Wellness is defined as the state of health that is free from disease. Many people suffer from a lack of health and wellness and as a result they experience a plethora of symptoms that can manifest physically, mentally, and emotionally. Living a well-balanced life with a central source of inspiration is key in maintaining health.
Mary Jo Ricketson, the founder of the Center for Mind-Body Training in the Boston area, believes each and every one of us are equipped with the potential to experience optimal well-being of mind and body. Referring to this state of wellness as the ‘good within,’ Ricketson has compiled a new book of yoga and exercise titled Moving Meditation, complete with quotes, fitness and yoga instruction, and intentions for living an inspired life on and off the yoga mat.
In an effort to aid in the reduction of stress through faith, the pages in Moving Meditation are graced by a God-centered approach to wellness. With the majority of quotes from the Bible, and several references to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the book carries a weighty Christian tone, however the author does include inspiration from other religions and spiritual teachers such as the Buddha, Kahlil Gibran, and Lao Tzu. (more…)
Fat-free potato chips and low-calorie onion dip may grace your picnic table this Memorial Day. Or maybe an ice-cold beer is your perfect accompaniment to the spirit of freedom that dances across your weed-free yard. And nothing says “barbeque” more than an extra day off of work, but sometimes the food and drink takes the spotlight away from the real reason for the celebration. We must not forget the brave men and women who gave their lives so we can feel safe reveling on our shaded back patios.
For some, Memorial Day is just another unmemorable day that makes for a three-day weekend. For others, it is simply an opportunity to try their hand at baking a deep dish apple pie for a neighbor. While many Americans have a sense of disconnect to the idea of war, few gravely understand first hand the sacrifice it takes to have enough nerve to stand up for what they believe.
Instead of stockpiling the turkey hotdogs or turning grandma’s bean dip into the highlight of the day, take a moment to sit quietly and give gratitude to those who died at war. You don’t have to listen to Taps, but you can be sensitive to the real reason for this special American holiday. (more…)
Weight loss is a biggie when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. I can safely bet that hundreds of thousands, if not more, set an intention at the start of this year to get fit and lose weight.
January, with its cold and snowy days, is a good month to spend in the gym, and many people will enthusiastically buy memberships, join classes, or hire personal trainers. If we can get through the chocolate and candy laden month of February, we’re in pretty good shape. By the time March hits, the warmer weather triggers thoughts of wearing shorts and sleeveless tops, and that keeps us motivated to stay on track.
However, when April rolls around we have either realized our weight loss goal, or we’ve hit a major plateau and just can’t seem to get past it. If you’re experiencing a lull in your weight loss efforts, now is a good time relax, regroup, and restore your choices and actions so you can get past the weigh loss slump and shed those last few pounds.
Rather than add another workout to your already full schedule, or cut back on the calories from your near starvation diet, try meditation to step up your weight loss progress. However counter-intuitive it may sound, using meditation to get over a weight loss hump can be very effective. (more…)
Yoga studios in New York City are some of the most cutting edge in the nation. The city not only offers immensely diverse styles of yoga, it usually creates, or sets the tone for what kinds of trends and crazes the rest of the country can expect to see in the coming years. From inverting your body in a silk hammock to sweating buckets in hot yoga, New York City yoga studios have it all.
As a leader in capturing and perpetuating yoga trends, New York City is now seeing more and more meditation classes gracing yoga studio schedules. According to Sharon Salzberg, a meditation expert and teacher in the big apple, “Meditation is no longer seen as fringe, esoteric and weird.” Alan Finger, founder and co-owner of Ishta Yoga said, “There is a flood of more people wanting more meditation.” Adding that he has had to increase the number of meditation classes he offers to keep up with the demand.
Time will only tell how meditation will hold up in the sea of changing needs. Perhaps instead of working on getting the perfect yoga butt, we can take a few moments to sit quietly and ponder the idea. (more…)
Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States, even though it can be prevented with a just few simple lifestyle changes. Call it ignorance, lack of motivation, or a complete disregard for personal health; certain people continue to put themselves at risk of dying from a heart attack. Lists of excuses may have superseded action, however as of late, a lack of money is no longer an issue in maintaining good health. Medicare is now covering programs that contribute to positive lifestyle changes, such as yoga, healthy eating, and relaxation.
Based on an agenda that teaches clients about plant-based diets, meditation, and regular exercise, the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is one of the plans covered by Medicare. It is employed to teach patients how to take better care of their heart.
Nutrition, stress management, moderate exercise and group support are the four components that make up the program. Contrary to popular belief that a new pill or potion will erase poor lifestyle habits, the Dean Ornish program let’s people regain their health by doing it the old fashioned way, by earning it.
Sunday Night, Oprah‘s network aired her show, “Next Chapter.” The show went into depth covering Transcendental Meditation or TM. The Huffington Post says that Winfrey, while speaking with Dr. Oz last year, described having more of a spiritual than bodily fulfillment, and that the practice of Transcendental Mediation was part of her overall attempt to “connect with that which is God.”
If you are not aware of TM, it is a simple form of meditation practiced 20 minutes twice a day. It is based on the ancient Vedic tradition of enlightenment in India. It was created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi about 50 years ago.
It is not specific to a religion or lifestyle and many celebrities practice TM, including Oprah. There are more than five million people worldwide that practice this form of meditation, making it one of the more popular versions.
It is unique from other forms of meditation because unlike other styles that have you focus on your breathing or a single thought, it allows your mind to naturally transcend without forcing it to go somewhere in particular. (more…)
Flitting about like a hummingbird, dancing around every thought, whim and compulsive urge is how many of us go about our day. With an extremely high level of external stimulation hitting us from all angles (the computer screen, cell phone beeps, television commercials, radio jingles, shimmering billboards, etc.), giving our brain a rest is getting harder and harder to do.
Some people just don’t take the time to sit quietly, and thoughtlessly yet mindfully examine their state of being. Many of us claim to be too busy, disinterested or skeptical of the benefits a little time out of mind can provide. But science continues to uncover the truth that sitting quietly, slowing our thoughts and relaxing our brain may do more for us than we think.
Meditation, from its rise in popularity in the late 1960’s to its revival among millions of modern peace seeking yogis, has proven beneficial on so many levels. It is not only physically relaxing, it also helps make us smarter and feel less stressed.
Whether you observe Lent for religious purposes, or just use the time as an opportunity to reflect, realign and restate your New Year’s resolutions, the 40 days that follow Mardi Gras can help you adapt to healthier habits.
The following suggestions will help you brighten your perspective during this thoughtful time of restraints so you don’t experience success-stealing withdrawals from your favorite guilty pleasures. Turn your old bad habits into new healthy habits by incorporating mindfulness meditation and yoga, and by repeating positive affirmations.
The next time you find yourself craving left over Valentine’s Day candy for example, instead of rushing for the half eaten heart shaped box of chocolates, stop and take a moment to think before you act. Feeling powerless over food cravings can lower your self-esteem, leading to more cravings. Break the vicious cycle by pausing, connecting with the feelings and sensations associated with wanting to eat the candy, and then let go of the need to oblige your desire. Easier said than done? Not if you practice, again and again. The more you partake in mindfulness meditation, the more natural it becomes. Eventually you will be the ruler of your cravings, rather than a slave to them.
For many, Lent is a time to give up something for the purpose of honoring the 40 days Jesus was said to walk through the desert, lured by the devil on many occasions. Christian or otherwise, Lent can be observed by anyone wanting to experience discipline, inner strength and conviction. Whether it is a vice we’ve been battling with, an addiction we need to curb, or simply the wish to deny ourselves our favorite luxury, the essence is in finding the devotion and dedication to let go of the inner demon of temptation.
Forty days is a long time to live without something you’ve been used to doing or having. Some of us make it easy on ourselves, while others will go all out in an effort to really challenge themselves. I have heard vegetarians say they are going to give up meat for Lent, and just recently my father told me he was going to give up listening to his Wayne Newton albums. Both are absurd, the prior for obvious reasons, and for those of you who don’t know my dad, he is definitely not a fan of Wayne Newton.
But for those of you who are actually going to give up something that will make you squirm, cringe, and want to renounce your devotion, the following meditation will help you stay the course.
Many people will be hitting the ski slopes over President’s Day weekend, and lift lines will continue to grow through spring break and beyond. The air may be thin at the top of the lift but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to breathe. In fact, Anne Anderson, a certified ski instructor from Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut, takes advantage of the fresh mountain air by teaching her skiers breathing and meditation practices as part of her lesson plan.
Snowga, a combination of the two words ‘snow’ and ‘yoga’ is the latest hybrid yoga class to hit the slopes. A blend of yoga and skiing, Snowga helps to improve your downhill skiing skills by incorporating yoga poses, breath work, and meditation. Created by Anderson, Snowga also helps skiers face their fears of the mountain and stay calm and relaxed on difficult terrain. “Yoga has a natural benefit of healing. It calms the mind and body and is a true compliment to snow sports education,” Anderson told Fox News in a recent interview.
Anderson is not the only skier who practices yoga on and off the slopes. U.S. Ski Team freestyle mogul skier Heather McPhie adds a little yoga to the days she skis. “It is so helpful in keeping my body more physically prepared and is a wonderful pause in my day where I get away from everything else and just center,” McPhie also explained in her interview with Fox News.