Enough with the Scientific Studies!!!

Written by Marni Levitt

I love science.  I am fascinated by the observation, questioning, exploration and discovery of the natural world, human beings and the universe.  I believe that mindfulness is its own kind of ‘inner science’, where we study our own thoughts and feelings and find patterns.  I believe science should be focused on more in school.  I believe humans should LISTEN more to MOST of the world’s scientists who believe that climate change is an imminent and immediate threat to our survival on the planet.

‘OK. Science is cool.  Science is essential. I have established that.

BUT – the problem I have with scientific studies is that they are increasingly used to validate wellness practices such as yoga and mindfulness.  There are a proliferation of studies, articles, research, etc…that are usually only a google search away.  I don’t post the statistics or research on my website because I don’t feel I have to.  Just google it. You will find something, and these days you will find LOTS of things.

YES – it is a positive development that the studies now exist to help the established medical and educational world feel it is OK to start using and implementing practices that come from yoga and mindfulness in order to help people.  This is good, if this is what is needed.

What comes to mind, though, are titles of articles I see floating around social media, such as ‘Studies show that increased use of empathy can improve brain-functioning’ OR ‘Studies show that children who learn kindness early in life have a better chance at a successful career’ …etc…I am just making up these titles right now, but I am sure I have seen similar ones.

HOWEVER, there can be an OVER-reliance on these studies, and an almost obsessive and narrow focus on using the studies primarily as the reason to try something new, or to validate something that is already being done.  Sometimes I feel as though we are asking other people to take risks and to try something new before we do.  We need hundreds or thousands of people to find something useful before we give it a go.  What has happened to our sense of adventure and risk-taking in life?  What has happened to our sense of trying something for ourselves, and feeling what the experience is like?  No one can take away a first-person experience.  Everyone experiences life differently.

The fact that scientific studies to validate mindfulness are proliferating just tells me how much we REALLY do need that mindfulness!  When we learn to listen to our bodies and minds, observe the patterns that create a healthy and happy life for ourselves, we won’t need someone outside of ourselves to tell us it is OK.  We will just KNOW.

FURTHERMORE – what has happened to our sense of ethics and morality?  Are we really leaving it up to scientists to dictate which pro-social behaviours actually make our lives better?  Didn’t our grandparents have a sense of this?  Didn’t our elders and ancestors?  These basic human values come to us through stories and folklore rooted in many old cultures on the planet.  I have a feeling they knew things before the scientists did!  Do we really need a scientific study to tell us that the use of empathy towards others increases our enjoyment and success in life?  I think most people find these things out by direct life experience and trial an error.

Direct first-hand experience, trial and error and observation are an essential part of the process of mindfulness and self-exploration.  Listening to yourself is essential, it is the key.  A teacher may point or guide you in the right direction, but it is ultimately a very intimate and personal experience.  Of Course, it is wonderful and helpful to share these experiences with each other, but does it always have to be in the form of a dry, clinical study?  Let’s sing about it, tell stories and dance.  Let’s laugh and tell jokes.  We can marvel at the wonder of being human together.


Marni

1-416-910-3114

@Move_N_Music

marni@move-n-music.com
www.move-n-music.com

Marni Levitt B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed. OCT, RYT

Founder Move-N-Music
Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker

Ignite the potential for your body and mind

The Story of Move-N-Music Video
Marni Levitt Music on Soundcloud

7 Ways Starting a Blog Can Make You Happier and Healthier

Written by Kelly Paxson

Blogging has become a huge phenomenon in the past decade. People blog about everything from their lifestyle, to travel, to the practice of blogging itself! With the ability for anyone to go out and start a blog of their own, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. In fact, having one of your own can make you happier and healthier in a lot of different ways.

Today I’m going to show you 7 different ways your blog can improve all aspects of your life and your health. By the time we’re finished, you’ll be convinced that a blog is right for you.

7 Ways Your New Blog Can Make You Happier and Healthier

Here’s a question on many people’s minds: What is the definition of a blog? In the beginning, a blog was simply a collection of posts that were typically online journal entries. All of that has changed in recent years, however. Today, blogs can be about anything and anyone.

They allow people to truly express themselves in ways we never could before. It is through this, and today’s 7 different topics, that blogging improves both your mental and physical health, while also making you a happier person. Let’s find out how it works!

1. Write About Your Passions

We all love talking about something that we are passionate about. Think of your favorite topic or hobby. Now, if you were asked about it how many things come to mind to talk about right away?

One of the greatest things in life is doing what you love, so what better to blog about than something you have a passion for.

Another great thing about writing a blog on a topic that you are passionate about, is that chances are you will always have lots to say. Therefore, you will never run out of content to write about, and your readers will love having new posts to read.

2. Connect With Others

Blogging is also a great way to connect to people who can relate to the topic of your blog. For example, if your blog is about healthy cooking, you will mostly likely be connecting with people who have this similar interest.

A blog creates a community of like-minded people who can share and learn from one another. Maybe you want to write a blog about your weight loss journey.

Many other people could benefit from reading about what worked for you to lose weight. This sense of community also provides people support and advice, and you can feel good about helping others succeed.

3. Make Money With Your Blog

One of the best things about starting a blog is that you can make money writing about what you love. They say if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. So what better way to make money than by working from home!

You can make money with your blog a number of different ways:

● Affiliate Links

● Donations

● E-Books

● Hosting Webinars or Workshops

● Offering Services (Coaching, Design, Training, etc)

● Selling Ad Space

● Selling Merchandise

● Premium Content

Now money may not make you happier, but having extra money to do more of the things you love can make you happy. The extra money you make could pay for a vacation with friends or family, or even allow you to quit a job that is making you miserable.

4. Improve Yourself

Blogging can help you improve yourself and your skills. One way is by helping you hone your writing skills. Writing is one of the most important forms of communication, especially when it come to the internet.

People who have excellent communication skills experience more:

● Attraction

● Happiness

● Intimacy & Love

● Relaxation

● Success

● Self-control & Assertiveness

● Understanding & Self-understanding

Blogging also causes you to become an organized thinker. Bloggers must organize their thoughts, and translate their thoughts into a cohesive written post with structure. Being an organized thinking creates mental thought processes that are in order and have structure, which minimizes mental stress and anxiety. Less mental stress and anxiety will most certainly make you happier and healthier!

5. Shared Accountability

Blogging is also a great way to create shared accountability within an online community. For example, if you have a blog for your weight loss journey, you are constantly documenting your progress. Blogging about your progress will keep you motivated and accountable to yourself and to your readers.

As well as providing you with accountability, your blog can also help motivate people reading your story, and help keep them stay on track. This type of blog will also provide a place where people can ask you questions about your weight loss, and may be even provide useful advice for you.

6. Time For Work and Play

Now this may not be one that you think of right away, but starting a blog can give you more time for work and play. By turning your blog into your main job you become your own boss. Being your own boss means you set the schedule! Not a morning person? No worries, your work day can start whenever you want.

By setting your own schedule, you gain the opportunity to take breaks when you want for working out or meditation. By making more time for physical activity, your body will becoming healthier. Working out creates endorphins in the body and endorphins are the body’s happy drug.

You also gain the option to take days off when you want or need to, for doctors appointments or family time. You can listen to music while you work and play it as loud as you want. It’s total freedom!

Having a more flexible schedule means working hard some days and having the chance to play hard on other days. This benefit of blogging can definitely improve your entire life in a meaningful way.

7. Boost Your Career

Whether you are trying to work full-time from home with your blog or you’re a professional who likes their 9 to 5, a blog can help boost your career. With a blog that begins making money, you may have that opportunity to work from home. You may even make more money than you were at your other job.

A blog is similar to an active resume on your life and what you know about your niche topic. A successful blog can make you a well-known authority on a subject, and with this experience there are new career possibilities.

People may ask you to host webinars or come to speaking events. Your experience and knowledge becomes an asset that people will pay you for. A successful and stress-free career can make you happier and healthier!

Final Thoughts

Blogging is a viable career for anyone who has a passion and wants to be heard. More than that, it’s a practice that promotes a healthier and happier lifestyle. How does your blog make your life more fulfilling? Let us know in the comments!


 

Kelly Paxson is an experienced blogger who loves promoting the healthy and happy lifestyle that blogs provide.  You can reach Kelly at kellypaxsonllc@yahoo.com.

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Ayurvedic tips for the Fall Season

Written by the Art of Living Foundation

Autumn has arrived. Trees are turning colors, daylight is waning, and the nights are becoming cooler. Summer’s sun and heat are surrendering to the cool, soft embrace of fall weather.
At the change of seasons, we automatically change their thermostats and wardrobes. Yet, many of us do not realize the importance of changing their fitness regimen, self-care routine, and food choices.
Ritucharya: The Seasonal Routine
According to Ayurveda, seasonal and weather changes significantly affect the physical and mental body. Factors like temperature, humidity, wind, rain, and daylight hours, all influence the body’s natural cycles and vital systems. So, we must know how to adapt diet and lifestyle in order to maintain balance in digestion, sleep, immunity, and energy.
As the seasons change, so must our daily routine. This practice is known as a ritucharya. “Ritu” means “season” and “charya” means “routine”. Ritucharya is a seasonal regimen for diet and lifestyle that helps maintain health and well-being.
Autumn from Ayurveda Perspective
In Ayurveda, each season is associated with a dosha, with autumn being linked to vata dosha. The qualities of fall weather and vata dosha are dry, mobile, subtle, and cool. Plants and leaves dry up and turn color. The sun’s light is subtler. Temperatures become cooler.
In the body, excess vata manifests as dry skin, cracking joints, irregular digestion/elimination, and stiff muscles. In the mind, brisk winds and shorter days create feelings of restlessness and spiciness. Suddenly you want to do a bunch of fun projects, and find yourself starting them all, yet finishing none.
Here are five easy, effective, and enjoyable Ayurvedic self-care tips to create optimal health, vitality, and creativity in your life this fall.
Five fabulous fall self-care tips
1. Do a seasonal cleanse. As summer turns to fall, it’s important to remove excess heat from the body and mind, and prepare your immune system for winter. Observe nature and notice how trees naturally shed their leaves. Autumn is the perfect time to shed habits and foods that no longer nourish your body and mind.
2. Grounding Yoga Poses. Take a cue from nature, where her pace slows down in the amount of daylight hours and by the waning of plant life. Slow down the pace in your life. Start doing some gentle yoga practice.

3. Warm Oil Massage. The Ayurvedic fountain of youth is Abhyangha –( warm oil massage). Abhyangha pacifies the dry, subtle, and cool qualities of fall. It nourishes the body, calms the mind, relieves dry skin, improves circulation, and maintains the skin’s youthful glow. Abhyangha self-massage is easy to do before showering. A Harvest of Nourishing Foods. During autumn, nature provides the perfect foods to nourish the body and ground the mind. Enjoy the harvest of root vegetables! Roast or sauté carrots, turnips, beets, and parsnips using organic oils like coconut, olive or ghee, for extra support for the nervous system. Use spices to warm the body and stoke circulation. Enjoy kitchari once a week. Kitchari, an easy to digest dish of mung dal, rice, vegetables and spices, gently detoxes and powerfully nourishes the body.

4. A Harvest of Nourishing Foods. During autumn, nature provides the perfect foods to nourish the body and ground the mind. Enjoy the harvest of root vegetables! Roast or sauté carrots, turnips, beets, and parsnips using organic oils like coconut, olive or ghee, for extra support for the nervous system. Use spices to warm the body and stoke circulation. Enjoy kitchari once a week. Kitchari, an easy to digest dish of mung dal, rice, vegetables and spices, gently detoxes and powerfully nourishes the body.

5. Ayurvedic Date Shake. Cooler weather creates a stronger appetite. An Ayurvedic date shake is a fantastic and filling snack. Date shakes are easy to make, boost energy levels, and nourish the bone and muscle tissue. Date with tahini 5 dates, pitted 1 ½ cups cow, almond, or coconut milk 1 tbsp tahini ¼ tsp vanilla ¼ tsp cinnamon Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. This shake is perfect for vata types because it warms their delicate body type and calms an overactive mind. Tahini is high in protein and rich in calcium, potassium, Vitamin B and iron. Cinnamon improves circulation, which tends to run low in vata types. And vanilla has a relaxing effect on the mind. Fall in love with Ayurveda this fall season Celebrate fall’s colorful changes by welcoming Ayurveda into your life. Honoring baby steps when implementing change in daily habits is the best strategy to long-term success. So start with integrating 2-3 of the Ayurvedic self-care tips into your daily routine. During Autumn, many trees stop branching out and shed their leaves. With less daylight hours, it’s more effective to receive nourishment from their roots. It’s a great reminder of the sacredness of letting go. Clear your calendar to make room for rest and reflection. Reflect on what you wish to let go of in your life. Root into Ayurvedic self-care and enjoy autumn and a lifetime of health and happiness.

Interdependence

Written by Marni Levitt

In a digital-age, in the modern world, we have (or so it seems) access to so much personalized, individual choice in how we spend our time, who we interact with, and what we purchase.  In the business world, people speak about hyper-segmentation of markets, niches, and specializations.  It seems that we can get very very specific indeed about who and what we want to interact with, both in the virtual and the real world.  At the same time, in this hyper-individualized culture, there seems to be a growing unease, loneliness, disconnection, and despair.   It seems as if the time we used to use to connect with nature, our families, our friends, our selves, has all but disappeared.  Our communities, families and neighborhoods can be the fabric that holds this thing called “life” together.  Without it, or with only bits and pieces of it, daily life can seem to have less meaning, less purpose.  It is only in context of living in a way that reflects our interconnections, that we can thrive.

The great leader and mindfulness teacher, Thic Nhat Han, refers to this state of interconnection as “Interbeing”.  My yoga practice has, over and over again, helped me to get in touch with the magic web, or fabric of connections that impact my lived, daily experience.  Coming home from a yoga class, I have intuitively sensed that the plants in my apartment need watering – I have been able to “see through” the actors on TV in my favourite sitcoms, and notice them “acting” – I have been able to sense who was the right person at work to speak with in order to resolve a difficult situation.  The connection of mind, body and emotions (or spirit), through yoga and mindfulness, has facilitated my awareness of our “interbeing” with each other and our ecosystem.

These ancient, tried-tested-and-true practices (and now scientifically-studied to boot) have given me practical tools, over and over again that have dramatically improved the quality (and the intelligence!) of my life.  I hope you can enjoy some of those benefits too.

Marni

1-416-910-3114
@Move_N_Music
marni@move-n-music.com
www.move-n-music.com

Marni Levitt B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed. OCT, RYT
Founder Move-N-Music
Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker

Ignite the potential for your body and mind

The Story of Move-N-Music Video
Marni Levitt Music on Soundcloud


 

Body-Full- Ness

Written by Marni Levitt

Mindfulness has become a popular word, used widely to describe the mind’s awareness of what is happening in the present moment. A state of being that can improve our health, relationships and work. I believe it should be called ‘Body-Full- Ness’. Part of the reason the word has become so popular in modern western life is because we can relate with the word ‘mind’ that is in ‘mindfulness’. We love anything to do with thinking and cognition. Mind over matter. What I have learned from my years of self-study and learning in mindfulness meditation and personal growth, is that my emotional experience resides primarily in my body. ‘Mindfulness’ is a paying attention, not just to thoughts, but (perhaps more importantly) to the direct physical experience that locates itself in the body.

The body is the resonator for emotional experience. Like the body of my guitar that reverberates when I pluck the strings, my bodily experience resonates and responds along with my thoughts, perceptions and experiences. When I really pay attention to what is going on in my bodily sensations, and the emotions swirling inside, I have a natural built-in compass that directs my course in the day-to- day and in life. Easier said than done in a culture that so values the cognitive (thinking) aspects of experience. It is all related and interconnected. When I practise ‘mindfulness’ in my modern western lifestyle, I am getting acquainted intimately with my thoughts, but even more importantly, tuning into my body and the multiple facets of emotional experience and knowledge. Every time I do that, I access a whole self, with a full range of awareness – not only of what is going on inside myself, but what is going on around me. You could say my ‘Body-Full- Ness’ is a key that opens the door to a whole universe.

Today, see how many times you can notice physical sensations: the air going in the nostrils, the abdomen rising and falling, the feeling of your foot touching the ground with every step, the feeling of your hand touching a doorknob, the taste of the food in your mouth. Simple. Not easy, but simple. This basic awareness sets a baseline for noticing when emotional ups and downs come rolling through the body like waves in a storm.


 

Marni Levitt

1-416- 910-3114

@Move_N_Music

marni@move-n- music.com

www.move-n- music.com

 

Marni Levitt B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed. OCT, RYT

Founder Move-N- Music

Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker

 

Ignite the potential for your body and mind

The Story of Move-N- Music Video

Marni Levitt Music on Soundcloud