Yoga Cures…Sugar Cravings! Tara Stiles’ 4 Poses to Help Us Beat Sugar

Sugar was recently called “a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.” But our friend Tara Stiles has a
cure for sugar cravings — yoga!

That’s right, add sugar cravings to the list of things that yoga can cure. From her new book that is the ‘yoga cure’, Tara shares some of her thoughts:

“Cravings and addictions have to do with not being in the present moment, and often not wanting to be. This is where the vice comes in, whether it’s sugar, other foods, drugs, or alcohol. Yoga is all about being in the present moment and paying attention to what is going on with you, right now. Dealing with it is more useful in healing addictions and facing cravings than mindlessly masking our feelings with food, drugs, or alcohol. This routine is designed to bring your attention away from cravings and back in touch with your breath, and in tune with your body. Do this routine three times a week to cure the cravings.”

Seated Meditation Arms in V

Starting in a comfortable seated position, raise your arms overhead into a V shape. Relax your shoulders down your back and reach out through your fingertips. We are going to stay and breathe here for 3-minutes. Finding the ease in staying here will clear your mind and release loads of
tension from your body.

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Seated One Leg Forward Bend (Foot on Hip Crease)

Sit up tall with your shoulders above your hips. Extend your left leg straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place the top of your right foot on your left hip crease. If this hurts your knee or hip place your foot on the ground inside your left thigh instead. If your foot is on your hip crease, you should feel your heel pressing into your lower belly. Inhale and lift your arms up straight. As you exhale, fold your torso forward over your legs, keeping your spine long. Stay here for ten long breaths.

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Seated Shin Hug

Hug your right knee with your arms. If there is room press the bottom of your right foot into your left elbow, wrap your right arm around your right thigh, and join you hand to cradle the leg. If that hurts your knee, hold your right foot with your left hand and your right knee with your
right hand. Lengthen you torso and sit up tall. Relax your shoulders downward. Sway your left leg from side to side to open your hip.

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Compass

If your hips feel open, press your right hand under your right calf and bring your right leg to rest on top of your right shoulder. Grab the outside of your right foot with your left hand. Press your right fingertips into the ground alongside your right hip. Lean right, look under your left arm, and gaze upward. If there is room in your hamstrings, begin to straighten your right leg and keep opening your torso upward and toward your left. If it stops at the right upper arm, that’s fine. Stay here for five long deep breaths. Unwind out of it and do the routine on the other side, beginning with the forward bend.

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Resources

MindBodyGreen

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4407/Yoga-CuresSugar-Cravings-Tara-Stiles-4-Poses-to-Help-Us-Beat-Sugar.html

Author: Jason Wachob

Breathing Lessons: Key to a Smaller Waist and Sharper Mind

Breathing Lessons 

The key to a smaller waist and a sharper mind might be learning to inhale.

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Who hasn’t been annoyed by the advice—usually offered when a shot of tequila or a Xanax would be more welcome—to just take a deep breath? But it turns out there might be something to that recommendation. According to Jill Miller, the creator of the Yoga Tune Up program at Equinox, exercising your breathing muscles—namely, the diaphragm and intercostals—can not only chill you out but also improve your physique. A perfect inhalation, Miller says, reaches all the way down to the lower lungs, puffing out the belly. “If breathing muscles are aligned properly, your heart and digestive system work better,” says Miller, who created a workout during which students roll their bodies over rubber balls to get those muscles working optimally. And there’s an aesthetic upside: Miller likens strong intercostals to “an internal corset” that holds in your midsection. Meanwhile, in New York, clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich’s Breathe classes at Willspace studio combine posture correction, core work, and inhalation practice to get students using more of their lung capacity. “You break down nutrients with oxygen—your brain runs on it, and your muscles heal with it,” she says. But stress, combined with sucking in our bellies, drives most of us to breathe shallowly. It’s a vicious cycle: Stress causes shallow breathing, and shallow breathing increases stress, leading to elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to increased belly fat.

Breathing exercises, on the other hand, have been shown in recent studies to lower blood pressure and improve hand-eye coordination. The self-proclaimed “breath guru” Alan Dolan believes they can also save your career—and even your marriage. Dolan conducts retreats on the Canary Islands, where, in addition to yoga, he uses stretches, breath work, and music to help clients reset respiration. “I’ve ‘breathed’ athletes, actresses who need help steadying nerves, and couples working on a relationship,” Dolan says.

If an island retreat isn’t in the cards, check out Vranich’s book, Breathe, out in January. Her DIY techniques draw on martial arts, pulmonology, sports psychology, yoga, and Russian ­special-ops training. “My clients are type A people who tune out as soon as they hear the word ‘meditate,’ ” Vranich says. But that isn’t to say her breathing lessons don’t have a trippy side. At the end of each class, Vranich uses music, aromatherapy, and cycles of very deep, very fast breaths to flood students’ bodies with oxygen. The side effect? A light-headed, blissed-out state that, for some, borders on hallucinogenic. Even Xanax can’t compare.

Resources

W Magazine

Author:  Katie Becker

Photo Credit

Untitled, 1964-1965.Courtesy of Wingate Paine/Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.

Study: U.S. Adults Possess Only Average Skills

Editor’s note: Circa 2002, moving to Key West, FL from Oceanside, California, meant there was only one school to chose from. Key West High School is public, and initially it was a trivial culture shock.

I noticed students did not raise their hands, they referred to teachers hollering, “Miss…” or even just their last name, and over all the teenagers seems to speak to even each other in a friendly, yet demanding manner. I was taken back, did not like it, but tried not to judge because I was the new girl.

Eventually I became a product of my environment. I had transferred with above average grades. I was placed in all honors classes, including: math, science & literature. However over time, I lost my sharpness, as well as my focus. I do not blame anyone else but myself, but I reason that the immaturity levels were higher in Key West than the high school I attended before called Fallbrook High.

Naive and distracted, I fell behind. It started in high school, at approximately age 15. What a prime age, an age while the brain is beginning to develop into a young adult.

I became an immature, demanding and unsure graduate of KWHS. Then it left me unprepared for college. I just wanted to have fun. Hah, the most I remember from high school was how much fun it was. Literally, a high school on a tiny deserted island, imagine the possibilities of enjoyment.

So I connected with party people, sororities, fraternities, surfers, musicians, and found myself obligated to go out. I had a new car, and was one of the only freshman with a brand new car so I was always the driver. Eventually in 2008 I got into a near death alcohol related car accident, after I went to a party I was peer pressured to attend.

Further more, I know that set my life back-including college. But it has allowed me to learn valuable life lessons.

My correlation I am going to make from my experiences to this article is that I must work harder and work more now to get back to above average. I have damage control to take care of, and I need more preparation for my studies.

Everyone goes at their own pace, and the most important lesson is that as long as you do not stop moving…you will get there.

Here is the article:
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global coalition, has released a comprehensive study that tested proficiency in practical skills among people ages 16 to 65.

While the highest-skilled adults in the U.S. were on par with best performing countries such as Japan and Finland, overall the U.S. lagged behind the international average in math, reading and problem-solving.

These troubling results prompted the following reaction from Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. He told The New York Times:

If we’re so dumb, why are we so rich?

At least the U.S. is rich for now. That advantage is slipping, Carnevale points out, in today’s global economy.

It is not much of a revelation that students in the U.S. are falling behind in math and problem-solving. Sadly, we have known that for some time. What is most alarming about this study is that American adults – who, as the Times points out “on paper, are among the best-educated people of their generation anywhere in the world,” are in reality merely average. And as we know from Thomas Friedman and others who have made this point, average won’t cut it anymore.

To solve this problem, we obviously need to address the inadequacies of both the K-12 system as well as college, where students are graduating without the real-life skills that will give them a competitive edge in the global job market.

And yet, education cannot not end with college, as the skills you learn in your early 20s will not be the same ones you need to use 10 or 20 or 30 years later. The responsibility of committing to lifelong learning certainly falls on individuals if they hope to get ahead. But the responsibility falls on companies as well. In fact, if businesses do not make the investment in the professional development of their employees, they will lose the best ones (and, perversely, keep the worst ones).

Resources:

Big Think

How Clinginess Can Ruin Potential Loving Relationships

Surprisingly funny, a good quick read.

Thought Catalog

The other night as I was exiting Walgreens you caught my eye. Your beauty was undeniable and the gorgeous, glowing aura surrounding you was literally lighting up the darkness. A beautiful, radiant white light that drew me in like a stupid/suicidal moth to a flame. I look, you’re staring back at me and there’s no doubt that we are what each other want in this moment, although thirty seconds prior I had no idea we’d be meeting.

I try to keep walking but only manage two or three steps before I turn around and you’re still there. Your lingering gaze is an obvious sign that I should approach, so I do. Immediately we click and you take the initiative to get my phone number and email address, but you also invite me to hangout & watch some movies. Tonight. The spontaneity and randomness of it all is intriguing. Ten…

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“Believe” said Barbosa

Fellow colleague, and FAU BFA Graphic Designer Edgard Barbosa told me today, “If you’re not gonna believe in your work, who will?” He said it in such an epic and natural accent it sounded as if he belonged in a movie. It was motivational, and I appreciated it Edgard. Thanks. It is inspiration for me to work on my portfolio day-to-day to pass that review and become a graphic designer.

Now let’s talk about Edgard, his work is astonishing. I told him he was legendary that day, I really look up to his accomplishments. Check it out on Behance.net below.  His work showcases his artful mind, he understands visual communication.  Being familiar with depth and form, he uses line and shape to create clean and pleasant work. I like his use of typography in the church flyers on behance, as well as the reference to Andy Warhol’s pop art, connecting both hunger and art with the Campbell’s soup cans.

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup I, 1968.

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup I, 1968. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So cool! Thumbs up

http://www.behance.net/edgardbarbosa

BelieveEdgardQuote

Edgard and mine’s conversation started after the Designer’s Edge meeting, because I had my 99u “Manage Your Day-To-Day,” book with me. Since I got it from Behance.net, and he’s got a portfolio I appreciate on there. With up-to-date book design, the writing style captures artistic attention. I thought, this book was written for a graphic designer, just like me trying, who is trying to find focus. I ordered the second volume, and it arrived the day Edgard told me those wise words. It’s called “Maximize Your Potential, Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build An Incredible Career.”

I was so happy that it was on my doorstep, it also came with, “The Town” DVD.  Haha ~ a something to look forward to take breaks from work. I do love Boston and these star studded action films! I can’t wait to hear Jeremey Renner’s accent, I blogged about the best Boston accents in movies, and Renner was included.

behanceBookstheTown

Images copyright © all rights reserved, Kristen Kelly