It was a very busy week for me, but it was a couple of weeks ago now. Unfortunately, I caught the flu somewhere along the line, and it's taken me this long to get back up to writing about it. Therefore, I'm writing about both workshops in one post.
Most exciting about both of these workshops for me is that I got to partner up with other people for both of them! So first off, I'd like to thank all the collaborators:
Mark Dowe, of Ganesha's Dance, is a yoga teacher and dancer, specialising in orthopedic spine health. He has been my partner for a couple of years now in creating workshops to help teach self-care through massage and stretching, our DIY Relief series. He is also closely tied to Svaha Yoga Shala, where this series of workshops is currently scheduled.
Adrienne Dant is a do-it-yourself enthusiast who has been making her own supplies for home and body care. I asked her to help me with the Body Basics workshop because of her long experience with home-made natural deodorant.
Dr. Lizette Botha is a chiropractor at Wellbeing Chiropractic, where I am a client. She and her colleagues are very interested in natural healthcare, especially as it pertains to reducing our toxic overload, and offered to host some of my workshops there. She was instrumental in organizing and coordinating this workshop.
The first workshop was on Saturday afternoon. This was our first workshop at Svaha Yoga Shala in the Jordaan. I am so grateful to Mark for arranging this wonderful new location. It's much more central than our previous location, and has such a lovely atmosphere.
There are no pictures to show you of what we did at this workshop, so I'll try to just describe it. We opened with a sequence of very gentle yoga stretches, then moved on to some diagnostics and understanding of the causes and correlations of pain and discomfort in the upper back, shoulders, neck and head.
Self-massage can be done with one's own body, and some of the techniques we addressed during the workshop demonstrated how to do that without hurting ourselves further. For example, if I use my fingers and hand to massage my neck, I might easily injure the tiny joints in the hand and wrist. However, if I can learn to position my hand where it is simply the end of a longer tool, and I can use the full strength and support of my arm to put pressure on my neck, I am much less likely to cause my hand injury while fixing a neck problem.
In addition to my own body, I can also use tools. We work with tennis balls and various common household objects and learn to place them in the most useful spots for alleviating pain.
Meanwhile, mobility is very important in both the relief of pain and the prevention of it. Mark taught useful stretches and mobilisation activities that can be done easily even at work.
We had a pretty small group for this workshop, and everyone got a lot of personalised attention. It was a busy and really fun afternoon!
I had been wanting to do a Body Basics workshop for quite some time. There are lots of directions it could go. At one point, I thought about doing shampoo and body wash, but then I personally stopped using those products, so it became less interesting to me. I suppose it's still a possibility for the future. They make great gifts.
In this version of Body Basics, we discussed common toxins and allergens, and then we made these products:
Sometimes, when planning these workshops, I think it's possible that the recipes are too easy to be interesting. However, I remember that when I was first making things for myself at home, doing it with others helped make it seem more manageable.
We made the toothpaste first, flavoring it to our likening. I like a cinnamon-clove blend, but my demonstration batch, a sweet peppermint, has been very popular at home.
After the toothpaste, we made a mouthwash tea. You can drink the tea as is, or swish and spit. It's up to you. The ingredients are all breath-fresheners and odor-killers.
Finally, Adrienne led us in making the deodorant. I'm converted, how about you? I've replaced all of the deodorant in my house with home-made deodorant, although I did have to go out and buy more baking soda first. We ran out!
All in all, it was a super fun evening, even though I was sick. I'm hoping I didn't make anyone else sick too!
Here are the Body Basics recipes we made, in case you'd like to Do It Yourself!
Keep at room temperature indefinitely
Coconut Oil - 2 Tbsp
Baking Soda - 3 Tbsp
Stevia - 5 drops (+)
Essential Oil - 5 drops (+)
suggestions: Mint, cinnamon, clove, fennel, orange.
What to do
Mix the coconut oil and baking soda together, smashing well to mix.
Add the stevia and essential oils carefully, checking for taste. You can always add more, but it's hard to take away!
To use: Brush as normal. You may wish to rinse with warm water instead of cold, but it's not necessary. When spitting, you may consider spitting into the trash to avoid getting oil in your t
Room temperature 2 days max or Fridge max 1 week
Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
Cloves - 1/2 tsp
Apple cider vinegar - 1/2 tsp
Water - appromately 1 1/2 cups
What to do
Combine fennel seeds and cloves in a glass jar or a teapot. Pour hot but not boiling water over and allow to steep at least 5 but no more than 20 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar. Drink as tea or swish and spit.
Coconut Oil Deodorant
Room temperature, indefinitely.
Coconut oil - 3 Tbsp
Baking Soda - 2 Tbsp
Cornstarch or Arrowroot powder - 2 Tbsp
Essential Oil - 10 drops (+)
suggestions: lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, cedarwood, rosemary, thyme.
What to do
Mix baking soda and cornstarch together.
Add coconut oil and mix until well-blended.
Add essential oil, starting with 5-10 then until it's scented to your liking.