100 Days of Yoga, Day 10

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August 29, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam

My husband uses a term to describe that absolutely frenzied running around each of our dogs does at some point during the day (often more than once a day.)  He calls it “jet mode.”  If you’re a dog owner you’ve probably observed this behavior:  the dog will run, as fast as possible, up the stairs, down the stairs, out the door, around a tree, across the yard, back in the door, up the stairs again, etc.  Scientist tell us that what the dog is actually doing is creating their own feel good hormone — they are making themselves happy.

A University of Arizona study, and studies going on at other institutions, suggests dogs are on to something.  And further, that people need the same thing, they just don’t know it.  The study has undertaken to prove that when our bodies are asking for this particular high and we don’t satisfy it with the real thing, we substitute the endorphin high for another drug: Sugar (mmm … caramel,) illegal drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, food, drama, rage … whatever your drug of choice might be.  The point being, we all need the drug.  Here is an article which explains the phenomena :


You don’t have to exercise like an Olympian to get the benefit of endorphins.  For me it takes about 30 minutes, three times per week.  I often choose to do more, but if I wanted the bare minimum of highness, I can make it happen that easily.

I’m pretty sure, somewhere deep inside you, you already know this: when you exercise, you get happier.

I think of todays’ Niyama, Tapas, to be like this phenomena.  Here is the actual definition from my usual source, Mr. Doran:

Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy 
Tapas refers to the activity of keeping the body fit or to confront and handle the inner urges without outer show. Literally it means to heat the body and, by so doing, to cleanse it. Behind the notion of tapas lies the idea we can direct our energy to enthusiastically engage life and achieve our ultimate goal of creating union with the Divine. Tapas helps us burn up all the desires that stand in our way of this goal.  Another form of tapas is paying attention to what we eat. Attention to body posture, attention to eating habits, attention to breathing patterns – these are all tapas

Here’s the fun part: exercise is not for the purpose of fitting into your favorite jeans (though that might be a byproduct.)  Exercise is to help you burn off the inner craziness, to stop, at least temporarily, the chatter of the mind, to give you a surge of that feel good drug: ENDORPHINS.  This list doesn’t even include the benefit to your body. When you sit all day (at a desk, in front of the television, wherever) you are tired, not body tired, mind tired, and then you don’t sleep well, as compared to when you’ve say, taken a walk.  Why would that be?  My deceased Aunt Marg often said, “it’s because you haven’t done anything to deserve to sleep.”

My paternal grandmother, Delia, spent the entire day in motion, always doing something physical.  She also sang this song over and over again: “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart  … ” out loud, or softly to herself.  (If you know that song, it is probably stuck in your head at this very moment — ah!)  The song was kind of like her mantra.  My grandmother was an extraordinarily happy person.  I think she was high all the time!

Pranayama:  http://www.yogapranayama.net/yoga-breathing/viloma-pranayama.html

I just love the brogue of the speaker on the MP3.  Is his accent Scottish, Irish? Anyone know?

Asana:  I’ve got to get back to the Wheel.  I will warm up with some cat/cow poses, followed by some lunges (to open the groin area,) next, the fish pose, then the bridge pose and finally … I’ll give the Wheel another try, but with gentleness. I’ll add an inversion and a twist, before I head to sivasana.

It’s a delight to know ye, c


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