26 Apr

Links for a Sunday Morning

Peace Quote

Peace Quote

Growing Generational Divisions are a Worrying Millenial Shift – The Globe and Mail

Economists say that those who stumble when they’re young have a steep scramble to catch up, decreasing the social mobility that keeps economies and countries healthy. When class lines calcify, experts contend, society suffers.

Why Asking for Advice Makes People Seem Smart – The Atlantic

Asking for advice only made the participants seem smarter when they asked about something the mentor was a self-identified expert in. When the mentors were asked to weigh in on topics they had no knowledge of, the advice seeker was seen as less competent.

The Shame Game – From the Corners of the Curve

It matters because health isn’t always physical, mental health is just as important and the years of dieting and punishment on myself caused my damage than good.

This meditation teacher has an amazing explanation — and solution — for why so many of us can’t escape the voice in our heads – Business Insider

A commute is a trip where you’re trying to get somewhere, but you don’t really enjoy the journey. You’re not really present for the journey — the journey is kind of garbage time to get you to something that’s meaningful.

Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other – The Atlantic

Chances are how you look when you are slightly frustrated isn’t all that different from how you look when you are a little concerned, confused, disappointed, or nervous. Your ‘I’m kind of hurt by what you just said’ face probably looks an awful lot like your ‘I’m not at all hurt by what you just said’ face. And the majority of times that you’ve said to yourself, ‘I made my intentions clear,’ or ‘He knows what I meant,’ you didn’t and he doesn’t.

 

24 Apr

Mindfulness is effective for treating depression

Worrying quote

If you’ve never tried a mindfulness practice then you should start.

I try to meditate as often as I can remember because I know it benefits me, even though it can sometimes feel like I’m sitting around and doing nothing.
If I don’t get around to meditating in the traditional sense (seated, in silence, with my eyes closed) then I turn my actions into a meditative practice.

meditating

Yoga is an obvious one. Paying attention to my body in space– how it moves, how it feels, how it changes. I do it when I lift weights too.

Sometimes I create a mindfulness practice when I walk the dog. Noticing the temperature of the air, the sounds I’m hearing, and noticing my own state. Am I trying to rush through the walk? Am I thinking about other things? Am I stressed or anxious?

I even work on mindfulness in the shower where, left to my own devices, I would be so scatterbrained that I’d forget whether I shampoo’d and do it twice.

It’s nothing much. It doesn’t seem like it requires a lot of effort but when you actually stop and try pay attention to the present, to how your mind bounces around or fixates itself on something, or to what your body is experiencing it can be a challenge to remain focused. It takes practice.

The benefits of mindfulness are numerous and as more studies come out touting the health benefits of staying present, it’s becoming a no brainer, like flossing your teeth.

For example, a recent study on mindfulness therapy and depression “established that mindfulness-based therapy is equally as good as drugs, which could offer a new option for those who do not want to be on medication for years.”

“It teaches people to recognise that negative thoughts and feelings will return, but that they can disengage from them. Rather than worrying constantly about them, people can become aware of them, understand them and accept them, and avoid being dragged down into a spiral leading back to depression.”

Want to try it?

Here’s a very simple exercise you can try anywhere at any time:

Focus on your breath for one minute.

That’s it.

Breathe in and out slowly. Your mind will drift and, when it does, notice your thoughts then return to your breath.


19 Apr

Links for a Sunday Morning

THEN & NOW: Watch Detroit change before your very eyes – Detroit Free Press

Amazing Detroit then and now pictures.

A realistic look at monogamy, affairs and the growth of monogamishness – Globe and Mail

The painful truth about long-lasting committed relationships: They offer security and familiarity. Which are precisely the opposite forces that drive passion – novelty, risk and the unknown. And yet we continue to expect both from one mere mortal, our spouse.

Making time for kids? Study says quality trumps quantity. – Washington Post

It appears the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out, and a minimal effect on adolescents, according to the first large-scale longitudinal study of parent time to be published in April in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The finding includes children’s academic achievement, behavior and emotional well-being.

Tough, Cheap, and Real. Detroit is Cool Again – National Geographic

“Detroit offers space and time. Here there’s maybe a chance for young people to build a middle class.”

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life – NY Times

The sweet spot for exercise benefits came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.

Indifference is a power – Aeon

Any misfortune ‘that lies outside the sphere of choice’ should be considered an opportunity to strengthen our resolve, not an excuse to weaken it.This is one of the truly great mind-hacks ever devised, this willingness to convert adversity to opportunity.

15 Apr

The Mama Expo Recap

Mama's Expo Booth

Phew! I made it through the big expo day!

I started out early– with a lot of help from my friend a future step-mother Silvia– setting up my Prenatal Yoga booth.

Mama's Expo Windsor

We laid out all my posters and postcards and brochures for the taking. And, of course, candy tastefully coordinated with my colour scheme (vanilla tootsie rolls and hershey’s kisses) which was my way of enticing people to my booth but really drew children over more than anything else.

Mama's Expo Windsor

Overall I think the expo did well. It was very well organized, especially since it was the inaugural year.
I was surrounded by some really cool booths and chatted with some really awesome vendors like Hot Mama Fitness, Bites for Babies, Ocean Bottom Soap, and the delightful Union Jack Pop-Up Tea Room.

I was on the workshop schedule so I sneaked away from the booth for 30 minutes to teach a Prenatal Yoga sampler to a small (okay, very small) group of ladies. Since the class was right at the start of the expo I expected no one to show. The fact that I got 3 ladies was a win.

I spent the rest of the day working the booth, handing out printouts, fielding questions about prenatal yoga, and smiling so much that I had to unscrew the smile off my face at the end of the day.

It was exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to teach yoga and I love to talk about the benefits of yoga and I want more people (especially pregnant women) incorporating yoga into their life.  That was the whole point of me being there. However, being social and smiling all day are not my forte. I’m more of the Silent-observer type, the Nose-in-a-book type, the Are-you-talking-to-me?-Please-don’t type. So, yeah, this was work.

But I’m so glad I stretched out of my comfort zone just a little to do it.

Mama's Expo Booth

 

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to say hi. Thanks to everyone that helped me as I got ready for this big event. Your support means so much.

01 Apr

The Mama Expo – my first show!

Mama Expo

I’m gearing up for my very first expo!

I’m pretty excited and nervous and maybe a bit overwhelmed as I get ready to promote prenatal yoga at The Mama Expo, with my own booth and stage time.

Mama Expo

The Mama Expo is a cool new shopping and pampering experience. New moms and moms-to-be are encouraged to come and have fun and do something just for them.

I’ve been busy designing posters, making business cards, creating a big banner, putting together a raffle prize, assembling brochures and postcards, and generally just trying to keep my shit together. I truly didn’t realize how much stuff I would have to think about.

Once I started planning one thing then I started thinking about another thing to plan and got into this snowball effect of thinking and planning and working and doing. Whew! I need yoga to de-stress.

I’m 12 days out from the expo (April 12) and think I just about have everything together. I’m looking forward to this event being a big success!

I’d love to see lots of faces there so if you do show up, stop by my booth and say hi!

Here’s what I’ll be providing:

– A sample 30 minute class at 10:15am on the main stage. BYO mat.

– Information about all the proven benefits that are associated with practicing yoga during pregnancy: how the practice will help women learn to handle stress and anxiety, have a better night’s sleep, and even improve the birth weight of their baby.

– Details about all my prenatal yoga classes and workshops at Downtown Yoga Studio and Breathe Pilates & Fitness

Candy! (Come to the booth before I eat it all)

A raffle for a basket of goodies for new moms valued at over $150 including a prenatal yoga DVD and a 6 class pass for Prenatal Yoga with me at Downtown Yoga Studio

– A yoga selfie contest! Post a photo of you in your favourite yoga pose. Tag yourself and Samantha Menzies Yoga (facebook) or @SamanthaYoga (twitter) for a chance to win a 6 class pass to Prenatal Yoga at Downtown Yoga Studio.