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Mar 03rd
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Mind & Body

Yoga for Depression

Yoga for Depression

 NAVIGATING YOGA > Balancing the mind, body and emotions with yoga

We now know that yoga can be handy as a sleeping aid, especially when that insomnia is due to stress. But did you know that yoga can also help cope with depression? It’s true—while yoga may not be your cure your blues, it should certainly be taken seriously as a mood booster.

As you probably know, exercise sends natural signals up to your brain that can trigger happiness. The technical term for this is called endorphins. Endorphins are your happy hormones, which are increased with any amount of physical activity. Whether that activity is a jog through the woods or dip in your local pool, being active makes the world seem a little brighter. Knowing this, it’s safe to say that yoga by its very nature as a physical activity can combat depression. Some postures are especially good for opening the heart, relieving insomnia and anxiety, and alleviating external distractions. Here are six postures that I think are particularly beneficial.

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CultureBeat

The Temple Master

The Temple Master

David Best brings it back with this year’s The Temple of Juno

Have you ever wondered what it’s like as an artist—especially one who creates enormous sculptures and architectural feats, as does David Best, the man behind many of Burning Man’s temples—to see your masterpieces burnt into oblivion? “It’s kind of like those jokes—I built this temple and all I got is this lousy T-shirt,” jokes Best. But although the half dozen temples he has built for Black Rock City have all, inevitably, turned to ash, he actually says he would have it no other way. “The memory of those will last longer than a piece of art,” he says.

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CultureBeat

Playa Style

Playa Style

Geoffrey Nelson on the art of Burning Man costuming

Geoffrey Nelson’s artist loft at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz is brimming with eye-catching Burning Man costumes. Mannequins in elaborate getups stand around in the bright, open space, hinting at the troves of funky clothes hiding in the home’s many closets (including the kitchen pantry) that are stuffed with Black Rock City digs.

Nelson shares his clothing creativity with fellow Burners—veterans and “newbies,” alike—in annual costume workshops.

He wasn’t born a costume aficionado, however. “My first time, I thought wearing a hair clip was really radical,” he laughs. “I walked around with this hair clip on top of my head.” But after 12 years of going to Burning Man, Nelson has his playa style down: like his theme camp, Mo’s Mini Martinis and Erotica, it draws heavily on a Bedouin aesthetic, which harkens back to childhood years he spent living in Morocco and is fitting for the festival’s desert environment.

While his daytime outfits capture a mellow Arabic influence, his nighttime getups are big, bold and colorful. He has an impressive collection of marching band uniforms, as well as traditional Masonic garb. “The Masons are getting rid of all of their traditional, ritual clothes, so I buy them on eBay for around $20,” he explains. He enlivens these already striking outfits with “EL” wire (a long-lasting, durable wire that glows brightly) to make it pop in the desert darkness.

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CultureBeat

Around Town Photos

Around Town Photos

In this week's installment of Around Town, GT's photography intern Sal Ingram captured the action at the 38th annual Santa Cruz Pride parade and festival and the fourth annual Santa Cruz Beach Soccer Championships on Sunday, June 3.

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The Ticker

Local Org Wins $100,000

Local Org Wins $100,000

SANTA CRUZ > Nonprofit aims to unleash potential from the inside out

Ami Chen Mills-Naim’s approach to individuals seems well suited to Santa Cruz.  As co-founder and education director for the Center for Sustainable Change (CSC), Chen Mills-Naim drew on philosopher Sydney Banks’ studies to design a very “human,” yet rare, approach to access the universal “core of peace” found in all people, and to improve communities from the “inside-out.” The center’s mission was recently bolstered by a $100,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation, which they have used to help open a new location, and to continue spreading their services nationally.

Chen Mills-Naim’s goal is to help individuals with psychosocial distress to realize their own inner strength and capabilities as a method of finding relief—a drive that began for her via personal experience. As a young journalist in the ’90s, Chen Mills-Naim was intrigued by new medical discoveries that claimed they had “found the answer” to psychological issues exhibited in individuals. The answers to these “problems,” according to big national magazines, were prescription pills.  

The CSC offers more holistic, natural alternatives that that focus on healing the harmful views that people hold of their own selves, and how those translate into their daily lives.   The center, as explained in detail on their website, offers a range of services including one-on-one intensive consulting, leadership retreats, research projects, and couples’ and family consulting. All of center’s actions employ Dr. Banks’ three principles, which boil down to the idea that through showing individuals how to view themselves from a better perspective, they are able to live a more peaceful and rewarding life.

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The Ticker

Insider Insights

Insider Insights

SLUG REPORT > Daniel Sheehan wraps up UCSC lecture series

Drawing on a lifetime of “progressive litigation,” Harvard-trained civil rights attorney Daniel P. Sheehan concluded his four-part public lecture series on Thursday, May 31. For those who missed it, the series is slated to run online beginning this fall. If you’ve ever wished you had an insider’s perspective on Iran-Contra, this isn’t a series to pass up.

A veteran of legislation in cases ranging from the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate scandal to the Iran Contra Affair and the Greensboro massacre, Sheehan has been offered his insights on government covert action via a class at UC Santa Cruz that ran during the 2012 spring quarter.

Sheehan was the first to challenge the Reagan-Bush administration’s illegal and covert sale of weaponry to Iran to fund the Contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

“The case is actually a chronological story of the ’60s,” says Sheehan. “It’s an attempt to shine a light on a lot of the issues of that generation—it goes from 1968 to Iran-Contra [1986].”

An animated speaker, Sheehan makes even the finer points of federal legislation evocative and thought provoking.

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The Ticker

New Center Makes a Splash

New Center Makes a Splash

SANTA CRUZ > Sanctuary Exploration Center lights up with art

A one-ton whale tale and an enormous arctic glass mural are the latest sculptural additions to Santa Cruz’s coast.  

The new Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center at 35 Pacific Ave. unveiled its two featured public art pieces on the evening of Tuesday, May 29. In anticipation of its grand opening in July, the center invited contributors and locals alike to a lighting ceremony in honor of the construction of the center, which will aim to provide an outlet for learning and discovering more about our waters and coast.

The event invited the artists of the two pieces to speak about the processes involved in constructing the center’s main works. “Fluke,” a life-sized whale tail cast from bronze, sits near the main entrance to the center, inviting visitors to touch and experience the piece firsthand. “The texture of the [whale] itself is really intriguing,” explain artists Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable of Wowhaus studio. “How it will change over time with weather and with use is intended ... [it] is something really exciting to see. This has truly been our favorite public project to date.”

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The Ticker

I Can Too!

I Can Too!

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY > New autism center opens in Aptos

Although nearly one in 88 children are being diagnosed with Autism, quality services aren’t necessarily becoming easier to find.  

The I Can Too! Learning Center, a division of Trumpet Behavioral Health (TBH) in Aptos hopes to address this locally. The center is wrapping up construction, and, upon its opening early this month, will begin work to provide Santa Cruz County with a group of professionals who can teach and care for families with Autistic children starting early on in their development. According to Camille Summers-Godfrey, Santa Cruz head teacher for TBH, providing intervention and educational services at a young age for children with developmental delays is imperative to progress and can lessen the need for greater assistance later in life.

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Mind & Body

Self Defense Tips

Self Defense Tips

Local jui jitsu instructor gives his top self defense tips

Seated behind the desk of his East Cliff Drive dojo, jui jitsu instructor Claudio Franca explains that it is not always possible to protect oneself or prevent an attack.

“Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have a choice,” he says in a thick Brazilian accent. “Twelve o’clock, Downtown Santa Cruz … sometimes you can’t [prevent an attack],” he adds, referencing the May 7 fatal stabbing of downtown business owner Shannon Collins that still has the community reeling.

In some circumstances, however, Franca assures that self-defense training can be helpful. “The idea is avoiding the confrontation,” he says. “Move away, call another person.”

Franca, who originates from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been teaching the martial art for 25 years. He also teaches two women’s self defense classes a week at the Santa Cruz location and one a week at his Watsonville studio.

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The Ticker

Signatures Delivered

Signatures Delivered

SANTA CRUZ > Coalition delivers 8,800 signatures in an effort to place desal amendment on November ballot

The Right To Vote On Desal coalition rallied in front of Santa Cruz City Hall on Tuesday, May 29, at 12:45 p.m. to deliver 8,800 signatures to city officials for processing.

The signatures were gathered in order to add a Charter Amendment to the November ballot that would guarantee the Santa Cruz community the right to make the final decision on the construction of a controversial desalination plant.

Since mid-February, volunteers have been gathering signatures from city voters in an attempt to hit the 5,400-in-180 days requirement to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. At 8,800 in 120 days, they have far exceeded requirements.

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Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
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