Top 10 Yoga Myths – Part Two

Originally posted on Yoga One:

Ever try convincing your friends to come to yoga only to hear one of these myths? Check out Part One of the list here.

5. MYTH: Yoga is not for men.

FACT: Yoga in the western hemisphere may be dominated by women, but historically, yoga was only practiced by men. Both men and women can benefit from strength-building, flexibility, balance, mindfulness, stress-reduction and all the other benefits of yoga. Take a buddy or go to a class led by a male instructor if you’re feeling hesitant about being the only dude.

Why Men Do Yoga4. MYTH: Yoga is too expensive.

FACT: Yoga One has many competitive membership and class package options that reduce the price per class. For example, the 10 class package breaks down to $12/class. Compare that to $14 at the movies or $15-20 for lunch downtown. Come to class more often with our unlimited membership and save even…

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Top 10 Yoga Myths – Part One

Originally posted on Yoga One:

Here’s a list of our favorite yoga myths. Do you ever hear these “reasons” not to do yoga from your friends? Let us know in the comments!

Batman yoga10. MYTH: You have to be flexible to practice yoga.

FACT: Over time, practicing yoga safely helps increase your flexibility. Maintaining a supple spine and full range of motion in the joints helps prevent injury and may even improve your game if you play a sport.

9. MYTH: My grandmother does yoga so you can’t get a really kick-ass workout from it.

FACT: Yoga is not just about stretching and relaxation! Building muscle strength and endurance through yoga is the key to safely exploring flexibility. There are many different types of yoga for all different body types and abilities and there’s definitely a style to fit your needs!

8. MYTH: My Crossfit-crazy boyfriend does yoga and it sounds too intense for…

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Clarity Inside the Box

Originally posted on Play:

 

A friend of mine once said, in a moment of frustration, “I just want to be homeless. I want to walk away from everything and live on the street.” Then he added, “Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”

Sometimes I wonder if anyone can pursue money and material rewards and remain sane. I mean, of course, we all need food, shelter and a few other things to survive, yet, what is life when we give over to the mere pursuit of a lifestyle?

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Balance your Chakras with these foods & exercises

Food & Spirit Chakra Infographic

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10 things my grandma knew before MindBodyGreen

walking with Grandma

Walking with Grandma from Sharon Lill

When I was little and we would visit my grandma, the smell of whatever food she was cooking was an immediate comfort.   In fact, to this day, when I make vegetable soup, the scent is like olfactory Xanax.  Grandmas are wise, we all know it.  They have home remedies, sayings and knowledge that get us through illness and heartache. Many of which we may not even realize we’ve adapted. Many of which are now scientifically proven.

There are a grillion websites and blogs right now that tout grandma’s natural remedies.  But, rather than indulge in reading the ’10 ways I’m destroying my body’ or ’5 things I should stop doing right now’ articles that pervade my social media feed unsolicited, I tend to focus on the positive, and hearken back to what used to work for grams that has served me well.

Without further ado, here are 10 things my grandma knew all along (before scientific journals):

Drink a cup of warm water with lemon in the am.  She never got into the ayurvedic cleansing aspects of it, she just knew it was hydrating, got her digestive system working and cleared out her throat.

Use basic skin cream. The most expensive skin care line in the world is no substitute for a good diet, good hygiene and clean living.

Always carry Kleenex. I keep a packet in my purse in case of sneeze or to dry a friend’s tears.  Unlike grandma, my tissues aren’t tucked in the sleeve of my shirt or  in my  bra.

Always have a reserve of homemade soup in the freezer. You never know when your power is going to go out, or a sick friend could use a hand.  For me, I have tons Tupperware concoctions in the freezer. Who needs a preservative filled Lean Cuisine, when I can warm up a slice of homemade lasagne?

Eat real food.  As Michael Pollan said (who was quite possibly paraphrasing his own grandmother), “Eat Food. Mostly Plants.” There’s no substitute for homemade grub nutritionally or flavorfully (is that even a word.)  I’ve tried the trendy dietary things, but for the most part, my body likes it when I eat like an old Italian woman. The science on how eating a plant-based, unprocessed diet is infinite.

Love God. Whether it’s church, meditating, praying or going to a wiccan ritual, a spiritual practice is what brings us home. It’s what brings us peace.

Vinegar and borax clean just about anything. My grandmother used vinegar for everything — it was her ‘Windex’ (for those of you who have seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding.) Nana would use vinegar to clean the counter, and in the next moment stick some on a my lip if I had a fever blister. 20 Mule Team Borax is another wonder substance with tons of uses

Chicken noodle soup cures a cold. There is science that has proven that chicken noodle soup actually helps stop the inflammation that comes with having a virus.  Google it.

Wrinkles merely indicate where smiles have been. This wasn’t exactly a saying of hers, but she had a little plaque with this saying on it, and it sticks with me to this day any time I see a sign of aging.

Family comes first. Whether it’s the family you were born with or one you’ve come to adopt, family will get you through anything. Treat your genetic and friend family with love, respect and loyalty. And you will be rewarded with the same.

These nuggets are actually stitchings of what two grandmas and my mom have taught me. There are dozens of habits I’ve picked up, and musings that regularly echo in my head from generations of wise women.

What did your mom or grandma pass along to you?

Namaste.

- Your Charmed Yogi

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Can You Be A Buddhist Christian?

CharmedYogi:

Love this post.

Originally posted on Applied Buddhism:

I visited my my family this weekend for a picnic. They live in Chicago. I live almost eight hours away and other family members live even farther. It is rare to get us all together and so I felt compelled to show.  I had to deal with many questions of my Buddhist faith. Most of my family is heavily invested into their Christianity and to them, the concepts of any other faith are considered false.

So how do you speak with a Christian that is trying to understand that Buddhism a wholesome practice for everyone?

WHAT KIND OF BUDDHIST or CHRISTIAN ARE YOU?

The first issue that must be addressed, I realized, is that when we say Christian or Buddhist there is an assumption that all Buddhists and Christians practice their faiths homogenously.

Of course, this is not true.  Ask a Catholic about their faith and it becomes clear that…

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Creating Inner Peace by Leaning into Tension

Originally posted on Right Hand Writer:

We hold tension in our tissues, muscles and mind.

By gently leaning into that tension and learning how to breathe and be present and comfortable in that tension is the first step to inner peace.  When leaning into that tight spot, think of space, think of the vast sky.  Lean into the muscle or tissue tension for a few seconds, think of creating space, and then release back into a neutral place.  With gentle persistence by committing to our Yoga practice we will create space, we will release that tension and learn to be comfortable and learn to be present.

This works the same for tension in the mind.  If you have a scary or uncomfortable thought, lean into it, sit with it for a few seconds.  Then let it go, think of creating space. 

We don’t have to look outward anymore for relief.  That place of peace resides inside…

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Keep mindfully floating, no matter what

The journey of this little boat is such an inspiring metaphor for remaining unattached to what happens to us in life — good or bad.  Life IS change. Observe, experience, and keep going. Enjoy watching the story of this mindful little boat.

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”  ― James Baldwin

Namaste.

- Your Charmed Yogi

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15 Random Acts of Kindness That Take Less Than 5 Minutes

Originally posted on The Happsters:

I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2014 so far! I wanted to share with you some simple random acts of kindness that everyone has time for. All of the suggestions below take less than 5 minutes! I hope to knock these all out in less than a week. Are you with me?

15 Random acts of kindness

Are you going to do any of these random acts of kindness? Do you have another random act of kindness that isn’t on the list? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Receive an email each Friday featuring something to make you smile as you go into the weekend here: http://tinyurl.com/heyheyfriday

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Why I didn’t take pictures at Christmas

Throeau quote

I love to take pictures and write, especially in nature.  As I writer, I try to capture thoughts or feelings that strike me as powerful. As a photographer, I want to get the shot that no one else can get or zoom in and snap a photo of a bird that would otherwise be too far away. But, I’ve recently decided to change my focus (literally), and try to take life in through all five senses, mindfully.

Every year, for the past 4 years or so, I have taken my niece to Build-a-Bear workshop for Christmas.  This year was no different, it’s our thing. We either get breakfast or dinner and then head to the place where dreams come true for many an un-stuffed animal. She’s allowed to pick whatever animal she wants and dress it however she likes (fashion tastes aside).

Until this year, I spent each visit diligently recording my niece picking out her new friend, selecting a sound for it, stuffing it, putting in a heart, and ‘bathing’ it so it’s ready to go home.  The pictures are still great to go back and look at when I miss her.  I’ve realized, though, when looking at them, that I wasn’t truly present for the experience — not as much as I could have been.

I spent more time concerned with how I’d capture the moment for posterity and memory than I did on witnessing it in the moment. So, this year, we did our thing but rather than watch the event through an iPhone screen, I was as in the moment as I could be.  We had a great time, and whether or not she was able to pick up on the nuance of my presence, I did. Pictures can get lost or destroyed (unfortunately), but moments can’t truly be recaptured, they have to be lived when they are happening.

Changing my focus at Christmas and beyond has been extremely rewarding.  There are many more flavors in each bite of food and something as simple as seeing a beam of sunlight on the bark of a tree is more pleasurable than you’d think.

How are you living more mindfully?

Namaste.

- Your Charmed Yogi

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