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.

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.

 

Paradigm Paper Idea

I currently have two possible topics for my paradigm shift paper. The first (and one I’m leaning towards) is the shift of society toward binge watching television shows. For this, I will conduct research focusing on how new forms of internet streaming have changed how people have watched television. In society today, rather than having a shared experience from watching the programs together to being able to watch them individually. I will attempt to analyze how this has had an impact on society. The second would be to look at the change from utilizing libraries for information to the internet that is currently used. If I choose this, I will look at how this change has had an effect on education and people’s mind set as a whole. Let me know what you guys think!

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