Sunday, May 28, 2017

Yoga can modify our DNA

Fascinating article!

Yoga promotes physical health, decreases stress levels, makes you less susceptible to chronic diseases, and helps improve your DNA function?!

Yes, it's true. It has been scientifically proven that yogic mindfulness practices can alter your DNA functions in positive ways. These findings come from two separate studies conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, and at Harvard University.

Chris Kilham, who is an advisor to herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and a researcher at University of Massachusetts Amherst, did a deep dive on the subject in this interview with Fox News Health. Kilham states that, "we don't exactly know how [the DNA change] happens, but we know that it happens."

The Harvard University study found that yoga positively changes your cellular metabolic functions. Meaning that it improves the way your body absorbs nutrients, and uses those nutrients to fuel and sustain your body throughout the day.

The Harvard University study focused on a group that trained in mindfulness meditation and used a control group that practiced no mindfulness training at all. "After eight weeks, blood samples were taken from both groups. The meditation group showed changes in 2209 genes, a very far-reaching effect. The genetic changes observed included 1,275 instances in which genes were up-regulated (their activity increased), and 934 cases in which the genes were down-regulated (their activity decreased). Many of the genetic changes prompted by the yoga practice involved cellular metabolism. This is the capacity of cells to utilise nutrients and oxygen, and to generate energy. Those who practiced the yoga method showed improved cellular metabolism, and better cell function overall."

Additionally, the University of Calgary study found that yogic practices help extend life. So, when you take this information, and you add in the information found at the University of Calgary, you find that yoga practices improve your cellular metabolism (which decreases your body's ability to become sick or suffer from genetic degenerative problems later on), and also help extend the life of your DNA cells.

Kilham explains in his interview that these benefits, generally speaking, are only applicable to those who practice yoga regularly. He says, just like the benefits of physical exercise, these DNA boosting benefits will fade if your practice drops.


Friday, May 26, 2017

7 Life-Changing Practices Of Truly Healthy People

Isn't it very yogi???

Live in the present moment.
Life happens in the moment. So much of my mental suffering came from living in the shackles of my memories of the past. Or traveling into the future, speculating about "what will happen if" and projecting different scenarios of moments yet to come.
It's incredibly helpful to pause, close your eyes briefly and tune in to the sensation of your breath whenever you observe my mind traveling into the past or future. You can simply ask, "What is happening right now? What can I do right now to be more present?" Doing this has an amazing way of connecting you with the power you have—which exists right here and now.
Practice forgiveness.

It's said that holding on to emotions like anger is like drinking poison and expecting the person(s) you're angry with to die. It is we who actually suffer when we hold on to past wounds. We can't change the past, but we can change how we respond to challenges instead of unconsciously reacting to them. Therein lies the key to real freedom—and health.
To really forgive, we have to feel our emotions—anger, pain, grief. It takes vulnerability to feel, and you have to feel to heal. By asking "Who do I have anger toward?" and "What wounds do I refuse to give up?" you're taking brave first steps toward forgiveness.
Go outside.
Nature is the ultimate healer. One of ayurveda's purposes is to restore your harmony with nature, as doing so is the key to great health. The ancient Indian sages, the very ones who the science of ayurveda was revealed to, spent their entire lifetimes observing nature.
Nature is a great teacher. The seasons constantly change: Flowers bloom and then wither away, leaves that come in with their bright colors and drop just as easily, and birds migrate from North to South and back again. So, too, are we advised to adapt gracefully to change without stating too many preferences.
With nature as our teacher, we can invite all things in our lives to come and go so that we may remain as supple as the wind and face new challenges with courage and strength.
Tune in to the sound of your inner voice.
It's so easy to get swept away by all the noise that exists in the outside world, figuratively and literally. There are so many voices out there that can sway and distract us—whether it's the media reporting about all the atrocious things happening in the world, or just the pessimistic opinions of the person you work with. Then, of course, there's your sonic diet: the radio, telephone, television, and loud music.
In ayurveda, silence is intimately connected with the element of space. Like space, silence is as expansive as the sky. It's an essential ingredient for your spirit. Taking time to tune into the sound of your inner voice helps you receive insights and clarity about issues in your life that may have blocked you and where you may be standing in your own way. Awareness is the first step to making healthy change.
Seek your own approval.
With the help of nature, silence, and living in the present moment, we have the opportunity to seek our own approval. When we are able to hear the sound of our own voice, we can then have the freedom to seek the approval of our own spirit instead of getting stuck in the trap of wanting to just please others.
I used to be a huge people pleaser. And I can say from experience that to even follow ayurveda's life-changing practices, I needed to give myself my own strokes of approval for following through on my own good intentions. Approving yourself means saying yes to yourself, to health, and the kind of life you want to live.
Keep good company.
The company you keep is one of the most important contributing factors to your mental health. Make sure to surround yourself with people who support you in your desire to live a truly healthy life. I felt supported in making changes in my life due to all the community support I received—and continue to receive—while studying at the school I'd ultimately work for.
Reading uplifting books is a great way to keep good company regardless of who is around you. Even when I'm unable to be with people who are committed to healthy living, I give my mind the company of positive thoughts in this way.
Free yourself from the shackles of shame.
There's a difference between guilt and shame. Shame is when you feel bad, broken, or unworthy. Guilt, on the other hand, is remorse for something you have done. It can actually be a constructive emotion, empowering you to make important behavioral shifts. Shame makes us feel stuck while guilt can motivate us.
It's important to try to identify and then channel feelings of shame into healthier feelings to fuel you toward acting for your own good more and more each day.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Draft your Own Mandala

Listening to the silence while creating your own mandala...Learning about symmetrical designs and shapes, while staying creative and unique!

#kidsyoga #kidsmeditation #mandala#quietness #creativity #diy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

DIY Yoga Mat Spray

We sweat and so much time on our mats - ensure you wash it at least once a week!

Very easy DIY yoga mat spray...
Trying it this week, then probably trying with the kids next week!

  • 2 oz. Glass Spray Bottle
  • ~1 oz. Filtered Water
  • ~1 oz Witch Hazel (alcohol free)
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Scented Essential Oils of Choice - I used grapefruit and sweet orange oil
  1. Fill the spray bottle with half filtered water, and half witch hazel.
  2. Add 3 drops of tea tree oil, and 10 drops of grapefruit and sweet orange essential oil each.
  3. Screw the nozzle back onto the bottle, and shake to mix.
  4. To use, generously spritz spray on yoga mat. Wipe with a damp cloth, and allow to dry. Store spray in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Incorporate Yogi in everyday's life

It's sometimes difficult to stick to our practice... Some tips below!

If you are a long-term yoga practitioner or are just growing your yogi wings, you may want to find ways to incorporate it smoothly or at least regularly into your day to day lifestyle. Here are three suggestions to give you a hand, a stretch, or a lift.
1. Get into a Rhythm, But Don’t Be A Dictator
While commitment and perseverance are important to building healthy habits, it is okay to have off days. Sometimes you may have a short practice session, or maybe even just squeeze in some yoga at your desk.
A good way to develop a pattern or rhythm of practice is to spend some time analyzing your daily routines and look for moments or junctures where you could use an energetic shift or some centering, or where you simply have some extra time that could be used for yoga.
Some people practice first thing in the morning or right after work religiously so they don’t get off schedule. You may practice every other day, or every weekend. Sometimes you might have a cold or be feeling overwhelmed and need to just practice walking meditation or sit under a tree rather than fully engage in asana practice—and that’s okay.
Whenever you are engaging in a positive change or setting goals for yourself, try not to become your own judgmental enemy, and focus on the positive, self-befriending aspects of your practice. Aim to find those moments which repeat throughout the week that could be good times to check in with your body, either for a full yoga practice or a quick mindful stretch.
2. Find Places in Your Life to Put Poses
While a yoga mat, blocks, straps, etc. are wonderful and integral tools, you may find that you can also practice yoga without them in a very satisfying way throughout your day.
There are lots of ways yoga (asana) can become a normal part of your day, even when you are not using yoga gear and accoutrements. For example: how about trying this standing version of Upward Dog on the counter once you’re done washing dishes or brushing your teeth?
You can also stand in Tree pose while doing various, seemingly mundane tasks, like writing grocery lists, talking on the phone, washing dishes, etc.
3. Focus on Your Posture and Your Yoga Opportunities at Work
If your work involves standing and walking, you can bring awareness of your body’s weight distribution and alignment throughout the day. If you are working at a desk, there are a variety of yogic activities, exercises, and postures you can incorporate. Here are five great chair-sitting postures recommended for fibromyalgia relief, but can also be wonderfully helpful for anyone who spends a good portion of the day seated.
It is also essential that you get up and go for walks whenever you can. You can set a timer to remind you to stretch, stand and move around every 20 minutes or so. This mindfulness bell site provided by the Washington Mindfulness Community can be set to play beautiful meditation bells at the intervals you choose.
In Meditations from the Mat, Rolf Gates tells us that, like nature, “Yoga brings us from disconnection and fear to connection and love”. He also quotes Lau-Tzu; “Stay in the center of the circle and let all things take their course.”  Your yoga practice can help you to slow down, connect with loving energy, and reclaim the powerful center place that is your own body.
While having a “refuge” and quiet place to do yoga can be very helpful, your practice does not have to be limited to certain times of day or locations. Hopefully these three suggestions, and above all listening to yourself and your body, will be helpful as you explore integrating yoga more into your world and life. Keep breathing, namaste, and good luck!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Aromatherapy for Kids

Nice informative video for Aromatherapy - especially for children.
Also reminds the history, nature of essential oils, the various usages.

Source: Global Family Yoga


Monday, May 1, 2017

The youngest yoga teacher

Tabay, this kid teaching yoga to kids and also adults! Long and happy journey to him...
Tabay Atkins is not your typical 11-year-old boy. And being the youngest certified yoga teacher in the United States is only a small part of what makes him so special.
Tabay discovered yoga at age 6, when his mom, Sahel Anvarinejad, began practicing as part of her recovery from stage 3 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and intense chemotherapy.
“In September 2012, I was just two weeks cancer-free, when I connected to yoga teacher Carolyn Long, whose mother had just passed away from cancer,” recalls Anvarinejad. “She welcomed me with open arms and convinced me to take her 200-hour vinyasa teacher training program. Yoga was a foreign language to me—I didn’t even know what Downward-Facing Dog was—but I did it, even though it was hard for me to walk on my own, and I had never even taken a yoga class before. I had no hair, and I was weak and scared. I got stronger and stronger [thanks to yoga]—physically and emotionally. After two and a half months of training, I could walk on my own again.”
Inspired to Teach By Yoga's Healing Power
Tabay witnessed all of that, and at 6 years old, he found his calling. “I wanted to become a yoga teacher because my mom had cancer,” he tells “She did yoga and she couldn’t walk at the time; she was really stressed. I saw how yoga was healing her, and I told her I wanted to teach yoga to help people heal the way yoga helped heal my mom.”
In 2013, after Anvarinejad got certified, she opened her yoga studio, with Tabay often pitching in as her helper. And last summer, Tabay went from helper to certified teacher, after becoming the youngest person ever to complete the 200-hour YOGAteacher training—and seemingly the youngest certified yoga teacher in the country. Tabay currently teaches three popular classes a week—including two teen-adult vinyasa classes and a Lego meditation class with his dad. “His classes are the most full classes we have at the studio,” Anvarinejad says proudly.

So why does an 11-year-old boy—who is also an aspiring actor—want to spend his spare time teaching yoga? “I really love to help people when I’m doing my yoga,” explains Tabay, who is currently certified to teach vinyasa, circus yoga, tween yoga, teen yoga, yoga for kids with autism, and more. “It’s not about flexibility, it’s more about non-judgment. It’s about healing the mind and body. I also like to see people progress throughout the classes.”
The best part? Tabay donates ALL of the money he makes teaching yoga to help kids that have cancer. “He does it for free … except for the pennies. He keeps the pennies,” Anvarinejad says. The fees for Tabay’s classes are donation-based and voluntary, and all proceeds go to, a charity that helps caregivers find resources when their loved ones are diagnosed with cancer.
Eleven may seem a little young to be a professional anything, but Anvarinejad thinks Tabay was ready. “Who am I to tell him he’s too young? His heart and intentions are pure," she says. "He’s the first person to help someone in need or make friends with someone sitting alone, or stop a kid from being bullied ... this is what yoga is. Some people are just meant to have this in their lives.”