Just Breathe

To start, I want to welcome everyone back. Hopefully Winter Break was rejuvenating enough to last until the oh-so-coveted Spring Break. I’d also like to welcome any new readers to my blog! As the name implies, the focus of my blog is Yoga; however, I try to vary the types of posts. For the majority of them, I will focus on postures (asana), being that this, in my opinion, is the most interesting aspect of the practice. I also have and plan to further discuss breathing techniques and Yoga’s history. If you are new, and interested, I highly suggest taking a look back at my posts of 2016.

With the semester now in full-swing, I decided to focus on breathing in my first blog. As discussed in “Breathing, it’s harder than you think,” breathing plays a critical role in the full body relaxation that can be experienced in yoga and can help you relax during stressful moments during your day. Here I am going to focus on the importance of inhaling and exhaling time.

To start, you can be kneeling, seated or lying down on your yoga mat in a position that feels most comfortable to you. Personally, I sit crisscross-applesauce. Then count the number of seconds you take to inhale and then the number you take to exhale. Ideally, you want to try to get these numbers as close as possible before moving on. Equalizing your breath in itself can help clear your mind. Following that, there are a few options as to what you can do. For example, begin lengthening out the amount of time you inhale versus exhale, pausing for a few moments before exhaling. By doing this, your body should begin feeling a sense of release.  You may also choose to do the opposite and lengthen your exhale. This will slow your heartbeat, thus help to relax your body. Each of these practices may be done for a number of breaths until you come to the desired sense of serenity. So, next time you’re overwhelmed with classes, just take a few moments to breathe.

This I Believe Unconditionally

My earliest memory in life is each night before bed my parents would each say “I love you.” It confused me because it felt redundant to hear the same three words each night. “I get it, I love you too” I would think. When I told my mother this, she simply your father and I don’t just love you. We love and whether you get it or not, you will hear this every night. To this day my mom still calls every day to say “I love you.” It is with this knowledge (and feeling) that I have come to believe in unconditional love. My Noni put it best in my graduation gift which read, “if I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes. Only then would you realize how special you are. Never forget I love you.” Just reading this brings a flutter of emotions into my body. I can remember how mischievous my twin brother and I had been growing up, but no act had been as devilish as the time we locked our Noni out of her house. Rightfully so, my parents were told of our misbehavior and we were promptly spanked by our father for disrespecting her on our arrival home; however, Noni wasn’t concerned with the angst we had caused her, only the grief she felt from knowing we were punished (and hurt) as a result. Thereafter, even on our worst behavior Noni never said we were anything but “her little angels”. This I believe is unconditional love. I believe unconditional love has no bounds. Dorming with my brother this year has only solidified this belief. The screaming battle we have had over announces cause by living in such close quarters, for actions as simple as breathing – things were rough towards the end of the fall semester–makes me feel bad for our dorm neighbors. Yet, even after the worst of our arguments were able to wake up the next day and act as if nothing was wrong. Even in our most rocky patches, Jacob would stick up for person actions he deemed unacceptable towards me even if I had had no problem with them.  This is unconditional love and this I believe.


This is an extremely rough draft for my podcast. I still need to go back and edit the piece as a whole but let me know what you think!

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

The two ideas that I have at the moment for my “This I Believe” podcast are “looking at the man in the mirror” and “getting all that life has to give” In the first, which I am leaning towards, I plan to address how I believe in living life in a way that makes me happy and proud of myself (in a sense capable of looking in the mirror) from doing things such as community service to participating in activities with friends. The latter idea would focus on taking everything that life has to offer and saying yes to new experiences. It would be similar to the idea of living each day as if it is your last.

Moving on to my passion blog, I plan to continue blogging about Yoga; however, this semester I would like to incorporate more history and possibly a few more breathing techniques into the posts.

Lastly, for my Civic Issues blog I know for sure that I want to focus on education. I have thought most about looking at alternate educational methods including: no homework, fewer/more hours spent in school, and different curriculums. The second idea that I have for this would be to discuss standardize testing. I would assess the reasons it was implemented, its effect as a whole, and how it has changed over the years.

Please let me know what you guys think!

Voices of Democracy

On Wednesday, November 30th, I went to the Voices of Democracy even hosted by The Departments of Communication Arts and Sciences, African American Studies, Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies and The Center for Democratic Deliberation. Aside from the appeal of the free pizza, which is always a plus, the event was extremely entertaining and the ideas presented, speeches read, and photos that I saw were moving to say the least. Originally, I had planned to only stay an hour; however, I ended up being there for almost the entirety of the event because each presenter had a piece individual to themselves in meaning and just as entertaining and inspiring as the last.

The most inspirational piece I listened to was an original poem from an African American man centered around the current day racism that plights our nation. Specifically, it dealt with the actions such as police brutality from a mother’s and father’s perspective as the scanned the news for their child’s name. Hoping that it never appears. I was in awe by this piece because as I thought about it, my mother would never have this problem. My grandmother would avidly watch and read the news to record clips or cut out the articles if they had spoken about myself or any of my other siblings; furthermore, when handed the clipping or watching the story, the words that followed were always of praise. They were never of sorrow that would follow the news of one’s son being killed. I am fortunate enough to be privileged in that fact that as said earlier in the night: “Privilege is never having to think about it.” Lastly about this piece, the statement “Pick your battles” emphasized in this poem with the ultimate goal to choose to fight against the racism in our nation and fight for change.

While each presenter was reading the speech, poem or piece they had chosen, in the background, various images were being played on a loop. One was of a sign in what looked to be a protest. It read: “all necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” This is a fairly famous quote by Edmund Burke; however, the words never meant as much as they did in this setting. It made me question if, lately especially, good people have been sitting in the peanut gallery spectating and making comments rather than promoting and fighting against the evil that is seeming counteract the positive changes we as a nation have made in the past years. Moreover, it made me question what I could do to help promote the positive change which I wanted to see.

All in all, the pizza and extra credit may have been the original appeal for me to go to this event however, once there the word delivered and the meaning behind them were enough to keep me for the rest of the night. Even more, they kept me thinking about our nations democracy for weeks to come.

MOO-MOW: Cat-Cow Pose

Hey guys, hopefully everyone preparing themselves (both mentally and physically) for the massive amounts of food that’s going to be consumed this Thanksgiving. To go along with your preparation, I wanted to teach you guys a stretch that will focus on spine flexibility and abdominal strength. Both of which are going to be extremely crucial to prevent back pain from holding the food baby you are going to be adopting after the Thanksgiving feast. The pose is called Cat-Cow and is extremely simple to master.

The Steps…

  1. Start on you hands and knees with your naval in the center of your mat, knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders (this will even out the pressure you are placing on these places in your body).
  2. Then, transition into cow by curling your toes under and raising your tailbone while dropping your stomach. You may choose to look upward to get a fuller stretch.
  3. After a few breathes, transition back into the starting position.
  4. Following this, you will transition into cat by lowering the tops of your feet to the floor and rounding your spine by bringing your pelvis and tailbone forward.
  5. These steps can then be repeated multiple times, transitioning between inhales and exhales or another pattern of breathing you find comfortable.

When doing this, you should be able to feel your vertebrae transition between the movements. This will help to ensure a good stretch of the spine.

I hope that with the proper practice of this posture and some of the previously mentioned poses (possibly child’s pose and cobra) you will be able to manage the surplus of wait that will be hitting your stomachs this Thanksgiving Break.

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Cow                                                                        Cat

All Washed Up


Survival of the fittest: a concept that even before you learn about Charles Darwin is understood. The strong live while the weak die. In the case of the Marina Trench scene in The Circle, this harsh reality still holds true. Additionally, the scene is highly symbolic of the power that those truly in charge at the Circle command and how the company has worked to encroach upon the world’s population.

To begin, the transparency that is seen with the creature is obviously a direct reference to the main mantra of transparency at the Circle. However, taking this one step further, it showcases the tactics that those in power at the circle have used to spread themselves across society: incognito. Just in how the fish have the capability to become “[…] invisible” (476), so too was the Circle able to mask its true motives. Furthermore, the fact that these species came from a seemingly abysmal region of the sea can work to highlight the dystopia that is being brought to the forefront of the society as a result of the Circle. Aside from the transparency, the movement of the creatures into the new tank is symbolic of the Circles overall shift towards control. The initial caregiver who opposed the movement that was replaced for “lack of visions” (471) could be equated to those, like Mercer, who rebel against technology and are destroyed because of it.

Moving on from the general symbolism of the animals, each species alone is extremely symbolic of aspects of culture. Most significantly, the shark is symbolic to the Circle. Like the Circle, the shark devours everything in its path and is never satisfied. Similarly, the Circle is a monopoly—because it destroyed its competition – and always hungry to take the next bite it can out of society and reproduce a white-ash-dystopia waste product. The seahorse, in my opinion being the most interesting, work to symbolize the workers at the company. This is supported in how the creatures react to being placed into the new habitat. The baby seahorses meandered in the tank while the parent hid within the coral (476). These babies are like the workers at the Circle who unknowingly created a monster in the way they aimlessly worked towards whatever they were instructed to without looking at the collective whole. The octopus can be a representative of Ty (aka Kalden) and those who oppose the Circle. This is because of the fact that as the shark is eating it, it puts up a fight. This is similar to how there are members of the government that oppose the Circle’s action and most significantly Ty who puts a valiant effort into stopping the closure of the company.

In the end unfortunately, the Circle (the shark) prevails. This is overall a great representation of the effects that technology can have on individuals lives. If, rather than being informed of the world around them, they instead become entrapped in the endless possibilities technology offers, chaos will result.

The Cobra

Welcome back! Hopefully by now you have started to work a yoga routine with the previously discussed postures in this blog. Today I want to add another more core-centered movement to that list, so hopefully you’re all ready! I know summer far off but it’s never too early start working on that summer bod ;). The movement is called cobra.

The steps…

  1. Lie on your stomach on the center of your mat face down. Take a moment to focus on your breathing and to clear your mind.
  2. Point your toes behind you and bring your legs together in order to have your legs straight.
  3. Next, bring your hand in toward the center of your body with your palms pressing into the floor.
  4. Inhale and raise your torso off the ground by pressing your palms into the ground and opening your chest outward by bringing your shoulders back and look upward towards the sky. Your lower body (pelvis and legs) and hands should be the only body parts in contact with the floor.
  5. Hold this for 30-60 seconds and transition into another pose such as downward dog afterwards.

In this pose, the weight is going to be mainly centered in your hips and lower pelvis region so, if you have problems in this region, I would advise you to withhold from this posture completely or at least not go fully up into it. This posture is extremely good for stretching the lower back. For an extra stretch, in the pose, look over the left shoulder for a few seconds and then switch to the right.

This is a great addition to any work out. Enjoy!


Basic TED Talk Outline

I. Introduction: I plan to use the image of the “are you still watching” and tie how easy it has become to watch almost anything using instant streaming technology.

II. Background: Then, I’ll rewind and discuss how television in the past was a pastime enjoyed collectively (typically once a week for a said show). Following this, I will introduce how internet streaming came about and for what reasons.

III. Setting up the paradigm shift: I will explain then how the younger generation’s utilization of these outlets to binge watch represents the growing shift of ideology toward the “now” mentality.

VI. Evidence: I plan to use statistics, research, polls, and personal information to prove this shift.


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