March Spotlight – Karen Walker

 

Karen WalkerHi, I am Karen Walker. I have been attending Sarah’s yoga class for over 5 years. I thought that yoga was twisting your body into a pretzel so I would not be a good candidate. Sarah convinced me that my perception was completely wrong and to try it. Or as Sarah would say “No worries”.  Within a few months, I noticed improvement in my balance, strength, and flexibility.

My husband Terry and I have two adult children and three grandchildren. My leisure activities are physical as well as social and involve our family and friends. I enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, crew (or rowing) in an 8 person boat, kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. I am a recently retired Occupational Therapist having been employed for 31 years as program director and faculty at Grand Rapids Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant program. I volunteer at Family Promise, Ability Weavers, Wittenbach Wege Nature Center, and Ada Congregational Church. Family Promise is an interfaith hospitality network that provides emergency shelter and solutions for families facing a housing crisis. Ability Weaver is a store in Lowell that sells woven products made by weavers with special needs. Wittenbach Wege Nature Center of Lowell schools provides hands-on nature programs. I participate in the classes for 3-6-year-olds called Tiny Trekkers.

As I age balance, strength, and flexibility are important for my health. I appreciate Sarah’s attention and response to our needs as she leads our yoga classes.

What are Chakras in Plain English?

The chakras are seven energy centers in your body that affect your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. When you begin to work on your chakras, your energy begins to flow upwards. Many people’s chakras are not balanced. They are often blocked, overactive or inactive, resulting in confusion, depression, imbalances, and low energy.

How to balance your chakras is a good question.  Through movement, breathing, and sounds help to move the energy in the body into the right directions which can help you to be more positive, have peace, clarity, energy, and balance within your life.

Here are some yoga poses to help you balance your chakras:

 

How Essential Oils Work With the Five Senses

How Essential Oils Work With the Five SensesOur sense of smell is the most primitive and most closely associated with our emotions and how our body responds to them. Essential oils activate the limbic region of the brain to release emotions that are stored there, including emotions that have been stored in our DNA from previous generations.

Together with a balanced diet, nutrition, adequate exercise, and water, aromatherapy can help you achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. It can become a part of your daily routine and when paired with other mind-body exercises, it can also help to gently access the deeper, unconscious levels of physical process, including the release of habitual tensions and emotional blocks.

Wellness Coaching Benefits

Wellness coaching is ideal for addressing the flowing health and wellness benefits:

  • Wellness Coaching BenefitsLosing weight
  • Lowering your stress levels
  • Quit smoking
  • Improve interpersonal relations and your relationship with yourself
  • Eating better
  • Achieving better work-life balance
  • Improve your sex life and relationships
  • Practicing personal goal setting and follow-through
  • Stretching your mind to adjust your perceptions of yourself and others
  • Prioritizing self-care
  • Balancing wellness with a busy/crazy schedule
  • Practicing a positive mindset.
  • Being ok with who you are right now
  • Making progress as you never knew how before
  • Finding balance, freedom, energy, happiness

It’s helpful to think of working with a certified wellness coach will help you to become accountable for your health and wellness goals.  Our coach is there to give you inspiration and guidance when you begin and will support you when you feel like giving up. When you have a wellness coach at your side, setbacks are temporary, not permanent. Success will be great in your life.

10 More Benefits of Yoga

  1. Ups your heartrate! While not all yoga is aerobic, you can take a flow vinyasa class or ashtanga class. This can boost your heart rate. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen. One study found that subjects who were taught only pranayama could do more exercise with less oxygen.
  2. Do More YogaDrops your blood pressure. Savasana (corpse pose) of lying down and breathing was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (top number), and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).
  3. Regulates your adrenal glands. Yoga helps to lower cortisol levels. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, If cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis they can compromise the immune system.
  4. Makes you happier! Studies have shown that consistent yoga practice improved depression, and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in levels of monoamine oxidase and cortisol that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function.
  5. Healthy Lifestyles. Move more, eat less. Regular yoga practice promotes movement, enhances the spiritual and emotional aspects and may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level.
  6. Lowers blood sugar.  Yoga lowers blood surge and LDL (bad cholesterol) and boosts HDL (good cholesterol).  By getting your blood sugar level down, you can decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
  7. Helps you focus.  An important component of yoga is staying in the present. Studies show yoga improves coordination, memory, reaction times, recall information better, and are less distracted.
  8. Relaxing your system.  Yoga encourages you to relax, focus on the present, and creating a balance within your parasympathetic (rest and digest) and sympathetic (fight or flight) systems.
  9. Improves your balance.  Practicing yoga regularly will increase your ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space.  This helps to improve your balance and coordination.  Better balance less falls, and more stability.
  10. Maintains your nervous system.  Practicing yoga helps to create a more efficient nervous system that can enhance brain wave patterns, regulate the temperature in the body and much more.

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

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