Yoga History: A Story of Flexibility of Both Mind and Body

yoga, wheel pose

Although it’s become as trendy to take part in a spinning or Pilates class, the practice of yoga dates back thousands of years. To understand its history and appreciate what it can do for both your mind and body, it’s important to learn about its origins, key principles and how they can benefit you today. Let’s take a closer look at its history and how this ancient practice can help you overcome stress and build a happier mind, body and soul.

The Origin of Yoga: A Spiritual and Meditative Journey

Although historians still debate its origins, the term has been discovered in ancient India’s earliest known scripts the Vedas, which date back to 1500 BCE. These ancient scripts are considered the oldest writings of Hinduism and Sanskrit literature. During the Vedic period, ascetic Vedic priests performed sacrifices in poses that some historians also believe were precursors to the yoga poses people perform today.

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How the hustle and bustle of big city living compromises your happiness

city living in Romania

Can cities compromise our happiness?

As someone who was born and raised in a relatively small, quiet town, I was overwhelmed by the noisy, populated vastness of Chicago when I began college. I would jump every time I heard a car honking outside my dorm, and shivers would run down my spine at each wailing ambulance. I would look both ways ten times before crossing a street, and always felt anxious to take public transportation. While I was enthralled to be in a beautiful city, it took time for me to adjust to the hustle and bustle of city living. Three years later, I can say I am well adjusted, but at what cost?

Studies have shown that city living can negatively affect a person psychologically; resulting in increased levels of stress, lower immune systems, and higher rates of mood disorders.

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Oxytocin: What makes pets so awesome, hugs so good and love so magical

Oxytocin, a neuropeptide produced in the brain’s hypothalamus, has gained popularity as the “love hormone.”

But NY Times sheds light upon “The Dark Side of Oxytocin” and Gizmodo calls it “The Most Amazing Molecule in the World”—so it’s apparent that there are many shades of oxytocin. This chemical evidently helps newborns bond with their mothers and is released when snuggling with our partners or pets, but have you heard that it’s responsible for much more of our behavior than once thought? It is natural for emotions to accompany our behaviors, and scientists have found that these emotions activate the release of peptides like oxytocin into our bodies. Thus, our behaviors and emotions are inextricably connected. As Dr. Candice Pert explains, “the chemicals that are running our body and our brain are the same chemicals that are involved in emotion,” so it follows that our actions (a.k.a. “behaviors”) are reinforced by oxytocin, and vice versa. Which means oxytocin is responsible for reinforcing negative behaviors as well positive, like cuddling. So is oxytocin good or bad?

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Acupuncture: From Daoism to Modern Tradition

What was once a philosophy rooted in Daoist tradition over 8000 years ago, is now a buzzword. Most of us have heard of acupuncture and know it involves sticking needles into people in weird places, but do not know much more than that.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves using thin, sterile needles to stimulate points on the body. This practice is based on the concept of “qi”, or energy, and is often sought for pain management. Acupuncture may also involve the use of electrical stimulation, or the application of heat or pressure. Acupuncturists are trained to listen, observe, and diagnose patients and choose the course of treatment that will target their malalignments.

Although a medical degree is not required, not just anyone can open up an office and practice acupuncture.

In order to become an acupuncturist, you first have to study acupuncture at any school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Applicants to accredited acupuncture schools must first complete at least two years of study at the baccalaureate level, and many schools require a bachelor’s degree. Students in acupuncture programs take courses in Oriental medical theory, diagnosis and treatment techniques, Oriental herbal studies, integrated acupuncture and herbal clinical training and biomedical clinical sciences. Students that graduate the program, usually graduate with a master’s degree which in most states, is the minimal educational requirement to even be able to practice.

So how will your appointment go?

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This man holds the secret behind never getting sick

Can you confidently say that you have evaded the common cold within the past few years?

The majority of people around the world cannot. One person, however, says his family is no longer affected by sickness. I had the pleasure of interviewing a health and wellness coach from New Jersey, Daniel Green, who can attest to the fact that the common cold no longer afflicts his large family of six. Up until just a few years ago, illnesses such as cold viruses and the flu would spread to each of them like a rampant wildfire. In 2014, Green’s wife realized their family had not become ill for an entire year. What is their secret behind remaining healthy? It is what Green calls a detoxified lifestyle.

In 2010, Dan’s life took a hit when a car accident forced him to change his way of life.

Damage to his knee made it difficult for him to continue participating in sports he once loved, as well as hampering his ability to continue working for his flooring company. As someone who deeply cares about his personal health and the health of his family, the loss of independence and inability to exercise lead to serious weight gain, an issue he struggled with for most of his life. In 2013 he decided to get gastric surgery, which took out 85% of his stomach. He lost 85 pounds in six months, and never felt so healthy in his life, except for when he was afflicted by annual sickness.

Speaking to nutritionists and surgeons about his health further ignited his interest in how his family could avoid common illnesses like the cold and flu. He was adamant on exercise and healthy eating, yet the spread of sickness continued to prevail. He knew there had to be another source of where this illness was festering. When he became a realtor, he noticed black mold in many of the houses he was trying to sell. This led him to looking at his own home, where noticed the same black mold.

He hired a professional who confirmed his suspicions of this black mold, wondering if it was what was contributing to sickness. Even with its removal and to Green’s dismay, the family was still becoming ill. The professional suggested that products and chemicals he used in his home could be the culprit of weakened immune systems. This inspired Green to do some investigating.

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How one woman went from making furniture to making bank

Ibukun Awosika had never worked in finance a day in her life but somehow managed to become a financial success. In fact, she has a degree in Chemistry and used to manufacture furniture for a living. So, how did a furniture maker land the position as first chairwoman in the history of Nigeria’s largest bank?

It all began when 25-year old Awosika resigned from her showroom manager position at Alibert Nigeria Ltd. in order to start her own furniture manufacturing company, The Chair Centre Ltd. (formerly known as Quebees Ltd.). But how? Awosika wasn’t supported by angel investors, and she wasn’t sitting on a cash payout or an inheritance. As a new entrepreneur, she was unknown and had no advantages over larger furniture manufacturers that had been in business for years. To top that, manufacturing costs kept rising higher and higher due to economic difficulties caused by years of industry mismanagement.

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Validation is an important social lubricant

When you think of validation, you might think that it involves simply agreeing with the other person no matter what but..

That would be a misunderstanding of what validation is, when in reality, to validate someone is to acknowledge them (their thoughts, emotions, and behavior) as legitimate and worthy of attention, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them. Validation is important because, in any relationship, it’s important to treat the other person as an equal. To treat others as equal involves understanding and valuing them as much as you do yourself. Consequently, invalidation involves not treating a person with the legitimacy and attention they deserve, and to ignore them or otherwise belittle their experience to the point where they feel alienated. Keep in mind that this also applies to one’s own self, as one can self-validate or self-invalidate. One should be aware of the different aspects involved in validation and invalidation, as they aren’t always self-explanatory.

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If you have an average IQ you might be smarter than you think

The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) refers to a person’s ability to not only acknowledge and effectively (or affectively, to be even more appropriate) manage their emotional disposition but to also recognize the emotions being exhibited by others.

It is a mode of intelligence which is often overlooked since academics is primarily focused on fostering more intellectual forms of cognitive prowess. Moods, feelings, and emotions are often regarded as the “soft” side of differences amongst people, but with such a label, it is too common to underestimate their value. Possessing the ability to tune into these cues not only within you but also in others, can offer many advantages in regulating your own behavior and managing interactions with others.

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The Personality Disorders, Part 2

There are many kinds of personalities, a concept that is closely studied in the field of psychology.

One particular subject is very well-known, even among non-psychologists, namely, the personality disorders. Personality disorders are mental problems that cause the afflicted to act in ways that go beyond the societal norm. There are ten agreed-upon personality disorders, split into three clusters based on the similarities of the disorders within each cluster. This segment will deal with the anxious type of personality disorders: avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

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The Personality Disorders, Part 1

In the field of psychology, the study of people’s abnormal behaviors takes up a lot of analysis.

Here then are a few of the personality disorders that are probably the most well-known, but by no means encompass all of the known disorders so far. While the definition of these disorders may be greatly simplified, I try to define the disorder by focusing on the core symptoms as well as the likelihood of how a person with said disorder might react.

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