Do you sometimes feel that time is going by too quickly?
Do you worry that you are not only racing against the clock, but that you are not enjoying your days enough?
You can learn to experience the feeling of time being expanded. There is a way to slow down the pace, be in the moment and accomplish more than you would have [click to continue…]
While taking one of my favorite bikram yoga classes, my teacher came along and slowly nudged me into a deeper position. Ordinarily I like to move at my own pace and I don’t allow anyone to move my body into position. I know my body better than anyone and I figure it’s been serving me well all these years, so I generally choose to go at my own speed.
This one evening I dragged myself to class after sitting for hours in my office. The instructor made her way around the room. “Breathe” she said, “I think you can go deeper still.” I took slow measured breaths and on the exhalation, tried letting go. She placed her hands gently on my back and hips and told me [click to continue…]
Judy Quint exercises the way most women breathe. It is an essential component of her life. So far she has become a certified Zumba® instructor, an attorney specializing in real estate transactions, and a devoted daughter, wife, mother and friend. She has run the Boston Marathon and beaten a rare disease into submission. One gets the feeling there isn’t anything Judy Quint cannot do once she puts her mind to it. She exudes enthusiasm, passion and a lovely, gentle energy. [click to continue…]
Physical activity has always been a saving grace for me. As a teenager I loved swimming in the summers and running along the beach with my dog whenever I could.
One day while meandering through the Brooklyn College bookstore I discovered a book on the practice of yoga. As I read that book, gleaning various breathing techniques and dynamic postures, something clicked. I learned to stretch and move through space while deepening my breath and gradually becoming more skilled at slowing down. [click to continue…]
“Mindful” exercise, walks or workouts are flow activities. They create a shift in consciousness through physical activity. Think of physical activity not just as a way to stay fit or look better, but as a sacred time for you to devote away from the pressures of everyday life. Your body needs to be exercised and your mind and spirit need to be rejuvenated – all of which can be accomplished in taking a mindful walk, yoga or Pilates class, a bike ride, swim, dance class or a multitude of other forms of exercise. [click to continue…]
Only in recent years have we come to understand the positive effects of exercise on the brain and mental health. Exercise is also good for one’s physical health. Reduced body fat, stronger muscles, bones, and heart, and lower blood pressure are among the benefits. It also helps us look and feel healthier and fit.
During exercise the levels of neurotransmitters – the “feel good chemicals” serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – increase. Exercise, therefore, has powerful antidepressant properties. In a study conducted at Duke University researchers found that 60% of the participants who exercised for 30 minutes 3x week over a four week period successfully overcame their depression without the use of antidepressant medication. This is the same percentage as people who benefit from taking antidepressant medication. This is not to suggest that people stop taking medicine for depression, but it does suggest that exercise would significantly help in the management of this prevalent psychological disorder. [click to continue…]
Create a practice of physical activity and reap the benefits:
- Improve energy level
- Burn more calories at rest
- Improve physical appearance
- Tolerate stress better
- Recover faster from injuries and surgeries
- Stay focused longer
- Increase lean body mass
- Build endurance and flexibility
- Decrease risk of illness
- Key to balance and happiness
Practice daily for 10-30 minutes or more
How to create the practice of mindful walking:
- Pay attention to standing on both feet
- Notice the contact your feet are making with the ground.
- Take a few abdominal breaths.
- Begin walking slowly with awareness.
- Observe the action of the feet as they move and connect with the ground.
- Think about ‘heel’ and ‘toe’ or ‘stepping’ and ‘placing down’ as you transfer your weight through each step.
Mindful walking works particularly well for those who find it difficult to sit and meditate. The benefits are comparable. Like the sitting meditation, this technique helps develop heightened awareness, suppleness of the mind, and a greater sense of well-being. Choose a safe, ideally uncrowded place of natural beauty.
Practice several times daily