Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sugar Free = Happy Gums!

This afternoon I went to my dentist for my 6-month cleaning and after she did all of her tests she was amazed at how healthy my gums were!  Over the last few years my 'gum numbers' (the mm of inflammation that they measure from the tooth to the gum line) have been increasing.  If you are familiar with this tracking method, you are always happy to hear 1, 2, or 3's.  In the last few years my number of 4's were increasing, not good!

So today, when I went for my check up, I told my dentist that I took sugar out of my diet and that now when I floss there is NO BLEEDING!  I really like my dentist so it was really excited to share this with her.  So sure enough, she did her tests and my gum numbers were down and I had a 30% decrease in gum bleeding!  The only change I have made from my last visit is the removal of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.  I am pretty sure it is the sugar that made this shift!  She made the comment, "wow, so if sugar is inflaming your gums, imagine what it is doing to the rest of your body,"  excellent point good doctor, excellent point.

So next time you floss, think about how happy your gums will be if there is no sugar causing them to inflame and how happy your teeth will be to not have sugar to break down your enamel!

Hope that motivates you toward another day of sugar free living!  I am off to smile my big happy gummed smile!! Yay!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Boldest Resolution

I've always found myself conflicted with the concept of 'New Years Resolutions'.  What makes January 1st a better day than any other to do something good for your health, or to make an allegiance to some great concept? It had been a long two weeks since I had taught my last class and I was struggling for something meaningful to say to my students about the new year. As I sat in front of the class and looked into the sea of familiar smiling faces I decided to go for it.  I pulled out my book of yoga inspired poetry, randomly flipped to a page, and started to read. As I read the poem "Maybe Not" (see below) by fellow yoga teacher, Danna Faulds, I got goosebumps.  It was perfect.

I continued to read this poem in classes throughout the week my appreciation for it grew. I wondered how many other people had taken the faithful leap to do something big for the new year, and how many had already fallen short of their idealist view of that change. This poem seemed to offer a new perspective. Maybe faltering and falling short of our ideal is part of an even deeper kind of spiritual growth

I started to think about how common it is for discomfort, doubt, and fear to be seen as enemies of willpower. But what what if each time we experience these discomforts they actually have a strengthening effect on our courage and resolve. Even the word re-solve gives us the clue that it is not something that we do once.  Perhaps it is the constant faltering and daily doubt that create lasting internal resolution and not because we 'like' it, but because it is required.

It takes a lot of courage to begin again after we have failed. I remember learning to snowboard and how many times I fell. Yet every time I stood up, dusted myself off, and tried again (...also a great line by superstar Beyonce) I felt stronger and more confident. Before long I was standing longer than I was sitting. I was never guaranteed a smooth trip down the mountain and there was no sure result that I'd ever make it down without falling, but I aligned myself with resolve and when my instructor said I had "the tenacity of a jack russel terrier," I owned it. As Danna says, "the secret is you can begin again at any time." How refreshing.

So whether you have a spotless new year’s record or if you've fallen off the wagon a few times we salute you.  Change isn't always easy and maybe that is a good thing.

Here at Sky House we are taking on the challenge of a 90-day sugar cleanse. If you want to join us, send us an email and we can send each other encouraging words as we go. We know it is not an easy feat yet each day when we wake up we are committed to starting again and are learning to face the temptations with even greater resolve.  We are also happy to be putting more of our good energy into the things we love.  This season you will find a new Sky House Yoga Class Schedule, Full Moon Ceremonies, A Special Dream Tracking Workshop, The Artist's Way, and an invitation to join our upcoming Herbal, Astrology, and Yoga Training Programs.

Wishing you a wonderful new year and may good health be your faithful companion, peace your guarded ally, and love your perpetual guide.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Dream of Plants

Last night I had a dream that I was looking for plants. I was reading a book which explained where I could find nettles. I followed the directions to a bathtub (I know...strange) and in the bathtub there were two plants growing. I recognized one as nettles although it looked more like seaweed and had a rubbery consistency. Next to it was a plant that I called 'false nettle' (although in my waking life I had never heard of such a plant). They looked identical and were both rubbery with small leaves but I 'knew' they were different. I had the image of pulling them up and using them to scour pots and dirty clothes.

When I woke I opened up my books to research this plant for my plant spirit yoga class and found that nettles, like rubbery seaweeds, are high in iodine and are often used for the thyroid (an organ I am personally healing) and are used for strengthening tendons and ligaments (I just noticed yesterday my knee was feeling weak). Nettles are also aid detoxification and scour out the kidneys and add minerals back into the body. I will be applying a nettle poultice to my thyroid and will be drinking the tea daily. Maybe applying the tea to my knee if needed.

Later today I came across false nettle on Jim McDonald's website. It IS a plant! Boehmeria cylindrica, false nettles are native to this area and looks identical to nettles but doesn't have the spikes containing the 'sting'. This plant is contains an antibacterial alkaloid called cryptopleurine which works intensely to kill off candida albicans a bacteria that can overgrow from an over consumption of sugar (Adam and I are doing a sugar cleanse). So it looks like I will be needing some false nettles too! Anyone know more about this plant and where I might find it?

It is amazing that we can learn about plants, planets, patterns, people, and the universe through the dream space. I am deeply grateful for all the herbalists out there who teach the interpretation plant signatures. I have been dreaming about plants for years but I never fully understood them. Now I feel like I starting to learn a new and at the same time ancient universal language. I have such gratitude for herbalist Matthew Wood for legitimizing the dream world as an important classroom.
"All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together." ~ Jack Kerouac