Thursday, September 16, 2021

Forest Bathing

January 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Enhance your enjoyment of nature:

Shinrin Yoku (pronounced shin rin yo koo) is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.  It’s not just for health, it’s for our relationships with nature, the type of relationships that support sustainable living.

There is space in the silence and it’s not just about us.  Others are out in nature to enjoy the stillness, the sounds, the magic.  Think Muir Woods in the morning.   Our group walks thru silently demonstrating respect for the majesty and for others (who are there for their wonder, not to be blasted with multiple, competing conversations – sounds carry).  In Shinrin Yoku, we revel in the sounds of water, birds, groaning trees in the wind, even our footfalls.

and

Komorebi (木漏れ日) (pronounced komo ray bee)  is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “sunlight shining through the leaves of trees.”  Enjoy this poem.

Face Toning Exercises

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness & Health, Uncommon Sense

A member in my Core, Cardio & More class told me about these exercises.  She’s almost 60 and looks under 40 – her face and neck look as smooth as silk.  She’s been doing these exercises for years and they work for her.  It makes so much sense to me because muscles like toning.  Practice & Enjoy!

 

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California: Car and Driver are reunited

January 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous, Uncommon Sense

California is a desert. Every now and then we get WEATHER.

Yesterday, we went down the coast to attend a memorial service for a dear cousin. I tell you this so you know that only a truly important event would have gotten us out of the house on a stormy day – the likes of which we have not seen in a long time.  The memorial service was deeply moving and connected us as a community of friends and relatives.

When we went to leave, Half Moon Bay frogs were SINGING. We got in our car and went NOWHERE. We were STUCK. While we were inside enjoying food, song and conversation, my car was sinking. 3 men tried to push, 3 manly-men admitted defeat. With all the weather-related events happening, AAA was over 90 minutes away but then they went to a similar street name in San Mateo instead of Half Moon Bay. So we waited, made comfortable and welcome by dear cousins.

Finally, help arrived. AAA had to get creative to get my deeply-stuck-in-the-mud front tires free – this was not a straight forward release. Then Bob painstakingly rinsed the mud from the brakes. We left behind a huge hole – sorry cousins!  Finally, we were on our way home – around 11, not 8. All this time, the weather cooperated with only light sprinkles from time to time.

Home stretch: Coming into Pacifica, we encountered a police action. The road was closed due to a mudslide. I got out of the car and politely approached one of the many policeman (some of whom were waving flashlights around seemingly randomly, getting all the drivers confused). The officer I approached  was not helpful.  Isn’t part of a policeman’s job to be polite to regular folk, to answer reasonable questions in something other than unhelpful monosyllables?  As I returned from the policeman, many people in cars scattered all over were waiting and asking ME what was happening. I could have relayed good information; I could have been a bearer of NEWS as well as good will and a collective understanding that stuff happens.

At that point, we had a choice. Go all the way back to Half Moon Bay and around – at least an hour of driving with no knowledge of what we’d encounter (the AAA driver had already told us they were pulling a car out of a ditch on the main road) OR WALK.

We parked, got our headlamps (yes, I carry one in my car – thank goodness), an umbrella and started walking. The heavens picked THAT moment (the very moment we started walking) to dump BUCKETS of water on us. We sloshed for 45 minutes in a deluge of rain, running water, puddles and debris all over the roads and sidewalks.  We had a powerful tailwind.  Pacifica frogs were SINGING.  We got home safe and sound and soaked.

The next morning, I woke up realizing all my gear (for my morning class) was in my car. Plus all the yummy food from last night’s gathering.  Highway One was still closed, but they were running one-way controls, causing big delays in the morning commute.  Bob and I braved it.  We arrived at the tail end of traffic in both directions.  Instead of over an hour of waiting, we retrieved my car in 10 minutes. It was a breeze, almost as if nature was apologizing for the night before.

Travel Safe!

Update:  Good news – no one is hurt.  Bad news – AAA tow truck driver damaged my car when he tried the first 2 times to pull it out.  Toyota says it’s irreparable, structural damage and egregious incompetence of a tow truck driver.  Sigh.

Hindsight lesson for my readers:  A simple tow out of the mud should not result in severe damage to your car.  Never again shall I ASSume that the professional tow truck driver knows what’s best without monitoring closely.

Chant for 2017

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous, Uncommon Sense

I love this chant!

I learned it from my good friend Renee

written by: Ravyn Stanfield

TheraBand Routine for Improved Posture, Upper Back Health

This holiday, I gave TheraBands.  These are the bands you get at PT – they come in a roll and are cut.  I cut 5′ lengths.  But the main gift was the routine I designed for using it to improve posture and activate upper back muscles.  So much of our lives are spent in the forward posture that pulls us into dis-ease.  These gentle strengthening movements are the opposite of computer work, driving, forward everything.  Form is important!

How you hold the band sets the stage.

  • Choose the color band that allows light work to start.
  • Hold loosely with the thumb on the same side as your fingers (overhand grip).
  • As you have a slight tension on the band, look at your wrist.  Make sure it’s STRAIGHT.  This is the biggest mistake people make.  In order to straighten your wrist, you actually have to push your hand outward.

1. Straight Arm Pull Apart

  • Arms straight out in front at a slight angle
  • Start with gentle tension of the band
  • Pull the band outward keeping arms and wrists straight.
  • As you pull the band back towards you, it will come closer to your chest and you should feel the muscles behind and between your shoulders
  • This is an activation movement, not a body-building exercise.  Use only the tension you need to feel the shoulders pull together behind you.
  • To protect your low back, put one foot slightly in front of the other into a stagger stance.  Notice how this softens your knees and helps you maintain a neutral spine.
  • Do 8 to 10 reps
  • The light tension means you can do this once a day just to activate the upper back muscles.

2. Wrist Work

  • Do exactly the same movement as above, but when you get to about 45 degree outward with your arms (about half way), push your wrists outward and slowly return.
  • The arms stay still, just the wrists move
  • Do 5 to 10 of these

3. Anchor Series

  • One arm is STRAIGHT out in front (not angled off to the side or up) and holds the band
  • Holding arm – thumb up (this is better for your shoulder)
  • Relax both shoulders down
  • With the other straight arm, pull the band downward and behind the body – this engages the latissimus dorsi
  • do each side 5 to 10 times
  • You can also pull outward (similar to #1).  Notice how the holding arm works very differently in this movement
  • Another variation that I love is to do slow circles.  I prefer circles backward (clockwise on the R, counterclockwise on the L)

With all of these movements, if there’s any discomfort AT ALL:

  • slow down
  • make the movement smaller
  • stop doing it

Remember to walk with attitude, swagger and walk young!

 

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