Yoga Meditation Cushion (by Seat Of Your Soul) Product Review

 

If you have back issues and have to sit cross-legged on a mat on the floor, it is not a pleasant experience if even possible at all. With a huge selection and availability of support cushions and pillows, it has helped tremendously with support and comfort and made yoga meditation relaxing as it should be.

The buckwheat hull filled yoga meditation cushion is one of the best of its kind in the market today. I prefer this cushion to others of same or similar style due to its ergonomic design which provides the support necessary for proper posture and customizable comfort by adjusting the amount of buckwheat hull to your personal preference. The durable outer cover made from organic cotton is removable and washable.

The cushion/pillow is available in a crescent shape or zafu which is circular. It comes in a wide selection of colors. The portability is another plus. It is easy to lug around from your home, to the car, to the yoga center, or wherever you want to take it to.

I have not found any cons with this cushion purchase. Overall, it is an excellent product and it serves its purpose well.

I hope you find this review helpful in deciding which yoga meditation cushion to purchase. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave one and I will certainly address it and get back to you with an answer.

Finding Peace and Happiness Through Yoga Meditation

Meditation is a holistic approach of looking into your physical, mental and spiritual self to find peace, contentment and infinite bliss. Yoga is a practice that not only includes the physical postures that we commonly know of, but it is in itself a lifestyle and is the main technique of meditation. It is this comprehensive system and combination that will give you the full experience of peace and infinite bliss.

The best times to meditate are in the morning, and in the evening before meals.

You can practice meditation anywhere in your home where it is quiet, clutter-free and without disruption – a corner of your bedroom, on the balcony, or a peaceful spot outdoors. It is important to not have electronic, and computer devices within your reach as these are distractions that will not allow you to focus. Once you’ve found a quiet and comfortable area in your home or outdoors, let this be your meditation spot.

Wear non-restrictive clothing such as a kaftan or yoga wear. On the floor, sit cross-legged on a yoga mat or a blanket that you’d only use for meditation. If unable to stay in this position, use cushions or a meditation pillow to prop yourself up to relieve the pressure on the legs and to keep the back straight.

With your eyes closed and your hands on crossed legs in open palm position, focus on your breathing as you start to relax, concentrating on your mantra. The sound of a mantra (a phrase which liberates the mind) is a very powerful way of focusing the mind on the feeling of bliss. The mantra must be something meaningful to you and your mind can focus on; with a particular vibration or rhythm (om), and a positive belief or uplifting positive thoughts.

Imagine that you’re sitting at a very calm and serene place surrounded by infinite peace and happiness. Repeat within your mind your mantra, thinking of the meaning in rhythm with your breathing. Concentrate and continue for as long as you like. Through the rhythmic concentration on the mantra, the mind gradually frees the body of pain and negativity, stress and tension as it opens up to peace, contentment and happiness.

Finish off your session with deep relaxation. Lie on your back on the same mat or blanket, and starting from the feet to the top of your head, make sure every inch of your whole body is relaxed and free from any tension. Your breathing should be calm and relaxed. Focus and imagine being in a very soothing and peaceful place and enjoy this quiet moment. Stay in this position for a few minutes before slowly getting up and moving on to your daily activities.

As you get to meditate on a regular basis (two times a day is ideal), you will find it gets easier to concentrate and stay focused. It is very helpful and a great habit to repeat your mantra throughout the rest of the day. This will give you a continued feeling of calm, contentment and happiness.

 

 

Health Benefits of Flotation Therapy

Flotation or floating therapy was once known as isolation or sensory deprivation treatments. Unappealing as it sounds, it was not well received until these recent years when it was appropriately renamed as flotation or floating therapy. It has since become so popular and is currently widely acclaimed as the most effective de-stressing relaxation technique to benefit both mind and body.

The single person session is experienced in a spa setting, with an oversized tub-like tank or chamber resembling a mini spaceship or in a more spacious suite suitable for the claustrophobic. The chambers and suites have private showers and each one locks from the inside. The session starts with a shower to cleanse the body from scents, oils and lotions, and ends with a shower to remove the Epsom salt bath residue. Most float centers provide basic toiletries for your shower and moisturizing needs, towels and robes as well as light snacks and teas.

The chamber or tank is filled with a foot deep of body temperature water and 1000 to 1300 pounds of medical grade Epsom salt. This combination results in effortless floating, a feeling of being suspended in air. No one sinks in a float tank. As you float, your mind and body starts to relax. The background piped-in music eventually fades and stops, the chamber is completely quiet. The light can be completely off or can be dimmed to your preference. You are in full control of the whole experience, which makes this unthreatening for the novice and claustrophobic.

With the removal of sight and sound (sensory deprivation), your breathing slows down and your body reaches a deeper state of relaxation, deeper than sleep. The floating itself allows the body to rebalance and regenerate itself, reducing elevated levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone. It recharges the brain fast, with an hour of floating compared to 4 hours of sleep. The Epsom salt in the water detoxifies your body as it helps in the recovery and healing process. Some of the more common benefits from the therapy include:

  • increased mental clarity and creativity
  • increased blood flow which lowers blood pressure
  • promotes healing and provides relief of chronic pain and inflammation greatly benefiting arthritis, rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions
  • speeds recovery from athletic activity and injury
  • reduces anxiety, stress and depression resulting in better sleep
  • improves the overall health of the immune system
  • helps with behavior modification, addictive and self-destructive behavior.

It is important to contact your float center or spa prior to your float session for specific preparation requirements. Pregnant women must consult with their medical practitioner before starting floating therapy.

The practice of floating therapy has made a positive impact on our everyday health and wellness, promoting mindfulness and a positive outlook in life. The effortless way to relax and recharge will leave you rejuvenated for days, or even weeks. Continued floating therapy sessions will only greatly enhance your quality of life providing you with the ultimate deep relaxation that is much needed in this stressful reality of life that we’re in.

 

 

 

 

Effective Natural Health Supplements

Having to figure out and choose which health supplements are right for you have become overwhelming as there is an endless number of these in the market today. Deciding on the right ones should be given careful thought and consideration so you don’t end up with the supplements that are not suitable for your body.

As a consumer you should examine the details of the label, and or packaging. It should clearly list all the ingredients including additives and preservatives, dosage/directions and state what the supplement is for. It is important to know that natural health and diet supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it is up to you to be careful of what you add to your health regimen.

If you are looking to achieve a new level of wellness and vibrancy, adding the right natural supplements to your daily intake can improve your health and well-being significantly. Expect to overcome chronic health issues such as allergies, common colds, anxiety and depression, headaches and muscle pain – naturally with regular use. Always let your health practitioner know if you are taking any natural supplements to avoid the possibility of any drug interactions.

A few of the very best effective natural supplements available in the market today are listed below to help you choose the ones suitable for your health.
Moringa Oleifera is native to North India, and can be found in most of Asia. Also known as the drumstick tree, ben oil tree, or horseradish tree. The leaves as well as the pods of the Moringa tree can be eaten fresh or added to delicious soups and stews, and as ingredients in natural herbal supplements. The leaves and the seeds are dried and processed into capsules, or powder form. The powder can be conveniently added to smoothies, tea, any cold or hot drink, or sprinkled directly on food or salads.

Moringa oleifera is widely known as a superfood because of its high nutritional value, it is an excellent source of vitamins A, B2 and B6, C, D and E and minerals calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and copper along with protein and healthy fat. It also contains flavonoids and saponins, natural plant chemicals that fight and prevent disease. Recommended serving is1/2 teaspoon or 3 capsules daily.

Turmeric Curcumin from the Curcuma Longa plant is also native to India and most Asian countries. It is a very powerful herb widely known for its healing properties. The root of the curcuma plant is dried and processed into powder form, which is commonly known as Turmeric powder, the spice used in the very delicious Indian curry dish.

A number of research studies have reported that using turmeric curcumin is found to fight, heal and reverse several diseases when used in place of prescription drugs for pain and inflammation, arthritis, depression, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol and abdominal diseases. Recommended serving is 2 capsules daily.

Ashwagandha an adaptogenic herb native to India promotes general mental and physical wellness. It restores and improves thyroid functions, and treats adrenal fatigue. Ashwagandha is often compared to ginseng due to its ability to increase endurance and stamina, and it has highly effective stress relieving capabilities. The root of the Ashwagandha is processed into powder, capsules and tea. A daily recommended dose of 1-2 capsules or a half teaspoon of powder is found effective in maintaining overall wellness by combating stress, reducing anxiety and depression, fighting and treating cancer, stabilizing blood sugar, deterring brain degeneration, and boosting immunity.

Feverfew is a short, bushy perennial herb with yellow green leaves and flowers, a close resemblance to daisies and chamomiles. It is used as a natural remedy for preventing and treating migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatitis, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus, dizziness, stomach ache, tooth ache, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, cough and colds.

Feverfew should not be used by those who have allergies to daisies, and related plants such as chamomile, chrysanthemum, ragweed, and sunflower. Typical allergic reactions may include swelling of the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth, as well as mouth ulceration. Recommended dosage is 1 capsule daily or 2 fresh or dried leaves taken with food.

Ginseng has been around for many centuries. It is an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps the body adjust to and withstand mental and physical stress. The root of this plant has been used as a stimulant known to improve concentration, focus and mental clarity, and memory. It will increase your energy levels and stamina. Ginseng alleviates anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue and is widely used as a treatment for headaches, and infections. It is also known to help men with erectile dysfunction. Ginseng has natural appetite suppressant properties effective for weight loss. It is available in capsules, tea or liquid form as well as raw or dried.

Comfrey is an herb that has been used for many centuries for its powerful pain relieving properties and to treat inflammatory diseases. Due to its toxic effect on the liver if taken internally, it is currently only used for the external treatment of muscle and joint inflammation as well as for cuts and bruises. The use of topical comfrey ointment or salve can significantly decrease the pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia. The ointment is available at natural health food stores in the vitamins/natural supplements department, as well as online.

Whether you are an expert, or new to the world of natural supplements and remedies, always treat herbal and natural supplements as you do medications by reading about the product, and following dosage directions and instructions. To avoid complications, always consult with your healthcare professional if you are on prescription medication, are pregnant or nursing before starting taking any natural health supplements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally

Stress is and will always be a part of our daily existence, affecting the general population physically, emotionally, and mentally. Many doctor office visits are due to illnesses such as anxiety, migraine headaches, digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, obesity, diabetes which have been traced to be stress related or brought on by chronic stress. We may not have the solution to getting rid of stress, but we can certainly look at ways to lessen its negative effects on us naturally.

Learning to identify the onset of stress and practicing the following natural stress relief techniques listed below will greatly improve your well being and quality of life.

  • Exercise – whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, running, dancing, or yoga – all of these activities significantly improve your physical and psychological balance regulating your hormones and sleep patterns.
  • Eat – nutrient rich foods loaded with vitamins and minerals. These are much needed  by your body and brain to combat stress. Dairy, dark leafy vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, fruit and nuts are just  a few excellent energy and antioxidant sources for your brain and body. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and excessive sugar as these only give you a temporary boost, followed by fatigue and a depressive state of mind.
  • Drink – teas and take herbal remedies such as chamomile, ginkgo biloba, kava kava, st. johns’ wort. These improve mental clarity,  have calming, relaxing, and mood boosting  effects and are highly effective in reducing the stress hormones.
  • Meditate – and practice deep breathing exercises to relax your body, increase mental alertness and bring yourself inner peace. Meditation is known to help manage medical conditions, including stress by restoring your calm and enhancing your physical and emotional well being.
  • Massage – by a therapist or with your own hands relieves muscle tension, improves circulation, boosts energy, and enhances concentration. It promotes better sleep patterns, as well as increase the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Essential oils from healing plants and herbs such as ginseng, holy basil and ashwagandha regulate hormones and the physiological functions of the body.

  •  Sleep – 6 to 8 hours every night to improve how you think and feel during the day.  A good nights’ sleep will restore and improve your mental and physical health, making you feel mentally sharp, emotionally fit and energetic throughout the day.

Stress is our natural response to challenge. So as long as we face challenges in our everyday lives, stress is here to stay. How we handle it differs from person to person as what is too much for one may not be to another. Your ability to deal with stress can increase your tolerance and how you bounce back from life’s challenges. Recognize the symptoms, and be willing to step back so you can relax, take a deep breath and be armed with the stress busters on your personal journey to wellness. Know that this is just another challenge thrown at you and you can  handle it.

 

What Triggers Your Migraine Headache?

 

What Triggers Your Migraine Headache?           

It really can be just about anything, and what precedes your migraine episode may not be the same for other migraine sufferers. Some common triggers include a variety of foods with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, nitrates and food additives like monosodium glutamate (msg), aged cheese, various scents, chemicals and fumes from cleansers and gas, medication, emotional ups and downs, physical activity/exercise, hormonal changes, stress and lack of sleep.

Many migraine sufferers get some type of warning in what is commonly known as an aura. Auras may include visual changes like flickering lights, blurriness, temporary blindness, heightened sense of smell and hearing. The warning from auras is sometimes good when you are aware enough to actually pay attention to the symptoms.

Research indicates a chemical imbalance of the mood regulating serotonin and hormonal changes cause migraine attacks. Some people are also believed to be predisposed to getting this neurological illness, meaning the migraine gene runs in the family, passed on down from one generation to another affecting mostly women family members than men.

A lot of people still at this time do not understand how disabling and debilitating a migraine attack can be, and may casually dismiss your symptoms as just a headache assuming the pain is just about the same level or a little bit worse than they experience. The reality is the pain which is probably 20 times worse than a headache is just one of the symptoms. The nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light, sound and smell are not understood or not thought of as possible because these do not come with a regular headache.

If you are a migraine sufferer, I can imagine your tolerance to pain is extremely high, having to function in society as if things were normal because sometimes you just have to. But with more recent awareness efforts, and advanced research on this illness, more and more people have become sensitive and more acceptable of the reality of migraine and its disabling effects on the sufferer.

Coping With Migraine Headaches

Doing the following things at the very first sign of an oncoming attack is often enough to thwart a full blown episode.

  • Massage the back of your neck and work your way up around your head, and all the way to your temples with natural oils like peppermint, marjoram, lavender and feverfew . The oil with its healing properties gives a soothing, calming and numbing sensation for a very effective relief.
  • Get under the covers in a dark room and close your eyes or better yet get some sleep to relax your nerves and blood vessels. Caffeine taken in moderation helps to relieve the pressure and dilate the blood vessels.
  • Take your natural migraine remedy or prescribed medication immediately and drink plenty of fluids. Do not be second guessing if it is a regular headache versus a migraine headache. Note that the aura is a clear indication that you are experiencing a migraine. If the steps above do not stop your migraine attack then you’re now most likely experiencing a throbbing, intense pain on your head, accompanied by vertigo, nausea, vomiting and a heightened sensitivity to bright lights, sounds and smells. Although the duration of the episode differs for migraine sufferers, the headache typically lasts from one to three days. Depending on the severity, some people experience the headache for much longer than that.

Being open and honest about your illness, and not having to carry all the load when you have a migraine headache will make the people around you, the ones you love and the ones you work and live with to be more understanding and empathetic to your suffering. Do not be afraid to step back, and get a shut-eye if you need to, because you have to if you at least try to prevent a full blown episode. Accept help if someone offers you a hand with house chores and work duties, as it may just be the way to prevent the next excruciating and debilitating migraine attack.

Sweeteners 101

 

With so many different kinds of sweeteners available in the market today, it has become confusing to figure out which ones are good, and healthy for you. Here’s to help you decide which is best for your health:

Sugar or sucrose, also commonly known as table sugar comes from sugarcane or sugar beets. It is also found naturally in fruits. This is widely added to baked goods, ice cream, cereals, sauces and marinades, jams and jellies. Brown sugar which comes from the same sources gets its color from added molasses. Sugar gives you energy and will cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly, before crashing leaving you tired and more hungry.

Agave syrup is a sweet extract similar to, and tastes like honey. This comes from the same agave cactus that gives us tequila. Unlike table sugar, agave syrup does not cause your blood sugar to spike. Agave is much sweeter than sugar so you only need a little to get the same sweetness from sugar. This is ideal for diabetics.

Honey is a natural sweetener that is commonly used as a sugar substitute due to its high antioxidant properties and numerous vitamins and minerals. Honey is a delight to add to your tea, oatmeal, and yogurt.

Maple syrup adds a wholesome sweetness to a wide variety of foods as sausages, ice cream, pancakes, toast, waffles and baked goods. Just like honey, maple syrup contains antioxidants which are good for a healthy heart and immune system.

High fructose corn syrup is a super sweet liquid from the sugars fructose and glucose in cornstarch. This type of sweetener is in processed food like cereals, yogurts, sodas, desserts, baked goods, condiments, etc. as it gives food a longer shelf life. HFCs in a wide array of food consumed daily is believed to contribute to the sharp increase of obesity problems today.
Stevia is a natural no calorie sweetener which comes from the stevia plant. Stevia is available in granular form used as a diet sweetener, and it is commonly added to beverages, protein and diet shakes. Stevia, also marketed as Pruvia, Truvia, Sun Crystals is safe to use in baking and  cooking.

Saccharin is a calorie-free synthetic compound containing sodium, hydrogen and oxygen. This is more commonly known as Sweet ‘N Low. Saccharin is much sweeter than sugar and keeps its properties when heated, as in added to tea and coffee. While studies have linked this artificial sweetener to cancer in rats, there is not enough evidence of it causing cancer in humans. Saccharin is considered safe for diabetics.

Sucralose or Splenda is a chemically tweaked (not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate) sugar that  is calorie free. Splenda is in many cereals, desserts, baked and frozen goods, as well as beverages. This sweetener is much sweeter than sugar and it holds up well when used in baking. It is known to cause abdominal pain and discomfort in some people.

Aspartame also known as Equal and Nutrasweet is another artificial sweetener that is safe for diabetics. This is commonly found in sugar-free gum, and diet or sugar-free drinks/beverages, and added on to fruits, and cereals. Aspartame is not recommended for baking as it breaks down when heated. There is no sufficient evidence to support claims that Aspartame causes Alzheimer’s disease. But the use of this artificial sweetener is a common trigger for migraine headaches and is best therefore to avoid its use if you are a migraine sufferer.

Natural sugar intake must be reduced and the use of artificial sweeteners must be avoided altogether to reduce the risk of getting the following diseases: diabetes, obesity, cancer, alzheimers’ and heart disease. Nourish your body with only the very best there is for a long and healthy life.

Edible Gardening

Growing and harvesting your own supply of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables is both very productive and rewarding whether it is done in your very own backyard, or with friends and neighbors in the community. There are several ways to start and maintain your edible garden and I’ve included these below.

Your gardening area can be anywhere you desire your edible garden would be if you have a lot of space in your yard, or in the absence of a yard, try container gardening instead which you can easily place on the patio or balcony, or on the deck or porch. You’ll find that there is a large number of dwarf plant varieties ready to grow in your choice of containers. And if you do have the space, then planting directly among your existing greenery is a great option. Raised beds is one to consider as well. With whichever one you choose or that would work best for you, it is important for your planted space to get a full 6 to 8 hours of sun daily to maximize your flavorful and bountiful harvest.

Fertile and well draining soil is the foundation of a healthy garden. Adding compost, wood products, and manure mixed in to existing soil will drastically improve the quality of the garden soil. Just make sure to let it blend well and settle for a few days before starting to plant. If the soil is of very poor quality, containers and raised beds would be your other options. Newly planted seedling and young plants need more frequent watering than mature or older plants. Keep soil watered to stay moist but not soggy. Water more when it is hot outside than when the weather is cool.

Deciding what to plant is usually not hard to do, but can be somewhat overwhelming because of the wide array of choices. Think of what you would like to eat, or what you would like to share with others and let that be your planting guide. Whether you start with seeds or seedlings is your personal preference. Seeds are generally cheaper and can be planted directly where you want it to grow while seedlings are more expensive but ready to be transplanted to your garden or container. Always read the seed packet instructions or seedling transplanting directions for the best outcome.


Other things to consider would be the time it will take from planting to harvesting. Annual crops like broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, peas and peppers are ready in just a few months, while perennials including squash, herbs, and fruit trees will initially produce a small harvest but will typically yield a bigger harvest after the first year.

Feed your plants especially in their growth spurts, more so when your edibles are in containers. Using organic fertilizers is highly recommended for edible gardening. Organic fertilizers break down slowly releasing the nutrients into the soil gradually while chemical fertilizers are water soluble and do not stay long enough in the soil. Use mulch to reduce evaporation and to prevent weeds from growing. Organic mulch material including compost, bark and wood chips slowly add nutrients to the soil as this slowly decompose.

Now that your plants are in place and thriving, you’ll need to maintain your edible garden to keep it healthy, pest free and weed free. Check your plants frequently for disease and pests, and treat problems with a natural and organic herbicide. It is important to kill weeds early on when it first appears to prevent it from overpowering your garden. A white vinegar and water solution is highly effective to treat weed problems.

The wonderful flavors of the freshly harvested edibles from your very own garden is highly satisfying. It is food for your mind, body and spirit. It is never too early to start planning your edible garden for the next planting season.