Suggestions on how to get a better sleep
I am often asked by my yoga students and private clients about yoga poses that can help them sleep better. There are several that are good for helping with sleep including child's pose, legs up the wall and reclining bound angle pose. Fitness magazine did a nice job of demonstrating those yoga poses.
But there are also teas and tinctures that can be very helpful. I share them with you in this video.
Happy steeping and sleeping!
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The Secrets of Oil Pulling
I love my teeth. As a matter of fact : one of my favorite personal care activities is brushing my teeth! So, it goes along to say that I am a big advocate for a healthy mouth which equals a healthy body.
I'm often asked how I keep my teeth so white. My little secret is ... oil pulling.
Oil pulling is easy. It's fast. It's economical. It's uber beneficial to your oral hygiene as well as your overall well-being.
Here's what it is and how to do it :
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique dating back about 3000 years. It involves swishing oil in the mouth for a short period of time between 5 minutes and 20 minutes each day or as a weekly ritual. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is called Kavala Gandusha or Kavala Graha and is referred to as medicinal gargling. It is a very important element to oral hygiene that has other benefits to the body's overall health and well-being.
If we agree that the mouth houses millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins, then the oil acts like a cleanser, pulling out the toxicity before they get a chance to spread throughout the body.
It's kind of a miracle how it works.
If the bacteria, fungi and other toxins are not passed through the system, then the immune system is free to activate other elements and helps the body reduce stress, curtail internal inflammation and other more immediate "attacks" on the system. This all equals a more vibrant body and system in present time.
Oil pulling has many benefits and I encourage you to do your research. There are many books and information written on the topic.
I would also encourage you to just start doing it and see how you feel. Be your own physician and test the process.
How does Oil Pulling Work?
First thing in the morning on an empty stomach and before drinking any liquids (including water), take one tablespoon of sunflower or sesame oil or coconut oil into your mouth. Do not swallow the oil but swish it around for 5-20 minutes. You can multi-task here and check your emails, social media, make breakfast for you kids or hang with your pet. Enjoy the swishing and DO NOT SWALLOW!
When the time is up, spit out the oil in a napkin and discard in the trash.
DO NOT SPIT THE OIL DOWN THE DRAIN UNLESS YOU WANT CLOGGED DRAINS IN YOUR FUTURE!
Rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth. And that's it!
Continue with your day. It's as easy and beautiful as that.
Which Oils to Use
Ayurveda traditionally recommended certain oils for oil pulling depending on your dosha : kapha, pitta and vata.
Personally, I love sesame oil but many people enjoy coconut oil.
Sesame oil is more warming than other oils and may be more gently detoxifying than other oils that are “colder” energetically. It has a somewhat strong sesame flavor, which is a familiar food taste for most people. Sunflower oil has a milder taste if you prefer that. Coconut oil is a familiar taste for many people. It has a cooler energy than sesame oil, so it’s good for people who tend to have a warmer constitution or condition of heat. Some people have reported that coconut oil is more strongly detoxifying, which isn’t always a good thing for some people, so it’s best to be cautious and go slowly
You can experiment, trying different types of oils to see which one feels best to you. You can also experiment with oil pulling for a longer or shorter duration, and doing it more or less often. It is recommended to use organic, unrefined, cold pressed oils.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
1. WHITENS TEETH
Top of the list! The oil has natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brighten and clean teeth, keeping them quite white. Try it for two weeks and test the results.
2. INCREASES ENERGY
Oil pulling lowers the amount of energy the immune system has to generate to continually clear out toxicity. This naturally helps us to feel better holistically.
3. DETOXES THE BODY
One of the gateways of germs into the body is through the mouth. Taking out the germs at the source helps to prevent the spread within the body.
4. AIDS HORMONAL CHANGES
Without having to compete with other elements, hormones can function better.
5. REDUCES HEADACHES
Oil pulling is a big time help with headaches and migraines. All I can say is try it the next time you wake up with a headache from having drank too much alcohol the night before and see how you feel.
6. KEEPS THE SKIN CLEAR
Removing toxins from the body that would otherwise make it into the bloodstream means the skin has a chance to shine. Rashes and skin issues often reduce dramatically, or even clear up completely, when oil pulling.
7. PROMOTES ORAL HYGIENE
Oil pulling is highly effective at reducing tooth cavities and at eliminating bad breath.
When you start this technique, you might experience some of the positive effects immediately, or it may take a few days or even weeks. It will be personal and particular to you and it will also depend on the state of your immune system.
Try it! It's easy. And, then let me know how it goes!!!!
Are you an Oil Puller? Share your experience in the comments!
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Are you Ready?
In New York City there is always someone doing something amazing, off-the-charts, innovative, out-of-this-world, gorgeous, connected, and well, just BIG! And living in New York City now for over 20 years, I have noticed the cycles of creativity and the rhythm of flow and there are seasons for everything.
There are moments in our lives when we feel that nothing is happening. We are bored, flat-lined, depressed, out of sorts, not motivated.
And then comes the existential wondering :s What am I doing with my life? What's the big picture? or maybe you consider questions of happiness .... What's going to make me happy? Is what I'm doing now bringing me joy?
The cycle of inquisition and reflections starts and the mind, the heart and the body start to move in all sorts of directions. What's is all about? And what am I supposed to do now?
Wherever you go with this cycle, it often-times may feel like it is a state that lasts too long and yet, this "flat-line" time period may be the most important times of your life. Pay attention to them. And watch and listen and take action. One conscious step at a time.
When it feels like there is NOTHING happening in your life is precisely the time when you need to PREPARE and PLAN for the moment when something IS going to happen.
Because when the Dalai Lama calls for you, you want to be ready!
And you don't know when that time will come. SO get ready.
The time you need to go deep is during that downtime when there is no creativity flowing, when the world feels dull, when the days are long and you feel lonely and disconnected from your source.
This is the time you need to go deep and it looks a little different than you might expect. Maybe it is going on that yoga retreat or meditation weekend or writing or getting the therapy appointment on the books. But, if you've been down this road a couple of times, you know, those activities may be good for a short-term fix but then the duldroms creep back into your life. So what makes real change?
It's not what you think. Ready?
Get organized with your external space and your internal space will miraculously shift, too.
Here's your homework:
Clean the closets, wipe down the counters, organize the pictures and the mail, sit for longer meditations, stock the pantry with food, sweep the floor, buy candles and incense, do the laundry, clear out the cobwebs and button up the shirts! In other words, PREPARE for your magic day. And do it with purpose and intention and clarity for as long as it takes until you have the moment when you get the call from the Dalai Lama. And it will come.
And You will be ready! YES!
The "call from the Dalai Lama" is code for the opportunity that you've been waiting to arise. And when that opportunity comes, you want to be ready. And furthermore, you want to be ready to CHOOSE if you wish to engage and receive it or not.
Our preparation leads us to the awakening to more opportunities. And these opportunities are happening in every day many times a day. When we are busy with other circumstances and conflicted with extraneous noise, some opportunities do not have a place yet and we have to wait for an opening.
When you get skilled at this preparation practice, you will notice that you may sometimes desire the periods of flat-lining to return again so there is time to relax and renew and reassess values, goals, intentions and quality of attention. Then the time comes and we start again.
This flow is not always so smooth. There are big waves and small waves and obstacles and setbacks, but the important thing to remember is to continue to prepare for the future that is awaiting you. And when opportunity knocks you can say, "I'm Ready!" and choose if it is what you wish to create or wait for the next opportunity that comes.
It is in the preparation that we have the power of choice.
And that is ultimate power : self responsibility, self accountability and freedom of choice!
So make your bed, take a bath, fold the laundry, do the dishes, sweep the floor, fluff the pillows, prepare the flowers, pour the tea and sit.
Your opportunity will come and you will be ready!
On a flight to Seattle, I was reflecting on the last three months since January 1st arrived and what had shifted for me in my heart and mind to build my dream and I wrote this poem.
Build your dream
On rock and with cream
Step by step you will be seen
And in a lickety split
The vision and mission come together with wit
Things are flowing
With effortless effort
When you build your dream
On rock and with cream...
I have a big wig New York City yoga client who is one of those hot shot merger and acquisitions dudes. If I shared with you the companies he works with, you might be uber impressed. He's got a family, a couple of houses, a huge business and a big life.
I see him each week in his townhouse on the Upper East Side, New York City, that he dedicates to his well-being...meaning he has another home where he lives with his family. The townhouse is his space to chill and renew. But who cares about the rich and famous, right? What's the point?
Well, there are many things that are super impressive about this man, but what I find incredibly inspiring and empowering is this: HE IS PRESENT.
When we work together, his smart phone is in another room and he is completely in his practice.
A man with three kids, a wife, a household, a huge business and a heck of a lot of responsibility beyond the scope of most people, is off line and unavailable for a solid hour. No multi-tasking. He is in the moment and completely dedicated to his learning, his health and well-being and his purpose.
This got me thinking about success and the amazing successful people that I know in my life and what I notice is that people who have success in their live have certain qualities that they embody.
Commitment, Dedication, Presence, Goals, Clarity, and Coaching
I'm sure they have many other important qualities that keep themselves operating at the top of their game, but it seems like these leaders know what they want, they know how to delegate, they know how to perform, they know how to be accountable and responsible and they really get things done.
They are ALL IN with their life and their responsibilities. They are connected to the understanding that they are in charge of their lives and what they create in the world is up to them. They make it happen and stick with it with consistency.
They know how to delegate and what they are good at and what they can give up and keep moving towards the goal.
They are in alignment and stay connected to the moment and look at big picture goals and visions, as well as the details that need to be congruent to make it all happen.
They know what they want and seek out ways to make it happen in manageable bites and bigger chunks. But they create goals that are specific, measurable, accountable, reachable and timely (aka SMART goals).
They know what they want and they go for it. With clarity, they keep moving forward despite obstacles or setbacks. Clarity brings freedom.
Successful people seek coaches and other leaders and colleagues who are better than they are to continue to learn and accelerate their growth and potential. They build and seek a team around them that is stronger and more knowledgeable than themselves to keep evolving.
In the yoga industry, it is like teachers seeking teachers. We all want someone who has "been there before" to show us the way.
Here's Your Homework
Ask Yourself? Am I in alignment with my Highest Potential? Where could I be better with these leadership qualities in my life? What do I want? Am I ready when the big opportunity comes knocking at my door? What steps do I need to take to keep moving forward?
One step at a time the house gets built. Build your house on a firm foundation and make it a beautiful representation of your Self and your Dream.
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Chocolate + Poetry are two of my favorite things EVER!!!
When you buy a ChocoLove bar, you get the best of both worlds!
If you but knew
How all my days seemed filled with dreams of you.
How sometimes in the silent night
Your eyes thrill through me with their tender light,
How oft I hear your voice when others speak,
How you 'mid other forms I seek -
Oh, love more real than though such dreams were true
If you but knew.
- Unknown Author