physical wellness

Wellness rituals I love, Part 3: Yoga at home

Today's blog is part of the mini-series on wellness rituals I love. In addition to drinking golden milk nightly and dry brushing before daily showers, this is another simple, sustainable way I enhance my physical well-being: Practicing yoga at home while watching my fav YouTube yogini, Adriene Mishler. Sure, I love going to live yoga classes at my local studio. There's something about the energy of the whole room practicing together that helps to hold the space. Realistically though, as a business owner and a mom to a young child, I can't always make it to my studio for regular classes. I've been practicing yoga (off and on) for nearly 2 decades, so while I know my way around a sun salutation, I have trouble motivating my way through a session without guidance. Enter: Yoga with Adriene. She's a lifesaver!

Find what feels good.

Not only does she provide free yoga videos online, for all levels of practitioners, at varying lengths, AND targeting different needs (i.e.; 'Yoga for when you're sick," "Yoga for headaches," "Yoga on an airplane,") -- she does it with such charm! I love that her style is permissive, gentle, accessible, humorous, and rooted in the idea of self-care. Her mantra is FIND WHAT FEELS GOOD (and it makes a good t-shirt, I gotta say!)

Peruse her Youtube channel and find a video that speaks to you in this moment. I kicked off my relationship with Adriene via her 30-day yoga challenge, which was a perfect way to ease myself back into a regular practice and get into the ritual of doing it at home. The video below is her overview of the 30 Days of Yoga. See whatcha think.

For my home practice, I just have some basics -- a mat, a block, and a bolster. That's all you need, and you can generally improvise on those last two items with stuff you already have at home.

So, that's my third little tip for making wellness easy -- and in this case, actually fun! Namaste.

Wellness rituals I love, Part 2: Dry brushing

Care of the self starts with care of the physical body as a top priority, and the mental,emotional, and spiritual bodies follow closely. Last week I posted about a ritual I love, drinking golden milk each night. The second wellness ritual I want to share in this little mini-series on the blog is about a practice I began last autumn: Dry brushing.

Again: I’m not a medical doctor. Always seek the advice of your medical doctor before starting new regimens

Dry brushing is easy, takes just a minute, and has so many benefits (besides just brushing off dry skin cells,) including:

  • Stimulating the lymphatic system: eliminating cellular waste & toxins
  • Exfoliation: removing dry, dead skin cells, thus unclogging pores and helping you glow
  • Increasing circulation: encourages metabolic waste elimination
  • Reducing stress: The act itself is meditative and can relieve muscle tension and calm your mind, like a body massage might
  • Improving digestion & kidney function: Supports organ function by shedding excess water & toxins
  • It's invigorating: It simply feels good!

One very important thing to note is that there is a correct way to dry brush in order to reap the benefits, especially those involving toxin release and lymphatic drainage. The best how-to I found for this is this video. It's just over 11 minutes long, but its so thorough and informative that it's well worth the watch.

I like to dry brush just before turning on the shower. I purchased a soft bristle brush with a long handle, like this one from Amazon. I also bought a smaller version that's good for travel.

Enjoy! A third installment in this mini-series on physical well-being will be posted next week...

Wellness rituals I love, Part 1: Golden milk

I'm big on self-care rituals. (But you probably already knew that.) Today I'm sharing the first in a little series of blog posts about my favorite daily rituals that directly benefit my physical health, therefore my overall well-being: Golden milk!

Note: I'm not a medical doctor. Always seek the advice of your medical doctor before starting new regimens.

Oh you guys, this is magic in a mug. I've been drinking it nightly for nearly a year, and it is just so soothing to me and is working wonders for my health. There are so many wonderful benefits to drinking golden milk. The most potent part of golden milk is turmeric, which contains curcumin. Curcumin has amazing health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-preventative properties. Additional benefits of turmeric are:

  • Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic,analgesic,.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Anti-carcinogenic.
  • Helps maintain cholesterol levels.
  • Promotes digestive health.
  • Liver detoxifier.
  • Regulates metabolism and weight management.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Memory and brain function.
  • Various skin conditions.
  • Neurological disorders.
  • Lowers Triglycerides

The recipe I use for my golden milk is from the wonderful instructional video below. I've written out the ingredients and recipe below (with some of my personal preferences) but I find it very helpful to watch the video tutorial, too.

First, make the turmeric paste:

  • 1/2c spring water
  • 1/4c turmeric powder (I like to get a large bag of quality organic turmeric here. If this becomes a daily ritual for you, you'll save money getting this big bag instead of small portions in your grocery store.)
  • Heat on med/low for 7-9 min stirring constantly
  • Store in glass container in fridge up to 14 days

To make the golden milk from the turmeric paste:

  • 1c milk (It can be cow, almond, coconut, etc. as long as it's unsweetened. Each lends a different flavor to the golden milk, and I've found that unsweetened coconut is my personal preference.)
  • 1tsp turmeric paste you made (above)
  • Honey or maple syrup or stevia to sweeten (Sweetening is optional. I like to add a dollop of manuka honey to mine.)
  • Heat on medium for 5 min
  • Add 1/4-1/2 tsp oil to mug - Udo's oil or coconut oil are my favs
  • Adding a dash of black pepper to recipes containing turmeric enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called pipeline, so by mixing turmeric and black pepper together, you increase your body’s absorption of the turmeric by 2000% - and it adds a fun kick.

Other golden perks:

  • If you drink it at night before bed, it helps you to fall right to sleep.
  • It dyes the bristles of your toothbrush golden if you brush right after drinking it. (Um, yay..?)
  • If you google 'golden milk' you can get tons more info and variations on the recipe. There are turmeric juices and smoothies out there you can make, if warm drinks aren't your thing.
  • My 8 year old daughter even enjoys golden milk. She prefers hers made in the traditional way, with cow's milk.