Wall Street Journal, Living Life, Make It A Double Whopper, Please, Western Omelet, Exercise: Neck Stretches, Those Bad Moods

“Tune in to “Priscilla’s Yoga Stretches” on PBS Mon.- Fri. from Columbia, SC. If not available in your area, call your local programmer and request it. It is free to all PBS affiliates.“





WALL STREET JOURNAL


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With yoga now being touted as being one of the hottest fitness trends, the medical field is giving it a long and serious look. There was a wonderful article in the Wall Street Journal 7/23/02 documenting the clinical benefits of yoga practice. There were numerous reports of studies that have been completed involving patients with back problems, asthma, arthritis, and mental disorders. The findings were clear: People using yoga therapy received greater clinical benefits than those with the same disorders taking medications.





This article was specifically referring to therapeutic yoga as opposed to many of the popular trendy yoga classes taught throughout the country today which range vastly in the degree of intensity, temperature, repetition and stamina. Therapeutic yoga is what I’ve been involved in for thirty years, and I rejoice as I see the ‘legitimizing’ of this age old practice. Therapeutic yoga will increase flexibility, range of motion, tone muscles, stimulate circulation, release muscular tension and decrease stress. It is one of the finest methods to rejuvenate one’s body.





LIVING LIFE


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I recently had an email from a viewer who had a question, and also who wrote some very kind words regarding my TV show. I emailed her back, and signed off with my typical: “I promise, if you keep up with your yoga, your body will thank you for the rest of your life.” I had no idea of where she lived, what her lifestyle was, her age, or her physical condition. I received a response email from her, and I can’t resist sharing a portion of it with all of you:





“…I’ll soon be 71 but am still able to do most anything I want to and I’m sure it is at least partially due to doing yoga for many years. I’m headed to the Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Canada for a week of kayaking…Walked 800 miles last year to help raise awareness and money for birth defects, etc. We walked 20 miles a day, six days a week for two months – actually, the woman I walked with had walked 2500 miles – from Santa Monica, CA to Chicago. I just walked from Oklahoma City to Chicago with her. She was 68 then.”





This is absolutely fabulous! This is what I want to be like! Not only is she being PRO-active in her senior years, and truly LIVING life, but in the midst of it, she’s giving of herself to good causes. This lady is a tremendous example of looking forward and simply getting a hold of life and pressing on. We need much more of this mentality. Doesn’t it make you want to get started with yoga, and decide to at least begin taking a daily stroll? Keep it pleasant – don’t make it a physical punishment, but rather a refreshing break from your daily routines. If you determine to take the first step towards getting fit, please do it a little bit at a time until it becomes a real habit. Then gradually increase the intensity, so your body adapts without being shocked at what you’re trying to do to it. That does seem to be the way we work, unfortunately…we get pumped up about getting fit…we jump in with both feet, and go at it with aggression. The next day there is soreness and much less desire to work out, and on it goes until the whole thing is dropped again. Ease into it, keep it simple, do it daily, enjoy it for the sheer delight of doing something positive, and you will likely stick to it for the long haul. What do you have to lose?





MAKE IT A DOUBLE WHOPPER, PLEASE


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I don’t know why I’m surprised – but I am, to just recently see so much hoopla in the news about America’s obesity. I’ve been mentioning that in my newsletters for at least ten years. There is very grave concern in the medical community because the percentage of obese people and overweight people outnumber the people who are in a healthy weight range. Obese is described as being thirty or more pounds over a healthy weight, and overweight is described as being ten to thirty pounds over a healthy weight.





The concern with medical researchers is that this is going to end up being a financial medical catastrophe. There was one “guesstimate” in an article in USA Today (10/24/02) indicating that by 2030 almost everyone is going to be overweight. The diseases and illnesses caused by overweight are innumerable, but on the top of the charts are diabetes, heart, liver and cancer.





Well DUUHHH! And a man is suing McDonald’s for millions because he got fat eating their fast foods daily. Well gee…. Why can’t we understand if we eat fat, we store fat? If we eat more than we burn off, what’s not burned is stored as fat. Everything is “mega”. Huge portions in restaurants. Double and triple cheeseburgers…. Fries, fries, and more fries. Watch the television commercials and see how they promote their fatty foods. I truly believe it is time for us to be accountable and responsible for our health maintenance. What’s wrong with educating ourselves in proper nutrition and food and calorie values? While we joyfully immerse ourselves in eating whatever we want, as often as we want, and as much as we want, we seem totally unaware of the price we’re going to have to pay in the end. Being miserable in a big body, being ill, having huge medical expenses and having lost a wonderful quality of life. Let’s get back to lean and leafy, and sensible proportions!





WESTERN OMELET


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I generally eat high fiber, low fat cereal for breakfast with skim milk. On rush days, I might simply drink one of those meal supplements that are low fat and high in nutrition and vitamins. However, I’ve always loved omelets, and have developed my own little way of keeping them low fat, low cal, filling, and in my diet-minded opinion, delicious! As with all my little recipes, this is just to give you an idea, and you can tweak it anyway you want, so long as you remember we’re trying to keep the calorie/fat counts LOW. You can use 3 eggs, but I generally will use one, and then the equivalent of two eggs using egg substitutes.





Sauté in a nonstick fry pan with nonfat spray some fresh onion and bell pepper. Right at the end, add sliced mushrooms, and then add homemade or bottled salsa. Set aside. In a blender, add the egg and egg substitute and blend for at least one minute…the longer you blend, the fluffier it will be. Add just a bit of skim milk. Using a larger fry pan with nonfat spray, heat and pour egg mixture in it. Cover, lower heat and cook. Just before it gets firm, put a@ 2 oz of lean protein or low fat or fat free cheese on one half of the egg mixture, top with cooked mixture, fold in half, and cover and cook until well done. It is a gorgeous.





EXERCISE: NECK STRETCHES


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At the onset of every class I teach, I will ask my students if they have any ache or pain that might possibly be helped by specific yoga stretches. The two areas that never fail to affect at least one or two people in each class are the neck/shoulder area, and the lower back. You might find the following super-simple exercise to work wonders for the neck/shoulder ache. It never fails in my classes.





Sit upright, whether on a chair or on the floor with ankles crossed. Close your eyes and slowly drop your head forward and let it hang…no pushing, no effort, just letting it feel heavy and letting it hang, slowly stretching the neck and shoulder muscles. Breathe softly and rhythmically. Hold for about 15 seconds, and gently lift, dropping your head back, getting a delicate stretch to the front of your neck. Do not drop your head back severely. Hold for about 10 seconds, and bring your head upright. Once again, slowly drop your head forward and let it hang. Hold for about ten seconds and then gently begin to pull your shoulders in a downward direction, feeling the stretch through your neck and shoulders. Keep pulling downward, and then begin to tuck your chin into your chest, lengthening your muscles. Begin to stretch deeply, and hold your deepest stretch for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Gently release, and very slowly bring your head upright, once again dropping it back gently. Hold for several seconds, then bring your head back upright. Roll your head around, slowly, in a large circle, and then repeat in the opposite direction. That should do it!





THOSE BAD MOODS


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There is one thing we all have in common: bad moods. Some of us get lots of them, and often, while others get them very rarely. But get them we do! Some use bad moods to get what they want, a sort of intimidation ploy or a power struggle. Others use them to have a ‘pity party’ and get some attention. These are the kind of ‘bad moods’ that we have control over, because we DECIDED to submit to a bad mood. There are other bad moods that we really don’t seem to have a whole lot of control over. We’re just simply out of sorts. It was not a decision we made, but we just sense it inside…a short fuse, or as they say, you only have one nerve left and someone’s stepping on it. No one is to blame for it, but there it is, out of nowhere!





The very best thing to do about these unwanted moods is to announce it to those around you. Bring the ugly thing out of the dark and expose it for all to see. Let people know that none of them are responsible, but you’re just simply in a bad mood. It’s a really fair way to deal with this maddening thing. It’s wise to be accountable and upfront about it. It’s great to let other people know it and to realize they are not the cause. Try to get some space…. Even if it’s just a walk around the building, It is amazing to see how this takes the punch out of those undesired emotions!

   
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Yoga is very scientific exersise and Priscilla is an excellent teacher - the class 


My wife and I don\'t really know how many years we have been participants