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Why You Should Drink Warm Water & Lemon

The way you start each day is incredibly important. Whether you’re a mom, a coach, a writer, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down.
Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas and foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.
Your mind may say you have to check emails, take the dog out, get the kids out the door, that you can’t be late for work or that you just don’t have enough time to cultivate your own morning rituals.
But, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this…..
Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.
It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:
1. Boosts your immune system 
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.
Like I said, the recipe is really simple—a cup of warm (not hot) water and the juice from half a lemon.

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Massage Tips for Couples and Friends

Massage Tips for Couples and Friends Who Want to Exchange Better Massage Sessions
By Chrystos Minot 4-24-12

Often my clients will ask me for advice about giving massages to their spouse or partner. I thought I’d share some tips that I have shared with them over the decades. Here are three things to keep in mind;

  1.  Usually women and smaller people have trouble supplying enough pressure. This can be achieved by using your weight. What this means is not “muscling it” with your arm strength, but positioning your center of gravity over your partner. Your arms are more straight. Your partner is below you, perhaps on a mat, cushion or a futon. Imagine massaging with your belly button moving, such that your center (of gravity) is moving with the massage strokes. Imagine slowly kneading bread, or cutting soft cheese, or mixing a quick-bread batter. Feel free to carefully use your knuckles, on soft tissue only, to transmit more pressure with your weight. With practice you will be able to supply really deep, slow pressure your recipient enjoys!
  2. Usually men, and larger people, are asked to be more gentle and sensitive in their massage. This can be achieved by checking in frequently with your partner. You need to go slow. If you start very gently, and then ramp up the pressure incrementally, while verbally checking in often, you engender a feeling of safety and trust in your recipient, which is important. Try to avoid small talk, or “pragmatic talk” (e.g., “Did you remember to fill the tank?” or “Have you seen that movie yet?” etc) because this changes the mind’s focus from the present experience, to elsewhere. Imagine slowly squeezing out a sponge, keeping the pressure slow and even, even on the release of the pressure (lightening it). This is a very common mistake I see, even with professional therapists with years of experience: The release of pressure, if it’s rapid, can pull the recipient up out of a relaxing state. It can be “intrusive” – even though the pressure is “retreating”. Keep practicing and you will find your massage skills, (and your receiver’s appreciation) increasing each week. It really is wonderfully rewarding!
  3. Here are some tips about creating a massage environment that is conducive to relaxation:
  4.  a) Temperature – check with the recipient, but usually rooms are too chilly. Try to keep the rooms between 74 and 80 F. We go to Costa Rica to  relax and unwind, not to Iceland.
    b) No interruptions. This is important. Turn off the phone. Make sure the kiddo is looked after, really asleep, or on a playdate. Even small distractions can  break the relaxing mood, like a buzzing housefly in an intimate house concert.
    c)  Try creating an austere visual environment (or have the session out of the house) — less visual distractions. It’s no fun being visually reminded that say the

    house needs cleaning, when the whole idea is to create a psychic oasis

 

Exercise is Key to happiness

Exercise is a KEY to happiness. Research shows that people who exercise are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia later in life. They get relief from anxiety and mild depression. And they perform better at work.