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Author Archives: claire

Yoga for teens with Alison

Yoga For Teens

 

By Alison McEvoy

Why I teach yoga to teens

I started practising yoga when I was a tender, green shoot of just 14 years. Despite being young I was stiff, and quite stressed. I worked hard at school, at my homework and even at my little part time jobs walking dogs and babysitting at the weekend. I carried heavy books on my back each school day and leaned over my desk to read, write, ponder, memorize and all the other mental activities that go with learning and studying.

Intuitively, I knew I needed something that would give me some in-my-body time, something to calm my over alert mind and all the washing-machine of worries that churned in my head as my school diary filled to over-flowing each week.

For four years, down in the local parish hall, it was me and a group of middle aged ladies every Thursday night; learning to stretch mindfully, breathe deeply, relax consciously and feel the sensations in my body – aches, emotions, all the things that needed my attention as much as my school work.

And that amazing thing was that yoga helped me to balance all the mental activity associated with secondary school but it also improved my performance. A year after I started I achieved the highest results in the history of my school for Junior Certificate performance. I had learned, along the way, to concentrate, to think clearly, to focus and my memory improved.

I continued yoga right through my secondary schools years, throughout college and then delved into my teacher training for two years after finishing my primary degree.

I’ve been teaching yoga to teens for the past four years. I’ve come to hone in on what works, just the right mixture of what’s relevant, fun, meaningful and interesting to young bodies and minds.

What do we do?

Yoga for teens brings all of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga into the bodies, minds and lives of young people.

Course Content

What is yoga?

What are the elements of a yoga practice (The breath, the mind, the body)

Yoga Asana (postures, stretches and movements)

Yoga pranayama (Breath awareness and breathing practices/techniques)

Meditation (Yoga Nidra – the yoga of deep sleep, creative visualizations and conscious relaxation)

I will also touch on other self-development topics to do with relaxation, health and wellbeing.

AIMS:

  1. To give teens an experience of the essential elements of yoga practice: asana (poses, positions, stretches and movements), pranayama (breathing practices), guided meditation, visualization and conscious deep relaxation
  2. To bring students into an experience of embodiment and connection with their physical self to balance the mental activities which the rest of their day abounds with
  3. To increase teens self-awareness, self-compassion and self-understanding
  4. To equip teens with an understanding of simple ways by which they can manage their own needs for relaxation i.e relief from stress, tension and anxiety

METHODOLOGIES:

* Discussion; questioning, introducing new ideas and generating reflection and discussion

* Practice of yogic techniques; deep breathing, poses and guided meditations

* Games and partner exercises to make the learning fun

Details:

Thursdays 4.30pm – 5.45pm

8 week course – €120

Max.10 students – Booking Essential

Starts Thursday November 1st – December 20th

Contact: River Holistic (01) 831 0888 / info@riverholistic.ie

Booking Deposit: €20

 

 

 

New Moon Magic Sound Healing

New Moon Magic Sound Healing Sessions.

Harnessing the power of the New Moon and Sacred Sound Healing combined these individual sessions are designed to support you in sowing the seeds of your dreams.

New Moon is a potent time for beginning the process of manifesting, and as the moon grows into fullness it offers our dreams the opportunity to grow too.

Sound healing can:
– Supports the body, emotions and thoughts to move back into a balanced state
– Acts like an internal massage for the muscles, tissues and organs, as the resonance absorbs inwards
– Activates the para-sympathetic nervous system thus ‘turning on’ the relaxation response
– Promotes homeostasis, through which the body can begin to self heal
Cleanses the aura or energy field
– Raises your energetic vibration, which can support you in attracting more high vibrational situations & people into your life, as you return to your natural state of grace and flow

These New Moon Magic Sound Healing Sessions will use a combination of the singing bowls, gong, tuning forks, zaphir chimes, solfeggio pipes both on and around your body as you rest on a plinth fully clothed and covered in a blanket. The sound is absorbed where it is needed most and having an intention for your session can support your 1-1 sound healing session, as you draw on the energy of the New Moon.

Recommendations are often given at the end of the session to support you in maintaining the balance from your sound healing session.

Sound Healing is subtle yet powerful and is therefore contra indicated for people with a pacemaker, inflammation, advanced stages of cancer, cancer tumors, metal implants, having had surgery within 3 months and in the first trimester of pregnancy.

New Moon Magic Sound Healing Sessions are available on Monday the 8th & Tuesday the 9th of October at River Holistic Centre in Raheny.

Sound healing sessions last for 60 minutes and are tailored uniquely to the clients needs, costing €65.

Appointments can be made by contacting Laura on 085 8225450 or emailing laura@loveyourlife.ie

 

Chair Yoga Class

The yoga chair has always been a useful friend and great teacher of Iyengar yoga. It allows us to explore our body better, get better extension and support to the spine, get deeper into twists, longer and easier into inversions and so on.

Chair Yoga class will be dedicated to learning how to use the yoga chair to improve our understanding and practice in different groups of yoga postures (standing poses, forward bends, back bends, inversions, twists etc.).

As always, we will also learn and practice Pranayama on the chair.

Our class provide a chance to practice yoga on a deeper level in a holistic way, connecting the physical and the organic body through yoga Asanas, each time with a different theme or subject matter. In addition we take the time to touch upon breathing or meditation techniques and inquire into different philosophical aspects of yoga that are at the heart of our practice.

Yoga asanas involve extension, exertion, as well as relaxation of the body. The aim of the movement is to align the body correctly. For a yogi, the yoga asanas described below are the foundation of every yoga practice. The objective of a beginner yogi is to understand proper alignment. Whereas a seasoned yogi strives to find greater depths and sustain the asanas for an extended length of time. Whether you are a beginner yogi or an advanced practitioner, adding a yoga prop will help to stretch, strengthen, relax and improve the alignment of the body, enhancing the experience of the entire yoga practice.

My practice has personally benefited immensely from using props. To recover from a cervical spine injury, I began experimenting with ordinary and everyday objects such as walls, chairs, cushions and blankets. Props have been a core element of several restorative yoga practices over the years. In fact, the chair has been an important characteristic of Iyengar Yoga for decades. The easy availability of chairs made it an integral part of my practice. I was able to do more with the help of a chair, accessing key movements and achieving more height, balance and stability. I could stay longer and relax in challenging asanas, thus attaining their maximum benefit.

Try these foundational yoga poses using a chair. As a silent instructor, it will help you enhance the understanding of each asana. Important thing to note: the chair should be stable, without wheels and without hand rest and make sure your come out of the pose just like you go in.

Improve your quality of living by working with Judit to renew your body, mind & spirit from the inside out

In a beautiful room with natural lighting and soft music playing. There will be a few yoga mats laid out, each with a folding chair in the middle plus some additional props such as a block and a blanket just in case you need some additional support for the practice.

Yoga has been shown to improve overall health when practiced regularly. As with many forms of exercise, it can be modified for people of varying abilities. Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that can be done sitting on a chair or standing on the ground while using the chair for support. It is beneficial for people with limited mobility and for those who want to practice yoga at their workplace. The benefits of practicing these chair yoga poses (called asanas) include:
Improved flexibility. Flexibility allows us to do the activities we need and love to do, from twisting while driving to bending over to play with children.
Better concentration. Incorporating breath work with the poses can help clear your brain of unwanted thoughts, improve mood and decrease stress.
Increased strength. Body strength enables us to withstand falls and injury and helps us with balance.
Reduced joint strain. Chair yoga reduces the strain on joints and muscles, which allows someone who is unable to stand for traditional yoga an opportunity to practice too.
Portability and convenience. You can do chair yoga nearly anywhere you can find a place to sit 💛

Mixed level classes On Thursday at 12:30 pm -1:30pm
Cost: €75 for 6 weeks or €15 drop in anytime if space is available

Contact Reception to secure your space 018310888

#I’M TIRED

I’m Tired.

Said every mother FOR YEARS.

What do these simple two words really mean.

I’m tired is code for I am getting by, I haven’t slept for a year, I haven’t had a shower or yes sometimes even a bowel movement without an audience and no longer than 5 minutes in a very long time.

I’m tired means I need help, I need a coffee, I need a break, but most of the time it means I am just about holding my head above water, while trying to keep our little angels alive, going to work and trying to be an adult, trying to keep a house in some order so a hazmat team is not needed or social services are not called because you didn’t have the energy to bath your children every night and resorting  to a few quick wipes with a wash cloth every now and then, you don’t get time to shower so sometimes they don’t either.

I’m tired can sometimes be a call for help or just looking for a simple nod from another mother, letting them know that they are not alone.

I’m tired is not looking for a condescending tone of I told you two children was enough, these years are so precious you should enjoy every minute of it.

I’m tired will not last for your whole life span of being a mother but it is going to be your hashtag for a very long time.

When you are tired just try to find that right balance between keeping little humans alive, keeping yourself from looking like a human and knowing that your children think you are the moon, the stars and the sun all rolled into one.

These beautiful little humans don’t care about the “good housekeeping guide of 1952”, they don’t care about how clean they are, they don’t care about how clean the floor is (because they are only going to dump all their toys on it 5 minutes after you have cleaned it), they don’t care about how you don’t have a 7 course dinner on the table, sometimes a bowl of cornflakes sitting on the floor together can become one of their most precious memories.

So, my advice to you is that:

I’m tired has so many meanings, your children do not look for the finer things in life for happiness they will look to you to be there, in some shape or form, not all the outings that you just couldn’t face, but for the cuddles on the couch and the listening ear that no matter how tired you are, you will always give.

Please stop being hard on yourself if your children are happy, healthy and still get excited about seeing you, their moon, stars and sun, you are doing an amazing job.

I will not say it’s easy, I will not say it will end soon, however I will say I am tired too and I get you.

Claire

Essential oils for cold and flu

Essential Oils for Cold and Flu

Written by: Claire Kenny

 

When you get a cold your instincts may tell you rush to the doctors and get an antibiotic, now by all means if you are feeling very poorly or if you have any underlying issues make an appointment with your doctor, however if it is simply a cold virus the best action to take is rest up as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids, increase your Vitamin-C intake and add moisture to the air, as you are doing that why not add these oils to help boost your immunity, fight off a cough and congestion and help kill those airborne germs.

Essential oils have known antibacterial and antiviral properties making them very useful during the cold and flu season.  In most cases, the essential oils can provide a layer of protection in the air while other oils can help alleviate common symptoms while supporting the healing process.  There are many ways to use essential oils to fight off colds and flu during their peak months. Here are a few ways to use essential oils to neutralize air borne illnesses.

There are many different ways to use essential oils around the home and office.

 Diffusing Essential Oils

Diffusing is perhaps one of the best ways to benefit from the effects of essential oils. You have a few options of diffusion.  There are cold water diffusers, oil burners, a bowl of hot water and add a few drops of the oils or a good one if you don’t have any of the above is to get a wet facecloth and soak in a bowl with the oils and apply to your radiator.

But how do you know which ones work best? Some of the strongest germ-fighting oils come from plants. These include cinnamon, thyme, clove, tea tree and oregano. Combine these powerful oils with those known to support the immune system such as lavender, eucalyptus and any citrus oils like lemon, lime and orange. Many of these deter the growth of viruses and should be used during the weeks you tend to stay indoors because of cooler weather.

Tissue or cotton ball Breather

One useful way to fight congestion is to create a tissue or cotton ball breathing aid. Use a small pack of tissues or cotton balls and place six drops of eucalyptus oil and four drops of lavender oil in a few different areas in the tissues or cotton balls. Place them into a zip lock bag and seal it. Put it in your bag and take it along with you if you are fighting off a cold. When you feel congestion coming on, take them and hold it up close to your nose. Breathe deeply. This will help alleviate congestion.

Peppermint and eucalyptus oil can both help open the airways. You can use them separately or together for sinus congestion, lung congestion, or for respiratory issues of any kind.

Eucalyptus oil as a nasal decongestant works exceptionally well.

Those with chronic chest congestion issues like bronchitis and COPD, elderly people, or anyone pregnant or nursing should choose Eucalyptus radiata. Don’t use eucalyptus this way for children.

Balm

Create your own effective balm to help fight off congestion and coughing. Use a dark jar (as essential oils need to be kept out direct sunlight) to mix these essential oils.

  • 1 TBL coconut oil
  • 8 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of Thyme essential oil

Eucalyptus helps fight congestion as well as coughing; thyme is extremely antiviral. Lavender fights viruses and bacteria and helps promote relaxation. Rub about a teaspoon of the mix on your chest before going to bed. It can help you get some much-needed rest and breathe easier.

Here is a great aromatherapy immune system booster to keep you feeling your best you can make up wither a roller ball bottle blend using coconut oil and the following oils.

  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree

Oils to Use for Congestion and Influenza

Here’s a list of some of the most popular oils. It’s a good idea to keep these versatile oils on hand for a lot of different reasons, but they are beneficial for helping soothe symptoms and in some instances to use for home remedies.

Peppermint can help soothe headaches, relieve congestion and sometimes relieve a fever. Dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to the chest, bottoms of your feet or temples.

Lemon is a natural and effective decongestant and has antiviral properties.

Oregano is thought to be antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antiviral and antifungal. Diffuse it or put it in a vaporizer.

Lavender can aid with relief of cold and flu symptoms while it helps relax muscles and ease a headache.

Eucalyptus helps ease the respiratory system during a bout with the flu or a cold. Create a soothing rub by blending it with a carrier oil. It can be used as an ointment. Rub it on our chest and shoulders for cough relief.

Cinnamon Essential oil of cinnamon has powerful antifungal and antioxidant properties that help bolster the body’s immune system. A little bit of this essential oil, however, goes a long way. It has a richer scent than the ground spice, but it’s an essential oil you’ll want to use—even a small amount is effective, and the aroma is comforting.

Clove essential oil is a rich spice that adds warmth to a cold and flu blend while opening nasal airways and improving breathing. Clove is also an excellent companion oil that will boost the scent of other spices or sweeten the sharpness of eucalyptus. Just a drop or two, though—like cinnamon, clove’s robust aroma can overpower. These distinct spice oils (clove and cinnamon) will help you avoid getting sick when it seems as if everyone is sneezing in your direction.

Black Pepper less aggressive than cinnamon or clove, yet still effective for easing influenza’s aches and pains, black pepper is a woodsy, green aromatic that smells very little like the table spice, but offers a similar stimulating kick. Blend it with other essential oils to tackle bugs and viruses and add a bright scent to the mix.

Grand Fir is a decongestant that also offers anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties, especially when combined with clove. Grand fir can be added to a massage oil blend or to a bath (along with a carrier oil) to relieve achy muscles and joints associated with seasonal colds or the flu.

Geranium Many people enjoy the smell of geranium. But the scent is just one of its many charms. It is antiseptic and antibacterial, which not only makes it great in blends but can help you disinfect the air and surfaces in your home.  Geranium is relaxing as well and can help mask the odor of more medicinal oils that may be in blends for sickness.

Lemon oil helps invigorate the lymphatic system, which can be sluggish in times of illness. It may surprise you to know that even though the scent is stimulating, this oil is quite calming and can actually act as a mild stimulant.  This is a photosensitizing oil, and should not be used on the skin undiluted or before going out in the sun.

Peppermint Along with ginger, peppermint tea has long been used to reduce nausea and make people feel better.  If you have been exposed to oils for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard someone recommend peppermint oil for coughs at some point.  Many commercial supplements contain peppermint. It can help for a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal issues, respiratory and sinus infections, and coughs and colds.

Rosemary  is one of those oils to have on hand all of the time. It can help soothe aches and pains that come with the cold and flu and is helpful to diffuse for a cough. Not only this, it can help calm anxiety that may be plaguing you while you’re ill and can help ease your pounding head as well.

Thyme Both of these oils are a good choice. There are numerous variations and chemotypes of thyme. Both of these have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.  Thyme has been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. Hippocrates even recommended the herb for respiratory conditions, and we can still benefit from it today.

 

Winter Warmer Roller Blend

Roll this aromatic blend on the inner wrist and dab a dot under your nose and breathe deeply. Not only is this blend naturally antiviral, it’s also emotionally uplifting for when you’re feeling under the weather. Use coconut as your carrier,

  • 2 drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Cinnamon
  • 2 drops Clove
  • 6 drops Black Pepper
  • 8 drops Lavender

Breathe Easy Blends

You can add these blends to a diffuser or use them to make a massage oil: mix oils in a 1 oz. glass bottle with a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil.

Blend

  • 8 drops Eucalyptus
  • 8 drops Black Pepper
  • 12 drops Lavandin

Blend

  • 4 drops Eucalyptus
  • 10 drops Lavandin
  • 14 drops Green Mandarin

Immune Boosting Blend

Here is a great aromatherapy immune system booster to keep you feeling your best you can make up using a roller ball bottle blend using coconut oil and the following oils.

  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree

Healthy Tip: Make effective use of your respiratory blends. A few times daily, apply blends in a circular motion on the chest and solar plexus, the base of and behind your neck, behind your ears, and on other lymph nodes. Then place a drop under the nose to hasten the benefits of aromatherapy.

Colds:

  • 2 Drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop Lemon

Mix a teaspoon of carrier oil of choice. Rub a bit over the temples, forehead, chest, and neck areas.

 Head Colds:

  • 10 drops Ravensara
  • 5 drops Ho wood
  • 5 drops Palmarosa
  • 5 drops Thyme linalol.

Mix together and add six drops to diffuse for colds.

 Coughs With Mucus

  • 2 drops Eucalyptus radiata
  • 2 drops Thyme linalol
  • 1 drop Tea Tree
  • 1 drop Geranium

Add this mix to your diffuser or another humidifying method.

 Sinus Congestion

  • 2 drops Cardamom
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Tea Tree

This blend works well to either diffuse or add to a bowl of hot water for steam inhalation. Place your head over the bowl and a towel on the back of your head and breathe in the steam for 10 minutes or so, until the water cools.

 For Fever

  • 2 drops Lavender or Peppermint
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus

More often than not, these illnesses come with a raised temperature. Luckily, there are essential oils that are antifebrile, which means they can help reduce fevers.  Add the above oils to a bath will have a cooling effect. Be sure to mix the drops with a little carrier oil or aloe vera juice before adding to the bath water, as the bath can become slippy.

Toddler Cold

If you are dealing with a little one who’s sick, don’t use the steam inhalation method as they can burn themselves with the hot water. For a toddler cold, diffuse a five-drop mix of any of the following oils:

  • Chamomile, Roman
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree

The above oils are appropriate for babies and children above seven months old.

Just remember that with oils, less is more. Here are a handful more tips for you to get rid of that cold using essential oils.

  • 3-8 drops of single or blended oil are suitable for a bath. Mix with a teaspoon or tablespoon of carrier or aloe vera juice first.
  • For compresses, whether hot or cold, disperse 3-10 drops of oil in water prior to soaking.
  • Cotton swabs or tissues only need a drop or two.
  • Follow your diffuser instructions to determine the number of drops.
  • For humidifiers, use up to eight drops per pint.
  • If using a bowl of water for inhalation, only 3-5 drops are needed.
  • Ten to 30 drops of essential oil can be added to each ounce of carrier oil (30 mL). Use sparingly over the area being massaged.
  • Purify the air by adding 10-20 drops of your favorite viral-busting oil or blend to a pint of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

 

There are special circumstances to be aware of when using essential oils for congestion, colds, and the flu.

Children, Elderly, and the Chronically Sick

Care must always be taken around particular groups of people. Babies and toddlers are especially susceptible to being harmed by oils.

For instance, there have been cases of seizures due to eucalyptus oil in small children.

Asthmatics

People with asthma can have severe attacks just being around essential oils. Even recipes for breathing them in can be dangerous.

Please use care when diffusing around asthmatics as well as giving them any other type of remedy involving essential oils.

 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should always be careful what they breathe in, ingest, or use on their body topically. While many oils are safe, others are not. Please consult with an expert on which oils you may or may not use.

 

 

 

Soothing Eczema and Psoriasis Masque

Soothing Eczema and Psoriasis Masque

Both Eczema and psoriasis  result in patchy, rough skin.  If the symptoms are not treated, the result is dry, scaly skin that looks and feels old and tough.

A gentle cleansing masque that also soothes and cools is a great treatment for the pain associated with these problems.

While this treatment will not cure you of your skin disorder, it will relieve some of the pain and discomfort.  It also takes away some of the excess skin and flakiness associated with these disorders, leaving the skin softer and smoother.

¼ chopped bushel of watercress

10 white seedless grapes

2 tablespoons of baking soda

1 anise stem

2 teaspoons of anise extract

5 tablespoons water

In a blender, mix all the ingredients together on a medium speed for 30 seconds, or until smooth.  Place mixture on affected areas and wrap in cling film (optional, but less messy).  Leave on for 30minutes.  Rinse with warm water.  Makes ¾ cup.

Shelf life: Cover and refrigerate, discard after three days.

 

You can find all of these products in any Asian market.

Remember to do a patch test before using the above masque.

The watercress:  Medicant

The grapes: anti-inflammatory, softener, A and C enzymes

Baking soda: cleanser and softener

Anise stem: soother

Anise extract: soother.

 

We have in house nutritionist, homeopaths, Acupuncturist and stress reduction classes here at the centre that may help with managing the symptoms and causes of your psoriasis and eczema.

Just go to therapies to find out more:

 

 

Let Me Try

It’s not about how long we live but how well we live.

There are so many things that we are told not to do in life: Don’t smoke, don’t drink coffee, stay away from fatty foods and keep as active as possible.

But where is the balance?  To live a truly Holistic life you need to find that balance.  Yes, I drink coffee, my exercise consists of running around after my two wild boys and constantly going from A to B doing jobs for the centre, I eat red meat and I am not Phoebe from friends, although I do sing like her.  But I am for the most part happy, healthy-ish but mostly I am content with my life which I believe makes me complete.

If I were to believe everything I have seen online, on peoples beautiful posed Instagram feed, on the front cover of nearly all the magazines, on numerous online articles about a tablet to cure this and that, stay away from all medications, macro, micro diets, to supplement or not supplement and so and so on, I should be 6 feet under by now.

I believe that good health and happiness go way beyond the physical, you must embrace the beautiful mess that life is, warts and all, and learn to be the best version of yourself on any given day.

Life is trial and error.  You fail and you fall, then you get up and try again.  Life is a journey and we learn a lot from the bumpy roads.  I am still on that road.

My perspective on what a healthy person is:

A happy healthy person doesn’t wish their life away, or dwell on past events.  They are able to love and to be loved, they have strong relationships but love their own company and independence, so if that love were to leave, they are strong enough to make the most of their new lives.

They know how important it is to forgive.  Holding onto grudges and hurt feelings only affects the person who holds onto them.  You don’t have to be loved by everyone or try to please everyone, this is an impossible task and the quickest way to pile on layers of self-doubt and misery.

They have a realistic self-awareness.  In other words, they can see their own weaknesses and their own shortcomings, without trying to change the people around them.  Working on self-improvement is a lifelong challenge that they accept with open arms.

They can laugh at themselves.  If you can see the funny and incongruous side of life, even during stressful moments, it can be to your advantage.  Expecting yourself to be perfect is the quickest way to discontent. Do the best you can—which may or may not be good enough—but that’s all you can do.  Accept it, smile, move on and give yourself a break. Stop worrying!

They are not judgmental.   They walk their own path and learn from their own mistakes, never reminding other people of theirs.

They don’t complain.  There’s much to complain about today.  And there are times when we need to get things off of our chests to keep from exploding, and that’ okay.   However, constantly complaining and never trying to fix the issues is not a habit of healthy people.

This is my take on how life should be, as this is life it is not always possible.  I embrace this fact and every single day my mantra is “Let me try”.

 

Sunflower

I’m posting this picture of my little sunflower for #worldsuicidepreventiondayDo you see the flawed leaves, the dark spots, the small size?Or.Do you see the bright yellow petals beginning to open, how tall it stands despite its attacked leaves from outside pests, how despite not looking like a Van Gogh painting it still knows that is a proud sunflower and will always look to the sun.Don’t let anyone make you feel like your not the best that you can be and always face towards the sun, stand tall and bloom.It’s ok and you’re not alone.Claire🌻☀️#itsok #youok #support #sunflowers #dublin #talk #youarenotalone #standtall

It’s time to feel empowered


Three more places available for the upcomingFemale Sexual Empowerment Workshop

for the 16thSeptember 2018.

Drawing on the latest scientific research on female sexuality, this discussion-based workshop will explore the interaction between a woman’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self in the context of sexuality.

The workshop is intended for women exclusively, in order to provide a safe haven for a discussion and exploration of topics relevant for women’s sexual well-being.

It will inform women about the latest findings in the field of female sexuality, and provide them with a range of fantastic resources (and ideas!) that could help them increase their sexual satisfaction.

The goal is to empower women to strengthen their self-care and bodily awareness, develop and maintain a loving relationship with themselves, and therefore build balanced, healthy and joyful relationships with others.

This workshop will provide an open, safe and supportive environment to explore the following issues relevant for women’s sexual happiness:

 Female genital landscape (Am I normal? Yes.)

 Arousal (Why don’t I get turned on when I want to? Why do I get turned on by things that don’t even appeal to me?)

 Desire (What if I sometimes experience low sexual desire for my partner? What could we do about it?)

 Self-pleasure (What is it that I do? What else could I do?)

 Orgasm (What makes me come? What else could make me come?)

 Body image (What if I sometimes struggle with the way I perceive my body? How could I develop a loving relationship with my body?)

About Tina Bedenik has a PhD from University College Dublin (UCD) where she researched gender, body image and sexuality. Her study of women’s experiences of labiaplasty was awarded with the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholarship. She also taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules at UCD, including those on gender, sexuality and reproductive health. Prior to coming to Ireland she studied for multiple degrees in Sweden, Norway, England, Germany and Croatia. She currently works as a registered complementary

Here is what women who attended a course on female sexuality run by Tina said about her teaching style:
“Loved the content, I have so many new books to read. It felt like a real safe space to discuss what we are passionate about and also challenge previous opinions. Overall an incredibly empowering class.”

“Tina does a great job of keeping the conversation on track and ensuring that everyone gets a chance to talk. We developed an atmosphere of trust that facilitated honest discussions.”

“I liked the energy and the enthusiasm for the subject. I really enjoyed your ‘lectures’ that you used to give in the beginning. I learnt so much. It is such a pity it stopped.”

“I really liked when you bring something personal to the class, i.e. sometimes you’d say things like “I wish someone had told me x” or “informed me of y”. It proved to be such valuable academic as well as just general life information.”

“Tina is very professional and very inclusive of everyone.”

Smells like home

Smells like home…

written by: Claire Kenny 08/09/2018


For as long as I can remember, my mother always had a bottle of essential oils ready for nearly all of our minor ailments when growing up.
When it came to exam times, interviews even the debs, mam would just pop into her wooden box of magic and make up blends that we could apply to our pulse points or even to our clothes. Our house always smelled safe.
Some of these blends even today remind of feeling safe and secure rather than the stress I was going through at the time of applying them.
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve your mental and physical well-being.
One theory of how they work is that by stimulating the smell receptors in your nose, they can send messages to your nervous system. They are also thought to have a subtle effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems. Because of this, aromatherapy is often used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress.
Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin. This reduces your risk of irritation. For adults, every 15 drops of essential oil should be diluted with 1 ounce of carrier oil. For children, the ratio is 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Some popular carrier oils are almond, coconut, and jojoba.
Essential oils should never be ingested, despite claims on the internet that suggest otherwise. There’s not enough research on any one essential oil to prove it’s safe to swallow. Each essential oil is very different, and some are toxic.

Below is a list of some of my favourite essentials oil for anxiety and stress.

Valerian

Valerian is an herb that has been used since ancient times. It’s thought to contain compounds that promote sleep and calm nerves. It can have a mild sedative effect on the body.
How to use: Add a few drops of valerian oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale. Ideally use Valerian at home in the evening as it may make you sleepy or relaxed.

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils. Lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing lavender bath by combining several drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil or an unscented bath gel. Stir the mixture into warm bathwater just before entering.

Jasmine

Jasmine oil has a gorgeous floral scent. Inhaling jasmine oil can promote a sense of well-being and romance. Unlike some other essential oils used for anxiety, jasmine oil is thought to calm the nervous system without causing sleepiness.
How to use: Inhale jasmine oil directly from the bottle or allow the scent to fill the room through a diffuser.

Sweet basil

Sweet basil essential oil comes from the same herb that you use in cooking. In aromatherapy, it’s thought to help calm the mind and relieve stress.
The phenol compounds in sweet basil oil helped relieve anxiety. These compounds were found to be less sedating than the anxiety medication diazepam.
How to use: Add several drops of sweet basil oil to a room diffuser or inhale through an inhaler tube.

Bergamot

Bergamot oil comes from bergamot oranges and has an invigorating citrus scent. Bergamot helps relieve anxiety and improve mood.
When used topically, bergamot may increase sun sensitivity.
How to use: Place a few drops of bergamot oil onto a cotton ball or handkerchief. Inhale the aroma two to three times to help relieve anxiety.

Chamomile

Chamomile is well-known for its relaxing and sedating properties and intoxicating scent. There isn’t much research on chamomile essential oil for anxiety.
How to use: Massage diluted chamomile oil into your skin or add it to a warm bath.

Rose

Rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals. Roses have an enchanting floral scent known to relax the senses.
Using a rose aromatherapy footbath can reduce anxiety in pregnant women during labour. Not be used unless in labour.
How to use: Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and diluted Rose essential oil. You can also add rose oil to your favourite non-scented moisturizer or shea butter and massage into skin.

Vetiver

Vetiver may be less known than other essential oils, but it’s not less effective. Vetiver oil comes from the grassy vetiver plant native to India. It has a sweet, earthy scent and is used as an aphrodisiac.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing massage with diluted vetiver oil, or add it to a diffuser.

Ylang Ylang

Floral-scented Ylang Ylang is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation. Inhaling a blend of Ylang Ylang, lavender, and bergamot lowered stress and anxiety levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol.
How to use: Apply diluted Ylang Ylang to your skin, add to a room diffuser, or inhale directly.

Frankincense

Frankincense oil is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It has a musky, sweet aroma that’s thought to ease anxiety. A beautiful massage blend of frankincense, lavender, and bergamot can improve anxiety, depression, and sometimes even pain in people with terminal cancer.
How to use: Massage diluted frankincense oil onto your hands or feet. You can also add frankincense to a diffuser.

Clary sage

Clary sage is different from the common herb used to make stuffing at Thanksgiving. It has a woody, herbal odour. Due to its calming abilities, it’s often used as an aphrodisiac.
Clary sage can ease tension and help control cortisol levels in women. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High cortisol levels may increase your risk of anxiety and depression.
How to use: Inhale clary sage oil directly when you feel anxious, or massage the diluted oil into your skin. Do not use clary sage while pregnant as it can cause contractions.

Patchouli

Musky patchouli is used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s often combined with other essential oils such as lavender. Patchouli is thought to promote calmness and relaxation, though most evidence is anecdotal.
How to use: To relieve anxiety, inhale patchouli oil directly or add it diluted to a warm bath or room diffuser.

Geranium

Geranium oil is distilled from the geranium plant.
For women in the first stage of labour, inhaling geranium oil effectively reduced their anxiety during labour. It may also help decrease diastolic blood pressure.
How to use: Apply a few drops geranium oil to a cotton ball and waft under your nose a few times.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm has a fresh, uplifting aroma. In aromatherapy, it has a soothing, restorative effect. Most success stories on inhaling lemon balm for anxiety are anecdotal. It may also improve sleep.
How to use: Lemon balm is a great oil to add to a diffuser to add scent to an entire room. You can also inhale it directly.

Marjoram

Also known as oregano, sweet marjoram is thought to calm nervousness and anxiety. It’s also used to ease headaches, a common symptom of anxiety.
How to use: Dilute marjoram with a carrier oil and rub into your temples. You may also apply to your wrists or add to a diffuser.

Fennel

Fennel is best known as a cooking spice. It has an anise aroma and is used to treat many anxiety side effects such as digestive problems. It may also help relieve anxiety that’s related to menopause and other conditions.
Using fennel essential oil has been known to help menopause side effects such as anxiety, hot flashes, sleep problems, and depression.
How to use: Add diluted fennel oil to a warm bath to help relax your body and your mind.

What to do before use:

Essential oils may cause an allergic reaction when used topically. To avoid this, it’s important to do a patch test on a small area of skin before use.
Place a few drops of diluted essential oil on your wrist or elbow, and cover the spot with a bandage. Check the area in 24 hours. If you experience any redness, rash, or itching, the oil isn’t safe for you to use on your skin.
Essential oils aren’t safe for everyone. Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. You should also consult your doctor before using essential oils on children.
Remember: Not all essential oils are created equal, so you should only buy them from a reputable source.