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

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

How to Reduce Joint Pain Without The Use Of Medication

Written by: Sophie Addison

Whether your joint pain is just temporary, due to a weird sleeping position or working out incorrectly, or more chronic, like the kind that comes from arthritis, it interferes with your daily routine and makes even simple movements more difficult. Although your first instinct might be to reach toward the medicine cabinet, many of the medications used to treat joint pain have unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects.

Taking an ibuprofen now and then is probably okay, but doctors warn these anti-inflammatory drugs can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers over time while stronger medications to manage chronic pain often include steroids or prescription opioids. Given the recent warnings about over-prescribed addictive opiates and an increase in overdoses in recent years, finding natural solutions may be the safest and longest lasting way to manage joint pain.

 Exercise

Physical activity is “crucial” to relieving joint pain advises the Mayo Clinic. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/arthritis/art-20047971) It helps manage weight, and those extra pounds can put more pressure on your joints to aggravate the pain. However, the benefits are much further reaching. Studies have shown vigorous exercise that gets your heart pumping release endorphins that bind to pain receptors in the brain, actually reducing pain. The key is finding safe exercises that won’t put pressure on delicate areas. The Mayo Clinic says to stay away from high-impact activities like running and jumping and stick to low-impact activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and stretching.

 Get a massage

Many people see massage as an alternative medicine or simply a way to indulge and relax, but not as a necessary medicine. However, for those with joint pain, massage may be a much-needed relief and natural remedy for joint pain. Even the Arthritis Foundation says regular massage is a powerful tool to reduce pain, increased range of motion, better grip strength, and many other psychological and physical benefits. Specifically, the American Massage Therapy Association writes that studies have shown massage to be particularly effective in reducing lower back and neck pain.

 Practice Gentle Yoga

If you’ve been following Glozine health news updates, (https://www.glozine.com/lifestyle/health) you know yoga has many physical and mental benefits, and relieving joint pain may be one of them. Some are concerned some yoga poses may be difficult or dangerous for people with joint pain, especially because many require a good sense of balance. However, John Hopkins Arthritis Center published a recent study showing gentle yoga poses, typical to what you’d find in a beginner class. They determined yoga was safe and beneficial, even for people with arthritis as long as the positions were gentle and the participants used adaptions to meet their individual flexibility, like blocks and straps.

 Meditate

Although many people find it hard to focus, that’s exactly why meditation is beneficial. Sitting down to notice your body, thoughts, and breathing might not come naturally at first, but over time, meditation can change your brain to reduce pain dramatically according to Psychology Today. Studies show meditation activates and develops the brain so much so it can reduce chronic pain intensity by 57 percent and even up to 90 percent of people who meditate regularly throughout their lives.

 Get enough omega 3s

Omega 3s are an essential fatty acid, one our bodies can’t produce naturally. You can get it from fish, and some plant based products like flaxseed and olive oil. However, most Americans don’t get enough of it and load up on omega 6 instead, which can contribute to inflammation according to the Arthritis Foundation. They go on to explain that studies have documented the importance of omega 3s to reduce inflammation and some of the stiffness and tenderness that come along with joint problems. To get the benefits, and all the omega 3s you need to stay healthy, they recommend eating two 3-ounce servings of fish a week and to talk to your doctor about taking additional supplements.

 Acupuncture

Many see acupuncture as an alternative medicine, one not completely backed by science, as demonstrated by Harvard Health Publication’s advice that it’s “worth a try.” Although not a particularly encouraging suggestion, studies do show acupuncture helps relieve pain for many people. An analysis of 29 studies involving about 18,000 people found that acupuncture provided joint pain relief for most, (https://www.jointhealthmagazine.com/jointrelief )even reducing it by 50 percent and the Arthritis Foundation also recommends it as a natural treatment.

 Take turmeric supplements

The New York Times blog Well interviewed Dr. Minerva Santos to find natural remedies for joint pain, and turmeric shows lots of promise. Curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that studies show work as well as ibuprofen in treating pain, and at least one study showed taking curcumin in capsules daily for up to three months was safe. Dr. Santos recommends 1,000 milligrams a day and choosing a capsule that also comes with piperine to aid in absorption.

Sometimes joint pain is so unbearable people need the instant relief medication can bring. However, in most cases medication doesn’t treat the underlying cause of pain – it just gets rid of it temporarily, so when you stop taking the medication, the pain returns. These natural solutions may provide a more lasting, and safer way to treat joint pain, whether chronic or temporary. If you have chronic pain or an injury, make sure you speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement or trying a new workout.

References:

1. http://dealpain.net/2016/03/10/7-ways- to-reduce- joint-inflammation- and-relieve- joint-pain/

2.www.socialandhealthservices.com/general-health/stiff- knees-7- simple-ways- you-can- banish-joint- pain-for- good/

Author Bio:

Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skincare and beauty. She has posted articles on tips for fine lines under eyes, best eye creams, weight loss and fitness news. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening music. You can also contact her on Facebook, and Pinterest.

Heart Intelligence

Written by Marni Levitt

One of the greatest teachings of Yoga that I learned through my teachers at Sivananda,and have been learning experientially as I live life – is the infinite capacity of the heart’s intelligence. On the first day I learned to meditate, at least 10 years ago, on a Yoga retreat, one of the teachers explained to me the difference between the way the mind and the heart process information. The conscious thinking mind has a certain capacity to think, understand, analyze and process, but that capacity is limited. It can only go so far. For sure, the mind can help us understand and achieve many things – but there is another kind of intelligence that goes way further. WAY further. That is the intelligence of the heart.

I remember my teacher at the retreat drawing a picture on a piece of paper – a circle that represented the intelligence of the mind – then, he drew another far bigger circle around that, encompassing the mind….he said, ‘the bigger circle represents your heart’.

The heart can understand, sense, intuit, and connect with a vast amount of information (in many different forms) that cannot possibly be understood or processed by the conscious mind. The conscious mind naturally has to be selective about what information is taken in, processed and used, in order for us to be able to live our daily lives. The heart, however, can hold, and connect with limitless volumes of material.

Sometimes all we can do is ‘sense’ that it is there, without fully understanding all the bits and pieces. This large capacity allows us to love, to feel compassion, empathy – and to hold another person’s perspective, feelings or experience in the same space that we hold our own. WOW. Incredible.

Time and time again Yoga practise has helped me tap into that larger, intuitive intelligence – as a result I have made connections with information, or with others that I would not have otherwise. I have created magnificent works of art (songs, paintings, poetry), and have been able to come to very useful decisions that I would never have arrived at simply through logical reasoning. The implications of heart intelligence are phenomenal. The Dalai Lama certainly agrees – have a look at this quote – as does the Heart Math Institute.

May your heart open to its potential this summer.

Much love, 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

SRI SRI Wisdom to Health and Happiness

The 10 Steps To Happiness by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

1) Reduce Your Needs & Increase Your responsibilities
If you sit and make a note of all your responsibilities and all your needs, and if you find that your needs are more than your responsibilities, then life will lead to misery. But if you take more responsibility and have fewer needs, then you will be happy. This is the secret.
When you take more responsibility and your needs are less, everything simply comes to you – enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, etc.

2) Look At People Who Have Bigger Problems Than You
Once a wise man drew a line on a board and told his student to make the line shorter without touching or erasing it. How would you do it? You have to shorten a line without touching it.
The student then drew a much longer line underneath that line. So, the line automatically became shorter. The lesson here is that if your difficulties appear to be very big, lift your eyes because you are only focused on yourself.

If you lift your eyes up and look at those who are in a worse condition than you, you will suddenly feel that your burden is not as bad as you thought it was. If you think you have some big problem, look at people who have a greater problem. Suddenly, you will get a confidence that my problem is much smaller, and I can manage it.

So to be happy is to see those who have greater problems, then your problems will appear smaller. The moment your problems appear smaller, you will get the energy and confidence to deal with it or solve it. In simple words, serve those who are in greater need.

3) Don’t Be Unhappy About Being Unhappy
Never mind if you are unhappy for a little while, so what? If you think I should never be unhappy, then that becomes a cause of unhappiness.

4) Drop Unpleasant Memories Of The Past & Live In The Present Moment
How can you be happy if you’re holding onto unpleasant memories of the past? Unpleasant memories are the biggest hindrance for you to be in the present. The nature of the mind is such, it leaves all the pleasant memories and it grabs onto those few unpleasant events and chews on it. We have advanced in technology but we have not used that technology for our mind. If you are happy now, the past will not torment you and the future will take care of itself.

5) Know That Everything Is Temporary
None of the events are permanent; pleasant or unpleasant, all pass and move away. When you realize that everything is temporary, and it all fades away, then you can be perpetually happy.

6) Dedicate You Life To A Larger Goal
The key to happiness in life is to not stay stuck in ‘Me, me, & mine’. Dedicate your life to some larger goal or to the service of others around you, then you will find that only happiness flows through your life.

7) Take The Decision That ‘I Will Not Allow Any Situation To Bog Down My Happiness’

You Have To Take This Decision, Nobody Else Can Take It For You.
There is nothing great in smiling when everything is normal, and when everything is going the way you want. But if you awaken the valor inside of you, and say, ‘Come what may, I am going to keep smiling’, you will notice tremendous energy rise from within you. Then problems will feel like nothing; they just come and disappear.

Being happy, keeping the environment around you happy, and not losing your smile come what may, is the real sign of enlightenment.

8) At All Costs, Save Your Mind!
In your day to day life, people come and put some negativity in you, and that makes your mind and your determination shaky. Don’t let this happen. Put a filter to your ears and just smile through it.
It is natural and common that people will put out some negativity, but when you are deeply connected with your Self, and when you have intuition, then you will just smile through all such incidents. You will put a filter in your ears.

That is how the world is. There are some pleasant and some unpleasant things. How we manage them and keep our direction, that is what is most important.

9) Have Faith Because Faith By Itself Can Make You So Happy
What you need to remember at all times is this, ‘There is someone who loves me very dearly, and is taking care of me at all times. He cannot be without me and He is capable of removing any lack that I have’.
Knowing this too brings such joy in one’s life.

10) Share Your Happiness With Others & It Will Grow
When you are content; when you are happy, you want to share it.
The nature of joy is to share with others. Joy has the tendency to spread, and whenever a person is genuinely happy and joyful from within, they want to just share it with the whole world.

When the spine is flexible, the mind is flexible.

Written by: Marni Levitt

Did You Know?

The body is part of the brain!  The spinal cord goes all the way down the back.  The spinal cord is like the fiber optic cables for the internet.  It is the passage-way, the pathway for the electrical impulses from the brain to be delivered to different parts of the body, and the way that feedback is delivered back to the brain.

When the spine is flexible, the mind is flexible.  

When the body moves, stretches and bends, the mind does too!  It is then possible to think of more solutions, more innovations – more connections, than could have ever been dreamt of without that movement.

I have experienced it firsthand over and over again (the idea that comes to me suddenly while walking outside or biking, the inspiration to solve a problem that I receive right after a yoga sequence, or the songs that I write in my mind while I am dancing!)  But don’t take it only from me, there are countless studies on mind-body relationship now that point to similar results.

These results can help your camp staff work better together – and your campers express their best, while having fun!

 

 


Find out more about Marni’s programs by checking out her website; www.move-n-music.com

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

1-416-910-3114
Skype: Marni.Levitt1
marni@move-n-music.com
www.move-n-music.com

Delicious Ayurvedic Probiotic Drink Recipe!

Written by: The Art of Living Foundation

Fasting is a process that proves to be an effective method to ignite the digestive Agni or the body’s inner fire and burn off the accumulated impurities and amas or toxic wastes in the body. Amas are the root cause of almost all diseases. Fasting rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit entirely. It nurtures general wellness by discarding toxins and gas, and augmenting mental lucidity. It also makes the physical state light and easy.
In Ayurveda fasting depends on the body constitution based on dosha and its dependent cleansing needs. In fact it does not support the route of completely abstaining from food or water for long time periods as it leads to disharmony. It also drains the dhatus or body tissues. This is why Ayurveda advocates more of regular, short span detoxifying fasts than infrequent long drawn hunger strikes. This type of fasting is non-stressful and gentle. It is very convenient and can be easily integrated into one’s schedule. Such fasting boosts the body energy level and cleanses the body beautifully.

From a scientific standpoint. Food literally is like input or information for the body. Like any other form of matter it consists of atomic particles in a specific arrangement. These get broken down by the various elements of Agni comprising of enzymes, hydrochloric acid, etc., and reform new cells. Simply put, during the process of fasting the quantity of the input in the digestive system tends to disintegrate and then reassembles. They do this by absorbing the nutrients. Major organs such as the stomach, intestines, pancreas, and gall bladder get ample rest and this swiftly leads to their revival. The process strengthens digestion and bolsters the immunity of a person. According to Ayurveda, fasts help in maintaining balance within the body. Otherwise while curing one condition, one can set off another.
There are four main classifications of fasting according to the ancient practices of Ayurveda. These are decided based on factors such as one’s body structure and composition, digestive power, age and toxin level. One must also check the overall health status like if one is suffering from any ailments or health conditions. Due to this reason professional recommendation is important.
The type and style of fasting is different for different individuals. A fast pattern based on a proper Ayurveda diet is always customized to suit the person. There are four distinct classifications based on the kind of intake that goes into the system. These include firstly consuming fruits, veggies and juices only. The second type involves consuming light foods like khichdi, mashed rice, and kanji. The third is completely staying away from all solid foods and drinking fluids like water and herbal teas. Water can be consumed during the first three. The fourth and most severe is completely abstaining from food and water for a short spell.
In fact during normal meals too, Ayurveda doesn’t encourage excess eating. In fact one should consume only the amount that can be cupped by one’s hands. If we eat too much the excess amount is partially digested and stays lodged permanently. Heavy meals put a strain on the digestive tract and get stored as unwanted flab in the body.
Detoxification fasts in Ayurveda are streamlined with body types. The three doshas namely Vatta, Pitta and Kapha have their very own specifications. During fasts Vatta types can add warming spices, starchy vegetables, a little oil and fruits like avocado and bananas to their meal plan. Vata types are generally lean with a dry, cold dosha and their bodies don’t gel with total fasting. Due to the excess of air and ether lack of food can make them very weak.

Those with Pitta dosha can try lime juice with a dash of coconut water and sprinkled with cooling coriander leaves. Kaphas can also integrate warming spices into the diet but must avoid starch and oil. These two types have larger builds and more energy with weigh gain tendencies. Both can benefit from aggressive abstinence. Generally these fasts don’t last more than a couple of days.
Ayurveda supports regularly going in for partial fasting. This can be done for at least a day or so once every week. This is known as a mono diet. One can drink plenty of salt-free fluids like water, vegetable juice, raw milk boiled with ginger and yogurt mixed with cumin powder and water. A single light meal at noon is ideal. This can consist of milk, rice, yogurt, veggies, fruits, yellow lentil garnished with pepper, ginger, cumin, etc. One can also extend a mono diet for 2-5 days if one can manage the same. It will result in complete detoxification. One should not be tempted to snack. The value of hunger translates to a positive effect for the body at the end of the day. During the time of the fast one must maintain a certain intake of water. Hence one should frequently drink water and expel the same from the body. This is also a technique for discharging the toxins.
Change in seasons is also great for fasting according to the principles of Ayurveda. Fasting can be done any time but usually the cusp between winter and spring is a great time for any kind of cleansing therapy. It helps one to release the toxins that build up in the body over the harsh winter months. Fasting is not just cutting food but also a time for breathing exercises and positive thinking.
This is how a detoxifying fast can completely purify and energize the body and mind in order to promote fitness, wellness and contentment.

Carrot kanji (probiotic drink)recipe | gajar kanji recipe
**prep time
15 mins
total time
15 mins
carrot kanji recipe – a fermented north indian probiotic drink made from carrots, beetroot and ground mustard and water.carrots, beetroot and ground mustard and water.
serves: 2 litres of kanji drink
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
5-6 medium sized carrots/gajar
2 small beetroots
8 cups water – approx 2 litres of water (boiled & filtered or purified)
1 or 1.5 tsp red chili powder
3 tbsp mustard powder (dry grind 2 or 2.5 tbsp mustard)
black salt as required
how to make the recipe:
rinse and then peel the carrots and beetroots.
chop into long pieces.
mix all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic jars.
cover with a lid or muslin cloth and keep the jars in the sun for 3-4 days.
stir with a wooden spoon everyday before keeping the jars back in the sun.
when the kanji tastes sour, it means the drink is fermented.
Serve carrot kanji straightway or refrigerate.

Enjoy!

Words that start with ‘M’: Mindfulness & Mental Health

By Marni Levitt

Mindfulness and Yoga changed my life.

Not only in terms of REDUCING STRESS and increasing intuition and creativity, BUT ALSO: they are tools that systematically helped me to become a BETTER PERSON, AND helped me to discover my true GIFTS and TALENTS to share with others, and to inspire the best in them, through my LIFE’S WORK and MISSION. I want that for you, your students, your clients, your team, your family.

Mindfulness and Yoga are tools that have had a huge impact on my life – in fact, they have completely altered my patterns of relating to my self, other people and the world at large. I have literally experienced miracles as a direct result of my practise of yoga and mindfulness. I have connected with just the right person at the right time (when I needed something), I have had powerful access to my intuition that has helped me to solve significant problems at work and in life. I have sensed that something important was about to happen, before it did. It has seemed almost as though, as I get to know myself deeply (the patterns of my thoughts, emotions, body sensations and energies), then I automatically know the world, and other people deeply. I believe that’s because I am in the universe, but the universe is also in me. This direct experiential knowledge (in addition to the mountains of growing scientific evidence) has huge implications for individuals, families, organizations and businesses.

In maintaining my own mental health, mindfulness has acted as a powerful compliment to aerobic exercise, healthy eating & cooking, gardening and hobbies, talk therapy, a community of friends and neighbours and self-expression through music, dance, art and writing. I have discovered that being mentally healthy means getting in touch with the unique gifts and talents I was born with, that I need to share. When I am not able to share my gifts or my brilliance, (ie. music!), then they get stuck inside me, and it doesn’t feel good. When I share them, I self-actualize while simultaneously inspiring and moving other people. Health for self means health for others. There are exponential returns when I feel I am living my life in alignment with my truth, and my true calling, and when I am present. Being present in my moment-by-moment bodily, thinking and emotional experience, is something I have learned through the practise of mindfulness.

I can’t count how many times magical connections have been made when I trust the creative process that is life! I believe that mental health is just as much a social responsibility, as it is an individual responsibility. The solutions lie in how we relate with ourselves, and each other, in a collective context. Culture is the means by which each individual relates with the whole. Move-N-Music aims to be a leader in healthy-culture creation. The culture I envision is one grounded in Mindfulness. I use cultural arts (singing, drumming, dancing, spoken word poetry, storytelling) to promote this culture. I believe we are at a turning point in our world, and we must move swiftly towards a more productive and healthy way of being. Our very ecosystems, economic systems, healthcare, education and business systems are at stake if we do not change and move towards health. All of these systems impact your own personal wellness, success and happiness directly.

Each person is part-and-parcel of the larger whole. So many jobs and workplaces structured in our modern world do not allow people to use or express their natural gifts. In the world of public school teaching, the resources were often scarce, and the systemic stresses in the system so significant, that sometimes I could not even teach music, I was just maintaining safety in the room. As human beings with great potential, I believe we can do much better in structuring our systems to facilitate real growth! Mindfulness is one of the tools that can give us back what is natural and inherent in all of us: the power to be authentically human, and to thrive.


Want to learn more about The Move-N-Music Story? Click here:

Want to introduce habits to foster Mental Health for your school, workplace, family or organization?

Move-N-Music offers Mind-Body Breaks Presentation & Workshops: An Inspiring and motivating start to creating positive physical and mental health

Activities include:

-Singing, Rhythmic Clapping, Movement
-Music, Sound and Breathing Games
-Fun Contests & Imaginative Play
-Singing Bowl demonstration
-Stretching, Guided Relaxation and Visualization

Email me marni@move-n-music.com or call 416-910-3114 for more information.

It is my mission to support you.
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
Arts & Wellness Educator, Animator, Speaker

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd

You Are What You Eat:  Written by The Art of Living Foundation.

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd: Also Know as Karela or Ampalaya

1.Relieves Cold:
Ampalaya or Karela is used in treating fever and cough caused by cold. It has anti-inflammatory properties and that is why it is used against mucus accumulation and chest congestion.

2.Disinfectant:
It is used against bacteria as it has strong powerful antibiotic properties. It can be used as a disinfectant for minor wounds, burns and scrapes.

3.Lowers Blood Sugar Level:
Karela is used against diabetes. It is able to reduce the blood sugar level and prevents other side-effects caused by high blood sugar.

4.Immunity Booster:
Bittergourd removes free radicals from the body and fights infections which can lead to tissue and organ damage.

5.Lowers Blood Pressure:
It lowers the blood pressure because it is able to relax the vascular system. Lowering the high blood pressure is an important function because it can protect people from having a heart attack or stroke.

6.Headache Relief:
When the muscles around brain are under pressure, they cause headaches. Ampalaya reduces the pressure and alleviates headaches. Stress usually causes the pressure but ampalaya also helps in relieving tension and stress.

7.Improves Psoriasis:
People who suffer from psoriasis have confirmed that this plant has helped them a lot. Ampalaya juice can also help with fungal infections as athlete’s foot and fungi.

8.Spleen and liver Protection:
Overuse of alcohol and toxins can lead to damaged spleen and liver. This vegetable can regenerate and repair tissues in the body which were damaged by toxins. Ampalaya contains useful enzymes which maintain proper spleen and liver function.

9.Weight Control:
Obesity is linked with numerous health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many others. A study showed that Karela juice is effective in preventing fat cells from forming.

10.Eye Problems:
Karela is rich in beta-carotene and other minerals which help with eye problems.

Punjabi Karela Sabzi Recipe

prep time: 10 mins cook time: 20 mins total time: 30 mins
serves: 2-3

karela sabzi – dry bitter gourd curry made in north indian style.
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml):
5-6 medium sized karela/bitter gourd
2 or 3 medium sized onions
½ tsp turmeric powder or haldi
¼ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp garam masala powder
¼ or ½ tsp amchur powder or dry mango powder
2 tbsp oil
salt
how to make the recipe:
Peel the karelas. Wash them in running water. Chop them. You can even slice them. Remove the seeds.
Slice the onions too.
In a kadai or pan, heat oil. Add the chopped or sliced bitter gourds.
Saute the bitter gourd on medium heat for 2 minutes. Lower the flame and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
Add the sliced onions.
Mix the sliced onions with the bitter gourd.
Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.
Stir. Cook the sabzi without any lid for 7-8 minutes till the both the karela and onions are cooked and sauted well. The onions will become brown. Keep on stirring in between. Check the seasoning. Add more red chili powder or salt if required.
When the Karela sabzi is ready, sprinkle the amchur and garam masala powder. Mix it with the entire sabzi.
Garnishing Karela Sabzi with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves is optional.
Serve Karela Sabzi with phulkas, parathas and a bowl of fresh plain curd/yoghurt or sweetened curd/yoghurt. Karela Sabzi also goes very well as a side vegetable dish or accompaniment with the combination of dal rice or kadhi chawal ( punjabi curd kadhi with rice)