With all of the cold, dry air this time of year, you can find sinus relief in a very unexpected remedy – humming. Studies have found that humming daily can increase airflow between nasal cavities and prevent the inflammation that creates sinus infections.
As a yogini and enthusiastic “ohmer”, I have find the vibrational effects of chanting ohm or other mantras have always helped to clear the sinuses, relieve pressure, and open up spaces throughout the body. Scientists are beginning to confirm the many health benefits of a chanting practice, specifically in creating the the space for a quiet mind and awakened spiritual energy.
But even if it’s not a chanting practice, say even singing a favorite Otis Redding tune, provide the opportunity to uplift and transcend constraining narratives of the mind. When finding your own tune, whether that is humming, singing, or chanting- you can know that like many things that lift your spirits and are good for the soul, it it good for you.
November’s featured self-care tip comes from the locally renowned teacher and nutrition muse Vanessa King. All hail the cast-iron skillet, the home cook’s tool to make every dish a comfort meal.
In the fall, I take my cue from nature and shed my excess outer layer and settle into self-nurturing activities like cuddling and cooking in cast-iron pots. Heavy, earthy, steady, metallic, cast-iron pots are grounding and warm. Plus, cast iron cooking has 3 health benefits that makes the weight workout worth it:
1) Cast-iron pans release iron into foods, meaning that foods cooked in cast-iron have higher iron content
*Note that the enamel-covered cast-iron pans, i.e. the pretty colored one, will not have this iron-enriching benefit
2) A seasoned cast iron dish is naturally non-stick, without the use of chemicals
3) You can cook with less oil
In the fall, as energy moves downward and inward, quiets and darkens, it’s fun to spend time in the kitchen, making life-affirming deliciousness for yourself and company.
Vanessa King is a nutrition specialist and AcroYoga teacher living in Washington DC. For more info and additional benefits of cast-iron visit http://MakeYoga.org/about
This tip comes straight from the incredibly knowledgeable and green-savvy herbalist and pharmacist Amani El Sawah of Go Green, Get Healthy and Village Green Apothacary. When I asked Amani for some herbal wisdom to detox and keep the body strong through winter, without missing a beat she suggested this fiery brew of nature’s best immunity boosters. Get out your jars and a enthusiasm for home-based remedies for this month’s self care tip :
Old-Timey Immunity Boosting Fire Cider
A traditional herb-infused vinegar containing warming and
antimicrobial herbs and spices to aid in circulation and support the
immune system. Try it in salads, soups, dips or straight up for a tasty
way to enhance your health, especially during cold and flu season.
There is no wrong way to make fire cider, but for those of us who
need recipes, here is one method:
1 Quart apple cider vinegar
½ cup horseradish, grated
1/8 cup chopped garlic
½ cup chopped onion,
½ cup grated ginger
1 tsp cayenne (can also use fresh hot peppers, chopped)
Place all ingredients in a quart jar and cover with apple cider vinegar.
Cover tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for 4-8 weeks. Strain into
a clean jar. You can also heat up the vinegar for a quicker steeping