Monthly Archives: March 2014

Elite soccer athletes get a kick out of yoga

Finding the center with elite athletes
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on March 25, 2014.  Posted with permission.

soccer

Don’t. Leak. Energy.

For athletes or any committed types, this is good advice.

The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) soccer team has been practicing yoga twice a week with Gary Granza since August 2013.

In a typical practice, Granza and his thick New York City accent move through 20 elite athletes.  They lie on their backs, pulling their right legs into their chests, grimacing and straining with effort, sometimes pain.

One player tries to text while stretching, and Granza hovers, reminds him about leaking energy, and then offers this second piece of sage advice:  “Don’t be an asshole.”

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Four lessons from running in one foot of snow

Four lessons learned while running in one foot of snow
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on March 18, 2014.  Posted with permission.

snowy pic

Nancy Loughlin at the Wyandotte finish line.

1. Anyone can freak out. Anyone.

When I’m in hot water, I understand getting mad. It’s my go-to emotion. I have tools for navigating rage: lion’s breath, counting to ten, a five-mile run, stepping back one foot both metaphorically and literally. But, when it comes to panic, the “Oh, My God. I’m Going to Die!” thing, I’m not so adept.

The start gun exploded at 9 a.m. I was set to run ten miles in majestic Wyandotte County Park in Kansas City. It was 15 degrees, no sun, wind, and one foot of snow snuggled the ground. I wasn’t even a quarter of a mile in when I couldn’t lift my feet. The snow was glue. My legs were iron, and I was reduced to slow motion. I started to shake, and my scattered thoughts clawed to find my yoga.

The seasons correspond to Ayurvedic doshas, and this Floridian’s heat can handle angry pitta fire. But snowy winter invites vata’s flighty panic. I curled my hands into fists, and stomping my feet seemed reasonable. I wailed under the canopy of snow-covered pines.

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Detoxify with 50 baby steps

Fifty detoxifying baby steps
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on March 11, 2014. Posted with permission.

Spring is imminent, and with spring comes spring cleaning. It’s not just for the house, but it’s for the body.

Like any bout of cleaning and considering the amount of toxins in our world, it is better to detoxify the body each day. Choose from this menu of baby steps:

1 . The body detoxes best between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m., so optimize this prime time by skipping food during these 12 hours.

2. Number two. How often do you go? The rule of thumb is a movement for every meal you eat. If you’re stopped up, a colonic may be in order. Triphala, an Ayurvedic herb, is great to get a flow on.

3. Upon rising, drink hot water with lemon, cayenne, or garlic (or all three). You know your social situation.

4.  Wheatgrass juice is the ultimate elixir. If you can do two shots per day on an empty stomach, go for it.

5.  Expose yourself to the sun to build your immune system, but be smart. You know your skin and how not to burn it.

6. You aren’t smoking, are you?

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Weight management through eating meditations

Weight management through eating meditations
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on March 4, 2014.  Posted with permission. 

“If I could get my weight down, my whole life would fall into place.”

Reverse that. In reality, once we become mindful, everything in life falls into place, including our weight.

If weight loss is the goal, dieting and restriction are not the answers.

The dieting mentality is not productive, nor is it nurturing. This thinking causes us to skip meals or ignore hunger. We pound ourselves with overzealous exercise. We deprive ourselves of the foods we love and binge when we feel starved, both physically and emotionally. The dessert is ferocious self-flagellation and unkind self-talk which damages self-esteem and intensifies the cycle.

This kind of tough love doesn’t work. Self-compassion does.

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