Posts Tagged ‘yoga and the environment’
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.
gasp in, breathe out
One of my graduating TTs is writing a paper on asthma, yoga, and medicine. We just had a very interesting talk about how to reconcile the medical approach to asthma, and the yogic approach to breathing.
My perspective is that while there are other factors — genetics, environmental pollutants and allergies, immune system — one of the main things that causes asthma is stress. This is the same for most if not all other diseases.
The purpose of yoga is to still the mind, which can only happen after layers of stress have been recognized, dealt with, and released by the practitioner. This is not a simple, linear, or even one-time process. It involved a lifetime of observation, and finding and trusting qualified teachers to help you shake the stress out of you.
Once you know how to shake it off, you always know how to shake it off. That’s how embodied knowledge works.
Pertaining to asthma, yogic breathing (pranayama) is a remarkabe way to take stress out of the body. As stress leaves, the nervous system approaches what it knows to be equilibrium, and breath panic calms down. I believe that all asthmatic patients should explore pranayama with a qualified practitioner, at least in conjunction with their medication if not in replacement of it. This is a good book advocating the same thing.
i’ve been telling students in class for the past week that if you are feeling tired, lethargic, and/or mildly (or more) morose, it’s totally normal. it’s time for the Winter Solstice.
in our hemisphere, we are on the cusp of the shortest night and longest day of the year. there is a lot of information here to describe the metaphysical, scientific, and ritual aspects of this moment.
for the body, which is comparatively depleted of energy from the sun, layers of darkness enter. this is the time when mentally we can reflect (or meditate) on the things we want to shed–just as the earth here is allowing most of its plants to die.
no matter what your asana practice is right now, be aware of your overall energy levels and practice around that. this is an important time of year to let go–no matter how you define the verb.
right round baby right round
On this side of the dateline, we tend to define karma as the apostle Paul did: “Man reaps what he sows.” “What goes around, comes around.”
I’ve always had trouble with the term “karma yoga” as defining good acts, because then you aren’t you still attached to getting only goodness in return? it seems to me you can do anything and still be practicing karma yoga. What if you’re ok with doing something neutral or negative, and with being prepared to experience that same thing some point in the future?
Asking for negative acts to come back to you might even been like saying “bring it” to the universe.
Lately, I am examining karma by being aware of an emotional state I am uncomfortable with, for example, depression, sorrow, anger, or frustration. I drive almost every day, and I often feel “cut off” by someone rushing to their job, home, a bar, their dying grandmother. My heart jumps as the other driver speeds past me and into my lane, my breathing changes, and at least 50% of the time, I find myself reacting in anger. this anger comes from the fear of experiencing an accident.
as i experience this sensation, i imagine that i have done that exact thing to someone before. when i wedge in this stop sign on the road of my own reaction, a mental shift occurs:
1) My negative emotion changes or goes away.
2) I see immediately the universe’s answer to a previous demand from me entitled, “bring it”.
9 times out of 10, i can recall an instance in which i have acted toward someone in exact the way that i am currently uncomfortable with.
i just got off the phone with my husband, who is buying a black winter coat, a coat he does not currently own. the jacket is 40% off its original price, which is a great deal for December. he called to discuss the purchase, and to justify it he said,
“the thing is, i lack [a] black [coat].”
i thought this was a good justification for spending money, and it got me thinking about shopping in general, since many of us will me doing a lot of it in the next 20+ days.
a good way of shopping could be to buy the item only when
1) you want to walk out of the store wearing the item you like/love it so much,
2) you need that specific item because you actually do not have any (or one) of them.
another thing i’ve done today is watch this live puppy cam.
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.