This year I turn 50. Although I do not look or feel half a century old, there are telltale signs! Energy levels are somewhat different from the 30’s and this is one human sign of aging to be considered with the addition of nearly 500 hours of Yoga Therapy studies, which have been incorporated to my 2019 schedule. It is a bit intimidating, as I am keeping the group yoga classes previously implemented and I will continue to welcome private clients. The course starts in February and will consume most of the weekends until June, thus it is ‘family time’ that is most affected. It was not an easy decision to go forward with this schedule, but with family support I was encouraged to follow my desire. It will be a year like no other and there will be challenges, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn. Adult education is within reach and it can be so rewarding. It is never too late to expand the mind, and I intend to do that in more ways than one.
There are so many fun ways to keep the mind active and fit! It is possible to learn something new every day, but you might want to get creative about it. When reading the following list found online, take note of what peaks your interest and follow that intuitive hunch:
- Let the music play. Learn to play a musical instrument or join a choir. Studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is ideal for the aging mind.
- Do math in your head. Figure out problems without the aid of pencil, paper, or computer; you can make this more difficult — and athletic — by walking at the same time.
- Take a cooking class. Learn how to cook a new cuisine. Cooking uses several senses: smell, touch, sight, and taste, which all involve different parts of the brain.
- Learn a foreign language. The listening and hearing involved stimulates the brain. What’s more, a rich vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive decline.
- Create word pictures. Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try and think of any other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.
- Draw a map from memory. After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area; repeat this exercise each time you visit a new location.
- Challenge your taste buds. When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.
- Refine your hand-eye abilities. Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, such as knitting, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc.
- Learn a new sport. Start doing an athletic exercise that utilized both mind and body such as yoga, golf, tennis, biking or perhaps tai chi.
- Practice meditation. Take 20 minutes morning or night to sit and consciously focus on a breathing pattern, positive affirmation or mantra. The nature of the mind is to have thoughts, so your mind will wander, but continue to bring it back to the chosen task. Note: I took out one suggestion on the list and added number 10:)
Remember, the brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked and it is a good idea to incorporate different ways of learning. This new year and the unforeseeable future will bring rewards or obstacles depending on your moment to moment decisions. See this moment as a blessed part of the day with an opportunity to make healthier and happier choices towards a life full of wellness. You deserve a life of wellness.
Wishing you mental clarity, Body Harmony and a Happy New Year!
QUINOA PANCAKES RECIPE
This is one of our favorite family breakfasts! The recipe was given from a friend when we were living in Peru and I have always loved how nutritious, tasty and filling they are. They provide overall great energy to move forward with an active day.
Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients separately, then mix all together:
1 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup of brown or white flour
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 egg (whipped)
3/4 cup of non-dairy or lactose free milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Add a bit of chia or ground flax seeds for extra fiber and nutrition.
Top with blueberries and maple syrup or any of your favorite toppings.
Serves 3, so we usually do a double batch for leftovers:)