• 5 Awesome Things That Happened When I Tried this Organization Technique

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    As a longtime list maker and former stationery addict, when I began seeing the recent influx of posts on the organizational trend that is the ‘Bullet Journal’, I was instantly intrigued. Not one to follow crazes but always open to anything that is a self-started organizational tool, I started my own. Though I have always kept somewhat coherent lists and notes, often jotted throughout a tiny spiral book, what I noticed instantly about the ‘Bullet Journaling’ technique, (which I translated very loosely into a larger spiralled notebook) was that the segmentation and occasionally drawing little images to break up the monotony of the written chaos did in fact seem to help. Here are a few ways in which the bullet journalling technique has upped my daily game in concentration, prioritization and relaxation.

    I feel less stressed.

    Blessed with the gift of a good memory, I have a tendency to rely on it and overload my internal to-do list to the point where my present tasks take a hit, as I am pre-occupied with the up and coming tasks that subconsciously whirl through my mind.

    Even if some things do not get checked off at the end of each day or desired timeframe, the mere fact that they are now residing in their respective spaces in the book allows me to clear my head and focus on present endeavours, free from constantly ‘reminding myself to remind myself to remember’.

    I feel clearer about my progress.

    As a visual person, it helps me keep tabs on goals, tasks, and the like by providing an image I can latch onto instead of consistently having to refer to my own chicken scratch. This way of maintaining clarity in the book also proves to maintain it in my mind. Although perhaps silly, this allowed me to take time for myself more and practice self care

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    My daily intentions and mantras have become more consistent.

    Keeping a written recollection of the intentions and positive reminders that I strive to make a part of my everyday routine has become easier, as upon waking, I can refer to these points as a kickstarter for a successful day, even if I am feeling out of sorts or running late with a million things going through my head.

    My shopping has become streamlined.

    Although as aforementioned a proud list-maker, where it seems to take the wayside is when it comes to grocery lists. But employing a specific section for this entices me to actually include my desired ingredients there, and utilize it when out. In turn, my mealtimes have recently become more organized and balanced, which has helped me save money.

    I feel less confused in general.

    Keeping everything in one book has been a big one. In the past, I would designate different notebooks for their own specific subject, but since merging into one, I find that having one book instead of two or four has greatly reduced the impact of external disjointed topics, and in response, the internal. Unloading all of the ideas, inspirations, ‘to-dos’ and projects that come up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, has allowed me to focus on the present moment, prioritize within them, and find a new sense of freedom even with a busy schedule.

    The best thing about starting your own ‘Bullet Journal’ is that there are really no rules, just guidelines to help you design a system that works for you!

    Check out this post with tips on how to start: http://creativesavingsblog.com/life-and-style/time-management/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal/

  • 5 Restorative Yoga Poses to Hold You Over Until Your Next RMT Appointment

    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    5. Savasana

    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.

  • Reflections of a First RMT Experience

    jairo-alzate-45540As 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. 

  • Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

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    Pamela Nadav has said, “There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” Preganancy is a remarkable journey that invites a woman to completely new terrain, and to explore facets of herself that she may have never uncovered lest she embarked up this journey. It’s a time of introspection and inner nurturing, a time when she learns the intuitive capacity she has for being a vessel of life, of caring, and of love. Yet so often, the adventure to motherhood is fraught with physical discomfort and emotional ups and downs! Because a woman goes through so many changes during this time, having a support network in place in the form of community, breathing classes, massage, and yoga, can give a soon­to­be mom exactly what she needs.

    Preganancy is a time that prepares a woman to connect with her own intuition and
    wisdom. Especially for a woman, parenting begins with conception, as the tools she
    develops while carrying her child will be important ones she uses once the child is born
    and growing. It’s a time that is meant to allow the woman to rely more fully on her
    instincts, as these instincts are what give her the ability to move gracefully through the
    birthing process, no matter what the outcome, and to parent in a way that is connected to
    her deep inner knowing.

    A woman’s body inevitably experiences a multitude of changes during pregnancy, which
    can at times disconnect her from her own inner voice. As her uterus expands with the
    weight of the growing baby, there is more stress on her back, neck, shoulders and
    abdominal muscles. An aching lower back is a common sensation for many pregnant
    women, while others may experience aching legs, sore hips, swelling and/or insomnia.

    To reconnect inwardly, find ease in her body and mind, and reconnect with her spirit,
    prenatal massage therapy is a wonderful way to lessen her discomfort. A massage during
    pregnancy brings about a sense of well­being through relaxation, giving an expecting
    mother a once again clear channel to her own intuition, as well as a feeling of being
    settled and grounded.

    Benefits of Prenatal Massage

    • Soothes tired and tense muscles

    • Improves sleep

    • Relieves muscle cramps, spasms and tension in the lower back, neck, hips and

    legs

    • Reduces the release of stress hormones

    • Reduces heart rate and blood pressure

    • Improves blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling (edema)

    • Can improve labour outcome and ease pain

    Soma’s therapists seek to support their pregnant clients by helping them to reconnect
    with themselves, to feel good in their bodies, and to feel prepared for the adventure of a
    liftetime. Our therapists are professionally trained prenatal massage therapists in
    Vancouver who understand the needs of a pregnant body, which techniques to use, and
    how to safely massage it to alleviate some of the discomfort. We recognize the
    importance of positioning the body during a pregnancy massage not only for comfort, but
    also for a woman and her baby’s well­being.

    As well as pregnancy massage, our prenatal massage therapists are happy to share their
    expertise in other aspects of prenatal care, from abdominal exercises to sleeping
    positions to postural correction. And when the time is right and a woman is ready, Soma’s
    therapists are also trained in postnatal massage.
    “The most important thing a woman would learn over the years was that there was no
    way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one” (Jill Churchill). Let Soma
    support you in your dynamic and exciting journey to motherhood, and feel the benefits
    immediately!

     

    By Lori Johnson, RMT & Owner of Soma Studio