Sunday, September 3, 2017

This Is Yoga - Sukhasana "Easy Pose"

This is an expression of Sukhasana/Easy Pose 
without using any props or adopting modifications.
To help dispel some common erroneous ideas about yoga (like "Yoga is impossible" or "Yoga is too hard" or "I'm not flexible enough to do yoga"), I will be posting pictures of poses that may be done during a yoga practice and some of the modifications that can be incorporated if a person has trouble getting their body into the full expression of the pose.  Yoga practice is not just for the flexible, the thin, the fit, or the physically strong individual.  Yoga is especially beneficial for the person who would like to stretch, be more flexible, feel stronger, and find overall well-being.  Yoga is for any body and every body.

Throughout my "This is Yoga" posts, I will typically share the Sanskrit word for each pose and its English correlation.

Most commonly a yoga practice begins with the participants seated in Sukhasana or "Easy Pose".  If a person finds Sukhasana not so easy to do or downright painful, props can be added and adjustments made to bring more ease and comfort to the pose.

Sukhasana/Easy Pose brings calmness and peace to the body.  It stretches the knees and ankles and strengthens the spine while also opening up the groin area and hips.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Keeping a Feisty and Positive Attitude During an Injury

For the past couple of weeks, I have not been as active as I would prefer in sharing and posting new information, but it is with very good reason.  We've had the great joy of having out of state family coming to spend time with us, and I also dislocated my right shoulder during one of those visits.  I'm now in the process of recovery and working towards getting back full mobility of my arm.  I wanted to share here the post I wrote for my other blog Along Life's Journey and add to this post some links and a picture of the main natural products I have been using for pain and healing during my recovery.

Learning Opportunity at the Poudre River

July 31, 2017, by MaryAnn Broussard

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience 
in which you really stop to look fear in the face."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Reflections from an ever learning sojourner...

I believe that some of the greatest life lessons with the most growth potential initially come wrapped in not so pretty and very messy packages that we would prefer not be gifted to us.  A few days ago, I was given one of these learning opportunities.  

Two of my children, Braden and Madison, were home for a few days' visit and Braden's fiancé, Alyssa, was also here with him.  We thought it would be a fun adventure to buy some intertubes from Big O Tires and tube down the Poudre River in the Poudre Canyon.  My husband, Michael, and I had seen people doing this last summer and it looked like so much fun!  We even scoped out the river the day before to decide the furthest possible point of entry to avoid the spillways and take a look at the speed of the current.  At that time, I made mental notes that there were a couple of areas where the rocks were too abundant and jagged creating turbulent rapids, and that I preferred not to tube through those.  I also made a point to express to the family that we had to have good shoes on to protect our feet from the rocks.  My expressed concerns about the rapids and jagged rocks and the importance for shoes were a little poo pooed at first as if I was being overly cautious, but I paid no mind to the skeptical looks I received from some of my family members.  I'm a mom, and it's in my nature to protect those I love and to be wisely prepared for the unknown, especially because in the Poudre Canyon there is no cell phone service whatsoever (with any provider).  So unless you find that rare call box somewhere along the long stretch there is no ability to call for emergency personnel in case of an emergency.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Yoga Can Be for EVERY Body and ANY Body

An awesome privilege and special moment in time
of sharing a yoga practice with my mom.  She has faced
and overcome quite the number of physical struggles in her life.

False Yoga Myth #1 – A person must have just the right body shape or flexibility in order to practice yoga.

When I mention to people that I practice and now also teach yoga, I usually receive almost the same response that can be summarized in these words: 

“Wow!  Yoga is hard.”
“I could never do yoga.”
“I’m not flexible enough.”
“My body doesn’t bend like that.”

By no choice or doing of my own, I happen to be a person of small frame with low body weight and hyper-mobility.  However, that is not why I decided to try yoga in the first place or why I continue to practice it today.  I sought out yoga because of the struggle with my overall health and my utmost desire to find wholistic well-being: emotionally, mentally, and physically

Yoga is not about a particular body size, shape, ability, strength, or flexibility.  Any living and breathing, aware human being can practice yoga.  Yoga is a practice available to and doable at some level by any person with any body type.  There are no right or wrong, best or worst poses.  Our considerations are better focused on practicing and working with safe poses at a level that is just right for each individual.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Health Story in a … (Big) Nutshell? Part 2

Thank you for staying tuned in.  Continuing on with my health story (see Part 1 by clicking here), I went from back pain to digestive dysfunction…


In August 2003, an unknown insect bit the back of my calf as I was traipsing through some tall wild grass.  The bite burned terribly and constantly and drove me to visit the doctor’s office because “What if it was a brown recluse spider bite?”  The doctor’s assistant prescribed a strong dose of cephalexin antibiotic, “Just in case”.  Within a couple of days of starting the medication, I began feeling ill in my digestive system.  I became so ill, I ended up asking my husband to take me to the ER in the middle of one night because I felt I would surely pass out or die while in the bathroom. That ER visit was a joke because when we arrived, they told us I would not be seen for 7-8 hours.  We left.  It was easier for me to be ill in my own bathroom, on my own toilet, than at a hospital ER.  First thing next morning, we headed to the doctor’s office, and I was given the diagnosis of colitis.  The cephalexin had done that magnificent (ha!) job because I had the Clostridium difficile bacteria in my intestinal tract.  This pesky, spore producing bacteria (which lives an abundant, happy life in hospitals) loves the opportunity that most antibiotics give it.  Antibiotics kill all kinds of bacteria, good and bad (unless you are talking about C. diff.).  Because the cephalexin killed all my other important gut bacteria that kept it in check, the Clostridium difficile was able to wreak havoc on my body.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Health Story in a … (Big) Nutshell? Part 1

As part of the current updates on the Feisty ‘n Free Wholistic Living blog and its accompanying Facebook page, I thought it would be helpful for me to share my health story and the life events that propelled me in pursuing a more wholistic lifestyle.

I believe humor is great medicine!  The moment I was putting some thought into writing this post, the image of a squirrel with a nut came to mind.  My husband and I have an ongoing joke in our home office about me “chasing squirrels”.  On any given day, I’ll be doing online research and study on a particular topic which then leads me to another and another and pretty soon, I’ve totally derailed from the original topic which I was researching and from my list of goals to accomplish that day!  So I find this cute picture of a squirrel with a nut totally appropriate to complement this post.  Sometimes, I’m a little nut.  And sometimes, I like chasing squirrels that are carrying little nuts. :-D

This writing will be an attempt on my part to give a brief overview and background on the health issues I have faced over my life and especially the past 15 years.  These have been the driving factors for me growing an immense passion for wholistic living and for pursuing alternative health and healing methods.  I will do my best to keep my story as brief as possible and to the point.  I started write this thinking it could be one post, but the more I wrote (even trying to be brief), the more I realized it would be best to turn it into smaller bite sized pieces.  I’ll post each part on upcoming days.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Are Toxicants Bringing You Down?

What are Toxins and Toxicants?

Toxicants abound all around us!  Day in and day out, we are surrounded by innumerable toxins and toxicants alike.  Naturally occurring toxins exist in living organisms such as the poisonous mushroom or the venomous spider. Toxicants, on the other hand, are created by human beings and regularly encountered on a daily basis.  People fully understand natural toxins are harmful and generally do fairly well avoiding them.  Unfortunately, our lives are inundated with man-made toxicants not so easily eluded, such as:

synthetic fragrances in cosmetics and cleaning products
plastic and BPA in water bottles
mercury in dental fillings and fish
pesticides and GMOs in produce
flame retardants in clothing and furniture
medications like birth control pills
over the counter pain relievers and antacids