brain

10 Benefits of Yoga Inversions

YOGANONYMOUS by YOGANONYMOUS | April 8th, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: arms, asana, balane, blood flow, brain, circulation, confidence, core strength, detox, detoxify, downward dog, energy, fear, Forearm Stand, fun, gravity, handstand, Happy Baby, headstand, heart, humble, immune system, inversions, invert, legs, Legs up the wall, lymph nodes, oxygen, perspective, relax, relaxation, shoulder stand, Standing Forward Folds, toxins, upside-down, Yoga

yoga inversion

A yoga teacher’s suggestion to invert has the power to illicit a range of emotions from students: bewilderment, fear, anxiety, aversion, rejection, excitement, butterflies — you fill in the blank.

Purposely turning ourselves upside-down is contrary to our physical nature, and yet the benefits of upending ourselves are many. Just as yoga gently encourages us to move away from any unconscious habitual patterns, the invitation to invert is simply another way to shake things up, step out of a rut.

4 Ways to Parent the Impulsive Child

Susan Stiffelman by Susan Stiffelman | March 25th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: acceptance and children, act your age, ADD, adolescent hormones, alienation, ally, alternative approaches for restless children, behaving appropriately, brain, champion, children, children confiding in parents, children's mishaps, curb impulsive behavior in kids, developmental lab, disappointment, disruptive children, failing, fish oil for children, frustrating behavior, frustrating children, fueling misbehavior, good nutrition for children, human beings, impatient children, impulse and action, impulsive behavior, inhibitory response, mean children, nature and children, parent, patient children, pfc, PFC developmental function, pre-frontal cortex, school behavior, scolding, self confidence, sleep and children, stress

A parent wrote me recently to say that her 13-year-old son’s impulsive behavior was frustrating his teachers and driving away potential friends. Here is the advice I shared with her:

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the part of the brain behind the forehead that governs the inhibitory response in human beings. It creates a pause between having an impulse and acting on it.

In the ADD-ish children and teens I’ve worked with, I almost always see up to a 30-percent developmental lag between a child’s actual age and their PFC developmental function. In other words, while a child may officially be 13 years old (and might be even more mature in some respects), they may be more like an 8- or 9-year-old when it comes to controlling their impulsive behavior.

3 Steps to Perfection on Purpose

Kaedrich Olsen by Kaedrich Olsen | March 25th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth | tags: active approach to life, acutely aware, be present, brain, choice, choices, clothes, communication, connect with yourself, consciousness, demands, ears, element, emotions, evolving perfection, exploration, explore, exploring the environment, external expectations, eyes, focus outward, full experience, fully present, future experiences, health, hear, immediate surroundings, in the moment, inspiring experiences, intent, interpretation, inward focus, knowing who you are, life creations, listen, listen to your body, listen to your life, live life to the fullest, making choices, manifest, moment, music, no judgement, not to feel, open senses, pain, passive, past choices, past experiences, perfection on purpose, personal joy, purpose, rewards, secrets, see, sensation, sense of smell, sense of touch, sensory organs, signals in the body, smell, sound, subtle signals, take in every detail, take in every moment, taste, touch, turn attention inward, whole being

You know who you are based on all of your past experiences and choices. If you choose to remain who and what you are now, and not look ahead, then you will forever be at the mercy of your own future life experiences. Instead of taking this passive approach, allow yourself to understand that you have a choice in all of your future experiences and make those choices.

Here are three ways to to take an active role in shaping your life:

The Most Important Part of a Yoga Pose

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: brain, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, clear the mind, inversion, legs up the wall pose, meditation, muscles, nervous system, pranayama, relax, relaxation, self-massage, stress, tension, thoughts, tissues, Unmani Mudra, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, yoga-practice

Yoga PoseHave you ever wondered what to prioritize when you are doing a yoga pose? What is the most important thing to focus on when doing Triangle? Or Downward Dog? Or Savasana? Ask 15 different yoga teachers from different yoga lineages and you will likely get 15 different answers. Is alignment the most important? Is it the breath? Awareness? Eye gaze? What is it?

I have wrestled with this question myself and have attempted to deconstruct hundreds of poses to figure out what is most important … but after 29 years of practice (yep, I’ve been practicing since I was a kid!) there is one element that I come back to again and again — and it might surprise you!

Week 9: The Three T’s!

Tanja Djelevic by Tanja Djelevic | May 7th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth | tags: 10-week program, antioxidants, bikini body, brain, burn-calories, caffeine, coffee, energy levels, exercise, Fitness, green tea, health, healthy, learn, learning, lose-weight, mental, metabolism, motivation, personal trainer, spring training, three T’s, try something new, week 9, week nine, weeks, weight-loss, well-being, wellness

green teaWith only two more weeks left in our Better Body, More Energy challenge, I hope a lot of exciting things have started happening for you! Maybe you’re experiencing abundant energy (or at least more energy), a new outlook on health, or a brand new consciousness about your body. Maybe your day starts with a glass of water instead of caffeinated soda, and even if that is the change you take away from all of this, then I am happy you have made that progress!

The Brain Vacation

Suzanne Clores by Suzanne Clores | March 10th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Detox, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: brain, breath, concentration, detox, diet, focus, food, health benefits, meditating, meditation retreat, mental clarity, mind, science, thoughts, vacation, Vipassana, vow of silence

Woman meditating by the ocean

Every winter, I yearn for a vacation. Surprisingly, ice and snow, the post-holiday blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder are not the chief motivators. What drives me is the chance to stop routines, habits and patterns — even the healthy ones: the dietary habits I’ll resume, the exercise routines I worked hard to put into place. Ever since I took my first meditation retreat over the week between Christmas and New Year’s, vacation has meant more to me than just fun and sun. It has meant permission: permission to relax, to reconnect inner body and outer body, and, most of all, to stop talking.

Meditation for Dummies

Girlfriend@Gaiam by Girlfriend@Gaiam | March 2nd, 2011 | 3 Comments
topic: Girlfriend@Gaiam, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: brain, concentration, cushion, focus, how to meditate, inner peace, lotus pose, mantra, meditate, meditation chair, meditation for dummies, meditation space, meditaton, mental clarity, mind, morning, om, private space, sacred, sacred space, spirituality

Meditation For DummiesMeditation does not come naturally — at least, not to me. I’m easily distracted, there are a million things on my “mom mind” and I feel a little guilty when I’m not doing something productive. But I work at Gaiam: I have seen the benefits with my very own eyes, and the reasons to meditate are convincing! Besides, I work at Gaiam: Shouldn’t I at least try meditating?