Saturday, November 19, 2011

FlexiBod (not only for increased flexibility)

Not many people in the 'yoga/EFT' world know that I am an ex-chemist, because I don't often talk about it. I loved being a scientist and chemist but chose to give it up due to the passion I have for Yoga and also the toxins that I worked with in the laboratory. Dreadful things like mercury, lead, cadmium, vanadium, aluminium, tin, to mention only a few!!

So a few years ago when I was going through a particularly 'stiff and sore' phase I decided to research and manufacture a natural product for this. As the guinea pig I took it for a number of months and had good results. Muscle pains disappeared, feet aches were non-existent, and the bonus increased flexibility - good for yoga - that's for sure! My students noticed and soon I was making it for them too..... and still do!! It has also morphed into another product for elderly pets... called (you guessed) "FlexiPet"

Here is a basic run down of the product - a beautiful light green powder, which is swallowed down with a glass of water (or put into the pets food).

Flexibod - Nutritional Supplement

Formulated by Anne Combrinck (ex Analytical Chemist) with natural ingredients that have been well researched, tried and tested.

Contains MSM, Spirulina, Barley Grass, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Trace Minerals & Tissue salts

What it does:
· Increases flexibility throughout the body –good for yoga! Less joint & muscle stiffness
· Reduces recovery time if you injure a muscle, tendon or ligament
· Increases energy
· Promotes elasticity, strength, and the general health of our bodies' tissues
· Detoxifies at cellular level
· Balances acid/alkali levels reducing joint problems
· Relieves inflammation
· Boosts the immune system, fights free radicals
· Healthy metabolic processes such as tissue growth, digestive metabolism, and water retention
· Trace minerals aid absorption and effectiveness of other constituents
· Improves collagen repair in skin & other tissues (no more wrinkles?)
· Delays aging effect
· Speeds up wound recovery, treats constipation, eliminates excess fat
· Contains organic iron – helpful for anaemia
· Spirulina is a probiotic that protects intestinal flora, improves digestion
· Barley green is anti-arthritic, anti-gout & anti-carcinogenic. It is a cell food.
· Reduces joint, muscle and 'bone' pains

These are only some of the benefits!!

To take – before breakfast – on tongue (or mix 1 teaspoon into a small quantity of water or fruit juice, swallow) and then follow with a full glass of water – the taste is tolerable - but oh so worth it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pregnancy Yoga - More Information

Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy Yoga classes, taught by a Yoga Teacher with additional and specialised training in this field, provide opportunities for expectant women to develop greater vitality and awareness of their bodies. These classes also deepen their relationship with their unborn baby. Gentle postures, breathing, visualization and relaxation are learned which cultivate, flexibility, calmness and confidence in preparation for labour and childbirth. Women are empowered to develop their ability to access greater relaxation, comfort, and enjoyment. Calm, strength and flexibility ease the birthing process, thus reducing pain and increasing the joy of giving birth. With the guidance of the Pregnancy Yoga Teacher, women prepare for an active, normal and natural birth.

Birth and Nurturing the Baby are Natural
It may seem strange that a mother needs to prepare for birth and motherhood; after all they are completely natural, instinctive and biological functions. Women’s bodies are ideally designed and adapted to carry, give birth to and nourish their young, just like any other mammal. However, unlike other mammals, humans appear to be the only species that has such difficulty fulfilling this instinctive potential.

This has not always been the case though. Many cultures, throughout the ages, have honoured and respected the power of women to give birth and nurture their young as central to life. It is only in our ‘modernized’ world that the power of women as birth-givers has been steadily degraded and replaced by the science of obstetrics.

Why Practice Yoga in Pregnancy?
Attending yoga classes that are specifically adapted for the pregnant woman, means that a conscious choice has been made to devote some time to honouring and nurturing yourself and your unborn baby during this special time. As yoga brings your mind and awareness into your body it awakens the awareness of your baby inside and deepens your connection with your child. You will feel more in touch with your inner self, more connected to nature, and you begin to discover that the power to give birth and nurture your baby lies within yourself. This is also very helpful after the birth.

Physically …
During pregnancy, energy levels fluctuate and may leave you feeling exhausted for no reason. Your body is using enormous amounts of energy to ‘create’ a brand new human being, and misusing your body can result in excess tiredness. Physically, yoga teaches how to keep the posture correct as the centre of gravity changes throughout the nine months; it strengthens the back, tummy, shoulder, arm and leg muscles to be able to carry the baby comfortably and easily; it keeps you fit and thus an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients flowing around the body and to the baby; it improves circulation of other fluids in the body helping to prevent swollen ankles and other oedemas. These seem to be ‘side benefits’ when you consider how yoga prepares the body physically for the birth. It helps to open up the hips and pelvis, creates more flexibility, and strengthens muscles that are needed for the ‘pushing’ stage of labour. After all, what does ‘labour’ mean – hard physical work! Therefore it makes sense to prepare the body with stretching, breathing and physical exercise.

Mentally and Emotionally ….
On other levels, yoga helps to bring your whole being into balance. It influences the mind and body positively, benefiting you emotionally. Yoga especially with a focus on breathing quietens the mind, allowing you to feel more peaceful within yourself. It is calming and reduces anxiety - you feel more present in your body and thus mentally and emotionally balanced.

Pregnancy is a natural state of ecstasy and celebration. There are many peaceful and blissful times to be enjoyed during these months. Yoga can help you make the most of the contentment, well-being and fulfilment which women can experience when they are pregnant. Its benefits will continue in the many pleasurable hours you will spend with your baby after the birth.

Preparing for Birth and Coping with Labour
In most traditional societies, women are encouraged in pregnancy to build up their strength and improve their fitness in readiness for the birth. On the whole they give birth easily, and we can do the same.

The processes of birth are involuntary, they happen without your conscious control. The sensations experienced during the hours of labour as your body opens to give birth are very powerful. They take you to your limits of endurance. There are times of extremes both pain and pleasure, ecstatic highs and deep dark lows involved in the extraordinary inner journey which brings your baby to birth. Yoga is a wonderful preparation for this. It teaches you to make space between thoughts to focus on what you are feeling in your body and to surrender and let go, which is exactly what you need to do during labour.

Breathing lies at the very heart of yoga practice – without mindfulness of breath the postures are lifeless and static. In Pregnancy Yoga classes breathing correctly and deeply, as well as using the breath as a focus, is learned. Breathing properly throughout pregnancy and labour are important for your baby, who is depending on you for his/her oxygen supply. To be able to concentrate on the breath – the source of all life – can help you get through the most difficult times in your labour.

Many of the yoga postures learned in the class are similar to the positions women instinctively assume in labour. These positions are then spontaneously applied during the labour allowing comfort and ease for the different stages.

Overall Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga
All in all the practice of yoga brings awareness of breath, body, mind and feelings, which enables the mother-to-be to stay in harmony with her child throughout her pregnancy. It gives her the confidence to follow her instincts while giving birth and as a mother.

Anne Combrinck, a Yoga Teacher and mother, used yoga to prepare for her son’s birth and has been teaching yoga to pregnant (and post-natal) women for many years. (This article originally written for SA Journal of Natural Medicine)

She also trains Yoga Teachers, and facilitates a workshop to further train Yoga Teachers to specialise in Pregnancy Yoga Teaching.

Babies are an Inspiration

Pregnancy Yoga Teacher training is such a fun course. Even though there is soooo much information to share and the time goes past so quickly, I love, love, love teaching this course.

The best part about this course is that everyone is so enthusiastic about new life - babies seem to inspire people in general but women particularly. This year there are 7 beautiful Yoga Teachers coming together to learn how to teach Pregnant women, couples and the Moms with their babies afterwards. After one weekend of intensive training we are about a quarter of the way through, and have dealt with pre-conception and fertility, and the 3 trimesters of pregnancy.

The following weekend will cover Couples Yoga for Mom-to-be and Partner; Yoga for the Labour and Birth; Post-natal Yoga for the moms; and Moms and Babies Yoga, which incorporates some baby massage. On these weekends we go through the practical aspects of teaching yoga for these stages and after the weekend get-togethers there is time for on-line theory study before the final examination.

Oh my, the year has flown by!

Cannot believe I have neglected my blog for so long..... I am sorry. Could it be the Falcon was so overwhelming I didn't think to write again...LOL

Well it's not that I haven't been writing - I contributed to a blog that we call "Metawomen" for the group of awsome women that meet once a month to discuss, dance, shake, meditate, build fires, have fun, and share eats and tea with. All of us around that age... you guessed it... metamorphosis = change.

I also wrote a few articles for Journals and mags, and of course, most time-consuming of all - my training manuals that are always in the process of being up-dated or completely re-written or completely written from scratch, as I download the information so beautifully stored in the RAM of my brain.

Will there be more time to contribute to this blog... always have the intention... we'll see.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Falcon

Yesterday (14 Jan 2011) a Peregrine Falcon flew into our plate glass window. By the time we reached him he was lying on his back, wings sprawled, feet curled up, eyes closed and not breathing. I detected a very feint heart-beat that was dwindling fast. I turned him over - his little head lolling to the side, wrapped my hands around him and 'sent' healing energy into his body, with my son assisting and unbeknown to me doing the same. The heart beat became stronger and eventually was pounding in his chest as he briefly opened his eyes and was horrified by these 2 humans glaring and holding him. A little water laced with Rescue Remedy dropped into his beak, and more healing as I used surrogate EFT tapping with his fear, injuries, and 'concussion'.

He again opened his eyes this time the pupil dilated then some sort of focus seemed to happen, it was time to stand back from this strong beak and sharp powerful talons.....wings gave a half-hearted flap and he moved 4 inches, to get away from us. We stood back, giving him his space. Another minute or so and another more vigorous flutter, this time he moved and few feet away, and I was scared he would accidently fly into the pool. So we closed in on him again and 'guided him' towards a safer garden area, only a few feet away. He sat for a few more minutes with wings spread open in the sunlight. Still tapping I could see him looking back at us. Then enough eneegy to fly ... hovering just over the pool, didn't think he would make it but he did and landed on the wall of the pool... that was close. Martin said to tap for the fear of flying after he had sat there for a long time, this I did and continued tapping for the trauma, the fear it may happen again, the hurt, and soreness, feeling stupid for not seeing the glass, etc. He turned and stared straight into my eyes, looking alert, and in one swoop flew up, circled over the pool and through the gap of the trees and away he went!

All three of us felt honoured to have been part of this magnificent bird's healing .....

What a lesson this falcon gives... (from Animal Totems: Dictionary of Birds)
Falcon represents: Power of insight, agility, discernment and how to attach opportunities in life, discern when and how to strike when needed. Falcon teaches swiftness with control and exactness in movement. Timing is everything for falcon. Is it time to take chances? He will teach timing in your spiritual and physical life. Falcon will teach to see your environment with mental and spiritual clarity.