Have You Been Drafting Through Life?

By Alicia Sparks

I spent last weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway watching the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race.

If you know anything about NASCAR — or any kind of racing, really — you probably know what “drafting” is.

(For those of you who don’t, drafting is when one car follows closely behind another car for aerodynamic purposes. For example, it helps block wind resistance, which brings other benefits.)

For a little while, drafting can be extremely beneficial in racing. Obviously, the drivings don’t want to draft the entire race — if they do, they’ll never make it to the front and have a shot at winning — but for a little while, it works.

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POLL: Are Yoga Apps Replacing Mats in Classes?

By Alicia Sparks

Years ago, I used to call myself “doing yoga” when I’d pop in a DVD and breathe and bend when the instructor told me.

These days, I prefer practicing yoga in a class. Sure, I have enough knowledge of certain yoga poses and yoga sequences that I can (and do) practice at home, but overall I make sure to get to a class or two each week.

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Robin Williams and Death: Dealing With the Physical and Mental Pain

By Alicia Sparks

Robin Williams committed suicide earlier this week.

Say that again, out loud.

Robin Williams — one of the world’s funniest and, despite suffering from depression, seemingly happiest men on earth — committed suicide.

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I Hocked My First Loogie While Running (and Why You Should Care)

By Alicia Sparks
I swear it looked just like this.

I swear it looked just like this.

OK, let’s just get this out in the open: I hocked my first loogie ever (like, ever ever).

A few weeks ago, I ran my first 5k of 2014. Some of you will remember because I was trying hard not to be a little whining baby about having not trained in, like, a year.

(That, and that my beau basically told me to shut it and get out there.)

Well, I got out there. I didn’t beat my personal record (I was actually a few minutes off — whaaa), but I got out there and ran and jogged and walked and sweated my bum off and laughed with other runners and…

…hocked a big ol’ loogie.

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Monthly Meditation: From Where Does the Joy Come?

By Alicia Sparks

As I mentioned before, I’ve had a little trouble getting back into serious running lately.

I’ve had various conversations about this. Some people say, “Just get out there and do it.” Others say, “Just be patient; it’ll come back to you.”

Others still say, “Maybe you just don’t want to run anymore.”

However, the funniest conversation I had about running (or, not running) was with a friend a few days ago. We were talking about how great it feels after the run, but how we’re kind of literally cussing out the run while it’s happening!

I’m guessing I’ll figure it out eventually, but in the meantime I just keep trudging running along.

Isn’t that how it goes in life sometimes? You do things you think you want to do, and find out you don’t actually want to do them. Or, you don’t do things that, if you did do them, you’d actually enjoy?

What are some things YOU could stop doing that, by stopping, you’d actually gain some joy? On the other hand, what are some things you could START or KEEP doing that would keep the joy rolling in — even if you have to tough it out a little to get there?

Miss last month’s Monthly Meditation? Head over to Monthly Meditation: Declare Your Independence.

First Thought Photo: Your Experiences Are Different From Others’

By Alicia Sparks

This post is part of the Your Body, Your Mind “First Thought Photo” series. The point of the series is simple: share your first thought upon seeing this photo. Of course, the rules are flexible :) Share your second, third, and fourth thoughts, too, if you want!

Happy Friday, sweet readers!

Even if you still have to work (like me), I hope you’re enjoying your summer vacations so far. Actually, as you read this, I’m either soaking up some sun on the beach or sipping rum from an umbrella drink. Or, maybe I’m out at a nice restaurant or cruising a strip from some tacky-yet-irresistible souvenirs.

Or, maybe I’m…

You get the point.

I could be doing anything, and still enjoying myself as much as the next person…who could be doing something completely different.

That’s the great thing about experiences — we all experience them differently.

When was the last time YOU took a trip, read a book, or even listened to a speech and took away from the experience something completely different than did someone else?

Best Yoga Music: 20 (Non-Traditional) Yoga Songs to Get Your Downward Dog On

By Alicia Sparks

I recently fell in love with Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band. My favorite yoga instructor plays them during every one of my favorite yoga classes, and eventually I started playing them at home while I practice (or work, or clean, or whatever — like I said, I fell in love with them!).

However, there are several other bands I like to listen to as I get my Chaturanga on, and…

…most of them are fairly…eh, I don’t want to say “commercial,” but they’re definitely more commonly heard on the radio than Sean Johnson.

So, given how easy it is to “discover” an old song and give it new purpose, I thought I’d share with you some of my best yoga music! Here are 15 artists I like to play while practicing yoga.

(I’ll even throw in a song or two to get you started ;) )

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Help Raise Funds for The Bipolar Parenting Project!

By Alicia Sparks


NOTE: The following is a courtesy post for fellow Psych Central blogger Rebecca Moore. For more information about Rebecca, please visit her websites rebeccamoorestorms.com and the Bipolar Parenting Project.

Fellow Psych Central blogger Rebecca Moore, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder three years ago, has decided to turn her Bipolar Parenting Project into a non-profit organization.

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Why My Boyfriend Told Me to “Just Go!”

By Alicia Sparks

I’m running a 5k tomorrow and I’m extremely nervous about it.

Maybe “nervous” isn’t the word. Maybe “anxious” is better.

So, I’m extremely anxious about it.

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Monthly Meditation: Declare Your Independence

By Alicia Sparks


This Friday, we’ll celebrate the Fourth of July here in America. The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, marks our country’s independence from Great Britain (or, the United Kingdom) back on July 4, 1776.

Imagine that! An entire country celebrating its independence from an entire other country. Wow!

Of course, it didn’t happen overnight. The United States of America fought hard for its freedom from England.

These days, we celebrate all that hard fighting and winning with fireworks, parades, barbecues, and other merriment.

If you live here in America, you enjoy that freedom — generally. That doesn’t mean you don’t suffer from other sorts of enslavement or dependence. Maybe it’s upon another person, an addiction, or a mental illness. Maybe it’s anxiety or depression, or financial insecurities.

We can be dependent upon so many things.

Spend some time this month and meditate on your dependence on — or independence from — things in your life, and then let us know, readers, what are YOU dependent on? What can YOU do to declare you independence? Or, what have you ALREADY DONE that could possibly help others?

Miss last month’s Monthly Meditation? Head over to Monthly Meditation: Surfing the Waves.


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