Friday, December 29, 2017

Ayurveda Practices for Flu Prevention & Treatment

Important Medical Info from Yogaville’s Physician, Dr. Amrita to help all of us to not get the flu and how to treat it if we do get it. 
FIRST: IF YOU ARE ALREADY SICK PLEASE DO NOT SHARE IT WITH OTHERS! “We don’t catch diseases, we permit them to become active.” - - Ronald Peters, M.D “You don’t have to be influenzed by the influenza.” - -  Swami Satchidananda 
HAND WASHING HELPS: Do extra handwashing; if you are in public, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow crease rather than your hands, to avoid spreading any germs; avoid those who are sick; go home if you are sick, and stay at least six feet away from any visitors; and because of how common swine flu has become, call a doctor if you run a temperature. Check with your doctor to see if a regular or swine flu vaccine makes sense for you.
INCREASE YOUR HEART-OPENING YOGA PRACTICE ie: Bhujangasana (cobra), Matsyasana (fish), and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge). These postures stimulate blood flow to the thymus, which helps with the growth of T-cells, one type of the immune system’s fighter white cells.
MEDITATION HELPS:  A quick 10-minute meditation can help reduce physical and mental tension.  With the body and mind more relaxed, the immune system circulates better and can do more effective repairs.
USE A NETI POT: Since most colds enter through the nose’s mucous membranes, the neti pot helps wash viruses away, before they have a chance to make you ill. HOW TO VIDEO link:
MOVE YOUR BODY:  Keeping your body physically active, exercising to the point where you sweat, at least 30 minutes a day, helps the circulation of white cells - - so they will patrol your blood stream and destroy harmful germs before they become extra-harmful.  Try fast walking, dancing, running, biking, swimming, roller or ice skating.  Make sure not to over-exert, however, because that lowers immune resistance. 
HAVE FUN:  Make plans for fun.  Even looking forward to something fun has been shown to boost immunity for three days ahead of time. If you can, avoid stressful situations; if you can’t get out of them, develop an inner bubble of calm to deal with any challenge. Stress weakens immunity, happiness strengthens it.
LAUGH:   It’s no joke.  It really does increase immunity, white cells become more numerous and more active; antibodies to fight infection are increased.  Even fake laughter works.
Do Service:  Altruists boost their immunity, and help others boost theirs too.  Both giving and receiving massage (once you have washed your hands) activates the immune system, so schedule time for both.
STAY OPTIMISTIC:  An optimistic attitude activates immunity: music, colors, and art that uplifts you changes your physiology in a positive direction.  Give yourself happy self-talk, and happy talk with others.
EAT A BALANCED DIET:  Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and do your best to avoid or limit your intake of sugar and caffeine.  Even one tablespoon of sugar (any kind except stevia) causes your white cells to be less active.  This lasts for hours after you eat that cake or cookie - -choose fresh fruit instead.  Also avoid fruit juices and dried fruit - - which raise blood sugar levels even in non-diabetics. When the blood sugar is above normal, your white cells are less active to fight infection..  Use whole fresh fruit instead.
AVOID CAFFEINE AND OTHER DRUGS:  Caffeine temporarily boosts energy by a drug effect, but ends up leaving you more tired and vulnerable - - do yoga breathing exercises instead.  Even green tea and de-caf will have a negative drug effect - - use ginger tea, ginseng tea, or red tea chai instead.
FAST ONE DAY A WEEK:  This has been shown to boost immunity by diverting your energy from digestion to repair work.  (Also reduces risk of heart attack and cancer by 50%).  Depending on how active you need to be, fast on water with cayenne and lemon (no maple syrup), diluted fresh fruit or vegetable juices, whole fruits, or soup.
Get enough Sleep:  Less than 7 hours per night has been shown to lower immunity.
STAY WARM:  Colds and flu are more common in winter for three principle of reasons.  First, the viruses which cause them are more easily killed by the heat of summer.  Second, exposure to a higher number of germs takes place in winter’s close quarters and less well-ventilated rooms.  Thirdly, research has shown that getting chilly, especially if your feet feel cold, does increase risk for catching a cold or flu.  Warm hats, gloves, and scarves can help, but the most important thing is warm and dry socks and boots. 
TAKE A SAUNA STEAM BATH at least once a week: Not only does this increase circulation of your disease-fighting white cells, but increases their numbers and potency.  (Also cuts risk for heart attacks and cancer by 50%)
ENJOY GARLIC BREATH:  Chewing 1-2 cloves of raw garlic per day boosts immunity.  If raw is a too much for you, try the cooked or baked variety, or take the capsules or deodorized pills, 1-3 per day.
USE AROMATHERAPY:  You can combine four drops each of lavender, eucalyptus, and bergamot essential oils in a glass spray bottle.  Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and shake well.  Spritz the air around you 4-5 times every couple of hours.  These essential oils kill bacteria, viruses, and yeasts.
AYURVEDA SUPPLEMENTS WORK:  Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), up to 1,000mg 2x daily after meals, helps the body cope with stress. Turmeric, 1,000mc 3x daily, is great for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. 
EAT CERTAIN MUSHROOMS:  Shiitake, maitake, oyster, chaga, and reishi mushrooms (either dried or fresh) help super-charge your immune system.  Add them to soups or sauté them.  Mushrooms also come in supplement form, and are also beneficial.
TAKE VITAMIN C with Rose Hips and Zinc:  Recent research has shown Vitamin C does prevent colds; take 1,000 mg 2-3 times daily. Zinc, 50 mg daily, boosts immune function.
   STOP WORKING: If you feel yourself developing a sore throat, runny nose, fever, or muscle aches and pains, stop working and attend to your health until these symptoms are gone.
   GARGLE WITH SALT   WATER:  Do this every 10-15 minutes, until the throat stops being sore.  Salt disrupts the membranes of invading bacteria and viruses, while not harming healthy tissue.  Use organic sea salt.
   CHEW FRESH GARLIC:  This helps immediately eliminate the pain of a sore throat, due to the sulfur content of the fumes, and the immune boost of
   EAT LEMONS AND CHEW PEEL:  Substances in lemon, especially the peel, have potent anti-viral activity.
   TAKE PLENTY OF FLUIDS:  This will help your immune system circulate its white cells, and make up for any fluid loss associated with fever.
   PILE ON THE BLANKETS:  Check with your doctor; fevers need to be reported.  Make yourself sweat by increasing room temperature and crawling under a bunch of comforters.  Germs that give us disease live comfortably at 98.6, the body’s normal temperature.  A fever, we now know, is the body’s effort to create conditions that make these bacteria or viruses more vulnerable, as well as to speed up blood supply so that more white cells can attack. 
   FAST UNTIL YOU FEEL BETTER:  The old adage, “Starve a fever, feed a cold” is the result of a distortion by history.  The original proverb was: “If you feed a cold, then you’ll have to starve the fever.”  So the original message back then was, starve both.  Time played the game “Telephone” with this proverb, making it into an untruth. Starving both makes physiologic sense, since bacteria and viruses are more vulnerable to food deprivation than the body’s cells, and if the body does not have to send blood to digestion, it can focus its resources on fighting the infection.  Use hot water with lemon and cayenne, ginger tea, or garlicky tomato soup.  Do not drink any sweet fruit juices; orange, grapefruit, or lemon juices are acceptable.  Do not fast for more than a few days unless you check with your doctor.
   DO A STEAM TREATMENT : Take a pot of water, put a lid on it and boil.  Take it off the burner, place a towel over your head and the pot, and inhale the steam for 20 minutes.  You can add some drops of eucalyptus or lavender essential oil, which directly kill offending bacteria and viruses.
   TAKE VITAMIN C with Rose Hips and Zinc:  Boost the amount to 2, 000 mg three times daily.  Take zinc 50 mg daily, which has been documented to cut the length of time of a cold in half.

   TAKE HERBS:  Echinacea does work: hundreds of studies have shown that it increases numbers and activity of white cells. Take two droppers or three capsules, four times daily.  Astragalus is an herb also shown to boost immunity; take two droppers twice daily.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

My Fur-ever Family
Mi Familia para Siempre

Author: Lisa Overcash
Illustrator: Julie Anderson
Type: Children’s Hardbound book, Unique gift book, Christian
Cost: $20.00

Summary: A shy Yorkshire Terrier puppy is adopted into her fur-ever family. The puppy narrates the story and shares her adventures. She longs to be loved and to be given a special name. A fun true story of love, joy, peace, hope and faith. Also teaches importance of healthy daily routines and Godly character traits: unconditional love, compassion, persistence, cooperation, gentleness, patience, self-control and prayer.

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and other online book distributors. For a copy with a personal inscription, signature of the author and the paw print signature of the dog that inspired this delightful story contact Lisa Overcash.
email: or call 919-308-8889 Free shipping in USA.

Part of the proceeds from November and December 2017 sales will be donated to charities that are helping animals in need from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida = Best Friends Animal Society and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico = Wings of Rescue. All funds donated to these charities go directly to needs of the animals.

To explore the book more go to My Fur-ever Family Facebook Page.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Fur-ever Family Children's Book

My Fur-ever Family Children's Book is a book that I wrote.  It was released in April 2017.  Available for purchase online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.  Below is the cover, title page, a couple of interior pages and back cover.

Relax into Now

Relaxing into "now" is something that I must remind myself to do numerous times a day.  I find my brain having its own agenda.  It wants to spin one story after another.  My thoughts can start creating stories, concerns, worries and "what ifs" out of no where.  I have learned that once this web of thought begins, I am in store for a ride that rocks my boat so hard that I am knocked out of the boat and floundering on dry land.  This floundering is oh so unpleasant and assaultive. It happens with happy memories and thoughts as well as with unpleasant memories and thoughts. Pleasant memories and thoughts are of course is more desirable, but both are exhaustive. When I look back over the past years of my life, my thoughts have always been very active and imaginative.  In some ways this very vivid play of thoughts is fascinating.   However, these thoughts can get out of hand and lead me down a spiraling rabbit hole that doesn't lead to the lovely world of Alice in Wonderland.  My brain has a mind of its own.  I have always been a person that thinks a lot.  Since these lesions attacked my brain from the MS and all that they do to my central nervous system, the thoughts that churn up all by themselves leaves me drained, stressed and miserable.  Thank God I have a strong faith.  This faith in knowing that God loves me and has my best interest at heart is a mainstay in my coping and working with this unwanted thought train.  I have learned to tap into the Lord's guidance in being open with how to deal with all this.  That has meant being a person that seeks the knowledge of what to do to make this situation better.  For me the solution has been actively training my brain to do something else.  It is just like training a dog, daily consistently with repetition.  I know, I know, but that's so much work.  Yes, it is!  But there really is no other alternative to finding peace in the midst of swirling unwanted unhealthy thoughts.  So what do I do?  I fill my brain with "good stuff."   What do I mean "good stuff?"  First, I have a prayer life that is steady and flows freely every day.  This keeps my brain from going places I do not want it to go, and I am helping others by loving and fighting for them in prayer.   I have no power.  I am human being without control of so many things.  Sure, I can  take action and do things that makes a difference in others lives, and I certainly do this as God leads
me in ways that I can.  This in of itself gets me out of my head and focused on others' and their needs.  Second, I have learned to do some actions that help my brain calm down: Positive affirmations, Yoga Poses and Flows,  Yoga Nidra/Progressive Muscular Relaxation, Pranayama (deep breathing practices) and Meditation. These actions always help me!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Loving and Caring For Mom

As life evolves, we are never sure where it is going to take us, what is going to pop up, who is going to emerge or when things are going to happen.  I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball so that I could see what is going to happen next.  At other times I think I do not want to know what's going to happen at all.  Most of the time I settle in with taking life as it presents itself and deal with "what is."  This "what is" needs me to attend to it with love and respect.

"What is" right now is loving and caring for my mother.  This action is very important to me, to be there for Mom in whatever way presents itself.  Below is a gift that I cross-stitched for my mom many years ago and she still has it hanging on her wall.

At some point in each of our lives we realize that there is a shift in how our parents are doing.  It can often catch us by surprise when we notice that one or both of our parents seem to have more challenges in navigating through their day or just managing the things of life.  That happened for me eight years ago with my mom.  It is hard to know what to do or not to do when this happens.  For my mom and I, we both recognized that moving her closer to me was in her best interest.  I went to her condo which was about three hours away from me most weekends for three months to help her downsize from a two bedroom to a one bedroom.  Each weekend I helped her sort through her belongings and decide what to keep.  This was not easy for either of us, but we did it.  When time came to move, Tommy, our four daughters and I along with a truck and cars traveled to her home to move her closer.  My brother and his wife helped us load up on that end since they lived around forty-five minutes from where she was living.  The move was mostly smooth with a few rocky places here and there, but we accomplished our goal.  At her new apartment about fifteen minutes away from me, a few of our friends met us there and helped us unload and place her furniture where she wanted it.  I stayed for about five days getting everything where it needed to be and where she wanted it. From here ensued this dance of helping Mom as needed.  We have moved her two more times as situations have presented themselves.  This partnership that Mom and I have works smoothly most of the time, though it is not without wrinkles for both of us.

It is tough for me sometimes helping my mom with my medical challenges and she knows it.  About a month or so ago, I had a full day of helping her.  I was whipped and not doing well.  The numbness and tingling throughout my body, fatigue and low back pain were zapping me.  I was at my mom's apartment and she could tell.  She lovingly urged me to rest saying, "Make yourself a cup of that ginger tea with honey that you like which soothes you and get the ice pack out of the freezer for your back.  Come sit beside me on the couch and prop your feet up on the ottoman.  Take your medicine."  And I did.  As I closed my eyes, I took slow deep breaths as I felt the little sips of tea slide down my throat.  My body started responding to the warmth of the ginger tea with honey calming me and inviting me to embrace this time of rest.  With the warmth of the tea, the pain medication soon began to soften the intense pain in my lower back.  Ahhh....   See, this is what I mean about this precious sweet dance of love and care that we both are trying to do for one another while still accomplishing what needs to be done. We have other partners in our dance.  My four daughters, her granddaughters come and help "Nanny" routinely.  They each come once a month to help with cleaning her apartment, running errands, going to the grocery store just whatever needs doing as well as having special time with their grandmother.  We have another person in this family dance of love, Tommy, our family "Mr. Fix." Like a "Superhero" he swoops in when I have exhausted my skill set in the handyman department. 

I sometimes think of when I was a child and remember saying, "Help me" to my mom and she did.  I can remember looking up at my mom reaching my arms up toward her to be scooped up saying, "Up, take me" in order for her to pick me up in her arms and she did. These are the moments I reflect on during this time that I am called to be there for her and help her.  With love and compassion, homes and relationships are better.  There is an outgrowth of love that pours from this place filtering into all aspects of our lives.  It makes our close intimate world and the world we live in a better place.

I have learned that Mom needs to know that everything is going to be okay and that I am going to make sure of that.  With me at the hub of this wheel she has nothing to worry about because she can trust me to be on top of everything needing to be accomplished. 

Mom cared for me as a very young child without a blink of an eye or thought.  She just did it.  She helped me when each of my four children were born showing up at my doorsteps helping me out in any way she could.  She even stayed with me in the hospital when I had to have my gall bladder out due to gallstone attacks three weeks after the birth of my third child.  I learned that it is not uncommon to develop gallstones during pregnancy which I clearly did.   At the time of the need for this mandatory surgery, I was in the joys of nursing my three week old baby girl.  I told the surgeon that I wanted to have my baby with me while I was in the hospital. I refused to leave my newborn baby and not nurse her as she was accustomed.  It was to my advantage that my surgeon also had a newborn baby that was nursing his wife.  He completely understood my emotions and dedication to nursing my baby.  I called Mom and we made a plan.  Mom went with me and my newborn to the surgical suite.  I nursed Candice, handed her to Mom then I was put under anesthesia for the removal of my gall bladder.  She tried to give this baby who did not like the bottle a breast milk filled bottle while I was in surgery.  Mom's patience with newborns helped her have some success. Once I arrived into my hospital room, there she and Candice were both fit to be tied with frustration, Mom at trying to keep a hungry baby happy and Candice just mad because she wanted the breast and NOT the bottle.  I was barely awake yet reached for my dear little one and nursed her.  The room was a hush of silence and contentment for all.  I had to stay overnight. My mom stayed with me, taking care of Candice and giving her to me every time she became hungry.  Tommy was at home taking care of our other two daughters at the time, fourth daughter was not born yet. 

I can easily get caught up with how inconvenient and tough it is to help care for my mom because honesty sometimes it is.  However, it is up to me what I do with these thoughts and ultimately my response.  Do I allow these thoughts to linger and fester into unpleasant thoughts and bitterness or do I connect with my heart and remember the love I have for her and that she has for me?  I remind myself that she does not like this anymore than I do.  I always aim to find the groove of helping her without control.  It is what it is.  We both struggle in this caring partnership and try to navigate the waves of ups and downs as best we can.  We are both experiencing the same emotional uncertainties of coping with our own needs, fears and what the future holds.  We know that there are times neither of us are happy with each other.  Sometimes there is no right and wrong here, no black and white.  There are only shades of gray.  There are sometimes situations that are so murky that it is difficult to know just what to do.  Over the years there has been an unspoken understanding that we are in this together and our love prevails over all.  When we have rocky moments we remember this unconditional love.  I help my mother and give of myself graciously.  Mom receives my help graciously with true appreciation.

I love my mom.  I am my mom's advocate.  I let God lead me.  

With love,

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sun Salutation Plus and Yoga Health Benefits

This week I want to share this Sun Salutation Plus video that I recently made.  My dear hubby was my camera man.  Some of you may of seen it on Facebook, but I have some folks coming straight to the blog and not through Facebook.  Just making sure these people see the video.  

If the link does not come up for you just copy and paste above link into google and "Vola"

I have talked about yoga, its great value and ways it has been helpful in my life.  Let's explore the health benefits of yoga for everyone.

1. Flexibility, Strength, and Agility Improves
Muscles are stretched increasing anti-inflammatory prostaglandin hormones. Muscles are massaged relaxing them. Undesirable physical symptoms decrease and injuries can be overcome. Ligaments and connective tissues become strong and more pliable as well as the muscles. Overall range of motion is improved making activities of daily living easier.

2. Ideal Body Weight is More likely Reached
Yoga is unlikely to burn lots of calories like an aerobic type workout, but it has a unique way of restoring balance in the body, therefore, normalizing body weight. Yoga along with a higher aerobic workout like briskly walking, biking or a other high energy exercises work well together to foster weight reduction and stabilization. When the body is more balanced and not in the constant "fight or flight response" we are more likely to want to eat less and to not eat to satisfy our emotions. Stress makes unnecessary weight cling to the body. Yoga smooths the panic or mania with a retraining of the brain to feel more satisfied with less.  

3. Yoga is a Gift of Pain Relief
Regardless of the source of pain, yoga decreases it. The fluidity of movement in yoga soothes joints, muscles and all areas that hurt. There are adaptations to poses making yoga possible for everyone. Also the meditation aspect of yoga helps one work with and through the reality of the emotions that ongoing pain brings.

4. The Respiratory System is Opened
Pranayama, the breathing exercises part of yoga allows the entire respiratory system to be freed with smoother breathing and greater depth. There is heightened lung capacity increasing the total amount of air your lungs can hold at any one time. Respiratory rate is lowered increasing lifespan.

5. Blood Pressure Comes into Normal Range
Circulation is improved throughout the entire body system. The hypo-reactors in blood pressure is lowered. Hypertension gradually lowers producing normalization of blood pressure. Lowers heart rate and LDL - small particle cholesterol.

6. Mental Health and the Brain is Enhanced
Yoga frees us mentally improving our psychological health. Overall mood and sense of well-being is heightened, lowers depression, increases motivation, feel more alive and connected to others, decreases negative self-talk and hostility to yourself and others, decreases anxiety, increases confidence, cognitive functioning, memory and the balancing of right-left brain activity and the alpha, theta, and gramma brain waves (electrical brain activity). Yoga also increases the size of the pre-frontal cortex and gray matter within the brain. Gray matter involves muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing, hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making, self-control and focus/concentration. Meditation plays a big role here.

7. Yoga Improves Chronic Health Problems and Helps Prevent Degenerative Diseases
Increases lymph flow throughout the system to various parts of the body. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body. Below is a list of other ways yoga helps our bodies stay younger and healthy longer:

Glucose decreases
Sodium decreases
Total cholesterol decreases
Triglycerides decrease
HDL cholesterol increases
LDL cholesterol decreases
VLDL cholesterol decreases
Cholinesterase increases
Catecholamines decrease
Hematocrit increases
Hemoglobin increases
Lymphocyte count increases
Total white blood cell count decreases
Thyroxin increases
Naturally made Vitamin C increases
Total serum protein increases
Oxytocin increases
Prolactin increases

8. Yoga Lowers Stress
The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are partners in stabilizing us in situations of stress. They work like the playground see-saw. Just like kids on the see-saw when one goes up the other goes down. As the body responds to stress it comes to full attention with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system attempting to manage the stress. The sympathetic part of the nervous system is the one triggered from sudden alarming moments like when you see a cop and you realize you are speeding then you fear you might get a speeding ticket, other traffic scary moments, an overload of too much to do at work or home, time crunches etc...... Practicing yoga invites the parasympathetic nervous system to come play, too, calming the body with the "relaxation response." Yoga intertwines both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems together in a peaceful flow that the body soaks up and loves. The stress hormones, epinephrine (the body's alarm system) and cortisol (decreases immunity) are decreased. The relaxation hormones, endorphins (natural pain killers) and serotonin (tranquility), melatonin (sleep), dopamine (joy), and oxytocin (bonding) are increased.

9. Where You Go Yoga Goes
The convenience of being able to do yoga anywhere makes it easy. The locations are endless: home, others' home, studios, hotel rooms, beach, park, woods, mountains, airports, rooftops, back or front porch, lakes and many more. Having a mat is best, but not absolutely necessary. Yoga is user friendly.

10. Yoga is Fun and It takes You to the Bliss
What is bliss? Bliss is a state of superior calm. It is a feeling of oneness, a total connectedness of unity with all and yourself, an inner joy, a completeness, a wholeness and an uplifted awareness.

For me and other yoga practitioners, we have experienced and continuing to experience all the wonderful above benefits. Think about it and give it a try !