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Filtering by Tag: oregon

What can YOU resolve to release?

Jennifer Oechsner

"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own" - Bruce Lee

It's that time of year again, time for resolutions. The time to begin healthy habits, to let go of unhealthy ones, to start fresh. I know Im not alone in the desire to make this year my best. I know I'm not the only one who wants to be the best version of themselves that they possibly can. The question is, what does this mean? We often make resolutions for things like exercising more, eating less sugar, eating more vegetabes, reading more books, maybe watching less TV. These are all great. But this year I need to go big. This year I have a couple resolutions, but my big one is letting go of fear.

Fear can definitely be tricky to let go of. Fear has the power to create so much unnecessary suffering. Fear takes hold of the mind and has the power to keep us in a seemingly endless cycle of self-pity and sadness. The first step to changing fear based behavior is to stare it right in the face. What is the fear? What story do we allow it to give us? How can we change that story? Buddhist teachings stress the importance of mindfullness practice to become more aware when thoughts or fears arise. This helps us recognize that we are responsible for the thoughts our mind produces. 

When fear based thoughts arise breathe deeply and ground yourself in the present moment. You can do this by observing the world around you. Listen to the rain or the birds. Feel the sun, rain or wind on your skin. Let this ground you in the present moment. Fears are often rooted in past experiences or future expectations. Over time, practicing being in the here and now can be an effective antidote to fear based behavior.

In my life, fear rears its ugly head and limits my growth. I feel effecting different parts of my life and it is difficult to break free. As many of you know, I have been studying martial arts for a number of years. It is the first thing I was ever truly passionate about. When I followed my new passion and became a yoga instructor I had the idea to somehow combine these two practices into one class I could share with the community. When I first started teaching yoga I held a couple of classes at a small gym. To my great disappointment, it didn't work out. Maybe it was the wrong time, maybe it was the wrong place, maybe I didn't give it enough time. Whatever the reason,  I felt like a huge failure. Over the past 5 years I have kept thinking about it, trying to figure out how I can make it better. I kept telling myself I would get around to it when I figured that out. But the real roadblock has been fear. And damn is it a big one. The question is, do I have the courage to let it go? What if I try again and it doesn't work out? Well, I've decided there is only one way to find out. 

I have resolved to step beyond this fear. I am at the point in my career, in my life, that I need to take a leap. All leaps are scary but I certainly can't grow if I keep quietly wishing for things. My wish, my goal, is to create my own Warrior-Flow. My own class that combines my passions of martial arts and yoga. So that's exactly what I have done. And it's going to be GREAT!

Each class will consist of a unique blend of yoga and martial arts, drawing from various disciplines I have studied over the years. AND I'm sharing my knowledge as a nutritionist by giving students a weekly nutrition focus and weekly recipe. And do you know how I know it's exactly the right thing to do? My gut tells me. The butterflies in my stomach just can't be wrong.

Here's the class info. Please email me for more information. Classes are scheduled to begin at the end of January.

NE PDX @ Whole Foods Market NE 15th and Freemont: Sundays 11:30-12:30
SE PDX @ 5514 SE Foster Rd.: Tuesdays 5:45-6:45pm

What can YOU let go of? How can you enrich your life experience and grow to become a better version of YOURself?

I would love to hear from you!

Nourishment and Protection

Jennifer Oechsner

I spent the 4th of July weekend rafting on the Deschutes river. It was a wonderful trip and a much needed break. We contemplated not going because of the extreme heat but in the end decided the heat and sun would just add to the adventure. When we got to the river Thursdaynight just before dark, the heat of the day was still heavy in the air. By the time we got settled in and were relaxing by the river, the moon had come out to greet us. The full moon shone brightly over the river, the basalt cliffs loomed over us and the warm air enveloped my skin. The scene was magnificent, the backdrop set for what was sure to be an amazing weekend. We would just have to remember to take care of ourselves.

I love summer and I have definitely had more than my share of days purposefully baking in the sun seeking to achieve that "perfect golden tan". Growing up in the midwest, we didn't have much time so sometimes we even used baby oil to really get a good burn. I know, crazy right! Thankfully, the baby oil burns are years behind me and I am much older and wiser now. Even though I am more careful than I used to be I do still love the sun and sometimes get so wrapped up in outdoor fun I forget to protect my skin and stay hydrated. 

On our trip to the Deschutes I was determined not to get a miserable sunburn and was well aware of the need to drink a lot of water in the extreme heat. (the temperature broke 100 every day!). Even in the morning hours I was sure to apply my SPF 30 sunscreen liberally and reapplied several times throughout the day. I protected my skin with a long sleeve shirt in the heat of the afternoon and the only time I didn't wear my hat was in the water and after the sun went down. 

When choosing what strength of sunscreen you should get, its beneficial to understand the difference. Here is a LINK to a helpful diagram that breaks down the efficacy of different strengths, explains the different types of rays and their effects, and gives recommendations for frequency of application.

As a nutritionist and personal trainer, I often talk to my clients about the importance of staying hydrated. Sufficient hydration is important for digestive health, skin health, can reduce joint pain and helps us to flush waste products out through our sweat and urine. On an average day I aim to drink 75 ounces of water. Add 100 degree heat into the mix and I knew I needed a lot more. My goal was a gallon. (unfortunately I didn't quite make it).

It was a wonderful weekend rich in laughter, stunning scenery and relaxing floats down the river. I feel blessed to have had the chance to experience it and to live in a place that is lush with so much amazing natural beauty. I am pleased that I enjoyed my weekend mindfully and managed to take care of myself along the way. 

I hope you all are having a safe and enjoyable summer so far. What have you been up? Share your summer adventures and photos on my Facebook page. Stay cool, stay protected and stay hydrated.