Check Your Neck: How to Avoid Neck Tension By Releasing the Jaw

Check Your Neck: How to Avoid Neck Tension By Releasing the Jaw

Help your students safely relax the neck, shoulders, and jaw, an area that tends to hold a lot of tension. Here’s how:

Most yoga teachers, and our stressed-out students, agree that a bit of relaxation in every class helps keep them coming back for more yoga. And while relaxation of any body part is pleasant, release of tension in the neck can be key to overall relaxation. You might even visualize that neck tension, and associated jaw tightness, form a tourniquet, or noose, that impedes communication between the brain and the rest of the body, making it impossible for your students to be aware of what’s going on in their bodies and yoga poses.

To facilitate the release of jaw, neck, and shoulder tension, there are many relaxation cues, images, and stretches to choose among. However, as discussed in my article “Forbidden Territory,” neck rolls and neck hyperextension (hanging your head backward so the that the back of the neck is compressed) are risky positions for many students. Neck hyperextension can impede blood circulation to the brain and put pressure on the facet joints (the small joints in the back of the neck where each two vertebra overlap), which can cause or contribute to arthritis in these cervical facet joints. The riskiness of these positions increases as any student’s age increases beyond the twenties. We’ll explore some safer alternatives for facilitating relaxation in this muscle group.

See also How to Safely Teach Neck Rolls + Stretches to Your Yoga Students

Release Your Jaw to Relieve Neck Tension

Here are a few neck relaxation ideas that will be safe and useful for students of all ages and abilities. However, if any of your students have preexisting neck problems or injuries, it’s a good idea to have them check in with their health care providers before doing any neck stretches. But it’s safe for virtually anyone to begin with simple awareness that one has been unconsciously holding certain muscles of the head and neck tight. These muscles might include the masseters, our chewing muscles in the cheeks that extend from the cheekbone down to the jawbone. The masseters pull the lower jaw up so the upper and lower teeth make contact. Simply reminding students to release their jaws, allowing the lower teeth to drop down away from the uppers, can be a powerful beginning to relaxation.

We also spend a great deal of time encouraging our students to lengthen up; don’t forget to remind them that, as they lift up their breastbones and lengthen their spines, they must counterbalance by releasing the jaws and the scapula down. The major muscles that lift the shoulder blades up toward the ears are the upper trapezius in the back of the neck, which extend from the base of the skull and the cervical vertebra and ligaments down to top of the scapula and outer clavicle (collarbone). Underneath it lies the levator scapula, which extends from the vertebrae in the upper neck down to the inner upper corner of the scapula. These muscles are notorious for holding unconscious tension: perhaps you’ve experienced having a student respond, after encouraging her to release her shoulders down, that “they are down.” Ask these students to hold an object weighing a few pounds in each hand, and let the weight pull the arms and shoulders down, lengthening and releasing the neck muscles, as they continue to lift up with spine and breastbone.

See also Reduce Jaw Pain with Yoga

Pause, Relax, Breath in These Poses for Tension

For an even deeper release of the lower traps, levator scapula, and other side neck muscles, try this gentle neck stretch yourself before sharing it with your students. There are three parts to this exercise, and it’s nice to pause and take several relaxing breaths in each position. First, place your right hand on your left shoulder to hold it down and help keep your shoulders level. Gently hang your head to the right, looking straight ahead, so your right ear approaches your right shoulder, which stretches the left side of your neck. For the second position, keep your head to the right and bring your head forward a little to stretch a slightly different place on the left side of your neck but a little toward the back. Finally, gently turn your head as though you are looking into your right armpit to stretch yet a different place on the left posterior neck. Pause when you lift your head back up and notice the difference between the left and right sides of your neck before proceeding on to the second side.

Classic yoga poses such as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) and Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand), in which the chin and breastbone move toward each other (neck flexion), also lengthen these and other muscles on the back of the neck. However, for someone with a stiff, tight neck, these positions can put too much stretch too fast on muscles that don’t know how to lengthen, causing neck injury or strain. Instead, give the muscles time to lengthen and relax in a gentle, supported neck flexion position, such as supported Bridge Pose or Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose). In both, the torso should be supported by a bolster or stack of firm blankets, with the top edge crossing the midback at about the level of the bottom tip of the scapula. Then just the top of the shoulders should lightly touch the floor, with the back of the neck long. The higher the blankets, the bigger the neck stretch, so start low with students who have tighter neck muscles. The neck and head positions in these restorative poses naturally invite the inner gaze to look down toward the heart, away from the chatter of the busy mind, offering your student the opportunity to relax deeply.

See also A Healing Yoga Sequence to Ease Neck + Shoulder Pain

Learn to Release Tension in the Body

Having learned how to start releasing neck and head tightness in these gentle positions and stretches, your students can, with the help of your gentle reminders, integrate that awareness into more active and challenging poses. Over time, they’ll learn how to practice a variety of poses without holding unnecessary tension in body or mind, keeping a relaxed and open center in the midst of activity.

See also Ease Lower Back and Shoulder Tension with Fascial Work

About Our Author
Julie Gudmestad is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and licensed physical therapist who runs a combined yoga studio and physical therapy practice in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys integrating her Western medical knowledge with the healing powers of yoga to help make the wisdom of yoga accessible to all.


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3 Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain in Twists

3 Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain in Twists

When done properly, twists have the potential to help your low back feel great. Twisting can activate the muscles around the lumbar spine and abdominal core, increasing stability as well as blood flow and oxygenation to the area. Twisting also appears to increase hydration of the intervertebral disks, which may help to counteract the changes caused by degenerative disk disease. Here are three poses to help you relieve low back pain.

See also Yoga Anatomy: Prevent Low Back Pain in Twists

  • Sphinx Pose

    Sphinx Pose

    Practicing chest openers, such as Sphinx Pose, before you twist is 
a nice way to expand the chest—a key action while twisting, too. 
Lie on your belly, legs side by side, and contract your glutes. Roll your outer thighs toward the floor to internally rotate your femurs, helping to broaden and lengthen your lower back and sacrum to protect them in this backbend. Set your elbows under your shoulders, and your forearms on the floor parallel to each other. Inhale and lift your upper torso and head away from the floor into a mild backbend. Stay here for 3–5 deep breaths, then find your way to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose).

    See also Try Jason Crandell’s New Twist on Twists

  • Seated Forward Bend

    Seated Forward Bend


    To release any tension created in a twist, I like to follow up with 
a pose in which the spine is symmetrical. Forward folds—such as Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) or Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)—are great choices. For the latter, sit on the floor or a folded blanket with your legs extended in front of you. Press actively through your heels and slightly turn in the tops of your thighs, pressing them down into the floor. As you inhale, lengthen your front torso; as you exhale, lean forward from your hip joints and lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis to fold over your legs. Stay in the posture for 5–10 deep, easy breaths.

    See also Fine-Tune Your Forward Folds

  • Revolved Triangle Pose

    Revolved Triangle Pose

    Parivrtta Trikonasana

    From Mountain Pose, step your feet about 4 feet apart and turn your right foot out to 45–60 degrees, with your left foot facing forward. Bend your left knee and on an inhale, raise your arms overhead; on an exhale, turn your torso to the left, encouraging your pelvis toward the front edge of the mat. Now lean forward over your front leg, reaching your right hand down either to the floor (inside or outside the left foot) or a block; bring your left hand skyward. With your front knee still bent, squeeze your torso against your thigh. Hold this shape, and then gradually engage your quads to straighten your front leg (shown). Draw your hips away from your shoulders to lengthen your spine. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, and then switch sides.

    See also The Mind-Body Challenge of Revolved Triangle

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About Our Pros
Teacher Ray Long, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon in Detroit and the founder of Bandha Yoga, a website and book series dedicated to the anatomy and biomechanics of yoga. Model Stephanie Schwartz is a yoga teacher based in Boulder, Colorado.


Iyengar Yoga 101: King Pigeon Pose 3 Ways

Iyengar Yoga 101: King Pigeon Pose 3 Ways


Senior Intermediate Iyengar teacher Carrie Owerko knows how to find the surprisingly fun angles and elements of Iyengar Yoga. Owerko has partnered with Yoga Journal to bring you a six-week interactive online course in which she’ll share playful ways to use props and apply Iyengar principles and wisdom to your practice and life off the mat. Sign up now for a creative journey that will profoundly deepen and transform your approach to yoga and perspective on BKS Iyengar’s unique method.

King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is one on those wonderfully challenging postures that requires both stability and mobility—easier said than done. Most yoga poses ask of us the same, but this one is particularly demanding. It requires you to remain aware, secure, and fluid, all at once, in order to avoid injury. Let’s call it “stable fluidity.” If you aren’t stable in your legs and core, you’ll topple over; if you aren’t fluid in your hips and spine, you risk forcing the pose and hurting yourself.

King Pigeon Pose is about balancing these two extremes, in both your body and mind. And these three creative, Iyengar-inspired variations can help you access the pose and its benefits, or move deeper into the stretch.

Learn to pause along the way as you explore the process of the pose. Pause, reflect, and observe your senses of perception. Are your eyes, tongue, and skin soft and relaxed? Don’t move on to the next stage until they are. It’s OK if that takes days, weeks, months… Remember: Yoga is at its heart a practice of waking up and being fully present and aware to what is arising.

“On this path of yoga, no effort is ever wasted, and there is no failure. Even the smallest effort toward awareness will protect you from the greatest fear." —Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, verse 40

OK, grab a strap, folding chair, and blanket and let’s get started!

Note: Be sure to warm up properly. First practice poses that elongate your hip flexors as well as those that increase the range of motion in your shoulders and upper back. Include some one-legged standing asanas to bring stability to your hip and pelvic regions, as well as some preparatory backbends such as Cobra (Bhujangasana), Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), and Upward Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana), to warm up the spine.

  • King Pigeon Pose with a Strap

    King Pigeon Pose with a Strap

    To assist tight shoulders

    a. From a kneeling position, step one foot forward and come into a deep lunging position. Squeeze the sides of your pelvis in toward your core and lift your lower abdominal region, so that you remain balanced in the pose. Bend you back leg and place the loop of a strap around your left foot. Hold the end of the belt in both hands. Press the top of your left foot into the floor and lift your arms upward. Take a few breaths here.

    b. Begin to bend your back leg, but continue to resist that foot into the strap as you bend your arms, walk your hands down the strap, and draw the foot in toward your head. Take your time. Pause and observe your body breathing. Keep resisting your back foot into the strap, even as you pull it in. This is what we call in Iyengar Yoga an opposing, or double, action. This opposing action will help open and extend the front of your left hip.

    c. When your hands come to your foot, or as close as is possible, inhale and lift up through your chest. As you exhale, take your head back. Stay in the pose for 10-30 seconds, as you maintain your balance and observe your body breathing as a stable and integrated whole.

    d. Slowly release the strap as you come up and out of the pose. Repeat on the other side. Make sure to take a restorative pose, like Child’s Pose, to counter the actions of King Pigeon.

    See also Iyengar 101: Yoga Teacher Carrie Owerko’s Personal Story

  • King Pigeon Pose at the Wall

    King Pigeon Pose at the Wall

    To deepen the hip flexor stretch

    a. Place the loop of the belt on your back foot, as you did above. Come to all fours and place your back shin up against a wall. Come to an upright position, stacking your shoulders over your hips.

    b. Take hold of the end of the strap again and lift your arms upward. Take a few deep breaths. Press your back foot into the wall (as you pressed it into the strap in the last variation) to provide the resistance that will help move your pelvis forward and deeper into your lunge. Keep squeezing your hips in toward your core and lift your abdominal region.

    c. Continuing those actions and crawl your hand down the strap. Pause and breath along the way. Crawl your hands down the strap until you find your foot or come a close as is possible. Inhale, and as you exhale press your foot into the wall, lift up through your chest and take your head back. Stay in the pose with steady breathing. Relax your tongue and jaw. Observe how this helps to release unnecessary tension in the whole body.

    d. Come up and out of the pose slowly. Repeat on your other side. This variation can be even stronger than the first as the wall provides quite a lot of resistance for the foot and shin of the back leg. Counter with Child’s Pose.

    See also Iyengar Yoga 101: Stomach-Turning Pose (aka Can’t-Fail Core Work)

  • King Pigeon Pose with a Chair

    King Pigeon Pose with a Chair

    To get deeper into both shoulders and hips

    a. Kneel in front of a chair (against a wall). Place one ankle or lower leg against the front of the chair seat and step your other foot forward. Come into your lunge and take a few breaths.

    b. As you inhale, reach your arms up and back toward the wall and the upper part of the chair. Exhale and come back to your upright lunge. Repeat this movement several times. Keep your outer hips squeezing in, your lower abdominal area and the sides of your trunk uplifted as you do these movements. Observe the flow of your breath as you relax your tongue, eyes, and jaw.

    c. Now reach your left arm backward, extending your arm from your shoulder as you eternally rotate your upper arm and turn your palm up toward the ceiling. Take a breath. Once you have positioned your hand on the chair, with your palm facing up, exhale and lift your elbow. Inhale and lift your chest; exhale as you take your head back and reach your opposite arm to the chair as well. If possible, walk your hands further down the chair, pausing to observe the movement of your breath. Maintain stability in your pelvic region as you inhale and lift upward though your sides. And then as you exhale, take your head back to, or toward, your back foot. Stay here for a few breaths. Observe your senses of perception and learn to keep them relaxed while you are in the pose.

    d. Come up and out slowly. Repeat on your other side. Then take a counter pose.

    Note: This variation can also be done with a strap as in 1 and 2. Or stay with the movement described in b, arching up and back toward the chair.

    See also Iyengar 101: What You Didn’t Know + Myths Debunked

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About Our Expert
Carrie Owerko is a Senior Intermediate Iyengar teacher based in New York City. She continues her studies with the Iyengar family by traveling to India on a regular basis, as well as by continuous in-depth studies with her yoga teacher, Patricia Walden. Before studying yoga, Carrie earned a BFA in dance and theater and became a Certified Movement Analyst. Curiosity, openness, and affection are of utmost importance in her approach to Iyengar Yoga, as is the integration of science, yoga philosophy, and poetic imagination. Most importantly, she loves to explore the relationship of discipline and playfulness and is a firm believer in the power of controlled folly. Learn more at


House in Nature by Design Raum

House in Nature by Design Raum

Architects: Design Raum
Photo courtesy: Design Raum


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Contemporary Renovation of Queen’s Gate Place in London by Buzzi & Buzzi

Contemporary Renovation of Queen’s Gate Place in London by Buzzi & Buzzi

Architects: Buzzi & Buzzi
Location: London, England
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Armani Casa

A lighting design that sets a precise goal: to rehabilitate, thanks to the light, the Queen’s Gate Place, a prestigious historic London building site in an upscale residential area of the city.


Within a complex renovation project, which in 2013 – 2014 saw the restoration of the entire building, Buzzi & Buzzi – Lombard company among the leaders in the lighting industry – has realized a careful lighting study aimed to enhance detail the original architectural structure. Extol without distorting, renew preserving the beauty of the building and retaining the features: an incredibly contemporary project in full respect of the precious original features – that have been highlighted by a painstaking work of composition and detail – and the typical architectural style of the neighborhood where the building is located.


To give new life to the details and to the façade finish, highlighting the ancient beauty, Buzzi & Buzzi chose Minivirtus, a device for external wall that has been able, with elegance and discretion, embellish the architectural details emerged through restructuring. Minivirtus is made DurCoral®, a new material be decorated with painting, with similar aesthetic characteristics to white cement, but technologically suitable for the production of lighting devices from outside. It is an aggregate that allows very high performances in terms of quality, flow, strength and finish; characterized by the ability to resist abrasion, insensitive to ultraviolet light, pollution and atmospheric agents.


For the interior, Buzzi & Buzzi has chosen to use an ambient light, delicate and soft, able to convey emotions, create a unique atmosphere and, at the same time, ensure the correct lighting of the rooms.


For stays, studies, cinema, the kitchens, the bedrooms have been used Nephi and Jacobox, technical products recessed ceiling which, thanks to the material they are made, and the linear and clean design that distinguishes them, you they are integrated perfectly into the surfaces, reaching an extraordinary result of total disappearance.The light stands as a protagonist within the spaces, playing with the furniture, creating shadows and plasticity can give new meaning to objects.

contemporary-renovation-queens-gate-place-london-buzzi-buzzi-05For the bathrooms and for the SPA, Buzzi & Buzzi chose Idrout: Completely recessed luminaire, offering the right light and at the same time, to resist moisture present in these environments. Idrout is realized in Coral Water Out®, a material that prevents water penetration in its interior. The water-repellent effect remains unaltered over time, as it is not a surface finish but an intrinsic characteristic of Coral Water Out® same. Maintenance-free, Coral Water Out® adds proofing durability, strength and beauty of the typical Coral®.

Discreet and minimal, this product improves the atmosphere through the light, making it intimate and relaxing and offering incredible feelings of well being .


Finally, the main staircase, Buzzi & Buzzi has created, through Invisiled – Completely recessed luminaire – an itinerary of fascinating light, a real light guide, able to reinvent the architecture, adding to the space quality.


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Retro futuristic interior of the REDCUP coffeeshop opened in Sochi

Retro futuristic interior of the REDCUP coffeeshop opened in Sochi

Location: Sochi, Russia
Year: 2016
Area: 2.045 ft²/ 190 m²
Photo courtesy: Saranin Artemy

“Bright interior of the new coffee REDCUP opened in Sochi (Southern Russia). On the interior worked Saranin Artemije of ALLARTSDESIGN studio (Russia, Perm).


Retro futuristic interior is stored immediately. The radial column with vertical rhythm beige pipes resemble bamboo trunks, coloured furniture, the wall of the branded coffee cups and ever-changing red and white ornaments. On smiley from glasses with a smile looks Asian, her we drew in Perm – from the designer himself, we laid rectangular tiles and they had formed the image itself is supported -This message of eastern positions of menu coffee REDCUP.


The hall has stained-glass windows along the facade, through which gets a lot of natural light, and in the evening when the light is switched on, the atmosphere in the room becomes more warm and cozy.


Space coffee shop with a total area of 190 square meters consists of a variety of seating areas provided for the coffee break, or dinner in the company. The hall is fully mobile.


The original layout has not undergone changes. The radial column, non-parallel walls, all the broken geometry did not have initially. Columns and strange corners of walls – we beat beige pipes, hidden and soften the line. Around the central columns, we have placed a perimeter long sofa. Thereafter, the remaining areas have already formed. The ceiling was originally such. We changed the colour, added cornices and ceiling lighting in circles.


Here you can relax, you can enjoy a taste of the rich flavour of real coffee and relax with a glass of beer crafting Urals.”


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Gordon Weima proves that an old home can be transformed into something more contemporary

Gordon Weima proves that an old home can be transformed into something more contemporary

Architects: Gordon Weima
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Year: 2016
Photography: ©Gordon King

“Finding decent sized housing in the middle of a city can be difficult and expensive because many full sized housing options within the city limits are quite small but quite highly priced. Every once in a while, however, a designer comes across a lot where an old home can be transformed into something more contemporary. Have you ever seen, however, modern city homes that are so in line with stereotypical.”

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Cumbaya Ultramodern White House by Diego Guayasamin Arquitectos

Cumbaya Ultramodern White House by Diego Guayasamin Arquitectos

Architects: Diego Guayasamin Arquitectos
Location: Cumbayá, Quito, Ecuador
Year: 2015
Area: 9.688 ft²/ 900 m²
Photo courtesy: Sebastián Crespo

“The residence is located in Cumbayá – Ecuador, in a lot of 2,500 m2. the location of the residence has been conceived as a continuous environment without barriers and open to the public space. The proposal withdraws generating a large green area as a contribution to the environment.


As image the house is an architectural, protagonist and dynamic volume. The articulation of three white volumes with a very clear and definite rhythm. It is a modern project that subtly rescues elements of traditional Ecuadorian architecture such as: walls – bearing walls, large presence of walls – paintings versus holes for withdraws windows to create effects of light and shade, among others.


Sensuously, the extension of the two front volumes generate a hug of welcome to visitors because of its spatial configuration, on this meeting point (pivot) is where the entrance to the house occurs. The location in the lot divides the outer area into two distinct uses: an open – continuous highlighting the architecture from the public and other closed – private , where daily life unfolds. One of the main challenges was to respect the existing vegetation on the ground.


The house is divided into three levels: a sub – floor where the gym, parking lots and warehouses with housing service, which can operate independently are located. A main floor where most components of the assembly and a high plant where a private study develops.


The main floor has been divided into four zones: at the first end (more private) the master bedroom, connected through an art gallery into the living – dining room, next to which can find the kitchen area and complements and opposed to this, a playful and television space. Annex to the living room is the vertical axis of movement through an elevator. In the case of the second floor, the elevator is connected to the study through a glass bridge. The underground is connected with the ground floor through a large atrium that allows the entry of natural light trough the parking lots and other living room. This drilling has allowed to incorporate trees that cover the different levels of the house.


There is an additional recreational area, where a pool, green area, sauna and baths are located, also the bbq area. Inside, the relation of openings and solids and the game of double height spaces enrich and give added value, this reflect that space is not only a surface built but the project is understood and perceived by volume.


Likewise can be define two different types of scales and sensations. A friendly for spaces private and other large format (double height) for the social areas. Complementing the architecture interior, have selected furniture that are proportionate to the space specific carpentry for project, furniture, decorative objects, fabrics and imported fabrics. Design specific lighting systems integrated audio and security, among others.


The project intention was always to make a different proposal, with a strong identity, and its own seal of design. Protagonist facades in balance and harmony; fluids and simple spaces; light, nature and serenity, are some of the qualities that we attribute to this project.”


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中華鳥會:農地濕地蓋電廠? 別讓綠能開發謀殺了生態!

中華鳥會:農地濕地蓋電廠? 別讓綠能開發謀殺了生態!

 建立於 2017/02/17




1992年聯合國的里約宣言已提到,國家應廣泛應用預警原則(pecautionary principle)來保護環境,在有可能嚴重傷害或造成不可逆之結果下,不得以缺乏充分科學證據為由,推遲防止環境退化之措施。




面對人類經濟活動與社會發展造成自然生態、環境資源快速惡化,聯合國於1983年成立「世界環境發展委員會」(World Commission on Environment and Development),並且發表「我們共同的未來」(Our Common Future, 1987),又稱Brundtland Report「布倫特蘭報告」,強調了「倫理推定」(ethical presumption)與「可持續發展」(Sustainable development)是全世界各地滿足當代需求的發展,但不會犧牲未來世代的需求的重要原則。


按聯合國「全球治理委員會」(Commission on Global Governance )於1995 年發表的《我們的全球夥伴關係》(Our Global Neighborhood ),「治理」是各種公私機構或個人管理其共同事務的一種方式。這種方式以持續過程使相互衝突的,或不同利益關係得以調和,而得到「合作」的行動/結果。面對土地開發利用與環境保護的衝突,以及如何維護健康安全的生活環境。地方治理,透過公民夥伴關係,共同管理地方事務,是維護「環境人權」的必要途徑。



  • 綠能發展決策過程公開透明、審慎評估,並符合程序正義
    • 盡速召開公聽會,彙集各方意見與資訊。
    • 相關會議應邀請更多保育團體參與,以避開生態敏感用地。
    • 建議設置示範區,審慎評估。
  • 迴避已知生態敏感區、未知區落實監測
    • 依據科學資料選擇規劃範圍內衝突較小區域,並且避開物種熱區。
    • 未知區域應由政府委任第三方單位執行監測。
    • 對公眾利益未能預期的影響應該採取保守態度。


















 建立於 2017/02/17


前一篇淺談了永續(性)、永續發展、永續轉型等概念的轉變,現在,讓我們試著拆解「永續轉型」(sustainability transitions) 可能的發生機制。




為理解複雜的永續轉型過程,轉型理論學者提出一個被廣為運用的「多層次視角」 (Multi-level perspective, 簡稱MLP),幫助人們具體思考轉型過程中不同元素和交互情境,到底是怎麼一回事。

轉型的多層次視角。圖片來源:Geels and Schot (2007: 401)

先看左邊三個緊密互動層次:社會-科技場景 (socio-technical landscape)、社會-科技體制(socio-technical regime) 和利基創新 (niche-innovation)。

第一個層次是「社會-科技體制」(socio-technical regime),指任一種成為「生活主流」的科技產品,及與其相關的硬體、制度、機構、社會文化和行動者。

比方汽車當道的社會裡,交通部門體制即是以此而生的產業 (如鋼鐵、石油、維修、駕訓班、汽車雜誌)、駕駛人、交通法規、道路建設、加油站、主管機關、依賴汽車的生活方式、將之視為事業有成的社會價值觀等,彼此交織而成的一個複合體系。體制特性相對穩定,雖然能進行一些溫和漸進的變革,但容易陷入「路徑依賴」,無法自行發動轉型。

第二個層次「利基」(niche) 如同一個溫室,提供創新點子實驗的空間,保護它們不受主流科技的市場競爭。

有些點子可能會枯萎,有些有機會在細心拉拔下成長、茁壯,最終能和主流科技一較高下。創意可以是來自產業界、屬於市場導向的「永續創新」(sustainable innovations),如汽車廠商推出更環保的電動車;也可以是直接由公民社會發動、常帶有公益性質的「草根創新」(grassroots innovations),如民眾自行在社區發起綠能計畫。



這也意味著,利基創新不一定非得來自新科技。Van den Bergh等學者曾提醒,許多綠色科技常伴隨意外的「反彈效應」(rebound effect)。如消費者眼見家電產品的能源效率提升了,反而大用特用,結果能源消耗量可能比之前還多。



轉型 = 體制轉移

上述社會-科技體制 (regime) 或利基創新 (niche) ,皆發生在第三個層次「社會-科技場景」 (socio-technical landscape) 中,即一切外在基本情境,如自然環境、地理條件、政治體制、輿論風向、人口組成、國外政經局勢、技術進程等。這些情境支撐著各部門 (如能源、交通、農業) 的現狀,也可能帶來改變的壓力。


多層次視角認為,轉型牽涉「場景」(landscape)「體制」(regime)和「利基」(niche) 三者的多重互動。當一個「體制」出現矛盾,或與其他「體制」或「場景」產生衝突,便會製造出機會之窗,讓有潛力的「利基創新」趁勢而起,與之競合。比方說,當一個更支持再生能源的新政府上台,或反核成了社會主流民意,過往主導能源部門的化石燃料和核能體制勢必遭受挑戰,而再生能源便能獲得更多發展機會,衝破閉鎖的現行體制。

當現行主流科技和相關軟硬體都被另一組新體制給取代,形成「體制轉移」(regime shift) 時,轉型便完成了!像台灣過去幾百年累積的牛耕文化和農村生活型態,自上世紀中逐漸被鐵牛等機械化生產關係取代,即是種農業生產面的轉型。新的「社會–科技體制」也會影響「社會–科技場景」,如牛耕體制消失後,吃牛肉不再是禁忌。如今,蓬勃的牛肉需求不但讓台灣躍升為美牛業者不可小覷的出口市場,成為兩國經貿談判焦點之一,瘦肉精美牛的爭議也影響了民眾對政府的觀感,和國內政治局勢的消長。

了解這些基本概念,就打通了轉型理論的任督二脈。要提醒的是,多層次視角提供的並不是「轉型應該如何發生」的藍圖,而是提出系統性的宏觀概念,幫助具體描述和理解轉型過程。除了多層次視角,轉型理論還有許多流派和觀點,如聚焦新科技興起和體制變化關係的「科技創新系統」(technological innovation system,簡稱TIS)、探討如何誘發永續轉型的「轉型管理」(transition management,簡稱TM)、專注扶植niche的「策略性利基管理」(strategic niche management, 簡稱 SNM)。


※ 本文轉載自 低碳生活部落格


  1. Geels, F.W. and J. Schot(2007) ‘Typology of Sociotechnical Transition Pathways’, Research Policy 36: 399-417.
  2. Grin, J., J. Rotmans and J. Schot(2010) ‘Conclusion: How to Understand Transitions? How to Influence them?’, in J. Grin, J. Rotmans and J. Schot(eds) Transitions to Sustainable Development: New Directions in the Study of Long Term Transformative Change, pp. 320-337. London and New York: Routledge.
  3. Markard, J., R. Raven and B. Truffer(2012) ‘Sustainability Transitions: An Emerging Field of Research and its Prospects’, Research Policy 41(955): 955-967.
  4. Seyfang, G. and A. Smith(2007) ‘Grassroots Innovations for Sustainable Development: Towards a New Research and Policy Agenda’, Environmental Politics 16(4): 584-603.
  5. Smith, A., J.-P. Voß and J. Grin(2010) ‘Innovation Studies and Sustainability Transitions: The Allure of the Multi-Level Perspective and its Challenges’, Research Policy 39: 435-448.
  6. van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., B. Truffer and G. Kallis(2011) ‘Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions: Introduction and Overview’, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 1: 1-23.



《 Aerosmith – Dream On 》

《 Aerosmith – Dream On 》

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay
I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win
Half my life
Is books, written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these feelings come back to you
Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Published by

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

More than 700 species facing extinction are being hit by climate change

More than 700 species facing extinction are being hit by climate change

Humans’ closest relatives, the primates, are among those worst affected because their tropical habitats have had a stable climate for thousands of years


More than 700 mammals and birds currently threatened with extinction already appear to have been adversely affected by climate change, according to a major review of scientific studies.

Primates and marsupials are believed to have the most individual species suffering as a result of global warming, according to a paper in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Only two groups of mammals, rodents and insect-eaters, are thought to have benefited. This is partly because they have fast breeding rates, tend not to be specialists suited to a particular habitat, and often live in burrows which provide insulation against changes in the weather.

The figures are much higher than previously thought, making up 47 per cent of land mammals and 23 per cent of the birds on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of species threatened with extinction.

According to the list itself, just seven per cent of the mammals and four per cent of the birds are described as being threatened by “climate change and severe weather”.

The researchers developed a model to compare the animals’ weight and other characteristics with changes in the climate, such as the temperature.

“Using this model, we estimated that 47 per cent of terrestrial [non-flying] threatened mammals (out of 873 species) and 23.4 per cent of threatened birds (out of 1,272 species) may have already been negatively impacted by climate change in at least part of their distribution,” the article in Nature Climate Change said.

“Our results suggest that populations of large numbers of threatened species are likely to be already affected by climate change, and that conservation managers, planners and policy makers must take this into account in efforts to safeguard the future of biodiversity.”

Primates and marsupials are more at risk than other animals partly because they have lived mostly in tropical parts of the world which have had a stable climate for thousands of years.

“Many of these [animals] have evolved to live within restricted environmental tolerances and are likely to be most affected by rapid changes and extreme events,” the paper added.

“In addition, primates and elephants are characterised by very slow reproductive rates that reduce their ability to adapt to rapid changes in environmental conditions.”

One reason why climate change is causing a problem for animals is changes in the distribution of plants.

“In areas with reduced precipitation and/or temperature seasonality, it is likely that plant species may have narrower climatic tolerances, and therefore that these areas may have already experienced vegetation changes with consequential loss of habitat for animals living there,” the paper said.

“A more specialised diet was also associated with greater probability of negative responses in mammals.

“Our findings are in agreement with previous studies on the predictors of general extinction risk, in which species with narrower diet breadths were associated with lower ability to exploit resources and adapt to new environmental conditions and selective pressures.”

Birds living in the world’s cold mountain regions appear to be particularly at risk.

“Populations of species living at high altitudes and in colder places have fewer opportunities to move towards cooler areas or upslope to avoid increasing temperatures, and hence may have increased extinction risk,” the paper said.

Another problem is that higher temperatures are inducing birds to lay eggs earlier.

“For animals living in these environments the effects of temperature changes may have been exacerbated, potentially leading to disruption in synchronisation between the timing of chick-feeding and peak food availability,” the paper said.


《 Styx – Come Sail Away 》

《 Styx – Come Sail Away 》

I’m sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea
I’ve got to be free free to face the life that’s ahead of me
On board I’m the captain so climb aboard
We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I’ll try oh Lord I’ll try to carry on
I look to the sea reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we’ll try best that we can to carry on
A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said
They said come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
I thought that they were angels but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing, come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

700多種哺乳類、鳥類 都因氣候變遷瀕危

700多種哺乳類、鳥類 都因氣候變遷瀕危

 建立於 2017/02/17




西部低地大猩猩母子。圖片來源:Tim Wang(CC BY-SA 2.0)
所有大猩猩物種全部列入「極度瀕危」,圖為一對西部低地大猩猩母子。圖片來源:Tim Wang(CC BY-SA 2.0)

演化所致 靈長類、有袋類最不易適應溫度變化





動物越挑食 受氣候變遷影響更大




鳥類提前下蛋 哺育期找無食物





※ 本文與 行政院農業委員會 林務局  合作刊登


蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance’s planet.




《 Lucy Hale – Lie a Little Better 》

《 Lucy Hale – Lie a Little Better 》

I just missed my exit
Last night I lost my keys
I’m fumbling over the words, I
Don’t feel a bit like me these days
I would be a liar
If I said I was fine
But I can’t help being honest
And I know now is not the time
The truth is I’m falling to pieces
Anytime that you’re around
Trouble is the truth keeps slipping out (woah)
Can’t seem to hide what I’m feeling
Can’t believe what I’m saying out loud
Truth is there’s no turning back now
I guess I shoulda learned how to lie a little better
Been trying to cover
This heart out on my sleeve
Been set on playing this down but
I think you’re catching on to me
Truth is I’m falling to pieces
Anytime that you’re around
Trouble is the truth keeps slipping out (woah)
Can’t seem to hide what I’m feeling
Can’t believe what I’m saying out loud
Truth is there’s no turning back now
Well, I guess I shoulda learned how to lie a little better
I’m losing this battle
With every word I say
Wish I had a better lesson
Of not giving myself away
The truth is I’m falling to pieces
Anytime that you’re around
Trouble is the truth keeps slipping out
Can’t seem to hide what I’m feeling
Can’t believe what I’m saying out loud
Truth is there’s no turning back now
Well, I guess I shoulda learned how to lie a little better
Destefano, Chris / Pierce, Melissa / Daly, Mike
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

Discovery of new shark species highlights need to protect Belize waters

Discovery of new shark species highlights need to protect Belize waters

Posted on 15 February 2017

Belize – The discovery of a new shark species in Belize waters comes as a reminder of the need to protect the waters around the Central American country, home to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve system, the longest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.

The Belize Fisheries Department and researchers from Florida International University (FIU) confirmed the presence of a new shark species belonging to the bonnetheads type in waters off the coast of Belize last week.

Yet to be named, this species, which requires healthy habitats for nursery areas such as mangroves, serves as an indicator of the state of health of Belize waters as at present. However, it also highlights the need for urgent action by the Belize government to strengthen protections for this marine biodiversity hotspot.

“Bonnetheads don’t migrate very far, so the fact that they are found here indicates that the seas are good for them, with water clarity being a factor they favour,” said Nadia Bood, reef scientist, WWF-Belize Field Programme. “Discovering a new species of shark is another example that Belize Barrier Reef offers perfect conditions for some of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. This is exactly why WWF believes it is vital we do all we can to preserve this valuable part of our common natural heritage.”

The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, which WWF is a part of, works to protect the Belize Barrier Reef site from threats such as coastal construction, offshore oil exploration and drilling in country. In October 2016, following advocacy efforts by the coalition and a global public outcry, the Belize government suspended permissions for seismic surveys which would have allowed exploration for oil within a 1 km radius from the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. While an encouraging move, stronger legislation for a complete oil ban is needed to ensure long-term protection and enable the site to be taken off the World Heritage ‘in danger’ list.

“More than 265,000 people have asked the prime minister of Belize to secure long-term protection of the World Heritage site. We call all people who want to see this unique home for diverse marine species saved from harmful activities to join this action today and take the advocacy action to the Prime Minister at”, added Nadia Bood.

Belize’s waters are a haven for 1,400 kinds of plants and animals, including rare marine turtles, rays, sharks and dolphins. More than half of the country’s population, around 190,000 people, are supported by incomes generated through tourism and fisheries directly dependent on the reef.

— ends —

Notes for Editors:

  • Announcement of new shark species discovery by the Belize Fisheries Department can be found here.
  • Announcement from FIU can be found here.
  • Photos of the shark for media use can be found here.

The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.  However, in 2009, due to multiple threats emerging the site was added on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger where it continues to remain. Threats identified by the World Heritage Committee have included unsustainable coastal constructions as well as oil exploration.
As marine ecosystems are connected by ocean currents, their health is highly dependent on the conditions of the surrounding reef and waters, oil exploration close to the Belize Barrier Reef could irreparably damage it. An oil spill in Belizean waters could cause widespread environmental damage and have fatal impacts on marine life.


《 Passenger – Let Her Go 》

《 Passenger – Let Her Go 》

Well, you only need the light when it’s burning low,
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow,
Only know you love her when you let her go.
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go…
And you let her go.
Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you’ll make a dream last
But dreams come slow, and they go so fast
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you’ll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies
But you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
 Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
‘Cause love comes slow, and it goes so fast
Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
Cause you loved her too much, and you dived too deep
Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go ooooh ooooh oh no
And you let her go
ooooh ooooh oh no

Well you let her go

ooooh ooooh oh no

Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

And you let her go

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

貝里斯漁業部證實 新種鯊魚現身北半球最長堡礁

貝里斯漁業部證實 新種鯊魚現身北半球最長堡礁

 建立於 2017/02/17


貝里斯漁業部和佛羅里達國際大學(Florida International University,FIU)學者上週證實,貝里斯海域發現屬於雙髻鯊屬的鯊魚新物種。


新種鯊魚需要健康的繁殖地,如紅樹林。紅樹林本身就是貝里斯海域的健康指標。「窄頭雙髻鯊不會長距離遷徙,在哪裡發現就表示該海域適合牠們生存,通常是水質乾淨的海域。」世界自然基金會(WWF)貝里斯田野計畫珊瑚礁科學家Nadia Bood說,「發現新種鯊魚顯示貝里斯堡礁是全世界生物多樣性最佳的生態系統之一。這也是WWF相信有必要保護這個世界自然遺產的原因。」



「目前有26萬5000多筆要求貝里斯總理為堡礁建立長期的保護機制。我們呼籲所有想要保護此處生物多樣性的人們加入行動,上網(參與連署。」Nadia Bood說。



※ 本文與 行政院農業委員會 林務局  合作刊登


蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance’s planet.




《 Player – Baby Come Back 》

《 Player – Baby Come Back 》

Spending all my nights
All my money going out on the town
Doing anything just to get you off of my mind
But when the morning comes
I’m right back where I started again
Trying to forget you is just a waste of time
Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you
All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
Trying to keep up the smile that hides a tear
But as the sun goes down
I get that empty feeling again
How I wish to God that you were here
Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you
Now that I put it all together
Give me the chance to make you see
Have you used up all the love in your heart
Nothing left for me
Ain’t there nothing left for me
Baby come back, any kind of fool could see
There was something in everything about you
Baby come back, listen, you can blame it all on me
I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you

I was wrong, and I just can’t live

Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

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