little capsule of yoga ~by Sandy Hector

A little capsule of yoga every day – just what the doctor ordered!

Are you are thinking of doing yoga at home?  First of I would advise everyone to find a good class, and then you will learn the practises correctly.  The most important thing about doing yoga is that you must work with awareness and listen to your body the whole time so you don’t strain anything.

Yoga is a great antidote to modern living; there are so many benefits, it’s impossible to mention them all here.  Yoga relieves stress and tension, helps concentration, strengthens, refreshes and relaxes the whole body, in fact helps the whole body to work properly, all the internal organs get massaged, more oxygen gets into the bloodstream, you feel better, fitter, healthier and happier and what’s more you learn to breathe properly.  What could be better?

The Grace Of Change By Geraldine Lambert
‘The Grace of Change’ by Geraldine Lambert, Artist. Gera (nickname) is a Visionary Artist who aims to capture the creative interplay when spheres of thought and the mundane worlds collide. She works as an artist from home using inks, oils and a variety of printing techniques and teaches Art part time.

Not many people breathe into the whole of their lungs, when you feel stressed and tense you only breathe into the top part of the lungs, but when you’re relaxed and learn the breathing exercises (pranayama), you begin to use your lungs properly.   Stale air gets expelled, more air is taken in, helping the exchange of gasses, this is gives you more energy, helps focus the mind and is especially good for people with asthma or breathing problems.

We all lead very busy lives and its difficult to fit everything in, we’re especially bad when it comes to looking after ourselves.  I say all the more reason to do a regular home yoga practise, because if you don’t look after yourself, how can you look after anyone else?  By doing some yoga every day, you will find you actually seem to have more time, yes, really, and you will really reap the benefits, I promise.  But, how can we fit daily yoga into our busy lifestyle?

My lovely, dearest yogini friend Maitri sent me this Yogic Capsule; it’s a home practise with a difference.    When you start off though, you do need to be very disciplined, but once the practise becomes part of your daily routine, you will never go back to your old sluggish ways and the rewards are well worth the effort.  They do say that it takes 4 weeks to learn something, 4 weeks to practise and 4 weeks before it becomes a natural behaviour, so allow yourself 12 weeks and you’re away.

This is the routine – when you get up in the morning you do a few minutes chanting.  This can be an absolutely uplifting experience once you get used to making funny noises; it’s a bit like singing, but it doesn’t matter if you’re  not very good at it.  Then before breakfast you do some postures, Surya Namaskara, the sun salutation is absolutely brilliant, it tones and stretches the entire system.   Then later in the day do some pranayama, you can do this anywhere, and it only takes a few minutes.   Later on in the afternoon, you have a ‘power nap’ by mentally relaxing each part of the body, brilliant for reviving you during the mid afternoon slump, then before bed do some mediation and review your day.  You will get a deep restful sleep and feel wonderful in the morning.  Yay, result.  Oh and did I remember to say how much fitter and healthier you will feel?  But remember it’s very important to attend a weekly class too to keep you on track.

Sandy Hector

Click here for the Yogic Capsule


Expressing The World Within~ Paulissa Kipp

Self-taught artist Paulissa Kipp thrives on the artistic vibe of Omaha, Nebraska.  Living in the Midwest but residing in the city offers cultural diversity and creative outlets that often rival cities with larger populations.  Paulissa discovered her creative soul through heartbreak, medical concerns, abuse and depression.  A published photographer, author and artist, she creates hope via color, lines and captured light.

Free To Be Enough By Paulissa KippSharing an address with PTSD, anxiety and bipolar disorder, Paulissa turned to photography and art journaling as a means of expressing what was difficult to verbalize.  A child abuse, domestic violence and rape survivor, Paulissa discovered the value of art journaling via a Women’s Writing course offered through the North Omaha Summer Arts project.

The Path By Paulissa KippIn 2010, Paulissa was undergoing back to back medical issues:  a torn ACL, a ruptured ovary that took 6 months to diagnose and a full hysterectomy 9 months later due to undiagnosed endometriosis.
Sinking intoa deep depression, she sought a way to express the emotional, mental and physical pain she was enduring.  An artist friend suggested art journaling.
Her first piece, “Can You Hear Me Now?” depicts a quack doctor holding a tin can telephone and lays out the frustrations:  6 weeks to obtain an appointment, multiple phone numbers that did not reach the correct department, dismissive medical professionals and more. Paulissa used the completed art during sessions with a therapist to show the level of frustration and showed it to each doctor she met along the path to correct diagnosis, surgery and On The Radar By Paulissa Kipprecovery.  Realizing the power of visual journaling, she began teaching art journaling in a mental health facility.  Paulissa strives to empower her students to discover their own resilience, worth and to unlock their magnificence.  She believes that “Seeing your own beauty and soul is a marker of recovery and a sign of the Phoenix. ”

“Words fail me at times.  There are moments when being articulate and introspective is of little help.’’

She found that support team members often do not engage in active listening.  The ability to make the invisible visible through color, lines, words and images is empowering.

“Each piece is representation of a moment in time:  a thought process, an epiphany about who I am as a person, light and dark, sweet and sorrowful.”

Willow Weep For Me By Paulissa Kipp
Sometimes, a piece is a reminder to be in the moment as with “How To Tame A Dragon”.  Other times, it is a reminder that love is a prayer or that “When I Grow Up, I Will Be Free To Be ENOUGH.”  Some pieces explore a geography of the soul that requires many vessels to traverse.  “Willow Weep For Me” is a reminder that strength comes from vulnerability; it comes from tearing down the walls that surround our hearts and minds.

I have noticed that in my darkest hours, that is when my aLet Love Be Your Prayer By Paulissa Kipprt is the most colorful.  When it is dark around me, I create the color. I create the light. During the darkest hours, I can create the most light.  The more color I use, the more hope returns.   Ironically, what began as a lifeline has now become a part of my passionate self-care.  A meditative check in with myself.

I may live with a mental illness, but I will stand up to fight stigma.  It is only when those who live with stigma stand up and show the world that we can be successful, productive and add value to the world that stigma can be combated.  I am nearly 50 and have spent the first half of my life undiagnosed.  I will not spend the rest of my life in the shadows. ’’

Paulissa has been featured in numerous publications and art shows:

The Creative Mental Health Guide Jan/Feb 2014, March/April 2014

Contributor to Shutter Monks2014 Journey to Wholeness: Abuse Survivors Art Show
Kent Bellows Studio & Center for Visual Arts

Savor The Flavor In The Bluffs featured artist

EFD: Starship Goodwords Anthology

Notes to Self: Women’s Writing From the Heart
Sems Redux by Charles Tichy – photo series for the book

How We See It……Our View of Our Worlds Volume I-III” which benefited the  NOW Foundation’s Love Your Body Campaign, a charity related to body image and eating disorders. 100% of the profits from this book were donated to NOW. More information can be found here

+Plus One Collection eBook and mobile app, which benefited

Exposed – G+ Photography Journal February 2012

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