Posts Tagged ‘yoga and disease’
ooh i’m so tired!
This is one of the things I hear during the Fall a lot. More so than Winter, even though during those colder months there is less light to go around.
This makes me think of yoga. I can say without a doubt that at 37, I feel younger and more alive than I did at 23 — then I was busy working on Wall Street, running to the gym, and then running home to go out, or to go home and hang out in front of the TV. I felt exhausted all the time, and even training for a marathon didn’t seem to help.
Over time, I’ve learned that my body needs certain shapes, and certain relaxation tools, to keep it running smoothly, energetically, and happily. These shapes and relaxation tools come directly from yoga: They have aligned my skeleton, muscles, and nervous system (i.e., how I think and feel) in such a way that I conserve energy when it feels good and makes sense, and I expend it when it feels good and makes sense.
Running a small business at 9 months pregnant, I still work as many hours as I ever clocked at JPMorgan or Merrill Lynch, but the difference is that my skeleton and nervous system aren’t working as hard to hold me up, move me from place to place, and let go as they settle me down to sleep at night. Even 40 lbs heavier than I was in January, the only thing bothering me occasionally are my knees, and that’s because they are still adjusting to the weight they are temporarily bearing from above.
During the Fall, when it becomes obvious that your body is going into hibernation, it’s a very good idea to stick with a yoga practice in order to observe how your body is holding you up. Learn how to conserve energy, learn how it moves through your body — be interested in where you are efficient and where you aren’t, and explore your body from there. These are essential “wellness” tools for any body wanting to feel more alive, and less encumbered.
missing the point
This article in today’s US News and World Report is about how conventionally grown produce has the same nutrient value as that grown organically.
But read 50 words in and the article get weird, particularly in paragraph 6 where “conventionally grown” and “traditionally grown” are described as synonymous. Um.
The other crazy aspect of the report is this statement:
The review zeroed in on 162 studies that dealt with the nutrient content of foods. Only 55 were of what the researchers considered to be “satisfactory quality” — a strong indicator that, overall, the science on the subject is not up to snuff.
So why was this news, if only 34% of the reported study was considered scientifically viable, and when someone else asked these questions at the end?
“There are so many variables,” she said. “Where is something grown? Where is it shipped from? How long was it on the truck? There are going to be variables in terms of nutrition just from production methods.”
My guess is that soundbytes in the 24-hour news cycle make money, versus more complicated studies that don’t yield easy results or descriptions.
so i thought today of an interpretation of this.
the energetic bodies of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd chakras live in and alongside the tailbone and legs; abdomen; and solar plexus, respectively. their physical properties are those of earth, water, and fire–or earth, oceans/waters, and the sun.
think of using your inner eye and looking down at your own sun, water, and earth–as from the sky–and determining how your own inner planet is doing at that moment. how hot the sun, how turbulent or calm and rhythmic the waters, how stable the ground.
the great bill moyers was interviewed on Npr’s fresh air today, and he recalled a conversation he’d had with joseph campbell, the popular scholar of mythology, said this:
if you want to change the world, you change the metaphor.
me and the razor
yesterday, i was shaving in the shower. i forgot that i was doing it, actually, because this is a rote task i’ve done for more than 20 years. instead, i was doing what i usually do: analyzing not the job in front of me, but rather the past few days. I was re-experiencing conversations and experiences i’d had with friends, family, and business colleagues. i was somewhere else while my body–hand and leg–were there, experiencing the deed of wicking the hair away, down the drain, and off my leg.
at the moment i came back to being aware i was shaving without any real participation in the act, i felt the line between my eyebrows furrowed. it’s a line that acupuncture calls the “inner critic;” according to ayurveda, it lies right in between the liver and spleen lines. if you’re wrinkled there, which i was–straight down the middle–you are manifesting dis-ease of those organs, and probably of the stomach, too.
i know this, of course, and i’ve known it for years. and yet, razor in hand, i was aware of having forgotten, utterly and completely, to be present. instead, i chose to stay immersed in analyzing–criticizing–past events over which i now have no control, and which, in any event, having little or nothing to do with shaving in the shower.
for the rest of the shave, i changed my focus. i started noticing each strip of hair wicked away, feeling the weight and angle of the razor in my hand, and on the feeling of the water in the shower itself. staying focused like this had an effect opposite to what many of us might think: it relaxed the line between my eyebrows. i was aware of a calm contentment that also relaxed my upper abdomen/solar plexus area, where my stomach is.
the lesson in this information is to stay present. when you are aware of being as fully involved in any experience–shaving, crying, walking, sleeping, eating–all of your cells are also involved. at the very least, they are more occupied with the mind and body both assisting you in this task. this is a preferable state to the one in which the brain sends signals–typically ones of analysis, criticism, and discontent–to the body that have little to do with what is actually in front of you at that moment.
this is also why meditation is critical in today’s world.
i mean i had cancer
last night, talking with a student after my therapeutic class at smith farm healing center, i remembered that for all my teachers, students tend often to be the sagest.
This student has studied with me for more than a year, and she is recovering from cancer. she is young. i’ve been away from the class for a few weeks, and i was sharing with her some recent events in my life, and my reaction to what felt like a big disappointment this past week. before i could wax any level of philosophical about the experience, she smiled, shook one hand into the air as if flicking away my words, and said, “you know, you just never know why things happen. it could be that this is for the best.”
a lot of people say this when you express disappointment. in general i resist the flicking-away-of-feeling-let-down, because i question why disappointment, among other emotions, is so hard to tolerate and accept. but last night, my student went on to clarify that our conversation reminded her of one she had with her doctor last year. the doctor, also a woman, was in reassurance mode, telling my student that–now that her treatments were over and the cancer was officially in remission–”you’ll have a better year next year, for sure.”
and my student, still with a smile (though by this time a wry one), said to me, “I told my doctor, ‘you know, this year hasn’t really been all that bad. i mean, i had cancer and all, but as i think of it, the year was pretty good!’”