By Christine Barnabic, MS, RYT 200, Reiki Master
Yoga is a practice that involves mind, body and spirit. Yoga is for every BODY, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, size or shape. Whether you prefer to practice on your own or in a studio, there are options. Yoga is a mind-body exercise whose ultimate goal is to end suffering, be that tight hips, stress, anxiety or something else. The foundation of yoga is breath (pranayama), asana (physical poses) and meditation/mindfulness. It is not religious in nature and does not have to be physical, for example the practice of yoga nidra which simulates sleep patterns. Further research on Yoga benefits can be reviewed the Cochrane Library Collection of systematic reviews on yoga.
Yoga practice can be done sitting as well as standing and can be modified to get the most benefit with the least chance of injury. In fact, yoga can be done anywhere and anytime. Props can also be used such as blocks, bolsters, blankets and straps to aide in alignment and posture of poses.
In the day of technology and time restraints, you may prefer to do a practice on your own and/or online. If you are just starting to practice Yoga and prefer in the privacy of your own home this may be a great option for you. Try different videos with various instructors to find a person who may resonate with you and your practice. Using the online resources of YouTube and websites, there are a variety of options to choose from. Take time for yourself, click, practice and enjoy. It is recommended that beginners or those who are just coming back to the practice look for videos labelled “Beginner” and to check out the “How to” videos for certain poses you may need more guidance with practicing.
There are over 150 Yoga studios in Baltimore. It can be hard to narrow down which studio may work for you. The location, price, atmosphere, and teacher’s expertise, or other requirement are important aspects to find the experience you are looking for. Most studios/gyms have websites to explore their mission, class schedule and pricing. If you set aside some time to narrow down what you may want in a yoga practice you can explore their websites and look for reviews/testimonials. This website narrowed down studio options down with a brief description and link to their website. Yelp also reviews the Best Yoga studios, updated January 2019 by Yelp reviewers.
You may want to talk with friends or family to see if someone may want to join you and try out a yoga class. Having someone with you or even just encourage you is a great way to experience comradery and accountability in your yoga goals. There are even programs specific to health conditions, such as stroke, cancer and pain. Our Director of Yoga Programs and Yoga Therapy, Kelli Bethel, runs two that can be found here.
Yoga and You
Yoga is a practice of body movements and mindfulness. People choose to be physically active and choose things that make them feel good and keep them well. EveryBODY can do yoga and you decide how you would like to experience the practice. Please keep in mind that certain medical or chronic conditions, pregnancy, or seemingly benign conditions like arthritis require specific modifications. We recommend that you work with a knowledgeable practitioner/teacher. Below are some resources that give more information to help you find the best yoga for you.
For additional information, check out this article [LINK] by Kelli Bethel, our Director of Yoga Training and Yoga Therapy, as well as these websites:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH/NCCIH) - Yoga: In Depth
The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) - Supports research and education in yoga and yoga therapy and serves as a membership-based, professional organization for yoga teachers and therapists worldwide.
Yoga Alliance (YA) - The largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community to promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga. Website contains bios of Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT), Yoga Teacher Training Programs and Continued Education in Yoga.
Free Baltimore Yoga – Free, studio quality yoga in non-studio spaces in Baltimore City.
MindBody – Search for Studios offering Yoga at locations near you.
Yogaworks – Offers memberships and community classes with drop in rates.
Movement Lab – Offers various levels/styles of yoga classes including Aerial Yoga and unique events and workshops.
M.Power – Offers heated and regular yoga classes. They also have a Yoga Trade program.
Yoga Gallery and Wellness – Offers various levels/styles of yoga classes in a nice studio space right off of 83/695 in Kenilworth.
May the light in me honor the light in YOU!
Why Namaste? The word is a way of greeting or showing respect originating in ancient India. Namaste spoken in a yoga practice is accompanied by holding the palms upright in front of the chest and bowing. The Sanskrit root word “namah”, means “salute or bow.”
About the Author: Christine Barnabic, MS, 200 RYT, Reiki Master
Christine is the Program Management Specialist at the Center for Integrative Medicine, part of University of Maryland School of Medicine. She received her Master’s Degree in School and Administrative Health from Towson University in 2010 including her Bachelor of Science degree in School and Community Health from Towson University in 2007. She taught Elementary health in Carroll County for seven years including staff health and fitness initiatives.
She has volunteered with the American Red Cross, Cupid’s Charities benefiting the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Fundraisers for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research, Safeminds support research and treatment for Children with Autism, Back on my Feet to combat homelessness and her own neighborhood association.
Christine is passionate about physical fitness and is active with health and wellness initiatives in Baltimore City. She is involved in the fitness group November Project and works out locally in the UMB Gym. She has been to many of the studio gyms and bigger gyms in Baltimore City. She has worked at Federal Hill Fitness and participated in a Yoga Trade program at M. Power Studio. She has completed trainings in Barre, Pilates, Yoga and is a Reiki Master. She continues her passion for all her activities teaching within the University of Maryland Systems.
By E. Blaine Guelde, CRNP, MS, AGACNP-BC
Welcome to 2019! Some of us are so happy that 2018 is over and are happy we made it through. Others are in a “good” place and might be anxious about what the new year will bring. Similarly, making resolutions works for some but not others. Instead of making a resolution this year, consider doing a self-evaluation to identify the things that are REALLY important to you followed by an evaluation of where your time is spent.
I recently did just that with the Living Values Questionnaire. The results were shocking. I’d been spending most of my time on values that weren’t actually very important to me. And the important values? They’d been neglected for a while, I realized. Before making your New Year’s resolution this year, consider completing the questionnaire and remember to keep the results handy. I found, rather quickly, that I slipped back into old habits without this reminder. A quick reference to the results was what I needed to keep me on track.
By Gabriela Piedrahita
Do you ever feel like each new year you start out extremely enthusiastic on your goals and by December you find yourself slacking out because you’re waiting for the next year that's “going to be the one”? Einstein used to say that doing the same thing over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, so maybe there is something you need to change. Here are a few tips to make 2019 the year of breakthrough, the year you stop postponing your dreams and become closer to accomplishing them!
Define What Success Means to You.
When talking about the principles of success, the billionaire investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist Ray Dalio tells us we need to escape the conventions around us, decide for ourselves what to do and have the courage to do it. In other words we must define for ourselves what success is to us. Dr. Armando Sardi, Chief of Oncology Surgery at Mercy Medical Center defines success as “being able to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish while making a difference for the people around you”. He shares he truly believes that if you're going to be proud and happy and feel successful, it's not the money that you make, it's how you create a difference for the people or the world before you leave this life.
Choose Your Goals.
Now, what goals would make you accomplish that success? According to Dalio, the truth is an essential foundation for producing good outcomes so when choosing your goals you must work with reality as it is and not as you wish it to be. He believes having big dreams + embracing reality + having lots of determination = successful life. Many people stay stuck wasting all their energy fighting, loathing, or denying reality.
When asked about his goals Dr. Sardi states that every year he selects 10 goals based on 3 pillars: family, health and business, and determines specific actions that he’s going to take to accomplish them. He emphasizes that “You have to make a decision, you have to have a goal, because if you don't know where you are going, you’re never going to get anywhere.” Dr. Sardi also recommends looking at the goals through the year, maybe monthly or better yet daily! For example, he has them on his computer screen to see them regularly.
Be Consistent, Build Momentum.
Much like your car requires more gas to restart in every stoplight, so do you. If you manage to be consistent with the plan to reach your goals it will be easier! If however, you stop pushing even for a bit, you’ll slow down, eventually stop and will have to start at inertia again, which will require more energy and will get harder each time. So DON'T STOP, you have to be consistent to build up momentum, that force that multiplies your actions and allows you to accomplish your greatest dreams! It's not about big changes, if you have a 1% improvement in everything that you do in the area related to your goal, those small gains will add up to massive improvement. Don't underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis; consistency and discipline are your best allies for creating this multiplying force. Remember this: stickability is the 95% of ability.
Guard Your Mind.
Much like now a days we’ve become very conscious of what we feed our bodies, we have to be aware of what we are feeding our minds. To achieve positive results you must protect your mind from absorbing negative things and feed it with positive things. So much like when we wear blue glasses we see everything blue, our mind works with filters as well, so stop for a second to think what filter is your mind creating? Are you creating a negative filter feeding your mind fear, bad news, self destructive thoughts, criticism and toxic relationships; or are you creating a positive filter, reading inspiring stories, talking kindly to yourself, always trying to see the bright side of things. Don't underestimate the filters you create for your mind, it literally determines the way you see the world and yourself.
Raise Your Standards.
The quality of your life right now is determined by your current standards. Huge success killer that happens to many: getting stuck in the routine. They get somewhere or accomplish something and then just stay there watching life happen. To seek success, you have to RAISE YOUR STANDARDS. Some people are pretty comfortable with their standards, “yeah let's be overweight, couch potato moms supported by our husbands” or “yeah I have a job that's killing me inside but at least it's only 9-5 and pays the bills” maybe NOT. You know what's different in successful people? They have something inside of them telling them to keep going, keep dreaming, keep being ambitious and never settle. So raise your standards, decide you will no longer conform with where you are and take some sort of action.
These are a few tips to make 2019 the year you start making a change! Know your goals and run after them, but keep in mind that what is best for you depends on your nature so you need to really understand yourself and know what you want to achieve in life. Also always remember that the biggest most important attribute you must have in order to succeed is BELIEF. The how to do it always comes to the person who believes he can do it. Why? Because strong belief triggers the mind to figure out ways and means to accomplish, belief triggers the power to do. So don’t let anyone else determine the size of your dreams, the most successful people on earth have changed the world because they believed they could do it. Think big, dream big, act big! As Robin Sharma says: no one will believe in you until you believe in you. Happy New Year everyone!
About the Author: Gabriela Piedrahita
Gabriela is a Research Fellow from Colombia who is currently interning at the Center for Integrative Medicine to complete her Bachelors in Psychology. She is also a Certified Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and has taken some Nutritional Psychology classes in the JFK University. With her mother and two sisters, Gabriela is part of Stamina in Action, a Mentoring and Coaching Firm targeted to women’s achievement of wholesomeness by activating their power to do good in their inner and outer world. She’s also done some research on the two most common mental illnesses of our time - depression and anxiety - and how these can be prevented and treated through nutrition, exercise and yoga/meditation practices. Gabriela is committed to making a difference in the world one person at a time, helping people achieve their best selves while she continuously evolves into the best version of herself possible.
By: Kayla Calhoun (Guest Writer/Intern from Towson University, Class of ’19)
Let me set the stage for you. I walk down to the first floor of the Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) building, which is a part of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, and down the hallway off to the right of the main entrance until I make it to a sign that says, “Well Room”. The room is the size of a normal office, however, instead of a set of desk and chairs, there is a seated massage chair in the middle and yoga mats laid against the opposite wall. There is an aromatherapy diffuser emitting a soothing lavender scent, soft music coming from a speaker resting on a cabinet, and dim light, gently illuminates the area. I am standing in the doorway of CIM’s brand-new Well Room.
Massage Session Impressions
By Rebekah Frizzelle-Owens, LMT, BCTMB, CIMI, CPMT
Touch is an important part of life – it is part of what makes us human and makes us whole. Studies have shown that when someone doesn’t get enough caring touch in their lives, they can begin to psychologically wither and grow “touch starved.” Cancer treatments are life-saving, but can also leave patients feeling isolated, anxious, stressed, and more. Massage can help!
Video courtesy Maryland Proton Treatment Center.
Many of our staff and faculty contributed suggestions for random acts of kindness that any of us can do throughout the day all year long. Below are a few of our suggestions. Additionally, we have some self-kindnesses listed to encourage self-care because it's difficult to take care of others if you don't take care of yourself.
Let's spread kindness!
By Lyssa Balick, MS
Insulin resistance is a condition where your body does not respond properly to insulin and as a result, your body cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Over time, this can make it hard for your body to control glucose and may lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time (1).
Both aging and lifestyle factors can affect the way your body produces insulin. Factors that lead to higher insulin resistance include:
While genetics and aging do have an impact, small changes in lifestyle factors can make a big difference.
By Katrina (Kat) Farber, LMT, BCMT
It is an undeniable truth that certain smells bring back some of our most treasured memories, and often make us feel more at peace and relaxed. We often enter a room or a space that brings us into an immediate state of tranquility due to scents in the air. We also attempt to recreate this peacefulness in our own living spaces for everyday life. We all know this feeling; we seek it out, sometimes with more success than others.
By Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 recommends consuming a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of foods, which includes a variety of vegetables and fruits. But did you know that most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables? On any given day, Americans over the age of 2 years consume less than 1 serving of fruit and less than 1-½ servings of vegetables, far below the recommended intakes.
Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients and fiber that helps your body stay healthy. In addition to providing key nutrients, eating fruits and vegetables while staying within your body’s recommended caloric needs, can help you control your weight.
By Lyssa Balick, MS
What is Spice MyPlate?
Spice MyPlate was a nutrition education concept co-developed by The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and The Institute for Integrative Health in 2012 (1). The premise was to combine best practices for nutrition from the MyPlate food model with hands on educational experiences using spices and herbs to make flavorful meals and snacks (2).
In 2013, students from two Baltimore City High Schools learned about 12 core spices and herbs and how to incorporate them into their meals. They were compared with a control group who learned about MyPlate, but did not learn about spices and herbs or how to use them in their meals. The study showed that when students learned about spices in an interactive way that included meal prep and cooking, they were more likely to consume whole grains and protein foods and their attitudes towards eating vegetables were more positive compared to the control group(3).
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We have great classes for health professionals throughout the year.
Learn more here.
Healing Pathways: Self-Care for Healthcare Providers
April 11-May 20, 2018
Learn more here.
Yoga Teacher TrainingLearn more here.
Applied Integrative Medicine
A Hands-On Training for Healthcare Practitioners
Learn more here.
Self-Healing Retreat for Cancer Patients
May 13-19, 2018
Learn more here.
From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School:
Join us as we participate in the 2018 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health
May 8-11, 2018
Learn more here.