Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Desktop Calendar

I'm not quite sure where May went, but welcome June. If you would like to make this colorful graphic calendar your computer desktop just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Path to Enlightenment Through Inner Engineering

A couple of months ago we gave away a free copy of a book called Midnights With a Mystic by Cheryl Simone. Up until the book promotion company contacted me, I never heard of the book, but I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to offer a give-away, and I was thrilled to be given a free book myself. Who doesn't like free? What I didn't realize was how much that book would change my life.

My free book arrived in my mailbox the day before leaving for vacation. The timing could not have been any better as I normally don't make much time for casual reading. Within a couple of hours of cracking the book open at the airport my hair was sticking up on my arms. I just felt this erie feeling that I was MEANT to have this book in my hand. I completely related to everything the author said, and felt like I shared her every feeling and thought. The real kicker came when she explained how early in her life she unexpectedly received a book in the mail. She never did find out who sent the book, but she read it. The book was "Autobiography of a Yogi," a very deep and hard-to-read book that had an influence on the rest of her life. I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that the book that I was holding in my hands was also sent to me (by a stranger) as if it was destined to find me.

So I read and read and by the time I got to my destination I already felt like a changed person, like several light bulbs of awareness went off in my head. I had to share my new-found enlightenment with my husband, who was surprisingly open to hearing all about it.

The reason why I related to the author of that book so much was because she described most of her life as 'perfect.' She was happily married, had a successful business, lived in a beautiful home, had plenty of money, etc. There were literally no real problems in her life, but yet she was constantly searching for more, more, more. She never truly felt happy and just had this aching feeling that there had to be more in life. Boy did that touch a nerve with me. Sometimes I stop and think, "Can my life get any better? What the hell is wrong with me that I'm not 250% grateful every single day for the life I have? What is it that I'm looking for?" I have everything I could possibly want, but it seems like I'm always looking for more. Well, what I was looking for was Sadhguru and I finally found him!

The book led me to a quest to research Isha Yoga and the Mystic himself, Sadhguru. I surfed around online and found something called Inner Engineering. If I thought the book opened my eyes . . . it only scratched the surface. There was a whole new world out there to explore and to my delight, I could do most of it right at home. It all started with this 30 minute video (Caution: the link will take you away from this blog. Please finish reading then come back and click on the links.) Every single thing this man said made so much sense. I had a feeling that I may have found the answer to all my life's problems. This man could teach me how to find my inner peace. How to finally enjoy my life. How to let go of all the external influences that have such a effect on my every emotion. Wow, just the thought of it was overwhelming.

My next step was to sign up for the Inner Engineering program which is an online course consisting of 7 one and half hour lectures by Sadhguru. After every single class I could feel the changes happening. I felt calmer, more patient, kinder . . . the list goes on. It was impossible to not think about Sadhguru and his teachings in every aspect of life. It was just a completely refreshing feeling. At the end of this online course you are invited to go to the SHAMBHAVI Maha Mudra Induction Program which is a live event to learn a very sacred meditation ritual that is completely life changing. This advanced meditation program promises amazing health benefits and all of them are just icing on the cake. The real treasure is the ability to be joyful no matter what is going on around you. If there is one lesson to be learned in this lifetime it's that you can never control your environment. If your happiness is based on external things you will never be happy. Happiness is an inside job and should not be contingent upon a single thing going on outside of your self.

I couldn't possibly endorse anything as passionately as I can endorse getting yourself a copy of the book and taking the online Inner Engineering program. It's the best companion to your yoga practice and may just make a profound difference in your life

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Win a Free Workshop at Kripalu

How would you like to win a free workshop and yoga retreat at Kripalu with Dr. Sinatra? The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is a world-famous nonprofit, mission-driven, and donor-supported educational organization that for 30 years, has been offering experiential learning for body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Sinatra is a leading board certified cardiologist, nutritionist, educator, and author who has practiced integrative medicine for over 30 years. He can be found at www.drsinatra.com, www.twitter.com/SinatraMD and www.facebook.com/SintatraMD

All you have to do to enter is "Like" on Dr. Sinatra's Facebook Page. There is no cost, and you may "unfriend" Dr. Sinatra at any time. The contest runs through June 15, 2011. The workshop is at Kripalu July 29-31, 2011. The grand prize winner receives airfare, tuition, and private accommodations. What a deal. Head over to Facebook now and keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New YogaDudes Racerback Tank Tops Now Available

After taking a poll and discovering that most woman prefer the racer-back style tank tops, we switched our YogaDudes tanks over. These ribbed 100% cotton tanks are stretchy and super comfy and are now available in our shop. And we are even offering free shipping this month. Just enter the promo code MINTY at checkout. Free shipping offer good until the end of May.

View the new tanks here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Using Yoga to Alleviate Symptoms of Terminal Illness

Yoga has recently become one of the more popular ways to exercise, and that popularity has been increasing exponentially throughout the last ten years. The ability of yoga to mix both physical workouts and meditation has made it a more popular option than traditional exercise at a gym. The practice of yoga techniques on a daily basis generally leads to a better sense of wellness, and more recently has even shown to be a viable option in the treatment of individuals suffering from terminal illnesses.

While there is a wealth of information available on the use of yoga being beneficial for breast cancer patients, many other patients are applying yoga practice and benefitting as well. Patients find yoga appealing due to the bind of mind and body, as well as the diversity of the exercise in its application to a wide variety of schedules. Patients can choose to exercise in small ten minute session both morning and night, and if they are looking to participate in longer exercises, they also are able to engage in an hour long session once a week.

Where yoga is seen to have the largest value is in its mental advantages. For patients with terminal illnesses, yoga is able to increase the bond between the body and spirit with the mind. This can give those suffering a feeling of more self control and often set them back onto the path of feeling as though they are hopeful for recovery. These positive emotions are vital to the success of treatment and can give patients a lot of clarity in some of the most difficult times they will face. A good example would be sufferers of mesothelioma, a rare cancer cause by asbestos exposure. The symptoms of mesothelioma are unbelievably taxing, and yoga can help to relieve some of the stress at times.

Many recent studies have shown yoga as a viable alternative to medication relief. The relaxation techniques used in yoga can help relieve many of these symptoms that terminal illness patients will face.

Today's blog post comes to us courtesy of a guest blogger Krista Peterson. Krista is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer. As a health and safety advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Through her writings, she helps to spread awareness of such issues as cancer and chronic illness. Thanks for the article Krista.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ayurveda Cleanse Complete - A Major Bust

I am thrilled to say, my four days of misery are over. And I'm not thrilled to say it was a major bust!

These past four days have been terrible for me. I really struggled with every single aspect of the cleanse. I found it all a chore and I felt pretty miserable for at least 3 of the 4 days. I had a constant headache, was much more light-headed than usual, and every time I ate I got terrible stomach cramps. Add to that, the fact that the supplement pills made me completely constipated. Seems very counter productive for something called a 'cleanse.'

I got through the last day doing just about everything I was supposed to (minus the bath and oil) and the only thing I ate that I wasn't supposed to was a raw piece of fruit. My appetite had been dwindling for two days due to the stomach cramps so the fasting wasn't that big of a deal. It was the cravings for sweets that were killing me. I positively could not wait for this ordeal to end and, believe it or not, I was looking forward to downing that prune juice.

I waited until 9 PM to drink the ever-so disgusting prune juice and then I went to bed, anxious for it to kick in. My stomach was doing major flip flops all night. I couldn't wait to wake up and have it all be over with. I was dreaming about chocolate,, and ice cream, and any other darn thing that I might want to munch on.

Well, I woke up and the very first thing I did was drink some warm water. I figured that would help get things started, but no, it didn't. My stomach was bloated and hard and big. How is this possible after starving myself for 4 days? I went to the bathroom and positively NOTHING happened . . . nada, zilch, zipppo. I am quite curious to know if I'm the only person on Earth that went through a 4 day cleanse only to be completely constipated and have absolutely no effect. What an enormous waste of my effort and my money. I paid nearly $90 to be uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and worse yet, have my digestion track completely flipped out of whack. I would say by this point I have moved from disappointment to anger. Never again!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Day Three of my Ayurveda Cleanse

Just as I suspected, I'm getting worse with my discipline. I have completely bagged the water boiling chore. I found it way too much of a hassle and quite frankly, I think it made the water taste funny. I noticed that I may have drank less water yesterday than I normally would have during the course of any given day. That's not good so I must make it easier and less unpleasant to drink water. I keep hearing my practitioner's voice in my head telling me to, "do what you can." I'm also not exactly executing the drinking of the ghee to spec. According to the directions I'm supposed to drink 2 teaspoons the first morning and then increase the dosage by 2 more teaspoons every day until the last day you're sucking down 8 teaspoons of melted butter. Uh uh, no way, not me. If I can gag down 2 teaspoons a day, that is a huge bonus and good enough for me. I find that ghee is like taking fish oil in the morning. I burp butter for an hour afterward and for somebody who can't stand the taste of butter, it's about as bad as burping fish. YUCK. And the worst part is that it completely kills my appetite for breakfast. I really can't wait for this to be over!

This morning I added a little sugar to my oatmeal again and I also broke down and ate a banana. Uncooked, because I have no idea how to cook a banana. I ate my Kitchari for both lunch and dinner and by now just the smell of it makes me lose my appetite. I also noticed that my stomach cramped after both lunch and dinner. This must be the special Digestion pills that I take before every meal. I wasn't really hungry at dinner time, but I almost always have a headache and I'm light-headed (more than usual) so I figured I HAD to eat. I forced a little more rice down and then had some veggie soup. Major cramping after that and it made me want to quit right then and there. I'm mentally losing it and I think I regret this whole thing. It doesn't help that my husband is constantly saying, "Tell me again why you're doing this?" I don't know that I really have the answer to that question. I guess I'm doing it in the name of good health - despite the fact that I feel like crap.

No Epsom salt bath tonight and a very quick oiling job. I have to say, there is nothing about the night time ritual that I enjoy and I especially don't like going to bed smelling like Asian food left-overs. One more day . . .

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Ayurveda Cleanse - Two Days Down

I can see where this is going. I completed my first day flawlessly. I did everything (well, almost everything - I did miss a dose of Blood Cleanse pills by accident) exactly according to the directions. I boiled all my water to specs, I didn't eat a singe snack, and I only ate oatmeal and rice. I even completed my entire nighttime ritual to spec. But then Day 2 came and by 8 am I decided that I was going to cheat a little. I just couldn't bare the thought of eating plain, unsweetened oatmeal again and I decided that a couple little teaspoons or raw sugar wasn't going to be terribly harmful. After all, my directions specifically said, "no white sugar or honey." Technically I didn't really break the rules, right? I think I deemed sugar one of my basic human needs, like water and air. I just need it.

The rest of the day went pretty good. I didn't snack and barely had any appetite all day anyway. That certainly made things easier for me. Only half of the water that I drank was boiled this day, as that chore is getting old really fast. I ate the rice that tastes like dirt for lunch, but couldn't bare it at dinner time. Instead I opted for a plain salad with fat-free dressing and an organic yam. Now I'm not supposed to use the microwave at all during these 4 days, but that's not gonna happen either. I can only go so far with this routine, but I'm doing the best I can.

I took my bath, but it was much shorter than the previous day and did my oiling. No meditation tonight and unfortunately, no sleep for most of the night either. Let's hope I do better on Day 3.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

My 4 Day Ayurveda Cleanse

I'm just about through Day 1 of my first-ever Ayurveda cleanse . . . and so far, it's been torture. I have to say, I'm not cut out for this sort of thing. I'm a hungry Vatta that snacks constantly. When I get hungry I mean business and need to eat immediately. I always carry candy in my purse (for emergencies). You would think I'm a diabetic with my urgent need for food - mostly candy. So why did I agree to four days of torture? That's a good question to which I'm not sure I have an answer.

Part of my 6 week Ayurveda class included taking part in this 4 day cleanse. I guess I got all wrapped up in the spirit of the class. Besides, I would have been the only one not doing it. Maybe it was like peer pressure. I didn't want to look like the only loser chickening out due to my fright of butter and prune juice. OK, I'm getting ahead of myself a little . . .

So the day began with me (trying) to get up early so that I can boil the Hell out of water. Did you know that water changes its molecular structure if it gets boiled to death? Yeah well, this was news to me. It isn't bad enough that I had to drink hot plain water all day, but first I had to boil it for 30 minutes. Not terribly convenient and you should have seen the rushed production of trying to figure out how to move said boiling water from pot to stainless steel water bottles (no plastic of course). Nightmare and 4 burnt fingers later I'm ready for the part of the cleanse that scared me more than the "laxative effect." I had to drink something that disgusts me so much I almost gag at the thought of it. And I learned another new thing. I learned about a product called ghee. I wish I could describe exactly what it is, but I couldn't even listen to the description in class. Click on the link if you're curious. Basically it's butter. I despise butter and I had to DRINK 2 teaspoons of melted butter. I scrubbed my lips, fingers, teaspoon, and cup for 10 minutes desperately trying to get the ick off. Being late for work this morning was a given.

I had to take some sort of digestion pill 30 minutes before breakfast. I have to say I easily put breakfast off due to my complete lack of appetite after that ghee. Maybe this fasting thing won't be so bad. Then came breakfast. I had oatmeal (which I love. Wait a minute - USED to love). Never in my life have I experienced plain oatmeal with no sugar or honey. Holy smokes, it's terrible plain. I couldn't even choke it down and half of it ended up down the drain. Now how will I get to lunch????

Not sure how I managed it, but I sipped my plain hot water until noon. That's when I had to make my special Indian rice called Kitchari. Aside from having to actually find a pan and turn on the stove at work to cook the stuff, I was looking forward to it. Too bad it tasted like dirt. But I was hungry enough to eat it anyway. Lunch is supposed to be the biggest meal of the day, but I definitely didn't have enough. I should have planned better and brought some veggies or salad to add to it. Tomorrow for sure.

A couple more special and awful pills before and after the meal. For God's sakes can't they coat these things? Choking them down (with the hot water) is simply dreadful. I made it all through the afternoon, staring down my box of Thin Mints and staying away from my secret cabinet full of Dove chocolates. Very proud of myself indeed.

Dinner time came and I was starving. I had the second half of the Kitchari that I made for lunch. This time I sprinkled some fat-free Balsamic dressing on it and strangely it still tasted like dirt. I treated myself to a yam after the dirt. Hopefully that will hold me over till bed time.

Before bed I have to go through a special nighttime routine. First I have to dry brush myself - just brush my skin with a special brush. Next, I have to take a bath in Epsom salt. You should have seen me in the grocery store looking for that stuff. Now I'm trying to figure out how much a 'quart' is. Thank God for google. I can't believe how challenging this has been so far and I'm not even done with the first day. Anyway, after the bath (and then shower because how am I going to wash my hair in the bathtub?) I have to oil myself from head to toe . . . with oil that will turn me, my towel, my pajamas, and my sheets orange. Great! Next its meditation and breathing exercises and finally sleep. But wait, I can't go straight to sleep. I think tonight I deserve to watch Glee, just to get the thought of ghee out of my head.

Stay tuned to see if I survive this very long 4 day ordeal.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Great Deal on Yoga Journal Magazine

Here's another chance to grab yourself a one year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for just $4.39. What a bargain for this great magazine! This deal is valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. But here's the catch . . . this deal is only valid today, May 2nd. Don't miss it. Just click on the link below.

Click here for the Yoga Journal Magazine Deal of the Day.

Practice Happiness

Stretch into Spring and learn to love your yoga . . .