Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Cleaning tips

I am taking advantage of the rainy days off this spring break to do a much needed spring clean of my house. Today I ran out of glass cleaner. Since it is easier and quicker to google than run to the store I tried a homemade glass cleaner recipe that I found on a few sites.

Glass Cleaner
Mix the following in a spray bottle, mine was 32 oz.

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups warm water

You need to shake the bottle before using to re-suspend the cornstarch.

The glass cleaner did a great job. After I made it I looked at the ingredients of my non-toxic glass cleaner find that it is pretty much the same stuff!

Try it.

Another spring-cleaning thing I'm doing is committing to practice every morning and getting more veggies in my diet. I have found that having some homemade juice at breakfast is a great way to do this. Most days I am juicing with a piece of peanut butter toast. My favorite juice blend is below.

1 beet
2 handfuls kale
2 carrots
1 pear

Some days I have a parsnip instead of a beet and once in a while I am adding an apple or a peeled orange. When I have it I throw in a chunk of ginger. Any juice suggestions?

Yoga for health

Many people think you need to be flexible, have good balance, be 'zen' or some other thing to do yoga. As you know if you have a practice, this is not true. I started practicing yoga because my doctor suggested it might be a good idea. I had had two summers that I spent in a hospital in my early twenties. At a follow-up appointment she brought in two very thick charts. She said, "one of these charts is for an 80 year old patient, one is yours. Guess which is yours." Surprizingly the two were indistinguishable. She told me that I needed to do something to do something to improve my immune system. My average diet and daily aerobics were just not cutting it. She said to try yoga, she had heard that it pushes your lymph around.

In order to push my lymph around I bought two yoga DVDs and started practicing them daily. I haven't been admitted to the hospital since, and although my practice is certainly not as frequent as I would like through chiropractic school, I still practice. I plan to continue to practice throughout life.

At school we have a free clinic on West Burnside street. Many homeless patients are treated there. A friend of mine had a shift there and told me a patient's story that I will relate to you here:

An elderly man came in and mentioned that his foot was bothering him. The intern helped him with his shoes and socks to examine the foot. What she found was toenails that had grown far too long. They had curled around his toes and were coming up between the toes. The toes all being cut by the edges of the toenails. When the intern asked how this had happened, the man answered that he just couldn't bend that way to cut his toenails anymore. Living on the street, he had no one that would do it for him.

For me, yoga started as a way to spend my summers in the sun instead of the hospital.
For this man, yoga could have saved him much pain and suffering, and allowed him the ability to cut his own nails.

Yoga is not about putting your leg behind your head or standing on your head for that matter. It is a method to stay present in the world, and that includes staying healthy and able.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break

Finally after much hard work, spring break is in full swing!

I think after many years of chiropractic school I may have forgotten how to relax. I have dropped my yin practice, not by choice, but rather out of a lack of time. When I do practice, it is Mysore...and I'm not nearly practicing as much as I should. I am optimistic that as the class schedule relaxes a bit, my practice will be able to slowly return to the six practice a week schedule I had going pre-chiro school.

Today I went to the Yoga Space for their Sunday afternoon restorative class. Trying to be still is hard. I could feel the different places my body stores all the tension from school and life in general. Perhaps I will pick my yin practice back up as a balance to the rest of my life. I encourage everyone to find some practice to balance your life.