As a peaceful warrior, I would choose when, where and how I would behave.
With that commitment, I began to live the life of a warrior.
~Dan Millman

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who me, headstrong? How about you?

Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition.

Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.

Well after a full year or so of practicing yoga, I was a little surprised to find that the practice varies greatly depending on your choice of studio, mentor and system. So these last couple of years I have gone on an exploration out of the physical and into the mental/emotional.

I often find that the new moon days are the days that I want to get everything done. Make up for the things that didn't get done last week and get a jump start on those things coming up. A good sign that I could use some time to find the quiet within.

Following the moon cycles makes perfect sense. Many things in nature do. So taking a break, which was not always in my schedule became one of the most challenging 'poses' for me. The practice of Asthanga Yoga is quite involved and requires a discipline that can present challenges. Yoga is not just about the physical, this is only one of 8 pieces of the puzzle. Many religions talk of similar principles in their language and while I do not believe that yoga is a religion, I do find that it can support your beliefs and ground you in those foundational precepts, whatever your religion is.

Ashtanga yoga literally means "eight-limbed yoga," as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:

Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Asana [posture]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Dharana [concentration]
Dhyana [meditation]
Samadhi [contemplation]

The first four limbs—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama—are considered external cleansing practices.

"The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing" ("Ashtanga Yoga"). Synchronizing breathing and movement in the asanas heats the blood, cleaning and thinning it so that it may circulate more freely. Improved blood circulation relieves joint pain and removes toxins and disease from the internal organs. The sweat generated from the heat of vinyasa then carries the impurities out of the body. Through the use of vinyasa, the body becomes healthy, light and strong.

Tristhana refers to the union of "three places of attention or action: posture, breathing system and looking place. These three are very important for yoga practice, and cover three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. They are always performed in conjunction with each other"

Yoga is a fascinating practice and when brought along side the rough and tumble that we have created for ourselves it can be a beautiful source of restoration and revitalization. Observing the cycles of nature and closing the door to the schedule and the chaos, finding a day for renewal can bring a welcome balance into your life.

In breath and balance. ~j

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Health is a state of complete harmony of the
body, mind and spirit.
When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions,
the gates of the soul open.
~B.K.S. Iyengar

Serious statistics gang! Sit up and pay attention.

25 Fattest and fittest U.S. cities in the USA - full blurb

According to Men's Health
Top Fittest Cities

1. Salt Lake City, UT

2. Colorado Springs, CO

3. Minneapolis, MN

4. Denver, CO

5. Albuquerque, NM

6. Portland, OR

7. Honolulu, HI

8. Seattle, WA
9. Omaha, NE

10. Virginia Beach, VA

11. Milwaukee, WI

12. San Francisco, CA

13. Tucson, AZ

14. Boston, MA

15. Cleveland, OH

16. St. Louis, MO

17. Austin, TX

18. Washington, DC

19. Sacramento, CA

20. Oakland, CA

21. Atlanta, GA

22. Fresno, CA

23. Tampa, FL

24. Nashville-Davidson, TN

25. Pittsburgh, PA

Top Fattest Cities

1. Miami, FL

2. Oklahoma City, OK

3. San Antonio, TX

4. Las Vegas, NV

5. New York, NY

6. Houston, TX

7. El Paso, TX

8. Jacksonville, FL

9. Charlotte, NC

10. Louisville-Jefferson, KY

11. Memphis, TN

12. Detroit, MI

13. Chicago, IL

14. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

15. San Jose, CA

16. Tulsa, OK

17. Baltimore, MD

18. Columbus, OH

19. Raleigh, NC

20. Philadelphia, PA

21. L.A.-Long Beach, CA

22. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ

23. Indianapolis, IN
24. San Diego, CA

25. Kansas City, MO

How did your city do? Not looking too good here in sunny SD.
Whew! Are you the anomaly? Rock on! Being the example is a unique path to take, for your family and loved ones, for those who think that they can't but really can, for your circle of influence.

If not, take notice. Take a few of your own measurements. Whether it be on a scale, blood work, tape measure, body composition. Own it.

Then make a conscious choice, are you good, maybe just looking for a tweak her or there, could you use a little kick in the pants or do you need some serious guidance. Everyone will have different interests, tastes and goals. Find the ones that make you smile, give you a reason to get it done.

You should be the one, the individual, the one with the control, who is healthy and happy. Wherever you reside, keep it real, keep it simple, stay aware, take care of yourself.

If you are going to be a statistic, at least be a good one! ~j

Friday, January 23, 2009

Every cell pulsates, absorbs, reflects and interacts with the acoustic oscillations of the medium. - Guiliana Conforto
Wow! Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Diane Mandle of Sound Energy Healing. What a beautiful experience.
It is quite a challenge to explain, but begin by thinking, no electronics...this was an experience of sound and vibration using Tibetan Bowls and Gongs. It was amazing.
Diane is a certified practitioner and uses hand selected, authentic instruments. The sounds that surround you in this experience are far reaching.
I was able to relax into a place that was far from my daily life. The reasons to visit a practitioner such as Diane span the list from pain management to stress reduction and everything in between.
It is really about putting you mind in a place where you remember that you are a smaller part of something much greater and you are a greater part of those things that surround you. We aren't always just, mom, dad, spouse, worker bee, boss, athlete, friend, business associate etc. We came into this world free of labels and expectation. It is up to us to create the life that we claim as our own...whether we are aware and are living in love and service or are disconnected from divine light, living in the dark and have found our own brand of misery. Sound impacts our physical cellular structure, perspective and actions or reactions. At the core of our essence we are vibrational beings. All things around us vibrate energetically, remember E=MC2. I love the quantum thing, very cool and spectacular. When there is interference of our signals, we tend to get off the grid and a breakdown can occur, especially if we can no longer course correct. Clarity of mind, body and spirit bring us back into balance. The opportunity to recognize what this is for each one of us individually is a gift.
When you are looking for a moment of peace in this world of ''doing' it is well worth a time out for your 'being' to enjoy the beautiful sounds of these sacred sounds.
OM ~j

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Enjoy a little TUT. "Thoughts Become Things...Choose The Good Ones!" ~j

  • When in doubt, show up early.
  • Think less.
  • Feel more.
  • Ask once.
  • Give thanks often.
  • Expect the best.
  • Appreciate everything.
  • Never give up.
  • Make it fun.
  • Lead.
  • Invent.
  • Regroup.
  • Wink.
  • Chill.
  • Smile.
  • And live as if your success was inevitable, and so it shall be.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Observant And Aware

Today you may be feeling observant. As you find yourself paying close attention to your surroundings, you may feel connected and aware. You could feel that you’ve tapped into the flow of energy around you, which could give you a sense of alertness. When we realize that we are one and connected with everything around us, we may feel a surge of recognition and the joy of celebration all at once. We may notice scents that we hadn’t before, and feel the breeze with every inch of exposed skin. You may see life around you that had gone unnoticed—the birds, insects, and subtle movement of the plants—all in harmony with the sun and the air and the earth. You can carry this awareness to the people around you, whether you know them or not, and sense their energy as well. Today by consciously observing the fullness of life around you, you connect to its constant flow of energy which enlivens you.

Sometimes we get so involved in our thoughts that the world goes by us unseen and unheard. We may not pay any attention to the rhythm of life around us until the sun catches us, suddenly blinding us, or the breeze scatters our papers and blows our hair in our faces. We can take this as the universe bringing us back to the present and the reality of life. Today your observance reminds you that you are part of a wide world and not alone, but connected.

Eyes and heart open! ~j

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Emerald Apple Sauce

Parsley Parsley contains three times as much vitamin C as oranges, twice as much iron as spinach, is rich in vitamin A and contains folate, potassium and calcium. What’s more, parsley is also recognized for its cancer-fighting potential.


Blend well the following ingredients in the blender.
  • ½ bunch (or one cup) parsley (start with less if you are a little nervous, taste, adjust)
  • Two large apples of your choice
Yields 2 cups
Honestly gang, it is this simple :-) It looks a little strange at first but it is fantastic. I love to use mint also, not nearly as much though.

Check out the The Best Green Smoothie Ever...many of you who know me know that I am a stickler for the simplicity of the green smoothie, Serge explains it very well. I promise, it is not rocket science and doesn't have to be. So, save all the starches and mondo combos for another time. Relax and get your favorite glass.

Cheers to life! Here's to every little cell that makes it possible. ~j

It is the divine vitality that everywhere produces and restores life.
To each and every one of us, it gives the power of working miracles if we will.
~LM Child

I just love this...can you see it? Can you touch it? It's right there. You have to take a quiet moment and know. Quiet the mind so that you can hear above the chatter. See above the chaos that we live in constantly.

A friend of mine challenged me last year at this time to the 20/20/20...and yes, it was a challenge. Far greater than any physical training or logical thinking.

Here is how it works:

Take the time every day, preferably upon waking...
  • 20 minutes of yoga, flow or stretching -to get your circulation and energy flowing
  • 20 minutes of meditation or manta (repeating a prayer over and over or phrase or whatever is part of your spiritual practice) - to let the mind be free of the 10,000 things that it will think of for the rest of the day
  • 20 minutes of journaling - to open the channel for communication with...your higher self, God, your source, avatar etc. mainly, being aware.
Okay, so that's it...somedays it is 10/10/10 or some variation of that, but WOW. Take the challenge, 30 days. What have you got to lose?? In Om ~ j

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Going Deep
Self-Examination at Depth

There are times when life urges us to seek more. Small changes to our comfort zone may fail to alleviate any sense of stagnancy or frustration, and we may need to examine our lives and ourselves more deeply to find the right place to start. Everything we need for success and joy lies within. But so often, life’s debris accumulates, building layers around our core that makes it difficult to access the truth that resides within. To reach the depth we wish to access, we must dive below these layers to the deepest parts of ourselves.

The first layer can be found in our minds. Our to-do lists and busy work are usually less important than we think, so we must look past them to examine the thoughts that matter most to us. The next layer can be found in our hearts, where past hurts and disappointments can sometimes cover up our vulnerabilities, as well as the truth of who and what really stirs the love within us. We can choose to go even deeper – to our center. If we can go beyond anything has affected us to the point that it blocks us at the gut level, we can reconnect with our power, our raw instincts, our organic yeses. Here, at the core, lies our truth. Our core is our foundation that supports us and what we’d like to build our authentic life upon.

When we examine ourselves to these depths, we are able to find what we wish to bring to the surface and what we wish to let go. When we remember what lies beneath our layers, we can look at what was floating on the surface, causing blocks and pains, and understand the purpose that they served. Oftentimes, it is the built up debris that causes us to go deeper, so we can search for the truth. Go deep, live life from your truth within, and watch your innate beauty manifest outward.

To living life! ~j

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE exercise...just be aware that if you are working hard physically, take care to improve your eating habits too. You will find great rewards with this marriage :-)~j

Five Actions

"Panchakarma," a sanskrit word meaning "five actions," describes a series of gentle, natural therapies that boost the body’s ability to detoxify and rejuvenate। As an essential part of Ayurveda, India’s ancient holistic system of medicine, it is used to maintain the body’s balance to prevent illness or as the first step in holistic treatment. Panchakarma’s incredible purification improves healing throughout the body, mind, and spirit, clearing the way for the body’s healing intelligence to flow freely.

Today, an oil massage, steam baths, and a special diet prepare your body for several days of relaxing, healing therapies at a spa-like medical clinic। A precise sequence of soothing treatments is then applied in such a way that brainwaves are stimulated and synchronized, creating deep relaxation and an expanded state of consciousness। At the same time, herbal therapies help flush toxins from the body’s systems and tissues while massage soothes the body and balances its energy. Profoundly rejuvenating, Panchakarma can increase energy and mental clarity. It has even been known to slow the aging process and heal diseases previously thought to be incurable according to Western medicine.

Depending on the needs of the particular individual, a series of five basic therapies are used: Vaman purges toxins from the sinuses, lungs, and stomach; Virechan flushes toxins from the small intestine; Vasti removes toxins from the colon; Nasyam is herbal therapy applied through the nose for head and sinus conditions. The fifth therapy can be one of three methods: Rakta Moksham removes the excess toxins in the bloodstream, while Shiro Dhara uses a hot-oil head massage. A second form of Vasti can also be applied. Along with a relief of symptoms and improvements in physical disorders, many people, after experiencing Panchakarma, feel lighter, more energized, and look younger. The body’s ability to heal itself is deeply enhanced with the techniques of Panchakarma. By embracing its methods, we eliminate obstacles to complete balance in our bodies and allow the powerful flow of our healing energy to restore our health, our natural glow, and our zest for life.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

You see things and say 'why?', but I dream things that never were and I say 'why not?'
- George Bernard Shaw