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Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation

Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation

A few weeks ago I got my Dosha Mat, Accupressure mat and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it.

Accupressure mats have a ton of health benefits, some claims for health are:

  • reducing pain and muscle soreness

  • stress and anxiety reduction

  • increased circulation

  • reduction of insomnia

  • creates relaxation and sense of calm

The acupressure mats have 4500 pressure points per the entire surface of the mat through the 190 lotus flowers (25 points per flower). These pressure point stimulate the area of the body and send signals to other parts of the body through meridians to help calm and relax. This is much like acupuncture, however not to specific areas and not puncturing the skin of course.

Looking at it from a yogi/massage point of view, I like using it sometimes in a manner that helps me massage a bit. This is also helping relief stress and tension through fascia releasing.


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How To Use Your Dosha Accupressure Mat

You can use this mat in many different ways, in many different places. Here is a couple ways I’ve been using mine:

  1. Simply laying on it. Sometimes I lay down on it and relax, do legs up the wall or at the end of a yoga practice in savasana.

  2. Moving on it. I like to lay down and tuck my knees in and roll back and forth or in circles to get a bit of massaging action.

  3. Sitting down with it. In an office chair or on the couch and leaning into it.

  4. Standing on it. I personally have been loving having it beside my bed when I am doing laundry. I find it’s a bit to intense for me to stand on completely, but I will stand with it one foot at a time.

Want to try one out for yourself? I’ve partnered with Dosh Mat to offer you 15% off your vary own from the Canadian owned company! Offer is only good until November 4th 2018! Use the code BITCHINHOUSEWIFE15 at Dosha Mat.

What's A Mala Anyways?

Mala’s have become very popular lately. They look gorgeous but they also can serve a function.

 

What are the made from?

Many different materials are used in the making of mala’s. I’ve seen beads made from animal bone, different stones and rocks.

 Mine here is from  Mala and Me  made from black onyx. "  Black Onyx   assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. This stone can help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings.  Black Onyx is said to promote self-control helping the wearer to keep excessive emotions and passions under control, while keeping you protected."

Mine here is from Mala and Me made from black onyx. "Black Onyx  assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. This stone can help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings. Black Onyx is said to promote self-control helping the wearer to keep excessive emotions and passions under control, while keeping you protected."

What are they used for?

They can be worn with the intention of the stones/gems they are made from protecting/helping you. Traditionally malas have been used in helping meditation. Using the beads on the necklace to help repeat an intention or a point of focus in meditation. 

I had surgery on Monday and since I have been spending time meditating on healing. With each bead I repeat to myself over and over "I am healing and healthy".
 

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Why 108 beads?

I've heard many reasons behind the 108 beads. The number 108 comes up in many ways, including even the fact that the suns diameter is exactly 108 times the size of the earth's.

 My super sweet bracelete from  Eliasz and Ella

My super sweet bracelete from Eliasz and Ella

What about the bracelets? 

I also love bracelets. I think they look pretty stacked on wrists with different colours, but I use them for quick little reminders. While I'm waiting in the car to pick up my daughters from school or while I'm teaching and people are laying in Savanasa. A moments to align with my intentions for myself and my day. Sometimes I use no mantra and just use it to count a few deep breaths.

The mystery of the mala solved. 

Love

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Restorative Yoga

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. This week let's talk about some restorative yoga. There are many styles and types of yoga, all used for different things. Restorative yoga is a practice more about allowing the body to relax and rest. There is minimal effort put into postures. You take some time setting yourself up in comfort and then relax into it for a few minutes at a time. 

Some of the benefits of restorative yoga are:

  • It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Turning off the flight or flight response (stress) and tapping into the rest and digestion cycle of the body. This is calming in the mind and physiologically in the body. 
  • Helps create body awareness. Slowing down for a few minutes and noticing the sensations in the body is helpful for the rest of our day. Noticing something like tight shoulders and neck, make us more mindful when we sit down at our desks of our posture.
  • Improves immunity
  • improves respiratory and blood circulation
  • Anyone can do it, nearly anywhere!

The beauty of this weeks self care, is that it can be as short or as long as you would like. 10-15 minutes on a lunch break at work, half an hour before bed or whenever you'd like.  Make sure to schedule this time though. We often have wonderful intentions of doing something and put it off until "tomorrow". So plan your time this week to practice restorative yoga once or twice. 

Tips to get the most out of your practice:

  • Turn off your phone and other distractions.
  • Grab a sweater and/or blanket in case you get cold. 
  • Grab a pillow or two.
  • Find any other comfort items available given the space. Candles, eye covers, bolsters, yoga blocks or straps. 
  • Put together some calming music to listen to. 

You can set a gentle timer to remind you to move after 5 or 10 minutes to the next pose or back to work, in case you fall asleep. Below is a few poses you can try or you can search the internet for a few more. 

After a few poses, end in savasana, by lying on your back without props, take note of how your body feels, taking a few big deep breaths and moving on with your day.

 Legs Up The Wall

Legs Up The Wall

 Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold

 Morning Brooke

Morning Brooke

 Childs Pose

Childs Pose

 

Love, 

Jen

 

Self Care Sunday - Month End Reflection

Welcome back to another Sunday. I hope your week has gone well and you were able to take some time to yourself. 

Since we are only a couple of days away from a new month starting, this Self Care Sunday is about reflection and intention. 

In the yoga room we talk about noticing what happens in postures, be it what we physically feel in our bodies or what starts to happen in our minds as we move (or slow down).We may not be able to change these things when we first notice them, but as soon as we are aware then we can start the work. If we never take the time to reflect, how are to to become aware and start the work of change?

So let's sit down this week, or next few days before the new month starts and think about how it went. Reflecting on what has made us proud and what needs work. Setting intentions for what we wish for ourselves. 

Some suggestions to help you with this reflection:

  • Turn off your phone (starting to see my theme for these self care Sundays?)
  • Find a space you can be alone in the quiet. See my Self Care Sunday A Simple Bath for tips on finding this time and place alone. 
  • Bring a pen and paper.
  • Bring along music, candles or a glass of wine. Whatever helps you relax a little into the space.

Then we start to ask ourselves these questions

  1. What am I grateful for this month?
  2. What am I proud of?
  3. What is something I would do differently?
  4. What do I want to let go of?
  5. What do I want to add into my life?

This of course seems more simple then it really is. Trying to not get caught up on things that didn't go so well or planning to much on how our next month will go. As we ask these questions starting to pay attention to how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally about each question.  

For example, what am I proud of? Maybe you are proud you have started Self Care Sunday practices. You may feel pride, a sense of calm, the body relaxed and chest puffed out and open. 

Moving through these questions again without lingering too long on the sensations to dwell. If it help you can even set a time for 2 or 5 minutes once you ask yourself a question to come back to the next one. 

After we've spent some time reflecting, moving on to our intentions for the month. This isn't our goal planning. This is our intentions for how we want to be. "I want to move through my days with ease and peace", "I wish to find the positive in situations.". From there later on (another day) you can set goals to achieve these intentions, but for now we are just putting out there what we truly desire from life. 

Once we have sorted through our thoughts a little, taking a few moments to write down any thoughts or feelings. Journaling if that's something you do. This writing is whatever you feel you need to write down. Whether it is some goals or just how you feel. 

I highly recommend ending this with a yoga practice (youtubing is a wonder!) or a bath or anything else that makes you feel relaxes and at ease. 

I'd love to hear what some of your intentions are for the month. Share below or on the Facebook Page .

 

Love, 

Jen

Bundle The Bissell

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My friend Christine over at Just Another Edmonton Mommy contacted a couple of us about wanting to do a drive for the Bissell Center. A local to Edmonton non for profit company that helps the homeless and vulnerable of our city. With her heart of gold and best intention I was inspired and offered to run a yoga class or two to support this drive. People could come and attend the class for free as long as they brought a donation for the Bissell Center.

Then another wonderful and generous friend, Deanne from Box Social Event Planning, who works with some local malls on events, said she would check to see if someone had a space for this type of thing.

Well lucky for us, Kingsway Mall was gracious enough to donate some space for us to hold this drive. Here is some wonderful pictures from the weekend.

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At the end of the first day the bin was overflowing and even more came in on the second day. We didn’t have as big of a turnout as we had hoped (was a very super cold weekend, and many yogis were shopping a super sale) but even then, the people who should up, really showed up!

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It was a great pleasure and wonderful honor to guide these generous people through a yoga practice.

 

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The Bundle The Bissell Drive is going on until the 22nd of January. If you missed the yoga event you still have time to drop off donations at these locations:

WHAT TO DONATE TO BUNDLE UP THE BISSELL

o    Gloves

o    Toques

o    Scarves

o    Winter Work Gloves  

o    Winter Jackets

o    New Underwear/Long Underwear  

o    New Thermal/ Wool Socks

WHERE TO DROP OFF DONATION ITEMS

Dominelli School of Music North -#203, 8119-160 Avenue
Monday-Friday 1pm-9pm Saturdays 9:30am – 5pm

The Grange Physical Therapy – 2484 Guardian Road NW
Monday –Thursday: 8am – 9pm Friday: 8am-8pm

Wheaton Toyota on the Trail – 5210 Calgary Trail Edmonton
Monday -Thursday 9am-9pm Friday & Saturday 9am-6pm

Pamper & Play Salon and Spa – 228 – 91 st SW
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 – 6:00
Thursday 10:00 – 9:00
Saturday 10:00 – 5:00

 


Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also those who need it so much. - Daphine Rose Kingma

 

Thank you everyone for your support!

Love, 

Jen

Workout Gear Review: Winners Balance Collection Athletic Pants

I get a lot of people ask me about reviewing workout gear, they want to know what's out there. So, I thought today I would write about the these yoga/athletic pants I got from Winners.  Being from Winners and costing $25 makes me think they are accessible and affordable to most people. Now I know you may be thinking "But Jen, Winners prides themselves on the fact that every time you go there is something new. They have commercials saying the item could be gone in a hour!" Yes, this is true. And I can even think of sometimes I didn't buy something only to regret it later when it was gone. The one thing I've noticed they keep pretty reliable is their workout gear section. There are brands (such as these) that I've seen every time I go. 

Moving on to why we are here. The pants. 

The pros:

I really like the fact that they are lightweight. I love them for hot yoga and cardio. I don't feel like they are make me even warmer and they are breathable. I like that they stay on me for these types of activities too. Some pants I find start falling down as I hit the treadmill. (Subscribe to email to watch for which ones!) These pants don't move. 

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I like the fun design/colors they have. The crazier the better seems to be the trend in workout gear and they've got a lot of great options. Side note here; with the designs and so on it hides sweat marks really well! 

The wide waist band rocks. This is basically the very first thing I look for on workout/yoga pants. Being a mom of two, the lower part of my stomach doesn't always "behave" with pants. Wide waist bands are nice to keep everything tucked in and secure. 

They are not see through. I went to take some pictures to show you how they aren't see through and decided against posting pictures of me basically bent over full bum in the frame shots. So here is one of me off to the side. The flash is really bright here and you still can't see through them.

They cost $25. Yeah that's a big difference between some brand names of upward to $200.

The cons:

There is no small key pocket. I used to think these were useless. But I use these pockets in pants alllllll the time. I usually take off my rings for weightlifting and put them in these pockets. If they are big enough and the location works, I sometimes put my music device in there too!

I have bought pants basically exactly like this and enjoyed them immensely, but after about a year the had a hole in the side, where the seem split a bit. I haven't had this exact pair that long but they are the same material and stitching. This is the difference in pricing. The expensive pants usually last a really long time and these types not so much.

Final Verdict:

Great for activities like running and yoga.

Good choice if maybe starting to workout and looking for something inexpensive to start with. Also if you are planning to very dramatically change your body (read as loose say 40 lbs) they would be good. This way you aren't buying really expensive stuff that wont fit. (soon hopefully)

Share with me some brands you'd love to see a review of!

Love, Jen

Gymnasts and Savasana

Over the course of the summer I have had the pleasure of working with a local gymnastics company. I've been doing conditioning and yoga with their competitive girls. A few had taken a yoga class or two and that's about all the exposure they've had. 

I remember telling a few people that I was going to be teaching gymnasts yoga and the response was like, "but why, they are so flexible and strong already?". True enough but they are strong and flexible in just the things they work at. Like any person, you become skilled at what you put effort into. I was, and still am sometime baffled at the fact there are some poses they cant do or cringe at as I show them it.

But aside from their strength and flexibility, two big parts of any athletes training is mental focus and learning the ability to relax. Especially for competitive athletes. Here is where I think simple Savasana is important. This seems sort of simple doesn't it? Relaxing I mean. I sometimes think I'm the master of it with my Netflix binges. I don't think it's quiet so simple for athletes to do this. 

Bringing me back to the gymnasts, at the beginning of the summer, our first Savasana was a bit "rough". Most, if not all of the girls were fidgeting, some kept opening their eyes and looking around, and some were even still talking. Now I can completely understand the awkwardness of their first Savasana. Not to mention they are 7-12 years old. I'm pretty sure at 7 I personally had the attention span of a goldfish.  

 My 4 year old can do about 30 seconds. Ha Ha. 

My 4 year old can do about 30 seconds. Ha Ha. 

Some of my wording with these girls is "Lying down in Savasana, working out any last stretches, itches and scratches and finding that comfortable spot." Little more talking and as they settle down say "coming to lying completely still". Over the summer they would tell me that every time I said that they would all of a sudden have an itch again. I know. That's the point. Stay still. Let that itch be all you think of or let that stuff go. Sounds weird that you wouldn't scratch an itch right? But the itch only comes because they basically mentally created it from me saying that. Makes sense that mentally they itch it I think. Let it go. Relax.

Mental focus, or unfocus for that matter. As a competitive athlete there is a million things that can go wrong or we do wrong. This is why we practice. While learning not to point our foot that way or grab this way on the bar, we also need to learn to let go afterwards. Constantly focusing on the way we are bouncing off the board incorrectly or the "itch" is the same thing. Honor it for what it is, learn from it and let it go.  

Finally, last week was our last summer session. And before sending them off to their final weekend of summer, school starting and coming to focus on training for competition season over the fall I had them in  a 10 minute Savasana. And wow. Almost from the time they put their heads on the mat they were still and peaceful. For the full 10 minutes. To the very moment I started with "starting to slowly move the body". That's progress if I ever saw some. I mean I can't tell you what's going on in their heads, but as young, high energy athletes (that talk A LOT) seeing them still, speachless and relaxed for a full 10 minutes was amazing. My hope for them is that they be able to take that ability to relax the mind and body during high stress times, say the evenings after a day of competing. 

I'm excited to work with them through the fall and can't wait to see them grow even more. 

As an athlete, what do you do to unwind and relax from the stresses of training?

Love, 

Jen