colorado springs Tag

To remain healthy, our bodies need a little support between each transition from one season to the next. This is more necessary now than ever. There was a time when the weather was a little more predictable and our lives a bit more geographically bound. This made it easier to move from the heat of summer to the cooler temperatures of fall. Or the colder winter weather to the freshness of spring. With climate changes and international travel, these seasonal transitions can be challenging. However, there are ways we can support our bodies as the shifts of nature occur––or as our geographical location changes.

 

Ayurveda, a natural eastern approach to bringing balance to the mind, body, and spirit, often holds the key to a successful, healthy body during all seasons. Let’s take a look at the transition from warmer climates, when pitta abounds to cooler, dryer one, when vata is likely to be dominant.

 

Nutritional Support

When the weather turns colder and drier (qualities associated with vata) and we move out of the fire of pitta energy in the summer, it’s a good time to reduce our intake of raw foods. It takes more digestive fire (agni) or energy to digest our foods. And when our digestion slows down or becomes impeded by less than ideal food choices, we become sluggish and our bodies become breeding grounds for illness.

 

According to Amadea Morningstar and Urmila Desai, authors of The Ayurvedic Cookbook, the fall is the most important time to attend to diet. This is the time when the attribute of motion is most prevalent. We’re “on the go a lot, mentally, physically, or both.” This requires grounding. Warm, nourishing foods will help us do that. They say to make sure food is “warm, moist, and well-lubricated. Soup, hot drinks, and rice with a little oil” are beneficial for this.

 

Michael Monroe, SunMountain Center chef, suggests increasing the use of spices such as cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, to name a few,to bring warmth to our dishes and our bodies. Additionally, acorn squash stuffed with walnuts seasoned much like sausage is a good way to support the body and tantalize the taste buds. Warm muffins are also an added culinary treat that do more than just satisfy our sweet tooth. See the Chocolate Chip Recipe below to warm your soul and your body.

 

 

Exercise

SunWater Yoga Instructor Justin Kovich offers the following to support your practice and your body in cooler weather:

 

Apanasana

Begin in a low lunge and then straighten and flex the front leg, by shifting your weight. This circulates the lymph through the legs and cleanses the body of toxins.

 

Organ Massage

 While sitting, place two soft fists on either side of the belly button. Do a forward fold over your fists, and gently massage your stomach for 3-4 breaths. Sit straight, and then repeat the action several times after moving your hands to different locations around the belly. However, do not perform this massage after eating.

 

 

Abhyanga

 Sooth your skin, which may become drier during this season, with a self-massage, using unrefined organic sesame oil. (Avoid using coconut oil as this can have a cooling effect–––the exact opposite of what we want to do at this time.) Apply oil to the feet and hands first. Circle around the joints and gently work the oil into other parts of your body. Apply to your face and then massage your scalp as well.  Leave on as long as possible and then shower to rinse off excess oil and the toxins that have been released in the process.

 

Flowing with the Light

 

Cooler weather associated with vata energy can leave us feeling scattered and fragmented.

Routines are important during this time as well. Consistent times to go to sleep and to awake are important. Eating on a regular schedule is as well.

 

And as the days become shorter, honoring our desire to cozy up next to the fireplacewill create a solid foundation for health.Rather than push to get things done and keep in constant motion, opt for nourishing your self. Self-care often begins with quieting our bodies so that our minds can also be still. This practice rejuvenates us in body, mind, and soul. More on that in our next blog.

 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

 

3 flax eggs

7.5 tbsp water

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups maple syrup

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp flaxseed meal

 

3 cups garbanzo bean or oat flour

1 tsp each of clove, allspice & ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups Almond meal

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

 

 

Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl.  Then mix dry ingredients in another. Then blend the two mixtures together. Bake 350 degrees for45-50 minutes in lightly oiled muffin pans.

 

 

When it comes to facilitating a retreat, there are a lot of factors to consider. Planning a retreat requires we think about what we want first. If you’re not happy and content, then it’s likely the participants of your retreat will not be either.

 

 

Location, Location, Location

 

 

Your first consideration should be the location. If you’re drawn to the beach, you might not want to head to the mountains. And if you abhor the city, then a quieter abode for your retreat should be top on your list.

 

Nestled at the base of Pikes Peak in the eclectic mountain town of Manitou Springs, the atmosphere of SunMountain has been intentionally created to be warm and welcoming.

 

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Have you ever experienced an aqua cranial therapy with us? Kathleen Morrow, one of our talented practitioners, began studying the art of aqua cranial after learning of its curative properties when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Learn more about Kathleen’s journey and philosophy as a therapist in our newest blog!

 

1. How long have you been a craniosacral/aqua cranial practitioner, and what was the path that led you into bodywork?

Around forty years ago, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and I started researching what could help her. A local acupuncturist told me about a school in Washington State, The Polarity Institute, where I could study under Dr. Randolf Stone, DO, ND, DC, and doctor of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. I began my studies there and was certified as a Registered Polarity Therapist one year later.

 

In 1995, I met Franklyn Sills, Director of the Karuna Institute located in the United Kingdom, at a polarity therapy conference in California. After hearing his presentation on Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.  I was convinced this was my next line of study, and began Franklyn’s intensive two-year certification program, graduating as a Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST) in 1997.

 

I continued my studies for another four years, mentoring with notables in the field, including Franklyn Sills, Dr. Michael Shea, and John and Anna Chitty, co-directors of the Boulder School of Energy Studies. I was awarded my National Teacher Certification in May of 2001, and then opened the state certified School of Inner Health (SIH) in 2002 in Manitou Springs, which specialized in teaching craniosacral, lymphatic massage, and aromatherapy. Directing and teaching at SIH became my passion for the next fifteen years. In 2016, I sold the school to a colleague in order to enjoy my semi-retirement, and I then began offering Aqua Cranial Therapy at SunWater Spa.

 

2. What gift does your work offer your guests? What do you want your guests to walk away feeling/thinking?

 

There are two schools of thought about craniosacral therapy. One is the “mechanical” model, where the practitioner’s “attention” is focused on the movement of bones in the body. These motions have a five- to six-second cycle, rocking in and out. A student can become certified in this work in five days. Practitioners are basically moving and adjusting bones, much like chiropractic.

 

The second school of thought began when Franklyn Sills started teaching craniosacral therapy in the U.S. in 1995. He brought to it a deeper intention of following a slower twelve-second cycle of cerebrospinal fluid as it moves along the bones. This work is about following the rhythm of the body versus making adjustments. This practice is known as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. A student of this work also learns to feel and hold a very slow fifty-second expansion and contraction cycle; Dr. Sutherland, one of the founders of craniosacral therapy, called this the “breath of life” (this is your life force itself). Dr. Sutherland discovered in his later years that holding and following these deeper rhythms allows the client’s fluid systems to synchronize with the practitioner’s fluid rhythms in the same way we did with our mother while in utero. This is how our bodies formed and there are no client adjustments needed.

 

From this place of strength and support, the client’s body will realign and heal itself from whatever bumps, blows, and imbalances there have been in this lifetime, especially concussions. The client usually drops into a deep relaxation, and when treatment is over they experience a new sense of balance with less pain. When this work is done in the beautiful, warm, natural waters at SunWater Spa, the client experiences a deep, womblike sensation while their body heals itself.

 

3. How would you sum up your personal philosophy or mantra?

 

My personal mantra is presence.

 

In a rapid-paced world of potential confusion and emotional upset, I hold “ground” with daily meditation and frequent walks in the woods. I also have some “grounding” tools that Franklyn Sills taught me. From this place, I’m mentally clear, able to do my work and make life decisions.

 

4. What is one self-care suggestion you offer to your Aqua Cranial recipients?

 

On a very physical balancing note, I always recommend that my clients breathe deeply, especially in times of stress, shock, or overwhelm. I suggest they stop, put their hands on their ribs, and expand the ribs into the hands with each breath. This exercise opens the diaphragm, which in turn moves fascial tissue up the body around the heart, lungs, and ultimately the brain. At the same time, the fascia below is responding and massaging around the digestive organs. In about ten breaths, a sense of mental clarity and physical relaxation occurs.

 

5. Based on your experience, what makes SunWater Spa stand out from other wellness centers/spas?

 

Of course, the beautiful, warm, health-filled mineral water is my first “go-to” for this question. And then there is a deep sense of caring for the community, starting with the owners, Kat Tudor and Don Goede, and extending throughout the staff. This sense of caring and support of community filters into the surrounding communities of Manitou and Colorado Springs. Because they feel this, our local customers return over, and over, and over again.

 

Kathleen Morrow