Monthly Archives: June 2015

Take the spiritual plunge into the sensory deprivation tank

A spiritual plunge into the sensory deprivation tank
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 23, 1015

floatpodalexandra-5

Photo courtesy of True REST

The sensory deprivation tank tantalized me when I first saw the film Altered States in 1980.

In this film, William Hurt, brainiac scientist, is convinced that different states of consciousness (sleep, dreaming, mental illness) are just as real as the “normal” waking state.  He tries to access those states by floating in the tank’s dark silence after ingesting psychedelic mushrooms. He then discovers a wormhole to the infinite catalogue of human experience. That wormhole was in his mind.

It’s trippy. Altered States is over-the-top science fiction, but the philosophy behind it isn’t that far out.

Continue reading

Breaking the binge eating patterns

Break the binge eating pattern
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 16, 2015

If you binge eat, listen: “When you reach for the potato chip bag remnants, scrape the bottom of the ice cream pint, polish off a bag of cookies or hit drive-thru after drive-thru and eat in the car, you know what you’re doing.

But you feel powerless to stop.

Employ rudimentary mindfulness.

As you overfeed your body, ask yourself, ‘What emotion am I feeling?’  It isn’t hunger but most likely anger, loneliness or boredom.

But you know that. Binge eaters feel and feel deeply.

Continue reading

Fixing the foot flop

Fixing the flop in your feet
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 9, 2015

Leslie Maxwell and Nancy Loughlin feet

Leslie Maxwell’s toes are straight up. Nancy Loughlin’s fall open.

“Lie back, relax and let your feet fall open.”

For years, I’ve heard yoga teachers say this prior to final relaxation.  I’ve said it myself and watched my students do it, but I won’t be saying it again.

The foot flop isn’t relaxation; it’s muscular imbalance.

“You do know your feet shouldn’t be like that, right?” personal trainer Magen Wooley asked me recently at Around the Clock Fitness.

Huh? I was lying on the floor being lazy. I lifted my head, and, sure enough, both of my feet had rolled open, my toes pointed outward and my inner thighs faced the ceiling. It’s not just at the gym.  My feet flop on the beach, sleep time, all supine occasions.

She explained, over time, the outward rotation of feet and legs could lead to lower back pain.

Legs roll open because internal rotators, such as the gluteus medius and maximus, need to be strengthened, and external rotators, including the piriformis and sartorius, need to be stretched.

Continue reading

Meditative art: Yantras, Zentangles and coloring

Leaving the left brain with meditative art
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 2, 2015

mavis gewant and joel ying

Mavis Gewant admires Joel Ying’s Yantra at a recent workshop at Love Yoga, Naples.

There are two sides to every brain, at least metaphorically.

People don’t use one side of the brain more than the other, yet the language is apt for explaining two different personality types. Those who like to describe themselves as “left-brained” tend to favor processes that are logical and sequential. Left brain is the stuff of linear reasoning and mathematical calculations. “Right-brained” people are more holistic in their perspectives, and they align with creativity and intuition.

Balance is ideal.  Facts and logic should be tempered by feeling while intuition is sharpened and tested by the academic touch.

Continue reading