Posts Filed Under Healing

Beginner’s Yoga for Moms (A Guest Post by Katherine Mitchell)

by bosssanders on August 20, 2012 with no comments

At the end of my first yoga session, I believe I said something like:

“If everyone in the world did yoga a few days a week, there would be no more war.”

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Still, I’m continually amazed at the calming and relaxing effects of the ancient eastern practice. No matter what type of day I’m having, a half-hour of yoga leaves me, quite simply, serene.

Yoga focuses on a balance of movement and stillness, accompanied by deep breathing and targeted stretching. While the poses increase balance, flexibility and strength and release muscle tension, it’s the breathing and concentration that promote mental and emotional calm. Experiences such as moving under water, getting a massage and even light napping are often evoked.

The idea of napping, even if simulated, ought to be enough to entice most moms to give yoga a try. The following basic poses will stretch your neck, shoulders and back, and provide an oasis of peace at any point of your day.

Wondering when to sneak yoga in, especially if you have a child or three competing for your attention? It’s easier than you might think. Rather than trying to do a half-hour at once, try two or three ten minute sessions before the kids wake up and after they’re in bed. Nap time or reading time, depending on the kids’ ages, are also great. If you can’t seem to catch a few minutes without them, just have the little ones do yoga with you!

Note: As with any physical activity, it is possible to injure yourself doing yoga. It’s best to consult a health care professional before starting a serious yoga practice, and to work under the supervision of a certified yoga teacher who can confirm that you’re doing the poses safely and correctly. Wear comfortable clothing, have bare feet and use a yoga sticky mat. Be sure not to eat or drink much in the hour before exercising.

Easy Pose

A great way to begin your routine, Easy Pose is basically sitting cross-legged on the floor (often called “Indian style”) with really good posture.

  1. Sit down with your legs bent at the knees and your feet pulled in toward your buttocks.
  2. Straighten your entire spine and hold your head upright.
  3. Rest the heels of your hands on your knees.
  4. Concentrate on relaxing your legs, arms and neck while holding your spine straight and breathing deeply into your abdomen, which expands with the inhale and draws in with the exhale.

Cat/Cow


Mimicking an angry cat and heavy cow are apparently fabulous for stretching and strengthening your back muscles.

  1. Come on to all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. On an inhale, tilt your hips toward the ceiling and turn your gaze upward, letting your spine fall into a gentle arch.
  3. On the exhale, bring your spine up to reverse the arch. Turn your hips down and let your head hang. Push with your arms to get a good shoulder stretch.

Low Lunge

A nice Low Lunge stretches and strengthens your thighs and helps relax hips that are tight from sleeping between kids and pushing strollers.

  1. From all fours, bring your right leg forward to place your feet between your hands, keeping your knee right above your heel.
  2. Inch you left leg back, with toes curled under, so that the knee comes off the ground and your leg is as straight as you can make it.
  3. Concentrate on keeping your feet hip-width apart (not in line like you’re on a tightrope), pushing the left leg straight and keeping the right knee over the right heel.
  4. Come back gently to all fours, take a breath, and repeat with the left leg bent in front and the right leg stretched back.

Downward Facing Dog

This inverted pose stretches the back and elongates the spine. The more you can straighten your legs in the pose, the more it stretches them as well.

  1. From all fours, curl your toes under and push on them to bring up your knees and hips.
  2. Approach an upside-down V shape with straight arms and legs and feet flat on the floor (if you can’t get your legs straight that’s fine. Be gentle with yourself).
  3. Push with your arms to have a long, straight spine. Imagine trying to bring your shoulder blades together and tipping your hips to the ceiling.
  4. Adjust the placement of your hands and feet on the mat to achieve the greatest comfort while holding the pose.

Tree Pose

Tree Pose works on your balance and focus, and gives a nice stretch to the entire length of your body. Don’t be afraid of falling – it’s easy to bring your foot back to the ground if you feel wobbly.

  1. From Downward Facing Dog, walk your hands back toward your feet, and slowly roll up like a rag doll, beginning at the base of your spine and bringing your head up last.
  2. Center yourself, then shift your weight to your left foot and straighten the left leg.
  3. Bring up your right foot to grab your ankle.
  4. Place your right foot against the side of the left knee or at the top of the inner left thigh.
  5. Push your right foot against your left leg while pushing your palms together in front of your chest.
  6. With your back straight, bring your arms up to point the pals to the ceiling.
  7. Focus on stretching in two directions at once, getting straighter, taller and increasing balance.
  8. Gently bring your arms down and return your right foot to the floor. Repeat with the left foot up.

Child’s Pose

When you need to rest after some of the more demanding poses, Child’s Pose is good for taking a few breaths and relaxing your neck and back.

  1. Gently lower yourself from standing, bring your knees to the floor and sit on your heels.
  2. Leave your arms stretched forward, and push them out along the floor as you bend at the waist.
  3. Bring your forehead to the floor and relax completely.

Final Relaxation

Fully relaxing your body is a wonderful way to end a workout, and helps to clear your mind before returning to your day.

  1. Lay flat on your back, palms facing upward and feet relaxed outward.
  2. Concentrate on relaxing every part of your body, beginning with your toes, feet, lower legs, knees, thighs, hips, etc…
  3. When you relax your head, be sure to loosen your jaw, lips and eyes.
  4. Once you’re fully relaxed, stay motionless and clear your mind, simply being still for several minutes.
  5. After a while, begin to move slowly, working up to sitting and finally standing.

Making these slow, purposeful movements and holding the strong poses will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and clarity. Try doing them once or twice a week, and eventually, you may find yourself making time for yoga every day.

Author Bio:

This guest post is written by Katherine E. Reilly Mitchell, who is a freelance writer for http://assistanceforsinglemothers.com, a site that provides help for single moms who are struggling financially. She also maintains a personal blog at humantextuality.com.

I'd love it if you stalked me (subscribe to my RSS feed). Thanks for visiting!

bosssanders

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15!

by bosssanders on April 27, 2012 with no comments

DIRTY DOZEN:

1
Apple
Apples

2
Celery
Celery

3
Strawberries
Strawberries

4
Peaches
Peaches

5
Spinach
Spinach

6
Nectarines
Nectarines
– imported

7
Grapes
Grapes – imported

8
Red Pepper
Sweet bell peppers

9
Potatoe
Potatoes

10
Blueberries
Blueberries
– domestic

11
Lettuce
Lettuce

12
Kale
Kale/collard greens

CLEAN 15:

Lowest in Pesticide

1
Onions
Onions

2
Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn

3
Pineapple
Pineapples

4
Avocado
Avocado

5
Asparagus
Asparagus

6
Peas
Sweet peas

7
Mango
Mangoes

8
Eggplant
Eggplant

9
Cantelope
Cantaloupe
- domestic

10
Kiwi
Kiwi

11
Cabbage
Cabbage

12
Watermelon
Watermelon

13
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes

14
Grapefruit
Grapefruit

15
Mushrooms
Mushrooms


bosssanders

Not Who I Was

by bosssanders on March 12, 2011 with 2 comments

“You know,” he began as we drove home, “I wouldn’t trade you and the kids for the world…but if I had it to do differently, I don’t think I’d have moved in with you when I did.”  –He was talking about 7 1/2 years ago, when I hastily asked my then-boyfriend if he wanted to move in.  Truth is, as soon as I’d said the words “Guess you could always move in here,” I’d regretted them, frantic at what my parents would think (not even taking the time to consider what I thought).  It was one of those you can’t go back now moments – someone was going to get angry and hurt no matter what.

“But if I had it to do differently…” The words echoed in my ears.  Truthfully, there are probably a million things I would love to be given a chance at a do-over in my life.  But then it occurred to me:   What if life wasn’t really made up of mistakes and victories, or failures and successes?  –What if it was simply a series of choices, some of which may not turn out quite the way we’d hoped? I’m not proposing that sin doesn’t exist (it does), but what if some of our less-than-great ideas weren’t really mistakes, just choices?

My husband had begun the conversation, meaning only that he would have waited.  He wouldn’t have been so hasty.  He would have saved his money and….  But, the truth is:  Neither of us were the people we are today.  Seven-and-a-half years ago, my sweet husband hadn’t yet learned some of the financial wisdom he now knows and understands.  Back then, he would’ve made promises to save for our future, but as soon as the first pretty toy came along, his savings would’ve been depleted.  I would’ve seen him as a flake.  Dishonest.  Bad news.  I wouldn’t have stayed around long enough to get engaged, and would probably not be with him today.  We wouldn’t have gotten married.  We wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pull through some really rough times together.  We wouldn’t have these two beautiful girls together…and we wouldn’t be building this amazing life together.

It’s easy to say from the outside looking in that the choices we made were a mistake.  And while some of the choices we’ve made may lack a certain degree of wisdom, proclaiming them a mistake is extremely short-sighted, because none of us can see from one brush-stroke what the masterpiece will be when it’s finished.

How silly is it to judge who I was (or others!) by who I am today?  Who I was 5 months ago is VERY different than who I am today…much less who I was 7 years ago.  Wisdom rarely comes easy, it’s our “mistakes” or the consequences of our choices that break us down only to build us up, making us stronger, wiser, and more compassionate people.

bosssanders
filed under Healing, The way I roll
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77 to 100

by bosssanders on February 27, 2011 with no comments

Still counting… 77 to 100:  Friendships that weather the storms. Intricacies of life.  The calm before the storm.  The cheerful songs of birds.  Fun music welcoming me home.  The promise of Jeremiah 29:11.  Never really having to be alone.  Porch swings and gentle breezes.  Bathroom ambushes.  Tufts of bright green grass.  Slow comfort seeping through my veins.  Quiet time.  Senses of humor.  Conquering love – love that conquers.  Treasures amidst the rubble.  Warm embraces.  Family.  Compassionate people willing to serve.  My favorite purple scarf with tiny poof ball fringe.  Shelter in the storm.  The smell of steaks cooking on someone’s grill.  The ability to forgive.  Being forgiven.  The gentle rock of a porch swing.

The past few days have been…trying.  From harsh words to a beating heart, stilled…to bad news and even more complexities in an already uncertain situation.  Ah yes, trying.  Tough.

But, even as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I kept counting.  I kept being thankful.

Then, there was yesterday and I could feel the adrenaline leveling out, leaving me at some low place with little to say, and only the past day’s events circling through my head.

But today, as I sat on my porch swing, journal in hand, I forced myself to name at least one thing I was thankful for.  And with that first scribbling of ink, many more poured out of me.  Thanksgiving poured out, and yet I was filled up.  Amazing, how that is.

Storms are moving into our area, potentially devastating and frightening storms, but for the moment, the weather outside is calm and warm.  It  reminds me a lot of how I feel my life is right now – so many things stacked up, not going the way I’d hoped.  And, in certain areas, things promise to get harder before they get better, and yet I move forward, face towards the sky.

I just wish I was better at this.  It takes practice, I know.  Walking and living in constant thanksgiving must be learned, but oh how I could use it now!  I wonder if I’ll always need to be reminded (like the Israelite people coming out of Egypt) of God’s greatness, always counting, or if I’ll ever be able to just hold onto it.

But, then again… I’m not sure if I’d have it any other way…I kind of like finding the treasures amidst the supposed rubble.

bosssanders
filed under Healing

Counting to 1,000: 1-49

by bosssanders on February 21, 2011 with no comments

1-49.  The ways God loves me:  Dressing up with my girls and twirling around like the princesses we are.  Snow days spent building forts with my family – love watching them play.  Knee-high trudging, snow balls.  Barely able to to move.  Snow food.  Cornbread (from scratch) with chili and cream cheese.  Sleepy baby smiles.   Snuggles with my girls.   Little arms wrapped around my neck.  Holding hands with my sweetheart.  Laughing with my honey at the movies.  Driving at 5:30 AM – sky navy blue, glowing ground.  Watching the sky turn pink and orange as the sun peeks.  Warm sunshine kisses on my cheek.  Roses, the color of sunset, a gift from my mom.  – A little bit of “happy” when I was feeling down.  Friends visiting church.  Being able to return a kind gesture.  Sunshine.  A call from my sweetie.  Sweet giggles and laughter filling my ears.  A “date” with my aunt and Grams for hamburgers, tatertots, and strawberry cake.  A sweet, understanding woman on the other end of the phone when I went to pay a bill.  A bag full of clothes just for me!  A sweet email from a close friend that lifted me up.  A bird singing outside my window.  Wind chimes playing.  Lunch from a much-loved friend.  Supper with my parents.  A wonderful surprise to greet me.  The sweet smile that comes before the peace as my baby drifts to sleep while snuggling close.  Warmed by the sun.  Company of friends.  Naptime.  A show of the sunset from my front porch.  “Quiet time” provided by my mother.  Group time.  Bible study.  Impromptu day with my aunt.  Long naps.  Tickle wars.  The way the sun’s rays fall on my jar of roses.  Realizing we had enough leftovers for supper again so I wouldn’t have to cook.  Songs without words (sung by Rora).  Lala hugs and “I love yous.”  Waking up with energy.  Feeling of accomplishment.  Visit with a much-loved friend.  A blessing from our postman.  A book in the mail.  Warm days.  Fresh lovely breezes blowing through the window, making my curtains dance.  Sweet snuggles with the baby.  Laying in my 3 year olds’ bed with the lights off, just breathing her in.

bosssanders
filed under Healing

Thanksgiving

by bosssanders on February 9, 2011 with no comments

This life…it holds so many choices. – Including the choice of how we will choose to view our life.  Will we see only the holes and shattered dreams broken around our feet, or will we use those holes to see past ourselves and into the wonder of God’s great glory?  Will we walk past the beautiful sunsets, unable to see past the thoughts in our own heads?  Will we ignore the gift of a beautiful bloom or a hug at the very right moment?  Will we see the gifts that have been set in our lives just for us?  Will we fail to notice our God who loves us so compassionately that He continues to pursue us, no matter how often we fall or turn away?

Life is simply a series of tiny moments.

We either cherish them or take them for granted.

So, here’s the beginning of my list…the things I’m grateful for, the things that make me smile.  These are the things I cherish.

1.  Dressing up with my girls and twirling around like the princesses we are.

2.  Snow days with my family and watching their delightful expressions as they build forts and catch snowflakes on their tongues.

bosssanders
filed under Healing

Seasons Change

by bosssanders on February 3, 2011 with no comments

For a season, my heart bled ink onto the pages of my blog.  It was open, honest, unfiltered and raw.  It also tended to be discouraged, angry, and bitter.

Then, the Potter began kneading out the knots and air bubbles in my soul.  Before long, just living life as my Father began scraping away became my ultimate focus.  Most days, I was too physically and emotionally drained to press my fleeting, whirling thoughts and feelings into coherent words, much less sentences.

Seasons in life are inevitable – just like the seasons here, where I live.  During the winter months, when the air turns frigid and nips at your nose and the wind bites at your back, there’s one thing that I miss even more than the sunshine.  I miss the sweet songs of the birds.  As much as I love looking straight up into a flock of dancing, fat snowflakes, I do miss the beautiful melody of our winged friends.  I suppose we all go through our seasons of silence.

It’s not because I’ve figured everything out that I’ve found my voice again.  Quite the opposite.  It’s that I’m no longer trying to figure it all out.  And, with that…comes an amazing freedom.

bosssanders
filed under Healing

Don’t Miss This

by bosssanders on February 1, 2011 with 1 comment

I’m reading this wonderful book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, and don’t want to put it down.

We all have those moments, days, and even years where our life seems to have crumbled to shambles beneath our very feet.  This book is about the dare to live fully right where you are.

Join the author, myself and many others as we come together to discuss this wonderful life-changing book (HERE).

bosssanders

But God, What About ME?!?

by bosssanders on November 18, 2010 with 1 comment

We’re often taught that if we are good, follow God and do the right things, our lives will be great.

But, the fact is – life is still life.  The bumps and bruises don’t stop coming.  Even when (sometimes, most especially) you’re good.

I’ll be one of the first to admit that I often forget this little nugget.

Sometimes I get so caught up in life, that my prayer begins to look like:  “But God, What About ME?!?”

It’s hard, isn’t it?  When we’re not doing the things we think we should be doing, the things we want to be doing.  When we can’t purchase the things we feel we need or the things we think we deserve.  When things just don’t go our way.  When troubles weigh on our hearts and minds and we just feel so alone.  When we lay things down to follow God just to be met with obstacles instead of miracles.  When justice seems like some big joke.

And, if you’re anything like me, it can be easy to look around you and begin comparing yourself to others and their circumstances and lives.

We begin to count the good things, the holy things, that we have done for God and suddenly, it feels like He owes us.  Or, at least we should be more deserving than some of these other folks!!

Oh man, how I feel that way some days.  Sometimes things just seem so incredibly unfair that I just want to cry out, “But God, What About ME?!?”

In Job 30, Job feels a lot like we do sometimes.

20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.

24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops;
days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals,
a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels;
my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
and my pipe to the sound of wailing.

And God’s response?  It was something like:  Who do you think you are?

We live the way we should be anyhow, and we expect brownie points.  We know Jesus was nailed to a cross for OUR SINS and because our Lord loves us so much, yet sometimes our response is to ask for more.  Sometimes, it’s like we forget.

We all know the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), but so very often, we zoom in on the brother that comes home.  But, how much are we like the other brother?  – The one who went out into the field and came back to his brother’s party, exclaiming how UNFAIR things were, after all it was HE that was the good one.  Why wasn’t HE getting blessed with special treatment?  But, while he was doing everything right on the “outside,” his heart was still in need of changing.  He looked the part, alright, but he hadn’t become the part.

Oh, how hard these stories have hit me this week.  I cried out, “But God, what about ME?!?”  And, this week… he said, “Yes, what about you?  Let’s talk about that…”

bosssanders

For When I Am Weak

by bosssanders on July 21, 2010 with no comments

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)

This helped me and I wanted to share it.  Go here (it’s a devotional).

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