Yoga For People Who Know They Won’t

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Yoga: Honestly, do we have the time?

 

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There are so many poses to learn and terms to understand. God forbid I ask the person next to me what the instructor just said and distract them from their ultimate “chi-flow”; namaste tho. Just like Soul Cycle, Barre, and Orangetheory, Yoga has been consistently hot in the wellness scene and it doesn’t look like it’s cooling down any time soon. Practicing Yoga was even an option on my board exam as an intervention for patients with anxiety in the case simulation. It’s infiltrated just about every space. Actually, all the spaces. But TBH, some of us just can’t. We don’t know how to break into the community, IE: knowing what to do, what to wear, what to bring. Maybe you hate feet, don’t want to talk to anyone, or can’t ever sign up for a class or make it on time. Let’s not even get started on being the newbie in class and feeling like the kid who moved from the other side of the tracks on day one. But- we still want to or at very least are curious about the benefits of use and practice. I mean, millions of people can’t be wrong, right? Plus, the mental health benefits of Yoga are amaze. 

 

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 Yogi: Katie Neglia

Yogi: Katie Neglia

This week I collaborated with the awesome, Katie Neglia. She’s been practicing yoga for over a decade and currently offers private yoga/meditation in northern NJ. In the summer she teaches beach yoga on Long Beach Island (total magic). You can find her mainly on Instagram @katieneglia. This week she’s going to help us with bite-size ideas to reframe our thoughts on the practice and incorporate yoga into our week, so we can quit being on the sideline and get our act together.

Katie’s advice to anyone who feels like they can’t practice yoga due to not having the right type of body or knowledge: “Yoga is for every BODY!” Katie says: 

My business cards say it best “Yoga is for every BODY”. There are many styles of yoga – some are very strict in their sequencing (Bikram and Ashtanga), while others tap into the more spiritual aspect of yoga (Kundalini and Kripalu). I would say the most practiced style in the US is a Vinyasa or Power style yoga. This was developed in the 1980s to appeal to the growing western yoga population that loved a good aerobic workout. For a true yoga beginner, I would recommend starting off with a gentle flow class or an Iyengar class that will go over all of the basics and postures. Don’t be afraid to tell your teacher that you’re new to yoga! They won’t bite, I promise. Also, a restorative class is pure magic, and I highly highly recommend.

Get your life and grab the full interview here & then jump into your positive distraction of the week, below.

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Positive Distraction of The Week

Katie says, the best thing you can do for your body and mind is start a meditation practice. Additionally she says: “You don’t have to become a monk overnight, but I would recommend finding a comfy corner of your living room or bedroom, lighting a few candles and just sitting with yourself for just 5 minutes. You can keep your eyes closed or open, sit in silence or listen to some calming tunes. I love the podcast The Breathing Club. They have some really great guided meditations and make it easy to tune inward.” Once you’ve mastered the art of mediation which is a lot harder than just closing your eyes and breathing, consider one of the following tutorials for beginner practices to boost your mental health and move your energy around! Also, check out these songs that would go great on your new Yoga playlist and activate your new vibes. 

Many thanks to Katie for her help and collaboration with this post! Be sure to check her out on Instagram! You can like this post below via heart-moji and feel free to share the love (via the links below) to someone who could also use a few beginner yogi ideas. Thanks so much for following up this week. I’m already looking forward to session with you next Sunday. Follow-up in one week!

Best, Dr. Dyce 

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The Essential Oil Guide

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From your kitchen to your bathroom, these days the emphasis on oils is every where. We know we need them + the overall benefits from use, but have you ever thought about their application to your mental health? This week I teamed up with Elizabeth B., a Durham, NC based research coordinator at an integrative medicine clinic, integrative health coach, yoga teacher, essential oil teacher, + mum of two adorable fraternal twins. In this hybrid post, Elizabeth is here to help us navigate essential oils for self-care.

Literature Review

Did you know that essential oils (EOs) aren’t actually oils? They’re highly concentrated plant compounds! An incredible amount of plants are required to produce the oil which is why small batch products tend to cost a bit more when they are added to products. When stored properly (and in dark, glass vials) they can be kept anywhere from three to five years.  When you think of it this way,  the original sale value is a long term affordable purchase. EOs are lipid soluble which means they readily pass through membranes; with a fast level of absorption– they get to work in about 20 minutes.  

Fun Facts: Egyptians studied herbs + used them in medicinal + religious ceremonies as early as 3500 B.C. Herbalists/healers (dubbed witches) used Essential Oils back in the day +  were hung for their fear of curative properties! There is overwhelming information about the health benefits of incorporating EOs into your life. I’m going to break down which EOs are also important for your mental health + skin– but first, here’s a quick pocket guide for reference: 

The Basics

Not all oils are created equally + fragrance oils + EOs are not the same thing. Watch out for inferior oils + be sure to ask questions surrounding quality- no synthetics! Also, don’t think because the oil has a super high priced ticket it’s worth more or “better” than one that is more economical.

Test your EO for purity: 

  1. put a single drop of it on a piece of paper.

  2. if it evaporates quickly + does not leave a, noticeable ring on the paper- it is pure.

  3. if you have residual product + a ring left behind, it’s probable that your EO is diluted with another oil

Test for skin sensitivity:

  1. prepare one drop of EO with 1/2 tsp of a carrier oil (olive, sweet almond, jojoba)

  2. rub this combination on the inside of your arm + wait a few hours to see if redness or itching develop

  3. if no symptoms present you’re likely in the clear (disclaimer)

Here are more signs that indicate your EO is not authentic.

Categories

EOs have been proven to help with anything from PTSD  to depression + anxiety. Additionally, most essential oils are high in antibacterial + antiviral properties making them excellent for homemade, natural cleaning supplies. Since your body can become polluted throughout the year, EOs can also help clean and detox. The possibilities are really endless, so here are a few ways to use specific EOs in various categories.

Stress Reduction: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender

Anxiety: Lavender, Rose, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile

Memory + Focus:  Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Ginger, Eucalyptus

Depression/Mood: Basil, Mandarin, Lavender, Jasmine, Vetiver

Sleep: Lavender, Jasmine, Yuzu, Sage

Weight Management: Grapefruit, Cinnamon, Fennel, Lemon, Ginger

Skin: Myrrh, Tea Tree, Juniper Berry, Frankincense, Geranium, Birch, Helichrysum

Energy: Cypress, Lime, Lemon, Rose, Vetiver

You already know my views on olfaction distractionsBergamot + Vetiver + Sandalwood are my top three favorites, especially for base notes

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Positive Distraction of The Week

Elizabeth B., Durham, NC. Head over to her website , instagram , or email for more information. “There are many reasons that I love essential oils, but mainly, I love that they’re a beautiful way to connect with the magic of plants, + have so many uses for both physical & emotional healing.”

This week Elizabeth breaks down specific ideas for using essential oils for simple self-care this week.  She says “I first realized essential oils were amazing when a whiff of peppermint oil instantly cured the world’s worst bout of hiccups.” Elizabeth teaches people about therapeutic-grade essential oils + you can also purchase them through her as well, so you know you’re getting the real deal. Here are a few self-care X essential oil ideas from Elizabeth that youcan incorporate in your week:

1. meditation and yoga

you can either diffuse essential oils in your meditation space or rub 1-2 drops of your favorite oil on your temples, wrists, chest/heart area, or the soles of your feet. the aroma can help deepen your breathing, give you a point of focus for mindfulness mediation, and add simple beauty to your practice. Elizabeth suggests: Balance + Forgive 

2. hot bath or shower

place a few drops of essential oil in the bottom of a hot shower, the steam from the water will help disperse the aroma, or in a bath as you are running the water. Elizabeth says: “this is definitely a downplayed luxury” + I couldn’t agree more. Elizabeth suggests: Lavender, Chamomile, + Balance

3. boring self-care

if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, essential oils can be used to support clear breathing + respiratory function. this can help boost your immunity + support healing of many common aliments. if you’re congested try putting 1-2 drops of essential oil in a mug or bowl of steaming water to make a personal inhaler, or rub a few drops on your chest and the bottoms of your feet. Elizabeth suggests: Breathe  

4. sleep peacefully

lavender is a wonderful oil for supporting restful, easy, sleep. it contains a specific chemic constituent called ‘linalool’ that has a mild sedative effect and helps ease stressful feelings. try diffusing it, putting a couple of drops on a cotton ball or cloth that you place near your pillow. Elizabeth suggests: Lavender

5. increase energy

here is a fun idea: place 1-2 drops of essential oil on the palms of your hands. rub your palms together, then cup your palms over your nose and inhale gently. then rub your hands over the back of your neck for a mild cooling sensation. Elizabeth suggests: Peppermint

6. boost your mood

because essential oils are known for their mood lifting effects, try diffusing them in your environment by putting a drop on a cotton ball and putting the cotton ball in your AC vent in your  car if you’re driving or rubbing a drop or two on your wrists. You can event utilize various essential oils to increase household cleaning! Elizabeth suggests: Bergamot, Lemon, Wild Orange

7. body care

whether you have a partner or not, use essential oils in a massage by diluting them with a vegetable or seed-based carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil. you will need approximately 1-3 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil. Elizabeth suggests: Balance, Forgive, Lavender

Elizabeth also provides a few safety guidelines for EO use:

  1. Don’t let them get in your eyes. If they do, thoroughly flush with water.

  2. If you have skin sensitivities, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil.

  3. Don’t put citrus directly on your skin and then bathe in the sun.

  4. If you choose to use essential oils internally, IE. peppermint oil in your mouth, only use therapeutic grade oils. most essential oils that you find on the shelf are not therapeutic even if they say 100% pure.

Elizabeth is available as a resource if you have any questions at all about using essential oils for self-care or for emotional support.

Thanks so much for following-up! You can like this post below via heart-moji! Be sure to share this with a friend who could also use a bit of balance in their week, comment down below and let Elizabeth and I know what you thought! Be sure to follow-up in a week!

Best, Dr. Dyce

Creativity Bug

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Guest: Oakland, California based artist, Jay Katelansky, MFA

Convinced you’ve outgrown your crayola box? Think again. Studies show that activating creative expression allows you to increase brain connectivity, alleviate stress, and improve your quality of life. Probably why the adult-coloring book industry has sky-rocketed. Nothing says YAS like a new box of sharpies and a few minutes to be creative (you know, just enough time before you start getting anxious about not working); sounds like a great way to unpack to me. But is there more to the process?

As kids we were all artists, but along the way most of us grew out of the idea of being creative; probably because we were told it was just a hobby and dismissed any and all creative outlets which actually soothed us during the day hashtag: tragic.

For this month’s Hybrid post, I spoke with Oakland, California artist Jay Katelansky, MFA. In the interview, Jay talks about the importance of creative expression, how it can shift your emotional state, its impact on mental health, and what you can do this week for self care. Jay also discusses her work as a multi-media and installation artist that focuses on the black community and turning trauma into joy. Grab the interview here

Positive Distraction of the Week: 

For your self-care idea this week, get creative. Jay suggests creating unique collages and explains the power behind this form of art:  

“It’s [collages] a re-imaginative process, which is why its good for self-care. I feel like collating is therapeutic because it’s creating an environment that doesn’t exist or one that can potentially exist. It’s also affordable because you just need scraps.”

You can find great tips to get you started here

Check out some of Jay’s work below and intentionally make it a creative week; reinvent your inner crayola kid.

Thanks so much for following up. Leave a comment below and feel free to share this post with a friend via the links below. Let me know how you plan to get creative and be sure to follow-up next week for a new dose of self-care! 

Best, Dr. Dyce

New Year, Why Not?

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We knew the memes and Facebook posts were coming: New Year, New Me.  While our social media streams will start to flow with status updates of changes our friends and family would like to implement for the upcoming year, I often think to myself- didn’t we also say this last year? I too am guilty, hashtag: sobs.  Often time the missing link to accomplish our goals is understanding how we think and react to life events.  Maybe if we start there, we’d ultimately make enough small changes and increase our results. If how we think ultimately changes what we do, how we nourish our bodies likely influences this process.

 Esther Tambe MS, RDN, CDN, is a Registered Dietitian at a rehabilitation health care center that focuses on bariatric wellness and long term care populations in the state of New York.

Esther Tambe MS, RDN, CDN, is a Registered Dietitian at a rehabilitation health care center that focuses on bariatric wellness and long term care populations in the state of New York.

This week I  collaborated with Esther Tambe MS, RDN, CDN, a New York based Registered Dietitian, to merge the very popular new year goal of positive approaches to nutrition with YWF’s weekly mission for the first self-care hybrid post of the year. 

I think we could all use a little post-holiday detoxification. Whether we consumed too many “treat yo-self” calories or maybe just need space to unpack some of the emotional luggage we’ve carried around this holiday season. This week YWF brings you a hybrid of new year essentials for both the mind and body and we start by asking Esther a few questions.  You can  grab the interview here.

Positive Distraction of the Week:

Set a nutritional behavior goal. At the end of the week, see what worked for you and what could possibly be altered.  Maintain a log or journal (or the notes section in your mobile device) of your goals to keep yourself accountable. Esther provides self-care ideas:

  1. Try ordering out less during the week
  2. Increase your water intake daily
  3.  Simply add an additional vegetable to your plate. 

Feel free to contact Esther at: etambenutrition@gmail.com if you have any questions, comments, or consulation inquiries.

Thanks for checking-in and be sure to followup for next week’s dose of self-care!

Best, Dr. Dyce