DIY ice pack.

Some of you already know that I only recently learned how to ride a bicycle. Although it was always a little embarrassing admitting to people that I did not know how to ride a bike, I was never motivated or interested enough to learn.

At the beginning of this year, I was gifted my very first bicycle from my friends over at Lululemon and Public Bikes. It was love at first sight!  I think my bike is beautiful and it has the words “Do one thing a day that scares you” printed on the frame.

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Okiedokie, NOW I was motivated to learn to ride this beauty. I rallied up a dear friend who has infinite patience and off we went to learn how to ride a bike in Golden Gate Park. SUCCESS!!!

Safety First.

Safety First.

My ride in the park was fun and I only freaked out for most of it.

Lets cut forward to my holiday in Mammoth Lakes where I crashed into another rider and split my ear open and bruised my shin bone so bad that my leg swelled to the size of a football.  Here is where my DIY ice pack comes in. I needed to ice my leg constantly and found this little recipe online that works really well. It has been good having an ice pack or two or four at home for achy shoulders after climbing or random injuries here and there.

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  • Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a ziploc bag and put in the freezer. (The alcohol will prevent the water from freezing completely.)
  • When it’s frozen, wrap with a towel or cloth of some sort and apply.

Healthy coconut popcorn.

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I stumbled on this healthy coconut popcorn snack recipe and feel it is a MUST share.
If you have been to the movies in the past, I don’t know…EVER, you have most likely been suckered into buying a big, salty, buttery bag of bright yellow popcorn. Why? because popcorn is delicious, simple!
I also heard, and don’t quote me on this, but I heard that a medium bag of popcorn and a medium soda have the same number of calories as three Big Macs. WHAT? I can’t wrap my mind around how that is possible, but I have chosen to make my own.
Ingredients
  • For the Popcorn:
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • For the Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground/grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Himalaya pink salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Instructions
  1. Pop the popcorn kernels in the melted coconut oil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining coconut oil and raw honey over medium-low heat in a small saucepan, until the honey has melted and is fully incorporated into the oil.
  3. Stir the spices into the oil and honey mixture.
  4. Working in handfuls, put the popcorn in a large mixing bowl and pour the spice mixture over the top a little at a time (You can pour the spice mixture directly over all of the popcorn, but doing it in small batches will ensure that it’s fully incorporated.). Mix to combine. Continue until you have used all of the popcorn and spice mixture.
  5. Stir in the pumpkin seeds and cherries.
Notes
This popcorn is best served immediately, but will last stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry, place for up to 2 days.
Himalayan Pink Salt is purer and higher in mineral content than table salt, so the flavor is stronger. If you use a different variety of salt, you may want to add more.

Life is __________ (insert your word).

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Tahoe strolling.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

-Mother Theresa

That’s how we roll.

Foam rolling is essential in the recovery of tight, overworked muscles. By using your own body weight you can perform a variety of self massage techniques to break up trigger points, soothe tight muscles and increase blood flow and circulation. A foam roller can help release tension in connective tissue, work out knots in sore muscles and also stretch muscles and tendons.

Here are a few of my favorite stretches.

What you will need:

* Foam Roller

*Tennis ball

*Patience

1. Quad Massage.

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Start by coming to forearm plank, with both of your thighs on the roller (be sure to engage your abs to protect your lower back). Roll back and forth from your hip to your knees. If you would like to increase the pressure, try lifting one thigh off the roller and leaning into the roller with the leg you are massaging. Roll each leg for 60 seconds.

2. Hamstring Massage.

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Sit on the floor with the foam roller under your knee and your legs extended straight over the roller. Roll back and forth until your hamstrings feel loose. To increase the pressure, try crossing one leg over the other.

I really like using a tennis ball to stretch out my hamstrings, I find it targets specific knots and kinks a lot better than the foam roller. Here is how:

Place the tennis ball under one of your legs while sitting on the ground. I have found that the best results come from elevating the leg that is not being rolled. Flex the foot of the leg you are rolling (by pulling toes toward you). Here you can really focus on any tender spots.

3. IT Band Massage:

This is one exercise that i have a true love/hate relationship with. It is quite intense when you first start rolling this area, but if you are consistent and patient, it will begin to ease up after a few sessions.

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Lie sideways with the foam roller under the side of your thigh. Start from the hips and roll slowly all the way down to your knee.. As uncomfortable as this is, try to spend a little extra time holding on the more tender areas you encounter. Roll each leg for 60 seconds.

4. Glute and Piriformis Massage.

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This is another stretch that I feel a tennis ball targets the problem areas a little more clearly, but you can try both.

Sit with your buttocks on top of the foam roller. Bend your knees, and cross the right leg so that the right ankle is resting over the left knee. Shift/tilt your weight to your right side. Roll over the buttocks until you feel the tension in your glute, again holding in areas that feel especially tender (this is more apparent when rolling with a tennis ball). Repeat on other side.

Introduction to Chakras (part 2)

Shushumna, Ida and Pingala Meridians.

In the same way that the physical body is more than just a collection of organs, the subtle body is more than just a collection of Chakras. The body has a complicated system of nerves, highly developed senses, intricate piecing together of muscles and bones and a vitally important system of hormone regulators. The physical body has pieces that are connected as part of a whole system, and the chakras are also connected together as part of a whole system.

The subtle body has a vital system interconnecting energy channels called meridians and nadis (nad means to flow).

The shushumna, which is the most important of the nadis rises within the base chakra and flows along the spine. There are two other important a channels; Ida (also known as Chandra, the moon) and Pingala (also known as surya, the sun).
Pingala nadi emerges from the right side of the base chakra and travels up the body in a series of of twists and curves crossing over the Shushumna. The Ida nadi emerges from the left side of the base chakra and travels up the body, creating the other half of a symmetrical pattern.
Ida, Pingala and Shushumna meet at the brow center to form a braided knot of energy.

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Understanding the Chakras:

By working with the energies of the chakras, we are seeking to understand ourselves wholly.
Yoga offers an integrated system for awakening the energy body, incorporating techniques of pranayama (breath), meditation and asana (postures/poses).
Asana functions on many levels, including the obvious effect on the physical body by releasing muscle tension, strengthening the internal systems and releasing joint stiffness. The asanas also impact and work with the nadis to circulate subtle energy. When combined with meditation and working with the state of the mind, it brings calmness and control.

The breath is a profound tool for creating physical, emotional and intellectual change. The breathing pattern mirrors the way in which you interact with the world and yourself (It is frequently shallow and incomplete).
Controlled breathing is quite different from the often shallow and unconscious rhythms of daily life, and should be practiced in a well ventilated room, on an empty stomach and bladder and the body should be relaxed.

Yogic Breathing:
Yogic breath has three parts as air is brought into the abdomen, the chest and then the nasal passages.
1. Deep inhale
2. Allow the air to fill your belly and feel the expansion within your abdomen.
3. Allow the air to fill your chest and feel your ribcage expand.
4. Allow the air to move into your throat and nasal passages.
5. On the exhale, empty your nasal passages, then your chest, and finally your abdomen.

It is important to move the air smoothly and without a break. There should not be separation between the inhale and the exhale.

 

 

 

 

source: The elements of the chakras.

Introduction to the Chakras (part 1)

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‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel. They spin on their own axis and in relation to the amount of energy in the system.

Chakras are sometimes referred to as lotuses, which is a great way to bring to life the force of the Chakra system.
The lotus blooms upon the surface of the water, but is rooted deeply in mud far below the surface.  This has come to represent the human condition. Just as a lotus, the chakra can be closed, in bud, opening, or blossoming, either active or dormant.
Just as everyone has a physical body, so too do we each have a subtle body. The Chakras bridge the physical and subtle matter.
Physical body:
Each of the Chakras correspond to a physical system and the related organs.
Base Chakra: relates to large intestine and rectum, it shares responsibility of the kidneys with the sacral Chakra.
Sacral Chakra: relates to the reproductive system, ovaries and testes, the bladder and the kidneys.
Solar plexus Chakra: relates to the liver, gall bladder, stomach, spleen and small intestine.
Heart Chakra:  relates to the heart and arms.
Throat Chakra: relates to the lungs and throat.
Brow Chakra: relates to the brain.
Crown Chakra: not related or limited to one specific part of the body, but rather to the whole being.
There is a relationship between the condition of the Chakra and the relating physical organs. For example, dysfunction of the reproductive system will often manifest with obvious physical symptoms, such as disrupted menstruation. This will then be mirrored by disruption to the related energy network and chakra itself.
Traditionally, each of the chakras are also related to a major gland.
Base: adrenals
Sacral: ovaries in women, testes in men
Solar: pancreas
Heart: thymus
Throat: thyroid and parathyroid
Brow: pituitary gland
Crown: pineal.
The endocrine glands play an important part in our everyday health and well-being. The hormones released into the bloodstream govern all aspects of growth and development, therefore dysfunction by any of the endocrine glands will have a serious effect on the physical body.

Apple Tree.

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“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with it’s yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples fall around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you have tasted as many as you could.”

~ Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum.

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