Using the natural forces around us

Using the natural forces around us

Amaryllis

As I watch my Amaryllis plant thrust a thick green shoot toward the sun from the bulb below, I know my eyes are tricking me. The sun’s light is beckoning the plant’s stem to emerge through photosynthesis; eventually revealing its beauty in a fully formed flower. Using the forces of nature as a guide enables us to move our bodies with maximum strength, range of motion and grace.

Whether you practice yoga, Pilates, running etc… or going about your daily life you can apply basic forces in nature to enhance your body’s movement. For instance, while stretching your body, first notice areas of tension or restriction. Now imagine the dynamic of levity or lightness while you are feeling the warmth of the sun’s rays inviting a release of muscle contraction. Without consciously changing what you are doing, your muscles automatically respond to this new impulse. Your body expands into greater freedom of movement.

Ideally, we want all of our body’s movements to be in balance, using both gravity and levity. In addition to fluid and graceful movement that is properly aligned, the forces of gravity and levity benefit our emotional body as well. Jaimen McMillan shares in The Fourfold Path to Healing, in describing the benefits of the exercise the Crest, “Through it the Emotional Body swings through the sensation of rounded heaviness and extension in lightness. It is thus good for back pain, adrenal problems, digestive disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, neurological problems and weight loss (as the body feels the difference between hovering and full heaviness).”

Notice how you are moving. Are there some muscles that are restricting your movement? Are you lacking strength in some parts of your body due to muscles that are not fully functioning? Try using the dynamic of lightness in a playful way. What are your results?

I will be giving a workshop on Spatial Dynamics this Saturday, January 31st, at 9:30 a.m. at Unity of Wilmington in Wilmington, North Carolina. To register for the workshop click here. For information on Spatial Dynamics go to http://www.spacialdynamics.com/

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Made from scratch

Made from scratch

Bone BrothWhen my children were young I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. I loved to cook! I felt that made from scratch meals brought the whole family together in a very contented and fulfilling way. It also gave me a creative outlet; planning, shopping, and preparing healthy, tasty dishes for the people I loved. Then I took my cooking to the next level. I started studying nutrition and researching about the health benefits of herbs; one of my discoveries was bone broth.

While making bone broth is time consuming, the health benefits are enormous. Sally Fallon shares in her cookbook Nourishing Traditions, ‘Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate…also seems to be of use in the treatment of many chronic disorders, including anemia and other diseases of the blood, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and even cancer.’

The aroma of homemade broth is tantalizing and you can use your broth as a base to make other dishes. You can add it to grains and legumes instead of water; use it in gravies, sauces, casseroles and soup. And it is great as the first food to eat when recovering from a stomach virus or flu. For more information go to http://nourishedkitchen.com/bone-broth/

What are some of your favorite nutritious dishes?