Health & Wellness from the Inside Out: The 5-Minute Oasis

(Note from Doni: Readers, join me in welcoming Tamara Joy Patterson, a new columnist, to anewscafe.com. She specializes in health and wellness. This is her first column.)

As I turn left onto Highway 44 driving from Palo Cedro into Redding, a woman is on my car’s tail. She swerves right and left behind me, as if in a NASCAR race trying to pass me. I take a deep breath and merge to the right. I am no slow poke on the road, but “Mario Andretti” obviously had places to go and people to see.

As I observe this kind of road hazard on wheels, I think of a quote my local barista said to me as I picked up my coffee, “Tamara, I have never seen someone with road rage who just left a yoga class.”

I smile at the thought. It’s true. After some time relaxing and breathing we feel renewed. But how do we find this solace when we can’t afford to attend such a therapeutic leisure or simply (especially during the holidays) can’t seem to find the time?

I call it “The 5 Minute Oasis.”

Think of the last time when you were frazzled. I mean, late for work after changing a poopy diaper, stain on your shirt, heart beating in your chest, palms sweaty. Got it? Ok, how did you feel in that moment? Hurried, rushed, fearful that your client may be angry with you for your tardiness? This is when you take your oasis.

Excuse yourself to the restroom. If you are at home, go to your room. Sit still, close your eyes, BREATHE. Breathe like a baby does, into your abdomen. On the inhale your belly rises, on the exhale your belly falls. Get into a rhythm with this breath. Then, go to YOUR favorite place in your mind. Anywhere that is your peaceful spot. For me, this is Kona, Hawaii. See the details: the ocean, blue at sunset with gorgeous tones of bright pink and orange. Hear the sounds: ocean waves crashing, Ukulele music in the restaurant in the distance. Feel your heart calming, the beads of sweat from your palms evaporating. Breathe more, being grateful for this moment of solace, and then slowly… open your eyes.

You’re back in your bathroom stall, or bedroom, or car in the parking lot, but NOW how do you feel? I am certain that you will feel more relaxed. In this relaxed – or at least somewhat calmer state – we make more rational decisions, we speak from our hearts, and we do not forget where we left our keys.

I have worked with all kinds of people over the past 12 years, and whether they are battling an addiction, an inflammation disorder, moodiness, or high blood pressure (to name a few), the trigger is the same: too much stress leaves our bodies in a state of upheaval, and in our physiology’s need to find balance we reach for unhealthy foods, or live with unhealthy emotions.

I have come to realize that there are three kinds of stressors: those we can control (eg. to-do lists), those that we cannot (e.g. loss of job due to economy), and those that we put upon ourselves because we know it will benefit us in some way (e.g. strength training). When we have loads of stressors from all three categories our bodies begin to break down at the point of least resistance. This is very common during these winter months when we place high demands on ourselves.

So next time you find yourself caught in a windfall of stressors, no matter what the cause, and you feel frazzled to the max, before getting in your car and driving with aggression to get to your destination, take a “5 Minute Oasis.” Your body will thank you, and so will I.

Tamara Joy Patterson was raised in Northern California and lives in Palo Cedro with her husband and their two children. She is a graduate of CSU, Chico, and Clayton College of Natural Health with degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Natural Health, and is a certified mind-body expert and ACSM certified exercise specialist. Tamara has been in the health-and-wellness field professionally for more than 12 years as a wellness expert, college health instructor and yoga teacher. To learn more about Tamara Joy you can visit her website at: www.tamarashealinggarden.com

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Chamberlain, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

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Tamara Joy Patterson was raised in Northern California and lives in Palo Cedro with her husband and their two children. She is a graduate of CSU, Chico, and Clayton College of Natural Health with degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Natural Health, and is a certified mind-body expert and ACSM certified exercise specialist. Tamara has been in the health-and-wellness field professionally for more than 12 years as a wellness expert, college health instructor and yoga teacher. To learn more about Tamara Joy you can visit her website at: www.tamarashealinggarden.com
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18 Responses

  1. Avatar jacki g. says:

    Hi Tamara! Great article, we look forward to more!

  2. Avatar Canda says:

    Welcome, Tamara! Great and timely article you've written here. I can feel other people stressing out there on the road, and while Christmas shopping too. I'm really looking forward to your future articles, Tamara. I like your writing, and what you have to say!

  3. Avatar Cheri says:

    Great article! Glad to see you here. Isn't it wonderful how the breath carries a conscious awareness and energy to it! I deeply love how simply by focusing on my breath and bringing my awareness to it and consciously slowing it down..that my whole body will respond and relax all the way down to my toes. Every cell in my body feels the breath, relaxation and peaceful energy flow.

    The mind/body are one fabric of awareness and we are absolute miracles of creation. It's beautiful and wonderful that more and more people are becoming aware of how amazing they are!

    🙂

    Cheri

    • Avatar Tamara Joy says:

      This is so true, Cheri! You know well, how powerful the breath is. It's an amazing thing that we can think about our breath and have such a powerful outcome on our physiology or not think about it at all, and it still gives us our live force! We are truly magical beings. Thank you so much for reading! I'm tickled.

  4. Avatar Adrienne Jacoby says:

    I had to chuckle (just a little) because that breathing thing is much easier to teach junior high choir students if you have them lie on the floor, close their eyes, bend their elbows so their hands rest on their stomachs and try to breath as you described. The chuckle came because as a teacher, it was an activity guaranteed to bring calm to the classroom. . . . and me.

    • Avatar Tamara Joy says:

      Awwww…yes…one day while guiding a football team through a restful practice similar to this one, I had an observing coach/teacher chuckle to me under his breath, "This is probably the only place on earth where you can find 40+ highschool boys quiet in a classroom!"

      We ALL can benefit from a little time of restful breathing.

      Thank you for your thoughts, Adrienne!

  5. Avatar Brianna Noel says:

    Great article Tamara! So proud of you! 🙂

  6. Avatar Stephanie says:

    You're a beautiful writer & even more beautiful person! Thank you for the reminder. I look forward to reading your next column!

  7. Avatar Carrie says:

    Oh, wow! You couldn't have come along at a better time! I so look forward to more of your writings.

    • Avatar Tamara Joy says:

      Thank you all for reading. While the rest of the world is stressed, you readers will be cool (well warm;), calm, and collected during this wonderful time of year.

  8. Avatar Shayna says:

    Hi Tamara,

    I took a yoga class taught by you about 4 years ago at Shasta College, and it was the BEST yoga class I've ever had. I remember you teaching us about going to our "peaceful place" and imagining a color that calms us…in my case it was the color blue. I'm so happy that you will be sharing your talent on A News Cafe! I look forward to reading more! 🙂

    • Avatar Tamara Joy says:

      Thank you for those kind words. I loved every class I had the opportunity to teach there. I'm glad your peaceful memories have stuck. I hope you are still enjoying time to nurture yourself.

  9. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    Wonderful article Tamara. I love your writing style, and your message is powerful. I'm learning to use deep breathing to calm myself at work and on the road.

    • Avatar Tamara Joy says:

      Excellent! Keep practicing. It will be fun when someone you know notices your new-found centered nature amidst a storm:)

  10. Avatar Carolyn says:

    Very nice article. If more people did this then I think the holidays wouldn't be so stressful.

  11. Avatar Tessica Adams says:

    Hi Tamara! I am so happy that you are writing for everyone to read. I miss not coming to your classes. You have taught me so much and have inspired me greatly! This breathing technique really works and I have used it many times. I am so excited to read more of your articles! Miss you greatly

    Love Tess.

  12. Avatar anna says:

    Tamara,

    We are so very proud of you. And we are practicing the breathing..Love you. G and G