Breathe Easy—These Yoga Poses Were Made for Relieving Lower Back Pain by CHRISTIE CALUCCHIA

Yoga is so much more than a wellness trend. While the ancient practice is often touted as a strengthening workout for those with an affinity for Lululemon gear, it boasts more than just the ability to tone your arms and core. Yoga offers both physical and emotional benefits and no one understands this more than the founder of Thyroid Yoga Fern Olivia and Los Angeles-based instructor Nicolette Ficchi.

Take lower back pain, for example. According to Olivia, discomfort in this area can be related to everything from insecurity to anger. Additionally, daily routines like sitting at a desk all day or being stuck in the car during long commutes can contribute to back problems, Ficchi points out. Because yoga tackles both emotional and physical factors, the practice can be used to alleviate lower back pain.

“Yoga can be very beneficial for the lower back because it will help to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the back and spine,” Ficchi explains. Not only can doing yoga help to ease lower back pain, but it can also help to prevent injuries in the future, she adds. This is done through a variety of specific poses that work to release tension in the lower back while strengthening muscles that support the spine, like your abs.

Of course, yoga is like any other workout routine in many ways and you shouldn’t jump into a new practice with the hopes of curing pain without first consulting your doctor and taking necessary precautions. Ficchi advises easing into new movements and listening to your body during the process in order to avoid injury. “If something feels ‘off’ in your body, stop doing it and utilize modifications as opposed to just jerking your body into a shape you think it needs to be in,” Ficchi says. You can also use props like blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters to help you transition into new postures.

If you’re ready to try yoga for lower back pain, start out with this flow designed by Ficchi to target your back and help soothe pain while strengthening important muscles. Here’s how to get into each pose and exactly how it will benefit your back.

Cow Pose

Cow Pose

JUSTIN COOK
  1. Come into a tabletop position on hands and knees with the wrists stacked under the shoulders and the knees stacked under the hips.
  2. Inhale and press your chest forward as your head looks up and spread your sit bones apart.
  3. Make sure to keep the core engaged and to not “dump” into the lower back, which may cause pain.

Cat Pose

Cat Pose

JUSTIN COOK
  1. From cow pose, exhale and press the earth away from you.
  2. Allow the head to come into the chest and round out the spine, coming into a dome shape.

The Benefits: The movement between cat and cow pose is known as spinal flexion. This frees up the spine to release tension in the back, Ficchi explains.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog

JUSTIN COOK
  1. Begin in a plank position to measure the correct distance for your body.
  2. Pressing down evenly through each finger, lift the hips to this sky.
  3. Keep the heels lifted and leave a slight bend in the knees, especially if your hamstrings are tight.
  4. If the shoulders are tight, turn the hands out.

The Benefits: “When the heels are lifted and knees are bent, this allows for the torso to move towards the thighs, articulating the natural curve of the lower spine,” says Ficchi.

Forward Fold

Forward Fold

JUSTIN COOK
  1. Make sure your feet are hips distance apart.
  2. With bent knees, hinge at the waist and maintain length in the front body.
  3. Allow the head to hang and weight to shift to the fronts of the feet.

The Benefits: “This cooling posture allows for stability in the lower back while stretching the

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.mydomaine.com/yoga-for-lower-back

Do You Live with Anxiety? Here Are 11 Ways to Cope Written by Ally Hirschlag

Breathe: There are ways to calm your anxiety

Know that feeling of your heart beating faster in response to a stressful situation? Or perhaps, instead, your palms get sweaty when you’re confronted with an overwhelming task or event.

That’s anxiety — our body’s natural response to stress.

If you haven’t recognized your triggers yet, here are a few common: your first day at a new job, meeting your partner’s family, or giving a presentation in front of a lot of people. Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks.

Identifying your triggers can take some time and self-reflection. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxiety from taking over.

 

5 quick ways to cope with anxiety

If your anxiety is sporadic and getting in the way of your focus or tasks, there are some quick, homeopathic remedies that could help you take control of the situation.

If your anxiety is focused around a situation, such as being worried about an upcoming event, you may notice the symptoms are short-lived and usually subside after the anticipated event takes place.

Question your thought pattern

Negative thoughts can take root in your mind and distort the severity of the situation. One way is to challenge your fears, ask if they’re true, and see where you can take back control.

Practice focused, deep breathing

Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By evening out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down.

The 4-7-8 technique is also known to help anxiety.

Use aromatherapy

Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing.

Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety.

Go for a walk or do 15 minutes of yoga

Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body and not your mind may help relieve your anxiety.

Write down your thoughts

Writing down what’s making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.

These relaxation tricks are particularly helpful for those who experience anxiety sporadically. They may also work well with someone who has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) when they’re in a bind too!

However, if you suspect you have GAD, quick coping methods shouldn’t be the only kind of treatment you employ. You’ll want to find long-term strategies to help lessen the severity of symptoms and even prevent them from happening.

6 long-term strategies for coping with anxiety

If anxiety is a regular part of your life, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you keep it in check. It might be a combination of things, like talk therapy and meditation, or it might just be a matter of cutting out or resolving your anxiety trigger.

If you’re not sure where to start, it’s always helpful to discuss options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before.

Identify and learn to manage your triggers

You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.

Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out — is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.

When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you can’t limit it — like if it’s due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.

Some general triggers:

Continue reading “Do You Live with Anxiety? Here Are 11 Ways to Cope Written by Ally Hirschlag”

13 Easy Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

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Is stress holding you back from living a full life?

Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life – BKS Iyengar

Stress can quickly creep into your life and can often be hard to shake. Yoga has shown to have a calming effect on the body and many poses have a stress relieving effect. Bridge pose gently stretches the back and legs while reducing backaches, fatigue, and anxiety. Another easy yoga move, cat pose, relieve stress and massage the spine.

Looking to eliminate the feeling of stress from your life? Take a look through this infographic to learn step-by-step instructions on how to perform 13 stress relieving yoga poses as well as their health benefits.

Calming Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

By Health Perch                Read more:  https://upliftconnect.com/yoga-poses-for-stress/

Continue reading “13 Easy Yoga Poses for Stress Relief”

How time on the yoga mat prepares me for magick

yoga-blog-post24

This morning, I resumed a dedicated home yoga practice after a long hiatus. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve done yoga every day for years, but for the last few, it’s come in fits and starts throughout the day. A quick plank while I wait for the tea kettle; tree pose as I wait for the printer at work to spit out my report; standing forward bend as I unload the dishwasher or put food in the cats’ bowls… nothing that FLOWS from one pose into another. I think of it as isolated acts of yoga. Definitely not a formal practice.

I recently traveled to England for a whirlwind work trip. Like, land at Heathrow on Sunday morning, pull into my driveway at midnight Tuesday. I decided to take the time zone shake-up as an opportunity to set my alarm for an hour earlier than usual to reestablish a morning yoga practice. And while I was on the mat this morning, focusing on breath and body, I thought, “This feels magical. AND MAGICKAL.”

Breath. Body. Energy. Intention. 

Everything clicked. All those years I was practicing yoga were preparation for practicing magick.

In yoga, you coordinate your movements with your breath, while focusing on an intention (typically related to the pose). I am a mountain standing tall and firm. My roots reach deep into the earth and my peak rises into the clouds. I am connected to all around me.

I am a witch, calling on Earth and Sky. Your energies flow up through the soles of my feet and in through the crown of my head. I am connected to all around me. I shape my world.

Not so different.

The listening and focus of yoga mirrors the listening and focus that attunes us to our clairsenses and intuition. My chest opens. I settle deeper into my practice. The energy flow intensifies. I feel tingling in my ribs, a call to open even wider. Later, when I work magic, I feel a warmth in my hand, a message from my guides to pour more light into the amulet I am crafting.

Not so different at all.

Namaste. Blessed be.

By:  Jenn (Phoenix & Lotus)

Thankfulness Magick

 

So, you don’t feel like getting out of bed today?  I understand because sometimes life can be hard, and we don’t want to face it, but it’s also important to realize that those of us who can get out of bed are very lucky indeed!  Don’t forget, or neglect to be thankful, because there are a lot of people out there who wish that they could get out of bed….but they can’t because they might have no legs.  Or maybe they have legs, but they can’t walk.  

Ohhh, so you don’t want to go to work today?  Yes, I understand that also because you might have a job where people don’t appreciate you, or they treat you like shit – WHY? Well just because they can!  But still in all, try to remember that you are one of the lucky ones, because you have a job…….a job that my be paying your bills so that you and your family can have a safe place to live.  You can have a warm and comfortable place that keeps you out of the cold.  You have a home where you can go to bed at night, not having to worry about who might try and take your spot on your cardboard box whilst you try to get some sleep next to the garbage dumpster in the alleyway.  

Just always try to look on the positive side of things, even though the situation might not be exactly how you want it to be, or even close to how you want it to be at that moment.  Also, remember, storms never last forever, and what you may be going through will also have an ending.

Find a white candle (or a candle that is your favorite color).  It can be a tapered candle, or even a small tealight.  Now take just a few minutes to sit with that candle between your hands as you ground yourself by growing your roots deep into the dark, rich, Mother Earth.  Imbue that candle by envisioning your love and power  – your intentions going into it.  

Sometimes, when I do Candle Magick, I will dig my pointer finger- fingernail into it as I send my intentions into it.  For me, it seems the best way to get the MAGICK in there!!  

So, decide on the way you wish to imbue your candle (holding it between your hands, the fingernail method or whatever else you feel comfortable with, as long as you are doing it with your power hand….the hand that you normally write with), and start saying either out loud or in your thoughts, that which you are thankful for.  Make the time to list, in detail, exactly the things, people, situations and abilities that make you feel thankful.  Go deep within yourself.  Take the time to do this Ritual with your whole heart. Feel the thankfulness exude from yourself into the candle.

Once you feel that you’ve taken enough time to do this, thank the HIGHER POWER that you believe in, secure the candle so that it won’t catch anything on fire or be disturbed.  If possible, use a wooden match and set the flame to the candle wick and watch the Magick of the candle spark to life.  Stay with your lit candle as long as you desire, but leave it to SAFELY burn out.

It is very good to do this Ritual as often as you can, as it will help you to truly see all that you have to be thankful for…and more. 

I wish you and yours, Bright Magickal Blessings!

 

Your Book of Shadows

Greetings Alpha Witches!

In the last four days, I’ve received questions regarding the Book of Shadows, so I thought it would be appropriate for me to broach the subject today.

Are you familiar with the term, Book of Shadows?  More than likely you are, but I’d still like to expound upon a few things, especially since this is one of the most important implements in our Craft.

Some magickal folks call it  a journal or a grimoire.  Which name makes you feel more deeply regarding Witchcraft and your magickal studies? The choice is completely up to you. I, however, prefer to call it my Book of Shadows and Secretes.  Regardless of what you decide to call it, the most important thing is that you have one, and that you are detailed and keep it clean, neat and up to date.

Don’t think that you need to spend a lot of money on it because you don’t.  You are  welcome to purchase your witchcraft tools, but to my way of thinking, self-made is always better, if possible.  It’s a bit time consuming to make but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I, myself have made this precious tool, and I have infused every bit of it with powerful magick.   I really enjoy making my witchcraft appendages because it’s a really big advantage to be able to know every bit about it.

A ring-binder or a spiral-notebook make perfect Books of shadows.  In fact, I’ve made my own out of a ring-binder and I use parchment paper to write my spells, rituals and whatnots on.   I’ll add a photo of it to give you a starting point.  The ideas for your BOS are endless!  Personalize it with whatever you need to so that you are always drawn to it – connected to it.  When you personalize it properly, you will feel a shift in consciousness whenever you open it.  Use real, dried flowers and herbs in it or essential oils in it…whatever you feel.  Let your creativity flow. You can even do a Book of Shadows cleansing and empowerment charm on it.

After you’ve personalized it, you would want to use it to record all of your rituals, spells,  dreams, poetry, notes, ideas, good times, bad times, your truest desires – just whatever you feel is important TO YOU.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks in this case.  It can also be used to hold recipes for different magickal meals and beverages that you’ve prepared.  I tend to fill mine with herbal remedies, positive affirmations, and secret information.

Put anything you want to in it and after it’s finished, and you are satisfied with the look, feel and smell of it, begin writing or drawing something in it every day to help organize your thoughts  and strengthen the bond that you will have with it. Notice which feelings are evoked in you whenever you touch or open it.  Jot them down – don’t forget to add the date, time, day, waxing or waining moon and weather conditions.

My advice to you would be to keep your Book of Shadows secret…just for yourself, unless you can honestly trust whomever you decide to share it with.

I wish you the brightest of magickl blessings and lots of happiness with your Book of Shadows.

 Yes, I am a witch


Looking through the internet, I see a lot of people who truly wish that they could finally tell their family, their friends… the world that they are a witch, however most refuse to do so due to the fact that most people would judge them unfairly and more than likely make life into a living nightmare for them.

Unfortunately, the ugly, biased definition that centuries of fear, greed, hate, not to mention, quite a few  Hollywood movies, have placed upon a word that should imbue an attitude of power, strength, healing, understanding, kindness, love and an air of mystery in only the purest of ways, have almost accomplished their goals of striking fear into the souls of anyone who would proclaim to be a witch.

Thankfully, true witches are beginning to rise up once again and expound upon the power within ourselves – the power that our tortured and burned ancestors have instilled in the very depths of our soul and in our hearts to help us take our rightful place in this sometimes harsh, cruel world, so that we can help to make it better.

I am grateful and proud to be a part of the growing numbers of truly strong witches that are now opening up and changing the way that this world shall look upon us.

Yes, in the days of old, you went on your killing sprees to drive our kind underground and you thought that you had taken us all out. However, let me tell you, we, we are continuously growing in numbers. We are getting stronger. We are reclaiming our power, our Goddess-given right to practice our Witchcraft and spirituality in a way that we choose, as long as we harm none.

I wish you all the Brightest of Magickal Blessings )o(

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