Sunday, March 29, 2020

Yoga at home with your kid (5-8 years old)

Short yoga session to practice yoga with your 5-8 years old kid at home!
You don't need any special equipment, besides a mat (or towel) and your smile 
Be creative, don't hesitate to add in your own ideas.
Oh - one more thing... forgive my French 
Breathe & Smile 


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#kidsyoga #stayathome #yogawithyourkid

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Yoga at home with your toddler

What to practice with your little one, while stuck at home? Follow this easy sequence with your toddler... and let me know how he or she reacts!



Sending you lots of love and support, all over the world!
#kidsyoga #yogaathome #soyoga #so.yoga #toddleryoga

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Monday, March 16, 2020

The 4 Pressure Points An Acupuncturist Uses To Support Immunity

Are you suddenly finding yourself navigating the world of immunology and a little lost on where to focus with all the hype surrounding staying healthy these days? Well, good news for you, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is packed full of knowledge to keep you and your household healthy for cold/flu/virus season. Here are some helpful tips to avoid illness and support your immune system function using acupressure poin
ts. 
First things first, the best way to prevent illness is to be proactive. Whether this is the first time you're hearing about the CDC's recommended protocol for prevention of illness or you've almost memorized it, repetition is the mother of all skill, so let's talk about the basics for a minute: 
·       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
·       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
·       Stay home when you are sick.
·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
·       Make sure to support overall health by eating a nutrient-rich diet, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress levels.


How can acupuncture and acupressure support immunity?
Following preventive measures, the best way to combat any virus is to support your immune system. In TCM our immune system is governed by a specific type of chi or vital energy called "Wei Qi," which is our energetic defense system and protects us from pathogenic influences and exterior attacks on our bodies, including viral infections. We can boost our Wei Qi and keep ourselves healthy by activating specific acupuncture points that increase immune functioning as well as decrease stress on our nervous system. 
Acupuncture is an effective alternative medicine that boasts a 5,000-year history treating a variety of disease conditions and has recently shown to have an effect on physiological activities, specifically immune function. Studies have shown that acupuncture has a regulating effect on cellular and humoral immunity, meaning it can promote your immune response to secrete antibodies to fight against antigens as well as secrete cytokines to attack pathogens. Translation: Getting acupuncture will give your cells a powerful punch to fight germs and viruses
Acupressure, like acupuncture, is a method of sending a signal to the nervous system to "turn on" its own self-healing or regulatory mechanisms, but instead of using needles, you are using the pressure of your fingertips. Acupressure uses the same meridians and points as acupuncture does and helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow of your chi. 
Here's how you can palpate these acupressure points in the comfort of your home.
Acupoints to support immunity:
1.    Acupoint LI 4: Located at the highest peak of the muscle mound, directly in the center when you hold your thumb against your index finger. LI4 releases the exterior pathogens for wind-cold or wind-heat syndromes, strengthens Wei Qi, improves immunity, decreases face and neck pain and improves circulation. 
2.    Acupoint ST36: Located 3 finger widths below the kneecap, one finger width lateral (out) from the anterior border of the tibia (shin bone). ST36 is one of the most specific points in the TCM meridian system that modulates immunity and is our most widely used point to boost chi. ST36 also tonifies deficient chi and blood. Strengthens Wei Qi and chi overall to target low immunity, chronic illness, poor digestion, general weakness, and fatigue.
3.   Acupoint LI 11: Located easily with the elbow flexed, the point is found at the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease (inside the elbow crease) halfway between the crease and the tip of the elbow. Functioning of LI 11 includes reduction of high fevers, circulation issues, clears heat and external pathogens, increases immunity, and regulates the chi and blood. 
4.    Acupoint LV3: Located on the dorsum of the foot in a depression (the webbing between the toes) distal to the junctions of the first and second metatarsal bones. LV3 is one of the most commonly used acupoints for addressing emotional disorders but also functions in immunity by soothing the liver and calming the nervous system, which has a positive effect on immunity and increasing circulation. 
Press these points for 30 seconds each, releasing and repeating four times before moving onto the next point. For the feet points LV3, you can push these simultaneously and massage them in downward motions for two to three minutes. You can repeat this protocol as often as you'd like, but we recommend at least once per day. Remember to breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth, making this sequence a self-care meditation to calm your body and mind. 


Bottom line.

Most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself and others right now as we're all feeling a little bit more vulnerable than usual and a pay-it-forward mentality goes a long way. Be gentle to yourself and listen to the messages your body is sending you. If you need healing, come get acupuncture; if you're feeling mentally overwhelmed, try talk therapy; if you are feeling isolated, make plans with supportive friends. 
Bundle up, eat warm soups and broths, surround yourself with comfort, and repeat the acupressure immunity protocol above to keep yourself happy and healthy this season.



Author: Paige Bourassa, DACM, L.Ac., RHN

#health
#yoga
#soyoga #so.yoga

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Mummy & I

When we're having a good time together... and that it's even recorded!

Last track for the drone though :-(( snif!



Thanks JC!
#mummyandI #mummyandme
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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Tao Porchon-Lynch Shares 7 Secrets to Aging Gracefully


Rest in peace, Tao... And send us some rainbow & sunshine from wherever you are!


Secret No. 1: Wake up before the sun. “I wake up before the sun rises because I like to watch it rise,” says Tao Porchon-Lynch.“ By observing nature, I can feel a life force. I look outside my window to the sky and tell myself that this is going to be the best day of my life. Then I’ll often pick up my journal and write something that comes to my mind that’s in my heart.”
Secret No. 2: Be grateful—and optimistic. Tao Porchon-Lynchsays she learned the importance of embodying both of these traits from the time she was a child. “I was raised by my aunt and uncle, and my uncle started every day with, ‘It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?’” she says. “Now I do the same, and I do it with a smile. I believe the key to a long life is positive thinking.”
Secret No. 3: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. When Tao Porchon-Lynch has something to do, she says she does it right away—she never procrastinates. “I don’t want to sit there hoping, wishing, and wasting time,” she says. “I always practice my yoga in the morning and my dancing in the afternoon. This commitment is likely why I’ve received the Guinness World Records for being the oldest yoga teacher and the oldest competitive ballroom dancer.”
Secret No. 4: Remember the true meaning of yoga. “Yoga can be the joy of life, and it’s not just about putting our bodies into specific postures,” she says. “It’s about expressing what comes from inside of you and showing up when you meet other people to create a oneness.”
Secret No. 5: If you see a barrier, try to push past it. Yoga has almost always been a part of Tao Porchon-Lynch’s life. “I was introduced to it when I was seven years old; I wandered to the beach near my childhood home in French India and saw some boys practicing yoga on the sand,” she says. “I followed their movements and I thought that I was learning a new game. That evening I told my aunt about the game, and she explained that it was called yoga and that it was only for boys. This was 1925. I told her that girls can do what boys can do, and by the time I was eight years old, I was on that beach joining the boys during my playtime.”
Secret No. 6: Do what you love. “I became a yoga teacher after friends saw me incorporating yoga into my everyday life and asked to join my practice. What I love most about teaching is seeing a smile come onto someone’s face when they realize that they can do things that they thought were impossible, physically and mentally.”
Secret No. 7: Don’t be afraid to age. “I don’t feel any different now that I’ve turned 100. I’m not even scared. And I’ll never stop practicing yoga—it’s the dance of life! The breath is the breath eternal, which makes all things possible.”
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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Why Meditation for Children is so Powerful

As a parent today, many of us struggle to find balance in our family life. Because of our own busy schedules, we try to compensate for the little time spent with the kids by activating them in our absence and when together, filling up the weekend diary. But how do our kids get to unplug from weeks filled with long days at school, activities and homework? Jolie Michelle Ow gives us an overlooked tool that won’t just benefit the kids, but the entire family.


“Our children can handle quiet time if we cultivate the proper conditions for them to thrive at creating inner peace and quiet.” – Tejal Patel


Our children’s brains are so often tired and children of all ages (adults too) really need opportunities where they can take some time out to pause for a moment, be “unplugged”, to relax and focus. In our present world with sensory overloads from school, family and internal pressures, children need this pause more than ever.
You’ll be surprised to find, that children are naturally more intuitive and spiritually connected than adults because they have not yet understood boundaries and limiting beliefs. Their bodies and minds are more open to lessons around them. They soak up what they see, hear and feel around them, so if we allow them this space for self-discovery and with the right guidance, repetition and encouragement, children are able to access into the meditative zone and share the most astounding words of wisdom from their experience.

Benefits

There are many benefits to Meditation. Meditation helps to find calm and balance and to awaken awareness. It works as a powerful support for the children as it offers rest for the mind, body and spirit to help them focus on what matters, and function more effectively and clearly.
With practice and repetition, children can learn to “switch off” from constant stimulation, which prevents them from stress and anxiety. And mindfulness meditation does not just work through a deep relaxation practice, but also with focused attention on inside experiences that may heal the body, mind and heart.
Practising meditation has many physical, mental and spiritual benefits and also enhances social-emotional skills. Children who practice meditation have been proved to gain inner confidence and are able to show more empathy to one another and people’s feelings around them. They are more apt to able to speak up and express their needs, control their emotions and not destruct themselves or others subconsciously.
Mindful meditation, specifically, is gaining a foothold in stress reduction, disease prevention and treatment. Increasing numbers of studies are showing improved attention and behaviour. Some research has shown benefits for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, school performance, sleep, behaviour problems, and eating disorders. Also, when U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan instituted The Skills for Life program in Ohio schools to teach deep breathing, meditation, and other problem-solving skills to elementary-aged children, they found that these practices helped children balance their emotions, cut down on bullying, and increased awareness.

Research

Using meditation as a tool, have, as explained above, proven many great results, and the academic research also proves that meditation does not just make positive changes in the brain structure, but also the body, the immune system and blood circulation.
In 2017, Sarah Lazar, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, used the MRI technology to study the link of meditation and the brain. Sarah’s research showed that regular meditation practices resulted in changes in the brain structure and also that meditation may prevent age-related thinking of the frontal cortex that contributes to memory. This means that with regular mindful meditation, focus and attention can be trained, preventing dementia.
There’s recently been an increased interest in studying the link between mindfulness and the brain. The anterior cingulate cortex, the region associated with attention also showed changes in activity and/or structure in response to mindfulness meditation. For more info read this book by David Rock 

Problem

But the research is all very well, how to incorporate this tool of magic is another thing. Being a facilitator for schools, families and corporations, the biggest challenge for meditation is not the practice itself, but the application of meditation into the daily lives.
When doing activities such as games, story-telling, music and other children-friendly mediums, parents and teachers often provide activities that children follow in order to keep them engaged. However, this means that there is less focus on the process and the connection between the teacher/parent and child. So how do we get a space for self-discovery – how can we spark wonder and nurture higher creativity?

What to focus on:
Firstly of all, try to avoid giving them what you think you know and have learnt from books or other resources. Let go of what you know or what others say, and be curious about what you may learn from a child. Get in touch with your own inner child.
Every child is unique and beautiful so it really doesn’t mean that one meditation will work the same for another child. When you are meditating with children, guide them through a sense of connection, try to create a bond that provides a sense of love and acceptance. This is an opportunity to understand each other’s needs and expectations.
I believe that meditation with children is more than relaxation. It allows everyone in the same room to ‘soften’ and watch what’s going on in a humbling, grateful and authentic manner. But in order to conduct an enjoyable meditation that connects and calms the little ones, you have to allow yourself to learn from these wise little ones through their lens.

Getting started

Before you begin connecting with your child in meditation, turn off your digital device and be present for them. Devote at least 15 minutes. Meditation can be conducted anytime and anywhere, as long as both adults and children are present – there is no perfect, or peaceful place and time. Now, take a deep breath, and get ready to relax.
The simplest and most effective tool to connect with children is using the breath:
  • Count the breath together.
  • Direct the breath from the waist to the shoulders into the diaphragm for 1,2,3,4, hold for 1,2,3 and out for 6,5,4,3,2,1.
  • Hold again, this for 1,2,3 before taking the next inhalation, and repeat for at least 8 rounds.
You may wish to learn more tips and steps in “How to Practice Deep Meditation” here.
Remember to enjoy the process and stay open and curious. The emphasis of meditation is to cultivate the heart of presence, so that we may integrate meditation into daily living.
Here are 3 keynotes to be mindful of.
Connect to the inner child
Listen to your child, do not make any assumptions and try to ask open-ended questions to get to know them. Understand their needs and desires, how do they wish to be held and respected. Don’t interrupt their thoughts and ideas, if you do not like or agree with what they say and don’t say NO. Try using different ways of offering alternatives so you may avoid hurting their emotions and give them space to choose the best option that is the right thing to do and it comes from their own choice. You are holding their space and guiding them to feel accepted and validated.
Discover the inner child
Explore happiness and allow yourself to see through their lens. Spark a child-like curiosity wonder and walk with them through the mindfulness exercises like you would if you were a good friend to them. Celebrate little things around the curious eye and the mind. Stay curious, and allow yourself to play. It’s deeply healing for adults to let the inner child come out to play!
Embrace the inner child
Do you have something you do not like or enjoy about your inner child? Learn to observe the kind of words you would use towards yourself because it will reflect on what you see with your child too. Recognizing kindness and compassion, noticing acts of kindness every day, so we do not take them for granted. And by looking deeper at their efforts, and appreciating their kindness, this is a skill that can be developed over time and encourages them to feel loved and embraced as they are. Eventually, they will get better at recognizing and developing their own way of expressing acts of kindness and embrace their flaws as learning opportunities.

Conclusion

Our children are wiser and more capable than we think they are. They can handle quiet time to find aha moments if we cultivate the proper conditions for them to thrive with our presence and compassionate listening. Mindfulness meditation helps children relax, focus better and increase attention span. It also teaches children to manage their emotions, increase optimism and happiness, decrease bullying, and increase empathy and compassion. Meditating with your children resolves conflicts and strengthens relationships. Meditation is for everyone and it is a fruitful and enriching experience as long as you stay open and curious in the process of insightful learning.
Jolie conducts meditation for both children and adults in a safe and non-judgmental environment at Canvass. She designs camps, workshops and teacher development programme in schools and facilitates corporate mindfulness and overseas retreats, see more below.

Author: Jolie Michelle

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

20 Be Happy Quotes Only Optimists Will Understand

Quotes about happiness have a way of encouraging us to dream bigger and smile brighter. These “be happy” quotes remind us of life’s greatest joys and give us optimists something to believe in.


THE BEST “BE HAPPY” QUOTES FOR OPTIMISTS

Whether you’re an optimist or you are looking to add more happiness to your life, these “be happy” quotes are for you. Keep the following be happy quotes in mind to make your days just a little brighter:

1. “HAPPINESS ISN’T A READY-MADE OBJECT. THIS FEELING COMES FROM ONE’S OWN ACTIONS.” — THE DALAI LAMA

Society likes to create the idea that happiness is some product or service that can be bought or sold.
While advertising companies the world over like to paint the picture that we’re all just one purchase away from being happy, this quote shows us the opposite.
Optimists know that they have the power to create their happiness. Rather than relying on outside sources, take control of your happiness.

2. “EVERYONE MUST REALIZE THAT THE PATH TO HAPPINESS IS FINALLY BEING HAPPY FOR YOURSELF AND BY YOURSELF.” –ELLEN DEGENERES

We all have the power to create our own lives. Whatever your deepest dream may be, it’s yours if you want it.
This quote by Ellen DeGeneres is a present reminder that we all can choose to be happy. Don’t fall for the trap of letting others tell you who to be or what you should do. Live your life for yourself and find the happiness you deserve to have. 

3. “DON’T SET ASIDE YOUR OWN HAPPINESS. DON’T WAIT FOR THE FUTURE TO BE HAPPY. CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY NOW; NOW IS THE BEST TIME.” –ROY T. BENNETT

Be happy quotes like this show us how important it is to be satisfied in the present day. Though we all like to dream of a bigger and better future, the reality is that you don’t have to wait for your most magnificent dreams to come true to be happy.
There’s no better time than the present to bring positivity to your life. Choosing to be optimistic about where you are now will help you pave the way for a future filled with happiness.

4. “HAPPINESS IS MADE UP OF SMALL PLEASURES OR CONVENIENCES THAT WE EXPERIENCE EACH DAY, RATHER THAN GREAT AMOUNTS OF GOOD FORTUNE THAT OCCUR SELDOM IN THE COURSE OF ONE’S LIFE.” –BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

Benjamin Franklin’s quote is another way of saying that finding happiness is no stroke of luck. If you hope to be happy with your life, choose to do so right now.
By seeing life’s little pleasures for the blessings they are, you’ll find that feeling happy isn’t quite that difficult.

5. “EACH DAY IS NEW; YOU’LL NEVER FEEL HAPPY IF YOU CAN’T MOVE ON.” –CARRIE UNDERWOOD

Life has its fair share of good and evil. Though it’s easy to focus on the bad aspects of our lives, quotes like this remind us to take stock in the positive.
Don’t discount the unfortunate events that have happened to you, but don’t obsess over them either. Happiness is on the other side of moving on.

6. “IF ONE DAY YOU FIND HAPPINESS, OTHERS MIGHT BE JEALOUS. CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY ANYWAY.” –MOTHER TERESA

This quote is Mother Theresa’s way of telling us to ignore the naysayers. Everyone will have an opinion of your life, especially if you’re living your truth and are happy doing so.
Do yourself a favor and tune out the detractors. Keep the negativity away and tune in to your happiness.

7. “A MODEST AND CALM LIFE BRINGS MUCH MORE HAPPINESS THAN ANY PURSUIT OF SUCCESS FRAUGHT WITH CONSTANT RESTLESSNESS.” –ALBERT EINSTEIN

We all have goals we hope to reach. Though there’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself or your life, spending your days chasing “success” and wearing yourself thin isn’t healthy.
Albert Einstein’s quote explains that the key to happiness is finding a way to lead a calm and modest life. Continue to work hard to achieve your goals, but remember that they shouldn’t come at the cost of finding peace in your life. 

8. “HAPPINESS IS DEPENDENT UPON OURSELVES.” –ARISTOTLE

Optimists can successfully cultivate a positive lifestyle because they know that they are responsible for their happiness. Though there are many things we cannot control in life, we get a say in whether or not we get to feel happy.
If you want to feel happy, don’t depend on anyone else but yourself.

9. “HAPPINESS SHOULDN’T BE THE GOAL…IT IS A BY-PRODUCT OF HAVING A WELL-LIVED LIFE.” –ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

The happiest among us don’t live their lives chasing the goal of finding happiness. These optimists naturally achieve satisfaction as a result of the type of experience they have.

10. “THINK OF LIFE’S BEAUTY STILL AROUND YOU AND DECIDE TO BE HAPPY.” –ANNE FRANK

Any of us can pick and choose something we’d like to change about our lives. Many of us often get overwhelmed by the struggles we contend with in life.
Anne Frank’s quote reminds us to choose happiness, despite everything. Next time you find yourself overcome by life, remember to appreciate the beauty around you.

11. “HAPPINESS IS ALL IN THE MINDSET. HAPPINESS HAPPENS AS A RESULT OF HOW YOU SEE THINGS.” –WALT DISNEY

The creator of the “happiest place on earth” Walt Disney knew the power of thinking positively. Walt Disney was a man committed to happiness. By adopting a positive mindset, Disney was able to be one of the happiest men on earth.

12. “IT ISN’T WHO YOU ARE, WHERE YOU ARE, OR WHAT YOU HAVE THAT WILL MAKE YOU UNHAPPY OR HAPPY. HAPPINESS COMES FROM YOUR THOUGHTS.” –DALE CARNEGIE

Never underestimate the power of your thinking. Dale Carnegie’s quote may seem simple, but it hits home.
What do you think about during the day? The happiest people make sure they leave room for positive thinking.

13. “ANYONE THAT WANTS TO BE HAPPY CAN’T DWELL ON THE PAST OR WORRY ABOUT THEIR FUTURE; THEY MUST FOCUS ON LIVING LIFE FULLY RIGHT NOW.” –ROY T. BENNETT

Living in the moment is more complicated than it sounds.
Though the past can be stressful and the future may seem uncertain, the only way to find happiness in life is to plug into the present-day truly. 

14. “ONE CANNOT PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM SADNESS WITHOUT KEEPING THEMSELVES FROM HAPPINESS.” –JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER

Getting hurt isn’t fun. At times, the pain can seem so unbearable that it makes us want to close ourselves off from feeling anything ever again.
If you’ve ever felt this way, remember that while the pain can be overwhelming, it won’t last forever. The only way to be happy again is to open yourself up emotionally.

15. “HAPPINESS AND SANITY ARE QUITE AN IMPOSSIBLE COMBINATION.” –MARK TWAIN

To be joyful, Mark Twain proposes that one can’t be completely sane. While you don’t have to embrace insanity to find your happiness, this quote points out that frequently, others will classify what makes us happy as “crazy”.
Throw caution to the wind and pursue what you like if it makes you happy.

16. “THERE ISN’T ANYTHING ELSE QUITE LIKE THE FEELING AFTER A HARD LAUGH. NOTHING SO GOOD LIKE HAVING A SORE STOMACH FOR THESE REASONS.” –STEPHEN CHBOSKY

Little things like laughing are enough to remind us of how it feels to be happy. Should you ever need a pick-me-up, find something that makes you laugh. Sooner than later, you’ll forget what it was that made you sad in the first place.

17. “WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL TO ALL PEOPLE THAT MAKE US HAPPY; OUR LOVED ONES ARE THE GARDENERS THAT MAKE OUR SOULS BLOSSOM.” –MARCEL PROUST

Marcel Proust’s poetic words compare our lives to gardens. Finding happiness in this life is all about finding the “gardeners” that will nurture our hearts and souls.
Whether it’s a friend, significant other, or family member, spending time cultivating relationships with your loved ones will bring you happiness.

18. “A PERSON ONLY NEEDS THREE THINGS TO FIND HAPPINESS: SOMETHING TO HOPE FOR, SOMETHING TO DO, AND SOMEONE TO LOVE.” –TOM BODETT

For someone to love, look to yourself, for something to hope for, think about building a better future. For something to do, strive to live your dream every day.

19. “MEDICINE CAN’T CURE WHAT HAPPINESS CANNOT.” –GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

Many of us turn to medicine as a way to heal what ails us. Though this medication can ease the pain, it won’t fill our need for happiness.
Optimists know that the only cure for life’s most significant ailments is happiness.

20. “IN HAPPINESS, ONE FINDS THE SECRET TO BEAUTY. THERE CAN BE NO BEAUTY WHERE THERE ISN’T HAPPINESS.” –CHRISTIAN DIOR

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but many of us fail to see the beauty in our everyday lives. Take time to recognize the beautiful aspects of your life, and you’ll find that happiness is nearby.

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