This was something I posted couple of years ago and … again and again, it’s worth revisiting … I’m merely on a cleanse currently for a mini-transformation (ironically by hitting the books for the yoga therapy program, unable to do as much yoga as I like so focused my style to Yin style, so needed stuck at a desk or car seat – stttreetch feels deliciously liberating – and Restorative – to deal with energy depletion –  and too little sweaty vinyasas opting rather for hikes/walks/dances to be outside with nature – get your Vitamin D but just on weekends – SO gained 10lbs in just one year … great.  A yoga teacher who gains 10 lbs in a year – it’s that post Freshman 10 or 20; that’s just great, right?)  but here’s a real life-changing transformation that’s inspirational that shows that one must stick with the practice:

Maybe not as dramatic, there are people transforming their health and lives all around me if I just stop to listen to their stories.  Just awhile ago, I met an older sweet gentleman at a dog park who said he lost 40 lbs thanks to the dog his wife got him.  He walks his dogs 3 times a day to get back the health he lost after he retired upon which he ate too much and sat around too much watching screens and reading … Now, he walks and eats healthy.

So Yoga helps with body awareness and transformation … and sets up for preparation to engage more fully with other activities off the mat.  That’s been my experience.

Authur’s transformation is a promo for Diamond Dallas, a professional wrestler turned yoga teacher, and it’s inspirational.  In America, maybe certain zip codes area, yoga appeared to be for the white privileged trustafarians in full clad latest yoga gear and practicing for hours before their vegan luncheon but is that the luxury afforded to the other 99%?   Real yoga is not competitive sports nor a spectator sports – it’s not oneupmanship contest, gymnastics or acrobatics or ballet-ish at all.  We surrender our ego on that mat.

The practice that’s regular and repetitive is so that off the mat, you can live fully engaged and in joy.  AND that means offering yoga for those who stands to benefit the most from.  It’s the kind of yoga accessible  and beneficial to all.  I appreciate how my school was all about making yoga accessible to all and in any zip codes.  The vision of Niroga Institute, Oakland. Niroga  Institute. While it’s unfortunate that they are no longer offering the 800 hrs. Yoga Therapy TT, I count my blessing that I was able to reap the rewards of advanced training in their final full two-year course.  I learned so much and really see how ridiculous and audacious I was when I thought I could teach at just 200 hrs. level 7 years ago – what was I thinking? Maybe rich? in life experience but lacking in depth.  No wonder I lacked confidence as ignorance was a bliss back then.

So much I have learned; so much still digesting and integrating; so much more to learn.  It’s life-long.  This thing about being a student and the best teachers are, they say, best students, right?

DD is so funny … “Yoga for Normal People”?  Yes, normal people who have work, who have commute, who have a family or issues and stress.  Just normal life stress.  Someone who does not have hours to perfect a pose; someone who does not have hours to devote to a spiritual enlightenment as you are stuck in traffic to get to point A to point B, living in this area.  Yoga for normal everyday people – So needed.

Just in 60 minutes; 75 minutes; 90 minutes – showing up, we have our own unique self-care practice that works where we can allocate our attention, devotion and care.  That’s yoga today.  It works and that is enough.


Heart Health Month

Pump it and … rest it; Speed it up and slow it down … strong heart but flexible flowing veins & vessels comes with appropriate training, not straining.  Certain times, you may suddenly feel your heart beating fast … it can be due to anxieties, blood surge … hormonal imbalances … it can be due to any number of things – sometimes psychological such as emotions of sadness, fear, anger … They affect the heart health most definitely.  Yoga at many medical facilities are employed as part of Cardiac Rehab. for good reasons.

This month is Heart Health Awareness month.  I don’t know if it has anything to do with Valentine’s Day being in February but it’s a public awareness and education promoted by American Heart Association.  There’s nothing romantic about heart disease especially when we learn that Heart Disease is the number one killer in USA. It also may come as a surprise that Heart Disease ranks the top in killing women. Yes, women. One might imagine that type A overly hyper or intense MAN to suffer as did Bob Harper (Biggest Loser host and celebrity fitness trainer … yes, Fitness Trainer into Crossfit), but no, with heart disease, women suffer as much from this frightening disease that often becomes fatal because it may go undetected or pushed out from our consciousness in a state of denial.

When measuring heart health, often, HRV, Heart Rate Variability is spoken. Higher the HRV is considered to be good but why?  It shows a better regulated Autonomic Nervous System and what is better at regulating ANS than … YOGA.  Yes, YOGA is scientifically and medically shown to help balance the nervous system.  And the kind of yoga that induces a meditation practice as … ultimate goal of Yoga is to make our body and mind ready to tackle the practice of meditation.  When your body is tight and stiff, how easy is it to sit in Zazen to find that zen ?  Not easy.  How easy is it to find that realm of the spiritual when you mind is revved and spiriling out of control?  Not easy.

So yoga, by yoking or uniting the untamed mind, trains the mind to pave the path for well balanced, well integrated, whole Self.  Here’s another article on benefits of meditation Here.

So yes, pumping the heart, speeding up the heart rate to get more oxygen in is needed with aerobic exercise, yes the “cardio” to is good for heart health to build strength but at the level appropriate for one’s age and condition.  AND the opposite is also needed – the slowing down of the heart rate while upping the HRV to promote better rest, increase the immune system and improve digestion for a well nourished body.

Let’s have a great TGIF – some dancing is always good:)  For body, mind and the … HEART:)