you are able to sit for longer periods.
Remember, meditation is like anything in life. To master it you have practice it and make it part of your daily routine. If you make the time to meditate and quiet your mind you will find life becomes smoother, answers and deeper insights come and your reactions to others and situations are less unconscious. You will become the master of your life guiding it with Love.

mind speak

fullcirclewellnessllc.com / 609-839-3810 / full.circle@comcast.net

Silence Please!!

Have you ever noticed how little time people spend in silence? I mean actually being quiet, without their phone attached to their ears or thumbs and no radio blaring or TV droning? Look around, folks everywhere and I mean everywhere are obsessively attached to a device. In the stores, in their cars. I’ve heard ladies on the phone in the bathroom stalls and in the changing rooms of a department store. And have you seen the couples at a restaurant sitting across from each other, heads down, on their phones texting or web surfing? No words pass between the couple.

My theory is; as convenient as cell phones have become, people have become more afraid of silence. To the point they almost feel they cease to exist if there is no connection on the other end. Or, perhaps they are avoiding silence because they don’t want to have to look at their perceived misfortunes or problems. And people wonder why they are so stressed, why bad things happen to them. It’s because they are not paying attention to what is going on, on the inside of their head and hearts. Yes, People have become disconnected from themselves and keep seeking on finding the answers in the next phone call or on the internet. Really people need to stop talking and start listening, to themselves, to their heart. It is speaking loudly but they can’t hear it above all the other noise.

Silence seems scary, as it implies being alone or isolated. However, it is quite the contrary. In silence we find answers to our life’s questions and dilemmas. Try it sometime. The best way to experience silence is to take a walk in nature. Your mouth is quiet as you pay closer attention with your ears, eyes, nose, and touch. Listen to the birds and watch them fly, feel the bark on a tree, smell the changing scents in the air. In silence, we come to truly know ourselves and that makes us feel more confident, less insecure.

Another effective means to try on silence is in an aquatic bodywork called WATSU. You float in warm water with the assistance of the therapist. As she moves you slowly through the water, you become keenly aware of your own body as it relaxes. The weightlessness and sensory reduction of being in the water transports you to an almost meditative state. In the water the world is quiet but you can hear your own breathing and safely go within yourself without getting lost.

Monks take a vow of silence in order to become enlightened, not only about themselves but about the world around them. They learn to communicate without speaking. They learn love and compassion by listening.

In silence, we can go within ourselves to find our own enlightenment of who we truly are. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo schedule a watsu session and experience the depth of silence and peace felt. Visit my website at http://www.fullcirclewellnessllc.com, or visit me on Facebook at fullcirclewellnessllc. These sessions are given at the AtlantiCare LifeCenter in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.

What does the Forest say?

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Throughout my life I retreated to the forest for comfort. Sometimes I walked angrily, other times frustrated tears fell to the soft carpet of leaves and pine needles beneath my feet. As I walked the forest, my footsteps were quieted. In the quiet, I found solace among the trees with each step. I felt the tension falling away. I watched the trees sway gracefully in the breeze and listened to the birds chirp and flit from one branch to another. Letting go of my thoughts I witnessed the beauty around me. Nature bears no conflict or struggle, it merely accepts and bends with the flow of changing circumstances. In its reverent stillness my mind quieted as my heart filled. I was in the moment, just BEING. I was observing nature. Was it observing me? It must have been. I felt so comforted as though the forest understood me. All I felt from my surroundings was LOVE, Unconditional LOVE. In this place I wanted to remain. As I left the forest I felt lighter in spirit, freer in my mind. Cleansed.

I always thought my over active imagination was the reason I loved being in a forest. To my pleasant surprise I have learned that Shinrin-Yoku which means forest bathing is something being practiced in Japan. Forest bathing is literally spending time in the woods for its therapeutic benefit. Science has actually confirmed its healing influence on the body. When you spend time in a woodland setting you breathe in phytonicides, which is the active substances released by the plants and trees to protect them from animals, insects and decomposition. This substance has been studied and concludes that photonicides lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, stress, decreases pain and improves concentration. It also has anti cancer effects.

One of the services I offer are meditative hikes and kayak journeys into the nearby forest of Wharton State park in Batsto, NJ. These journeys are meant to help you:
*Quiet your mind and experience a deeper connection with your higher self
*Listen with your heart to hear the answers you have been seeking.
*Experience a sense of peace and understanding to a higher truth
*Become more aware and conscious of your thoughts and how
they effect you.
*Enhance and deepen the connection between nature and yourself
*Move to a more enlightened state of being by being mindful
of your awareness and attention to the moment.

Before you hit the malls and start the holiday hustle bustle, join us this Saturday, November 29th at 10am. We will be taking an easy 3 mile hike to reflect on the things we are grateful for in our lives. While we are hiking we will be helping a hungry soul. 50% of the proceeds from this hike will go to Sister Jean’s Soup Kitchen in AC, NJ. So register now! Start the holidays in peace and gratitude.003
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=8idcltcab&oeidk=a07ea3apfzr75e5609f
For more information please visit my website; http://www.fullcirclewellnessllc.com or on Facebook: fullcirclewellnessllc