The Spiritual Cinema Circle film selections this month explore empathy in the lives of families, friends and strangers.
In the short film Of Teaching Killer Whales Compassion, a homeless young man adrift in society finds hope for change after a chance encounter. A behind-the-scenes written interview with the filmmakers is included in the DVD insert. Our other short films this month, Lucy and Far, also tell stories of people seeking connection in the world.
Shuffle is a complex and engrossing film about the choices we make as our lives unfold. In the spirit of both Memento and It’s a Wonderful Life, we encounter a man who suddenly begins to experience the events of his life out of sequence, as he slowly realizes that his biggest challenge is also his most dazzling opportunity. Shuffle stars T.J. Thyne (from Bones) and was written and directed by Kurt Kuenne, the same team behind the delightful short Validation.
Baby Monitor and Lobster are both from filmmaker Jocelyn Jansons, our in-studio guest on this month’s DVD program. The first is powerful short about overcoming the past, while the second is a humorous look at the existence of the soul.
Washed Up Love, set in Ireland, is a lighthearted story about a woman who meets a younger man when he literally washes ashore, causing her to question the path of her life.
Wellness pioneer Hillary Rubin encourages us to stay motivated to make it to the yoga mat — and to practice compassion for ourselves on the days when we don’t. One of her favorite motivators? Dedicating your daily yoga practice to someone or something that inspires you.
Does your ego keep following you to your yoga mat, no matter how many times you try to check it at the door? Yoga instructor Jason Crandell encourages us to think it through and consider this in a different way. “We want to invite our ego to come with us so we can see it, understand it and have a relationship with it. Notice and don’t be surprised when ego arises. Practice seeing and witnessing its existence.” For more information, visit JasonYoga.com.
What happens during the transitions between yoga poses — and the transitions in life? Whether you’re moving from one pose to the next or from one life event to the next (a relationship, a job, a city), yoga instructor Bo Forbes says that it is during these transitions that we often feel discomfort or a sense of uncertainty. However, transitions are also pregnant with potential for transformation and change, so we should strive to embrace them — or at least listen to what they are trying to tell us.
So the next time you unroll your yoga mat, try to slow down your practice and lengthen the time between your poses. Really listen to your body and mind during these shifts, because that’s often the space where you can begin to grow.
Gaiam parenting blogger Susan Stiffelman appeared on The Today Show yesterday to chat with hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford about her book, Parenting Without Power Struggles. Watch the video of Susan explaining how to defuse a temper tantrum on the Today show website (or by clicking the image above) and learn more about the book (and sign up for Susan’s free parenting e-newsletter) on her website, ParentingWithoutPowerStuggles.com.
Two kayakers paddling off Redondo Beach, south of Los Angeles, got the thrill of a lifetime recently — the kind that most of us will never experience. They met a blue whale, the largest creature on Earth.
The 50-foot cetacean came within arm’s reach of the small kayak. But, not content with this closest of encounters, Rick Coleman, one of the kayakers, plunged into the water for a face-to-face session with the whale — all the while keeping his video camera running. Of course, that video soon appeared on YouTube and the inevitable interviews on TV news shows followed.
I’ve been asked many times about the perfect exercise routine to achieve “washboard abs.” A good mix of exercises targeting all the muscles of the core — the abdominals and spinal erectors — will create a beautiful, toned shape to the midsection.