Friday, February 29, 2008

Yoga and Detox Cleansing

Detox days 3 and 4 completed.

Part of my detox program calls for practicing yoga daily.

The following is what the authors of the book the 7-Day Detox Miracle have to say about yoga and detox:

"The benefits of yoga for detoxification are unequaled. In my experience, people who practice yoga regularly are by far the healthiest of all our patients. Our personal experience confirms that yoga training is ideal for attaining optimized health. Yoga encourages the proper circulation of blood and lymph fluids, enhances digestion, reduces nervous tension, strengthens the endocrine system, lubricates the joints, reduces excess fat, improves concentration, and provides resistance to hunger and to the extremes of hot and cold. Every organ system in the body benefits from yoga."

Another book on detox cleansing, based in Traditional Chinese Medicine is The Tao of Detox by Daniel Reid. The author writes at great length about yoga. Here is just part of what he has to say:

"…One should practice yoga on a daily basis throughout the duration of any detox program. The soft, slow, smooth movements…, in conjunction with slow, deep, rhythmic breathing, gently pump the lymph through the system, while also assisting to circulate blood…facilitating rapid drainage of toxins from the tissues and swift delivery of wastes to the eliminatory organs.
…Most importantly, deep breathing, especially in conjunction with rhythmic body movements, immediately produces a state of physical and mental relaxation required to switch the nervous system into the healing, restorative mode.
…one of the primary functions of yoga is to activate the body’s innate self-cleansing and healing mechanisms.."

Anyone that practices yoga is aware of the many healthy benefits of yoga for mind, body and spirit. The fact that every time I practice yoga I am helping to detox and cleanse my body, adds yet another reason for me to roll out the mat every day.

Gypsy Girl

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rejuvenate and Regenerate

I just completed the second day of my detox cleansing program.

There are as many different detox programs as there are types of people who would like to detox. Everyone has different lifestyle, different temperaments and different health issues, needs, and desires, as well as different reasons to want to detox. As I said in my last post I do it as a regular part of my health and wellness program.

There have been many good books written about detox/fasting for health maintenance. I read several before I started detoxing.

The book that I use for my detox program is 7-Day Detox Miracle by Peter Bennett, N.D. and Stephen Barrie, N.D.

Of all the books I have read on the subject, I found that the detox program in this book is perfect for me.

The book is thoroughly convincing as it examines the reasons why we need to detox, carefully outlining what toxins are and how the affect our bodies. It explains in easy to understand terms the cleaning, nourishing and resting process that takes place in our bodies and immune system during the 7 day program. It takes a holistic approach in that it incorporates the body, the mind and the spirit in the detox process.

The seven day plan is laid out in a simple and easy manner so that anyone can do it. And there are fun and enjoyable things that are part of the detox process that make the week fly by.

People seem to think that detox is a difficult thing to do, but I can say that I look forward to the whole process from planning and setting the date to shopping for supplements and foods to the actual 7 day detox.

And from the way I feel during the process and when I have completed my 7 days, the title of the book says it all.... it is truly a 7-Day Detox Miracle.

Stay Healthy
Gypsy Girl

Why We Need to Detox

I just completed day one of a detox program that I do 2 or 3 times a year as a part of my health maintenance program.

Detoxification and fasting as a cleansing process is not a new way for the body to maintain a good healthy environment or to help an ailing body free itself from disease. In Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as other health systems world wide, detox/fasting has been used successfully for centuries as a means for the body to heal itself.

We are assaulted on a daily basis with environmental pollution, toxins in our medicines, and poisoning of our foods, air and water.

Even if we stay clear of the typical “American” diet of junk food, soft drinks and empty calorie foods filled with sugar and white flour; our bodies are still being over burdened with toxins.

We are eating meat loaded with powerful synthetic hormones and chemicals and steroids that stimulate rapid growth. We eat genetically altered vegetables and fruits grown in depleted soil that is laced with pesticides and poisonous chemicals.

All of these dangerous toxins are passed on to our already overworked digestive system for processing. Little wonder that we are becoming a nation of obesity and the state of human health is deteriorating at an alarming rate.

We live in a polluted world; there is no doubt about it. And that is not likely to change for the better given the multi-billions of dollars to be made by the pharmaceutical companies and the manufacturing and food industries, where bottom line profit is more important than human health.

All of these factors make it even more important for us to take responsibility for our own health and wellness.

So, for myself and lots of other health conscious people it seems wise to take the time periodically to give our digestive system a rest and let our own body’s healing powers go to work and clear our bodies of the toxins we face on a day to day basis, allowing us to enjoy maximum wellness.

Stay Healthy
Gypsy Girl

Sunday, February 24, 2008

North Shore Cosmetology/Aesthetician School

My granddaughter’s friend Christine is studying to be a Beautician at a local college.

The school offers services to the public at a fraction of the cost to help the students learn. Plus, it gives them an opportunity to practice on real people rather than just mannequin heads.

This week I went and had a facial complete with a paraffin treatment and eyebrow waxing for the grand total of $18. In my area one can expect to pay $80. to $100. or even more for the 3 treatments that I had. So at $18. it was quite a saving.

I had recently had a facial at a local spa and paid $60. My $10. facial at the beauty school was of equal if not higher quality.

Not only were the treatments very inexpensive, but they were performed in a “spa” setting. The room was tranquil and relaxing, complete with soothing music and soft lights. All the girls, from those that greeted us at the door to those who performed the services acted in a very professional manner making the whole experience pleasant and satisfying.

The school offers all the services you would expect in a beauty salon such as haircuts, perms, hair coloring, foil highlighting, pedicures, manicures, facials and waxing. All at pennies compared to current salon prices.

I’ve always known that cosmetology schools offered services, but never really thought about trying it before. Now I am hooked!

So, if you have a beautician school near you that offers these services, take advantage of it. You will not only be saving a substantial amount of money; you will also be helping these young girls learn their trade.

Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Experiencing the Value of Yoga

“Words fail to convey the total value of yoga. It has to be experienced” BKS Iyengar

Practicing yoga with my husband since January (the beginning of World Yoga Practice Month ) has been both a joy and a challenge.

It has been a joy because I love my yoga practice and have wanted my husband to practice with me for some time now. The challenge comes in when I am trying to keep the practice interesting enough for him to keep coming to the mat everyday.

He is an avid exerciser and a runner, so he is not new to putting in the hard work and discipline it takes to create and keep healthy habits.

I created a practice with simple postures so he can work on flexibility and balance and feel confident and strong while familiarizing himself with the flow of yoga. We have gradually added a few more challenging postures.

I am learning to look at yoga through new eyes. It has put a new meaning to the term observing the body, breath and sensations as a “detached witness“.

I know he watches for guidance, as I move into and out of the asanas, and I in turn watch myself also, making myself more aware and conscious of proper alignment, proper breathing and focus.

I also have to be the detached witness while watching and “feeling” his body move in and out of the poses without the temptation to react, judge or criticize.

With this new awareness and focus we are both moving deeper into the practice of yoga, learning and sharing together, and moving through our limitations and expectations.

It has enriched my yoga practice and made it an even more joyful part of my day now that we are practicing together. It is a joy because I am happy to share yoga and it’s wonderful healthy benefits with my partner. It is a joy to hear him tell me how good he feels after practice. It is a joy to have him be the one who asks to practice each day.

And it is a joy to see him “experiencing the value of yoga” for himself.

Gypsy Girl

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


My traveling shoes haven’t gotten much use lately. Travel plans have fallen by the wayside. Delays, cancellations and other disappointments have been rearing their ugly heads at all turns.

And wouldn’t you know that nature would provide us with one of those brutally cold, snowy winters that makes one really want to leave town in a hurry. But stuck here we are, so we have to make the best of it.
About the only traveling I have been doing lately is the 2 hour drive to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Almost on a weekly basis.

Not my favorite place. I don’t gamble, so for me it’s just a glitzy place. Not much to do here unless you gamble. Unless you count people watching. The people watching can be good, but you can only do so much of that.

My husband likes to gamble. Blackjack is his game. He usually makes the trip to Foxwoods to get his blackjack fix with our son and our nephew. But they have both had busy schedules and haven’t made the trip for a while.

So that leaves me. I get to make the trip with hubby. We do get a room and stay overnight when I come along. So at least I have a place to retreat to. The hotel rooms are lovely, spacious and very comfortable so no complaints in that department.

I do make use of the 4 hours of driving time by bringing along knitting or crochet projects. And the drive through the Connecticut countryside has some of the prettiest New England scenery.

And our weekly jaunts have made this interminable winter go by a little faster.

Before I know it, it will be March and I will be traveling to Mexico for a much waited for vacation.

Gypsy Girl

Friday, February 1, 2008

Raidant Heart Yoga

My newest yoga DVD is Shiva Rea’s Radiant Heart Yoga. It combines a variety of lunges, backbends and twists in a flowing vinyasa practice. It is designed to stimulate and open the heart chakra to generate “love and compassion“ and “natural joy and vitality“.

The heart chakra is the fourth and middle chakra of seven and is located near the center breastbone. It represents higher consciousness and love. It is associated with those “feel good” emotions: love, joy, happiness, well-being, compassion, and generosity.

It is said that when the heart center has been fully opened, it becomes the channel for Universal Love; what the Buddhists call “the Great Compassion” and Christians call the “Christ Consciousness". In many cultures the heart is said to be the seat of the soul.

The heart governs our relationships and how we interact with others. A balanced heart chakra means expansion, freedom and growth and is expressed in acceptance of self and others, and in personal values and ethics.

I enjoy the Radiant Heart Yoga practice and find it to be both meditative and relaxing. When I finish this heart opening practice, it is a perfect and natural time to sit quietly and meditate.

With the heart open and filled with love and compassion, makes it a great time to use the simple and beautiful Buddhist Loving Kindness Meditation. You can find instructions here which are taken from the book “A Path With Heart” by Jack Kornfield.

You can also read what Nona has to say about it in her blog Everyday Yogini. Thank you Nona for reminding me of just how beautiful this meditation is. It has been a perfect closing for my Radiant Heart Yoga practice.

"May all beings be filled with loving kindness"

Gypsy Girl