Just Say ‘No’ and Other Ways to Live Your Best Life

Just Say ‘No’ and Other Ways to Live Your Best Life

By Brad Krause

“Just say no” is a popular mantra when it comes to walking away from drugs, alcohol, or peer pressure. However, this sentiment flies straight out the window when it’s time to deny other activities that can harm our health. Keep reading for insight on why you should put this handy two-letter word, as well as other self-care practices, to good use in your daily life.

The Power of ‘No’

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, business executive, father, mother — your time is rarely your own. Between work, family, friends, and other obligations, it can be difficult to find time to participate in our own self-care. When you learn to say “no,” however, you give yourself the power to tend to your own needs instead of everyone else’s.

Full Body Relaxation

Once you say “no” to the things cluttering up your day, you will have the time to focus on your own health and well-being. One way to do this is to relax your muscles and mind. Spend a day at the spa once a month, or book a massage.  Better yet, create a spa-like environment at home. For example, if your job involves being on your feet all day, a warm Epsom salt bath can help relax your muscles. If you have children, you could take them out for some fun at a nearby park or spend some time shooting hoops in the backyard. Whatever you do, it’s important to take these moments to enjoy life without the daily stress and headaches. Yoga is also an excellent way to offer your mind, body, and spirit some healing.

Sleep on It

Sleep is such a simple thing, but it’s one we often overlook as we get wrapped up in our busy lifestyles. Unfortunately, without ample sleep, our bodies are unable to function properly. Sleep deprivation affects your body and mind in many ways, including amping up your appetite and changing how you display and perceive emotions. Sara G. Miller, a staff writer for Live Science, further reports that chronic sleep deprivation may cause delirium, which is a state of complete disorientation. Take steps to ensure that your bedroom is set for sleep. Install room-darkening curtains, add a sound machine, and outfit your bed with warm but breathable covers to help you relax through the night. If you can, exercise during the day, and consider adding a sleep-inducing yoga session to your nighttime ritual.

The ‘Do It’ Diet

It’s no news that you have to eat, but Western diets, which often include fast food and pre-packaged snacks, aren’t going to give you the right kind of energy. If you want to truly care for yourself, you have to pay close attention to the food you put in your body. Start by drinking enough water — approximately 60 ounces per day — and include plenty of green, red, and yellow vegetables into your diet. Eliminate foods that are not in their whole and natural form. By changing your diet, you give your body the fuel it needs to do what it must each day.

Give

It may seem counter-intuitive, but giving more of yourself in more meaningful ways can be an effective part of your self-care routine. Volunteering for a cause near and dear to your heart has a positive effect on your mental health. Not only can it satisfy your need to be needed, but volunteering also gives you an opportunity to have an impact on the world and to be proud of something you’ve done to help others. Taking control of yourself care needs doesn’t mean you have to leave everyone else out in the cold. It simply means that you need to restructure your time – and your frame of mind – so you can be the best version of yourself and enjoy your life.

 

Brad Krause created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he has found on his self-care journey. For one-one one support and healing, contact Romi Cumes for a somatic bodywork or counseling session. Online somatic counseling sessions also available. Email or call us for upcoming information on Romi’s Healing Retreat to the Sacred Valley of Peru June 27th -July 6th, 2019.

Short Yoga Sequence to Help Relieve Back Pain

Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Back Pain

Back pain is often as elusive as it is frustrating. Many people suffer from it and it’s easy to feel down when it persists. For me, years of gymnastics, dance, stress, and structurally unsound yoga practices have contributed to strain in my lumbar spine and I have learned to utilize yoga and strength-based exercises to ease discomfort.

Here is a short sequence that assists in the release of the psoas, quads, and abductor muscles. When tight, these muscles act like back pain antagonists and it’s important to keep them supple. If you are having severe pain, only do what you can in this sequence, as not to provoke or inflame. If pain is manageable, do each pose for a few minutes each. Always listen to your body and never push through pain; seek a sensation that feels like a broad stretch, rather than a sharp sensation or jab. Variations are optional. The sequence takes between 15-20 minutes.

Happy Healing,

-Romi

 

(Video) Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Jet Lag

Five Poses a Day: Yoga for Jet lag

This sequence will help you feel relaxed and restored after long periods of sitting, traveling, and crossing time zones. It can be completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. Or, add a few of your favorite poses and take some extra breaths to create a longer practice.

Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Jet Lag from Romi on Vimeo.

(Video) Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Inner Balance

Five Poses A Day: Yoga for Inner Balance

This video was filmed in the wilderness in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Utilize these postures to feel more present with yourself and create a feeling of inner balance and calm. This sequence can be completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. Or, add a few of your favorite poses or take some extra breaths in each posture to create a longer practice.

To stay in touch with us about Romi’s upcoming 2018 Yoga Safari in the Okavango Delta, email us at romicumes@gmail.com or call (805) 448-4111

Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Centering from Romi on Vimeo.

Five Poses a Day with Romi: Centering

Five Poses a Day, September Sequence

Happy Friday!

I have many clients and friends that want to start practicing yoga, meditating, or exercising more, but find the process daunting or unapproachable. Even though I have been practicing and teaching yoga for many years, I can relate and often find it challenging to simply get on the mat. One thing I find extremely helpful with this yoga/exercise quandary, is to simply commit to five postures. That’s right FIVE POSTURES or simple exercises. We can all make time to do five poses and by setting the intention to just do five, we usually end up wanting more and extending the practice. Doing five poses a day is not overwhelming and only takes fifteen to twenty five minutes, depending on how fast you work through the sequence and how many variations you add.

Today is a new moon and a new time to commit to taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. Here’s a sequence that can help you jump start your day and motivate your self-care practice.

plank-1

Pose 1: PLANK 10-20 breaths if done without variations. With variations, 5-10 breaths each

(Variation 1 and 2 Pictured below)

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plank-3

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Additional Pose/Rest: Child’s Pose or Wide Knee Child’s Pose

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POSE 2: Low Lunge with Rhomboid Squeeze

5-10 breaths holding lunge. 10-20 shoulder/rhomboid squeeze reps (pulse and squeeze shoulder blades together behind you, keeping hands active)

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Variation 1: Gentle twisting low lunge (left arm not visible in photo and can reach above head to activate psoas/hip flexor stretch)

side-bend-1Pose 3: Side Stretch with Hip Opener; keep feet and arms active (both sides, 5-15 breaths)

Variation 1: Side Stretch with Hip Opener and Neck Release

side-bend-2

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Pose 4: Knee to Chest (both sides, 5-15 breaths)

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Pose 5: Spinal Twist (both sides, 5-15 breaths)

 

Have a beautiful day!

-Romi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Weekend Immersion and Intro Course w/ Romi

Welcome Health and Vitality into your life with Yoga in 2014

My next Introduction to Yoga Course and Weekend Immersion will begin February 21st.

Like Transformative Heaing Arts on Facebook to get regular updates about workshops, retreats, and classes, as well as receive informative blog posts and writing pieces.

The Introduction to Yoga course at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center is offered as a three week (six classes) or one weekend course (three classes). The format creates a safe and fun space to begin your exploration of Yoga, and make Yoga a more consistent part of your life. A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga, while preparing you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes. This course is also suitable for more experienced practitioners needing to redefine their skills and improve focus.

SB Yoga Center: 32 E. Micheltorena St. Call (805) 965-6045 to Sign up. Drop ins possible, please arrive early Friday
When: February 21-23 – Friday 7-9pm, Saturday/Sunday 2-4pm
Romi Cumes M.A. draws from fifteen years of yoga teaching and body therapy experience to offer you in-depth somatic education. She is also a marriage and family therapist intern and healer in private practice in Santa Barbara. For more information visit her

WEBSITE or LIKE the FACEBOOK page TRANSFORMATIVE HEALING ARTS

The Course Includes:

-A brief discussion of the historical and philosophical background of Yoga

-Detailed instruction of fundamental Yoga postures including correct body positioning, anatomy, structure and alignment

-Detailed instruction on how to combine breath, energy, and movement

-Hands-on adjustments, bodywork, restorative yoga poses, and Aromatherapy

For more information CLICK HERE

Santa Barbara Yoga Cooperative Information (Where workshop will be held)546000_332034840192443_331521610_n

Feel Good in Your Body in 2014

Photo: Kimberly Green
Photo: Kimberly Green

Speaking of resolutions and new years and all that….I felt inspired to bust out a little fitness inspiration this evening because WE ALL NEED IT. It is fascinating how this thing (exercise) that makes us feel so amazing (dopamine, yay!) is also something some individuals are fervently resistant to. When students or friends ask me questions about having a strong core, or having the “toned abs” thing, here is what I say… Be consistent. You don’t have to do a lot of exercise to be healthy and in shape. You DO need a CONSISTENT PRACTICE that involves strong blasts of exercise, almost every day.

Yoga doesn’t have to be a 90 minute class. Your gym stint, hike or run doesn’t have to be a hour to be effective, but do KEEP YOUR PACE UP to see better results and improved cardio vascular health. Although there are a lot of gimmicks out there, the “7 minute” Ab thing can work, if you do it 4-7 times a week (ideally mixed with cross-training).  Ride your bike to the store, a meeting, or your friend’s party. You should do that anyway to reduce your carbon footprint, and you might meet an attractive eco-hipster along the way. Just remember to not act so cool you forget your helmet like this guy…

xBiker-Cyclist-Pants-The-Climber-Outlier.jpeg.pagespeed.ic._-OqXWmL4p

Just do SOMETHING, almost every day. I promise you’ll be feeling so good and so into it, you will start extending those 7-20 minute time windows to 60-90 minutes.

And first and foremost, do your best to love your body and tell your inner critic to take a hike, he or she doesn’t help your progress or confidence. The incisive, less-than-elegant prose of the inner critic is deeply saturated with environmental conditioning or self-deprecating hoo-haw most likely projected onto us when we were young, vulnerable, and impressionable. Which is why it is even MORE IMPORTANT to..

MEDITATE, Yo.

“Yoga chitta vritti nirodha” – Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations (whirlpool) of the mind (thought)

-Patangali’s Yoga Sutra

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Calming the mind via meditation and yoga supports us to feel more spacious inside and out. A mindfulness practice is like a Zen slayer, who unhooks the insolent talons of chitta (mental chatter) and reminds our inner waters to flow quietly, sans whirlpool (vritti). It may take some time, but a true Yogi tirelessly attempts to peacefully slay that darn chitta like some kind of Hunger Games apparition. If you are a beginner or busy, try meditating for ten minutes 3-7x per week and slowly progress to 20-30 minutes. Practicing in the morning will support you to feel clear, empowered and sparkly for your day.

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Take it from me, I am a masterful procrastinator, and will find every reason to stay on my computer or organize things until I have to run out the door, only to feel disappointed with myself or self-critical that I didn’t do something active. One thing that helps me, is looking at the clock about a hour before I have to leave and committing to take at least 10-30 of those minutes for myself; to sweat, move, sit, or find a hill somewhere. When I can carve out 2 hours and hit the mountains, gym or a class even better.  The point is, it’s OK to take only 10-20 minutes to be active. It’s better than sitting on your bum, or getting drained by Facecrack, a project, or the news.

Speaking of Abs, here are a few core-strengthening options you can do which also strengthen the arms and legs (especially if you do them all).  Lately I have been into this 15 minute workout my busy Ph.D candidate friend recommended. If he can do it and write a 1000 page dissertation, so can we! It’s even more effective when mixed with other activities, or practiced on off-cardio days.

Have a beautiful 2014 and remember to MOVE YOUR BODY and CALM YOUR MIND. You will be handsomely rewarded.

One love

-Romi