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Archive for June, 2014

On Tuesday, July 8th, to raise funds for the Nick Currey Foundation for childhood cancer research, I am hosting a 90-minute meditation session, Insight into Problems. It will be from 10 to 11:30 AM (please come at least 15 minutes early to settle in) at The Fellowship Room, The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood. Please bring a padded mat and small cushion if planning to lie down. Chairs will be provided for everyone. Registration is $20 and will be donated to the foundation (possibly with a match).

Wednesday, July 9th, sees the beginning of the Teen Meditation Series: Reducing Anxiety, Developing Focus 7/16, Enhancing Problem Solving 7/23. Please click on the link below for free registration if a Ridgewood resident. If not, please contact Gina Mitgang, the young adult librarian. Please come 10-15 minutes early and bring a beach towel/blanket/yoga mat.

Teen Meditation Series
1st class: Reducing Anxiety Wednesday, July 9, 4-5:15pm
Led by Ridgewood resident Meena Modi, who has over 30 years studying, practicing and teaching yoga and meditation to people in all walks of life. Click here to register.
Upcoming dates: 7/16, 7/23

The feedback on the three-hour meditation “retreat” on June 24 has been very positive and we did well with our fundraising for The Polaris Project.

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The short and quick answer is often “no”. First it is important to determine what is causing GERD. If it is hiatal hernia, surya namaskar (also known as sun salutations) may not be helpful at all and may even be contraindicated. This comes under yoga therapy and expert guidance is essential as every one is different.

For some with GERD, it may be helpful if it is done after a shat karma kriya/cleansing technique such as kunjal (drink a couple of glasses of slightly warm, lightly salted water on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, and regurgitate it–basically throw up). This gets rid of the excess acid accumulated overnight. But again, expert guidance is necessary as this may not be good to do for many people. After kunjal, rest for a few minutes in shavasana to get the heart beat and breath settled and then try surya namaskar without holding the positions, particularly the inversions. See how it feels over a few days–if it is strengthening the gastrointestinal muscles and the valves (but these are involuntary muscles that may be affected by voluntary muscles–research evidence is unclear).

There are many questions raised around the practice of surya namaskar. It is considered the most important sequence of asanas and it is almost thought of as a panacea to all ailments–physical and mental. There are many benefits to this important flow of breath and movement but it is not good for everything. There are also as many variations as teachers, particularly in the West/US.

No asanas should be done on a full stomach, but this is particularly true of inversions (where the head comes below the heart and often below the stomach). So anyone with gastrointestinal acid reflux, hyperacidity, gastrointestinal viruses, ulcers, may not benefit and may even aggravate or trigger a worse outcome. This is also true for very high blood pressure, cardiac problems, glaucoma, severe headaches/migraines, back problems. Some people benefit from doing the series with significant personalized modifications.

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Blueberry Lemon Muesli

When is breakfast food only a breakfast food? In my mind, never! These false labels deprive us of enjoying perfectly wonderful food any time we want. And that is how I see muesli—breakfast, lunch, supper, snack, lightly sweet and luscious dessert, family food, company food.

Fresh, plump blueberries and lemon are heavenly together when they bond with a little honey. With an abundance of summer blueberries, Blueberry Lemon Muesli (GF and can be vegan) has become our family favorite this year. It takes  about 10 minutes to assemble and keeps for 4 days in the fridge.

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