Category Archives: yoga

Woke up today to a beautiful snowstorm

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I woke up today to a brilliant white landscape and snow still quietly falling. Several fluffy inches had gathered and continued to fall on the drive to yoga, and throughout yoga class. After the snow, the sky became a soft clear blue for a while. The sun came out; Most of the snow melted. I didn’t even get out to shovel the driveway—it melted mostly clear— and some neighbor(s) had beaten us to the sidewalks. Snow has been elusive this winter. Comes in all dramatic, but slips out the back door as soon as it can.

This day went by way too quickly

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This day went by way too quickly: Yoga with step-daughter while the twins swam. Scramble and hash for a late brunch. A Trader Joe’s shopping run. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part II with the family. Dinner. Didn’t get any of the personal things done that I wanted to do today. Hmm.

And tomorrow afternoon will be sucked up with Vegan Pledge Week 4.

Next week is going to be nuts. Something Tue-Thurs nights. And lots of extra things going on during the days as well. Sigh.

Vegan pledge, the show, yoga, and a hard week coming up

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Busy day. My vegan partner in crime picked me up at 1p so we could set up for the Vegan Pledge week 3. We led our great group of people through the pledge, then  went right over around 4p to work a few hours on the radio show. I got back around 8p, said a quick hello to everyone, then jumped in the car and went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some stuff for the week. The kids are back from their mom’s and we’re about to start the weekly drill all over again.

Except I have to figure out how to crank my show out tomorrow. We’re quite behind. I’m going to make sure to get some yoga in during the earliest available class after I drop the kids off. It is the best way I know of to deal with stress right now, and I’m going to take advantage of it. We’ll see what the Prana class can teach me.

This week is typically hard for me. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my cat Connecticut’s death, and Thursday is the anniversary of my mom’s death. Generally a week of heavy contemplation for me at the very least.

Yoga plus Occupy the Music

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Yoga this morning was great, it was a similar style class to the one I used to go to, Vinyasa Flow, so mostly it felt very familiar. It was super crowded, but I liked the instructor and will definitely take another class with her.

I spent part of the day getting some basic groceries, doing a bit of housework, prepping some materials for tomorrow’s Vegan Pledge, and setting up more of my new desk area. Last week, I decided to move my home office into one end of the living room, since my old home office is no longer available (is now a kid’s room). And I was getting very sick of the clutter crammed into the corner of the master bedroom.

It should work out fine for now as we don’t really use the living room much at the moment. (Weird how when you take the TV out, the focal point is gone, and it seems like there is really no reason to congregate there anymore. Plus, we have crappy furniture. If we ever got a real sofa and/or good quality reading chairs, it would be much more desirable to hang out there). We haven’t had cable for years, but we normally hook up a laptop to the big TV for Hulu & Netflix, etc. The  TV got moved up to the bedroom a few months ago and never left. So now we just congregate there instead—or everyone watches their own thing on their Kindle Fire.

Tonight, I went to Occupy the Music, a benefit concert put on by some friends of mine. I didn’t know what to expectand was pleasantly surprised at the talent there. I especially enjoyed E.T. and the Boy and David Rovics.

Finally: Yoga!

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Something good happened! I managed to get the family a highly discounted pass to the local community fitness center. I used to go there 10 years ago when I moved back, but I haven’t been able to afford it for a long time. I can’t wait to take the kids there. It will be good to get the twins near a pool again—at their mom’s they were on a  swim team and it might be something they’d like to continue. Of course, there are extra fees for the swim teams, but we’ll cross that road when we come to it.

Tomorrow morning—yoga, 9:30. {Smiles.} I haven’t made yoga a priority for a long time either (financially or time-wise).

What I can and can’t live with

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I made that phone call today, and it was hard, but also a relief. The decision is made and there is no going back. And I can live with that.

What I’m not sure I can live with is my Nurse Practitioner trying to give me even stronger steroidal drugs to control my asthma. She would like me to take Advair for the next two weeks in addition to Albuterol to hopefully get my lungs to open up. I asked her about alternatives to pharmaceuticals. I don’t want to be taking them, because I believe in most cases I’m healthier without them due to known and unknown side effects, and also because they are often tested on animals and I like to make consistent ethical choices about what I eat, what I wear, what products I use, and what medications I put into my body. 

So she suggested mindfulness meditation, which is a great idea. And also any other exercise that teaches me to belly breathe and relax. Yoga, voice projection lessons, etc. But she still thinks there are times to take medications and that now I really need it—or my situation will turn worse than chronic. So she sent me home with Advair. And the plan was to use it for just a few weeks. But when I opened it I saw that it has lactose in it. Enough that there is a big warning in case of allergies. So not only was it probably tested on animals but it has animal products in it. Crap. I guess I could call her and see if she has any alternative ideas. I was really hoping to feel better by now, but the lungs are just not opening up. {Jeez, this is turning into pharmaceutical company ethical dilemma week.}

I’m going to call up the acupuncturist tomorrow and get back on track with him. That certainly can’t hurt. And will start setting aside time for meditation. If I felt up to exercising again, more than just slow walks, I know that would help as well. Yoga, of course. Maybe I can find a video and do yoga on my own for a while until I find a new place… Anything, but these stupid drugs.

Standing Tall

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 13

Most of our Year of Mindfulness has been focused on our thoughts, and actions we can take to be more mindful of them. Last week we focused on the physical body with walking and this week we’ll focus on posture

Posture is important for our health, as good posture can prevent potential injuries and strengthen our bones, joints and muscles. It also says a lot about how we feel about ourselves. Standing or sitting with shoulders down and back, head high and a straight spine indicates our willingness to participate fully in the world, whereas a slouched posture indicates withdrawal or insecurity. Unfortunately, the problem lies in our ability to consistently remain mindful of the way in which we are holding our bodies.

Interestingly enough, a year or so ago when I was still doing yoga, both my husband and my dad commented independently on the fact that my posture was much improved since I started doing yoga. I hadn’t noticed a difference. I felt better in all kinds of other ways, but hadn’t noticed my own posture. I’ve always had the tendency to slouch or round my shoulders. Apparently I walk funny too: In college, a friend mentioned that she could tell it was me from all the way across campus in the dim light, just from the way I walk.

The chiropractor's clicky thing

The chiropractor's clicky thing

As a kid, I spent a lot of time at the chiropractor getting adjustments. My parents went too. I remember getting x-rays and being told that I had mild scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. I also remember this weird contraption that the chiropractor would use that made this clicking noise. He held it above the back and then moved his fingers around in it in a circular manner, dipping his fingers in a talc-like powder from time to time. I think it was supposed to sense the areas of pain or something. Funny, all these years later I remember that is was called “The Toftness Technique.” Sure enough:

Developed by I. N. Toftness over 50 years ago, the Toftness System is a low-force technique practiced by thousands of chiropractors the world over. It is one of the oldest and most researched techniques in the chiropractic profession. The basic theory of the Toftness System is that the nervous system has an electromagnetic energy associated with normal function. When the nervous system is not functioning normally  as when there is a subluxation  the electromagnetic energy is also abnormal. 

The basic theory of the Toftness System is that the nervous system has an electromagnetic energy associated with normal function. When the nervous system is not functioning normally  as when there is a subluxation  the electromagnetic energy is also abnormal. …

The ArthroStim is an FDA approved instrument developed by IMPAC technology in Oregon. It has been continuously refined and perfected over its 22-year history. It introduces energy/force/information to the body to realign segments and remove nerve pressure at a speed of 12 “taps” per second (12 hertz); it is a fast, accurate, low force and controlled adjustment. The ArthroStim gives patients a very specific adjustment, meaning that only the segment that is out of position is adjusted; there is no twisting, turning or “cracking” of joints. This technique permits adjusting in different postures.

Aa-ha! Apparently the Toftness Radiation Detector, or Sensometer has since been debunked as ‘hocus-pocus. The “ArthroStim” must be the stick that I remember, which felt like somebody pushing on a pressure point very hard with their finger. Huh. This explains a lot. Including why my parents took me there. Maybe it was just the scam of the year, like multi-level marketing and picnic table plans. I don’t remember my back or the chiropractic sessions causing any major problems, in fact they felt good, but the scoliosis diagnosis did kind of freak me out as somewhere in those years I read Judy Blume’s Deenie, about the girl who had to wear a social-pariah-inducing back brace to school.

As I gained weight as an adult, I begin to have occasional lower back issues that plagued me throughout my late twenties and early thirties, popping up now and then in excruciating detail. Over the years, I subjected myself to various chiropractic techniques, and finally, acupuncture (ouch!), none of which really seemed to give me any lasting relief. Thankfully, the pain would eventually subside on its own. (To be fair, I have since had acupuncture with a different practitioner for other issues, and found it very relaxing and rewarding. Also, I don’t have anything against chiropractic as a whole—it can feel really good and give temporary relief, and I know there are many different techniques. I’m not, however, convinced that it has any long-term effect on back issues like mine.)

Ultimately, I found a cure to my recurring back issues: keep those extra pounds off. No doctor ever thought to mention to me that the weight I was carrying around my stomach and thighs was putting lots of extra pressure on that turned hip and curved spine. Duh! Since losing 35ish pounds slowly over the last 10 years or so, and more rapidly since going vegan a few years ago, I have had few lower back issues. None at all in the last 6 years or so.

But back, no pun intended, to posture, and to yoga. Apparently yoga helped me to straighten up, literally. And with the time I log in front of the laptop, I wondered if my slouch has returned over the last year. Yet another reason to find yoga again somewhere in this town that feels right and is affordable.