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INSPIRE May/June 2016

Real Inspiration for Women



MAKING YOU FAT? ยง #inspirehealthmag



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Canterbury Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Kurt F. Martin, DDS, MD Craig E. Miller, DDS Ronald L. Roholt, DDS, MD Wisdom Teeth (3rd Molars) Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and appear in the mouth. They are called “wisdom teeth” because they usually appear during a person’s late teens or early twenties, which has been called the “age of wisdom.” What is an Impacted Tooth? A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the mouth and its growth and eruption is blocked by overlying gum, bone or the adjacent tooth. Nine out of ten people have at least one totally impacted wisdom tooth resulting from a lack of space in the mouth. Impacted teeth can lead to such problems as pain, infection, crowding of teeth, tumor formation, or damage to adjacent teeth and bone. More fully developed wisdom teeth tend to cause these problems and require a more involved surgical procedure to remove them. Even though impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious problems a recent study found that wisdom teeth that have erupted into the mouth in a normal upright position may be as prone to disease as those third molars that remain impacted. The researchers found that patients with erupted wisdom teeth may be at greater risk for disease, including periodontitis. These chronic gum infections can cause bone loss around the wisdom teeth and adjacent teeth. Chronic gum infections can affect your general health.

When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed? It isn’t wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you. Generally, early removal of wisdom teeth results in an easier surgery and less complicated healing process. Medical studies strongly recommend that wisdom teeth be removed during teenage years to prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing. It’s recommended all people have their wisdom teeth evaluated by an oral surgeon before high school graduation.


What Can I Expect During Surgery? Wisdom tooth surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed. Most people require wisdom tooth removal at some point in their life. Having the surgery as a teenager is generally easier, less risky, and the healing process is quicker and more reliable. Most wisdom tooth surgeries do not require hospital admission and can be performed in our ofice. Most people choose to do this under IV anesthesia. Today, surgery can be performed in comfort and maximal safety using our modern surgical and anesthetic techniques. Most young people can return to normal activities within a couple of days after surgery. We can discuss your options at the time of consultation. What is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon? Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of dentistry that includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and face region. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a graduate of an accredited dental school who has completed an additional four or more years of training in an accredited, hospitalbased oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program. Board certiication requires additional study and rigorous examination. Our surgeons at COMS are certiied by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

How Do I Schedule an Appointment? You may ask your general dentist for a referral or you may call us directly. Our phone number is (785) 628-1079. We are located at 2901 Canterbury, Hays, KS. You may get additional information from our website at We are the only full service oral surgery provider for western Kansas. We have been providing care to Western Kansans since 1968. From the beginning our simple philosophy has been to provide you with expert care in a safe and friendly environment. Today we still live by these words. § #inspirehealthmag

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contents May / June  2016

5 NATURAL BEAUTY The Many Uses of Baking Soda

7 DISCOVER Balance Your Hormones Naturally

9 WEIGHT LOSS Are Fad Diets Making You Fat?

10 EXERCISE Practice Balance Clear Your Mind

14 HEALTH What Is BPA and Is It Really Harmful?

16 WELLNESS Omega 3: An Essential Fat

18 LONGEVITY Aromatherapy for Stress Relief

20 PETS Vacationing with Pets Or Not?



Breathing that Puri es and Energizes

From the irst cry exiting the womb to the last dying breath as the body shuts down, the life cycle begins and ends with breathing.



May § June 2016

Help Develop Physical Balance

24 INSPIRE Blossoming

natural beauty

The Many Uses of

a d o S g Bakin By Whitney Alexandra


f you are like most people, you keep a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to keep your food fresh and another in case you want to bake cookies. Rarely do we even think about this household staple much less remember to replace the little orange box in the refrigerator. But once you learn of the surprising beneits and unusual uses of sodium hydrogen carbonate or baking soda, you may just want to stock up. First used as cleaning agent by the ancient Egyptians in 3500 BC, baking soda grew in popularity when used as a leavening agent for baking. But today, baking soda is much more than an ingredient in a cookie recipe or a cleaning agent – it is also a great natural alternative to beauty products and offers health remedies as well. HERE ARE 6 NEW WAYS TO USE BAKING SODA:

WHITEN YOUR TEETH – Need to freshen up in between dentist visits? Baking soda is great for removing stains and the yellow tint from your teeth. First, mix the baking soda and water to form a paste. Then apply with your toothbrush and let it sit for about a minute before rinsing. SOAK AND EXFOLIATE YOUR FEET –After a long day, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda

to a tub of warm water and soak your feet. To exfoliate your feet, face or body, make a paste from three parts baking soda and one part water and gently scrub off the dead cells. Baking soda is a natural, inexpensive and gentle exfoliator that you can use daily.

to get rid of them? To loosen and remove dirt, cleanse your skin and apply baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water to the problem area. Repeat this three to four times a week until the area is clear. You can also prevent acne by mixing baking soda with coconut oil to create your own natural face wash. REMOVE SPLINTERS – Splinters can be painful and irritating. Next time you

get one, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Most splinters will come out easily by the second day! BRIGHTEN YOUR SKIN – Do you want your skin to glow? Try mixing baking soda, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil to form a paste. Apply the paste to skin for 1012 minutes and then rinse.

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DRY SHAMPOO YOUR HAIR – Most hair stylists agree that washing your hair every day is not a good idea. So if you do decide to skip a day and ind yourself with an oily, unlattering scalp, just use baking soda as you would a store-bought dry shampoo. After sprinkling some into your hand or directly onto your scalp, rub it into your roots, let it sit a few minutes and then brush it through. REMOVE BLACKHEADS AND FIGHT ACNE– When blackheads appear, don’t you want to ind the quickest way

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editor’s letter

Balance We all seem to innately know that our happiness comes from an empowered sense of rhythm and harmony, a “balanced” connectedness with life. That message is behind this issue of Inspire Health, our Balance issue. A successful life is all about balance: how to arrange our thoughts and activities to maintain poise and control; to be calm, clear-minded and motivated. The balanced life demands alertness to the needs of your external activities while maintaining strict attention to the issues of your mind and heart. Ryan Lowe encourages us to learn to consciously connect with the natural healing that frees us to have a deep emotional and spiritual experience. Our exercise spread shows how you can join breath and movement to experience balance. There are many avenues open to each of us. Remembering to live “balanced” will make our paths easier and our lives more rewarding.

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© 2016 Jumpstart Publishing, LLC, New Orleans, LA All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services ( The information contained in Inspire Health is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Inspire Health for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Inspire Health, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Inspire Health and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Inspire Health. Readers should not use the information in Inspire Health for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem.






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Balance Your Hormones Naturally By Michele Robert Poche Hormonal imbalance. We’ve all heard the term, but do we really know how hormones contribute to our daily wellness? Hormones regulate almost every function of the body. Therefore, when there is an imbalance in this delicate network, it brings this myriad of unappealing symptoms:

some im a l c u s? Can yo omplication se c of the

• acne/dryness • digestive issues • sleep disorders • headaches • hot flashes/night sweats • infection

• infertility • hair loss • memory fog • menstrual irregularities • mood swings • weight gain

Here s how to keep your hormones balanced naturally:


Eat your greens and beans. According to award-winning author, physician and herbalist Aviva Romm, MD, the high fiber content of dark leafy greens and vegetables, helps the body eliminate excessive hormones from the intestine, particularly estrogen. When there is a deficiency, beans and legumes support the production of hormones.


Don’t overtrim the fat. Make sure you include healthy fats in your diet such as fish oil, olive oil, avocados and coconut oil. Dr. Romm advises that “adequate protein and fat at each meal will keep your blood sugar at a nice neutral hum – exactly where you want it to be to avoid the ups and downs of PMS and the roller coaster ride of imbalanced blood sugar”.


Avoid caffeine. Replace those daily cup(s) of coffee with herbal tea. Not only will you eliminate caffeine, you will also receive beneficial nutrients from the herbs. Raspberry leaf, known for its hormonal balancing properties, can be used in place of black tea to make a chai blend.


Go to sleep! It’s the most overlooked task of the day. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours a night, your hormone imbalance multiplies exponentially. Sleep is needed in order to restore, repair and rejuvenate your body. Cheating on sleep may result in long-term health issues. So brew some chamomile tea and make a regular date with your pillow.


Supplement judiciously. In your quest for internal balance, there are many vitamins and herbs available to assist you. Here are just a few to get you star ted: • Ashwagandha • Black Cohosh • Calcium • Chasteberry • Dong Quai • Fish Oil • Ginseng • Magnesium • Melatonin • Vitamin B, C, D & E  § #inspirehealthmag



healthy mind


PURIFIES AND ENERGIZES By Ryan C. Lowe he life cycle begins and ends with breathing, from the irst cry exiting the womb to the last dying breath as the body shuts down. In between, the life-sustaining act of taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide is an unconscious, instinctive action. For example, holding your breath during a gruesome scene in a horror movie or in a severe stressful situation is equally instinctive. Jack Fontana, a Breathwork Specialist believes that oxygenating the body is something we should not take for granted. He explained that “when we focus on our breathing, we have the opportunity to reduce and release the


Jack Fontana is a Level III Professional Breathworker and a member of the International Breathwork Training Alliance. For further information, visit his website at www.

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anxiety and stress built up in our lives, without the need for medication.” We want to take in as much oxygen as possible and by utilizing the Conscious Connected Breathing technique, we can learn to maintain the low of inhaling and exhaling and breathe in a natural unbroken rhythm. WHAT IS CONSCIOUS CONNECTED BREATHING? Recognized by all types of medical practitioners, Conscious Connected Breathing is a safe and effective natural healing technique that opens a path to self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love. Based on thousands of years of yogic and related teachings, this type of breathing improves your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. HOW DOES IT WORK? Under the guidance of a

specialist, you learn focused breathwork, a method that brings up stored suppressions, fears or past experiences to the surface. Fontana tells us that “as subconscious physical, emotional and spiritual experiences enter the conscious awareness, we can relax into and accept whatever, wherever and however it is happening.” If we take the time to become aware of our sensations, bring our fears to the surface and allow ourselves to be free in those moments, we can become truly present. By doing this, Fontana says, “we ind acceptance as we move through fear and ind more love for ourselves.” Fontana believes the power is right under our noses. “Each of us is capable of the Conscious Connected Breathing process, allowing us to use the energy of our cellular memory for letting go and inding the joy of life,” he said.

Conscious Connected Breathing helps people: • Take responsibility for their lives • Accept themselves and their past experiences • Find a real connection to their breath • Let go of past hurts • Increase their willingness to go through fear • Enhance their sense of peace and relaxation

weight loss


YOU FAT? I By Tami Charbonnet

n 2015, research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over one-third of adults in the United States are obese. While the fad diets have grown to a multi-billion dollar industry, statistics show that Americans are gaining weight at a rapidly increasing speed each year. So why are 78 million Americans obese? With all the exponential diet options, magic pills, powders, supplements, recipes, advice and theories out there, perhaps we just have too many options. We are so confused about what to eat, why we eat it and how much we should be eating that we take advice from unreliable sources and try fad diets for a quick ix. Allen Knehans, PhD, department chair of nutri-

tional services at Oklahoma University, tells us there is no standard deinition of a fad diet. He advised that “the reality of weight loss is that, in the long run, a slow and steady approach brings more lasting results than any quick weight-loss fad.” Whether you are suffering from obesity or just want to lose a few pounds,



consider meeting with a registered dietitian (RD) to discuss a diet plan. RD's are master’s level experts who are trained to guide you to a healthy, long-term weight loss. But before you accept a diet plan, make sure your RD has the proper credentials. You can ind a list of RD’s for your area at

Helpful red ags to identify and avoid dangerous fad diets:  The fad diet involves crash dieting, or intense reductions in eating and drinking.

 The diet promises that you will lose weight fast or at an unrealistic pace.

 Statements made about the diet are refuted by reputable scientific organizations.  The diet refers to foods as “good” or “bad.”

 Personal testimonials are used to “sell” the diet.

 The diet’s recommendations are based on a single study or are without research. § #inspirehealthmag



By: Tami Charbonnet | Photos: Milestone Photography | Model: Raquel Gros



1. EAGLE POSE • Stand tall. Bend both knees and lift left foot over right thigh or shin, touching toe to loor if balance is compromised.


• Bring arms forward, crossing right arm over left.

Staying in a balanced frame of mind is often dificult in the midst of our fast-paced daily lives. It is important to connect deeply with your body to gain a sense of how you are feeling both internally and externally. Some days, the most effective way to build strength is through acceptance of exactly where you are in the moment. The union of breath and movement allows us to experience the concept of balance. Take a few days a week to just “be.” Explore these poses to create a sense of balance in your busy life.

• Ensure palms of hands are touching. • Focus eye gaze to one spot. • Release tension in shoulders.


• Lift ingertips upward and hold for a few deep breaths. • Gently unwind, relax and switch sides.

2. STANDING HIP OPENER WITH ARM EXTENSION • From standing, bend right knee and bring outside of left ankle on top of right thigh. • Flex left foot. • Balance and actively press left knee toward loor to deeply stretch hips. • Lift hands forward and reach to give the spine a great stretch. • Hold for 5 deep breaths, release and switch sides.



May § June 2016


3. WARRIOR III • Stand tall, feet hip distance apart with arms resting along sides of body. • Bend right knee over right ankle so shin is perpendicular to loor.


• Raise arms over head. • Press weight into right foot. • Lift left leg as you lower the torso. • Hinge at hips as you bring body parallel to ground. • With arms extended, reach forward, brace core and tighten gluteus and legs, creating a long, straight spine. • Hold for 5 deep breaths.


5. TREE POSE • Fix eye gaze on a stationary object to maintain focus. • Raise left leg, slowly lift left toes off the ground and bend knee to 90 degrees. • Open left hip so left knee is pointing towards the left wall. • Place sole of left foot on upper right thigh. • Bring hands to the heart, press into palms and lift overhead. If you struggle with balance, keep hands pressed to heart and left toe to the loor. • Gradually try lifting toes higher until you achieve full tree pose. • Hold for a few breaths and try on opposite side.

4. TRIANGLE POSE • Stand with legs 3 feet apart and turn right toes to right wall and left toes slightly inward. • Press left hip out and to left as you slide arms to right, parallel to loor. • Lift left arm upward and rest right hand against right leg. Palms face upward.


• Hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths and release. § #inspirehealthmag



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• Stand tall with soles of feet grounded to the loor. • Bend knees deeply, keeping knees irmly pressed together. • Lift arms overhead and sink lower into pose.


• Actively brace core, reach as high as you can and squeeze thighs together. • Hold this move for 1 to 5 minutes. Breathe deeply and focus.

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health A study at the University of Texas found that out of

455 common plastic products,

What Is BPA and Is It Really Harmful?

tested 70% positive for EA.

By Suzanne Fox


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical component present in polycarbonate plastic. Used in plastics manufacturing, BPA is usually found in beverage containers and in the inside lining of canned goods. Although the lining is supposed to protect the can from corrosion and keep the metal from migrating into the food, small amounts of chemicals can leach from the plastic lining creating potential health issues. According to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency that regulates all food packaging materials, the amount of BPA that migrates into our food is safe. Referred to as indirect food additives, the FDA determined that a small amount of BPA can be reasonably expected. But



May § June 2016

just because the FDA allows something, it doesn’t mean you want to feed it to your family. Cautions about the safety of BPA have caused some manufacturers to find alternatives to polycarbonate, such as hard and clear, reusable, plastic products. These products do not leach BPA and are referred to as BPA-free. But just when we started to believe the problem was rectified, a study in The Environmental Health Journal, noted that estrogenic chemicals were leaching from BPA-free plastic products. Because chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA), have potential adverse health effects in humans, especially in fetal and infant stages, this created a new problem. The bottom line is BPA-free does not mean EA FREE, which

does not mean SAFE. In a study of all commercially available plastic resins and products, including baby bottles and other products advertised as BPA-free, researchers found that independent of the type of resin, product or retail source, leached chemicals showed reliably detectable EA. Led by Dr. George Bittner, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas, this study found that out of 455 common plastic products, 70% tested positive for EA. Even worse, when subject to real-world conditions, such as microwaving or dishwashing, that proportion rose to 95%. Dr. Bittner’s research concluded that “in some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than did BPA-containing products”. This finding should

inspire families to eat fresh food whenever possible. You can cut your exposure to BPA and EA by using real utensils instead of plastic, using glass containers to store food instead of plastic, eating more fresh instead of canned foods and using glass water bottles instead of plastic.

Dr. George Bittner has written several reports on the environmental concerns of chemicals with BPA and EA. To read more information go to http://ehjournal. biomedcentral. com/.

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wellness We need from 500 to 1,000 mg of omega-3 daily.

For optimal health and wellness, add these omega-3 rich foods to your diet:

PLANTBASED SOURCES FOR OMEGA-3: Flaxseed Peanut butter Pumpkin seeds Walnuts Oatmeal Brussels sprouts Kale Mint Parsley Spinach Seaweed


your nutritional plan: • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found mainly in ish, are sometimes referred to as marine omega-3s. • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most Western diets, is found in vegetable oils, nuts (especially prevent cystic ibrosis, cogwalnuts), laxseeds and laxnitive decline, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, pul- seed oil, leafy vegetables, and monary hypertension, heart animal fat (especially grassfed animals). The human disease and strokes. Researchers at Harvard body generally uses ALA for energy and its conversion T.H. Chan School of Public Health have identiied three into EPA and DHA is very ways to include omega-3 in limited.

An Essential


By Tami Charbonnet


mega-3 fatty acids are essential fats. Although not produced by the human body, essential fats are required for your optimal health. Omega-3 helps to



May § June 2016

FISH-BASED SOURCES FOR OMEGA-3: Halibut Mackerel Salmon Tuna (fresh) Herring Oysters

FORTIFIED DAIRY AND JUICES WITH OMEGA-3: Eggs Soy milk Green super food juices Yogurt

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AROMATHERAPY for Stress Relief By Tami Charbonnet

Aromatherapy uses natural oils extracted from lowers and other plants to enhance wellness, ease pain, relieve stress, and increase mental awareness and cognitive function.

tress can affect immunity and cause the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems to stop working normally. Even worse, chronic stress puts our bodies into survival mode, causing a run-down of our overall body systems.


Demetria Clark, author of Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding, recommends aromatherapy for stress relief. “Aromatherapy is known to encourage deep breathing and we know that deep breathing is a tool widely used to reduce stress”, she explained. Because there are so many topical applications for aromatherapy, such as body sprays, compresses, creams, liniments and massage oils, it is easy to use at home and practical to use daily.

HOW DOES AROMATHERAPY WORK? The aroma from essential oils is believed to stimulate brain function by immediately penetrating cell membranes and crossing the brain-blood barriers to reach the emotional center of the brain at a rapid speed. “Essential oils have many constituents that promote relaxation, calm and feelings

of well-being,” Clark said. One of the simplest and most effective ways to benefit from essential oils is to first sample smelling them. “Just because an essential oil is listed as good for de-stressing, doesn’t mean it will work for you”, she said. Everyone is different so if you feel agitated or don’t like a particular aroma, listen to your own instincts. Once you find the right essential oils for you, you can use them anytime. Just put a few drops on a handkerchief so you can carry it with you. It is also important to know that not all essential oils are alike. Make sure you purchase the therapeutic grade oils as some oils may contain harmful chemicals. 

“Essential Oils promote relaxation, calm and feelings of well-being” - Demetria Clark

5 Essential Oils for Stress Relief: Lavender Patchouli Citrus Oils (Sweet Orange/Mandarin/ Grapefruit/Lemon/Lime) Clary Sage Ylang-Ylang



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G N I N O I T A VAC H PETS WIT Not? Or By Dr. W. Mark Cousins, DVM, DABVP

Want to go on vacation but don’t know what to do with your pets? Consider these options:


IN-HOUSE PET SITTING You pay for someone to come to your house and take care of your pets in THEIR environment. This is a great advantage for pets that don’t board well. Also, it may be more economical instead of paying individual boarding fees for each pet. Usually, the sitter will negotiate a fee based on what services he or she will provide for your animals and how many visits per day will be included. But before you hire a pet sitter, ask for a list of personal references and make sure the business is bonded and insured.

do a great job providing this service. Make sure to visit the location before choosing a boarding facility. You will want to make sure cats are kept separate from dogs and that the area looks and smells clean, is relatively quiet and well lit. If your pet takes medications, make sure your veterinarian’s instructions will be followed and ask if there is an additional charge to administer them. Ask if you can bring special diet food, toys or blankets for your pet. Also, find out if your pet will get “play time” and if there is an extra charge for dog walking.

TRADITIONAL BOARDING FACILITY Veterinary hospitals and other pet related businesses

TRAVEL WITH YOUR PET Most pets travel very well, however there are a few things to consider before taking a pet on vacation. If you are flying, ask if your airline requires a pet health certificate (your veterinarian can provide this). Remember that there are two time limits on the health certificate, the date you obtain it prior to flying and its expiration date. International travel with your pet can be a big deal. Make sure you get all the


May § June 2016

information you need from either the USDA or from the consulate for the country where you are travelling. Depending on the length of the trip, ask your veterinarian whether you should give your

pet sedatives. Remember, planning ahead for your pet, whether they are joining you on vacation or staying at home, will save you future hassles when it comes time to leave. 

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Help Develop


Balance By Michele Poche

Here are 6 ways to teach your child physical balance: Stand on a trampoline with one foot. The object is simple. Tell your child, "don’t fall down!" You can later increase the level of difficulty by walking or jumping on the trampoline alongside your child as he or she tries to maintain balance. Build your own obstacle course. Include hurdles to climb under, crawl through or jump over. Time each child and let each try to beat his own time. Once your children have mastered the course, raise the hurdles or widen the jumps to keep it challenging and interesting. Sit on an exercise ball. Have your child sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair while coloring, playing a board game, or eating (although eating may get a bit messy). Challenge your child to keep both feet from touching the floor unless absolutely necessary.

Sign up for a martial arts class. Your child will learn the coordination and precise timing of self-defense and slowly build physical strength through kicking, jumping, balancing and footwork.


n the world of physical itness, there are six skill-related components: agility, coordination, power, reaction time, speed and balance. Deined as the ability to maintain one’s equilibrium, balance is essential for both static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) activities. But, as with any skill, the level of proiciency varies greatly from person to person.



May § June 2016

Walk a “tightrope.” Create a tightrope with tape, string, or chalk. For beginners, place two lines a few inches apart. Once this is mastered, narrow the path to increase the level of difficulty. Later you can elevate the challenge by using a wooden plank raised slightly off the ground. Close your eyes while doing any of the above exercises. Vision and balance are tied together very closely in the body, thus the challenges increase exponentially. Invest in a pogo stick. The pogo stick has been around since 1918, almost 100 years. It remains popular because it provides an all-over body workout. Use it to strengthen your child’s back and core muscles while also toning his or her legs. 


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Learning balance comes from blooming where you are planted by Veronica Coons Photography by Hugo Gonzalez

organ Stevens never imagined org when she was younger that she wh would build the kind of life that w she has in Great Bend. Like sh many born and raised in small m ttowns throughout the country, she saw herself moving away from her hometown to just about anywhere else. Instead, she fell in love and married West Virginia native Jeff Stevens. They spent the next eight years traveling and experiencing life to the fullest. They did a lot of growing up together, and Jeff convinced her Great Bend was a ine place to live. It was the beginning of an evolution that led her to set aside her rebel spirit a little and embrace balance. He convinced her, essentially, to allow herself to bloom where she was planted.

A seed is planted Today, Morgan’s friendly and open manner welcomes, and it’s dificult to deine her age. To those who don’t know her, it is surprising that the journey to where she is today was born out of tragedy. “In 2004 our whole lives were lipped upside down,” Morgan says. It was a year of tremendous highs and lows. She graduated from Barton Community College that spring with an Associates in Science and a degree as a medical lab technician. By autumn her dad, Steve Pendleton, lost his life to a stroke and heart disease. Soon afterward, her grandmother passed away.



May § June 2016

lifting and mountain biking. Over the next few months, she began to see results, but despite the weight loss and irmer, toned muscles, she still hadn’t found balance. “Fitness wise, I was feeling better, but I was still over-thinking life and worried about having everything just so,” she says. “My body was getting tight and my back was hurting. I couldn’t sleep at night because my mind was just too busy.” That’s when she decided to attend a yoga class at the gym, and fell in love with the practice. “As far as the yoga class went, I didn’t care what else happened the rest of the week, I had to go,” she says.


When I care for and love myself I have more to give. e.

“My father’s death showed me how tremendously important it is to care for our hearts, eat healthy, exercise and manage stress,” she says. That same year, in October she was offered a job during her clinicals at Clara Barton Hospital. That wasn’t all. “I was very thankful for such a supportive group because soon after starting my new job my husband Jeff and I found out we were going to be parents in 2005,” she says. “After eight years…in the middle of all this we were going to be joined by a beautiful little human.” Their son Levi was born, his name meaning “joined in harmony.” Like most new parents, Morgan and Jeff had their struggles inding a balance

between work and family life. One thing she realized, as she delved deeper into her career, applying all she had learned at school, was the importance of health. Already a little overweight, she began reading labels and making changes in her cheeseburger, pizza and ice cream diet. Then in 2007, the family welcomed daughter Kira, whose name means “light.” Morgan, however, did not feel light at all. “I was extremely stressed out just trying to make sense of this lipped over life we had been delivered,” she remembers. Finding herself 40 pounds overweight, she decided to start working out at a local gym. She had won a block of personal training sessions, like the universe was in line with the decision. She began weight

Over the next few years, she had the opportunity to learn from a few other yoga teachers. One inspired and encouraged her to become certiied to teach. This decision would serve to deepen her own practice, as well as help her to bring the beneits she’d experienced to her family and friends. Her journey took her irst to healthcentric Boulder, Colo., where she learned Power Vinyasa low. She gained new appreciation for her itness as she reached deep into herself to ind the centeredness and strength to power-through the low of poses. While there, she learned there are many philosophies of yoga, and each has an appeal to different people. Not one is better or worse than any other, she says. They all exist to help people achieve a balance in whatever it is they are personally working on. She brought this practice home to Great Bend. But she wasn’t yet satisied she had found the philosophy of yoga she needed to help not only her students, but herself. She continued searching, and early into her irst years of teaching, found another teacher who shared with her a Hatha-style Purna yoga that was more alignment based, and stressed gentleness and ease. The effects of this new practice in her own life have been profound. § #inspirehealthmag



“I learned ways to truly support myself as I walk through life,” she says. “I have tools to help me deal with stress and anxiety that pop up. I have tools to help me slow down and see things for what they really are, and in ways that make sense to me.” Inspired anew, she traveled to Wichita to become certiied to teach Purna. There she met teachers Tonya Henning and Mirabelle Amour, who she turns to often when she is in need of replenishing herself.

Growth Purna Yoga, Morgan says, promotes health, self-kindness, stress management and breath work, and to be truly grateful for all that we are in this moment. “We use lots of props and the yoga wall to make poses adaptable for all our different bodies,” she says. “In this style I’ve found that people learn their boundaries between strength and stretching that makes space in the body. If you tend to always over-do it, then it is an opportunity to learn how to ind a softer balance.” Now, her students are experiencing increased mobility in their chests and arms. Frozen shoulders are beginning to loosen up, and students are breathing deeper. Bottom line, her students leave class feeling good, and it feels good to hear that, she says.They are learning to avoid pushing beyond their limits. Eventually, if they want to, they will be ready to move into more challenging practices.

When I feel complete I can be a better mother, wife and friend. When I feel complete I can take care of the things and people that enrich my life. To feel complete I must make time for myself.

Through her own practice, Morgan has learned to make space for herself. Maintaining balance in life, she inds, is one of the most rewarding, and often most challenging aspects of her personal journey. “I am a Kansan, and Kansans are different than people from some other places,” she says. “We are very genuine people,



May § June 2016

Balance in life is just as important as balance in my yoga practice. e.

but we’re also very busy people, and we’redoing lots of things, and often times we’re working very hard and putting other people irst, and we have to remember to take care of ourselves irst.” The normally light and easy going way in which Morgan speaks becomes intense and meaningful when pressed to explain. “When I care for and love myself I have more to give,” she says. “When I feel complete I can be a better mother, wife and friend. When I feel complete I can take care of the things and people that enrich my life. To feel complete I must make time for myself. My practice has taught me the value of checking in with myself often and seeking ways to create balance in my life instead of trying to “ix” myself.” And, she added, her practice of yoga will change from day to day depending on what she is doing. If it’s a particularly busy day and she feels she is lagging, she will do a more gentle and restorative practice. But, if it’s a relaxing weekend, and she’s “chilling out” with her family watching cartoons, she will do a more active practice. When she takes life or herself too seriously, that’s when it’s time to do some “just for fun” poses. Always, when she takes time to do practice, she can connect with herself on a very personal level. Since she began yoga, she’s come to realize her journey has not been about what others see on the surface - her size or shape or how she its in with everyone. Instead, it’s about what is inside, outside, and all around. It’s about noticing her breath, connecting with her life source, and keeping an open mind.

Coming into bloom Over the past four years since opening her studio, Morgan has learned that balance in life is just as important as balance in her yoga practice. Everything that she and Jeff do is aimed towards family. They go to school functions, eat with their kids, and are there for them when they get home from school. Having a yoga teacher for a mom means Levi and Kira are learning early on breathing techniques to help them deal with the stresses and “stuff” that life brings to their tables. “Teaching them to have their own tools for dealing with life is very important to me as a mother,” she said. “We want our children to be independent and self-fulilled productive adults. We want them to have ways to support themselves through all life has to offer…the good and the bad.” Working with her kids, Morgan is careful not to be too serious. They are great at being busy and moving, so they spend time on the Yoga Wall, with fun but challenging poses that after a little while has them ready to rest or take a nap. She sees irst-hand how much more relaxed they are through the remainder of the day, and she hopes their practice is something they can take with them for the rest of their lives. Her father was and continues to be her inspiration. But her love for her community inspires her to create healthy and positive things to do. Through her studio and through her practice, she has met amazing people who have added to her life, and she hopes she’s done the same for them. The future is alive with possibility, breathing deeply, and allowing her to continuously evolve and come into full bloom right where she is planted.


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a bi-monthly publication, contact Tammy, Malinda or Diane at the Great Bend Tribune 620-792-1211 or 800-950-8742 GREAT BEND



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Clara Barton Hospital 250 W 9th, Hoisington, KS 67544

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With a tradition of personalized care, RXUKLJKO\TXDOL¿HGSURYLGHUVFDUH for the health of our community, our neighbors, and our friends.

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Inspire Health May - June 2016  

May - June Inspire Health 2016. Inspire Health Great Bend magazine encourages women everywhere to embrace natural living as the key to true...

Inspire Health May - June 2016  

May - June Inspire Health 2016. Inspire Health Great Bend magazine encourages women everywhere to embrace natural living as the key to true...