Category Archives: 7 Holonics and LOHAS

Mr. BKS Iyengar’s Light shines on

Like millions of others, I have been influenced by this great yoga teacher, though I have never met him. I have read The Tree of Yoga. I refer to Light on Yoga and Light on Pranayama. I study Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I use props to aid my alignment. I am aware that yoga is a strong discipline, not a casual affair. I find something in today’s practice that was better than yesterday’s practice. Thank you, Guruji, for the great gifts you gave us.

“When I practice, I am a philosopher,
When I teach, I am a scientist,
When I demonstrate, I am an artist.”
BKS Iyengar

Sharing makes you happy.

A survey by Gallup on the relationship between well-being and community service shows a direct positive correlation. The overall pattern cut across income and age group.  The Gallup analysis also found a connection between community service and key indicators of emotional health, such as stress and worry.


Sadly it seems that many more U.S. adults do not receive recognition for community service, so this  study suggests that communities would be wise to do more to promote opportunities for residents to volunteer and engage in community service and businesses can help by allowing their workers time to engage in volunteer activities.

Gallup: Americans Serving Their Communities Gain Well-Being Edge

CityLab by The Atlantic: There’s a Remarkably Strong Link Between Community Service and Happiness


Toxins in your drinking water?

lake erie waterIt happens regularly now.  Tonnes of agricultural fertiliser and sprays running off the land in to the water system causing eutrophication.  Algae bloom and everything else dies.  And even massive municipal treatment plants can’t clean the water.    Farming practices and climate change cause the problem, which will not go away until we all choose to live more sustainably on the planet.

Bottoms up!

The Guardian: Farming practices and climate change at root of Toledo water pollution

NASA Earth Observatory: Algae Bloom on Lake Erie

For related articles and information, please visit OCA’s Farm Issues page, He alth Issues page and our Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

Happiness = …

This is the equation for happiness:


What does all that jibberish mean?  Basically that expectations determine happiness.  That is why looking over the garden hedge at the grass on  the other side (the lawn that you can’t have because to belongs to someone else) is a sure way to be unhappy.  And why appreciating the small things in life, like clean water, clean air, clean food and the birds in the trees keeps a smile in your heart.

If you want to know how happy a person is, don’t  ask their salary, ask how it compares to others or to their own salary in the past.  The gap – whether positive or negative – influences expectations and that really matters.   Unless you’ve got a bit of enlightenment and can withdraw your expectations from the common consumption patterns and look at the big picture …

The equation, published in PNAS Journal, could be used to look at mood disorders and happiness on a mass scale.

 BBC: Equation ‘can predict momentary happiness’

Even big brother thinks big brother can be dangerous.

The UN has warned against the dangers of too much data and too much surveillance.    In a report, the UN body said more needed to be done to ensure that surveillance was balanced against its harm to personal privacy, noting that:

  • mass retention of data to aid surveillance was “neither necessary nor proportionate”.
  • “disturbingly little” is known about the growing number of mass surveillance programmes because they are “rubber stamped”
  • a lack of transparency about the reasons governments approve or start large-scale monitoring of what people do online.

It’s what we’ve thought for a long time and refreshing to see someone, even if one of our “big brothers”, owning up.  It looks spookily like the kind of oversight envisioned in futuristic tales like Nineteen Eight-four  or Brazil.

The report said measures to force net companies, mobile operators and others to retain data on what people did online and whom they talked to had little justification.  Gathering data curbs privacy because there are too few limits on who could look at the data and what it could be used for.  Big brother, and every hacker, is watch YOU!

BBC: Mass surveillance ‘dangerous habit’, says UN rights body



A guide to your body clock.

The BBC offers a handy slide show summarising natural biorhythms.  It gives an insight in to why moods and energy levels change during the day.  You can see their presentation here and read the main points below.


Body enters shutdown

  • Sleep hormone melatonin peaking
  • Minimum levels of attention and vigilance
  • Brain washes itself and consolidates memories

It is well and truly bedtime. Hormonal changes in the body say it is time to be asleep. The brain is washing away the waste toxins built up during a hard day’s thinking and the bowels are shut down for the night. If you’re still awake be careful, levels of attention are at their lowest, making industrial accidents a risk on night shifts.


Body fast asleep

  • Minimum core body temperature
  • Severe asthma attacks more common
  • Most natural births occur

It’s the heart of the night and your body is still some way off waking up and getting you out of bed. Sleep hormone melatonin levels are still high, but glide down as dawn approaches. Your core body temperature is notably cooler than any other part of the day as energy is diverted elsewhere, such as skin repair.


Heart attack danger zone

  • Good time to wake up
  • Heart attacks more likely
  • Men have their testosterone peak

Be careful – this is the time of day your heart is most vulnerable. Blood vessels are stiffer and more rigid, the blood is thicker and stickier and your blood pressure is at its peak. It all adds up to the greatest risk of a heart attack you’ll face today. Your body is kicking into gear as sleep hormone melatonin production stops. It is a poor time to exercise.


Mind most alert

  • Maximum cortisol levels
  • Maximum alertness
  • Best short-term memory

You’re probably in work and it’s time to get some of the heavy thinking done. The stress hormone cortisol reaches its natural peak giving our brains a boost of alertness. We tend to be most productive before lunch and tests show short-term memory is at its best. Stay busy, there’s a big dip coming up.


Biological siesta

  • Increased gastric activity
  • Post lunchtime dip in alertness
  • Surge in road deaths

With a lunchtime belly full of food, there’s a boost in gastric activity. But this soon adds to the ‘biological siesta’ as alertness dips and affects driving ability. There’s a noticeable rise in the number of deaths on the roads from 14:00, particularly in older people. It’s also a bad time to drink alcohol as it can make you more drowsy than at other times of the day.


Go exercise!

  • Best lung & cardiovascular performance
  • Core body temperature rising to its peak
  • Good time to exercise

Go get a sweat on! Body temperature increases in the late afternoon like a natural warm-up, the heart and lungs work better and muscles are 6% stronger than at their lowest point in the day. Some people have even tried using this ‘athletic sweetspot’ to increase their chances of breaking sporting world records.


Watch what you eat

  • Poor time to eat a big meal
  • Liver handles alcohol better
  • Intuitive thinking is better

Ready for dinner and maybe a drink? Well you might not want to leave it too late. Emerging evidence suggests the body changes the way it handles food as it gets closer to night-time. Eating big meals in the evening could increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. The liver is more able to deal with alcohol if you fancy a tipple.


Getting ready for sleep

  • Melatonin production building
  • Core body temperature dropping
  • Good time to go to sleep

Bedtime is fast approaching and the pineal gland in the brain is churning out the hormone melatonin to help you nod off. Core body temperature is falling and the internal body clock is saying it’s time to swap the sofa for the duvet. It’ll happen first if you’re a morning or ‘lark’ type person, before hitting the ‘owls’ a bit later.

Take A Quiz

Are you a lark or an owl?

People often describe themselves as a “morning person” or an “evening person” depending on when they feel their best. Of these five groups, see which description suits you best.

Extreme larks are the ultimate early bird – up and out of the door while others are struggling with the snooze button on their alarm clock. But they pay for it in the evening when they nod off early.

Larks also prefer mornings. They are out of bed early and greet the new day with cheer and a smile while everyone else is grumpy, bleary-eyed and hugging a mug of coffee.

The Balanced group is somewhere in the middle. It’s a good place to be – the best of both worlds.

Owls are no strangers to burning the midnight oil and love a late night. However, mornings are a struggle.

Extreme Owls – no-one can power through the night quite like them. 4am? No sweat! But early starts must fill them with dread and they’ve probably worn out the snooze button on the alarm clock too.

What’s So Scary About Smart Girls? They might fix things.

What’s So Scary About Smart Girls? is a provocative read in the NYT.  It makes some sad observations and reiterates what evidence proves: that education makes life better and that emancipating and liberating females is the way to realise the great potential of humanity’s “better half”.  For example:

  • If you want to mire a nation in backwardness, manacle your daughters.
  • To fight militancy, we invest overwhelmingly in the military toolbox but not so much in the education toolbox that has a far better record at defeating militancy.
  • For each additional year of primary school, a girl has 0.26 fewer children. So if we want to reduce the youth bulge a decade from now, educate girls today.
  • Girls’ education can, in effect, almost double the formal labor force.
  • Educating girls and empowering women are also tasks that are, by global standards, relatively doable. We spend billions of dollars on intelligence collection, counterterrorism and military interventions, even though they have a quite mixed record. By comparison, educating girls is an underfunded cause even though it’s more straightforward.
  • It’s estimated that 100,000 girls under 18 years old in the United States are trafficked into commercial sex each year.

(PestalozziWorld educates children for a better world and prioritises opportunity for females.  Camfed is here.)

Tamiflu and others are expensive and don’t work.

Expensive, convenient solutions can be ineffective.  But often the perceived convenience obscures this.  The treatment of common ailments often falls in to this category, because natural remedies work effectively.  The rapid spread of new diseases, like AIDS, BSE (mad cow disease) and bird flu, raise the fear of pandemics and the willingness to seek strong, control remedies.  And so, anti-flu medicine has been stockpiled by governments.

But studies show that the expensive flu remedy has no better effect than paracetamol and has undesirable side effects.

Perhaps most worryingly it appears that the drug manufacturers do not release all their test results.  That demonstrates a sever conflict of interest where profit is put before people.

BBC: Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report

The Cochrane Collaboration Report

A world without growth – IMF.

Well that doesn’t seem natural because the plants grow every year and add to the planet’s biomass.

When the IMF talks about no economic growth for years, it should raise concern.  The head of the IMF talks technically about inflation and capacity but irrespective of accounting, laws and economics, the natural resources of the planet are taxed well beyond their capacity for regeneration, even with GM foods, nanotech, machines and supertech IT.

The system must change.

Whole system change is required.  It is not necessary to deny everything created, but humanity must operate in a more honest, trustful way and must cooperate with nature instead of trying to manipulate it.  The laws of nature can not be changed.

And we must learn to appreciate success without growth.

That means that intellectual and emotional assets must be appreciated more.  And we need to get back to nature.

BBC: IMF boss Lagarde warns economy ‘too weak for comfort’

Heavy breathing keeps your brain alive …

Mens sana in corpore sanae, again.

A study shows that cardiovascular exercise, like running,swimming and cycling,  in your 20s helps retain your mental agility in middle age.  Activities that maintain cardio fitness led to better thinking skills and memory 20 years on, even after adjusting for factors such as smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol.

The research, reported in Neurology, adds to evidence the brain benefits from good heart health.

So protect your brain and go for a jog!

BBC: How running ‘may preserve thinking skills’