Earth Day

A day before Earth Day on Easter Sunday we celebrated by volunteering at a San Francisco Beach Cleanup. It feels good to do our part by putting in some time and labor for a wonderful NPO called Surfrider.

The littering of our beaches is disheartening- but to counter the ills we caused, picking up cigarette buds, wrappers of all kinds, plastics …

Volunteers sort the collected trash from the beach into various bags for disposal … they are such amazing crew, dedicating the Sunday morning to cleanup and preserve the beauty of the coastal beaches.

Provided with orange pails rubber gloves, we are off to wonder the beach for upwards of 2 hours … after our work, the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean is again free of pollutants.

Brunch reward after 2 hours of beach cleanup 🙂

My screenshot from few days ago ! So happy to RISE to the task and make Earth Day truly meaningful … Inhaling lots of Enthusiasm 🙂

 

Last week evening, a student asked if I knew – about some Instagram sensation, a famous yogini (only on Instagram – not from teaching BTW) and what happened to her – according to this student’s story, this 40 year old Instragram yoga rock star? had a stroke. Prompted by such an inquiry, I decided to look her up.  So this Instrgram yoga star suffered a stroke from posing a type of handstand called “hollowback.” The position requires extending the neck, dropping the hips back, and arching the spine all while in a handstand.  Isn’t this gymnastics? What’s “yoga” again?

What are the benefits in such a pose that you can’t get from any other much safer pose or poses sequenced intelligently or customized to where you are at with props? Props meets you where you are at and what is wrong with that – to honor where we are at? It’s a beautiful practice. To really honor where we are.  To wholeheartedly practice acceptance and self-love.

Other than striking that pose that looks super-human cool  – inspiring for some; foolish for others – for some, an endorphin rush we get from nailing a challenging pose – if done over much preparations and warm-ups – not just for the photo shoot  – then I see the progressions in clearing the challenges and for some, it’s a really feel good moment – BUT for those looking to yoga for healing or simple tweaking, so many other wiser deeds we can challenge ourselves with   – can’t we be more selective – personalized – customized – if one’s intention is about self-care, self-preservation aka, longevity, self-growth – a transformation into a better version of Self.  Having empathized with loved ones with knee surgeries, hip replacement surgeries, shoulder/back problems, it’s crazy that we don’t take better care of ourselves.  There’s nothing to gain from extreme poses no matter how photogenic – unless of course you are training for Cirque Du Soleil.

There are so many benefits to yoga and if challenge is what you are after, that is afforded with wide variety of poses that pose no harm – or in flowing movements that links the breath with each extension or flexion or release.  I would humbly choose that path taught in yoga therapy as all over-riding “do no harm” while doing great good:) One of the ways I re-discovered recently is YOGA WALL 🙂 Plus Somatic Movements after a moderate cardio-workouts that’s more about weight bearing, loading (this can be done kindly in Yin kind of yoga too) of the joints for that renewal … Here for reference.  Picked up this book in Japan I wish I could translate as it’s fascinating.  Title would translate to something like “Muscle Training Over-Rated”, the focus being the importance of skeletal alignment, strength and growth.  It’s one extreme to the other … I guess that’s why I love Yoga practice so much as it’s about “BALANCE” even though now we have to deal with some misunderstandings out there that Stroke can be caused by yoga as this student told me – now I’m a little scared – PLEASE, find a good teacher.

Some Ideas for All Inviting Accessible Yoga – Yoga Wall !!!  It’s safe – you’ve got the inversion with no neck passage/artery impingement.  Find a Yoga Wall certified teacher who knows about safety and also about challenging your concept of what is truly challenging yet staying in the safe zone, taking humble baby steps towards progress to reconnect with the best version of Self – to rediscover that core essence that’s undeniably uniquely yours through discipline of regular practice.

Jason Cull, C-IAYT Yoga Wall Teacher Training @ Yoga Health Center

Just hanging out for wholesome health:)  Seeing the world up-side-down so if you are Yang-dominant, FLIP it – See the Yin benefits:)  Flip things and see things from another perspective – it also does a body good, besides the positive affect on your mind.

What’s in them?

Days are longer and brighter, April showers are winding down, it’s Spring and some of us, reminded that the Beach weather is on the horizon, may at this time be re-vowing the New Year’s Resolution to hit the gym or the trails.  When one does not exercise regularly – but suddenly do, or take it to the extreme, muscle pains may ensue.  Or if you suffer from various chronic pains, whatever the season, you might be reaching out for these lotions and potions to alleviate the tightness, sores and pains.  But wait – Do we know what’s in these ointments ?

Reading the fine print on some of these body care products may be Greek to most of us non-chemists, while I did hear once that if you cannot pronounce the ingredient, it’s probably in need of further study.  Like with anything, in moderation appears to be safest way to go but with anything, slathering them on to the excess is an invitation for further inquiry.  This news for example highlights what I am referring to.  No, we should not live in fear, just conscious, and very mindful of what we expose ourselves to.  With knowledge and shared wisdom, we need not live in fear or create a bubble that shields, around us.  Yoga may allow us to be more flexible and more open and receptive to shared new ideas on how to question and to do our own study to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Therapeutic yoga is wonderful, this too, if applied correctly and in right doze, the practice can really help with pain management or prevention and enhance our lives –  as there are no side affects – provided we don’t let our ego and vanity get in the way of practicing the kind of yoga that elevates us to that place of loving kindness to Self and others all around us …

Been using EWG to find non-toxic and environmental and health conscious personal care products. As for beauty products, this site is very informative.

These labels are so difficult to really understand and to measure the toxicity.   This APP, “Think Dirty” was highly recommended by a good friend leading a very conscious and well informed lifestyle. One can get the app for your phone and get started – it’s free.

Reading labels sometimes make us more confused than ever so ratings and recommendations from EWG is very helput as this app, called “Think Dirty”  (I don’t care for this name … but a good app) . Just like EWG, products are rated from 1-10, 10 being most toxic; 1 least.  Thank you C-san for an easy app – fun to scan the bar code to search their data base and also fun that you get to add a product unlisted in the database.

Just was with food, we make sure that what we take INTO our bodies are healthy and safe: what we breathe in; put on and be absorbed through pores of our skin and scalp as much as what we put into our mouths.