If you are interested in anatomy as it relates to yoga asana/poses, then you would be excited that another workshop on the topic of the knees is coming up – THIS SATURDAY given by Baxter Bell, MD & Yoga Therapist in East Bay.

Baxter has a wonderful blog and he and his colleague recently published a book entitled YOGA FOR HEALTHY AGING – a great resource:)  Knees, Knees, Knees … we want to protect them when we practice and Baxter will show you the safe way.

I wish I could attend ! I would have if it were not for me being away …

“The Art of Stillness”

This book was one of the recommended books at the Invitational by Judith H. Lasater, PhD/Yoga Teacher/PT and this quote from the last page resonates with me this week. Don’t get me wrong, we need to exercise, move, dance all those but somewhere during the day and night … take a moment (75-90 minutes yoga class would be ideal:).

“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.  In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.

And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

You can go on vacation to Paris or Hawaii or New Orleans three months from now ( I wish !), and you’ll have a tremendous time, I’m sure.

But if you wan to come back feeling new – alive and full of fresh hope and in love with the world – I think the place to visit may be NOWHERE.”

– Pico Iyer

I wish I wrote the above because it’s my sentiment exactly & Pico Iyer says it so well. Sitting still is not meant literal of course (while Zen at a monastery is certainly a training) but he means that we can all weave in a moment of reflection, repose, a conscious time-out – that moment of PAUSE even during the movements. Our self-worth is not measured by how busy we are.  Rather, by paying attention, our mind clears up and our body is more in tune with our inner wisdom  – all of which yoga teaches us so well.

And this is the sentiment because I am breathless running around in flurry of self imposed activities trying to pack to get off to Asia this week.  Yes, I am going Somewhere … bearing gifts, with baggage and all.  Things to do list piling up and anxieties over not getting them done mounting every minute. Still I am proud of myself that I retained my yoga practice and even slipped into Knee Workshop and … most memorable yoga class on a Memorial holiday (Yoga Therapeutics by Harry’s LAST CLASS – tears and laughter as he bids goodbye to start his new chapter …) so now going into a tailspin as the week restarts but somehow amidst the juggling, there’s that PAUSE where the debris settle to the bottom of the swirling well and only the distilled essence can be bottled. How to pause?

Stop.  What’s the worst that can happen?  What is most essential to this life I live? There are those who depend on you, yes, but … what do they treasure in you?

***

Deep Breath.

Invite the stillness; the tranquility to approach all those things on the list with

serenity and grace.  Is that even possible.

To make the impossible possible is my intention this full moon week

by living my yoga – We can even “stretch” time … Namaste.

Dr. Langevin’s work uncovering the key role of Connective Tissues in Preventative Medicine

(above a graduation gift from one of the faculty teachers at Niroga Institute, Tianna Meriage-Reiter, DPT, C-IAYT, WHC  Lovely message to carry with us on this journey.)

We came to find out that Fascia care is important in recovery and healing as said:

“Integrity of Fascia plane is really important.”

-Dr. Helene Langevin

But, to go further to say that the role of stretching connective tissues also plays a big part in preventing manifestation of … inflammations and even cancer cells is AMAZING! Did you ever wonder why stretching is beneficial? Why hold for longer? Why slow movements and holds actually work the muscles more?  And the fascia envelopes each muscle groups … so that stretch one part of the body reverberates to the other distant parts of the body – as with the fascia matrix, all are … connected. It is really that “ripple” effect that reboots our entire system.

I cannot go to this event held in Boston …but hope to read up on it. The findings she shares appear to be what Chinese/Eastern Medicine practitioners and Yin-sters (yin yoga practitioner) always held their faith in.  If we think of practice of certain kinds of yoga as one resembling “needle-less” acupuncture treatment, it’s something everyone can benefit from whether you suffer from chronic pain or not. It’s a discipline and a practice that will bring about holistic wellness, wholeness, yumminess … vibrancy!

Dr. Langevin has published several NIH-funded studies investigating the role of connective tissue in low back pain and now cancer lifestyle intervention.  She has also  investigated the role and the mechanisms of acupuncture, manual and movement-based therapies and their effectiveness.  She has shown that mechanical tissue stimulation during both tissue stretch and acupuncture causes dynamic cellular responses in connective tissue. She postulates the therapeutic effects of stretching on inflammation resolution by stimulating the healing mechanisms within connective tissue.

Connective Tissues manipulation by acupuncture needles vs. stretching ?  This is fascinating how Dr. Langevin via “mouse yoga” concluded from her “mouse yoga” research was that stretching decreases inflammation !  

It’s no longer just anecdotal evidence but now in the hands of medical researchers, it’s real – paving a way for the assertion that an alternative medicine such as acupuncture, yoga and mindfulness practice is medicinal and gives us more “options” aka: “alternatives” in self-care.  And that, is always empowering.  And when we are empowered, there’s hope and … more joy in finding the inner body intelligence, the wisdom, the spark; we are empowered when we find that healer residing within.