Menstrual Awareness as a Game changer for Energy, Clarity, Calm & Women's Wellness: Link to Tracker

Rest.

Routine.

Rhythm.

The 3 keys to adrenal gland and hormonal wellness from a lifestyle perspective. These sound so darn simple but in today’s busy world filled with lots of distractions and calls for our energy and time it usually has to be a very conscious effort to get these into our lifestyle.

Naturopathically there are many effective ways to support our adrenal glands (these resiliency glands that when balanced have us feeling energized, calm and balanced). Sometimes good herbal and nutritional formulas are enough to replenish them when we feel overwhelmed and pooped but I find that if the root hasn’t been addressed it is not enough.

The root cause could be a way of daily thinking, eating or living. Working with the daily habits is an important piece of long term health.

For ambitious, creative mothers, leaders and women in general, working and living out of a foundation of self-connection and inner knowing is actually key to sharing their gifts and light with the world without burning out.

OK but how do we actually do that?

Some kind of daily practice is helpful in this.

The game changing piece of cycle awareness is that we can build our habits in a way that aligns with the cyclical beings we are. Looking at the bigger cycles of nature and our monthly menstrual cycle allows us to, as a friend of mine pointed out, “fine-tune things with a ‘done-4-you’ pattern to draw on! “

Working with and understanding our cyclical nature is a simple, potent way to be held by an age old, sustainable, universal pattern in our self-care and our outward contribution of sharing of our gifts and light with our family and world. These cycles hold a lot of practical wisdom in touching into a sustainable rhythm for ourselves.

Here’s a simple tracker to use as a guide to finding your unique rhythm within this ‘done-4-you’ rhythm the Earth herself and women have been influenced from from the beginning.

Mama Essentials: What I Wish Was Attached To The Pregnancy Test Kit I Bought

If you’re a mom reading this (which I’m guessing you are) this stat from Dr. Oscar Serrallach might not surprise you, “on average mothers lose 700 hours of sleep in the first year".

OK, so I’ve never done the math but if I quickly do it I realize that even more surprising to me is that I think that number is low (!) … for many of the women I’ve worked with it’s actually more …

Truth is we know that we are getting less sleep and that we are tired and most moms I know feel there is nothing they can do about the tiredness … there is. I teach moms 6 foundational principles to help motherhood be a nourishing rather than depleting time. One key foundational principle is around rest … restorative rest. There are actual several pleasurable ways that mothers can enter a restorative restful state that they (and I) had no idea about but I always start with this. Drum roll …

This healthy-happy mama hack that addresses the ‘less sleep’, imbalanced nervous system and adrenal glands and gives your body and mind a true rest (well according to Jana Roemer “it basically makes motherhood possible”) is Yoga Nidra.

I hope to see the day when attached to every woman’s pregnancy test is a little USB with some Yoga Nidra recordings as well as some core instructions on how to use this tool to the maximum benefit.

“30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is said to be equivalent to 4 hours of rest.”

6 years ago when I heard the above quote I was in. Since then every client of mine gets Yoga Nidra woven into their healing protocol as in the same way that stress can negatively impact most disease, de-stressing can positively affect everything from headaches, to weight gain, to thyroid problems, to PMS, to infertility, to digestive problems and … well basically. kinda. everything … really …

Here’s more on what it is and how it works …

Yoga Nidra (YN) is the mindfulness meditation of choice for moms and moms-to-be and moms going through peri-menopause and menopause. Anytime you’d like to be sleeping more than you are or feel stress accumulating.

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Basically YN is a guided, restorative mindfulness technique that you do lying down that has you aging well and keeping you resourced and connected to your joyful, relaxed, loving, confident, content Self.

What is it and how is this possible? Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep and basically our bodies are taken through the biological process of sleep during this guided mediation.

What does that mean? It means that the changes that happen to the brain and body during sleep happen in yoga nidra with the difference being that you are awake during the changes. What are these “changes”? Brain wave changes which affect everything else. Essentially the brain waves slow down - going from Beta, to Alpha, to Theta, to Delta. To give you an idea of what this means let’s talk about thoughts per cycle. Say in Beta you experience over 40 thoughts per cycle and as you progress through a sleep cycle (and a nidra) these decrease with as little as 2 thoughts per cycle happening at the Delta brainwave state.

So? So all the energy that is normally tied up in the Beta wave 40 thought per cycle state is free to (among other things) 1. heal, restore and repair the body, 2. to work on completing unresolved/uncompleted emotions of the day … just like when we sleep ... and 3. to increase our ability to response vs react in our day-to-day. We are in the subconscious brainwave states of theta and delta so we can use this to a great advantage in terms of affecting our back ground self-talk in a way that uplifts us rather than unconsciously running default tracks of judgment.

Here’s a recording from one of the group mama yoga nidra weekly classes. Just lie down in a comfortable position with arms to the side, palm up and maybe pillow under your knees, press play and enjoy!

To learn more about when the next yoga nidra retreats/classes are or to host one in your community contact us at retreats@opentowellness.ca. Below is a picture of November’s Retreat location in Mexico. It was voted in Yoga Journal to be the ‘best place to have a yoga retreat.’ This won’t be your average yoga retreat! (-:

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This She Shines 2019 Event: Eat. Play. Love. Connect. is the week of November 23 - 30, 2019. Best time ever to reset. This will change your December and how you start 2010 - big time. It’s a Restorative Women’s Retreat with Mindfulness, Art, Dance and Yoga & Yoga Nidra Retreat at the gorgeous Xinalani Eco-Yoga Retreat Center in Mexico.

This retreat is all about you. Taking a pause to replenish and to connect with who you are beyond the roles of mother, wife, caretaker, business owner, healer, daughter, etc. that define you in your day-to-day life is a gift you give to yourself and everyone in your life. Many women I work with have lost connection a little or a lot to their true selves and it is the road to burnout/regret. When mama is happy and healthy and centered it affects everyone. Bring a friend or meet new ones! www.opentowellness.ca. Early bird prices till June 21, 2019.


Take time to nourish your feminine soul…xo.

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Well Brain Support Just Got Better : Neurotransmitter Testing Now Available!

I have been interested in the mind-body connection for as long as I can remember. On my personal health journey as well as my role as an observer/space holder of other people's transformations I have been impressed by the impact of the brain and whole nervous system on every aspect of health. Through practices that work at changing mindsets (and "heartsets") like meditation, heart math, psych-k, counselling, mindfulness, yoga nidra, forgiveness practice, NVC, gratitude practices, breath work, and movement arts people can change their body's physiology to favour aging and living well and feeling good.

Often patients come to see me who would like to feel better on all fronts - physically as well as mentally and emotionally. They may feel in a funk, or are overwhelmed, say they're stressed out, maybe having trouble sleeping or feeling more anxious than usual or just don't feel like themselves.  Sometimes it's clear from symptoms that the neurotransmitters may not all be in optimal ranges. There are many effective mood supportive and specifically neurotransmitter specific nutritional and herbal supplements out there but just as with  anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds they don't support all of the neurotransmitter pathways in the body and it can be a wait and see game to determine which of the neurotransmitters is/are imbalanced.

Labrix is a lab we have started to work with at Open to Wellness in the last year. My colleagues who have worked in brain/mood health for years have introduced us to this and I'm thrilled with the information we are getting.  The test kits are straightforward and assess neurotransmitter levels - serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, gaba and glutamate. Their analysis lets  us know where a pathway may be short on nutrients and helps fast track the process of feeling like yourself again and help you access the clarity and energy to make the lifestyle changes that will create health for you. Everyone is so different this helps customize treatment early on.

The panel that has been most popular  is the Neuroadrenal panel which includes a saliva adrenal panel (assessing phases of adrenal wellness) as well as the urine neurotransmitter panel. Naturopathically speaking stress often is buffered by healthy adrenal glands and assessing the adrenal's vitality is a key piece of this picture of moving from surviving/getting by to thriving again! Thanks Dr. Heidi and Dr. Chris for sharing this gem of a test. (-:

Here's a glimpse at our amazing body's chemistry lab where she uses different ingredients to support different enzyme pathways.  It's a screen shot so not as clear. I like how it offers us a sense of the connection between the neurotransmitters too.