medical insights
Is an abundance of possessions correlated with happiness? At the end of our lives, will we measure our worth by material gain, or by the way we actually lived? Lisa B. Nelson, Kripalu Director of Medical Education, explores what abundance really means. Read the full story.
mindful moments with dr. susan b. lord
Looking at nature with an eye toward abundance helps us cultivate a profound way of experiencing life. Marvel at the sheer number of leaves providing the oxygen we breathe. Contemplate the ocean: We are 70 percent water. Dig in your garden: Billions of seeds provide us nourishment.
fitness focus from janna delgado
Finding time to exercise can be a struggle, but you can create abundant time to work out by fitting several brief workouts into your day. Workouts as short as 10 to 15 minutes can strengthen your body and improve your health. Some suggestions: Work in some cardio by taking a lap around the block, climbing a few flights of stairs, doing jumping jacks, or creating a mini strength-training circuit from classic moves, such as lunges, squats, push-ups, and sit-ups.

The farmer’s markets are bustling. The orchards are heavy with their bounty. The world is ripe with sights and smells; my favorite: the smell of homemade applesauce simmering on the stove. This is the season of the harvest, a time to celebrate the nourishing food and awe-inspiring beauty the earth brings forth. Taking a cue from nature, it is also a time to witness and celebrate the abundance in our lives. Being in nature can be a catalyst for connecting to your own sense of abundance. I felt this while walking in the woods with my 6-year-old daughter. I told her how lucky I felt for the abundance in my life: the beauty of where we live, our wonderful, crazy family, our friends. My daughter looked up at me with her no-nonsense expression and said, “Mom, you are over-the-top.” We both laughed. So, I invite you to be “over the top”. Look through the lens of abundance and see your world anew.

Jennifer Young, Director, Kripalu Healthy Living programs

nutrition notes the abundance of the harvest season
by Annie B. Kay, Nutritionist
It’s an exciting season for foodies: Fresh local produce is at its peak! We know that gathering produce at the farmer’s market connects us to the earth and to our community, but is there a nutritional advantage to eating locally grown food as well? Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment (HCHGE) reviewed the literature and came to similar conclusions. Those adept at using their senses to guide their health choices already know the answer—just notice the colors and aromas of produce from your garden compared to the supermarket.

To maximize the nutrient density (a measure of food quality that compares foods by nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants per calorie) of your produce, consider the farm-to-table path it takes. Generally, the longer and more complex this path is, the less nutrient-dense the food on your plate. According to HCHGE, the nutritional quality of produce depends on the variety chosen, growing methods, ripeness when picked, post-harvest handling, storage, extent and type of processing, and distance transported.

So, as you enjoy the full flavors of fall from your neighbor’s farm or your own garden, rest assured that your senses are right—fresh local food is abundant in healthfulness as well as taste. Try our Slow Roasted chicken and steam vegetables to get started.

life lessons
by Aruni Nan Futuronsky, Senior Life Coach
Do you find yourself focusing on what isn’t happening in your life? Perhaps you find yourself stressed out about something that hasn’t even taken place yet, imagining and envisioning its worst-case scenario. As you indulge in these negative thoughts, notice how everything tightens up, both inside and around you. By not living in the moment, scarcity—that feeling of constriction and lack—pulls at us.

By being present in the moment and relaxing into what is happening, doors open wide for us. Abundance is available here, in this very moment, through mindful breath, relaxation, and gratitude.

Consider abundance, not in its usual connotation of wealth and plenty, but in its more energetic experience, as the fullness of spirit, an overflowing of presence that brings us deep connection to the moment.

Here’s a practice with which you can experiment: Find a comfortable spot, either inside or outdoors. Sit and relax. Get even more comfortable, keeping your spine effortlessly upright, relaxing around any sensations in your body. Notice your breath and invite your mind to track your breath as it travels through your body. Offer these questions to yourself:

In this moment, what are the gifts that I have been given? What are three points of beauty and perfection around me? What are three things, in this moment, for which I am grateful?

Receive the abundance of these gifts as you breathe and relax.

yoga practice: goddess pose
by janna delgado, Yoga Teacher and Personal Trainer
Goddess pose, or Deviasana, represents the expanding feminine force that created the universe. Hara is a Japanese martial arts term meaning “center of being,” and it refers to the stomach, or solar plexus, where the body’s vital healing energy is generated. Goddess pose, in combination with breathing from the hara, is a powerful way to revitalize and renew the body, mind, and spirit. When the body’s hara is clear and open, vital energy can freely move down through the pelvis and legs and into the earth for grounding. However, fear, pain, and anxiety can cause this energy to become blocked. Goddess pose with hara breathing opens up the hips and chest so that power, strength, and energy can circulate freely.

Ready to try it out? Here’s how:

  • Step your feet hip-width apart and lift the arms out to the sides at shoulder height.
  • Turn your feet out 45 degrees and bend the knees to a comfortable stance, making sure that your knees track directly over the ankles.
  • Turn your palms up and bend the elbows to 90 degrees so that your palms face in toward your head.
  • Inhale through your nose, drawing in abundant energy, healing, and relaxation, as you reach both arms overhead.
  • Exhale through your mouth, bend your elbows, and pull your fists down alongside the ribs, emphatically saying, “Ha!” (This action expels tension while bringing in power and vitality to your center.) Repeat 10–15 times while holding the pose.

After you’re done, come out of the stance. Pause, breath naturally, and relax. Take a moment to observe and soak in the energy flowing throughout your entire being.

healthy living program
Radiance: Create an Amazing Life After Cancer with Maria Sirois
Life after cancer can feel vulnerable and uncertain. It’s also a powerful time to explore what you really want from life and to start taking action. Ask yourself: If life is a work of art we are here to craft day by day, then how best to do so after a life-threatening illness? A clue arrives through the words of a woman I had the pleasure to meet after her stage-four lung cancer diagnosis. In a session exploring her choices around medication, Robbie said: “There is a gift in this, you know. Every moment feels precious now and every morning I have a chance to really focus on what makes me grateful.”

The feeling of abundance after a diagnosis might not be experienced in financial terms, material possessions, or even the length of time left, but in the awareness of the abundant possibilities in each moment. Every day can be shaped to include those things that help our lives feel rich and full with whatever brings us joy and offers meaning.

This is yoga off the mat: to greet the day as if it matters to us, to choose wisely how we can bring that sense of abundance, of possibility toward us, and breathe as if each breath can be the beginning of something new.

Find out more about Radiance: Create an Amazing Life After Cancer and start to craft your amazing life during this inspired week of learning and practicing self-care.

healing arts highlight life coaching the kripalu way
An Interview with Aruni Nan Futuronsky
A 500-hour Kripalu Yoga teacher, Aruni Nan Futuronsky has been on the Kripalu faculty at Kripalu for more than 20 years. In 2005, she became a certified life coach, and integrated the two disciplines to develop the Kripalu life-coaching methodology, based in presence and right action. She now offers life-coaching sessions for Kripalu Healthy Living programs and through Kripalu Healing Arts.

Q What makes life coaching at Kripalu unique?
A Our life-coaching model is based in the transformational self-discovery model that we’ve been teaching here for 35 years. We think sustainable change happens as a result of being mindfully present with what is, while taking action to change. Just like on the yoga mat, you need to soften around sensations in order for the sensations to change. It’s the power of presence linked with the right use of will that makes sustainable change—not just modifying behavior but changing at the core. It’s quite different from traditional life coaching—it really is yoga off the mat.

Find out more about life coaching at Kripalu and read the full interview.

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Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga.

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