Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yoga Alleviates Cancer Side Effects

Yoga has quickly become one of the most popular ways to exercise in the last ten years. Its ability to allow people to mix meditation with physical workouts has made it a popular option instead of the gym. Patients with terminal illnesses and cancer have begun taking on yoga as a complementary treatment therapy to help alleviate the side effects of traditional therapy.

Perhaps the biggest reason yoga has grown in popularity within the medical community is because of its ability to mix both the benefits within the physical and mental aspects of the body. Another reason it has become so popular is because it can be used at different times and in different ways. Patients can participate in yoga sessions based on their own treatment schedule. They can choose to take part in daily sessions that are short or long sessions once a week.

Many of the benefits of using yoga are often tied to physical aspects of the body and with terminal illness patients, these can be no different. Many patients, such as those with arthritis use yoga as a way to alleviate the pain and stress on the body. Of course they can also use yoga as a way to improve the range of motion and flexibility of the body, because arthritis patients deal with some great pain and limited motion.

From a mental aspect, yoga can be unbelievably beneficial when used as a complementary therapy option. Many patients have used yoga as a way to shut off the mind during tough times. A great example of this is mesothelioma (a cancer in the lungs caused by asbestos exposure) patients, who have a severely shortened life expectancy rate. Many of these patients use yoga as a type of meditation and peace of mind during a time of extreme difficulty and fear.

Yoga’s ability to mix mind related benefits like tranquility and peace of mind with physical benefits like improved range of motion will continue to make it a popular option with terminally illness patients in the future. Expect yoga to grow even more as continued research shows even more benefits of its use in the scientific and medical community. 

Guest Blogger: Krista

Krista Peterson is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer. As a health and safety advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Through her writings, she helps to spread awareness of such issues as cancer and chronic illness.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Today Must be Ball Day

Homemade dryer balls

Today must be ball day. I wrote a post today on my other blog,, about making homemade dryer balls. These are great, inexpensive to make and good for the environment. Read about it here.

Then I go to Groupon and there is a deal to buy USED golf balls. Really?! You can buy someones balls?! LMAO

It's true, has a deal today where you can buy another persons balls.
$20 for $40 of Golf Balls

Friday, May 27, 2011

Is Bikram Yoga more dangerous than other things people do voluntarily?

I found this "article/post" on Bikram Yoga today. The title intrigued me so I decided to see what it was all about. What it is about is 165 words.

Here is the article. 
What the Yuck: Hot yoga or hot mess?

It says Bikram Yoga can cause dehydration or heat stroke. The last line of the article asks why one would want to be in such dangerous a Bikram Yoga class. Is Bikram Yoga more dangerous than other things people do voluntarily? More dangerous than running? More dangerous than ultimate fighting? More dangerous than cycling? When was the last time you saw an article of someone dieing in a Bikram Yoga Class? How about running or cycling?

Sure, Bikram Yoga isn't for everyone. But neither is running, boxing, ultimate fighting...heck even yard work isn't for everyone. By the way, all of the aforementioned activities could cause dehydration or heat stroke.

I looked up what could cause heat stroke. Pretty much anyone that exerts themselves too much is at potential risk. (Sarcasm intended.) This seems exceptionally obvious. So why pick on Bikram Yoga and the heat? Sometimes in Dallas it can get hotter and more humid outside than in a Bikram Yoga room and I see people doing all kinds of activities that result in raising their heart rate, sweating and potentially causing heat stroke or dehydration.

And Bikram Yoga can cause dehydration? Um, sure, so can any physical activity you do. When I trained for my first marathon, that was the first thing they told us, hydrate. And boy did I! I drank two cups of water or sport drink at every water station along the marathon.

I did yard work last week and drank over 120 oz. of water and STILL felt like I needed more to be hydrated.

Sure people sweat in Bikram Yoga and hydration is a concern. Let's not blow it out of proportion though. We encourage and plead for students to drink plenty of fluids and replace electrolytes so they ARE well hydrated before they get in class...and we tell them to rehydrate after class.

Most, if not all Bikram Yoga Studio websites have sections for new students that go over what to expect, how to prepare for the heat and the types of individuals such as children or those that are pregnant that should not attend. 

My last rant. Have you ever looked at the warning labels of any medication, tool, appliance or gadget? If you had, you would find far scarier things than the heat in a Bikram Yoga class. Here is is a list of side effects of a common drug:
  • Could have weakness, tenderness, fever or feel more tired than usual
  • Allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing, which may require treatment right away
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Passing brown or dark-colored urine
  • More tired than usual
  • Skin and whites of your eyes get yellow
  • Stomach pain
  • Allergic skin reaction 
  • Could cause liver problems
  • Could cause kidney problems, even kidney failure
Most of these are far worse by the way than a Bikram Yoga class.

So, if you are considering Bikram Yoga as a form of exercise, or mediation (which it is), or just a "fun" activity, go for it. Read the website of the studio you are interested in and read the precautions. Go with an open mind and just try. It isn't about going "balls to the wall" and "killing yourself" in your first class. It's about healing the body and the mind.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You've Come a Long Way Baby

Checking out a few things on youtube today and found this old video is from 2007 when I did my first yoga competition. I competed at the egging on from the teachers at Bikram Yoga Dallas. I had never competed in yoga before and the idea of getting up on stage and performing postures seemed ridiculous to me. Ridiculous because I didn't feel my practice was worth anything. I had just started a year earlier and certainly wasn't where some of the competitors were in their practices. But after "training" for the competition, I realized it isn't so much about winning. It's about demonstrating yoga to those that might not otherwise see it, in hopes of inspiring others.

I do like the fact that today as I watch this I can see much improvement in my postures. It is true, the body opens up after consistent practice and determination. I still have a long way to day at a time, one class at a time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My cat Ginger brushes herself

My kitty cat is so cute. She is constant entertainment. If I don't brush her or if the brushing is not satisfactory, she will rub her face on the brush to brush herself. Then she gets so into it she starts to eat the hair. Gross right? Not nearly as gross and me having to clean up the many hair balls she gets.

Monday, May 16, 2011

More of Joseph Encinia at Bikram Yoga Dallas

Here are a few pictures of Joseph's amazing demonstration. If you get a chance to see him in person, I recommend going, he is simply amazing!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sleepy Kitty Pose Modification

Ginger demonstrates Sleepy Kitty Pose with a stretching modification. She's on the top of the couch, excuse me, sorry, her throne.

Joseph Encinia performs an awesome demonstration

Joseph did a fantastic demonstration today at Bikram Yoga Dallas. There were several kids there, they seemed to really enjoy the show. Joseph did everything from beginner postures like tree to advanced postures like tiger and and scorpion.

Very inspiring!

Going out isn't what it use to be, and that's a good thing

At the ghost bar at the W hotel and sort of marveling at the scene. I was there probably 5 years ago, dancing and not caring. Today I feel smarter somehow, or maybe just less inhibited by alcohol. Clearly the girls next to me are not inhibited, shouting out a Katy Perry song.

Life seems to have passed me by. I'm ok though if life is drinking and not remembering the night. I did that in my 20's and frankly a little in my 30's. There are only so many times you can drink too much and make a fool of yourself before you wake up and realize life is too short to be THAT crazy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maybe I should get one for Ginger?

If I got one of the cute magnets for my car, I wonder if Ginger would appreciate it and stop throwing upon the floor? This person not only loves their cat, they love their dog too. Equal representation, that's what I say. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Find what motivates you and reach your goals

Effort + Consistency = Changed Body

I've worked out 12 of the last 13 days. It wasn't easy and I'm a little disappointed I wasn't able to get motivated to workout that one extra day but sometimes you need to take a day off. I can tell my body is reacting to the increased activity. Small reductions in measurements, toner looking abs, and a constant feeling of hunger all indicate to me I am moving in the right direction. 

I'm in this challenge on It's a personal challenge, there are no prizes, no first place winners, just an opportunity to push yourself a little bit more. I like it because I truly am motivated to try more and get out and run. There are no medals and no one is waiting for me at the finish line but an event, challenge or set goal really can help jump start a workout plan. I've even been to Bikram yoga more. 

The challenge is through May. I hope to stay at this pace and finish the month with a decent number. I am realistic, I don't think feasibly see how I can run 100 miles in May but I like the challenge and certainly I will run more in May than anytime in the last year! It's all about getting up and getting started. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two quick and easy dishes for healthy eating

I have the makings of being a great cook. I have all the right tools (Lots of Pampered Chef and other quality kitchen gadgets.), nice cookware and I have a lot of recipes (Not sure why but I have collected them over the years.)  I even have a subscription to Everyday Food magazine by Martha Stewart. I don't however possess the desire, time or sometimes skill to cook great meals. I chalk this up to two basic reasons; one, it's hard to cook for one person. No recipe has "serving - 1" in the title so I end up with a family sized portion I have to eat for a week or it goes bad. (The latter usually happens.) Two, I find it extremely time consuming, not only the basic cooking part but the cleaning up after. It is much easier to go to Fuzzy's Taco.

Admittedly though, eating out or eating some frozen food item is not doing me any favors. I know the basics of being healthy I just choose to ignore it sometimes; perhaps my own way of rebelling and questioning if in fact eating low carb, more fresh vegetables and non processed food is really good for you or some hyped up propaganda from the farming industry.

The May issue of Everyday Food magazine inspired me somehow to cook not one but two dishes. I love soups, they are easy and I can eat them everyday and they don't get boring. This one caught my eye because it said "Dinner under $10." The ingredients were simple enough; leeks, chicken broth, potatoes, green beans and parsley. It says it makes 4 servings which I calculate to about 2 servings of me eating it. It did take about the amount of time it said in the magazine, 45 minutes, but I also cooked the other dish and cleaned the kitchen at the same time so it was time well used.

Here's what it looked like.

I think it looks like the picture in the magazine, which is my litmus test to determine if I did it right. The recipes says to peel the potatoes but I left the skins on and it was fine. I personally like the skins of potatoes.

I also don't have a food processor, about the only thing I don't own. I got creative and used my Pampered Chef chopper and finely chopped the parsley, then scooped it into my Magic Bullet with some olive oil and blended it. I had to shake the bullet to get the parsley to move around (otherwise it just sticks to the sides), then I scooped it out into a bowl.

Taste test: Good. I think if I do it again I will try a different parsley or even cilantro. And more seasoning, it is a little bland for me.

My next dish was "Pasta with sausage, leeks and lettuce". I was skeptical on my skill for this one, it called for sausage without the casings. This to me meant buying sausage, slicing the casing open and cooking the meat. I pictured a huge mess of sausage casings and bits of meat everywhere. Then I remembered I had some ground turkey. Much easier. :)

This recipe also had a short list of basic ingredients, sausage, wine, pasta, lettuce, leeks, parmesan. Both recipes seemed interesting because they used leeks and I had never cooked with them before. The pictures made it look easy, slice in half, cut in tiny strips, wash. Plus a bonus, all the dark green tops were a great addition to the compost pile.

This was a very simple recipe, I basically make this all the time when I cook pasta and add meat. But ok, let's fancy it up with leeks and some lettuce. I left out the wine, mostly because I didn't want to open a bottle. I just used water. It was fine. Again, a little more seasoning would be good. Mine might have been a little bland because I used plain meat and not sausage.

Here's  it is.

Time wise it was really fast. I started with the soup, the time on that was 45 minutes and this recipe said 30 minutes. Cooking the two together was easy and much of the prep could be combined to save time. I cooked both and cleaned up the kitchen in about the time it would have been to cook one.

Taste test: yum! I like pasta and anything I can add cheese to is ok with me. The warm pasta and meat with the cold lettuce is a nice contrast. I certainly will be making this again.

Both dishes cost me just around $30 and that was buying organic food at Whole Foods. I consider this a good value considering each says 4 servings and I easily can spend $30 on one or two meals eating out. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Joseph Encinia at Bikram Yoga Dallas May 15, 2011

Joseph Encinia, 3 time, current reigning US Men's Yoga Champion is coming back to Dallas in May!

This guy is amazing! If you haven't seen him, you have to come to his Master Class, see his demonstration and listen to his story. He is such an inspiration. I use practice with him at Bikram Yoga Dallas, then he went to teacher training and I "took" class from him. In every instance his energy was radiating in the room. You couldn't help but work harder, go deeper, do more. 

I remember one year when he was getting ready for the Texas regional competition he stood in the back of the room and took class blindfolded. And balanced! For about a second I thought, man, I want to be like Joseph! I want to win and be a yoga champion! 

Of course, later I had to admit to myself  I don't have the dedication or determination it takes to do what he does. But, he still inspires me to do what I CAN and that is keep coming back and trying and doing my best. It isn't about winning. It is about seeing a person that was not in perfect health, not even good health, that after hard work was able to transform his body  into what it is today. And everyone can do that. Everyone can work hard and improve their health. 

Anyway, I am very excited, I can't wait to see Joseph. I haven't seen him since I was at teacher training last year. I need his energy radiating in the room to help inspire me. If you want to see Joseph and his amazing winning competition routine or maybe you just want to come take class and be inspired, join me May 15th at Bikram Yoga Dallas. Cost is just $40 for adults and $10 for kids. Class is appropriate for all levels of yoga practice. Click here to get more information.
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