Monthly Archives: February 2014

Explore Winter: Part2

Winter is still here, whether you like it or not! So here are some more great new things to try this winter before we are all back wearing bathing suits! Enjoy and explore: LassenPeakBestC-300x225

1. Geocaching: In many places, the GPS-enabled treasure hunts are abandoned during the winter months. If the cache you seek is buried in snow and ice, the fun was over before it begun. But for the passionate, winter just adds a new challenge. Wisconsin is home to the geocaching capital of the Midwest, the town of West Bend and the reported 1,200 caches hidden within a 10-mile radius of the city. Many of these are considered “winter-friendly,” meaning they should be accessible to seekers regardless of ice and snow. The town is full of well-maintained trails, so strap on your skis or snowshoes and start searching.

2. Winter Mountaineering Clinic: Die-hard hikers can expand their season into the winter months with a winter mountaineering course designed to hone their outdoor skills. In California,SWS Mountain Guides teaches participants the basics of winter climbing, camping, rescue, andsurvival skills. Snowshoers, hikers, climbers, skiers, and snow boarders are all welcome, provided they’re up to the challenge, which culminates in an attempt to scale Lassen Peak. Find a similar course near you, and sign up while you can — SWS says the course is the most popular they offer, and already seats are scarce.

3. Ice Diving: Back in the Midwest again, test your mettle with an ice dive in one of the country’s frozen lakes. Divers suit up, slide through a hole in the ice, and watch the small circle of light recede as they sink deep into the freezing waters. Needless to say, this one isn’t for the faint of heart, nor the reckless. The sport is a dangerous one, and again, beginners should seek out instruction before taking the plunge. If you’re committed enough to make it under the ice, the 40-60 feet of visibility is said to be well worth the frigid temperature.mtmorrison

Categories: Events, Off-Campus | Leave a comment

Yoga Pose of the Week | Parsvottanasana

parsvottanasanaThis week, I’m highlighting the yoga asana, or pose, Parsvottanasana, commonly called pyramid pose. The Sanskrit name of Parsvottanasana translates to something along the lines of “separate leg head to knee.” If at first that seems confusing, once you’ve seen the pose, its more understandable to learn why its called pyramid in English: the space between the legs, when viewed from the side, create a triangle. “But wait,” you may say, “isn’t there a ‘triangle’ pose?” Indeed there is, and it’s a separate posture, one which I will cover in a post a few weeks from now for you.

Bringing the focus back to pyramid pose, this particular pose is a great transition from sun salutation flow. Pyramid pose compliments and builds on the direction in which we are moving the body with sun salutes, by taking us deeper into extension of the back of the body and flexion of the front of the body. Because the pose is asymmetrical, be mindful of keeping an even count for both sides. This is most easy to do through concentration on counting each full breath.

To do pyramid pose, step to the back of the mat, and from here:

  1. Turn out the left foot to about “11 o’clock.”
  2. Step the right foot out in front about 2 feet (or a relatively large step), adjusting based on height or leg length.
  3. On an inhale, raise the arms overhead, lifting the ribs off the waist.
  4. On an exhale, hinge at the hips, folding over the extended and straight* right leg, placing the hands in contact with something**.
  5. On an inhale, lengthen through the spine.
  6. On an exhale, maintaining a long spine, fold forward into the full expression of the posture.
  7. Breath for 5 full breathes.

*a slight bend in the knee can help to accommodate ease and steadiness in this pose
**something – meaning the floor, your leg, blocks, or a wall to help support you comfortably in this posture without strain

To come out of pyramid pose, complete the steps in reverse, but with the exception of bending the knee at step 4, before inhaling up to stand to protect the knee, hamstring, and low back until enough strength has been built through regular practice to come up to stand with the leg straight.

Repeat the steps for the other side, being sure during step 1 to step the right foot out to about “2 o’clock” instead of 11!

Some of this pose’s more specific benefits are that it strengthens and stabilizes the legs, and lengthens the hamstrings muscles. Some of this pose’s contraindications are for those with unmedicated high blood pressure, or who are pregnant.

Highlighting some of pyramid pose’s Ayurvedic points to consider (I hope you figured out your dosha!):

  • Vata try to ground down through the hands, whether on the floor, the shin, blocks, or a wall.
  • Pitta try to maintain a relaxed upper body, while keeping the chest open by drawing the shoulder blades together and down the back.
  • Kapha try moving dynamically through the pose, riding the breath like a wave: rising slightly on the inhales, and folding deeper with the exhales.

Also, from the perspective of Ayurveda, if you’re one dosha, but one day you’re feeling like another, try the modification for that dosha. The modification could be beneficial as a way to return you to balance with your own dominant dosha.

If you’re interested in learning about and/or doing more yoga, please feel free to attend one of the yoga classes offered in the John A. Danzi Center, right on the SJC Patchogue campus (free for students, faculty and staff; $5 for alumni and guests).

Categories: Relaxation Space, Yoga & Meditation | 3 Comments

Relationship Issues Workshop this Thursday (BK)!

The Counseling Office (BK) will be holding a Relationship Issues Workshop this Thursday, February 27, at 12:40pm, in Room 215, Tuohy Hall.

This workshop will help you recognize if you are in a healthy and safe relationship.  Communication and dating basics will also be discussed.  If you are interested in attending, please call 718-940-5734 or email
We hope to see you there!
Categories: Events, On-Campus | Leave a comment

Office of Multicultural Student Life – Spring 2014 Events!

Celebrate-Black-History-MonFebruary – Black History Month

A Celebration of Black History through Gospel Music
The Late Show Gospel Choir, formed in October of 1995, is a fantastic choir that has performed on “THE LATE SHOW” more than 10 times. They have also been featured in several comedy skits and have backed celebrities such as Martin Shore, Steve Martin, Gloria Estefan, Darlene Love and Julio Iglesias. This phenomenal choir will take us on a musical journey that will include Negro Spirituals and other gospel music as we celebrate Black History Month. Lunch will be provided.

Thursday, February 6th
12:40 – 1:30pm, McGann
Photo Credit

Deconstructing Racism through Creative Expression by Pierce Freelon
Pierce Freelon, professor at the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill and musician, will take us through an in-depth look at race as a cultural construct. This multi-media presentation grapples with the question of a post-racial America. Freelon will lead the audience through several examples of radicalized media, then juxtaposes them with artistic responses to those representations. This program will nurture a healthy dialogue on race. Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, February 11th
12:40 – 1:30pm, McGann

The Essence of Soul in Soul Food & Soul Music
During the civil rights movement the term soul became a key term in the community and culture of African American people; hence, the birth of Soul Food and Soul Music. Soul Food and Soul Music established itself as a major part of the African American culture in the 1960s. This evening will be dedicated to listening to the sounds of a variety of classic rhythm and blues, gospel and jazz tunes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Join us for a live performance by singer-songwriter, Barr, and authentic Soul Food from LL Dent Southern Restaurant.

Wednesday, February 26th
6:00pm, Smith Lounge

A Story of Survival & Strength by Holocaust Survivor, Esther Bauer

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Esther Bauer will recount her harrowing experiences as a Holocaust Survivor. She was exuberant upon being liberated, and decided to “live each day, have fun and be a human being.” Esther tells her story as often as she can so that people, especially students, will “learn what happened, and see to it that it never happens again.” Esther’s bounding energy and joy for life is infectious, and will leave us filled with respect and awe appreciation for the indestructibility of the human spirit. Lunch will be provided.
*Co-sponsored with the Office of Student Activities and Co-Curricular Programs*

Thursday, February 27th
12:40 – 1:30pm, McGann


March – Women’s History Month


Photo Credit

A Celebration of Irish Heritage
The Hampton Pipes & Drums will bring the fierce and enthralling sound of the Highland Pipes and Drums in celebration of Irish Heritage. While playing traditional Irish music, they will also talk about the history and significance of the certain instruments and music within the Irish culture. Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, March 11th
12:40 – 1:30pm, McGann



feng-shui-101-537x346Feng Shui Workshop
Laura Cerrano will show you how to create balance in your home and life through the ancient Chinese art of placement, also known as Feng Shui. Feng Shui translated means “wind and water,” the essence of life. This ancient Chinese practice dates back more than 6,000 years. Feng Shui teaches you that everything is made of energy and that your surroundings have a deep and profound impact on how you experience life. Laura will help you gain an in-depth understanding into the world of Feng Shui and learn practical suggestions that could help shift the energy within your home and life. Lunch will be provided.
*Co-sponsored with the Counseling and Wellness Center

Tuesday, April 1st
12:40 – 1:30pm, McGann
Photo Credit

A Little Potato and Hard to Peel

David Harrell was born without his right hand and his journey of discovering what is normal will inspire, entertain and hopefully answer the question, “Are we truly more than the sum of our parts?” Through this program you will learn to: overcoming adversity, awareness of self, acceptance of self, acceptance of others, and disability awareness. Lunch will be provided.
*Co-sponsored with the Dean of Students Office & the Office of Student Accessibility Services

Tuesday, April 8th
12:40 – 1:30pm, McGann

Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken Word Poet, Tammy Lopez, will recite/perform original pieces that touch on various aspects of culture, gender, socioenomic status, society and more through the dynamic art of spoken word. Spoken word has become another popular form of self-expression. Through her performance we will be able to see the difference between spoken word and other art forms that are all used as self-expression. Tammy, with her inspirational and energetic spirit, incorporates improvisation, heavy use of rhythm, word play, gestures and sometimes music when reciting her poems. Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, April 22nd
12:40 – 1:30pm, Shea


immigrant march 2011 international workers day2_kim defrancoImmigrant Solidarity Day

Immigrant Solidarity Day, better known in the United States and around the world as International Worker’s Day or May Day, is an official holiday in more than 60 countries and unofficial in many others in which immigrants fought for proper pay and work conditions. Now May 1st is when immigrants all of the U.S. assemble together to demand full legal status for all immigrants.
** More event information TBA. **

Thursday, May 1st
12:40 –1:30pm, Quad (Rain Location, McGann)
Photo Credit

Categories: Events, On-Campus | Leave a comment

Explore Winter

Even though winter is well underway and although many people hope there isn’t too much more of it left, for the people who do love this time of year there is still time to get those great winter shenanigans in!  Many people are prepping themselves and their equipment for the slopes. However, if ski lift lines and rental fees are starting to feel a little stale, shake up your normal winter sports routine with one of these unusual snow season adventures:

1. Snow kiting: Though challenging to do, snow kiting is pretty much what it sounds like: participants strap on skis or snowboards, hold on tight to a foil or inflatable kite, and fly across snow or ice. Like most snow sports, snow kiting requires a bit of a learning curve. Beginners can learn the basics at outdoor sports schools all over the country.

2. Wolf Watching in Yellowstone: Though park-approved guides offer wildlife watching excursions year-round, winter is one of the best seasons to track wolves in Yellowstone. Interested parties can arrange custom one- and two-day trips with an experienced wildlife biologist, or join the group at organized catered retreats.

3. Ski Biking: Like snow kiting, ski biking has a simple premise and complicated execution. A number of U.S. resorts are now open to those who hit the slopes on bicycles sporting skis instead of wheels. In Colorado, Winter Park Resort even offers guided night ski biking trips. Though many basic maneuvers will be familiar to those who’ve skied or ridden bicycles, beginners should think about taking a class or two before braving the mountain. Before forgoing lessons entirely, think for a moment about how you might take your bicycle on a ski lift, and then evaluate your confidence level. That being said, some enthusiasts swear it’s just like riding a bike.


Categories: Events, Off-Campus | Leave a comment

Who’s in your front row?

Who’s in your front row?
By Deborah Pratt

“Life is a theater… invite your audience carefully.

Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives.

There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a DISTANCE.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not going anywhere relationships or friendships.

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention.

Which ones lift and which ones lean?

Which ones encourage and which ones discourage?

Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse?

Which ones ALWAYS have drama or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and Who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

Remember that the people we hang with will have an impact on both our lives and our income.

So we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with,

As well as the information with which we feed our minds.

We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed them with negative thoughts.

So, who’s in YOUR front row???”

Now take a few moments to think about your front row, and the impact your audience is having on your life right now. 

Categories: Green Room, Mind | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Stress Relief Workshop this Thursday (BK)!

Please join the Brooklyn Counseling Office for a Stress Relief Workshop this Thursday! This workshop will teach you how to cope with stress, anxiety, and provide tips on how to boost your mood and energy!

Date: Thursday, February 20
Time: 12:40-1:35pm
Room: 215, Tuohy Hall

Call 718-940-5734 to register for the workshop.
Hope to see you there!

More information can be found in the flyer below.

Stress relief workshop spring 2014

Categories: Events, On-Campus | Tags: | Leave a comment

How To: Polar Plunge

unnamedThe Polar Plunge, what is it? For years the Nordic countries have practiced the polar plunge in order to open up pores and revitalize youth. The plunges take many forms, rolling around in snow, diving into the ocean, or running straight into a freezing ocean. I would have to say that my favorite way to take the plunge is jumping into an ice lake.  The common denominator between all these is that the only thing between your skin and the freezing water in board shorts or nothing at all…

How to do a Polar Plunge:

  1. Scout your location
    – Make sure there is an easy entrance and exit
    – Look for your local pier in the winter, etc
  2. Get as warm as possible
    – Turn the car heaters on full blast or do some jumping jacks
  3. Head for the water
  4. Strip into your board shorts and bundle up
    – Lay everything out nicely so that it is easy to put back
  5. Commit!  Lose all form of common sense and jump into the water
  6. Safely navigate your way out of the water and towards warmth

How To: Polar Plunge from Chris Burkard on Vimeo.

Categories: Events, Off-Campus | Leave a comment

Protect Your Heart <3!

heartNot only does the month of February celebrate and promote the importance of heart health, but it also celebrates Valentine’s Day, a time when people focus on love, relationships and expression.  The American Heart Association ( encourages everyone to take the time to focus on identifying the  symptoms of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure.  In addition, it is important to  learn how to incorporate healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction, all of which can keep the heart healthy and strong.  The goal of AHA is to reduce the occurrences of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and provide people with resources and tools for optimal heart nutrition.  Food and drinks that are processed, full of sugar and fat can increase the risk of developing heart problems as well as cause weight gain. 

Keeping your heart healthy requires eating foods such as salmon, almonds, spinach, kale, walnuts and fruits, just to name a few, all of which promote heart health.  Weight maintenance, a diet void of saturated fats and processed foods, regular exercise and stress management are all allies for building a healthier heart.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we are bombarded with images of chocolate, candy, cakes and other desserts full of sugar and fat.  Not to worry!  With an increase in awareness on health, wellness and fitness, there are an abundance of recipes, activities and desserts that can still allow you to enjoy a sweet treat while  protecting your heart and saving you from all the unnecessary fat and calories.  Click here to get an array of heart healthy dessert recipes to surprise your sweetheart with!  For Valentine’s Day inspiration click here!

Here’s to your heart health!

Photo by:  Filterforge @ Flickr            License:  Creative Commons

Categories: Body, Green Room | Tags: | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day…

Befriending Oneself

What does it really mean to“befriend” oneself?  On first brush it sounds easy, even a bit cliché.  But when attending more closely to the notion of befriending oneself, most of us find it is far more difficult than we had initially thought. 

Taking a quick personal survey, we might ask:
  • What does it mean to be a friend to oneself?
  • Do I support and stand up for myself under challenging circumstances? 
  • Am I  aware of my preferences, my needs and wishes? And, can I speak up for them?
  • What do I really want?  Am I living authentically?
  • How do I usually “hold” myself, e.g. what tone of voice do I use with myself?  What language?
  • Am I frequently down on myself, self-blaming and/or self-critical?
  • Do I expect myself to be perfect?
  • Do I notice some underlying sense of self-hatred?
  • Can I really accept myself just as I am?

If you discover that you are self-critical, use a harsh tone of voice with yourself, and/or answer “no” to the last survey question, you are not alone.  There is significant research and clinical evidence –gathered from the realms of psychology, spirituality and even neuroscience – that confirm the perplexing observation that very few people in our society know how to truly “befriend” themselves.  Most of us, it seems, are more able to extend empathy, compassion and understanding to others than we are to ourselves.

One of the beneficial aspects of mindfulness practice is the cultivation of a non-judgmental, even friendly attitude toward all experience, inner and outer. In developing the practice, we consciously water seeds of acceptance and friendliness as we learn to open to present-moment experience just as it is.  Without this attitude, we might be developing a capacity for attention and concentration, but we would not be practicing mindfulness.

So in this month of February, as our culture celebrates relationships in its own particular way with Valentine’s Day, perhaps we can keep a curious and friendly eye out for how we are relating to ourselves.  Perhaps we can take up the challenge of“standing by” ourselves, as we would a good friend, of befriending ourselves.  We can begin by gently noting how we do … and how we don’t.  It helps to bring an extra degree of curiosity, friendliness and kindness to the noting, taking care to gently notice and to not berate ourselves for any of our observations.

Written By: MBSR Long Island, Dr. Cheryl Kurash & Nina Thorne
Photo Credit: Sara London Hinman

Categories: Green Room, Mind | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at