Yoga for Digestion

By Michelle Naklowycz


The holidays are a definitely a time of indulgence and it’s easy to feel bloated as we are often eating or snacking more and more often during the day.  On top of this visiting family and travel can be stressful. Even the most dedicated of yogis have a hard time staying balanced since most of us end up out of our daily and weekly routine that provides discipline in our regular lives.

Here are some of my top yoga poses that will help to alleviate bloating and soothe and rebalance your digestion.

Child’s Pose
This restorative pose is not only good for the belly and digestive system since the thighs in the belly provide apana vayu (downward expelling energy), but it also offers a few brief moments of calm, introverted energy at a time in life where we get so scattered. This shift in our nervous system restores parasympathetic tone in the nervous system that is hugely beneficial to a stressed out digestive system.

Happy Baby
Yes, it stretches the hamstrings and lower back, but in this pose really concentrate on using the diaphragm muscle at the bottom of the rib cage to create the longest inhalation you can. Let your belly go and this will allow the diaphragm to really descend deep into the viscera (belly organs).  Yogis have long known that this “inner belly” massage is invaluable to stimulate digestion and relieve bloating.

This is a great one because it is hugely calming to the nervous system and also counters the dull energy of excessive sitting during the holidays with calm, sustainable energy for your system.  When you press the sitting bones away from the hands, the whole spine gets long.  The belly organs also get inverted and are treated to more spaciousness. It truly is one of the best holiday treats.

The act of folding forward places pressure on the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion. I also love this one because it helps me not to over eat as well. When I know I will be bending forward later in this awesome standing stretch somehow it is a reminder not to consume too much.  This pose feels so good when we don’t over eat that your body will not likely fall victim to gluttony. And hey, if it does, don’t beat yourself up. Start where you are at fold, breathe and enjoy.

Supine Twist
Twists act like a tourniquet for the belly organs. The yogic theory is that when we twist to one side, the belly organs on that side experience a temporary constriction to their blood supply.  When we come out of the twist the organs get a flush of fresh, oxygenated blood. It’s like pinching a garden hose and releasing it.  In particular the ascending colon on the right and the descending colon on the left are stimulated when we twist to each side.   The yogis knew how to remove blockages not just in our hearts, but in our bellies too!

Have a happy Holiday Season!

Eoin and the Bliss Team










Posted On: November 18, 2015 | No Comments »

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By Michelle Naklowycz


Everything is connected to everything…

The longer I practice medicine the more I see that chronic stress has to be one of the major contributors to illness and disease.  Disease literally means “dis – ease”, not at ease.  Disease is a result of imbalances in our core functioning systems.  Our bodies are always trying to maintain this dynamic balance in every cell – this is called homeostasis.

Stress is the physiological response to the perception of a real or imagined threat to your body or self.  The key point here is perception.  An external event is not necessarily inherently stressful – it is how we interpret the signals and how it is processed in our mind and translated into our body.  The threat could be real (biking accident) but it could be imagined (an assumption that someone was mad at us).  In either case – if we perceive the event as stressful, a cascade of patterned responses ensues.  Adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones are released from your brain and permeate every cell in your body. Every cell has receptors for these powerful chemical messengers (hormones).  When you “feel” stressed, your cells feel this stress.  When you feel joy, your cells feel joy so to speak.  The stress response activates the sympathetic response (flight or fright) of the autonomic nervous system causing your heart rate, blood pressure to go up, blood more sticky, increases your blood sugar levels to prepare you for emergency action. This is the right response if there is an acute stressful event that requires you to take action (run away from the saber tooth tiger).  However, if we are chronically stressed, this adaptive stress response becomes maladaptive and it causes all kinds of problems on the body.  Stress has been identified as a major contributor of many chronic diseases – heart disease, high blood dress, thyroid dysfunction, mood disorders etc.

Prolonged stress causes chronic activation of this stress response and at some point – your systems begin to get depleted.  The whole neuro-endocrine axis (hypothalamic, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, gonads) can go out of balance -dysregulated.  Higher levels of cortisol signal your metabolism to be in an emergency mode and reduces your ability to burn fat, suppresses immune system in the long term, can cause leaky gut – which in turn can over activate immune system potentially leading to allergies, auto-immunity, causes sex hormone, thyroid imbalances as well as depression and anxiety.

This is why it is vitally important that we become aware and mindful of how stress is affecting us.  You can have the perfect diet, workout everyday but without addressing how you deal with stress, much of the other good stuff can get cancelled out.

We are an incredibly complex and resilient organism.  It never ceases to amaze me, how much stress, trauma and illness the body can handle, heal and triumph from.  We need to pay attention to what our body is saying to us.  The body communicates to us through symptoms.  What is our body trying to say to us?  It is telling us to slow down, to quit that job that we know we should have done long ago but can’t quite make ourselves do it.  The body will say “No’  – if we can’t say “No.  Every symptom or illness should prompt an inquiry and reflection upon what is going on in our lives.

We are learning more and more that our choices we make each and every day contribute to our overall resilience to stress, dysfunction and illness.  Nourishing our bodies with nutrient dense, whole foods provide us with all the co-factors and molecules to ensure our systems are running well and have extra capacity.  Keeping our bodies strong, flexible, supple ensures that energy is flowing freely through our systems and stress is not getting trapped.  Ensuring consistent, restorative sleep is vital.  Learning how to breath – deeply and slowly have profound effects on our stress response.  Do Yoga!

Understand our thinking patterns and begin to be aware of how we often make erroneous assumptions about situations and how this causes us stress.


Once we become more conscious and mindful about our perception and responses, we can then begin to re-pattern and re-wire how we respond.

Resilience is about having extra functional capacity so that we can handle increased stress without losing function.  We can all live healthy, happier lives once we begin to understand and shift how we perceive and respond to stress

In Health,

Dr. Lawrence Cheng



Please join Dr Lawrence and Eoin Finn at Yoga and Mind Body Medicine, November 4-9th in Santa Cruz California. Explore the Chakras and how this maps with the Endocrine System. Each one of the Chakras maps almost exactly with part of our glandular system.  Understanding the functions at this level will help practitioners find deeper balance within Mind and Body. We will share tools from our Blissology toolbox about how to embody peace in all these areas. The healing effects will be profound.

For more information and to register please go here!


Screen shot 2015-10-13 at 12.01.17 PMFree Adrenal Class- Blissology Talks
If you interested in a free half hour class on the adrenal system- then check out this Google Hang Out Interview with Dr. Lawrence. The live broadcast will be on October 8th at 9:30 pm. You can check out the full interview anytime after that. Go here to join this Hang Out!

Posted On: October 2, 2015 | No Comments »

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Teacher Feature – Leanne Hembrow

By Michelle Naklowycz



Fire only burns as bright as there are flames to continue keeping it alive. Our Blissology Yoga Teacher’s Collective is burning bright and we are so excited to share the first of our Bliss Blogs on some of the amazing spirits and shining lights who are continuing to speak, connect and inspire their Bliss. Thank you Shelly Prosko for sharing your light here.

ps. Watch this space for more inspiring Blissology Teacher Features.  OM + aloha.

Where in the world can we find you? I am fortunate to live & cruise the Pacific on board our Catamaran “Song Lines” You can find me on the Australian coastline, offering my Yoga Classes ashore in various anchorages from Little Ships Club Stradbroke Island Qld to Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club NSW. I sail from Australian shores to beautiful Fiji for Sun Surf & Yoga ashore at Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina

October you will find me in New Caledonia
November: Australia Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club
December – May NSW-Queensland Australia Anchorages

What studio do you teach at? My studio is always in Nature : Find me on a Island or Anchorage  I share my practice at Musket Cove Resort Island Resort & Marina ~FIJI

Time & Location  : Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina, Fiji Facebook Page / VHF Radio channel 68 @7am in Fiji  or VHF Radio channel16

Screen shot 2015-09-11 at 2.25.58 PM

Nanuya Island Resort ~ Blue Lagoon ~ Yasawa Islands

Cloud9 ~ Fiji, located in the amazing Ro Ro Reef it is a boat ride to this special location and a shared practice will be held prior to daily operation 8:30am – 10am.

When weather permits times will be posted on my Facebook Page.

Newcastle NSW Australia : Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club

What is your life mission? “My Life’s Mission” is – “Learn, Grow & Smile” meaning ”Learn everything this wonderful world has to offer, Grow from these experiences and Smile/Embrace/Share the lessons/Rewards/knowledge learnt” Travelling the world, immersing in different communities, taking the time to listen & learn, you obtain tools/knowledge to help self & others.

What are 3 projects that you are up to?

  • Building a yoga community within Sailing/Cruising Clubs
  • Supporting my husband create a new International Down Under Rally New Caledonia to Australia
  • A personal goal to STAND & ride my SUP or surfboard on Fiji surf breaks before I am 50 (1 year to go) still dropping to my knees when I see reef below Ahhh!

What does Blissology mean to you? Blissology means to me “An Outlet for Love” Immense gratitude for Life, Nature and Communities. Eoin is our “Conduit” we harness to his connection and allow his teachings to flow through us and spread it out into our communities.

What are 2 of your favourite songs for Yoga? Silence ~ (Sanctuary Mix, featuring Sarah McLachlan) Delerium. If this is playing in Kaptasana I often see my husband tapping his fingers makes me smile. “Forgotten Temple” Savasana it reminds me of Bali, and my teacher training, it’s calming and it helps me instil this in my closing practice.

What books are you reading? I am often picking up Anatomy of Movement & constantly reading Yoga literature online.
Awakening the Spine ~ Vanda Scaravelli
I am always a sucker for a romance novel, Nora Roberts novels, my favourite presently, sometimes I just need to check out & shut off my brain!

Why do you Yoga? I love the feeling of “Lightness” both physically & mentally – this is what Yoga gives me.

How do you share Blissology with your community? When your still place inside is filled regularly with moments of awe, I wake to the ever changing lagoon or ocean, surrounding landscapes that take my breath away, this creates peace in my life, it is easy to radiated this into my relationship and cruising community. So Grateful I share my life & love of yoga with my partner John. My sailing/cruising community travel the globe & we help support each other daily, I give back through my yoga teachings, love sharing my Blissology Inspired Yoga with them.

You can contact me at ,  or personally I am on Twitter, Facebook regularly and have a Pinterest page.









Posted On: September 15, 2015 | No Comments »

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Teacher Feature – Shelly Prosko

By Michelle Naklowycz



Fire only burns as bright as there are flames to continue keeping it alive. Our Blissology Yoga Teacher’s Collective is burning bright and we are so excited to share the first of our Bliss Blogs on some of the amazing spirits and shining lights who are continuing to speak, connect and inspire their Bliss. Thank you Shelly Prosko for sharing your light here.

                                               ps. Watch this space for more inspiring Blissology Teacher Features.  OM + aloha.


Where in the world can we find you? I currently tour primarily across North America offering specialty PhysioYoga workshops and trainings, speaking and presenting at medical conferences, yoga festivals and teaching medical therapeutic yoga at universities. You can also visit my website at

I also can be found assisting and teaching at Blissology YTT’s.

My home base is Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada. I spend much of my time in Western Canada offering individual Physical Therapy/Yoga Therapy (PhysioYoga) treatments in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.  My schedule and calendar of events (including my workshop & conference/festival schedule and Blissology schedule)  can be found HERE  and


What studio do you teach at?  As previously stated, my tour schedule and calendar of events is HERE. When I am at my home base in central Alberta, Canada, I teach yoga classes at Studio Upstairs Yoga + Wellness in Sylvan Lake, AB.


What is your life mission? “To promote CONNECTION to self, others, and our environment through truth, love, wisdom and JOY!”


What are 3 projects that you are up to? Prosko Shelly smiling crow

1. “Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga” videos have just been released this spring 2015. This DVD has been a project I’ve been working on with Neil Pearson of (another physical therapist & yoga therapist) for the past year. It includes 7 different practices involving different themes and includes meditations, mantras, mudras, visualizations, breathing methods and physical movement practices suitable for all levels and unique to people suffering from persistent or chronic pain. It is also appropriate for anyone looking for a gentle yoga practice.  More details about the practices are HERE

I am also working on my first “PhysioYoga for Pelvic Health” DVD to be released in early 2016.

2.  Plans to collaborate with E oin Finn and Blissology Training in bringing therapeutic yoga specialty topics , such as Pelvic Health & Life is Now Pain Care Yoga , as part of the specialty modules in Yoga & Mind-Body Medicine.

3. I am currently working on bringing Ginger Garner’s  Professional Yoga Therapy Studies for Health Care Professionals to the first Canadian University (University of Saskatchewan) as part of continuing education programming for health care professionals at the College of Medicine, School of Physical Therapy in 2016.

It is the only Medical Therapeutic Yoga Program in the world that is exclusively for health care professionals.


What does Blissology mean to you? Blissology, to me, is the art and science of Connection. Connecting to my ‘true self’ or to that ‘space’ within in me that is the same space in my loved ones, community and surrounding nature.  Ultimately it is an honest expression of living love healthy and allowing our natural JOY BODY to emerge!


What are 2 of your favorite songs for yoga? Silence & sounds of nature: birds, ocean waves & breath.


What books are you reading? “Ask & It is Given”, “Untethered Soul”,


Prosko Shelly PhotoWhy do you yoga?  To help me live and carry out my life purpose or dharma to my highest potential. Yoga helps me live in the present and connect with that space inside that is love, truth, self, source (or whatever you want to label that feeling as) and therefore feel the connection with the world around me so that ultimately I feel & share love, joy, health and truth.

I’d like to also share “My Yoga Journey” that explains why I first started practicing, and how the reason has evolved over the years.


How do you share Blissology with your community? I connect as authentically as I can with my community and continually practice being fully present & loving with any interaction I have, whether it be while teaching a blissology inspired yoga class, guiding a meditation practice, educating about food awareness, working with a client one on one helping them optimize their health or recover from an injury or imbalance, interacting with the sales clerk at the grocery or bank teller, or offering one of my workshops or being a guest speaker at an event where I discuss the true meaning of health and wellness and how yoga, meditation, nature appreciation, bringing more joy into your life, gratitude and nourishment are all essential parts of living a healthy lifestyle.

With the work that I do in the community and abroad, I passionately share the message of what overall health and well being really means: addressing all of our koshas: physically (includes food high on Pranameter!), mentally, emotionally, energetically & spiritually; sharing the many ways that people can incorporate nourishing these layers in their lifestyle.

Gratitude, Nature Appreciation, Hammock Enlightenment, Dancing, Hugging and encouraging and promoting more Joy Body in our lives are all a part of my offerings whether it is during work related activities or in social settings.

Blissology Living is always a part of my message, no matter where I go, what I’m doing, or who I’m with.

Posted On: June 17, 2015 | No Comments »

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World Ocean Day 2015

By Michelle Naklowycz



Here’s two small things you can do to help the ocean:

Number one: Download one of these apps and use it to make sure all your fish purchases are sustainable.  Fish is seen as a healthy alternative to meat which may be true but we have overfished up to 90% of our top feeders like tuna.


Screen shot 2015-06-09 at 12.12.40 PMMaking the right choices are easy and here are some great apps.





Number two: choose eco carwashes. Yep, everything we put into the land ends up in the oceans eventually but runoff from carwashes are a big culprit. I learned this the year I lived in L.A.  Any urban surfer will tell you that you should not surf in the water 48 hours after it rains due to high bacteria levels from all the run off. Think about what is on the streets; oil, dog poo, Screen shot 2015-06-09 at 12.17.13 PMtrash – it all ends up from our drains into the oceans. Most people don’t think about this, but surfers have plenty of stories of all the nastiness in our waters

Of course surfers being surfers are never able to pass up a wave. I did surf after the rains. The funny thing is what I noticed the most was a strange sudsy film on the water. It tasted like soap! I started to notice all the run off from carwashes and couldn’t help but think how important it is to support those that use eco-soap (low PH).  While in New Zealand this year, I learned that carwashes are required to grey water recycle.
We have a long way to go, but as you know, it’s one dollar, one vote; so let’s support the eco carwashes in your neighborhood; and know as you do this, you are supporting the health of the oceans and connecting all those myriad dots we call LIFE.

Posted On: June 9, 2015 | No Comments »

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