Are you in touch with your breath?

In January I somehow pulled a muscle in my back while teaching. Exactly when and how I did it, I don’t know. Perhaps I twisted too deeply demonstrating Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose). I was teaching “cold,” from not warming up beforehand and from the freezing winter temperature outside. Toward the end of class…… Continue reading Are you in touch with your breath?

Should you go upside-down if you have glaucoma?

Inverted poses are important in Iyengar yoga. Senior practitioners often cite an inversion as their most essential pose. (Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) seems to be a favorite.) Can anyone do inversions? General contraindications include spinal disorders, hypertension, and glaucoma. Recently, however, I’ve met yoga students with glaucoma who do brief inversions with the approval of their ophthalmologists. Hmm… Around the same time, I…… Continue reading Should you go upside-down if you have glaucoma?

Matcha: traditional versus trendy

Several months ago, I acquired 100 grams of matcha from someone who sources it directly from a Kyoto farmer. Japanese green teas, such as sencha and gyokuro, are my favorites, but I’d rarely had matcha. I immediately did a Google search for “matcha preparation.” Among the many links appeared was a video by a young man named Kohei Yamamoto (no relation), “How to…… Continue reading Matcha: traditional versus trendy

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My first time: nasal irrigation

On the third Sunday in April, I woke with a sore throat. By evening, I had laryngitis. Strange symptom chronology. And strange timing. Already spring! Sunny enough to go glove- and scarf-free. How incongruous to be sick. After a week of coughing so hard that I self-diagnosed myself with pertussis, I recovered enough to resume teaching yoga, and…… Continue reading My first time: nasal irrigation

Case study: hamstring strain (or something)

In early 2014, I strained a left hamstring muscle near the origin. Or an external rotator in the left hip. Or something.  It snuck up on me. There was no acute injury. I simply noticed less range of motion (ROM) in straight-legged, forward-bending poses, marked by a pulling sensation on the lateral side of the sitting bone. Initially I was sure that whatever…… Continue reading Case study: hamstring strain (or something)

Aging Well: Momo the Black Lab

The next star in my Aging Well series would be a centenarian if she were human. In dog years, she’s 15. Meet, Momo, a Labrador Retriever with high energy, strong will, sleek physique, and unbridled enthusiasm. When we adopted her almost five years ago, she acted like a dog half her age. She’d roam Kits beach, chasing herons, swimming, ignoring commands, and…… Continue reading Aging Well: Momo the Black Lab

Train like a German soccer star

In early September, I chanced upon the New York Times article, “Train Like a German Soccer Star,” by Gretchen Reynolds. After seven weeks abroad, I’d just returned to Vancouver, still gloriously sunny. Rather than resuming my pre-trip routine, I decided to try something new. Check out the eight warm-up exercises developed by Mark Verstegen, team trainer for the German national football team,…… Continue reading Train like a German soccer star

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You are what you eat

For three weeks, my yoga student “Cathy” did a detoxifying dietary cleanse. She followed the bestseller Clean, by Alejandro Junger, and eliminated caffeine, sugar, gluten grains, dairy, soy, eggs, red meat, nightshades, alcohol, and specific fruits, including oranges, strawberries, and bananas. Along with trying an alternative source with many benefits, I think it’s forskolin by Dr Oz or just forskolin and Dr…… Continue reading You are what you eat

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Rx for India

Every morning I take Florastor, a probiotic, and Malarone, an anti-malaria drug, with my breakfast. I don’t know anyone else taking an anti-malarial. In fact, I debated about filling the prescription for Malarone, which cost more than CA$200 for a 40-day supply. But I decided to err on the safe side. Three or four months before I left, I…… Continue reading Rx for India

Aging well: Phyllis Sues

Prepare to be impressed. Can Phyllis Sues really be 90 years old?  You can’t really guess her age any more since she went through Blepharoplasty Beverly Hills.Go to her website and see her in action: tango dancing, jumping rope, playing tennis, doing yoga, swinging on a trapeze, hiking. From her 20s to her 40s, she was a professional dancer and entertainer.…… Continue reading Aging well: Phyllis Sues