Posts in Health

Hot Yoga: Physiological and Psychological Benefits to Adding Heat and Humidity to Practice

There are so many dimensions to the practice of yoga. Often there are no words to describe the reason we keep going back to our hot yoga classes. It is just something we begin to feel. There is such a sense of cleanliness once showered and nourished with fresh water after the practice. To people who have never gone to a hot yoga class, they may think it sounds like torture to stay 90 minutes in a room heated to 115 degrees and up to 40-50 percent humidity. To the disciplined hot yogi there are days when we may want to scream, pass out, lie down, or leave the room.

Knowing why we are doing what we are doing can be of great benefit and motivation when we are exhausted, drenched in sweat, and about only half way through the standing balancing series. The heat and humidity puts our bodies into physiological responses that are of incredible healing benefit. The mind is also stretched in the practice revealing many psychological benefits. Read More

Reclaiming Your Intuition

Have you ever gone against your own intuition? How did that work out for you?

Have you ever felt so numb to your internal signals that you didn’t even sense what your intuition is communicating to you? Or have you ever consciously overthrown your own intuition for your desire to be loved and accepted? Maybe you overrode your intuition hoping to prove that you were a perfect match for a partner, a job, a community, rather than sensing and questioning if the relationship, job, or community was a good match for you. Please remember there is nothing to prove in love and acceptance, and that true love and acceptance must begin within. We must start with ourselves.

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Moving Beyond Disappointment

There is an excitement in imagining opportunity manifest. When opportunity arises and we truly believe ourselves to deserve it, we start to see and feel ourselves experiencing what it is that we want. We imagine it so completely we begin to engage our senses. We may even start to communicate to our friends that it is “happening!” Then we get the notice that we were not chosen.

It is disappointing.

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We are not Bystanders and Our Choices will Ripple

People like the freedom of choice as it helps them to perceive that they have control. Blind obedience due to conditioning can lead to a weak sense approach to thinking and behavior.

People assume that prepared food, water, environment are safe. Yet it’s proving to be toxic and addictive. We can no longer be bystanders or expect to be saved by scientific, technological, and medical miracles.

There is a challenge between individual freedom and policy change. Most people still believe that environmental protection is up to the government and don’t pay attention to how their actions can contribute to environmental pollution, or protection.

Education, research credibility, self-reflection, emotional healing, and policy change are necessary actions that are in need of implementation.

The paradox is that we have become addicted to the very behaviors we need for survival in our current system: eating, sex, and money.

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What I learned working in a Psychiatric Hospital

I spent a year working in a Psychiatric Hospital post graduate school, and I had seen and learned all that I will as a Mental Health Counselor. I remember my yoga teacher Sharon Gannon stating that we all do the best we can in each moment according to each moment. I am proud of myself to state that I did my best. I did good! I was in a full time position with the Adolescent Unit, working with children the ages of 12-17. I also worked (what I would consider) too often on the Adult Intensive Unit, with adults who were diagnosed psychotic. My job was to keep people calm, keep people alive, prevent violence, and promote stabilization. I was also a leader of daily psychotherapy and educational groups. Most patients came from the ER post suicide attempt, or transported from the police station.

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The “Big” Choices

Perhaps the biggest choices with the most profound effects aren’t the choices we as a culture consider to be the “Big” choices. For example, we may all think the “Big” choices are concerned with job, marriage/divorce, home, family, etc. Perhaps these are more causality.

The “Big” choices I am communicating about are the (subconscious to conscious) choices we make in the moment by moment scenarios of our life. The choices we make about how we choose to show up to our lives and how we choose to conduct our perspective, and contact with our environments. The choices we make in the silent moments, such as, when we awake from sleep.

Perhaps the “Biggest” choices with the most profound effects are the choices we make to live this life with integrity. To live with a goal to be compassionate, patient, empathetic, and open. Perhaps the most profound choice is to choose to share the wisdom of life, rather than the woe.

I truly believe that these are the most profound choices, the really “big” choices, that effect our health, as individuals, and as part and parcel to the collective.

Attitude is everything.

Imagination Explorations

Patanjali, author of The Yoga Sutras, shares that there are five states of mental activity; understanding, misunderstanding, memory, sleeping, and imagination.  Imagination seems to be a challenging mental activity for those of us raised and living in our current cultural, social, educational, and economic system.  Or so we remember.  How often do we as adults imagine, like we did as a child? I remember my childhood imagination explorations including faeries, castles, mythical creatures, dances, romances, flying, time traveling, body swapping, etc.

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Know your Instrument

When we have a clear realization about our capacity, we can be realistic about our effort.  Stress and anxiety often comes from too much expectation, or too much ambition.  Knowing your capacity can help in setting limits and boundaries to ensure that your efforts are in alignment with your truth, and values.  It’s hard to gage our future capacity, especially when we meet the moment of our previously filled schedules.  Calendars, work/survival responsibilities can offset presence, and distract us from our essence of joy, and the in-joy-ment of being alive.

Take a moment to explore what it is you truly value in life, and set your priorities towards that. I have come to experience that when I am doing and experiencing a life I love to live that my standards for living simplify, that my calendar clears to allow for spontaneous creativity, that my nervous system calms, that I have the capacity to show up to the moment by moment scenarios of my life, and greet them with an open and warm heart.

Benefits of Juicing/RawVegan Lifestyle

Juicing is an easy way to get tons of raw organic veggies and fruits into our bodies.  When we juice we assist our bodies in digestion to allow full assimilation of enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.  When our bodies receive this gift of Nature our immune systems boost, and our body’s vitality increases.  Once our bodies begin to realize that they are getting the nutrition they deserve they start to detox fat and toxic storages.  With the help of colon hydrotherapy to assist the intestines in releasing the sludge from processed foods that build up on the intestinal walls, our bodies begin to directly assimilate RawFood nutrients, and heal from leaky gut, and other life threatening dis-eases.  Chewing raw fruits and veggies is however very important in order to get nutrients from fiber, and a gift to our senses!  So unless you are planning a detox juicing program, give yourself the gift of textures, colors, and taste through chewing.  Juicing is an easy power packed way to get incredible health outcomes and hydration from fruits and veggies.  Juicing allows for variety and exploration of recipes and food combinations.  It is easy, colorful, and fun!

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Shannon Connell