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You Moustache The Secret to a Perfect Body (mostly the music) November 20, 2021

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Music, Philosophy, Yoga.
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Outside of our “thread,” today is World Children’s Day, the commemoration of the United Nations General Assembly adopting the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, today in 1959.

Please join me for a 90-minute virtual yoga practice on Zoom today (Saturday, Movember 20th) at 12:00 PM. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or by emailing myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Saturday’s playlist is available  on YouTube and Spotify.

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

 

 

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I Moustache You This Important Question, Again (the music w/a link) November 3, 2021

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Health, Music.
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Please join me today (Wednesday, Movember 3rd) at 4:30 PM or 7:15 PM for a yoga practice on Zoom. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You will need to register for the 7:15 PM class if you have not already done so. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or by emailing myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Wednesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify. [Look for “Movember 3rd 2020”]

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, playlists, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). If you don’t mind me knowing your donation amount you can also donate to me directly. Donations to Common Ground are tax deductible; class purchases and donations directly to me are not necessarily deductible.)

Click here for last year’s post related to this practice.

### How Are You Today? ###

Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Moustache Today November 4, 2020

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Art, Changing Perspectives, First Nations, Fitness, Healing Stories, Health, Life, Men, Music, One Hoop, Philosophy, Poetry, Science, Texas, Wisdom, Writing, Yoga.
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“Well, what shall I talk about? I ain’t got anything funny to say. All I know is what I read in the papers.”

– Will Rogers

Since I started doing Movember classes, almost a decade ago, people have asked (and I have wondered) whether this month dedicated to “changing the face of men’s health” has made a difference. I say yes, and have anecdotal evidence to back it up; but a lot of the scientific evidence is based on the importance of stage migration, whereby improved detection of an illness leads to a change in the average life expectancy of people who are clinically healthy and also the average life expectancy of people who are considered unhealthy.

As recently as last year, Italian researchers were studying how improved diagnostic scanning could improve life expectancy as well as quality of life for patients with oligometastatic prostate cancer. Another example of this type of stage migration in prostate cancer was documented in 2005 by researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut. Researchers had noticed a decline in the reported incidence of “low-grade” prostate cancers and, therefore, a change in overall life expectancy of people with prostate cancer. Based on a “population-based cohort of 1,858 men,” 75 years or older, the researchers compared prognosis and outcomes of prostate tissue (“retrieved and reread in 2002-2004”) based on the original Gleason score readings versus more contemporary interpretations of the Gleason score.

The Gleason score is a combination of two “grades” assigned to the two most dominant tissue cell patterns (with the lowest “grade” being the closest to normal or healthy tissue). The more contemporary readings changed which tissue patterns were considered “low grade” cancer, hence the decline in population numbers. However, they also found that since the contemporary score readings were significantly higher than the original readings, the overall mortality rate lowered by 28%. Both the examples above (from Italy and Connecticut) are indicate how early detection saves lives. They are also classic examples of why stage migration is known as “the Will Rogers phenomenon.”

“When the Oakies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states.”

– Will Rogers

Born today in 1879, in Oologah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), Will Rogers was known as “America’s Cowboy Philosopher,” “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son,” and “Ambassador to the World.” He was a cowboy and circus performer, a stage and motion picture actor, as well as a vaudeville performer, a humorist, and a syndicated newspaper columnist. He was also a Cherokee citizen who traveled the world three times and was, at one time, the highest paid Hollywood star.

Rogers was known for his folksy, down-home wit and his rope tricks. His smile, attitude, and intellect allowed him to make fun of everyone from politicians to gangsters (yes, there’s a Will Rogers’s joke in there) and everything from prohibition to gender interactions (and, yes, there’s probably a joke in there too). He once joked that his ancestors weren’t on the Mayflower, but that “they met the boat” and was proud of the fact that while he could joke about everyone, he’d never met a man he [didn’t] like.

While he spun his jokes, Will Rogers spun his rope. He earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records by simultaneously throwing a rope around a horse’s neck, a second rope around the rider, and a slipping a third rope under the horse so he could loop all four legs together. He randomly roped a wild steer in Madison Square Garden, before it could hurt an spectators – gaining front page attention and a job on a rooftop: just him, his rope, and his horse. He eventually performed with the Ziegfeld Follies, appeared on Broadway, and showed he could rift about anything and anybody – including President Woodrow Wilson.

“A gag, to be any good, has to be fashioned about some truth. The rest you get by your slant on it and perhaps by a wee bit of exaggeration, so’s people won’t miss the point.”

– Will Rogers

He was also known for getting people to laugh at themselves – a skill which enabled him to serve as a goodwill ambassador to Mexico and mayor of Beverly Hills. Will Rogers was a symbol of the self-made man and the common man, who believed in working hard, progress, and the possibility of the American Dream. All of which is pretty ironic when you consider that when he was growing up (as the youngest of 8), his father thought he needed to “be more responsible and more business-minded.” While he did eventually buy land in Oklahoma, where he had intended to retire, Will Rogers did not follow in his father’s footsteps. On the flip side, the three of his four children who survived into adulthood all seemed to follow some aspect of Will Rogers: one was a World War II hero who starred in two films (as his father) and served in Congress; one was a newspaperman who worked a ranch; and his only daughter became a Broadway actress.

“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

– Will Rogers

Please join me today (Wednesday, Movember 4th) at 4:30 PM or 7:15 PM for a yoga practice on Zoom. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You will need to register for the 7:15 PM class if you have not already done so. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or by emailing myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Wednesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify. [“Look for “Mov 4th & Will Rogers 2020”]

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

Don’t forget to add the first “Friday Night Special” on Friday, Movember 6th to your schedule!

“Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.”

– Will Rogers

### “Common sense ain’t common.” WR ###

I Moustache You An Important Question November 3, 2020

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Changing Perspectives, Depression, Fitness, Food, Healing Stories, Health, Karma Yoga, Life, Men, Science, Wisdom, Yoga.
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Today is a big day. Not just in the United States, but all over the world, today is a day for changing and also for gaining insight. Today is Movember 3rd – also known as the 3rd day of No(shave)mber, a month dedicated to “changing the face of men’s health.” This month of awareness started in Melbourne, Australia in 2004, but has its origins in a 1999 story about a group in Adelaide, South Australia who were coined the word “Movember.” The Adelaide group of about 80 spent the month “growing whiskers for whiskers” (possibly while drinking whiskey since they started in a pub) while also raising money for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) by selling Movember t-shirts.

When Adam Garone, Travis Garone, Luke Slattery, and Justin (JC) Coughlin started the Melbourne group, of 30 “Mo bros” raising awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health (specifically depression), they didn’t realize that they were starting a movement. In 2005, almost 500 people joined the original 30 and raised over $40,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the PCFA’s largest donation at the time. Today the Movember Foundation is an official charity in Australia and the movement has spread all over the world. Furthermore, the movement no includes “Mo sistahs”and other “Mo folks” and the focus has shifted to all aspects of men’s health and the discrepancies between men’s health and women’s health.

“Globally, men die an average of six years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.”

“Mo your own way….”

 

– quoted from the (US) Movember website

Statistics show that the average life expectancy for men is 76.2 years, versus 81 years for women. This year, 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer (versus 1 in 3 women) and that a third of all cancers are preventable through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. Those same lifestyle choices benefit everyone’s cardiovascular systems, digestive systems, and mental health. Yet, a large percentage of men are overweight (with 34.9% of Americans, in general, considered obese).

The term “obese” is tricky, especially in the United States, because our metrics can diagnose a very fit and muscular person as “obese.” Consider this then: 12.1% of men over the age of 18 are in fair to poor health – and suffer from diabetes and heart disease without even knowing it.

Globally, around 9.9 million men (1 in 7) are diagnosed with prostate cancer – which is treatable and recoverable – while testicular cancer (which is also treatable and recoverable) is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. There’s about 70,000 new cases of testicular cancer every year, with a little over half a million men (worldwide) living with (or beyond) it. The risk of both prostate cancer and testicular cancer increase if someone has a brother or father who has had that particular cancer; if a person has African-American ancestry; and (in the case of testicular cancer) if they have previously had that type of cancer. To make matters worse, men can also get breast cancer – which also has a genetic component.

All of the physical aspects of poor health take a mental health toll in a typical year. Keep in mind, however that 2020 has been anything but typical – especially when it comes to mental health. Then consider that earlier this year about 51.5 million Americans adults reported experiencing mental health issues within previous 12 months and that that was an increase from previous years. In previous years, 15 million Americans (in general) were specifically diagnosed with depression. In 2018, an estimated 11.4 million people attempted suicide – with 48,344 Americans reported as dying from suicide. However, men die by suicide almost 4 times more than in women, and the highest rate of suicide is in middle-ages white men (who accounted for 69.67% of the suicides indicated above). Veterans are also at a high risk for suicide, regardless of gender.

And, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: gender. One set of stats that is only recently being tracked is the physical and mental health of transgender people. Just as diet and exercise affect physical and mental, so too does everyone’s level of hormones – which means hormone treatments could increase or decrease risk of certain illnesses. Additionally, physical and mental health improves when people have emotional support on their life’s journey. In my opinion, the high rate of suicide within the transgender community – as well as the high rate of violence against transgender people – indicates a lack of support and awareness. Thankfully, this is changing; however, as our perceptions change we need to make sure we do not leave transgender (or even non-binary) people out of the conversation.

  1. Spend time with people who make you feel good.

  2. Talk, more.

  3. Know the numbers. (If you are male and over 45, ask your doctor if you need a PSA test.)

  4. Know thy nuts. Simple.

  5. Move, more.”

 

– quoted from the (US) Movember website

According to the (US) Movember website, “70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends.” This is always a wild (and frankly ridiculous) static to me – but it points directly to the stigma and social mores or norms that make it challenging to be a healthy man in today’s society. Don’t get me wrong, as Dr. M. Scott Peck pointed out, “Life is difficult” for everyone. The individual aspects of each person’s life comes with distinct physical and mental health risks; however, life is easier and people are healthier when we pay attention to what we’re feeling and also share what we’re feeling with people who respect us and treat us well. If you can’t count five people (or even three people) with whom you can have a mutually beneficial conversation – and between those five or three conversations cover every subject under the sun – you might want to consider how that lack of support translates into your quality of life and general well-being.

  1. Get your annual physical.

  2. Don’t smoke.

  3. Stay active.

  4. Eat heart healthy foods.

  5. Manage your stress.

  6. Drink in moderation.

  7. Know your family history.”

 

– Tips printed in Men’s Health

Please join me today (Tuesday, Movember 3rd) at 12 Noon or 7:15 PM for a virtual yoga practice on Zoom, where will get our mou(ve) on. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below.

Tuesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify. [Look for “Movember 3rd 2020”]

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

Don’t forget to add the first “Friday Night Special” on Friday, November 6th to your schedule!

If you are thinking about suicide, worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, you can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also call the TALK line if you are struggling with addiction or involved in an abusive relationship. The Lifeline network is free, confidential, and available to all 24/7. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT ANYTHING.

### MO BREATHE, MO BETTA ###