Leading by Example

Went to the dentists office which is near the hospital. Rode my bike as I do and had trouble finding the bike rack. Once I did I was surprised to see only 4 other bikes on a rack that wasn’t anchored to the ground.

This puts our healthcare system into an interesting perspective. The focus is on using technology instead of working on staying healthy.

We drive our cars to the hospital and take pills and get arteries drilled out to stay alive. Instead we could bike to work and keep our cardio system strong and healthy and our cholesterol low.

It might be nice is the ones who are supposed to keep us healthy would lead by example, but that’s probably the most telling part of the equation. Are they focused on patient health or checking account health?

Just a thought.

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Hacking Yoga: Can Yoga help me lose weight?

This is a great question and the answer is: yes it can! (surprised?)

Yoga can affect your weight in a number of ways:

  1. Yoga increases your metabolism
  2. Use yoga to prevent injury from other exercises
  3. Learning to calm the mind with yoga allows you to recognize unhealthy eating patterns

Also keep in mind that weight loss is not the best measure for health. As you start working out you will build muscle which weighs more than fat and you may see some weight gain. Do not be discouraged. Think about how you feel. Are you stronger and more comfortable during the day? How about your energy levels? Consider that Western Science may not have all the answers.

If weight loss is your biggest concern exercise will only get you so far. The biggest factor here will be your diet. Focus on eating more vegetables and fruits while reducing overall consumption especially of Corn Syrup.

What do you think? Has Yoga helped you lose weight? What have I missed?

My post @elephantJournal: Being Vegan is Easy

I ran into Waylon of Elephant Journal about 7 weeks ago at the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park. We talked about a number of things and exchanged some different ideas about the Internets, Yoga, and being Vegan. He explained that he would be a vegan if it weren’t so difficult to do so when going out on the town.

I thought that this was a valid issue and started to explain how I coped with the issue. This resulted in my writing a little post that was published there about Being Vegan is Easy. I have been encouraged by the comments and effects it has had on a number of people.

In the end remember to do your best to eat with a conscious mind, always being aware of what you are consuming. Being vegan doesn’t require a snobbish or religious attitude. It just requires that you care about what you are putting in your body and what it takes to get that food to your plate.

Hacking Yoga: @gangplank Presentation Sept 16th 2009

So the first Hacking Yoga Presentation went down @gangplank on Setp 16th 2009 and if you weren’t there then you missed out on the group transmutation into trancendent beings, bummer. =)

I had a total blast talking to the group about two passions of mine: Hacking and Yoga. While I am pretty much a n00b at both I still have fun thinking and talking about them and thought that the presentation was a good intro to how the two work together. The questions afterward were the best part and I want to thank everyone for asking them. Please feel free to reach out to me here if you have more of them.

Why Yoga? Thoughts on my practice.

I first started practicing yoga in 2003 shortly after starting a job at Godaddy. It was my first experience in a call center and in a cubicle, two things I had avowed I would never allow myself to work in. Oddly I really enjoyed most of the work. It was dealing with websites which I had been fascinated with since first getting to University in 1995 and the action was non stop so there was no idle time. The days went by quickly and my income was increasing.

However despite my career progress I was still hitting a wall in feeling fulfilled. I was finding it difficult to stay in shape by just drinking beer and eating pizza. I took up running, and gyms, and jumped from diet to diet in an attempt to feel better and find happiness. Two problems arose from this: 1) my right knee was developing sharp and lasting pain, and 2) I found that dieting is not a permanent solution.

Yoga had been something that I had considered since school in Boulder but I had never taken the plunge and gone to a studio. It was mostly due to fear of the unknown; along with a multitude of irrational fears I was worried I would be laughed out of the studio because I couldn’t touch my toes.

I started by getting some books and videos from the library and doing some research online. These were very helpful and I began to lose some of my fear and insecurity. I also found that just doing some of the basic exercises was a really good workout. I didn’t have to do crazy bendy poses to get the heart rate up and a sweat going. I also learned about breath techniques and meditation. I began to experience more than just a physical euphoria and noticed that my mind was calming down a lot.

After a few weeks I finally worked up the courage and went to a studio class. The teacher was happy to have me there and assured me I would survive. I had to back out a few times and take child’s pose as things got really intense but in the end I had received quite the work out and my knee wasn’t in pain. I signed up for the unlimited package and started practicing 4 to 5 days a week. I was hooked.

A lot has happened to me in those 6 years. I have been to a lot of studios, some good, some bad. What I have discovered is that Yoga is an amazing way to get and stay in shape, but it is also a way to quiet the mind. When I practice I focus on three things: 1) the pose I am in, 2) my inhale, and 3) my exhale. For 60 to 90 minutes that is all I am focused on and when I am done and the rest of my world slowly creeps back in I am ready for it.

This is why I practice Yoga and why I want to teach it. Let me know what you think.

Raw Food Diet – Day 1

I have decided to give the Raw Food Diet a try. I am following a lot of what Steve Pavlina did in Jan as he posted a day by day account of his 30days on the diet. For more detail go there. I am not being as strict as he was. I am having Olive oil and am not measuring everything as deligently as he did.

My reasons for doing this are pretty simple: I want to eat heathly, simply, ethically, and cheaply. I havent been the best to my body in a lot of years and never really developed good eating habits. I attribute this to laziness mostly.

Here is the breakdown of my first day:
5am
Green Smoothie – 4 bananas, 2 cups spinach, water

945am
2 Tangelos – sour
2 carrots

1220am
4 bananas – stomach ache

slight headache since lunch. not hungry.

5pm
whole cantaloupe – feeling good

8pm
salad – 4 cups of spring greens, 1 apple, .5 avocado, 6 grape tomatoes, .25 cup macadamia nuts, .5 cup oil, 1 tbls soy sauce, salt and pepper, .5 cucumber

850pm
1 tangelo

Besides the slight headache around lunch I felt fine all day. I even did Power yoga at Innervision for 1.5 hours and had one of my stronger sessions in recent memory.

Twitter for Meditation?

Biray is going deep this week with an article on mindfulness and technology. She covers the topic of mindfulness, living in the present, and ponders how we can use technology to help others achieve mindfulness. Central to her argument is the use of Twitter:

If you’re introducing mindfulness to someone who has yet to fully experience it, how can you tell if what you’re teaching is helping them understand the concept? Or better yet, how do you know if they are even applying its principles? You don’t. Which is why I think using Twitter can be a metaphor for demonstrating both an understanding and the application of mindfulness.

This is a fascinating subject and one that is central to where we are going with how the Internet continues to encompass our lives. Its all about communication and a continuation of the telegraph to the telephone to the webpage. We are becoming more and more instant and permanent. This combination allows us to get more of our thoughts out to share with everyone else. Tools like Twitter and Facebook make it easier to organize and access this information.

What do you think? Can technology help us learn more about who we really are?

Be Fit With Biray » Mindful Tweets