Is Enlightenment Really Attainable?

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Posted by Teresa Long on Mar 8, 2013 in Deepka Chopra's News Letter

Enlightenment is generally considered to be an out-of-reach goal, attainable by only a few of the most evolved yogis, monks, and sages. What many people do not realize is that if we find the right path, this seemingly unreachable goal can become a reality for every one of us. As Deepak Chopra notes in his book Super Brain, we are now on our way toward enlightenment: "One clue that enlightenment is real − and accessible − is staring at us already. We use common phrases all the time that edge right up to it: Wake up, See the light, Face reality. These are all pointers to a higher state of awareness. . . . Once the mind wakes up, sees the light, and faces reality, the brain undergoes its own physical changes."


It’s Not My Banana – The Art of Letting Go

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Bobbie Baxter

Over the years, many elaborate traps have been devised to capture monkeys in the wild. Often, no matter how imaginative the various devises have been, the crafty little creatures outwit the traps and escape. It has been said the easiest way to trap one of these cunning creatures is to simply set a banana inside a closed cage with just enough space between the bars to allow the monkey to slip his hand inside and grab the banana. The monkey will walk up to the cage and try to pull the banana through the tiny space. Being a monkey, he will be unwilling to let go of the banana, which allows his captor to simply walk up and snare the little guy. A simple banana has trapped the monkey.

All too often, we humans become trapped by hanging onto our own "bananas" such as problems and stresses in our lives. Look around – do you see any human "monkeys" with their hands through the bars of a proverbial cage with a death grip on a banana? You may even be holding your own banana or two right now.


Arm Balances

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Posted on March 21, 2013 by thegreenyogimb

Arm balances are the ultimate tool to strengthen and tone your upper limbs, while targeting your innermost abdominals (transversus abdominis), and bringing a laser focus to your thoughts as well as conquering fears and eliminating mental obstacles on and off the mat, sounds good right?

The long term physical benefits are important and awesome. Especially since us yoginis tend not to perform as many weight bearing tasks day to day our upper body bones as a consequence are more injury prone. By taking our weight into our arms and hands our bones are given opportunities to hold ourselves up and get strong from the inside out, fighting off osteoporosis that plagues many later in life. Just think by balancing in Bakasana (crow) we'll be able to carry our reusable grocery bags up 2 flights of stairs to our Manhattan Beach condos for decades to come!


Power of NOW

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By: Dave Romanelli


There's no other way to live. When I say "the best moment," that doesn't have to mean the happiest, but the most ALIVE. The universe moves forward with such force and velocity. The earth is gonna keep spinning at 1,040 mph. The hurricanes will continue to unleash 150 mph winds.

There's absolutely no stopping this power. Even if a nuclear bomb were detonated in the eye of a hurricane, it would have zero impact. Such is the indestructible power of the universe.
So there are 2 ways to come to that indestructible power: as hitchers or ditchers.

--Ditchers (and we've all been there) feel like they are getting dragged around by the sheer force of life. Ditchers look at a challenging moment like a spoiled kid looks at a toy that is not up to his standards.

When you bemoan a challenge in life, it's a slight to the brilliance of the universe.


Healing Foods

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As I was researching on some Ayurdedic / Natural healing foods sites, I came upon this list which may be helpful for all to keep some ailments at bay as well as helping the healing process naturally. .Although some of the items mentioned may not sound familiar to you, however there are plenty others that we can find in any super market .I hope that you keep this list handy & include of these foods in your daily diet.


Grapefruit, Coconut, Groundnut, Honey


Apple, Banana, Mango, Cucumber, Garlic




Carrot, Garlic, Lime, Lemon


Inhale, Exhale, Relax

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By Richard Rosen

When it comes to coping with stress overload, your breath is one of the best remedies there is...and it's free!

Sooner or later, most of us feel a little depressed or anxious, and certainly all of us know what it's like to feel tired. There are many different ways of treating these feelings, from exercise to meditation, from medication to a long vacation in Hawaii. But you may not realize that you have a safe, effective, and inexpensive remedy right at hand for each of these conditions. What is this magical elixir? Your own breath.
As yogis have known for centuries—and as medical science is beginning to discover—the breath has amazing recuperative powers. By controlling the breath (a practice called pPranayama), the yogis found, they could alter their state of mind. The three pranayama practices described here primarily create their effects by slowing and regularizing the breath. This engages what scientists call the parasympathetic nervous system, a complex biological mechanism that calms and soothes us.

How does slower breathing help? In stressful times, we typically breathe too rapidly. This leads to a buildup of oxygen in the bloodstream and a corresponding decrease in the relative amount of carbon dioxide, which in turn upsets the ideal acid-alkaline balance—the pH level—of the blood. This condition, known as respiratory alkalosis, can result in muscle twitching, nausea, irritability, lightheadedness, confusion, and anxiety.

In contrast, slowing the breath raises the carbon dioxide level in the blood, which nudges the pH level back to a less alkaline state. As the blood's pH changes, the parasympathetic nervous system calms us in a variety of ways, including telling the vagus nerve to secrete acetylcholine, a substance that lowers the heart rate.


High-tech Can Be a Pain in the Neck

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Written by Kamiah A. Walker

How Smartphones Can Hurt Your Neck

We live in a constantly connected world. One where anyone can reach you at any time, unless you're on a beach in the British Virgin Islands and "accidentally" drop your BlackBerry into the water. Other issues aside—workaholism, for one—being tethered to your smartphone can be a pain in the neck. Literally and figuratively.

You've seen people like this: shoulders hunched forward, neck straining at an uncomfortable angle, squinting at the screen, thumbs a blur as they type.

It's a posture most often associated with our smartphones, and it seems that most people—from your little niece to your boss—has one of these things.

But it's poor posture, and it can lead to a lot of neck pain.

This 21st Century problem is being called "tech neck," and it can be caused by straining your neck forward to see that screen. As you type out an email to a colleague or answer your boss' latest urgent request, you're holding your neck at an unnatural angle. And it stays there for much longer than it should, causing muscle strain and pain.

Handheld device users also tend to hunch their shoulders forward. The oddly angled neck and rounded shoulders strains the entire upper body.

Add general work stress to the poor posture, and handheld device addicts can feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.

So what can you do?


7 Myths of Meditation

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Posted by Chopra Wellbeing on Feb 22, 2013 in Meditation

In the past forty years, meditation has entered the mainstream of modern Western culture, prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business executives, artists, and scientists to students, teachers, military personnel, and – on a promising note – politicians. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan meditates every morning and has become a major advocate of mindfulness and meditation, as he describes in his book, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit. Despite the growing popularity of meditation, prevailing misconceptions about the practice are a barrier that prevents many people from trying meditation and receiving its profound benefits for the body, mind, and spirit.

Here are seven of the most common meditation myths dispelled.

Myth #1: Meditation is difficult.

Truth: This myth is rooted in the image of meditation as an esoteric practice reserved only for saints, holy men, and spiritual adepts. In reality, when you receive instruction from an experienced, knowledgeable teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or silently repeating a mantra. One reason why meditation may seem difficult is that we try too hard to concentrate, we're overly attached to results, or we're not sure we are doing it right. In our experience at the Chopra Center, learning meditation from a qualified teacher is the best way to ensure that the process is enjoyable and you get the most from your practice. A teacher will help you understand what you're experiencing, move past common roadblocks, and create a nourishing daily practice.


Having Faith

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From : David Romaneli's Momenteering

9 of 10 Americans believe in God.

So the question is, what is your faith diet?

I start the day at the feet of my Shiva statue with 3 drops of Frankencense, some Sage, Matcha tea, and an excerpt from the Tao Te Ching (the Wayne Dyer edition).

It's all of 10 minutes but in that short time, I truly believe that I open a line of Communication. And that feels godly.

What is the other option?

Tolkien said, "Faithless is she that says farewell when the road darkens."

Anyone worth their salt goes through dark times, builds character, and comes out stronger. It's like a spiritual workout.

And if you don't get your spiritual workout, you develop a flabby soul. Flabby souls lack the agility to navigate all those hairpin turns on the windy path to fulfillment.

So if you are going through something right now, KEEP GOING, get stronger, build spiritual strength. And if for no other reason than sh*ts and giggles, Ask for Help.

Trust that the Answers will often come in that small morsel of time to which we pay the least amount of attention...



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Aricle from Green Yogi news letter

As Eddie Vedder sings, "just breathe." Oh if only it were that simple in yoga class!

One of my favorite teachers at The Green Yogi likes to say "a yoga class is like a buffet, every asana is optional with one exception, your breath." Specifically your Ujjayi breath, translated as victorious breath, which even a seasoned yogi can struggle to find and maintain through their practice.

When practiced correctly Ujjayi breath should be both energizing and relaxing, just like everything in yoga it's about counterbalance. Our breath when listened to, can be our teacher, guiding us through not just our physical practice but in to the deepest recesses of our minds. There is an intimate connection between breath and mind, which is why more so than any other form of exercise, yoga is not just strengthening but calming and meditative as well.


Back Pain Tips for Expectant Mothers

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Written by Nicole Joseph

Finding the Right Treatment Combination

Many expecting mothers experience lower back pain during their pregnancy. For some women, this pain is intense and lasts only a short time; in others, it may persist for weeks.

In a recent study, a team of researchers set out to understand what types of treatments best benefit pregnant women and help reduce their levels of pain. The study, "A randomized controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy," was published online ahead of print in October 2012 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.


Spice It Up Baby

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If you're looking for a simple and delicious way to enhance your mind-body health, the beautiful yellow spice known as turmeric is a pharmacy unto itself. A wealth of scientific studies has demonstrated the health benefits of turmeric on the digestive,cardiovascular, rheumatic, and immune systems. As recent research shows:

  • Turmeric has a protective effect on the liver and can help reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.
  • In the treatment of arthritis, turmeric, when used alone or in combination with other herbs, can reduce pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Health

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By Lona Sandon Rd,LD

Researchers have identified several possible reasons for why heart disease occurs more often in people with rheumatoid arthritis:

  • The chronic inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis causes the arteries to harden and does other systemic damage to the circulatory system.
  • Medications taken to treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, like corticosteroids, can also harm heart health over time.
  • People with rheumatoid arthritis may become sedentary and overweight, increasing their heart disease risk.

A Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet

People with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms need to watch what they eat, given that their illness is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, says Lona Sandon, RD, LD, an assistant professor in the department of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern. "They should be following a heart-healthy diet similar to someone with high cholesterol," Sandon says. "That means having mostly a plant-based diet."

As an added benefit, people who follow a heart-healthy diet often experience improvement in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, Sandon says. For one thing, they probably will lose weight under such a diet, which provides immediate relief for arthritis symptoms. "When weight tends to spiral up, there tends to be more flares and more problems," Sandon adds. "Less weight means less stress on the joints."


How to Fight Belly Fat

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First, hormone imbalance has a lot to do with belly fat, says Jacki Warner who is a fitness trainer . To get balanced, get enough sleep -- cortisol, the hormone responsible for storing belly fat, is released when you don't. Try eating cottage cheese before bed; it's a great source of protein and a natural relaxant. Second, don't waste your time doing crunches. Movements that work both your upper and lower body, like a reverse crunch, are much more effective. Finally, incorporate big movements like squats and push ups into your routine. These moves work your core significantly.


'Healthy' Foods to Avoid

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From "Every day health "web site

Making healthy choices at the grocery store may be harder than you think. Find out which so-called diet foods don't deserve their reputation.

Fat-free! All-natural! Vitamin-enriched! Labels like these guide us through the grocery store. But products that tout nutritional benefits are often anything but good for you. The food industry is given wide leeway to promote their products, so it's up to us to ferret out the impostors.

That means reading nutrition labels to see what ingredients products actually contain. Some of the worst offenders turn up in foods you'd least suspect. Those so-called health bars, for example, may contain protein and some vitamins and minerals, but they're often loaded with salt and sugar as well.

And just because something is seasoned with sea salt, doesn't mean it's any healthier. "It's going to have the same amount of sodium as table salt," says Denise Cole, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, but "we need less of it to make our food taste better because it's a coarser grind than table salt. So, just remember, we're still getting the same amount of sodium, it's just in a different form."