Tag Archives: Stress & Anxiety

8 Natural Headache Remedies

Headaches…argh! From minor to debilitating, headaches are a pain – literally. As part of our journey to reduce and eliminate chemicals and toxins, we try to avoid many over the counter and prescription medications when possible. It’s not easy considering how quick we are as a culture to throw medication at a problem, even when unnecessary. In fact, as research shows, some medications actually cause the very issue they are supposed to be resolving, leading to this never-ending cycle and dependency on said medication. I personally fell-victim to this process with PPIs, before I discovered a more natural way of living and treating my body. Another example of this unfortunately is NSAIDs, or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. According to these findings, NSAIDs not only damage the gut lining and create inflammation, but they also induce gluten sensitivity (eye opening information for those questioning the sudden rise in gluten sensitivities!). So while there are certainly times when medications may be necessary, I have made it a priority for my family to live as medication-free as possible. And I – like many of you – have found that most common health issues can be resolved through natural measures. That said, do your own research and decide what’s right for you and your family! In this post I’m sharing some information related to headaches and some natural remedies that work for me and my family.

Types of Headaches

There are numerous types of headaches that millions of people suffer from. The most common types of headaches are:

  • Sinus Headaches. Usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms such as runny nose, fever, pressure.
  • Tension Headaches. The most common type, these headaches are also known as “stress-headaches”, often occur daily, and are typically mild to moderate.
  • Migraines. These may last a few hours or even a few days, once or twice a month. Usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, nausea or vomiting, and upset stomach or belly pain.
  • Cluster Headaches. These are severe, with shooting pain behind the eyes, that may occur several times over a couple of weeks or so. They usually go away for a period of time and then may return later.

8 Natural Headache Remedies

There are many possible causes of headaches, including stress, environmental toxins, dehydration, food allergies and sensitivities, leaky gut, eye strain, and vitamin and mineral imbalances. If you are someone who suffers from any of the above types of headaches, read through these 8 natural headache remedies before you reach for that bottle of aspirin:

  1. Hydrate. So simple, right? I can’t tell you the number of clients that have seen us complaining of headaches and as soon as we get them drinking more water the headaches vanish! How much water are you consuming daily? Try working up to half your body weight and notice the difference.
  2. Reduce Stress. Duh, right? Do things to reduce stress. No, don’t quit your job. But do try yoga, brief meditations, exercise, and deep breaths.
  3. Move and Stretch. Exercising and doing yoga are excellent ways of relieving tension and stress, and thus reducing head pain and the chance of headaches occurring. A regular fitness and yoga routine can be the best preventative medicine, for this and for numerous other things.
  4. Eat Real Foods. We have drilled this into you, I know, but food really is medicine.
  5. Sleep. Lack of good quality sleep can wreak havoc on a body, inside and out, so it’s no wonder that it’s often a culprit of head pain. Make sure you’re getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night. Read this post to learn more about sleep and how to get enough!
  6. Peppermint Essential Oil. Backed by research, not to mention anecdotal support, peppermint essential oil is my go-to for headache relief. I run a little on my temples and immediately feel relief.
  7. Detox Baths. Detox baths rid your body of toxins, help prevent getting sick, and can prevent headaches. In addition, as they help relieve stress, they can be a good remedy for headaches too. Learn more about detox baths and how to take one here.
  8. Increase Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is rampant among Americans, and is often the cause of headaches and even migraines. Learn more about magnesium deficiency and what to do about it here.

For more information on how to relieve or prevent headaches and other health issues, contact us for a free online or in-studio consult!


My 3 Essential Essential Oils

Essential oils are, well, essential in our house. As many of you probably already know, we try to eliminate  as many toxins and chemicals as possible from our house. Our cleaners are non-toxic and all-natural, often made up of vinegar and essential oils, and essential oil diffusers in our home smelling good while promoting healthy immune systems too. Essential oils are used in our homemade personal care products, such as shampoos, hair pomade, bug repellants, sunscreen, body butters and lotion bars. With regard to medications, we try to avoid using traditional medications as much as possible, opting instead for homeopathic remedies when possible. We find that when faced with minor illnesses, injuries, skin conditions, etc., natural remedies are able to help and heal almost anything! Additionally we use oils for issues related to sleep, digestion, regulation, and mood.

It is important to note a few important elements to look for when purchasing essential oils. Not all essential oils are created equal, and the quality of your essential oils cannot only impact its effectiveness, but can in some cases be detrimental to your health. When purchasing essential oils you want to look for oils that have or are:

  • botanical name, and country of origin, and often a chemotype (i.e. Ocimum basilcum is a basil chemotype)
  • distillation or expiration date
  • organic practices and grown in their natural environment
  • not too inexpensive (in this case you usually pay for what you get)

We use Young Living essential oils because we love their Seed to Seal guarantee, the fact that they open up their farms to anyone to come visit and see the process, the integrity of their product and their beliefs, the fact that they donate to relief funds and have their own foundation, and because of their wide variety of blends and products.

Carrier Oils

In addition, when using essential oils topically you want to make sure you choose a good carrier oil to mix with the essential oils. Dilution with the carrier oils can actually increase the effectiveness of the essential oil by increasing the area of absorption and reducing chances of sensitivity. Carrier oils that we use include:

My 3 Essential Essential Oils

In our house, because of our constantly varied needs as a family of four, we always try to keep our essential oils on hand: when we travel, when we’re home, in various rooms, etc. We rotate through about a dozen favorites that seem to work for everything that comes our way. However, just like with anything, we have our staples, our go-tos, our oils that never steer us wrong! Here are my 3 Essential Essential Oils:

  1. Lavender. Even the word “lavender” immediately conjures relaxing images and aromatic therapy in my mind. I love the scent and will often diffuse this oil to calm my monkey mind, to relax my worries, and sometimes just for no reason at all. This is also my go-to for adding a gentle fragrance to my homemade personal care products such as body butters and shampoos. Another reason I love lavender so much is because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. We use it to help heal bug bites and stings, and even minor cuts or burns. Lavender oil is also my go-to with the kids, as I will often add a few drops to their baths, or rub onto their bellies or wrists to help them feel calm and relaxed.
  2. Peppermint. Peppermint is another scent that I love, and will often use in the diffuser or in candles that I make due to its invigorating and clean scent. But even more than that, we love to use peppermint oil to help relieve headaches, sunburns, and even sore muscles. Peppermint also helps soothe digestive issues. We use it in teas, and sometimes even rub it on our bellies or wrists to quiet discomfort.
  3. Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil has been proven effective in numerous ways, from healing fungus to healing wounds to promoting healthy hair and scalp. It is antimicrobial, anti fungal, and antibacterial, making it a powerful healer and cleaner. We use tea tree oil in many of our cleaners, on minor skin cuts and bug bites, on athletes foot, in our shampoos, on rashes or warts, and in insect repellents.

As I said these are just three of my favorite essential oils that we use daily in our house, and later I will be posting about many more! What are your essential essential oils?


Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.


Personal Training: 8 Steps to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage

I would love to say that every client we work with reaches their health and fitness goals and leaves our studio happier and healthier than they could have ever imagined. After all, that’s what we – as the trainers and instructors – want for them, and what we work tirelessly, both in sessions and outside of sessions, to help them achieve. We have developed a unique and foolproof plan to help anyone reach their goals, and we have proven results from lots of clients who have, indeed, reached and even exceeded their goals with us. But the truth is, many clients that we work with quit before they reach their health and fitness goals. Why? Not because they are incapable – because they are all capable. But because they sabotage themselves, in one way or another, and prevent themselves from getting to where they want to be, and from allowing us to help. Some clients even begin the self-sabotage pattern before they begin training. Here we’ll discuss how to know if you’re self-sabotaging, why self-sabotaging happens, and how you can break the cycle in order to make real progress with your goals, whatever they may be.

Most people have sabotaged themselves at some point in their life, whether it was procrastinating on that report in school, missing an important event at work, or eating Ben and Jerry’s after a commitment to go sugar free. We sabotage ourselves when things are hard, or uncomfortable, and even sometimes when things are good. It doesn’t seem to make sense, and we often aren’t even aware that that’s what we’re doing.

It doesn’t make you a failure if you do this, it makes you human. The key is, though, to bring awareness to these patterns and to work toward change.

How to Know if You’re Self-Sabotaging

Personal Training is, well, personal. We get to know our clients really well, and because we’re more objective, we’re often able to see things – patterns – that the client may not see themselves. Here are some ways that we suspect that we’re dealing with self-sabotage:

  • A client with significant health issues signs up for a definitive number of sessions and immediately talks about quitting once those sessions are over.
  • A client who pronounces within 5 minutes of meeting is that they have a pattern of self-sabotage, yet often have not taken any steps to overcome this.
  • A client that misses sessions with various excuses
  • A client that refuses to try parts of our plan; or a client who agrees to our plan but consistently makes same mistakes without concrete attempt to overcome
  • A client that says something to the effect of “I really want to _______, but I will not do ______”. For example “I want to lose weight but I refuse to give up bread” or “I want to lower my blood pressure but I don’t have time to take deep breaths every day”.
  • A client who makes progress, but then quits before reaching his/her goals.

Do any of these things sound familiar? Do you see yourself doing or thinking this way? Self-sabotaging comes from negative self statements and fear. The negative self statements are often things that we tell ourselves subconsciously, that sabotage our efforts. For example “I’m too fat to do that”, “I won’t succeed”, “I’m not worth it”. These statements translate into fear of doing things that are hard. Fear of overcoming all the things that hold us back. Fear of allowing ourselves to do good things for ourselves because it might not last. These statements and feelings can translate into “I’ll never get to my goal so I might as well enjoy this pizza and ice cream” or “I can’t afford personal training anymore” or ” This plan isn’t for me”.

How to Break the Cycle

So if you see this pattern in yourself, or suspect that you may have a tendency to self-sabotage, you’re probably now wondering what you can do about it. We’ll, actually wanting to do something about it is the first step! Here are 8 Steps to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage, to move forward with your goals, and to be your best self:

  1. Acknowledge what you’re doing
  2. Dig deep and find that inner voice of negativity. What is it saying? Is there a theme?
  3. Become aware of the feelings and thoughts that arise when you become uncomfortable. The diet gets too hard, the workouts are challenging, your trainer asks questions that make you reflect on negativity from your past: what do you see yourself doing and hear yourself saying in these moments?
  4. Now that you have brought awareness to the negative voices and your behavior patterns, you must work to actively and consciously change these things.
  5. Set small goals – setting goals too big or unrealistic can lead to failure and further negativity toward yourself.
  6. Practice non-judgment and non-harming toward yourself. When you hear the negative voices creeping in, acknowledge them, without judgment, and consciously change them to positive or kind voices. By consciously changing the internal chatter, the subconscious will soon follow.
  7. Enjoy and celebrate in your accomplishments, no matter how small.
  8. Don’t give up. When you feel like giving up, go back to Step 1.

If you find that self-sabotage is something you struggle with, or if you struggle to reach health and fitness goals but aren’t sure why, come see us, we can help! Contact us to schedule your free private consult in-studio or virtually!

Why Farm Animal (aka Goat) Yoga?



When I first tell people about our Farm Animal Yoga classes, most either think it’s “interesting” or “hilarious”. And I agree, it is kind of both.  But yoga has gotten some backlash for all of its trendy new takes on the practice, from BeerYoga to Hot Yoga to yes, Goat Yoga. Yoga, like everything else, has its critics. But is combining yoga, steeped in thousands of years of tradition and methodology, with beer, heat, or animals, taking something away from the practice? In my opinion, it depends on what you consider to be a practice.

Let’s go back for a second to what yoga really is. Beyond the poses, the sweaty arm balances, the lotus on the beach, meditating at sunset awesomeness of what our images of yoga may be. The foundations of the practice; the reason the practice is so hard; the reason for that euphoric “ahhhhh” feeling after an hour of “paying attention” on your mat; the reason so many of us strive to be yogi, and are so eager to hop on any bandwagon that will get us there. Yoga enables us to be our best selves, and to let go of the negativity and toxicity that surrounds us and influences us. Yoga gives us the freedom to be who we are naturally, and to be okay with just being, with presence. Yoga quite simply means to unite mind, body and spirit, and according to the sutras, yoga is the “cessation of the fluctuation of the mindstuff”. In other words, yoga quiets the mind and the ego. Yoga’s yamas and niyamas teach kindness, compassion, truthfulness, nonjudgment, and self-discipline; to relinquish hostility and to live less materially and more cleanly. To honor not only yourself, but the living beings that surround us, and our environment.

Yoga is work, and through this work we help to create a more peaceful and sustaining space for ourselves and a more peaceful and sustaining universe.

Yoga is only in part what happens on the mat; but mostly it’s about what happens off the mat.

With this in mind, does it really matter if yoga is practiced on paddleboards or in a heated room or with animals? Isn’t it still the same practice? If you drink a glass of locally crafted beer before, after, or during your asana practice, does that make it less of a practice? If, while doing downward dog, a goat jumps on your back or you get distracted by a puppy nuzzling your arm, does that take away from living mindfully?  If your yoga is playing a round of golf, rock climbing, or sailing your boat, does that make you less of a yogi? I would argue not.

Farm Animal Yoga

Farm Animal Yoga is not only a way to make yoga accessible and fun, and to bring people to the mat that maybe needed a little extra incentive to begin a practice, but it’s also about connecting to animals and nature, a basic human need. I think Goat Yoga has been such a big trend in cities across the country because people are yearning for the excuse to spend time with nature, and with animals. Being on a beautiful farm, with amazing little creatures, away from the stressors of everyday life doesn’t hurt either. Through our Farm Animal Yoga classes, we hope that people will find a reconnection to – and maybe a newfound love for – outdoors and animal life. And find the space to explore the practice of yoga and what that may mean for them. Lastly, we want – and expect – students to leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, while also uplifted and happy because of their new animal friends!

I encourage you to make your yoga your practice, whatever that may be. If you love nature, and/or you love animals, or if you’re curious what a farm animal yoga class would be like, for if you’re just into trying new things, you are welcome to our Farm Animal Yoga classes, and we hope you’ll come. New to the practice or seasoned practitioner, all are welcome! We encourage students to stay after to snuggle with the animals and take pictures if they want!

Serving Dresher, Abington, Glenside, Jenkintown, Flourtown, Oreland, Maple Glen, Willow Grove, Mt Airy, Chestnut Hill, East Falls, Plymouth Meeting, Lafayette Hill, Ambler, Philadelphia, Wyndmoor, Wyncote, Yardlsey, Springfield Township, Blue Bell, North Hills Ft. Washington, Bala Cynwood, Conshohocken, Springhouse, North Wales, Horsham, and all over PA and everywhere else!

Water and Rock Studio Presents: 

Farm Animal Yoga (aka GOAT YOGA)

Goat Yoga is a thing. And we’re doing it! With several adorable baby goats, fun-loving adult goats, and llamas and alpacas looking on, this is a yoga class you’ll never forget. Practice yoga while these cuties nuzzle you, sniff you, and even jump on you in their natural yogi element! Stay and play with animals after! No experience needed. All levels welcome.

Location: Mountain Pride Farm, 869 Woodbine Lane, Quakertown PA
When: Sundays 9-10am

Cost: $35/drop-ins (advanced registration required)

Register today as spots are filling quickly!


Developing a Positive Relationship with Food: Making a Positive Shift

What comes to mind when you hear the word “diet”? For many, it’s a sense of dread or even disgust. Just like with any diet or lifestyle choice, Paleo has its critics. I’ve found that the most critical opinions tend to come from those who don’t really understand what Paleo is, and what it really is about. For us, it’s not a diet (and I hate associating it with the word “diet” because of the negative connotations that go along with that), and it’s not meant to be a restrictive lifestyle either. Paleo, for us, is changing our way of thinking about food, and our perspective about what food is and what we use it for. Since beginning the Paleo lifestyle, I have gone through a myriad of emotions, many that I witness our clients going through as they transition to eating healthier. It’s looking at food in appreciation, and an understanding of how it was made, what is in it, and how those things effect our bodies. Paleo is a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s not a temporary way to lose weight, or a restriction of all things fun. In fact, since going Paleo, I have had more fun than I ever have in shopping for food, creating food, and enjoying food with my family, without that insatiable need to depend on food for all social activities and emotional ups and downs. It’s been freeing in that I can focus more of my energy on experiences and relationships with people, rather than food. All that said, like anyone, I struggle at times, especially as our society is still not conducive to clean eating. Going out to eat can be challenging, as can other social events. But I have learned to navigate most situations in a way that is comfortable to me and my family, and allows me to still enjoy most things that I did before – and then some new things too! For me, once I figured out how to look at food differently, more positively, I became content with my nutrition, my lifestyle, and myself.

Negative Relationship Patterns with Food

So let’s take the word “diet” out of the equation, and even the word “Paleo” for a minute and focus on how to start shifting perspective from a negative to a positive relationship with food. Because in order to be successful in reaching any health and fitness goals, a positive relationship with food is necessary, and imperative. Here are some of the most common negative patterns with food (do any of these relate to you?):

  • Emotional/Stress Eating: whether feeling positive or negative emotions, eating based solely on emotion can have a negative impact on your physical and emotional health.
  • Ignoring Hunger Cues: an inability to tell when you are hungry, and when you are satiated. Ignoring your body’s signals can lead to weight fluctuation and unhealthy weight gain or loss.
  • Food Guilt: beating yourself up about an unhealthy food choice so much that you’re unable to enjoy the food, or the experience.
  • Skipping Meals: skipping meals is just a bad idea. It can be detrimental for your mood, your sleep, your metabolic functioning and your overall health.
  • Negative Nelly: when describing your eating routine you list all the things you cannot eat. When thinking about your health/nutrition plan, the only things you can focus on are the foods that you miss and that you have eliminated, and how that impacts other aspects of your life in a negative way.
  • Restriction: you restrict yourself from food so much that you miss the point of healthy eating – to fill your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically – not to deprive yourself of all things happy!

Making a Positive Shift

If any of these things describe you, you may have some work to do before you can be successful with your health and nutrition journey. We’re striving for healthy body and healthy mind, and to do that we want to take some of the emotional stress out of your relationship with food. Here are some ways to make a positive shift in perspective when it comes to food, and how ultimately to develop a more positive relationship with food in order to be successful – and happy!

  1. Mindful Eating. This is listed first because I feel that it is the most important key to enjoying food, understanding food, and learning to eat and enjoy real, whole, organic foods. Eating mindfully can lead to better control over your weight by allowing you to tune into hunger cues. When eating mindfully, it also helps you to get more satisfaction from food, and enjoy the various flavors of real foods. Think about how you might eat a hamburger from a fast food restaurant or popcorn at a movie theatre – probably pretty fast and mindlessly, right? And you think it tastes so delicious because in those quick minutes of eating you are overwhelmed with the taste of salt and chemicals. Now imagine sitting down to eat a salad made with fresh, local organic vegetables and a bunless grassfed burger, eating slowly and tasting each subtle flavor, imagining the farm that these foods came from, healthy cows, and vegetables growing in the warm sun, and no added pesticides or chemicals. Try bringing more time and awareness to your next meal and notice the difference.
  2. Eat When You’re Hungry. It sound so simple, but we all struggle with this one. You come home from work and nosh on the first thing you see because you’re relieving stress. You have a fight with a friend or spouse and you down 6 brownies. You go to dinner with friends and you eat an inordinate amount of cheese dip, fries and maybe even some key lime pie. I’m not saying don’t eat when with friends. My point here is to bring more awareness to when you eat and why. And try to eat when you’re hungry, as much as possible. Emotional/stress eating leads to weight challenges, and negative emotional energy toward yourself and others.
  3. Imperfection. If you’re human, you will make mistakes, even when eating. And it’s ok! Just because you couldn’t resist that bread, or slice of cake, doesn’t mean your health plan is ruined, and it doesn’t make you a failure. Acknowledge your mistake, and how you want to do it differently next time, and let out go. Move forward. Be kind to yourself.
  4. Positive Penny. Let’s say goodbye to Negative Nelly – she drives me crazy. When someone asks you about your nutrition or lifestyle, start telling them about all of the amazing things you do and eat. For example, I had this amazing 6 layer paleo strawberry cake for my birthday this year! I discovered how to make the most delicious salad dressing I’ve ever eaten because of my paleo preferences, and I never feel bloated after a Thanksgiving meal! Also, I’m more active since going paleo, because all of my social engagements are no longer centered around food, but more around things like yoga classes, bowling, hiking and concerts!
  5. Enjoy the Experience. Whether cooking your own food or eating out with others, take time not just to eat mindfully, but to enjoy and be grateful for the experience of creating the food, sharing the food, and eating the food.
  6. Eat. Be okay with eating. Every meal, and multiple times a day. When you use the tools above you’ll soon realize that not only will you not gain weight or fat from eating multiple meals a day, you will actually feel better and your life and energy will improve.

Hopefully this will give you some food for thought. How have you found success and contentment when it comes to food and a healthy way of eating? What mistakes have you made, and how have you overcome your challenges?
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Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Yoga and the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

Yoga and the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

Yoga is everywhere. Celebrities credit yoga for their svelte physiques, yoga studios are popping up on every corner, and yoga pants are the new jeans. I don’t even wear jeans anymore. “Yoga” is a buzzword for sure, and most often – in our culture – used to reference yoga postures, or asanas. I find that even seasoned yoga students sometimes have difficulty answering the “What is Yoga” question, and many students come to a yoga class originally for the physical benefits: flexibility, coordination, balance, etc. That’s what originally drew me to the practice, in fact. But, like many, I soon discovered that yoga encompasses so much more, and I haven’t stopped practicing since. So what IS yoga, what does it have to do with the mind and spirit, and what is the mind-body-spirit connection?

What is Yoga?

The word “yoga” means “to yoke” or “to unite”, as in to unite the body, mind and spirit. Yoga originated in ancient India as physical, mental and spiritual practices. Later, yoga was introduced to, and quickly gained popularity in, the western part of the world as primarily a physical practice. While yoga history and philosophy are becoming more known in our culture, the stigma of yoga being simply another form of physical exercise remains. However, growing bodies of research related to meditation and asana credit yoga with significant stress reduction, improving cardiovascular health, controlling diabetes, promoting healthy mood and self-concept, and even longevity. Students of mine have touted the benefits of yoga, ranging from healing hip and back pain, to making pregnancy and labor smooth and relaxed, to diminishing significant body tremors, to improving overall stress management. You may be wondering how yoga does all of this. The answer: through mind-body-spirit connection!

The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

As yoga teaches us, the mind, body and spirit are all connected; what we think effects our bodies and what our bodies do effects our minds. Yoga postures are just as important as other aspects of yoga, such as meditation, breathing, truth, or compassion, and all of these things lead to a deeper interconnection and unification the mind, body and spirit. To say it simply, a relaxed and healthy mind and spirit leads to a relaxed and healthy body, and vice versa.

Practicing the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
Once you begin a yoga practice, you will pretty quickly begin to notice the benefits. Maybe physically at first, but if you are observant you will soon notice other aspects of your mind, your body, your life, starting to shift. Here are some examples of how the mind-body-spirit connection comes into play:

  • Physical Goals. When struggling physically, observe what the mind is doing. For example, if your goal is to improve physical balance, and you find that even holding tree pose for more than 5 seconds is challenging, you may want to observe what the mind is doing when you’re practicing tree pose. Maybe you feel anxious because you know balance is challenging for you, or frustrated with your body, or maybe you’re thinking about something else. Come out of the pose, take a few deep breaths to calm and quiet the mind, and then come back to the pose. Observe, without judgment, how your tree pose feels now.
  • Mental Health. When focusing on mental goals, pay attention to what the body is needing. For example, if stress-management is an issue for you, as it is for most, and you find it difficult to sit quietly to calm the mind, your body may need more. Try this: When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, stop, move through 5 or more sun salutations (adding in other poses if you like). Don’t forget to connect the breath to your movements. Then you may be ready to return to what you were doing, with a renewed energy and perspective.
  • Fulfillment. Check in with the spirit. For example, yoga teaches us to be kind and compassionate toward ourself, toward others, and toward our environment. If you feel disconnected somehow, or feel unfulfilled in some way, find a way to give back or to follow a passion. It can be something as simple as bringing a cup of coffee to your dry cleaner, shoveling snow for a neighbor, or enrolling in art classes. Or maybe a bigger project within the community, or sharing yoga with a local group. Fulfilling the spirit will lead to a healthy state of mind and body.
  • Lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle choices lead to healthy mind, body and spirit. Are you sleeping enough? Are you exercising? Are you eating real, whole foods, and eating mindfully? Have you eliminated most toxins from your environment? Being good and kind to your body will deepen your mind-body-spirit connection, and optimize your overall health.

At Water and Rock Studio, our private yoga sessions and small group classes help strengthen this mind-body-spirit connection through movement, meditation, breathing techniques, and other yoga teachings. Yoga is an integral part of our overall philosophy of integrating mind and body to optimize health, heal disease, and reach wellness goals. Contact us to try our online private yoga sessions or yoga classes, or if local to Philadelphia, a class or private session.
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Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

14 Health Benefits of Magnesium and How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough

14 Health Benefits of Magnesium and How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough

Magnesium is an essential mineral for our bodies, with endless benefits, yet it’s not something that we hear a lot about in the mainstream medical realm. When we bring this up to our clients, for example, we often get blank looks, or sometimes a vague sign of recognition. Despite the lack of awareness for this mineral, an estimated 80% of Americans are actually deficient in magnesium, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. We hope that after you read this post you will be armed with more knowledge and awareness about the importance of healthy magnesium levels, what to look for if you think you may be magnesium-deficient, and how to use diet and supplementation to compensate for any deficiency.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Symptomology is the primary indicator of a magnesium deficiency. There is no lab test that can accurately and consistently diagnose a person as deficient in magnesium. While there are blood and urine tests that provide estimates of magnesium levels, most doctors Will likely look at the presenting symptoms as the primary indicators. So what symptoms should you be looking for? A magnesium deficiency, especially one that has been ongoing, can cause a number of symptoms. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Seizures
  • Hypertension and abnormal heart rhythms
  • Mood swings and behavioral disorders
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Other nutrient deficiencies
  • Headache/migraines
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Significant loss of appetite

14 Health Benefits of Magnesium

Numerous studies have evaluated the benefits of magnesium, with staggering results. Here are 14 health benefits of magnesium:

  1. Relieves muscle aches, cramping, and spasms
  2. Aids digestion and relieves constipation
  3. Helps with sleep by quieting the mind and relaxing muscles
  4. Calms nerves
  5. Increases energy
  6. Helps prevent hypertension and promote heart health
  7. Helps relieve symptoms of PMS
  8. Helps prevent migraines
  9. Helps relieve pain of fibromyalgia
  10. Promotes healthy blood pressure levels
  11. Can boost exercise performance
  12. Helps regulate mood and reduce symptoms of depression
  13. Promotes bone health
  14. Strengthens tooth enamel

How to Make Sure You’re Getting Enough

Magnesium-Rich Foods. If you suspect that you may be deficient in magnesium, it is always a good idea to evaluate your diet. Add in as many whole, organic, and varied foods as possible. Remember that plant foods are only as healthy as the soil they were grown in. Organic vegetables, for example, tend to have higher levels of magnesium than non-organic. Some foods naturally rich in magnesium include:

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Banana
  • Figs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Salmon

Magnesium Supplements. Depending on your symptoms, it may be a good idea to use magnesium supplements. There are lots of different types of magnesium supplements, with the citrate, chelate, and chloride forms believed to have higher absorption rates. We use Davinci Labs Tri-Mag 300, which provides three chelates forms of magnesium. As with any supplementation, its important that you additionally adhere to a diet of varied, whole and organic foods. The paleo diet provides healthy levels of magnesium, as well as an optimal calcium to magnesium ratio.

Contact us at Water and Rock Studio for a free online or in-studio health consult today!

Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Adrenal Fatigue: Signs, Symptoms, and What To Do About It

Adrenal Fatigue: Signs, Symptoms, and What To Do About It

Adrenal fatigue seems to be making its way to more mainstream health conversations, and for good reason. An estimated 80% of people are affected by this condition, and exhibit a wide range of symptoms. So what is adrenal fatigue, and what are the symptoms? Adrenal glands are two small organs that sit above the kidneys and are part of the endocrine system. They produce over 50 essential hormones, and are responsible for keeping many body systems in balance. One of these hormones, cortisol (otherwise known as the “stress hormone”), controls immune response, normalizes blood sugar, and regulated blood pressure. In a nutshell, when life stressors become too intense or too prolonged, the adrenal glands can’t keep up. Adrenal fatigue can possibly be caused by stressors such as:

– lack of sleep for long periods of time
– traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one
– lack of a healthy diet and exercise
– excessive workload and long hours
– environmental toxins: chemicals, mold, etc
– chronic infections or illness
– persistent negative emotions and emotional strain

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue vary, and are often misdiagnosed as other conditions. Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:

  •  brain fog/poor memory
  • trouble getting up in the morning
  • bone loss
  • inflammation
  • weight gain
  • hair loss
  • excessive sugar or salt cravings
  • weakened immune system response
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • loss of interest in sex

What To Do

If several of these symptoms describe you, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. So what can you do to heal your boy and help your adrenals function effectively? Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do on your own. Here are some things that we recommend to our clients who are dealing with symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  1.  Diet. A healthy diet is at the root of any health and wellness regimen as we all know. Yet just hearing those words make many people cringe. We are so attached to our love of food that sometimes we can’t even see how harmful certain foods are to our bodies, and we may not even notice how they make us feel. What you eat matters. And if you want to feel your best you need to look at your diet, period. Addressing adrenal fatigue is similar to other health conditions in that you need to avoid chemicals and processed foods and eat more real, while, organic foods. Specifically, avoid
    – sugars/ artificial sweeteners
    – caffeine
    – processed food
    – hydrogenated oils
    – foods that you are sensitive to. For many people this includes gluten and/or dairy.

Instead, eat:
– organic fruits and vegetables
– organic or grass-fed protein
– nuts and seeds
– healthy oils, such as coconut, avocado or olive oil
– Himalayan sea salt

2.  Stress Reduction. A few things to incorporate into your daily routine include:
– moderate exercise a few days a week
– yoga
– deep breaths
– adequate sleep (8-10 hours a night)
– fun
– positive thinking and positive people
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3.  Supplements. Due to unhealthy farming practices, even our whole foods do not always contain the full amount of nutrients like they used to. Sometimes our bodies still need nutrients to help with adrenal functioning, such as B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and others.

4.  Water. Make sure you stay hydrated with roughly half your body weight in ounces of water daily.

5.  Work with a Knowledgable Professional. It is always helpful to seek the support and guidance of a professional who is knowledgeable about adrenal fatigue and how it effects your body. Integrative and functional doctors, naturopathic practitioners, integrative and holistic nutritionists, and personal trainers with a holistic and integrative perspective with regard to wellness can all be helpful resources.

Keep in mind that just as it took months or even years to fatigue your adrenals, it may take some time to recover. Honor your body and nourish it with the lifestyle changes mentioned above and you will be well on your way to recovery! Contact us at Water and Rock Studio with questions, and let us help guide you to adrenal fatigue recovery.


Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Reduce Stress with Deep Breaths

Reduce Stress with Deep Breaths

Anyone who frequents a yoga class has heard the words “deep breaths” probably multiple times. Most yogis and non-yogis alike have heard the phrase “take a deep breath” at some point in their lives. And deep breathing is all over self help books and google searches as a major way to cope with stress. So what’s all the hype about deep breaths? Is it just a cliche or can it really make a difference? Here we explore how deep breathing can reduce stress in the body, and how to know if you’re doing it correctly (yes, there actually is a method to proper breathing!).

Deep Breaths and Stress
Deep breathing can have small, large, and profound effects on health and the body. Research shows that breathing deeply can reduce anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve lung function, and improve sleep. Not to mention reducing stress and calming the body. How?Deep breaths, when done correctly, can move the body from its stress response, otherwise known as “fight or flight”, to a relaxed response, “rest and digest”. They actually engage the parasympathetic nervous system, reversing the stress response in your body, triggered by the body’s sympathetic nervous system. As you may hear in yoga classes, this can not only have positive physiological effects, but emotional effects as well. Deep breathing helps to quiet the mind, easing emotional turmoil and chatter.

How to Breathe Deeply and Reduce Stress
It sounds so easy right? Just take deep breaths. However, breathing properly is actually not intuitive to most adults. Unlike babies and small children, adults are influenced by learned behavior and often have a tendency to tense up the abdominal muscles when breathing, making the breaths shallower and more strained. To benefit fully from deep breathing, you first want to make sure you are relaxing the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, and sitting, standing, or lying in a way that provides space in the upper body for the breath to flow unobstructed and with ease. Place a hand on your belly and slowly inhale, filling the belly, the ribcage, the chest. As you exhale, release the air from top to bottom, fully contracting at the end of the exhale, hugging the belly button in toward the spine. This may feel counterintuitive to you, and you may feel muscles working that you don’t typically feel throughout the day.

We typically recommend to our clients to bring awareness to their breathing throughout the day. Some people respond well to numbers, and for those people we recommend trying to work up to taking about 100 deep breaths a day. For those of you who already have a meditation or other yoga practice, this may come naturally and easily. For many others, this may be something new and even intimidating. Relax, enjoy it! Breathe deeply as you walk down the hall, in between sips of water, during your kid’s soccer game, while you’re sitting in traffic, and as you drift off to sleep at night (the breathing will actually cause you to fall asleep faster!). Maybe you’ll start to notice differences in your response to stressful situations, your ability to manage daily tasks and social interactions, your energy, and your sleep.

Start today – start now! – practicing deep breaths to reduce stress. Contact us at Water and Rock Studio for help with stress relief, lifestyle goals, and to learn various breathing techniques!

Bob Butera’s Yoga Therapy for Stress & Anxiety Workshop

bob butera 2013 bio photo
Bob Butera’s Yoga Therapy for Stress & Anxiety Workshop

Harness the keys from Bob’s new book, Yoga Therapy for Stress and Anxiety. Learn how to use the basic tools of yoga (postures, breathing practices, relaxation, meditation) to quiet emotions, relax the body, and steady the mind. Deprogram limiting mental habits by examining and reforming long-held, nonconscious belief. Personalize simple, powerful shifts in daily routines in order to create a lifestyle that transforms stress into confidence

Bob Butera Ph.D., M.Div., E-RYT-500, is the founder of the YogaLife Institute and publisher of Yoga Living Magazine.

Thursday, December 17th 7:00pm (1.5-2 hours)

$25 for unlimited class members of Water and Rock Studio

Space is limited, contact us today to register!