1.22.2011

Are you out of your senses???

My sister recently lent me an excellent book and it has got me thinking about how we go through this life, sniffing, caressing, glancing, harking, and savoring. In
A Natural History of the Senses
, by Diane Ackerman, you start with the nose and move along through our 5 fabulous perception options.

It has me thinking about sensory deprivation. So far, a couple of people that lost their sense of smell in the book feel lost from their own lives, homes, spouses, and that's not to mention the difficulties of trying to actually enjoy food without olfactory assistance. Helen Keller is brought up a few times. Any time I thought of her before reading this I sort of felt sorry for her, but in this book I learn the other side. Her sense of taste, touch, and smell are so enhanced that you might argue she lived a life more sensual and rich than most!

I am thinking of my own nose and a few special scents that are indeed complexly and inexorably linked to my memories. I have a certain conditioner that takes me right back to summer vacations with my dear family down by the ocean. A special Egyptian-reminiscent perfume and there I am on prom night, 17. Warm Vanilla sugar lotion transports me to my college road trip to the eastern Australian coast, and on and on. Do you have any special smells like these? It's fascinating and sad that a loss of smell is sometimes correlated with Alzheimer's disease. It's amazing how scent is so indescribable, yet so effective at drawing us out of our present moment. Perhaps it could also sink us more deeply? In yoga I often apply my herbal eye pillow of lavender and chamomile, I think I'll make it a point to do that more regularly.

I shall continue this theme for a few posts, tune in next time for touch.

Namaste,
Katherine

1.16.2011

Are you on the D List???

You may have heard discussion lately over one of the hottest vitamins around: the Big D! Some recent research has shown that a chunk of us don't have enough D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble secosteriod and is produced in your skin upon exposure to you guessed it: sunlight! While you don't want to give up sunscreen and avoiding our solar friend at his strongest is still wise, a few minutes of sun per day DOES give you enough D to be healthy. Once generated, Vit D heads to the liver and other areas and helps regulate calcium metabolism and bone health, and may even aid healthier hair too!

So...the big question is where do you get Vitamin D in hazy shade of winter? Well even mild sun exposure is not a bad idea if you can get out for a walk on a sunny day here and there. In your diet be sure to examine labels, and to cover all the bases a multivitamin is a great idea. If you look to your diet for sources of D, consider drinking fortified milk, fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs and meat. To do a little self analysis, as your physician at your annual physical if you can check your D levels, some forward-thinking practitioners have already added this test to their required list of blood tests, my doc does and I'm happy to report my levels are aok! Remember, always check with your doctor if you're not feeling well, and before you drastically alter your diet or habits, make sure your doc has given you the go ahead. Soon enough we'll be heading out to the garden or pool and easily generating plenty of D. In the meantime, take care of your body and it will take care of you!

Namaste,
Kat

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