The Best Type of Salt to Balance Your Dosha


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/the-best-type-of-salt-to-balance-your-dosha

The Best Type of Salt to Balance Your Dosha

According to Ayurveda, the right salt—in moderation—can help balance your dosha. Here are 6 of our favorites, from mild soma salt to fiery black salt.
SaltWorks_Pure_Ocean_bowls_image

Salt gets a bad rap, but the right type of salt in moderation can have great health benefits, according to Ayurveda.

“It can help eliminate waste from the body, aid in digestion, and relieve pain in the colon," says Heidi Spear, faculty at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, meditation coach, and author of Ayurveda Made Easy: 50 Exercises for Finding Health, Mindfulness and Balance.

In Ayurveda, the salty taste is one of the six tastes (salty, sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent). Ancient Ayurvedic texts even mention the likes of sea salt and rock salt. “We need to have salt in our diet,” says Divya Alter, chef at Ayurvedic restaurant Divya’s Kitchen in New York City and author of What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen. “It helps us experience all the other tastes properly. Each taste has a mental and physical function in the body.”

But don’t make BFFs with your salt shaker just yet. The goal is to keep the body in equilibrium by discovering your constitution (dosha) and choosing the right salt accordingly, as salt’s inherent elements—fire and water—impact the doshas, and affect each dosha differently.

See also What is Ayurveda?

Salty Taste for Vata

Vata is air and space, so to keep it grounded, you want something warm, moist, and heavy, making the salty taste an ideal equalizer. When saltiness is ingested, it helps balance vata’s cool and dry elements. Our on-the-go, hyper-connected culture creates excess vata for many people. “In the right amounts, the salty taste’s qualities—oily, heating, and heavy—can balance vata,” says Spear.

See also Yoga for Your Dosha: A Grounding Vata Yoga Sequence

Salty Taste for Pitta

Pitta and the salty taste share the same elements: fire and water. Adding saltiness can aggravate this dosha, especially in the hot summer months. To cool down, you’ll want to add small amounts of bitter taste, like bitter melon and dark leafy greens.

See also Yoga for Your Dosha: A Refreshing Pitta Yoga Sequence

Salty Taste for Kapha

Made up of earth and water, kapha is stable, damp, and cold. To optimize best tastes for this dosha, choose something that has heating and slightly dry qualities. So go ahead and sprinkle salt in your dishes, just don’t go overboard, as one quality of the salty taste is water retention, which can make kaphas feel sluggish. “Too much salt is kind of like having molten lava within and can cause aggravation of kapha and pitta, triggering problems such as skin eruptions, digestive issues, and feeling overly hot," says Spear.

See also Yoga for Your Dosha: A Congestion-Clearing Kapha Yoga Sequence

Regardless of your dosha, when choosing a salt to add flavor to your meals, steer clear of table salt, as pure sodium chloride is particularly harsh on the body, says Alter. Here are 6 of our favorite salts—from mild soma salt to fiery black salt—to better balance your dosha.

The Best Type of Salt for Your Dosha

 

15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga That Will Make You Want to Start Practicing Now


https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/15-anti-aging-health-benefits-of-yoga

15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga That Will Make You Want to Start Practicing Now

While age does affect you in various ways, there’s a lot you can do to limit its impact on your body. Yoga is an excellent anti-aging tool, capable of relieving symptoms and in some cases improving medical outcomes. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or how old you are—movement and yoga can help.
Fig.-5.6.-Elbow-plank.

Along with the smile lines and gray hair, aging brings changes that are harder to see but very easy to feel, especially during movement. As you age, you’ll encounter general physiological changes in elasticity, stability, speed, strength, and endurance, as well as a different perspective on physical goals. Specific health problems emerge as we age, and these age-related illnesses might affect your yoga practice. Here, we offer our thoughts on how to modify your practice for these common ailments, and we detail the ways that (in some cases) yoga can actually relieve symptoms or has been proven to improve medical outcomes. From heart issues to less lung capacity, decreased bone density to hormonal changes, and bad backs to artificial knees, physical changes will affect and dictate the needs of a yoga asana practice, but in all cases, doing yoga will make you feel better.

General Physiological Changes

Here’s the bad news: as you age, your body becomes less flexible, less stable, slower, weaker, and less competitive in endurance. With age you lose elasticity in muscle, fascia, and (as you can see in a mirror) skin. This results in generally less flexibility, which can translate to instability and stiffness. Sarcopenia (muscle loss) and osteopenia (bone loss) are common aspects of aging. Both can contribute to less strength, speed, and endurance. While it does get harder to build muscle with age, it’s not impossible, and it’s never too late. Exercise and yoga help you maintain the muscle mass you have and continue to add more. Whether you suffer from osteopenia may have as much to do with genetics and gender as it does with your physical activity level, but movement and weight-bearing exercises keep bones healthier for longer.

This information probably doesn’t come as a surprise, though; we tend to be well versed in the changes that come with aging, especially as we get older. The good news is that you also have all the attendant wisdom, confidence, and life experience of your years on earth. And let’s be honest: while it might be nice to still have the body of a twenty-one-year-old, we know few people who actually want to be twenty-one again (we certainly don’t!). Besides, the news gets even better: while age does affect you in various ways, much of it is in your hands, and there’s a lot you can do to limit the effect of age-related changes. Yoga is an excellent anti-aging tool. And it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or at what age you begin—movement and yoga can help.

See also 7 Kundalini Yoga Tricks to Reverse Aging from the Inside Out

Things That Get Better with Age

There’s plenty of reason to celebrate every passing year: self-confidence, body image, empathy, and decision-making all get better with age.And as we age, our stress levels tend to get lower. People report greater happiness in the later years of their lives—the older we are, the happier we are. In short, things may change, but a lot changes for the better!

15 Health Benefits of Yoga for Aging Adults

1. Osteoporosis/Osteopenia

Problem: As you age, your bone density decreases. For some people, this decrease is so great, it results in osteopenia or osteoporosis, which means their bones are more susceptible to fractures.
How yoga can help: Weight-bearing exercises can marginally increase bone density, although the gains are small. Still, yoga is valuable not only because of its potential effect on your physical skeleton but because it helps you build muscle, body awareness, and better balance.
Tips for your yoga practice: Weight-bearing lunge poses, like Warrior I, Warrior II, and Side Angle Pose, help build hip and leg strength; balancing poses like crane, tree, and Warrior III help protect against falls that can cause fractures in already-brittle bones. Because bone density loss makes your spine more fragile, be sure to talk to your medical team to create a plan of safe movements. Depending on the degree of your osteopenia, it might be wise to limit poses that require folding forward or minimize the degree to which you fold. The same is true of poses that require twisting—be gentle in approaching movements that cause your spine to rotate, or skip twisting poses all together.

2. Arthritis

Problem: Arthritis can cause daily pain in joints like hands, knees, wrists, or elbows. It can make you feel stiff and creaky, limiting comfortable range of motion.
How yoga can help: Recent research shows that a regular yoga practice can aid in reducing joint pain and help in improving joint flexibility. A regular yoga practice might also reduce inflammation.
Tips for your yoga practice: Avoid weight bearing in your hands and wrists, a common location of arthritis pain.

3. Spinal Stenosis

Problem: Spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal or vertebral openings, can squeeze your spinal cord and cause radiating pain and numbness that affects your hips, legs, and even your shoulders.
How yoga can help: A yoga practice that cautiously approaches forward folds and side bending and avoids extension (backbending) poses can help significantly reduce pain.
Tips for your yoga practice: If you have stenosis and osteoporosis, you might avoid forward folds altogether. In general, avoid big, deep movements of the spine. Less is better. Safe yoga, though, can help you build strength and create better postural habits, which can help alleviate chronic pain. An experienced teacher with knowledge of your condition will be a powerful ally.

4. Disc issues

Problem: Herniated, bulging, or slipped discs can press on your spinal cord or nearby nerves, causing spasms, limited movement, and radiating pain. Disc issues and back pain are more common in the lower lumbar region but may occur anywhere along the spine.
How yoga can help: Yoga can help you build core strength and flexibility in your spine, and these two things can go a long way toward remedying back pain.
Tips for your yoga practice: If you experience pain from disc issues, often it is best to avoid forward folds or any pose that causes your spine to round, as this can exacerbate the issue by squeezing the disc more. Instead, focus on backbending poses and poses that challenge your abdominal muscles and strengthen your hips.

5. Core Strength and Back Pain

If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you’ve probably been given the advice to strengthen your core. That wisdom is logical—building up the muscles in your trunk, back, abdomen, hips, and legs means that your spine is better supported.
How yoga can help: Any new movement or exercise that you add to your daily life will likely result in a stronger core; as you move your body in new ways, your major stabilizing muscles have to adapt. Yoga offers specific poses for core strength, too.

6. Nerve Issues: Pain, Neuropathy

Problem: When nerves are injured, pain, weakness, numbness, cramping, or tingling can occur as a result. In peripheral neuropathy, this often occurs in limbs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Nerve issues can result from a myriad of illnesses. Often caused by circulatory system issues, neuropathy also can be a side effect of other diseases or injuries.
How yoga can help: Yoga poses improve circulation; movement alone can help! Body awareness is also key.
Tips for your yoga practice: The more you are aware of what exacerbates or helps with pain or numbness, the better you are at making wise choices with your movement practices. Yoga allows you to explore your body in slow, safe movements. It gives you the opportunity to get to know what works for your nerves. Be sure to move slowly and pay careful attention to your body’s response in each pose.

See also Why More Western Doctors Are Now Prescribing Yoga Therapy

7. Ligament Tears

Problem: Ligament tears are common in aging, stressed, and over-used joints, especially knees, shoulders, hips, and ankles. As we age, we put increasing stress on these joints, which can result in abrasions and tears. If the ligaments give out, or if the joint is degraded, you may find yourself with a replacement.
How yoga can help: Yoga is useful for ligament issues in several ways: First, yoga helps you strengthen the muscles around your joints. Your knees, for instance, will be better protected if your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps are strong. Many common yoga lunge poses help keep your legs strong. Yoga is also useful if you are recovering from a ligament tear injury, as it allows you to continue moving even amidst injury.
Tips for your yoga practice: You should choose a gentler practice as you heal, and omit any poses that exacerbate your injury. Finally, yoga is adaptable enough to continue even if you experience a hip or knee replacement. You’ll be able to come back to a yoga practice, and doing yoga after a replacement (with your medical team’s approval) may even speed up the healing process.

Fig.-5.23.-Locust-with-arms-extended.

8. Tendonitis/Tendonopathy

Problem: Although it’s often a temporary condition, tendon inflammation can cause joint pain and stiffness, and it can also create instability in weight-bearing movements. And as tendons age they can degrade, a condition called tendonopathy.
How yoga can help: Acute tendonitis generally requires some days of rest. But after allowing time to heal, yoga can be useful in helping establish new movement patterns. Because tendonitis is often caused by repetitive movements, practicing a variety of yoga poses offers you a chance to continue movement but in new and various ways—shoring up the muscles around the tendon and giving inflamed areas a chance to heal.
Tips for your yoga practice: If your health-care team diagnoses tendonopathy, ask which movements are safe and which you should avoid, then follow their directions in your home practice and convey them to your yoga teacher in class. Because of yoga’s adaptability, you will be able to find poses and sequences that continue to work for you.

9. Myofascial tightening, stiffness due to decreased collagen

Problem: As we age, we lose flexibility in our muscles and connective tissue, which results in stiffness, imbalance, and less confidence while balancing.
How yoga can help: If you don’t use it, you lose it! A regular yoga practice can help reverse some of that acquired stiffness. Gentle, regular stretching can help keep your body fluid and flexible. We’re often as amazed as our yoga students when we see the changes that habitual stretching and movement can confer. You don’t have to touch your toes, but yoga might get you a little closer to them.

See also Yoga for Flexibility Challenge: 5 Ways to Target Tight Spots on the Mat

10. Hormonal Changes/Hot Flashes

Problem: In women, menopause can bring temperature changes and hot flashes.
How yoga can help: Some studies have shown that a restorative yoga practice can help decrease the hot flashes that can come with hormonal changes.
Tips for your yoga practice: During a yoga class, it can also be helpful to lighten the amount of clothing you’re wearing or dress in layers so that when you feel warm, you can peel off a longer-sleeved shirt. Some yoga classes are warmer than other others. If you plan to attend a class, ask in advance about the temperature of the room.

11. Blood pressure

Problem: High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments that affect adults as they age. One in three American adults has high blood pressure. Rapidly transitioning from standing upright to folding forward can exacerbate dizziness, a common symptom of low blood pressure and a side effect of common medications for high blood pressure.
How yoga can help: Some studies show that regular yoga can lower blood pressure, so a routine yoga practice will help.
Tips for your yoga practice: As you move, avoid transitions that put your head below your heart, and opt out of sequences that require you to move quickly from standing to forward folding.

12. Asthma

Problem: Age-related lung changes can aggravate asthma, so as you age, bouts of asthma may increase.
How yoga can help: If your asthma is provoked by exercise, yoga is a good fit, since with yoga your heart rate stays relatively low.
Tips for your yoga practice: Keep in mind that in some classes yoga teachers use essential oils or incense to enhance the students’ experience. While this is a lovely intention, if you are asthmatic, strong scents can be triggering. It’s appropriate to ask in advance if these types of scents will be used in class and to request that they be omitted. Calling ahead to verify this may be the wisest choice.

13. COPD, Chronic Bronchitis, and Emphysema

Problem: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema make breathing very challenging and limit your ability to do cardiovascular activities.
How yoga can help: Yoga is low impact. For this reason, it is a useful movement practice if you have COPD or similar respiratory problems. Additionally, a yoga practice often has pranayama, or breath practices. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling can be useful if you have a chronic breathing problem, since breathing exercises can potentially help strengthen muscles used in respiration. Time spent in mindful breathing can also help you have more awareness of your breath; noticing when you get breathless or when you feel short of breath can help you seek treatment quickly.

14. Insomnia and Sleep Issues

Problem: Night wakefulness or restlessness may disrupt sleep.
How yoga can help: Intentional, slow breathing can foster a sense of relaxation and calm. A slow yoga and stretching routine before bed can help encourage drowsiness and tranquility. In fact, studies show that yoga can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Exercise of any type helps tire us out and promotes exhaustion, which can lead to better quality sleep.

15. Chronic Illness

Problem: Chronic illness can cause pain and hopelessness and may create limitations to practicing yoga.
How yoga can help: Yoga can be effective as a pain-management tool for painful diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Since yoga is so adaptable, it can be practiced in a chair or hospital bed. It may also be a helpful meditative tool for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The Only Yoga Rule You Need to Follow

The Yoga Sutras contain bits of wisdom and yoga philosophy. This text is one of the earliest yoga books. Regarding yoga poses, the sutras don’t say much. Yoga sutra 2.46 tells us simply that yoga poses should be steady and comfortable. Knowing that this is the only prescription for the poses frees us from feeling like our yoga practice has to look a certain way. A yoga student can do a handstand, or not; a lunge, or not; a balance pose, or not. Your practice is your practice. Find strength and ease, and do what works for you.

See also Feel Better As You Age With Yoga

From Lifelong Yoga by Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato, published by North Atlantic Books. Copyright © 2017 by Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato. Reprinted with permission of publisher.     

 

15 Poses to Open Your Heart Again After Grief


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15 Poses to Open Your Heart Again After Grief

Practice this hip-opening sequence regularly to help you release energy from unprocessed grief.
Claire-Copersino-rockstar

Chris Fanning

When my husband died 15 years ago, my yoga practice became a way for me to process my grief—one breath, one transition, and one asana at a time. As a result, I was better able to move through my grieving process, rather than getting stuck in it. My fragile heart did not close its shutters. Instead, it remained painfully open in the beginning—and happily open now.

For many months following my husband’s passing, tears flowed every time I practiced, in private and in public. Those tears kept things moving, preserved the flow of life through me, and over the course of much time, served to transmute that pain and loss into a way of meeting the world with an open heart.

During the course of all of our lives, we will inevitably experience grief that stops us in our tracks, both literally and metaphorically. When this happens, it can be tempting to distract ourselves instead of processing our emotions. But when we embark on a regular yoga practice, we begin to release the stuck, stagnant energy that results from unprocessed feelings. I designed this sequence to help you open your hips—a particularly potent area when it comes to unearthing and releasing stored emotions—and to help you turn your pain and grief into fearlessness and compassion.

See also Healing Heartbreak: A Yoga Practice to Get Through Grief

See also 10 Ways to be Fearless in the Face of Grief and Loss

About Our Pro
Teacher and model Claire Copersino is a yoga teacher in Greeport, New York. To learn more, visit northforkyogashala.com.

 

Miraculous Practice: How Yoga Leads to Transformation


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/miraculous-practice

Miraculous Practice: How Yoga Leads to Transformation

See how the regular study and practice of yoga led to full transformation in four lives.
miraculous yoga practice woman in backbend

Has yoga changed your life? It’s pretty likely, since just about everyone who practices yoga has been touched in some way by its transformative power. Maybe you simply feel better in your body. Perhaps you’ve experienced more profound changes in your life, relationships, and worldview. But because these changes often take place over time, as part of a subtle and organic process, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about yoga that helps you to live a better life.

ParaYoga founder and Tantra scholar Rod Stryker says that to truly understand why yoga is so transformative, you first have to understand the concept of transformation. The idea that yoga changes you into someone better than the person you were before is something of a misconception, Stryker says. It is more accurate to say that yoga helps you remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are, that it helps you come into a fuller expression of your true nature. “We’re not transforming into something we aspire to," he says. “We’re transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self."

One way yoga encourages transformation is by helping you to shift patterns you’ve developed over time, patterns that may be unhealthy, Stryker says. When you put your body into a pose that is foreign and you stick with it, you learn how to take a new shape. Taking this new shape with the body can lead you to learn how to take a new shape with the mind. “If practiced correctly, yoga asana breaks down the psychological, emotional, physical, energetic, and psychic obstacles that inhibit us from thriving," Stryker says.

Yoga also teaches you how to make better decisions. Everything about practicing yoga involves intention—you set apart time in your day to do it, you move in a specific manner, breathe in a specific way. And when you are mindful and deliberate in your yoga practice, you create the opportunity to become more mindful and deliberate in your life. “The people who stick with yoga realize that they make decisions that are more constructive than destructive," Stryker says. “I often tell my students that one of two things will happen after you do yoga for a few years: Either you will begin to change for the better, or you will stop doing yoga."

Perhaps most important, your yoga practice allows you a glimpse of the joyful and free person you can be, says Anusara Yoga teacher Sianna Sherman. Practicing asana, she says, shows you that you can accomplish things you never thought you could. “At first, we think, ‘There’s no way I am going to be able to do a Handstand.’ And then, in little increments, we start to gain this confidence. And then all of a sudden we can do it." When you’re lying in Savasana at the end of a yoga practice, after you have worked hard and felt thoroughly present and connected to your body, that sense of joy and freedom you experience is an expression of your true nature. Even though it may be fleeting, it shows you what is possible.

The following stories are examples of yoga’s transformative power. They are the stories of four people in unusually difficult circumstances who, through yoga, were able to find the strength, confidence, presence, and discipline to change their lives for the better. May they inspire you to trust in the practice and in the answers that arise from getting to know your own Self.

The Power of Presence

“If I thought too much about what had happened, I would get sad and angry, and I couldn’t forgive the mistakes that had been made. If I thought too much about the future, that was too overwhelming. But if I stayed right in the present moment, I could handle things with grace and with ease."

In 2003, Julie Peoples-Clark, an Ashtanga and Bikram yoga practitioner living in Baltimore, was in her ninth month of a healthy pregnancy in which she practiced yoga every day, ate well, and took good care of herself. When she went into labor, she went to the birthing center where she had intended to have a natural birth, but nothing went as planned. As a result of a difficult labor and mistakes made by the birthing center, her daughter, Ella, was born with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Doctors said she would never be able to walk, talk, or even sit up on her own. After Ella’s birth, Julie abandoned her yoga practice and spent the next two years wrestling with anger and depression. But through reconnecting with and deepening her yoga practice, Julie learned to let go of what might have been and to see the beauty of what was actually before her.

When Ella was nearly two, Julie took her to a program called Yoga for the Special Child in Encinitas, California, which she had seen advertised just days after Ella’s birth and finally felt ready to explore. Founder Sonia Sumar offered some yoga practices for Ella, and introduced Julie to Patanjali Yoga Sutra. At Sumar’s encouragement, Julie began to spend 15 minutes a day on her mat, combining a gentle asana practice with reading the Yoga Sutra and meditating. These small blocks of time shifted Julie’s experience of her circumstances profoundly. “Just being on my mat, in my sacred space, and focusing on my breath put me in the present moment. If I thought too much about what had happened, I would get sad and angry, and I couldn’t forgive the mistakes that had been made. If I thought too much about the future, that was too overwhelming. But if I stayed right in the present moment, I could handle things with grace and with ease."

The more Julie took this time for herself, the more present she became in all aspects of her life, including in her interactions with her daughter. She started to see Ella as a gift and a treasure. “I feel like I missed two years of my daughter’s life when she was a baby," Julie says. “I was so goal oriented, and I wanted her to be well. But sitting down on the yoga mat with her made me realize how rich my experience was. I have a beautiful daughter who is achieving amazing things every day."

Ella is now seven years old, and Julie has become an advocate for children with disabilities as well as a yoga teacher for disabled children and adults. When she reminds her students to stay present with what is, she is speaking from a place of experience. “One of the hardest things about Ella’s birth injury and disability was, and at times still is, thinking about what could have been: my life with a healthy child, birthday parties, dance lessons, Mommy and Me yoga classes," Julie says. She credits studying the Yoga Sutra with helping her to release attachment to what might have been, and for helping her gain acceptance and gratitude for what is.

“The sutras helped me gain the insight that my ego is creating my suffering by wanting what I do not have," she says. “My life is so incredibly rich and purposeful. I have a reason to get out of bed each day. I have a supportive, very sweet husband and a wonderful network of friends and family, all of whom have been touched deeply by beautiful, amazing Ella."

Life on Purpose

“When you hold poses for a while, you have time to get where you want to be. That’s how I feel about life now. If you are slow and mindful, you tend to be more focused on your goals and intentions."

In 1999, Stacy Meyrowitz was a sociable 32-year-old living a fast-paced life in Manhattan, booking artists and celebrities to appear on the VH1 network. Her life changed overnight when she suffered a brain hemorrhage, and she suddenly found herself facing significant cognitive impairment and months of recovery. Yoga helped Stacy get her life back and taught her the value of living with intention.

In the hospital after the hemorrhage, Stacy was calm and peaceful, she says. But as she slowly began to regain cognitive function, she became increasingly frustrated by her inability to comprehend simple things. She was easily confused, disoriented, and a step behind everyone else, both physically and mentally.

“My memory, balance, spatial relations, and concentration were all impaired," she says. “I’d gotten black and blue from bumping into walls. I would get lost in the city—I couldn’t figure out that I was going uptown when I actually wanted to go downtown. I had no interest in my friends, in my career. It was all just too much work."

Feeling disconnected from everything in her former life, Stacy dropped in to an Anusara Yoga class. Right away, she was drawn to the way the teacher asked everyone to line up their mats. The idea of order felt reassuring, she says. The teacher went on to give specific anatomical instruction that Stacy found she could follow. “I craved that kind of instruction like someone who hadn’t had food or water," Stacy says. “It was simple stuff I could totally focus on and go slow and do."

She started taking a beginners’ Anusara Yoga class every day at the same studio, and found that the clear, mindful asana instruction improved her memory, spatial relations, focus, and sense of connectedness with her mind and body. But on a greater scale, she says, the daily practice showed her the value of acting deliberately. She learned that, on the mat, patience and focused intention translated into more precision in poses; off the mat, those qualities resulted in living in a more deeply satisfying way. “When you hold poses for a while, you have time to get where you want to be," she says. “That’s how I feel about life now. If you are slow and mindful, you tend to be more focused on your goals and intentions."

Today, Stacy, who now works in real estate and is preparing to do a yoga teacher training, sees the effects of her yoga practice in every part of her life. She describes herself as more patient, precise, and detail oriented than she was before her brain injury, and able to make better business decisions. Her eating habits have changed—she ate fast food before the hemorrhage but now loves to cook, spending long stretches of time shopping for food, chopping vegetables for the week, and packing food to take to work. And she spends more time deepening her relationships with longtime friends, rather than filling her calendar with events involving big groups of casual acquaintances. The common thread, she says, is that she lives her life with a greater sense of purpose and intention. In some ways, she says, she feels like a completely different person from the one she was before the hemorrhage. “But I feel this person had to have always been here."

For Your Own Sake

“I learned to do yoga for me, to discipline myself for my own benefit."

Larry Sherman had survived a lot: substance abuse, a near-death experience as a naval petty officer in Desert Storm, and a divorce that left him with the responsibility of raising his children. But no problem seemed as insurmountable as his weight, which at his heaviest exceeded 540 pounds. Through yoga, Larry found the inner strength to turn his life around.

Larry’s overeating began as a way to cope with loneliness, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. “I refused to go back to alcohol, so food was it for me," he says. “And I ate with a fury. I would wake up in the morning and go to the bagel place and eat two or three bagels and drink a cup of coffee. On the way home, I’d purchase two or three dozen doughnuts. Then I’d drive straight to the China Buffet and eat there for two hours, and then go home and eat my doughnuts. I was sick and tired, and I couldn’t breathe. I was spending every night waiting to die."

Larry had been in and out of food-addiction programs over the years, and in 2006, at age 47, he decided to try again. “I knew I had to make the decision to either live or die," he says. “I chose to live." But he knew that just changing his eating habits wouldn’t be enough. One day at a health fair, he met a yoga teacher who encouraged him to try yoga. Larry started attending classes at Yoga Shelter in Detroit, where his teacher and fellow students had to help him into the poses at first by supporting his arms and legs. “I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t even stand for long periods of time," he says. “And here I was, 480 pounds, and doing a Half Moon Pose." He kept going to classes and, to his disbelief, found himself doing Pigeon Pose, and then Boat Pose.

His size made the poses difficult and sometimes painful, but his teachers urged him to keep practicing. “Each time I did, I got more flexible and wowed myself with what I could actually do if I breathed and tried and never gave up on myself," he says. As asana became a regular part of his life, Larry discovered that his body was capable of moving with grace, and even of providing him with moments of pleasure. He found his self-confidence increasing—and with it the will to stick with the food-addiction program, something he hadn’t been able to do in the past. Over the next six months, he dropped 100 pounds. “You don’t want to abuse your body when you know how good it can feel," he says. “When you have felt the magnificence of your body in a vinyasa class or a slow flow class, then you know that you’re making a bad choice when you eat 10 pieces of fried chicken or half a pizza."

Today Larry weighs 180 pounds, and works in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital, where he mentors young adults. “Yoga teaches you how to parent yourself, to take care of yourself," he says. “I was in the military, so they teach you to be disciplined for them. But I learned to do yoga for me, to discipline myself for my own benefit."

Discover the True You

“One day, I was sitting in Lotus position with my eyes closed, and I saw someone sitting in front of me, looking back at me. It was a beautiful woman. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, is that who I am?'"

At 40, Rachel Eliason is a registered nurse, a budding writer, and the loving mother of a 12-year-old son. But just four years ago, she was living her life as someone she wasn’t—someone named Richard. Yoga and meditation gave Rachel the insight to connect with the truth of who she really was, and the courage to embrace living her life as that person.

Rachel was born a biological male and as an adult had gotten married and fathered a child, but she had struggled all of her life with confusion about her gender identity. After her divorce five years ago, she tried living life as a gay man, but still felt unsettled. “It was obvious that this wasn’t the answer," she says. “I was still dealing with someone else. I wasn’t dealing with me."

Rachel had had a regular yoga and meditation practice for years, but she began spending more time with her practice, seeking answers and trying to connect with who she was. It was in meditation, she says, that she was able to see herself as a woman for the first time. “One day, I was sitting in Lotus position with my eyes closed," she says, “and I saw someone sitting in front of me, looking back at me. It was a beautiful woman. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, is that who I am?'"

The vision wasn’t as much a surprise as it was confirmation of something she’d always known subconsciously, but it was the realization she needed to move forward. “It had always been in the back of my head, but it was something I very consciously tried to avoid for a long time," she says. “I realized that maybe this was not just some fantasy. Maybe it was real. Maybe it could happen."

Rachel’s asana practice kept her connected to her body and helped keep her mind clear and free of judgment as she began the long and difficult gender-transition process, which at first involved changing external things, like her name and her clothing, as well as taking hormones. “I spent too much of my life trying to get around a lot of issues by being intellectual about them—like thinking that my feeling like a woman wasn’t real. Yoga helped me to inhabit my own body and just be myself," she says.

Her practice also helped her become comfortable with the way her body naturally wanted to move and express itself. “As a man, I had always held my hands together when I talked, to keep them from moving about, because it looked feminine," she says. “I had learned to control the way I walk because my natural tendency is to have a more feminine walk; rather than building a new female persona, it was more a matter of letting go and allowing my body to do what it felt was the most natural thing. And yoga was a huge help in just that."

Today, as the gender-transition process continues, Rachel is enjoying relief from the confusion that once overshadowed her. Her yoga practice is a constant reminder that achieving the truest expression of herself takes time.

“After you’ve done yoga for a while, you start to enjoy the process and realize that it’s not just about the end result," she says. “People think a sex change is something you do. But we call it a ‘transition,’ because it’s a process. Nobody wants to go through months of being on hormones and getting ready to have surgery. But you have to start with where you are and what you’ve got. You have to be patient and let the process unfold."

 

Ignite Your Practice: 12 Inspirational Yoga Quotes


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/12-inspirational-yoga-quotes

Ignite Your Practice: 12 Inspirational Yoga Quotes

Yoga is chock-full of inspirational words and wise advice. Here, a dozen quotes on life, practice, and the path to turn to in moments calling for renewed motivation.

If there’s one thing we learned in YJ’s first 40 years, it’s that yoga tradition and philosophy are chock-full of inspirational words and wise advice. Here, a dozen quotes on lifepractice, and the path to turn to in moments calling for renewed motivation.

 

《 Michael Lington – Call Me Late Tonight(Stay With Me) (04:09) 》


《 Michael Lington – Call Me Late Tonight(Stay With Me) (04:09) 》

【書摘】《墓誌銘風景》:生命的亮光,人間的印記


受限於傳統禮俗,過去台灣人將生死議題視為禁忌,對墓園亦普遍懷有恐懼,墓誌銘更是台灣墓園缺少的文化風景。詩人李敏勇認為,墓誌銘是生命的亮光,人間的印記,是超越時空的人間徽章,也是逝者與生者的連繫。
#墓誌銘 #書摘
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/6965

【書摘】《墓誌銘風景》:生命的亮光,人間的印記

友善列印版本

書名:《墓誌銘風景:生命的亮光,人間的印記(link is external)
作者:李敏勇
出版社:玉山社出版公司
出版日期:2018年5月14日

《墓誌銘風景:生命的亮光,人間的印記》書封


初讀詩人詹冰(1921-2004)的詩集《綠血球》是1960年代末的事。那時,我開始發表詩,並加入在那時候不久之前才創刊的詩誌《笠》,成為同人。詹冰是創辦人之一,也是跨越語言一代的詩人,從日本語而通行中文,他們那一世代的台灣本土詩人不像世界其他國家的同世代詩人,在戰後即登場,而是重新學習通行中文,重新開始。戰前已發表詩作,並獲日本著名詩人崛口大學(1892-1981)推薦的他,戰後在《笠》創刊之後,出版了他譯為通行中文的詩集《綠血球》。

以「綠血球」和「紅血球」兩輯分類的詩集《綠血球》。分別喻示自然和人間。這本詩集有很多經典作品,在台灣現代詩史留下位置。有兩首在「紅血球」輯裡的詩〈墓誌銘〉和〈自畫像〉印記在我心中。

他的遺產目錄裡
有星
有花
也有淚

──〈墓誌銘〉

──〈自畫像〉

〈墓誌銘〉和〈自畫像〉其實是一首詩的兩種形式,自畫像就是墓誌銘。詹冰的詩有一種知性的真摯,星、花和淚是他對自己人生的記述或說形繪。在〈墓誌銘〉這首圖像詩,淚是我(詹冰),圓周上半圈是天上的星星,下半圈是地上的花朵,天地之間的我是人間的我。富有機智的表現讓這首詩直接經由視覺進入閱讀者的腦海。

純粹以詩來閱讀,〈自畫像〉和〈墓誌銘〉在那時候,彷彿只是審美的感受和領略,與生死無關。那時候,詹冰40多歲,正值壯年。一直到2004年,詹冰以83歲離開人間,生與死的意味才和他關聯起來。

墓誌銘在詩作品的印象,也出現在1972年,我譯介的捷克詩人巴茲謝克(Antonin Bartusěk, 1921-1974)的詩選,34首詩的終篇。那時,巴茲謝克還健在。經歷「布拉格之春」並留下詩見證的他,以一首〈墓誌銘〉刻劃他生活的城市。

人們隱匿起來過活的
就是這城市。
起先我們試圖
佯裝
我們已經死了很久。
他們宣稱我們瘋了
而且強迫我們在餘年
飲下剩餘的所有的血。
……
他們就要我們
挖掘自己的墓穴
而且從腦後
將我們射擊致死。
如今我們真的死了,
現在我們希望這真正是一個終局。
但他們弄醒我們
以能夠隱匿我們過活。

──墓誌銘

巴茲謝克在1970年代初期的一本企鵝版《捷克當代詩選》和塞佛特(J. Seifert, 1901-1986)及賀洛布(H. Holub, 1923-1998)三人並列,塞佛特並於1984年獲諾貝爾文學獎。捷克和東歐國家在二戰後一直在共產統治體制,1980年代末才自由化。巴茲謝克的〈墓誌銘〉其實喻示的不是個人,而是集體的命運。

墓誌銘真正讓我感受生與死的況味,是畫家劉啟祥(1910-1998)。他逝世時,我在報刊發表一首詩〈願歷史之牆高掛你崇高的遺囑〉。劉啟祥的長子,也是知名畫家的劉耿一,商請我同意作為他父親的墓誌銘,在他家族的墓園黑色花崗石基座,就銘刻了這首二十四行詩。1999年,我的摯友,英文學者,也在愛爾蘭文學研究享有盛名的吳潛誠(1948-1999)英年早逝。臨逝前,他在遺孀前囑託我協助後事。我以「植根美麗島,織傷痕成詩篇;航向愛爾蘭,化冤錯為甜美」作為他的墓誌銘。在金山看得見海的山上墓園,他墓碑的黑色花崗石就鐫刻著這樣的行句。

之後,美麗島事件辯護律師之一的江鵬堅(1940-2000),曾在民進黨創黨時出任主席,創辦台灣人權促進會,擔任創會會長,並以「一任立委,終身黨外」自許,也擔任過監察委員的他,是我1980年代在人權運動與社會運動的朋友。過世多年後,朋友們一直要我為他構想墓誌銘。思前想後,我為他擬了「政治俠士心,人生美如櫻」。想起故人生前常以櫻花短暫而美麗自許,也許這正是他人間的印記。

開始書寫墓誌銘風景,並以之為名在聯合副刊發表,是2010年歲尾的事。以〈美麗島與愛爾蘭〉作篇名的吳潛誠「墓誌銘風景」,於當年11月29日刊出。自此台灣詩人詹冰的〈星、花、淚〉,日本小說家谷崎潤一郎〈在美的天國與地獄裡〉,日本導演小津安二郎的〈人生之無〉,愛爾蘭詩人葉慈的〈對生死投出冷眼〉⋯⋯到2018年初,大約70位世界不同國度、不同領域人物的「墓誌銘風景」出現在我的觀照之中。

從文學家、藝術家、思想家、政治家、社會運動家,不同領域的墓誌銘主人,以簡單的行句彰顯生命的亮光,人間的印記。我從亮光和印記引介他們的人生行止,就像精簡的傳記,彰顯這些在人類文明開展的歷史裡印拓的行跡。從這些已離開人世的人們墓誌銘,梭巡他們,並與他們對話,彷彿握著他們的手,聽見他們心跳的聲音。從島嶼台灣,向北探向日本、向東觸及美洲、向西觸及中國以至歐洲。世界的善美與真實,悲哀與歡樂,甚至矛盾與和諧就在這些已經死去的人們在生涯中留下見證。

墓誌銘風景反映墓園文化。記得,在英國倫敦探訪位於高門墓園的馬克思之墓,他的墓座上留著拜訪者留下的紅玫瑰花束,眼裡有我們到達時剛離去的人影。那時,蘇聯已解體,馬克思主義經由列寧的實踐已然失敗。但政治的失敗並不完全是馬克思文化思想的消失。我站在馬克思墓座前,看著他的頭像,仍然感受到他的崇高。墓誌銘兩句名言,其上一句是出自《共產黨宣言》的「全世界的工人,團結起來。」底下一句是《關於費爾巴哈提綱》的一則:「哲學家只是以不同的方式詮釋世界,但重點在於改變世界。」

還記得在奧地利首都維也納,特別找時間去中央公墓的音樂家專區參觀的經驗,一位日本遊客在我們之前巡訪。毗鄰而立的音樂家的墓座呈現奧匈帝國時代的音樂文化氛圍,每一座墓都是一件雕塑的藝術。貝多芬、小約翰.史特勞斯、布拉姆斯、舒伯特⋯⋯。以31之齡逝世的舒伯特,「死亡把豐富的寶藏和美麗的希望埋葬於此,人們來到這座墓園之際,請脫帽致敬。」以一種適當的禮節,對待在短暫人生中留下無數音樂給人們的音樂家,應是生者對死者的敬意。世界是在這樣的敬意裡讓人感動的。

相對於世界的文化先進國家,我們的墓園文化存在著許多缺陷,許多亡者之域常存在著凌亂不堪的空間場景,缺乏與人親近的整齊、清潔、美觀、雅靜。歐美和日本,迄今仍有許多墓園在社區之間,或教堂、寺院周邊。生者與死者鄰近,不覺突兀。因為墓園就像小小的庭園,花草樹木交織的風景,既為死者慰靈也洗滌生者之身心。而台灣的許多墓園,不可親近,甚至讓人感到可怖。近年來雖有企業投入的改善,有時只突顯堆砌的一面。而台灣的墓座習慣以在世男丁後人之名立碑、重起造人輕逝者,也讓人不解。墓園是死者安息之所,墓座是死者的印記,台灣的墓園文化亟待改善。

墓誌銘更是台灣墓園缺少的文化風景。這是生命的亮光,人間的印記。透過墓誌銘彰顯不同領域人們留下的歷史形跡,讓有限的生命化為無窮的意義。我在《墓誌銘風景》裡,嘗試著呈現一個又一個在人間留下印記,發出生命亮光的人物的人生行路。透過墓誌銘與這些已在人類歷史角下註記的人們相互觀照,彷彿閱讀一篇又一篇勵志的故事,讓人對生命的意義更有體認。

記得2015年秋天,在聖彼得堡這個俄羅斯城市,參觀「藝術家墓園」,一座又一座墓碑,一位又一位俄羅斯藝術家的形影。托斯妥也夫斯基彷彿就站在那裡,他以小說呈顯一個時代的心影,一種北方國度深遠的心靈的投射。而在莫斯科時,搭車前往二百公里外的托爾斯泰莊園,穿往森林的公路,彷彿莊園裡前往他墓園的小徑,安葬在那片森林中的草地裡,托爾斯泰的墓園既沒有墓座也沒有墓誌銘,他的墓園在天地之間,他的墓座在一片森林裡,他的墓誌銘是草坪上的花卉,是他作品裡的行句。

進入新世紀10年代以來的大約7年間,在聯合副刊發表的墓誌銘風景,編集成書出版。彷彿我梭巡詩歌的歷程,在歷程中的每一個停駐的腳步都面對著一個在人類史留下亮光的生命。在某種意義上,這些人並沒有在歷史中消失,他們在人間的印記那麼明晰,好像和活著的人們繼續共同探尋願景,繼續描繪新世界。

《墓誌銘風景》其一
常思鄉土根
惠澤番薯土

—許常惠(1929-2001)

在台灣音樂界有相當地位的許常惠,是彰化和美人,曾在日本東京就讀小學,中學在台中一中就讀,台灣師大前身的台灣師院音樂系畢業後,留學法國巴黎的法蘭克福音樂學院及巴黎大學文學院的音樂學研究所。

返國後,任教於台灣師範大學、台灣藝術大學前身的國立台灣藝專及東海大學音樂科系的他,與史惟亮合作的民歌採集,豐富了台灣的音樂史,對民族音樂的推廣與振興,有所貢獻。

許常惠也是作曲家,更培養了多位作曲家門生。他創立的「製樂小集」和「新樂初奏」、「五人樂會」在不同時期對現代音樂的振興留下成績。

在金寶山的紀念墓園,許常惠的墓座,鐫刻著他的墓誌銘,彷彿他心意的剖白,更是他形影的呈現。江鵬堅 人權律師,政治俠客

《墓誌銘風景》其二
政治俠士心,人生美如櫻。

—江鵬堅(1940-2000)

江鵬堅是律師,1979年12月10日發生的美麗島事件,許多黨外人士被以軍法、司法治罪,他擔任林義雄及楊青矗的辯護,踏入政治改革運動之路,並於1983年,當選增額立法委員。1984年,與關心人權運動與民主化的志工創辦台灣人權促進會,擔任會長。

24歲開始執行律師業務的他,在法界擔任許多組織、機構的職務。1986年,民進黨突破戒嚴、黨禁成立後,他是首任黨主席。從人權律師而參與黨外到民進黨,他的政治公職從立法委員,以「一屆立委,終身黨外」以及「不信公義喚不回,誓為人權馬前卒」留下風範。

沉穩內斂、個性圓融的他,從黨外到民進黨,深獲敬重。1996年,當選補選之監察委員,並在1999年順利連任後,為彰顯監察機構應中立的色彩,註銷民進黨籍,停止政黨活動。他既調查林義雄母女血案,也調查雷震組黨案件,樹立監察委員不畏懼政治強權的作風。

出生於台北市大稻埕的江鵬堅,父親是1919年自福建泉州惠安來台營生的鞋匠。從鞋匠之子到民進黨創黨主席是他的故事。起於市井,從人權而政治,他的人生印記在台灣這塊土地,只有60年。2000年12月15日,因胰臟癌病逝於台大醫院。他看到政黨輪替,民進黨在創黨14年後,成為執政黨。

經常以「用未來看現在,以死亡看生存」自勉的他,執著於「政治是良心事業」,深信「落花入土更護花」,像一位俠士,親和力強,贏得許多人的尊敬。他的墓園銘記他短暫人生的美麗行止。

 

《 Michael Lington – Everything Must Change (06:48) 》


《 Michael Lington – Everything Must Change (06:48) 》

The Yoga Sutra: Your Guide To Living Every Moment


https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/yoga-sutra-guide-to-living-every-moment

The Yoga Sutra: Your Guide To Living Every Moment

Yoga is so much more than asana. 
The sutras show us how to be our true selves and appreciate every moment—
even when life gets crazy.
collage

Yoga is so much more than asana. The sutras show us how to be our true selves and appreciate every moment—
even when life gets crazy.

It was one of those nights: My husband was out, two of our three kids were sick with colds, I had a work deadline the next morning, and one of the dogs found and tore into a dirty diaper, spreading the contents all over the room. And I mean all over. It was a last-straw moment to beat any others, and I was either going to freak out—yell at the dogs, curse my husband for being unavailable, and stomp around the house wondering why all these things had to happen at once—or find a way to draw on the tools Patanjali provides in the Yoga Sutra to accept the situation with as much grace as I could and figure out how to get through it with as little suffering as possible. So, I opted for the latter, managed to laugh a little, put the dogs outside, and cleaned up the mess. This, I realized in that moment, is why I do yoga.

See also Yoga Sutra 1.1: The Power of Now

One of the greatest things I’ve learned from my teacher, T. K. V. Desikachar, is that the true value of yoga is found when you apply it to your daily life—especially in those messy moments (say, when your dog decides to have at a dirty diaper). The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, widely regarded as the authoritative text on yoga, is not just for contemplating on the mat. The sutras are meant to be put to the test and practiced in your work, leisure time, and in your role as a parent, partner, and friend.

succulents, plants, green

The Yoga Sutra, explained

This ancient yogic text is traditionally presented as a guide for refining the mind so one can reach the highest states of concentration and focus. This focus is a means to an end: It leads to a clearer perception and the ability to know the Self, which ultimately results in independence from suffering. The 195 short verses are believed to have been compiled sometime around 350 CE by Patanjali, whom traditionalists also credit with writing texts on Ayurvedic medicine and Sanskrit grammar. Very little is known about the man Patanjali. In fact, it’s unclear whether Patanjali was an individual or simply a name created to represent several people. Yet while factual details about Patanjali are scant, the Yoga Sutra and its lessons are still with us today.

The 195 sutras are divided into four books, or padas, which cover four broad topics: what yoga is (samadhi pada); how to attain a state of yoga (sadhana pada); the benefits of yoga practice (vibhuti pada); and the freedom from suffering (kaivalya pada) that is the eventual goal or result of a consistent practice. The word sutra comes from the same root as “suture,” or thread—each concept is compact and discrete, but it can be woven together with others to present a full tapestry of meaning.

Though composed of few words, each verse is rich with meaning and depth, so that the most advanced student can continue to gain new insights even after years of study. Every carefully chosen word has clear meanings and connotations, which is why the sutras are best learned from an acarya, or “one who travels the path”— an experienced teacher who can help you appreciate the layers of complexity in the text and apply their meaning to your life.

While Patanjali is concerned primarily with calming, focusing, and refining the mind, the ultimate reward of putting the sutras into practice is that you feel better at every level of your human system, and the potential impact of this on your day-to-day life is limitless. When your mind is less agitated, you experience less anxiety and sleep better. When you have clearer perception, your confidence increases as you make fewer mistakes. Your relationships become more fulfilling as you take more emotional risks and connect with others from a place of knowing yourself more deeply. When you are more connected with your own needs and tendencies, you can take better care of yourself, whether that means eating more healthfully, finding a new job, or getting enough rest.

Admittedly, putting the sutras into practice off the mat can be especially challenging, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor, and starting with the eight sutras will give you a brief introduction to the transformative power that Patanjali’s simple but fundamental principles can have in your daily life. Consider them tools that are so universal in their approach and applicability, everyone can benefit from them, regardless of their background, experience, or beliefs. If you’ve never contemplated the Yoga Sutra, think of these eight verses as an entryway for accessing the support Patanjali has to offer you in your own life. Perhaps they’ll serve as an invitation to learn more.

See also Why Paramahansa Yogananda Was A Man Before His Time

Put in the practice

1.14 sa tu dirgha-kala-nairantarya-satkara-adara-asevita drdha-bhumih

To achieve a strong foundation in our practice, we must practice over a long time, without interruption, believing in it and looking forward to it, with an attitude of service.

Whenever you undertake anything new, whether it’s a relationship, a job, or a course of study, Patanjali advises you to recognize that there is going to be some effort involved. You must consciously create the foundation you hope to build on. Becoming a parent, starting a business, studying piano, taking up rock climbing—whatever you’re undertaking, if you approach it with the attitudes described by this sutra, you will experience more joy in the activity itself and you’ll create a solid foundation on which to build the future.

The first guideline Patanjali offers is dirgha-kala, or “long time.” This means recognizing that what you are undertaking cannot be perfected overnight, that you have to commit over time to get lasting results that you are happy with. Nairantarya, the next guideline, translates as “no interruption,” which addresses your continued commitment to the process. Your efforts must be wholehearted; an attitude of a little bit here and a little bit there is not going to help you reach your goal. Imagine trying to learn how to play the piano without practicing regularly, or trying to lose weight while eating healthfully only once in a while.

Satkara, the third guideline, means belief in what you are doing. If you approach a task with uncertainty, or with the attitude that your endeavor will fail, you set yourself up for disappointment. Patanjali advises that if you believe in what you are doing, your efforts will have greater impact. If you’re an activist lobbying for stricter clean-air protocols, for example, you have to believe in the cause if your efforts are going to effectively inspire others to support your work, and it helps you maintain your own momentum and enthusiasm.

Adara refers to the fact that you must look forward to what you’re doing. Whatever you set out to do, Patanjali advises that, on some level, you must enjoy the job at hand. Even if what you’re doing is difficult or tiring, there can still be joy and satisfaction in the effort if you know that you are experiencing something positive from it. Adara is important because, without it, you are prone to burnout or to abandoning your commitment.

Lastly, Patanjali mentions asevita, meaning that you must approach each endeavor with an attitude of service. You can do this by asking yourself, How can I best serve my work? My relationship? This practice? If you are parenting, one way you can serve that practice is by making sure that you get enough rest, time for yourself, and healthful food, so that when you are with your kids you can be at your best. Service to your efforts might mean getting a good night’s sleep before making a big presentation at work. Or it could simply mean approaching your work—whether it’s volunteering at a nonprofit or running a huge international corporation—with a positive attitude.

See also The Roots of Yoga: Ancient + Modern

child, piano

Get to know your true self

2.17 drashtr-drshyayoh samyogo heya-hetuh

The cause of our suffering is the inability to distinguish between what is the truth (what perceives) and what appears to be the truth (what is perceived).

2.23 sva-svami-saktyoh svarupa- upalabdhi-hetuh samyogah

The inability to discern between the temporary, fluctuating mind and our own true Self, which is ­eternal, is the cause of our suffering, yet this suffering provides us with the opportunity to make this distinction and to learn and grow from it, by understanding the true nature of each.

Patanjali says that the cause of suffering (heya-hetuh) is the inability to distinguish (samyoga) between two entities—the Self, or seer (drashtr), and the mind (drshyam), which includes your thoughts and emotions. Distinguishing between the two closely related entities—and understanding the role of each and the relationship between them—is a central goal of yoga and the key to your happiness and peace. Think of it this way: Imagine you’re a personal assistant who works closely with your boss and functions as her representative in public. Now, think about what would happen if you began to feel and act as if you were the boss, eventually forgetting to consult or even recognize your boss. Obviously, some problems would likely occur if this distinction were blurred. So, think of the Self, or seer, as the boss, and the mind as the boss’s instrument or assistant, recognizing the distinct role each one plays. That’s when you will acquire clearer perception.

Of course, one might say that Patanjali recognizes the value of both entities. It’s not that the mind is bad or the Self, or seer, is better. You need your mind, emotions, and identity to live in the world, just as you need your inner compass, or true Self.
What’s crucial is discerning the role of each and making sure that each entity is acting according to its proper role. The good news is that while the difficulty of distinguishing these two entities can be frustrating, and can even cause you a great deal of discomfort and pain, Patanjali says that the suffering that results when you mistake one for the other actually helps set you on your road to greater clarity.

The mistakes you make, and the pain you feel as a result, serve to guide you toward a greater understanding (upalabdhi—literally “to obtain or go near”) of both the true nature (svarupa) of the mind and the true nature of the Self, or seer—“the external that is seen and the internal that sees,” as T. K. V. Desikachar describes them. It is only through this increased understanding of the nature of each and the relationship between them that you are able to differentiate between the two, and hence prevent future suffering.

Instead of being too critical of yourself when you make a mistake, the message here is that you can let go of self-blame, regret, and criticism. By holding on to those thoughts, you are only making yourself more miserable, adding suffering on top of the suffering, so to speak. Patanjali is concerned with the present: You are here now, so it’s irrelevant how you got here, whose fault it was, or how badly you messed up. The important thing is that your mistakes give you a chance to learn something about yourself and to potentially do things differently the next time.

See also Live Your Yoga: Discover the Yamas + Niyamas

Walk in someone else’s shoes

2.33 vitarka-badhane pratipaksha-bhavanam

2.34 vitarka himsadayah krta-karita-anumodita lobha-krodha-moha-purvaka mrdu-madhya-adhimatra
duhkha-ajnana ananta-phalah iti pratipaksha-bhavanam

To avoid hasty actions that may be hurtful, we must practice trying to imagine or visualize the opposite of our first, instinctual reaction. We must see things from a different point of view and weigh the potential consequences.

Often, Patanjali’s most powerful advice broadens your view, shifting your frame of reference or offering a new vantage point from which to see things (pratipaksha-
bhavanam). These shifts might seem simple, but they can have a profound impact on your experience. Patanjali advises that to avoid doing harm by acting hastily, you must try to “visualize the opposite side.”

Patanjali is quite specific in these sutras, explaining that hasty actions that cause harm to others can happen in three ways: You hurt someone directly (krta: I am angry, so I kick someone); you hurt someone by way of someone else (karita: I ask my friend to kick another on my behalf); or you approve, encourage, or feel glad about harm done to another person (anumodita). Patanjali explains some reasons that people harm others, including greed (lobha), anger (krodha), and delusion or infatuation (moha). He then warns that, whether you harm someone a little bit (mrdu), an average amount (madhya), or a great deal (adhimatra), the result for you is the same: endless suffering (duhkha) and a lack of clarity (ajnana). To avoid this, practice pratipaksha-bhavanam.

Patanjali is a realist. He is not saying that you should not have legitimate feelings, or that you should judge yourself for feeling the way you do. He is reminding you that if you think badly of another, that person doesn’t suffer—you do. If you actually harm another person, you will likely suffer as much as, if not more than, the person you harm.

Patanjali offers this advice not so that you can become the citizen of the year, but so you can be happier and more fulfilled. It might sound selfish, but the most supportive thing you can do for the world is to focus on your own personal growth and transformation, and then act from that place in the world.

See also Ask the Expert: What Are 3 Must-Reads for Beginner Yogis?

Yoga and Animals, puppies, beach

Tap into your inner strength

1.20 shraddha-virya-smrti-samadhi-prajna-purvakah itaresham

For those of us who were not born into states of higher consciousness or knowing, we must cultivate self-confidence and conviction to help us maintain our persistence and strength, and to remember our direction so that we may attain our goal of a focused mind and clear perception.

Often translated as “faith,” shraddha is more appropriately translated as “self-esteem,” “personal conviction,” “self-confidence,” or “determination.” If you are consciously making an effort to achieve greater clarity (itaresham), your conviction (shraddha) will be followed by the strength and persistence (virya) to remember your direction (smrti) and to reach your goal of total and clear understanding (samadhi-prajna).

Practically speaking, shraddha is your inner strength; when you’re lost in the woods and it’s getting dark, shraddha is your deep inner trust that you will find a way to make a fire, get warm, and find something to eat. It’s the guiding force inside that urges you to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you come out of the woods. This resource is one of your greatest assets—a way to help you connect to your own true Self or the place of quiet light within.

Later, in sutra 1.22, Patanjali indicates that shraddha is apt to wane and fluctuate. We all have days when we feel more confident and self-assured, and days when we doubt ourselves. Shraddha is unique to each person: You might have just a little bit, or you might have a lot. The potential to cultivate shraddha is within you, though you might not be aware of that potential, or use it to your advantage. The right support (a good teacher, friend, partner, or mentor) can help you cultivate and strengthen shraddha.
Most daily challenges aren’t as dramatic as being lost in the woods. But if you’re facing a stressful time at work or dealing with an illness or a difficult relationship, it helps to remember that within you is the strength that can carry you through the hardest of times. Even if things become so difficult that you forget your inner strength, it is still there.

See also Is Yoga a Religion?

Align your attitude

1.33 maitri-karuna-mudita-
upekshanam sukha-duhkha-
punyapunya-visayanam bhavanatah-citta-prasadanam

An attitude of friendliness toward those who are happy, compassion toward those who are suffering, pleasure and delight at those who are doing good deeds in the world, and nonjudgmental watchfulness toward those who do harmful deeds will help us to attain a peaceful and balanced mind.

Recognizing that you can change your mood by shifting your attitude is an important step toward easing suffering. But implementing the attitudes Patanjali suggests is not always easy. Patanjali says you should feel friendliness (maitri) toward those who are happy (sukha). This seems like obvious advice, but how often, when others are happy, do we find ourselves feeling jealous, or bad about ourselves, with thoughts like “Why didn’t I get that raise? Why didn’t I win the lottery? Maybe that person cheated! They don’t deserve it!”

Likewise, Patanjali says you should have compassion (karuna) for those who are suffering (duhkha). But instead of compassion, you might feel responsible for saving them, guilty about their misfortune, or fearful that what happened to them could happen to you.
When others are doing good deeds in the world (punya), instead of feeling joy (mudita), you might feel critical of yourself for not doing the same, or even suspicious about their motives or integrity. Perhaps most difficult of all, Patanjali says that you should try to maintain an attitude of nonjudgmental watchfulness or observance (upeksa) toward those people who are doing harmful deeds in the world (apunya). This can be extremely challenging. How often do you jump in and place blame, taking sides without knowing the full picture?

Patanjali uses the word upeksa intentionally: He’s not telling you to hide your head in the sand, but to observe from a safe distance and with nonjudgment. If you can adopt these attitudes, you will receive the blessings of a calm, peaceful, and balanced mind (citta-prasadanam). And through this, your path will become clear.

Remember, the Yoga Sutra is a guide to feeling better in daily life, not to becoming a saint, and sometimes the best action isn’t the most heroic one. I once got between two dogs that were fighting to break them up. Without thinking, I tried to pull the dogs apart and ended up getting a bad bite. Had I not reacted so quickly, I might have thought of a better solution, like using a stick to separate them, or asking for help from someone more experienced. Similarly, if you witness an injustice on the street and get in the middle of it, you’re putting yourself in a position of conflict, and could become injured. But if you observe, trying not to pass judgment, you will be able to respond more clearly and act effectively while preserving your peace of mind and your personal well-being.

peace sign, car window

Find your inner compass

1.29 tatah pratyak-cetana adhigamo’py antarayabhavas ca

Those who have a meaningful connection with something greater than themselves will come to know their own true Selves and experience a reduction in those obstacles that may deter them from reaching their goal.

Once you are linked with something beyond your own identity, two things happen, says Patanjali: First, the inner consciousness (pratyak-cetana) is revealed (adhigamah) as the Self; second, the obstacles that deter you on your path (antaraya) are reduced and eventually extinguished (abhava). Coming to a place of independence from these obstacles of the mind facilitates a deeper connection with your own inner compass—that quiet, peaceful place within. When you are connected to this inner compass, you are better able to handle the twists and turns of life. You don’t take things so personally. Your mood generally remains stabler. You see things more clearly, and so you are able to make choices that serve you better. As Patanjali says, it is almost as though you become independent of the effects of whatever is occurring around you. You can experience it without absorbing it or identifying with it. You have the distance and perspective to see that what you’re experiencing is not who you are, but rather something that’s happening to you, and you can therefore move through it with greater ease.

I experimented with this soon after a friend’s wife died, when he started shouting at me one evening in front of a group of people. Somehow, without effort, I understood that he was not really angry at me. I recognized that he was in fact extremely sad about his wife’s death, and, even though he was saying terrible things to me, my ego did not step up and feel humiliated. Nor did I get defensive and retaliate by saying terrible things back to him that I would later regret.

Instead, I had an awareness that extended beyond my own immediate experience, which, while it certainly wasn’t pleasant, was not devastating or even hurtful because I was clear that it was not about me. I did not feel anger, embarrassment, or any of the other things I might have felt had I been acting from my ego or emotions. Instead, I felt deep compassion and understanding for my friend. I knew he did not want to hurt me, and I knew how much he was hurting.

The results of putting the principles of the Yoga Sutra into practice show up in moments like this, when you least expect them, with gifts of clarity and compassion. It’s here, in your relationships with others, in your moods, in your reactions to life’s situations, that you know your yoga practice is working, helping you to stay anchored, calm, and stable.

In these moments, you are able to respond from a place of love and trust, of compassion and nonjudgment. You shine from your center as a result of being connected to something deep within you as well as beyond you. When you are connected to your core and acting from that place within, you will find that you can handle almost any situation with much greater ease and clarity.

Kate Holcombe is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco and a longtime private student of T. K. V. Desikachar. Visit her at healingyoga.org.

 

《 Michael Lington – Fragile (04:47) 》


《 Michael Lington – Fragile (04:47) 》

【南國艾爾摩莎】食物的歷史基因:台南小吃的十七世紀基因


老台南人吃香腸熟肉,客人都會跟老闆要一碗「豆仔湯」,內行的會加上骨肉或肝連肉,豆子容易有飽足感,所以又稱這種豆子叫「椪風豆」,是傳統勞動社會中替代飯食的好東西。

#豆仔湯 #台南小吃 #飲食文化
http://www.thinkingtaiwan.com/content/6963

【南國艾爾摩莎】食物的歷史基因:台南小吃的十七世紀基因

友善列印版本

吃,是人類生存每天的必要工作,對於台南人「吃」更已經成為身為一個台南人的基因標籤。對於小吃,總有一大堆每個人的口袋名單,隨著大量的觀光客湧入消費後,談「台南小吃」變成一種顯學,人們總期待著有哪家不知名老店被挖掘出土,哪家排隊名店如何如何,但是小吃為何成為台南的「名物」,與老城的歷史文化有何關係?似乎不太為人所知,於是乎排隊名店虛構歷史,會加個唬爛感人故事,透過網路行銷排隊,就變成某某飲食的代表了,我們忘了近四百年的舌頭味蕾的歷史記憶,從這一篇文章開始,我們來翻開小吃的土地記憶,你吃到嘴裡的不只是食物,而是歷史、更是文化的味覺。

與荷蘭人的味覺交易

1624年,荷蘭人東印度公司來到台南,以台南作為南洋前進日本、中國等地的貿易轉接地,台灣進入大航海時期的世界版圖中,當然同時間西班牙人也抵達北部的雞籠,這一場大航海的全球貿易顯然台灣沒有缺席,食物裡也留下許多歷史的記憶。

台南有一家眾人皆知的排隊潤餅店,是的,從小我們就叫他「潤餅」,不叫春捲,荷蘭人也把這種捲起來東西,不論是炸的還是非油炸的都叫Loempia(發音為台語潤餅),在印尼、菲律賓等東南亞地也都叫他潤餅,當然這是因為十七世紀的海上貿易往來的結果。

老台南人吃香腸熟肉,客人都會跟老闆要一碗「豆仔湯」,內行的會加上骨肉或肝連肉,豆子容易有飽足感,所以又稱這種豆子叫「椪風豆」,是傳統勞動社會中替代飯食的好東西,它就是「豌豆」(學名Pisum sativum)的一種,鄉下農家稱「荷蘭豆」故名思義,這是十七世紀荷蘭人引進台灣的蔬果之一。一般東方料理食用豌豆,常會連果莢一起料理,也會取其青豆,但香腸熟肉用的荷蘭豆,經過去夾、乾炒後醃製風乾,呈現為黃色,也方便保存多日,客人點菜後在以熬煮香腸熟肉的高湯燙過後,加上香菜即可。

熟知歐陸飲食的人便知曉,西方人常食用豆類作為鹹食主菜之一,從豌豆、鷹嘴豆、大豆、紅豆綠豆⋯⋯等,在歐洲超市是常見的食物,荷蘭人、中國及日本各地的貿易來到台灣,自然地為了自己的需求,會將這些蔬果帶到台灣來,包含本文所提的豌豆、蕃茄、到大量種植的甘蔗⋯⋯等,部分則荷蘭人會交給近府城的西拉雅平埔族人來種植,有些則是府城附近的移居的漢人種植。

依據江樹生在其《巴達維亞城日誌》資料統計,1637年貿易往來的最高峰整年有高達1311航次[1],顯見其海上往來之頻繁,其中在日誌中的1644年4月16日,1646年3月22日、7月24日⋯⋯等多次的記錄中均有船隻裝載豆子的記錄,至於荷蘭豆如何在之後被留在台灣,變成台灣人的飲食料理,過程仍待多方的考證,但可以顯見的,三百年多年前飄洋過海的豆子,今天仍然存在臺南的小吃之中,成為我們味蕾記憶的一部分。

下次到台南有機會吃到香腸熟肉,別忘了跟老闆點一碗豆子湯,讓舌頭有機會體驗一下歷史。

台南香腸熟肉攤的豆子湯。(攝影:黃建龍)


[1] 曾華壁,2011年三月,《臺灣史研究》第十八卷第一期,〈釋析十七世紀荷蘭據臺時期的環境探索與自然資源利用〉,頁1-39,台北,中央研究院臺灣史研究所。

 

《 Michael Lington – All In Love Is Fair (04:37) 》


《 Michael Lington – All In Love Is Fair (04:37) 》

環藝影像獎強力徵件中,用影片說一個你和環境的故事


環藝影像獎強力徵件中,用影片說一個你和環境的故事

 

《 Michael Lington – Apasionada (04:36) 》


《 Michael Lington – Apasionada (04:36) 》

【自然谷之星】做草仔粿又可做織品 天然素材青苧麻


http://e-info.org.tw/node/211813?utm_source=%E7%92%B0%E5%A2%83%E8%B3%87%E8%A8%8A%E9%9B%BB%E5%AD%90%E5%A0%B1&utm_campaign=28c554beb1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_17_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f99f939cdc-28c554beb1-84956681

【自然谷之星】做草仔粿又可做織品 天然素材青苧麻

2018年05月26日
文:何京翰(自然谷環境信託基地專案執行)

沒有香豔的花朵,亦無甜美的鮮果,以樸實無華的外表,融入綠意盎然的山林小徑之中,卻是古早人展現生活智慧的巧妙素材,這就是今天要向各位介紹的自然谷之星──青苧麻

青苧麻。圖片來源:Ting Cheng (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

我對於青苧麻的首次認識,來自於一位參加導覽活動的媽媽。當時,她指著翠綠的葉子,熱情地解釋這種植物是用於草仔粿的材料,是童年回憶的一部份,但並不曉得它的名字。有了關鍵字「草仔粿」,便可將搜尋範圍縮小,逐一檢視可能的物種後,便得知其芳名為「青苧麻」。

葉背呈反差明顯的白色。圖片來源:Shih-Shiuan Kao(CC BY-SA 2.0)

對於許多過去的民眾來說,青苧麻是一種唾手可得的天然資源,它的生命力強勁,廣泛分布於淺山地區及平野,且採集便利。將其葉片搗碎後的汁液,可添加於料理中,增添獨特風味,嫩葉亦可直接食用;堅韌的植物纖維,則可用做紡織,基底色淺,更利於之後的染色加工,在工業紡織興起前,是一種常見的纖維來源。此外,養蠶者若是無法取得桑葉的時候,青苧麻的嫩葉可作為暫時的替代品。中草藥的應用方面,青苧麻的根部有消炎、解熱之功效,並可作為外傷敷料。由此可知,青苧麻的應用層面廣泛,是一種貼近人類生活的植物。

苧麻布。圖片來源:Vincent Chien(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

事實上,青苧麻(Boehmeria frutescens)其實是苧麻(Boehmeria nivea )在野外的變種,兩者在外型上極為相似,可由葉背的絨毛密集程度作區分。苧麻引進台灣的確切時間現已不可考,但清朝康熙年間(1685年)寫成的《台灣府志》已有載錄:「土民所種,可織暑布」,可見原住民栽植的歷史悠久,且已被視為經濟作物。苧麻的紡織工藝並非台灣所獨創,在中國、日本、韓國……等地,苧麻紡織早已是歷史悠久的傳統產業。目前,中國已將其列入「國家級非物質文化遺產」;韓國亦將其納入「韓國無形文化資產」之內,並於忠清南道舒川郡韓山面,每年舉辦韓山苧麻文化節。

苧麻製成的紡織線。圖片來源:apinkleaf(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

雖然(青)苧麻的織品具有容易染色、透氣清涼的特性,又可以作為食材。仍不敵石化工業所生產的人造纖維,以及文化流失所造成之衝擊,昔日榮光已不復見。目前僅用作原住民族於儀式衣物的織造,平日難得一「件」。現代化生活也使得傳統糕點的製作受到影響,製作過程繁複、食用的人數不如以往、選用更容易取得的材料,甚至是徒具形式的製作方法(食用色素),都會使這種天然素材淡出人類的生活文化。如何避免傳統文化的消失,或許是我們這幾代人必須正視的問題。

草仔粿的製作。圖片來源:Chyn(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
草仔粿
草仔粿墨綠的外皮,來自於植物打碎後的汁液,可使用的植物除了青苧麻以外,最常見的素材為鼠麴草及艾草。另外,還能利用大葉田香草、桑葉、香蘭葉、雞屎藤等植物,各有其獨特之風味。內餡則有甜、鹹之分,常見的口味是碎肉佐蘿蔔絲,以及甜豆沙餡。過去是祭祖必備之供品,現在則是市場內常見的零食小點。

青苧麻 檔案

中文名:青苧麻

 

別名:山苧麻、山地麻根、野苧麻、白山麻

科名:蕁麻科 苧麻屬

學名:Boehmeria frutescens Thunberg

分佈:廣泛分布於中國及日本、韓國,以及東南亞各國。

特徵:

  1. 多年生草本狀灌木,植株向上直立生長。
  2. 葉互生,此屬其他物種為對生。
  3. 葉片長6~12公分,寬4~8公分,卵形,邊緣為鋸齒狀,葉背密布白色絨毛,觸感粗糙,有三條主脈。
  4. 花期為5~7月,單性花。雌花為淡綠色花瓣,雄花則是黃白色,兩者皆為四枚花瓣。小花數簇生成球形,排成圓錐花序。
  5. 果實為扁圓形瘦果,被毛。

生態:於中海拔以下山區、平野、河床附近的開闊地容易發現,生命力強健的植物。

※本文由自然谷團隊提供,原刊載於台灣環境資訊協會官網
※感謝CHOICE喬義司  與行政院環境保護署支持自然谷之星專頁

 

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自然谷

自然谷環境信託基地,是台灣環境信託的首例。
我們相信,這不會成為唯一的案例,而是一把開啟更多可能的鑰匙。
還不認識自然谷嗎?
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》》前往官網粉絲專頁

 

《 Michael Lington – Twice In A Lifetime (04:43) 》


《 Michael Lington – Twice In A Lifetime (04:43) 》

回家種香草!為尚德村的「綠」注入新風貌


http://e-info.org.tw/node/211818?utm_source=%E7%92%B0%E5%A2%83%E8%B3%87%E8%A8%8A%E9%9B%BB%E5%AD%90%E5%A0%B1&utm_campaign=28c554beb1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_17_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f99f939cdc-28c554beb1-84956681

回家種香草!為尚德村的「綠」注入新風貌

2018年05月26日
文、圖:王翠菱(國立東華大學人文創新與社會實踐研究中心經理)

在台東海岸山脈南端的泰源幽谷中,有一群散居於此的阿美族人,也有因八七水災、或隨退輔會「東部開發隊」移居來此墾殖的居民。這個區域在1969年自泰源村行政轄區劃出,經村民大會決議,取「軍人崇尚武德之精神」,將村子命名為「尚德」。

尚德村位於台東縣東河鄉泰源盆地的南側,是海岸山脈環繞的美麗幽谷。

隨著時代的變遷,許多人到都會區尋找新的工作機會而遷出尚德,這裡快速地沒落。早期居住在這裡的200人,現今戶籍人口僅存300餘人,而真正住在村子裡的,也只剩下100多人了,留下來的,多是最早居住於此的阿美族人。

尚德的水與綠

因為人口外移與低度開發,沿著馬武窟溪南溪而上的谷地,散布著一塊塊的梯田;再往山邊去,是早期開鑿的水圳,順著海岸山脈,將最乾淨的原水引入田間;山坡上那些種植了幾十年的老梅園,襯著海岸山脈的山景、雲霧,在這片山谷,可以看到綠色的樹海、金黃色的浪、白色的梅花盛開,全年春、夏、秋、冬、日、晨、昏,有著不同的面貌與美景。

沿著海岸山脈邊緣開鑿的水圳與梅園。

在平緩的山稜線上,是一大片早已無人管理的柚子園,巨大的集塊岩散布其中, 形成特殊的環境景觀。也因為荒廢、車輛不易抵達,讓稜線上一棵百年苳老樹得以保存。這些幽谷中的水與綠,是尚德珍貴的自然資源。

稜線上一棵老茄苳樹,需要十人才能環抱。右二為橄欖葉合作農場理事主席陳人鼎。

照顧人、保護環境

橄欖葉合作農場理事主席陳人鼎,2011年回到尚德。返鄉,是為了人和土地。返鄉後更深刻體驗到周邊居民的需要,看到老人、小孩需要被照顧,於是他成立了社區發展協會,從照顧、關懷老人、開始,慢慢了解問題之所在──地方需要有產業的發展、農業要轉型、居民需要有工作,於是萌生籌組合作事業的想法。

在社區整合成熟後,與社區父執輩、長者共同討論,陳人鼎決定延續祖父早期經營合作事業的理念,也因社區土地面積足夠、大家願意將土地整合,故決定成立合作農場。

合作農場取名「橄欖葉」係取自《聖經》典故,鴿子帶來橄欖枝,代表著希望。希望透過產業整合的方式,讓土地有新的希望,居民有新的盼望,可以在當地安居樂業。陳人鼎回鄉後做過農林漁牧,最後選擇種植「香草」(薄荷、左手香、檸檬香蜂草香茅、薰衣草等),因為香草的栽培可以使用友善農法、友善土地的耕種方式,加工後經濟價值高。目前已和廠商簽訂合約,進入規模化生產,也將升級至二級、三級的產業,如製作香草茶、精油。未來會保留這片農業生產的美麗土地,讓農村景象可以留給下一代,是他對土地的責任與想法。

打造台灣的普羅旺斯

橄欖葉合作農場成立以後,以香草做為尚德發展的核心產業,讓尚德成為台灣的普羅旺斯,是農場的願景。由農場和部落的中高齡長者共同勞動,建立自己的工班,農場育苗、種植、採收等作業程序也在摸索中成長,近年和民宿業者合作,鼓勵農地農用、種植香草,增加香草的種植面積與量;一級生產穩定後,農場開始提煉精油、研發香草茶,從標準化、包裝到設備調整,仍在持續研發的工作。

以阿美族的Ina(媽媽)為主的香草工班,要打造台灣的普羅旺斯。

農場現階段還談不上獲利,為了增加農場的現金流,開始推展體驗旅遊,利用尚德的水圳、百年老樹、自然地景、閒置小學等資源,發展休閒旅遊,以支持農場運作。

2017年,尚德社區發展協會和合作農場爭取到尚德國小的認養,以尚德國小做為村子的中心,繼續進行關懷老人、兒童的工作,也利用學校場域,落實「農學苑」、環境教育的理想,讓有心返鄉的青年可以得到完善的農業訓練與輔導,也以此作為尚德的窗口,推動環境教育、體驗旅遊,把「教育」─「人」─「環境」的連結重新建立起來。

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主婦聯盟生活消費合作社

主婦聯盟合作社以「共同購買」集結關心自己、關心環境、關心生產者的消費者,每月發行《綠主張》月刊,推動合作理念、綠色消費改善環境品質,以計畫性消費及合理價格予生產者支持,並透過食安教育,讓人與土地都健康。

前往>>官方網站粉絲團LINE生活圈

 

《 Michael Lington – Lovely Day (04:48) 》


《 Michael Lington – Lovely Day (04:48) 》

潛水教練掌櫃,「海味」濃厚的小琉球唯一書店──小島停琉


http://e-info.org.tw/node/211816?utm_source=%E7%92%B0%E5%A2%83%E8%B3%87%E8%A8%8A%E9%9B%BB%E5%AD%90%E5%A0%B1&utm_campaign=28c554beb1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_17_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f99f939cdc-28c554beb1-84956681

潛水教練掌櫃,「海味」濃厚的小琉球唯一書店──小島停琉

2018年05月26日
文:傅宗玉(閱讀最前線編輯)

這是一家真正的島上書店。

小島停琉是小琉球上唯一的一家書店,小巧精緻的店內有復古的花磚、一片大大的窗戶,窗前設了幾個舒服的座位,櫃檯前則擺放大大小小、各種材質的海龜公仔,廚房的入口掛著Q版海龜門簾,呈現濃濃的「海味」。這正是一家以海洋、環境、旅遊為主題的獨立書店,新書、二手書都賣。

小島停琉。攝影:雪莉不要鬧

一進門就映入眼簾的新書區平台放了不少繪本,《塑膠島》、《台北奇幻飛行》、《捕捉大海的男孩》和《出發吧!海洋號》都在最顯眼的位置,除了與海洋、生態有關的繪本外,我還注意到由衛城出版的《我們的島:台灣三十年環境變遷全紀錄》就放在中間,正坐在櫃臺後方的陳芃諭好笑地說,蘇淮很想看所以他們才進的,但我忘了問蘇淮到底看了沒。

陳芃諭是小島停琉主要經營者,她和蘇淮同時也是島人海洋文化工作室的共同創辦人。要談這間書店,不得不從島人開始講起。我與島人的第一次接觸,是因為潛水,但認識島人之後,才發現他們不只是一間潛水店。除了一般潛水店的業務如發證照、導潛外,島人試圖讓更多人認識海洋的美,他們不遺餘力地推廣海洋生態和環境議題、開辦各類講座、經營網路社群,也親身分享落實減塑生活的心法。

2017年底,島人決定租下不遠的一棟空屋,但開書店其實不是第一選項。蘇淮在小貨車邊跟我坦承,會定案開書店,純粹是一個起心動念。其實他們一開始只是想要找個空間作為推廣環境議題的平台,但因為芃諭愛看書,他們每次出去旅行,總愛去各地的書店晃晃。書店結合生態議題,事情就這樣成了。

小島停琉的選書以環境、海洋為主。攝影:雪莉不要鬧

但開書店不是一個兩個人能做起來的事情,整趟旅程他們都有朋友伙伴的鼎力相助,不管是店裡的木工、油漆等瑣碎的工作,還是精神上的支持,島人在「停琉」的路上一點也不孤單。造訪小島停琉的那個週末是我第二次來到島上,剛好趕上環保YouTuber雪莉不要鬧的分享會,我舒服地坐在椅子上邊吃著買回來的海龜燒,邊觀察魚貫走進來的聽眾,這一位是潛水教練、那位則是海龜燒老闆娘、旁邊拿著保鮮盒裝滷味的是來島上打工換宿的插畫家⋯⋯招呼聲此起彼落,大家都是好朋友。

蘇淮就曾跟我說,其實島上許多人都是外地來小琉球工作的人,每個人都各有想做的事情,他們在小島上停「琉」,不約而同成為一個個「島人」,交互碰撞出各種不同的島上故事。

回到書店,我們聊著即將到來的清明連假,開玩笑地說恐怕觀光人潮會把書店塞爆了吧,但芃諭坦承,小島停琉在這次的觀光高峰期間並不會營業。這就是我對小島停琉最深刻的印象,他們不追求成為網紅網美打卡點(雖然他們絕對有資格),他們不追求「追夢人」的身份,不將「夢想」掛在嘴邊,只是扎扎實實地過好自己的生活,做自己喜歡、想做的事情。

小島停琉是一間真正的島上書店,卻不只是一間書店。他們想營造的小島風景,在芃諭分享的一段文字中表露無疑:「不是打造出只讓一百萬人來訪一次的島嶼,而是規畫出能讓一萬人造訪一百次的島嶼。」

離開前我帶走了《築地魚市打工的幸福日子》和《書店怪問》,在返程的高鐵上看得不亦樂乎,還得忍住笑聲以免驚擾鄰座大嬸。如果硬要說書上沾黏的海味牽引著我回去對是騙人的,但我早已規劃好接下來98次的小島停琉。

※本文經閱讀最前線授權轉載,原文:真正的島上書店、島上唯一的書店,同時不只是家書店──小島停琉

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【魔誘妖惑】無常邂逅


【魔誘妖惑】

因為嗜酒,成是酒,敗也是酒。

因為嗜賭,成是賭,敗也是賭。

因為嗜色,成是色,敗也是色。

因為嗜毒,成是毒,敗也是毒。

人,

也只有在上了年紀之後,

才能體悟到哪種人生無常的邂逅。

也唯有身敗名裂的痛苦,

才知道傳統的思考方式,

已經過時了。

這也是在上了年紀之後的見識了。

【◎心靈研磨坊 - 曼陀羅藏◎】

《心靈研磨坊 ─ 身心體能極限的突破,放慢步調,邁開腳步,輕鬆地悠遊著....》

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