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Showing posts from November, 2013

Don't Lose Your Touch

We live in a hyper-connected culture: FaceTime, Facebook, texting, Skyping, Tweeting, chat rooms, message boards. We connect through technology more than ever, staying in touch with record numbers of people at one time...but how many people really touch us? How many people do we touch, with our hands, our eyes, our hearts? Experts such as social psychologists and our own grandparents have suggested that most of us are actually out of touch...we're missing out on true connection. We are becoming lonelier. 
A Facebook friend of mine, who also happens to be one of my very few true friends, recently posted an article about loneliness and social media, confessing that she cried after reading it. We are holding our phones and tablets instead of each other: “the very magic of the new machines, the efficiency and elegance with which they serve us, obscures what isn’t being served: everything that matters. What Facebook has revealed about human nature—and this is not a minor revelation—is t…

Why Marcel Proust was a Yogi

From the time we are in our mother's womb, we learn and follow patterns that help us to survive. Our brains and nervous systems are wired to pick up and settle into patterns; in the womb we attune to our mother's heartbeat, her particular voice quality, her unique biorhythms and the predictable schedule of her life: when she eats, when she is physically active, when she sleeps. A baby is born into the world having already learned that life unfolds in predictable rhythms and patterns. As it grows, it develops its own patterns based on stimuli and reactions to the stimuli; some reactions work and others do not, so the brain adapts and finds a predictable structure of behaviors to follow, allowing the little baby to grow up, survive and thrive.

Beyond survival and comfort tactics, we develop and follow all sorts of patterns in our day to day lives as humans. Most of our physical and mental patterns operate on an unconscious level. Some patterns are what we call habits. We like t…

Whole Body Listening

I love school. As a yoga student and yoga teacher, I have found an ongoing way to continue the experience of school.  Right now I get to play the role of the teacher, but I know that each of us are teachers, no matter our jobs or our age. Some of my greatest teachers are my family members. I learn from my family each and every day. 

Last week my kindergarten-aged son Rhys brought home an award he received from his teacher: it was a Whole Body Listener certificate, and attached to it was a poster illustrating what it means to be a Whole Body Listener, with pictures of the eyes, mouth, hands, feet, brain and heart. Here is what I read from the poster:

Whole Body Listening is more than just “hearing” with the ears. It includes:listening with the eyes (looking at the speaker)listening with the mouth (closed and quiet - no talking or making sounds)listening with the body (facing the speaker)listening with the hands (quietly at the side of the body or in the lap)listening with the feet (stand…