Next week is Thanksgiving, a time when we express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. We're thankful for our clients (we claim many of you as friends, too!), business associates and vendors who have supported Be Well Now over the years.
As our thanks, we're hosting two special events the first week of December.
Jerry Whitten (Tang Soo Do/Karate) and Matt Hawkins (Capoeira) will demonstrate their classes, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Our annual Open House will be 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. Stop in for light refreshments and a chance to save on gift certificates. You can read more here.
With the coming holidays, food will be at the forefront of many get-togethers. Practicing mindfulness when eating can slow you down and lead to a greater appreciation of what you're eating.
Qigong is the practice of breathing that encourages the flow of qi (chi) in the body. It's easily learned but difficult to master. Read about the benefits of this practice and get some tips here.
It is Crow or is it Crane? Bakasana is this month's pose, a little more challenging but worth the effort.
We are excited to offer Yoga Teacher Training again next spring! New session starts February 14, 2014 and we already have several people signed up. Space is limited but all it takes is a simple phone call to add your name to the list. You can read an interview with Jaime Sanchez here.
We offer a wide variety of classes and times. Check out our website to find something that fits into your schedule or a service to give you a pick-me-up.
Theresa Franklin, NCTMB, LMT, RYT, CMT
Olivia Kelly, NCTMB, LMT
Mindful Eating Brings Back Food's Pleasure
Does this sound familiar?
Breakfast is spent eating over the sink while trying to get your kids out the door on time. You gobble down your lunch while checking emails at work. You rush through dinner so you can get to an evening meeting.
Is it any wonder that an hour after you've "eaten" you're hungry?
Food is one of the basics of life that deserves to be appreciated and experienced fully. When we do so without conscious thought we're depriving ourselves of that pleasure. And because we feel dissatisfied, we go to the frig or the vending machine to find something else to eat.
Mindfulness is paying attention to what's in your present moment, without judgment. Practicing mindfulness when we eat helps reduce emotional eating, which frequently leads to overeating or eating junky foods. Mindful eating
Jan Chozen Bays is a Zen teacher and author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyous Relationship to Food and How to Train a Wild Elephant, a collection of 53 mindfulness exercises. She has two suggestions for increasing our awareness and enhancing our pleasure when we sit down to eat. The first
is to be completely aware of the first few bites or first few sips of everything you eat or drink. Really savor them. Then accept that you will switch to mindless eating or drinking. It's the awareness that counts, she says, because it gives us a choice. If you are aware that you are eating mindlessly, you are able to switch back to eating mindfully, even for a few bites. The second
solution is called alternating practice. You savor one or two bites or swallows, then stop eating and turn your attention to the other task at hand such as attending to emails. After a few minutes, you switch back to being focused on your food or drink. In this way, she says, the sensors in the mouth and nose have time to refresh so that you can experience "first bite" flavor with each bite.
With the many family get-togethers and holiday parties on the horizon, practicing mindfulness eating can bring back one of the simple pleasures of the season.
| Qigong - The Breath of Life
Take a breath.
Did your breath come from deep in your belly or was it shallow, originating from your lungs?
Qigong ("chee gong") is an ancient Chinese practice of breathing that encourages the flow of qi (chi) in the body. Like many Eastern arts, it's easily learned but takes time to master. Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts. This principle is found in other cultures as well, such as prana in Hindu (think Pranayama breathing in yoga) and even Western culture ("The Force" in Star Wars).
Qigong's Effects On the Body
Promoting qi throughout the body aids in healing, endurance and spiritual balance. The lymph system is key to our body's immune function and we can enhance it through Qigong. This slow deep breathing dilates the blood vessels so that the heart doesn't have to work as hard. It also switches our nervous system from the overactive sympathetic mode to the restorative parasympathetic mode. The immediate calming effect increases our focused awareness and performance.
The Three Elements of Qigong
Practicing qigong involves body posture, breathing and a "cheerful indifference" - an alert mind but one that is focused on nothing.
Incorrect posture in qigong will block chi's flow and uses too much energy. Keep your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your tailbone pointed to the ground; gently straighten your spine. Your head should be straight and your face relaxed. Your arms hang down from your shoulders, which are relaxed and not hunched up around your ears.
Qigong uses abdominal breathing: as you inhale, the lower abdomen expands and fills with air before the chest does. The abdomen contracts on exhale.
Controlling your mind reduces stress and increases your awareness of the moment. As you practice qigong, keep your mind quiet.
Try this qigong exercise:
Take the qigong position as described above. Inhale, raising your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Exhale, bending your knees slightly, lowering your arms and spreading your fingers wide. You can see a very short video here.
And don't forget to breathe!
You can watch a video clip here and a 4.5 minute video here.
baka = crane
We've seen Bakasana called both Crane and Crow. So which is it?
Crow pose is the "easier" variation of this arm balance, with bent elbows. The knees rest near the armpit, and the shins may slightly rest on the upper arm. Crane is more challenging with completely straight arms. Both are powerful poses that improve balance and arm strength.
In Bakasana, your back is rounded as your torso and legs are balanced on the backs of your upper arms.
How to do it
- Stand on a yoga mat with your feet approximately hip width apart. Squat, pushing your knees out wider than your hips and placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Start leaning the torso forward, between the inner thighs. Bend your elbows and place the backs of your upper arms against your shins.
- Lift up onto the balls of your feet and lean forward even more, taking the weight of your torso onto the backs of the upper arms
- Snuggle your inner thighs against the sides of your torso, and your shins into your armpits, and slide the upper arms down as low onto the shins as possible.
- Exhale and lean forward even more onto the backs of your upper arms, so the balls of your feet leave the floor and you are perched securely on the bent arms. Make sure your weight is equally distributed on your two hands
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 minute. To release, exhale as you slowly lower your feet to the floor, back into a squat.
If you have pain in your wrists, try curling your fingers slightly. This should take some of the pressure off the wrists.
If you have trouble getting into a squat, place a folded towel under your heels.
If you are an advanced practitioner, work on straightening your elbows.
- keep your tailbone as close to your heels as possible; this helps keep your back rounded
- let your head drop. This will cause you to tip forward and lose balance.
- Strengthens the wrist, forearms and abdominal muscles
- Improves digestion and concentration
- Stimulates the organs of the abdomen
- Improves balance and coordination
- Stretches the upper back
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
is a healthy lifestyle center that offers a range of holistic experiences to unite your mind, body and spirit. Bring harmony to your life through the practice of heart-centered yoga and meditation. Explore our Namast� gift shop with books, CDs, candles, teas, skin care and gifts.
Stop by and check us out!
Be Well Now
|The Be Well Now newsletter is edited by Danette Watt. For suggestions, comments or concerns about the newsletter content, contact her at email@example.com. ||
Open House, 11 am -
7 pm, Thursday, Dec. 5
Please join us for light refreshments, raffles and discounts.
Hourly raffles for yoga classes, specialty massages, facials and more!
The earlier you stop by and sign up, the better your chances of winning.
Open House Discounts: *
- $45 gift certificates for 1-hour massages and facials
- $10 off monthly unlimited yoga
- $10 off retail
*Limit 6 gift certificates per person and same-day availability only.
Curious about Tang Soo Do-Karate, Tai Chi Chuan and Capoeira?
Tang Soo Do Master Jerry Whitten and Matt Hawkins will demonstrate their respective arts Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m.
You can read more about Jerry and Matt
in past newsletters. Stop by and bring a friend!
Call Jerry Whitten (466-1723) and Matt Hawkins (225-9246) with questions.
Next Yoga Teacher Training starts
Call 462-3900 to sign up.
Yoga has a sly, clever way of short-circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety.
~ Baxter Bell
Make time for
Our classes please check the website calendar to confirm class times
12:30-1:30 pm Hot Yoga
5:30-6:30 pm Hot Yoga
(limited class size)
10-11 am Hot Yoga
Intro to Yang Tai Chi
Intro to Chen Style Tai Chi
TANG SOO DO