Monthly Archives: March 2014

April Wellness Events!!!

Feng Shui Flier

 

Aromatherapy Flyer

 

Long Island Health Wellness Fair Flier

 

Stress & You Flier

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Categories: Events, On-Campus | Leave a comment

TAKE A TRIP

John Wesley Powell’s Nankoweap Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

April 13th-19th 2014

Backpack one of the most remote sections of Grand Canyon. You’ll will discover waterfalls and ancient cliff dwellings, study geology, and appreciate 360-degree views from Nankoweap Butte.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience one of the more remote sections of the Grand Canyon
  • Discover waterfalls
  • Admire the geology of the Butte Fault and expansive 360-degree views

INCLUDES

  • Tried-and-true backpacking skills tailored to the Grand Canyon
  • Tasty and hearty lightweight meals
  • Permits and guidance on this mostly trail-less route

BOOK IT!

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Categories: Events, Off-Campus | Leave a comment

Yoga Pose of the Week | Janu Sirsasana

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This week, I’m highlighting the yoga asana, or pose, Janu Sirsasana (or Janusirshasana), or head to knee posturewhich is more or less the English translation from Sanskrit. This pose transitions us to the floor from extended side angle pose. Head to knee pose returns us to the direction in which we are moving the body with pyramid pose, but we are seated to accommodate the opening of the front of the hip as we lengthen through the back of the body and legs. 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 head to knee pose, sit towards the back half of your mat:

  1. Begin seated with both legs extended out in front of you.
  2. Keeping the left leg extended, and bring the right foot inside the inner left thigh.
  3. Square your shoulders with the extended left leg.
  4. On an inhale, press your sits bones into the ground as you raise your arms overhead, lifting your ribs off your waist by drawing your abdomen in and up (as if sucking in your gut). Focus on lengthening your spine here by sitting tall.
  5. On an exhale, hinging at your waist, reach your chest out and over your left leg, taking your gaze to your left knee.
  6. Bring your palms in contact with the mat, and relax your shoulders down your back, away from your ears.
  7. Breath for 5 full breathes.

To come out of head to knee pose, complete the steps in reverse, and prepare to repeat with the right leg extended. As you practice, focus on keeping your spine long in the posture. Be mindful of whether or not your mid or upper back begins to round when you fold forward. Focusing on drawing your shoulder blades down your back and towards one another helps in keeping the spine long, as well as the chest open. The goal of the posture is to open the back of the body. Don’t worry about how far your hands reach in front of you, or whether you can touch your toes!

Some of this pose’s more specific benefits are that it lengthens the spine and messages the internal organs with help from the breath. Some of this pose’s contraindications are for those with any knee or back pains. Be careful when entering, maintaining, and exiting the pose, moving as your body allows.

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

  • Vata try to ground down through your sits bones, bending the knee as needed so the torso rests on the thigh and the forehead on the knee or shin, possibly taking hold of the foot with both hands.
  • Pitta try to rest the hands besides the extended leg to maintain steadiness and ease, attempting to not overextend yourself.
  • Kapha try to maintain a deep connection with the breath, riding it like a wave, allowing each inhale to raise you slightly and each exhale to fold you deeper.

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 or practicing 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 | 2 Comments

Let Your Light Shine

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

By: Marianne Williamson

Categories: Reflections | Leave a comment

Save the Date- “Mind, Body, Spirit” Health & Wellness Fair (BK)!

The Office of Health Services and the Office of Counseling & Wellness Services, in collaboration with Office of Alumni Relations, will be presenting our annual “Mind, Body, Spirit” Health & Wellness Fair on Wednesday, April 9, from 12-2pm in the college auditorium.  Attendees will have the opportunity to get free massages, acupuncture, reiki, as well as obtain information related to physical, mental and spiritual health.  Samples of healthy foods and drinks will also be provided.  We hope to see you there!

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New Support Group – Starts this Thursday

Grief, Loss and Bereavement Group

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In Honor of International Day of Happiness

Soulpancake is a brain batter of art, culture, science, philosophy, spirituality and humoris designed to open your mind, challenge your friends, and feel damn good. This is an experiment they did called The Kindness Project, where they look at the correlation between random acts of kindness and ones happiness. BE KINDER, BE HAPPIER.

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The Mental Benefits of Prayer

Religion has played a large role in most civilizations, starting right when the earliest people settled in the Fertile Crescent. Over the centuries, different cultures have viewed religion in different lights. Some people turned to religion out of fear and prayed in the hopes that their devotion to God would reduce the likelihood of natural disasters or illness. Other groups of people believed in a higher power because there was no other possible explanation for recent odd occurrences, like strange lines appearing in rocks, or bizarre objects shooting through the sky. And, of course, many people pray to God because believing in something makes them feel safe and protected.

In the modern world, there are still many cultures that are deeply intertwined with religious beliefs. The United States was founded on the idea of Religious Freedom, which allows everyone living here to practice their religion however they’d like. While we are very fortunate to live in a nation that allows us the freedom to choose what religious path we would like to take, many people have just decided to abandon religion altogether. Sure, that is their perogative, but they may be missing out on several important health benefits.

Religious customs traditionally involve some sort of prayer, which is defined as “a solemn request for help or a declaration of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” The definition itself supports the teachings of one of SJC’s English Professors, Marc Ricciardi. He often explained that prayer can be used to either ask God for help in a time of need or to thank Him for the good things in your life. Both can be extremely beneficial for the mind and spirit. Asking for help can make one feel that there is hope, and that it is possible to get through even the most difficult situations. Simply expressing gratitude for the fortunate things in life can be uplifting and even help produce a smile.

For the skeptic readers, I just want to point out that it is not just the nuns and monks saying that prayer is healthy. Even medical resources like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic have numerous articles on the mental and medical benefits of spirituality, noting that spiritual beliefs and prayer can help reduce stress and even increase the chances of recovering from a serious illness.

Many people shy away from prayer because they don’t feel connected to a specific “religion.” Notice that the definition of prayer does not make any reference to a certain faith, and even includes the option of praying to an object rather than a God. Don’t believe in Jesus? Pray to God in general, a different God from an Eastern faith (Shiva, for example), or simply focus on Light, Energy, or Breath and Life. Just experiment with it. The next time you are feeling down, see if taking a few moments to have faith in some sort of higher energy can help you get through it. Or, of course, take some time to send some gratitude for any of your good fortunes into the universe.

If you are interested in learning more, read up on the the benefits of Prayer from Web MD or see what the Mayo Clinic has to say about Spirituality and Stress Relief.

Note: Definition of Prayer used here came from Google. There are many variations of the definition. Feel free to check out others and see if you connect to one!

Categories: Green Room, Spirit | Leave a comment

Go On An Adventure!

Summer is almost here, so it’s time to get your adventure plans started. Or even better, be spontaneous and don’t plan anything. Just go! Go anywhere, and do anything. Just get lost, have fun and EXPLORE ON!

Here is a little something to get you motivated!

Categories: Reflections | Leave a comment

Yoga Pose of the Week | Parsvakonasana

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This week, I’m highlighting the yoga asana, or pose,Utthita Parsvakonasana, commonly referred to as extended side angle pose, which is more or less the English translation from Sanskrit. This pose is a great transition from pyramid pose following the sun salutation series. Extended Side Angle pose continues to build in the direction in which we are moving the body with pyramid pose, but we begin to open the chest and the rest of the front of the body as we length through our sides. 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 extended side angle pose, step to the center of the mat and turn to one side or the other, and from here:

  1. Step the feet apart, about 3 feet or the width of one leg’s length.
  2. Beginning with the left side, turn the right foot out 90 degrees.
  3. On an inhale, raise the arms to shoulder height, extending through the finger tips.
  4. On an exhale, bend your right knee until it is stacked over the ankle, and bring your right forearm on top of your right thigh.
  5. On an inhale, slowly swing your left arm out in front of you until your arm is over your head, taking your gaze to your hand above.*
  6. On an exhale, maintaining a long spine, as you rotate the top shoulder open, pressing the chest out.
  7. Breath for 5 full breathes.

*Be mindful of your neck. It’s okay to stare straight ahead or towards the hand below as well.

To come out of extended side angle pose, complete the steps in reverse. As you advance, during step 4, try bringing your hand to the floor next to your foot, but only doing so if your back doesn’t round and your chest doesn’t collapse. Keeping your chest broad is key in the pose.

Some of this pose’s more specific benefits are that it strengthens and stabilizes the legs (helping to fortify balance), and lengthens the inner and outer thigh, as well as the intercostal muscles of the ribs. Some of this pose’s contraindications are for those with unmedicated high blood pressure.

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

  • Vata try to ground down through the feet, breathing steadily to find stillness.
  • Pitta try to maintain a relaxed body, while keeping the chest open by drawing the shoulder blades together and down the back.
  • Kapha try to maintain a deep connection with the breath, allowing each inhale and exhale to be long and slow.

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 | 2 Comments

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