In turbulent times I like to turn to: 

The Wisdom of Lao Tsu

What has equilibrium is easy to maintain

What hasn’t begun is easy to plan 

What is fragile is easy to shatter

What is small is easy to scatter

Deal with things before they arise 

Cultivate order before confusion sets in

The greatest tree springs from a tiny shoot

The tallest tower is built from a pile of dirt

A journey of 1000 miles begins at your feet

Interfere with things and you’ll be defeated by them

Hold onto things and you’ll lose them 

The sage doesn’t interfere so he doesn’t fail;  doesn’t hold on, so he doesn’t lose

Because projects often come to ruin just before completion, he takes as much care at the end as he did at the beginning and thereby succeeds

His only desire is to be free of desire 

Fancying nothing, learning not to know, electing not to interfere, he helps all beings become themselves 

There are some old adages I quite like: 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
It is easier to get into trouble than to get out of trouble.
Better to be sorry you didn’t than to be sorry you did. 

With all that in mind, here are three areas to work preventatively in order to maintain better health:
1. Lower Emotional Stress with meditation, daily journaling (try The Artist’s Way), therapy, hobbies and listening to music (try Theta Healing Music) Recently I started meditating with mala beads which I find that to be extremely beneficial. Get a strand that is 108 beads. Every breath you take, you move to the next bead.  It is very relaxing. It helps your mind and body calm down by giving them something to do in the present moment.  In this way it helps to stop incessant thoughts from intruding into the present moment. 

2. Lower Physical Stress with exercises you love and don’t overdo causing harm. Pay attention to your form while working out. Dance, move, and get up during the day. The trick is to move.  Be a fidgety kid instead of a couch potato. 

3. Lower Chemical Stress by eliminating the sources you can, and they are everywhere.  The body has a hard time processing chemicals in processed food, household cleaners and cosmetics etc. Read the labels.  Even perfume has toxins, better to use essential oils.



Spinal Health Column/Spinal Column Health 

Notes about Posture by Sarah Wallace of Amenia Yoga A Place for Wellness 

Are we losing the battle with gravity? Gravity is constantly at work trying to pull us down. It’s a never-ending battle, and about 60% of our muscle mass is dedicated to opposing these gravitational forces that bring  us down. Furst B. (2020) The Effect of Gravity and Upright Posture on Circulation. In: The Heart and Circulation. Springer, Cham.

We can help our muscles by correcting poor posture patterns that often result reducing our quality of health in general.  Improving posture is the way to do it because good posture supports your bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints, and makes sure they function efficiently. The sooner we correct poor postural habits, the better. In addition, good posture is necessary for efficient breathing and proper circulation, and it helps us balance. Standing and sitting with proper alignment is vital for overall good health. If we look around, it’s easy to spot signs of poor posture, even in teenagers, and often, it begins during these teen years. Our sedentary lifestyle is partly to blame.  Call it tech neck, computer neck, forward jutting head, whatever you want. forward.  There is no problem when we’re properly aligned, but every inch our head moves forward creates unnecessary muscle tension and tightness that can lead to stress, discomfort, and pain.  If not checked, this will wreak havoc on our posture and adversely affect our overall health! Therefore, correct sitting posture is as essential as standing posture. 

Try this: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, your spine should be neutral, respecting its natural curves, and  if you use a computer, it should be at eye level. You can start by sitting in your chair slumped over. Bring awareness to your position and consciously pull yourself up, exaggerate, bring your shoulders back and your lower spine forward, almost like a swayback. Hold this for a moment, then relax into an upright position. You’ll notice correct posture with a neutral spine, sits bones evenly in your chair, your chin parallel to the floor, and your eyes looking straight ahead, your shoulders will feel relaxed, and your ears will be over your collarbones.  Most of us don’t have ergonomic workstations at home or even in the office. Still, we can get up, walk around and do some simple stretches before heading back into another round of work or scrolling through social media.StandingLet’s start with our base – our feet. Rooting the four points of our feet into the ground, automatically lifts our arches and improves our posture. How do we find these four points?   The first is the inside of the heel, then we go diagonally up to the ball of our foot below the pinky toe, next, staying on the ball of the foot, go directly across to below our big toe, then back down again to the outside of our heel. Next, let’s move up to our knees and thighs. Our knees should face forward over our second and third toes.  Bringing awareness upward, let’s make sure our pelvis is neutral and relaxed, without tilting forward or backward.  Inactivity, sitting, and poor posture can cause incorrect pelvic tilts. There are exercises to correct both of these tilts before they create more problems with alignment and health. Let’s move up to the abdomen. Engage these muscles without contracting them; they help prevent slouching.  Next, lengthen your spine and without lifting your shoulders; lift your heart. Now bring awareness to your shoulders, lift them and let them come down over your ribs. Your chin should be parallel to the floor, your head well positioned. Your posture should feel powerful and easy to maintain, and you should feel balanced and stable. Correct posture is the best way to fight gravity, and your entire body will thank you – your breathing, your circulation, your balance, your muscles, and your bones –  and you’ll even appear taller!

As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone mass; unfortunately, this happens to everyone. Our muscles become weaker, our vertebrae lose padding, bones lose density, and ligaments lose strength and elasticity. This skews  our alignment causing us to compensate in other areas; often our balance suffers.  It’s common to see forward slumping posture with exaggerated thoracic spine curves. We might observe this even in people in their 50s and 60s.   To win our battle against gravity, it’s vital to maintain as much strength, range of motion, and balance as possible to. Yoga is a great way to do all of this. Posture video

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