happy holidays!

Wishing you all a happy holidays!

Over the holidays I’m going to spend some long mornings in my PJs, read some good books, eat lots of gingerbread and work on a paper or two from my couch (with a snuggly bulldog on my lap)!

1986 Dec 24 Santa Gord and Kate

(Christmas 1986)

1987 Dec Kate and Jesse in front of Christmas tree

(Christmas 1987 with Jesse and his stocking cap)

1988 Kate and Snowman

(Christmas snowman 1988… no snow here in Victoria, but I’ll dream of corncob pipes & button noses)

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season! See you in 2014…  much love.

“my life with Parkinson’s”: a neuroscientists reflections

I want to share this article I found last month in Nature, an international science journal.

It’s written by a young professor at a major research university and explores the stigma of ‘mental illness’.

He is a brain scientist with a disabling disease of the brain, Parkinson’s disease.

Does Parkinson’s affect the way he does science? Does is affect the day-to-day mechanics of experiments? Or his scientific research direction?

(nature.com)

I’m going to leave it at that, and let the article speak for itself… READ IT HERE … I found it really insightful!

Enjoy – much love.

Victoria Yoga Conference

… Have you heard about the Victoria Yoga Conference?

Web-Header2014

The Victoria Yoga Conference (VYC) is a weekend of inspiration, motivation and deep learning about the practice of yoga. The Second Annual Victoria Yoga Conference or VYC format includes yoga practice, workshops, yoga business workshops to assist studio owners and teachers how to market themselves and truly make a business of their passion and other inspirational speakers and workshop leaders.

I’ll be there teaching a Yogadopa workshop for all people living with Parkinson’s, caregivers and healthcare professionals Saturday February 1st. Keep checking here for more info to come…

You can check out the list of all workshops HERE and teachers HERE!

Register before Dec 31st and save! Hope to see you there! much love.

This is your brain on meditation

To follow up on Tuesday’s post of debunking meditation myths, I want to tell you WHY you should start to meditate… even when you’re starting out… even when you’re only doing it for 2mins a day (success = starting a tiny habit with consistency)!

(yogaonthebrazos.com)

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

… SO we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation!

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier life.

After meditating, our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would, even after our first meditation session… allowing greater focus!
Lasting effects include:
  • better focus
  • decreased anxiety (by weakening the neural connections in the medial prefrontal cortex that create “anxiety” sensation patterns)
  • improved creativity
  • greater empathy and compassion
  • improved memory recall, working memory, and productivity
  • increased grey matter in hippocampus and frontal areas (… related to emotional stability, focus and cognitive decline)

(reallifebh.com)

From Jennifer at Kripalu’s Thrive Blog:

“One common misconception about meditation is that the goal is to have no thoughts at all. Actually, the practice is to allow the thoughts to flow but not get absorbed in their narrative.”

… and the REAL-LIFE application of meditation? “f you train your mind not to get swept up when faced with distractions, you will be better able to deal with common stimuli like e-mails, texts, phone calls, and arguments and react to them skillfully.”

So, NOW are you ready to start a meditation practice? much love.

10 Meditation Myths

  1. Meditation = Concentration (… in actuality, meditation is relaxation of the mind, a sort of deconcentration. if the mind is relaxed, the end results is better concentration).
  2. Meditation = Religious (… in actuality, it is an ancient practice that transcends religion.)
  3. Meditation = sitting in lotus posture (… in actuality, a comfortable steady pose – whatever that is for you – helps your body, and mind relax into meditation.)
  4. Meditation is for old people (… in actuality, no matter what our age, we can all use a little help learning to be emotionally stable and strong, and calm.)
  5. Meditation = Hypnosis (… in actuality, meditation is an antidote for hypnosis, making us more aware and freeing us from the impressions in our mind.)
  6. Meditation = Thought-control (… in actuality, the idea is to let your thoughts come and go as they please and become aware of them after they arrive. Be the witness, not the controller.)
  7. Meditation = a way to run away from problems (… in actuality, meditation enables us to develop the ability to accept situations as they are and take conscious action; building inner strength.)
  8. Meditation = hours and hours (… in actuality, the deep connection can occur in moments.)
  9. Meditation = monks/recluses (… in actuality, it gives you a happy and relaxed mind to live your fullest day to day life, whatever that is.)
  10. Meditation = restricted by time and space (… in actuality, you can meditate any time, in any space. Though, it’s best to do it around sunrise and sunset).

kaitlyn-roland-yoga-meditation

… does that clear up any misconceptions? What are you thoughts on meditation – do you meditate? What are the benefits?

Thanks Bhanu Narasimhan for this great article!

Happy meditating! much love.