Breathing To Be 100!

90-year-old Australian Rower, Ralph Howard

The 80 and 90 year old women and men that I see frequently in the medical clinic never cease to amaze me.  Many are still driving, living on their own, dress beautifully (and colorfully!) and have a zest for life reflected in their curiosity, creativity, sense of humor, and varied interests that I find contagious!  I often ask them how old they feel inside and I often get the answer of at least 50 years younger than their actual age.

I remember when I turned 50, and was having a very difficult time of it.  I asked a beautiful woman in her 70’s how old she felt inside and she paused a bit and then said – well I do believe I feel about 24, until I pass by a mirror and happen to glance at my image she laughed.  It was then that I realized that aging is an inside job – and how healthy and vital we remain through the years that we are given is a great deal in our hands, our minds, our hearts – and our practices.

90-year-old Andora Quimby started weight training at age 78!

Here is a portion of a blog post on Living To Be 100 from David Dowell – Creator of OomphTV (who has a mother in her 80’s that teaches yoga and has recently launched, with her daughter, a business called The Green Buddha)

Be sure to look for Breathing Spaces additional “secret”!

*****************
Today I ran across an article from Health magazine.
Apparently those born after the year 2000 are more likely than ever to live to 100, according to research from Denmark. Good news for the kids, but what about us grown-ups?
Genetics do play a big factor in how long you live (thank you grandparents), but only somewhere between 20% and 50%, depending on the experts you ask. That still leaves over 50% up to YOU! Walter Bortz II, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford, suggests how you can improve your odds of a long life and reduce disease.

We can call this The Walter Bortz II, MD, Secrets to a Long Life:
*Bulk up on fruits and veggies, +5 years (plant based whole foods diets reduce disease)
*Exercise five days a week, +2 to +4 years (move and elevate your heart rate for a half-hour a day, minimum)
*Reduce stress, up to +6 years (from meditation to music to movement to art therapy. Find something that work for you.
*Get a hobby, +2 years (provides a sense of accomplishment.)
*Floss, +6.4 years (removing harmful bacteria reduces stroke and heart attack risks.)
*Vacation, +1 to +2 years (leisure is a great stress reliever!)
*Sleep seven to eight hours nightly, +2 years (sleep assists cell repair.)
*Have sex, +3 to +5 years (releases feel good hormones and burns about 200 calories, too!)
Thought you would like to know!

*******************

*BreathingSpaces Addition:

Breathe Consciously and Fully, +7 years (assists body/mind/heart/spirit to stay vital, energetic, and in balance/harmony!  Also great stress reliever and disease buster!! )

After all is said and done my vote is for quality, and the above “good habits” can certainly contribute to that.   By the way, it is never too late to start!  Let us know if there are additional practices that you would add!

Addendum: For more info on Andora Quimby

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Make Room In Your Pelvis

Have you ever checked in with the tension that you may be holding in your pelvic floor muscles??  If you live in a Western culture I would be willing to bet that there is quite a bit of unnecessary tension there (we don’t squat much!), which is coupled with self image and the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world we inhabit.

The pelvis is part of the lower breathing space and pelvic floor muscles directly affect the quality and fullness of our breathing.  Here is what Dennis Lewis says about it in Breathe Into Being:

These muscles include the perineum, located between the anus and sexual organs, and the pelvic diaphragm, which stretches across the floor of the pelvic cavity.  In healthy natural breathing, during inhalation the diaphragm in the chest moves downward, the belly expands outward, the abdomen widens in all directions, and the pelvic floor moves slightly downward.  During exhalation, the entire process is reversed, with the pelvic diaphragm moving slightly upward.  If the pelvic floor is chronically constricted in any way, a spontaneous natural breath is not possible.  The free movement through us of the breath of life requires a pelvic floor that is both relaxed and resilient.”

When these muscles are relaxed and open you will also feel more grounded  and rooted to the earth and a sense of peacefulness may flow in.    Increasing awareness in this area is done by squatting more often, and paying attention to the muscles in the pelvic floor and whether they are guarded and tense, or relaxed and open.

Squatting can be difficult for some, so if this is true for you, then simply put something underneath your heels. You can also place your hands in front of you on the floor for balance.  As you squat, notice as you breath the movements in belly, back, pelvis and chest.  Also notice if there is a shift in your tension level, emotions, and mind chatter.  The belly may soften, relax, and let go.  As you practice this it will become easier over time. Muscles will open up that have been chronically tight and holding on for years.

When to do this?  Whenever you might choose to sit in a chair – instead squat!  Watching T.V., listening to music, talking on the phone….the possibilities are endless.  Try it out with the intention of just observing and watching your breath.  This practice is not meant to be a work out move or even a yoga technique!  It is simply inhabiting your body, grounding to the earth,  and making more room for life!

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Do You Remember?

 

Beauty is here.

and you are here…

you were always here…

do you remember?

 

 

 

Reflections today on the awareness that we are not what and who we think we are and neither is any one else.  As Jon Kabat-Zinn says in his book, Coming to Our Senses – Healing Ourselves and The World Through Mindfulnes:

“We are all much larger, and more mysterious.  Once we know this, our possibilities for creativity expand enormously, because we understand something about how we get in our own way and are diminished through our obsessive self-involvement and self-centeredness, our preoccupation with what we think is important but really isn’t fundamental. ”

May we always remember the interconnection with the many sacred gifts around us.  We are the stuff of which all of this is made… in the breathing space of the planet we call earth. Let us collaborate with, and support creativity in each other – sustaining this life, our lives – the future generations of all living things!

Echoes of Creation – An Official Trailer

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Life Breathing Through Us

When we come together with another life form we share the breath in the air that surrounds us.  We take of the same breath so to speak.  Down through the millennium this has continued.  In fact we are breathing and sharing the recycled air of the dinosaurs, the very first humans, the dolphins, and the trees.

In many of the classes, workshops and retreats I have facilitated in the past I often had people sit back to back and feel their own breath first,  then connect with the breath rhythm of the other without changing theirs.  Almost everyone noticed, in a short period of time, that the breath would synchronize and become one.

Perhaps it was one to begin with…   Through this interconnected basic biological process we can feel each other, and with acute knowing understand what is within the other – even if we do not consciously acknowledge it.  What if each of us joined another – or others – in sharing a peaceful breath rhythm with each other?  Would the world change?

Remember these wise words from Thich Nhat Hahn as we breathe in each others presence:

You are me, and I am you.
Isn’t it obvious that we “inter-are”?
You cultivate the flower in yourself, so that I
will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself, so that you will not
have to suffer.
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.
–Thich Nhat Hanh

…and catch yourself before you make that next complaint.  Instead, breathe in union with another for a moment…or two….and become the lake…..

The Feeling Underneath
www.dailyom.com

Be A Lake

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt.
When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a
glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked.  “Bitter,” spit the apprentice.  The
master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The
two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water,
the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”  As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master
asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man.  At this, the master sat beside the young man and said, “The pain of life is pure
salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of
bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in.  So when you are in pain, the only thing
you can do is to enlarge your sense of things…stop being a glass. Become a lake.
-a Hindu story

ANNOUNCING!  Global Breathing Events:
On Wednesday, March 9th from 12PM – 3PM (PST) and 8PM – 11PM (GMT) Do As One is collaborating with Tree of Life Celebration to come together in the breath celebrating unity consciousness.   As we enter into the Ninth Wave of the Mayan calender we invite you to join us in the  Universal Breathing Room on DoAsOne.com!

and…

On Sunday, March 20th from 12PM – 3PM (PST) and 8PM – 11PM (GMT) Do As One invites you to breathe together and usher in the Spring and Fall Equinox.  People around the world will be celebrating the change of seasons by uniting in one breath.

 

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