Breath Makes the World Go Round – Even for Kids!

Originally posted on Health at Your Fingertips blog.

Children Can Let Go of Stress and Be Happier

Stress can show up in lots of ways in our bodies. As adults we can often see what that looks like and feels like. What’s sad is how many children in our world are experiencing stress. Have you noticed a young person who is experiencing loss of energy, sleeplessness, extreme up and down emotions, chronic illness (even just ongoing colds), or inability to stay on track and focused? THESE are early symptoms of stress. What’s super sad is how many children get so stressed that they end up in the throes of anxiety and even develop respiratory and digestive issues.

I see these early signals of stress in so many of the children I work with. Their parents want to help them change that picture which is why they come to see me. What’s beautiful is that their bodies “decide” they don’t have to create the bigger issues. Instead, their bodies recognize that they don’t have to respond to the stress and the stressful moments that are in the world around us.

So, what to do? The trick is to let go of stress build up and “create” a body that doesn’t experience symptoms of stress. It’s all about getting the energy to flow and helping the breath be open and expansive. When the body is more open to receiving the inhale and letting go on the exhale, there is ability for the body to create the space for a healthier way of being. The children I work with recognize huge changes taking place when they do the Daily Clean Your House Flow. And many of them do it more than once a day — because they notice that their body is happier.

Here are some of the comments that I’m hearing from the children in my life:

“I’m going to sleep as soon as I go to bed.”
“When I wake up it’s easier to get ready for school.”
“I’m not falling asleep at my desk or when I’m studying.”
“I’m not missing school because I’m not getting sick like I used to.”
“I’m getting more done and getting better grades.”
“I’m not getting in fights with my brother.”
“I’m getting along better with my friends and we’re having more fun.”

So, folks — our bodies are hungry to be in balance no matter what our age! And our bodies want breath to be happening — easily, consistently and expansively. Do the Daily Clean Your House Flow whenever your body asks for it. Remember: “There is no such thing as too much self-help!”

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Happy Kids Make for Happy Lives for Everyone!

Originally posted on Health at Your Fingertips blog.

It’s summer time! And life is super full — especially if you have children in your life. Whether you’re a parent or a grandparent or a caregiver or a teacher in hiatus — some portion of some days are spent keeping those kids happy. Happy means that they are active with something that keeps their attention and that they are content with what is happening. All of requires that they are content within their bodies. What on earth do I mean by that??!!

Content within our bodies means that our bodies are in a place of ease and balance, that our bodies are energetically prepared for what we’re going to ask them to do and prepared for what might come at them. THAT means we will have clarity and focus, ease in actual physical movement and ease in creative expression. In addition, balance brings the ability to handle our emotions so they don’t get too big, take our breath away and cause us to get stuck IN the emotion.

For example, have you ever noticed that irritation can sometimes lead to frustration and maybe even anger? When we don’t address our reaction to what is creating the irritation, it can quickly turn into a bigger, more intense emotion. That increase will be what takes our breath away and causes us to be in the throes of the emotion and then everything escalates.

So imagine what a child is experiencing when all of what I have described is happening and they have no experience in how to handle irritation or frustration or anger. Dealing with emotions so they don’t get too big is a learning journey. You can help the children in your life more easily experience their emotions, get the information they need from the emotions, and gain life lessons.

Here’s how! Show them the Daily Clean Your House Flow! And see how much easier life can be — for them and for you.

You will notice: increased attention span, reduced stress, improved performance, improved health with less illness, increased cooperation, less acting out and increased self-esteem.

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Don’t Be a Deer in the Headlights

Have you ever felt like you were a deer caught in the headlights?

Yesterday I walked outside and surprised a deer that was near my garden fence. She freaked out, jumped the deck railing and I thought for sure she had jumped into the garden. But as I walked around the garden, there was no sign of her. That poor girl must have run across the deck and jumped off the high side.
Granted, it was daylight and there really weren’t headlights, but the deer must have felt like her life was in jeopardy. Her reaction was “get out of here fast no matter what I have to do to make it happen.” She also could have gotten “stuck in the moment and not been able to move.”
I know I have had times like that: “needing to make an immediate decision and follow through right now.” It’s real easy at the moment to go into flight or fight mode, or paralysis and not be able to do anything.

Jumper Cables Tame Big Emotions

One of the best ways to tame big emotions is to Jumper Cable each of your fingers, even if it’s just holding the thumbs or index fingers. Spending time holding the thumb is all about letting go of worry and anxiety, the emotion/attitude that our bodies will go to if things aren’t going the way you want or expect. To get the results you want and to “get to success,” hold those thumbs!
Holding the index fingers will allow you to move away from fear and move towards taking action with confidence. When there is no fear present, there is a sense of safety and security and ability to “deal with it” and know that all is well.
So, when you have a surprise that could easily take your breath away and cause you to get caught in the headlights, Jumper Cable! It will work much easier and faster if you’ve already balanced your body by doing the Daily Clean Your House Flow.

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A Dragon Eats the Moon

Red DragonI’ve been watching the moon get eaten by the dragon! It’s truly a ‘blood moon’ as it has turned from a bright glowing sphere to a burned red color. The ancient Chinese believed that solar eclipses occur when a legendary celestial dragon devours the Sun. They also believed that this dragon attacks the moon during lunar eclipses.
Well, I can see why they had a tradition to bang drums and pots and make loud noise during eclipses to frighten that dragon away. They must have been totally freaked when such a big orb in the sky became “nothing.” Just minutes ago, I experienced a change that was magical. The sky had been glorious with the stars shining bright and the moon changing colors and shape. And then the sky turned pitch black and the night sounds became silent. Even the stars went into hiding – they don’t have the same sparkle.
In October 2014 we know what is happening. We even have websites and Wikipedia to give us all sorts of information in the moment. But 2000 years ago, and even 200 years ago, the eclipse would bring fear and a sense of foreboding because they thought something bad was transpiring. Today, I’m not tempted to beat the pots and pans. Rather, I am in awe that such magic can be happening and that I’m awake to experience it. I am in awe of the quiet. There is no sound. Even the owls have gone to silence. There is no movement. I can’t see my hand in front of my face.
No more than twenty minutes have passed, and it’s not quite as dark now as the moon starts showing a sliver of light. That light allows me to see that the moon is still red, but it won’t be for long. And the sky is just a bit lighter as the stars shine a bit brighter. The dragon is almost gone, and I didn’t have to bang any pots or fire any cannons to chase it away.
I am blessed to experience magic.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Stop SignBreath: it’s such an important part of living in our bodies. Have you ever experienced times when it doesn’t feel “totally there?” That feeling or realization has happened to most of us off and on throughout our lives. But we often aren’t even aware when it actually started or that our bodies developed consequences of not having total breath available.
So, what happened? I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “it took my breath away.” This has understandably happened to quite a few people in the last few weeks. There have been a few instances that maybe even stopped you in your tracks.

Big Changes

When we lost Robin Williams, most of us felt immediate sadness for his family, but we also felt the sadness for Robin and what he had gone through all of his life. But I think what really created reaction in our bodies was the realization of losing an icon that we saw as vibrant, vital, and so full-of-life. He had a way of being that he shared with all of us. He could make you laugh and laugh so hard you felt it in your very core. The realization that something big is no longer available to us is what “can take our breath away.” And where do our bodies experience that “taking or holding of breath”? Our diaphragms are where we get the reactions, the consequences.
Another BIG incident that was felt by those of us who live in Napa and Sonoma Counties was the earthquake on Sunday August 24th. The jolt at 3:20 a.m. in the morning was enough to take MY breath away! Follow that with the shaking and rolling that seemed to go on forever and I had a full diaphragm tightening experience.

My BIG Changes

The day before, August 23rd, was my birthday. I usually love everything about the birthday experience but this year was a bit different. My husband Randy’s birthday would have been the 22nd. This year I really missed having our birthdays together – I think because I didn’t have anything big planned, so there was the realization that all of the traditions that we had created over the years to celebrate both days were never going to happen again. I felt the loss and the changes. I actually felt like I was floating in a tunnel at times. Follow those feelings with the earthquake and I really had a “taking my breath away” experience.
So, what did I do? I got up on Sunday with the sunrise and took a really long hot tub where I did the Daily Clean Your House Flow, as well as other flows that are all about “getting grounded,” creating vitality and discovering breath and joy. I spent the rest of the day in the garden. I remember feeling thankful and joyful that I had a way to truly be in touch with the earth, the same earth that had jolted me awake several hours earlier. And I left that “tunnel feeling” behind. I felt an awareness that all was right with the world, that there are moments in time that can affect us but we can still be “okay.”


If you have had some “projects crop up” in the last week or so, and you don’t know what you did to have it happen, you are not alone. By the way, “projects” is the word I use instead of problems or conditions that are the results of the consequences of an incident, an injury, a trauma, etc.  So, some projects that could easily be results of diaphragm tightness and “loss of breath” are back discomfort, throat tightness, chest and breath constriction, knee soreness, loss of clarity and focus, loss of vitality. The list can be longer, but I’m sure that you get the sense of it. I’ve seen a number of clients over the last few weeks whose bodies are showing up with these projects.
Read on to get some answers for what to do – to open up your breath, to release your diaphragm, to rediscover calm, to find joy, to release constriction, to help your body release discomfort.

For specific project release:

To open the breath, calm the whole being, relieve anxiety:

  • Hold thumbs
  • Hold index fingers
  • Hold upper arms by folding arms across the chest
  • Cross hands and hold inside of knees (or upper inner thighs)
  • Hold right fingers on base of right ribcage
    and hold left fingers on right chest below collarbone

Switch and hold opposite sides

To release jaw, mouth or throat tension; to create space for breath and strong voice

  • Right hand cup the sternum just below the clavicle and
    hold left fingers in a vertical pattern just below the naval

To let go of head pressure, headaches, “mind chatter”, tired eyes; to remove incessant (persistent) mental absorption (often creates forehead and/or eye tension)

  • For right side “project”

Left hand – hold forehead with fingers on right side
Right hand – cup back of head, fingers on left base of skull

  • For left side “project”, switch hands

To reduce back and neck discomfort, improve flexibility and mobility, improve posture, enhance vitality, experience more gain & less pain in all that you do

  • Sit on both hands
  • Sit on left hand with right hand on left shoulder (near neck)
    • Sit on right hand with left hand on right shoulder (near neck)
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Hormones, The Good, The Bad, The Balanced

Woman-Butterfly-MetamorphosesAre you feeling healthy, vital, vibrant and comfortable in your body?

All of those are signs that your body is in a state of balance. If you have moments in the day where you’re just feeling “off”, the chances are good that you just may need to tweak one or more of the following: your diet, “busy scheduling”, exercise, sleep time or “time you spend in your head”. And, of course, it just might be good to add in a few more energy balancing flows to perk up your entire system!
If you’re feeling “off” and tired, fatigued, and maybe even “out of sorts”, your hormones may be in a state of imbalance. Balanced hormones help all the systems in your body to work together easily and effortlessly. And when they’re balanced, everything you’re already doing for your body, mind and spirit will be that much more effective. In addition, your body will be less likely to even experience symptoms of stress if your hormones are regulated. We usually hear more about hormones when women are “going into menopause”.

Hormone health is appropriate conversation no matter your age

Hormones are always in flux and therefore finding balance is a life-long goal. At my retreat on September 7th, we will be experiencing energy work (Jin Shin Jyutsu/acupressure self-help) and yoga that will be all about the endocrine system. In addition, we will have the expertise of an acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist who will be sharing all about hormones and creating an endocrine system that is regulated and balanced. No matter what your age, plan on discovering what YOU can do to be in a body that is in a balanced state. Join us: me (Deborah Myers), Maria Battista, and Shiroko Sokitch, so you can experience a “me day” at my home and garden! And plan on having lots of yummy, healthy food from Garry and Judy Baker.
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Breath and Imagery

This is a guest post from Maria Battista, Sacred Mountain Yoga

yoga on the deck“At our retreat on July 1st we acknowledged the beautiful nature that surrounded us on Sonoma Mountain.  Our yoga practice focused on breathing with the many oak trees all around.  We drew deep into our lungs and blood stream the rich oxygen that the trees and plants were offering to us.  In return we gave back to them what our cells no longer needed so that they could create more oxygen.  Giving and receiving through mindful breathing we felt our mutually nurturing connection to the earth and to each other.  In our asana practice we opened up our bodies to remove the tightness, and the blockages.  Each of us, at our own level was able to expand to receive and to give back with more abundance.  We were energized and fed, calm and grounded.

Our retreat on September 7th will be about balancing our hormones. In the yoga portion, we will focus on the endocrine system.  Using movement and posture we will gently massage each of the organs of the endocrine system to tone and balance.  Movements of the neck will tone the thyroid and parathyroid.   Chest openers will enliven the thymus gland behind the breastbone,  twists for  the pancreas and ovaries.  Using forward bends the adrenal glands at the back of the waist will be calmed and restored.  Gentle inversions will bring blood into the brain to feed the pineal and pituitary glands.

Using breath and imagery we will touch each of these organs with the healing power of intention and light in a guided meditation. This meditation will move us into a deep place of connection with ourselves resulting in letting go of stress and striving.  The endocrine system and hormonal secretions are very much affected by stress.  In deep relaxation (also known as Yoga Nidra) the body moves out of the sympathetic nervous system and the reactions of fight and flight.  Instead, we live in the parasympathetic state of peace and calm benefiting us in body, mind, and heart.

I look forward to sharing the powerful healing practice of yoga with all the the women who attend our September 7th women’s retreat.  Namaste — Maria Battista

Maria Battista

Sacred Mountain Yoga

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Herbed Hummus

Good food is an important part of any gathering! Especially when you have a group of women who are getting to know each other!

Cyrelle McDonald was our chef and server. Her Herbed Hummus was a hit of the retreat. She made lots of it and it was gone, though I have to admit I saved a small bowl back and used it the following day as a sandwich spread with grilled chicken. Yum, yum…I know YOU will enjoy this concoction too!

To find out more about Cyrelle check out her website at


Herbed Hummus with Parsley, Cilantro & Garlic

Serves 6-8


2 cups chick peas, cooked

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbs Tahini

1 tsp sea salt, to taste

1 cup fresh parsley & cilantro

1 Tbs ground cumin

2 lemons, juiced

1 tsp ground cayenne

1 clove garlic


Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and everything is well incorporated. If too thick, add a few tablespoons extra lemon juice or filtered water. Serve and enjoy with sliced vegetables, mini rice crackers, or pita bread.

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Rosa’s Salsa Verde

I love Mexican food! And, as often takes place with me in the kitchen, when I find a real easy recipe that my taste buds get excited about, I often have a tendency to overdo it. I make too much at a time or make it too often. But I have found that there is never too much of this yummy salsa!
I got this great recipe from Rosa, our cook and housekeeper, on a family vacation in Mexico.

Salsa verde in a bowlRosa’s Salsa Verde

3 large tomatillos (4-5 small)

1 avocado

½ jalapeno (more for extra spicy)

⅛ onion (more if you want)

Cilantro – small bunch

1/2 lime


Variation: add ⅓ to ½ cucumber
All goes in a blender. (Be careful if you use the cucumber. It has a tendency to quickly double the quantity in your blender)

How We Use It

We use it as a chip dip, vegetable dip, salad dressing, sandwich spread, fish dip, the list goes on. And it lasts for a long time in the frig. I discovered that it stays good for two weeks after I had made a huge quantity. I had doubled the recipe and then decided to add the cucumber so there were four jars waiting for multiple uses.
Hope you enjoy this “salsa” as much as we do!

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