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Aug 30th
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Mind & Body

Blogs - Mind & Body

Love Handles

Love Handles

Reader’s Request: I have a little jiggle around the middle. Can you suggest some exercises that I could do to tone up my abs?

Ah, yes, the love handles. I think most people feel as though they could tighten and tone that area. And as we gain weight around our middle, our rate for type 2 diabetes and other weight-onset diseases increase. It’s important to work on this area for our health reasons alone, not including the “muffin-top” that can pop up over our jeans.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Did you miss the Bash?

Did you miss the Bash?If you missed the opening at StudioSC, 1010 Fair Street, last Friday, you’ll want to be sure to keep your ears open for the next one.  It was part of the successful “First Friday Series,” Santa Cruz’s homegrown art crawl.  1010 Fair is a ways from the downtown scene, but with a modern edgy space, photography of five local photographers, each with their individual posse, the chemistry was right, and the people found their way.  DJ Fox mixed a sonic backdrop of funky down-tempo grooves. Good fashion, food, and drinks. 
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Blogs - Mind & Body

Palace Notes/Landlords

Palace Notes/Landlords

The woodpeckers are the true owners of this property and structure, and they make this fact clear on a daily basis.  I try to respect them as my landlords, for they are clearly the lords of my land.  This colony flies between three trees, one a totem that I created, as the tree was dead and needed to come down.  My reasoning for this was strictly practical as these fiends peck on my wooden palace.  They seem to mistake my home for a tree, boring holes to stuff with acorns from the many oaks that populate this property.  After re-installing two sides of the house, stapling ribbons to the exterior, and listening to the jolt of the maddening pecks on the house, I am giving in and giving this land and house back to them.  They win, as I begin to think about packing and as I cleave to nature, practicing non-harming in the Buddhist tradition.

Blogs - Mind & Body

Battle of the Bulge

Battle of the Bulge

Thoughts on preventing weight gain
When I was a teen, I could have eaten anything and not gained weight. I loved food. I could eat seven to eight pieces of pizza in just one sitting (I read that now and feel sick to my stomach). But 15 years ago, food + me = best friends. This is usually how it is for most teens. But once I hit about 21, my metabolism shifted. I couldn't just eat anything I wanted anymore. I was less active than in my teens, so I wasn't burning the calories. And slowly but surely, I gained 10 pounds. I wasn't upset by those 10 pounds—they were just there. But after I got married and realizing I had sub-par cooking skills, the pounds continued to pack on. I was one year into marriage and 10 pounds heavier.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Who Are These People?

Who Are These People?

I look around at Village Yoga and see fewer familiar faces, proportionately, as the room fills with new ones.  I guess yoga is catching on.  Most studios I frequent are filled, and I have many theories why this may be happening … Mostly I think that people have more time, with less work ... and are opting to “exercise,” with the added feature of an emerging connection to the self, or Self. Yoga is a meditation and through this meditation a connection emerges.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Morning in the Soul’s Night

Morning in the Soul’s Night

That line from David Foster Wallace hits me, especially as I rise at my preferred time of 5:00AM for meditation with the intent of feeling my spirit and essence before all others rise.  There generally seems to be a truth to my thoughts at this time.  The habit began when my children were small and I just needed some silence for thinking and planning before jumping into my day.

What is the soul?  As I child, I had an image of the soul as a wrapped heart with wings, flying in the sky.  Trying to capture this flying heart has been my task, in this lifetime. What is meditation?  After a bit of research and lots of experience, I have come up with my own definition. Meditation is sitting still and trying calm the race of the brain. I search for that wise truthful part of me … the one who knows the real answers to the questions.  With the calmness comes the truth of that flying heart that I capture for a few moments. I emerge with a base of strength and might, and leap into the day.

Blogs - Mind & Body

Sneezing your Way into Spring

Sneezing your Way into Spring

Winter rain and snow is welcome during a drought, and this year, it also has contributed to an explosion of wildflowers and tree blooms—wonderful to look at, but a little hard on the pollen-sensitive.  If you are welcoming the spring colors through itchy eyes and a runny nose, this article is for you.

The number of people with allergies is on the rise in Western Countries, perhaps, believe it or not, because we are “too clean”.  In fact, studies have shown that children exposed to dogs, cats and other animals when they are young are less likely to become allergic to them than children who are not exposed.  Coming into contact with normal bacteria, animals, and dirt—the traditional exposures that all humans in agrarian societies have had, actually helps our immune systems to develop in a balanced way.  Living in an “anti-bacterial” society may cause the immune system to be “over-zealous” against non-threatening exposures, such as animals, pollen, dust mites, or mold.  What’s the take-home message here?  Avoid anti-bacterial soaps and hand gels—regular soap works just well to clean one’s hands.  And don’t worry too much about your children rolling around with the dog and eating dirt.

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Blogs - Mind & Body

Taking control of the 90 percent

Taking control of the 90 percent “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” —Albert Einstein
I think the human race likes to find formulas. A+B=C and we end up doing the same thing over and over—even when the formula does not work anymore. A dear friend of mine was talking about how his weight loss has stalled. He is a vegetarian, eats especially well and has been doing P90X, the exercise DVD phenomenon, daily. He shared that running is his form of cardio, so he tends to run faster to finish his workout quicker. This has been his exercise routine for years: start running again, lose weight, stop running, gain weight. Repeat.
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Blogs - Mind & Body

THE NEW YEAR/KS

THE NEW YEAR/KS

Surrounded by air and birds and pecks and cockle-dos, I am bursting green as the new energy thrusts itself and there is no return to the dormant days of winter.  “You can feel it in the air,” they say.

My favorite day of the year is the day the clocks change and the promise of light overcoming darkness is real.  I pay little attention to that dark January day marking the end of plastic holiday frenzy. I prefer, karmastyle, to mark the New Year on that surprising Sunday, off kilter from the start with a new time and fresh light.  Such a sudden change, it seems … a reminder of the power of light to change our earth … and us.

For 2010 the official Karmastyle New Year’s Day was March 14th and I am emerging in this new light of my home.

Blogs - Mind & Body

Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

Dealing with Sleep DeprivationBleary-eyed at four in the morning, I woke up to the sound of a little boy, crying in his sleep. I stumbled out of my bed, fumbling for my bathrobe. On my way to his bedroom, I ran into multiple doorjambs, trying to be awake enough to care for him, but not too awake that I was up for the rest of the day. I nursed him back to sleep, put him in his crib and climbed into my bed for a few more hours of shut-eye. For months, my son woke up two, three, four, five times a night. Now, at a year old, he is still waking up once a night. Isn’t it funny that after a year of waking up multiple times in a night, that one wake up seems like heaven? I finally feel somewhat rested from what was an exhausting year. I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, he will sleep through the night before he turns 12.
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