Meet Your Namaste Healer: Patrick Stockstill

Keeping a consistent wellness routine is more important than just feeling great, it truly keeps your body in working condition. Regular bodywork reduces stress, inflammation, stiffness, and blood pressure. Everything from your immune system to your energy levels improves when you allow for serious self-care time.

Our experienced and deeply knowledgeable healers work with each client to hear their specific needs and create treatment sessions customized for their body. Plus, with the help of cold-press, locally grown, adaptogenic oils from OmCali our therapists are well equipped to offer an experience of complete bliss and rejuvenation.

Since we are in love with each and every Namaste Healer we thought you may want to get to know them a little better too. We hope you enjoy this fun blog post series of Meet Your Healers!

MEET YOUR NAMASTE HEALER: Patrick Stockstill

Hi Patrick! Where do you offer your healing services? 
I offer my healing services at Namaste Yoga + Wellness Berkeley Thursday and Friday 10am-3pm.

How long have you been at Namaste?
Offering bodywork since September 2017, practicing since 2008 (with a long hiatus).

What type of healing modalities do you offer?
I am certified in Esalen massage, a deeply relaxing, full body integrative offering, and in Deep Bodywork, a slow, structural approach to deep tissue massage.

What inspired you to become a wellness practitioner?
I took my first massage class out of curiosity, but I immediately realized how powerful and necessary healing touch is in my life. I’ve discovered an endless journey of self-discovery and possibility as I connect with other people and learn new approaches to touch-based healing.

What are a few of your favorite self-care tips for the winter season?
I try to spend a good amount of time outside every day, even if it’s cold and wet. Natural light and air help me immensely. I also try to devote some time to pure self care, whether a massage, a yoga class, or time with a good book.

What does a typical day look like for you in regards to your personal self-care/movement practices?
I try to run most days, and I have had a steady vinyasa yoga practice for about 10 years. After acquiring some injuries in the last few years, I’ve been using weight training and rock climbing to strengthen and stabilize.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I have a young daughter, so parenting takes up most of my free time. I also love to cook and am always tinkering with my garden.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
The amazing breadth of food available (which is, of course, dependent on the diversity of peoples living together here!)

Patrick Stockstill Bay Area Massage Therapy

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Natural Flu Season Remedies: Protect Yourself!

Sitting on BART hearing your fellow riders cough and sneeze can be nerve-racking – especially during the colder months of the year as this indicates the looming and ominous illness we all know as the common flu. There is a longstanding question of why the flu typically appears strongest during winter months and many studies have taken place to test this correlation. The term “influenza” is an Italian word that historians believe to have originated in the mid-18th century as “influenza di freddo” which translates to “influence of the cold.”

There are many theories as to why this virus is so common in the winter time versus other seasons of the year. These include things like lack of abundant sunlight, meaning a deficiency of vitamin D and melatonin which compromises the immune system’s ability to fight off illness, as well as various research explaining that the nature of the virus thrives in colder, drier climates than in warmer, humid ones. Flu season begins roughly around late October, peaks in January and February and can last as long as May in the Northern Hemisphere.

In order to understand this virus and how to prevent it, we must first understand what it is and how it spreads. Influenza is a viral, highly contagious respiratory illness that is easily spread through airborne transmission such as sneezing and coughing, close contact with an infected
person, or by touching a surface where the virus lie present.

So what are some natural, preventative measures we could take to help protect ourselves and others from this chilly and vicious illness? The good news: there are SO many!

Yoga being the amazing life elixir that it is, is one way to ward off this nasty illness. Various poses have physiological effects that strengthen the bodies ability to improve immune, adrenal, and nervous system function and keep us at optimal health.

These include poses like:
● Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall) – this inversion pose helps to increase circulation of lymph fluid throughout the body boosting the immune system;
● Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) – a go-to pose that allows for circulation and energy boost;
● Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge), Matsyasana (Fish), and Bhujangasana (Cobra) – all of which are heart openers that allow for the decongestion of the lungs and sinuses.

Other tips include:
● Washing your hands with soap and warm water, often and for at least 20 seconds!

● Using a humidifier in your bedroom or house to create a warmer, more humid environment where flu cannot easily spread

● Choosing natural Green Tea as your morning kick instead of coffee so as to keep stress off your adrenal glands

● Get sufficient rest each night (8 hours)

● Stay hydrated! People tend to drink less water during colder times of the year but it is even more crucial to drink plenty of water especially during this time as it helps to keep the bodies organs lubricated and working at their full potential

● Warm lemon water in the morning is a great way to start your day and also helps get your digestion started (plus it tastes yummy!)

GET A MASSAGE! Research shows that getting a massage regularly can help to fend off sickness (HUZZAH)! As an immune booster, massage helps to lower the production of stress hormones like cortisol and maximize functionality by increasing production of good hormones like serotonin and dopamine leaving you feeling at your best!

Massage is a natural approach to stimulating your lymph system to help maximize functionality and thus decreases your chances of coming down with something nasty! It also boosts oxygen-rich blood flow and lymph circulation throughout your body allowing it to work more effectively and remove toxin build up.

Looking to stay healthy and feel your best? Try out our Intro to Wellness package that includes three 60 minute massages for $249 – $51 of savings and a great way to show yourself some love and care in the winter months!

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Meet Your Healer: Rhea Borromeo

Keeping a consistent wellness routine is more important than just feeling great, it truly keeps your body in working condition. Regular bodywork reduces stress, inflammation, stiffness, and blood pressure. Everything from your immune system to your energy levels improves when you allow for serious self-care time.

Our experienced and deeply knowledgeable healers work with each client to hear their specific needs and create treatment sessions customized for their body. Plus, with the help of cold-press, locally grown, adaptogenic oils from OmCali our therapists are well equipped to offer an experience of complete bliss and rejuvenation.

Since we are in love with each and every Namaste Healer we thought you may want to get to know them a little better too. We hope you enjoy this fun blog post series of Meet Your Healers!

Meet Your Namaste Healer: Rhea Borromeo

Hi Rhea! Where and when do you offer massage? 
Rhea Borromeo, I work at the Grand lake location on Tuesday 10-3, Thursday 3:30-8:30p.m and Sunday 2:30-7:30p.m

How long have you been at Namaste? 
Joining the team recently, but been practicing massage since 2004.

What type of healing modalities do you offer? 
My style is a combination of Deep Tissue, Thai stretches, Acupressure, and Swedish. Hot stone, Lomi Lomi, thai herbal, and prenatal massages.

What inspired you to become a wellness practitioner? 
I had health concerns and I wanted a life filled with purpose. Massage Therapy was a beautiful way for me to become more connected to my body and how it can heal itself.

What are a few of your favorite self-care tips for the winter season?
Taking bath soaks filled with healing herbs and essential oils.

Can you share a favorite nourishing recipe for winter? 
My homemade Elderberry Syrup!

What are you involved with outside the studio? 
Making my own herbal infused oils, plant-based concoctions, herbal classes. kids school activities.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area? 
Nature

Anything else you want to share?
I am the mother of two beautiful wild kids.

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The Scented Life: Meet Tracy of White Sage Wellness

In the spirit of this month’s theme of community, and OUR Namaste community in particular, I wanted to share one local line of delightful products in our retail boutiques. This line is so local that it is created by one of our very own students.

Meet Tracy, the creatrix behind White Sage Wellness (formerly Apsara) and a long time yogi at Namaste.

White Sage aromatherapeutic products represent Tracy’s artistic expression of the healing powers of plant medicine. Each spray, oil or smudge wand is inspired by the seasons, cycles and elements of nature and intended as a ritual tool for mindfulness and creating sacred space.

    

“I have my products stationed throughout my home and use them frequently to remind myself to take mindful moments, to complement my yoga and meditation practice, for energetic cleansing and home cleaning.”

As a graduate of Namaste’s Yoga & Ayurveda teacher training last year, she weaves these philosophies along with nature & art therapy into her holistic counseling practice. Learn more about Tracy at  www.whitesagewellness.com.

Shop local and support the members of our Namaste community! Learn more about our boutiques here.

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Summer Solstice Sun Tea

[large photos and inspiration courtesy The Lovely Wild .]

Today marks the longest day of the year and our official entrance into Summer. Traditionally, in Ayurveda, Summer is te catalyst for Pitta season, the season of fire. This means that our bodies are more likely to overheat with emotions and physiological issues like inflammation. According to Bayan Botanicals, excess pitta can manifest in the body as:

  • Acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn
  • Acute inflammation in body or joints
  • Discomfort or nausea upon missing meals
  • Anger, irritability, frustration
  • Bad breath and body odor
  • Excessive sweating
  • Impatience, criticism, judgment, intolerance

A great way to combat the heat is to nourish our bodies with cooling, calming foods and practices. In celebration of the Summer solstice, we are making a cooling, herbal sun tea!

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Best Yoga Studio Berkeley Sun Tea Recipe

Sun tea is very simple and requires only a few supplies. The recipe capitalizes on the longer day by steeping herbs using nothing but rays from our dear sun. Read below for instructions and ingredient suggestions to make your very own Pitta pacifying, Summer Sun Tea!

Best Yoga Studio Berkeley Summer Solstice Sun Tea
[Photo: VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda]

Ingredients:

  • Cooling loose leaf, dried or fresh herbs. Great choices include: mint, lemon verbena, cinnamon, rose petals, ginger, cardamom, fennel, coriander, basil, tumeric, or neem leaves!
  • The largest jar or jug you have with lid.
  • Tea strainer.

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a large tea strainer. Fill your large jar with clean water. Place tea strainer inside, close up lid, and let steep in direct sun until desired color is reached. Add ice and enjoy!

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Best Yoga Studio Berkeley Sun Tea Recipe

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Uncharted Territory

Many of us woke up Wednesday to a brand new world. There are endless commentaries happening on why, how, and what happens next. Regardless of your political affiliation, this election was painful in its process and its divisive nature all the way to the bitter end. We all know that there is a lot of healing needed in the coming months and years.

If you are feeling exhausted, unsettled, or upset – we invite you to make two commitments to yourself and our community for this week:

  1. What will you do personally to practice peace, loving kindness, and empathy this week?
  2. What is one thing you can do to support another person in our community or in our country this week?

Know that we are here for you. Our studio walls are a safe space for all. We are open all week and weekend. Your teachers are digging deep and showing up with grace, love, and courage to continue our collective mission of honoring the light inside ourselves and each other.

View this week’s class schedule or leave us a note on Facebook.

[Photo by Alaia at Localwise]

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Voting as an Act of Love

Voting as an Act of Love

By Eliza Andrews Richmond

We can agree that the energy surrounding this turbulent election has brought a lot of suffering to our country, and most of the people in it. The passion felt by all parties and constituents has divided our nation into radical and polarizing extremes. In times like these it can be difficult to remain open to the feelings of others, particularly those on the other side of the issues. Now, more than ever, it is important to practice the principles of yoga off the mat: to practice non-violence, forgiveness, and compassion in the face of fear. After All, the purest metric of peace in our lives is how kindly we can speak to those with whom we do not agree.

Everyday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama practices a form of meditation known as Tonglen or “sending and receiving.” Similar to the practice of Metta from the Theravada Buddhist tradition, Tonglen is a way to make peace with suffering and open up to compassion. As you prepare to vote this Tuesday, I invite you to share this Tonglen practice with me:

 

  1. Begin in a comfortable shape, with your spine long, and both hands on your heart. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen. Closing your eyes, begin to feel into the center of deeper wisdom within you: the part of your being that is of knowing rather than thinking. Begin to imagine, as clearly as you can, that you are seated together with everyone who will vote this Tuesday. Though this may be challenging, try to see the faces of people who you disagree with compassionately.
  2. On every inhale, breathe in the suffering of yourself and other voters, brought on by this election. Breathe in the fear of the unknown: the results of the general election, and the effect you anticipate. Breathe in the anger you are feeling over the issues that have been brought up. Breathe in every kind of suffering that you are feeling, knowing others in this country who are feeling it too (including those who will vote for what you fear). Breathe it all in, but also breathe in the longing that we all have to feel safe, happy and free.
  3. On every exhale, send peace into your being, send it to your loved ones who are feeling this suffering, those in the nation who are feeling it, and those beyond our national borders. Breathe out loving-kindness for every being, everywhere who feels fear, anger, divisiveness, and intolerance. Breathe out the strength and wisdom to see one another fully in compassion, loving-kindness, and peace.
  4. Practice this for a few minutes a day, and notice how you regard one another. When you are triggered by something on the news, something you overhear on the street, or you are debating with a friend, take a breath, and let this practice help you find peaceful ground.

Whether or not this practice works to fix the world is something we can’t know, but what it will help us to see is the basic goodness of one another. If we are able to see that then maybe our votes won’t simply be an expression of our personal agendas, but a reflection of the love we have for our country and those who live beside us in it.  In the words of Marie Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

1013027_475474802545693_1117117261_nEliza Andrews Richmond is Namaste Berkeley Manager, a yoga teacher, an avid adventurer, and an all around amazing gal.
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10 Minute Morning “Primer” for Gratitude

A common myth around meditation is that there is a right and wrong way to approach it. Often we believe we must sit perfectly still in order to reap the full benefits of the practice. The truth is, mindfulness can lead to similar results and may appease some of us who are just too energized to sit and focus on one thought (or lack of thought). We first heard of the gratitude meditation, or morning priming exercise, from the motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Here is our suggestion for how you can get started!10 Minute Morning Gratitude Meditation

End your meditation practice by honoring yourself for taking the time out of your day to tune in. A healthy, clear you is what helps makes this world a better place.

[Photos taken from our friend Alaia at Localwise Jobs]

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Glimpse the Magic of Natural Healing

People always ask me how I became a Healer and Herbalist? Who did I study with and where? Granted I do hold a Masters of Science degree in Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine but before graduate school I spent over a decade doing fieldwork as a “desert rat” taking three journeys a year to different locations in the high deserts of California and the Southwest.

A desert rat is a term of endearment for all of us who might sight one another far off in the distance or at a general store picking up supplies in lost towns in dusty remote regions. Recognizable to each other by our clear eyes, fast instincts and disdain for having to interact with other humans.

I would pack up my truck in Oakland and leave for 10-day desert immersions. With maps in hand (no gps) and sheer gut instincts I would venture out into the high desert and learn the deep skill of listening; from plants, the winds voice or from a coyote encounter.

Annually, I would return to sleep in a tufa cave at 4,ooo feet elevation. The cave, which I came to call “my pod”, was one of my biggest Teacher’s. One late night while perched on the top of my cave pod I watched the night stars bright as gemstones and inhaled the Artemisia tridenta on the winds. Young and apprenticing I was just learning how to “be” on the land. The night Owl decided to gift me a lesson, they screeched and flew so fast with talons out trying to take me down. I fell back down into my pod hiding as to not be attacked by the ferocity and precision of the Owls aim. The Owl was teaching me to be aware that I was a visitor and this was there territory.

The desert not only taught me Herbal Medicine it made me brave and willing to face my shadow over and over again and return annually for profound and magical teachings.


Ratka-Mira

Ratka Mira has over 25 years of healing experience – we are thrilled to welcome her to Namaste!

My clients appreciate the way I treat them as a whole person. I recognize that injuries often have their origins in a variety of sources: physical, psychological, or spiritual. I use a combination of massage, breath work and various manual therapies to address the immediate needs of my clients and create healing plans that bring relief to current pain and address root causes.

She is at Namaste Berkeley on Wednesdays 10am-3pm. Find our next available appointment today.

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The Thoracic Jacket

The thoracic jacket is a supportive tool that helps maintain healthy upper spine alignment. It keeps the shoulder blades relaxed away from the ears, the chest lifted, and encourages the head to lean back and line up with the upper back.  I used it daily, not too long ago, when I struggled with chronic nerve impingement.  I had lots of tingling, numbness and nerve pain down the arms.  The sensations were especially uncomfortable when I slept on my side – for a 6-month period, I didn’t sleep through the night because of nerve pain.  My condition was probably encouraged by years of working with microscopes and computers for long periods of time, and exacerbated by two car accidents.  It also wasn’t helpful that I folded up in a car, 4 days a week, to drive to work from Oakland to San Jose.  I had lost all the natural curves in my spine.  The thoracic jacket was helpful in scaffolding my upper back, supporting me in healthy alignment so that my body could relearn a better way of being.

If you’re looking for relief from neck pain or shoulder pain, or maybe you’re just trying to neutralize text neck, I hope you’ll put on the thoracic jacket and go about your usual activities. Give it a try and see how you feel.  I have found it useful on days when I do a lot of writing or when I learn a new chant with my harmonium.  It’s not so great on days when you have to dress up for the office, and it’s particularly annoying if you like wearing nicely pressed, wrinkle-free clothes.

Poh-thoracic

Known for her curiosity, playfulness and nurturing style, Poh offers yoga practices that cultivate spacious presence for the busy, modern life.  Poh comes to yoga with a career in tech at the intersection of engineering, law and business.  Her personal practice revolves around nurturing body, heart and mind towards homeostasis as she navigates a demanding world.  This is the flavor of her yoga classes.  Poh teaches from the heart and offers her unique blend of attentiveness to healthy alignment, courageous + compassionate self-inquiry, and deliberate relaxation.  Typically, there’s a splash of Bhakti and she sings.

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