Practice News and Calendar – July (2013)
PRACTICE WITH AWARENESS
Dear Practice Friends
In last month’s column I wrote about the need for exercising with a sense of purpose, an answer to the question, “why am I doing this” for those days when you really don’t feel like doing anything at all. I suggested that it’s important to take the long view, and ask yourself the difficult questions of what you generally hope to accomplish with the time that you have left and what specifically you would like the quality of your life to be like.
I received some wonderful feedback from a number of you, thank you! One client in particular turned my argument on its head when she told me that she doesn’t derive meaning from contemplating an uncertain future, but rather is trying to spend as much time as she can in the present moment. For her, being more aware of the people in her life and the activities in which she engages is most meaningful.
I agree with her that increasing the amount of awareness in our lives is a highly beneficial thing, though I do not see awareness and purpose as mutually exclusive qualities. Purpose is something that imbues your day to day actions with a specific “because.” For example, you might exercise regularly because you want to be able to play actively with your grandchildren. This purpose gives you a sense of direction, and moves you toward something you want, an item on your bucket list perhaps, or a milestone on your path to realizing your potential.
Awareness, on the other hand, brings us into the present, a state of non-distraction, where we can be grounded in our bodies and available to the people in our lives; all pretty amazing things I feel! Essentially, awareness is the part of us that knows that we know (or knows that we don’t know). It is one of the greatest gifts of humanity, because with it, we can see our choices and effect changes if we want to. At Practice, we promote awareness in ourselves and our clients as a powerful tool for breaking with outgrown habitual patterns and establishing new patterns congruent with our visions of a better life. (We also promote awareness because it feels better than being distracted!)
As humans, we tend to move toward the things that are meaningful to us, we make time for the things that are important to us. But awareness in itself doesn’t move us anywhere. It helps us to be present to the things around us and inside us right now. To make positive change in your life you generally need a good reason, which is to say your reason is meaningful, and that is where purpose comes in.
If your wish for yourself is to be more aware, more present to what’s happening in your life today rather than thinking about what may or may not come to pass tomorrow, then that is your purpose. What’s more, finding your awareness is easy to practice: you have only to ask yourself, “who is the person that not only knows I am reading these words, but is also aware of the thoughts I am having about these words?” Or you can let go of that question and let your awareness fill the room you are in, picking up the white noise of a clock or a bird chirping outside your window. You can also “listen” inside, to the sound of your heartbeat or the feeling of the waistband around your tummy and back. In that first second of recognition, before you start having thoughts about the reader, the clock, or your heart, you find your awareness and the momentary fulfillment of your purpose.
Ideally we want both purpose and awareness to be active components of any positive life change, which is the business we are in here at Practice. We believe that a life filled with purpose is one well-lived, and we hold that those who reside more in awareness than in distraction are happier, more resilient, and more fulfilled.
I invite your continued feedback. I would love to know what things motivate you most? What is your underlying motivation for coming in to the studio or exercising outside the studio?What is the reason you exist?
Monthly Class Calendar and 2013 Rates
The studio will be closed on July 4th for the holiday.
Yoga is cancelled for Thursday, July 25th
Wanting to train for a Fall half marathon or 10K? Hoping to run your first 5K? Looking to keep that summer fitness intact? Then our friends at Up and Running Fitness Shoes and Apparel have a solution for you. Their 12 week Fall Fit Series begins with an info meeting on July 1 at 630 at the store, with training sessions starting July 9th. Register by the 9th for discounts and incentives!
Tom Sand and Anne Kearney of Rue Dumaine are co-sponsors with Abita beer for the upcoming NOLA Summer in Dayton, featuring 3 great New Orleans bands to play at Canal Street Tavern. Tickets can be bought online at yeahyourightmusic.com, or in person at Rue Dumaine or the 5th Street Wine & Deli. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 dollars day of show. Call 937-305-8922 for more info.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
Michael Kunesh was kind enough to forward me this youtube video of Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, giving a lecture at UCSF in which he “explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.”
Dr. Lustig argues passionately that over consumption of fructose is at the heart of many of the diseases of civilization that had historically been attributed to saturated fats. Watch, and see what you think:
How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings
Adding fuel to the fire for the arguments Dr. Lustig makes in the video mentioned above, the NY Times just last week reported on a new study that suggests that not all calories are equal
16 Diet-Friendly Healthful Carbs
If we greatly reduce the amount of fructose from our diet, with what do replace it? here are some suggestions from Livestrong.com:
The A.M.A. Recognizes Obesity as a Disease
From the New York Times’ Andrew Pollack: “The decision by the American Medical Association could have implications for health care companies and the pharmaceutical industry.”
The Rise of the Minimalist Workout
Gretchen Reynolds at the NY Times reviews the literature on the effects of high intensity interval training, noting, “experts say there are still many unanswered questions about the long-term effects and efficacy of the wildly shrinking doses of exercise being studied and promoted by scientists and journalists, (including this writer).”
Cheating Ourselves of Sleep
From the Personal Health columns of the NY Times, Jane E. Brody writes about the deleterious long term effects of sleep deprivation, noting that “failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten your life.”