Nasal Breathing (Pranayama) vs. Mouth Breathing

Nasal Breathing (Pranayama) vs. Mouth Breathing; Moving from Stress & Anxiety to a State of Calm & Relaxation by Trudee Sanbonmatsu

     At the beginning of every yoga class, I impress upon my students the importance of yogic breathing during practice. It is so important that the poses are secondary to yogic breathing; a student can consider their practice perfect, if all they do during class is yogic breathing, while adding few or no poses.

The ancient Indian system of yoga identified prana as the universal life force or energy which distinguishes the living from the dead. Start by finding a slow, deep, rhythmic breath, in through the nose and out through the nose. Then, find a ratio of inhale to exhale wherein the exhale is a little longer than the inhale; the exhale is as powerful at the end as it is in the beginning. On the initial inhale, soften the belly allowing the diaphragm to move downwards and fill up the lungs. On the exhale, drawn the navel in and up, expressing all the air out the lungs. These simple steps will: calm the mind, reduce worries and anxieties; improve focus and attention; increase energy, bringing enthusiasm and positivity; boost the immune system; rejuvenate the body and mind; and, may even slow down the aging process.

Take a moment now to become aware of your breath. Is it deep or shallow, smooth or choppy? Most of us breathe from the chest. Shallow breathing sends a signal to the brain that all is not well and we are stressed. Alternatively, breathing from the abdomen boosts respiration, ensures a rich supply of oxygen to the brain and signals that all is well. If you watch new born babies, you will see that their stomachs rise and fall as they breathe in and out. This type of breathing calms the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) our body’s fight, flight, freeze reaction and switches on the Parasympathetic Nervous System
(PNS) producing a feeling of calm and relaxation.

If we breathe a lower volume of air by breathing in a slow controlled fashion through the nose, we increase the amount of carbon dioxide, and can deliver more oxygen to our muscles and organs including the heart and brain. Breathing in and out more air than necessary results in hypocapnia, a state of reduced carbon dioxide in the blood. You inhale and exhale too much when breathing in and out the mouth. This reduces oxygen to the brain and body tissues. Nasal breathing increases the levels of nitric oxide. A key signaling molecule used throughout the body. It regulates air flow and helps prevent
over-breathing.

More professional athletes are now using the ancient wisdom of pranayama breathwork to excel at their sport. Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek, seven-time consecutive winner of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, states that slowing down his breath rate and breathing from his belly through his nose, is essential to his athletic success.

Pay attention to your breath. Breathing in and out of the mouth signals the nervous system that something is wrong. Mouth breathing means difficult breathing and this, in turn, means deficient oxygenation of the tissues with the result of lowered vital organ and brain activity. To move from the SNS into the PNS, find an everyday situation and train your brain to start automatically breathing yogic breath. One suggestion is when driving, each time you come to a stop light, soften your belly and inhale then exhale slowly always through the nose. Over time you will naturally begin to exist in a state of calm and relaxation, instead of in a state of constant stress and anxiety.

Thank You to Trudee Sanbonmatsu, Park City’s Best Yoga Instructor 2015 & 2016 for taking the time to prepare this article. If you feel it’s time to benefit from Yoga  -try a class with Trudee, check out her studio website, Yoga Kula Project for classes and times. Namaste! 💚🙏🕉🌸

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3 Tips for Novice Gardeners Who Want to Help Bees

3 Tips for Novice Gardeners Who Want to Help Bees by Christy Erickson

If you want to start a home garden to help the bees but don’t have a green thumb or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening to know whether you have a green thumb, don’t lose hope.

Even novice gardeners can grow some flowers and vegetables and help bees and other pollinators thrive. It’s more important now than ever before for you to take a leap into gardening because bee populations are declining, and we rely on bees for pollinating about one-third of all our food. Simply put, without bees and other pollinators, global food production would take a devastating hit. Our three tips for novice gardeners will help you develop a green thumb and, more importantly, protect bees in your backyard.

1. Spend Time Preparing the Soil

If you have not gardened successfully in the past, spend time learning gardening dos and don’ts. For instance: preparing your soil for new flowers and vegetables is essential because a healthy garden results from healthy soil. It’s also wise to determine the pH of your soil using a soil testing kit from your local home improvement store or nursery. Bulbs typically need a pH balance between six and seven, so if yours is at a different level, talk with the experts at the store or nursery about how to make corrections by adding minerals such as limestone or lime sulfur. Beware of certain products that could be toxic to bees when making pH adjustments to your soil; by itself, sulfur is highly toxic to bees, yet lime sulfur products are safe for bees.

2. Ensure Your Garden Materials are Bee Safe

Sadly, much of what we do to help bees actually is responsible for killing them.

According to the Huffington Post, one report shows that 54% of regularly purchased so-called bee-friendly plants from chain home improvement stores contain neonicotinoid pesticides. The European Union has banned these pesticides on flowering crops, but they continue to be used and sold in the United States. You should look at the garden products and materials you have at home and immediately stop using those that contain neonicotinoids: the product labels will contain acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam as active ingredients.

The better bet is to start your garden with products that you know are organic and bee safe. You can do so by purchasing organic plant starts or growing plants from untreated seeds in organic potting soil. Then, avoid using soil, pesticides, and fertilizers that contain neonicotinoids and other ingredients that are toxic to bees. One trick is to attract beneficial insects that prey on pests in your garden by planting specific flowers and herbs. If you’re not sure which plants will attract beneficial insects, check out this post by Permaculture Research Institute. If you absolutely cannot get rid of pests without other interventions, use insecticidal soaps or oils or other eco-friendly pest control products. (Tip: Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford shares tips for making your own insecticidal soap.)

3. Choose Plants that are Easy to Grow and that Attract Bees

Novice gardeners won’t do much to help bees if they try to grow plants that are better suited to people with extremely green thumbs. You will have a much more successful garden and help bees thrive if you choose plants that are easy to grow and that bees love.

For example, lavender, black-eyed Susans, daylilies, and Spiraea, are easy plants that attract bees and provide them with plenty of pollen and nectar. If you want to plant an edible garden, there are some vegetables and herbs that are more attractive to bees than others, including artichoke, beans, cucumbers, peas, squash, basil, low-growing clover, mint, rosemary, and oregano.

Novice gardeners can do a great deal to help bees by doing their best to start a backyard garden. You should spend time preparing the soil, avoid garden materials that are toxic to bees, and choose plants that are easy to grow and that attract bees.

Image via Pixabay by Antranias

Sponsor the 2017 Park City Farmer’s Market

The 2017 Park City Farmer’s Market is just 3 short months away! If you are a business owner in Park City or surrounding areas please consider sponsoring us for the 2017 season. Sponsors receive their logo and web link to their business on the sidebar of our website homepage for maximum exposure. For more information on our different sponsorships available please go to the “sponsors” section of our website, thank you! ❤

Sponsor 2017 Park City Farmers Market

Park City Farmer’s Market 2016 Grand Opening!

Attention Parkites! The 2016 Park City Farmer’s Market Season Grand Opening is tomorrow, June 1st from noon till 6pm at Canyons Park City. Make sure you stop by and check out the best local veggies and fruits Utah farmers have to offer! There are also dozens of amazing vendors and artists that you will want to check out. With live music and our beer garden to keep you entertained, you wont want to miss this event, see you tomorrow! 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤

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Have you tried Acupuncture in Park City, Utah?

This information on Acupuncture comes to you from Mar, professional Acupuncturist at Align Spa, Park City, Utah. 🙂

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You’ve probably heard about acupuncture, know someone who has been treated with acupuncture -or have tried it yourself. Acupuncture as an “alternative” medicine has become more popular and mainstream in the U.S.  Not only has acupuncture been found to help chronic and acute pain conditions, but it has also been used to treat a whole host of illnesses. Everything from digestive problems, neurological issues, respiratory challenges and GYN disorders and the list goes on and on. Acupuncture is also being used in many hospitals as a complementary treatment for people undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.  And even though acupuncture is one of the oldest and most enduring forms of medicine in the world, we here in the Western world are still boggled by the idea that a bunch of needles placed in various locations through the body are going to cause any effect except to cause pain. I mean they are needles, pointy things going into the skin…Ouch! And that’s supposed to make us feel better?

Acupuncture in Park City, Utah

Strangely enough the answer is a resounding, YES!

First off, most people who have experienced acupuncture will tell you the needles rarely hurt.  Sometimes it may feel like a light pinch that quickly goes away.  I’ve had several patients fall asleep while I’m putting the needles in.  At Align Spa, I use thin, one time use, disposable sterile needles. For those of you that are still needle phobic, there are many other techniques and methods we can use to treat you that don’t involve needles. (Please go to our website at alignspa.com and click on Acupuncture and Your Treatment to find out more information.)

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From a Chinese medicine perspective, the needles are placed in specific locations, based on the diagnosis. These points are used to help restore balance in the body, allowing blood and qi (vital energy) to flow, reestablishing health and wellness. Simply put, if you are experiencing physical or emotional pain, then the flow of qi and or blood is not flowing freely throughout your body.  You may be experiencing tiredness, depression, feeling like you are stuck and unable to get motivated.  Oftentimes, that may stem from a lack of qi and blood and like a pond without fresh moving water, it stagnates.  Or perhaps you’ve had a skiing accident, hurting your knee, causing a blockage that collects too much qi and blood in one place increasing your pain and slowing the healing process.  Like an overflowing dam, letting go of a little water can help release the pressure.

But what if you’re basically feeling good, eating well, exercising, meditating, should you be getting acupuncture? I mean how often do you go to your medical doctor and say, “hey, I’m feeling great, is there anything else I can do to keep feeling this way?”  Generally, preventative medicine is not the strong suit of the American Medical Association.  Acupuncture is a great treatment to help ensure the continued free flow of qi and blood and assisting in keeping a physical and emotional balance. Stressors, can impede your body’s natural balance and eventually lead to illness that can’t immediately be detected. So, getting acupuncture every once in a while may help maintain your healthy balance.

So whether you’re healthy, had an accident or have a chronic condition, acupuncture can help to encourage the healthy flow of qi and blood. If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture and alternative treatments, including Western Medicine theories as to why acupuncture is so effective, please visit our website at alignspa.com.

Providing quality acupuncture care is just one of the many reasons Align Spa was voted 2015’s #1 spa in Park City.  Stop by or visit our website to see all the services we provide. Thank you and we hope you’re all enjoying the amazing snow this year! ❤

The Season Is Just Getting Good!

Hey #ParkCity market fans, the season is not over! In fact, this is the BEST time of year to get your fruits and veggies the harvests are in full bloom, stop by tomorrow from noon till 6pm at the Canyons Resort -see you there! 💙💜💛💚💓

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#Repost 📷 @farmer_andrea.m

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Time to stock up on #hardneckgarlic! #getsome today @ranui_gardens at the #parkcityfarmersmarket 12-6pm#Repost @farmer_andrea.m with @repostapp

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