Sunday, May 22, 2011


Bikram yoga changed my life. I have said this many times, and it is true. Bikram Choudhury put together of sequence of 26 Hatha postures and began to teach them in a 105F room. The claim is that this sequence systematically works all parts of the body including internal organs, veins, ligaments and muscles. The heat is intended to warm the body to make it malleable and to sweat out toxins. After my first class several years ago I was hooked and within a month I felt completely different. My core strength had improved and my stress level had dramatically decreased. Then I moved to Salem, Bikram.

All types of yoga have the ability to change us. I like yoga that provides exercise but at the same time is a meditation. Meditation because when our mind is calm and open we can accomplish goals we once thought impossible. Part of this meditation is control of the breath which leads to control of the mind. When you are in control of your mind and emotions you have great power to go into the world and be successful.

Yoga also helps maintain a healthy flow of energy in the body. The result for me has been improved physical and mental health.

I was so excited to find "Hot Yoga" just next door to the clinic at Simply Blissed! While not the 26 Bikram style poses, the Hatha poses are led in a 100+F room and the experience is similar. The classes are packed, which shows you there is something to this yoga. It leaves one feeling so darn good.

Anyway, it got me wondering about how animals meditate and if they need meditation. I suppose they are much less affected by the stress of money and reputation than we are. Perhaps the sunbathing of my cat under the most beautifully blooming flowers is his meditation. A colleague of mine believes dogs walk to meditate or meditate on their walk. Exercise does seem to balance most dogs.

I am sure everyone has heard of Doga? Yoga with your dogs...anyone up for starting this in Salem????

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Silver Falls, OR and Sheeba and buddies

May Day

May 1st marks the end of a half a year of winter! Boy is this ever true this year in Willamette Valley, six months of cold and rainy. At least today I could see my shadow for most of the day and was able to get some color back in my cheeks. However, my bare feet remain a blinding, reflective, glowing, fluorescent bright white. If winter is over then why am I still bringing in the baby tomato plants over night so they don’t freeze?!

Hope this glorious day finds everyone well. With each passing year I cherish life, and all it has to offer, more and more.  Is this normal “getting old” syndrome? It becomes easier to step back and see the big picture and what is important in life. I am learning that the stress of what modern America expects of me should not ruin my day, month or entire life.  There is a rush to do this repair or paint the house, have kids or become an expert in a new area of medicine…until I mentally step back and back and back. I think of the whole country and then the whole world and my little worries seem so insignificant.  On the other hand the simple act of a stranger’s kindness or a shared meal with a friend can mean so much and make someone feel so good.

Recently I have been thinking more “cosmically” as I watch my dear companion Sheeba deteriorate with aging. She gets up everyday and goes through all the motions with her stiff (and I suspect, achy) body. She is so happy at times and attempts to run only to have the hind legs buckle and leave her pulling them along with the front legs. The latest concern is that she no longer can tell when she has to have a bowel movement. It is quite sweet to see her trudge up the ramp after going outside for “potty” only to find that once in, realizes she was not done and runs for the back door to try and get down the ramp with a fecal ball plopping out as she goes.  We’ve had a few accidents in the house of course.

So I wonder when she wants to go; looking in her eyes I ask: “Sheeba please just let me know when you want to go”. She is definitely NOT ready.  On the pillow within straight site of me she sits and stares at me, keeping vigil over my every move. Thanks Sheeba, I will be lonely when you are gone.