Posts tagged health
Health VS Wellness

I woke up this AM and spilled coffee grounds all over the kitchen floor while trying to make a daily brew. I know it’s not spilled (expressed breast) milk and it shouldn’t cause me too many worries, but at 4 o’clock in the morning on a Monday, it started to go down an unpleasant path. With the coffee grounds spread all over the floor like termite droppings there was no other way around the mess. I had to walk through it to get to the broom which meant tracking little black crumbs all across the kitchen floor. And those little bits of caffeine seeds start poking into my feet, waking me up from the outside in rather than the inside out like they normally do. 

After I had finished sweeping up the entire kitchen and cleaning my feet, the situation became real. All of the coffee grounds were in the dustpan, along with tangled strands of hair, sand from Venice Beach, a green twisty-tie thing, red and brown acupuncture needle tabs from my lab coat, and an unidentified black substance, possibly food related.

I’m usually composed, and I’d like to think that the yoga is working in relation to my ability to decide what to get stressed about, but that’s after yoga. You understand?

After the morning yoga practice it’s ok for the coffee to spill. It’s ok to be stuck in traffic. It’s ok for the toothpaste to vomit down my shirt. It’s ok because I’ve had my leg behind my head, or I pressed myself up in a back bend that felt like my ribs were separating and my heart was exploding with light. The ‘noise’ of honking cars is muted after twisting my arms around my knee. It all seems a bit more trivial.

Here’s why.

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Ashtanga Yoga for improved digestion (part 1)

The practice of ashtanga yoga is a formula designed to keep us paying attention. It keeps us on our toes and keeps us able to pursue our spiritual journey. 

On a physical level one way the practice restores or sustains our health is by keeping our digestive system strong. 

The digestive system works to serve the other organ systems. The cardiovascular/respiratory, neuro, reproductive, endocrine, etc. These other systems work to keep us on our spiritual path. The digestive system is made up of a number of organs, glands, and tissue. Digestion begins before we take the first bite.

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Why practice Ashtanga yoga?

There was a time when practice was a form of punishment. A punishment worthy of the crime I felt I had committed. Getting up in the AM to be alone on the mat was part of my penance. I was, Doing Time. Doing Mysore.

The beauty of these feelings being contained to practice was that I was able to work through my crap. Examine it, dissect it, experiment on it, and own it. 

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Yoga for injuries

Have you ever been in intense physical pain and then adding insult to injury you get some emotionally devastating news? Do you let it stop you? Or do you rise up agains it?

The first time I went into the mysore room after fracturing and dislocating the clavicle, I was afraid, scared, sad, and confused. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

I unrolled my mat and stood at the top. I closed my eyes and surrendered.

Ekam - Inhale, arm up

Dve - Exhale, lower

Trini - Inhale, head lifts

Catvari - ( I can’t lower down, I can’t jump back, I can’t . . .)

My head was filled with I can’t.  And that would have stopped me. But I wanted to figure it out. I was determined not to let an injury take this away.

If this practice is for anyone and everyone, then the injured can do this practice too!

Read how to modify your practice to fit your injury HERE

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Life is not an Advice column: HT get back on track after a holiday . . .

Around this time of year everyone seems to have advice. Everyone seems to have a New Year’s resolution. 

I propose you create a New Year’s excuse.

    “I can’t do (blank) because of (blank)” 

No one forces you to eat anything as a grown adult. No one MAKES you follow the governments recommendations for nutrition. And those recommendations are based off of a FOR-PROFIT industry anyway. They make money off of you eating what they tell you is OK. And then they make money off of you when you get sick. 

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Where do you get your medical information?

I know you care about your health!
I know that when we are sick we don’t always have clear, level headed thoughts.

Every doctor, nurse, physician, tech, janitor that I have worked with, the good one’s at least . . . know that they don’t have all the answers. We turn to each other for help.

Compiled below is a list of websites that I and fellow colleagues turn to for help.

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Thinking about food?

Student Question: Why don't we drink water during class?

Have you ever gotten a cramp during a run? 
Muscles used for peristalsis (the movement of food along the intestinal tract) are locking down trapping food that produces gas. 
When running your heart can’t keep the necessary blood volume up to digest food AND give blood to the muscles engaging in a fight-or-flight response. 
The primitive part of the brain takes over and shuts down the entire GI system. The brain thinks it’s being chased by an animal and going to die.

Navasana is a beast! It want’s to eat you.

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Yoga for flexibility

The Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series is about moving forward. Moving forward into your best possible self; healthy, flexible in mind and body, and strong. 
The muscle groups that primary series targets are the hamstrings, abs, chest & shoulders. The muscle group that most people use as an excuse and hold themselves back from trying a yoga class, tight hamstrings. 
The standing sequence and standing asana’s of primary series lengthen the hamstrings, among other things.

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