Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Visit the eagle's nest in Decorah, Ia.

Keep an eye on the eagle to see the eggs hatch soon!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My favorite vacation?

Let's see...I've been to Disney World three times and counting. Perhaps I could call that my favorite vacation.  Ofcourse skiing at the porcupine mountains in the U.P. of Michigan is one of my favorite things to do.  California lost the race of one of my favorite vacations years ago.  I have to stick with Florida and Disney World.  I do hope to get there one more time.  What's your favorite vacation?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dr. Weil: Is Colloidal Silver Safe?

Widely promoted as a cure-all for everything from ear infections and shingles to AIDS, colloidal silver is a solution of silver particles suspended in liquid. Promoters claim that colloidal silver is an alternative to antibiotics and can extend life and remedy mineral deficiencies that lead to a weakened immune system. Is any of this hype true?

I don't think so - the claims are unproven, and colloidal silver is not a substitute for antibiotics, or any other medications. Not only does the human body have absolutely no need for silver, it can be harmful:

•Silver can accumulate in the body and lead to a disfiguring skin condition called argyria, which causes bluish-gray skin pigmentation, especially around the nose and mouth, a color change that cannot be reversed.

•Long-term use of oral silver products has led to neurological problems including seizures, as well as kidney damage, stomach distress, headaches, fatigue and skin irritation.

•It can also interfere with the absorption of some drugs including tetracycline antibiotics and thyroid hormone supplements.

While it is true that silver is an effective germicide, it has limited usefulness in medicine. In 1999 the FDA banned the sale of all over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver and silver salts as these compounds haven't been recognized as safe. However the ban doesn't apply to dietary supplements containing colloidal silver because the FDA has no jurisdiction over such products, unless there are established safety issues. I would avoid all products containing colloidal silver.

Thai Yoga Massage

Thai Yoga Massage is great for those who are uncomforable taking their clothes off during table massage or for those who feel they need to stretch or lengthen their muscles. 
Thai massage is a deep, full body treatment which can start at the feet and end at the head. By moving through a sequence of flowing and gentle exercise movements, the recipient's body is loosened and stretched  with some stretch applications linked to Yoga. This  type of massage also effects the energetic side by restoring the flow of energy throughout the body with applied acupressure on the sen energy lines  to harmonize and evergize the body.
This type of massage combines yoga stretching and calmness of meditation by using accupressure, reflexology and exercise movements that help to make it a healing art. The work is done on the floor with the client sitting or lying on a mat.  The client is dressed in comfortable loose clothing. Thai massagie is mainly trigger point pressure and muscle stretching. Hands, feet, elbows and knees are used by the therapist to help release tension throughout the body.  Here are a few of the benefits:
Help detoxification of the body and boost immune system

• Increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure

• Good for muscle relaxation, increase flexibility in your muscles, increase mobility

• Improve breathing

• Improves posture, balance, corrects body alignments and dissolves energy blockages

• Improves athletic performance

• Help arthritis and back pain,

• Help tone the body, strengthen joints and fight diseases, including chronic joint problems

• Prevents illnesses and alleviates degenerative diseases

• Slows the aging process

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Any questions about receiving a massage?

If any question has ever held you back from receiving a massage, please ask it here.  I will do my best to answer your question...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Finding balance in a crushed world...

Do you find yourself totally crushed by the end of the day?  Do you fall into your chair and mold yourself there until the sun comes up again?  Although we feel that sitting in a chair or melting into a could is the right thing to do, it can also be the wrong thing to do.
Sometimes we need a motivator, a feel good reason to get up and move.  That's when I get up and do yoga or get a massage.  Massage is not a treat for me, it is a necessity to get me through the tough times in this world.  My biggest yoga practice is on the weekends.  I look forward to pulling out my mat and getting on it.  The poses I practice are far more challenging than I want them to be but I feel well spent and energized when I am through.  I take full advantage of savasana and meditation at the beginning and end of my class.  I love my yoga days!
Massage is another way to blow away stress for me.  I make sure I am there once or twice a month.  Depends on the stress level I am feeling.
Don't be fooled by the people that think yoga is only for those who are flexible and massage is only for the ones who have time to pamper themselves.  In my book, these are two necessities in my life!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A new yoga mat.

What to do with your old yoga mat

Use it as a nonstick mat for the trunk of your car or put it on the back seat to protect the upholstery from the muddy feet of your dog.
If you like extra cushioning under your yoga mat when doing yoga,  put it under your new one.  Or cut it up for knee pads when doing kneeling poses.  Or roll up the old mat and tie it together to make a bolster when you need support in floor poses.
Go to to recycle the mat if necessary.
One more option.  My husband often asks if I have any old mats I want to get rid of.  He has some ideas on how to use old mats too!
What else could we do with our old mats?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ustrasana - Camel Pose/Balasana - Childs Pose

Practicing this pose pose will increase flexibility in the spine and shoulders.  It will also nourish and revitalize the spinal nerves with a fresh blood supply, improve posture and stretch the abdomen which will help to reduce fat. It helps to open the throat area and relax the neck which is helpfor for asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory complaints.  It helps to open the chest which will help hunched backs and rounded shoulders.

Start on the floor kneeling.  You may need a towel or pad under your knees.  Knees should be hip distance apart.  Place your hands on your lower back and start to bend backwards while at the same time pushing your hips forward and lengthening the spine.  It is important to keep the spine long while moving into a backbend.  As you move into your backbend, slowly slide your hands down the back of your legs.  You may lift your heels up by placing your toes on the floor.  If it is comfortable, you may plance your hands on your ankles.  Enjoy the pose for about 10 breaths. Be sure your body is warm before attempting this pose.

Once you have completed the backbend, be sure to follow it with a childs pose or a forward fold as shown below.  This will help counter-balance the backbend.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Here's a great new CD!  I love this new couple.  Check them out.

What is yoga?

Have you noticed how yoga has evolved in the last 10 years.  Once known as a practice for those who can only afford to fly to India is now a practice you can do anywhere you go including city parks.  Yoga can hlep you build cardiovascular fitness, strength, stamina, balance, flexibility, and peace of mind.  The only reason why we lose some of these important things about our bodies is because we become to complacent about growing old and then we quit moving.  We can prevent many of things that happen to our bodies which we blame on aging.  Yoga can offer many ways to stay young.
Yoga was originally designed 5,000 years ago by men in India that only wanted to find a way to ease the mind.  They created a way to use the body and the breath to quiet the mind.  Here in the west we have lost most of that tradition and turned yoga into a fitness class and not a mind and body class.  The breathing techniques have been removed along with sounding mantras and chanting.
You can still find some of the history on why we do yoga by reading about the 8 limbs of yoga.  A simple list of them includes the 1.  Yamas (morals guide) 2.  Niyamas (self growth) 3.  Asana (posture) 4.  Pranayama (breathwork) 5.  Pratyhara (sense withdrawal) 6.  Dharana (concentration) 7. Dhyana (meditation)
8.  Samadhi (union).
Next time you go to a yoga class, try to incorporate some of these practices into your class.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honey of a deal!

Hoeny is one of the sweetest food found in nature.  It has been known for it's medicinal properties beacuse of its mineral content.  Some of the minerals can be copper, calcium, zinc, and iron.  Honey also contains compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acid that act like antioxidants.  Raw honey is the best and the darker it is the better it is.
It has been said tht buying local honey can help ease allergy symptons but no studies have been done to back the statement.  Penn state College of medicine research team found that by giving honey to children before they go to bed will help ease coughing symptons.  Honey is also antibacterial and does not need additives to prolong shelf life.
Honey will also increase your energy level.  Next time you go to workout take a teaspoon of honey before you go.  It helps to instantly boost the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes.  As we mentioned above, it is a great immune booster.  Honey also possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumour properties! Read: Honey is Anti-Cancer!  Honey has also been known to cure yeast infection, athletes footand arthritis pain.  It's antibacterial properties also help to fight infection.  Honey also helps to soothe a sore throat.  By adding a teaspoon of honey to warm milk or chamomile tea and sipping on it before you go to bed will help you sleep better at night.
Do your own research and find out what you can about honey!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Adele 21

This is a great CD.  She is one of my favorite artists.  Buy it for $7.00.  It's a great price!

Our day of skiing...

My husband and I went skiing this weekend.  We both compromise and try to share what we enjoy doing with each other.  We do our best to be as humble as we can even when we don't like it.  Sometimes we fail at humbleness and this is what happens.  We were riding on the chairlift and I mentioned how much I love skiing.  Skiing was in my blood when I was born so I am very passionate about it.  On the other hand, my husband has his own thoughts that are sometimes best not shared.  He said,"If you weren't around, I would not ski."  I curiously asked him "why" because he is so good as skiing.  He said, "Because it is too dangerous."  I suggested that rising out of bed in the morning has it's own danger and that perhaps this is time to "keep his thoughts to himself."  He chuckled and we made it to the top of the hill safely.  After he suggested that skiing was dangeros I began to think about his hunting.  This is a man who walks in the woods with a loaded gun where many other strangers are walking around with loaded guns and he feels that is safe.  This is also a man who has shot over my head during duck hunting and felt that was safe.  Although, I see danger in shooting over the head of my partner so I withdraw and the duck lives!  What determines danger and safety anyway?  Any answers out there?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Laugh it off in yoga!

Have you heard the buzz about laughter yoga?  Studies have shown us that laughter has a multitude of benefits.  Laughter reduces blood pressure, increases pain reliever endorphins, reduces levels of cortisol a stress hormone and boosts the immune system.  The Loma Linda University's research has found that the benefits of laughter are the same as the benefits of moderate exercises.
In laughter yoga the warmup starts with laughter, games and greeting each other in full bursts of laughter.  Is there a better way to begin or end a day?  Next time you have the opportunity to join a laughter yoga class, don't shy away.  The oxygen channel used to have a yoga class where they danced and laughed in their yoga poses.  I remember doing yoga with them once thinking, "How fun is this?"  Never be afraid to express yourself.  Find a yoga class that's fun!  Check us out here at Simple Pleasures!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Essential Oils for everyday use

Have you ever walked into a room, took a deep breath, and the frown painted on your face in the morning turned into a smile?  Throughout the day this scent is engraved in your mind and the feeling returns time after time.  From the moment the scent touched the tip of your nose and entered your mind, a new day began.  Almost like getting out of bed again.
Here are a few scents that can help with your mood.  Whatever mood you need to be in, there is an essential oil for you.  From the beginning of time, people have been using essential oils for many purposes.  Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood, and Neroli are among the most popular.
You could add a drop or two to a room diffuser, massage oil, or some are safe enough to place right on the skin.  Be sure to check that it is safe for the skin.  If not, place a few drops in massage oil and then massage it onto your skin.  Here are a few suggestions but don't stay limited to these few.

 Scents to center and focus the mind:

Scents to energize

Scents to soothe and relax