Find and Maintain Wellness

Much of my professional work is about helping others find and maintain wellness in their lives. That means different things for different people. Personally, I find that taking charge of my own health and wellness is empowering. A holistic approach ensures nothing is overlooked and moves me toward balance.

Ask yourself what wellness means to you. Is it not catching a cold every winter? Is it taking fewer medications? Maybe wellness is taking the time to eat better and exercise. Or do you feel “well” when your stress level is low and joy in your life is high? Wellness can apply to your physical and mental health, your relationships, your job, and your spiritual life. The healthiest person among us might feel lonely and isolated and therefore, not well.

Once you have a definition of wellness and an idea of how or where you lack wellness in your life, there are many ways to bring yourself back into balance. For me and my clients, yoga plays a major role. The movement, breath, and meditation help us feel present in our body and minds. The practices help us clear our minds and focus. With clarity we can decide what works for us and what we need to let go of to achieve wellness.

Nutrition also plays a huge part. What and how we eat nourishes our bodies. Physical wellness is most affected by diet and movement. Often when you supplement the orders of your physician with a whole foods diet you improve the effectiveness of your treatment plan. You are what you eat is a true statement!

There are so many other ways to find and maintain wellness. Time spent in nature or with family and friends will feed the soul. Volunteering or participation in a hobby can make you feel complete. The use of essential oils, mantra, prayer, crystals, massage, reiki…all these things help us get and stay in balance. Right now salt rooms, forest bathing, and flotation tanks are all the rage – and they work too! Explore all different roads to find the options that work best for you.

To me, wellness means feeling whole. To feel whole I use a holistic approach to address body, mind, spirit, and environment. As a holistic guide I honor that each of my clients is different and seek ways that resonate with them and support them on their journey. Then we work together help them achieve the wellness they seek.

What does wellness mean to you?

Namaste,

Melissa, Holistic Guide

 

Why A Home Practice?

Mudra lightThe first answer that pops into my mind is – why not? It’s unrealistic to think you’ll always make it to the yoga studio or fitness center. Life happens after all! There may be travel, sick family members, or jobs that get in your way. Having a go-to home practice is the perfect fix.

Home practice can be approached several ways. DVD’s, YouTube, and the internet can provide a  variety of classes and different teachers. There are classes out there for beginners to advanced in a variety of yoga styles. It may take a minute to figure out your personal preferences but once you’ve got it dialed in it’s an easy way to practice from home or on the road.

Books and yoga decks are another option. These options provide pictures and alternatives like easier/harder variations, use of props, etc. They allow you to create a practice that works for you and goes at your speed. (I’ve heard complaints that videos sometimes move too fast.)

Another great option is to create your own home practice. All you need is some information and guidance and you can create a well-rounded home practice specifically for you. It’s important to include a variety of poses from different categories. Then add in a few things you love and a few things you struggle to enjoy. To help you get started I’ll offer two chances for you to learn how to create a practice. Those dates are June 12 at 2:00pm and June 28 at 6:00pm. You can register here.

If you can’t attend either of those times I’m happy to create a flow for you. Contact me directly to arrange that.

A home practice deepens what you experience in class. It provides the opportunity to practice discipline. It keeps you excited about learning more about yourself and about yoga. Home practice is the foundation we build the rest of our journey around. Once you begin a home practice you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

 

Embrace Something New

You’ve likely seen my newsletter about closing the yoga studio. If you haven’t, you can read it here. While change can be hard for all of us, everyone has been supportive. I’m blessed with the best clients in the world. Thank you.

As we move toward July 31st I want to share some of what I have planned. Expect to see several of these updates in the next 60 days because, like most change, this is a process. I’m hard at work developing programs and re-organizing my world. There is plenty of work to do, decisions to make, and change to embrace.

As a holistic guide I’ll work with you to achieve your goals. Those goals could be physical but could go beyond the physical to the emotional or spiritual. You may want to quiet your mind and meditate more. You may choose to explore better nutrition. Perhaps you’d like to see how essential oils or reiki could enhance your daily life. Your journey to a better you can be fun and educational and I can support you on your path. There are so many holistic modalities to explore and I have the knowledge to help you choose the right ones for you.

I envision working with couples or families to make healthy lifestyle changes. I want to teach meditation to more people. I want to share the deeper aspects of yoga with small groups. And I’m not waiting until July 31st to start. There are two opportunities to delve into the spiritual side of yoga coming in May and June. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and  Yamas and Niyamas: A Deeper Look are book based study groups designed to make you think about the choices you make every day. It’s powerful stuff and you’ll be amazed at the changes you see from simply looking deeper. You can sign up for either of these class here.images

Stay tuned for more information as we move toward July 31st. If you have questions or suggestions please reach out to me. I’m here to serve.

Namaste,

Melissa

Cedarwood

Cedarwood has been around since biblical times (it gets a mention in Leviticus 14.4 and 14.6). The Egyptians used it for embalming the dead. In Tibet it was used for medicinal purposes. My favorite use was by the North American Indians. They used it in their spiritual practices. It became a symbol of protection for the earth. It’s said that at night animals would lie under cedar wood trees for the protection and rejuvenation the trees would bring them. Cool stuff!

It’s an antiseptic and antifungal oil and is considered a diuretic. Cedarwood has purifying and sedative properties. It’s perfect for conditions of the nervous and respiratory systems. Here are some other ideas for using cedarwood:

  • Improve skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis
  • Improve cellulite
  • Prevent hair loss, dandruff
  • Relieve the symptoms of UTI
  • Water retention
  • Relieve the symptoms of bronchitis, cough, congestion
  • Help with nervous Tension, anxiety, ADHD
  • Anger
  • Pineal gland and ajna (third eye) chakra opening

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I love to diffuse cedarwood and find it mixes well with rosemary (memory), bergamot (anxiety), and clary sage (hormone balance), among others. Lavender and cedarwood in the diffuser at bedtime is a relaxing combination.This oil can be diluted and applied to the location needed. Add a drop to a dollop of shampoo for hair and scalp issues. Add to moisturizer to help with skin conditions and a drop in the mascara tube to grow eyelashes. Apply to the ajna chakra during spiritual practices.

How do you use cedarwood?

Namaste.

Melissa

This post reflects my own experiences with cedarwood.  It is NOT intended to be medical advice. I am NOT a healthcare professional. I’m simply sharing some of the ways I’ve used cedarwood to enhance my personal wellness. Please see your physician for help in treating any of the ailments discussed here.

 

The Number Four

In numerology the number four builds. That is to say,  what the number one conceives, the number two plans, and the number three envisions – the number four brings all this into form. It helps the idea take shape and sets the foundation.

When the four shows up you can be sure there will be order. Success comes through determination, practicality, and concentration. Without the  number four the world would be chaotic with plenty of great ideas floating around but not much getting done. Four applies the qualities of management and methodology to all undertakings to bring things together.

A lover of detail, it brings high standards, honesty, and courage to all it does. The four thrives with rules and loves tradition. Four can be a somewhat serious number. It’s a hard worker and sure to get things done, even if it takes more than one try.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the number four is stability. Think of someone who is always there for you in your life. Someone unwavering and steadfast. That person likely has fours in their chart somewhere.images

We all need a bit of the number four in our lives. If you want to find out how it shows up for you, contact me for a reading.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

Balance

Have you noticed that most of what I talk about relates back to the yoga mat? I see many people who want to work on their balance. They mean they want to be able to stand on one foot without falling over. What I know is that standing on one foot will lead to balance in other areas of their lives.

Our culture can be extreme. I think it comes from a desire to have control in a world that seems out of control. Marathon runners, low/no carb diets, workaholics…these are all ways we can be out of balance. The reverse is true as well. Too much screen time, couch potatoes, procrastination are at the other end. Somewhere in the middle is sweet spot.

Yoga uses the gunas to help us find balance. Rajas is the active, driven, passionate guna which is full of ego. Tamas is slower, full of chaos, anxiety, and destruction. Sattva is the harmonious guna, the one in the middle where there is balance, purity, and peace.

We need all three gunas to keep the world moving forward. Our work is to try to stay in a sattvic state more than a rajastic or tamastic state. Use rajas and tamas when needed but strive for the balance that comes from sattva.

Easier said than done, right? This is why I encourage you to come to your mat, breathe deeply, and find a comfortable, easy tree pose. Learn to hold it through any wobbles of the body or the mind. Trust that you’re learning more about balance than standing on one foot. Balance in the body will become balance in the mind and finally in every day life. Or at least most days. After all, balance is a practice too.

Namaste,

Melissahealthcoachheader2

Dig a Deeper Well

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If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my recent video about digging a deeper well. It talked about the idea that instead of abandoning your current path you should dig in and go deeper. I felt that I couldn’t do this topic justice in 60 seconds so here’s more.

We live in a highly “disposable” world. We like instant gratification and when we’re finished with something we often toss it aside. It’s one thing to buy a bottle of water, drink it, and throw away the bottle. It’s another thing to *fill in the blank*, have difficulty with *fill in the blank*, and walk away from *fill in the blank*. Yes, *fill in the blank* could be anything – a job, a relationship, a personal change (like a diet or exercise program), a hobby.

I’ll use yoga as an example. When people first try yoga they attend class for 6 or 8 or 10 weeks. It’s going along quite well. They feel stronger or more  flexible. They breathe deeper. And then they hit a wall. The body has adjusted, the mind is clearer, people feel present. All good things, right? So why do so many people stop doing a yoga practice at this point? Because it becomes uncomfortable. This discomfort is because it’s actually changing them at a deep level and change is hard and scary. So they go off to dig another well.

The video asked you to keep digging the same well. When the practice is hard keep practicing. When you get scared take a deep breath and move forward. When you have the urge to throw it all away and learn basket-weaving instead, please remember to love yourself and push through your doubts. It doesn’t have to be perfect all the time. The growth is worth the discomfort, I promise.

I’m not suggesting that you stay in a dead-end job or abusive relationship. I’m asking you to be truthful about why you don’t want to dig this well. Is it truly because there’s no water at the bottom or because you don’t believe you deserve to drink from the well.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

Why I Join a CSA

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I want to share my experience with CSA’s.

Many years ago I read several books about food that changed the way I viewed the produce on my table. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver was one of those books. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan was another. I made the decision for my family that I wanted to eat local first, organic second whenever possible. So, I support as many local food based businesses as I can, including a CSA.

I’ve been in 3 or 4 different CSA’s over the years and each is slightly different. Most  require you to pay at the beginning of the growing season for the entire season. Each week you receive a box of produce from what they harvest for 20-26 weeks.

Being in a CSA brings me closer to my food. I’ve learned what grows well here in Indiana. The farmer sends a weekly email about what’s planted, what needs water, what has bugs, what’s doing well, and what isn’t. I get a sense of his process. I can visit the farm and see my food in the ground. I can shake the farmer’s hand and thank him for nourishing my family. I can see how my support helps to nourish his family.

I receive a variety of produce and a lot of it. Not just stuff I want or like but what’s naturally available at any given time over the summer. That sparks my creativity as I plan meals around the massive amount of produce in my kitchen. I often have enough to share with family and friends. I’ve learned to preserve food. We eat produce from the farmer all winter long. And trust me, you’ll never feel as healthy as you do after a summer full of fresh produce.

There are still spots open in my CSA. If you’re interested I’m happy to share details or answer questions. A google search will bring up CSA’s in your area. And if you participate in a CSA now please share your experience with us.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

 

 

Juicing and Blending

Juicing has been a hippie health practice since the 1960’s. Super green smoothies have become very popular in the last decade. Do both seem a little extreme to you? Do you wonder if there are benefits or if it’s all hype? Do you turn your nose up at anything green?

I teach a class designed to bring understanding to these crazy drinks. There are differences – you juice to meet certain needs and blend (as we call it) for others. There are similarities too. Both are full of nutrients. Both are an excellent way to add servings of vegetables and fruits to your diet. Both can facilitate wellness and healing.

My favorite thing about both is that you can be creative. A juice or blend should reflect what you need, what you like, and what you have on hand. With the right equipment both are easy to make and you’ll find something for everyone in your household. I know dogs who enjoy a good green smoothie from time to time. No, really! They love it.

The best part about the class is that we’ll make a few juices and a few blends so you can taste what’s possible. I’ll send you home with recipes and resources to help you get started. Then you can amaze your family and friends with all kinds of deliciousness.

The next class is Saturday. Sign up here by Friday at 5:00. And watch for another chance to take this class soon.

Namaste,

Melissa

The Number Three

images-1Oh the joy of the number three! With so much artistic energy and imagination,  you’re sure to express yourself under the influence of the three. Three is an emotional number that likes to spend time with family and friends and takes the time to slow down and enjoy the ride. Pleasure is a key principle of three.

When the three shows up in your life it’s a time to use your vision to improve your life and/or the world. You’ll either be inspired or be inspiring. Either way, let the creativity flow! This is a time to turn dreams into reality.

Three loves to love. It has an inclusive feel to it. Many interesting experiences come with a three. A three has a certain flair the other numbers lack.

How does three impact your life? Is it a number that resonates with you? To learn more about numerology and the energy of the number three visit the website. It’s easy to schedule your personalized reading from there.

Namaste,

Melissa