Apr 19 2017
As the skies fill with less clouds and more softly floating cherry blossom petals, energies that have been hibernating are now taking the stage, offering new life into all that we have been creating over the last few months. This is a time when we shed our layers, literally and figuratively, and make way for new and exciting moments. It’s important that not only on the surface we feel prepared for this seasonal and energetic transition, but within ourselves and the subtle layers of our beings. Here are some ways you can ready your body, mind, soul, (and house!) for what lies ahead.
1. Ditch the Un-used.
This is one of the biggest ways in which we impede the natural flow of growth and change. Holding on to physical items that we no longer use or care about not only clutters up our visible space, but contributes to maintaining ties with the past and getting in the way of our mental and emotional clarity. What’s better is that often these items can go to homes where they would be much more appreciated, helping more than just the state of our closets but those in need.
2. Do the Lemon Water Thing
Just try it and see how you feel. Warm water with lemon every morning is a super easy and superbly beneficial way to clear toxins, reset the digestive system and you may notice clearer and more vibrant skin among other pluses! You may have heard the term ‘alkalization’ or ‘alkaline’ among one of the many health blogs circulating, and for good reason. What this basically means is that we are choosing foods and drinks that are going to bring our ever-changing chemical levels into a pH balance where our physiological processes run at their smoothest and our bodies become a place where disease is less likely to occur. Nowadays with the amount of toxic foods and lifestyles we are constantly surrounded with, our bodies can become too acidic, allowing health problems to develop because, quite simply, nothing is running the way it should. On top of giving you a Vitamin C boost, though it seems acidic, lemon is alkaline forming.
3. Clear your E-Mess
This may sound funny (or a scary task) but those hundreds (or thousands) of emails that don’t seem to affect us to contribute as a bit of a dragging weight on a subconscious level. This goes for all those desktop icons that need purging, old voicemails, pictures that need archiving. Get rid of the bulk and see how head first you dive into upcoming projects.
4. Get Fresh
Comfort foods have provided us with the strength and sustenance we’ve needed through this chilly time of year, but we’re moving on to fresher and brighter things. Incorporating bright, fresh whole foods into our warm recipes will ease us into more lively summer meals and pack a serious nutritional punch that will fire us up to get going. Go for the rainbow, and don’t be afraid to get creative with fruits and veggies you wouldn’t normally use!
5. Banish the Dust Demons
In addition to looking desirable and creating a welcoming environment from which to grow, giving our nests a proper scrub will get rid of all the unseen dust, bacteria and allergens that take a toll on the immune system. The last thing we want is to be stuck with a cold when the sun’s shining!
6. Get a Massage
When we’re freezing and stuck indoors, not only do we have a tendency to round our backs and shoulders as we shield our faces from the rain and get into poor postural grooves at the computer, but we can often hold onto this tightness long after the cold is gone. Think about how the body feels almost instantly softer when laying in the sun. Treating yourself to a tension-freeing session is the perfect way to jumpstart your momentum as we spring into the sunnier wave of the year.
Apr 07 2017
We all know that warm, relaxed (and of course sometimes a bit sore) sensation we’re left with after an appointment with an RMT. Tension that earlier in the day was the centre of attention is now taking the bench, and hey, our stresses seem to be over there too.
While nothing beats the skilled touch of an RMT, here are a few restorative yoga postures you can do at home to give you that ‘back to balance’ feeling in between sessions.
1. Child’s Pose
The one yoga pose to rule them all, and for good reason! Not only are you alleviating spinal pressure in Child’s Pose, but you are simultaneously bringing openness into the hips, thighs and upper and lower back muscles, all the while in a passive position that can invoke a deep sense of calm and security. Child’s pose can also help activate your digestive processes, and provides us a welcome opportunity to turn inward and enjoy a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle.
2. Legs up the Wall
A favourite of many, legs up the wall is one of the most beneficial and effortless postures in yoga and is considered deeply therapeutic. Simply inverting for a period of time everyday allows gravity to help regulate tension, promote circulation of fluids within all extremities, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure. You may find that holding this position for an extended length of time provides intensely relaxing effects. Try 5-10 minutes to start, and increase to as long as you feel comfortable with. Try placing soft pillows under the arms, lower back or neck for even more support. *Note: You do not need to lay on the hard floor for this to take effect. If your bed is up against a wall, do it from here for maximum comfort!
3. Reclined Twist
They say you are as young as your spine is flexible. As the fluids in the spine don’t move by themselves and can be a storing ground for built up toxins and free-radicals, this is a great reason to bring a gentle spinal twist into a relaxation routine. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and arms out to the sides. Softly lower your knees to the right, looking over the left shoulder. Pause here and breathe deeply. Repeat on opposite side.
4. Seated Forward Bend
All the feels of a morning stretch but at any time of day. Seated Forward Bend targets the back side of the entire body, while promoting digestion and washing away stresses as we turn inward. Approach this posture lightly, your body will do the rest. Close your eyes.
Although it is a pose of complete surrender and relaxation, this can make it slightly more challenging. Still the mind by focusing on each part of the body you are hoping to bring ease. Mentally relax this part, and move onto the next. If you feel the mind wander, just come back.
Enjoy knowing that with only a bit of effort, these poses are helping to revitalize the body and mind, restoring balance and promoting your wellbeing from the ground up.
Apr 03 2017
As a dedicated yogi and advocate for good health, and throughout much self research into various healing dualities, strangely, massage has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. Sure I’d had a few relaxing experiences in tropical locales that did seem to provide noticeable benefits to my state of calm, particularly during the session, but coming in to Soma Studio I was greeted with not only a different environment but an unanticipated approach altogether. Instantly upon my assessment with my RMT, I could tell that this was much more involved than I had imagined. While some come to massage for general relaxation and relief of your everyday tensions, some are drawn to it seeking to heal deeper rooted concerns, whether that is physical imbalance or injury, emotional trauma or a knot that just won’t seem to budge.
What remained intact through a treatment that continued to pleasantly surprise me was the encapsulating tranquil and comfortable atmosphere that was maintained the whole way through. Often times nowadays, medicine and remedial practices tend to take a sterile and unwelcoming persona, so much so that a lot of people are put off by say, going in for a doctor’s appointment, and I realized that this calibre of massage therapy was breaking that stigma, through the use of techniques and skills that stand before a backbone of in depth physiological science and first hand experience.
I briefly shared with my RMT my physical concerns, and she was receptive and very professional as she did a postural assessment. Meeting me back in the room, I was given an overview of what to expect, and that at any time to let her know if something was not working, or was. Due to my specific needs, my RMT started off with what they call ‘Myofascial Release’ techniques. This method uses no oil, as the therapist needs to be able to grip the skin, working not only with the muscles but the subtler layers of connective tissues, known as fascia, that can be the cause of tightness and discomfort. I immediately felt the difference in how my body was reacting to this practice, as it wasn’t just a specific muscle that was causing my distress but an entire cohesive area. Giving the utmost attention to the spots that I had highlighted and a balanced level of care to the rest of my body, I was impressed an intrigued by my RMT’s intuitive knowledge regarding pressure level, pinpointing muscles I didn’t even know were there, and fluid motion, even using an oil-free technique.
The session took a natural curve, beginning with lighter impressions and working up to a full on therapeutic treatment, before easing into a soothing finale to the upper back, neck, shoulders and head in what I would describe as ‘assertive yet reassuring wavelike movements’. I was left feeling light and fascinated by how accurate my RMT’s techniques had been.
Moral of the story, booking an appointment with an RMT may be just what you’ve been seeking to restore balance in the body, and can become an important ritual in a self care routine, that doesn’t feel like a chore in the slightest.
Many thanks to Tina at Soma Studio East for providing an excellent treatment from which to share the experience. To book an appointment with a Registered Massage Therapist, give us a call or book online.