Schedule
Five Pillars Yoga

Posts Tagged ‘Detoxification’

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Beyond…

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, shining a light on a health problem that knows no boundaries of ethnicity, geography or socio-economic status. We’re talking about an equal-opportunity disease that will effect one in eight women in their lifetimes, adding up to an estimated 220,000+ women each year in the U.S.A.

The good news is, awareness is growing, as is the number of women taking proactive steps towards prevention and regular screenings. Furthermore, fatalities have been on the decline since 1990 due to greater rates of early detection and continuous improvements in treatment options.

And by the way, it isn’t just women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. So men, please read on and consider incorporating the information below.

 

Is this a serious issue? You’re damn right it is. Is there anything we can do about it? You’re damn right we can.

Each of us is unique, with our individual health challenges and concerns. Our genes are distinct, our risks are distinct, and our strengths are distinct. There are certain factors that cannot be changed, but there are others known as Avoidable Risk Factors where we can have an impact.

It should come as no surprise that most recommendations for prevention fall under the diet and lifestyle categories, including:

~ Reducing Alcohol Consumption

~ Eating a healthy diet – specifically, higher in fruits and vegetables and lower in saturated fat

~ Scheduling regular screenings and regular mammograms once you hit 40

hfdjskfhdjks

So where does Yoga Fit in? A regular yoga practice can play a significant role in both Breast Cancer Prevention and Healing & Recovery

 

Yoga For Prevention & Health

~ Lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle have been shown to increase risk of developing breast cancer.

~ Being overweight or obese can increase your risk as well

~ A regular yoga practice contributes to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight

~ An active Yoga practice typically includes both strength building and also cardiovascular exercise, both of which boost immune function and have been shown to balance levels of estrogen and insulin.

 

Yoga for Breast Cancer Survivors & Recovery

~ Restorative yoga has been shown to support the healing process by diminishing levels of cortisol in the body and facilitating the “rest and regenerate” actions of the body

~ Active or Vinyasa Yoga has been shown to enhance the flow of the lymphatic system, which not only flushes toxins away from healthy cells, but also helps deliver disease-fighting cells to areas of the body that are under attack

~ Perhaps most importantly, new studies are now showing a dramatic influence on quality of life for patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. There is often a significant psychological and/or physiological impact from these processes, and yoga has been shown to balance energy, support healthy sleep habits, alleviate anxiety and depression and boost overall mood.

 

YBC_Cover_HighIf you’d like to Go Deep on the subject, we recommend the book Yoga for Breast Care: What Every Woman Needs to Know by Bobby Clennell.

The book is information rich and highly practical, covering information on the many conditions women can encounter as well as yoga postures and breathing practices with specific healing applications. Plus, information on women’s health, menstruation, pregnancy, nursing and broader lifestyle recommendations.

The Best Green Smoothie

Sipping green juice and blending healthy smoothies is all the rage these days. Our bodies buzz with abundant energy as we soak up a rich blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the effects of juicing can be felt immediately, the leafy greens can taste bitter making this morning practice less than appetizing. 

 

The trick to cutting out the bitter undertones of raw leafy greens is easy breezy. Simply add a healthy dose of cinnamon.

 

When you add cinnamon, the bitter flavor disappears, not to mention this incredible spice boosts your metabolism, decreases blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is chock full of antioxidants. But don’t take my word… the proof is in the smoothie.

 

And remember, there is no need to suffer through the process of nourishing your amazing bod! Healthy foods and drinks can (and should) taste delightful… especially your green morning smoothie. This Green Goddess Smoothie is a perfect treat before yoga class and can pick up your energy during an afternoon slump. So, before you reach for the coffee or sugar, consider blending your greens.

 

Green Goddess Smoothie

 

Ingredients:

  • 2  cups kale (or spinach)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cinnamon
  • 16 oz. coconut water (you can also use fresh apple juice to keep the smoothie local and seasonal)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • Boost the nutritional value by adding blueberries or fresh peaches to the mix or turn this smoothie into a meal by adding coconut milk or an avocado.

Directions:

  • Place the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the smoothie into your favorite glassware and savor.

*makes 2 servings

 

sources:

*banner image taken from www.publichealthalert.org

*cinnamon image taken from npr.org

Spring Detox & Cleanse

Do you hear the word “detox” and imagine yourself starving for a day while you dream about chocolate cake? Or do you picture yourself quickly dropping annoying pounds that your body has been holding onto for years? The concept of detoxification, which used to be reserved for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, has been hijacked by the diet industry. It’s time to reclaim this incredible practice and invite some wellness back into our lives. In today’s world, the idea of “detoxing” can quickly be misconstrued as another extreme fad diet. However, the practice of inviting in more plant-based foods, drinking plenty of water, getting adequate rest, removing stimulants, breathing deeply (practicing pranayama), and setting aside time for adequate relaxation supports the body in doing its incredibly intricate job of maintaining balance.

Our bodies have incredibly sophisticated, built-in detoxification systems (liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymph and skin) that provide the ongoing daily cleansing that keeps us healthy and energized. And yet, we live in a world where we eat food that looks nothing like the plant from which it originated. We drink sugar, caffeine and alcohol to boost our energy or alter our state of mind. We breathe smoggy air and the skin (the largest organ of our body) is exposed to many different chemicals and hormones on a daily basis (some even found in our water supply). Not to mention our workday has become longer and longer, often requiring us to sit in front of a computer for long hours.

Planning a detox can be an act of self-love, particularly if you reclaim the practice and take a multidimensional approach.

Nutrition matters. Plant-based foods are where it’s at… For inspiration, check out these fun & engaging food blogs with recipes that nourish your body with an abundance of macronutrients (vitamins, minerals, water, protein, carbs, fat) that will energize you from the inside-out. Add simple practices like sipping lemon juice with water and apple cider vinegar drinks, which have an alkalizing effect on the body reducing inflammation and restore natural balance. Rather than deprive yourself of foods you love, create a sense of abundance around food by preparing plenty of fresh options and eating when you are hungry… and stopping when you have had enough.

Body matters. Plan rejuvenating and relaxing activities: yin and restorative yoga at the studio, walking in nature, bathing with epsom salts and essential oils, dry brushing, and getting to bed early will all support the detox process. A long exhale is perhaps the most effective detox there is. Add some pranayama  into your yoga routine; experience spinal twists to wring out the organs and try some restorative postures to let go on the cellular, muscular and fascial levels.

Mind matters. Digital detox anyone? Fasting from technology may be almost unimaginable in this day and age, but it is well worth the experiment. Let’s be real… we are all so hooked to our devices… Sometimes we have no idea what to do with the time and space between conversation and activities. Take a break from technology and say YES to your mental health. What to do instead? Take time to meditate or practice simple mindfulness practices (like this mindful eating activity with chocolate!). This will help to create a sense of inner calm, awareness, and non-judgment that you can carry into the rest of your life.

Heart matters. Treat yourself with loving kindness and allow for healthy connections with people in your life by using affirmations. This will rejuvenate and restore your entire being, encouraging a sense of abundance and peace in your detox process. The mantra for the heart chakra is “love and be loved,” or “I have the right to love and be loved.” Schedule time out to reflect on matters of love and the heart, what works and what doesn’t work for us, and practice letting go of what no longer serves us.. if only for this moment.

Spirit matters. Take time  to remove the layers of clutter that dim your inner light or bury your true self by communing with nature, experiencing sacred spaces, listening to beautiful music, letting go of effort and hard work, entering flow, and taking time to become interested in your inner world. This will, without a doubt, support the process of aligning all parts of your being with the calling of your soul.

Any or all of these practices will support a renewal in all parts of your life… so this weekend take some time to truly detoxify in the way that is right for you.