Archive for January, 2010


Sunday, January 31st, 2010

One of my favorite parts of being a columnist is that I get to meet some amazing people. Very recently I met a lady who become a quadriplegic after an accident at age 26. She told me how writing poetry helps her cope with everyday life and expressing her joy in the simple things in life.  While reading her poetry you can feel what she is seeing and feeling at that moment. This inspiring lady dictates her poems to her caregivers who then type them up into poetry books that she shares with friends and families. Please take a moment and feel her inspiration and beauty in her poems.



people are not their disability

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I can remember always feeling overshadow by my disabilities.  For a short while all I felt was the weight of being labeled disabled. It left me feeling isolated and very different from everyone else.  Everyone has their strong and weak points even though it is important to improve our weak areas.  Fostering strengths can have many postives impact on one life. For example a positive self image would develop paving the way to to grow in many ways. Another point we brought up was the importance of including the disabled child in determining what accommodations are needed to meet their needs.  It may sound like a simple concept but sadly I have run into people during my life who felt because of my disabilities I could not speak for my self.  Every where in society people  with disabilities of all ages deal with stigmas that reflect negatives of having a disability instead of focusing in on the person and their strengths. All people deserve to be treated with respect and to be independent.

yoga paths

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I have always seen yoga as a way of life rather than just an exercise program.  There are also many benefits from spiritual connections to dealing with stress.  Yoga is considered one of the oldest forms of exercise dating back more than five thousand years.

There are four paths to follow that you can choose to follow in your yoga practice.  You can choose to do one or more.  Yoga is about exploring new opportunities within your mind and body.  The first path is raja, which is the practice of physical and mental control.  Raja yoga is considered to be the complete yoga practice.  The first part of it is the practice of meditation, which teaches you self-awareness, concentration and breathing.  The physical side is when yoga poses are performed through the movement of the breath.  This path is an example of the mind – body connection.

The second path of action is karma yoga.  Karma yoga is about taking the yoga practice off of the mat and practicing the principles in everyday life, such as giving to and helping people without the expectation of receiving something back.  The focus is on the cause and effect of our actions on individuals.  A true karma yogi like myself takes their yoga practice within their hearts and expresses their love to others.

The third path is the path of devotion, called bhakti.  This path involves opening your heart to a divine power through prayer, worship and ritual.  It also involves living your life through a divine power belief system.

The final path is jnana yoga, the path of knowledge.  This path is considered the most difficult path to follow because it integrates the lessons of all four paths to help you find the meaning of life within ourselves by meditation, questioning and contemplating experiences.  The student uses their mind and body to explore the spiritual self and it’s connection to the world.

The path the student will take in their yoga practice will depend on what the student wants from their yoga practice.  For example, some might want increased flexibility, a spiritual connection or want to practice compassion in their life.

To quote Robert Frost,

Two roads diverged in a wood, and

I took the one less traveled by.

And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken

Yoga is about seeing where life will take you filled with many exciting adventures to learn from.