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Nov 27th
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Mind & Body

Wellness - 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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Wellness - 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.

Wellness - 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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Wellness - 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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Wellness - 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.

Wellness - 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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Wellness - Mind & Body

TWENTY TEN

TWENTY TENIn this so far interesting year, I see change and so many people consciously flowing with it … .  It’s a great time to be a yogi, as we all deal with changes.  Breathe … Keep calm.

When the Vet’s Hall closed in January, the yoga world scattered and teachers booked classes all over town.  It was a slight inconvenience but I made it to a lot of classes and discovered some studios I hadn’t known.  Out of this inconvenience a new studio, yet unnamed, has been born.  Just off Ocean Street, on 215 Washburn, Gina Marinelli has reborn her garage into a yoga studio, primarily to house Michael McEvoy’s generally loyal students. The floor is soft bamboo. Hooks with ropes line the side of the studio for stretching that feels like heaven, usually. There is no website yet, but you can check out Michael’s (www.pranichathayoga.com) for his schedule. Others may rent the space for yoga or other creative endeavors.

Wellness - Mind & Body

Get Running

Get Running

If someone had told me two years ago that I would become a runner, I would have told them they were crazy. I did not grow up in a fitness-focused family. My dad and my brother were sports boys, playing baseball and soccer. But I did not have a female fitness role model. My mom's workout routine consisted of jumping on a trampoline to bad ’80s music. This is what I learned in my childhood years: To lose weight, you diet.

As I got older, I tried for years to "become" a runner. I remember being 12 years old, "running" at my grandmother's beach condo in Monterey during my summer vacation. I think I made it a mile and crashed. Although I was an active dancer, there is a cardiovascular difference between dance class and running a mile. I could feel it in my bones, my muscles, my lungs—and I quit before even trying. I repeated the "try and fail" technique for the next 15 years, going full force and then burning out.

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Wellness - Mind & Body

Redwood Route to Yoga

Redwood Route to Yoga

Driving through pounding rain, slipping on the winding shoulders of rte 9, lost in Greg’s dreamy music, I am part of the world, at one with the trees and the rain and the notes. This ride is how I prepare for my Tuesday, 8:00am class with Kris D’Amico, who teaches a solid and energetic vinyassa flow at Village Yoga, on Front Street.  I need to feel this solid movement.   Don’t come if you don’t like heat.  The Bikram room is normally heated to about 100˚, although the temperature is not jacked up as high for this class.  The movement was welcome, considering the long holds I have recently been practicing.  The sweating and the twists, the balance and the rest, the focus and the alignment.  A necessary change for today, as I am needing to shake it.


Kris also teaches a class at 6:00am on Mondays, and 7:45pm on Thursdays. www.bikramyogasantacruz.com

Wellness - Mind & Body

The Doctor is In (bed), part 2: Dr. Rachel Recovers from Surgery

The Doctor is In (bed), part 2:  Dr. Rachel Recovers from Surgery

Well, here I am, a month to the day, fully healed and not even thinking about my absent tonsils (and I did NOT get a sore throat and tonsillitis with a recent cold!).  Overall, I did much better than the average patient, pretty well fully functional by 12 days following surgery and no complications.  I think that the prayers, herbs, craniosacral treatment, nutritional IV’s, and acupucture all helped—at least as much as the love of the people providing them.  And I have to give a grateful nod to Western medicine, for as much as I loved all the holistic approaches, nothing came close to the passion I felt for my bottle of liquid Vicodin in that first week.

I was promised, by the good Dr. Lane, that this surgery would hurt.  A lot.  And she never lies.  I started out gagging down the disgusting, yellow, sickly sweet liquid Vicodin and, honestly, by the end, I looked forward to its pineapple-like flavor.  Amazing what the imagination can do.  I have a whole new appreciation for the difficulty of living with chronic pain and a new sympathy for the longing of addicts for their substance of choice.  After 10 days, I graduated myself to Tylenol and poured my lovely Vicodin down the drain.

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