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Heal your gut

Heal your gut

Last week I discovered that Nurofen, belonging to a group of medicines called NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory medication, was likely to be contributing to my pain. Yup, not only did I have severe period pain, but I hit the jackpot and got gut pain as well. Happy days. I admit I went to Google for guidance. I asked, can I take nurofen for gut pain? What came up was a series of case studies where NSAIDs actually caused gut pain. So I switched to paracetamol. Meanwhile, my gut was definitely impacted. What works for gut pain? Well, I happen to have done a lot of personal discovery around that, and while I don’t have IBS anymore, I certainly am armed with plenty of home remedies for gut pain.

  1. Aloe Vera juice. Number one. Recommended to me by the man who did my colonoscopy.
  2. Pre-soaked chia seeds – when your gut needs a gentle internal massage. Similarly, psyllium husk.  Make with ginger tea for extra warmth.
  3. Self-massage and essential oils – peppermint oil especially.
  4. Peppermint tea
  5. Hot water bottle
  6. Natrajasana – Lying down sideways twists

I’m now on a ‘heal your gut in 7 days’ progression. Nicole Cunningham is a homeopath from Puraforce Remedies. She recommends making bone broth. As a paleo advocate since 2010, I’m a big fan of bone broth but have never made it at home. She says,

“The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and assist with the digestion of nutrients. Bone broth is exceptional for healing a leaky gut.”

After a trip down to the local butcher at the Sydney Fish Markets, we picked up some 2kgs of beef bones, put them in the slow cooker, filled with water and turned on high for 24 hours.  I’ve had two days of bone broth – my hot tip is – it tastes good, just don’t smell it.

Love

Danica

Return to Self

Return to Self

Even the Black Eyed Peas  are telling me to meditate.

“ Madness is what you demonstrate

And that’s exactly how anger works and operates

Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight

Take control of your mind and meditate

Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all”

So I sit for 20 minutes in my return to sitting practice. It’s not meditation, it’s simply return to sitting – noticing what takes me away from being present. I took on this practice from the Summer Intensive Wisdom Course Leader training.

Then the Peace Angels cross my path again today. They have just returned from Salt Lake City on a tour to the Parliament of the Worlds Religions. People from all over the world and all religions were moved by their presence. Being in their presence really is a profoundly moving experience.

Wonderings on daily practices

Wonderings on daily practices

Practices keep me vital. So how does one choose which practices to do each day? I mean, if you’re anything like me, you could easily devote 3 hours a day just to do daily practices. From when I wake up in the morning, it’s time for yoga – asana, pranayama, making love, meditation, self-cultivation, chanting, purja, morning pages, vocal warm ups, physio/pilates exercises, oil swilling, uddiyana bandha, making the bed, kegals, diffuse an essential oil, multivitamins & iron and top it off with a green smoothie, let alone showering and brushing my teeth! And, if you’re anything like me, I don’t have 3 extra hours in the morning as well as getting sufficient sleep, vitamin D, remembering my posture and keeping present an empowering context for myself and my life.

Then there’s the daily promises I’ve made to not go to bed without having done. Practicing guitar, emptying my capture tool, singing and dancing daily for the next 3 years, return to sitting daily for the next 15 years and writing and publishing my blog every day for at least 30 days if not longer. Ready for a nap anyone? There’s another great practice – napping.

Fortunately/unfortunately, I am not superwoman and I do not get that all done in a day. And I’ve noticed that when I add a new practice in, something else has a tendency to fall out. Like one-pointed focus, I get fixated on my new practice and make sure I do it before going to bed. A few days later, I remember – oh! I haven’t been doing my other daily practice!

I’m curious about the practices that I could do for 3 years, or 15 years and the results they could bring. I wonder if noticing falling off the horse is just as important as returning to a practice.

How do you choose your practices?

Photo credit: Zara Albion-Lawson

Best Yoga for when you’re not well

Best Yoga for when you’re not well

We think we’re not doing yoga if we’re not up on the mat bending and stretching. According to the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, asana, the physical practice of yoga, is only one of eight limbs of yoga. Asana is designed to give us the opportunity to sit for longer periods in meditation as well as remain well and vital.

If you have the flu, that’s not the time for vigorous asana. That’s the time for getting well. So often we force ourselves back to the mat before it’s time. This is not yoga.

So what else can we practice when our body is getting well?

Gentle pranayama, meditation, silent chanting or listening to chanting, study – or daydreaming…

What about restorative postures? Sure. One of the best ones might be the being horizontal in bed posture. Ever heard the expression, what you resist, persists? Whether or not that’s true, resistance to what’s actually happening creates tension in the body, cuts off our deep breathing and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system – our fight/flight/freeze response. Resistance can show up in a myriad of ways. That quiet voice saying, When am I gonna get better? I’m so annoyed I can’t go to yoga. I think I’m going stir crazy. You know, it really shouldn’t be this way… Or it might show up by being irritable with the people around us. Or sulking. I do my best whining when I’m not well.

Perhaps the best yoga practice when one is not well is to practice being happy. Observe the physical sensations going on in our bodies and return to the breath. Marjie is one of my committed listeners – someone who listens me bigger than I can see myself. Marjie is a walking miracle. She is 75 and two years ago, she had a stroke. Her husband Chuck, was told she would be a vegetable and never walk again. The future she created for herself as she came out of her coma was – All is Well and I’m happy. Two years later, she’s leading the Summer Intensive Wisdom Course Leader training I attended in New London, Connecticut in July. She laughs so much! I thought, well, if Marjie can create ‘All is Well and I’m happy’ in the face of the stroke and all of her symptoms, I can create ‘All is Well and I’m happy’ with whatever I’m faced with in my life.

It makes me wonder: how much happiness could I actually stand?

Photo credit: Zara Albion-Lawson

Edo & Jo

Edo & Jo

Every morning I wake from sleep to the sweet dulcet tones of Jo’s voice singing:

asato ma sadgamaya

tamaso ma jyotirgamaya

mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

Oh lead me to the truth

From darkness to the light

This body to eternal life

Oh lead me to you

https://soundcloud.com/edoandjo/asatoma

Together with her beloved, the mantra music of Edo & Jo is the most peaceful re-awakening into daily life.

Last night she passed away, surrounded by loved ones. Jo is VAANI which means Goddess of Creativity and she has left a much loved legacy of recordings and touched the hearts of many people. As integral members of our spiritual community at Shanti Mission, Edo and Jo introduced our Guru, Shakti Durga to Sri Sakthi Amma in India who embodies the Divine Feminine.

Edo says:

I found this note she wrote on Sept 8 one of her last diary entries before the pain and weakness got too much…

Jo wrote: 
I asked Amma “how can the whole universe be within me? Please show me”. Amma took me on an astral travel moving from “me” to the city, to the country, world, universes, galaxies, where so many planets exist. We kept flying through space. “But Amma, how does this all exist within me?” I ask Her. Just then, the travel continues through the galaxies and then ends in my heart. “see Jo, there’s no separation, Jo is there “pointing to the origin where I am the size of a mustard seed. “and Jo is here too” – with the entire universe within me. She took me for a good ride that night…

[Full Facebook post here]

Listen to their music here

Om Namo Narayani

Who is Tantra Is Love?

Who is Tantra Is Love?

I first met Emma Power, the co-founder of Tantra Is Love when she was an Ambassador of the Bourke St lululemon athletica store. My expertise at lululemon was in goal coaching. Emma told me she’d been traveling to Thailand over the last six years and studying tantra. Given how powerful the work is, she naturally wanted to share it and she wanted to make it accessible to the masses. We had one goal setting session to start mapping out what she could offer and by when. Off she went and with her co-founder Eyal, began Tantra Is Love. Of course I went to the first Sexuality Workshop I could, to support Emma and yes, to satiate some of my own curiosity. I assisted as an ‘Emotional Support Person’ in the Tantra Is Love workshops over four years and now lead the Women for Women workshop.

Tantra is Love provides the most professional, down to earth, respectful space I’ve come across in the world of tantra. Their next Sexuality workshop is coming up on Oct 9, 2015. Ready to satiate some of your own curiosity? Book here.

What is Tantra? See here.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming blog posts on tantra…