Does it Come Back to Breathing?

My very first yoga class was with an Iyenga teacher in Pitt St, Sydney back in 1986 and she said to me “the answer Zoe is in the breath”….

Given the smooth muscle properties and the control that the autonomic nervous system may have over the fascial network, perhaps a potential window into effectively dealing with increased myofascial tone can circle around to breathing.

relax and breath

Respiratory function is on aspect of the autonomic nervous system that we actually have direct control over.  We can change our breathing and help to elicit a parasympathetic response to allow for greater relaxation and potentially less overall tissue tone/tension, hopefully leading to more of a comfortable state of being a decreased threat perception.  Additionally, the role of the diaphragm in stabilizing the lumbar region cannot be overlooked and the fact that it shares a fascial connection with the quadratus lumborum (as well as the psoas major) and the transverse abdominus fibers invest themselves into part of the diaphragm means that the diaphragm is in a potentially prime position to have an influence over the thoracolumbar fascia, since both of these muscles invest into layers of that fascial structure.

Thoracolumbar Fascia – An Area Rich with Activity




1) Lie on your back

concentrate on your breathing

count the length of the inhale – hold 1 for the pause between the breaths and count the exhale

Focus on extending your exhale

expand your rubs with the inhale and go down with the exhale

Do 6 conscious round of breaths

jane 1

2)  Standing feet hip width apart – raise ONE ARM ONLY above your head and go Forward as in the video – do this X 3 then the other arm X 3

3) have your feet a metre apart and interlock your hands behind on the exhale go forward raising your arms towards the back of your head

Close your eyes when going forward and focus on increasing your exhale – hold for a count of 3

Forward bends are calming

4) Lie on your back

Raise both knees on the inhale and exhale as you lower X 6

Apanasa is very balancing and good for your core strength  

5) Focus on your breathing with your hands above your chest and feel the ribs expand and u inhale and exhale – count the duration of the breaths and increase the exhale – be aware of the pause between the breaths

6) Twist

Cross your left knee over your right

Adjust your hips slightly by moving to the left

Take your knees over to the right on the exhale

Stay there for 6 breaths

Extend your exhales

Then rotate your left arm around the body – exhale as the arm goes down and inhale as arm goes up

X 1 in each direction

Lie and relax your arms and shoulders

Always create space between your ears and shoulders

Repeat with the other leg and arm

7) Forward bend

Cross legs and go forward X 6 breaths

Then cross legs in other direction and go forward X 6

8) Rest – relaxation breathing

If you don’t have a bolster to open your chest just lie on the floor and focus on your breathing with your eyes closed

  1. Inhale to a count of 4

Exhale to a count of 4

Four times

2. Inhale to a count of 4

Exhale to a count of 6

Four times

3) Inhale to a count of 4

Exhale to a count of 8

Four times

Magnesium supliment

This is very good – take one small spoon ( inside ) with water –  before bed it will reduce the cramps – only get this brand and the powder

jane 9



Ayurveda Everyday 

When we hear Ayurveda, we quickly associate Ayurveda with herbs and ‘jaddi-puddi’, don’t we? But it isn’t all true. In fact, the truth about Ayurveda is that it is governed by the fact of what we eat, how we live, in which environment we live, and the state of our mental health. Ayurveda tells us of the framework in which we can modify our lifestyles to optimize our bodily functions. Ayurveda teaches us how to age with dignity and grace as Ayurveda emphasizes the role of mental health in maintaining physical health. Today, we share 15 simple and easy Ayurveda principles which you can add in your daily routine to help you feel fitter, healthier and happier. *Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
Ayurveda everyday tips 1-15

India Times article


Fat Yoga

At ‘Fat Yoga,’ Bucking Stigma And Embracing Body Positivity

At ‘Fat Yoga,’ Bucking Stigma And Embracing Body Positivity

A fat yoga class at New York City’s Buddha Body Yoga. (Photo: Facebook) 

At its core, yoga is a practice that promotes acceptance and a mind-body connection. But for people of a certain size … it can be anything but.

Enter “fat yoga.” This new fitness movement involves yoga classes designed exclusively for people with larger bodies, and it’s growing — fat yoga studios have popped up everywhere from Portland to Nashville to Austin, Texas to New York City. And despite the stigma attached to the F-word, many studio owners and practitioners are embracing it. More….

Related: Yoga May Benefit Heart Health As Much As Aerobics

Related: The 8 Best Yoga Poses For Men

Related: Yoga Poses For People Who Aren’t Flexible



Disciplining oneself for a higher purpose – the body is very forgiving – you just need to lube it up by moving in all directions everyday. If you can’t seem to discipline yourself to do this – you need to join up to a regular class. Yoga Ayurveda works on the physical and internal body. What you eat and how you live your life affects your health. In Yoga we learn to listen to the body mind.

Without health all the wealth in the world won’t save you!



Sleepasana: Yoga Can Help You Sleep


You’ve tried chamomile tea and melatonin, you’ve even sprayed your pillow with lavender oil, but you still can’t sleep. Believe it or not, yoga can help. A Harvard study on insomnia found that people who consistently practiced yoga for just eight weeks enjoyed significantly better sleep—both their length of slumber and its quality improved.

Approximately 50 to 70 million Americans experience chronic sleep disorders that interfere with their health in more ways than one. Less sleep equals more stress, and your body doesn’t get enough time to repair on a cellular level, which can lead to everything from plain old grumpiness to serious diseases. The Institute of Medicine lists “hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity” as just a few of the problems it can cause. But you already know how important sleep is—so here’s one more thing you can do about it.

Jillian Pransky, the director of the Restorative Yoga Teacher Training program for YogaWorks says, “Yoga offers tools to get rejuvenating sleep and regain the healing properties of sleep during the day.” Instead of checking Instagram one last time before bed, start practicing these three poses.

Child’s Pose

Start in a tabletop position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips with your big toes touching. Shift your hips back toward your heels as you stretch your hands in the opposite direction; gently creating more space in the spine. Rest your forehead on the floor, or on a block or firm pillow. Hold for one to five minutes to calm the nervous system and relieve stress.

Supine Twist

Lie on your back and hug your knees in toward your chest. Bring your arms out into a T and lower your knees down to the right, keeping them in line with the navel to stretch the lower back. Hold for one to five minutes and repeat on the other side to ring out spinal tension, open up the diaphragm, and improve breathing.

Legs Up the Wall with Extended Exhale 

Sit with your right hip up against the wall or the headboard of your bed, with your hands behind your back for support.  Slowly bring your legs up the wall as you lower onto your back, with your hands by your sides. If your hamstrings are tight, your hips may be a few inches away from the wall. Take a deep inhale through the nose, to the count of four, completely inflating the lungs. On the exhale, slow down your breath and empty to a count of eight until the navel contracts back into the spine.  Stay here, continuing this breathing pattern, for five to 10 minutes to calm the mind.

Think of these poses as restorative meditation, focusing solely on your breath as you inhale and exhale. Resist any temptation to lie on your back, hold your iPhone in the air, or think about tomorrow’s meeting. Because breathing in and out just might be the easiest way to sleep better.


Yoga benefits empathy, communication & spirituality 

naturalnews.comprintable article

Originally published March 14 2015


Yoga benefits empathy, nonverbal communication skills, and spiritual purpose

by Lance Johnson

There are many physical reasons to begin practicing yoga. Yoga will increase your flexibility, strengthen and condition your muscles, and give you better balance and posture. That’s the good news but the good news gets even better for those just starting this artful discipline: yoga does not begin and end in the physical realm. Yoga can also welcome deeper personal growth, in both the emotional and spiritual realms. As you become aware of your breathing, body movements, and thoughts, you can work on the issues inside you.

In many ways, yoga takes on the form of meditation, and during these times of silence and introspection, you can reconnect with who you are. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up listening to the negative language of the scripted news media. Sometimes it’s easy to let wounded people bring us down in their pain, pity, and blame. In yoga, all this negative chatter goes out the window as you create your own space. All the external voices dissipate, allowing you to communicate with your inner, most honest self. Yoga allows you to face fears, quell frustrations, and overcome worries – to welcome emotional self healing.

By releasing tension and pent up lymph, yoga allows you to see health in a new light, making mind body, and spirit connections. The more intuitive you become, the more you can respond to another soul’s nonverbal communication cues. Yoga can literally increase your inner level of empathy and compassion. You not only learn how all your muscles and bones are consciously connected, you also realize that your actions are connected to the world around you and all the souls you interact with. Moments in time become reflections, as you see yourself in others. When something happens to you, you begin to realize your role in pulling it to you by the way you think, act, and set intentions.

The more intuitive, empathic, and conscious you become, the more telepathic you become, learning to interpret events and interact non-verbally with people. In this way, you ascend beyond just connecting verbally. You learn to connect energetically and realize that we are all one connected consciousness. What we do to others, we do to ourselves. This realization can bring a level of spiritualfulfillment not found in the many man-made religions. By tuning out of the external world, its expectations and fears, you find yourself lifting to new heights of appreciation and love for all. This can bring an empowering sense of spiritual purpose.

For those who are scared to connect in profound ways, yoga is definitely for you, too. As you let go of physical tension, you can also let go of negative thought patterns and open your heart to healing. Yoga is not only for stretching muscles, it is also an open door for stretching your character and connection to all living things. Yoga is not only for strengthening physical posture, it’s also useful for posturing your spirit to face fear and blame which may be consuming and destroying the quality of your life.


Tongue scraping

Tongue Scraping: The Many Benefits of an Ancient Practice

healthy tongue“The tongue should be scraped gently and comfortably, this removes dirt of the tongue, bad taste and smell from the mouth and sluggishness.” Bhavaprakasha Ch5 V15

Although tongue scraping has recently become a new topic here in the west, this simple morning practice dates back thousands of years in the world of Ayurveda. It is stated in the great treaties such as the Charak Samhita and Bhavaprakasha, among others, that tongue scraping is needed to be performed daily as part of the morning routine in order to achieve greater health.

The good news for our western, modern society is that unlike many of the Ayurvedic practices mentioned in the ancient texts, tongue scraping is quick, easy, affordable and totally obtainable to perform each morning. Before I go on to tell you how to perform tongue scraping, let me first go over the benefits of this healing morning ritual.

Five Reasons to Make Tongue Scraping a Part of Your Morning Routine:

  1. Removes the bad bacteria in the mouth. The body is hard at work during the night digesting the day’s food and detoxing the system. Due to this detoxification, some of the toxins will end up on the tongue as a means to void them from the body. By scraping the tongue first thing each morning, you will avoid the possibility of reabsorbing this unwanted bacteria.
  1. Removes bad breath. As stated above, the tongue is a vessel of removing some of the unwanted bacteria from the body, which may end up as a layer coating the tongue each morning. If this dead bacteria is not removed from the tongue, bad breath is sure to result. Brushing the teeth and even the tongue with a toothbrush has been proven to not be nearly as effective as using a tongue scraping utensil!
  1. Awakens the vital organs of the body. If you have read my previous article on Ayurvedic Tongue Analysis, you have learned that each section of the tongue correlates to a different organ in the body. By performing the tongue scraping first thing each morning, you are indirectly stimulating and awakening these organs, increasing the digestion and aiding in elimination.
  1. Opens and enhances the taste buds. According to Ayurveda, the first stage of digestion begins with the taste faculty in the mouth. If you have a chronic layer of bacteria coating your tongue, the taste buds become dull and therefore will not perform properly. This in turn will decrease the body ability to digest food properly.
  1. By looking at the tongue each morning, you will be able to keep track of your internal health. This may sound confusing to some of you, so please let me explain. Just as I have stated in my previous article,“What Does Your Tongue Say about Your Health”, the tongue is indeed a reflection of what is occurring internally. For example, if there is an increase of toxins in the system, you may notice a thick coating on the tongue upon awakening. Therefore, if you regularly are checking your tongue each morning, you have a daily window into your ever so changing health. This can awaken you to foods that may not be compatible for you or be a red light that something is off balance in your system. Of course, if your tongue is shiny and clean, this can be an indication that you are in good shape and living well. Please read my article on Ayurvedic Tongue Analysis in order to learn what signs of imbalance to look for on the tongue and what they may mean.

Tongue Scraping in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Upon awakening, look in the bathroom mirror and stick out your tongue. Before you start scraping, observe any noticeable changes in appearance or indications of imbalance. **See my Ayurvedic Tongue Analysis article for more information.
  2. After taking in any changes, grab your tongue scraper and clean with warm water and soap if needed.
  3. Begin to gently slide the edge of the scraper down the tongue. Perform this action one stroke at a time, beginning with the back of the tongue and moving it towards the tip of the tongue.
  4. After one full stroke, clean off any residue collected on the scraper with warm water.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, 7 to 10 times.

After the tongue has been fully scraped, wash the scraper with warm water and put in a clean, sterile space for the next morning. Here are a few extra tips to remember:

  • Do not use force with this procedure. Tongue scraping should be performed in a gentle, comfortable manner and there should never be any pain or bleeding involved.
  • Be cautious for any raised papillae that sometimes appear at the back of the tongue. These are naturally occurring and should be cautiously stroked or completely avoided during tongue scraping.
  • Since this is a stimulating process, tongue scraping should only be performed at the beginning of the day and should be avoided at nighttime.

If you are in need of purchasing a tongue scraper, you can obtain one online atBanyan Botanicals. Otherwise if you would rather take the “poor man’s route”, which I prefer myself, you can cheat by using the back of a butter knife (the non-serrated side). I have been tongue scraping daily for over 5 years and this is the only tongue scraping utensil I have ever used. It is easy to obtain, free and works just as well as a store bought tongue scraper. Just make sure to use the back of the butter knife and NOT the sharp side!

If you do decide to purchase a tongue scraper, here is the recommended material according to each dosha:

  • Vata: If you are of a Vata nature, it is said to use a Gold tongue scraper.
  • Pitta: If you are of a Pitta nature, it is said to use a Silver tongue scraper.
  • Kapha: If you are of a Kapha nature, it is said to use a Copper tongue scraper.
  • Tri-doshic (good for every-body): If you are unsure of your dosha or cannot obtain any of the above materials, then it is said to use a stainless steel tongue scraper as it is suitable for all body types!

Tongue Scraping: The Many Benefits of an Ancient Practice


Remarkable qualities of Triphala

Why reinvent the wheel? That is what happens over & over – when Dhanwantari transcribed from the Gods the gift of Ayurveda 5,000 years ago – it’s too complicated for some but really it’s all very simple

Triphala – A Famous and Revered Ayurvedic Formula

In this special edition of the Total Health News, world-renowned ayurvedic expert, researcher and educator our ayurvedic expert discusses the popular ayurvedic remedy Triphala.

Q: Triphala, contained in MAPI’s Digest Tone and a major ingredient in Cholesterol Protection, is one of the most famous herbal compounds in ayurvedic medicine. Can you tell us what it’s made of?

A: Certainly. literally means “three fruits,” tri meaning “three” and phala meaning “fruit. The three fruits contained in Triphala are Haritaki, Amalaki and Bibhitaki. There is a saying in India that if a vaidya knows how to use Triphala properly, he can heal any disease. It is highly revered in Maharishi Ayurveda. When these three fruits I mentioned are combined as Triphala, they form a very powerful Rasayana. A Rasayana is the most highly refined and powerful herbal and fruit combination in ayurveda, and is known to promote long life and rejuvenation. A Rasayana promotes ojas, the material equivalent of bliss. Ojas is the finest product of digestion, and prevents disease, creates luster in the skin and rejuvenates the whole body.

Besides nourishing the mind and body and promoting longevity, Triphala has many specific effects. It is particularly rejuvenating for the digestive tract, and is a Rasayana for the eyes and the skin.

– See more at:



Acne Ayurveda treatments

Other than knowing your dosha ( Ayurvedic body type) through an Ayurvedic consultation to treat skin disorders, below are 3,useful herbs

Three Herbs for that Perfect, Glowing Skin

Want to have that perfectly glowing skin but not sure what to do about it? Well, the answer lies in your own surroundings! We often fail to realize the importance of the things that are easily available to us – the biggest example being ‘nature’ itself. Just look around and you will find that there are numerous valuable herbs and plants that have endless therapeutic and rejuvenating properties that could be a boon to your skin in the scorching heat.

Here are three useful, easily available herbs that will pacify your doshas and keep your skin healthy and glowing in summers:

Turmeric (Haldi)

Turmeric purifies blood, nourishes the skin and gives it a healthy natural glow and radiance. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and anti-bacterial properties that help reduce inflammation of skin, acne, pimples, blemishes, pigmentation, and prevent many skin ailments. It also helps heal and prevent dry skin, and slows down the skin aging process.

Ayurvedic Properties:
Quality (Guna): Rough, Light
Taste (Rasa): Pungent, Bitter
Post-digestive Effect (Vipaka): Bitter
Potency (Virya): Warm
Effect on Doshas: Pacifies Vata,
Pitta and Kapha

How to Use:

To brighten your skin up for a hot day, mix turmeric powder and rice powder with raw milk and tomato juice, enough to form a paste, and apply to face and neck for 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
For a night cream, prepare a paste made from turmeric and milk or yogurt and apply it to your face. Allow the mask to dry and leave it on overnight. Wash off the mask in the morning using a gentle cleanser.
Applying turmeric powder along with lime juice on exposed areas of the skin helps remove tanning.

Sandalwood (Chandan)
The key ingredient in many Ayurvedic skin-care treatments, Sandalwood is effective in treating scrapes, rashes, blemishes, acne, and other common skin problems. When used externally, the oil and paste of Sandalwood has a calming, cooling effect on the body. It is bitter, sweet, astringent and cooling in nature, and helps balance the body after overexposure to the sun. Sandalwood powder can be made into a paste, lotion or soap for cleansing and hydrating the skin.

Ayurvedic Properties:
Quality: Rough, Light
Taste: Bitter
Post-digestive Effect: Bitter, Sweet
Potency: Cold
Effect on Doshas: Pacifies Pitta and Kapha

How to Use:

To treat pimples, make a paste of one teaspoon of sandalwood powder mixed with one teaspoon of turmeric. Add one teaspoon of water to make the paste, and apply to pimples before bed.
For itchy skin, apply the mixture of one teaspoon of sandalwood with one teaspoon of turmeric and one teaspoon of lime juice. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Sandalwood oil can be used as a moisturizer on the face and body and is also great for massaging.

Mix five tablespoons of coconut oil with two teaspoons of almond oil. Add four teaspoons of sandalwood powder, and apply the mixture to the overexposed areas of your skin. You will notice a considerable improvement in your tan.

Aloe Vera (Ghritkumari)
Aloe Vera has been well known for centuries for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, healing and cooling properties. It facilities healing of any kind – be it a skin wound, acne, burn, scald, blisters, insect bites, rashes, urticaria, vaginal infections, allergic reactions or dry skin. The gel of this plant helps to protect the outer layers of the skin, keeps the skin cool and reduces inflammation.

Ayurvedic Properties:
Quality: Heavy, Oily
Taste: Bitter
Post-digestive Effect: Pungent
Potency: Cold
Effect on Doshas: Pacifies Pitta and Kapha

How to use:

Applying Aloe Vera gel on the skin prior to application of make-up can prevent the skin from drying.
lend the pulp of some fresh fruits with Aloe Vera gel in a blender and use it as a pack to keep the skin cool.
Mix Aloe Vera with wheat germ oil or almond oil to use it as a moisturizing pack.
To treat pigmentation, get a fresh leaf of Aloe Vera and split it to remove the gel. Apply this on clean skin and leave for about 20 minutes.
In case of sunburn, the application of Aloe Vera-based cream acts as a protective layer on the skin and helps replenish its moisture.