Yoga - Ask Yogi Marlon

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Learn the ancient ayurvedic practice of abhyanga

My personal thoughts on how to maintain a healthy existence are far from mainstream. Living how nature has intended us to live is my supreme guideline and thankfully, a rapidly growing phenomenon for many. I want to share with you the knowledge I have been accumulating since I was a very young child, and how I have integrated that knowledge into my personal lifestyle. Please take my ideas as intended. They are my educated opinions, not gospel or medical advice.

Here in Holistic Living, I will continually present ideas for you to consider adopting into your own lifestyle as well as the means to do it. That change can range from a shift in your thought pattern, or the use of a particular item. In the case of material goods, I encourage you to look for the items yourself. Wherever I am able, I will provide the ability for you to order those items conveniently, on site. Going forward, I am making it my job to find more of these items see shopping that can be delivered right to your door. Living healthily should after all, be easy!

"How Holistic Living is Related to Spirituality"

This section evolved from a conversation I had at one of my most loyal student's office, only months after we met. After a long meeting with her and her boss concerning the concept of what is now this site, she volunteered to walk me down to my car. I knew something was about to transpire, but I do not believe either of us knew what then.

After a few minutes of closing discussion about the meeting, Theresa politely asked if I would tell her my age. Clearly shocked when I did, she remarked that I was only a year or two younger than she was, and yet I looked about a decade younger. I assumed she would know what I meant when I wryly said that I had "yoga-ed my whole life", but her expression assured me she hadn't a clue where I was going.

So I explained to her as I will now explain to you, all the things I have done in my life, not expressly to remain youthful looking, but to retain my shakti, chi, or life force energy. For me all these things are common sense, but the more I live, the more I realize for many people my suggestions for a healthy lifestyle are--well, esoteric.

If you want scientific evidence that these things actually do work, I'm sorry, but you will have to dig that up yourself. Although I am ravenous about collecting information on how to live healthily, I operate firstly from instinct and inspiration on all matters in my life. Therefore, these ideas are merely a description of what I have decided is right living for me. I cannot legally prescribe them for you or anyone. I am simply offering you an insight into my lifestyle. Surely, it has created health, clarity, happiness and sensitivity for me. I think you understand ...

My Habits

Ok, so Theresa wanted to know more. I said, "Look, Theresa, there are many things you do on a daily basis, that I have eliminated from my life. Whenever possible,

I do not:
  • breathe re-circulated air, as in an office building
  • sit under florescent lights, as in an office building.
  • eat junk food for lunch and wash it down with a soda.
  • drink out of Styrofoam, or eat off plastic plates and I especially do not eat with plastic utensils.
  • drink much liquid with meals, especially iced drinks or liquor.
  • eat chemical preservatives of any kind. That means absolutely no mono sodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates, or hormone or antibiotic fed animals.
  • take prescription drugs especially antibiotics.
  • eat foods made with hydrogenated oil, especially margarine or other butter substitutes.
  • ingest any of the sugar substitutes, and very little processed, white sugar
  • eat unripe or waxed vegetables and fruits
  • eat bleached white flour
  • consume iradiated vegetables or spices
  • eat when I am not hungry
  • drink when I am not thirsty
  • breathe or use air fresheners (i.e. Many automatic room deodorizers in restaurant restrooms are designed to anaesthetize your sense of smell by coating the little hairs in your nose with an thin, airborne emollient film that deadens the olfactory sense for up to one hour! Not my idea of an appetizer!)
  • use bug repellant or extermination fluid on my skin or in the house/office
  • sitin front of a computer that emits negative electromagnetic impulses (EMI's)
  • use poor quality sunglasses
  • use synthetic eye drops made to reduce redness
  • breathe fumes from chemicals, including: paint, paint thinner, lye, varnish, lacquer, formaldehyde, cigarettes, magic markers, gasoline, instant glue, acrylic nails, hair dresser's chemicals, etc., etc. Simple rule: if it stinks, get out of it!
  • wear commercial perfume
  • use commercial sunscreens ,especially those containing PABA, and those that do not filter out UVB and UVC rays
  • use perfumed or dyed laundry detergent
  • use fabric softener
  • use perfumed, bleached or synthetic (usually rayon) tampons.
  • use perfumed or dyed toilet paper
  • wear clothing made from purely synthetic fibers like nylon, acetate, polyester, etc.
  • worry much; get too attached to my ideas about the way I think life should go. (that one's tough!)
I do:
  • work under natural light (sunlight), or full spectrum light bulbs.
  • have plants in the room where I work during the day, and have fresh air from an open window, or use an air purifier when needed.
  • protect myself from negative electromagnetic impulses.
  • drink lots of room temperature, purified water between meals from glass.
  • drink juice that is squeezed immediately before consuming.
  • drink lots of herb tea, warm not scalding, throughout the day and evening.
  • eat delicious, fresh, pesticide and chemical free food daily. I spend the extra and buy organic goods whenever possible.
  • use unheated extra virgin olive oil liberally and butter or ghee sparingly.
  • eat local and in-season fruits and vegetables as close to the day it was picked as possible.
  • Shop in order of preference at the weekly farmer's market, at the health food supermarket. I use the regular supermarket only for emergencies.
  • eat free-range, hormone-free meats, dairy, and poultry.
  • use unprocessed honey in the winter and a natural sugar like turbinado, sucrose, or fructose in the summer.
  • eat whole grain bread.
  • scrape my tongue every morning with a tongue scraper, not my toothbrush, to remove toxins or ama that accumulate there overnight.
  • use natural, saccharine-free, flouride-free toothpaste like Thom's of Maine brand.
  • take herbal nutritional supplements daily, making sure to at least taste them before swallowing them, or letting them completely dissolve in my mouth.
  • sensitively monitor my body for subtle changes that may benefit from some change in routine.
  • check the back of my upper arms for the little bumps that tell me I need more beta-carotene. (If so, I drink some carrot juice or eat papaya, cantaloupe or yams)
  • oilate my entire body with sesame oil every day, performing see abhyanga.
  • use pure jojoba oil lavishly and frequently as a sunscreen
  • mix essential oils in a sesame seed oil base as perfume
  • take B vitamins and wear essential oil of citronella to discourage bug bites
  • get some ultra-violet ray exposure in my eyes daily
  • burn stick of Nag Champa incense to relax
  • wear natural fibers: cotton, silk, linen, & wool.
  • meditate.
  • practice Pranayama.
  • yoga postures
  • pray
  • give people warm smiles for no reason at all
  • appreciate beauty as a materialistic expression of love
  • think of both the past and future daily, yet remain mostly in the present.
  • wish the best for all those I know and all those I do not know by extending an energetic generosity to them.
How to Integrate

So that is a lot. You may want to try incorporating these, one at a time, starting with the ones that seem easy to you. Remember it is a process. If you keep at it, soon it will become second nature, and you will start to spot ways of your own to detoxify your life.

How It Works

The benefit for me is that my senses are keener. That makes life more sensuous. I know for a fact that I see more, hear more and feel more than most people as a result of my efforts. It is not until you take some of these very ordinary toxins out of your life that you will realize what you have been missing. It is actually very simple. My understanding is that because our bodies work continually to remove these toxins, we may not have the energy left to do all the things unnecessary to survival. That is actually the brilliance of our being. Our bodies automatically take care of what is absolutely needed first, then what is preferred, then it gets around to the fineries such as:
  • growing lustrous hair,
  • growing smooth, even nails
  • having glowing skin,
  • seeing very small or far objects clearly,
  • hearing delicate sounds,
  • etc ...
Next our energy goes to our mind. The more energy we have available, the more clarity in thinking. (By this I do not refer to the common over-tired, hyper, type A energy that is so common. That is actually a Vata imbalance. see doshas.)

Why bother?

When all the basic needs of the body are met, and clarity of the mind is established, awareness of the spirit becomes more easily accessible. So that is the point of all this. Simply put, a sound body and clear, calm mind is fertile ground for the evolvement of the spirit. In the process we:
  • feel better, life is fuller and more alive
  • think better
  • can be more productive
  • can be more compassionate, understanding and loving
  • evolve as a species and as individual souls
What can we do?

If this seems (see My habits) like a lot to do, you are right. Our world culture's manufacturing, over-refinements of goods, hyper-processing of food, creation of petroleum laden, artificial environments are not very supportive of our well being. When we see that toxic products and conditions are present, we need to demand better from:
  • stores we shop in
  • our mangers at work
  • our farmers
  • the pharmaceutical companies
  • chemical companies
  • energy companies
  • manufacturers
  • our governments
  • the FDA
  • builders
  • our friends, relatives and spouses, & teachers.
Remember, in our society your voice is often heard by how you spend your dollars. If we continue to consume substandard goods, they will continue to make them. We have the power to change all of this, if we are brave enough to speak up.

Nature is, as God created it, a perfect system. It is supportive to our needs. That is why getting back to nature is so essential to your well-being and spiritual evolvement. Our challenge is to be in congruency with it.

Good luck! Good health and happiness to you!

- Yogi Marlon

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