Friday, December 31, 2010

Planet Love

Time for the traditional midnight hug, but lets not forget about giving a little love to the world the rest of the year as well. Cheers and good will to everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Year In Review

I haven't been writing much lately. I think my mind has taken a hiatus to absorb all that transpired this year. I'm in a very different place - quite literally- than when I started back in January. This week a powerful storm blew in leaving a large white blanket of snow and a sense that the peaceful quiet of winter has settled in. Myself, I'm ready to settle in for a long winters rest. It's a good metaphor for the year. With each storm something blew away not needed any longer and left me freed up to live a fuller life. My yoga practice has changed radically, I can't really say where it is at the moment, where it will go, or what direction I'll follow. I'm just going with the restorative flow and allowing what happens to happen. My practice is part home, part studio and quite small. I appreciate my moments on the mat, but I don't feel pressured to squeeze the life out of it. I just let it unfold, even it that means a half hour in savansana, that's where it is right now and that the right place to be. My doctorate, a constant source of stress and exhaustion is a work in progress. Again no conclusions, I need to accept and breath through it and have faith, even though I can't see the forest from the trees at the moment. The biggest conclusion was knowing it was time to move out of an urban area and into our own home. So much work had been done over the course of our time in the condo. The list of people working in there was endless, but I don't think it was in vain. Eventually I'll sell it, in the meantime there is is, a monument to a chapter complete. I'm thankful everyday I had the opportunity, and endlessly thankful I don't live there anymore. Ironically, I struggle less with feeling over obligated although my daily commute has doubled, perhaps I'm just getting better at that one. I was reading Linda's Yoga Journey and she mentioned this was a year of endings but not ones filled with trauma, just things completed. I thought yeah, wow, that's it, and that's actually a really good thing. Thanks for sharing Linda, its just what I needed, perfect.
Wishing everyone good endings and sweet beginnings.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Feeling State

The slow passion
to that deliberate progress

Thom Gunn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

coffee breath


It's all about staying organized and the coffee of course! This has been an intense little period with big, big payoffs. I just completed a training that I've been involved in for most of the 2010 year. This month we met for our last session and completion felt wonderful. I also looked forward to seeing the people I've gotten used to spending time with from this training. I will miss not seeing them but I don't feel there is a loss here, but a gain. I've met some wonderful people and my profession is so small that we essentially know each other, so you never loose touch with people. I have final exam papers due this week and then I get some time to take long walks with the dogs, develop a home practice, take some yoga classes at the lovely new studio I have discovered and put the coffee down and have some long deep breaths instead.

Wishing everyone good wishes and smooth sailing!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Feeling the rush


The Busy Life
'Live life one day at a time.' L.G.H.
In the midst of a busy life a call yells out,
The beauty of the wild a beacon to a restless heart,
But amidst this busy life there's comfort
In the mind, and a constant thought of doubt
Secures the feet aground, the sound of waves ashore
That mingles with the breeze of dawn,
Tha sun lazily rising from the East, its rays reflects
The beauty a calm morning does bring,
The eyes that's closed can see the imaginings
Of minds that love the peace the wild does bring,
A walk by the shore, the bare feet touches the sand
Reminds the heart the beauty of life in the wilds,
Nature - sea and land - a balance to a restless busy mind
In constant thought of life in need of a balanced busy life.
'From the cubicle of my imaginings'
Jona PoloRamirez

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Spin, Dreydl, Spin

We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never-so-little scar.
William James

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ah baby, it's cold outside!

It's getting cold out there and as the weather changes I can feel the transition happening in my body as well. I'm going a bit slower, drinking hot liquids and sleeping more. The end of November-particularly in areas with a pronounced four seasons - is an excellent time to make a seasonal shift in eating, lifestyle and yoga. Here are some suggestions and ideas to make the transitions a little smoother and more comfortable.

Foods
Shift from cold, raw foods such as salads and smoothies to foods that warm the body; soups, stews and roasted root vegetables. Incorporate pungent foods and herbs in your diet. herbs includes ginger, garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, horseradish, and rosemary. Pungent foods include turnips, broccoli, daikon, celery, kohlrabi, mustard greens, kale, and green cabbage. I also like Dave Winston's ginseng soup when your under the weather

Pungent foods produce the following benefits necessary for good health in the winter:
  • Increases warmth and stimulates the body
  • Stimulate circulation of blood and energy
  • Keep the lungs clear and open
  • Dries phlegm mucous, and congestion
  • Balances fluids
  • Improve sluggish liver function
  • Relieves some types of arthritis
Yoga
Practice pranayama breathing once a day. I suggest three part durga breath, kapalabhati, and Surya Bhedana (Right Nostril Breathing) " Seventy percent of the body’s wastes are processed through the breath. Most people get one-quarter to one-fifth of the amount of oxygen the lungs were designed to hold. That’s a major deficit for cells that are trying desperately to process food, release toxins and provide energy for all your body’s needs. Without enough oxygen your cells are suffocating, can’t process food properly, are filled with sludge and toxins, and you run out of energy."

  • Keep your muscles warm, wear extra layers.
  • Start you practice with Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations). This will help you keep warm, flexible and increase your energy as well as keep your body stretched and nimble.
  • Stretch that spine with with both feet apart, hands above your head
  • Practice standing Yoga poses such as Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Utthita Trikonasana (Reversed Triangle Pose)
  • sitting poses such as Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
  • inverted postures like Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall, Inverted Pose), prone poses such as Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Chakrasana (Wheel Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Shalabhasana (Locust Pose).


Lifestyle
Conserve your energy to preserve good health. Slow down and get more rest. The body renews and restores when it's at rest and living creatures need more sleep during transitions, so extra time napping , going to bed earlier or sleeping later will help increase your bodies immune system, creating a stronger system to fight cold and flu season. So, curl up with a good book, sit by the fire sipping something hot and don't forget to dress warmly.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Old endings and new beginnings

One of the areas in yoga I really love is chanting mantras and singing. My yoga teacher trainings emphasized this aspect and we always had a lot of chanting in all our classes. Unfortunately this has not carried over to the extent I would like in my own teachings or classes I have taken since teacher training. I'm a little shy about leading a mantra and the main studio where I had practiced would only om in the beginning of class and namaste at the end. There was never any other chanting or separate breath exercises in the class itself. The studio I am now practicing in has chanting, mantras, prayers, music, pranayama and philosophy. I love it, it's perfect!

I truly feel, I as well as every other living creatures great and small, are on a personal journey of evolution. We need different things at different times and if we are presented with everything all at once we become overwhelmed and reject everything. The studio I practiced for many years was great for me at the time. I feel it was there to introduce one area of yoga which turned out to be a great influence and greatly assisted my own evolution as a yoga teacher. This studio, which could fall into focusing on the physical only, get a little too body beautiful and a bit too youthful at times had a quirky little restorative class taught by a teacher, that without knowing gave me a great big cosmic push on my path. Once I had migrated restorative into my own teachings and that teacher left to do other things, I found my interest in taking class at that particular studio diminish completely. I think it was a great journey and in the end I just wasn't supposed to be there anymore.

To my former studio I have feelings of love and gratitude. Thank you for everything, I really enjoyed my time, I got so much out of so many wonderful teachers. I learned a tremendous amount and I am so very grateful. So...... thank you for everything, good bye, and take care of yourself.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'd like to be under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade.


Jason deCaires Taylor has created a stunning collection of art. His work is a unique and brilliant expression of art and the environment. Taylor carves cement stone figures, submerges them into the sea where he then arranges the figures in different scenes of surreal and everyday life. Eventually the pieces themselves become an artificial reef. His underwater art is not only contributing to the aesthetic quality of life but incredibly helpful from an ecological point of view.
The following is a description taken from his site
"Oceans teem with microscopic organisms that are constantly drifting down towards the sea bed, attaching to and colonising on the way any hard secure surface, such as rock outcrops, and thereby creating the basis of a natural reef. Coral reefs attract an array of marine life (such as colourful fish, turtles, sea urchins, sponges, and sharks) and also provide enclosed spaces for sea creatures to breed or take refuge. "
"Only about 10 – 15% of the sea bed has a solid enough substratum to allow reefs to form naturally. In order to increase the number of reefs in these areas artificial reefs have recently been created from materials that are durable, secure and environmentally sensitive. These reefs appear to have been successful in that they have attracted coral growth which, in turn, can support an entire marine ecosystem. "
"One of the greatest benefits of artificial reefs is that they have lifted the pressure off natural reefs which, over the past few decades, have been over-fished and over-visited. By diverting attention to artificial reefs, natural reefs have now been given a greater chance to repair and to regenerate."
To be further amazed by his incredible work click here

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bringing it on home

beautythatmoves.typepad.com
Now that were getting moved in and settled I feel the need to submerge into my practice. I have been eyeing a few studios which I am genuinely interested in trying out, but each time I schedule in a little time for a visit my heart just kind of sinks. I'm just not motivated to seek out something new right now and I defiantly have no intention of going back to the old. At this time I would just rather be practicing on my own. A serious prerequisites when we were looking at homes was a place where we could build a designated space just for a practice. Not a room which is also a bedroom or an office or storage area or a partial place where you could roll out a mat, but a complete space which is only for practice. This house being perfect in just the right ways has such a space. At the moment we have all our art lined up against the walls and its a but crowded and chaotic, but it will either be hung or stored away by the end of the weekend leaving the space free and clear for its intended use It's time to rediscover my home practice and let things roll out in a solitary manner for a while. Restorative work is calling me these days, so its time to get out the blocks, straps and blankets and just begin.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Until then, Namaste

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Moving Along

Just a quick drop in. I am feeling much, much better I was completely down for the count. Between work, classes, moving and getting sick there hasn't been any time to write in my little blog. I'm hoping I can regain some consistency now that things are settling in. I'm fairly unpacked, work and classes just keep trucking along as usual and I've regained health, which is fabulous! I love my new house and I'm looking forward to an entirely new exploration in my yoga practice. It's a new life and I embrace this change with happiness and clarity knowing I'm moving in the right direction. I have taken a little hiatus from my yoga practice which was a very good idea. I needed some time to gather my thoughts and heal. It's been a a few months now and I'm ready to return, but on entirely different ground. I have a lot to say about it, but another time. In the meantime I wish everyone peace, rest and deep meditations........

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Soul and Body


It the midst of boxes and chaos and moving I got really sick. I have not been this sick in years. Mostly what I want to do is sleep, have some hot herbal tea ,and chicken broth. Today is a landmark day as I feel a little better which means being up for a bout 45 minutes before I am totally blown out with exhaustion. Sorry, I'm not very interesting these days and not too much fun. Just wanted to check in and say I'm still here just a bit under the weather at the moment.

This recipe was taken from the Chef Maven November 30, 2008
http://thechefmaven.com/2008/11/30/best-chicken-soup-recipe-for-colds-and-flu/
Chicken Soup
The cooking process is rather simple, you will be adding the ingredients along with the chicken and water and allowing it all to boil then simmer for at least 90 minutes until the chicken is done. Then removing the chicken allowing it to cool so that you can remove the meat from the bones. Then cooking your noodles separately if you want to add them to your soup, then adding the last of the reserved veggies to your soup and returning the now-deboned chicken along with the noodles to the soup and serving it up to you and your family.

Ingredients:
One large Soup Pot
chicken pieces – I used three leg quarters (legs and thighs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 stalks celery – diced (reserve one stalk)
2 jalapenos – diced (or more)
2 medium sized onions – diced
3 large carrots – diced (reserve one carrot)
2+ teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon+ red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons of FRESH rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4-6 whole ‘cloves’ of allspice
2 large bay leaves – fresh or dried
6-8 cups of water
2 tablespoons of ‘better than bouillon’ chicken flavored paste (optional)
4 stalks of scallions – diced and added at the end.
2 cups dried noodles (optional & cooked separately near the end)
chopped fresh parsley or cilantro added at end or to the bowls when serving.
Directions:

Gather your ingredients and place your large stock pot on your stove or even use your slow cooker.
Add olive oil to your stock pot (if you are using your slow cooker omit this step and simply add your ingredients to the slow cooker starting with the vegetables first, then add the chicken, then the water and turn it on)
Remember to reserve one celery stalk, one carrot and all the scallions – you will be adding those last to the soup pot once your chicken has cooked and you have removed the meat from the bones and replaced it back into the soup – this keeps them slightly crunchy and adds color)
Add diced onions, celery and carrots to the mix and turn the heat under pot.
Allow the vegetables to sweat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While vegetables are cooking, remove skin off chicken and separate legs from thighs.
Add chicken to pot, add all remaining ingredients: garlic, spices, salt and pepper, jalapenos, etc. (except for one carrot, one celery stalk, scallions)
Add water to pot enough to bring the water level to about one inch from the top.
Allow to come to a boil, then lower heat and allow the soup to simmer for at least 90 minutes.
Scoop out chicken. Let cool slightly so it is easier to remove meat from bones.
While noodles are cooking (see next step) and chicken is cooling, add the reserved diced carrot, celery and scallions to the soup.
When removing meat from the chicken bones, I like to keep the chicken in chunks.
Cook noodles separately and when done drain and rinse noodles before adding to soup.
Serve up in bowls to feed your cold and starve your fever!
Thank you Chef Mavan I will be using your recipe today,
to everyone else, namaste and good health.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moving Day!

I'm delighted to report we started moving into our new home this weekend. I am completely ready and on board with this and elated a new chapter has finally begun. It's sweet chaos at the moment, but it feels right. By this time next week we will be completely moved out and into our new home, and by the following week this place will be ready to rent. I have no bitter feelings, it's just time to go. I knew when I bought this place it would never be home. It was my first place and I learned a lot and I'm grateful for that. I accomplished a lot while I was here as well and many happy things happened as a few personal tragic ones. I'm at peace with my decision, it was what it was supposed to be, and I got out of it all I could. So I leave feeling good and solid with my only sadness that Cisco can not come with us, he would have loved the new house.
I went to yoga class yesterday for the first time in weeks. It was nice to be sharing time with others, and I badly needed the practice, but once again, I'm over it. I can tell I've mentally left that studio as well. My interests have expanded to include other areas of practice. I had the opportunity to learn from some dynamic teachers. The instruction and some of the practice made a permanent stamp on my own teaching and I am forever thankful but it's time to move on. I have some studios and teachers to explore once we're moved in and unpacked a bit. I'm really excited and open to all the new opportunities and discoveries just ahead. Its a great feeling.Non attachment, so hard but it can be so good!
I'll leave you with a nice poem about home and hearth and internal love and warmth and hugs, kisses and all that good stuff! Have a fabulous day everyone.
A Home Song
I read within a poet's book
A word that starred the page:
"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage!"
Yes, that is true; and something more
You'll find, where'er you roam,
That marble floors and gilded walls
Can never make a home.

But every house where Love abides,
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home-sweet-home:
For there the heart can rest.
Henry Van Dyke

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not your typical girl

17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010
Ari Up aka Madussa (born Arianna Forster), passed away Wednesday from what her stepfather John Lyndon described as a "serous illness." I'm so sad to say after a long battle with cancer this passionate creative force of nature decided it was time to go. A natural feminist with a strong message and a belief in the validity of her work, she was instrumental in shaping an attitude that women can be strong, sexy, powerful, individual and creative. Even young girls in the post punk eighties who weren't aware of the Slits were influenced by her style. A generation came of age as many female musicians unabashedly crashed the male dominated punk scene and made their own original and unique statement. American music journalist Lester Bangs described Ari Up, “In all sorts of rags and a fishnet shawl, high footing around the dance floor like some mix of spider and strutting ostrich.”
Her initial journey started when she was 14 as a founding member of the Slits, a mainly all female punk band. This seemed a natural choice as her mother was promoting bands in the music industry. She was deeply influenced by the music around her which quite literally floated in and out of her day to day life. Ari's mother took her daughter to see the sex pistols in London . A big night for everyone as it turned out, Ari met a founding band mate there and formed a band shortly after, her mother eventually married the singer. The slits were together from 1976 to the early eighties. The music was deeply influenced by her love of reggae, a style which she would later fully explore in the dancehall scene in Jamaica, London and Flatbush New York. Her initial work with the slits can best be described as dub music. This genre consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, emphasizing the drum and bass. The Slits had catchy tunes which were pop fun with a Jamaican feel.
After her time with the Slits, she traveled extensively living in Belize, Indonesia, and finally settled permanently in Kingston Jamaica. In 2005, Ari Up reformed The Slits, and in 2006 released the EP Revenge of the Killer Slits. “The only burden of the Slits is that we were ahead of our time, we're pretty much the same. We're not very much tamed. Nobody was able to tame us over the years. So you'd be surprised. We're just revolutionary because that's just what we are.”

Dedicated to her art, soulful and true to her vision she believed in her herself. She had a profound respect for woman everywhere and no tolerance for misogynistic men which I'm sure were in no short supply in the world she lived grew up in. She was also a naturalist and holistic. She paved the way for people like Isa Chandra Moskowitz and organizations like Food not Bombs to exist under the premise of being punk rock, healthy living, and for the greater good all at the same time. You were never a typical girl, quite the opposite, uncharacteristic and completely unique. Thank you for your honesty you were very brave in this lifetime. Peace and love to you on your journey.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dreaming of Full Moons


Full Moon and Little Frieda
A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket –
And you listening.
A spider’s web, tense for the dew’s touch.
A pail lifted, still and brimming – mirror
To tempt a first star to a tremor.
Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm wreaths of breath –
A dark river of blood, many boulders,
Balancing unspilled milk.
"Moon!” you cry suddenly, “Moon! Moon!”
The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work
That points at him amazed.
Ted Hughes, from Wodwo (1967)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Boxes and Lobsters

This is where it's at these days. The goal is to be completely packed in the next five days. It has been my experience that "completely packed" usually means 85% of what you have is actually packed, when you think 98.5% is stuffed into boxes and ready to roll. Its a funny little phenomena. As I'm packing I see how much stuff has accumulated over the years and I am struck by it. I think this is in part because I do not view myself as a materialistic person and in part because I can't actually recall where a lot of it came from. As I said, I consider myself fairly free from materialistic entrapment but really that's probably just a pretty little fantasy in my head. For example; isn't it time to throw away five years of yoga journal magazines that have been stored down in the my basement for who knows how long, or how about all the books I've read that now just sit on my bookshelf collecting dust, or the purses neatly lined up in the closet that haven't been used in a decade, and why do I keep dragging my undergraduate statistics book with me wherever I go? Seriously, why am I holding on to these things? It's time to take a shaky hand and start piling stuff into a big black trash bag headed toward the recycle bin or donation to Goodwill. I think this is the week to tackle that little demon. Yeah that's right, that's me in the hoodie running up those stairs, fearless!
In the meantime tonights the annual lobster bake C and I have every year. This is a downright feel good evening where we give thanks and celebrate the harvest in our own deeply unique way associated with our environment and spiritual beliefs. Taking time to give thanks and to this beautiful planet for the abundance and love she gives us in selfless abandon. Oh yeah, rock on.....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I hear you and I am listening!


Yep, we did it. I did not expect this to happen immediately, but it did. We found the perfect home, in the perfect place, and it all came together instantly. This is 48 hours after making an affirmative decision to shut the fuck up and let the universe take a turn. Ironically it's much closer to a yoga center I have been very interested in exploring but haven't been able to since I moved to this part of the city. So for now its all boxes, and packing tape and calls to arrange things that need to be done......... Oh yeah, I am feeling it, and it feels FINE.
Wishing everyone a happy, strong and beautiful day.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Understanding


This weekend was a series of nasty incidents which culminated at the end of the weekend with me walking out of my favorite yoga class. All were big messages and none could be ignored. When you've outgrown something its just not going to fit any longer and you can't make it, period. Each incident involved something very personal and close to home, where I walk my dogs, where I live, where take my yoga classes. No ignoring these places. OK I get it, we've outgrown it. The other piece is knowing your listening and the universe is responding when everything starts to come together instantly. OK, lets do it.
Wishing everyone a peaceful day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Forecast


A warm October,
A cold February.
When leaves fall early,
Fall and Winter will be mild;
When leaves fall late,
Winter will be severe.
Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry,
Will cause snow to gather in a hurry.
Much rain in October,
Much wind in December.
Full Moon in October without frost,
No frost 'till November's Full Moon.
( weather lore for the month of October)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something Peaceful


Come on Everybody Get Happy.......



"The happiest people spend 30% less time parked in front of the tube, according to a University of Maryland study that analyzed 34 years of data from more than 45,000 Americans. They’re more likely to spend time socializing, reading, or attending religious services—habits that are linked to better moods and health. "

Monday, September 27, 2010

Too Much

Life has been an unpleasant blur which isn't going to let up until the last weekend in October. There will be one or two bright spots like the annual family clam bake C and I have every year which is completely wonderful and something to look forward to, but for the most part the stuff going on right now is unpleasant. This is a blur of too much coming at me at one once. Its been the worst start to the year I have ever had, the worst start professionally, and I have never had so much personally and professionally at one time either. I am not only exhausted but find I'm rather depressed. Its a rough ride and I feel an instinctual urge to protect myself. It's at these times when I am very quiet and inward about my actions and words that I always notice how few boundaries some people have and I will go out of my way to stay away as these people make me miserably uncomfortable. So many people with so few boundaries, narcissistic personalities who just suck the life out of every living thing. Yeah, this is tough, no two ways about it. Miserable, miserable time.............

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peace Day


The International Day of Peace, also known as the World Peace Day, occurs annually on September 21. It is dedicated to peace, or specifically the absence of war, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone. It is observed by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples. The first year this holiday was celebrated was 1981.

To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents. It was given as a gift by the Diet of Japan, and is referred to as "a reminder of the human cost of war." The inscription on its side reads: "Long live absolute world peace."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dance in the Fells

Last Sunday while we were having a walk in the woods we ran across a group of dancers having a rehearsal. It was pleasing and calming. We made our excuses to stop and watch a while as others did as well. We all just stood and gazed while these lovely ladies silently swept through the trees. To add to the delight they had the most wonderful props. A little wooden table and a chair in the forest with some writings from the Fells. My favorite was the Voice of a Tree in The Middlesex Fells written by Rosewell Lawrence and published by the Appalachian Mountain club in 1883. There was also a book on ornithology and some old binoculars.

October 9, 2010 from 1-6pm there will be several free performances throughout the Middlesex Fells. These pieces will include music, trees, dancers and dogs. You can find information on times, places and directions at The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation or Two Roads performance projects.

How ideal, a walk in the woods on a lovely autumn days with musicians, dance and dogs. Sounds perfect!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September Day



The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August,
and here and there a yellow leaf
shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty
who has seen one season too many.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hakini Mudra


September is here and with it comes a flurry of conversation and activity often precluded by the statement, "let me get my schedule book." School, work, meetings, projects to be completed, schedules to be kept, work to be submitted, papers to be found and filed and holiday planning can make this time of year taxing on the brain and generally overwhelming. Many of us had a hot steamy summer with some down time to rest and recharge before heading into the Autumn. Our brains now need to find space for new schedules, deadlines, facts, and other details small and large. A nice mudra to combat the barrage of mental activity coming your way is hakini mudra.
The hakini or hakim mudra can be practiced at any time. This mudra is practiced when you would like to remember something, generate an inspirational or novel idea, or just want to increase your general memory strength for longer periods of concentration.
You can practice this mudra either sitting or standing but it is best to face west. Place your fingertips together, direct your eyes upward, place the tip of your tongue on your gums while inhaling, and let the tongue fall again while exhaling, then take a deep breath. Include this mudra in your practice or preform individually. Practice 15 minutes a day either at one time or several times a day.
It has been determined that the finger position of this mudra promotes the cooperation between the right and left brain hemispheres. It opens access to the right hemisphere, where memory is stored, and improves respiration which increases oxygen to the brain and aids in mental efficiency.
On a side note it is suggested you don't cross you feet when doing mental work.
Wishing everyone pleasant, well organized days :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Peace


We are all together
Like knitting
If we will accept each other
And be open to each other
And believe in each other
We will understand
That we are all a beautiful combination
Equal and different
If we want, we can
We are all a great combination
Of human beings
Anonymous

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Can't quite put my finger on it but I think its a combination of a few things, mostly stuff going on in my head, but it's been a good long time between a solid nights sleep. I'm having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep and wake up far too early. Intervention is needed before I have a mini crash. Swimming is always helpful for me and it looks like I'll be headed to the pool but my immediate solution is a little viparita karani.

Viparita karani or feet up against the wall position has profound restorative effects on the body. If your feeling a real need to rejuvenate and come back to balance its good to devote a practice to this one pose. A daily practice would be 20-30 minutes. As a general rule its not recommended a person should exceed this amount of time in this inverted position.


This position leads to an increase in blood flow to your upper body as well as to your brain which is very useful to maintain your blood pressure and calm your nervous system. It has numerous other benefits as well but for now that's what I'm aiming for a little calm and relaxation to get me to sleep at night.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Here's to a new year


Have the best year possible,
Love and peace to all.
Shana Tova

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Morning

Tea
enjoying the company
of poetry
in these early hours
before work
sipping tea
(Some Short Poems)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Autumn Prescription

Today as we hiked in the woods there was a feel in the air and a noticeable increase in the number of leaves changing colors or already falling. The change is happening and before long we’ll be thinking about hats, gloves and scarves. September is still summer, late summer but an excellent time to begin to shift gears for cooler months to come. There are some very nice practices which ready the body for a shift in temperature and lifestyle.
Sleeping
This is a good time to ground the body through resting more and setting a regular routine. Ideally retiring at 10 and awakening at 5 or 6 a.m. From 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. the liver is purifying while you’re sleeping, so it’s important to help the system rejuvenate and cleanse by giving yourself a routine sleeping pattern.
Eating
Every season is associated with one of natures 5 elements. In Autumn the metal element is at its peak, which governs the energy of our lung and large intestine health. Consider adding some of these foods to support your lungs and intestines as well as help ground and nourish your mind:
Pumpkin, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, winter squash, spinach, parsley, parsnips, kale, turnip, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, daikon, radish, pickles, adzuki beans, millet, barley, brown rice, fennel, kuzu (Japanese arrowroot – clears and tones lungs/colon), watercress, seaweeds (excellent to regenerate mucous membranes) ie kombu/arame/wakame.
Flaxseed oil (use in smoothies or add to foods), fenugreek spice.
Stewed apples and pears (peeled) with brown rice congee/porridge.
Mandarins
Marshmallow tea, raspberry leaf tea, green tea.

The Fall is the best time to enjoy local fresh apples. According to Ayurvedic medicine, apples help draw heat out of the body that accumulates over the summer. Heat can dry out and cause digestive distress in the winter season. The pectin in apples also helps to clean and heal digestive mucosa. A fun autumn Ayurvedic prescription is to eat as many apples as possible over a period of several weeks.
Drinking
It’s wise to look after your lungs in preparation for winter. The lungs are sensitive during Autumn, as the air quality changes to more cool and dry. Keep up your hydration with sufficient warm fluids like herbal teas, green tea, fresh ginger tea and liquorice tea. Dryness also affects our skin, so massage yourself after showering with good quality oils.
Yoga
Beneficial yoga asana includes pawanmuktasana ( wind relieving poses), all inverted poses where the head moves below the waist, all twists as this helps to regulate the intestines, slow sun salutation with breaths in each pose and extended shavasana (corpse pose) for proper grounding.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September



"Well, the sun’s not so hot in the sky today
And you know I can see summertime slipping on away
A few more geese are gone, a few more leaves turning red
But the grass is as soft as a feather in a featherbed
So I’ll be king and you’ll be queen
Our kingdom’s gonna be this little patch of green
Won’t you lie down here right now
In this September grass
Won’t you lie down with me now
September grass."
James Taylor

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Go Raibh Maith Agaibh

Bottle nose dolphins off the coast of Doolin Ireland

I'm up with the sunrise. Its always this way when I return to the states. It's nice, a quite time to reflect and gather my thoughts. We had an beautiful holiday, my mind is filled with lovely exceptional places. For me the above was one of the most special memories of my life. We were traveling back from an island on a very tiny ferry with a few other people. It was low tide and we couldn't dock so they brought out these little motorized row boats. We climbed in and headed for shore. Magically they appeared, bottle nose dolphins bounding out of the water from everywhere, no one said a word, but appreciation was 100% and our incredibly generous and wise little captain slowly turned the boat around and placed us in the middle of a playful large group, jumping, diving, playing, and swimming beside our little row boat. We drifted along for a while, feeling in sync with the universe. Finally, reluctantly our little captain turned the boat toward shore. Dear beautiful planet, great ocean, young captain, everyone, thank you, thank you ...... what a gift..... go raibh maith agaibh.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Time in the Sun

Going off on a hike for a bit, be back soon!

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand
.
An Irish Blessing

Monday, August 16, 2010

letting the sun shine in

Needing some peace and anxious free living I elected to take this Summer to get organized and get all the things done I've put off, temporarily forgotten, or haven't had time to do. My mantra: "Why put off tomorrow what can be done today." I collected all my to do lists and condensed them into one very long list which included some items which are couple of years old. One item on the list was six years old, yup six years! That one was growing up and becoming its own little entity.
One by one I have systematically attempted to complete, fix, file, de-clutter or follow up with a phone call each task no matter how small or mighty. At this point many will relate tales of how much easier it is once you get started, or how much better they now feel. For me its been the peeling an onion one layer at a time, with a progressively stronger urge to move away and tear up. Slowly, very slowly, I have been chipping away at this little monster and with each completion I am reclaiming myself but feeling a little shattered at the same time.
I am at a point in my life where my time and mental energy is limited and to maximize best results and keep sanity I need to set firm limits and boundaries. This means saying no more than yes. It goes back to something I reflect on from my yoga practice. "Do not engage in activity that doesn't serve you." I realize that saying yes to things when I really meant to say, "no!" have drained me of time, energy and collected a pile of stress which is harder to get rid of then the to do items I've been ticking off. Clearing away the material minutiae has given me a view of the mental pile up behind it, and there lies the anxiety.
Were leaving on holiday soon and I'm planning to dump some of this stack of mental toxic build up while traveling, hiking, exploring and just embracing the good things life has to offer. This will be wonderful and I'm looking forward to it, yet I can't help but think that perhaps we add clutter and disorganization as a curtain to avoid seeing or dealing with the real mess. You know like the wizard of oz, in this case, ignore the mental mass of shit behind the clutter!
Wishing everyone peace and relaxation.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Little Fishy


Tomorrow the little fish and I head off for our annual surf day. The waves will be quite small but in my mind they will be as gigantic as this. Little fish will glide along and wish for bigger waves while I pray for small little tiny ones. We will both giggle a lot and flop about in the water. It will be fun!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Domestic traveling woman

For many many years, probably a good portion of my adult life I split my time between two countries. Then a little over a year and half ago I made a promise, a decision, to stop. Life had become too full in one place and too confusing to forever be packing my bags and taking flight. Too many things to do, too many obligations, and my focus had evolved toward something that didn't include a red eye. This week alone I have made appointments for house necessities, hauled our shit out so the home can be internally repainted and discussed the possibility of building a rooftop deck for a sustainable urban garden. Very domestic, and to quote Edith Piaf, " I regret nothing" but I know that my travels helped balance me out, and slow me down. I need to find that balance on the home front. Life becomes quite complicated as an adult, personally more rewarding, but defiantly full, which leaves me with a propensity to overwork and become a neurotic bore. Not really what I was aiming for...... How to balance it out, the life, the obligations, the family , the profession, the ability to be at peace in one place, tricky, very tricky.......

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mid week pondering



Sometimes we all just need a little quiet time to recharge the batteries. It's easier said then found, but well worth it if you can steal away a little block of time for yourself. Just a nice little quiet thought for Wednesday.......

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bright Day


"That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Art of Eating

This summer I have been reading about a subject matter that I'm increasingly more interested if not passionate about. Ive been reading about where my food comes from and the choices I can make which are not only beneficial to me but the planet as well. I started with In defense of food by Michael Pollen. He begins with these simple words,"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollen discusses the American diet and the influence of corporate organizations. the food and drug administration and agricultural standards for farming complicated by nutritional scientist promotion of various minerals and vitamins at certain times during the evolution of the American diet. His basic message to eat food rather than processed, artificial or genetically altered materials got me looking in my own kitchen. As I took a peak I realized to my astonishment there's not a lot ( if any) real food sitting on those shelves. My focus and attitude has seriously changed and I grocery shop with a new awareness. I consider myself a healthy eater but I see we have a long way to go in our house so I next I picked up Cleaving by Julie Powell. This book received a huge amount of criticism but if you look past her personal story she tells the reader something they probably don't know and never thought about. The book is dedicated to the art of butchery. If you read beyond her marriage and affair you get an introduction to how meat is processed before you pick it up at the butcher ( if your lucky enough to have a butcher in your area) My latest book which I am re-reading immediately because it left such an huge impact on me is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Again this book is focused on where your food comes from but in this case the writer is asking the reader to consider purchasing food locally and eat seasonally. This message struck home in such a profound manner I have completely rearranged my thinking, my kitchen, my culinary goals and completely altered my attitude toward what I put on the table.
Have you read a book that changed your eating patterns, altered your eating lifestyle or just left you with that oohhh! AH! moment. I'd love to know. Please share

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time and Training

I am doing a professional training the next five days. It's the second of four modules which I need to complete in order to administer a certain test in my given profession. I have the testing kit, paperwork, days set aside and have arranged my schedule accordingly. Everything was nearly in place, I only needed a stopwatch. I assumed this would be easy till I walked in and out of my third store without a stopwatch. I did manage to procure the item but not after first sweating it out a little. I think its ironic I couldn't find an object that keeps time, since time is a major issue in my life. I continue to work on making more time for meaningful activity while stepping away from things that add no value. Easier said than done and obligation certainly gets in the way. Things that must be completed even if you feel their meaningless must be done. I've been busy this Summer but busy getting my life in order and getting things done that were badly in need of doing, well past their due date in many cases. As I tick items off the list (literally) I continue to reflect on how I can arrange my life so it's not so hectic and allows some breathing room and more personal time. From the outside it can seem a pretty straightforward task but like finding a stopwatch once in search it's more challenging and less obvious than first perceived.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ah Yes Indeed

"Ah yes indeed it's fun time
'Cause you can't, you won't and you don't stop
'Cause you can't, you won't and you don't stop
'Cause you can't, you won't and you don't stop
MCA come and rock the sure shot"
Beastie Boys

Ah yes indeed, Summer is in full swing. It's yoga on the beach, hiking in the woods, fish on the grill watermelon on ice and a mellow vibe. Finally, I can feel my body and mind start to unwind and breath. My muscles are slowly beginning to gain strength and I'm becoming reacquainted with a more physical state. This season I took control of my schedule and the benefits have been enormous. Pulling the toxic elements out and adding quality in, is making all the difference. I've had a little time to slow down, get some long over due repairs needed on the house and think about what I would really like to include and what I would like permanently out. I've had time to think and have begun to experiment with adding some healthier choices into our home which I'll talk about in another post.

In the meantime I think I'll just soak up the sun, not fill my mind with too much madness and keep it simple. It's a sure shot.

Wishing peace and good summer fun to everyone.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shakti



There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time.
This expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium
and will be lost.
Martha Graham

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moving Upward

Celtic Tree of Life
Today a long time teacher of mine gave her last class at the primary studio I attend. When she first announced she would be leaving it didn't register, until it did, and then it hit me like a thunder bolt. Claire Este McDonald is a healer of mind, body and spirit. Over the years her message has been consistent and clear. To take care and love others you must do the same for yourself. Be mindful and aware, respect the yoga and the process. Her classes are powerful and many times I've felt I wasn't up for the challenge, wanting something easier and more sedate. It's been a year of injury and recovery and each time I entered her class I hoped it would be easier, but by the end felt the healing process take hold. I walked into class earlier this week in a tearful puddle. I realized for the first time, after all these years, on some level each time I attended her classes I gained some courage, a little confidence to go out and face whatever is in my path. I had taken our time together for granted and hadn't stopped to really appreciate the gift in front of me.
As I reflect upon this wonderful teacher and all she has given, I am deeply grateful for the time I have spent on the mat with her guidance. I am humbled and reminded to acknowledge all the blessings in my life. Claire is moving on and upward in her personal evolution. My sense is she is putting down solid roots and I can't help but think of her as the Celtic tree of life which connects heaven and earth.
I wish you well always with blessing and love,
Jai Bhagwan

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Letting Go

Students just hanging out at Yoga Vidya Dham
As the Summer unfolds I am beginning to reconnect with myself. I realize how far off I have wandered and coming back to a centered place is going to take some time and patience. Each yoga class I take these days is a journey. Emotional. physical and mental just comes pouring out onto the mat. There's no stopping it, and no real figuring out why or what's coming out. I leave class drenched, feeling I just unloaded a ton I wasn't even sure why I was carrying around. Recent feelings, feelings from years ago, thoughts I had no awareness I was thinking, all just unloading on the mat. It's a relief, but also a little unnerving to have see how quickly we pile junk into our minds and body. For now I'm just letting go and clearing out.
Wishing peace and lightness to everyone.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A little summertime madness


Summer Sun
Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Comin'


I'm still working through my long year end obligations. I should be finished today which is a relief. It's been a rather long haul and I'm ready to move forward with other things. Once I finish this paper and submit it, my long list will finally be complete. This has recently freed up a little time to begin to slow down and breath. I've begun to reconnect with my practice, and Lola and Bingo and I have been taking longer and longer walks. Strolls in the wood, just meandering, slowing down and reconnecting to life and nature. I pulled out a Christina Pirello vegetarian cookbook and decided to have another go at it this Summer. Tomorrow I'm going to look for tiles for my kitchen floor which delights me to no end and this little project is well past its due date. Wednesday I meet with my advisor to go over my schedule for next year (in reality the next three). It's actually a great relief to be at this point and be know the light at the end is coming if I just keep going. September will bring huge schedule and life style changes and a period of adjustment in terms of time commitment and where time is spent, and how much time is spent, and how funds are allocated and do many other things I must take into consideration. But for now I'm just thrilled to have some time to slow down, breath and relax a little.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ready to Go!


I can see it! I'm almost there.
Just a little ways to go, then I can turn the page.
I'm ready for the new chapter.
It's already begun, but I'm ready to dive in head first.
Almost there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thoughts for a Sunday

Tilwadi India
Wisdom tells me I am nothing,
Love tells me I am everything,
And between the two my life flows.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Patience



"A while to work, and after, holiday."
William Shakespeare
Just not yet. Extended deadlines, extended meetings, extensions on papers due. Impossible to fit into the time schedule, thankful for more time, but feeling quite down. No yoga, no peace these days.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Almost



Pulling in the last mile, always the longest one......................

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Daydreams


It would be nice to have a picnic, or go to the beach or maybe just curl up with a good book. All are a dream of the past or something for the future. Right now I just have to get through. I love and loath this time of year. I start rattling the tin cup on the metal bars .............


"The happiness of too many days is often destroyed by trying to accomplish too much in one day. We would do well to follow a common rule for our daily lives -
Do less and do it better. ”
Dale E. Turner

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Road


There's a long way to go before I can kick up my heals and have a rest. Each year I generate strategies and try new techniques to make this crowded little over obligated time of the year a little less hectic. Things that have been effective over the years I keep and each year I try to incorporate other practices to make this period an easier transition as I anticipate the sweet days of Summer. What I have learned is that organization and following a daily schedule is key. Each week I make a schedule and add or amend it daily. I try to start projects a month ahead of time and schedule in regular blocks so I'm not crushed beyond capacity when things come due. This has been quite effective but the down side is always thinking in the future rather than the present moment.
One of the hardest things to incorporate into my routine is a consistent practice. There is so much to do, that by the time I have finished everything the only sane option is sleep. Yesterday after two weeks I finally made my way into a class and unto the mat and the difference in my energy level and attitude is astounding. There is no way for me to have the practice I would like to have this time of year. A home practice is out of the question. Too many distractions, I wont last ten minutes before my eye catches something and I remember a task and should really just do it and get it out of the way. It's better for me to be in a class where I can let those thoughts slide past me and focus on breathing and allowing myself to be present. That's a big piece of having too much to do. Always thinking forward about what needs to be done in the future and not being present in the moment or the day. This year I am scheduling in a small practice, an opportunity to be present and in the moment. A little time to soak up the gorgeous Spring blooming around me. The road can be long, but it doesn't have to be arduous.
Slow and peaceful feeling to everyone.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Beautiful Planet


Today was a lovely day. We gathered our things and headed off to catch some sun and sand. Our first day at the beach this season! aaaahhhhh, just wonderful! As we all walked down the beach smiling, giggling, barking, throwing the frisbee and just expressing happiness, I couldn't help but reflect on the beauty of this planet and how dearly I appreciate, love and respect her.

I never cease to be amazed at her beauty, dignity and grace. I am in constant awe of her patience and forgiving nature. I think we are not the brightest race in the universe - At least I really hope not - because we do really horrible things to this planet that hurt not only ourselves but the fragile ecosystem we all depend on to survive. Some in the name of progress and industrialization and the rest out of ignorance and an incapacity to think about anything other than what we want right now. It's just not working, we have to to live in harmony with our planet or we're all going end up in a hand basket complaining about the heat!

I think we need to start by teaching our children how to live with an understanding of this planet instead of thinking of it as an everlasting well which will never run dry. It's imperative the next generation is instilled with a sense of responsibility and respect. If were going to save ourselves for generations to come we have to begin now. A few months ago I was sitting in a restaurant which had synthetic place mats. The kind that debilitate the planet by sitting in landfills for a few hundred years. Three little girls at the table were carrying on about how pretty they were, how good they felt and wouldn't it be nice if they had something like this at home. Not one of the girls understood the difference between natural and synthetic materials or what happens when you throw away materials that aren't biodegradable. They had never been taught and and when I mentioned something I got the your so weird look. They could have cared less. Proper etiquette and good manners were imperative, but an appreciation for the planet and it's limitations, not even a blip on the radar. That's wrong, lets change that. We have to begin to educate our children, for everyone's sake.

I want to leave you on a happy note with this poem. Our dogs were so happy today. It was a delight to see them play and frolic on a sunny warm Spring day. Be well. be happy, and go out and show the planet a little love today.


Happy Dog
I’m a happy dog at the beach
If I had the power of speech
I would tell you all
To throw my ball
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
There are no new tricks you can teach
I’m bouncy and glad
And my tail wags like mad
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
My joy is always in reach
Whatever the talk
It’s the best place to walk
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
As I hear the seagulls screech
I chase and I bark
Long into the dark
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
And I don’t want to start to preach
But if you ask me
The best thing to see
Is a happy dog at the beach

Flying Lemming

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fine Spring Day


"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
Edwin Way Teale

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nose Job

Encouraged by Brenda at Grounding Thru The Sit Bones and Michelle at Find Your Balance I was reminded if I'm going to talk the talk, I better walk the walk. I posted an earlier article on ayurvedic health remedies for the Spring and purposefully left out the Neti pot. I didn't leave it out because I think its ineffective as a health regime but because I am a yellow bellied chicken liver wimp. I knew if I made this suggestion I would have to pull out my own little neti pot (see above) and use it. Common sense finally prevailed. I warmed one cup of water with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and set to work. Why I didn't do this sooner is just plain stupidity. My allergies have been kicking my ass. Waking up with headaches and an ache in my left eye has left me surly and sluggish. May 2nd was a nice warm day to reacquaint myself with this little health practice and when finished, I instantly felt better.

Learning to Neti was part of the curriculum in India. At the time we were in the middle of the Monsoon season and the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the pouring rain and add more water to my already waterlogged body. We were instructed and graded and basically you kept at it till you did it properly. I'm grateful now, but at the time I just wanted to get out of the cold and rain.

Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage is the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. It has been practised in India for centuries as one of the disciplines of yoga. Some clinical tests have shown that this practice is safe and beneficial with no significant side effects. If you suffer from certain health problems, it is advised that you seek experienced guidance before using a neti pot. These problems include: asthma, high blood pressure, migraines, chronic nose bleeds, known nasal blockages (polyps, deviated septum, etc), chronic sinusitis, and frequent ear/nose/throat infections.

Flushing the nasal cavity with salt water is believed to promote mucociliary clearance by moisturizing the nasal cavity and removing encrusted material, (although there is no clear evidence to support this.) The flow of salt water through the nasal passage flushes out dirt, airborne allergens (dust and pollen), pollutants and bacteria-filled mucus.

Salt water flushing also loosens and thins the mucus, making it easier to expel. Without this build up of mucus, the tiny cilia, or hairs in the nasal passage are able to function more efficiently, pushing excess mucus either to the back of the throat or to the nose to be expelled.

A simple yet effective technique is to pour salt water solution into one nostril and let it run out through the other while the mouth is kept open to breathe, using gravity as an aid. This is an old Ayurvedic technique known as jala neti, and the container used to administer the saline is called a neti pot. (Neti is Sanskrit for "nasal cleansing.") A neti pot can be obtained at any number of stores. The neti pot I was given in India is identical to one available at Walgreen's for $7.95. Individual preference will decide how often someone neti's. Nasal irrigation can be administered daily, seasonally or yearly.

The following is a brief but complete instruction on how to Neti:

Be well, breath deeply and happy Spring!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day


"The May-pole is up,
Now give me the cup;
I'll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown'd it."
Robert Herrick, The Maypole, 1660