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Nate Guadagni

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The Three Keys to Healthy Relationships

The Three Keys to Healthy Relationships 435 290 Nate Guadagni

There are three keys or rules that will help you find peace and joy within all relationships, including the most important relationship in your life, the one with yourself.

The first key is found in almost every religion and ethical tradition from the beginning of recorded history: the Golden Rule. Simply put, it states, “Treat others the way that you want to be treated.” This is a profound guideline and one that will never lose its value. Halil the Elder, who lived 100 years before Christ, once summarized the entire Torah with the similar phrase, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah. The rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

Although this rule is self-explanatory and resonates with the deepest parts of our being, doesn’t it also leave something out? What if the way that we want to be treated is not the way that others want to be treated? What if a man opens a door for a feminist who takes offense at the offering, which to her implies that women are weak and need men to help them? What about the imperialist who invades native cultures and insists that they must be saved from their barbaric ways with modern lifestyles and luxuries? Ignorance can be well intentioned, yet tremendously damaging.

Let us consider the second key, known as the Platinum Rule: “Treat others as they want to be treated.” This requires a new level of communication, empathy, and understanding. It requires not only the intention to treat others well, but also the willingness to take the time to learn how people want to be treated. Many charities waste enormous sums of money and effort giving to communities without spending the time to understand what that community really needs. Disaster reliefs are often flooded with well-intentioned cans of food and bottles of water, yet what actually may be needed are blankets and electricity. Applying the Platinum Rule to our relationships will bring immediate improvement because the only way to know what another person wants is to let go of our own assumptions and projections and to ask.

There is one final key, and it is perhaps the least understood and practiced. The Diamond Rule states: “Treat yourself the way that you want to be treated.” This is a new paradigm of thought. The application of this rule could lead to a mass shift in the perspective of millions of people who are stuck in feelings of victimhood and blame. To take responsibility for our own lives and to take the initiative to treat ourselves as we want to be treated by others is probably not a way of life that you have seen demonstrated by your community.

This idea alone is enough to alarm and distress people who misunderstand it to mean that we should not cooperate or consider each other but just take what we want for ourselves. What it really means is that nobody else knows exactly what you want, and even if they do know, it’s not anyone else’s responsibility to do it for you or to give it to you. Each of us is the creator of our own lives, the thinker of our own thoughts, and the actor of our own actions.

How can we practice this rule and apply it to our lives? If you are wanting others to love you, see that you love yourself first. If you want others to pay attention to you, check if you really give genuine attention to yourself. If you want to have more respect from others, see if you really respect yourself.

With simple introspection, it becomes clear that everything we think we want from others, whether it is love, attention, respect, or trust, is actually a deficit in ourselves that we hope others can fulfill. To the exact amount that we don’t give ourselves enough attention, we will want it from others. To the same degree that we don’t love or respect ourselves, we will crave it from others.

The problem is that the only person who can give us unconditional and unlimited love, respect and attention is ourself. Everyone else will disappoint us, no matter how much we want them to, or even how much they want to satisfy our deep needs, they cannot do it alone. The one person that you really want love and respect from is yourself — your true self. We can see ourselves with the same unconditional love as a parent looking at a newborn child — filled with love and admiration, recognizing our own infinite value, and marveling at the mystery of life. One of life’s greatest realizations is to see ourselves through the eyes of our true self. At this moment there is a life-changing shift in identity described eloquently by George MacDonald: “You do not have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”

The main reason that the Golden Rule isn’t working well is that people treat themselves with criticism, abuse and disrespect, and so they are incapable of giving much else to others. As author and civil rights leader Howard Thurman wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The truth is that “You do unto others as you do unto yourself,” for better or for worse. As William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” When we learn to treat ourselves better, we will finally know how to treat others better as well.

All three Rules are important to enjoy balanced and healthy relationships.  Of the three, the Diamond Rule is the one that is most within our sphere of personal influence.  Spending more time developing this constant relationship with ourselves will build a foundation for all other interactions. From a platform of genuine self-confidence and emotional stability, it will be easier to treat others the way we have been treating ourselves — with love, respect, and dignity.

A Woman who is having Stress Bo Yoga

The Three Types of Stress and How to Handle Them

The Three Types of Stress and How to Handle Them 730 330 Nate Guadagni

“You should meditate each day for twenty minutes. If you don’t have time, you should meditate each day for an hour.” — Zen Proverb

Take a moment now to close your eyes and breathe deeply and count to ten. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.

Okay, now how do you feel? In just ten seconds, you can reduce your stress significantly and feel more relaxed. Yet, as much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, in those same ten seconds, thirty-five people have died as a direct result of stress. That’s 110 million people every year. Stress is a sobering health risk that we are only recently beginning to understand.

The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” According to the Center for Disease Control/National Institute on Occupational Safety & Health, the workplace is the number one cause of life stress. Consider these statistics:

★ 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job

★ Nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress

★ 42 percent say their coworkers need help reducing stress

★ 40 percent of workers report their job is “very” or “extremely” stressful (Northwestern National Life)

★ 26 percent say they are “very often burned out by stress” (Yale University)

★ Stress is responsible for 30% of all disability claims
★ Stress costs American businesses an estimated $300 billion a year

What is stress, exactly? The term “stress” was coined in 1936 by Hans Selye, a pioneering Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist who dedicated his life to research on the topic. In his later years, when asked to define stress, he told reporters, “Everyone knows what stress is, but nobody really knows.” If nobody knows what stress is, yet it is causing so many problems, how can we deal with it better?

One definition of stress sums it up well: “Stress is the resistance to change.” To the degree that you resist the changes that are happening to you and around you, you will feel an equivalent amount of stress.

If you look carefully at what causes stress for you, you will see that there is always a situation requiring you to change, but you are not willing. Consider these scenarios:

  • Paul is late for a meeting and when traffic slows, he feels very stressed. In the next car over, Jason is listening to a book on tape while enjoying the sunset; he is not feeling stressed at all.
  • Carrie hates to speak in public and is dreading her presentation, yet Maria loves the spotlight and can’t wait for her chance to present.
  • Tina lives for deadlines and thrives under the pressure of monthly quotas. Her coworker Zach feels overwhelmed and often gets sick at the end of the month.

In each case, the level of stress reflects the level of resistance that each person has in relation to his or her situation. It may seem that stress comes from outside circumstances and conditions, but if that were true, everyone would feel the same way about a situation. Stressors are like the weather: It rains on everyone, yet some people are prepared to deal with it while others are not. If you have a warm house, car, or raincoat to protect you, then the rain isn’t as bad as it would feel without the protection.

REI’s clever motto states, “There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” I say the same is true for stress. There is no bad stress, just inappropriate coping. If we enter the arctic with a t-shirt and shorts, we will surely die. Yet if we prepare for the situation beforehand, we can survive and even enjoy the journey.

Stress is no different, and the ability to adapt to change is completely learnable and teachable. While there are countless stressors, there is basically only one stress response. Instead of trying to control situations and people, it is much more effective to understand and manage our stress response.

The stress response is controlled by dual parts of the nervous system — the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic set of nerves creates the stress “fight/ flight/ freeze” response. The parasympathetic set of nerves causes the relaxation “rest/ digest” response. The important thing to know is that only one set of nerves can be active at one time. It is not possible to be in both states at once. If you had to choose, in which state would you like to spend most of your day?

The problem with stress in our society is that almost everyone is quite an expert at inducing the stress response, and they do it often. And if they don’t bring it on themselves, someone else will surely help! Unfortunately, the ability to induce the relaxation response does not come as automatically. However, it is not any more difficult to induce the relaxation response than it is to induce the stress response, and with some practice, a state of relaxation can be maintained.

Often people point to the positive benefits of stress, such as getting things done and making things exciting. Often a high-energy lifestyle is preferred, and people worry that if they relax too much, they will lose their edge or become boring, stagnant, or dull.

However, if you think of your body like a car, your dual nervous system is similar to the gas pedal and a brake pedal. One makes you go faster and one makes you go slower. One is not better than the other; they both are important. A good driver can seamlessly blend their speeds to suit their journey.

Striking a balance between stress and relaxation in our lives is paramount. If our own lives aren’t enough evidence, statistics show us that too much stress is a much bigger problem than not enough stress. The ideal balance of stress and relaxation is called “relaxed focus.” This state is attainable with practice and awareness. Bo Yoga gives the foundation for stress relief and the ability to manage our own nervous system. We may not be able to control the stressors of our lives, but we can do a lot better at managing the stress response in ourselves.

There are 3 levels of stress:
★ Acquired stress (from your past)

★ Potential stress (in the present)

★ Preventable stress (in the future)

The first level of stress relief deals with acquired stress, which you likely feel in your body now. This type of stress can include tension in your shoulders, tension headaches, back pain, or any other physical, mental, or emotional discomfort. Acquired stress is a current problem that you have carried over from your past, due to lifestyle, a sudden event, or injury.

Acquired stress is dealt with by directly working on your body to get rid of the pain and tension. Stretching, deep breathing, and guided relaxation, along with the gentle pressure and tapping of the Bo Staff, can all help to relieve the stress that you feel now. Without dealing with the stress of your past, you will have a hard time facing stress from the present or the future.

The second level of stress relief is dealing with potential stress. This type of stress is the kind that is happening right now. If potential stress is handled well, it won’t become acquired stress. The vicious cycle of stress leading to more stress will end. This requires the ability to recognize the stress response in yourself as you face the stressor. For instance, when you are in traffic, you can begin to assess your stress by noticing that your shoulders are tensing, that you aren’t breathing well, and that you are gritting your teeth. The easy part of this is that usually, when you realize what you are doing, the solution is quite obvious. If you aren’t breathing, start breathing again. If you are clenching your jaw, open your mouth a bit. The hard part is doing this frequently enough to make it an automatic habit.

Bo Yoga and mindful exercise helps this second level of stress relief; when you become more attuned to your body, you will more easily recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, and you will learn to quickly recognize and release resistance within yourself. Also, after you take a class, your mind and body will be like a clean slate, comfortable and relaxed, making it easy to catch small stress responses before they grow too big. Catching stress early and nipping it in the bud is very helpful. Just like it’s easy to pull out a weed from your garden when it is small, it will be much harder to deal with it after it has grown deep roots or has gone to seed. It is important to reduce potential stress as soon as possible before it adds to the pain and suffering of the actual stress that you will carry with you everywhere you go.

The third level of stress relief is preventable stress. This type of stress is when you have released most of your actual stress to the point where your body generally feels good, free of pain, and energized. At this point, you are also good at dealing with potential stress by managing your personal stress responses, such as breathing patterns, physical tensions, and letting go of negative thoughts. Now that you are feeling pretty good, you can get ahead of stress and begin to prevent it before it even happens!

If the Earth is your body, your ability to prevent stress is like the ozone layer. It burns up meteorites in the atmosphere and also shields the Earth from harmful radiation. Not only does it protect the Earth from outside threats, it also creates a layer of insulation that maintains a healthy environment within it, despite the fact that it’s floating in the middle of cold and desolate space.

Preventable stress relief means that your shields are at full power, negativity burns up in your atmosphere, and you maintain a happy and positive mindset, no matter how negative and dark your surroundings are. Preventable stress relief means that you have a buffer around you that gives you time to choose responses instead of reacting. As people and situations come close to you, you can feel and sense if they are good for you or not. You not only build a huge tolerance to stress, you know how to repair any damage to your personal ozone layer when it occurs.

If stress is caused by resistance, then stress relief is caused by the release of resistance. Multiple studies have shown that mind-body training is highly effective to this end. Bo Yoga includes the following types of mind-body training:

★ Moving meditation: The fluid movements of Bo Yoga are meant to be practiced in a state of relaxed concentration, not unlike sitting meditation, except you get to move your body, too, which most of us need to do more often.

★ After class relaxation: Class is typically concluded with a savasana, the yoga “corpse pose” position, which involves lying on the floor to release all tension from the body.

★ Fun and laughter: The proper attitude for Bo Yoga is not overly serious or up-tight. Having a great time doing it is really the only proper way to practice because fun and laughter release beneficial hormones and encourage continued practice.

★ Distraction from stressors: When you take some time to practice Bo Yoga, you forget about your troubles for a moment and just focus on yourself and your own health.

★ Positive social environment: If you are practicing Bo Yoga with others, you can be sure you have found other individuals who, like you, are committed to positive changes in their lives.

One of Bo Yoga’s main benefits is its ability to release physical, emotional, and mental resistance. Through it, you have a regular practice of body, mind, and emotional healing that recharges you and releases you from resistance. Bo Yoga’s effectiveness for you depends on how well you can use it to this end.

You are probably dehydrated.

You are probably dehydrated. 852 480 Nate Guadagni

The importance of water to the health of the human body can’t be overstated, yet fully 75% of us are chronically dehydrated.

Water makes up nearly 85 percent of your brain, about 80 percent of your blood, and about 70 percent of lean muscle. In total your body is about 70 percent water, so lack of water — dehydration — will seriously impact your health.

Water is responsible for a variety of functions, including blood flow, digestion, and body temperature regulation, and it greatly impacts the environment and structure of your cells. According to Doug Casa, PhD, evidence shows that the body will only tolerate a loss of one to two percent of the total amount of water before it triggers the sensation of thirst and the cue to drink. These cues stay on track and properly timed because our brains, kidneys, various glands, and hormones work in concert to monitor the amount of water that we’re taking in relative to how much we’re losing.

But, if our bodies are so good at regulating our water needs, then why are seventy-five percent of Americans chronically dehydrated? Well, it seems that we have become so stressed and busy that we ignore the signals of our bodies and fail to give them what they need. Also, many of us consume food and drink, such as coffee and high-salt foods, that increase our state of dehydration.

We all know, of course, that we should be drinking more. The “eight glasses a day” prescription has almost become a health mantra, although many scientists have abandoned this rule as overly generalized. There are too many factors to consider, such as exercise habits and kidney function, to paint everyone with the same brush, but the importance of water in all of your health functions, and the general tendency to drink too little during the day, means that “more is better” for most people. Also, over-hydration is much easier for the body to deal with than dehydration.

You can get hydration from foods rich in water, from most drinks that aren’t diuretic (such as coffee and tea), and of course, from pure water. The old saying “flowing water never grows stale” applies to your body as well. Hydration is more than just drinking water; it is also using it. Exercise that causes elevated temperatures releases the water from your body in the form of sweat and respiration, and you will naturally drink more water to replace it. In this way, you cleanse and purify your whole body with water, like taking dirty water from a pool and replacing it with fresh, clean water.

Water is also critical to energy production in the body, largely thanks to one of the atoms in the H2O molecule: hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is also the lightest, floating on the top of the periodic table in the number one position. It is responsible for producing ATP, the main chemical energy supply in the body, as well as for holding our DNA coils together with hydrogen bonds. Antioxidants are a huge trend in the health industry and people pay lots of money for exotic fruit and special pills to get them. However, hydrogen, with its small, simple nature, has earned the nickname “ultimate antioxidant” because it protects the body from free radical damage as well as any expensive vitamin. Hydrogen is critical to your health, and enters your body through the most important compound on Earth — water.

Bo Yoga® teachers will often encourage you to drink before and after training, as well as during if needed. In a Bo Yoga class, it is unlikely that you will need to replace electrolytes as endurance athletes do, so pure water is recommended over sports drinks. Drinking enough water and moving the water through your system, internally and externally, are both important parts of Bo Yoga practice. And, the best way to move the hydrogen and the oxygen that are so vital for your energy and health is through proper exercise, so water and exercise work in tandem to keep you energized and strong.

Finally, don’t forget to learn water’s wise energy lesson. Sages and poets through the century have praised water’s ability to move around obstacles with ease. Margaret Atwood, in her novel The Penelopiad, summed it up well: “Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall; it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

As you progress in Bo Yoga and begin to master the various movements and postures of the practice, you will naturally learn to flow in a similar way with the energies of life. Like water flowing around rocks in a stream, you will move around obstacles, moving effortlessly toward the life of your dreams.

If you think you may be in the 75 percent of people who are chronically dehydrated and you want to drink more water, how about some easy tips that you can start today? Click the link:

10 WAYS TO DRINK 3 MORE GLASSES OF WATER PER DAY

What are your favorite ways to stay hydrated?

Please share in the comments!

What is Bo Yoga? Bo Yoga® Introduction Video

What is Bo Yoga? Bo Yoga® Introduction Video 1100 750 Nate Guadagni

Bo Yoga blends the best of Yoga, QiGong and Meditation into a simple and effective system, using a unique Balance Bar prop.

The Bo Yoga Balance Bar is a flexible, padded and stable prop which assists with balance, stability and mobility, making the movements of yoga and exercise safer, easier and more accessible.

Have you ever felt that you are too stiff to do yoga?

Or you don’t have enough balance, strength or flexibility to do the movements safely or correctly?

Do you have an old injury, a chronic condition or diagnosis that makes yoga especially challenging for you?

At Bo Yoga® we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to feel confident in their body.

Regardless of age, experience or physical condition, the Bo Yoga Balance Bar makes your movements easier, safer and more accessible.

The Balance Bar will meet you where you are and support your practice with:

  • Safer alignment
  • Better balance
  • Stability and control
  • Mobility and Range of Motion
  • Injury treatment and recovery

Bo Yoga offers group classes, private sessions, instructor trainings, workshops and retreats.

You can order your own Bo Yoga Balance Bar, Studio Set, DVD’s or Beginner Packages at our website: BoYoga.com/shop and have them shipped right to your door.

Get started today and discover the energy, balance and mindfulness that Bo Yoga can bring to your life.

How to Breathe Like a Baby

How to Breathe Like a Baby 1200 800 Nate Guadagni

Breathing correctly is the key to better fitness, muscle strength, stamina, and athletic endurance.

— Dr. Michael Yessis, President, Sports Training Institute

Have you ever watched a baby while he or she is asleep? They sleep so soundly and seem so totally relaxed, most adults can’t help but envy them a bit. As they sleep, the whole abdomen and chest rises and falls with each breath.

Really, that’s how we all should be breathing — deeply into our abdomen. Unfortunately, the stresses and tensions of life cause most of us to breathe much more shallowly, often only using a fraction of our lung capacity. This leaves us in a state of perpetual oxygen deprivation. We breathe enough to live, but not really enough to thrive as we could.

Scientists agree that oxygen plays a primary role in our overall health and well-being. Dr. Otto Warburg, president of the Institute of Cell Physiology and the only person to ever win the Nobel Prize in medicine twice, says, “Deep breathing techniques that increase oxygen to the cells are the most important factors in living a disease-free and energetic life… Remember: where cells get enough oxygen, cancer will not, cannot occur.” In his book Antioxidant Adaptation, biochemist Stephen Levine writes: “Oxygen plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of the immune system. We can look at oxygen deficiency as the single greatest cause of all diseases.”

Oxygen is the most important nutrient to the cells in your body, and it plays an integral role in almost every body function. It is responsible for producing up to 90 percent of your body’s energy, and it makes up approximately 96 percent of your body’s nutritional needs. You can live without food for forty days, without water for about seven days, but without oxygen you will die in just a few minutes.

Although water makes up 65 to 75 percent of the human body, oxygen makes up 90 percent of the water molecule. Our brains, the most oxygen-hungry part of our bodies, make up two percent of our total mass, yet requires 20 percent of the body’s oxygen needs.

In our bodies, 80 percent of all our metabolic energy production is created by oxygen. Our metabolic processes work to rid our bodies of waste and toxins. Even our abilities to think, feel, and act require oxygen-related energy production. Oxygen also plays a vital role in metabolic functions such as blood circulation, digestion, the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of wastes. Sufficient oxygen helps the body in its ability to rebuild itself and maintain a strong and healthy immune system.

During exercise oxygen is moved through the body by two of the vital organs — the heart and the lungs. The lungs bring oxygen into the body, which provides energy and removes carbon dioxide, while the heart pumps the oxygen to the muscles that are doing the exercise.

Traditional Asian medical practitioners understood this long before it was understood by Western scientists. The Chinese character chi, which is commonly understood to mean “energy,” more literally means “breath.” The greatest benefits of chi gong, tai chi, and other energy cultivation methods comes through the focused breathing exercises that combine the power of the mind with the power of the breath. In Bo Yoga, breath, combined with stretching and movement, acts like a pump that circulates the energy through the body.

Bo Yoga facilitates proper breathing in three major ways. First, the physical structures responsible for breathing are all enhanced through regular practice. The lungs, diaphragm, and intercostal muscles are all stretched and strengthened through Bo Yoga, which develops a larger and more stable lung capacity to bring more oxygen in and to move more carbon dioxide out.

Proper breathing is also dependent on proper posture. As you are reading this, check your posture for a moment, especially your spinal position. As you notice your posture, do you naturally straighten your spine and inhale? If you are like most people, your posture is mildly suffocating you and restricting the flow of oxygen to your body, brain, and to all of your cells. Bo Yoga helps alleviate skeletal problems caused by poor posture by opening joints and realigning the spine, which in turn allows for better, more complete breaths.

Also, the dynamic nature of the Bo Yoga class cultivates better breathing habits. The moderately strenuous, fast-paced warm-ups increase your heart rate and stimulate your muscles, which in turn increase your breathing rate and move oxygen rich blood to your whole body. The deep stretches and relaxation at the end of classes allow the heart and lungs to relax and fully absorb the oxygen into the cells.

Finally, the Bo Yoga class is filled with conscious reminders to breathe deeply and to be aware of your breath, which brings mindfulness and self-modification to your breathing patterns. You will develop better breathing habits naturally as you practice Bo Yoga, but to begin, try improving your breathing capacity through exercises that open your chest and lengthen your spine. Work on increasing your oxygen circulation to all the cells of your body through moderate exercise, stretching, and movement. Give your heart and lungs a break by learning how to slow down your nervous system with meditation and relaxation. You will learn more about this in chapter 7 of Bo Yoga : Taking Yoga Further, which is about stress relief.

Breathing is a critical element in all meditation and mindfulness practices because the breath is one of the few vital functions of the body that can be managed consciously. Unlike your heartbeat, your digestion, and other vital functions, your breath can be improved and developed immediately. Simply taking deeper breaths will instantaneously improve your blood pressure, heart rate, and nervous system. There is no question that lack of oxygen due to improper breathing is one of the most important problems to address when seeking to improve your energy and health.

Finally, breathing is critical for the expansion of your awareness of self as an energy being. Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga and author of Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential, writes: “If you close your eyes and begin to feel your breath, it will instantly become deeper and slower, and your mind will become calmer. Then gradually you’ll become aware of your body, or more precisely the subtle sense of energy inside and around your body. At that moment, you exist as Energy-Consciousness, not as names, jobs, duties, roles, desires, and so on.”

In other words, as you breathe in, you breathe in the energy of the universe and become one with the entire universe. As you breathe out, you return what you don’t need, and you ready yourself for the next breath. In this way, you become one with the constant ebb and flow that is high and low tide, night and day, waking and sleeping… the give and take that is the cycle of life itself.

Bo Yoga at Sunday Streets – Register Guard Article

Bo Yoga at Sunday Streets – Register Guard Article 750 1125 Nate Guadagni

Attendees at the Eugene Sunday Streets fair practice Bo Yoga in downtown Eugene on Sunday, July 31, 2016. (Adam Eberhardt/The Register-Guard)

Read the original article here.

Yoga can be practiced in a quiet forest or meadow. Or, as Nate Guadagni showed Sunday, it can be performed in a downtown square, even as people are bustling and live music is blaring.

Gaudagni did not have to contend with any revving car engines, however, as his yoga demonstration was part of the city of Eugene’s Sunday Streets gathering, a no-cars-allowed extravaganza now in its sixth year.

Several thousand people turned out on a sunny Sunday afternoon for an event that did allow some wheels — if they were of the bicycle, skateboard, rollerskate or wheelchair variety.

The event provided a range of activities, all the way from Pearl Street and the Park Blocks to the east, to Monroe Park and Adams Street to the west.

Attendees enjoyed demonstrations, dance parties, vendors and live music while rolling or walking the 11-block stretch of Broadway.

Guadagni, of Eugene Yoga, led a Bo Yoga class in the middle of Broadway between Pearl and Oak streets.

“I love training outdoors,” Guadagni said. “It’s the best training ground.”

Bo Yoga is a mixture of yoga, tai chi and meditation that involves using a flexible padded stick called a Bo Staff.

As Guadagni led the class, some struggled to focus amid the live music echoing from the Park Blocks. But it didn’t seem to faze Hazel Jones from enjoying the free 45-minute class.

“It’s such a great idea,” Jones said.

Of course, it helped that the weather was “perfect,” she added.

The Staff and the Body – Eugene Weekly Article

The Staff and the Body – Eugene Weekly Article 400 267 Nate Guadagni

The Staff and the Body

Bo Yoga brings martial arts to traditional practice

LEAD STORY | DECEMBER 31, 2015 | BY DAEMION LEE


Instructor Nate Guadagni leads a Bo Yoga class. Photo: Todd Cooper

Read Original Article Here
Like yoga but with a stick, Bo Yoga combines elements of yoga with a bo, a wooden staff used in the Japanese martial art of bojutsu. Those familiar with yoga may recognize hints of familiar poses like table or warrior, but it is a unique discipline, incorporating tai chi and dance.

Nate Guadagni, founder and instructor of Bo Yoga, says he came up with the idea while trying out different kinds of bo staffs.

“I realized it allowed me and my students to do a lot more,” Guadagni says about the plastic-and-foam bo he uses in class. “The bo staff allows you to use leverage.” And that means it is possible to stretch more deeply with less effort and strain. The practice is particularly helpful for people recovering from injuries, he says, as well as improving balance and self-discipline.

On a recently rainy morning, Guadagni led a small class of students at the Core Star Center near downtown Eugene.

Soft music fills the room as everyone stretches. At first, the bo staff feels awkward, but at the front of the room, Guadagni demonstrates. He shows the class how to place the staff across the shoulders, arms looped over the top. Next, he puts one end of the staff on the ground and leans against it, encouraging everyone to follow suit.

“Experiment,” Guadagni says. “See what works for you.”

After stretches, he moves to the upper body. With deft movements, he swings the bo in a figure eight around his body. The students imitate the movement, with an occasional bo staff falling to the floor. This is when the soft padding that encases the bo becomes important.

“Don’t be afraid to hit yourself,” Guadagni says with a grin. “It takes practice.”

Now to the lower body. He explains that most people need to strengthen their hips and legs, so this part of the routine is more rigorous. Extending arms and legs in a series of kicks, Guadagni urges everyone to hold the pose to the count of ten, balancing against the bo.

The class wraps up with the students lying on the floor, feeling energized and relaxed at the same time.

“It’s a nice blend of movement,” student Le Shufflebarger says about the class. “It’s something really unique.”

“To me it’s fun because the whole body is working,” says Hazel Jones, another student. “I feel like it centers me.”

Bo Yoga is more than exercise for the body; it has a mental and emotional component as well, helping to relieve stress and anxiety. Guadagni says he is working on an e-book and a series of DVDs to complement the practice of Bo Yoga and help people learn at home.

“It doesn’t really feel like it’s my idea,” he says. “It felt like inspiration.”

Classes are currently offered in Oregon and Illinois.

Stick to it – Eugene Magazine Article

Stick to it – Eugene Magazine Article 1256 1631 Nate Guadagni

STICK TO IT

BO STAFFS IN YOGA ASSIST WITH BALANCE AND MOTION

By Mecca Ray-Rouse | Published October 2016

Photo Credit : Stephanie Kuecker / Vivien Chao

Read Original Article here

“Let the bo staff do the work,” Nate Guadagni, founder of Bo Yoga in Eugene, says to his students Thursday morning.

Framed in white Christmas lights, a mirrored wall reflects Guadagni’s students—each with a flexible and padded bo staff.

Guadagni has been teaching yoga since he was 19. In 2013, he began experimenting with bo staffs that he purchased for martial arts practice. He soon realized that this type of staff could be used in yoga. Wrapped in new material, the ancient weapon became a tool for restoring and strengthening the body.

“The modern material adds the flexibility and the padding, which makes it way more useful than a stick,” Guadagni says.

In 2015, he left the company he was working for in order to develop Bo Yoga. He began classes in October 2015.

“People just started responding,” Guadagni says. “It was an immediate, positive response.”

Guadagni’s three pillars for Bo Yoga are energy, balance, and mindfulness. At the beginning of the class his students focus on loosening up the upper body, where people tend to hold most of their stress. Working from head to toe, Guadagni leads his classes through a series of stretches, core work, and balance poses, ending with meditation. During a pose, students use the bo staff for balance or support, or as a way to deepen the stretch by allowing the muscle to relax.

With the bo staff, yoga is more accessible to people who need extra support for safety.

“I want Bo Yoga to feel inviting,” Guadagni says. Yoga can be too demanding, challenging, or intimidating for some people. Guadagni’s class is designed to be fun, uncompetitive, and very beneficial.

“You’re going to get a mixture of the challenge that the body needs to build strength, balance, and flexibility, with the support that’s needed to make sure you’re doing it safely, effectively, and easily,” Guadagni says.

Students attend Guadagni’s class because of their interest in physical and emotional well-being. Though Bo Yoga primarily offers a physical benefit, it also offers an emotional benefit through regulated breathing.

“This has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, digestion problems, sleeping patterns, etc.” Guadagni says. “The meditation we do at the end can help with stress, mental issues, [and] negative thoughts.”

Many of Guadagni’s students have experienced these benefits since beginning Bo Yoga. A few of his students who came to his first class in October have become regulars.

“I get things here I don’t get at other places,” Hazel Jones says. She had never taken a yoga class before starting Bo Yoga in October. She likes that Bo Yoga focuses on breathing, balance, and being aware of outside factors.

With regard to the bo staff, student Le Shufflebarger says: “It makes you feel really safe. I’m glad [Nate] started this.”

Guadagni also offers an instructor course for those wanting to obtain a license to teach Bo Yoga. He hopes the Bo Yoga staff will become a staple in every yoga class. In the meantime, Guadagni will keep developing his practice and expanding the bo’s use.

“I’m excited to see where it ends up,” says Guadagni.

Guadagni currently teaches Bo Yoga at Eugene Yoga.

3575 Donald St.

458/205-8378

245 E Broadway

541/520-8771

eugeneyoga.us

boyoga.com

info@boyoga.com

How to turn New Year’s Resolutions into a lifestyle.

How to turn New Year’s Resolutions into a lifestyle. 500 333 Nate Guadagni

Have you wondered what the most popular resolutions are for 2017?

Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2017

Source: Statistic Brain / Survey : 1,129 paticipants
1. Lose Weight / Healthier Eating 21.4%
2. Life / Self Improvements 12.3%
3. Better Financial Decisions 8.5%
4. Quit Smoking 7.1%
5. Do more exciting things 6.3%
6. Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends 6.2%
7. Work out more often 5.5%
8. Learn something new on my own 5.3%
9. Do more good deeds for others 5.2%
10. Find the love of my life 4.3
11. Find a better job 4.1%
Other 13.8%

How many people do you think successfully achieve their NYR’s by the end of the year?

The statistics are shocking; only 16.3% of people over 50 achieve their New Year’s resolution each year.

Yet, before you throw your New Year’s resolutions out as a lost cause, consider this; people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions

So what makes it so hard to change?  It seems that setting a resolution once at the beginning of the year and expecting it to stick through the rest, is simply not a good strategy.

Rather than a one-time resolution, to create lasting change, we need a revolving system, one that we return to frequently to set, re-set and schedule our goals.

That is why I created the WHEEL template (Weekly Habit Exchange Exercise List) and use it myself to keep creating a Lifestyle Revolution, not just a New Year Resolution.

A Lifestyle Revolution is a constant process of choosing what kind of life is desired each week.

 

Here is a template hat you can use to create your own Lifestyle Revolution.

Weekly Habit Exchange Exercise List Example

DOWNLOAD BLANK TEMPLATE HERE

How to use the WHEEL Template:

  1. Fill out the 3 ESSENTIAL AREAS of your life that you want to create changes in this week. (Example : 1. Health 2. Finances 3. Relationships)
  2. Write down 3 things in the (+) column for each Essential Area that you want to ADD to your week (actions, decisions, etc)
  3. Write down 3 things in the (-) column for each Essential Area that you want to REMOVE or REDUCE from your week.
  4. Fill out the dates for the Month and the Days of this week.
  5. Schedule the things that are actionable into your weekly calendar.   (If things aren’t actionable like “less complaining” simply set an intention for a situation where this action might come up and choose to complain less.)
  6. Choose an Affirmation that you will repeat to yourself each day.

Affirmations are like seeds, they are small, but if you nourish them, they can grow powerful and fruitful.

Aim to repeat your affirmation 1,000 or more times per day.  The more you experience joy and excitement as you connect to your chosen reality, the faster it will come to be.

Please enjoy and share with someone you love.

DOWNLOAD HERE

 

50,000 Thoughts Per Day

50,000 Thoughts Per Day 1000 562 Nate Guadagni

Some say, “you are what you eat.” and others say “the shoes make the man.”

Although there may be some truth in these statements, upon deeper reflection I would say “you are what you think,” – or as Rene’ would say : “I think, therefore I am.”

The National Science Foundation reports that we have between 30,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day, about twenty million thoughts per year. As shockingly high as this may seem, it’s not surprising given the fact that our minds almost never stop thinking. Even more amazingly, we repeat 95 percent of the same thoughts we had the day before!

If our thoughts are practically the same day to day, it is likely that our attitude on most subjects has become ingrained, etched into the wiring of our brains. So, attitude is the way we typically think about what we encounter in the world: People with negative attitudes have minds dominated by negative thoughts, and people with positive attitudes have minds dominated by positive thoughts.

An attitude is nothing more than an evaluation of a subject or object that ranges from extremely negative to extremely positive. Although our attitude is divided into negative and positive polarities, the world actually isn’t divided into negative and positive things. When it rains, the sunglass salesman is unhappy while the raincoat saleswoman is overjoyed. When it snows, the skier is happy and the trucker is annoyed. Circumstances do not determine our negative or positive attitude because there are no inherently negative or positive circumstances.

So, who then decides your attitude? You do! We perceive things as negative or positive only because of our own interpretation, and realizing this is a huge step toward being able to create a more beneficial attitude. Prominent psychologist Gordon Allport describes attitude as “the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology.” Learning to create a new habit — the habit of positive attitude — is critical to changing ourselves for a better life.

Your thoughts are mainly structured in words that comprise your inner voice and self-talk. It’s the voice that is reading this book to you in your head right now. It’s also the voice that may pipe up right before you have a speech to say either “you can do this, and it will be fun” or “you’re going to mess this up, and everyone will think you’re an idiot.” This is the voice that is talking to you non-stop, 50,000 thoughts a day, 20 million times per year, with almost nothing new to say. If you want to develop the resilient, can-do attitude you need to succeed, you need to train this inner voice to support you unconditionally.

Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Happy for No Reason, says, “Research shows 80 percent of our thoughts are weighted toward the negative.” This means that if we have 50,000 thoughts a day, 40,000 are leaning negative. It may not seem like negative thoughts can do any real harm since they are just thoughts, but this is not the case. They have serious impact on our physical and mental health. Researchers have linked negative attitudes to addictions, psychosomatic disorders, anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physical problems.

Shimoff states that a positive attitude “is a specific, measurable physiological state characterized by distinct brain activity, heart rhythms, and body chemistry. People who are happy for no reason tend to have greater activity in the left prefrontal cortex, orderly heart wave patterns, and specific neurotransmitters associated with well-being such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.” The Mayo Clinic adds that “positive thinking can result in longer life, elevated moods, lowered stress, a boosted immune system, a stronger sense of wellbeing, and better coping skills during stressful events.”

The Mayo Clinic categorizes negative thinking in four categories: filtering, personalizing, catastrophizing, and polarizing. Understanding these types of negative thinking can help you recognize, and possibly change, how they play out in any negative attitudes that are affecting your life. Here is an explanation of each one:

Filtering means that you filter out the positive parts of a situation and focus only on the negative parts. For instance, after working on a long project, you might reject all of the compliments that you received and only remember the criticism.

Personalizing is the tendency to automatically blame yourself when something bad happens. For example, if an evening with friends is cancelled, you might assume that it’s because nobody wants to be around you.

Catastrophizing is expecting the worst possible outcome to any situation. For example, if your spouse doesn’t come home on time, you might think that he or she is cheating on you or has crashed the car.

Polarizing is a type of black and white thinking that equates anything less than perfection with failure. For instance, if you were to say something awkward at a party, you might feel the whole night is ruined.

Do you recognize any of these mental habits in your own attitudes? More than likely, if you are honest with yourself, you will recognize that you have fallen into these psychological traps at some time or another, if not often. Don’t feel bad about that; every person on the planet, me included, has at one time or another. You might even call these tendencies “human nature.” The important thing is to be able to see yourself clearly enough to realize when you are using them. Then, you will have taken the first major leap toward changing them.

The good news is that it’s just as easy to think positively as it is to think negatively. Look back at the four categories to negative thinking, and simply reverse them to apply them to positive thinking. Instead of filtering for the negative parts of a situation, try to sift through and highlight the positive parts of it. While everyone is griping about the bad acting in the movie, you can point out something that you appreciated, such as the great music or the beautiful cinematography. Instead of personalizing a situation and blaming yourself, de-personalize the situation and let go of it: “They didn’t cancel the dinner because I was going. I’m sure something else must have come up.” Instead of catastrophizing things, zoom back and put them in a larger perspective. “I may have lost a client, but I haven’t lost my job.” And instead of polarizing things into good and bad categories, see things in shades of grey. “I didn’t win the game, but there are lots of things that I learned, and I had some fun, too.”

People often reject positive thinking as unrealistic or as a way of living in denial, yet it’s important to remember that nothing is inherently good or bad. It’s only good or bad depending on the investment and relationship to the people involved. Reframing things from negatives to positives also doesn’t require any bending of the truth; it is just as accurate to point out a positive feature as a negative one. The main difference between negative and positive thinking is the effect they have on our attitude, our energy levels, and eventually our health.

The most powerful way to improve your attitude is to practice appreciation. Appreciation shines light on any subject to reveal hidden positives, and it instantly begins to improve your

mood and puts things into perspective. And best of all, appreciation costs nothing and requires virtually no effort to implement. Nothing in your life needs to change for you to change how much you appreciate the things that are already in your life.

This ability to choose our attitude is the essence of Bo Yoga Philosophy. Here is a picture that I have framed in my room to remind me to choose a positive attitude no matter what happens to me.

Philosophy of a Bo Yoga Practitioner

Every irritation: a lesson in patience

Every setback: a lesson in persistence

Every fear: a lesson in courage

Every hatred: a lesson in love

Every judgment: a lesson in acceptance

Every failure: a lesson in excellence

Every injury: a lesson in awareness

Every loss: a lesson in self-reliance

Every insult: a lesson in confidence

Every pain: a lesson in pleasure

Every sickness: a lesson in health

Every death: a lesson in life

Every person: a lesson in self

For your own PDF download to print, save or share, click here: Philosophy of a Bo Yoga Practitioner