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Herbal Sleep Options And Sleep Hygiene For A Pandemic • Astrology: Ready To Move On Yoga In The Age Of Social Distance: A Practice For Un-Hugged Arms • Book Reviews The Far-Reaching Effects Of Vagus, TheWandering Nerve • Mindfulness Message: Step Out Of The River 5 Black Heroes Of The Environmental Movement • What Will It Take To “Build Back Better”? Awakening The Alchemy Of Creativity • Energetic Literacy: Empaths, Gain Clarity • Sunk Cost Attachment Waking Up To The Truth About About Fish Oil, Fish And Fishes • Washington Gardener Plus Hundreds Of Local Resources • www.pathwaysmagazine.com • www.naturallivingexpo.com
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Healing Y our L ife A yurveda W ellness Class 2 S eries in S pring : S aturdays March 13- April 24 OR May 15- J u ne 26 details on our website TRUST SMILE TO HAVE WHAT YOU NEED HERBS I TEA I VITAMINS I SUPPLEMENTS I GIFTS I PLANTS I EDUCATION Now you can learn with Smile ON L INE! Chec k our our new school site : www . smileherbschool . com for hundreds of free blogs, free webinars and our most popular web classes a v ailable for purchase! Deepen your knowledge with our extensiveherbal education & hands-on training course. Instructors with over 100 years of combined practical herbalism experience. For full class selections & registration visit www.smileherb.com • Vitamins & Supplements • Bulk Botanicals & Teas • Aromatherapy • Specialty Crystals & Gems • Botanica Section • Candles, Incense & Sage • D.I.Y Supplies • Unique Gifts • Handcrafted African Drums R e j uvenate the B o dy an d M in d with Ad a p togens W e carry a wide range of herbs to support stress, sleep, and a resilient immune response! 4908 Berwyn Road College Park, MD 20740 I (301) 474-8791 www.smileherb.com I firstname.lastname@example.org _IL. Like us on LJ Facebook *** Shipping or Curbside Pic k up a v ailable for all orders *** Place orders at www . smileherb . com or gi v e us a call! Spring 2021 March 6&7, April 10&11, May 1&2 MASH Professional H erbal C ertification C ourse A ll our courses now online !
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Imagine A Place Where…. Your beliefs are supported and embraced. Everyday events are explored from the physical, mental and spiritual perspective. Like-minded individuals support you in your spiritual journey. At the Takoma Metaphysical Chapel, you will find such a place. The Takoma Metaphysical Chapel is a growing community of people committed to spiritual growth and development resulting in transformation and emotional well- being. You’ll find uplifting services, you’ll feel the spirit of Love, and you’ll learn practical ways to put this energy to work for your greatest good. Relevant, Practical Themes. Teachings based on numerous “new thought” spiritual traditions that show you how to apply timeless spiritual principles in practical ways to navigate your life with more peace, joy and grace.
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Come experience uplifting music, meditation, prayer and messages designed to touch your heart and uplift your spirit. Experience wisdom from various spiritual traditions to heal your heart, mind and soul. The Takoma Metaphysical Chapel meets on Sundays at 11:00 am on Zoom (Meeting Code 541626278) and on Facebook Live.
OTHER EVENTS INCLUDE: Wednesday Evening Healing/ Meditation Circles 7:15 - 8:30 via conf. 712-775-7000 (635833#) 3rd Sunday Goddess Circle 7:30 p.m via conf. 712-775-7000 (635833#) A Course In Miracles Calls M-F 6:55 a.m. via conf Sunday 9:30 am via conf 712-775-7000 (635833#)
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Lou deSabla EDITOR/PUBLISHER Erin deSabla MANAGING EDITOR Claudia Neuman OPERATIONS MANAGER Michelle Alonso Cam MacQueen Daniel Redwood Harvey Wasserman Tom Wolfe CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ann Silberlicht GRAPHIC DESIGN ARTICLES EDITOR Christopher White Barbara Carpenter
WHAT WE’RE ABOUT Pathways is a quarterly journal and resource guide for the greater Washington area. We are committed to providing the public with free access to local resources and specific tools for improving the quality of life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is our intent to provide this access through information and ideas. The articles and advertisements in Pathways demonstrate a growing commitment on the part of local individuals to do business in a spirit of unity, cooperation and understanding and to maintain a high level of integrity, responsibility and service. —R. Buckminster Fuller Our journal encourages the “little individual” to join together in the dynamic process of personal and social transformation. Pathways is a communications network that can provide the who, what, where, and when for you to become involved in this dynamic process. But these tools for communication become meaningful only when you use them. Connect with individuals and groups listed in Pathways and take the next step towards your further involvement in this transformation. The world public has become disenchanted with both the political and financial leadership, which it no longer trusts to solve the problems of historical crises. Further more, all the individuals of humanity are looking for the answer to what the little individual can do that can’t be done by great nations and great enterprises. MAKING CONNECTIONS Pathways presents useful information in several ways—through articles, advertisements, a directory and a calendar of local events. Many of the journal articles contain specific resource lists that enable you to delve deeper into the subject area. When an ad, an article or an event in Pathways intrigues you, don’t hesitate to call the people up or arrange to visit them. The people in the Pathways network are happy to talk to you about what they do and why. Feel free to contact the authors and advertisers for comments or advice. The resources listed here are the people as much as the goods, services and activities they offer. So, when you call them up, it’s helpful to tell them what it was that caught your interest. The personal connection is the important thing. FINDING PATHWAYS PATHWAYS IS GOING GREEN! GIVEN THE CURRENT VIRUS SITUATION, WE HAVE DECIDED TO DOWHAT MOST PUBLICATIONS HAVE DONE AND STOP PRINTING ON PAPER AND CONTINUE USING OUR VERY POPULAR ONLINE VERSION OF OUR MAGAZINE. MOST READERS PREFER THE ONLINE VERSION BECAUSE OF THE CONVENIENCE OF READING ANYTIME, ANYPLACE AND THE HUNDREDS OF LINKS TO EXPLORE Go to www.PathwaysMagazine.com to download the complete online edition of Pathways and many more resources. ADVERTISING IN PATHWAYS If you would like to advertise with us, contact us for specifications and rates. You can find our rates and specifications at: www.pathwaysmagazine.com. You can now even place and pay for your ad on our secure website. Or write to: Pathways, 6501 EasternAve., Takoma Park, MD 20912, or call us at 240-247-0393 (Mon.- Thurs. 12 PM - 5 PM). You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax us at 888-262-0870 (toll-free). We have been able to cut our advertising rates by over 1/2 since going green. We publish four times per year, 3/10, 6/10, 9/10 and 12/10. Advertising Deadlines are 2/10, 5/10, 8/1 0 and 11/10. If it is past the deadline, give us a call anyway—we may have space. Listings on our website are a free benefit to our display and logo listing advertisers.
Michelle Alonso Geraldine Amaral Helena Amos Carol Burbank Mary Finelli Trish Hall Kathy Jentz David Korten Misty Kuceris Alix Moore Claudia Neuman Rose Rosetree Laurie Timmerman Patricia Ullman
Kathy Vines Barry Vissell Joyce Vissell Carol Walsh Linda White Kate Whiting Susan Wolfe Tom Wolfe CONTRIBUTINGWRITERS Alyce Ortuzar BOOK REVIEWS Renewal by Stilson Snow ON THE COVER See Page 69 For On The Cover Description with the season change by LOU & ERIN DESABLA PATHWAYS MAGAZINE 6501 Eastern Ave. Takoma Park, MD 20912 www.pathwaysmagazine.com PHONE 240-247-0393 (Mon.–Thurs. • 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM) FAX 888-262-0870 (toll free) ADVERTISING E-MAIL : email@example.com AD RATES ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE: www.pathwaysmagazine.com Deadlines for Editorial and Advertising are 2/10, 5/10, 8/10 and 11/10 Publication is approximately four weeks after the deadlines. © 2021 Pathways Magazine Please e-mail all articles as attached files to the Editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org SPRING 21 Volume 46, Number 1 Published quarterly
6—PATHWAYS—Spring—21 6 ri -21
HERB CORNER H eRbaL s Leep o ptions a nd s Leep H ygiene F oR a p andemic .............. 9 b y t om W oLFe a nd Susan W oLFe YOGA TODAY y oga i n t He a ge o F s ociaL d istance : a p Ractice ........................... 13 F oR u n -H ugged a Rms b y c Laudia n euman MIND • BODY • SPIRIT m indFuLness m essage : s tep o ut o F t He R iveR ................................. 19 b y p atRicia u LLman ASTROLOGICAL INSIGHTS R eady t o m ove o n ............................................................................. 22 b y m isty K uceRis MIND • BODY • SPIRIT s unK c ost a ttacHment ..................................................................................... 25 b y K atHy v ines TO YOUR HEALTH t He F aR -R eacHing e FFects o F v agus , t He W andeRing n eRve ........ 27 b y H eLena a mos ENERGETIC LITERACY e neRgetic L iteRacy : e mpatHs , g ain c LaRity ..................................... 30 b y R ose R osetRee GREEN NEWS AND VIEWS W Hat W iLL i t t aKe t o “b uiLd b acK b etteR ”? .................................. 33 b y d avid K oRten MIND • BODY • SPIRIT a WaKening t He a LcHemy o F c Reativity : t HRee t ips t o t acKLe ................... 35 p eRFectionism a nd F ind y ouR F LoW b y c aRoL b uRbanK WASHINGTON GARDENER n eWs F Rom t He L ocaL H oRticuLtuRaL W oRLd ........................................37 b y K atHy J entz CULTIVATING COMPASSION F isHFuL t HinKing : W aKing u p t o t He t RutH a bout F isH ..................... 39 o iL , F isH a nd F isHes b y m aRy F ineLLi , e dited b y c am m ac Q ueen GREEN NEWS AND VIEWS 5 b LacK H eRoes o F t He e nviRonmentaL m ovement ........................ 43 b y K ate W Hiting MIND • BODY • SPIRIT c Reating aH eaLtHy H abit i n F ouR s teps ......................................... 68 b y c aRoL W aLsH
Y Oga i n t he a ge O f s Ocial d istance : a p Ractice f OR u n -h ugged a RMs p age 13
M indfulness M essage : s tep O ut O f t he R iveR p age 19
a ngelOu e zeilO , 1 O f 5 B lack h eROes O f t he e nviROnMental M OveMent p age 43
R esouRces F oR c Reative L iving
• Pathways Spring Marketplace ..... 48 • Book Reviews By Alyce Ortuzar .. 45 • Spring Calendar .............................. 50 • Classes and Learning Centers....... 55 • Health Services................................ 58 • Metaphysical Sciences.................... 60 • Psychology and Therapy ............... 62 • Resource Directory ......................... 63 • Natural Food Stores Guide............ 70 • Online Directory ............................. 73 • Advertiser Index ............................ 74
www.PathwaysMagazine.com • www.NaturalLivingExpo.com
PATHWAYS—Spring 21—7 P T YS Spring–21 7
HOLISTIC AND TRADITIONAL MEDICAL SOLUTIONS
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Tracy Freeman, MD 5530 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1235 Chevy Chase, MD 20815 Phone (301) 475-2038 Fax (301) 259-3630 WWW.TRACYFREEMANMD.COM
Menopausal Symptoms Difficult Menstrauation Headaches Adrenal Fatigue Thyroid Disorders Bowel Issues And Many More!
THE HERB CORNER
Herbal Sleep Options and Sleep Hygiene for a Pandemic
time will really help. 1 tablet for every 75 pounds of body weight.”
BY TOMWOLFE, RH/AHG AND SUSANWOLFE
Herbs To Fall Asleep If you have trouble falling asleep, if you lie in bed wishing and hoping for the sandman to come and take you away, then these are the herbs for you! • Passion Flower • Skullcap • Valerian • Hops • Chamomile • Lavender • Banyan Botanicals I Sleep Soundly Formula With respect to the Sleep Soundly Formula, Tom says, “This is the best one found thus far for helping to fall immediately asleep. Some of the other formulas have more umph for staying asleep throughout he night, but if all you need is to fall asleep, this is your herbal combination.” [Herbal Note: The individual herbs listed are available in capsules, tinc- tures and extracts with a good rule of thumb being to take one 500 mg (mil- ligram) capsule per 75 pounds of body weight as a baseline and then figure out the best dosing for your unique- ness. The tincture equivalent would be two milliliters (2ml) to one 500-milli- gram capsule.] Herbs To Stay Asleep/Get Deeper Sleep For some, our exhaustion from the day means we fall asleep with ease, but then we awaken in the middle of the night due to dehydration, urination, or anxieties in our subconscious that surface in our dreaming state. Then the struggle becomes getting deep sleep, or enough quality sleep. For these is- sues, we enlist these herbal allies:
The twentieth century is, among other things, the Age of Noise. Physical noise, mental noise, and noise of desire—we habitually hold history’s record for all of them. And no wonder, for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown into the current assault against Silence. That most popular of all inventions, the television is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes. And this goes far deeper, of course, than the eyes and eardrums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babble of distractions—news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but merely create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas. ~ Excerpt from The Perennial Philoso- phy , by Aldous Huxley (1945) Enjoying a perfectly sound sleep un- disturbed by dreams is a most essential and invaluable factor in preserving good health. Every day when you are in deep sleep, you enter into the most original [Beyond, Beyond] state of God, where nothing exists. Every person is in search of Union with God and enters the state during deep sleep. ~ Meher Baba Well, Pathways readers, here we are, a year into a stressor like no other in our lifetimes—a stressor in addition to all the other stressors people face in our busy and overstressed society. How are you sleeping? We’ve struggled with sleep this year; most people probably have. Fromwhat we can tell from asking our Friends in herbal and other forms of clinical work, almost everyone has struggled with sleep in the past 12 months. There is so much to process, and it is so easy to stay anxious and over stimulated, so we thought we would share some herbal remedies and self-care strate- gies that have really helped us. We are confident something here will work for you, too. Herbs For Stress and Better Sleep Stress can lead to poor sleep. This is not news, of course. But what can we do about it? Dealing with our stress, and making new habits, takes time. And let’s face it; sometimes things come up that really throw us. So in those moments, what can we do to help ourselves get the deep, refreshing sleep we need?
Holy Basil, A Herb For Stress and Better Sleep
Let’s start with the stress itself. Herbs are so amazing, there is a whole category of them that help our bodies adapt better to stress. They are called adaptogens, and they are amazing herbs! These herbs are best taken every day for a longer period of time to get the best effect: • Ashwagandha Tom says, “[Ashwagandha is] my favorite herb as a lead in to better sleep. My best results have been to take 1,500 mg capsule for every 100 pounds of body weight every half hour be- ginning 2 hours before sleep. In other words, I take 2 capsules every half hour for 200 pounds of body weight beginning two hours before sleep. This helps every time but is not always enough for deep sleep through the en- tire might. For that, see the combina- tions below: I Sleep Soundly (Banyan Botanicals), Sleep Thru (Gaia Herbs) , Bupleurum Calmative Compound (Planetary Herbs)and Zyflamend PM
(New Chapter). • Holy Basil/Tulsi • Schisandra • Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng
Then there are the soothing nervines. These are herbs you can take long term, or in some cases for short-term relief. They help us to stay calm and balanced. • Skullcap • Oats • Lemon Balm • Kava-Kava • Planetary Herbs Bupleurum Calm- ative Compound Of the Calmative Compound, Su- san says, “It is particularly effective for hormonal mood swings, and is also helpful for general stress and to pre- vent panic attacks. If circling thoughts are contributing to your trouble falling asleep, taking this one hour before bed-
• Ashwagandha • Valerian • Bhringaraj
• Effective compounds: New Chap- ter Zyflamend Formula (Zyflamend Whole Body, but especially Zyflamend PM) and Gaia Herbs Sleep Thru For- mula Tom says, “Zyflamend is the mid- dle road between I Sleep Soundly and Sleep Thru for sleeping the entire night. 1 for every 100 pounds of body continued on page 11
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THE HERB CORNER
When we say, “we are what we eat” we should also say, “we are what we view”. Be conscious in your choices. This does not mean you shouldn’t seek out entertainment or comfort, just be sure it is actually making you feel bet- ter. Do Something That Brings You Joy In times of stress, it is essential we take time for ourselves, for what brings us joy, what feeds the soul. It is so easy, when we’re feeling tired and over- whelmed, to work too much. It is even easier to not work and still burn energy worrying about what we’re not getting done. This comes back to mindfulness, to being in the present moment. De- cide to take some time for yourself: for your relationships, your spiritual life, a hobby that brings you joy, a dream you want to pursue. Schedule it, and keep that promise to yourself. You are worth it. And the more you feel aligned with yourself and your values, the more likely you are to get the rest you need. In the Light of ages past, ever pres- ent, we are wishing you all less stress, and essential and invaluable good sleep. Since 1975, Tom has co-owned the Smile Herb Shop in College Park, Maryland, and is a Registered Herbalist (American Herb- alists Guild) who, along with the Smile staff, including wife Susan, teaches classes throughout the year about all aspects of growing herbs and healing with herbs. Vis- it Smile’s website, www.smileherb.com, for a list and description of classes, informa- tion on individual herbs, and to read their blog on a variety of herbal topics. Volun- teer opportunities are also available to as- sist with Smile’s garden upkeep. See the ad for Smile Herb Shop on page 4
about reducing the choices you have to make as you begin and end your day. There is a concept called “decision fa- tigue” which basically means you only have so much brain energy for mak- ing choices in a given day. If you use those up on what to do first thing in the morning or last things at night, you will have less energy for things that are important to you. So set yourself up for success by planning out your evenings and mornings ahead of time. There are lots of resources out there—books, apps, and blogs—to help you figure out what will work best for you. Take the time to plan your best days. You are worth it! Self-Care for Stress Okay, self-care can be tough. Let us acknowledge that. We have all noticed when we are stressed we tend to reach for comforts—more food, more TV, more scrolling through social media. Let us not judge ourselves for that; let’s just move forward. Self-care involves plenty of things you already know: a balanced diet, plenty of water, good sleep, fresh air, exercise. We’ve addressed the impor- tance of good sleep habits, but let us dig into some of the other ways we can support ourselves when things feel ex- tra hard. Mindfulness This isn’t just a fancy meditation ex- ercise. Mindfulness is choosing to do one thing at a time and doing it well. It means not opening any browser windows while typing this article. It means not thinking about what I need to do after this writing session, but just focusing on the work I’m doing right now. Mindfulness means forgiving ourselves when our minds wander, when we don’t meet our own stan- dards, and starting over, right now, with an open mind and heart. Mindfulness is about staying in the present moment, to the best of our abil- ity, without beating ourselves up when we stray into old habits. A Balanced Diet for the Mind and Heart In Ayurvedic medicine, we learn our food is not just the physical food we put into our bodies, but also what we put into our minds. Our food is the conversations we have, the media we consume, the comments we read (even when we tell ourselves we won’t), and the feeds we scroll. We know to change our diets, to get more fiber, less sugar, more whole foods, more vegetables and fruits. But we may forget to avoid toxic news cycles and choose to watch something inspiring or educational in- stead. We may indulge in the junk food of social media rather than the com- plex carbohydrates of well-constructed articles.
Herbal Sleep Options and Sleep Hygiene for a Pandemic ...continued from page 9
weight 30 minutes before bedtime. Sleep Thru is the strongest, most ef- fective combination found thus far for sleeping through the entire night. 1 per 100 pounds of body weight one hour before bedtime.” Our Favorite Tea Combinations for Relaxing and Sleep One of the best, most encouraging remedies for a good night’s sleep can be found in a cup of tea. These are some of the best sleep-beckoning herb- al combinations:
stomach can make it hard to fall asleep. Like the screen time, it’s best to have your last meal for the day at least 2 hours before you want to go to sleep. It is easy to comfort eat while stressed, especially carbs, but you really will feel better if you resist. Remember, self-care is not always doing the most fun thing in the moment; it’s doing the thing that really contributes to your wellness. A small protein rich snack later in the day can be a good compromise as you are weaning yourself off late-night eating. Give yourself enough time to sleep. It takes a little bit of time to fall asleep, and a little bit of time to wake up. If you rush yourself at either end of this process, it will increase your stress. Figure out how much time you need to get ready for your day in the morn- ing, and how much sleep you need to feel refreshed, and count back to know what time you need to start winding down for the night. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each day, and you should estimate about half an hour to fall asleep and half an hour to wake. No TV, computer, smartphone, or work in the bedroom. This one may be tough for a lot of people, but again, I promise it’s worth it. Any visual cues in your bedroom reminding you of responsibilities or that stimulate you are going to make it harder to sleep. If you use your phone for an alarm clock, make sure you enable your “do not disturb” and/or turn off all notifica- tions. It is way too easy to pick it up to “just check one thing” and end up losing hours of your time! Bedroom as dark and quiet as pos- sible. Light and sound-blocking cur- tains are really helpful. You might even want to try a white noise machine if you live in a noisier neighborhood. Calm, dark, and quiet spaces encour- age deeper sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This allows your body to develop a rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up. It takes a little time to adjust—typically about a week—but once the routine is es- tablished, it makes the whole process much more pleasant. It is okay to sleep in a little bit on your days off, but try not to make it too extreme. It does not actually work to “make up” for sleep lost during the workweek by sleeping extra on the weekends. It can actually make falling asleep and getting up on time harder in the long run.
• Chamomile + Lemon Balm + Laven- der
• Milky Oat Tops + Tulsi + Rose
• Ginger + Cinnamon + Orange Peel + Rosehips
• Skullcap + Tulsi + Lavender + Gin- ger
Good Sleep Hygiene Sleep Hygiene is a catch-all term for behaviors leading up to going to sleep and the environment in which you sleep; so, basically, your evening rou- tine and your bedroom. Here are some basic tips for good sleep hygiene. Reduce screen time. It is pretty impor- tant to have a cut-off time for screens off. This should ideally be about 2 hours before you go to sleep. Staring at screens can mess with our production of melatonin. It’s also pretty stimulat- ing. It’s hard to wind down to sleep when your Twitter feed is still going by in your head. Dim/amber lights in the evenings. I was dubious about this at first, but it really has made a difference. Invest in a few amber bulbs, and use those in the evenings as you’re winding down to sleep. Or, you can use dimmable lamps. There are lots of options out there, including “smart” bulbs that can be set to change automatically. We have amber reading lights in the bedroom, and lamps that can be changed from daylight to amber light settings in the living room. Changing the lights can be part of the household winding down before bed routine.
MIND BODY SPIRIT ENVIRONMENT
Smaller evening meal/reduce late snacking. Going to bed with a full
Embrace morning and evening rou- tines. It really is all about routine, and
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BY CLAUDIA NEUMAN Loss of health and mobility begins with such impediments as stiff ankles, sore shoulder joints, tension around the eyes and face, a rigid spinal column, and tight- ness in the wrists and finger joints. In addition, soreness in the lower back and rigidity in the hip joints are extraordinari- ly common ailments. It is surprising how effectively these problems can be addressed with repetitions of (the) relatively simple movements (found here). ~ Rolf Sovik, PsyD, Himalayan In- stitute, commenting on Exercises for Joints & Glands by Swami Rama Yoga in the Age of Social Distance: A Practice for Un-Hugged Arms I believe we are suffering the con- sequences of our inability to move about our lives with the freedom and ease we nor- mally do. I’ve hadmany reports about shoulder, arm and wrist issues. I myself had a bout of “frozen shoul- der” from June all the way until October. In addi- tion, those who have received
finding our expres- sion, it usually initi- ates from the upper body. The arms are connected to the heart; metaphori- cally, the heart uses the arms to tell its story. The arms are the body parts we reach out with, that we are drawn in with, and what we use to hug and hold onto those we love. I’d venture to say one of the most dif- ficult parts of this pandemic is not be- ing able to do any of the abovemen- tioned, especially the hugging. In the age of social distancing,
to hug one another? Frankly, yes. Furthermore, it is a fact we are glued to a screen and a keyboard these days. In the most practical sense, there is nothing more draining and damag- ing than to stare at a computer screen and type for hours on end, day after day. From an ergonomic standpoint, even the best of set ups can’t negate the strain to the head, neck, eyes, arms, wrists and fingers. The damaging blue light from the screen is also quite harm- ful to our nervous system and quality of sleep. Add these factors to our cur- rent isolation and general lack of hug- ging and it follows that folks would be compromised right now, and suffering from repetitive stress symptoms in the upper body. I’ve learned we have to do more to take care of ourselves, and others, in this age of social distancing. Those of us who are heeding this call are adapt- ing, perhaps even thriving. A Yoga Practice For Energetic Strength In response to all this upper body “stuff” I have had and seen in my stu- dents, I put together a brief series of movements that draws from exercises in The Joints and Glands work set forth
I wonder if we will look back on this time of living through this pandemic as the Age of Social Distancing? Even though we are able to “see” one anoth- er through our masks and screens, we can’t really feel the contact or the con- nection with one another like we used to. I can’t help but wonder what all this is doing to us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Distress in a Socially Distant Age As a Yoga instructor who now teach- es students only on a Zoom platform, I’ve noticed some distressing trends.
the vaccine have reported to me of their arm sore- ness, fatigue and a general need to “recover” from
Rotations with Extended Arms: Parts A & B
hugging is put on hold. We can only imagine, or try to remember, the way it feels. The arms, the neck, the heart and the throat are deprived from the ener- getic and emotional sense of healing and positivity that hugging brings. Am I saying that the aforementioned upper body issues are related to our inability
the vaccine, especially after receiving the second dose. I’ve always thought that one’s arms are like one’s wings—these are the ap- pendages we express with. When we can enjoy the fullest expression of our lives, energetically, we are flying. Even though we all have a unique way of
continued on page 15
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Yoga in the Age of Social Distance: A Practice for Un-Hugged Arms ...continued from page 13
tually pat the lungs when they cross, which is reminiscent of Qi Gong, and stimulates the lungs a bit). Shoulder Shrugs and Rolls (repeat the first exercise) Rotations with Extended Arms: Parts A & B (pictured on page 13) Part A: This is a variation of the one mentioned in Joints and Glands . With your palms facing outward, move your straight arms up to the sky as you in- hale. As you exhale, bend the elbows and place your hands on your shoul- ders, and then let the arms move down by your side. Repeat this a few times before part B. Part B: Lift the arms as in part A, but this time leave the hands on the shoul- ders and make circles with the elbows slowly, in both directions. Shoulder Shrugs and Rolls (repeat first exercise) Standing Side Bend Sweep the left arm up as you inhale and allow the torso to lean to the right; take several breaths. Keep the knees bent and the legs about three feet apart. Straighten back to center and lower arm. Repeat on side two. Supported Torso Rotation Place your hands on your lower back
Although there are several steps, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to do all of the exercises, depending on how long you want to remain in the Yin Yoga Poses. As with any exercise pro- gram, it is imperative you consult with your physician prior to starting this if you do have specific health issues. If you have low blood pressure or blood pressure issues, or structural issues in the spine, please use caution and do less, but always check with your doc- tor first. Do each of these starting moves for about 30 seconds: Shoulder Shrugs and Rolls From a standing position, lift one shoulder, then the other, and then both. You can alternate this with Shoulder Rolls. This shrugging and rolling mo- tion will be used in between some of the other exercises, too. It serves as a type of base line for the standing part. Vertical Arm Swings: Parts A & B Part A: Simply stand, legs about hip distance apart and knees slightly bent. Made sure you have enough room to swing your arms, and do so. Swing the arms from the front to the back plane of the body. I also suggest you feel free to
by Swami Rama of the Himalayan In- stitute, combined with certain poses from the Yin Yoga tradition set forth by Paul Grilley, an American teacher of modern Yoga. Some of the moves I’ve just developed myself to heal my own frozen shoulder; and in some of the moves I am taking the theory of Yin Yoga plus joints and glands and com- bining them to make a kind of moving Yin Yoga pose. My own recovery has been success- ful, and I have had reports from several of my students that they are getting over some of their upper body issues as well. What I am noticing more than anything else is my students have be- come stronger and more dedicated to their practices, showing up consistent- ly to our classes. It’s become apparent to them that Yoga is a lifeline; it is more essential now than ever before for re- storing a sense of health and normalcy. This is why I am witnessing my stu- dents getting stronger—energetically stronger. The Sequence This sequence can be done by any- one and does not require any physi- cal prowess or effort; in fact, the more effortless you make it, the better. The main point is to do this consistently.
“flick” the hands and wrists a bit while going at it, especially if you have sore wrists. Part B: Make a light fist with both hands, turning your palms to face your body, then swing the arms forward and back making a pull and release motion. So, the elbows bend on the “pull” mo- tion, and then the arms straighten on the “release” motion. Feel the warmth in the shoulders. Horizontal Arm Swings Raise your arms to about shoulder height, palms face down, and swing them across the chest so that one arm crosses over the other. Alternate the crossing of the arms with each swing. The chest expands when the arms swing out, and the chest is slightly compressed when the arms swing in and cross. (I like to have the arms ac-
continued on page 17
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Yoga in the Age of Social Distance: A Practice for Un-Hugged Arms ...continued from page 15
up or dangling. Allow the head to release in the dangle position if possible. Part B: Same as part A, but this time, bend the knees, allow- ing the shins to be like wind- shield wipers and move them happily from side to side. Let the hips, lower back, neck and shoulders completely release. Crocodile Pose Rest on the belly with the legs wide apart and the heels pointing to one another. Rest the fore- head on the hands. Close the eyes, and breathe slowly into the belly. Practice the breath as slowly and as smoothly as you can. (3-5 mins) Twisted Root Variation (pictured) Lying on your back, knees bent, cross your right knee over your left knee as if you are sitting cross-legged in a chair. Let your arms open out to the side like airplane wings. Let the crossed knees drop to the left to create a twist. With the palms of the arms turned toward the ceiling, slide the right arm out along the side of the body and slowly slide it until the arm comes alongside the body over the head. Then slide the arm back to the side of the body. Come in and out of this arm movement sev- eral times before holding it at the place where it is most therapeutic for your needs. Then hold and breathe, about 2-3 mins. Supported Shoulder Pose Roll up a blanket to make a 3-4 inch “tootsie roll” prop for your spine. Make sure it is not too high. Place the prop on floor and lie on top so it sup- ports along the spine. Lie here with the palms turned up; let the chest open, and practice slow, steady breaths. Rest. Claudia Neuman, MSW, E-RTY 500, YACEP, was born in Los Angeles where she began her serious study of Yoga at Yoga Works in Santa Monica. She spent years assisting alongside some of the most noteworthy teachers of our time, until she certified in Anusara Yoga in 2004. In 2013 she reconnected with her teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker, the founder of Para Yoga, and has now completed all of the Master Para Yoga trainings towards certification. She directs teacher-training programs, and currently is teaching her signature work- shops: “Enlightened Rest” and “The Ori- gins of Yoga” at many studios in the DC Metro area. You can find her group class teaching schedule, as well as information about he monthly Enlightened Rest gather- ings at: www.alignwithgrace.com. See also her ad on page 22.
Twisted Root Variation
and with the knees slightly bent, shift your pelvis to one side, then the other. Gradually, with breath, make circles clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Standing Fluid Twist Rotate the legs slightly out with the legs about three feet apart. Swing the torso and arms right and left to create a twist in the abdomen. When twisting to the right, momentum will make the left heel lift slightly, and then the same on the right. Repeat left then right 5-6 times. Abdominal Squeeze Standing with your legs apart and knees bent, place your hands on your thighs. Tilt the tailbone and head up to arch the back as you inhale, as you exhale, round the back and exhale. While exhaling, squeeze the abdomen by pressing the breath out while toning the belly. Repeat 5-6 times. Extended Child’s Pose (arms out front) Coming to the ground, fold over the knees in the pose of a child. Let the forehead rest on the floor and have your arms extend out in front of you, also resting on the floor. If you have knee issues, lie on your back instead and draw the knees to your chest. Hold this for about 3 minutes. (90 seconds if you are short on time). Completely re- lax and watch the breath. Let the eyes close. Butterfly Pose (pictured on page 15) From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet to touch. Do not try to stretch. Just relax, let the torso round as far forward as comfortably possible, and relax the head, the arms and back over the legs (90 secs or 3 mins). Dragonfly Pose From your seated position, move the legs out to the side in a straddle position. Turn the trunk to fold over the right leg, then the left leg, and then come down the center. Hold each posi- tion for 90 seconds to 3 minutes. Sphinx Pose: Parts A & B Part A: Lying on your belly, rest on the forearms with the head either held
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