power in the pause

Give the gift of Self-Care for yourself and others on your gift list

unwind products by Catspaw Cushions give the gift of self-care

Gift Ideas for Self-Care

What kind of gift do I give that person on my list? That is always the hardest question for me to answer. Great gift ideas are something that the person could use, and they had not thought of.  A lot of us rely on gift cards. Gift cards  are safe choice.

To encourage self-care you may give a gift certificate of massage and that would be great. Those little moments of self-care by using a hot/cold pack, essential oil, or taking a yoga class and simply learning to pause.

Include yourself on the gift list 

Give the gift of self-care this holiday season. Instead of playing it safe consider a unique gift from Catspaw Studioself-care with hot/cold packs by catspaw cushions that will encourage to practice the are of pausing.  colorful gold salsa traditional meditation cushion by catspaw cushions

Gift certificates are also a great way to surprise someone that has always wanted to try a yoga or meditate.

Encouraging someone to take care of themselves maybe a gift that is not realized right away. Most of us need a little nudge to practice yoga or stop tend to those achy muscles.

 

Echter’s Garden Center is partnering with Ralston House, a child advocacy center in Arvada, Colorado for a special evening during the season of giving. This is an opportunity to enjoy the seasonal beauty of Echter’s, 
while you party with a purpose!  Look for Catspaw Studio to be there with our products. For more info.

 

Essential Yoga Poses to stay Open and Strong for Wellness

 

So, you’re interested in learning some essential  yoga poses, but aren’t sure where to start. These relatively easy yoga poses are among the most commonly utilized. Learn them and you’re on your way to wellness using yoga.

Downward Facing Dog

essential yoga poses down dogOne of the first poses you should master seems only easy until you’ve done it. There are a few ways you can get into this pose. You can either bend over forward and bring your arms to the ground or push up from the ground. Basically, the pose will create an upside “V” with your body.

Avoid pushing forward too far: many people try to get into a true 45-degree angle and create a pose too much like a plank. 30-35 degrees should be more than enough for this pose.

Warrior II and variations of Warrior

Perhaps the most instantly identifiable yoga pose, “Warrior II” will challenge your hips, your legs, and your arms. Start by facing forward with your legs about shoulder width apart. Now, turn your head to the right, lift your arms until they are parallel with the ground, and bend to the right.

warrior yoga pose an essential yoga poseBend your right knee until it’s very nearly at a 45-degree angle. Hold here and stare out towards your right finger tips. Squeeze your abs to support your back, waist, and hips.

Triangle Pose

The “Triangle Pose” is a little trickier, but not impossible for beginners. Start by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart and your hands parallel to the ground.

Now, bend your right arm towards the ground, touching the ground with your palm. Twist your waist back to accommodate. If you can’t quite touch the ground, rest your hand on a yoga brick. Extend your left arm to the sky at a 90-degree angle and hold.

Child’s Pose

child's pose and essential yoga poses using a catspaw cushionThe “Child’s Pose” is an important pose for beginners because it’s the default “break” pose. Start by getting on your knees and bending your arms forward towards the ground. Don’t strain yourself by pushing too far: just feel a gentle stretch as you pull your arms forward and your face to the ground.

Breathe slowly while you’re here and relax your mind. While in this pose, your muscles will release any severe tension and pain. Once you’re done resting, perform your next move.

Yoga is a rewarding and relaxing exercise that can bring a lot of joy and inspiration into your life. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more.

How to Support your Back

We all are entering the time of year that may be fun and challenging at the same moment, which can add stress to our bodies. The back is one common pain area.  How to support your back and finding the support you need is so important.

Practicing yoga – try a twist

Sit on the floor everyday – use a supportive cushion.

Strengthen your core – practice yoga

 

 

 

Fat Tuesday may be your path to Mindfulness

Fat Tuesday may be your path to mindfulness.  I am not suggesting you over indulge and start Wednesday but  I am suggesting making a step toward mindfulness.
You can use Fat Tuesday as the spring board toward pressing the re-start button and go down a new path  even if you don’t follow the Christian season of Lent.
Do you practice mindfulness? Mindfulness lowers cortisol; less cortisol leads to decreased stress levels and increased energy levels. Mindfulness is totally healthy, completely positive, and it doesn’t cost a dime!

Who is Mindfulness For?

Mindfulness is for everyone. Don’t believe it? Well, consider this military personal  are being taught mindfulness to help them with their stress response! If military folks can benefit from mindfulness to cope with the rigors of service, surely we can all benefit from it to help tame the tension in our everyday lives.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness refers to simply being aware of your thoughts and emotions as you go through your life and the daily tasks that are a part of it. It’s about staying in the moment — you are present and truly observing the tiny things that mean so much.

How do I Practice Mindfulness?

Once you become aware of mindfulness, you can begin to identify little ways to practice it throughout the day. All it really takes is the consciousness to pause and take a moment to really see, feel, hear … use all the senses you can to take in that particular moment.

Here are some links that may help you get started after the festivities of Mardi Gras 😉

Minds at Attention: Military and Mindfulness                                                                                                                            A New Study Led by a University of Miami Neuroscientist Finds that Even Short-Form Mindfulness Meditation Training Can Help Active Duty Soldiers Perform Better and Improve Cognitive Resilience

Happify has a website and YouTube channel for ideas science and mindfulness and this sweet, short video is narrated by Sharon Salzberg lovingkindness guru and one of our favorite teachers.

Mindful Living Network just posted a blog by Dr Kathleen Hall 40 days of Mindful Living in for the Lenten season.

At Catspaw Studio we are committed pressing the pause button through yoga and meditation.  Contact us and let us know how we can help you move toward mindful living and not staying stuck on Fat Tuesday.

 cartoons by Cathy Thorne http://everydaypeoplecartoons.com/

Wisdom for the New Year

 

inner wisdomWisdom for the new year – that would be great to tap into our inner wisdom.

The 6th chakra-is our wisdom center

Have you ever had a gut feeling that turned out to be right? Had a feeling about someone upon meeting them that proved to be accurate? The 6th chakra, also known as the third eye chakra is the seat of inner wisdom, and the center of intuition. When it is in balance, you feel a strong sense of intuition, and the confidence to follow those hunches. When it is out of balance, you may feel out of touch with reality, overwhelmed, or fearful of following your instincts.

Balancing this chakra means learning to trust yourself. Take note daily of the times when you felt a hunch. What was the first thought that popped into your head on first meeting a new colleague? Any time you feel inexplicably pulled by instinct, listen to it.

Yoga poses can also help balance the 6th chakra. Forward folds encourage drawing the awareness in, and poses where gentle pressure is applied to the third eye area soothe this very active center.

catspaw cartoonsSpend some time in child’s pose. If it is not comfortable to rest your head on the mat, place a block or a Catspaw Cushions  underneath your forehead. Make the pose more restorative by placing a blanket under your seat.

An extended downward facing dog with a block underneath your forehead provides a or a cushions, more active way to tap into the third eye. Come into catspaw cartoon2a traditional down dog with one or more blocks stacked in a way that you can rest your head. The head and neck will  relax while the hands and feet are actively pressed into the mat.

Set yourself up in a supported seated forward fold. You can sit on a blanket or bolster to raise the hips. Place rolled up blankets beneath the knees, and create a stack of blocks so that when you fold forward you can rest your forehead.

Finish your third eye practice with a meditation on the sound “sham” which is associated with the chakra. Inhale through the nose, and exhale the repetition of the sound either out loud or silently.

Pause – contact us for more on tapping into the wisdom of this chakra.

6th chakra mixed media by Diane Wright @sunjourneystudio

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