Tag: upward spiral

Is Yoga Medicine? Part 1 of 2

As part of our 500-hour training, I co-teach a course that I called Yoga and Mind Body Medicine. It’s a course I spent years dreaming up. My vision for it was to offer a Western science-based perspective on understanding the gross and subtle benefits of yoga on our body-mind physiology. I enlisted a colleague Dr. Lawrence Cheng—a Harvard trained integrative medicine doctor and yogi who teaches Mind-Body Medicine in medical communities—to present with me. I knew this was going to be groundbreaking.

However, when we listed this course under our Blissology Yoga school’s 500-hr training program on the Yoga Alliance website, we immediately received an email, telling us not to use the words “Medicine” or “Healing” in conjunction with Yoga.

Why is this an issue? Yoga Alliance explains that “the risk comes from suggesting that a yoga teacher or school is diagnosing and/or treating a mental or physical health condition. The words ‘heal’ or ‘healing’ imply this. These claims are within the scope of the practice of medicine and/or licensed health care professions.”

As an alternative to the word healing the phrases “improving health” and “increasing well-being” are  suggested.

This meant we had to get creative with what we called the course on Yoga Alliance’s website. Eventually, we settled on “Yoga and Western Science.

I understand that the medical community does not want people who have graduated from a 200-hour yoga training to describe themselves as healers, or treat someone with a sore back or cancer without the proper medical training nor does anyone want to be legally liable for endorsing someone as capable of healing issues for which they are not qualified.

This graph indicates the increasing amount of scientific research of yoga and meditation in the last decade

Yet, the data about the evidence-based healing benefits of yoga and meditation is increasing with each year. The benefits are so real that it is getting harder to dismiss all yoga as a “quack science.” I would love to see a day in the future when well qualified yogis (and doctors) will be able to claim that yoga is both “healing” and “medicine.”

Will this ever happen? Skeptics do not think so and go to long lengths to tell us why yoga is not healing, or medicine. In his article titled “Yoga Woo“, Stephen Novella, a clinical neurologist at the Yale School of medicine writes, “Yoga is simply exercise plus a lot of ‘Woo.'”

“Yoga, if practiced responsibly, seems to be a reasonably effective form of stretching and exercise. There is insufficient evidence, however, to conclude that it is any superior to any other form of exercise of the same duration and intensity. There are concerns about the safety of yoga, as it often involves extreme stretching or poses that the average person might find not only difficult but physically harmful.”

I’ll share more of my thoughts on this topic in Part 2 of this blog. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you, what is your opinion? Is Yoga Medicine or not? Should the word healing be used by some practitioners of yoga?

Blissology Project 2018 Online Calendar

Welcome to the Blissology Project Online Calendar.

The Blissology Project is about making happiness a habit by committing to 6 Big easy Bliss Commitments for 2 weeks.

Join the fun! Share your thoughts, photos and progress with this epic community and let’s create an upward spiral together! “Happiness is Best when Shared!”

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group for our local Blissology Teachers our Global Blissology Project event.

Click on the date below to see the what to expect for yoga, high prana food recipes, the wild card and social media event timings:

Mon Jan 22
Tue Jan 23
Wed Jan 24
Thur Jan 25
Fri Jan 26
Sat Jan 27
Sun Jan 28
Mon Jan 29
Tue Jan 30
Wed Jan 31
Thu Feb 1
Fri Feb 2
Sat Feb 3
Sun Feb 4

We’ll keep updating this calendar as we go so make sure to check in daily for a new dose of 6 Big Easy commitments.

Blissology Project: Day 14 – Sunday, February 4th

This is Day 14 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

The last day of the Blissology Project 2018 is upon us! You’ve put so much time and energy forth to make happiness a habit in your life. Feel grateful for whatever commitment you were able to put forth and carry the good vibes you’ve cultivated into the rest of your life!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Double Pigeon (Agnistambhasana)
  2. Flying Pigeon (Eka Pada Galavasana)
  3. Corpse (Savasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your flexibility and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

*Special Announcement: Eoin will be hosting a Facebook Live Super Soul Sunday yoga class. Tune in on the Blissology Facebook Page at 10am PST on Sunday, February 4th to get the good vibes flowing!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

You’ve learned so many different meditation techniques and practices from an incredible array of Blissologists. Use your Wise Guide Inside to take 5-minutes to meditate on your own with whatever feels good!

Nature Appreciation

  • Go camping. Even if you can’t go today plan a trip in the near future, even if it’s just for one night. Consider it a celebration of your completion of the Blissology Project!
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation

Food Awareness

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie:

Tastes like dessert but healthy enough to drink for breakfast, or as a post yoga rejuvenator.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 tbsp raw almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp greens powder. We like pranin organics, or vitamineral greens

4 – 6 oz water//’

4 – 6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (store bought or homemade)

¼ of a small sized avocado (like a hass avocado)

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

sweeten to taste with raw honey

1 tbsp raw cacao nibs

2 – 4 ice cubes

Method:

  • Add all ingredients except the cacao nibs to a blender.
  • Pulse until smooth and creamy.
  • Then, add the cacao nibs and blend for another 5 – 10 seconds to break up the nibs into little bits.
  • Pour into a glass.
  • Enjoy.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Reflection Meditation. In Savasana position place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Allow space for any feelings and emotions of the last two weeks of the Blissology Project to arise. Offer appreciation and gratitude for your commitment to this program in whatever capacity you were able to contribute. You are more than enough!

Wild Card

  • Have a dance party! Either on your own, with family and friends, or with your Bliss Tribe celebrate your commitment to the Blissology Project. Turn on your favourite music and let loose!

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Blissology Project: Day 13 – Saturday, February 3rd

This is Day 13 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

Don’t let the 13 sway you, this is a day full of all kinds of luck and blessings. You’ve almost made it to the end of the Blissology Project and you’re feeling embodied in the energy of the Upward Spiral. Let’s carry these good vibes forward today!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Side Lunge (Skandasana)
  2. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
  3. Eka Pada Koundinyasana II

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your flexibility and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Deepen into the groove of meditation with this 6-minute Meditation for People Who Don’t Meditate. Enjoy!

Nature Appreciation

  • Eat a meal outside today. Even if it’s cold go for a walk with a warm thermos of soup. If it’s warm where you live savour lying on the grass or beach with the sun beaming down on you while you munch.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Chia Pudding:

This is both breakfast and dessert all in one and it is delicious.

¼ cup chia seeds

½ cup hot water

1 to 1 1/2 cup almond milk (I prefer to use homemade almond milk) but otherwise try to find a creamy unsweetened almond milk

1 – 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup

½ tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

½ tsp cardamom powder or cardamom seeds ground finely into a powder

1 tsp Coconut butter.

Optional: 1 tsp rose water

 

  1. Pour hot water over chia seeds and mix thoroughly.  Soak in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight to make a thick gelatinous chia gel.
  2. In a bowl or in a blender, mix in all ingredients.  Blend lightly and taste.  Adjust for sweetness.
  3. To serve, garnish with some cardamom powder, rose petals and mint leaves, or any seasonal fruit.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • When you find yourself in a bad situation today do your best to take a few deep breaths before reacting. Ask yourself, “What can I learn?” When you look back at the situation without emotion later what will you be grateful for?

Wild Card

  • Cook a meal for a loved one. You could even make your favourite meal and share the experience of mindful eating together.

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!

Blissology Project: Day 12 – Friday, February 2nd

This is Day 12 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

Can you believe it’s the end of the second week of the Blissology Project. We’ve infused ourselves with so much Bliss and Joy let’s carry this forward into the last few days!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
  2. Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
  3. Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you feel your balance and strength just aren’t there today then insert a pose or two that feel good in your body.

Bonus: Explore your body in new ways with this Full Body Opening and Peace Finding Flow with Blissologist Rhyanna Watson!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Take a few minutes to relax and centre yourself with Blissologist Leanne Hembrow in her 6-minute Relaxation Meditation. Enjoy the Bliss Vibes!

Nature Appreciation

  • Browse the internet for pictures of the wonders of the world or current environmental issues. Bonus points if you visit one of these wonders or take action to help the environment.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Pineapple + Basil Cooler:

Full of digestive enzymes, pineapple in the warmer months detoxifies and cools the body off excess heat. The lime and cayenne also help to boost a sluggish liver.

Ingredients:

1 pineapple, peeled, and cut into large chunks, discard the hard center.

8 fresh basil leaves

juice from 1 lime

Small pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt

Small pinch of cayenne

Bit of raw honey if you need it.

 

 

  • Blend pineapple with tiny pinch of salt in a high speed blender.
  • Add basil leaves, lightly blend.
  • Drink at room temperature.  

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Gratitude requires humility, which the dictionary defines as being “modest and respectful.” Take some time to reflect on how you’re already a humble being and maybe aspects of your life where you could improve.

Wild Card

  • Tell a joke to someone. Really take some time to research and find the perfect one. Then deliver it with skill and flare!

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!

Blissology Project: Day 11 – Thursday, February 1st

This is Day 11 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

It’s the beginning of a new month and we’ve just transitioned from a Full Moon. The energy is potent to continue creating an Upward Spiral in your life!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Standing Big Toe (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)
  2. Heron Pose (Krounchasana)
  3. Compass Pose (Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you can’t do a pose then insert one that feels good in your body.

Bonus: Enjoy Shineologist Ann Green’s Forest Flow yoga!

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Infuse peace and joy into your life with this Loving Kindness meditation by Blissologist Lang Charters!

Nature Appreciation

  • Walking meditation. Find a peaceful spot out in the natural world where you can mindfully walk. Focus on each step you take. Feel the subtle sensations in your body. Notice your tendency to walk fast and rush the experience. Slow down and savour!
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awareness

Vegan Pesto:

1 cup fresh kale (if you have leftover steamed kale, you can also use that, but fresh is better)

1 cup basil leaves (fresh)

1-2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2/3 cup nuts (pine nuts are traditional, but walnut and cashew nuts are nice for variety)

3-4 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine the kale, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and nuts, pulsing just until coarsely chopped.
  2. Slowly add olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper, blending just until desired consistency is reached.
  3. For a thinner, saucier pesto, add more olive oil or other liquid.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude and Wild Card

  • Give to someone less fortunate than you. Is there a homeless person in your community who you could have a five minute conversation with to show you’re grateful for their existence. Get creative in the ways you can give gratitude and see how much you receive back!

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!

 

 

Blissology Project: Day 10 – Wednesday, January 31st

This is Day 10 of our two weeks to Commit to Bliss. The Blissology Project will run from Monday, January 22nd until Sunday, February 4th 2018.

It is all about making happiness a habit and creating an Upward Spiral of positivity in our lives through the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments.

It’s Hump Day in the week – we have some awesome Bliss Commitments that will leave you feeling pumped for life!

Here’s a list of Blissology Teachers you can connect with or join our Global Blissology Project event on FB.

Today’s Bliss Commitments are:

Yoga poses to be included in today’s practices are:

  1. Chair (Utkatasana)
  2. Boat (Navasana)
  3. Headstand (Sirsasana)

*Note: We realize these are some challenging poses! Do your best with where your practice is today. If you can’t do a Headstand then insert an inversion of your choice that feels good in your body.

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtags #blissologyproject + #blissarmy + #upwardspiral

Meditation

Invite grace and loving kindness into your day with this Metta SHiNE meditation by Blissologist Ann Green!

Nature Appreciation

  • Tonight is the Full Moon. Go outside to enjoy the moon at its most full and radiant. Allow this time of transition and intention to reflect on your Life Mission.
  • Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #natureappreciation 

Food Awaereness

Simple Miso soup with Tofu and Seasonal Veggies:

Serves 3 – 4

This is one of our favourite weekday evening meals. It is simple and nourishing, full of vital plant minerals and our son loves it also, especially served on top of warm brown rice.  The seaweed if you can find it is lubricating and healing to the gut and adds a lovely salty flavor to the soup.  

 

 1 – 2 tbsp EV coconut oil or cold pressed sesame oil

3 Scallions thinly sliced

3 Carrots: peeled and thinly sliced into half moon

3/4 cup broccoli florets

3 “ long piece of daikon radish: peeled and thinly sliced into half moons

8 – 10 Shitake Mushrooms: cleaned with a brush, torn or thinly sliced

½ “ Fresh ginger: very thinly sliced

1 package organic Silken Tofu: cubed

3 cups Veggie or chicken broth infused with some wakame.  i.e soak the dry seaweed into the broth.

1 cup water

Fresh white or brown miso paste (buy an organic brand, from the refrigerated section of your health food store)

Cooked short grain brow rice.

Gomashio (a mixture of sesame seeds and sea salt) and nutritional yeast to garnish.

 

  • Warm oil in a soup pot until oil is hot.  Reduce heat to medium / medium low.
  • Add carrots, radish, scallions and ginger and cook until slightly softened.
  • Now add mushrooms and saute for another minute or so.
  • Pour in the broth and stir until warm.
  • Now add in the silken tofu.   
  • Let the veggies cook until softened but still al dente.
  • Now make the miso paste. In a separate cup, take 2 tbsp of the miso paste in a ½ cup of warm broth. Mix well until smooth and not lumpy. Slowly add this paste into the soup pot.  Let the soup warm gently for another 2 – 3 minutes, but do not bring to a boil. Add water if you need to thin the soup more.
  • To serve. Place a ½ cup of warm cooked rice in a bowl. Top with the veggies, tofu and broth.
  • Garnish with gomashio and possibly a little bit of nutritional yeast (our son loves this).
  • Enjoy.  

Don’t forget to share any photos on social media using hashtag #blissologyproject + #highpranafood

Gratitude

  • Vow to not complain, criticize, or gossip today. Rather try to be grateful and see the lesson to be learned in all situations. If you slip up forgive yourself and keep going. Notice how much energy you were spending on negative thoughts.

Wild Card

  • Talk to a plant! When you direct loving words to your plant notice how it soaks up the positivity like sunlight. Helping both of you grow in the right direction.

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Don’t forget to Share your experience with the 6 Big Easy Bliss Commitments in the Global Blissology Project event page.

“Happiness is Best when Shared.”

Have fun and enjoy the journey to awakening a deep joy within you!