I am a regular coffee drinker. At work I usually have one cup in the morning. The days I work from home and weekends I usually have two cups.
A couple of weeks ago I was really tired at work and upped my coffee intake to two cups.
By Wednesday of that week I had a raging headache, which continued for the next three days.
That Saturday morning I skipped the spin class I planned on taking because a throbbing head while spinning just doesn’t work for me.
Pretty much as soon as I had my first cup of coffee my headache was gone.
It was suggested to me recently that there is a relationship between coffee (caffeine) and our adrenals. From what I understand about exhaustion and adrenal fatigue this makes sense to me. So I did some research.
According to Livestrong, caffeine may trigger the release of adrenaline (a hormone), giving you a quick burst of energy and physical strength followed by a crash marked by fatigue and irritability, in some cases.
Not all doctors agree on how caffeine affects the body’s release of adrenaline or whether it affects it at all.
We all know about adrenaline, right? Fight, flight or freeze? In the caveman days the release of the adrenaline hormone helped escape those raging tigers.
I have talked about adrenals and fatigue (and Restorative Yoga) and exhaustion in the past. But to get a refresher, adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. (The condition is) most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, according to AdrenalFatigue.org.
According to Caffeine Awareness, there are times when certain things, such as caffeine, keep the cortisol (stress hormone) levels high preventing the body from resting when it should and preventing the adrenal glands from operating as they would. … When in the system, caffeine can over stimulate the central nervous system and the adrenal glands to the point that the body is flooded with excess adrenaline and affected by an unnecessarily fast heart rate and blood pressure.
According to The Guide to Adrenal Fatigue, (when drinking caffeine) your brain sends a message to the pituitary gland, which releases a hormone that tells your adrenals to produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. In other words, you are triggering exactly the same kind of stress response that your body uses when you are in imminent physical danger. … After long-term and repeated doses of caffeine, your adrenals are simply weakened and less able to respond adequately.
OK, so I am not gonna give up coffee. But watching how much I drink, especially when I feel exhausted would be a good idea. Yes, it can be a vicious cycle … exhausted … caffeine … crash … caffeine … exhausted … you get the idea.
Yesterday in my Deep Yoga teacher training program a big focus was the belly.
There are many of us in the program who have back issues, myself included.
I have Kyphosis. The Mayo Clinic describes Kyphosis like this, Kyphosis usually refers to an exaggerated rounding — sometimes called round back or hunchback. While Kyphosis can occur at any age, it’s most common in older women where the deformity is known as a dowager’s hump.
My posture is not good and I believe I have a weak core. These along with the Kyphosis contribute to my lower back pain.
Mary, who taught us yesterday, met with anyone who wanted to talk about their back issues informally an hour before class started. It was a good conversation and gave her ideas of what to focus on for the formal class.
We learned to have a strong belly while keeping it soft. We learned how to work from our bellies instead of our backs, which is really going to help eliminate back pain.
She helped me and many others to work on standing correctly to give lift to our spine with a healthy sacrum while having an even pelvis and tailbone.
I have a long way to go. But I have an idea of how I should be standing and will work to correct it. It feels funny. So that will be the challenge. Learning this “new” way of standing will take time but will eventually feel natural for me. This will make for a much happier back and spine.
As we were working in groups on a sequencing assignment I picked Virasana on a block as my pose to teach. In the picture above I am in Virasana (Hero’s Pose) on a block.
I mentioned to Mary that I sit in this pose when I meditate at home. I feels best for my back. Because sometimes just sitting for a minute or two can cause a lot of back pain for me. I was pleased to find out that this is the best pose for me as it has me sitting slightly forward while keeping my pelvis and tailbone even.
I am an Arizona native.
I was born, bred and educated in Tucson.
I love my home state and am proud to be from Arizona.
I am saddened and angry to find out that my home state is again in controversy.
Legislation on Thursday was passed in Arizona that would allow business owners to cite religious beliefs as a legal justification for denying service to same-sex couples, according to the New York Times article I read. The legislation will arrive on Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk this coming week.
Let’s not forget the, “show me your papers” legislation from 2010. Critics of the legislation say it encourages racial profiling, while supporters say the law prohibits the use of race as the sole basis for investigating immigration status, according to Wikipedia.
I was highly offended that my beautiful state would show such discrimination. I come from a mostly Mexican-American family and know that some of my family members (and friends) could be subjected to a ridiculous pull over because of their brown skin.
The Times article also says: Supporters and opponents of the (current) Arizona legislation do not agree on its potential impact. The supporters say it would simply tweak an existing religious freedom law in Arizona to make it clear that private individuals can use religious freedom as a defense in civil litigation; the opponents say it would allow business owners to discriminate against anyone they do not like, citing religious freedom.
Again, I am hurt and offended that legislation would go this far and be so blatantly discriminatory.
Why does anyone feel the need to discriminate against others? And besides hurting people of color or gays or whoever else you “don’t like” you’re also hurting the great people in Arizona. Because, guess what? People are going to stop visiting my beautiful home state. Businesses will be boycotted. This will hurt the economy and the people living there besides the people who are being discriminated against.
I believe in religious freedom. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with your religion or your beliefs. But it doesn’t mean that I will discriminate against you.
Being a good person means you accept others for who and what they are.
The legislation like the two I mention coming out of my home state are not from real Arizonans. They are people who don’t truly love the state or other people. They are scared of anyone who is different.
And really, isn’t one of the greatest things about America is that we are one huge melting pot?
Back in April 2011 I had a cold for about a week. It was mild. And since I had extra time on my hands (I don’t exercise when I am sick) I got some posts in, like the one below: Should You Drink Alcohol When You Are Sick?
I have been home for a few days with a pretty vicious cold. Coughing, sneezing, super tired eyes, headache, congestion. Bleh!
I have been too tired to actually do any research or posts over the past few days.
But I thought I could repost this one, especially since it still gets a lot of reads when I check out my blog stats.
This whole week I have had a mild cold. I have tried to be careful to take care of myself. I have gone to work every day as I didn’t feel I was sick enough to stay home. I have gone to work every day and then every evening I have come home and lounged and watch TV/movies before I had to go to bed. Just taking it easy.
I think yesterday was the worst day of my cold. I feel better today. I am still tired and congested. But I am on my way to better health.
Regina, friend and co-worker, brought up my post from yesterday. So somehow it got me thinking about today’s topic: Should you drink alcohol when you are sick? (I am having a much harder time finding legit answers.)
From familydoctor.org: Ways to Treat Your Cold and Flu Symptoms: No. 5 Avoid Alcohol
On About.com: Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever: Do not drink alcohol. It will dehydrate you and interact with many over-the-counter medications.
Since I am having problems finding legit answers to my question, I rephrased on Google: Does alcohol kill germs when sick? From this article on associated content on Yahoo, the simple answer is no. A hot toddy will not cure a cold, but it will temporarily give relief to some cold symptoms. But really any hot drink will do that. Alcohol can also dehydrate you.
About a year ago I had a horrendous cold. It started in my chest and then moved its way up into my head. Oh man. It was bad. I was drinking tons of tea. Then I got the idea to add a little rum. It tasted good and was soothing, but it didn’t cure anything. This time around I have been drinking lots of tea (and water and juice) with honey. Mmmm, tea with honey is yummy.
This article on That’s Fit: Can a Little Booze Help Tackle a Cold? says alcohol dehydrates. But some studies show that alcohol could help prevent the cold from coming on in the first place. The New York times also reported that two large studies have found that although moderate drinking will not cure colds, it can help keep them at bay.
I haven’t felt like drinking this week anyway. Plus I am trying to keep my alcohol to a minimum and to weekends–calories, calories. And it appears from what I researched the consensus is you shouldn’t drink when you are sick as you need to take in as many fluids as you can and alcohol dehydrates you. Drinking alcohol will not kill germs (I do like to use that one) or cure your cold. But also, one drink while you are sick won’t cause much harm.
I recently wrote a post about being a chaotic hot mess.
Don’t worry, I’m OK. I’m just exhausted.
I know I haven’t posted lately. Sorry about that. I just couldn’t muster the energy for a blog post this past week.
Nothing super terrible is happening in my life. It’s just a lot of stuff. And I feel overwhelmed by it all.
Work is stressful. Waking up at 5 a.m. on the days I go into the office are wearing on me as is my commute. (It’s been almost three years.) Work is crazy busy, different after transitions and stressful. I love my yoga teacher training, but that adds an element of stress. Things are gearing up with my Observing and Assisting portion of the teacher training.
And that’s just work and school. We all have things going on in our personal lives as well. Losing a longtime family friend and professor. Worrying about your grandpa.
When all of that is going on the little things can really weigh on me as well. I am sure (I really hope) I am not the only one who can have something minor happen and it brings you to tears.
Times like this I remind myself that it is OK. That I will be OK. And that I need to take a step back and do what I need to do to take care of me.
Once February hit I was happy to realize I had survived January as I knew it would be a tough month. I think the past fews weeks have just caught up with me.
On Tuesday I was at the brink of my exhaustion and was brought to tears. I decided I had to take Friday off and take care of me. I made an appointment for a massage at the Claremont, where I also utilized the steam room, whirl pool, shower with 11 shower heads (yes, I know California is in a drought), a lounging area and cucumber water. I was pretty much a noodle after spending about three hours at the day spa.
That evening I also made it to a Restorative Yoga class. Because it was Valentine’s Day the teacher talked about self-compassion, which so many of us lack. As we breathed in she reminded us of acceptance and as we breathed out she reminded us to surrender.
I knew I needed to take care of me. And that’s what I did. Luckily I had no plans this weekend. The spare room/office needed some organizing. I built some shelves I got from Target and the room looks very adult. It is quite exciting.
Sometimes when my surroundings are in chaos it is difficult for me to relax or concentrate. When I was in college I had the cleanest apartment the night before an exam.
I took this weekend to sleep in and relax and do whatever felt right.
And I know that some of my dear friends have a lot more shit going on in their lives. But we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. Because whatever shit is yours is yours. And if it is hanging on for you then it is.
This is a good reminder that not everything is as it seems. So be kind to each other. We don’t know why someone is in a bad mood. And it likely has nothing to do with us.
Do you ever feel like your life is a hot mess? Disorganized? Out of routine?
Lately that’s how I feel. At home, at work, all aspects of my life.
I strive on routine. And my life has been anything but.
I am trying to embrace the disorganized, the fly by the day goings on, the unexpected, the disheveledness (is that a word?), the tiredness and exhaustion, the unplanned, the spontaneous (whether good or bad) …
I recently wrote about how I am really trying to listen to myself and what I need.
I am working on being kind to me in anyway I need it. And to not feel bad about whatever I choose.
This morning I had a dilemma as it was pouring outside. Should I stay in bed all warm and cozy and sleep away the morning? Or should I get up and head to yoga (which is just a short walk) to the studio in my neighborhood?
I knew I would have some guilt if I didn’t go to class. And I wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to go back to sleep. I decided to brave the rain (in my rain coat, Wellies and my awesome Shed Rain umbrella) and head to class. (And I plan to brave it later today to take the Sunday night Restorative Yoga class, which I am making a pretty regular occurrence in my life and yoga routine.)
Since it is a cold and nasty day I am cuddled up with my coffee under a blanket watching a movie. That’s what I need (even though I am sitting in a room full of chaos–spare room needs some cleaning and straightening up. But I am somehow able to look past all of that. I am making progress.)
Curt recommended me doing research on a yoga pose that helps stop hiccups. Why didn’t I think of that?
First, what is a hiccup?
According to Medical News Today, a hiccup occurs when the diaphragm suddenly contracts involuntarily, while at the same time the larynx (voice box) contracts too and the glottis closes, effective blocking the flow of air.
Why do we get hiccups?
The Science Museum says that there doesn’t seem to be any known function of hiccups in the body. … Hiccups once served a purpose in the animals we evolved from. … One idea is that the hiccup evolved to help our four-legged ancestors to swallow food that got stuck in their throats. Where we have the luxury of gravity helping food down, quadrupeds (animals that walk on all fours) have to shift their food horizontally to get it from their mouths to their stomachs. This means it’s easier for lumps of food to get stuck in their throats. Some scientists think that lumps lodged like this might press down on a nerve in the throat which triggers the hiccup. The sharp breath in then creates a vaccuum behind the food, and helps the animal suck down the lump. This might explain why dogs (not known for eating their food slowly) seem so prone to hiccups – they “wolf” their food down in big lumps that they have to clear by hiccupping.
Kids Health says that the diaphragm can become irritated. When this happens, it pulls down in a jerky way, which makes you suck air into your throat suddenly. When the air rushing in hits your voice box, you’re left with a big hiccup.
How do you get rid of hiccups?
We’ve heard the old wives’ tales: drinking water a certain way, someone scaring you, holding your breath …
Holding your breath makes sense since you are controlling breathing muscles, such as the diaphragm.
Medical News Today lists many ways to get rid of hiccups. But the first one on the list is breathe in and hold your breath for about 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly. Repeat three or four times. Then do it again twenty minutes later.
Be careful if you try these breathing techniques on your own for the first time. If you don’t want to try these, I suggest this: Sit comfortably, breathe in for a count, hold breath for same count, breathe out for same count, hold breath for same count. Try that a couple of times.
What do I need?
What do you need?
I have been really trying to listen to myself lately.
Work has been extremely demanding and busy and overwhelming and stressful as we continue to go through transition. More than usual I feel tired, exhausted and wiped out.
I have really been trying to take the queues my body gives me whether physically, mentally, physiologically, emotionally.
Last weekend we had an Intensive Weekend at teacher training, which was absolutely amazing and I learned so much. But it also took a lot out of me.
I had a lot of things I wanted to do on Sunday. They were to attend Vickie’s morning yoga class; attend an optional hour discussion on meditation before our required three hours of teacher training; the three hours of class; and Sunday night Restorative yoga class.
I knew that was all too much for me and something had to give. I decided to skip Vickie’s class and did my own home practice. This also gave me my whole morning to lounge, enjoy my coffee and do a little homework.
I knew my body needed and would benefit more from a Restorative class than an asana class.
I took Monday off to take care of me: sleep in; get a massage; run a few errands; get a few things done around the house …
Lately I have been taking each day one day at a time. What do I absolutely have to do and what do I need? Do I need to sleep in? Do I need to curl up on the couch and watch a movie? Do I need to get some homework done? Do I need to do a Restorative home practice instead of an asana practice? Do I need to skip a public class tonight? Do I need a glass of wine or beer even though it is Tuesday (and I try to only drink on the weekends)? Do I actually have to work late to get a project or assignment done? Do I need junk food? Do I need to do absolutely nothing? Do I need …
One of my friends in teacher training and I were chatting the other day and reminding each other and ourselves to listen to our bodies. She said, just because I can do something doesn’t mean I have to do it.
This past weekend at yoga teacher training we had something called an Intensive Weekend.
We had class three hours on Friday, six hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday. (Four hours on Sunday if you wanted to participate in an optional hour conversation about meditation before our three hours started.)
Friday night was my annual company party and the first one I have missed since working there. But I made a commitment to my schooling and becoming a yoga teacher.
Even though I was bummed to miss the party, the Friday night class was so much fun. We all took about five minutes to teach something to the class that had nothing to do with yoga.
Everyone taught something different and with so many different styles. I taught the class how to make salsa. Because I didn’t want to bring all the supplies and ingredients with me I took pictures of the items and showed pictures as I went step by step by what you do. I wore my onion goggles my friend Monica gave me, which I reviewed for the blog. And I brought some chips and salsa for everyone to taste.
We learned how to make French press coffee; balloon animals; butter cookies; almond milk, among other things. We learned how to Salsa dance, juggle; speak Japanese; give a Physical Therapy head massage; putt a golf ball, among other things.
Saturday we worked on teaching poses in smaller groups and then to the whole class. Sunday was a meditation discussion and then tree hours on sequencing yoga poses.
We were told some time back that at this point we would start to get the idea of teaching. (ALMOST AT THE HALF WAY POINT OF SCHOOL!!!) And it is starting to make sense to me, especially with sequencing. But I, along with my classmates, have a long way to go.
Like yoga being a practice, so is teaching it. And I am on my way.