Yoga through the eyes of 7 year olds

Much to my excitment, I’ve been asked by a local school to teach two classes a week for them. The children learn in both Spanish and English(phew) and are brilliant. I couldn’t even finish unrolling all of the mats today before they started hopping in them, using them as flying carpets and rolling themselves up like hot dogs in them! It’s so refreshing to be around such eager, pure and freeing souls.

“What is yoga?”, I asked. I see 8 hands shoot up instantly. 

“Yoga is breathing!” “Yoga is meditation!” “Yoga is stretching your muscles!” “Yoga is hearing your body!” “Yoga is, umm, doing a pose to help your body heal!” “Yoga is relaxing so you have a better memory!” “Yoga is something you do for yourself when you’re stressed!”

Yes! All of these things are yoga. Yoga is the study and focus of the breath, allowing it to be our vehicle for mindfulness. Meditation is also part of practicing yoga. We sit in silence and observe the fluctuations of our mind, like clouds passing by in the sky. And yes, stretching, or for lack of a better word, is what we do in some poses, to ease pressure on our joints and spine. And a big aspect of practicing yoga is to become more aware of how our body feels to us, in a state of rest, stress or discomfort. And we certainly heal ourselves through movement in yoga. Just the other day, I could have sworn half moon pose healed my headache. And by doing yoga, by treating oursleves, body, mind and soul, to a series of movements in unison with our breath, we can improve our memory and walk away feeling high as the sky!

Thank you for your wise words, mis hijos!


4 daily rituals to help you feel grounded

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do things out of intention instead of habit? This might make us feel more connected to our actions and certainly give us the control we seek. Here are 4 ways in which you can feel like you’re in control of your morning routine. At least it’s something!

1.) Teeth Pull with Coconut Oil. Don’t be a skeptic and just try it. Take a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth, swish it around for 10 minutes, then spit it in the garbage followed by a warm water rinse. Your breath will be noticeably more pleasant.

2.) Drink water with lemon before your coffee. Give your body an immune-boosting wake-up it’s craving for. At least you won’t dehydrate yourself completely before you start your day and the lemon will awaken your senses.

3.) Moisturize your feet with Cocoa butter. Or any natural cream of your choice. Your feet take a beating all day, running around in heels or boots, in dry socks, in cold weather. Smooth cream over your heels and arches. Notice how soft your feet will feel after a few days and your feet will repay you by smelling nice and supporting you.

4.) Set your intention for the day. Regardless of your faith or spiritual beliefs, setting out an intention for the day is a brilliant way to focus your thoughts and ideas to getting things done, clearing your inbox, getting to the gym, calling a family member, flossing your teeth or any intention you may have.


What is a private yoga class?

Have you ever wanted to try a yoga class but you’ve held off for fear of falling on your head or looking inflexible? Well, fear no more. Following the traditional practices of yoga, Nicole is offering private yoga teachings at our clinic, 162 Metcalfe Street. After 450 hours of yoga teacher training in Bali and in Ottawa and ten years of developing her own practice, her knowledge of the human body and movement, as well as her calm and patient voice will guide you through a class without draining you.

If you’re working with injuries or are completely new to yoga, classes are designed tot help you improve at your own pace. In each lesson you will learn new postures and movements as well as knowledge on the human anatomy. You will properly be able to identify and pronounce muscles and joints.

Nicole will teach the important of breath and how to link breath with movement through conscious control. She will also incorporate how using different breathing techniques can energize or relax you into better health.

Hands on adjustments and modifications will be used when necessary and at the requests of students.

Another portion of the teachings will involve meditation and how to easily use meditation as a daily stress management tool.

Classes will last 45, 60, 75 and 90 minutes in length. All prices will be updated on our website.

“I honour the light, love and truth within you because it is also within me.”

Massage therapy for "smartphone thumb"

Repetitive motion injuries, which have long afflicted desktop and laptop computer users, are invading the mobile handheld world.

Earlier this year, a consumer alert was released warning users of small electronic gadgets that heavy thumb use could lead to painful swelling of the sheath around the tendons in the thumb.

Musculoskeletal disorders, which include repetitive strain injuries, accounted for a third of all workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2003.

Treatment for smartphone thumb may include receiving massage therapy treatments to relax the overworked muscles. Wearing a splint and applying ice to the affected area is an option as well. If the pain persists, doctors may opt to inject the thumb area with a cortisone shot.

Good health is good business

The working world has become more stressed, and that is taking a toll on the health of Canadians. In the current recession, employees might be worried about job security and salary reductions or be expected to work longer hours or be accessible and connected to their jobs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Now more than ever, it is important for companies to invest in wellness strategies to help support the health of their employees. Without a healthy team, companies will face higher bottom line costs and reduced employee health.

Companies can choose to support wellness initiatives in a wide variety of ways depending on the company budget and employee concerns and interests.

  • Hire a traveling massage therapist to provide on-site neck/shoulder massages to reduce tension.
  • Provide partial or full support for gym memberships.
  • Respect your employees’ lunch hours by not hosting meetings so that they can ensure they have time to take care of their personal health.
  • Register in a corporate fitness challenge or walk/run event.

A pain in the head?

Workplace Wellness Registered Massage Therapy is located downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Our RMT’s see people who are suffering from headaches or workplace related stress on a daily basis.

RMT’s use varying techniques to assess the possible causes of headaches. By manipulating the soft tissues and joints of the body, the therapist can find imbalances in tissue, muscle weakness and areas of tension and pain.

RMT’s also provide their clients with postural awareness tips and stretching that can help ease the pain of a headache or help prevent them from reoccurring.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tight neck, jaw and shoulder muscles can cause pressure and opposing force on the head and skull and cause headaches. Other types of headaches include:

  • Tension – may be the result of chronic stress, fatigue or physical dysfunction. Symptoms will include tight muscles around the shoulders and neck, a tight band around the forehead and the pain is continuous.
  • Migraine – can be described as a dull ache that develops into a throbbing and pulsating pain with visual difficulties. It can be experienced with or without an aura.
  • Hormone – hormones will induce a pain response indicating a problem elsewhere in the body. Women are susceptible to pre or post menopausal/menstrual headaches.
  • Cluster – can be described as the most intense headache pain and comes on without any warning. People will experience 4-5 intense headaches a day.
  • Sinus – increase of fluid in the nasal cavity can cause pressure and pain in the areas of the nasal canals. People will experience a constant, dull, hazy feeling in the areas of the sinus canals.

    The therapists at Workplace Wellness Registered Massage Therapy suggest Doing simple neck stretches throughout the day, in the workplace. Stretching can help to decrease muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.

  • Looking over your shoulder on each side will help to loosen up muscles in the side and back of the neck.
  • Bending your ear to your shoulder will decrease muscle tension on the side and front of your neck.
  • Looking down to your toes will help to stretch the muscle that run along your spine and the back of your neck.

    It is recommended that you hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds and breath deeply.

Yoga in the workplace

Workplace Wellness is now offering yoga in your workplace.

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to unite the body and mind. By practicing movements with breath, we illicit the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing us to be in a state of calm and relaxation.

With busy schedules and the lack of time devoted to personal care and health, we become overwhelmed, sick and fatigued. Practicing yoga daily, or even two to three times a week, can decrease stress levels, increase your energy and allow for a better night sleep.

Nicole Settimi, RMT, RYT, has designed classes specifically for office workers. The 45 or 60 minute beginnger-style classes will involve improving circulation in the feet, wrists and hands. As well, she will pay close attention to the back, shoulders and neck. The classes will be energetic, yet won’t require the students to work up too much of a sweat, as access to showers can be limited. Students will leave with the skills and stretches needed to carry on caring for themselves off the mat.

The benefits of yoga can be out of this world! So why not bring it into your workplace and enjoy the benefits during your lunch break.

Email or call Nicole directly at (613)983-1899 or