All posts by frances

Love in Covid Times

I’m standing in the living room, tears streaming down my face. My husband Doug’s brown eyes have that deer in the headlights look, but he’s saying in complete anguish ‘I don’t know how to help, tell me how I can help you’ .

What do I need?

I’ve really lost it, and I feel drained. It occurs to me I have a list, one made for just such times as these, recommended by many an article in health and beauty magazines. Walks are pretty basic for me when I need to destress. “I want to go to the lake”. Just the thought of it calms me down, so I grab my favorite purple mittens against the cold February wind.

As we walked along that day, we discussed regular walks as a preventative. It was a new perspective for Doug. We walked the dog, not the humans. It changed things for him, and from being the guy who picked the quickest route, he started considering things like whether there was water to see, feel, or hear, where the birds might be, or if the fish were running in the creek.

He understood that these were the sights and sounds that helped me to stay even and recharge. Not only that, but he found out that being in nature helped him stay happier too! Now he’s not just a willing companion, but the instigator of walks- over the years there’s beenre many times he gently nudged me out of the house for my restorative walk.

It was a revelation for me too.

I realized that I had an ally in helping me stick to an important part of my health regime. I’m so glad that Doug asked how he could help. I’m grateful to all those teachers along the way who encouraged me to think about and act on what kept me steady and refreshed so I could deal with the inevitable stress of life.

The lesson is clear- ask for support, be really clear on your top mental health activities. Your loved one may see more value than before when he understands your medicine. It goes the other way too. Ask your partner what they need to support their mental health.

You can research together if you need ideas. The important thing is to keep prevention in mind and get into the habit of making it a priority in your daily or weekly life. This is more important than ever.

What makes a Covid 19 pandemic different than other times?

It’s generally accepted that there are certain factors that put our mental health at risk. When it comes to stressors from outside us, divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, illness, moving house, being bullied or discriminated against, are some at the top of the list.

What studies found is that having one or more of these major stressors can be coped with. But when we start to double the trouble or even triple it and have more than three major life events, the risk of depression and anxiety goes way up.

What this means in a pandemic is wherever you were at before, there’s an additional threat triggering your internal alarms. It’s been going on 10 months now, and there’s nothing we can really do about it.

If you find yourself anxious or depressed, angry or grieving, “there is something you can do about it.” Studies have shown that intentionally relaxing, meditating, exercising, and stretching are all activities that reduce stress and promote healthy happy minds.

I love the way yoga combines all these modalities, and I think every doctor in the country should be reducing their stress effectively through alternative methods like yoga therapy. Doctors are, of course, role models and health authorities who will benefit personally and be able to recommend therapies that are proven to work.

We are here to be one of your supports! Join our community.

The Seven Laws of Superheroes

by:  Deepak Chopra, with Gotham Chopra

This is the Book of The Seven Laws of Superheroes.

This is a fascinating read which explores modern superheroes and their relationship to myth, gods, and the human search for truth and right action. In ‘The Seven Laws of Superheroes’ this father and son team make some really interesting connections and answer this question-

In the age of science, where did all the archetypes go?

Who, what, and where, do we go to for inspiration and ideals to aspire to? 

In the west, our culture is steeped in the stories and beliefs of Christianity, as well as Greek, Roman, and Nordic Gods and mythology. Spirituality has shifted though, from religion to new age philosophy, and the human imagination has replaced or transformed these collective images of what we as humans may aspire to.

Like me, Deepak and Gotham Chopra were digging around for the answer and finding it in superheroes. 

Maybe you have been as fascinated by the modern explosion of superhero movies and T.V. as I have. Gone is the black and white line between good and evil, like that depicted by elves and orcs in ‘The Lord of The Rings’- Elves, the very best that our consciousness can aspire to, loyal, valiant, honorable, beautiful, vs. Orcs, the worst that humans are capable of, greed, gluttony, malice, and destruction.

The modern superhero is a more complex being walking a fine line between the light and the darkness. In other words, Like us humans, superheroes have shadow sides, inhabiting a grey area, their superpowers counterpointing super failings. Like us, they overcome the past, trauma, rejection, and misunderstanding.

Superheroes capture our imaginations. We do not have to ‘believe’ in them at all. Their adventures move and inspire us, and in fact, they serve as an imaginative expression of what humans are capable of when they transcend and channel their power for good purposes.

What Deepak and Gotham deconstruct in this book are the underlying laws that make superheroes good and not evil.

It’s a fine read, but don’t expect it to be easy. The concepts were worth re-reading and it definitely shifted my way of thinking. In other words,  It could easily serve as a guide to higher consciousness for anyone who connects to the modern superheroes that Netflix, Disney, and Hollywood are bringing to life.

Let me add, the internal characteristics are explored in this book. The physical nature of superheroes is clear. Even Po, the flabbiest, clumsiest hero of them all trains tirelessly to harness the ‘force’ of universal consciousness.

Superheroes are most often transformed by mysterious forces or magical intervention. unfortunately we regular humans must take the long road. Therefore, Staying healthy and well gives us the best chance of achieving our personal dharma, or calling. 

Join us for an enjoyable hour learning how the right food and exercise can combat stress and help us achieve our highest good on December 4, 2020, at 5:00 pm ET.

This EVENT is FREE of CHARGE.

Book Review of Everyday Tarot by Frances

Book Review- Everyday Tarot

‘Unlock Your Inner Wisdom and Manifest Your Future!’ By Brigit Esselmont

I was frustrated as I thumbed through my old Tarot Card Book- after a lifetime reading the cards, I found some of the interpretations difficult to make sense of.

Book Review about Everyday Tarot by Frances

The Biddy online tarot interpretations appealed to me, but nothing beats a plain old book for handiness, so I got this one in hardcover. I was disappointed at first because the card interpretations in “Everyday Tarot” weren’t in it, but I read it anyway, and I’m glad I did.

Brigid writes her story well, and it perfectly agrees with my thoughts that interpreting the Tarot is an intuitive process. She weaves how she learned that and more into the book, which explains how to do readings for yourself.

As she tells it, the groundwork of Tarot reading is a relationship to imagery, and this is both collective and individual. Tradition expresses a collective interpretation, which we find in books online, often based on the Rider Waite. As an individual, we can tap into our unconscious and explore what the imagery means to us.

In each chapter Brigid includes tools for you to get started and develop your confidence. This includes traditional spreads and her own inventions. All aspects of reading are touched on, like choosing the kinds of questions that you want to ask, and how phrasing them and the intention impact your reading.

Or when to read the cards- everyday, on the full moon, you name it. Included in each chapter are ways to incorporate readings into your daily life and planning for the future. It’s nice that she provides examples of both short and long readings so you can easily get started.

She goes in depth to the main topics we like to ask- romance, work and personal growth. All while helping to empower the reader and build her confidence. This aligns with my values perfectly, and in fact, I was inspired to develop my own interpretations based on my own experience reading Tarot and Spirit Animal cards, which I share every Sunday in my FaceBook group.

Check it out by Clicking here: Creatively Thriving Group

There is no special magic needed to read your own cards. If you are interested there is a reason and so it’s worth exploring. Having an experienced reader is always useful too. Like any relationship, our understanding of the symbols, imagery, and words associated with the Tarot Cards deepens with time.

Just as you may receive satisfaction from playing an instrument and still enjoy going to concerts, learning more about the Tarot can include lessons, group readings, and in-depth personal readings. All while you develop your own relationship and gain independence.

I encourage you to read Everyday Tarot, not just for the information and exercises, but for the very inspirational story behind the Biddy Tarot.

For Personal Guidance Readings learn more here. We have options to suit your needs.

Yoga-can-help-my-Weight-Loss-Journey

How Yoga Helped me to Weight Loss.

Frances is outside practicing Yoga to weight loss.

Stuffed into a tiny change room at the maternity ward hospital and struggling into a nursing bra, I burst into tears. The reality in the mirror was a shock. That baby weight clung to me for years, and what helped me the most was a gradual re-focus on myself and my needs. Here is my story How yoga heals me. Yoga is also for Weight Loss.

I’ve always been into yoga.

A daily practice helps me maintain muscle mass, feel limber, and stay calm. These are important to maintaining steady progress towards my goals. Many people become so busy trying to take care of everyone but themselves, they lose energy or get sick. Having that overall strength in body and soul comes with advantages and a positive attitude, which allows individuals to do what they set out to do and to help others.
Sometimes we even fill the void of a lack of self-care with food or an addiction.

I learned from my mother to save a little bit of my energy for myself.

It’s about priorities. It takes clarity to stay focused on essentials in our busy world. Committing to and devoting time to my other interests keeps me occupy and happy. If I don’t, I will fill that void with something- t.v., snacks, scrolling, or shopping.

Yoga contributes to weight loss.

It is through increased muscle mass, but that is the only direct way. Even the most vigorous forms are no more aerobic than a brisk walk. Aerobic exercise is good for our health, and something light also aids in shedding weight.

Yoga helps by getting to the root of the problem by building your inner awareness and strength.

That way, when you experience thoughts and cravings that sabotage your progress, you can recognize them. Inner strength helps us to act on our ideas and feel fulfilled. That time, getting back to work and committing to a weekly art class was enough to help me slim down.

The difficulty is, our whole being, from our cells to our big brain, love routine. Disrupting the pattern meets resistance because we have become set to crave, to repeat thoughts. Our being sees these patterns as the source of its equilibrium. Naturally, we resist like crazy any change. We are comforted and stabilizing ourselves every day with our habits and addictions.

So comforting and stabilizing through yoga is a big help.

A responsible weight-loss consultant does not promise instant results, and neither does yoga. The good news is the journey of yoga is a gentle, steady, enjoyable routine that has multiple benefits. 

*Loving yourself,
*Slowing down and taking time for oneself
*Strengthening and stretching the body
*Calming the mind
*Building a foundation for conscious transformation

Book a private consult with Frances to see if this is the right program for you!

The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition

Review of The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition

Curling up in a cozy chair with great fantasy on a cold rainy day feels like heaven. I bought The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition as a special treat for myself because the stories of the wizard Ged working magic by knowing the names of things and sailing his world in search of answers was on my mind. More books added to the collection since I last read them.

The first book was written for teens. And it breaks the rules for its time. Our hero is brown-skinned, and dragons are complex wild beings who will talk to some people.

The journey is an exploration of the soul, not a war story.

One of LeGuin’s strengths is her ability to conjure the world of Earthsea in living color. Her characters are likable or interesting or twisted. And we get to know them as they untangle the mystery of what is destroying their world because of the damage that has been done with the misuse of magic.

The series develops complex ideas about life and death and continues to break rules by creating female heroes and exploring power, ingrained male supremacy, and our identity in relation to all this. In the later books, there are even elderly heroes! All characters are thoroughly explored. Same as well as God, Heaven, and Hell.

I enjoyed reading the essays included in Ursula’s process as a writer, and her response to interpretations of her work. It was inspiring to get in the head of a favorite author. And the ending of each book was made less painful by her lovely comments which followed them.

The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition is a beautifully illustrated book. Charles Vess worked closely with the author to realize her visions. It’s a big heavy collectors edition, a little awkward at times, but worth it for the wealth of enjoyment found within. 

I recommend this to the whole family!

I loved it as a teen, and as an adult found it even more riveting than before. It had me thinking deeply about our world, our roles, and personal power, and I emerged from the journey both wiser and more compassionate.

Frances practice Chair Yoga for lower back pain

Combat Lower Back Pain: Try Chair Yoga

In Yoga Therapy, we focus on the strength and flexibility of the spine. The spine is part of the central nervous system that sends messages to the brain that control the body’s functions. An unhealthy spine interferes with this entire system, causing a host of unwelcome health issues such as lower back pain. The health of your spine is key to the health of your whole body. 

Moving the spine in a systematic way through 5 movements mobilizes all the vertebrae, releasing tension in the spine and reducing lower back pain. It doesn’t matter what yoga pose you do, whether standing, sitting, or lying down. Whatever is best for you will work to reduce stress and tension so you can heal.

Let’s go through the basic motions! Here’s how to do all the 5 Chair Yoga Poses to Combat Lower Back Pain.

Yoga Pose that Lengthen the spine.

Lengthen the spine.

Create more space between the vertebrae. This pose flattens the natural curves of the spine somewhat, straitening it. Also warms up the shoulders.

Sit on the very edge of your chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor under your knees. Starting with your arms beside you, sweep them forward and up so they point towards the ceiling.

Find a position in which you feel at ease and your arms are pointing upwards, perhaps widen them into a V or a U shape if your shoulders are tight and are bunching up around your neck. 

Once you have found ease in the arm movement, raise and lower them several times to warm up and lengthen your spine. 

Frances Doing Chair Forward Bend.

Forward bend- stretches the lower back of the body

Choose a chair with a flat seat and no arms. Sit on the very edge with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor  under your knees.

Hinge forward from the hips and flow forward supporting yourself with your hands on your knees, or sliding your hands down your legs. Relax your neck.

Forward bends are not recommended if you have vertebral disc damage or are experiencing bulging discs.

Frances doing Twist pose in Chair Yoga

Twist 

Choose a chair with a flat seat and no arms. Sit on the very edge of your chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor under your knees.

Raise your arms to shoulder height or less, twist to one side, and lower your arms, one to your knee, and the other to the chair seat. Raise your arms again and return to the center. Lower your arms. Repeat on the other side. Do several sets. Always follow with a Forward bend to remove any negative effects.

This is a Back Bend Poses for Chair Yoga

Backbend- stretches the front of the body

Sit on the very edge of your chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor under your knees.

Lift your chest, chin, and face into a gentle arch back as you sweep your arms forward and up to a comfortable position for you. Lower your arms and return to the starting position. Repeat several times. Always follow with Forwarding bend to release any negative effects. 

This is a Lateral Stretch Pose in Chair Yoga

Lateral Stretch- stretches out the sides

Sit on the very edge of your chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor under your knees. Sweep one arm out to the side and up so it points towards the ceiling in a comfortable position. Gently lengthen out from the tips of the fingers in a side arch- try to keep the opposite side long too, so it doesn’t fold from the waist, but lengthens the whole side in an even curve. Always follow with Forwarding bend to release any negative effects!

Chairs offer great stability to reduce lower back pain effectively, it’s also quite safe!

I recommend my students start with a personal lesson so they get the most out of their yoga lessons. Each of us is so unique in our bodies and minds, if you have any mobility issues, a one on one can help you work with your body to get the best results.

September Special

Book a private consult with Frances to see if this is the right program for you!

Woman doing Full Body Yoga Stretch

Benefits of Full Body Yoga Stretch

Woman doing Full Body Yoga Stretch

Yesterday my son walked into the room with confidence. And announced that he was his brain! I explained to him that in fact, he was his brain and his body, and together they form the mind. All kinds of bodily processes or full-body stretch take place without our conscious control or awareness, and when they are working well, we are well. 

Say what?!? 

Yes, we have as many neurotransmitters in our gut as we do in our brain, so although our big fore-brain thinks it’s us, all the cells of our body are in constant communication with each other and our brain, forming our whole being.

If we become stressed, mentally, or physically, then our body communicates this to our cells, and they divert energy to the brain or muscles and away from cellular maintenance. When the stress ends, the body resumes its operations. 

What does stretching out in yoga have to do with our cells, our body, and our brain- which together is us, our mind, our being? 

Under stress, our muscles tense up to prepare for action. But if your stress system stays activated over a long period of time (chronic stress), it can lead to more serious health problems. The constant rush of stress hormones can put a lot of wear and tear on your body, causing it to age more quickly and making it more prone to illness.

During Full Body Yoga Stretch, your brain releases all sorts of chemicals that not only help you relax but also lower your stress and anxiety levels including, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. Each of which functions in its own way to help you calm down and feel better.

Full Body Stretch clearly signals to the cells that all is well.

Slow breathing slows our heart rate and also clearly signals that normal operating activities can start again. It also works best with strengthening, as squeezing a foam stress-release ball demonstrates. And of course, a strong back is a healthy one! 

When you combine this with meditative breathing techniques, you double the impact of the stress release, cutting the time required in half. ½ hour stretching + ½ hour breathing practice = 1hour stress reduction, 2 steps to happy and healthy for the investment of one!

September Special

Book a private consult with Frances to see if this is the right program for you!

The woman is practicing Yoga and Chiropractic care.

What a Perfect Pair: Yoga and Chiropractic Care!

The woman practicing  Therapy of Yoga and Chiropractic Care.

Chiropractic care and yoga have become more and more popular over the last several years. Yoga Practice combined with the care of a competent chiropractor can help promote optimal health and well-being. When done the right way, yoga can reduce blood sugar levels and stress, increase endurance, balance, and flexibility, and strengthen your muscles and joints. Chiropractic care corrects misalignments, promotes better joint mobility, and improves the health of the nervous system, and that’s just the start!

How Does Yoga Therapy work?

It works through yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery to improve mental and physical health. The holistic focus of yoga therapy encourages the integration of mind, body, and spirit.

Yoga promotes healing.

Practicing yoga before chiropractic care helps your muscles warm-up and clears your mind. In that case, chiropractors are able to treat your issues as you will already be relaxed upon arrival. In short, yoga helps your body heal. 

Yoga, like chiropractic care, increases mobility and range of motion.

If you are suffering from a specific deep-rooted condition or from a major injury, chiropractic care may require more time to “prep” your body before treating the injury or solving the issue. This can be frustrating for patients who want their problems solved immediately. With that being said, yoga can increase flexibility and range of motion, which saves work for the chiropractor. Both yoga and chiropractic care are beneficial for those suffering from joint, hip, back, or neck pain. The more effort you put in outside of the chiropractor’s office, the more in-depth work we can do during your visit.

Going Hand in Hand: Yoga and Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective practice when carried out by a skilled practitioner. It involves spinal manipulation to realign the spine in a more optimal way in relation to the rest of the body. 

Yoga therapy, coupled with chiropractic care, can help prevent future injury through increased awareness of spinal alignment, more confident balance, and improved ease of movement—all of which create a holistic program for vibrant health.

Having an awareness about good posture and your body’s overall function will help you live a healthier lifestyle. At Joy Core Connection, we are here to help you on your journey to a healthier and pain-free you! To learn more about how Yoga Practice can help, just contact me!

Why Creativity and Fun are Important NOW more than Ever?

Woman is Practicing her creativity while having fun.

The day is grey and windy but I hurry across the street, large coffee in one hand and pulling a small suitcase with the other. Filled with excitement and anticipation, I’m going to Art class! Finding this art class saved my sanity. This is the reason why I say Creativity and Fun are Important for the future

I’d been a year in the neighborhood for a year and as a single mom with young kids, it was a lonely, stressful time. Life was struggling to keep my head over water and care for my two boys, one in full-on rebellion at age 6, and the other a handful at 3. 

3 hours of creativity and fun with like-minded friends!

I didn’t know it at the time, but the class and the projects I took home with me were combatting the effects of low-level stress and depression. Here’s how:

  • Focusing on an enjoyable activity produced feel-good hormones and took my mind off problems and anxiety 
  • Social time with other artists of like mind helped me feel I belonged, boosting self-esteem
  • Creating positive experiences produced lasting benefits: Build new and good memories
  • Leaving less time and space to dwell on past pain.

It’s too bad that over time this favorite activity went to the back burner again! Although I’ve always loved making art, it’s easy to neglect. Over time I keep re-learning that part of my essential self-care is hands-on art play. I create in all kinds of ways in my life but becoming absorbed in creating art takes me to a place that is deeply nourishing like nothing else. 

Our lives are busy and we can lose track of what we are here to do.

That’s why I’ve learned to examine my life and decide what is essential. Having kids, hammered home to me the truth that to help them. I had to be stable. My artist self grounds me and benefits me in other ways too.

Being with other artists is refreshing and enriching. Friendships are just as important to a healthy life as a good diet. Making connections is not easy, but there’s nothing like creativity to loosen us up and spark laughter and fun.

We are all under the low-level stress that COVID 19 is causing- there’s uncertainty because of a lack of experience with the situation. Frustrated that life is topsy-turvy, we need more than ever to encourage our creativity and have fun! 

Why not join us for an Creative Art Play workshop?  

September Special

Book a private consult with Frances to see if this is the right program for you!

joy-core-connection

The Secret Rule on How to Start a New Habit

The-Secret-Rule-to-Start-Your-New- Best-Habit-Effortlessly

I’m charging up the hill, sweat pouring into my eyes, my legs like two-ton weights. My brow is furrowed with the pain of my first time jogging.
I had imagined gliding along with like a running horse. Instead, I was thinking about giving up in the first five minutes! How to start a new habit effortlessly?


You’re not alone if this has happened to you too! We all do it sometime, start with the highest intentions, and then bail. This becomes the number one reason we stop trying- past failure.

We weren’t always that way.

Have you ever watched a baby learn to crawl? They don’t give up, and neither did we- I assume you can even walk now!

Something happened to our attitude. A focus on failure, neglecting to acknowledge wins. We lose belief in that innate ability to keep trying until we succeed.

By doing that, we miss out on making important changes that impact our freedom and well-being.

The number one problem I deal with as a yoga therapist is a pain and mobility, either physical or emotional. If you’re here on my page, you likely want to feel better in your body, mind, or both. The pain is very real and it stops you from enjoying life. You lose the freedom to do what you want, whether it’s from anxiety or a bad back.

You’re losing either money or time, or both if you don’t do something about it. Because when we are in pain we don’t work at our best level. A strong healthy body and mind are our true wealth, and a steady routine of small steps makes change effortless.

When my fitness coach said to stop agonizing and take my run down to a 50% effort, it changed everything! I let go and enjoyed it! When I need an extra boost, I pretend I’m a horse, it never fails to release the tension!

What gives you the most pain?

How would your life be if you made that one change- take a moment right now to think about it. What activities would you do if you were more mobile or had more energy? How would it feel to be happy and healthy?

Would you enjoy nature more, express yourself artistically, or play? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine it.
Now ask yourself- am I willing to do 10 minutes a day with 50% effort to get there?

That’s the simple secret of how to start a new habit! Small easy steps you can commit to and enjoy.

For more secrets to living your healthy pain-free life, sign up for our Newsletter and receive a FREE Creativity Planner and more life-changing blogs and tools you can use right away. Plus the first invitations to classes and workshops, online and in the Durham area.

Frances Adamson is a certified Yoga Therapist, and an art and intuition coach in Durham Area Ontario.

Serving Oshawa, Whitby, Bowmanville, and Clarington.

20 Kingswood Drive, Courtice