Here’s a great tip for the middle of your workday (or home day).
Take a few moments and step outside.
1. Stand with your feet hip width apart, hold your arms out to your side, palms turned out, lengthen up your body to the top of your head.
2. Take a full deep long breath in noticing the fresh air, the temperature of the air, and letting your ears tune into the outside sounds, release your breath slowly through your mouth.
Now, on your next inhale raise your hands high above your head and stretch, on your exhale fold over as far as you can go, let your hands come to your thighs, knees, shins, or even your feet. Extend your arms and lengthen your back, then fold back down. Take another full inhale and rise back up bringing your arms over your head again, exhale and bring them back to your sides. For those of you who know yoga, this is a modified sun salutation.
Take the time and do this one more time.
3. Next, still standing tall, bring both arms up from your body shoulder height, take your right arm across your body and gently pull it toward you with your left hand (reach just above the elbow of the right arm) – this will give you a gentle stretch on that right arm. Release back to both arms straight out and repeat on the left side. Shake both arms a bit when you are done.
4. Lower your arms to your side and repeat the #2.
5. Standing tall take one more deep breath of that clean fresh air. If you have time, shake your legs a bit and go for a little walk around the block or outside of the building. Have a great afternoon!! Thank you for stopping by and reading our Daily Therapy Tip 3.
Heat & Healing,
Thank you for the great response to yesterday’s post! A few people commented and others sent messages. You all encourage me to keep going with these tips.
Daily Therapy Tip 2 From Heat to Heal
Today’s Tip continues in the vein of “listening” and focuses on a short three minute activity meant to help you increase your awareness, focus, renew, and ground yourself during the day.
Grab a timer and set it to one minute intervals.
1. Take one full minute to look around – take in everything you see, the room, the ceiling, the floor, the walls, the items on your desk, everything. Take these things in as if someone was going to ask you to recall the details later.
2. For the next minute, close your eyes and listen to everything you hear. Can you isolate the sounds? The slight hum of the computer, the fan circling above you, the dog yawning, the fire crackling, traffic going by, the clicking of a clock in the next room. Even if it’s very noisy where you are, work on separating each sound.
3. Now for the last minute, keeping your eyes closed, focus on your breath. Listen to the sound of the breath coming in and out your body. If your mind wanders to distant sounds, bring it back to the sound of your breath. When your timer goes off, take a long, slow, very deep inhale – hold it for five counts – slowly exhale through your mouth.
Now, tell us how you feel.
Thank you for reading today’s Daily Therapy Tip 2. Until tomorrow.
Heat & Healing,
Hello Facebook Audience & all those who like our page!
I’ve been pondering the reason for a Facebook Business page and what purpose it can serve in addition to letting people know what events and classes are happening at Heat to Heal and sharing current research. I’m not one to look through fancy or pretty posts and repost from other sites, so have stuck to announcements and research articles; however, I’ve been feeling that there is more we can offer from Heat to Heal, so decided to give some daily therapy tips. Of course, as with all things in life, these may not end up being daily, but it gives me a place to start. I am also posting these tips on our website to be sure they are shared and enjoyed!
In our yoga therapy class this year we have set a theme of “Self Care”. When pain, illness, fatigue, anxiety, stress, sadness, depression, or just simply the day to day living in our busy world hits us, we often think we need to turn to someone to “fix” us. We look at that new doctor in town or the chiropractor everyone recommends or try those new supplements or search online to check everyone of our symptoms and are convinced that this next this will “fix” all that is wrong with us. The beautify of these wonderful mortal bodies that we were given by a loving Heavenly Father is that they have the incredible capacity to heal themselves! “But, how??” You are wondering. The answer is actually relatively simply. We listen.
As many of you know I taught science for the bulk of my career (and my yoga students often tell me even now, “Kathie, this is yoga, not science,” – to which I reply, – “everything is science!”). When we first teach children about science we start with the senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. In sight – we look. In sound – we listen and speak. In smell – we are alerted. In touch – we explore all our skin has to experience. In taste – we discern what we can take into our bodies. In each of our senses, we experience the world around us. Our body was given this natural system to help us navigate throughout our lives while in physical form. We don’t often discuss how our mental body also affects our senses, so for today’s tip we are going to begin looking at the connection between our thoughts and our physical sensations.
Listen to what your body is saying to you. Is your tummy upset? Is it making noises that you can hear? Maybe you need to eat more than that breakfast shake you had first thing this morning. Are your ears ringing? My husband tells me his ears ring all the time. He does tend to clench his teeth while under stress. What are those ears trying to tell him? When my ears ring it means I have pushed too hard and my body needs a rest. Are you feeling a funny taste in your mouth? Sure it doesn’t necessarily have a sound, but it does alert your body to something going on. Listen to what it is trying to tell you. Drink some water. Maybe try not clenching your teeth and do some neck stretches. Clean your system out with a good infrared session. When you rub your hands together do they sound like sandpaper? Listen to that sound. It might mean you need some more essential oils or simply just more water in your day. How about you’ve just bent over to wash off your dog when they’ve rolled in something nasty (that your sense of smell alerted you to…) and all of a sudden your lower back kinks. There probably is quite a loud sound coming from your exhalation and complaint. Maybe now is a good time to go have a few minutes in a restorative pose.
Thank you for stopping by today for our Daily Therapy Tips 1 and taking a few moments to remember to Listen to your body. It’s a pretty smart thing and will help guide you on your way to a healthy day.
Heat & Healing,
Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD
CYT, CYA-E-RYT 500, CRA RM-RT
Fill in the details to crystallize your intentions
“Please, don’t tell me your idea”, my husband exclaimed!
“But, why? It’s such a great idea?” I replied, surprised at his response.
“Because if you tell me, I’ll have to build it for you,” he explained.
He’s right. For the past 35 years we have been working together as a team. I seem to have the crazy ideas, he has the vision along with me, and he then turns around and helps that vision become clear, real, and physically tangible. Today I want to share with you some of the wonderful crystallization of some of my own personal intentions.
Our current Heat to Heal™ studio was originally a piece of dirt with a side hill. It first became an addition to our rather large home complete with a six-car garage and workroom for the boys and a master bath on the second floor. For many years that garage was the place where manifestations of projects were realized. The boys (we raised three sons and had one living at home at the time – when I refer to the “boys”, I’m talking about my husband and sons), built trucks, kayaks, more trucks, motorcycles, Christmas presents, ATVs, more trucks in that space. At one point the workroom became an exercise room for my son when he married and suited our downstairs for his new wife, and soon to follow baby. The space was full of love even if it was full of grease and noise. When our son, wife, daughter, and soon to be new son made their move to work for Blackstone in the Vancouver area, the space was now ours to intend. My husband had a large shop at the top of the property and for years my intention had focused on turning this space into what is now our amazing Heat to Heal™ Studio. My thoughts of the space began while sitting in a particularly stressful Faculty Meeting at work, and I started doodling on the back of the agenda by drawing out our house. A year or so later while in Mexico at a Yoga Teacher training, I drew the space again with the entire lower floor as a therapy centre and the space for the studio with windows all around, beautiful floors, and a space dedicated to healing. I saw this in my head over and over. I explained my thoughts to my husband and through his efforts, the crystallization of the building became even more clear and sharper than what I saw in my head. Throughout the project I kept repeating to myself, “If you build it, they will come,” taking the intent even further past the building stages onto the wonderful times with students to come in the future. The result of our final building is an amazing manifestation of our intention.
Fast forward to the communication at the beginning of this article.
We held a silent retreat in November at Heat to Heal™. It was a wonderful 24 hours being completing unplugged from technology and other trappings of our every day life. The only thing is, how on earth do you meditate and keep your mind calm when it is not a usual part of your life? I focused on renovating my home. In my head. After each meditation, I pondered each and every room of my space and completely redesigned my space from the floor to the ceiling. Utilizing existing rooms, changing some walls, removing some rooms, heightening ceilings, thinking, “I wonder if this is possible? Will the roof trusses allow this change?” Then thinking, “well pretty much anything can be done in construction”. When my house became completely crystal clear in my thoughts, my breath slowed, my mind settled and my silence was complete. It may seem like a silly way to pass the hours, but in between the prayers and meditations, my mind had to go somewhere, this is where I let it go. When my husband finally let me tell him my ideas, he said, “yes, you are right, anything can be done in construction, but honey, I think this time we aren’t going to crystalize your ideas.”
Throughout the years my husband and I have built many homes together – never once from the ground up – always renovating existing structures, but improving and moving these spaces onto wonderful works that others now enjoy. Together we have built businesses, completed university degrees (me), raised three sons (together), fostered over 55 children, and now revel in grandchildren. During my careers and daily life my intentions for curriculum, classes, papers, books, projects for gifts and more have all begun with one idea. This idea turns into an intention, and when I fill in the details for the intention, it becomes crystallized in my head and eventually becomes a reality. It is not a quick process; it takes hard work, patience, loving thoughts, and accepting the risks along the way. Last month a friend shared a great article in the Huffington Post called, “The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today” where Mark Manson, (Nov 2013) talks about the suffering you must be willing to accept on your chosen path. This article gave me many moments of pause and encouragement. We have been willing to sacrifice over the years to reach our goals. We are not wealthy people; we are abundant people. We plan and work toward our goals determining what is possible through understanding every detail of the intention we have. Do we have to forgo things and activities in order to achieve our final goals? Usually, however our final efforts are, in fact, more beautiful and peaceful than we intended. We have always gone forth with the idea that the spaces we have are just material spaces. They do not belong to us; they are a gift that can disappear in a moment – or natural disaster. Everything we have belongs to the Lord, and in his infinite wisdom, through our efforts, we have succeeded in crystallizing our intentions into wonderful amazing blessings. At this point, I must give great thanks for having an amazing partner to have shared these wonderful experiences together. I realize that not everyone has a partner along their life path, but we all have our “villages” and our “people” – those who help us along the way. We are all in this together. Find your support group and help them help you achieve your intentions.
My advice to you to help crystalize your intention: Fill in all the details, don’t overlook anything. Weigh the pros and cons, make the decision, and then pray about the decision. Meditate upon it and listen for the answer. You’ll know if it’s not the right answer because the idea will float away or you will have a “stupor of thought” meaning you wont’ remember what you were planning. The right answer will burn within you, or give you a peaceful feeling, or you will see the way clearly. When you receive the answer that your intention is the right path, then set your feet solidly on the ground and trust that your dream and intention will find the realization through your hard work. Fill in the details to crystallize your intentions!
Have you been wondering about Yoga in our Modern Western world? Please find below an article I wrote earlier in the year for the Canadian Yoga Alliance. We’d love to hear from you about how you experience this wonderful ancient practice of Yoga in our Modern World! Feel free to contact us today with your comments or to register for one of our upcoming events!
Teaching Yoga in Our Modern World
Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD
CYT, E-RYT 500, CRA RM/RT
When asked to write this article about Teaching Yoga in our Modern World I wondered, “what is our modern world?” How modern is modern when compared to an ancient form of practice that we realistically can’t even find exact dates of origin. In fact, it appears that yogic practices have been around in some form or another since the beginning of mankind. Cool. We can watch wonderful videos of Modern Day yogis travelling through India (see Yoga Origins with Georg Feuerstein on U-Tube); however, this isn’t what yoga looks like to most of us living in the rest of the world. Our modern world in British Columbia, Canada in 2013 is a much similar world to smaller towns all up and down the Western Coast of Canada and into California, but different as we move South into Mexico and on into South America. The modern world of The Greater Vancouver area, or the Greater Edmonton Area, or the Greater Toronto Area differs greatly from yoga in my small town. In fact, my area is vastly different from some of the rural towns in Saskatchewan or Alberta or Manitoba or Prince Edward Island. Yoga is practiced in homes, on beaches, in recreation centres, in gyms, in places of business where tables and chairs are moved out of the way, in lovely bright open airy studios, or dark rooms with heat and no windows. Yoga is practiced on golf courses, in forests, on beaches, on quads, on horses, in swimming pools, with partners, or singularly alone in a mountain cabin. Yoga in our modern world is as diverse as each of us. No right or wrong way approaches us in this quest for enlightenment and transcendence. True yogis understand this – there is no right and no wrong way – there is only the way, the path, the journey, the everyday trying of being better today than yesterday in all that we do, say, how we move, and what we learn from practice.
We are truly blessed to have an abundance of yoga in our world. Wherever we are in the world we can practice yoga. I love that many of my yogi and yogini friends travel the world and have exuberant and crazy adventures they share with me. I’m not currently travelling the world physically in my yogic path, but enjoying living in a wonderfully secluded quiet place. It is here where I feel the quiet wisdom of old growth forests, delight as eagles soar over my head each day, and love being gently nudged by a sweet chocolate lab telling me to go to my mat or simply to get off the computer and go to bed. My friends experience circles of light; asana practices that maybe I would’ve tried when I was in my 30s or 40s, but certainly not my late 50s; but we all commune in this wonderful thing we call yoga. The modern world and teaching yoga allows us to explore the ages and phases of life in all its wonders. I revel in the kids and parents classes we teach and seeing videos of my golf buddies 2-year-old grand children practicing, “yoga”. I love it when my own grandchildren show up in my studio and want to dance and “do” yoga. I especially love it when I have older women and men come into my studio and realize there is still joy in their aging and painful bodies. I find exuberance is seeing the smiles that come about when moments of Samadhi are reached.
Of course, the business of yoga creeps into the joy of teaching. We have to make money to exist and live. Sometimes there are unfair practices for teachers by studio owners, blatant and in-your-face advertising practices, but the closer studio owners and yogis can come to living a true yogic lifestyle, the easier and more joyful the path for teachers becomes. The resulting efforts will translate directly in happier classes and contented students. Whether you enjoy a noisy, boisterous, friendly class; a quiet, individualized, come in the room and no one talks but the teacher class; or, you simply want your own private personal practice in your special place – be it the deck, the gazebo, the extra room in your house, or the beach, you can have the experience your heart calls for. Yoga in our Modern world means yoga for you – yoga for the individual. You can commune with a class, get your sweat on in another, quietly chant mantras in another, and learn how to move in safer ways in therapy classes. I love Yoga in our Modern World. Yoga is so much more than an exercise class at the gym that helps you have a firm body – yoga helps you transcend the noise of the modern world and find your own true path to transcendence and joy. I wish you well on your path. May it be one of your choosing.
Heat & Healing,
Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD
Director Heat to Heal