Yawning, why not?

August 10, 2014

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I’ve been taught that yawning means I’m tired, or that my body or brain is looking for more oxygen, that it’s impolite to yawn in public. I know that there are times when I cannot stop yawning, mostly when I’m in a boring meeting and can’t pay attention. Just the other day I was at a stop light and the driver in the car stopped next to mine yawned- and sure enough as the light changed, I was yawning, too.

A friend sent me the essay on Yawning by Andrew Newburg, director of Penn’s Center for Spirituality and the Mind. It is from the book: HOW GOD CHANGES YOUR BRAIN. Newburg suggests that yawning can change our brain by regulating neural functions and that it is important to yawn, perhaps bringing yawning more into our daily consciousness- for example, to yawn before working or meditating.

It is a persuasive essay encouraging more yawning in our lives in order to enhance cognitive function and neurotransmitter production. Clearly, the simplicity of the mere yawn and the capability of any human to manifest a yawn makes this an inherent skill that anyone can bring more into awareness.

I am going to conscious bring yawning into my life- right now, 10 yawns- kind of delicious!

Read the Yawn essay.

 

 

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I always appreciate Vivian Goldschmidt’s timely, simple and effective advice about Bone Health. Everyone has become so afraid of the sun. Many never allow the sunlight to touch their skin. Vivian reminds us: don’t burn, but do take sunlight for Vitamin D.

Check out her 5 simple things to do this summer.

Hat Tip: saveourbones.com

 

Tapping for Japan

March 15, 2011

How to hold our hearts open to peace, love and hope in the face of all the fear and difficulties of the world today? Here is a beautiful Tapping Prayer from the Tapping Solution. Scroll to mid-page for Jessica’s recording. Very calming and very empowering.

Jetlag? Not for long

March 13, 2011

I am determined not to be thrown by the long trip home from Australia. I couldn’t have gone farther away from home. Truly the other side of the earth. The trip there (going West) was painless. I was adjusted in a day or so. But this re-entry coming East to the US is a bit more challenging.

Jetlag is the out-of-whack circadian rhythm when your body doesn’t know which time zone it really is in.One might feel disoriented and fatigued. I am very glad that I didn’t schedule important meetings or obligations for the next week or so because “they” say a day per time zone crossed for recovery. My plan is to recover quickly and here is a list of helpful hints:

Always drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine when flying.

Try homoepathic  No Jet Lag

Melatonin – melatonin release is stimulated by darkness. Light suppresses the release. When we cross time zones and are suddenly exposed to excessive light when it’s normally our bedtime our cycles are disrupted and it takes time for our bodies to readjust.

Bio-Rhythm acupressure

Wear magnetic products like insoles, necklace and bring Nikken Far Infrared Travel Comforter.

The “Argonne diet” or the “anti-jet lag diet” (tested on a few hundred National Guard personnel with good results) alternates a feast day and fast day – protein breakfasts and lunches and carb dinners on feast days and soup and salad on fast days.

Pilot Paul’s Recommendations are great, especially for how to sleep on a plane (noise canceling headphones, eye mask, pillows, comfy clothes, avoiding alcohol. He also has good info on napping, exercise and sunlight:

“If you are going to nap, you will have the most success if you nap eitherless than 45 minutes or more than 2 hours.This has to do with the cycles of sleep. Basically, if you wake up during that 45 minute to 2 hour timeframe, you have been in a much deeper phase of sleep. Because of this, it will take you much longer to wake up. They call this “sleep inertia”. The bottom line- if you plan your naps you can gain the most benefit from them.

If you have a regular exercise routine, you’ll want to continue it now. It picks you up and helps you after all the sitting on the plane. For the most effectiveness in combating jet lag symptoms, the Mayo Clinic recommends exercising either in early morning or late afternoon.

Studies have shown that exposure to bright light helps shift the circadian rhythms (body clock), and therefore reduce the jet lag symptoms.Dr. Martin Moore-Ede, a professor at Harvard Medical School, recommends that you expose yourself to bright daylight as soon as possible upon arrival. This should be for at least 15 minutes and without sunglasses.”

Most important, plan for an adjustment period. Give yourself extra time at both ends of your trip just in case. And, definitely have a good book to read in the middle of the night if you can’t sleep.

From Gaiam, here is an interesting video of not-so-easy, very toning and balancing poses with Pat Moreno, that engage your core and can crack a small sweat  in 6 minutes. Take these with you through the holidays when you might not be able to slip away for a workout.

 

I have found a wonderful site with downloadable audio Feldenkreis lessons – Feldenkreis-online.biz.

What is Feldenkreis Method? Dr Moshe Feldenkreis was a physicist who developed simple principles and lessons for personal awareness. Drawing on his years of research in anatomy, physiology, neurology, developmental psychology and sociology, he devised a theory of the particular interrelationships between awareness and movement.

“The main effects are a clear improvement in self-awareness and a pleasant feeling of relaxation in movement and repose. Often these two main effects are coupled with a tranquil, almost euphoric mood.”

Awareness through Movement is usually offered by Feldenkrais teachers for groups in evening or weekend courses, but now you can take a class in your own home.

I have always enjoyed Feldenkreis work. My friend T likes Feldenkreis too, I hope she reads this post! I have experienced both Awareness through Movement, where movements are carried out to verbal instructions, and Functional Integration, where movements are learned from the guiding hands of the Feldenkrais teacher.

The Awareness through Movement classes are deceptively simple with profound results. anyone can do the movements. They might seem so subtle that you think nothing is occurring in your body. I have experienced wonderful surprises by the end of a short 20 minute exploration.

You can try out 2 free classes and if you like, you can register for 4 classes to download to your computer @ 8 Euros/class  32 Euros. then of course, you can register for more. I like repeating a class and discovering and rediscovering possibility and ease in movements.

Feldenkrais Method is suitable for anyone and everyone, whatever their age or possible disabilities, who’s looking to explore their real physical potential and extend their personal movement range.

Feldenkreis is used:

  • in medicine – rehabilitation, preventative treatment, neurology (polio, MS and stroke patients), dental orthopaedics, physiotherapy etc.
  • in psychotherapeutic fields – where opening up to an improvement of physical activeness constitutes an important part of the therapy
  • in all fields – working creatively with movement and physical expression such as dance, drama, singing, instrumental music and sport.

The Spittlebug

April 25, 2010

Have you ever noticed little bits of foamy bubbles on a leaf or a plant? It has been one of life’s numerous mysteries for me until today- now I know that the bubbles are the subterfuge of the Spittlebug, also known as the Froghopper. Never mind that there are also ants in the above photo, there is a bug hiding in the bubbles.

There are over 23,000 species of spittlebugs. Amazing considering I have yet to actually see more than the ‘evidence’. The spit does 3 things: hiding the spittlebugs from predators, insulating them from low and high temperatures and preventing the spittlebugs from dehydrating. The young nymph bugs secrete a liquid which they churn with their legs and bodies to create the frothy bubbles. Then they hang out and suck the sap from plants.

They are also called Froghoppers because their little faces look like frogs. Sortof.

In some places they can be a persistent pest, sucking the life out of plants. Ehow says to wash the bubbles off the plants and that insecticides are not necessary to control spittlebugs. Usually there is very little damage from this bug. I don’t see evidence of it here in New England. the eggs are deposited in the fall and overwinter. In the spring, the nymph emerges and does the spit thing. There are some kinds of spit bugs that are considered pesky- in N Carolina there is a striped bug that eats up grass/turf and also attacks holly causing the leaves to become splotchy and yellow and to drop prematurely. That would be a pest.

In New England the spittlebug can attack Red pine and Jack pine. Scots pine, which is increasingly planted for Christmas trees, is occasionally injured by the spittlebug. White pine is frequently fed upon but seldom damaged severely.

Pestech..(which I’d never use…) says “Adult spittlebugs thought to be Aphrophora saratogensis have been collected from pitch pine, tamarack, balsam fir, and northern white-cedar-usually from trees near infested red pine. The nymphs require two alternate hosts for their development. The early stages or instars feed on herbaceous species of plants of the forest floor such as brambles (raspberry and blackberry), orange hawkweed, everlasting, aster, and many others. Older nymphs feed on sweet-fern  and willow sprouts.”

The thing to do is wash the spit away if you find it in the garden.

PS About.com says the spit doesn’t come out of the bug’s mouth….