For the first time in over a year I was (finally) able to return to yoga. I have been going to the same studio for the past seven years now since I started practicing. I started going back two weeks ago two weeks after I got my first vaccine. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn’t. For the past year I found it very difficult to practice at home because there were so many distractions. I did what I could to keep up, sadly, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. During my first practice in fourteen months I found that I have to rebuild certain muscles and flexibility for poses that I love like crow and bird of paradise. The fact that I was able to go back to yoga two weeks ago is a bright sign that things are, finally, going back to normal. Hopefully, this normal is here to stay things move on up from there.
One of the greatest issues I have is stressed. I over think things and try to get too much done at the same time. Stress is something that we can’t all escape from, it is something that is there. Every now and then we encounter stress that because something happened out of the blue, such as forgetting to get something done on time or having the date mixed up for a project. At my job, stress sometimes gets to me from time to time. About two weeks ago in work there was a “huddle” on how to handle stress, here are some tips:
- Not all Stress is bad: Good stress can help motivate team members to stretch themselves and meet new challenges. Not all stress comes from the work place, such as financial difficulty, marital issues, and personal concerns. Steps to help with this include: training employees and managers to boost efficiency and performance. This can happen by providing training to help the employees do their jobs better to help reduce stress.
- Helping Co-Workers Cope: Sometimes team members need a helping hand with learning how to cope with stress in the work place.
- Keep Them Coping: By addressing the workplace causes of team member stress and taking proper steps to minimizing stress, the next steps is to help co-workers cope with situations they cannot change.
- Initiatives: Stress can aggravate medical conditions, which can lead to employers finding new ways to battle stress. One of these ways is by staying healthy and active, people who are both of these things are more likely to handle stress better.
- Go to health screenings for cholesterol and blood screenings: Like I said stress can aggravate some medical conditions, so going to a blood and/or cholesterol screening can be beneficial.
- Massage Therapy: Probably one of my favorites, massage therapy can help people relax. By going and getting a neck rub and/or shoulder massage, which may be a small step, but in the end is appreciated the most for relaxation.
- The more control people have over their, work the greater the satisfaction is: Work quality becomes higher when co-workers are able to control the power that is given to them.
- Communication is key: One of the best resources of co-worker stress is not knowing about changes that are taking place in the company, such as not knowing their supervisors/boss’es expectations. Communication in these areas reduces stress at the work place greatly.
Stress in the work place is something that is not going to go away. But, there are ways to help stress go down and make things go more smoothly. There is no way to stop stress from happening, however there are ways of helping other people out.
Before Thanksgiving, I started practicing yoga, little did I know that I would love it so much. When I enter my vinyasa flow I can feel myself relaxing and enjoying myself. Even though there are moves that are easy to fall out of, yoga is a learning experience.
You learn about meeting your edge when you fall out of moves. Many of my yoga teachers have told the class several times that falling is cool because you have gone as far as you can go. You have challenged yourself when you go into yoga pose and feel a little wobbly. There is no set date on when you can officially “do” a pose correctly. Then there are moves that you do one day that you don’t feel like doing the next. I must admit some of the moves are tricky. But, there are variations for you to do in those times. There is nothing wrong with doing a variation in order to be comfortable. I do variations all the time in yoga in order to feel more comfortable and stable. You can try and go to your edge, but know that the variation, whether it be a knee, leg, or arm down, is there for you.
Yoga is truly an amazing practice that I enjoy, as well as many others. I hope that you look into yoga. If you have any questions you can talk to a health care provider or someone who practices yoga. All of the instructors that I have had are amazing and they are willing to answer any questions you have about yoga.
I found half pigeon pose in yoga to be particularly relaxing tonight. With one leg going the front of the mat bent, while the other one out long. Bending over one leg and surrendering onto the floor felt magical. I could feel the stretch when I bent up one leg up to he respective hand grabbing the foot. I needed to use a block in order to make sure that there was even balance between my hips. There are benefits that come with half pigeon pose. Known as a hip opener with lengthening the hip flexors and stretches the thighs. Other elements that come from half pigeon pose is relieving stress, trauma, fear and anxiety. I feel that by doing a little yoga, whether it be big or small is beneficial. Talk to your health care provider about yoga.
Growing up with a forest for a backyard you quickly learn about ticks. These fiends live in the woods. They live off of human blood and can inflict Lyme disease. There are many bad things that can come from just a simple tick bite. So, here are some ways to prevent ticks from becoming attached and causing more damage than there should be.
- Dress appropriately and check: Ticks do not jump, fly, or drop from trees, instead they grasp the passing hosts from leaves and grass. Most ticks are probably picked up on the lower legs and then crawl up the body to find a place to feed. In order to prevent this from happening, war light colored clothing with pants tucked in socks. Repellents can increase the level of protection 20%-30% DEET repellent is recommended. When returning home, check for ticks. Remove clothing, wash and dry, many ticks can survive hot and cold water. But, one hour in a hot dryer they cannot survive.
- Remove ticks promptly: If you find a tick, then use tweezers to grasp the tick closely to the surface of the skin. Pull the tick straight upward with steady even pressure. Disinfect the area and a topical antibiotic may also be applied.
- Risk of transmission: After 48 hours of attachment the risk of transmission increases. By removing the tick early on this will reduce the chance of Lyme disease.
- Ways to Create a Tick Safe Zone: Keep grass mowed, prune trees, clear the leaf litter and brush, move play sets away from wooded areas, restrict ground area where family is frequented use, add in some landscaping practices such as gravel pathway and decking.
- Exclude key wildlife: Put up fencing around your yard to prevent deer and other animals coming in the yard.
- Don’t attract key wildlife hosts: Mice and chipmunks can provide shelter for ticks, so clean out stonewalls and place woodpiles away from the house. Discourage browsing deer and other animals by planting landscape plants that are less attractive to them.
Unfortunately, Lyme disease is caused from a tick’s bite. Here are a few symptoms that come with Lyme disease
- Your and/or your family have visited an area where Lyme disease is commonly found
- You know/suspect that you have been exposed to ticks
- Experiencing: rash, fever, chills, fatigue, joint or muscle pain, or facial paralysis.
Here is some more information: http://www.cdc.gov/Lyme
In the past week my mother contracted poison ivy. Seeing the rash on her arm brought back memories of when I was in the fourth grade and I was covered in poison ivy. I had half of my body covered in calamine lotion and I had to wear a dress to dance class because I couldn’t wear a leotard. Whenever lotion was applied to make the rash go away I would feel a little bit of a sting because I could not stop itching.
Itching is the main reason why the poison ivy spread. Eventually, my parents cut my nails down a bit, so the wound would not leak onto the skin and infect more. It was not a fun time. I remember going to school and constantly reminding myself not to scratch. I really wanted to scratch because of how much poison ivy itched. Even though I was only covered in poison ivy for a couple of weeks, it felt like forever. It felt as though, this would go no where. That I would be covered in itchy red spots all over my body. Imagine being covered in pimples, but they itched and cover up did not do the job well.
In honor of the horrific memory of me contracting poison ivy as a child. As well, as my mother contracting it over the weekend. I have decided to look up a few facts on poison ivy for prevention and how to stop the spread.
- DO NOT SCRATCH! Scratching allows poison ivy to spread through out the body causing an infection.
- If you brush up against poison ivy, immediately wash your body with lukewarm and soapy water. This helps rinse off some of the oil.
- Wash your clothing, by doing this you are already taking the first step to stopping the spread. The oil can stick to the clothing causing other pieces of clothing to become intact with poison ivy.
- Wash everything the oil hits the surface. Poison ivy can be contracted by just touching the surface of a table.
- Leave blisters alone. Sometimes poison ivy blisters, when this happens DO NOT REMOVE the overlying skin. The skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infection.
- Take short lukewarm baths. This helps ease the itch and taking one in colloidal oatmeal helps more. You can purchase this at a local drug store.
- Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortosine cream. Apply this to the skin to help the itching go down.
- Apply a cool compress to the itchy skin. You can simply make one with a face cloth (wash right after use). Wring it out after washing in COLD water. Then apply to the itchy skin
These solutions not only work for poison ivy, but also poison oak and poison sumac. The best way to avoid contracting poison oak, sumac, and/or ivy is to avoid the plant completely. The picture above depicts poison ivy, not sumac and/or oak, just an FYI. Another way is to protect your skin, like wearing sneakers and ankle high socks when out hiking and/or long sleeve shirts.
Here is what poison ivy looks like:
- Each leaf has three small leaflets
- It grows in a shrub or a small low woody plant in far Northern and Western United States, Canada, and around the Great Lakes.
- Poison ivy commonly grows on a vine in the East, Midwest, and southern areas of the United States.
- In spring, it grows yellowish green flowers
- There may be green berries that turn off white in early fall.
Since poison ivy is not the only plant that can cause an infection and itch. Here is what poison oak and poison sumac looks like:
- Each has three small leaflets
- Mostly, it grows as a shrub
- In the Western United States, poison oak can grow as a vine.
- There may be yellow and white berries attached
- Each leaf has a row of paired leaflets and other leaflets at the end.
- Grows in a small shrub or small tree
- In the Northeast and Midwest, it grows in standing water or peat bogs
- In the Southeast United States, it grows in swampy areas
- The leaves, often, have spots that looks like blotches of black paint. These spots are from urushiol, which when it is exposed to air causes them to turn brown. Before, the urushial hits the air, it turns yellow.
- There maybe yellowish white berries
I hope that this information is helpful to you. I would not wish poison ivy, sumac, and/or oak on anyone. It starts off as a small itchy rash, the next thing you know you are covering yourself in calamine lotion. That is what happened to me. So, I hope that this information is useful. Here is the link to the website where I got most of my information from: https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/m—p/poison-ivy/tips There is more information is on this website for prevention and symptoms.
Yesterday, I did a blog post on Reverse Warrior. Today, I am doing Warrior 2, a different yoga position. Getting into warrior two is traditionally done from warrior one and opening up to a side wall. When I open my arms and torso to the left or right, depending on which foot is forward, I feel my torso suspended. Adjusting the my feet until I feel comfortable helps as well. Opening my arms and feeling a little pain goes along way. Although, you do have the options of putting your arms down and on your waist. For me keeping the arms up is rewarding. I do put my hands on my waist from time to time if I need to. Warrior two comes with quite a bit of benefits, but the one that I feel the most is helping with concentration. Being able to focus is something that I have struggled However, in warrior two and being told to focus over the finger tips I find that concentrating has become easier. Here is the link to a website that lists more of the health benefits that comes with Warrior two. http://www.cnyhealingarts.com/2011/06/01/the-health-benefits-of-virabhadrasana-ii-warrior-ii-pose/
One of the yoga moves I found comfort in tonight was reverse warrior. Traditionally, done from warrior one or warrior two, and just bending back, I found it was relaxing, on both sides. With one arm in the air, while the other one slid down the back leg was relaxing.
On top of reverse warrior being relaxing, there are benefits that come with the pose. One of the being opening up the ribs. I felt my ribs and lungs feel different after I had completed this pose. My breathing felt better and more relaxed. I feel that by doing reverse warrior tonight I had helped my body feel more open. Although, there are many other benefits that come with reverse warrior, I found that my ribs and breathing felt different after doing this pose in a good way.
That time of year is coming again when mosquitoes create a nuisance. These bugs whose bite makes a bump that itches. You can hear their buzzing noise as they zoom into take a bite. Swatting them away and squishing them stops just a few, but not all of them. Let’s face it, it is not very easy to go through the summer season without getting a bug bite from a mosquito. But, there are ways to help reduce getting mosquito bites around your home and outside.
Precautions To Help Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Keep watch of outdoor activities that take place at dawn and dusk, you might want to minimize these
- Make sure all screens, doors, windows are tight fitted and in good standing
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeve shirts that are tightly woven.
- Use a mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
- Consider buying mosquito repellent when it becomes necessary to be outside and use it accordingly with the directions. The most effective repellents involve the use of DEET or Picaridin.
- Repellents that have DEET in them are not to be applied to under clothing, wounds/irritated skin, hands of children, and/ or infants who are less than two months.
Measures To Help Reduce Mosquitoes Around the House
- Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those that are not used for recycling.
- Clean clogged roof gutters.
- Objects that may trap water should be turned over when not in use such as wading pools, wagons, and wheelbarrows.
- Change the water in bird baths on a weekly basis
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools. When the pool is not in use then clean the pool cover.
- Use a landscaping tool to help eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.
If you have any more questions about how to prevent mosquitoes from being more of a pest than you want then go to the website http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/cwp/view.asp?a=3486&q=413732. I know this the Connecticut state address as this is the state that I come from. This website also includes information on the West Nile Virus that is carried by mosquitoes. But, it does have useful information about mosquito prevention to help in the future. Here is another website with information as well. http://www.mosquito.org/assets/Resources/mosquito%20prevention%20fact%20sheet.pdf
I finally made it to a yoga class during this crazy work week. When I entered the room I was able to take in all the yoga class had to offer. I took extra pleasure in warrior one. When my feet are on the ground perpendicular to each other. My knee bending over my left, then going through chatarunga and putting the right foot in front. Making sure that my knee does not go over the big toe and my arms are in the right position above my head. I can feel my chest opening, as well as my hips and lungs, which warrior one does. There are many good things that come from this yoga pose such as improving focus and stability, as well as, good circulation and respiration. Warrior one is a pretty simple move to do to help with all of the above.