Top 5 Ways to Soothe your Back without Medication

Even the most vigilant person can occasionally comes across back strain. Young, old, sedentary, athletic…doesn’t matter. Sometimes your back is just going to tell you when enough is enough! Below are the Top 5 items or tips I use to soothe my back without medication.

1. EPSOM SALT & BAKING SODA BATH SOAK: Relieve aches and pains by raising the magnesium levels in your body naturally! My personal recipe is to use 1 cup epsom salt, 1 cup baking soda (it increases absorption of minerals & helps neutralize chemicals like chlorine) and 6-8 drops of my favorite Young Living essential oils. Why not reap the benefits of essential oils while soaking up relief? Here’s a bonus recipe for you! purification-2

2. BALANCE BALL CHAIR: They may look and feel funny at first, but these chairs can improve posture and work your core muscles! That’s a whole lot better than weakening your core muscles by constantly sitting isn’t it? I use Gaiam Custom Fit Adjustable Balance Ball Chair. And because I like things pretty, I also purchased a Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Cover to match the room decor!  img_0492

3. SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE a.k.a. a FOAM ROLLER: Foam rollers are a fantastic alternative to a deep tissue massage when you’re short on time or funds. It will also assist to smooth out trigger points (knots) in your muscles and increase circulation/blood flow to the soft tissue areas. See the one I use here.

4. TENS UNIT: If you don’t know what a TENS Unit is and suffer from pain, your life is about to change! Honestly, this is one of my favorite ways to alleviate pain and discomfort. The unit provides electric stimulation to targeted areas for pain relief. I use the Omron Electrotherapy Max Power Relief and WiTouch Wireless TENS on the regular!

5. SULFURZYME: Sulfurzyme powder is a mix of wolfberry and MSM, an organic dietary sulfur that helps protect cells and connective tissue. All I’m going to say is THIS STUFF WORKS for me! Sulfurzyme is a product of Young Living. If you’re interested in essential oils, please visit the Essential Oils section here on A Plot Twist Life!img_0494

BONUS TIP:

  • LEGS UP THE WALL POSE (VIPARITA KARANI): This inversion is a deeply nourishing and restorative yoga pose for mind and body. Place a bolster or roll up a blanket and rest it under your bottom to elevate the pelvis, then slide your legs up the wall, lay back and rest in place for 5-15 minutes.

I hope these items and tips help you as much as they’ve helped me! Please keep in mind that I am speaking from personal experience and this should in no way be used to diagnose, treat or cure abnormal conditions of the body.

Did any of your favorite Top 5 make the list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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TOP 5 Reasons to Practice Yoga

I have been practicing yoga since 2007, teaching yoga since 2010 and will gladly be a student of yoga forever!

My first class was hot yoga, 98.6 degrees, hard as all get out, and I. was. hooked. !!!

The benefits I received from a regular yoga practice changed my life in such an incredible way that I wanted to share it with everyone around me. I kicked that 9-5 job to the curb and haven’t looked back! Actually it wasn’t quite that simple, but that’s for another blog post someday.

 Below are my TOP 5 reasons to practice yoga:

 1.  It makes me happy! We all know exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make us happy! <- Channeling my inner Elle from Legally Blonde 😉 I have never been a huge fan of the gym or high impact cardio. I get winded just running to the mailbox to see if my Amazon orders have arrived! Teehee. Seriously though, pretty much ANYONE can do yoga. It’s not about being bendy. Even on the most basic level, western yoga is about moving your body. Do you have back pain, arthritis, or other conditions you think are holding you back? Me too. It’s okay. Get on your mat! (Check with your doctor first of course for ANY medical issues. This is simply my experience.)

2.  It gets me out of my head. That’s right. The hamster wheel upstairs is always spinning. The hamster wheel spins from the moment these peepers gratefully open each morning til I lay my head to rest at night. But for however long I practice yoga, the wheel stops. The wheel ceases to exist for that short amount of time b/c I’m so focused on the postures and listening to what my body is saying to me. Getting out of my own head is seriously EVERYTHING! I call my practice ‘my moving meditation.’

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Photo Credit to John Hooper

 

3.  Yoga makes me taller! It’s true, I pinky promise!! When practiced correctly, certain poses can decompress the spine and discs causing pain reduction and elongation…which means yep, taller! Better posture, added height and decreased back pain giving me an all-around more pleasant presence? Yes, please.

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Photo Credit to John Hooper

See my forearms pressed to the road as my toes reach towards the sky? That’s elongating my spine AND decompressing…upside down! See that deep bend in my back though? That means I need to reach higher!! 😀 No worries, there are many postures that will give the same benefits without being on your head!

 

4.  It reduces pain. (As previously mentioned in #3 above.) Over time, the mind-body connection can become quite strong. When you know which parts of your body are weak and which parts are overworked, you can tailor your practice to bring the body back into balance. Balance makes for a happy and healthy yogi!

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5.  Yoga calms me down. Hello! My name is Kelli, and I have a lot of feelings. 🙂 I tend to carry those feelings in my body. Whether it’s flutters in my tummy, that sinking feeling in my gut, an ache in my heart or joy in my soul…I can be still and simply feel or process my emotions one pose at a time, one breath at a time and just be.

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Photo Credit to John Hooper

I wasn’t really levitating you silly geese! Yoga does make me feel light as air though!!

There are SO many more than 5 reasons as to why I love yoga, and I look forward to sharing my yoga journey with you here on A Plot Twist Life!

Do you yoga? I’d love to know about your TOP reasons! Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Peace, love and light y’all!

Magic Mondays – Back to School & Back to You!

The kids are back in school for the new year! We got in the spirit yesterday by watching the movie Grease! Now, another summer in the books and a new year of growing, learning and making memories for all. I’m just so dang proud of our kids as I see them becoming unique, intelligent and kind little adults. ❤

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Now, we all know that back to school does not really mean back to You as this blog title suggests. Even by tonight we might find ourselves shopping for new, class specific supplies or a different pair of gym shorts. You know I’m right! 

But hey, who says back to school can’t be about you a little bit? Take some time today to do something kind for yourself. Appreciate all that you do day in and day out! INDULGE in one thing or many things you adore!!

Here’s what I did for myself today:

  • Woke up an hour earlier. You’re probably thinking, “Umm…not fun!” I have a good reason though, promise. First day back to school is exciting but can also be a bit hectic in the morning. Ahh…I remember how everything seemed life or death and how I always wanted the first day to be perfect. It seems like it was just yesterday…

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Ha! I guess it wasn’t judging by that computer on the desk!!

Anywho, I wanted to wake up, have a nice cup of coffee and a little “me time” before the rest of the house arose. I specifically chose this mug from our honeymoon in Costa Rica b/c it instantly made me smile and think of that beautiful time. It’s the little things that make life so lovely to me. ❤

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  • Took a luxurious bath! Yes, I’m totally serious. Really. On a week day. On the kid’s first day of school…before they woke up. It was awesome. Young Living’s Lavender Bath & Shower gel is luscious and oh, so soothing!

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  • As I sipped my coffee, I diffused Young Living’s Clarity to help keep me on task for the morning ahead. I also picked up “instant Happy” by Karen Salmansohn.

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This book is filled with “10 second attitude makeovers” for a brighter and more fabulous you! It’s one of my handy positivity books. I flipped open the book and the pages read:

“Every day is a new opportunity to change your life. You have the power to say ‘This is not how my story ends.’ You have the power to rewrite your destiny.”

I immediately related this to today…not the “how my story ends” part, but how EVERY day is a new opportunity to change your life. Each school year is a new opportunity for kids to reinvent themselves, make new friends, find new interests. It’s a fresh start! And heck, why do kids get all the good stuff? 😀 We adults can do the very same thing. In fact, anyone can have this opportunity any day if they choose to! It took me a loooong time to figure that out, and I often forget. Today, I chose to take care of me as well, and that’s okay! Taking care of ourselves allows us to be our best selves. I didn’t change my life in any drastic way today, but I intentionally set out on a positive note which will certainly keep me more centered and positive throughout the day. If I keep setting this intention then my life will certainly be happier because practice makes perfect! We all affect the people around us, so these positive intentions will ripple through life and relationships.

That’s some serious Monday Magic!

Even if you don’t have kids, PAMPER YO SELF! YOU DESERVE IT. You might need it if you didn’t account for all the school zones on the way to work this morning. 😉

I’d love to hear about the different ways you take care of you! Let me know in the comments below. Whatever it is, MAKE IT MAGICAL, teehee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Mondays!

Welcome to our second edition of Magic Mondays. I hope you had a lovely weekend filled with love, fun and maybe some plot twists along the way. 😉

How did Monday get here again so quickly? Friday takes forever, but Monday? Nope, it’s always there lurking in the shadows..shudder.

It’s okay though because I’m here to provide five tips that might make today run smoother! These tips work for any day really, but come on…we all know Monday’s are the poo!

Get to bed early on Sunday night. For many, Sunday night still feels like an extension of the weekend so we continue to occupy ourselves later than usual with anything other than winding down. Turn the lights down about two hours prior to bedtime and do your best to let those electronics rest up to an hour before shut eye. Take a cue from my foster puppy Radar here. Curl up & sweet dreams!

Get up 20-30 minutes earlier than normal. Honestly, I have done this for years (not by any means perfect of course) because I need that quiet time before everyone else wakes up and the (loving) mayhem begins! TIP If you have children, now is a good time to start waking them up early in preparation for the new school year.

Make that extra time count! Don’t work or make lunches or “all those errands that will never get done otherwise.” Make this time your’s! You deserve it by golly! Preset your coffeemaker so it’s ready when you wake up. Sip your coffee or morning beverage of choice slowly and quietly on the patio while enjoying the beautiful sunrise, journaling, meditating or even doing a little yoga. Heck, grab your coffee, hop back in bed and catch up on your DVR shows if that makes you happy!

Here are a few of the ways I enjoy spending my sweet alone time upon waking. From left to right, ‘Instant Happy’ by Karen Salmansohn. This is a wonderful little book that will pick you up after reading just one page! Next, my beloved Snoopy journal..to not only write about the blegh stuff in my life but the good as well. Next, my T-Rex mug. Reminds me of my ROAR!! ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler. I have not had the opportunity to finish this book, but so far it’s relatable, enjoyable and funny! Last but not least, ‘Tangle Art Pack.’ This is a meditative drawing book. IT’S SO MUCH MORE THOUGH! I have so enjoyed the abstract drawings I’ve created with this book. 🙂

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Begin your week with a fresh, glowing face! Have you read your baking soda box lately? A lot of them say that mixing baking soda with water makes a great face wash. Well, I’m going to take that one step further and let you know that mixing a dab of coconut oil with about a 1/2-1 teaspoon of baking soda makes an exfoliating, mild scrub that will leave your face feeling so soft you won’t even want to put make-up on! If you’re into essential oils, take this one more step further and add one drop of Frankincense (Young Living is the only brand I trust) to your mixture. I started doing this once a week, and now I’m up to three times a week. It’s gentle, makes my face uber happy and kissably soft!

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The summer break is almost over. Make it count! Create some time in your schedule to play games or hang out by the pool with the kids. They’ll be back to the grind before you know it. That might sound awesome right now, but you might miss them. I know I will! 🙂

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Baby Girls!
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My sweet boys!

I have a lot more tips up my sleeve, but Magic Mondays is a series I hope to cultivate joy and inspiration over time that can easily be applied to every day life!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Please feel free to comment below about this post or leave a comment in the Guestbook, located in the top menu.

Have a marvelous Monday darlings!

Magic Mondays!

Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and feel refreshed!

I’m excited today to introduce the Magic Mondays series!

I titled this series Magic Mondays because honestly, Mondays are rough! I for one would like a shift in my own mindset about the dreaded Moooondaaaay. Muahahahahaha!! (I hope that came through as a scary, creepy voice)!

I will share quick and easy tips to make Mondays more magic than manic. Fun hair and make up tips along with things that make my morning and myself feel brighter!

Today…my beautiful cup of coffee, preset last night to brew upon waking, of course. This is  certainly a perk (see what I did there? hehe..) to starting the week off on the right foot.

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Next, the hair. In case y’all don’t know, temperatures here in the Big D have been 100 degrees the last few days. I’m a Texan girl, and I love my long, big hair! Therefore, it is necessary to be well acquainted with braids and buns. Today I put my hair in a high ponytail, braided a section of it, wrapped my hair around the ponytail and the braid around the bun. It was looking like a possible hair fail, but I just love it when messy, tousled hair debacles turn into something fabulous, or super cute at the very least! I fastened with two bobby pins and loosened the braid and bun for maximum volume! Chic, fast and perfect for second day hair. Dry shampoo will also help give volume when fixing your ‘do!

Lastly, the clothes. Comfy and expressive! I love tanks and tees that feel like they were made with me in mind! The one I’m wearing below says, “I just want to drink coffee, save animals and do yoga.” Umm…all true! Coffee and I are best buds, I work with a rescue group and have the joy of fostering doggies until they find their FURever home. I have also been a certified yoga teacher since 2010. SO perfectly expressive and comfy! 🙂

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At first, I attempted to look pensive in the above photo with focus on the tank top. Let me just say that was a load of laughs for me and the hubby! Apparently, I do cheeseball pretty well though!

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I’d love to hear your tips of making Mondays less stressful, or any day for that matter! Please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Toodles!