Yoga for today

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What does yoga offer us in today’s world? What can we gain from yoga with all the world seemingly falling apart around us? Why practice a non-sport considered by so many to simply be stretching?
Ha!
If you haven’t taken a yoga class recently you have no idea the changes that yoga can make in a persons life.
I’ve taught and practiced so many different types of yoga that my own practice seems to morph into what I need exactly at that moment. If I need to sweat, I’ll sweat. If I need a conscience, moving meditation, that’s what I’ll find. If I simply need to sit and be calm on a pillow, then it’s the perfect yoga practice. Yoga is what you make of it. Like any other form of exercise, doing the the same series of movements only gets your body used to and comfortable to those same movements. Every teacher I’ve ever taken from, every class I’ve ever taught teaches me a new way to move and a new way to accept what I can’t do or simply don’t want to do.
When I begin a yoga class I tell myself that I will do what I can today! There are so many different disciplines and forms of yoga out there that if you’re a newbie it may take you several teachers to find something you like!
The Internet is a great source of information, as you know, and you can simply stop the video if its something you aren’t interested in. If you do attend a yoga class unfamiliar to you, do what you can, take child’s pose if you need or just meditate. Listen to the music and close your eyes and drift. You can visualize yourself moving with the teachers voice.
Don’t ever feel like you have to stand up and leave the class. If a teacher makes you feel that way, they aren’t a very good teacher in my mind.
As a yoga teacher, I can say the most difficult and important pose is savasana, corpse pose. Especially, if you’re just starting yoga this can be extremely difficult and often overwhelming. Once upon a time, I would get up and leave as soon as my “workout” was over, which, by the way, is very poor yoga manners.
Once I was ready to lay down and release, my yoga practice became whole. I’ve cried during savasana, I’ve fallen asleep and maybe snored during savasana, I’ve floated above the earth in savasana!!
Don’t ever leave any class no matter if it is too difficult before you get to savasana. If you become overheated, find a cool spot but continue to maintain the yoga mind. If you cool down and rehydrate, return to that still space in your mind that IS savasana. Listen to your body. You may have a marvelous instructor, but your body is your teacher. Only you know what you’re feeling and what you can do, that day, that moment, that breath!

There are no reasons that any person can’t have a yoga practice. Regardless of your illnesses, injuries, or disability, a good teacher can design a practice for you and your body, at this time in your life. There are so many awesome instructors out in the world today, Wow!
Can’t wait to see you on the mat!
You never know where I might show up!
Think! Live! Love
Truly and truly today!
Namaste

Photo by Hal Samples
Certification by Gaia Flow Yoga
Training by oh so many others 😄

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You can only change yourself

So, what can we do to change the world for the better? Many think of changing the world, but few think of changing themselves.
I was discussing this on Facebook with a few friends. Everyone wants to change the world but who is willing to change themselves? How are we connected with society? Who do we hold most dear?

A debate started on the economy and society, our future, and the health plans and government we can expect in the future. Is the media guiding our thoughts and actions? I don’t read the newspaper or watch the news because its a depressing, horribly biased view from a political perspective to support the stations.

My friend and relative, David, shared this with me. “Kurstin and I don’t own a TV and haven’t for the 6 years that we’ve been married. We’re not planning on getting one either. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. The idea that I’m trying to put out there is that, instead of focusing on what’s so screwed up with the world and how I can possibly fix all the chaotic mess that I didn’t help make, I find it more beneficial and uplifting to focus on what’s happening within myself. I think that’s the starting point to finding the answer on how to change the world. I start with my own “world” first.”

I totally agree with David! My change in this world may be a soft smile to an ill customer or more likely their spouse. Hugging my child, kissing my spouse. Did I say hello to someone that hadn’t heard a voice in days while they had been taking care of their loved one?
Did I open the door for a young lady that didn’t know that every door she walks through should be held open for her?
I love seeing the smile on one of my customers face at the pharmacy, or them calling me and giving me a thank you.
I love the feeling at the end of a yoga class, savasana, the breath, the yoga high! The surprise on a yogis face that they could indeed do whatever they wanted without judgement. That they could still experience helping society by simply helping themselves. We can all contribute by focusing on what makes us happy and how we can share that, one person at a time. I’m far from perfect but I’d like to think I can get better and stronger every day, as long as I try. If we all try, who knows what could happen?

Questions encouraged!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

Personal needs and insurance

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Our basic needs are fairly simple, food, water, shelter, clothing. I’ve tried to explain this to my children and yet often in our society, wants and needs are easily confused. You don’t NEED a tv in your bedroom so you can watch whatever you want, you want that. As adults we do exactly the same thing. We don’t need a new car, or a larger house usually. I give that a pass because sometimes we do and we have to determine if the need is greater than the want. It’s a true balancing scale and many of us have jumped off and ran headlong into debt.

As above in Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, the bottom three determine if we ever reach the self actualization and self acceptance portion of life. I’m lucky in that I’ve never had to go hungry or live hard unless I chose to.
As we are thrust into a moment of economic despair and our basic needs are pulled out from under us we lose a sense of self, a sense of importance.
I feel this to be especially true in men and women that have in the past been the breadwinner of the family and find themselves suddenly unemployed.
No longer able to pick needs over wants, they spiral further into debt by a society that allows for over extending ourselves using credit cards and loans.

As an independent pharmacy owner for almost 19 years, I have a big issue with nationalizing a health care system. Many of you don’t remember, but when I started practicing pharmacy almost no one had pharmacy insurance. All drugs were affordable. We may have been lucky to have life insurance that we paid from home with coins in our purses or pockets. Prescription drugs were not advertised on television and your doctor, whom you could choose yourself, prescribed medications that he felt would best fit your condition. The office visit was affordable and medications could be purchased inexpensively from your local pharmacy. Enter big drug companies… Lobbying, using billions of dollars to extend patent rights and then buying up every insurance provider in the country. Yes, drug companies own pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s) that own pharmacies. Maybe that’s a terrible run on sentence but its true. Who is your health care provider? Medco, owned by Merck pharmaceuticals? How about Caremark, that owns CVS pharmacies?
Do you think that perhaps we should consider exactly why the prescription that our own physician, after a physical exam, has prescribed needs to be changed based on what our insurance company will or will not cover?

I was recently required by my insurance company to use mail order pharmacy or receive no benefits. I own a pharmacy!
They also wanted me to discontinue a medication for my migraines that had taken years to find, after basically trying everything on the market. Of course I refused and changed insurance policy since I was the insured as as well as the one paying the bill. But who are we allowing to practice medicine in this country? Our insurance companies or the physicians that we have a personal and often long term relationship with?
It’s unfair and the only people benefiting are the drug companies and of course our dear government. When they found out that they would lose their private benefits on retirement and have to use Obamacare, they tried to reverse the decision that they had signed into action. It was too late!
Perhaps if drug companies and large insurance groups weren’t lining the pockets of our senators and congressmen, they would have read the fine print! Welcome to our world!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

The dangers of dehydration

I had a very frightening experience with a friend in our deep Texas heat tonight!

Dehydration! It happens often and can cause death before you can even discern what is happening to you.
Over heated bodies turn into a destruction waiting to happen. Don’t ever allow body temperature to let you determine if someone is overheated. Body temperatures can be abnormally low even in heat stroke victims.

Look for symptoms such as heavy breathing, poor pallor (coloring), fainting and incoherence.

As your body overheats it depletes electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, both of which are required for muscle function, and your heart is a muscle. (One of which you actually need to survive!). As sodium and potassium leaves your body as sweat, you may or may not feel the effects until it is too late. If your heart doesn’t have the electrolytes to function, the only option that our miraculous body can make is to draw it from other sources. It may be our brain, our kidneys, or our liver, but severe effects can occur regardless.

I don’t generally recommend sports drinks to anyone that isn’t working out beyond their capacity, such as marathon trainers and professional athletes. But if you mow the lawn and work out in the heat of the day, or if you drink a lot of dehydrating alcohol or caffeine, or don’t drink a minimum of 2 liters of water a day, then you need to suck down some enhanced water.
I spent the last week on the beach and that’s a very good reason to use enhanced water or sports drinks to maintain hydration.

If none is available at that moment, mix water with lemon or lime juice AND any other juice you have available (pineapple, apple, orange or even tomato juice) and at least 1 tablespoon full of salt, sea salt preferably but it doesn’t matter.
Bananas are also quick sources to replenish dehydration, as well as greens, protein products such as beans or meat, and any fruit with high liquid content such as pineapple, kiwi, pears and apples.
You could ask me why we also use these same foods as diuretics and yet they can oppose dehydration. It’s all about the electricity of our heart. If you would like to understand more message me!

If you feel faint or numb, or just overly exhausted, do not attempt to drive and call either 911 or your physician, a friend (mmhmm), or family immediately.
It takes a child 9 minutes to die in a car during 90 degree temperatures. Heat can be a killer! Add that to our humidity in east Texas and it only becomes more dangerous!
Listen to your body! It tells you the truth!
Think! Live! Love
Namaste!
April

Changing a life

So after a wonderful week at the beach, I have to question myself about my lifestyle. I don’t generally live like a vacation everyday but a few would argue that point!
I over indulged quite a bit, but fighting waves and walking through sand is exercise, right? Plus, we washed 25 loads of laundry in a week!
Well, the scale will tell tomorrow!

So, what will I do?
I’ll go back to tracking my calories and I’m determined to add more and different workouts into my day. I love kayaking and walking through the woods and haven’t done nearly enough of that this summer. Also, swimming and diving will be high on my list.

I’m also working on beating some demons. I need to be a better example to my children.
I smoked throughout college, but quit when I became pregnant with my first child, 19 years ago.
I picked up the habit again about 4 years ago, ironically, driving to and from yoga training 2 hours away. I don’t know why I started again, but what do addicts do other than abuse their bodies and I say no more!
Am I scared of gaining weight and withdrawal? Hell yes! But there comes a time when you have to live what you preach and preach what you live!

Wish me luck! I’ve been brutally honest here and it will surprise and shock some people. Some not so much. So hey, I like to write and if it touches you in some way, wonderful! If not, don’t follow me!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

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Vacation emergency plan

July is definitely vacation month in America! We go at different times of the year but we save late June or July for our week long beach stay.
We’ve rented everything in the area from condos to walk out town homes, but this time we rented a house. It’s beautiful no doubt, with 3 balconies with beach front views. Two of my children came and brought friends and we have the company of my brother-in-law and wife, Keith and Karen, whom we love. Taking care of other people’s children is something to be taken seriously.
This blog idea was actually Keith’s inspiration.

What will you do in case of an emergency or illness while on vacation?
You have a home plan and your vacation plan should be much more thought out.
You’ll be in unfamiliar territory in an unfamiliar home.

#1 Bring your regular medications with you as well as a few regulars such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen for fever, an anti-diarrheal and plenty of antacids!

#2 Yes we overindulge on vacation and paying the cost for any over-the- counter medications in a resort type area is ridiculous. If you’re flying, pack all extra medications in your checked luggage and carry on any required, prescription medication.

#3 As soon as you hit town, check for a local emergency clinic or hospital, a dentist and a pharmacy. As well as a grocery store. You never know when you’ll need them.

#4 Make sure you have insurance cards and release forms on any minor traveling with you if they aren’t your child. Valuable time could be wasted trying to get the information you need.

#5 Ask about any known allergies for all that are traveling with you. Food and insect allergies are usually known by the child or parent, however, I’m anaphylactic to Codeine, but I don’t know if anyone other than my husband thats traveling with us knows it. What if he isn’t there?

#6 If you’ve forgotten any medication at home, your local pharmacy can transfer most prescriptions out of state. Don’t go without!
I always say that a vacation is no time to start a diet or new workout, quit smoking or drinking. And certainly don’t stop any medications suddenly.

#7 Most places we stay have emergency numbers of clinics and police as well as takeout food and a variety of activities on the fridge. This one doesn’t.
List all emergency numbers on the fridge, especially if you have kids old enough to cook. I would also include a list of cell phone numbers in case a phone gets wet. How many numbers do you still have memorized? Haha!

Just remember, if one of your family members or friend is hurt or sick, you’ll want the fastest treatment you can get. You won’t be thinking clearly and a few minutes could save someone. Make sure that you’re familiar with basic first aid, CPR, and the Heimlich maneuver.
That should be common knowledge to any parent. Our kids are learning it in school and so should you!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

More vacation

Well, here I am on a beautiful expanse of white sand in a gorgeous house, and my thoughts turn to home. My 18 year old son opted out of this trip in hopes of working, but at dance class yesterday, he pulled all the ligaments in his ankle during a jump that he obviously wasn’t prepared to make. As a lifetime dancer, I understand the dynamics of a dance class and the pressure to succeed. One too many moves and you could indeed be ruined for life, your career over, just like a quarterback after one to many blows to the head. So what’s a mother to do when she’s 10 hours from home?

Call in the cavalry! My friends and family are taking very good care of him so I shouldn’t worry, right? If only that was so easy! Well, the vacation continues! Injury may befall us, rain can keep us off the beach but its still a time to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family! Mom just has to breathe deep, practice a few asanas and understand that not everything is in my control no matter how hard I try!
The world keeps revolving. Events outside my beautiful beach house are simply out of my control!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

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Life on vacation

So we are ending our first full day on vacation. I posted some pictures but I can’t figure out how to add it all so here we are! It’s been so much fun, kayaking for one, a lot of snorkeling and we are on a private beach, basically 10 feet….
Soooo, everyone that wanted to pass in front of us, we decided, needed to pay the toll..
Troll masters, April and Karen, made people dance to pass. Everyone loves to dance, right? No matter how awkward you feel, each of us have our own moves! We provided the music and most people really enjoyed it! We met new friends and danced until the moonlight!
Wow! Music could really change the world!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste

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Vacation

Everyone needs a vacation! There’s no doubt about that for our health and happiness! In this economic climate, many people choose a stay-cation which can be equally enjoyable! Prepare early and decide what you want to accomplish whether its a destination vacation, a cruise, or simply staying at home and enjoying the tasks you have put to the side due to work, school, or family issues!
Take a little time off, even if its just a long weekend and rejuvenate! We all need to recoup, regroup, and laugh with our friends and family! Even a family reunion can accomplish this and visit family to rest and relax with a few days off.
I enjoy taking long weekends at yoga retreats or sending my kids to their grandparents so I can watch something that isn’t G or PG rated!
A true break from ordinary life.

It’s one true necessity of life! I went 7 years with nothing longer than a 3 day weekend and a vacation gives me the energy to revive and recuperate! I come back a more relaxed, happier person and sometimes even a larger person but its necessary!
Enjoy your summer and bless each moment!
Think! Live! Love!
Namaste!

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