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The Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System

“You cannot get better in the same environment you got sick in.”  – Dr. Perry Nickleston


In our email series of learning new things while at home, ;-), I wanted to now talk about the Lymphatic system!    I could go on and on about it, and there is much to know, but I will try to be as direct and concrete as I can.  You will see some links of more resources at the end of the email!  Those who take my classes know I try to actively spark ways that move lymph throughout the body.
The Lymphatic system is the most undervalued and under appreciated system of the body.  People rarely look at the source of tenderness, puffiness, swelling, pain or inflammation as indicators of a backed up lymphatic system.
I am going to convey an analogy that I received from Dr. Perry Nickleston.
“Think of the body as a fish tank.  
The glass is our skin, 
The water is your interstitial fluid, 
The fish, rocks, and coral are your underlying systems.   
The pumps are the lymphatic system that cleans and purifies the tank.
If the water gets mucky and the fist die, you could change the water, you could replace the rocks and coral, but without good working pumps, your water will get mucky again.”
There are two major exercises to get it to move
1). Diaphragmatic Breathing
2). Human Movement

The Diaphragm

We try to cover good use of the diaphragm each and every class.  I have been doing a free class on Facebook Live each Thursday at 5:30pm.  This coming Thursday I will do a guided talk through proper breathing while Kelly plays the crystal bowls!
As far as human movement:
  • If you can think back to Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons and that era of jumping jacks and hopping in place, you are kick starting the lymph.
  • If you think about how kids play, bouncing, hopping, skipping, jumping, you are kick starting the lymph.
  • If you do things that work the joints in a way that moves them quickly in any direction, this kick starts the lymph.

Whatever you do, it is best to move yourself multiple times throughout the day for bouts of 10-20 seconds at a time.  Easy Peasy!

Fun facts:

  • 1/3 of all lymph nodes are in the neck
  • It is colorless
  • A gut problem = a lymphatic problem
  • Any lymph node can cause pain or dysfunction somewhere else in the body (above or below the site)
  • Your calves are. passive pump for the lymphatic system
  • Your lymph vessels, end to end, could circle the globe four times!!!
  • Lymph drains from the bottom up, so if it is blocked, we need to start moving from the top down.
  • This system bathes almost every single cell in the body, except cartilage, nails and hair.
  • Continuously loops in one direction – up the right side and loops down the left side.
  • You have over 15 liters of lymph in the body, which is 3X more than blood.
  • Problems that could show up as a result of poor lymphatic flow:
    • Any auto-immune disorder
    • Lyme Disease
    • Any ‘itis’ condition chronic or acute (tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bursitis)
    • Spinal Pain (neck pain and low back pain)
    • Joint pain
    • If you hit a training plateau
  • It is the sewage system of the body – It gets rid of toxins that are coming in from the outside especially your skin (remember back to the email of benefits of dry brushing) and through the mouth (remember tongue scraping).

More resources:

Enjoy your discoveries!
Lisa 😉

Mobile App! 

Our app is so handy! You can see all of the classes listed, with descriptions and the instructor teaching.  It is always the most up to date option for classes.
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“Transformation does not happen because of good intentions, it happens because the necessary enrichment happens on all levels.” – Sadhguru

How are you?  We think about our family so very often and wish you, yours, and the whole planet well.
As human beings we function a little differently than any other being on the planet, as we tend to create boundaries that make us feel like we have to act within certain rules.   In reality we don’t function well with boundaries as it is deters us from knowing our inherent existence.   And when these things are out of balance, we feel this deeply in a manner of emotions that don’t serve us (anxiety, anger or depression).    We have things like, jobs, families and houses that are wonderful ways to create an identity, but if we don’t find ways to turn within, those things will fell like they are squashing the existential reality of who we truly are.
Did you know that daily yoga practice is a way to nourish yourself, where you are fully involved in your wellbeing, and not entangled in the stories of the past or unknown future that you tell yourself.     Just as a flower doesn’t try to blossom, it does indeed blossom through proper nourishment of sun, water, and fertilizer. You don’t try to intentionally blossom, but by proper nourishment of your physically body, mentally and emotional states, and energetically output, you can blossom into your infinite existence.    Working diligently on these things allows you to become untangled from experiences that make us feel anything less than whole and complete.
When we take you through a class, we try to work on these different elements, and hope you can take some of it with you and do something daily that makes you find joy, peace, and nurturing (think meditation, sitting in silence, sitting in nature, just sitting with your eyes closed away from the external).  So even in chaotic situations, you know you can tap into the divinity within you that is perfect and pure.
For now we are able to offer the following for you:
15 online classes a week*
New free classes being added on the virtual studio
Free Facebook Lives each week (mantra or meditation),
and Online Private Coaching/Instruction Sessions
*Our weekly schedule is on the Mindbody app.  You just need to use the Zoom link to enter them all.
Our link for Ohana classes is  https://zoom.us/j/4533359011
Love you and stay safe!
Lisa 😉
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Our Continuous Process of Teaching

Our Continuous Process of Teaching

Have you ever wondered how much time goes into preparing an hour movement class?   A lot. Like an entire career. 

Continual Learning

We spend time understanding and translating content such as anatomy and sequencing.  But then we meet people like you and we learn.  We learn that we don’t know as much as we should, and we go back to the drawing board of education.  Or that we see something new such as how the body is evolving through too much screen time, too little activity or too much demanding activity.    

All the Avenues of Healing

So we do more education, more study, take it back to the mat and trial and experiment on ourselves; then again see how it lands on you all.  See, we take the hit (of time and money)  looking at all avenues of healing.  Is it the breath, is it just movement, is it the mind, or your past?   Where do we need to concentrate our studies?  What avenue is next?  I know personally I have deviated into many different realms of brain and eye based work, pain science, the ins and outs of the nervous system, common pathology and specifics on the lymphatic and joint function. 

A Plan for Progress

Then after all of our continuous studies, we may feel that there is more work to be done on our end to create a class that generates the most change for long term success.  We may see you once, or we may see you multiple times throughout the week to identify the problems with poor movement patterns that we could help change in your day to day. 

One Size Does Not Fit All

There is a problem with that too, though, because you all are individuals with different pasts, pain biofeedback and traumas.   Depending on people’s jobs, social actives and hobbies, will create a difference of where we need to help you help yourselves.  We know that one exercise program cannot be a one stop shop to what needs to be done.  Individual problems need to be dealt with individual solutions, not just a boxed set choreographed class. 

Ohana Offerings Continue to Grow

Sometimes we have classes that just try to pull you out of the stress state, other classes try to build deep specific strength, and others try to bring more awareness to the patterns in your life that may be causing the discomfort in the first place.

Either way, be rest assured that we at Ohana will always be educating ourselves to make sure we understand all that you are going through, and that you have many class offerings to chose from depending on what you need.

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You Can’t Go Wrong Being Strong

You Can’t Go Wrong Being Strong

Hamstring MusclesWhen it comes to good physical health, I like to think of it as a whole body system.  We are 3D organisms, 360 degrees around, spherical and dynamic.   Our bodies were made to be moving constantly.  So what happens when we aren’t?  And what happens when we move too much repetitively (think running, cycling, etc)?
When athletes use global muscles as stabilizers and the deep stabilizers aren’t being used, they can become injured quick, hard and fast.  The body shouldn’t injure easily and there are many ways we can ensure that the nervous system is adaptable to any situation the body comes into.  If anything, we have a buffer to become either not injured at all or have WAY less damage.
I feel like you cannot go wrong with being strong.  Period.   By trying to seek out any stabilizer weaknesses, we can find out what is not working and get it back on board.
Entire faulty movement patters cannot be blamed on one muscle.   I will use the hamstring as an example, because it comes up a lot as a problem that needs to be ‘stretched’ out.    The main reason why a hamstring may feel tight is that it has some weakness and the body puts up tightness as a protection mechanism to keep that weakness from having an injury.   When you try to stretch  or have them massaged out, that protection mechanism will only further inhibit movement, actually making the area feel MORE tight.  The body is doing its job very well.    We just ignore the signals.
When there is a problem with the body (tightness/pain/injury), we need to challenge the existing pattern and upload new information to the body.
Here Is what is happening:
  • Inappropriate firing of muscles
  • Poor stabilization
  • Poor mobility
  • Poor movement pattern
  • Poor central nervous system pattern
  • High levels of compensations.

What My Classes Focus On

In my classes, I always try to isolate an area that may not be working properly.   This may be in the form of doing a movement, looking to see how the class executes it, and then seeing what needs to be changed.   And then we try to activate it or create more mobilization of a joint around it.
Being deeply stable is one of the most important jobs of the body,  everything else is the cherry on top!
So, next time you wonder why class seems boring and why we take our time, you will understand it better.
Please let me know if you have any questions!


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October Newsletter

October Newsletter

It’s the beginning of my favorite three month stretch of the year.    It’s when all of my kids turn different ages, start some fun holiday celebrations, and become witness to the drastic changes in the landscape. 
October is usually when we celebrate Ohana’s anniversary.   Happily I have taught in Contoocook for over 10 years, but as an entity of Ohana for eight years, and three at our current location!  We could have not done this without you.  Thank you can not even express how we feel about having this safe sacred space that is open to you.  Our family is growing, and it feels amazing to expand offerings that blend each teachers unique background with their own style.   Generally life can cause pain and heartache.  We want you to have a respite to find small ways to help deal with the difficulties head on.  To use this collective space to guide you away mental and physical pain, if at least for an hour.    
 We have scheduled a free community class where you can come and sample the different instructors.  It was so heartwarming for us to come together as a studio to thank you for all of your support.  Details are below.

 Please see what else we have to offer the remainder of the year!
 Lisa and the Ohana clan 😉


   Family News!
New Weekend hours!
As of October 1st, the weekend class times will be off summer schedule and we will have Michael singing at both classes!   
Saturdays will now begin at 8:30am
Sundays will now begin at 10am 
The Sunday meditation classes with Judy Caron will now begin at 8:45am, after October 1st!
Yoga Nidra will be on Sunday the 6th of October at 6pm, instead of the previously mentioned date.   
  Always check the app or website for the most up to date classes, who is teaching and time changes.    Or feel free to message me at any time and I can let you know!  
Kelly is a contributor to the newsletter.  Her thoughts and poems are too good not to share.  Her journey through yoga can only be described as monumental.  Please enjoy!
Lost Time
“Time is our most valuable currency. Without time we have nothing. When circumstances outside of our control go askew, we are quick to label these experiences in our mind as “unfair”, “frustrating” and “stressful”, in turn fueling feelings of anxiety, depression and anger. What we fail to realize is this pattern leaves us falling victim to perceived threats and negative thinking. The world is capable of being harsh, unforgiving and a struggle. The sooner we embrace the shadow side of life with acceptance and compassion we create room for more enriching experiences. Every time we lose ourselves in thoughts and emotions that don’t serve us, we are choosing to throw small pieces of our life away. We must choose wisely.”

Free Community Class 
Open House / Anniversary Celebration
October 27th –  10am-12pm
We want to thank YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s time for our yearly celebration of a free two hour long class where you can sample some of our instructors. Each will teach for approximately 10 minutes to show you their style, and be available for questions afterward.

It is good for many reasons. It gives us the opportunity to thank you for supporting us for so long, it helps us be in community, and it gives you time to experience an instructor you may have been missing.

I am always proud that we have this wonderful space open to all. Where we can take care of you. Problems can be checked at the door, and we have many different classes that take care of the physical and emotional well being of what it is to be human.

Come if you are already a student.
Come if you have always wanted to, but haven’t.
Come if you want to just be part of the celebration!

Let go of Stress: Manifest your goals
w/Josephine Fanelli
October 13th –  12-3pm – $30

In this workshop we’ll do Kundalini Yoga, and meditation to bring relief and clarity to the mind and body. We’ll talk about what are stressors, how does stress effect the body, our day to day, and our eating habits. Then we’ll do a vision board to take home, or to the office to keep that intention and relief near to you when you need it.

Drepung Gomang Monks Visit Contoocook!
November 4th – 11th, 2019
Five years ago some monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery visited our little town of Contoocook, NH.   They made their mark all around town, spreading compassion and kindness.    Their work on the sand mandala and ceremony to disperse the sand into the river was one of touching sentiment.   The night of food at the library, the sacred arts display of dance and chant was also one for the books.   
I am happy to announce that they will be back this neck of the woods and I couldn’t be happier.   We will, again, all need to work together to gather supplies of food, flowers, and places for them to set up.    
They work all on donations to fund their land and space in India governed by the Dalai Lama, and I know our town will step it up to provide them funds to bring back to their cherished homestead.  In exchange, they show us their traditions and ceremonies of Tibet.   
Please stay tuned for how you can help, and what the schedule will be during that week.     My heart is so happy for this opportunity again.  
Did you know?…..
We offer 22+ classes a week
We offer ongoing classes morning & night with ones sprinkled in between. 
We have 18 teachers to assist you in your journey
We have 3 musicians that accompany classes
We have an atmosphere that is sacred  and calm
Our energy rises through the energy of the river
What we offer in the group space:
All levels classes (addressing ALL levels)
Gentle Yoga
Chair Yoga
Yin Yoga (see below for benefits)
Yoga Nidra
Functional Movement
Joyful Yoga (you really feel joyful after)
Restorative Yoga
Thai Yoga Massage & Yoga
Holistic Bellydancing
Classes that find ways to access your strength and mobility
What we offer in the treatment room*:
Healthy Lifestyle coaching
Life-force Healing sessions
Raindrop oil therapy
Certified Angel Healing Practitioner Angel & Oracle Card Readings
*More details below in the ‘Bodywork & More’ section
Please feel free to use the website or Ohana Yoga NH App for the most up to date information on classes and teacher coverage.   
We have classes every day – Morning and evening and some sprinkled in between! We offer affordable classes where you are able to come as often as you can without a disruption in your practice.     
About Ohana!
Mobile App! 
We now have an app!    Looking up classes, check if a class is canceled,  knowing who is covering, signing up or paying will be much easier.  The most up to date information is always available here!  The look and feel are more navigational.  It’s free! Check it out! 

Feel free to leave us a review on either the app (Ohana Yoga NH) or our Facebook page ( Review Ohana!),  if you have enjoyed Ohana thus far.  We appreciate it so much.  There are many people scared to even attempt going to a class, and we would love for them to know what others think about their experience and what to expect.  Thank you in advance! 
If you come two times a week or more, you may want to consider a yearly pass, to fully immerse in the many offerings, without the hassle.  
Our goal is to make you feel comfortable: We are trained to help you gain a better perspective of your habits and patterns.  We do our best to bring you out of your comfort zone; the place that you have been for a long time and is causing your suffering.  Thank you for letting us serve you, by working together to bring out the light that is already shining within.  

Lisa and the Ohana Team !
(603) 748-1539