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Lisa Greenbaum

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Fitness

Post-Pandemic Anxiety & Yoga Therapy

We’ve longed to be out and about, but for many post-pandemic anxiety is taking the joy out of life. Therapeutic yoga can help. After the intensity of two years waiting out this global pandemic and months of praying, begging and pleading to the powers that be to ease restrictions, a brand-new fear arose.  What will it be like to step back out into the world again? Most of us expected that once openings were announced, all our anxieties would slip away. Yet for many, it only made them increase. After living so long under stay-at-home-orders, social distancing and no group gatherings, including with our loved ones, we’ve become like prisoners tasting freedom for the first time, grateful, overwhelmed, and maybe even afraid all at the same time. This is exactly how I felt and I was surprised. Where being out and about amid the hustle of people all around was

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Longevity

We all deserve happiness

While we mainly look at Yoga in the west as a source of exercise that additionally makes us feel calm and centered, there are many ways to practice Yoga off the mat that don’t involve movement at all. In saying this, please know I continue to value and promote physical exercise – we must keep our bodies strong and mobile for our overall health and wellbeing.  Yoga is the 6,000 year-old science of the mind and is experienced as a stilling of our thoughts, or ending the ceaseless chatter in our minds. A revered Yoga sage and guru from 1450 BCE by the name of Patanjali explains that reaching this quiet space in the mind is done through non-attachment and practice. Practice, in reference to the eight limbs of Yoga which includes: social and personal ethics, physical poses, breathwork and meditation. However, I find the concept of non-attachment powerful. That

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Health

Finding kindness and compassion

There are many ways in which we harm both ourselves, and others. Open up your mind and let go of negativity with these tips. The world needs more of our kindness. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the oldest sources of yoga philosophy dating back to 2500 BCE. Sutras mean threads, and this work was put together by Patanjali’s students as a way to record his teachings. Originally passed through generations orally, it continues to be one of the most important resources when looking to deepen our yoga practice. It is from the Sutras that the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” are first described. The eight limbs being: Yamas: social code of ethics to which there are five »  Ahimsa or non-violence »  Satya or truth »  Asteya or non-jealousy »  Brahmacharya or moderation »  Apparigraha or non-coveting Niyamas: personal code of ethics to which there are five » 

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Mind

The five layers of self

The five layers of self. All are equally important in creating balance in our physical and mental health. We are all striving for self-care and balance, but with so many different options for how to get there, we often don’t know where to start. We know that Yoga and meditation help us feel good, but maybe not quite sure why or how, or how to even articulate that. One way of looking at it is through the koshas, a Sanskrit word meaning veil or sheath in reference to our subtle body or layers of Self. The five layers are: physical, energetic, emotional, mental and bliss. They represent both the different aspects of self that while separate are also intertwined, each relying on the other for support to make the whole. The koshas are often compared to an onion as we peel each layer back to get to the bulb in

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Mind

The art of being patient

In the West, the search for pleasure can extract a heavy price. There is a better way; brahmacharya. The fourth concept of the Yamas, or social code of ethics as outlined by Yoga philosophy, is brahmacharya. Directly translated from Sanskrit as “continence,” brahmacharya describes the responsibility to restrain sensual pleasures (distractions of the mind) in an effort to preserve and therefore expand our energy. By withholding our sexual energy we increase pranic energy and therefore become stronger both mentally and physically. Over time, the definition of brahmacharya has expanded and shifted. It is now more often tied to the idea of moderation, which is how it is most often practiced today in the west. Moderation allows us to enjoy the pleasures of life without going too far. A little extravagance here and there, but then come back to discipline. I think this fits nicely into much of our lives. Party all weekend, study all week. Or

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Silhouettes of two people on a beach drinking cocktails and watching the sunsetting
Longevity

Creating order in the disorder of life

Harnessing the drive and discipline needed to achieve our goals.  In continuing our journey through the social and personal code of ethics from Yoga philosophy known as the Yamas and Niyamas, we arrive at Tapas.  The literal translation of Tapas is heat. Our understanding of it as a practice is the drive or fire that takes us through. Commonly compared to discipline, it is the push we need to complete the tasks that maybe we don’t want to do.  We use Tapas to build out routines and habits in order to achieve our goals or dreams. The idea around Tapas is that it keeps us focused on our path or journey. We set our goal and then this is the driving force to get us there. Remember the translation to heat, so it is more than just setting up a routine, it is also the desire; the inner fire and

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Fitness

Exercises for neck pain

Release neck pain with these gentle yoga-based stretches. /DEK Muscular tension in the shoulders doesn’t just stay there.  It often runs up into the neck, causing pain and even headaches. The following stretches will help release tension over time, easing both the neck and shoulders.  It is best to perform these stretches without having a headache or head pain, as they can create additional aggravation to the already inflamed area. However, if done every day they will lead to more mobility and more pain-free days.  For best results during stretches, make sure to work with the breath, moving deeper into the stretch as you exhale. Another tip: move through shoulder rolls both forward and back in between each stretch. If choosing only one stretch, roll shoulders both before and after.  Chest expansion: Reach your hands behind your back as if you have magnets on your palms. Extend your arms fully

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Fitness

Getting started with yoga

Yoga may seem difficult. But it is essentially simple — and for everyone. So many people think about practicing yoga, but just don’t know where to start. Completely understandable as there seems to be a zillion teachers and programs all saying different things. On top of that, add the zillion excuses we can come up with as to why we actually haven’t tried. “I’m not flexible enough,” or “I don’t want to look silly,” etc. But, listen, yoga has been around for thousands of years — there must be something to this. One big secret: everyone can touch their toes, you just need to bend your knees enough!  Yoga finds us when we need it the most. Yoga brings us back to our bodies. When we step onto our mat, we feel our bare feet and gently flex our muscles.  When we start to breathe a little deeper through our

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