Saturday, July 11, 2020

Homemade bug spray recipe

The CDC maintains that the best way to protect oneself from mosquitos is to stay inside during peak exposure times and wear protective clothing. But for those sunset walks, backyard barbecues, and socially distanced picnics, your next line of defense is insect repellent.

Many bug sprays on the market these days are formulated with N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET. Though it is generally considered safe to use as needed, overexposure to DEET in humans has resulted in eye irritation, vomiting, and nausea. If you'd rather steer clear of DEET, essential oils can be one effective alternative. However, it's important to never apply these oils directly onto the skin, as they too can cause irritation in high doses.

This recipe dilutes essential oils with vinegar and witch hazel for a smell-good DIY mosquito repellent:

Homemade bug spray recipe:
·       ½ cup water (or apple cider vinegar, for a more potent blend)
·       ½ cup witch hazel
·       20 drops citronella essential oil
·       10 drops rosemary essential oil
·       15 drops lemongrass essential oil
·       10 drops holy basil oil
·       20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
·       1 tbsp vegetable glycerin

Combine ingredients in a 16 oz. spray bottle and shake them up! Douse any exposed skin diligently, and reapply every couple of hours for maximum effect. Please note that essential oils should be patch-tested (i.e. applied to a small patch of skin) on everyone first, and shouldn't be used on children under 2 years old.

Author: Lindsay Kellner

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Heart-Opening Yoga for Stress Release

Stress often manifests in the center of the chest. This sequence helps release tension and open the heart to soothe anxiety and pain.

We often hold stress in the center of our chest. Reasons for this include poor posture, as well as our tendency for shallow breathing, particularly when we’re under stress. When we learn to soften in our heart space, we make room for our breath to flow in and emotions to release. The following is a subtle and simple relaxing sequence, which encourages openings in our centers of emotion. It is both grounding and opening; it re-sets the body and the mind to feel at ease. The following sequence requires four blankets, or one bolster and two blankets. If you don’t have blankets or bolsters, you can use a pillow or couch cushion. 
Rest Pose: Lie down so that the head is supported, and the neck is long. Allow the sternum and the low back to soften and widen. The palms face up and the breath is gentle.
Reclining Butterfly: Stay reclined on the blankets or bolsters, and bring the soles of the feet to touch. Let the knees fall open. If this is very intense on the hips, you can place rolled up blankets or bolsters underneath the thighs to give more support. Let the palms face up and breathe.
Supine Twist: Lie on the back relaxed. Draw the legs to touch and move them out to the right about thirty degrees, keeping the back and neck in place. Lift your left arm up overhead along the ground and gaze over to the right. Hold for ten deep breaths, and return to center, repeating to the other side.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Teach Your Child this Meditation for Positive Energy and Keeping an Open Mind

This quick and fun practice is a great introduction to the physical and mental benefits of meditation. Plus, tips for how to help your kids build a meditation routine.
Meditation isn’t about getting kids to sit still for 10 minutes. It’s about teaching them that mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s about demonstrating the art of “paying attention” during and after meditation. And maybe most importantly, it's about giving kids tools to handle the uncomfortable feelings that are a normal part of life and can come up when you sit still.

Zip Up and Sit Up

Pretend it’s a chilly and sunny fall day—better put on your (imaginary) jacket and sunglasses before you go out to play. This is a great way to start the day, and it also gets you in the right position for other meditations in this book. Plus, it’s a great bed-itation (meditation you can do in bed) for those mornings when you don’t want to get out from under the covers.

1. Sit cross-legged on the floor or bed.
2. Pretend that you are wearing a jacket with a zipper that runs from your belly button to your neck.
3. Sit up tall, grab the pretend zipper, and say “zzzzziiipp” out loud as you zip up your jacket. Keep your back nice and straight.
4. Now it’s time to put on your sunglasses. Make 2 circles by touching your thumbs to your pointer fingers on both hands, then straighten out the rest of your fingers.
5. Bring your sunglasses up to your eyes and look out as far as you can see.
6. Now rest your sunglasses down on your knees, keeping your back straight. You are zipped up and ready to meditate.
7. Close your eyes and mouth and pretend that you are breathing in a chilly fall breeze through your nose. Then, open your mouth and say “ahhhhh” as you breathe out all of that cool air. Breathe in and out like that 3 to 8 more times.
8. Open your eyes, relax your hands, and notice how your body feels.

Tips for Teaching Kids Meditation

Meditation can become just as routine as brushing your teeth or sitting down for breakfast. Here, kids meditation teacher Tejal V. Patel talks you through developing a meditation habit with your kids, so they can access the physical and mental benefits of focused awareness.
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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Prenatal Yoga Video

Here's a new, nice and smoothing prenatal yoga class. Mummies, please get the medical clearance before you start your practice! Listen to yourself... Listen to the baby... and enjoy the practice!
Breathe & Smile :-) Sophie / So Yoga
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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Prenatal Yoga

Special safe & slow practice for pregnant mummies! Check with your doctor if you're safe to practice. Listen to yourself, if certain poses don't see right for you, rest into child pose. Enjoy... Relax... Breathe... Smile! #prenatalyoga #yogaonline #soyoga #happyminiyogi #breatheandsmile

Sunday, June 7, 2020

What's Family Yoga these days

...It looks like this! It's one of the only ways to forget about the social distancing in the comfort of your house!

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to strengthen our lungs?

Along with social distancing, wearing a face mask is a critical component in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, masks may make it more difficult to breathe. Some people even fear they'll lead to hypercapnia, or too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the bloodstream, as a result. 
To help quell your mask-related fears, we broke down how masks may affect oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and rounded up expert-approved tips for supporting your lungs.

How might masks affect breathing?
"Our lungs allow for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which is essential for the body to function," physician Robert Graham, M.D., MPH, FACP, says.
Because masks cover the nose and mouth, they may make breathing difficult, says human performance coach and New York Timesbestselling author Brian MacKenzie. In an Instagram post, he writes that masks may even trap carbon dioxide, which could be dangerous for people who are CO2 intolerant. "CO2 intolerant means we don't use our lungs as much and do not use O2 optimally," MacKenzie tells mindbodygreen.
According to one study, symptoms of CO2 retention (hypercapnia) may include rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), shortness of breath (dyspnea), flushed skin, confusion, headaches, and dizziness. 
Unless your mask is tightfitting and used for a prolonged period of time, though, there is little risk of becoming hypercapnic. "For most people, wearing cloth or surgical masks puts them in little to no danger of breathing in unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide," Graham says. 
That said, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with CO2 retention, Graham suggests taking off your mask while social distancing and breathing deeply.
While breathing in fresh oxygen is a critical solution, it's still a short-term fix. "[Oxygen] cannot work without CO2, and the better we control our breathing—say spending most of the time nasal-only breathing—the better we develop a tolerance to CO2," MacKenzie tells mbg.
To help you strengthen your lungs over time and increase your tolerance to carbon dioxide, these four tips could help.

1. Exercise

"[Exercise] raises carbon dioxide, which is why we breathe more when we exercise," MacKenzie says.
In fact, one study explains, it's normal to get breathless during exercise, but regular exercise can increase the strength and function of your muscles. "Your muscles will require less oxygen to move, and they will produce less carbon dioxide," the study says. "This will immediately reduce the amount of air you will need to breathe in and out for a given exercise."
Exercise is important because it requires more metabolic activity, MacKenzie tells mindbodygreen. "That would be optimized by doing things that are aerobic in nature like hiking and running." You can also increase metabolic activity through strength exercises, like squatting, pressing, and pulling. "Picking heavy things up from time to time is critical and can be done a number of different ways and through varying modalities," he says.

2. Breathwork 

To increase awareness of the diaphragm muscle, Graham recommends practicing diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing, and simple deep breathing. "These techniques get you closer to reaching your lungs' full capacity," he says.
To do this: 
1.    Count how long your natural breath, in and out, takes. 
2.    Slowly add one more count to every inhale and exhale.
3.   Do this until you can comfortably extend the time it takes to fill and empty your lungs. 
"Learning to have some sort of breath control or doing some hypoxic work...will increase your CO2 tolerance, which will increase your ability to have on a mask," MacKenzie says in the post. It may also help to reduce panic associated with wearing a mask.

3. Improve your posture 

Certain postures can interfere with respiration. To prevent this, Graham says to "stand strong while lifting the chest and opening the front of your body as you breathe deeply." Most importantly, don't hunch over. 

4. Stay hydrated 

Staying well hydrated is important for several reasons, including respiration. Drinking water throughout the day helps keep the mucosal linings in your lungs moist, Graham explains, which helps the lungs function better. 

Bottom line. 


Breathing in excessive carbon dioxide is dangerous, Graham tells us, especially for people with preexisting respiratory conditions. However, the risk of becoming hypercapnic from appropriately fitting cloth masks is low.
If you do notice dizziness, fatigue, or other symptoms of hypercapnia from prolonged use, separate from others, remove your mask, and breathe in fresh air.


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