Like it or not, even if you run, or work-out, sitting for prolonged periods of time is worse for your health than smoking!! In the last couple of years there has been mounting evidence that sitting for prolong periods of time increases one’s risk for diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers. This holds true even for people who do exercise such as running regularly!
There is something about the physiological changes that occur with prolonged sitting that increases one’s probability for contracting some diseases as well as lowering life span. The new statistics show that prolonged sitting is actually more dangerous than smoking!
2 Minute Yoga to the rescue! If you ever needed a good reason to take short yoga breaks through out the day, this sounds like one to me. Researchers have not come up with a specific recommendation for how often one should take a break nor how long the break should be. We just know the old saying “move it or loose it” is taking on a more serious tone than ever before.
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Nicole DeAvilla: When I look at the yoga postures pictured in your book, they look like regular postures that one might see in any yoga class. If the postures are the same, what makes this practice different?
Gyandev McCord: In Ananda Yoga, the physical positions are seen primarily as the foundation from which a deeper practice can spring. That deeper practice involves working directly with the life-energy that the postures awaken, so as to raise consciousness.
ND: Why did you want to write this book?
GM: More and more people have experienced yoga postures on a physical level, and many of them sense a spiritual potential in the practice, and want to explore that potential. I wrote the book to support those people as well as teachers who want to (or perhaps already) teach the spiritual dimension of yoga.
ND: What is a simple practice that could be done in about 2 Minutes to connect to the spiritual or higher awareness aspect of yoga regardless of a person’s religious beliefs-even if they are an atheist?
GM: Higher awareness may seem esoteric or inherently religious, but it’s simply about finding a happiness that doesn’t depend on external circumstances. When you feel happiness, there’s a lot of energy in the forefront (prefrontal lobes) of the brain. Conversely, when you bring more energy to that location, you naturally feel happier. Here’s a quick exercise that can help you work with your energy to accomplish that. It’s called the Full Yogic Breath Flow:
Stand upright and take a full yogic inhalation: the belly expands first, then the lower ribs, then the chest. As you do a full yogic exhalation (chest relaxes in, then lower ribs, then belly), come into a forward bend. On your next full yogic inhalation, draw your hands up the front of the legs and torso (almost touching the body) as you come upright and stretch the arms overhead, gazing slightly upward. On the ensuing full yogic exhalation, glide your hands down the front of the body (again, almost touching it) as you return to the forward bend. Continue in this way for 5-6 breaths. As you inhale, try to feel the natural magnetism of the hands helping to light energy to the brain. As you exhale, feel that your hands are wiping away any traces of fatigue, restlessness, or discontent.
If you would like to learn more about Gyandev McCord and connect with him through Social Media, please follow him and visit his website which is where you may also purchase his books.
Personal Website: www.waystofreedom.com
(where his products are sold)
Main Website: www.expandinglight.org
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The great yoga Master, Paramhansa Yogananda said, “The minutes are more important than the years.” What he meant is that most people often think of big goals and have great expectations about how their lives should be. However, day-by-day, minute-by-minute they are either doing nothing to further their goals or they spend countless minutes – adding up to years – in counter productive pursuits.
Yoga teaches us to be in the present moment. If we waste time thinking about how things should have been from the past or how they should be in the future, we are wasting the precious moment of now. Only in the present moment do we have the power to overcome past circumstances and shape the future.
No matter how busy we are, we all can take 2 Minutes to do something that can help improve our health, happiness and success. Those 2 Minutes are time spent in the present moment. As we become more aware and more regular in our 2 Minute Yoga practices, we begin to value those precious minutes and make better use of them throughout the day.
The familiar saying, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, further illustrates the importance of doing something, however small, is better than doing nothing. Too often people wait until they have lots of free time to do the things they know are important to do. Alas, lots of free time may never come. And often when it does come we seem to forget the wise plans we had until it is too late.
So take a minute now and take a few deep breaths. Be aware of all that is happening in the present moment. Take pleasure in being in the moment. Smile and keep on smiling. Know that you do have something to smile about – you just improved your health and well being with your smile.
“Environment is stronger than will power”, is sage advice given by Master Yogi Paramhansa Yogananda, which is now gaining scientific support. What we choose to look at is part of our environment, whether it be physical places or that which we look at on our TV, computers and other screens. Is there any evidence that what you look at can affect your mood?
The expression, “Just Looking”, is often associated with a no harm/no foul attitude.
Great saints and sages of all times have been keenly aware of the trials and tribulations of the people and cultures around them – often even demonstrating an uncanny ability to know what is happening on the other side of the globe – without spending hours of time watching, reading or listening to news, gossip etc.
Still, many ask: What good does it really do to refrain from the average dose of “reality” one supposedly gets from keeping up with all of the news?
The answer: “… It Might Have to Do With What They’re Looking at”*.
Researcher Derek Isaacowitz of Northeastern University: “… compared to younger adults, older adults prefer positive looking patterns and they show the most positive looking when they are in bad moods, even though this is when younger adults show the most negative looking.”
Older adults with good concentration skills were able to regulate their moods by looking at that which was positive.
OK – so maybe “Just Lookin’ ” at the news too much may not be so good for our mood. But if we back off won’t we be missing important information? Apparently not. Research conducted by Isaacowitz and colleagues also showed that “Although older adults prefer to focus on positive stimuli… they aren’t necessarily missing any salient or important information.”
What do you like to look at to improve your mood?
In Madeline Levine’s informative and wildly popular New York Times article “Raising Successful Children”, she points out that one of our jobs as parents is to control our anxiety. We need to do this to be good roles models and to make good parenting decisions.
This can be easier said than done. In fact I know parents that have increased their anxiety levels because they know that their stress levels are negatively affecting their kids and that stresses them out even more!
Before anyone jumps on the stress and anxiety wheel, read below the 5 simple tips for decreasing your anxiety.