Pro-Active Anti-Aging Tips

Pro-Active Anti-Aging Tips
The River of Life

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yoga Today- Neutrality

In yoga our ultimate goal is to become one with the spiritual force of the universe. This is a place of complete balance. The closest we can come to this here on earth is through meditation. But this requires that we clear the mind of all thought. The body and the mind exist in the material world. They are tethered to the world by the ego.

The spiritual world is beyond the material world, so as long as we have thoughts we are bound by the forces of karma to the material world. Thought are material- they manifest.

When you meditate pay careful attention to the thoughts that arise. All thoughts are like strings that keep us tied to emotions; both positive and negative.

 Ultimately we are striving for a state of complete neutrality. But we are humans here on earth living an earthly life which is full of emotional states such as anger, fear, hurt, greed, misperceptions and pride. So the first thing to do is move away from negative emotions and focus on positive emotions. Because it is positive emotions that neutralize negative emotions. The second step is to remove even the positive emotions and simply observe. Emotions throw us into action and action creates karma. Ultimately we are striving to become the observant one. Simply observe life and you will find a state of peacefulness and this state of peacefulness will bring contentment to your soul. With contentment comes happiness and then your soul is free to open the doorway to spirituality.

The sitting Zen is the closest we can come to experiencing this neutrality. So let’s begin our practice today with a sitting Zen. Close your eyes, clear your mind and simply focus on three deep long breathes.

Pay attention to your emotions as they arise. Observe them and you will notice how even the positive ones disturb a state of peacefulness. However, if negative emotions arise quickly change them to a positive emotion. If you feel anger, observe,and then change your thoughts to that of compassion. Remember we are all humans and we are all here doing the best we can.

The goal of yoga is to bring balance to your life and thus attain happiness. You cannot become happy until you balance your life. So seek balance in all things and in all things find balance.

Doctor Lynn



Friday, August 28, 2015

Proactive Aging - A Case for a Handkerchief

My father always carried a white handkerchief and my mother always stuffed a lacy embroidered one in my little handbags when I was a young girl. It was considered proper etiquette to have a hanky available for those times when the nose runs. Now that I’m getting older (and so are you, my dear friends) I’m starting to experience an age related issue that only a handkerchief can solve. I have developed what is called rhinitis.

 As we age the nasal lining becomes thin just like the skin on the back of your hand. This makes the mucus that was once thick now watery. Instead of us swallowing it back down (yes we do that!) it simply runs out of the end of the nose. We simply lose control over this flow of bodily fluid.

You may notice that you suffer more during the day. This is because when we are upright, blood flow increases, just as it does when you eat or drink. Outside temperature, spicy foods, hot foods and even emotions can speed up the flow of this watery fluid.

It is extremely common for people as they age to experience this issue. In fact it has been reported that more than half the people over seventy have the dew drop problem on the tip of their nose. There are many other causes such as allergies and hay fever, but here I’m focusing on the aging of the nasal cavity. It’s not a disease, but a natural part of aging and that is why you always saw your grandparents with handkerchiefs neatly tucked in their pockets or up their sleeves. I’ve become one of those people. I never leave the house without a couple of tissues tucked into my pocket. And you know what? My friends are experiencing the same problem!

We no longer use handkerchiefs which is really too bad. Tissues are quickly discarded and not recycled like a handkerchief. But long before tissues, handkerchiefs were an important statement of style.

It is believed that the handkerchief originated in China. However, it appears the first handkerchiefs were paper. When I was in China many years ago toilet paper and tissues were a luxury. If you did not have your own tissues you could find yourself in trouble.  I have squatted over an open toilet in China and been forever grateful for the tissues I had tucked in my shirt pocket.

Fabric handkerchiefs are believed to have originated in Rome around 1000BC. Primarily used by the wealthy to wipe away sweat, they were a marker of status and wealth. King Louie XVI declared that no handkerchief could be larger than his and that they all had to be square. No hanky panky in his court!

White was the color that ruled until about 1920. Then they began to take on color. Women would embroider lace or colored thread around the edges as a symbol of importance.

Handkerchiefs have many used for: blowing the nose, wiping sweat,  a head band, a signal device, to be chivalrous(nothing says manliness than a man giving a woman his handkerchief to dry her tears), a container, a bandage, a tourniquet, tie a splint, immobilize a sprained ankle, as a sling, camouflage, dust mask, potholder, toilet paper and on and on…

They have even been used by magicians to perform magic illusions by waving a hanky over an object to distract you from what he was doing with his other hand. This prestidigitation and the fact that the hanky concealed something illicit going on led to the phrase “hanky panky.”  What does “panky’ mean? Really it means nothing, but it rhymed nicely with hanky and so we got the phrase “hanky panky” for anything that might be- well you know…illicit.

Whether it’s for style, fashion or the plain old ordinary use of a handkerchief it is like having a good friend who doesn’t judge. It just catches your tears, swipes your brow and your wipes your nose.

A natural health tip: If you want to add something soothing try putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the handkerchief and breathe it in throughout the day. Short whiffs of the oil will help to dry the nose and relieve any uncomfortable drainage. Peppermint, and lavender oils can also be used.

How many times do you use one tissue? I must admit I use one tissue twice before throwing it away. With a handkerchief I think I could fold it and reuse it throughout the day and at the end of the day put it in the wash to be recycled. So the next time you see someone with a handkerchief stuffed up their sleeve remember it is less about fashion, more about necessity and a clear statement of environmental concern.

Wouldn’t it be nice if some things like handkerchiefs came back in vogue? We’d save money, recycle and always be prepared for those little moments in life when we all need  is a hanky (without the panky) to dry the dew drops of life.

Doctor Lynn





Friday, August 21, 2015

Karma Lesson – Gravity’s a Bitch!

Take care of your health because with each passing decade it’s a little harder to stay fit. What you do today will be realized tomorrow. That’s Karma and like gravity is a bitch to fight!

From the moment we stand upright gravity is pulling us down. When we’re young and growing the force of life defy gravity, but as we age gravity defies us. That is why I love inverted yoga poses. They change the force of gravity by changing the flow of blood away from pooling at the lower body and back towards the upper body.

The effects of gravity don’t really matter until that first day you look down and your ankles are beginning to swell. You look up and you see the skin beneath your jaw line beginning to sag. It’s an OMG moment!

Inversions like all things in life should be done with a bit of caution. There are certain contraindications that should be observed so as not to make things worse, such as high blood pressure, some heart conditions, neck injuries, recent strokes, detached retina, glaucoma and epilepsy. Talk with your doctor before starting yoga if you have any of these or other concerns.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to do inversions:

Improve your facial skin and hair. There are reasons why our skin gets dry and our hair gets limp as we age. One of the reasons is gravity. Bodily fluids such as nutrient rich blood and oxygen get distributed throughout the body via the heart. But upright the heart has to work over time to pump up to the head. An inversion makes the work easier and allows nutrient rich blood and oxygen to bathe the upper body. Remember with Karma; life becomes what life does. We can direct our energy to create anything we desire. So upside down in a forward bend we go and our skin and hair will thank us.

 Inversions improve immunity by assisting the lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is a key player in keeping you healthy.  It moves through your body picking up toxins and bacteria and eliminating them. Because  lymph moves as a result of movement and gravity, getting upside down allows lymph to move more easily to the respiratory system(your lungs) where many toxins enter the body.

Inversions shunt more blood to the brain which both invigorates us physically and brings mental vitalization. Got the four o’clock slump? Get upside down and breathe!

Inversions calm the nervous system thereby bringing calmness and balance to our mental processing.

Inversions improve body balance. They work the core muscles, as well as, the equilibrium to improve our sense of balance.

Literally inversions give us a new perspective on life. We all react to our world in predictable ways. We spend most of our life being upright or laying down. Inversions teach us that here are other ways to deal with life’s situations. Sometimes, as Jimmy Buffett put it,”a change in latitude, a change in attitude, nothing remains quite the same.”

Inversions make us feel playful and playfulness makes us feel young. When was the last time you hung upside down from a monkey bar? They remind us that although yoga is a contemplative practice it can also be fun.

Some great inversions to try are down dog, standing forward bend and legs against the wall. If you really want to challenge yourself try shoulder stand and head stands. Make sure you do these with the help of a teacher.

Whatever you do try tipping gravity upside down on its head and take a look at life from a different perspective. It will keep you open and flexible and that is one of the secrets to staying young and taking a proactive approach to aging!     

Doctor Lynn

Try Doctor Lynn’s Anti-Aging Yoga Dance


Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Meditation is a Proactive Form of Anti-Aging?

Meditation is as difficult to define as it appears to be able to perform. However, it has been scientifically proven to be a great tool for reducing stress and thereby slowing the aging process. Stress is probably the number factor when it comes to aging. Sure unhealthy habits and an unhealthy lifestyle contribute to premature aging, but often times it is stress that is behind those unhealthy habits.

Meditation is purported to increase happiness, decrease stress, improve health, slow the aging process, reduce anxiety and bring us inner peace. This may sound like a lot of hyperbole, but research now supports that meditation can boost immunity while helping to reduce cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, combat insomnia and fight depression.  High cortisol levels and high blood pressure along with insomnia and depression are factors that contribute to speeding up the aging process.

What meditation does is bring balance to the autonomic nervous system. Neurons in your body carry involuntary messages to the autonomic nervous system. The word autonomic in Greek means self- governing. Literally this part of the nervous system takes care of you. In general it works to bring homeostasis or balance to the body. It does this by carrying messages that speed up or slow down the activities of your heart, glands, muscles, digestion, excretory and  circulatory systems. The messages are carried on separate neurons separating the autonomic nervous system into two parts; the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system. Generally speaking the sympathetic nervous system gets the body ready to combat stress where the parasympathetic nervous system slows the body down and seeks to restore energy. We need both, but we also need the energy of the body to be balanced between stagnation and hyperactivity. It’s called homeostasis.  

By training your brain to be less responsive to stress you can literally rewire your entire being to find a state of complete balance in the mist of chaos. Reducing stress and developing a more positive outlook on life is a Proactive approach to anti-aging. 

What is meditation? To speak of meditation is a contradiction. Meditation is silence, stillness and peacefulness. But in a world of symbols (language) we are left with at best an awkward way to define it.  Meditation is really a glimpse of ultimate reality which teaches us that we are not separate from the universe. This requires our ability to let go of the constant chatter in our minds and focus on silence. Meditation is somewhat like dancing. When we dance we do not aim to arrive at a particular spot on the floor. The dance is simply about the journey and not the destination. Meditation is the discovery that the point of the journey is arrived at in the immediate moment. When we become quiet and cease our internal chatter, we discover the flow of the dance or the present eternal now.

There is no standard definition for meditation. Every culture seems to have its own version of meditation. However, in an examination of all cultures it becomes apparent that all perceive meditation as being about union, balance, the experience and connection with the present now.

In the first book of genesis chaos is depicted as being reduced to order by the separation of opposites; day to night, water to land and light to darkness. Meditation therefore seeks to bring about the reunion of opposites or polarities into a state of peace and serenity.

What is clear with all disciplines is that meditation is an experience. It is an experience that is so highly valued that it is consider an inward art. Paradoxically the meditator both returns to the center of self while simultaneously transcending the limitation imposed upon self. The essence of meditation is that a person experiences an intuitive ink that expands the mind beyond imagination. So let’s just say that meditation is an experience and that experience is a moment we would all like to have. People spend millions of dollars to find peace and serenity. But really it cost you nothing and is so easy to have.

What do I need to meditate?  Sometimes we empty the mind and sometimes we fill the mind by focusing on specific thoughts or sounds. With practice the goal is to balance the two opposing forces of the universe and create union. To do this we need to experience flow or the movement of oneness. You don’t need elaborate equipment or extensive training to meditate. It has no unpleasant side effects. It require only a few minutes. In my video Take Five – learn to meditate in five minutes,

I introduce the student to what is required to sit quietly and meditate.  All you need is a clean warm room, loose clothing, a yoga mat, either music or not, aromatherapy or not, and being open to reuniting yourself.

What will I get out of it? The better you get at incorporating meditation into your life  the more you will see personal growth, increased wisdom and a sense of fulfillment come  into your life. Karma will be much easier to understand and to work through. Your decisions will become more focused and your reactions to life a lot calmer. Appreciation and gratefulness will abide. Your stress levels will be lowered and your general overall health will improve. You’ll slow down a bit and begin to experience the moments of life. Meditation will keep you vital and strong. You will learn how to act proactively as you age. Body, mind and soul will find a place of balance and balance is the essence of health.

How do I meditate? There are two ways to meditate; active and passive. There are also two mind sets. One is to empty the mind and the other is to give the mind something to focus on such as the breath. Either way both require the use of the breath. We also need an open and ready attitude. This is the ability to just let go and let consciousness slip into the subconscious. Don’t try to meditate. Just breathe and let it happen.

We can meditate by sitting still on a yoga mat or lying down. It is best to hold a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep. Cross legged in easy pose, the lotus pose or the adept pose is usually used for sitting. Corpse pose is usually used for a lying position. In my video Take Five we sit quiet in a room with candles and soft music. Music is used because it is the easiest and fastest way to experience meditation. When listening to music we are in the moment of the note. We cannot hear the note in front of us or the note we last heard. The mind empties itself and simply follows the music just as it follows the breath.

With the eyes closed we focus on the inhale and the exhale of the breath. This is the expansion and contraction of life. By giving the mind something to focus on, such as the breath, it becomes quiet and still. The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems find a state of balance or homeostasis. We’ve all been told that when we are about to lose our temper to take a deep breath and count to ten. A deep breath creates calmness. It reduces stress.

Sometimes we add aromatherapy to a meditative ritual. Scents have been used since the beginning of civilization in rituals and worships.

When you first begin to meditate you will notice that your breath seems to run freely. You will become aware of how your breath automatically happens to you without you consciously participating. By focusing on this we begin to see the division between what seems to happen to us and what we can control. Like all things in life we can learn to control the nature of each and every breath we take. Focused control is merely a conscious process. By watching the voluntary and involuntary aspects of breathing we experience the flow of energy even when we are not conscious of it. At the same time understand how to harness and control energy.

As you begin to focus on your breath you will discover that your breathing gets deeper and deeper. Envision a whirl of white light releasing out from the body and then returning as you breathe in.

This slow deep rhythmic breathing allows us to enter the deeper state of meditation.

Quietly and calmly experience the sensation of breathing in and releasing out. Don’t hurry or fret about your progress. Simply observe the experience and connect in the moment.


Meditation can be incorporated into every aspect of your life. Remember meditation is also active. While teaching my cycle classes I have my students use a seven minute song and try and experience the moments where they are one with the movement of the cycle. This is the flow or the experience.  It’s a moment of meditation. Zen calls this being in the moment. This means that any activity from the most mundane (doing dishes) to the most intense can be an experience of meditation. You just need to learn to stay focused and aware in the moment.

Don’t worry if you have a hard time letting go. Try my Take Five video. It is an easy introduction into meditation and something you can do in five minutes. As I remind my students to achieve anything in life takes practice and practice means commitment to your work or your karma. Be good to yourself and Take Five because anyone can find five minutes a day to improve the quality of life.  Meditation will bring you, health, happiness and peace; could you want for anything more?  


Doctor Lynn