You can pretty much go into any grocery store these days to discover aisles dedicated to organic and healthy snacks. What was once a niche category that you could only find at a health food store has now grown to $43.15 million dollar (2015 stats) […]
Month: July 2017
Running is powerful form of exercise. In the great game of you vs. you, it’s all about the strength, power and focus that comes from within. Fellow New Yorker, Jay Asparro will be embarking on these challenges when he will run a collective 75 miles […]
There’s no denying that friendship is crucial part of our health. Whether it’s having someone to vent to, cry with or share a private joke, meaningful friendships can enhance your life and even heal. The new book, Friendship Matters addresses some of these issues as told by two clinical psychologists, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, and “best friends” as the celebrate the story, values and healing powers of friendship. In fact, good friendships are seen to be a good predictor of health, overall well-being and longevity.
The book addresses their 47 years of friendship, as they examine the complexities of maintaining a good friendship through its many ups and downs. The book, a combination of memoir, life lessons and laughter, is a foray into understanding and further strengthening these ordinary yet extraordinary relationships. To learn more about this exciting new book, we chatted with authors, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, as we discovered more about the power of friendship and how having this connection is so crucial to our lives.
The Importance of Friendship in Friendship Matters
Wellness Patterns: Why was it important for you to cover the topic of friendship?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Who doesn’t want to brag about what they are good at? Seriously, we are so capable in our friendship- utilizing all the skills which we help inform patients everyday to use in their lives. We know that friendship has made us more effective in our interactions with others (spouses, work, families, other friends) and besides that, our laughter and wisdom which we share back and forth is a pleasure. Sometimes it is better to give than to receive and sometimes vice versa…and we do both. We want others to “have what we are having.” Truly we enjoy it everyday.
Wellness Patterns: What have you learned about yourself through your friendship with one another?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Plenty of self awareness and acceptance. We don’t feel ashamed…we feel accepted and understood and normal. Wendy has learned to be more precise and go deeper and Sandy notes Wendy’s persistence in her choices. Safety first is what we learned as kids: that’s what our friendship provides.
Wellness Patterns: What advice would you give to someone who has a toxic friend?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Notice it and check it out with your friend..so you are not “assuming” you understand their intent and you are letting them know how it feels. That makes you skillful for yourself and a good friend for the other. And if deliberate and conscious conversations don’t work, let them know what was so wonderful and what you will miss in your “dear john” letter (which you might or might not send…depending on the type of toxicity)
Wellness Patterns: What do you think friendship is so complex?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: We have much in our pasts that contribute in a positive or negative way to our friendship, including our growing up experiences, relationships with siblings, experiences with friends as a young person and , self-perceptions (which can be wonderfully enhanced by a healthy friendship.) In some ways, if we communicate honestly, openly and kindly, it is very simple…and rewarding. When it is work, it’s worth the effort. Friendships are a big payoff.
Wellness Patterns: What can a reader expect in your new book, Friendship Matters?
Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Entertainment, knowledge, skill, and growth. Not fattening, except for growing in comfort and capability.
For more information on the book and authors, visit www.friendshipmattersbook.com
While We love breakfast, it is often connected with foods that are typically carb and sugar heavy. While low-suagr granola and oatmeal are go-to staples on most days, we have to admit: we get bored of those options, too! Enter a new way to mix […]
Did you know that there are more than 20 million people who practice yoga? This includes more than a dozen disciplines such as Iyengar yoga that can be confusing and overwhelming when you’re first starting out or looking for something new. This practice focuses on precision and alignment through focus, attention and controlling your breathing. Yoga teacher, Carrie Owerko, a certified Yoga Therapist, Laban Movement Analyst and Senior level Iyengar teacher, has been teaching and exploring the relationship between body, breath and mind for several years so we were excited to speak with her to learn more about her background and what is really involved in the practice of Iyengar yoga.
Interview with Carrie Owerko on Iyengar Yoga
Wellness Patterns: How did you get started in yoga?
Carrie Owerko: I began my daily yoga practice over 20 years ago. I was working in a Movement Theater company in NYC and was curious about the body/breath based meditative practices of yoga. After leaving the theater, I began studying Laban Movement Analysis at the laban Institute of Movement Studies In NYC and continued my yoga practice. My yoga practice is where I felt most integrated.
Wellness Patterns: Why do you think yoga is an important practice for people to try?
Carrie Owerko: I think yoga, especially Iyengar Yoga, is primarily about cultivating greater levels of awareness. It is about developing presence and the ability to engage with life’s joys and difficulties with the whole of oneself. That wholeness includes the body, the breath, the mind, the emotions, the intellect, the imagination. The practice of yoga helps develop this sense of integration. It also develops our capacity for variability. We become better able to adapt to the many variables, or curve balls, that life seems to throw at us.
Wellness Patterns: How often should you practice?
Carrie Owerko: As for practice, it is most effective as a daily endeavor. It doesn’t have to be long–even 15 minutes can do wonders–but consis: tency is really important.
Wellness Patterns: What is Iyengar yoga?
Carrie Owerko: Iyengar yoga is an approach created by the late BKS Iyengar of Pune, India. This approach is known for it’s attention to alignment, the creative use of props such as blocks, chairs, belts, etc., and a high degree of focus and attention. It is also know as an inherently therapeutic practice. BKS Iyengar’s work in therapeutic yoga is highly respected in the larger yoga community.
Wellness Patterns: How can someone can started with Iyengar yoga? Any tips?
Carrie Owerko: There are Iyengar Yoga classes available in many gyms and yoga centers all over the country. There are also classes and courses available online. I have one called Iyengar 101 with Yoga Journal, which is currently available. My approach to Iyengar yoga is playful. I am influenced by my study of Laban Movement Analysis, an ongoing study of biomechanics as well as my time in movement theater. I believe deeply in the power of play as a invaluable approach to learning anything. I feel it makes the disciplined practice of yoga more enjoyable and sustainable.
Check out more about Carrie here: http://www.carrieowerko.com/
We loving enjoying an ice cream cone on a hot summer day but recently discovered a new sweet treat to add to your summer rotation with frozen banana granola pops. Using Viki’s Granola (and specifically the Viki’s Banana Walnut Granola) as a base creates a crunchy, along […]
Many of us go through our entire lives dieting. The ups and downs are a part of a vicious cycle that can sometimes be hard to break. Since weight loss its a multifaceted issue, it’s important to understand the many components of why you can’t […]
Like most people, I’m busy and I hate to use that as an excuse for not being able to get everything done but it is. And while I love the madness that is my life balancing the unbalanceable world of work/kids, I’m also desperately trying to reclaim some precious me time back into my life! One way that I’ve sort of be tapping into doing more for myself is by waking up almost everyday at 5am. Yes, 5am, an idea that even a few months prior would have seemed like a cruel joke. With some careful planning –basically mental prep work–I’ve been able to reclaim some precious time for myself. But it wasn’t easy and took some time to get used to the early mornings. Check out what worked for me to get some back into your life:
How to Wake Up Early
- Go to bed early! Well, this goes without saying but it isn’t easy, especially if you have some night owl roots. I really struggled with this one in the beginning because there is always something to do around the house or for work, clean or watch. But I was also realizing that when I stayed up late TV bingeing the night away, I woke up annoyed, tired and drained –all before the day started. To prep for waking up early, I had to make myself go to sleep early and shut down. That meant no phones, no TV, no doing stuff around the house. What helped in the beginning (and now) is to read at night, which is way more relaxing that starring at screens. I also make it a point to shut off the lights anywhere from 9:30-10:00pm. After a few days of waking at 5am, you’ll want you!
- Cut out late night eating. I used to be in the ice cream (cookies, candy) club after the kids went to bed. It felt like a reward for surviving bedtime, cause, ya know, it’s hard! While the instant sugar fix was awesome, it left me feeling groovy, wired and lethargic. Now I try to end my night with a cup of tea and that book. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my overall state of mind when I don’t go sugar happy at night.
- Make a plan. You probably have a revering list of what you want to do with your me time brewing in your head but it’s crucial to have a very specific outline of what you want to accomplish during your AM hour (or hours). And, no, mindlessly looking online shouldn’t be a part of this. Whatever your goal is: plot it (putting it in my calendar helps me) and literally do it. For me, this is usually the time when I run, go to the gym or write. After the initial hardship of waking up early, I’m now excited and energized in the morning as I know that I’m tackling very specific goals that I plotted for myself.
- Enjoy coffee (or tea) and soak in the silence. I’m not (and probably) will never be someone in the ‘no coffee’ club. And that’s ok! As of late, I love the quiet mornings with a cup of Wicked Joe Organic Coffee. The Bella Maria line is everything and I just love this lighter blend featuring hints of berries and chocolate. This family-owned company also offers a complete range of other blends (with cheeky names) such as Wicked French, Wicked Italian, Jamaican Me Crazy and more! As a brand they are committed to producing exceptional coffees using sustainable business practices from crop-to-cup, featuring Organic and FairTrade beans purchased directly from farmers and cooperatives across the globe. Awesome, right! It’s the perfect blend for the early hours or for a midday pick-me-up.
- Prepare for setbacks. Waking up early everyday isn’t all sunshine and roses. It’s hard, it sucks, it’s not easy and on and on. Prepare to have days when you sleep-in (hooray for 6am) and give your body (and mind a rest). Just be sure that your ‘recharge’ day doesn’t become your new norm. Use that time for what it is and prepare to wake up early the next day as you get back into your new routine. Plot out your ‘days off’ on your calendar if that’s easier for your goal-setting.
- Reward yourself. Look waking up early is painful but it gets easier after every time you haul your butt out of the warm confines of your blanket. Treat yourself after you’ve done it consistently for a few weeks and continue to up the ante of your reward. However, as you know, waking up and reclaiming your me time is really the ultimate prize.
As someone who used to hate mornings, I now really love how much waking up early has allowed me to re-focus, take back my time, and essentially given me a piece of my life back.
Do you wake up early? What do you to prepare?
We were provides samples of the coffee for review. All opinions are our own.