Who is in Charge?

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I am reposting this article with permission from My Life Yoga blog on the ego and our illusion of reality, enjoy!

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Pettry amzanig huh?

The above paragraph illustrates that we do not read by assembling letters into words from left to right. Instead we use forecasting to predict what a jumble of letters means. This allows us to read fast and correct for errors.

The key idea here is that forecasting is central to how we function. This is not limited to just reading but pretty much everything we do. The central aspect of forecasting is that it needs a model. A model is an idea of how something works. Once the model is in place we can input a limited number of details and simulate the rest. When we read the words in the first paragraph we are able to simulate the words in the original sentence through the model of English Language in our head. Somebody who is not a native English speaker may find it hard to read the first paragraph because the English model in his head may not be very good.

When sight is restored to somebody who has been blind since birth, he does not immediately begin to “see”. All he sees is fuzzy formless light. It may take months, if not years before normal seeing commences. This is because the person has no model for vision. Only once this is built can normal sight work. When we look around the room we do not scan every part of the room starting with the top left corner zigzagging down. Instead we take in the details of a few spots and simulate the rest using our in-built model for sight.

So here are some details of the models in our head:

1. Our models may not be perfect but they work.
2. Our models may work but they are not complete.

Some philosophers have suggested that since our perception of reality is based on simulation of imperfect models that all reality that we perceive is merely illusory. This may be not be an appropriate way of interpreting this discussion. The models in our head are pretty good because they work and reliably allow us to navigate the world.

However, we must not go to the other extreme. Just because these models work, in the current context, we must not assume that these model represent reality completely. These models are just good enough for our species to survive and get by. For example we do not see in the ultra-violet or infrared spectrum. We are completely oblivious to that portion of reality. In fact the model of reality in our head is like the tip of the iceberg. What we know and perceive is vastly undermined by what we are ignorant and oblivious of. For example, who knows how a whale percieves the world?

Similar to the models of the external world we also have a model of our internal selves. This model of ourselves is termed as an ego. Just like we think that the model of external reality is complete we are fooled into believing that we are our egos.

Our ego is not our complete self. It is at best a very incomplete model of ourselves in our head. The journey of yoga is a journey into a deeper dive into ourselves. It is a journey of discovery of that portion of us that lies beyond the ego. In fact the root of most of our problems lies in the subtle belief that we are our ego and the interest of our ego and our deeper selves is the same. We spend every moment of our conscious experience as captives of our ego-identity. We think, emote, and act on behalf of our ego, little knowing that we are spending our lives at the service of a wrong master.

The journey of discovery of our identity beyond our ego is not an easy one but it may be the most important journey we may undertake. After all who wants to spend a lifetime as a slave of something only to realize that it was all in vain?

Yoga Clothes: What Sea Turtles Wish You Were Wearing

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If a giant sea turtle (Honu) was responsible for dressing you in the morning what sort of clothes might he or she pick out? Before you answer with “wetsuit” or “flippers” consider that these giant peaceful creatures are an endangered species.

Nicole Sherman is a Hawaii native. She grew up swimming with the dolphins and giant sea turtles. Out of her deep affinity for these majestic creatures sprung her passion to create a line of clothing to benefit and honor the majestic sea turtle. Honu Yoga Design was born!

When you get dressed in your stylish new Honu Yoga gear you can feel great knowing that a percentage of all proceeds go directly to www.kurmalliance.com an amazing charity helping to save our beautiful sea turtles from extinction.

Nicole Sherman is no stranger to difficulties of her own. Her love for yoga began as a way to understand and heal her scoliosis. Now Nicole shares the transformative benefits of yoga teaching locally both to groups and private clients.

Above are a just a few of the fun T-shirts and Tanks from Honu Yoga Designs. My red “I Love Handstands” Tank never fails to start interesting conversations with perfect strangers wherever I go.

When you consider all the different messages people send off  via the text on their shirts I consider wearing these shirts as a way of spreading the yoga gospel. Why not send out a positive message while rockin’ some threads that directly benefit some of nature’s most vulnerable creatures?

Is Botox Freezing Your Emotions?

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Is Botox freezing your emotions?Is Botox freezing your emotions?Is Botox Freezing Your Emotions?

I thought this was really interesting and a little bit scary too!

A study out of Barnard College suggests that facial expressions trigger the brain to experience emotion. Botox, which paralyzes muscles and markedly reduces facial expressions, could therefore affect how much users feel emotions.

Scientists capitalized on the way Botox works, causing temporary muscle paralysis, to study the motor skills used to change the face’s expressions, the intentions that spur those expressions, and the sensory feedback they send to the brain.

Isn’t it interesting that the looks on our faces could signal our feelings? And that the pursuit of an ageless appearance could mean people not only present themselves as less emotional, but that it truly makes them that way?

Get a Tattoo and Change Your Point of View

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Conscious, Ink temporary tattoo

What if what we wore on our skin in the form of letters, words or symbols affected us in a way that made our lives better, easier and more prosperous?

What if we could change the affirmations that we wore on our skin according to the challenges we faced that particular day.

So, for instance, the day you have to say, face the bully from your childhood you tattooed the word Courage on your skin to remind you to stay strong. Or perhaps the word Truth for the moments you need to find the words to express what is bubbling up from deep within.

Well, now this is all possible, it is called Conscious Ink! This is what the creator of this new phenomena has to say about it…

“Conscious, Ink. Temporary on the skin. Indelible on the soul.

Can a temporary tattoo leave a lasting impression on our disposition? Make a permanent mark on the world? Or genuinely improve our health and healing ability? Crazy as it seems, I say yes. In fact, I’m very enthusiastic about it! I’m Frank Gjata, founder of Conscious, Ink–whose mission is to raise consciousness around the world, one tattooed (albeit temporarily) body at a time. Of course, these are no ordinary tats.”

Franks work is inspired by Dr. Emoto’s research on how even water molecules are impacted by our thoughts, words, and feelings.

Since our bodies our made up of 70% water that means we too are very heavily influenced on a cellular level by words, especially ones written on our bodies no less!

Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

How about exposing the water in your body to loving thoughts, intentions and affirmations? These temporary tats are a great way to stay on track if you are someone who forgets to set positive intentions!

love temporary tattoo

Too Cool For School? Yogis I Now Present To You “Hipster” Yoga

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This is hilarious and thought I’d share…“Hipster Yoga”

downward_facing_dog

1. Shift your weight onto the right leg.

2. Use $15 Casio keyboard because bad sound is good.

3. Bend the left knee and grasp the inside of the left earmuff with the left hand.

4. Bring the right arm up toward the ceiling as you flip scarf over left shoulder.

5. Put stamps on hand and tell friends that you went to a bunch of awesome shows.

6. Repeat on the other side with different colored earmuffs (optional).

Adapted instructions from about.com.

Spiritual Gangster Video: Rise Of The Cool Yogi

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Spiritual Gangsters: Rise Of The Cool Yogi

Sounds like a movie title, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s because I copied Transformers (Rise of the Machines) forgive me,..but I had to get your attention…

Onward and upward to the point of this post then…

(woot! woot!)

Well, before I get blasted for saying “rise of the cool yogi” what I mean by that is, when I was first getting involved in yoga I had a fear that fitting in with my fellow yogis meant wearing patchouli oil, not drinking my favorite wine and speaking barely above a whisper…(and a breathy one at that!)

Thank God, that is not the case!

In fact, I think this video is really proof of the fact that yogis are quite stylin’ these days! (and by stylin’ I mean we are setting trends and taking names, but don’t let it go to your head yogis…remember? No ego!)

You go Spiritual Gangster!

This video gets me all excited!

It makes me want to boogie around my living room wearing my stunner shades, a bandana, Spiritual Gangster clothes (of course!) and maybe even a mustache!

(and, sometimes I do,… mustache included,…video to follow!)

Enjoy My Spiritual Gangsters!

Flying Yoga: Handstand Yoga Vinyasa With Brian Aganad

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Here is a homemade yoga demo of Los Angeles yoga teacher Brian Aganad flying and floating throuhg his yoga practice. Enjoy!

No Food, No Water,…Just Prana for this Guy!

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This man has spent the last two weeks under 24 hour surveillance at the hospital and neurologists confirm that he did not eat, drink or use the restroom during that time. He was also monitored with video cameras.

An 83-year-old Indian holy man who says he has spent seven decades without
food or water has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him
during a two-week observation period.

Prahlad Jani spent a fortnight in a hospital in the western India state of
Gujarat under constant surveillance from a team of 30 medics equipped with
cameras and closed circuit television.

During the period, he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet.

“We still do not know how he survives,” neurologist Sudhir Shah told
reporters after the end of the experiment. “It is still a mystery what kind
of phenomenon this is.”

Supported Yoga Boat Pose (Navasana) with a Strap

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I was sure that my friend Krista Cahill had invented the supported Navasana in Brocks class and then lo and behold I run accross this on Youtube, although a slightly different version I thought it was pretty interesting, enjoy!

Red Wine Fights Fat!

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Yes, it is true!

Red wine suppresses estrogen production in fat cells, and increases the release of Leptin an appetite suppressing hormone.

Red wine also decreases cortisol, a hormone that increases appetite and is associated with stress.

Red wine prevents fat storage

And

(drum roll…)

promotes fat breakdown!

Fat cells are the most important site of estrogen production in postmenopausal women, and in men.

Red wine contains chemicals such as quercetin, myricetin, resveratrol, and procyanidins that interfere with estrogen production.

A Brazilian study showed that rats treated with red wine showed less weight gain than control animals, even though they were fed the same amount of food. Bon appetite!

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