Michael Wolff – Intel Visual Life

This is a really interesting video, six minutes well spent. Michael Wolff talks about his three “muscles”: Curiosity, Appreciation and Imagination. He says about cooking that “You never cook the same meal twice.” That goes for other things too, a beginner’s mind makes things fresh.

Video: Intel Visual Life – Michael Wolff

Source: Intel Visual Life – Michael Wolff.

Are we born to run?

I came across an interesting TED video in which Christopher McDougall asks: Are we born to run?

Christopher McDougall mentions Tarahumara, the running people, tells an interesting story from a marathon race and talks about how humans hunted before weapons were available.

Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run?

VIVOBAREFOOT, The original barefoot shoe

VIVOBAREFOOT has a radical concept for their shoes:

No heel, no midsole, no arch support, no gimmicks! VIVOBAREFOOT encourages us to move as million years of evolution intended – barefoot.

In their Barefoot section is information, including an ebook about “Proprioception: Making sense of Barefoot running

Interesting facts about the foot:

With 200,000 nerve endings, 33 major muscles, 28 bones, 19 ligaments; the human foot is a biomechanical masterpiece.

I’m interested in barefoot walking and running (in shoes like these) but I’m not ready for that yet. Decades wearing shoes has to be unlearnt and I believe that’s best done gradually.

Read more about Vivo Barefoot:

Vivo Barefoot: Is This the Best Shoe for Learning to Run and Walk Barefoot?
Vivo Barefoot: Bare your soles with ethical trainers
Putting Vivo Barefoot Shoes Through Their Paces

Tarahumara, the running people

I am interested in the concept of barefoot running and walking. While looking for information about barefoot running I came across this video about the Tarahuama, the running people. It’s amazing which distances they are able to run.

Video: The Tarahumara – A Hidden Tribe of Superathletes Born to Run

Take a Walk

I subscribe to the newsletter “A Month of Me Time” from The Calm Space. It’s nice reminders, “Simple Daily Actions to Nourish Your Soul”. Today it was about the benefits of walking and I love the included quote.

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.
Soren Kierkegaard

I injured a foot before Christmas and have not been able to take my daily walks since then. Miss them and I do look forward to getting back in the habit again.

The Five Tibetan Rites

When browsing through videos from Yoga Today I came across The Five Tibetan Rites. At Wikipedia the practice is described like this:

  • First Rite: Clockwise spinning: inhale and exhale deeply as you spin.
  • Second Rite: Inhale deeply while lifting the head and legs; exhale while lowering the head and legs.
  • Third Rite: Inhale as the spine arches back; exhale as the spine returns to an erect position.
  • Fourth Rite: Inhale while rising up; hold the breath while in the top position and tense the muscles; exhale while returning to the starting position.
  • Fifth Rite: Inhale while raising the body; exhale while lowering the body.

Read more:
Five Tibetan Rites (Wikipedia)
Five Tibetan Rites (Tibetan Yoga and Metidation)
The Five Tibetan Rites

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

When mind attacks body – the nocebo effect

Today at Twitter I got this link, The science of voodoo: When mind attacks body. It’s a really interesting article that goes from placebo (when mind helps the body) to nocebo (when mind attacks body).

The idea that believing you are ill can make you ill may seem far-fetched, yet rigorous trials have established beyond doubt that the converse is true – that the power of suggestion can improve health. This is the well-known placebo effect. Placebos cannot produce miracles, but they do produce measurable physical effects.

The placebo effect has an evil twin: the nocebo effect, in which dummy pills and negative expectations can produce harmful effects. The term “nocebo”, which means “I will harm”, was not coined until the 1960s, and the phenomenon has been far less studied than the placebo effect.

What I find interesting but not surprising is that this is a yin-yang pair, good and bad, in both cases the mind affects the body. The nocebo effect can also explain how voodoo works:

What we do know suggests the impact of nocebo is far-reaching. “Voodoo death, if it exists, may represent an extreme form of the nocebo phenomenon,” says anthropologist Robert Hahn of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, who has studied the nocebo effect.

The article gives an example of a person who was told that he was terminally ill and died within the said timeframe. It was then found out that the diagnosis was wrong, still the person and those surrounding him believed in it and acted/reacted as if it was true. Mind attacked body.

Despite the growing evidence that the nocebo effect is all too real, it is hard in this rational age to accept that people’s beliefs can kill them. After all, most of us would laugh if a strangely attired man leapt about waving a bone and told us we were going to die. But imagine how you would feel if you were told the same thing by a smartly dressed doctor with a wallful of medical degrees and a computerful of your scans and test results.

I find this connection between mind and body very interesting. I know the good effects from yoga and meditation, this is the darker side of it.

This was originally posted at Zen And More, another blog of mine.

The jar of life – stones, pebbles and sand

This is a classic story which unfortunately mentions time management. But time management is a misnomer since time can not be managed. We can only manage ourselves, our attention and our priorities.

One day, an old professor of the School of Public Management in France, was invited to lecture on the topic of “Efficient Time Management” in front of a group of 15 executive managers representing the largest, most successful companies in America. The lecture was one in a series of five lectures conducted in one day, and the old professor was given one hour to lecture.

Standing in front of this group of elite managers—who were willing to write down every word that would come out of the famous professor’s mouth—the professor slowly met eyes with each manager, one by one, and finally said, ‘we are going to conduct an experiment’.

From under the table that stood between the professor and the listeners, the professor pulled out a big glass jar and gently placed it in front of him. Next, he pulled out from under the table a bag of stones, each the size of a tennis ball, and placed the stones one by one in the jar. He did so until there was no room to add another stone in the jar. Lifting his gaze to the managers, the professor asked, ‘Is the jar full?’ The managers replied, ‘Yes’.

The professor paused for a moment, and replied, ‘Really?’ Then once again, he reached under the table and pulled out a bag full of pebbles. Carefully, the professor poured the pebbles in and slightly rattled the jar, allowing the pebbles to slip through the larger stones, until they settled at the bottom. Again, the professor lifted his gaze to his audience and asked, ‘is the jar full?’

At this point, the managers began to understand his intentions. One replied, ‘apparently not!’

‘Correct’, replied the old professor, now pulling out a bag of sand from under the table. Cautiously, the professor poured the sand into the jar. The sand filled up the spaces between the stones and the pebbles. Yet again, the professor asked, ‘is the jar full?’ Without hesitation, the entire group of students replied in unison, ‘No!’

‘Correct’, replied the professor. And as was expected by the students, the professor reached for the pitcher of water that was on the table, and poured water in the jar until it was absolutely full. The professor now lifted his gaze once again and asked, ‘What great truth can we surmise from this experiment?’

With his thoughts on the lecture topic, one manager quickly replied, ‘We learn that as full as our schedules may appear, if we only increase our effort, it is always possible to add more meetings and tasks.’ ‘No’, replied the professor.

‘The great truth that we can conclude from this experiment is: If we don’t put all the larger stones in the jar first, we will never be able to fit all of them later.’

In other words – make room for what is most important first, those are your stones. Other things can then be fitted around the stones.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

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