Day 80: Who Wants To Meditate With Me?

20150713-Headspace-logoOkay folks…I have fallen off of my routine and meditation has happened, but not consistently. I have meditated for the last couple of mornings and I do note a difference in the volume of noise that circulates my brain. My mental house is still too loud though, so I gotta really tune inward and make meditation a daily priority. Otherwise, anxiety and depression will show up soon. No thank you!

In the coming days, I will be getting ready to start my own 10 Day Meditation Challenge. I’ve decided to use a meditation app to help me center myself and get back on track. I think I could benefit from some guided meditations at this time. Headspace is an app (free to download and free to try!) that provides guided meditations. Headspace helps so many people start and maintain a meditation practice. Check out the video below to see if Headspace intrigues you.  If such a challenge interests you, we can do it together! Stay tuned dear readers.

As always, much love and many hugs. Namaste ❤


Day 75: A Few Benefits of a Yoga Practice For Toddlers & the Grownups Who Love Them

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Mommy & Little Miss Toddler Girl Downward Dogging It!!! 

Toddlers range from just over a year old to the age of three. They are newbies to this whole life thing. They are learning how to communicate, how to walk, how to do just about everything. However, give them just a little time to hone some of these skills and boom! You’ve got a very small child with a strong little mind of their own who wants to explore everything within their reach, and view, and beyond. And by the way — they have absolutely no ability to communicate how they feel as it relates to their explorations or the consequences of their little adventures. They just haven’t gotten there developmentally in the language and self-awareness departments. As a result, toddlers tend to have highly labile moods. They’re prone to meltdowns when they disagree with the grownups who love them, or if they’re tired. And they are sometimes easily overwhelmed by this great big world that they’ve started exploring.

Thankfully, Toddler & Me Yoga is a thing. Because these tiny humans need it! (The grownups who love them do too!) So here are some of the benefits of a yoga practice for the toddler population and the grownups who love them:

  1. Teaching toddlers yoga poses empowers them to do something fun with their bodies that is rewarding. These kiddos love compliments, stickers, and attention! They thrive on positive energy! Yoga at this age also helps with gross motor development, and helps them learn how to calm themselves.
  2. Toddlers who feel calm have less incidences of meltdowns and tantrums which is good for the whole family. They may even choose to take a yoga pose if given the choice. (It beats a couple minutes in time-out any day!)
  3. Grownups who practice yoga benefit from the calming, strengthening, and lengthening effects of the practice. They are also more able to weather the storm that could be a few very long minutes of toddler tantrum.
  4. Related to number 3, modeling a yoga practice for this developmental age bracket of copy cats instills a notion that self-care is important. And that Downward Facing Dog is super fun and helps them feel better!
  5. Toddlers & Grownups who practice yoga together have loads of fun during this bonding experience that centers on learning how to move, breathe, and be calm.
  6. Practicing yoga in general illuminates the concept of union and togetherness. Both of which provide security and support in a challenging environment — aka Life.
  7. Families that practice yoga together bolster a very good foundation for a calm, mindful, happy, functional life.

So perhaps that’s the takeaway — Toddler & Me Yoga is a thing because it helps the tiniest humans have a good, positive start. And it helps the grownups who love them be present, be calm, and be ready for anything. Because when you got one of these small, determined little individuals running around, you need to be ready for anything and everything!

As always dear readers, hope you had a wonderful day! Much love, many hugs. Namaste ❤


Day 73: Empowered Pain Relief, Active Healing Practice 

For well over a decade, I have struggled with Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD.) My jaw locks, pops, swings, hangs out in a misaligned state. The result is an ever-present headache, an achy face, and constant tension in my neck and shoulder region. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to manage the pain and tension over the years with cannabis and yoga. 

On the worst pain days, I hydrate with lots of fresh water, eat a little food, medicate with a little inhaled cannabis, and step onto my yoga mat. Within minutes, cannabis allows me to compartmentalize the pain. It changes the way my brain processes the painful sensations and makes working through the discomfort manageable. Basically, cannabis provides just enough detachment, or dissociation, thereby allowing me to work toward symptom relief. Awareness brought on by cannabis helps me to find space in my body with breath. And since cannabis is an incredible bronchodilator, it literally helps me to deepen my breath which helps me to release tension along my spine in deep twists and forward folds. Within twenty minutes, I am able to reduce the pain, relieve tension, strengthen my body, and move on with my day, smile splashed on my face. You may be reading this and think, that’s kind of corny. And maybe it is, but when your face hurts, smiling is not to be taken for granted. 

It’s important to note that both cannabis and yoga up-regulate the Endocannabinoid System. This system is responsible for bringing the body into balance, a process known as homeostasis. Both cannabis and yoga also help to protect the brain as chronic pain sufferers tend to have altered brain structures. Such alterations are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. So I not only practice yoga and use cannabis to relieve my acute episodes of pain, I invest in both to protect my brain and nervous system from further damage associated with chronic pain. To this end, I implore any chronic pain sufferer to explore the potential benefits of a yoga practice, the potential benefits of using cannabis in a therapeutic way, and the potential benefits of using a little bit of both to reduce the negative short-term and long-term impacts associated with chronic pain…with a qualified, cannabis-literate health professional’s guidance of course.  

Bergland, C. (2015, May 27). How Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/how-does-yoga-relieve-chronic-pain


Day 48: My Active Healing Practice 

Healing happened in this yoga practice thanks to the influence of cannabis. I was having a hard time moving prior to practice as the days have been cooler. The absence of heat and humidity = tension and pain and stiffness along my spine. I had a great deal of tension in my mid-back and an ever present tension headache from TMD/TMJ.

A self-care session was in order. I medicated with cannabis and stepped onto my yoga mat. I was able to work through this practice and release tension along my spine. My hips are misaligned, right hip is moved forward. I was able to feel the misalignment well as a result of mindful introspection provided by cannabis. This conceptualization allows me to work toward aligning my hips by strengthening my core and glutes and extensors, and lengthening shortened hip flexors. And as an added bonus, when I reviewed the video, I noted that my feet weren’t fully extended and often rotated out of alignment. So strengthening and lengthening needs to happen there too.

Awareness brought on by cannabis helped me to find space in my body with breath. It also helped me to use  breath to release tension in areas that are often challenging to locate. I was able to release the mid-back tension with breath through deep twists.

So that practice happened yesterday. I slept through the night and did wake up feeling stiff, but I was able to meditate sitting up tall. I was able to breathe tension away from my spine in my sit.

Cannabis and yoga help me to reduce, relieve, and manage pain. I am grateful for the ability to make myself feel better.

Thanks for reading and watching. Much love, many hugs. Namaste ❤️

P.S. Say hi to my hubby near the end of the video! 😊


Day Six: Positive Changes Abound

It was little less than a week ago when I decided it was a good idea to tell you about these problems that absorb a great deal of my time and energy. It was a little less than a week ago that I discussed these problems that are only committed to stealing my center, my calm, my balance, my health. And in that less than a week, my dear readers, I must say that I have made some really important strides toward feeling well.

This morning, I enjoyed a ten minute yoga practice. I started from a standing position with my feet hip distance apart on the new sticky mat that has graced our home. (Me, the yoga instructor, didn’t actually have one available to practice on here in my home! So it was ordered and arrived yesterday.) I pressed my feet firmly into the mat and drew energy into my legs, into my core. I took a deep in-breath and rolled my shoulders up to my ears and down again with out-breath. I stood in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) for several breaths, focusing on rooting down, drawing my energy into the mid-line, and relaxing from the shoulders upward. Less than a week ago, standing tall first thing in the morning was all things challenging. Today, it was all things available – my body didn’t wait for my mind to decide what to do. My body just stepped onto the mat, planted its feet, and started breathing deeply. Changes are happening. My body is healing from depression.

Today’s meditation was also different from the last few days. I have been sitting supported by a wall, or have been sitting on the couch to find comfort in my sit. My body has not wanted to be unsupported and upright during meditation until today. I used my meditation cushion to support my bottom. I placed this meditation cushion on my yoga mat and found my way into Sukhasana (Easy Pose.) I sat for 20 minutes this morning, inhalation was unencumbered by tension and anxiety. Exhalation allowed for softening through my muscles and a further release of tension along my spine. Changes are indeed happening. My mind is also healing from depression. My dear readers, I am healing from depression. Thank you for keeping me accountable.

As a thank you, here is a guide into Tadasana. Mountain Pose improves posture by strengthening the core body. Rooting down helps us to stay grounded while also strengthening our legs, giving us a steady base. Mountain Pose helps us to face life’s challenges with an open heart. Stand tall and breathe friends. Sometimes, it’s the best thing to do, and the only thing to be done.

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Mountain Pose – Tadasana with relaxed hands and bushy morning hair! Oh my!

Close your eyes and visualize yourself standing tall – as if you’re being pulled upward from a string that is attached to the top of your head. Feet are hip distance apart. Root down with your feet – visualize roots growing through your mat/floor into the Earth. Press firmly into the mat with your feet. Engage your lower legs feeling the calf muscles holding close to the bone. Engage your upper legs, feeling the thigh muscles lift your kneecaps. Squeeze your buttocks and your hips, pull your navel to spine, roll your shoulders up toward your ears with an inhale, press your shoulders back and down with the exhale. Repeat 2 more times. Sweep your arms above your head, reach for the sky with an inhale. With an exhale, reverse the direction with your arms. Repeat if you wish. Allow your arms to rest at your sides, hands in a c-shaped position with thumbs facing front. Lengthen your collar bones, raise your chest, find a neutral position for your neck – free of tension. Open your heart. Allow warmth and light to flood in to your heart center . Enjoy the effects of mountain pose. Breathe deeply with an even inflow and outflow of breath. Breathe in for a count of 8, and out for a count of 8. Repeat several times. If a count of 8 is too much, try an even count of 4 or 6 and work your way up. Practice every day and as often as you’d like.

With perfect peace, perfect love, and perfect kindness, I wish you a very peaceful and happy – Namaste! ❤