Posted on Leave a comment

INTERNAL PELVIC FLOOR THERAPY, KEGELS & how it helped with my hip pain. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

I would have never thought Pelvic Floor Therapy would help decrease my hip pain by SO much

When I first met my physical therapist Anastasia, approx two years ago, I came into physical therapy for horrible hip pain. It was so bad I was using a cane. (even when I was going from my bedroom to my bathroom.) Once I saw Anastasia, she got me off of it within a few weeks by working on strengthening my transverse abdominals. Over the period of more than a year, we made significant progress but it felt like I had reached a plateau with my level of improvement. It wasn’t until I saw her at a clinic this past winter that I saw large improvements in my hip pain. Within only 3 sessions, I noticed a SIGNIFICANT decrease of pain.

_________________________________________________

WHAT IS PELVIC FLOOR THERAPY? The way I’ve explained it to friends is by first talking about knots, or trigger points in your back, or leg that you might get out with a roller, or massage. People also get knots in their pelvic floor. Some of the treatment/release can be done externally, but sometimes the only way to get them out is internally. I had, and still have tight knots in my pelvic floor, which is the main contributor to my hip pain. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

To get proper relief, a therapist, or doctor may use their fingertips to press on the painful points, applying sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue. The person performing the therapy will insert a lubricated & gloved finger into the vagina, and for men, this can be performed through the rectum. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

After being worked on for 20+ minutes, we did Kegel excercises to strengthen the pelvic floor after releasing the triggerpoints and fascia. I use a lacrosse ball after to loosen up the OUTSIDE of my hip right after this (to even out the muscles).⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

In order to work my kegel excercises at home, I use the Elvie Trainer. In therapy, I learned the proper technique in how to do a kegel. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ Once I felt confident I knew what I was doing and for maintenance purposes, I started to work on myself at home with a special tool to help release the knots (more on this in another post coming soon), followed by doing kegel exercises using elvie to then strengthen by pelvic floor. The stretching and massage has to be paired with strengthening. Just like working out any other muscle! ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀The elvie is a high tech tool that is inserted into the vagina. You download an app on your phone and pair it to the elvie trainer. The elvie app has more details on how to use the tool and guides you through different pelvic floor exercises. For example, as seen in the 4th photo (swipe right) one must life and hold their pelvic floor above the line. In the 5th photo, the exercise consists of pulsing. One must contract their pelvic floor, and when doing so, aiming at the dotted target. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ I really like this tool because it makes these exercises interactive and more exciting to do. You can also track your workouts and progress. There are many other reasons one might consider Pelvic Floor Therapy including :
🔹painful sex or pain with tampon usage, ⠀pain when going to the bathroom⠀, after giving birth ⠀, incontinence and more. ⠀ ⠀⠀

elvie trainer

Posted on Leave a comment

V-STEAM / YONI STEAM

I decided to try out the V-Steam at VSpot Medi Spa after I had such great success with pelvic floor therapy for my hip pain. I have become more aware and intrigued with how connected one’s pelvic health is with one’s entire body. More commonly known as Yoni Steaming, when you steam your vagina with herbs. VSpot Medi Spa coined the phrase “V-Steam”’for their specific service. Yoni steaming is supposed to help relax the pelvic floor, amongst many other benefits. A friend told my about VSpa. She had done it done 3 times and it helped her heal a vaginal tear after giving birth.

_________________________________________________

Some other BENEFITS: ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

▫️Increase your libido

▫️Reduce discomfort associated with menstruation

▫️Help with dryness during sex

▫️Chronic or frequent UTI / Yeast infection / Viral breakouts / Bacterial Vaginosis ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

▫️ Supports & expedites Postpartum healing & women trying to get pregnant ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀

▫️Helpful for pre & post menopause ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

▫️Can help detox post taking birth control

I laid down in a dimly lit room, as steam infused with therapeutic herbs were targeted toward my V. VSPOT uses the herbs of basil, calendula, mugwort, marshmallow root, wormwood and rose petals.

The herbal steam dilates the blood vessels to increase blood circulation by providing oxygen to the area, and in turn, relaxes the pelvic floor muscles.

As my V got steamed, the technician massaged my abdomen with remedial oil. To finish the treatment, an LED light was placed the same region. The light has antibacterial effects, helping to reduce any odor.

I plan on continuing this treatment at home over the next few weeks and will keep you guys posted! I wanted to try it for the first time professionally to make sure I had a better handle on what to do.

WHEN TO STEAM:

Before menstrual cycle, unless you desire to become pregnant. If you desire to become pregnant, do not steam after ovulation. Women who are pregnant or have an IUD should not Yoni Steam.

Have any of you tried this treatment before? I am curious if you have and if it has helped you at all. Please leave in comments to share with others.

Posted on Leave a comment

Favorite Healthy Date Spots in Manhattan

I get asked all of the time for places I recommend for healthy eating & for those with dietary restrictions. Below you can find some of my go-to date night spots (can be for with friend, family member or significant other). FAVORITES

@candle79 & @candlecafe – Vegan. Candle 79 is a little fancier, better for a weekend date whereas Candle Cafe is more casual but still a nice ambiance for weeknights.

@plantfoodandwine – Vegetarian/Vegan

@peacefoodnyc – Vegan . Upper west seems a bit more casual vibe than the EV location.

@divyaskitchennyc – Vegetarian Ayurvedic (first one in NYC). They have a great selection of herbal teas!

@thebutchersdaughter_official- Plant Based & GF. Great for brunch.

@risotteriamelottinyc – Gluten Free. Mainly risotto dishes, so is great for those of you that are gluten free. It’s the cutest spot, making you feel as if you are in Italy.

@abcvnyc – Flatiron, Vegetarian/Vegan.

@caravanofdreams405 – East Village, Vegan. A bit more low key than the above, but still a good date night spot. They also have live Jazz!

_______________________________________________________

MORE CASUAL – 👇🏼. Still so delicious for lunch or a weeknight quick dinner.

@le_botaniste – Vegetarian

@hukitchen – Paleo

@eatbychloe – Vegan & Gluten Free

@beyondsushinyc -Vegan

@bareburger – Sustainable, 50% Vegan with GF Options. On their menu, Bareburger details exactly where their food comes from, which farms etc. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ If you are going with someone who is new to the “healthy”, food space, my go-to spots to ease someone into it out of this list are @risotteriamelottinyc , @eatbychloe & @bareburger

You can check out my “NYC Eats” story highlight which includes videos of the food/ambiance for some of these locations.

⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ What are some of your favorites?!

Posted on Leave a comment

NYC Non-Toxic Self Care at sundays Nail Studio

I have been going to sundays nontoxic nail studio for the last few months and I am a huge fan! Since middle school, I’ve always, like clockwork have gotten my nails done every two weeks (and yes my nails have always been this long). When I started looking into more natural products a few years ago, I slowly started to take breaks between manicures to let my nails breath from the chemicals in the polish.

As we know, using toxic products that affect our endocrine system can contribute to disease over a prolonged use in the body. Last year a went a full 3 months in the winter with no polish. There really is no nail polish that is COMPLETELY chemical free, so I still like taking breaks in between my manicure here and there. But, there are better options that have way less chemicals in them, like the polish used at Sunday’s. It’s really nice to be able to get a manicure and not feel like I am doing something bad for my body in order to have a “fresh and polished” look. I was really impressed with their nail polish color selection. I have brought my own less toxic nail polish colors with me before to the nail salon, but there is still that toxic smell from the remover and from other chemicals being used in the salon.

I didn’t notice a super toxic smell at sundays, which is a major plus. I often feel bad for the manicurists in salons thinking how they have to breath in the chemicals in all day.

A few other things I liked about Sunday’s:

🔹They offer headsets for meditation while getting a mani or pedi ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀

🔹They offer tea (caffeinated and caffeine free)

🔹They put lemon in the water to soak your hand

🔹Their polish is cruelty free

Their newer Hudson Yards location includes:

🔹table with herbal tea for you to sit and let your nails dry

🔹a gratitude journal

🔹love letters to write to oneself

You can use code SIMPLY11 for 15% off any of their products. To shop, click here.

The light pink color I used above is color No 7. The darker color I used was color No 24.

Posted on Leave a comment

Personalized Stretching at LYMBR

I was able to get in a stretch session at LYMBR’s new Hamptons location LYMBR Hamptons located in Bridgehampton at The BARN Soul Cycle

. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

The space is serene with an outdoor seating area to relax or hangout before/after a session. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

During my session, we stretched out my neck. This was the area I wanted to focus on. Because we only did my neck, I sat in the chair the whole session. They also have a table to lay on for other areas of the body. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

I have been stretching out my neck a lot on my own recently and have been getting some relief from my neck pain by doing so. In order to get relief, I need a really deep stretch that can be painful and which I have to put a lot of effort on my own. It was really helpful to have Cesar (who was great btw) hold my shoulder in place while pulling my arm or neck in the other direction. Having someone stretch me really hits certain spots where I need it the most and can get into certain areas I wouldn’t be able to get into on my own. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

⠀ ⠀

The movements LYMBR uses are designed to:

▫️increase flexibility

▫️improve range of motion ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ▫️expand myofascial pathways for greater oxygenation & circulation.

The guided stretches are performed in multiple repetitions and only held for a few seconds. Sessions are 30 or 60 min. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

I felt some relief after the session, although I know it will take many more sessions for me to get more permanent relief. I did feel more relaxed and lighter after my session which was an added benefit. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

I am a more recent proponent of stretching, working it into my routine, where I now stretch my full body a few times a week. I have noticed for me, it is necessary for injury prevention, helps maximize my strength and relaxes my mind. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

Posted on 3 Comments

Photobiomodulation Therapy

I tried out Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT), also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) at Lemon Light Lounge three times within a week in March. They are located in downtown New York City. Photobiomodulation is a bed with photos of LED lights (UV-free lights.) This is the first step in their 3 step detox process. ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

After getting out of this full body machine for the first time, I noticed that my face looked more clear, as if I had been in the sun for 15 minutes but I didn’t have any added color/tan. I also have been getting compliments on my skin the past few days from people in person when I have no makeup on. It seems like the combination of this and the infrared sauna (the 3rd step) have helped. ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀

I also felt like my mood and energy levels significantly got better right after this. I definitely have the “winter blues” and am in a better mood/happier during the warmer weather. Laying in the machine for the allotted time, really felt like I was getting some much needed sun in the middle of March and my increased mood stayed with my for that day and the next few days.

Below are some more benefits according to Lemon Light Lounge and dozens of studies. ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 🔹Improve tissue repair / speeds wound healing

🔹Reduce pain and inflammation ⠀⠀

🔹Cognition: Cognitive benefits have shown that Near Infrared light can improve and restore

brain function in cases of TBI, CTE, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀

🔹Skin benefits: improved wound healing, increased collagen formation and tightening of the elastin layer. Green light seems to be beneficial for dermal wound healing, as well as hyperpigmentation, acne, MRSA and similar surface issues.

🔹 Cellular Benefits: improved circulation, improves mitochondrial function (energy or ATP), increased detoxification of waste and free radicals.

I also included some more information provided by Lemon Light Lounge below.

Posted on Leave a comment

Organic Tinted Moisturizer

My new skincare addiction is Organic Tinted Moisturizer by Sanre Organic Skinfood.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Why I love it:

🔹 Its all natural and organic (for real) ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

🔹It makes my skin glow in the off summer months

🔹It doesn’t clog my pores or make me break out (my skin is sensitive to breakouts) ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀

🔹I can continue to use it into the spring/summer, get a nice glow without overexposing myself to the sun ⠀

⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

I got this product a few weeks ago after trying a sample tinted moisturizer from a non-natural company and loving the way it made my skin look. The problem was, after using it for a week long, my pores started to clog with the toxic ingredients in the product. This was another reason (in addition to always looking for more natural products) to look for something with more pure ingredients. ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

I’ve been putting the tinted moisturizer from Sanre Organic on my face as a lotion during the daytime to test it out everyday over the past week and a half. After, I’ve been putting on the hibiscus tea on my checks (the trick I showed in my video 2 posts ago). When doing this, I’ve had people comment on my “tan, glow, Caribbean tan”! I even went out to dinner last night and used the same process INSTEAD of using foundation/bronzer/blush on my face and did my (eyes/lips) as per usual & it looked great. ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

The Ingredients are ALL ORGANIC (except for the iron oxide & titanium dioxide)

INGREDIENTS: Safflower Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Purified Water, Beeswax, Aloe Vera Gel, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Citrus Extract, Essential Oils of Lavender, Rosemary, Jasmine Absolute, Sweet Orange, Thyme, Patchouli, Hyssop

I also have been using their products for a few years now and really love them. Their ingredients are the real deal- all natural and organic and not just marketed that way. I feel so comfortable knowing I can trust this brand when I use it.

Two of my other favorites by them are:

C-LOVE . I love this for my neck, chest and eyes or for face if I’m super dry. It smells AMAZING

Footsie Fiesta. I’ve never been one to use foot lotion, but I was very impressed with this. The texture and smell is perfect for the feet, locking in moisture and helps to relax.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hibiscus Tea Bags As Natural Blush

🌺HIBISCUS TEA BAGS AS NATURAL BLUSH🌺Missing my tan/sunkissed look from Colombia. I started using Hibiscus tea bags to get a natural sunkissed look on days I am not putting face makeup on. I really look so different when I have a healthy tan or glow vs when I haven’t seen the sun in months. I only wear makeup a few times a week, mainly when I go out. I mainly just put some lipstick/stain on and recently like to also add the hibiscus to make my face look more lively. ⠀ ⠀

⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

I was going for a subtle look, but you can also achieve a more red color if desired. This has been staying on super well for me! ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

You can also freeze the tea bags prior to. The frozen tea bags wakes up the skin and the hibiscus tighters and gives a natural flush ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

Other benefits of hibiscus for your skin:

🌺Helps with age spots

🌺Encourage an all round fresher, younger, smoother looking complexion. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀

🌺The natural acids present in Hibiscus help to purify the skin by breaking down dead skin and increasing cell turnover & can help to control acne breakouts.

Posted on Leave a comment

Sunbathing & Natural Sunscreen

☀️When I was younger, I would bake out in the sun for HOURS at a time seeking a dark tan & didn’t use sunscreen. After learning about how many chemicals are in synthetic sunblock, I am not sure if loading up on the sunscreen would have caused more harm than good? ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Now, I have a whole different approach around sunbathing. I allow myself to get sun when I am walking around/in the ocean for about an hour or less & put a natural sunscreen on, or nothing on if I have a base tan. When I am not being “active”, I seek shade and also love using a hat & coverup to cover my chest/shoulders. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀

The sun IS good for us in healthy doses. I am Vitamin D deficient in winter months & it really affects my mood a TON. After being in the ocean/sun, my friends commented on my increased energy levels & overall mood change. There are also many studies that show that Vitamin D is super important for bone health. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀

I really loved @moonandbloom post from the other week. She is a Registered Herbalist. I share the same thoughts as her relating to ☀️. She recommends: “Exposing one’s eyes to the sun (safely in moderation) activates the pineal gland quite markedly, as we know from ancient practice of sun gazing. It’s so good for skin disorders and healing, and cleans & oxygenates the blood.

While the whole synthetic sunblock industry is WAY toxic to humans, animals, and the Earth, there are numerous plant oils with natural SPF. All skin types have their own unique thresholds for sun that can vary with age and genetics. When the sun is really strong, I like a blend of St. Johnswort oil (approx SPF 8), Sea Buckthorn oil (approx spf 30) & coconut oil (approx spf 4-6). Watch the amounts- the Sea Buckthorn & Johnswort will dye your skin orange.” ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

Face: I used a sunscreen by Naturopathica for my face for the first time & loved it! On the Think Dirty app it is rated as a 1 out of 10 toxicity level.

Body: I used a natural sunscreen I bought in Costa Rica and really like! See below for ingredients.

Posted on Leave a comment

Kadampa Meditation and Compassion

I attended a class yesterday evening at Kadampa in Chelsea, New York City.  The class started off with a 10 minute conversation about meditation led by the instructor, Taz. Taz then led the class into a 25 minute meditation- both guided with some moments of silence. The theme of the class was compassion- self compassion and compassion for others. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀
After meditating, the instructor read some parts of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book, Modern Buddhism. It is the distillation of Geshe Kelsang’s life’s work of bringing Kadampa Buddhism to the contemporary world in practical and modern way. Taz read through some of the book and then would reflect on the concepts to help us integrate methods of Buddhism into our lives, continuing with the theme of compassion. She spoke about having a headache and how in that moment how irritating a headache could be. When thinking about how many people in the world have headaches, the headache’s annoyance could then dissipate.
⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

This reminded me of many concepts from one of my favorite books by Pema Chodron , “When Things Fall Apart.” Below are a few excerpts from the book that came to mind during class. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

🔹”Unwise selfish people think only of themselves, and they result is confusion and pain. Wise selfish people know that the best thing they can do for themselves is to be there for others. As a result, they experience joy.”⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀

🔹Tonglen is a practice to awaken our compassion. Whenever we encounter suffering in any form, the tonglen instruction is the breathe it in with the wish that everyone can be free of pain. Whenever we encounter happiness in any form, the instruction is to breathe it out, send it out, with the wish that everyone could feel joy. It is a practice that allows people to feel less burdened, a practice that shows us how to love without conditions.

Taz gave us a short homework exercise to do before next week’s class- to breathe in the pain/stress of someone we knew, then as we breathe out, to send happiness and joy their way.

The class was from 5:30-6:30 for only $10. They also have $5, 30 minute classes during lunch and after work during weekdays. I really liked this class and definitely recommend. It was really nice to go to a class that incorporated learning about Buddhism, meditation as well as self reflection.