Here you'll find posts about psychology, meditation, and mindfulness practices from our master team.
Love and Your Immune System
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University showed that people who exhibit positive emotions are less likely to get sick after exposure to viruses. Those who are in stable long-term relationships and have support have fewer doctors visits, shorter average hospital stays, and wounds that heal nearly twice as fast!
Love and Mental Health
A study from Rutgers University found that when participants looked at photos of people they deeply love, they had an increase of dopamine brain activity. Dopamine is a chemical associated with optimism, energy, and a sense of well-being. There was also less activity in the area of the brain that produces anxiety for individuals in successful long-term relationships.
Photo: Jens Langner/Wikimedia Commons
Love and Pain
Fact: the comfort of holding your loved one’s hand can minimize your feelings of pain. In
one study, women subjected to the threat of an electrical shock experienced less pain
when they were holding their husbands’ hands. And these feelings of pain decreased
more where there was higher marital satisfaction. Perceived pain was also reduced when
subjects held the hands of close friends.
February, the “Month of Love,” is upon us. Let’s celebrate. Letting Love in leads to health benefitsgalore. All month, I am going to be posting about some of the many different ways satisfying, long-term relationships help us fare better with our health! Here's the first:
Love and your heart…
People in happy relationships can see improvement in cardiovascular health. In 2008, researchers concluded that happily married people had the best blood pressure. They were followed by singles with a strong social network. Those who were married but unhappy in their relationship fared theworst, emphasizing that when it comes to relationships, it’s quality not quantity that matters.
No doubt, "Mindfulness" is everywhere today... but does it still elude you?
If so, we suggest you begin by reading Jon Kabat Zinn's Mindfulness for Beginners, our first ever Book of the Month featured on Imagine Reads.
A summary of the book reads:
"We may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play—and so awaken to and embody more completely who you really are."
The prescription for living a more mindful life seems simple enough: return your awareness again and again to whatever is going on.
Mindfulness for Beginners provides welcome answers, insights, and instruction to help us make that shift, moment by moment, into a more spacious, clear, reliable, and loving connection with ourselves and the world.
We love this book because we can begin to use these tools right here and right now in our daily lives!
For your convenience, Mindfulness for Beginners is available at SHOP PRACTICE.
To get a taste of Kabat-Zinn’s mind on mindfulness, check out this video!
Yoga offers the technology for stepping out of our stories and into the present moment one breath at a time, according to Dr. Ty Landrum, master ashtanga yoga teacher, yogic scholar, and partner in yoga therapy with his wife Dr. Shayan Landrum, LAc.
AT PRACTICE, we are all about stepping into the present moment and out of the stale, conditioned routines that often create unhealthy patterns in our lives. This past weekend’s Workshop with Ty and Shayan Landrum who were visiting from the Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, allowed each of us to let go of some old stories and begin to write new ones!
On Saturday, Ty led the group through the Ashtanga yoga primary series, reminding us throughout that its the breath that moves the body into asana, not the movement that forces or controls the breath. This simple shift in focus makes all the difference between yoga’s ability to heal and transform versus perpetuate unwanted patterns in body and mind. I've been applying this to my own yoga practice and I can tell you that I'm now "forcing" less and "allowing" more and I've noticed my breath is deeper and sweeter than usual!
Shayan brings her profound personal experience to the workshop and to yoga therapy. Having recovered from both open-heart surgery and a traumatic brain injury, she uses the spiritual practices of Ashtanga yoga, along with meditation and breath work to live moment to moment. She is a true inspiration! Ty and Shayan's yoga therapy model, which is based on Sri K. Patthabi Jois's Ashtanga system, is easily adapted and taught to people with acute and chronic medical conditions. Ty and Shayan also reminded us that ALL yoga is yoga, so that yoga, not just yoga therapy, is accessible and healing for everyone.
Therapeutic applications of yoga are moving into the forefront in many major hospitals as traditional medicine strives for better ways to promote health and wellness. Shayan and Ty’s passion for healing others through yoga was contagious, and by the close of Sunday, all who attended the workshop were educated, uplifted and transformed.
Kia began the day with a morning of Radiant Body Yoga, the kundalini vinyasa style of yoga she has inspired and developed. The beautiful sequence of vinyasas and krias left us all more peaceful, more centered, certainly clearer and ready for Tommy's afternoon journey. Tommy described his own recovery journey from drugs and alcohol, and the ways that yoga, meditation, the 8-limbs of yoga and a heart filled with gratitude and service can heal the compulsive behaviors and painful scars of addiction.
Tommy and Kia left behind more than their masterful CD's and infectious smiles at PRACTICE. They left the community with practical, inspirational tools for daily living... methods to experience and manage our body-mind energies, and ways to connect with something greater than ourselves, our divine purpose.
PRACTICE is looking forward to hosting Tommy and Kia again in 2014!
Welcome to our blog, Imagine! Here, you’ll find inspiration and ideas about Body Mind Soul living from our PRACTICE Team.
We'll post healthy recipes, motivational quotes, and enlightening books. We'll also offer tips about our specialties and stories about our spiritual journeys. You'll read about trends in Pilates, yoga, psychological well-being, energy healing, and nutrition. You’ll even read about personal transformation through PRACTICE.
At PRACTICE, we often use the phrase “unimaginable happiness.” With PRACTICE, the happiness that you once thought was unimaginable can become your reality. Can you Imagine that? As the John Lennon song goes, Imagine all the people: living for today, living life in peace, sharing all the world. This is what Body Mind Soul living is all about. Your unimaginable happiness is within your reach.
So we say PRACTICE, we say, “I hope someday, you’ll join us.” And if you already have, we’re so grateful to have you on board!