Archive for February, 2010
March: Laughter Yoga for a Spring Fresh Start!
FREE: Community Yoga Series at Bodyworks Yoga Studio. Petaluma.
featuring YIN YOGA with Carmela on March 15th. Monday. 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. Join us for a sample of the deeply powerful practice of Yin Yoga with long-held seated poses on the mat. Bolsters and support provided. Nourish your spirit while releasing winter from your connective tissue!
TGIF: Friday Night Laughter Yoga at Bodyworks Yoga Studio. Petaluma.
7 p.m. Third Friday of Every Month. Laughter Yoga for a Fresh Start: March 19. $10. Happy Hour with warm-ups and music rolling on the mat and joyful laughter exercises moving around the studio. Crystal bowl relaxation is the cherry on top.
FREE: Arm Chair and Wheel Chair Laughter Yoga: First and Third Tuesdays of Every Month hosted at Merrill Gardens in Rohnert Park. 10 a.m. Open to adults of all ages. Safe, joyful exercise done seated for folks with health challenges.
Laughter Yoga for Sutter Hospice Staff, Santa Rosa March 5th 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The staff at Sutter Hospice in Sonoma County enjoyed my Laughter Yoga session at their summer retreat and have invited me back for a tune-up!
Vicarious Trauma: Laughter Yoga as a Tool for Coping As a trained Critical Incident Stress Debriefer, I know the effects of trauma and stress and the need for effective interventions to break the cycle. So, I love offering Laughter Yoga Presentations for hard-working nurses! They understand the body and truly appreciate the immediate benefits of laughter for stress-relief. Nurses Modeling Health CEU Program hosted by SEIU Local 1021 and San Francisco Dept. of Public Health presents in partnership with SEIU California Nurse Alliance on March 26th will feature a presentation by me on Vicarious Trauma and Laughter Yoga as a tool for solo practice or with colleagues for reducing the effects of VT.
I will also be a keynote speaker for The Planned Parenthood Nurses’ Conference in Denver, Colorado on April 9th delivering a lecture on the effects of Vicarious Trauma and leading hundreds of nurses in Laughter Yoga Techniques alone and with co-workers in the clinics.
More info about classes on my website’s Schedule Page.
The heart chakra is not only the seat of compassion, forgiveness, joy, laughter, balance, and touch, it is also the center for creativity and inspiration. And, our hands are the instruments of our heart chakra. Maybe you are not a painter, but remember to honor your heart and use your hands to inspire joy in your life with cooking, knitting, touch, gardening and in other creative endeavors to feed your heart.
The first time I experienced Cori’s work around five years ago, I was deeply inspired and her new work is even more fabulous. I expect that when you visit her website www.corijacobs.com or see her work in the galleries listed below, you too, will want to live with her paintings. Don’t delay. Her work is quickly being discovered.
One look at her work and it is obvious that this gal is a yogini, a dancer and deeply affected by indigenous art. Her glowing ” blue indigenous extraterrestrial Spirit Beings” predated Avatar by years and seem ancient, fully-present and futuristic, all at once. They dance and intertwine with a playful sense of community that reminds me of my yoga classes at their most spirited and harken to Cori’s deep connection with the Huichol community.
Cori says “For me, painting is love made visible. Each piece is an exploration of a world of color, shape, and form, a layered journey through the imagination, seen through the eye of the heart. It is my hope, through the paintings, to open a window into a space of joy, love, hope, creativity, memory and celebration.”
Over the holidays when I was in Sayulita to teach Laughter Yoga at Om Yoga Studio and staying with my friend, abstract painter, and gallery owner, Dianne Newman, I had the pleasure to hang out with Cori again and to purchase a commissioned piece (shown in the photo) that rocks my world. Look at the golden- horned, orange and pink La Contorcionista with her leg in the air and her energetic insides all aglow!
Cori Jacobs’ work is featured in Dianne Newman’s Arte de Sayulita Gallery in Sayulita, Mexico (about 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta) http://www.artedesayulita.com/ and at Dianne’s new gallery, VOCA, in Venice Beach.
VOCA Gallery Opening featuring the brilliant abstract paintings of Dianne Newman and work by Cori Jacobs is February 13, 2010 from 5 to 9 pm
215 Ocean Front Walk (the Venice Beach Boardwalk)
Venice Beach, CA 90291
Times are tough. The title of Dr. Kataria’s book is “Laugh for No Reason” and I believe that his message applies to our current healthcare system. I was recently interviewed by Henry Tanenbaum on KRON TV Bay Area News on Sunday, January 31st and he wisely encouraged me to lead several laughs for the home-viewers to join in so they could experience the benefits. Henry was a good sport and laughed right along with me and we had a swell time. Then the next news story came on. It featured an attractive woman looking for a husband and all she required was that he must have good health benefits. She did not ask for a photo of him, just a clean copy of his health insurance policy that would cover the huge bin of her prescription meds she was displaying for the camera. She was not smiling and neither were we.
So, I remind you to laugh in the face of adversity. Extended, hearty, belly laughter has so many health benefits, not the least of which is elevated mood from time-released serotonin and pain relief from the enhanced endorphins during thes difficult times. Laugh to prevent illness and to boost your immune system. And please send some healing laughter to Washington, D.C. to promote a better healthcare system for us all.
Experience the amazing benefits of laughter by practicing Laughter Yoga Solo! No jokes needed. No one else need be involved for you to laugh alone and feel your blood pressure go down as your endorophin level soars. Remember, with Laughter Yoga, you laugh for no reason and you feel better automatically. So why care what your neighbors think? Or those folks stuck in traffic with you? Practice extended laughter, for at least a minute, and reduce your stress while enhancing your joy. Need a little help getting into it? Visit this site every month for a tip on how to integrate Laughter Yoga into your daily life.
Research shows that red wine and dark chocolate are good for your heart! A regular size dark chocolate bar about 1.5 oz. or a cup of dark cocoa every day can reduce blood pressure by about 3 points. (study from Yale.) The antioxidants and enzymes in dark chocolate, with at least 60% cacao, are the key. Green and Black’s dark chocolate bars with crystallized ginger or organic cherries are nice, affordable choices. Organic Extreme Dark Chocolate 88% by Endangered Species Chocolates is suitably intense.
Sipping only one glass of wine is the key and I have no tips for the hot cocoa. But, I do have some advice for laughter!
Carmela’s Red Wine, Chocolate and Laughter Meditation: Assume a meditative pose with pieces of chocolate attractively arranaged on a plate and one glass of red wine or one cup of cocoa in front of you. Air is the element associated with the heart chakra, so focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale with laughter. Sip some wine. Inhale deeply and exhale with hearty laughter. Nibble a little piece of chocolate. Let it melt in your mouth and giggle. If you sense some emptiness in your heart space, fill it with joyful laughter. Smile as you nibble. Smile as you sip. Practice this in a relaxed, conscious, meditative state of nurturance. Laughter oxygenates our blood and all major organs making wine and chocolate and yes, life taste even better.
A more traditional Laughter Yoga Meditation: Om Mani Padme Hum means “The Jewel of Consciousness is the Heart’s Lotus” and is the essence of Buddha’s Heart. (sounds like “Home Monnie Pod May Huhm”) Tibetans believe that whoever embraces it fully will have the good will of others, along with a life of little illness and manageable obstacles. They believe that the roar of the winds and the rush of the rivers, the crackling of flames, the song of the stars, the whispers of plants, the call of all animals , all human voices and indeed, all sounds in the universe are the vibrations within this six syllable mantra. Wow.
Visualize your own heart as a lotus with six green sparkling petals reposing on a disk of the full moon in the center of your body and laugh Visualize jade green light from your heart wrapping yourself, your loved ones, your colleagues, the difficult people in your life, your animal companions, all beings and plants and planets and the entire creation— all in sparkling green light —-and smile —-and chant Om Mani Padme Om over and over and over into your heart and out to the universe.