STRESS REDUCTION TIPS

 

Your body is always with you. The miracle of healing is that it usually gives you another chance, whenever you want to take it, to get stronger and feel calmer. Putting too much pressure on yourself to be productive every minute, to show concern all the time, to live up to others’ expectations – can all create unhealthy stress mentally and physically when there is no break from it. With messages at every turn telling us stoke our energy and be ever more productive and live up to growing pressures, our society rarely provides an outlet or encouragement to let go, get rest, be gentle and be free of constant choices and concerns.

Stretching, Yoga and Meditation can help relieve stress.

Interludes: Take a break every couple of hours to remember and move the rest of your body. It can make a big difference in your health. All it takes is a little effort to get in the habit. Once you do, you’ll discover a wellspring of wellness that you can revisit again and again. Studies have shown interludes can be key to enhanced productivity, alertness and mental stability.

Breathing: By the time we reach our 40s and 50s, we have often learned habitual postures and positions that block our ability to breathe fully. These postures might be learned from parents, they might be developed from past injuries or result unconsciously from daily environments like driving or hunching forward to look at a computer at a desk job.

How To Fix It:
Start with your breath. It is always there….and it is the link to the peace of mind that is always there for you. Breathing deeply can help you begin to slow down, even in the most stressful times of your life. Even if you are not inclined to practice sitting meditation, doing 5 minutes of breathing exercises and concentrating on your breath during easy movement is in itself a relaxing meditation. These tranquil, replenishing exercises can be done wherever you are.

“TAKE 5” RELAXATION EXERCISE

Exercise benefits begin when we start to breathe fully. Over the years, we can develop unconscious habits like slouching or muscle tension because of the kind of work we do or even feelings of stress. This kind of muscle tension and mental anxiety can lead to health problems as we age.

Start by stopping – and listening to your body. It may be telling you something with minor aches and pains. It may be completely silent, numb and lacking in energy. You may even feel annoyed, or worried about everything and feeling stuck.

If you have these feelings, take 5 minutes in your day to stop. Go to a place that is a quiet and private as possible, even if it’s a bathroom. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Close your eyes. Try to clear your mind by only thinking of the sound of your breathing. Then gently let your head nod down, then come level again, a few times. Gently turn your head to the right then back to center; to the left and center, a few times on each side. As you inhale deeply, slowly shrug your shoulders then let them fall naturally. Roll them slowly forward twice, then backward twice. Lift your arms above your head and spread your fingers open
gently to stretch your hands, hold for 30 seconds, then repeat. Bend your elbows, lift them to your sides and pull them back, holding for 30 seconds, to stretch your chest.

By now, you’ve passed 5 minutes with small stretches that can help your circulation and lower your blood pressure. It’s a small but valuable gift of time and movement. Try it once a day, then twice.

This is the place – the space – for you to restore and rejuvenate your physical and mental energy. Ease into more movement today.

Moving Free® is a fusion exercise technique that combines the best elements of ancient and modern methods. It draws upon ancient stress-relieving systems, such as yoga, which focuses on opening internal areas inside the body (lungs, digestive system, etc.) with positions that enable breathing freely to ease muscular stretching. Another ancient form, tai chi, also focuses on slow breathing that lets the abdomen rise and fall naturally, expanding with full slow breaths that bring more oxygen into the body. When the breathing focus is underway, then the slow and gentle movements reinforce balance and agility. More vigorous dance-inspired exercise also plays an important role alongside gentler stretching – and is an ideal way to relieve heightened stress that would otherwise lead to harmful emotions like anger. Moving Free® is the place where you can do that. Recover your balance and find your own rhythm. Visit mirabaiholland.com for  Moving Free®  

 

 

 

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Fall Prevention.

Fall PreventionFall Prevention. Is your vision putting you at risk for a deadly fall? The answer may surprise you. Falls are a leading cause of death in older adults.

Do you really want to go out with that kind of a bang? Not being able to distinguish, or maybe just being less likely to notice a hazard that causes a fall, is a problem that sneaks up on you.

 The quality of our vision diminishes with age slowly, and often goes unnoticed; or we may just rationalize symptoms away.

Fall Prevention

Starting at around 40 the lenses in our eyes become less elastic making it hard to focus up close. We eventually admit it and fix the problem with reading glasses. But that’s just the beginning. By around 50 we may think there’s not enough light in a room, or daylight conditions are immediately too bright when we go outside. In fact our pupils have gotten smaller, and our ability to adjust to changing light has slowed with age. So we require more light indoors, and transitions from dim to bright conditions become more difficult. We don’t usually think of aging eyesight as the cause. It’s easy to shrug off.

As we get older and contrast perception diminishes, making it harder to perceive stairs, curbs and other dangers, we blame shadows or glare. And worsening vision throws off our balance and proprioception (knowing where our bodies are in space). Combine imperfect vision with age related orthopedic issues and we’re set up for a life altering or life-ending event.Most of the time, the vision problem is easily corrected with a visit to an ophthalmologist and prescription for glasses. And if you do have a more serious issue, it can be detected and treated before vision loss occurs or gets worse. But remember, it sneaks up on you. So get a checkup even if you don’t think you need one.

In these times of social distancing and sheltering in place is a perfect time to focus on YOU and YOUR Health & Well-Being.

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It can make a big difference to keep your immune system strong. If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. If you are ready to break the cycle of failed diets, exercise programs with no results or have low energy, high stress or persistent health issues, YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!


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Exercise For Arthritis

Exercise for Arthritis

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Exercise lubricates your joints and keeps them mobile which is great for arthritis sufferers. Many of us Baby Boomers develop Arthritis as we get older. But in most cases it doesn’t have to be a ticket to inactivity. According to the National Arthritis foundation.

“If you have arthritis or a related condition, exercise is especially important.”

National Arthritis Foundation

It also strengthens the muscles and the cartilage around your joints which helps to protect and keep them usable. Many people with arthritis don’t exercise because of pain. This is a natural reaction, but one that’s important to overcome because lack of exercise can stiffen joints, worsen pain, and eventually immobilize you. Starting slowly, and carefully exercising joints and related muscles can improve your ability to perform daily tasks with improved range of motion and less pain.

People with arthritis can do all three major components of fitness training:
Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. The main modifications are;

  • Proceed slowly
  • Although some exercises will not be entirely pain-free, never continue to exercise in great pain.
  • Longer warm-up and cool-down (5-10 minutes)
  • For some applying ice or heat before you start can help relieve pain and soreness. Check with your doctor.

hand-stretch.jpg“My Dad had severe rheumatoid arthritis. I designed a Moving Free® exercise program for him and worked with him for several months. It brought him so much relief that he brought the program to the attention of the National Arthritis Foundation. I was proud to become one of their exercise consultants.”
Mirabai Holland MFA, Certified Exercise Physiologist, Certified Health Coach

About Arthritis

About one in three adults has some form of arthritis. According to the National Arthritis Foundation “Baby boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.”

There are several forms of Arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis: Most common form of arthritis causing joint cartilage to deteriorate over time until bone rubs upon bone.
  • Rheumatoid: An autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of joint linings.
  • Lupus: Can destroy the body’s connective tissue.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: a spinal arthritis which causes vertebrate to grow together due to inflammation.
  • Scleroderma: A condition which thickens and hardens the skin.
  • Fibromyalgia: Causes aching muscles and connective tissue.
  • Juvenile arthritis: Various forms of arthritis that occur in children.

For more information on Mirabai Holland and her Moving Free Technique® please visit http://www.mirabaiholland.com

 

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Weight Loss Panic

Weight LossWhenever the weather gets warmer, the idea of putting on summer clothes generates a ton of weight loss panic! I get a lot of panicky emails asking about quick weight loss. Here are a couple of familiar ones.

Weight Loss Panic Solutions

Q: I need to lose 20 pounds. I am doing aerobics three times a week and watching my calories but I am losing so slowly, I was wondering if there is any other type of exercise that could help me lose weight faster? I am really getting frustrated and I am almost ready to just give up.

Frustrated

A. Try adding 2-3 days of weight training to the mix.

weight lossStudies show the winning formula is a combination of aerobic and weight training exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise burns calories while you are doing it and for a short time afterwards. Weight training burns calories too but it also increases your lean muscle mass. So as you add more muscle, you’ll burn more calories all day long. Research from Tufts University found that after 12 weeks of weight training, total calorie burning increased by about 15 percent which for an average adult, could amount to an extra 240 to 400 calories a day.

Q: I’m carrying about 10 extra pounds around my middle. I’ve got 12 weeks to get into my dress for my daughter’s wedding. I would hate to have to go out and buy a bigger size. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this belly by then?

A: As we get older, particularly after menopause, women tend to carry extra weight around the middle. This change in body shape puts you at higher risk for heart disease and cancer. So, it’s even more crucial to do something about it.

weight lossFortunately, it’s not as difficult as you think.

If you lose a pound a week, you’ll still have 2 weeks to spare, just in case you get a little hungry.

So, here’s a formula for losing the weight and toning up at the same time.

One pound = 3500 calories. So to lose one pound a week eliminate 500 calories each day (500 X 7 days = 3500 calories)

Eat 300 calories less, and do one half hour to one hour of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, to burn the other 200. You might want to write down everything you eat for the next 3 days or so to help you figure out what you can do without. Or, simply cut your portions in half.

As for aerobic exercise, you don’t have to do the whole workout at once. Three 10-minute walks are just as effective as one half hour walk.

CRUNCH-banner-at-72-copy

You should also do some abdominal exercises about 20 a day to help tone up that belly as you lose weight. And, exercise actually picks up your metabolic rate so you burn more calories even after you’ve finished exercising.

Now, just try not to trip on your way up the aisle!

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Wellness Mandala

Wellness: Life is a balancing act.
So I started thinking about wellness. What is wellness anyway?
It’s the absence of disease. If you are not sick you are well.
But it’s more than that isn’t it? It’s quality of life and for some it’s a balancing act; the balance of all things. I like this balance concept so I dug out one of my favorite balancing act tools:

Wellness Balancing Act Tool

The Mandala: the wheel of life. I wrote down all the types of wellness I could think of and ended up with 6 categories that I stuck on my Mandala to enable us to live well.

Here they are:
Physical Wellness
· Taking care of your body, eat right, exercise
· Visit your doctor regularly

Mental Wellness
· Keeping an open mind and trying to see other’s point of view
· Allowing your curiosity to take you to new places and learn new things.

Emotional Wellness
· Trying to keep a positive state of mind
· Cultivating self esteem
· Reaching out to others for support

Spiritual Wellness
· Recognizing your beliefs.
· Allowing your core values to direct your actions.

Social Wellness
· Developing positive inter-personal relationships at home and work
· Allowing yourself to give and receive love: to and from everyone that means that much to you including animals
· Participate in social situations; try not to stay on the sidelines.

Environmental Wellness
· Making your home environment peaceful, pleasant, safe and comfortable.
· Choosing an occupation and a workplace that doesn’t drive you nuts.
· Try to have a positive impact on our natural environment.
Recycle more, pollute less.

When the wheel is in balance it spins evenly. When even one of these categories is out of whack, the whole wheel starts to wobble.
So as a certified health coach I respectfully suggest you get rolling, get your balancing act together so you can live well.

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Stretching Routines: Gogi Tendon Organs ?

Stretching Routines: What Do Your Gogi Tendon Organs Have to do with it?

Stretching RoutinesStretching: What Do Your Gogi Tendon Organs Have To Do With It?  
Here’s a little video with the answer.
Have you tried to pick a coin up off the ground lately? How about tying your shoes? Have you switched to slip-ons? What about reaching over the coffee table to scoop some dip on the other side? Remember when you didn’t think twice about those maneuvers?
Sounds like decrepitude is setting in. Or maybe you’ve just lost some Flexibility.Flexibility is range of motion around your joints.
There are two types. Static flexibility – how far you can stretch and hold a body part, and dynamic flexibility – how much range of motion you have when you move.
Both are important. In fact I consider Flexibility one of the 3 main components of fitness, along with Aerobic Capacity and Muscle Strength.
I recommend a flexibility program that incorporates slow dynamic movements like Tai Chi, as well as static stretches like Yoga.But in my experience, Flexibility is the most ignored component of fitness. We do our Cardio and our Strength training but, unless we’re regular Yoga or Tai Chi, practitioners, Flexibility is not on the menu.
Why not? I think there are a couple of reasons. First, I think we don’t get it.It doesn’t make our muscles stronger or our figures shapelier. We don’t realize how valuable flexibility is until we try to do something we used to take for granted, like reach around to the back seat to get our sunglasses. Even then we toss it off with, “Well, I guess I’m getting older”. We somehow don’t connect with the thought, ” If I’d been doing a little stretching all these years, it wouldn’t have felt like I was going to rip something just then”.Secondly, there’s been lots of press about conflicting studies on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of stretching.
Some studies say stretching improves athletic performance. Others say they’ve proved the exact opposite. Some studies say stretching helps prevent injury. Others say it has no effect on injury prevention. There’s enough conflicting buzz to make you not want to bother.That’s too bad because all that buzz masks the fact we do know stretching does help you gain and maintaining flexibility.
Does stretching help prevent injury or aid athletic performance? I DON’T CARE.
I want to stay flexible as I age. I want to be able to pick up coins, tie my shoes and grab my sunglasses. Give me my dose of flexibility training!Even if we were flexible as kids, as we get older, connective tissues, our tendons and ligaments, tend to lose water, shorten, and become stiffer. So we get less flexible. But it’s not too late.Even if you’re not interested in the fine practice of Yoga or Tai Chi, barring some medical issue, there’s a simple way to help hang on to the flexibility you have, and work on getting some of that youthful flexibility back. A few easy stretching exercises may be the difference between living tight and living flexible.I stretch every day. Easy for me to say, I teach a stretch class. But just a few minutes, three times a week, can make a real difference. I’ve seen students of mine go from really stiff to pretty darn flexible in a few months, without trying hard.

Stretching, when done right, feels delicious while you’re doing it, and even better when you’re done. The kind of stretching I do is relaxing and meditative. I find it melts my stress and energizes me while keeping me flexible. I’ve developed a stretch exercise technique I call Moving Free. It’s evolved some over the 30 years I’ve been teaching it. I use a fusion of modified static stretches from Dance, Yoga and classic fitness as well as dynamic movements adapted from Dance and Tai Chi and Kinesiology.

Here’s a video with some lower body stretches you can try at home.

As if that weren’t enough, There’s more to stretching than just flexibility. I think stretching is a form of meditation that creates a sense of well-being and promotes peace of mind. When I finish my stretching routine I have a more positive outlook as well as the feeling that my body is more alive, more accessible to me. Try it and see.

Chances are that pretty soon you’ll be able to find your shoes simply by looking down.

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Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Osteoporosis Prevention DietOsteoporosis Prevention Diet? EEK! One more thing to worry about? Sounds like more bad news but it’s not. True, our bodies can lose up to 40% of their bone mass in the 10 years following menopause. And true, if we don’t do something we could easily end up with osteoporosis. But also true, the fix for this is both easy and delicious.

It’s important to get enough calcium, Vitamin D in your bone healthy diet.  As we age  bodies become less efficient at absorbing these nutrients.

Here are some recommendations.

If you’re 50 or over you should make sure you’re getting a total calcium intake of at least

1200 milligrams daily and a Vitamin D intake of at least 800 to 1000 units daily.

Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Here are some sources of dietary calcium:

  •  Dairy Products including milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Nuts such as almonds and various green vegetables such as broccoli
  •  Fish with bones such as sardines, and mackerel and calcium fortified juices and cereals.

So, yogurt with fruit, almonds and maybe even a little cereal sounds like lunch. So does a salad with sardines, and a little raw broccoli. How about a nice piece of fish with a smaller salad. You might try some cheese and fruit with a glass of fruit juice. OK, wine. You get the idea. Get your calcium from food and you don’t have to take supplements. But if you do, most people have a better time digesting calcium citrate than calcium carbonate, but they both work fine.

Sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fishes such as salmon and mackerel and Vitamin D enriched milk, juices and cereals.
  • Although your skin can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, sun block prevents vitamin D production.

By now you’re making up your own healthy bones recipes so I don’t have to suggest a Salmon, mackerel, milk, fruit juice and cereal smoothie do I?

But if you’re like most people and wear sun block and don’t get enough D in your diet you’ll need to take a supplement to get your 800-1000 units of Vitamin D.

MORE Osteoporosis Prevention Diet  DO’s

Research suggests nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamins A, K & C found in certain veggies and fruits may help foster better bones. It is recommended to eat about 12 ounces of fruit and 16 ounces of veggies daily.

Here is a list for your concoctions:

  • Magnesium include: Raisins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plaintains, squash, artichokes, beet and collard greens.
  • Potassium include: Oranges, orange juice, bananas, prunes, papaya, avocados and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin A: Mangoes, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach
  • Vitamin K: Spinach, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard, turnip and mustard greens.
  • Vitamin C: Oranges, pineapples, payayas, grapefruits, lemons, strawberries, red raspberries
  • Osteoporosis Prevention Diet NO’S

One bit of bad news is too much alcohol or caffeine can add to bone loss; and soft drinks particularly colas that have both caffeine and phosphorous (bad for your bones) may be a double whammy.

So that’s my quickie eating for your bones report. Don’t try that smoothie; it’s nasty.

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Tennis: Improve Your Game!

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Tennis! How To Improve Your Game

My friends say I’m like a broken record when I tell them “An ounce of Prehab is Worth a Pound of Rehab”. But with the rising number of baby boomers and beyond taking to the tennis courts, this phrase rings true especially if you’re interested in staying literally, in the game!

For general tennis conditioning, start with easy aerobics like cardio interval walking/jogging.

Alternate three minutes of brisk walking with a minute of faster walking or jogging. Build up to 8 sets (32 minutes) each session, at least 3-5 days a week. Also, if you have the space, try stepping laterally several steps to the right and then to the left during the 1-minute intervals.

This will help build your stamina for those bursts of speed you need on the tennis court.

Tennis: How To Improve Your Game

The following 5 site specific exercises can help you warm-up your racquet arm and strengthen key muscles to help avoid injuries but improve your game.

Srv1WebFigure-Eight Warm-up

With your racquet in your hand perform an overhead serve (without the ball) and follow through with a figure eight motion. Start slowly and increase your speed as you feel your arm, shoulder and core muscles getting warmed up. Repeat 12 times.

 

 

 

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Improve Your Tennis Game Ball Grip Strengthener

Squeeze a tennis ball in the palm of your racquet hand. Hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat 6 times. Strengthens grip.

 

 

 

BbdHndWebRubber Band Grip Strengthener

Stretch rubber band while extending fingers of your racquet hand. Hold for 10 seconds,

Repeat 6 times. Strengthens the opposite muscles from ball grip.

 

 

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Wrst-Curl-Right-WebForearm/Wrist Exercise

Holding a can or hand weight, place your arm edgewise on a surface for support. Using just your wrist, curl all the way to the right and then to the left.

Strengthens the forearm and wrist and helps to prevent tennis elbow. Repeat up to 12 times.

 

Wrist-Curl-Left---Web

 

 

 

 

 

 

LungeWebWalking Lunge

Lunge forward with one leg while bending other leg with heel off the ground.

Pause for 1 second. Switch legs and repeat. Strengthens leg muscles. Do up to 16 times.

 

 

 

EASE IN, BECOME MOBILE, GET STRONG, LIVE LONG!  

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Osteoporosis: What Does Buying A Purse Have To Do With It?

We all have a lot to lose if we take a serious fall. Assuming we survive, the effects can be life altering. And if you have osteoporosis, what would have been a minor slip and fall for others, could have devastating consequences for you. Here’s a fall prevention video that should be of interest to anyone interested in staying upright.

Osteoporosis Fall Prevention Video

There’s a story that prompted me to post this video and write this article. Here it is.

OsteoporosisI have a friend who had been eyeballing this cute little red purse for a couple of months.  She didn’t need it but she wanted it and sort of became obsessed with it.

She’d visit it online and wave to it in the store. But, there’s no way she was going to buy that purse because wanting it that bad made her feel a little stupid.

Well, the darn thing went on sale the other day at 40-percent off and another 10-percent off with her store card. Now, of course, she had to have that red bag.

Apparently, so did every other woman in the United States. Because, she had it in her online shopping cart and by the time she got her credit card out, it was no longer available. It had been snatched right out of her cart.

She was furious. She felt violated. “How dare they sell MY red purse?”

She called the company.  They apologized and looked for one in their inventory anywhere. They gave her stores and a warehouse to call and reserve it before the last one could be sold. She called around for over an hour and finally got to someone who found one in California and ordered it for her.

As she was patting herself on the back for her investigative skills and persistence my friend had an aha! moment. She had recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Her doctor had given her a list of endocrinologists he’d be comfortable recommending but she hadn’t even looked at it, let alone researched it.

“I had been meaning to but I had been putting it off for no good reason. I thought why on earth don’t I apply that same purse passion to taking charge of my own health care?”

She thought about it for a minute and the answer she came up with unnerved her a little. “Health care is not sexy,”  Purses are sexy! Purses are sexier than being healthier and maybe living longer? Eek!

But health is sexy! Quality of life is sexy!

As she started to Google the doctors on the list, she began to sing a parody to that old rock song.
“I’m too sexy for my purse, too sexy for my mouse pad, but not too sexy for my doctor’s office. Maybe a little bit too sexy, but I’m goin’ anyway.”

I think perhaps my friend has touched a nerve in many of us. Would we really rather look good than to feel good?

Sure seems like it. I think it’s that very premise that prompted an ad agency to come up with a TV commercial for a dietary supplement featuring a sexy dancing X-ray skeleton of a baby boomer model that’s protecting her looks by protecting her bones.

It got my attention. If you can’t get them to do it for health, get them to do it for beauty. Twistedly brilliant!

So I guess, if beauty is your motivation, go for it; especially when the health comes with it.
But what do you do if you already have osteoporosis like my friend, or have low bone mass, or you just have the good sense to want to take of your bones?

Osteoporosis And Calcium

“Getting enough calcium in our diet is really important. The NOF recommends
an intake of 1,000 miligrams for adult women from age 50 or younger, and age 51 and older — 1,200 milligrams a day for adult women. If a woman isn’t paying enough attention to calcium in her diet she puts herself at risk. But more is not necessarily better when it comes to calcium. Neither women nor men should get more than about 2,000 milligrams a day.”

 Weight Bearing Exercise

Weight bearing exercise actually builds bone in youth and will help maintain bone.”As we get older the type of exercise changes a little bit. We still have to do some impact work but it has to be safe to avoid injury and falls so you want to add balance training, flexibility training, and safe movement to make sure the individual is able to stay active and healthy.”

So what’s the takeaway here? My takeaway is if you like standing on your own two feet, taking care of your bones is about as sexy as it gets.

by Mirabai Holland MFA Certified Health Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist.

EASE IN, BECOME MOBILE, GET STRONG, LIVE LONG!

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Renewal by Mirabai Holland

Her small hands reach into the garden
for Irises.
She strokes them against each cheek
yellow and purple velvet.

She lies on the ground
face up
mouth open
ready to swallow
the maple tree.

Butterflies kiss her sleeves
as she nose-dives
into the roots
and inhales
the smell of birth.

The yard is safe.
Her legs kick
swinging dirt
digging deeper
for a secret
from the darkness.

She finds none.

MH©2021

For more Spring Time Well-Being Renewals

please visit http://www.mirabaiholland.com    Follow Mirabai Holland, Certified Health Coach & Certified Exercise Physiologist:

 


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