Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've been lagging on my blog posts. I've actually been doing a new round of research- my father has asked me to do a piece on yoga vs. stretching, which I am working on. Coming in the next week. I've also got some things brewing with regard to my new health regimen- no sugar, wheat, flour, bad fats or soy... all "bad mood foods". Stay tuned.

I've also been focused on bringing my health back into alignment. Some of my routines got broken in the past couple of years- particularly my yoga practice, working out and eating well. I seem to be back on track, but my goodness does it take a lot of discipline and fighting temptation. So many days I just didn't want to go to the studio or gym. So many moments wanting a "treat." I've been reminding myself every moment how good it feels to stay on course, and how crappy it feels to fall off. That seems to help get me on track. But boy it sure isn't easy.

If you are reading this and trying to dedicate yourself to something health related, my support is with you. Overcoming habits, addictions, lethargy, etc. is not easy. Stay strong! We all have more strength within us than we know... if you hold on tight and keep with your goals (no matter how many tricks your mind plays on you) you will find your strength. I promise. It is there.

Ok, enough with the rant. More substantive updates soon.

Keep well.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Follow Your Heart

I read "The Alchemist" this weekend, a beautiful story about following and listening to one's heart, living in the moment and our place in the world. Three lines in particular stood out to me that I thought I would share....

"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too"

"No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it."

Re: the fear of pursuing dreams...
"Tell your heart the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams..."

Have a great week!

Monday, March 9, 2009

What is in the air?

Does anyone else feel like there is something in the air today? Perhaps because of the time change, plus it being Monday and in Portland it is greyer than grey and on again and off again snowing in MARCH. Also, it turns out this coming Wednesday is a full moon. Recipe for crazy energy! I sure feel it.

Guess its a good day for breathing. (although if there is something in the air, maybe not :))

Try Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 breathing technique (if this doesn't work well for you, I sometimes do 6-3-6 or 8-4-8, but I do all through the nose; Dr. Weil recommends for 4-7-8 using the mouth to exhale)

Note on breathing- nose breathing helps oxygenate the blood, which in turn calms the nervous system and makes for a happier self :)

From Dr. Weil

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This is one breath.
Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens - before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meditation- Golden Light

There's many ways to meditate- this is one I think is quite lovely and peaceful.

Although most meditations you do sitting up so your spine is straight, this one you do lying down.

Lie flat. Keep your eyes closed.
When you breathe in, visualize a great light entering through your head into your body, as if a sun has just risen close to your head. Imagine the light is pouring into your head and going all the way down to your toes.

When you breathe in, continue to imagine the light pouring in and cleansing your whole body.

When you breath out, visualize a dark river entering your toes and going out through your head.

Go slowly and breathe in and out through your nose. Inhaling to the count of 6 and exhaling to the count of six is a good starting point... then increase over time as your lungs allow. Again, do both the inhale and exhale through the nose so you cool your system.

I find it very relaxing. And a nice way to take time for ones self... even if just 15-20 minutes a couple times a week.

(Note I learned this meditation technique from "The Everyday Meditator" by Osho-