Psych Central

First Thought Photo: Where Is My Mind?

By Alicia Sparks

mind-even

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!

How many times have you felt like this?

Do I even need to ask?

Our bodies are here, present, going through the motions, but our minds are somewhere else entirely. Maybe we’re at work thinking about dinner. Maybe we’re fixing dinner thinking about work.

Maybe we’re doing ANYTHING, but actually focusing on our own feelings of depression, panic, or anxiety.

How do you interpret this image? How does it relate to you?



Tattoos and Personality: What Does Your Body Art Say About You?

By Alicia Sparks

tattoos.jpg

I finally got a new tattoo last week.

I say “finally” because I’ve been planning this thing (or, at least, planning to get this thing) for a couple of years.

However, I shouldn’t say “got a new tattoo” because it’s actually a cover up.

What’s it covering?

The same thing: a set of sunflowers.

Continue reading… »



Book Review: ‘Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less’

By Alicia Sparks

YogaSparksCF.indd

Raise your hand if you participated in the 108 Sun Salutations during the Spring Equinox this past weekend.

If you didn’t feel like you were up to it (or, opted not to for physical health reasons such as hip-related problems) or just didn’t have time (don’t get me started on that, though!), fret not: author and registered yoga teacher Carol Krucoff has put together 108 yoga practices anyone with a minute — literally, one minute — can do.

Learn more about Carol below, but for now, let’s talk about her awesome little guidebook, Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less.

Continue reading… »



Monthly Meditation: Fools Whether We Dance Or Not

By Alicia Sparks

dance
This post is part of Your Body, Your Mind’s “Monthly Meditation” series, designed to provide readers with an idea or thought to meditate on during the month.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

It’s likely that someone, somewhere, is going to try to make you feel like a fool today.

That’s what April Fool’s Day is all about, after all.

However, it’s (usually) all in good fun. They play a prank or tell a fib and laugh and laugh after admitting the truth.

If they’re lucky, sometimes you laugh, too ;)

Yet, for many of us, we don’t need April Fool’s Day jokes to feel like fools. Actually, we don’t need anything other than new or everyday activities — or even the thought of new or everyday activities — to make us feel like fools.

Continue reading… »



My First 108 Sun Salutations Experience: Spring Equinox Version

By Alicia Sparks

The 2014 Spring Equinox fell on Thursday, March 20 this year, but my yoga studio held the traditional 108 Sun Salutations celebration on Friday 21.

We’re flexible like that.

Anyway, this was my first 108 Sun Salutations event. I attended the Winter Solstice event, but my instructor had a different Surya Namaskar event planned for that one.

Like I said, we can get flexible.

So, I was extremely excited — and anxious — to participate in the 108 Spring Equinox Sun Salutations.

Excited because as a yogi who’d yet to participate, this was a big deal for me.

Anxious because, well, as a yogi who’d yet to participate, this was a big deal for me!

Continue reading… »



Brain Food Recipe Review: Sweet Potato Latkes

By Alicia Sparks

SPL.jpg

First of all, I love sweet potatoes.

My God, do I love sweet potatoes.

Second of all, sweet potatoes are packed with carotenoids which, in addition to giving them their orange color, also act as antioxidants that protect cells from damage and help form Vitamin A — the vitamin important for sprouting new neurons and helping those neurons find each other and form new connections.

So, naturally I had to try this Vegetarian Times recipe for sweet potato latkes (which are sort of like pancakes).

You can see the entire write up over at Vegetarian Times: Sweet Potato Latkes, but below is my summary (and review).

Continue reading… »



First Thought Photo: Bodies of the Mind

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!

As explained above, this post is the first in a new series here at Your Body, Your Mind: First Thought Photo.

Different photos affect people in different ways; some don’t affect people at all.

I chose this particular photo as the first in the series because, to me, it embodies both the body and the mind (Your Body, Your Mind). It’s as if the photographer, artist, or whomever is seeing this image is seeing it not just with his brain, but actually in his mind. Also, it’s almost as if the photo is a memory, or a thought still being developed. There’s enough information to make out the images, but not quite enough for any minor details.

What do you think? How does this picture affect you? What do you see when you look at it?

For more striking photos from this artist, visit the photolupi Flickr photostream.



Monthly Meditation: Spring as a Time of Transition

By Alicia Sparks

BeFunky_charles-dickens.jpg

This post is part of Your Body, Your Mind’s “Monthly Meditation” series, designed to provide readers with an idea or thought to meditate on during the month.

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief: March 20, 2014 marks the official first day of spring.

However, it’s likely the weather won’t suddenly turn hot; nor will the cold continue to cut at us. There’ll still be little reminders of the ice and snow we’ve (almost) left behind, but there’ll also be a lot more help from the sun.

I’ve always viewed spring as a transitional season. It’s no longer winter, but it’s not quite summer. The holiday season is over, but we’re not ready for vacations. All manner of flora and fauna begin to bud and awaken, but still it takes some of us a little while to really get the party started.

This rings true for certain transitional periods in our lives, doesn’t it? That summer between high school and college; that week or two between college and your first real job. The time between an engagement and a marriage, a pregnancy and a delivery, an illness and a death. Our lives are full of transitional periods, where — like Dickens alludes — you might see one around the corner, but you can still feel the other just behind your shoulder.

Think of a time when a transitional period played a huge role in your life. Was it job related? School? Romance? Were you trying to reinvent yourself?

How did you deal with the transition? Were you accepting and maybe even eager, or was it something you weren’t looking forward to (and maybe still regret)?

Share your story of a transitional time in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Miss last month’s Monthly Meditation? Head over to Monthly Meditation: Looking Outward With Love.



Brain Food Recipe Review: Chocolate Banana Milkshake

By Alicia Sparks
Copyright: Alicia Sparks

Copyright: Alicia Sparks

Looking for a sweet little morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up without the guilt of a ton of sugar or calories and some serious brain boosting?

I highly recommend this chocolate banana milkshake!

Continue reading… »



Yoga Lessons: Don’t Sacrifice the Breath for the Pose

By Alicia Sparks

Remember when I talked about ahimsa, my first and favorite yoga lesson, and how I’ve chosen it for my mantra this year?

Well, this week I’d like to tell you about my second yoga lesson — which, coincidentally, was my mantra last year and continues to be something I remind myself of time and time again:


“Don’t sacrifice the breath for the pose.”

For many folks — especially those who’ve never practiced yoga — yoga is about a ton of awkward, nearly (or entirely) impossible poses that — if you ever manage to halfway master — give you a nice little yoga butt.

Yoga is not about getting a nice ass.

Continue reading… »



 
 

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