Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hi there,

I hope you're safe and cozy and enjoying the quieting down nature's white chill insists upon yet again.

Saturday Classes, Yes
Both Saturday morning classes will be meeting this week (2/15). 

Monday Class, 2/17, No
Because the heat is turned off all day in the church on Monday holidays, there will be no class this coming Monday evening.

Yoga for Healthy Aging
If you're looking for some interesting and informative reading on many topics related to how yoga supports healthy aging, check out this website, an ongoing blog by one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Baxter Bell, with whom I'll be studying again at the end of March:

Thoughts from Ralph Waldo Emerson
 Several of you have asked for a copy of the passage from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson I read in classes this week prior to meditation. I've adapted it here from the original language:

There is guidance for each of us and by lowly listening
we shall hear the right word.  Certainly there is a right for you
that needs no choice on your part. Place yourself in the middle
of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into your life.
Then, without effort, you are impelled to truth and perfect contentment.

As always, please let me know if you have questions, comments or suggestions.
May you celebrate St. Valentine's Day by honoring the truth of your heart.

Hi All,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the mild easing of winter cold and noticeably longer days.

I wanted to share a few links I've recently heard about that you, too, might find interesting and/or useful:

Buddhify 2
Many of you have expressed interest in cultivating mindfulness and the restorative and focusing benefits of a regular meditation practice.  I thought you might be interested in taking a look at this application I recently installed on my phone for $1.99. There is a wonderful assortment of guided meditations spoken by a variety of lovely voices and accents.  There are meditations for feeling stressed, for walking or other exercise, eating, being online, traveling, waking up, going to sleep, getting back to sleep, and many more.  I think it's well done and very user friendly:

Yoga Benefits for Breast Cancer Survivors and Others
You may have seen Channel 5's recent reporting on this study.  I thank Sue in Monday night's class for telling me about it:

While the study measured the effects of yoga (especially breathing and meditation) on reducing inflammation and fatigue and improving sleep in survivors of breast cancer, it is reasonable to believe yoga can also help treat other diseases linked to inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, chronic heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease.  It is gratifying and encouraging to see the growing body of research evidencing what yogi's have known intuitively and experientially for thousands of years.

Stretch Clock

There seems to be a new study every week showing the negative effects of long hours of sitting. 
I thank Mary in the early Saturday class for telling me about this program one can install on the computer.  You'll be reminded to take a break from sitting with simple and effective exercises (many similar to yoga movements) that stretch and bring circulation to neck, shoulders, chest, hands and wrists.  Many can be done while sitting, and there are detailed instructions and demonstrations for each exercise.  I highly recommend this program with this one caveat on alignment:

Please note one important thing:  The man demonstrating the exercises usually has his chin lifted too high to allow the back of his neck to stay healthily long. As some of you have personally experienced, an habitually shortened neck (which often happens when the chest collapses downward causing the head to lift too high in compensation) can cause great discomfort as well as impingement of the nerves leading into the head, shoulders and arms.  So please, if you try out these exercises be ever mindful of lifting the heart and sternum and keeping the back of your neck long throughout the exercises.  If there were enough interest I could devote a class or workshop to practicing these exercises together.  I know many of you spend more hours than you'd like sitting in front of a computer and you might find these exercises, along with regular back bolster draping, helpful.

Here are three links to the Stretch Clock:

Introductory Video


That's all for now -- apologies for being so long-winded.  Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns.  I hope to see you in class soon.

I thank you all for your continued and enthusiastic presence.