Healing The Past

Autumn Leaves – Little Rock, AR

This method of healing the past came to me during the full moon eclipse in Taurus during Scorpio season of 2021. During this time a number of planets were in retrograde and the season is ripe for going deep into the past, unearthing ancient wounds in the genetic, historic lines, childhood, and other past situations. Human consciousness is ever expanding and each individual finds themselves at the cutting edge of the myriad of choices that brought them to this moment. We feel a deep need to change the outside world so that we can live a life of peace and harmony with others, and yet the past can sometimes feel like an anchor preventing forward movement.

Parts of ourselves are stuck in the past, replaying the events, continuing to feel the pain of old hurts. When we move forward with this hurts, we are manifesting a future with these artifacts of pain still in our energy field and it will show up again in another form until we have healed and chosen another way of being in our now moments.

We aren’t meant to live life carrying burdens of the past. We are meant to live fully in the present with the knowledge of the experiences we have had so we can face each day as a more enlightened being. We are meant to as free beings, able to choose our futures.

My guides showed me a simple roadmap on how to integrate and transcend the pain of the past into something useful and actionable for forward movement. I’ve put the elements into an easy to follow worksheet so you can experience the feeling of freedom found in integrating your past.

The first question is “What Happened?”. Write out the situation in as much or as little detail as you like. You can write out a whole story of a scenario and then break it down into tiny pieces. The purpose of this question is to illuminate the details. By understanding the situation and your perspective, you can begin to find the places where you can regain your power of choice. When you begin to see the places where you could have chosen a different response, that is where you will find your power.

The next question is “How did you feel about this?”. It’s important to identify the emotions that arose during this interaction. You have to feel to heal. Give yourself permission to feel all the feelings that came up during this situation. It is safe to feel your feelings.

The next question is “What would you do differently?”. This question is getting at the heart of the experience. What did you learn from it? Where do you have the power to change your approach? Where do you have the power to change your response?

The last question is “What words of encouragement would you give to someone in your situation?”. Imagine someone else, a best friend, had just told you the above story. Imagine they told you what happened, how they felt about it, and what they would do differently if faced with the same situation again. What would you say to them as a reflection of empathy and encouragement? It’s hard to be human, were you able to empathize with their story? What strengths did you see in how they handled the situation? What strengths did you see in the way they would want to handle things differently?

Once you’ve finished the last question, find a mirror and say the words of encouragement to yourself. This is a way of being a witness to yourself. Allow yourself to take in the words of encouragement. If you found this exercise helpful, share it with a friend! If you have any questions or additional comments please share them below!

Download a printable version of the worksheet! Click Here.

If you feel you need additional help or support, you can text me directly at 414-207-9881 for a consultation.

Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches: Malasana / Garland Pose / Yoga Squat

This pose stretches the hip adductors (inner thigh muscles). These muscles are primarily for balance and alignment. They pull the hip in toward the midline of the body. Strengthening and toning these muscles promotes balance and alignment and also prevents injuries.

To get into this pose, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart with your feet at a 45 degree angle out from the body. If you have your feet pointing straight infront of you, this will put too much stress on the knee. You want to have the knees in a comfortable position and be able to keep your entire foot on the floor. Lower into a deep squat position.

Next, bring your hands into a prayer position and place your elbows inside your knees. Keep your torso straight and use your elbows to push your knees outward.

Hold for 5 breaths, relax and repeat as needed.

Health Benefits:

  • Strengthen Hips, Back, Knees, and Ankles
  • Opens Hips and Groin
  • Aids in Digestion
  • Enhances Metabolism
  • Improves Balance
  • Tones Abdominals

Contraindications:

  • Knee or Ankle Injuries
  • Ligament Tears
  • Avoid if you have Low Back Pain

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/adductor-exercises

https://www.self.com/gallery/yoga-poses-for-tight-hips

https://www.cnyhealingarts.com/the-health-benefits-of-malasana-garland-pose/

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Meal Prep Menu: Easy to Digest

1/29/21

This week’s menu is going to be easy on the stomach to help soothe the digestive system. The menu is always made dairy free and gluten free. You can always substitute a meat alternative if you are vegetarian or vegan.

Breakfast:

Protein Shake

600 calories

         1 bunch bananas

         2 containers of berries

         1 jar peanut butter

         Protein powder

         1 container of coconut/soy/almond milk

         Chia seeds

Directions: Freeze the berries so you don’t have to use ice in the smoothie. When you are ready to have your smoothie, throw everything (1 banana, 1/2 cup of berries, 2tbs peanut butter, 2 scoops protein powder, 1 tsp of chia seeds, milk as needed) in a blender and blend until smooth.

Snacks

Popcorn: 106 Calories/Serving

Humus & Red Pepper: about 55 calories per serving of 2 tbsp hummus with red pepper slices.

Dinner

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

529 calories

Original Recipe here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/18448/chicken-wild-rice-soup-i/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=Search

1 Rotisserie Chicken
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 onion

½ cup celery 

½ cup sliced carrots

½ lb. fresh sliced mushrooms

¾ cup almond/coconut flour

2 cups cooked wild rice

1 cup slivered almonds (or other nut)

1 can coconut milk

Seasonings to taste:

Curry powder

Salt

Mustard Powder

Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Make the bone broth. Remove all the meat from the rotisserie chicken. Put the bones in a large crock pot. Slice up the onion, carrot, and celery for the soup above and set aside the amounts needed for the soup. Take what’s left of the above veggies and put it in with the crock pot. For reference, you should have a handful of onion, carrot, and celery in the mix. Add a heap of salt & pepper to the pot as well as a dash of apple cider vinegar (about 2 tbs). The vinegar will help pull all the good stuff from the bones. Fill the crock pot with water to the brim. Set this on low for 24 hours. (If you are vegetarian/vegan substitute for a veggie broth)
  2. The next day, strain out the bones and veggies from the crock pot. You now have a delicious bone broth for your soup. You can measure 6 cups or eyeball that amount for the soup. Save the rest in the freezer for future soups or a nice treat on a cold winter day.
  3. Sautee onion, celery, and carrot in a large soup pot with slap of coconut oil until the onions are clear, then add in the mushrooms. Sautee for a few more minutes until everything looks delicious.
  4. Put the ½ cup of coconut oil in the pot and slowly add in the flour to the mix, stirring continuously. In this step we are making a roux. The flour is used to thicken the soup and the end result of this step should look like a gravy with veggies. If you don’t know how to make a roux, I would suggest quickly watching a tutorial online to get the idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTf0n1HoC1w
  5. Slowly add in the bone broth, making sure the mixture stays even as you are adding the broth. Stir continuously.
  6. Cut up the chicken and throw it in the pot. Add the rice to masterpiece, set the heat to low and simmer. The recipe says 1-2 hours, but it may finish early. Just keep an eye on it and taste it periodically to see when it’s ready (and the rice is cooked).
  7. Add in spices to taste. It may be a good idea to add a smaller amount of spices when you first start simmering and then come back later to do a taste test and see how you want to blend the flavors. As the ingredients are simmering in the bone broth with each other, certain flavors will move to the front or the back of the soup. As they say in Thailand, season with emotion!

At Home Natural Healing for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information below is based on research of the metaphysical, direct personal experience, and experience working with clients. It is always advised to see the opinion of a medical professional before engaging in any at home self-care activities.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Happens when too much fat is stored in the liver. Can cause liver inflammation, and eventually cirrhosis.

Causes:

Could be due to excessive alcohol consumption.

Could be genetic.

Could be triggered by other diseases.

Symptoms:

Pain in the upper right abdomen

Fatigue

Mental Fog

Loss of Appetite

Unstable Blood Sugar Levels

Prevention:

As always with any kind of health issue, you want to start shifting your diet toward foods that are what they say they are. Fruit, Vegetables, Nuts, Grains, Meat (or no meat). Also be sure to drink enough water and take appropriate vitamins as directed by your health care provider.

Avoid things like: Diary, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar, and other addictive substances.

Be sure to have some kind of regular exercise routine. This will help to move toxins out of your system and help the liver to do its job.

Metaphysical Meanings:

Our Spiritual Nutrition: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – Easily offended and unable or unwilling to let go of the resulting anger that can easily turn into resentment and the desire for revenge

Could be an indication of some kind of conflict within the family. Or a conflict within the self regarding the family.

Could be caused by repressed anger or continually thinking “anger thoughts”. 

Also can be caused by a resistance to change.

Self Healing Methods:

Meditation:

Meditate to clear your mind first. When you mind is clear, focus your attention on your liver. You can put a hand over your liver to help focus your attention there. Wait and listen for any messages. You may experience different emotions, allow them to come up, feel them and ask them what they want to tell you.  Ask when this liver issue started and what was going on in life that triggered the beginning of the physical symptoms. This will help you to understand the root cause. Next, send loving kindness and compassion energy to that situation in the past. Send compassion to yourself in the present moment. Ask what lessons you may learn from the experience and imagine that you are integrating this lesson into every cell of your body. Now, forgive yourself for holding onto any anger. Do this by recognizing that the anger served you in some way in your life and now that you understand the lesson, you no longer need to hold onto the anger.

Affirmations:

I am at peaceful

I release all deep-rooted blame

I joyously release the past.

Every day my liver is healthier.

I have a healthy liver.

I let go of frustration effortlessly and easily.

I forgive myself.

I release all blaming attitudes.

Liver Cleanse:

Lemon

Raw Apple Juice

Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Diet Coke

Epsom Salt

Day 1

Stop taking all supplements because they are taxing to the liver. Eat a large breakfast and reduce your diet for the rest of the day to simple soup broth and protein shakes. Drink the apple juice all day long.  

6:00 pm  mix 1 Tbsp Epsom salt with water and drink. This will get the bowels moving and help to move everything through once you take the olive oil mixture. 

8:00 pm Have one more mixture of the Epsom Salt. 

10:00pm mix ½ cup cold pressed olive oil with ½ cup of diet coke (optional) and lemon juice. Drink this (try not to breath because it doesn’t taste good) then for 30 minutes lay on your right side. This will cause the oil to stay on the liver and cause the liver to throw off stones.

Go to bed as usual. Your liver will be working on processing the oil while you sleep.

Day 2

When you wake up, have another Epsom salt and water drink. Soon your body will start to clear out the liver stones. You may wish to stay close to the toilet today.

You will notice that there are different kinds of stones that are eliminated. There are gold, green, and black, with black being the oldest. These stones will be easily visible to the naked eye and you will see them floating in the toilet.

You can do this cleanse once every 2 to 3 weeks. The rest time in-between allows the liver to heal. This cleanse is best done in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. It’s not recommended in the winter because the body is already working hard in the cold weather.

You will probably notice an improvement in your overall mood immediately!

Of the times I’ve done this cleanse, I have noticed that I was really sluggish on day 2 and was running to the bathroom every 30 minutes. There was some discomfort and bloating all day. A couple of times after completing this cleanse I noticed that I had an experience of being a bit combative, but that went away in a day’s time. In general I experienced an immediate improvement in my mood.  

References: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354567

https://www.emotionsandbody.com/2017/10/liver-diseases-emotional-and.html

https://www.insightstate.com/health/liver-disease-spiritual-meaning-causes-healing/

https://www.acam.org/blogpost/1092863/216480/The-Amazing-Liver-Cleanse–a-Powerful-Tool-to-Improve-Your-Health–by-Andreas-Moritz

http://www.ourspiritualnutrition.com/is05.htm#Our_Spiritual_Nutrition

Health & Fitness: A Minimalist’s Approach in 6 steps.

2020 was a year to stay at home and work on yourself. I decided to spend a portion of my time trying different diets and home routines to find one that suits me. I’ve tried different things with varying results because of A. a lack of knowledge and B. only partial commitment.

Disclaimer: I am not a fitness guru of any kind. In terms of health and fitness, I’m just an average person who has done some research and self-experimentation. You should always check with your doctor first regarding your health and fitness levels and what is safe for you!

There are a million different programs out there that will tell you to eat this, don’t eat this, do this exercise, don’t do this exercise, hormones come into play, you should count your macros, sleep enough….and the list goes on. It’s really easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of information and feel a bit lost. As a minimalist, I prefer to have things simply laid out for me so I can just check the boxes and move on with my day. So I’ve created a very simplified guideline that you can overcomplicate later:

  1. To lose weight, implement a calorie deficit. I just love James Smith’s multitude of videos that simply state “To lose fat, you must have a calorie deficit.”
  2. Pay attention to the quality of your calories. As a very basic rule of thumb I only eat things that are what they say they are. This would include things like fruit, vegetables, meat, beans, nuts, etc.
  3. Intermittent Fasting/Eating Window. You can try different things to find one that works for you, a general rule of thumb is fast 18 hours and eat in a window of 8 hours.
  4. Vary your fitness routine. Variety keeps the muscles guessing, breaking down and rebuilding.
  5. Stay Hydrated! Drink enough water. If you’re drinking coffee or alcohol, drink more water to offset this or minimize the coffee/alcohol intake.
  6. Get Enough GOOD RESTFUL sleep.

My year on Sleep: 2020 was a great year for some of us to catch up on sleep. Who wants to keep up with all the murder hornets, politics, losing your job, eating your feelings stuff anyway? Better to just sleep through this year and hope for a better 2021. ;-). Honestly though, this year I got a Fitbit and started tracking my sleep, only to find that it’s terrible. Making sure you have a set bed time, a dark room to sleep in, and that you won’t be disturbed while you get your beauty rest are all super important for getting good sleep. For me this meant getting black-out curtains, shutting my cats out of my sleeping room, getting a weighted blanket and sleeping with ear plugs.

My year on hydration: I did not do well on staying hydrated. I’m chronically addicted to coffee. Though I managed to quit drinking alcohol and I minimized my coffee intake to one cup a day in the morning, I still feel like I don’t drink enough water throughout the day. I will continue to work on this point.

My year on varying the workout routine: I started the year training for a Marathon. This worked out pretty well. I was able to stick to my workout schedule and actually ran the race solo in March with a finishing time of something like 7 hours. After that I decided that I didn’t like running as much as I thought.

I moved on to the p90x and did that for about 60 days. It was so damn hard. The one I did was the old school p90x where each workout is about 60 minutes long. Mostly I just felt tired while doing this and eventually gave up.

Next I switched to 4 hours of soccer a week and commuting 90 minutes on my bike 4 times a week. That was pretty awesome and for me felt the best out of all the work out routines. I think I liked this one the most because all the activities were functional. I didn’t feel like I had to carve time out of my day to do the workouts. Inevitably winter showed up so I had to switch again.

Next I tried the Jillian Michael’s app and I think it’s pretty awesome. Her workouts are designed specifically for your level and needs. I also liked that her workouts were between 7-30 minutes long (a lot less time than the p90x). She also packs in a lot of variety. I would have stuck with this app only, but with the pandemic I needed to get out of the house and I also enjoy the hydro massage at the gym.

Now I’m working out at a gym 5 days a week. At the suggestion of James Smith, I am lifting weights before cardio. I switch up what I do for weights and cardio every time to keep the variety in my routines. Soon I will start training for mountain climbing so I can tackle Mt. Shasta and Mt. Rainier in the springtime of 2021.

My year on diet: Okay, this was the hardest category to get pinned down. Because I had the time this year, I had multiple full panel blood tests done and spoke with my doctor on a regular basis to find a balanced diet and vitamin situation that would work for me. I tried so hard to be vegan and vegetarian, but I just ended up becoming anemic and tired. Maybe I wasn’t doing it right and just need to work on finding higher protein foods, maybe it’s partly genetic, maybe I can find a bunch of other reasons why it didn’t work out……long story longer, I switched back to primarily Paleo. I am gluten free even on my indulgent diet days. I’m mostly dairy free (except for yogurt & cheese on occasion). The rest of the time I’m Paleo. This works for me. I encourage you to find a diet regimen that works for you. What I mean by it works is A. I get all the nutrients that my body needs to do what it needs to do B. It’s easy for me to stick to…. meaning I enjoy the food I eat. You may be a vegan Masterchef or Pescatarian, whatever works for you do that!

To lose weight, implement a calorie deficit. Okay, so the reason I like this instead of counting Macros is because it’s simple. It’s easy to do. I don’t have to think that much. If you’re at the point where counting Macros is not too much thinking, by all means do that.

Side Note – I tried the whole “Cabbage Soup Weight-loss Diet” and I think it’s complete garbage. It’s way too hard and you end up gaining most of the weight back. It wasn’t worth the trouble and you should only try this if you enjoy torturing yourself. This is one of those things I think would be good to put into the 1984 history incinerators. It’s a good reminder to not believe everything you read on the internet.

In addition to a good diet, I think it’s important to have a vitamin regimen to supplement what you may not be getting from your food. So for me, I have a bunch of vitamins that I take in the morning: Multivitamin, B12, Vitamin D & Iron. In the evening I take Magnesium to help my muscles relax and to fall asleep.

I have a cup of coffee in the morning…..but dammit, I am not perfect. Sometimes I have a coffee at 7pm and I’m up all night, then I order gluten free pizza and eat candy. I enjoy myself. Then the next day, I’m back at the gym and back to my routine and HAPPY! I think that’s the most important thing about diet and fitness…. maintaining a sense of HAPPINESS about who you are and the choices that you’re making. You are making steps to improve your health and wellbeing. You should be happy about that. You may not see changes over night…. being healthy is a LIFESTYLE not an end game. You don’t get to a healthy spot and then go “Oh I made it, now back to the take out and sitting around all day.” No, you are actually changing your LIFESTYLE by getting active and giving a damn about what you put in your face. It’s something you continually work at.

I hope you have enjoyed the post and my semi-minimalistic approach to health and fitness. If you have other ideas, things you’ve tried, your review on certain fitness programs, diets, whatever you like–please comment below! I can’t wait to hear about your health and fitness journey in 2020.

Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches: Frog Pose

This stretch is both amazing and challenging. It opens the hips and literally looks like frog legs. Because this is a more difficult hip stretch, caution is advised in entering and exiting the stretch. To get into frog pose, you will first need a yoga mat. Start in table pose on all fours. One at a time move a knee to the side, in line with the hip. When you have both knees out away from the center, check the angle of the bend in your knee. Adjust the angle to 90 degrees. Then come down on your forearms.

To adjust the difficulty of this stretch you can widen your knees. You can hold this position for one minute and work up to holding it for longer times. To exit this pose, crawl your arms forward until you are laying on the ground, then bring your knees in. This will avoid putting unnecessary strain on your groin muscles.

Health Benefits:

  • Prevent Diabetes
  • Improve Digestive System
  • Relieve Anxiety and Stress
  • Strengthen Hips, Back, Knees, and Ankles
  • Reduce Fat from Belly, Hips, and Abdomen
  • Enhance Kidney and Liver Function
  • Treatment for Menstrual Cramps

Contraindications:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Ulcers, specifically Peptic Ulcers
  • Abdomen Post-Op (even if it has been several years, caution is advised
  • Severe Migraines
  • Full Stomach
  • Severe Back Pain

References

https://www.rishikulyogshala.org/top-7-health-benefits-of-mandukasana-frog-pose/

https://www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/mandukasana/contraindications

Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches: Psychological/Metaphysical Connections

What does this mean?

If you have ever read Louise Hay or studied the yoga postures, you probably came across the idea that we hold emotions and belief patterns in different areas of the body. It is believed that specific areas of tension mean certain things. I believe this is true in a very generalized sense. Every person’s story is a bit different, but on the whole human emotions occur on a similar spectrum. In this blog we are going to review the spectrum of emotions that can get caught in the hips.

Louise Hay is a huge person in understanding the metaphysical connections to the body. In her book “You can Heal your Life” she goes through the entire body to show you both the possible causes and the affirmations to heal certain emotional states. She believed that Illness however mild or severe is an indicator of your emotional state, caused by your thoughts and focus.

For Louise the Hip is about carrying the body in perfect balance. They are the major thrust in moving forward. If you have hip pain you may have a fear of going forward with major decisions or feel like you have nothing to move forward to.

Affirmations: 

I am in perfect balance. I move forward in life with ease and with joy at every age.

What do affirmations really do?

Affirmations are a way to reprogram your mind. Whatever you focus on in life will grow. These phrases focus your mind to allow the feeling of “being in perfect balance” to grow in your life. 

As a hypothetical example, if you wake up every morning with hip pain and also think “There’s really no point in getting up because nothing I do ever matters.” That is going to impede your desire to move forward. If you take the time to meditate on the above phrase and ask these questions: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Does this improve the silence? If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to take control of your inner voice and focus it into a new direction. You probably wouldn’t say something like that to your friend so why would you say it to yourself?

You can take control of your thoughts and your outlook on life by focusing on positive phrases. 

Our Spiritual Nutrition

One of my favorite quick reference metaphysical online resources is “Our Spiritual Nutrition”. It a comprehensive collection of psychological connections and metaphysical explanations for aches, pains, diseases, and mental health disorders. The only downside to this site is the lack of positive affirmations as remedies to the dis-ease, but if you take a few extra moments when reading you can create your own positive affirmations.

Here’s what Our Spiritual Nutrition Says about the hips:

Represent our comfort (or lack thereof) with letting go of the past
Issues that can arise:
Arthritis – Inability to move forward for fear of leaving someone or something behind. Unable or unwilling to release an out-dated belief system. Can be a fear of being left behind (abandonment) or of becoming useless
Broken – Anger that one is being forced to change because of changes that occurred that were beyond one’s control. Victim attitude.
Bursitis – Anger and distress about the constant chang
es that life brings

The Spiritual Meaning of Hip Pain

  • Fear of making major decisions.
  • Feel as though you have nothing to look forward to. 
  • Feeling a lack of physical and/or emotional support.
  • Resistance to current experiences.
  • Fear of moving forward in life, career, relationship.
  • Fear of the future.
  • Fear of change. 
  • Inability to let go of the past.
  • Feeling unable to stand alone. 
  • Anger at parents.
  • Concerns about your life purpose. 
  • Fear of intimacy.
  • Holding on to past hurt. 
  • Withdrawing energy from a person or relationship.
  • Feeling as though you are on shaky ground. 
  • Feeling insecure.
  • Feeling useless.
  • Wanting to move away from a person or situation.
  • Carrying too much emotional weight for others. 
  • Finding it hard to be independent.
  • Conflict between moving forward and holding on. 
  • Anxiety.
  • Fear.
  • Financial Fear.

It’s a good time to stop what you’re doing, pause, take an inventory of your life, and slow down before making any major decisions. Reevaluate the pace of your daily life. 

Right hip: What you express, give out, and assert. Pain in this hip could be an unresolved issue regarding one of these topics.

Left hip: Represents the mother, family, nurturing. Pain in this area could be unresolved issues regarding these topics.

Other Affirmations

I am always connected to the infinite love and gratitude of the universe and no one can hurt me.

I honor it is not knowing the HOW but focusing on my desires.

I carry myself in perfect balance.

I am able to process, metabolize, and release all emotions.

I release any fear I have stored in my hips.

I release any anger I have stored in my hips.

I am free to move.

My hips are strong and healthy.

I allow myself to believe I deserve to heal.

I let go of the past with ease.

I am confident.

I am useful.

I am abundant.

You can create your own custom affirmations to heal whatever hip pain you may be experiencing. The easiest way to create an affirmation is to look at a phrase like “I fear change” and state the opposite starting with “I” or “I am”. For example: say “I allow change in my life” or “I adjust to change easily and effortlessly”

Comments:

Do you have any questions about the psychological and metaphysical connection between thoughts and hip pain?

Did you come up with some amazing affirmations you want to share?

Comment below and start a conversation!!

References:

Louise Hay

http://www.ourspiritualnutrition.com/is05.htm

https://www.insightstate.com/health/hip-pain-spiritual-meaning-causes-healing/

https://www.healing-affirmations.com/24-emotional-issues-directly-linked-to-hip-pain/

Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches: Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose was the first hip stretch I ever learned about therefore it is here marking the first entry in the encyclopedia. I was drawn to this yoga posture because you were encouraged to take the position and hold it for a longer period of time. I really enjoy long stretch holds because they allow me to breath more deeply into the posture and relax my frame at my own pace. This allows me to come to a greater understanding of what it feels like when I hold tension in my body and conversely what it feels like when I release. Essentially this posture taught me how I “let go”.

We can store a lot of tension and trauma in the hips so be aware that you may have strong emotions that accompany this position or come after. This is totally normal, just allow the emotions to flow out of you. When you consistently practice releasing the tension and emotions from the hips it will become easier for you to both let go and keep your energy clear.

The Benefits of Pigeon Pose:

  • Stretching the Glutes, Groin, and Psoas muscles
  • Stimulate Internal Organs
  • Alleviate Sciatic Pain
  • Relieve Impinged Piriformis
  • Help with Urinary Disorders
  • Improves Posture
  • Releases Stress, Anxiety, Fear & Trauma
  • Relieve Back Pain
  • Reduce Chances of Knee Injuries
  • Aids in Digestion
  • Builds the Mental Strength to Endure Uncomfortable Situations

Contra-Indicated for:

  • Knee Injury
  • Sacroiliac or Back Injury
  • Ankle Injury

Let’s Do It:

I like to get into Pigeon Pose from a downward dog. Be sure to practice with both sides. In these instructions I’ll just describe the right side. From a downward dog, swing the right leg through between your hands and then lower your whole body while laying your right leg in front of you. Line up your right knee with your right hand. To adjust the difficulty you can change the angle of your leg by moving the ankle closer or further from your torso. Once you have found a suitable position (not totally comfortable, but not too unbearable) you can bring your arms forward and relax every muscle in your body, letting gravity do the work of stretching the hip.

You can spend some time just hanging out in this pose. I like to listen to my favorite song, which is about 3 minutes long, to time how long I should hold the stretch.

Variations:

If you are not able to get completely into this stretch, use a yoga block, pillow, blanket, or whatever you can to brace your body. You don’t have to be a yoga master to get the most from this stretch. The most important thing is to go at your own pace.

Other variations are ways to make this stretch deeper. You can move your right ankle further away from the torso, bend your left leg and grab ahold of your left foot, and even lift your body up and bend backwards. All of these are different ways to get more out of pigeon pose.

Partner:

In the Thai Massage practice, I perform what I call a “reverse pigeon” pose with the client. Starting with the client face up, place your right knee outside of their left hip. Create a table for their legs with your left leg. Drape both of their legs over your left leg. Then figure 4 their left leg. Create a straight line from your right shoulder, elbow, and wrist through their knee and pointing to their left shoulder. (remember not to place your hand directly on the knee. I usually place my hand just below the knee on their thigh). Lean forward and let gravity do the work of the stretch. For more leverage, you can move your anchor knee (right) further away from their body. To bring variation to the stretch for them, you can adjust the position of their ankle with your left hand. (Do not apply downward or leaning pressure with the left hand).

Interaction:

Let me know how your pigeon pose journey is going. Do you have any questions or insights you’d like to share? Please comment below or send an email to: firewalkerarts@gmail.com

References:

https://www.active.com/health/articles/pose-of-the-month-pigeon-pose

http://harmonyyoga.com/article-1

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/hip-connections

https://www.doyou.com/how-to-do-pigeon-pose-for-everybody-26609/

Intro: Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches

This Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches is intended to be a comprehensive look at the mechanics of the Hips and how to stretch them at home. As more information becomes available, new blog posts will be released so please subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on the latest information. 

Creating this section of the blog was inspired by a desire to assist clients at home during Covid-19 and popular demand for at home hip stretches by Thai Massage clients. That being said, I prefer this to be an interactive platform. I want to hear your reflections on trying the stretches out yourself. Let me know what worked, what didn’t work. Ask questions that come up along the way and I will answer them as best I can either in the comments or through a new blog post.

We will cover:

Anatomy

Psychological/Metaphysical Connections

Chakra Connection

Static Stretches

Ballistic Stretches

Isometric Holds

Dance Moves

Disclaimer:

It’s important that you check with your medical doctor before engaging in any physical activities at home. Not all of the activities will be accessible for everyone due to medical conditions or physical limitations. Be an advocate for yourself in your practice and go at your own pace. I am not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medicines or activities. The information gathered here is from research and hands-on experience with clients.

The most important thing to remember any time you are working with your body is to bring consciousness into the movements. Bring your awareness to what is happening inside your body. Describe the feelings in your mind to gain a deeper awareness of what it feels like to inhabit your body. Learn what your limitations are. Bring your breath into the art. Inhale positive energy, exhale negative energy. On the exhale lengthen and deepen your stretches. You will get out of the practice what you put into it.

Camping During a Pandemic and Protests

Harrington Beach State Park Adventure (Belgium, WI, USA)

Due to the global pandemic and daily protests getting out of the city to reconnect with nature was absolutely necessary.

Milwaukee, the city I live in, is one of the most segregated cities in The United States and emotions have been high these last few weeks. As an empath the energies have been overwhelming. I really needed to get out of town for a while.

This was an amazing 40 mile bike ride to the Park. From downtown Milwaukee the Oak Leaf Trail runs north into the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. You ride these trails until arriving in Belgium where a right turn and 2 more miles gets you to the park.

I tried out some new camping equipment on this trip with the hope of finding lightweight gear for future trips abroad.

Fire Starting:

I had a magnesium stick for starting fires. I found this video which covered all the details of starting a fire with this tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGo_Pxul1QQ

The main things to remember when starting a fire with a magnesium strip:

  1. prepare your fire in advance. You want to have all the materials ready to burn when you spark your starter material.
  2. Collect the magnesium bits on something like a stump, bandana, shirt.
  3. Protect the bits from the wind.
  4. Starting a fire this way will take some time, be patient.
  5. Practice doing this in a non-survival situation so you are familiar with how it works.

I also tried starting a fire with my glasses. This did not work like in the movies. I was not able to create a pointed reflection of the sun. I think my glasses may be plastic. I also tried the mirror that comes with my compass. That also did not work.

What I would recommend for fire starting is bringing a lighter (or two) and matches. Put them all into plastic baggies to keep them dry. These tools will be able to start many fires for a shorter adventure.

The magnesium strip doesn’t have to be stored in a plastic bag. It can be used to start 100s of fires. This would be more appropriate for a long term adventure.

Air Mattress:

I did a lot of research before deciding on the “Legit Camping Sleeping Pad”. My only criteria was to find something light weight that packed into a small space. It is 57cm/22.4 by 188cm/74in fully extended and packs down to 9cm/3.5in by 26cm/10.24 in. It weighs 1.1lbs.

Honestly of all the things that happened on this trip, the air mattress was the least of my worries. It was super easy to blow up and maintained firmness for the two nights I used it. I have a Tempur-Pedic mattress topper at home and this air mattress is comparable to that. I slept like a baby.

No Tent:

10 out of 10 would not recommend camping with no kind of cover. I was rather naive in believing that this experience would be similar to camping under the stars in the Mojave. It wasn’t. It was wet and cold. I was woken up by morning dew on my sleeping bag and started a fire to dry it off.

Taking advantage of this time awake in the middle of the night, I laid down on the picnic table and looked up at the stars. The view was breathtaking. So many bright lights in the sky, so far away in space put life into perspective.

Why is star gazing so much fun? It inspires this sense of awe and wonder. What is really out there? Why is that thing shooting across the sky? Is it an alien? Are humans alone in the universe? Are aliens laughing at us? Are they considering jumping in to help or are they watching and eating popcorn? Am I an alien? Would I be from Sirius or Pleiades? Does my tiny little life matter? Are the things I worry about really that important? There are just no words for how beautiful the night sky is. It’s breathtaking.

Camping by yourself:

The urban life has made me soft. I was scared of the dark, making up scary stories in my head. Fearing for your survival when you face the unknown in nature feels different than facing the unknown during a pandemic or protests.

In a pandemic the unknowns are:

Will I catch the virus?

How long will lock down last?

How will this change society?

The fears it inspires are:

What if a family member gets sick?

Is it actually possible to die of boredom?

What will I do if I lose my job during the pandemic?

In a protest the unknowns are:

What changes will be made?

Will the changes be enough to bring peace?

Will this escalate?

How long will protesting last?

How will this change life moving forward?

The fears it inspires are:

The possibility of all hell breaking loose.

More people getting sick and dying from Covid-19.

The possibility of a strong governmental response that puts us into an Authoritarian regime.

Solo Camping is quite a bit simpler. The unknowns are:

What just went bump in the dark? (either a human, a creature, or a plant)

Will that thing kill me? (highly unlikely because humans are scarier than animals and the humans here are all good nature-loving, bike riding types)

The fears it inspires are:

All in your head.

What is the take-away from these observations?

The take-away is that there is a place for society and a place for nature. Society actually protects us from the elements of exposure found in the natural environment. I’m not talking about animals eating humans, but the heat and the cold. Camping with other people also helps calm our fears of the unknown. For these things, I am very grateful for an operating society. I like going to coffee shops and starting conversations with complete strangers about everything and nothing.

Nature reconnects us to ourselves. Nature is a mirror that doesn’t scream back at you. It’s quiet, calm, mysterious, and silently working in harmony to grow. Imagine if humans were like that? Nature strips away all the labels and equalizes survival. This trip helped me put into perspective what really matters in my life. The people I have around me and the natural world. Paired down even further what’s most important to me is the company I keep and the essence of life itself.

How are you recharging during this time?

Please leave a comment or email: firewalkerarts@gmail.com