Monthly theme ~ August, September, October, November, December

Month of  September

NATIONAL YOGA AWARENESS MONTH 

September Wellness Wednesday:

9/7 – Mountain Pose, Half Moon Pose, and Tree Pose, standing Asanas ~ https://youtu.be/UON8BxCfJCM

9/14 – Pranayama, sitting warm-ups for the Spine, Cat-Cow movement ~https://youtu.be/Z5zvD8UebEc

9/21 – Peace Day. Back focus: low-back circles, spinal twist, Child Pose ~ https://youtu.be/phgj5QTFMQ0 

9/28 – Chair Yoga: Spinal movements, feet, legs, arms, hands, shoulders ~ https://youtu.be/H84DK5XsL0Y

Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word Yuj, meaning to unite, come together, or yolk. It’s a union of body, mind, and soul with universal consciousness. Most modern-day yogis might be surprised to know that out of all 196 sutras, asana is mentioned only once. Asana refers to physical postures, as well as your seat or the thing you are sitting on.

Sthira sukhamasanam is the stability and ease that is asana. This might sound like a far cry from the images of modern yogis tying themselves in complicated knots, but when we reflect on the goal of yoga being union, it becomes clear that asana is merely a tool to prepare the body to sit for long meditation.

     Your asana practice is designed to help you sit still. These days, we live such sedentary lifestyles, whether commuting to work, sitting at a desk, or on the couch. Our bodies are much stiffer and less agile than our ancestors and so we are less comfortable and unable to sit still for long periods of time. Asana helps with that.

     The physical postures of Hatha Yoga prepare the body for sitting by making the body more supple and by stimulating the systems to expel toxins caused by our modern diet and lifestyle. It also plays an important role in preparing our bodies for the following limbs.

There are eight limbs of yoga. They are — ‘Yama’ (abstinence), ‘asana’ (yoga postures), ‘Dharana’ (concentration), ‘pranayama’ (breath control), ‘pratyahara’ (withdrawal of the senses), ‘niyama’ (observances), ‘dhyana’ (meditation), and ‘samadhi’ (absorption).”

   Pranayama is the practice of controlling prana, our vital life force. In Chinese medicine (TCM), this is referred to as qi. Ayama means expansion or control and through the practice of pranayama breathing we can increase the flow of prana in our bodies.

     The connection between breath and mind goes both ways. While our emotions and mental state can affect our breath, we can also affect our mind through pranayama breathing exercises, like Yogic Three-part breath or ujjayi breath. These exercises relax the mind by stimulating the rest-and-digest response and by nourishing every cell in the body with fresh oxygen.

     The sutras on pranayama explain the breath should be observed and controlled in terms of place (desa), time (kala) and count (samkhya). We observe the breath in different parts of the torso, control the time we hold the breath and, the count of the breath through how long each inhalation and exhalation is.

You are invited to participate in the following: Wellness Wednesday recordings, the Free New Moon Yoga, found in the Video Library, Monthly Zoom Full Moon Class, and/or contact me for learning how Yoga can “fit into” your day. I have created wonderful Yoga Programs for learning and enjoying the energy and calmness that Yoga will bring into your life. Yoga helps us know ourselves better and helps us be in control of our emotions. Hence, Yoga helps us improve our self-understanding and awareness.

  1. Practicing Yoga has countless mental and health benefits. It gives us a chance to improve our lifestyle. This month gives us a chance to learn a new skill that will benefit us for the rest of our lives.

  2. Yoga reduces our stress levels. Today in the 21st century, stress is unavoidable. However, with yoga exercises and breathing exercises, one can significantly reduce stress levels.

  3. Yoga gives us a chance to learn something. Though Yoga originated in the Indian subcontinent, its popularity has reached all over the world. This month gives us a chance to learn something which is one of the world's oldest disciplines and improve our health at the same time.

Month of August 

All during August, National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines. Create wholesome habits in your lifestyle all month long and see how much better you feel!

Research has shown self-care helps manage stress and promotes happiness. Whether you challenge yourself to a new yoga pose or try a different spa treatment, make a small change and impact your health in positive ways.

There are numerous ways to make those small changes, too.

  • Increase your water intake.

  • Add more fruits and veggies to your meals.

  • Monitor your sleep and make adjustments for better sleep habits

  • Join a yoga, walking, or aerobics class.

  • Learn to meditate.

 

Posed with a challenge for everyday wellness; Petra has recorded daily 3-6 minute recordings listed below.

Perhaps these recordings will inspire you and may lead to enhancing healthy habits in your lifestyle. 

  1. https://youtu.be/ppc5L5oH2p4 ~ 8/1/22 ~ setting your goals and intensions

  2. https://youtu.be/4IPng8LhbsE ~ 8/2/22 ~ relax and take it easy this week

  3. https://youtu.be/38GFKT2L7hk ~ 8/3/22 ~ time management

  4. https://youtu.be/uPfP0cvuHFE ~ 8/4/22 ~ relaxing in Yoga Nidra

  5. https://youtu.be/B7vQkzR-Bx4 ~ 8/5/22 ~ exercise

  6. https://youtu.be/Fi80qs0TYdA ~ 8/6/22 ~ self-care techniques with massage

  7. https://youtu.be/Lcsc85njEn8 ~ 8/7/22 ~ food prep

  8. https://youtu.be/fIAb-K97JN0 ~ 8/8/22 ~ Lionsgate and Feng Shui

  9. https://youtu.be/8waHCcEUh84 ~ 8/9/22 ~ seasonal eating

  10. https://youtu.be/iJOKL6fNrdE ~ 8/10/22 ~ National Lazy Day, dirty dozen, clean fifteen

  11. https://youtu.be/Xv58Uakba-4 ~ 8/11/22 ~ National Son's & Daughter's Day and Full Moon in Aquarius

  12. https://youtu.be/mhjkkT-RCVQ ~ 8/12/22 ~ rituals, non-negotiables and habits 

  13. https://youtu.be/So9DPqjyBKs ~ 8/13/22 ~ Reiki

  14. https://youtu.be/hBxC3SrP_-8 ~ 8/14/22 ~ Yoga

  15. https://youtu.be/MvuzqeA92yA ~ 8/15/22 ~ National Relaxation Day

  16. https://youtu.be/XVljUREDF80 ~ 8/16/22 ~ Massage

  17. https://youtu.be/eL1mw13Nai0 ~ 8/17/22 ~ National I LOVE My Feet Day

  18. https://youtu.be/VJySKb0z-2Q ~ 8/18/22 ~ Adhi Mudra, Calming

  19. https://youtu.be/83X3J6dA7as ~ 8/19/22 ~ Aromatherapy

  20. https://youtu.be/XJw2_YY_iMA ~ 8/20/22 ~ Dermalogica Skin Care

  21. https://youtu.be/gxif7LYU3rw ~ 8/21/22 ~ Yomassage

  22. https://youtu.be/BFE7toAM4Ck ~ 8/22/22 ~ National Be An Angel Day

  23. https://youtu.be/2KXUdg60OmA ~ 8/23/22 ~ writing and journaling

  24. https://youtu.be/dYxmX3YyuRo ~ 8/24/22 ~ Chakras

  25. https://youtu.be/fq0Hqpu4-S4 ~ 8/25/22 ~ Eye Yoga

  26. https://youtu.be/CsG_EFN2zmw ~ 8/26/22 ~ National Dog Day, hike with Stella

  27. https://youtu.be/oHTy65a76_w ~ 8/27/22 ~ New Moon in Virgo

  28. https://youtu.be/JGTx-Ql_JiU ~ 8/28/22 ~ National Thoughtful Day

  29. https://youtu.be/Iph0Mo1k9FY ~ 8/29/22 ~ National Lemon Juice Day  

  30. https://youtu.be/WNkHSMO3sEA ~ 8/30/22 ~ National Grief Awareness Day

  31. https://youtu.be/skE_-7X15-Q ~ 8/31/22 ~ National Eat Outside Day

Month of October

Every year during the last week in OCTOBER, National Massage Therapy Week celebrates the massage therapy profession. Also known as National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, the week promotes the many benefits of therapeutic massage.

If you have never gotten a massage, you are missing out. Massage promotes many health benefits including relieving stress and tension. Other proven benefits of massage therapy include:

  • Relieves pain

  • Reduces anxiety

  • Improves sleep

  • Promotes relaxation

  • Increases range of motion

  • Reduces chemotherapy-related nausea

  • Eases symptoms of depression

  • Improves cardiovascular health

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Reduces headache pain and also the frequency of migraines

 

Those who trained in massage therapy and are educated about its benefits provide the best massages. These specially-trained professionals are called massage therapists. Massage therapists attend a special school where they attain a certificate of massage therapy. They must also take an approved national exam in massage therapy. After passing the exam, a massage therapist applies for a license in the state they are practicing. Throughout their career, they must continue to meet education requirements. Most massage therapists are self-employed.

Massage therapists perform several kinds of massages. Each type of massage is used for a specific purpose. For example, a Swedish massage helps to remove knots in the muscles and relieves tension. An aromatherapy massage boosts the mood and alleviates symptoms of depression. Other types of massages include deep tissue massage, LaStone massage,  sports massage, reflexology, chair massage, and prenatal massage.

 

Month of November

National Gratitude Month in NOVEMBER encourages us to embrace the power of gratitude.

Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.” Gratitude’s amazing powers have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us.

Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure, they are more physically fit, they are happier, have a higher income, more satisfying personal and professional relationships.

Celebrating the month can be done in several ways.

  • Start a gratitude journal. Write about someone or something you’re thankful for every day. You’ll find your appreciation for those around you grows deeper and fonder the longer you keep it. When you read back on what you’ve written, you’ll be able to reflect on the relationships and their accomplishments.

  • Share your gratitude with others. Letting someone know you’re grateful for their care, service, or friendship often lifts their spirits or lifts a burden.

  • Show your appreciation by giving back to your community, neighborhood, or favorite organization.

     

November has been designated as National Healthy Skin Month by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a time when everyone is encouraged to learn about the functions of the skin and how to keep it working and looking its best. The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your skin fresh and hydrated, not only during the winter but all year round.

Month of December

December is Seasonal Depression Awareness month

The holiday season can be a time of joy, community, and connection, but many people experience an increased sense of loneliness and isolation during this time of year. Whether it is in a crowded room or at home by yourself, loneliness is painful. While you might want to reach out to friends, family, and loved ones, sometimes it feels better to talk to someone with shared experiences or someone you don’t even know. 

Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the "winter blues," is a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder that occurs and ends around the same time every year. Seasonal depression typically occurs when the seasons change and most symptoms begin in the fall and continue into the winter months. However, seasonal depression can occur in the summer or spring, although this is less common.

Feeling SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is more than just those winter blues or a seasonal “funk.” SAD is a very real type of depression that is most commonly associated with the fall and winter months. So what are the symptoms and what can you do about it? Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • low energy

  • depressed mood

  • hopelessness

  • irritability or anxiety

  • poor concentration

  • social withdrawal

  • changes in sleep and/or appetite

  • loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed

  What can you do about it?

  • Structure. Go to bed at a regular time, and get enough rest. Give focus to eating healthy meals on a regular schedule.

  • Make your environment brighter when you can. Open blinds, and sit closer to bright windows.

  • Get outside. Go for a walk, take your lunch outside, take short breaks throughout your day and enjoy the sunshine.

  • Exercise. A regular exercise routine can help with stress relief, and being more fit can help to increase self esteem. Plus, exercise increases levels in your brain of the same chemicals used in anti-depressant medications!

  • Socialize. Connect with the people you enjoy being around.

  • Take a trip. Make an effort to plan for vacations during the winter months when possible.

  A couple things to remember:

  • We all have tough days and times when life presents us with an increase in overall stress. It’s ok to have a bad day. However, SAD is a type of depression, and if your symptoms do not improve, or even worsen, it may be time to seek professional support.

  • Recovery from any diagnosable mental illness has high success rates, with 70-90% recovery rates when we seek treatment.