Your Brain on Meditation…

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Yoga & Mindfulness = Weight Loss

Yoga, mindfulness and weight lossA recent study from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine has put forth more evidence supporting the role of yoga in achieving weight loss.

Out of the gate I have to be clear to state- I don’t need the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine on my case for overstating their findings- while they found support for yoga’s role in promoting healthy lifestyle and that more than 50 conditions are reported to benefit from regular practice, the direct effects on weight loss perhaps are a little less clear.

What seems more conclusive however, is the benefits and effects of the practice of mindfulness during participation in yoga that is probably more important.

Yoga is a mind–body, or meditative movement, practice originating in ancient India that combines physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayamas), and meditation or relaxation. The most common form practiced in the United States is Hatha yoga, which includes the yoga styles Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, and Viniyoga.

Throughout a session, regardless the style, there is a focus on breathing with an aim to stimulate mental focus and body awareness.

What the research found was that, while there is a physical exertion in yoga and it serves to address manage comorbid conditions, such as low back pain, it is the increased mindfulness that may be the key component to weight loss.

Heightened mindfulness of the body and its behaviors may spill over from the yoga practice to everyday life. This mindfulness in turn may help individuals address emotional eating (eating in response to negative emotions such as boredom, stress, or sadness) and external eating (eating in response to food-related stimuli such as the taste, sight, or smell of palatable foods), both of which have been associated with weight gain, and control of which have been associated with weight loss. In addition, mindfulness may lead to greater positive outcomes expectancies (self-control, self-confidence), which correlate with weight loss in a bidirectional manner.

Mindfulness-training through yoga may also generate the relaxation response outside the yoga session, which can offset the physiological effects caused by perceived stress…

which has been proven to contribute to obesity.

So… while not told anything radically earth-moving in the study, what it confirms is that while your making those important changes to your diet to promote weight loss and good health, the practice of yoga can provide the support to truly achieve your goals while offering a huge boost to your mental and spiritual health as well.

Excavating Etsy: Low Back Yoga Tank from Kaya Yoga Wear

Ohmigoodness… I stumbled upon this today shopping perusing for blog content: the most lurv-ely and flattering of yoga tanks!

Kaya Yoga Wear-low back tankThere’s a few things at the Kaya Yoga Wear Etsy shop that are on my summer yoga shortlist, but this one’s most certainly at the top. This simple, very feminine and flattering tank is so pretty and so unique as I’ve yet to see a tank that so features the back- by far my best feature (… and as my wrinkles appear in multiples and the old ass drops, I am so all over showcasing what’s left of my assets!).

It comes in a range of deep, beautiful colors and is sized S-M thru M-L.

This is probably the first of several purchases I’ll be making from Kaya, but I’m sworn to the promise to maintain a regular practice before any more yoga shopping… so looks like there’s a lot of wonderful yoga in my future!

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Lululemon Answers Yoga Pant Gaff with Unique Alternative!

If you’re see-through yoga pants have you frustrated….

good night oscar!

Without a doubt the role model I want for my daughter. She’s the best…

happy friday!

Get Your Sit On: The Meditation Stool of Stools! Bluecony’s Ikuko

ergonomic-meditation-bench-yoga-chair-ikuko-2-250x375I just came upon this wonder of ergonomic meditation design at a recent yoga retreat… there I was meticulously arranging mat, blanket, bolster and my block in a flawlessly manicured stack upon which to rest my behind, pelvis perfectly angled, knees bent beneath me when, from across the room a retreat-mate, watching my ministrations with self-satisfied bemusement, whispers, “Ohmigod, you have to try this….”.

With only slight hesitation- once I’m situated, I’m hard-pressed to move, I stood from my intricately arranged props, and in one swift placement of my buttocks upon the smooth, flawlessly arched wooden seat… I was sold.  1 stop shop:  no bolster.  No blanket.  No block.

It’s like it was made for my ass!

As soon as I had internet, it was ordered.

My ticket to meditation heaven just arrived waiting for me to pick up at my local small town post office.  I’m counting the minutes….

A full review to come after I’ve had a chance to warm my new seat!

Miracle Anti-Aging Elixir: Kombucha… It’s Gotta Beat My Own Feces

kombuchaI wonder, if Dr. Oz and Oprah and oh, I dunno, Gwynneth, over at GOOP, were to tell us that we could get rid of our wrinkles by rubbing our faces with our own feces… would we do it?

Damn rights… I would totally have a strainer sitting beside the loo to catch the nasty bits.


Well, while it might look a little like fecal matter, this elixir has been around for a millennia and, as always, I’m late to the party… just like with the tech bubble and acid wash jeans.

It’s called Kombucha, a fermented tea, and it’s looks only a little gnarly to actually get down. It’s heralded as the elixir of all health elixirs, so much so that it’s been coined the ”Immortal Health Elixir” – oh, how I love to say “elixir”- and it’s my newest thing to combat this thing called evolving into wrinkly old dried out tomato.  Here’s the deets:

One tough mother… or SCOBY:  The kombucha mother, or SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) is basically a floating piece of fibrous cellulose with these beneficial microorganisms. G. xylinum bacterium makes up most of the physical structure of the kombucha mother. The presence of the mother is a sign of an active and alive Kombucha. No mother is a sign of pasteurization or processing.

The acidity of the ready kombucha product prevents contamination by airborne mold and bacterial spores. The bacteria and yeasts in the kombucha are also thought to produce antimicrobial defense molecules to protect from contamination as well.

Loaded with goodies:  Kombucha is full of organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids and polyphenol anti-oxidants. The most common elements include various organic acids such as acetic acid, butyric acid, usnic acid, oxalic acid, malic acid, gluconic acid and lactic acid. It also contains active enzymes and probiotics.  Yum!

Kombucha is mostly produced in a sweetened green, white or black tea. The most effective fermentation process utilizes organic evaporated cane juice or honey… although watch with the honey as too much can interfere with the stability of the culture. Most of the sugar will be transformed into organic acids that dull the blood sugar response so it is very low glycemic and non-inflammatory. If you are going to buy Kombucha from the store, make sure to get a brand that doesn’t add sugar to it, otherwise fresh at home is best!

The benefits:  Improves joint function… Kombucha is rich in glucosamines which helps preserve cartilage structure and prevent joint degeneration. Glucosamines increase hyaluronic acid production within the joint which binds moisture thousands of times its weight in the joint cavity. This provides the joint with structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility while protecting against free radical damage.

Improves digestion and immunity… Kombucha is loaded with probiotic bacteria and yeast that make their way into the gut and ward off parasites and pathogens. It is particularly good at minimizing Candida and improves digestion and nutrient assimilation. Kombucha enhances immunity by inoculating the gut with healthy microorganisms and providing anti-oxidants and enzymes.  Helps the body cleanse…

This beverage is loaded with enzymes and organic acids that help to detoxify the body. This reduces the load on the pancreas, liver and kidneys and helps the body rid itself of unwanted wastes and destroy cancer cells. Kombucha is rich in glucaric acid which has potent anti-cancer activity.

In fact, Nobel Prize winning Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn attributed drinking kombucha throughout the day, each and every day, to helping him beat stomach cancer. This was during his time in the soviet labor camps. President Ronald Reagan was so moved by Solzhenitsyn’s testimony that he used kombucha to help him stop the spread of his cancer in 1987.  I guess that’s sayin’ something…

If you’re wanting to make Kombucha yourself, you may want to give this a try:

Otherwise, if you’re not able to readily find a SCOBY, a good mother is hard to come by, word on the street (or at least word on GOOP) is this is the store bought version that’s the best:

Happy fermenting!


Like Me… please…?!?

OK… so I’ve not put much effort into building MommyOm over there on facebook.  I know… way slow to the party!

So, please help me get this facebook train moving!  Giveaways to come soon for facebook like-ers.  Announcements to come soon, but don’t let that stop you!  No matter when you like MommyOm, you will be included!

Like me… please?!?

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Not Just for Cirque du Soleil: AcroYoga!

I love a yoga trend!

You know how folks who questions the science of global warming always turn to the cyclical nature of things?  How, when you’re talking about that expanse of time there’s all kinds of shit happens, going unrecorded for millennia, and that this is just another of those examples except now, like, we’ve got the technology to keep track?

I think yoga is sort of like, you know, nature.  It’s been around forever, and has gone through any number of crazy iterations.  It’s just now, in this age of endless record- blogging, social media, 24-hour news cycle- that we get exposed to every single one of them.

Perhaps when you’ve been around for thousands of years, there’s always some evolution- or revolution- required to keep things interesting and humans engaged, particularly in an era where engagement can be so very momentary.  There’s always gotta be something new to keep things exciting.

‘Cuz yoga is all about the excitement.

And sitting, being, here in this present moment with my body is not quite enough… I need to be lifted, twirling and flipping on merely the soles of the feet of a VERY strong partner in this moment to be in full appreciation of what it, and my body, brings.

This new trend, AcroYoga, is taking the yoga world by storm.  OK… maybe not by storm, but when you see the images, or the videos, of yogis and yoginis performing this brand of yoga, it’s really quite something to watch.  In addition to the discipline and skill, the sheer strength- oh, and did I mention trust?-  is really quite something to behold.

There are some yoga trends I’ve covered, such as Paddleboard Yoga, that I want to be a part of- the idea of yoga on water is a lovely one to me- and I do what I can to incorporate into my practice.  Past the characterization of trend, perhaps, but still a little off his rocker, Bikram was total surprise to me- I love it!!  But AcroYoga?  This remarkable combination of yoga and acrobatics is likely one trend that may of us will never partake but it is still truly something beautiful to be admired.

In short, while at first blush it may appear simply a matter of strength and flexibility, there’s actually more to it.  Co-founded by Jenny Sauer-Klein and Jason Nemer in 2003, “AcroYoga blends the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and the loving kindness of healing arts. These three lineages form the foundation of a practice that cultivates trust, playfulness, and community.

Remember when your dad used to lie down and balance you on his feet?  I would let go his hands and pretend to fly…  I do the same for my kids.  I often yearn to be the one balancing.

Maybe I shouldn’t be soquick to set this idea aside…..

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