Day two of our yoga retreat in San Diego. We were going to start the day with a half an hour of meditation at 6:30 a.m., but instead had a discussion about meditation! I had a handout which prompted a discussion/lecture, so I just went with the flow on this one.
This morning’s sunrise at Villa on the Bay:
Here are the notes from my handout about the effects of meditation on the body, the brain, and the emotions:
Meditation has positive influences on the body:
1. Increases blood flow, lowers heart rate and decreases blood pressure
2. Decreases muscle tension and body pain
3. Helps with post-operative healing, PMS, and chronic diseases such as allergies and arthritis
4. Enhances the immune system, reduces activity of viruses and increases “natural killer cells” which attack bacteria and cancer cells.
5. Increases health and positive health habits, including an increase in exercise tolerance and a decrease in cigarette, alcohol and drug abuse.
Meditation has positive influences on the brain:
1. Organizes brain functioning
2. Improves cognitive function, focus, perception, and memory
3. Improves productivity, intelligence and creativity
Meditation has positive influences on the emotions:
1. Lowers anxiety attacks by lowering blood lactate levels
2. Builds self-confidence
3. Increases the response time for emotional reactivity, so you think before you blow your stack!
4. Increases serotonin production (a neurotransmitter that boosts mood)
5. decreases depression
We had a beautiful sunrise and practiced our morning yoga session outside.
After yoga and breakfast, we rented bikes from the Catamaran Spa and went on a two hour bike ride. It was a very pleasant bike ride. It’s Sunday in sunny San Diego and everyone is out and about today, casually strolling and enjoying life.
Rick’s gargantuan calves:
I found out more about Jeanne’s horse sculpture that I am so drawn to. The artist is a very well known sculptor from L.A. famous for his equine art, David Huenergardt. I looked him up on line and saw Jeanne’s sculpture featured on his website. (http://www.coittowergallery.com/Equine%20Sculpture.html) The horse is mounted on the wall here facing east as if she is running toward Mission Bay. On the website, she is facing west. The sculpture is an interpretation of a horse named Ruffian. Ruffian was an American champion thoroughbred racehorse, considered to be among the greatest racehorse of all time! Sadly, she fractured her leg during one of her races and had to be put down.
We had a fabulous cioppino (seafood) soup for dinner. We ate slowly, savoring the tasty meal, enjoying each others’ company, telling funny stories (we have some great story tellers in this group!!), while Ruffian, whose sculpture graces the wall next to the dining room table, seemingly ran at full speed towards the bay. I want to tell Ruffian it’s a really good idea to slow down every once in a while. You just can’t keep going at full speed, Ruffian. Stop and smell the grass, Ruffian! Please.