Life throwing you curveballs? Try Side Stretch Meditation

Side-stretch meditation: when life throws you a curveball
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 6, 2017

Meghan Pullaro and Heather Holland of Yoga Tribe, Fort Myers, demonstrate the Side Stretch Meditation. Yoga Tribe will be offering teacher training soon!

You know what they say about the best-laid plans.  They often go awry.

You can collapse in a heap of despair since your perfect strategies blew up in your face.  You had aspirations for career advancement (you got fired) or personal growth (you picked the wrong teachers) or romantic happiness (you got dumped).

Or, not.  Just because life tipped you over doesn’t mean you have to go back to the drawing board.  Know where you stand, affirm your goal and your intention, and stay grounded. All you have to do is accommodate and explore the plot twist. Continue reading

Staying focused: knowing the difference between jobs and purpose

Staying focused on the path of purpose
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on May 30, 2017

Jobs drain energy.  “Your work” fuels passion.

Whether dictated by ancient wisdom or mainstream psychology, the highest state of consciousness is self-actualization.  That’s when you realize your golden spiritual purpose.

If your work is not guided by higher intentions, you will be led by your impulses to gratify your senses.  Even worse, your toil will bite you in the ass with burnout, resentment and bitterness.

You’ll know when you arrive at your work.  All unnecessary activity, all the leaking of energy, dissipates, and you are hyper focused. Every day becomes an adventure on the path of purpose. Your life steps to a new plateau of balance and knowing, a connection to all that is.  Why?  Because you know how you serve, how you are a wave in the ocean as well as the ocean. You exist in your flow. Continue reading

Intuitive eating may be weight loss key

Three steps to intuitive eating
By Nancy B. Loughlin

Published in News Press on May 24, 2017 

Tracy Brown

Eating is one of those primal urges.

It’s why dieting for weight loss is a flop.

According to Naples registered dietician Tracy Brown, we can’t live without five things: air, water, shelter, sleep, and, of course, food.

“With any of those five, once the relationship is disturbed or withheld for a prolonged period of time, there are going to be physical, mental and emotional consequences,” Brown said.

As a dietician, she is dismayed by the dieting culture because people think they can “white knuckle” through food deprivation and not expect a negative outcome.

The inevitable binge cycle is likely.

“People blame themselves when these are biological certainties,” she said. Continue reading

Riding the #PeaceRocks train

Riding the #PeaceRocks train
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on May 16, 2017

Alex Wilkins spreads PeaceRocks on the beach…

PeaceRocks are everywhere.

They dot the beaches, grocery store parking lots, and they are tucked into park shrubbery.

It’s a trend.  People locally and around the world are painting rocks with messages of peace and love and stashing them in public places so strangers can find them.

Zachari VanDyne, director of CasaShanti, recently hosted about 50 people for a rock painting gathering at the Fort Myers meditation center.

He explained the PeaceRocks movement is way to engage everyone in the practice of basic spiritual mindfulness.  As people search for the rocks, the signs of peace, they become more mindful and gentle with their footsteps. Continue reading

Rethinking television’s energy….

Rethinking television’s energy
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on May 9, 2017

During a recent sleepless night, I lunged for my drug of choice: Netflix.

At 2 a.m., I perused the streaming choices and clicked on Jurassic Park.  I saw it when it first opened in 1993, and it was undemanding.

This time, I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night because I was horrified.

To a yogi, the phrase “It’s just a movie” is a lie. Continue reading

Let curiosity flow: six steps to embrace the rut

Let curiosity flow: six steps to embrace the rut
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on May 2, 2017

Are you in a rut?

Are you stuck?  Are you running on the Hamster Wheel to Nowhere? Is your tire sinking in the mud-covered road?

Stay there.

A rut, or what I prefer to call “A Necessary Retreat from Activity,” is a perfect place to sit, protected and isolated, and to enrich yourself in preparation for your next move.  And you never know what that move could be.

For now, just go with the flow.

Begin a basic Sankalpa meditation.

A life full of activity is not a life filled with purpose. The rut indicates your actions haven’t been in alignment with your true nature and your dharma, so you need to drop out and tune in. Continue reading

How to sacrifice… when you really don’t want to sacrifice

The flow of sacrifice
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on April 25, 2017

I was running my mouth about the same person.  Again.

Reiki master Shakti Barnhill looked at me. Again.  Her patience was dwindling.  Again.

“You’re talking about this person.  Again,” she said.

I was.  Again.

Exasperated Shakti held up her hands and said, “Let’s set a time limit.”

After some negotiation, I decided I would stop again-ing by Easter weekend.

This was going to be tough. I liked making myself miserable talking about this person, endlessly dissecting every email and flippant comment.  I knew talking about this person was just some of my crap, and I, like everyone else, like my crap’s familiar terrain. Continue reading

Do-it-yourself reflexology

DIY reflexology
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on April 18, 2017

Lynda works the feet with myofascial release.

There is something blissful about a foot massage.

Devotees call it “foot work.”

There is evidence of foot reflexology being practiced long ago in ancient Egypt and China, the theory being different parts of the foot correspond to different parts of the body. Applying pressure to these foot points can alleviate distress in the body, both physical and energetic.

According to Lynda Artesani, yoga teacher with Joyful Yoga, Bonita Springs, the foundation of your body is your feet as it is where you connect to the earth. What happens in your feet travels all the way up the body, and the alignment or position of your feet will have an effect on your knees, hips, low back and overall health.

“Think train tracks; that is the alignment you want to go for,” Artesani said. Continue reading

Yoga for asthma relief

Yoga for asthma relief
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on April 11, 2017

For about 25 million American asthmatics, the breath can be the enemy.

According to Dr. Charles V. Klucka, an allergy and asthma specialist based in SW Florida, asthma is a chronic, obstructive airway disease.

An asthma attack’s possible triggers are plentiful and vary significantly from individual to individual.  The cause can be allergic (i.e., cat or dust allergies) or non-allergic due to viral infections or, for some people, exercise.

Traditional treatments include medications, allergy injections, and avoidance of common triggers.  But even these measures won’t eliminate attacks completely.

Asthma attacks are frightening.  Peggy Phillips, life-long asthma sufferer in SW Florida, described how harrowing an attack can be: “It’s as if someone is tightening a belt around my chest.  It keeps getting tighter and tighter, and that, of course, elicits fear and makes the attack worse.  To say that I’m gasping is inadequate. I become simply desperate for breath. Desperate is the word.”

“I have to slow down and remind myself that the anxiety and terror aren’t real, and they will just exacerbate the attack.  My mind has to take over,” she said.

This is yoga. Continue reading

Combat the slouch, enhance spiritual evolution

Learn from the slouch
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on April 4, 2017

Sandy and Tristin, two South Fort Myers High yogis, demonstrate a steady seat. Sandy has tight hips, and her knees pop. Tristin is flush to the floor.

 Hit the floor and sit cross-legged.

Are your knees flush to the floor and your spine straight?  Or, do your knees pop off the floor causing you to slouch?

If your knees are floating, your hips are tight. Overuse can tighten the hip flexors and glutes, but so can marinating in a chair for hours each day.

Yes, flexible and stable hips are key for athletic performance.  They can also avert knee and lower back pain.

But, what’s even more important is how tight hips throw the entire body out of alignment and impede spiritual development.  Continue reading