God’s Pharmacy in real food!

It has been said that God first separated the saltwater from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, He made animals, and fish all before making a human. He made and provided what we would need before we were born. The foods listed below are best and more powerful when eaten raw. God left us great clues as to what foods help with what parts of our bodies.

CarrotA sliced Carrot looks like a human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like a human eye. Science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow and function of the eyes.
Sliced TomatoA Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopene and are indeed pure heart and blood food.
GrapesGrapes hang in clusters that have the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.
WalnutA Walnut looks like a little brain, the left and right hemispheres, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three dozen neuro-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney BeanKidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like human kidneys.
CeleryCelery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specially target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t hand enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Yoga Essence


Breathing is typically done through the nose. Deep belly breathing is the key success in health and wellness. The breath is our most powerful tool to calm and relax the body and clean the mind.  It helps to get deeper into poses. It is important to focus on maintaining long and smooth breaths throughout our yoga practice.


Yoga EssenceWe want to feel something in every pose. Remember to check in with your body and modify or change poses to feel more or less sensation. When we take the time to feel something within each pose, we are more grounded in the moment and aware of subtle changes and our potential.

Listening to the Body

As we practice poses and breathing, check in to see what feels tight, comfortable, loose, how is the breathing, how is our body alignment, how is the mind?

Letting Go of Competition

When practicing yoga, no one has the same body as you. You are special in your own way. No one can have the exact same pose. It is not a competition…it is about what you need.

Letting Go of Judgment

Judgment and fear have a tendency to hold you back from living a rich and meaningful life. Your yoga practice is about you. No one is perfect and we are all unique in our way. Embrace who you are and what you are capable of.

Letting Go of Expectations

In yoga we turn our attention inward, encourage yourself to let go of external comparisons, and judgments that are impacting you from have a deeper experience in your practice. Being here and in the present – today – and not letting the past experience limit you. Yoga is a process and a journey, not a destination.

Staying “In the Present Moment”

It means stopping to notice the beauty and love around us and within us. It means being fully present in each moment because it is only the present moment that exists. So many of us worry about the future, hold regrets about the past, and completely ignore the present.

October Spotlight – Lisa White

Lisa and BryanI have never been much of an athlete, but I have always tried to stay active.  Over the years, I’ve done aerobics, weightlifting, step aerobics, Pilates, and attended my first yoga class about 10 years ago.  I really hate running and jumping and cardio in general, so yoga really appealed to me.  I knew this was something I could benefit from and enjoy doing as I age.  I consider The Hammock to be my yoga home and I appreciate the different styles of each of the instructors here and the friends I’ve made.  I also enjoy trying new venues and especially love doing yoga in the great outdoors!

I have worked at Spectrum Health for 13 years as Administrative Assistant to the directors in Safety & Experience.  We support Patient Relations, Ethics, Pastoral Care, Language Services, Advance Care Planning, Patient Experience, Employee Safety, Patient Safety, and Medication Safety and our Patient and Family Advisory Councils.  Every day is interesting!  I often find myself using the skills I’ve learned in yoga during my day – remembering to breathe when I’m stressed, being aware of my posture (and my shoulders creeping up to my ears) and taking time to do some stretching poses throughout the day.

My favorite people are my husband Bryan, our kids, Bryan (Holly), Jenna (Michael), and Brandon (Mikayla) and our sweet little grandson, Jax.  I love the National Parks and really wanted to see them with my family, so last year we took our first Family National Park Trip to Acadia in Maine.  We had so much fun that now we’re planning to go to Yellowstone next year.  What a great way to make memories and see our beautiful country!

Free Family Yoga Classes in Lowell this Fall!

Thank you to Maryalene LaPonsie of Lowell’s First Look for the wonderful write-up about our FREE YOGA CLASSES this fall!  

An excerpt from the article:

Family Yoga at Libaray 1…From September 7 to November 30, the library will be hosting family yoga classes from 11-11:30 am each Saturday. The classes are free and will be led by Sarah Ryder, an occupational therapist, registered yoga teacher and owner of The Hammock.

Classes Part of Energize Lowell Initiative

Stephanie Weaver, a branch librarian, explains the family yoga classes are part of a larger initiative that seeks to promote community wellness. Known as Energize Lowell, the initiative will eventually encompass nutrition classes offered by the YMCA, activities on trails at the Wittenbach Wege Center and perhaps other events.

There has been some evidence linking movement to improved literacy which is one reason the library was keen to offer family yoga classes. It is also an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

Family yoga was offered over the summer, and each session contained a unique mix of activities depending on who was in attendance. One week a 3-year old was in the crowd and another week, it was all adults. “It’s very easy for me to modify and change things,” Ryder says. Chairs are also available for those who want to participate but are unable to stand throughout the class.

The library has invested in mats and blocks so families don’t need to bring any equipment to the sessions.

“Americanized Yoga” Comes With Multiple Benefits

Ryder knows some people are wary of yoga because of its spiritual roots. However, these classes are what she terms Americanized yoga. “It’s movement. It’s breathing,” she says. “We’re not sitting and chanting.”…

The article concludes…

Family Yoga at Libaray 2In addition to family yoga, Weaver says the library is interested in offering a yoga program specifically for seniors. Stay tuned for more information on that.

In the meantime, Lowell residents are invited to a free yoga class on Saturday, September 14, that will take place at the Grand River Riverfront Park bridge. Ryder says she will meet participants at the bridge at 9 am and conduct an hour-long yoga session that will take advantage of the beautiful views along the Grand River. If the weather is inclement, the session will be moved to an indoor location.

For more information on yoga at the bridge, visit The Hammock on Facebook. And to learn more about happenings at the library, follow the Kent District Library – Englehardt/Lowell branch.



13 Reasons Why We Crave Sugar, Which Can Take Us Out of Balance

  1. Why We Crave SugarDehydration
  2. Addiction-especially sugar
  3. Not enough food or calories
  4. Not enough protein
  5. Not enough fats
  6. Not enough carbs
  7. Too much protein
  8. Too much stress
  9. Not enough acid from foods
  10. Not enough alkalizing foods
  11. Not enough sweet flavors
  12. Not enough nutrient-dense food
  13. Emotional

The reason why we crave salt: processed foods adding salt to all foods which can affect the kidneys and adrenals.

When in doubt, drink water first and then ask yourself what and when did I eat last, and what do I need to create balance.

Interesting quote: “People are fed by the FOOD industry which pays no attention to HEALTH and are treated by the HEALTH industry which pays no attention to FOOD. – Wendall Berry

September Spotlight – Morgan Jarema

Morgan JaremaI’ve been practicing at the Hammock for about four (five?) years now, though I remember being introduced to yoga at about age 5 in Ann Arbor through my hippie mother. We took classes together for a while in my late 20s from Carolyn Hines in Grand Rapids when I was diagnosed with MS and developed balance challenges.

My husband and I moved to the area in 2004, and I joined the Hammock as a way to reduce/counteract/cope with stress at my job, and a way to celebrate quitting smoking (yay… finally!) and to resume treating my body with honor attention and kindness.

For me, the breathing techniques have been helpful in everything from staff meetings to kidney stones to accidentally reading comments anywhere online, and the physical benefits of strength, balance and flexibility are more and more important as I age.

I convinced my husband to come with me to class about two years ago, and he too has seen the value of paying attention to breath and to being bendy-er. He’s the guy with the airplane on the studio walls.

I’m very grateful to Sarah and Liz for their expertise and their ability to roll with my dorky sense of humor, and it’s a pleasure every week to practice with all of you. Also, I would absolutely not freak out if anyone else took the corner spot. Absolute Zen here.

John and I have no children — that we know of … ha! — and spend most of our not-working time traveling, on tubes or a pontoon on our stretch of the Flat River, and plotting places to fly for those hundred-dollar hamburgers. We have two indoor cats, Wookie and Sansa, and one outdoor adoptee, Parker.

August Spotlight – Kathy Gingerich

Kathy Gingrich with GrandkidsLife is a Journey. At age 25, I started working out with Richard Simmons and “Let’s Get Physical” with Olivia Newton-John. I have done aerobics, Jazzercise, a little Zumba, spinning, and powerlifting. My journey with yoga started 3 ½ years ago at The Hammock.  I wish I would have found Sarah 10 years ago. Sarah is the best-her yoga knowledge is unending. Sarah is a very caring person and tries to take care of the needs of all her yoga students.

My career journey as an x-ray technologist is ending on 12/31/19. I have been taking x-rays since 1975. Bob and I will be married for 42 years in September. Our retirement journey will be spending more time with our 6 grandchildren – Kendylle and Leland (Arizona); Lucas, Ella, and Taylor (Wisconsin); and Landyn (Lowell).  Bob and I want to take road trips all over the U.S.

My wish is to advocate yoga to everyone I know. It is a mind, body and soul journey that everyone needs to take. I look forward to working out with my yoga buddies. Everyone one of us is on a different journey. Our journey is to keep flexible, strong core, balance, breathe, relax, and enjoy each day.

Restoring Balance Training

Restoring Balance TrainingI had the great opportunity to participate in the continued education training on Restoring Balance: Training the Parasympathetic nervous system in Monroe MI. It is Evidence-based teaching on why yoga is healing, especially in their realm of trauma, which has the potential to throw the autonomic nervous system out of balance. Great techniques for grounding and centering the body to reduce stress, energize and organize, improve clarity, allows relaxing the body to truly rest and shift into the healing state of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Restorative Therapeutics is about opening up healing pathways and opportunities for growth, physically, spiritually, and mentally using yogic tools. Props are important tools to be able to position the body for an optimal shift toward the parasympathetic system (which is rest, digest, conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.) To learn more about balancing the parasympathetic nervous system techniques, come and join us at The Hammock

– Sarah

July Spotlight: Rachel Swift

Rachel and Travis

Here is a little about myself. I was born and raised in Lowell and moved back from Cincinnati in 2013. My husband’s name is Travis, we got married in Sept of 2017 and are now expecting our 1st baby in September of this year. We live south of town here in Lowell, Michigan and have chickens and 10 or so hives of bees. Hobbies include cooking, gardening, fishing and making wine. I love being outside, so really any time the weather is decent, I’m doing something around the house outside. I also love traveling and my goal is to visit all the continents (2 more to go!). With a baby on the way, I don’t see much foreign travel in the near future, but our plan is to explore this amazing state we live in.

I work at Dematic as a business analyst supporting our SAP software. Having to handle everyone’s emergencies on a daily basis is really draining and yoga is my outlet to regroup myself and let go of any anxiety I’m holding onto. I can honestly say I notice a change in my anxiety levels if I take a week off from yoga. Probably my favorite part of yoga is the balancing poses. It really helps me focus and be present in the moment. What I love about attending yoga at the Hammock is the variety in the teaching styles. It keeps things interesting and encourages me to attend more than one class throughout the week.

Hammock Poolside Yoga

At The Hammock, we have had some fantastic yoga experiences in the past years and this summer.  We have had ongoing poolside yoga at Roxanne’s a beautiful home 1-2 times each summer. Weather has been fantastic, and there is nothing like participating in yoga poolside with true nature all around. The birds, light breeze, trees gently swaying, and the white puffy clouds drifting by. The pool is heated, the light, delightful refreshments and snacks were to die for, and the sense of community and friendship found from the yoga students is wonderful.  Thank you so much for the poolside yoga!