Into The Woods – Walking Meditation

 

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Many people say they don’t meditate because they can’t sit still. Not a problem. Walking can be a form of moving meditation. People find walking meditation easier than seated meditation because the motion of the body helps them to stay anchored in the present moment.

Both walking and meditation are good lifestyle choices and an antidote to stress. Together they offer significant health benefits.

 

Health Advantages of Walking

Walking has been proven to help in: maintaining a healthy weight, lowering blood pressure, improving coordination and strengthening bones and muscles. It also aids in regulating moods because it boosts brain chemistry and releases feel good endorphins. Walking can even prevent or control heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. ¹

 

Health Advantages of Meditation 

Meditation can give a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. It helps clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to stress. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day increasing patience, imagination and creativity. ²

 

Where to Walk and Meditate

Find an open space away from noise and traffic. Forests and woodlands provide wonderful restorative environments where you can enjoy walking.

Linda-Eichberg-forest-gratitude

There is rising evidence that forests and green spaces contribute to our physical, mental and social well-being. Exposure to natural environments, forests specifically, has stress-reducing effects due to their attractive landscapes, light conditions and air composition (including natural essential oils). In addition, they can be inexpensive to visit, enabling everyone to be included in their health benefits.

 

Turning Your Walk Into a Meditation

Begin by standing with your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed. Let your arms hang naturally by your sides. Take long, slow and deep breaths. As you exhale, let go of any unnecessary tension, smile softly, and let your attention flow deep into your hips. Relax your pelvis, to a neutral position, (neither tipped up nor down). Feel a connection to the heavens with the top of your head and to the earth with your feet.

Next, coordinate your breathing with your steps, taking several steps with your inhale, and several steps with your exhale. Keep a relaxed pace with no thought of “getting somewhere”.

Once you are comfortable coordinating breath and movement you may become aware of other body sensations, the smell of the forest or the feeling under your foot as it makes contact with the forest floor.

“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

Kissing The Earth

Try this beautiful visualization: Each time you place one of your feet down, imagine that you are kissing the earth through the sole of your foot. Each time you pick up one of your feet, imagine that a beautiful flower is blossoming in the place that your foot just was. “In this way, our walking becomes a way of expressing our love for the earth, and of creating beauty with each step.” ³

If something beautiful or interesting catches your eye while walking and you can’t let go of it, stop walking and do a looking meditation.

Linda-Eichberg-forest

Grateful – Taking a moment of gratitude for mother nature and her forests. I see miracles of God and life everywhere.

 

Where there is gratitude, there is love, growth and healing.

Be blessed, Linda

 

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. – Psalm 96:12

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
  3. https://www.thoughtco.com/practice-walking-meditation-p2-3182955

 

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Exploring Your Dynamic Energy With Revolved Triangle

What if I told you, you could receive $10,000 if you practiced yoga on a regular basis. Would that motivated you? I received a $10,000 discount on the purchase of my long-term health care plan because I had a regular yoga practice. Keeping you healthy will lower your health care rates and keep you from burdening the health care system in general so everyone benefits! This is National Yoga Month, what better time to start?

Revolved Triangle is one of the most expansive stretches I know for the lower back. This pose blends two different dynamic energies as you root down into the earth with the legs, and send energy up through the extended arm.

Finding Your Reach

Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) provides generous rotation in the mid torso but this pose isn’t all about twisting, it is also a balancing posture that engages your legs and core muscles for support. When alignment is correct, this asana can create strength and flexibility in the back, hips and hamstrings and establish balance both physically and energetically. It can generate a steadiness of mind and a sense of extension as you ground one hand to the earth and reach the other to the sky.

 

Revolved Triangle Pose – Instructions

  1. Using the length of the yoga mat, step your feet about 3½ ft. apart, opening into a wide leg stance with the heels in line with each other, toes pointing forwards. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides palms down.
  2. Adjust your left foot in to the right at a 60 degrees angle and turn your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel. Feel as if you are drawing up energy with your pelvic floor. Firm your thigh muscles as you lift your abdominals. Turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the right kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
  3. Lengthen your spine and raise the left arm up and turn your torso to the right. Square your hips with the front edge of your mat. As you bring the left hip around to the right firmly ground the left heel.
  4. Turn your torso further to the right and lean forward over the front leg. Place your left hand on the floor (or a yoga block) adjacent to the big toe.
Linda-revolved-triangle-modified-prep

Almost there! – A modified version

(Sometimes I’ll strike an impromptu yoga pose without a mat but please use a yoga mat for your practice.) 

  1. If your balance is stable and you feel you can twist deeper, finish the pose by moving your hand (or block) to the baby toe side of the right foot.

Linda-Eichberg-revolved-triangle

  1. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn the head and gaze up at your top thumb. From the center of the back, between the shoulder blades, press the arms away from the torso and lengthen. Bring most of your weight on the back heel and the front hand.
  2. Hold this pose for 4 to 10 deep breathes. With your exhalation grip your core muscles and release the twist. Slowly and with control, bring your torso back to upright as you inhale.

Tip: You can place your left heel against a wall for extra stability.

Repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed, twisting to the left.

Therapeutic Applications: Constipation, Digestive problems, Lower backache, Sciatica, tight hips or hamstrings and Asthma. ¹

As a yoga instructor, I recommend Revolved Triangle for tennis players and golfers to stretch their overused muscles. Use caution, perform this pose only with the supervision of an experienced teacher. Consult a doctor if you have back, hip or spine pain, or injury.

Best in health, Linda

 

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” – Psalm 23:3 NLT

 

My heart and prayers go out to the victims of the latest hurricanes, Irma and Maria. The American Red Cross is on the ground in Puerto Rico and has already mobilized more than 250 tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies to help Puerto Rico including 9,000 comfort kits as well as several thousand tarps, flashlights, batteries, blankets and hand sanitizer. Please join me in the effort. Donate here.

 

Footnote:

  1. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/revolved-triangle-pose

 

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Celebrating with Both Big Toe Pose

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice; the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga.

Yoga is an invaluable gift! More than just exercise, yoga is the exploration of the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. “It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being.” – Narendra Modi

 

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Both Big Toe Pose – Ubhaya Padangusthasana

 

Spotlight on Both Big Toe Pose – Ubhaya Padangusthasana

 How to do Both Big Toe Pose – To hold this pose, you will first need to breathe and calm your mind. The object is to find a balance of energy in the legs and spine. Sit down with your legs bent. Grab your toes with two fingers; use your sitting bones as your grounding point. Without letting go of your toes, straighten your legs up. Elongate your back, lift your breastbone and lengthen through the hamstrings.

Energy Flow

Feel life force extend through your head and feet. Keep your heart lifted; don’t let your rib cage collapse onto your stomach or round your back. Hold for six deep breaths or longer and enjoy this energizing yoga posture.

“Every posture has important principles of structure, alignment, and kinesiology. But learning to cultivate internal energy flow is just as important as mastering these mechanical aspects,” – Ganga White

Happy yoga day and May God bless you with His life-giving energy.

With gratitude, Linda

 

“For He who is Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name.” – Luke 1:14

 

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Finding the Balance to Stay Strong and Carry On

 

It may seem that I’m sitting on the rock, but look closer and you will see my body is floating, hovering above it.

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Floating Stick Pose – Utpluti Dandasana

The goal of this exercise is to explore how changing your center of gravity affects how well you can balance. It would be almost impossible for me to support all my body weight, as I am in the photo, if I didn’t find the perfect spot to place my hands to balance evenly front to back.

When I put Floating Stick Pose into one of my yoga fitness classes, it invokes some giggles because at first, my students think it’s impossible to do. But once the foundation of the fulcrum is placed in the right spot, it is possible.

Exploring Balancing Poses

Most of the women I teach like to follow me as I go through my yoga postures, this is fine, but sometimes I need to challenge them to find their own way in balancing postures. Balancing poses cannot be achieve by just watching, you must listen to your own body and discover the way. It is not only how far you stretch into a yoga pose that matters but also how you engage your body’s dynamic energy. 

Benefits

Balancing requires that we tighten our core, and lengthen outward, as a result it tones the whole body.

Working to stabilize a balancing posture burns calories and improves cardio vascular function.

Holding your balance teaches the interplay of concentration and focus.

In learning to balance, you will perfect control and develop an understanding of lines of energy.

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Balancing Stick Pose -Tuladandasana

Other names for this posture include warrior three pose, one-legged pose & balancing staff pose.

“If I am loosing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga.” – Terri Guillemets

Soul Yoga

Balance is the foundation of all movement and helps to develop coordination and grace that carries over to everything you do. Finding the right balance and the right purpose is one of the secrets to a long fulfilling life and when life’s storms come, you will know how to stand. 

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara De Angeles

Mindfulness, prayer and meditation releases God’s wisdom into our circumstances. If we continue to feel for the vibration of our true essence as daughters of God and align our thoughts to Him, we will find balance and energy.

I reflect on the many blessings God has given me and my family. His blessings are my inheritance. I am here for a purpose. God is within me.

With gratitude ~ Linda

 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” – Matthew 7: 24 – 25

 

The Love of Trees

I couldn’t see it at first. From the trail it just looked like a gnarly old oak tree but something beckoned me to take a closer look. I thought I should beware of rattlesnakes in the grass but my curiosity got the best of me. I walked off the trail through the thick wild grass and stood before the tree’s massive form. And there it was, staring at me with a gaping mouth, like it was trying to speak!

oak-tree_earth-day_copyright_Linda-Eichberg

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues,” – Dr. Seuss

 

TREES ARE VITAL TO OUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET.

As stewards of the Earth, Earth Day is a good time to renew our commitments to the Earth and give thanks for its constant support, beauty and inspiration. This year I honor the trees.

Trees are beautiful and make people feel good.

Exposure to trees and nature has a positive effect on our health and mental attitude. Recent research has shown that trees not only filter pollutants from the air so we breathe easier, but they help make us feel better emotionally as well. ¹

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that trees help people to feel more alive. And another study, in the Journal Landscape and Urban Planning, shows evidence that being around trees could actually decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Acacia-yellow-flower_I planted a variety of drought tolerant trees around my home including this attractive flowering Acacia tree. I enjoy its beauty. It’s the first tree to bloom in late winter. With a burst of color it offers the hope of Springs eminent arrival.

Laboratory research shows visual exposure to settings with trees, produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. – Dr. Roger Ulrich Texas A&M University ²

Trees conserve energy.

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can lower summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. – Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research ²

Trees increase property value.

The majority of realtors believe that having well cared for trees in your yard, will have a significant impact on the value and salability of your home. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. – USDA Forest Service.

Trees cool our cities.

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased. ³ The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. – U.S. Department of Agriculture

trees-sun

Trees combat climate change.

Excess carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs, six tons of carbon dioxide, the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. ³

Trees provide oxygen and clean the air.

One acre of forest puts out four tons of oxygen. According to the U.S.D.A., this is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

“In a study published in 2014, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year.” ¹

I love trees. Trees are an amazing creation. Let us show our gratitude with action by protecting our trees and rainforests, for they are the lungs of the earth. Together we live or together we die. – Linda Eichberg

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Love our earth and be blessed, Happy Earth Day!

~ Linda

 

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33: 8-9

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-being-around-trees-help-people-feel-good/
  2. https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
  3. https://www.treepeople.org/resources/tree-benefits

Energize and Turn Up Your Body Heat With Inversions

SIX GREAT REASONS TO DO INVERSIONS

The world seems a little upside down lately. The tide has turned in politics and it’s really shaking things up. I’m feeling like I need to ward off some sensory pollution and get a renewed mindset on taking care of my wellbeing.

linda-eichberg-standing-split-yoga_cropped

By shaking things up in your yoga practice, you can refresh your body, mind and spirit. When you’re feeling weighed down or sluggish, inversions are wonderful for bursting through the blahs, especially in the winter months when you need increased circulation to stay warm.

1) Improve circulation and stimulate the blood flow in the body. In inverted yoga poses, the head is below the heart. This boosts your vascular system, helping the blood to circulate and stabilize body temperature. Inversions aid the body in transporting nutrients (such as amino acids and electrolytes), oxygen, carbon dioxide and hormones to and from the cells in the body.

2) Strengthen your upper body and core. The standing split I am doing in the photo, supports a good deal of body weight on the shoulders and triceps. It takes a considerable amount core strength to hold your balance in inversions like headstands and handstands.

3) Increase your mental clarity. Acute focus is needed for most inversions, which helps concentration and calms the mind. Blood and oxygen flow to the brain is stepped-up. Your head will be cleared of negative thoughts, as you feel empowered by your practice and ultimate success.

4) Move out of your comfort zone emotionally and physically. Upside down asanas are some of the most difficult and challenging. You may experience a wide range of feelings, from apprehension to courage about changing your relationship to gravity. But do not fear, you can always start with more gentle inversions, like legs up the wall, standing forward fold or down dog.

linda-eichberg-down-dog

Downward Facing Dog is a good pose to start with to get yourself comfortable with being upside down.

Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana – Half Feather Peacock Pose) is great for toning the arms. It stretches deeply in the upper back, shoulders, hamstrings and calves. Dolphin can flow from Downward Facing Dog by lowering down to your forearms and firmly pressing your heels into the mat. You can also approach Dolphin Pose by starting out on all fours.

linda-eichberg-dolphin-pose-yoga

Dolphin Pose

5) Boost your immune system. By turning upside down, you are going against gravity which helps purify the body. The fluid that circulates throughout the lymphatic system can travel more readily to assist in the elimination of toxins and bacteria and bring you optimal health. Increased blood flow provides extra nourishment to the cells and serves to fight diseases and stabilize pH.

6) Improve balance and coordination. “Learning to find balance in inversions can help bring balance into your life off the mat as well. Holding an inversion requires patience, practice, and being present in the moment; all qualities that can help create balance in your life.” ¹

If you want to be a yoga ‘rock star’, build your flexibility with this yoga wheel.

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Maria Lauren – yoga wheel with leg extension

That’s my sister, Maria. I’m very grateful to have her to inspire my life!

Wishing you love and light and the best in health, Linda

“Light in the messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” – Proverbs 15: 30

Please visit my website!

Disclaimer – Inversions can be harmful to persons with certain medical conditions. Best to consult a doctor before practicing yoga inversions, especially if you have one or more of the following: glaucoma, detached retina, cervical spine or shoulder  injuries, heart disease, stroke and/or high blood pressure.

Footnote

  1. http://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/10-reasons-to-do-inversions/

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Yoga Befits Children Of All Ages

In our family, we practice yoga for fun as much as for its many health benefits.

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Garland pose with a bind

During family gatherings my grandniece, Riley, will frequently pull me aside and ask me to show her some new yoga poses. Children’s brains and bodies easily take to this form of exercise.

Riley-childrens-yoga-garland

Squat – opens the hips and groin as it stretches and strengthens the hips and ankles

Children who practice yoga postures, conscious breathing and mindfulness are better able to regulate their emotions, manage stress and calm themselves, according to scientific studies. They may also have better eating habits and engage in more physical activity than children who do not. Yoga addresses the whole child, encouraging academic and emotional competence. “The studies also illustrate that centered, calm and focused children learn more easily, have better social skills and, in general, are much happier kids.” ¹

childrens-yoga

Yoga Increases Static Motor Performance.

A sample of children from ages 9 to 13 were divided into two groups. One group received yogic training (physical postures, voluntary regulation of breathing, maintenance of silence, visual focusing exercises, and games to improve attention span and memory) while the other did not. Over a ten-day period, the children in each group were tested to observe their steadiness. The yoga group showed a 17% increase in steadiness while the control group showed no improvement. The study concludes that yogic instruction improves children’s ability to control their minds and bodies. ² 

Jocelyn-Alberici-Marianna-Riccio

My nieces, Jocelyn and Marianna practice their splits together on family vacation.

Children Following Yoga Training Improved Their Visual Perceptual Sensitivity.

A study of 14 children with ages ranging from 12 to 17 years who received 10 days of yoga training and another group who did not receive yoga training were assessed on Day 1 and Day 10 for visual perceptual sensitivity through Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency (CFF) and degree of illusion. Yoga group practiced postures and meditation, along with specific activities to improve memory and attention. Following 10 days of yoga training, the yoga group showed a significant increase in CFF and decrease in degree of illusion while the control group showed no change. The study suggests that children can show better improvement in performance in a relatively short amount of time.³

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Me and Riley working on our Camel Pose

Twenty Benefits of Yoga for Children

The following are just some of the recognized benefits of yoga for children (and adults):

  1. Develops a strong and flexible body
  2. Encourages motor development on both sides of the body
  3. Assists neuromuscular-development
  4. Increases balance, body awareness and coordination
  5. Improves posture and alignment
  6. Reduces injuries and improves performance
  7. Improves digestion, circulation and elimination
  8. Strengthens the immune system
  9. Relaxes the body, promoting better sleep
  10. Calms and clears the mind, bringing us into the present moment
  11. Increases concentration, focus, memory and attention span
  12. Stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness
  13. Expands imagination and creativity
  14. Alleviates tension, stress and anxiety
  15. Balances energy (high or low)
  16. Builds confidence and self-esteem
  17. Develops discipline and self-control
  18. Supports individuality and self-expression
  19. Encourages a fit and healthy lifestyle
  20. Promotes an overall sense of well-being

Yoga helps children feel more comfortable with their bodies and helps them get in touch with who they are inside. “A child who learns yoga, mindfulness and relaxation will be developing essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness in mind, body and spirit.” 4

Best in health, Linda

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)

 

For more info, please visit my website!

Footnotes:

  1. http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2012/09/research-on-yoga-for-children.html
  2. http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/research_papers/ips/om.aspx
  3. http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/research_papers/ypp.aspx
  4. http://www.yoga4classrooms.com/benefits-of-yoga-in-schools

 

© All rights reserved and may not be used without written permission

Music Does a Mind and Body Good

THE POWER OF MUSIC

Music has the power to stir our emotions, to move us to dance, cry or be still in wonder. Think about how adeptly a movie’s music sound track adds to its drama and helps to lift you into the movie’s emotional highs and lows. Music can affect the body and mind in very powerful ways. Scientific evidence has shown that music can change our mood or help us concentrate. It is even used to heal. Hospitals are beginning to use music therapy to help with pain management and to help ease stress and muscle tension. ¹

music-head

Music and the Brain – Body Connection

Music can help your mood by stimulating the brain which affects changes in other bodily functions like breathing and heart rate. Some people listen to music to help them focus, re-energize or to help them relax. Listening to music with strong beats results in brainwaves resonating in sync with the beats of the music, which gives one more concentration and alert thinking. It doesn’t matter what your taste in music is, enjoying your favorite music could help your mood, according to a 2011 Canadian study, published in Nature Neuroscience. ²

Studies have also found that the beats per minute, the speed of a piece of music, can determine what music is best for performing certain tasks. For instance, to stimulate learning listen to music with 50 to 80 beats per minute, such as Mirrors by Justin Timberlake. This tempo has a calming effect on the mind that is conducive to logical thought, allowing the brain to learn and remember new facts, according to psychologist, Dr. Emma Grey

When selecting music for the fitness classes I teach, I match the music to the tempo of the workout. It helps participants get better results. A study at Brunel University in West London has shown that music can increase endurance by as much as 15 per cent and help lower the perception of effort during a workout.

Music and Wellness

Listening to music can stimulate reactivate speech centers of the brain, prompt memory and improve gait and coordination.  Gait training that uses music, significantly improves balance, coordination and walking speed for people with Parkinson’s. Patients who participated in music therapy improved their ability to do such tasks as cut food and get dressed, and said they were less likely to experience the  freezing-up of muscles that occurs with Parkinson’s. ³

Music can help promote positive focus and it is used as therapy in dealing with mental health conditions. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal showed that listening to pleasurable music of any kind triggered the release of the feel‑good chemical dopamine. It’s no wonder that I love music and singing; it’s a good kind of high!

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” – Maria von Trapp

My sister, Maria, and I sing with a big band. We love to get people dancing and in a good mood with music.

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The Alberici Sisters

We’re grateful for music and for the wonderful musicians in our life.

Music-Big-Band-

We recently paid tribute to Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday in a show and a fan captured a song on video! Enjoy “Fly Me To the Moon.”

You can read stories about when Maria and I performed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and friends in our book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams!

Keep a song in your heart, Linda

“My heart , O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” – Psalm 108:1

 

beyond-our-wildest-dreams-alberici-sisters-the-golddiggers-dean-martin-frank-sinatra

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Alibis.

Footnotes:

1. http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/music_therapy.htm

2. http://www.wwu.edu/wwura/1301.pdf

3. Mind-Body-Spirit News June 01, 2007 by Shirley Archer, JD, MA  & http://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/news/20000620/music-helps-parkinsons-patients

*This blog is dedicated to my dear friend, Joanne, who is bravely living with Parkinson’s. 

© All rights reserved

A Twist of Fate

My Yoga Story

Hawaii_

Becoming a Yoga teacher was punctuated by an enlightening God moment for me. While I was on vacation in Hawaii I signed up to take a yoga class at the hotel where I was staying and the teacher never show up for the class. I waited for a while and then started doing my own yoga exercises. Several of the people who were waiting with me asked me to please show them some of the poses.

I had never taught yoga before but I had been practicing it for a long time. My fellow vacationers began following me. I taught for an hour without missing a beat and, incredibly, everyone stayed for my entire impromptu class. At that moment I knew I had evolved from student to teacher. I felt God saying to me, You’re ready; what are you waiting for?

You’re never too old to do something great! 

I was in my early 50’s when I completed my training  and started my new career in yoga. This path led me to develop different styles of yoga classes for my students. I sometimes use guided imagery while my students are holding a posture. For example I might coach them to picture each of their internal organs healthy and vital as they rotate in Belly Twist Pose. 

Yoga for Healing

At times in my life, when I have been in stressful situations either physically or mentally, I have been drawn to yoga for healing. I have always been active, I danced and practiced yoga for many years until I sustained neck and back injuries in a car accident. After a year of rehabilitation, I was able to slowly return to yoga but I was still in some pain and not physically able to do all the things I had been doing before. It was a very frustrating time for me. That’s when I discovered Pilates and how important core strength and muscle balance is.

Getting Back In Balance

I realized I had strong abdominal muscles but my back muscles were significantly weaker. A good Pilates practice includes exercises for the entire core, so a girdle of muscle is built around the mid section, equally balancing the muscles front, sides and back. I began focusing on proper body alignment and building up the deep supporting muscles of my ‘powerhouse’.

Linda-Eichberg-Tree-Pose-variations-Yoga

Variations of Tree Pose – beneficial for improving balance and core strength

A strong core is the foundation for safety in all fitness practices and well as for everyday functioning in life. Through Pilates, I was able to attained the muscular support I needed for my injured back and neck. I made a full recovery and returned to dancing and doing the activities I loved. I have better back health now, than I did 15 years ago.

Our bodies are amazing miracles. My personal journey to recovery from my car accident gave me the passion for helping others heal and has given me insight to becoming a better fitness instructor. I am an AFAA certified group fitness instructor with additional certifications in yoga and Pilates. In my classes I spend a moment with my students in gratitude for how the body works so perfectly, doing the most complicated biological processes, without us having to tell it what to do. Simply incredible!

Mindfulness

Just as muscle imbalance can lead to injury. Imbalances in health are sometimes created when the mind and body are on two different paths. Being in the moment or mindfulness, will help keep you in sync body, mind and spirit. Lapses in memory or in your emotional, spiritual and physical health occur when your mind wants to do something different than your body does or vice versa.

The body mind and spirit are deeply connected an imbalance in one will effect the other parts.

Let go of any mental and emotional ‘baggage’. Deal with one thing at a time truthfully and courageously. It’s okay; you are not the sum of your environment or circumstances. You can create a positive transformation in your life. Yoga, Tia Chi and Qigong are good physical disciplines for reducing stress and calming the mind. Journaling, meditating, prayer and reading spiritual books or the Bible can also be helpful tools for attaining holistic health.

This inner work is as important as exercise, rest and nutrition for your overall well-being. Explore what helps you open pathways in your mind for renewal with Divine intuition. When you are whole, you can pass on this wholeness to everyone you come in contact with and that is a beautiful gift.

In gratitude, Linda

 

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:2-5

 

http://www.LindaEichberg.com

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

© Materials contained within this blog may not be used without written permission.

 

Hitting the Sweet Spot – 300 Minutes per Week

If you knew there was something you could do to stave off breast cancer, would you commit to doing it? An association between physical activity and breast cancer is supported by over “100 epidemiologic studies, with strong biologic rationale supporting fat loss as an important mediator of this association.” ¹

Women, particularly postmenopausal women, may derive special benefits from exercise because excess body fat has been associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

I teach group fitness classes at Total Woman Gym + Spa. I have the pleasure of seeing woman transform themselves and get healthy. You can too with consistency and commitment to an exercise program. Do it for yourself and your family. Health is wealth!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so get up, get out and go!

Total-Woman-Group-Fitness-Linda_Eichberg-instructor

Linda Eichberg Group Fitness Instructor with students: Riley, Kim and Sonia.

These are some of the ladies I have taught. Two of them are mother and daughter. It brings a smile to my heart when mothers and daughters exercise together.

Commit To Be  Fit – 60 Minutes 5 Days a Week

In a randomized trial of 400 postmenopausal women who were evenly split into two groups, either 150 minutes or 300 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, the women who exercised more averaged more total weight loss.

Any aerobic activity that raised the heart rate 65% to 75% of heart rate reserve was allowed. Most of the activities involved walking, the elliptical trainer, bicycling, and running. So it doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money to get fit, just the price of some good running shoes.

The results of the study confirm, “our findings of a dose-response effect of exercise on total fat mass and several other adiposity measures including abdominal fat, especially in obese women, provide a basis for encouraging postmenopausal women to exercise at least 300 min/wk, longer than the minimum recommended for cancer prevention.” ²

Putting Fitness and Compassion Into Action

AIDS Walk Los Angeles-2015_

On October 11, I completed a cardio fait accompli at the 2015 AIDS Walk Los Angeles 10K. It was a hot 100 degrees that day. Talk about burning fat!!

Our team raised over $7,500.00 to help APLA with the wonderful work this organization does in educating the community, helping people living with HIV and AIDS research.

AIDS-Walk-Los-Angeles_

Ready set go!

AIDS-WALK-LA_2015

The Eichberg family and friends, aka “Team Rob”

We all made it! Hot and tired but what an amazing feeling to know we were part of such a wonderful cause. Erin and Alison are wearing crowns because they were top fundraisers. Way to go ladies!

AIDS-Walk-finish-line_

My grand nice, Riley at the finish line. I’m so proud of her!

Look who we ran into after the walk, Drew Carey! Drew is a big supporter of the AIDS Walk Los Angeles. He was charming and so sweet to pose for a photo with us after a long day!

AIDS-Walk-2015-Drew-Carey__2

With Drew Carey at 2015 Los Angeles AIDS Walk

My family and friends walked in memory of my brother-in-law, Rob Eichberg and step brother-in-law, David Greenes, both of whom died of AIDS. 

“Each of us is radiant energy and all we truly have to give & receive is love.” – Rob Eichberg Ph. D. ³

Much love, Linda

“Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.” – 1 John 1 :10

“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” – Luke 6:36 (NLT)

Footnotes:

1 & 2.

http://oncology.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2396584

3. Rob Eichberg was a  PhD in Psychology. He shared his knowledge, understanding and love with the gay community and their families. His teaching on unconditional love brought wholeness to the broken. He authored the book “Coming Out: An Act of Love” and co-founded, National Coming Out Day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Coming_Out_Day

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