Search results for yoga

To Sense from the Heart

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on To Sense from the Heart

To Sense from the Heart

As humans, we are blessed with the ability to sense the exterior world through our 5 senses. How does this really work? Can we train or sharpen our senses to enhance and improve the way we experience our day-to-day life? Or is it maybe that some of us are gifted with special sensory talents? While it’s true that some of us have a better musical ear or a more sensitive palate able to discern many flavors, I believe with some practice and attention we can all sharpen our senses and enjoy a richer, fuller life. All we need to do is to practice. Sound simple? Well… it is. For example, when practicing yoga we learn how to breathe and how to lead our breath to a targeted area in our body. While meditating we learn how to train our mind and clear our thoughts. We learn how to let thoughts go when they arise, rather than holding on to them. Sensing is a practice pertaining to the heart. When the heart is involved in even little and seemingly banal actions, life can become more meaningful. Teaching the heart to be open and clear can allow us to feel and sense the world in an entirely different way. When giving our full attention to our senses, hearing becomes listening, looking becomes seeing, smelling becomes experiencing, tasting becomes nourishing, and touching becomes communicating. Our senses become embodied and emotional. To feel and be emotional is to be alive. In physiology, as described by ancient Chinese medicine, each one of our senses passes through an internal meridian in the heart before being processed in our body and our consciousness. When we actively operate this channel, we can feel the external world and become united with it. We can then feel truly connected and at one with everything....

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Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

I think of myself as someone who takes good care of my health. I eat nearly 100% vegan and mostly whole foods. I ride my bike to and from Source Centre on a daily basis. I get adequate rest. And I have regular Network Spinal Care. What more could I do? I was in for a shock when I stood in front of the camera lighting for a video shoot to answer frequently asked questions about Network Spinal Analysis. I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the brightness. Partway through the filming, I was fanning myself because of all the heat and perspiration! Most shocking though was how I felt standing in front of the lights. Yes, I was nervous, but I was much more alert than usual. I felt energetic and ready to take on anything. How could I feel so much more alive standing in front of these bright lights? How could I, unless I’ve been missing something? Maybe sunshine? Like many of you, I spend a lot of time indoors. Between all the responsibilities of running Source Centre and caring for my patients and practice members, I have limited opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I look for easy ways to maximize the benefits of being outdoors. Here’s my advice: Any time outside is better than none. Get outside even if you can only spare 30 seconds. Getting off your chair and away from the computer will give your body a break from the strain of sitting. Look for some green space near your office and home. Being surrounded by green multiplies the benefit of being outside. Being on grass rather than a sidewalk makes a world of difference. Being surrounded by tree and plants is much more calming than being around buildings. Studies show that time spent in parks ease stress and frustration. If you live or work near Source Centre or the Toronto Entertainment District, there are quite a few options nearby for green space. My top picks include: David Pecaut Square behind Metro Hall and Roy Thompson hall. Consider coming for Wednesday morning yoga starting July 2013. St. Andrew’s Market and Playground on Adelaide and Brant. Grange Park on John north of Queen. Clarence Square on Spadina and Wellington. Bike to work. It’s a great way to get exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and to reduce the stress of your commute. Expose your skin. Roll up you sleeves and wear short or skirts. Skin that normally doesn’t see the sun will generate more vitamin D. Get out in the middle of the day. The sun is the brightest between 11am and 3pm. How do you get the most of the outdoors? Share your ideas by leaving a reply. If you found these tips useful please share this blog with your friends, family and co-workers.    Tweet...

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The Intelligence Within

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on The Intelligence Within

The Intelligence Within

(Image: ‘Serenity’ by Dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Have you ever heard the expressions: “Trust your gut” or “Listen to your heart”? Do you? Have you ever had a gut feeling about something? What happens when you have a gut feeling about something and you do not listen to what your body is trying to tell you? What happens when you do listen? I find when I can follow my gut, or my heart, that life flows with ease and good things come to me. In Chiropractic Philosophy one of our main tenets is that in each one of us there is an innate intelligence governing all function within our bodies and sending us messages to guide us in our lives. These “gut feelings” that we have are messages sent to us by our innate intelligence which is trying to get us to listen. In our society, due to the large volumes of information we deal with on a daily basis, we often spend a lot of time in our heads processing and analyzing our situation. We use our educated mind to make choices for ourselves and decide the paths we are going to take in our minds based on our previous life experience. Our educated mind was a blank slate when we were born and we have been accumulating knowledge and information to “educate” ourselves and survive in our lives. Our educated mind is finite and shaped by our personal experiences. On the other hand, our innate mind, is infinite and all knowing. When we can bypass our educated mind to be quiet and listen to our innate intelligence it will reveal the wisdom to us and guide us in our lives. This is not an easy task however, and it is a lifelong journey for those who choose. However, simply making the choice to become aware of your innate intelligence will make a profound difference in your ability to hear what it has to say. How can you connect more deeply to your innate intelligence? The first step is to become aware of your present state? So how do you know if you are connected to your innate intelligence, or to your heart? Here are 3 different areas to look at to help you know if you are connected. 1) How are you feeling?At any time you can check in to your emotional state. It is simple, when you are experiencing positive, joyful emotions, you know you are connected. If you are feeling negative, unhappy emotions, then you know you are not connected. 2) How are your energy levels?When your energy levels are abundant you are connected; when you have low energy you are not connected and are not following your heart. 3) What kind of language are you using?The type of language you are using is a reflection of your internal state. Using words like “I choose to…”, “I love to…”, “I want to…”, are signs that you are connected and doing things that come from your innate intelligence and are an expression of who you are. Words like “I have to…”, “I should…”, and “I need to…” are less connected expressions that imply that you are doing things that are not coming from your personal self-expression. These are all things that you can be aware of throughout your day and check in on a regular basis. If you feel that you are connected, great, keep doing what you are doing and notice the factors that are helping you be in a connected place. If you are not connected there are many different things that you can do...

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Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

Year of the Snake- Year of the Spleen

(Image: “Snake In Green Nature” by SweetCrisis/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Many Chinese communities all over the world celebrated the Chinese New Year this week and welcomed the year of the snake. A short brief: According to ancient Chinese philosophy, there are two main cycles in nature representing the order of the universe. The first is a cycle of 10 (“stem”) and the second, a cycle of 12 (“branch”). Each branch can be viewed in 3 different perspectives: 2 hours of the day (24 hours divided by 12 branches). 12 months of the year (lunar months). 12 years great cycle. Within the great 12 year cycle, every year is represented by a sign that symbolizes the characteristic of that year, much like the famous zodiac known in the west. Each branch, in addition to its correspondence to an animal, has a deep relationship with an organ in the body. It is important to keep in mind that an “organ” in Chinese Medicine is a wider term than it is in Western Medicine: there is the physical organ and physical function, and it also includes its meridian, and its emotional and spiritual functions. The “Organ” belonging to the year of the snake is the Spleen. The main role of the spleen is to control everything that has to do with digestion. On the physical level it is food and fluids but consider also the digestion of data, thoughts, and information. Why snake? The snake represents a very strong digestive system. So strong that it can digest a prey that was swallowed whole. This year, therefore, the spleen is especially active. It means that it has the potential to be in its full manifestation and strength if we take good care of it. Conversely, it means that it can be easily injured and harmed if we don’t treat it appropriately. So how can we help the spleen this year? As the master of digestion the spleen likes a variety of foods. A diverse and colourful menu, rich with many nutrients will nourish and support the spleen. The one exception are carbohydrates. It is important to monitor the quantity and quality of these to ensure the spleen is “happy” and is not harmed. The spleen is also sensitive to cold foods like dairy products, and uncooked food straight from the fridge. Raw fruits and vegetables should be eaten at room temperature. Ice creams and ice cold drinks should be eliminated!! All of these are truths in every year but more so in a snake/ spleen year. On the mental/ emotional level it is important to keep a relaxed lifestyle as much as possible. The spleen is prone to harm from overthinking and too many worries. Practicing meditation, qi-gong, yoga or any meditative activity on a regular basis will support the spleen. Even things like guilt and avoiding responsibilities can harm the spleen so this year is a great time to take action and ownership in our lives. Regular Chinese Medicine treatments, Acupuncture and herbal remedies designed to nourish the spleen are also highly recommended. Wonder how your spleen is doing? Signs for injured or deficient spleen include: • Gastrointestinal symptoms like IBS, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and stomachaches. • Food allergies and intolerance • Menstrual disorders • Tendencies to bruise easily, nosebleeds, bleeding gums • Hemorrhoids • Collapsed organ/tissues • Severe conditions like anemia and immunity and autoimmunity diseases If any of the above conditions are familiar with you and you wish to address them, please contact us by phone or email. Together we will have a great, healthy and successful year of the snake! Yuval...

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Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

In my previous two posts [ post 1 | post 2 ], I wrote about my amazing experience of Beijing. I still think fondly of my 45 degree climb up the Great Wall of China. Reconnecting with family on our walking tours and over meals was wonderful and rejuvenating. Sharing meals with my new friends made the trip even more joyful. And practising simple healthy habits made it possible to enjoy the experience and feel energetic, happy and relaxed. On my previous post, I mentioned regular Network Spinal Care, daily yoga and healthier food choices were 3 ways that I stayed healthy on my trip. With NSA, I arrived in Beijing with a healthy nervous system and a healthy spine. Daily yoga helped me limber up and start my day with more energy. Healthy meals provided clean-burning fuel to sustain my well-being. The key to health was to continue practising my daily healthy habits and modify them to suit my day. Without further ado, the last of my healthy habits during my Beijing trip!   Early to bed Our days usually started with rising early at 6:00am. I typically need 8 hours of sleep nightly to feel refreshed the next day which meant I was in bed by 10:00pm. This was not the easiest goal as we would return to our hotel room as late as 8:30pm. I got to bed quickly by cutting down on the electronics: namely the television and cell phone. This helped me to maximize my time to wind down from the day with a nice slow shower and personal care. Stay hydrated Experts say that we need at least 2-3 litres of water every day to stay properly hydrated. When counting your intake, remember that beverages and foods are both sources of water. Our tour guide and bus driver provided bottled water during our trip which was very considerate in light of Beijing’s questionable drinking water safety (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/722561.shtml). A combination of bottled water and lots of fruits and vegetables – both water-rich foods – made it easy for me to stay hydrated.   Keep moving, especially when seated! Do you know what children do after they sit for more than a brief moment? They get restless and move around! This is a perfect reflection of our body’s intelligence to keep tension under control. Every few minutes on my trip, I would lean from one side to the other. Then I’d slouch forward for a few minutes, and then sit upright. I would twist one way, and then twist the other. And of course, if I could safely stand and move around I would do that too. Moving around is important to manage tension. Whether it be on vacation, at home or at the office, if you sit still for more than a few minutes certain tissues in your body will start to compress, stretch and strain. The only way to counteract the load is to switch positions regularly so that the strained tissues get a break and share the load with other parts of your body.   SRI SRI stands for Somato Respiratory Integration (click to read more) and is an incredibly effective tool for enhancing the breath and releasing built-up tension. It’s so simple and that anyone could learn it in a single session and enjoy right away the benefits of regular practice. I used it to help me to sleep each night as well as whenever I felt tension build up. There are 12 different stages of SRI that can be practised, and the simplest and most frequent stage I practice is stage 1. See below...

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