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Well-Being: Seeing Clearly (June 2017 Newsletter)
Sipra, doing well after her first cataract surgery.

Sipra, doing well after her first cataract surgery.

Wellness is a state of mind as much as it is a state of being. When we know we can take steps to make life easier and better, we should act. It is that juncture when one can foresee that it is the right time to take steps to change the dysfunction. Life sometimes jolts us into this realization through an uncomfortable incident. It could be the deception of a friend or partner, or some physical or mental discomfort that doesn't seem to be getting better but only aggravating over time. Do something! It will not go away. Walking away or a corrective action, or surgically removing the offensive cause of dis-ease may be expensive in many ways, but it's better done sooner rather than later. The hurt, the pain will soon go away, and you will come out of it stronger, better, healthier.

I have some developing cataracts in both my eyes, and I could wait a few years for them to mature enough to require surgery. Even though they are not really hindering my vision, I decided to get them removed now while I am in good health and recovery should be quick. There is always an element of risk, but one takes the pros and cons and decides on what to do. But do something we must!

I am having two cataract procedures on May 30 and June 13. I will be back to instruct classes when I get the go-ahead from my surgeon. Classes will continue with YWB instructors graciously offering to sub my classes. My daughter, Pia, trained at White Lotus, California, will be visiting Columbus for a week and will teach three classes as well.

Well-Being: Snacking (May 2017 Newsletter)

Everyone is always talking about diet and eating right. Actually it's simple. Just remember to think carefully before consuming anything. Eat well at mealtimes and have a filling meal. Snacking becomes unnecessary. Most snacks like pretzels, crackers and cheese, chips etc. are best avoided.

If you eat well at mealtimes, you don't need to snack. Don't buy snacks that are not so good for you. You will not have them around when you feel you have to snack on something. Don't add additional salt, sugar, butter, cream, or hard cheeses except to season your food.

With fresh food seasons coming up, enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables even for a snack. Still feel like you want to munch on something? Try a few nuts.

Drink plenty of water flavored with lemon or fruit flavors, if you don't like it plain. Avoid pop during, after, or between meals.

You have heard this before. Now just do it. Consistently.

NewsletterChris Johnson

Niyama: Commitment to Oneself

In the October newsletter we considered commitment as a philosophical concept according to Patanjali's 'Yoga Sutra'. Life is all about commitment and surrender. 'Commitment to the cause and surrender to the result.'

In a practical sense, our commitments make us who we truly are. Do we value our own word? Often we will do all we can to follow through on what we have promised others, but just as often we drop the commitment to ourselves. How can we do our best for others if we don't practice it on ourselves first? How can we feed the hungry when we ourselves are starved? 

Start by being your best self! In the study of yoga one learns that it starts with Niyama in Ashtanga (or the Eight Limbs of Yoga) which is the second step in physical, mental and spiritual growth. Niyama (the commitment to daily observances relating to oneself) consists of keeping oneself morally pure in body, mind and spirit (shaucha); being content (santosha); persistently practicing self-discipline (Tapas); self-study/self reflection (Svadhyaya); and focus on the Ultimate Reality or spiritual transformation (Ishwarapranidhana).

Commitment is a conscious decision made by us to/for ourselves. It is made with full awareness of the goal in mind - to be better, and to ultimately be the best we can be in this lifetime. It is a commitment to connect with our better Self, and connect to the world around us in loving and giving ways. It is not at all about how we look or how we present ourselves to the world. Nevertheless, self-care is very much a commitment to ourselves.

Hold your head up high, friend, and breathe deep. Make heads turn in wonder at the majesty of your Being.



NewsletterChris Johnson