slow, mindful yoga & small group classes in St Kilda, Balaclava, Elwood, bayside

Yoga Me Well Blog

Well, Well, Well

How to be Happy

If retail therapy is your thing, you can scrub Happiness from the wishlist. Unless, that is, you’re prepared to step away from the shiny sportscar and delay that iPad spree.

According to new research, people who acquire life experiences are far happier, and far better liked, than those who chase Happiness through material acquisition. The object obsessed also have less satisfying relationships, and fewer of them.

Far better, then, to jump out of a plane, holiday at an Indian ashram, join an amateur theatre company and volunteer for koala counting.

The longitudinal study by psychology professor Leaf Van Boven from the University of Colorado (plus co-authors) published in the April edition of the Personality and Psychology Bulletin, also confirmed that materialists are more prone to depression.

In the pursuit of Happiness, some of us eventually learn that objects, at best, offer meditative moments of great beauty. At worst, they pad lives, as if they might cushion us from its ups and downs. They don’t challenge our limited horizons or world view through stimulating interaction, save perhaps for the natty iPad. Ultimately, the materialist risks spiritual suffocation in a chamber of chattels.

Years ago, I read another study that defined Happiness as losing yourself in the flow of an activity, so that time, cares and To-Do lists evaporate in the spaciousness of pure focus. Gardening, painting, reading, walking … We all know how, it’s more a matter of scheduling moments for Happiness to glide in.

In the Black

Now that the poster child of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been outed as useless to all but the severely depressed ― as published in the not-for-profit Public Library of Science Medicine journal ― you have to wonder why it took 20 years for the research to emerge, and why they’re still the most popular choice among GPs.

Prescriptions for SSRIs rose from 5.1 million in 1990 to 8.2 million in 1998. In fairness, GPs dispensed them far and wide because their predecessor, the tricyclics, produced such unpopular side effects as desert-mouth, fat gain and libido slump. Doctors’ enthusiasm was also fuelled by a combination of “commercial pressures, professional opinion and greater readiness on the part of patients to discuss their symptoms,” according to the Medical Journal of Australia’s “Making new choices about antidepressants in Australia: the long view 1975–2002”.

But how many of those mildly depressed millions also received appropriate education about the significance of nutrition, thought patterns and exercise in the development of ― and recovery from ― depression? No pill in the world will permanently cure the recurring Black Slump if you’re still carrying the emotional baggage, mental turmoil, destructive habits and world perspective that got you there.

As Mum advised during one of my bouts with the Big Black: ”What you need is a healthy diet and a good haircut!”.

Gourmet Pets

Millennia ago, when man first befriended pet, Rex and Fluffy hunted and scavenged happily for their supper. At what point then, did they become biologically receptive to nutritionally deficient Gourmet Foil Surprise? Actually, they didn’t, say holistic vets. But the turning point was circa 1965 when, with mass convenience in mind, Uncle Bens released commercial pet foods in Australia.

Four Corners’ story on pet food irradiation last year certainly prompted concerned owners to look for alternatives. But even premium vet-promoted foods are not the answer, says holistic vet Dr Bruce Syme, who has developed a range of natural pet care products. Nutritional value is lost, he says, due to the extremely high temperatures of food processing required to meet Australia’s importing standards.

“Dermatitis, arthritis, gingivitis and dental caries, renal failure, diabetes, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, FIV, leukaemia . . . make up the long list of degenerative diseases which are now simply ‘accepted’ as part of growing old [for pets] . . . [but] are actually the result of years of nutritional abuse,” says Dr Syme. “I still see vast health improvements when dogs and cats move … onto a natural raw food diet.”

Megan Kearney, president of Australian Holistic Veterinarians (part of the Australian Veterinary Association), reckons vets promote ‘premium’ foods because “they’re seen to be scientifically balanced” and offer a quick fix for inadequate diets based on table scraps.

“The solution might be to feed them premium commercial food where a specific meat is listed as the first ingredient, rather than saying, ‘meat and other derivatives’, as well as fresh home-made food,” says Kearney.

Ask your vet about a raw-food diet plan.

Wise up

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” Wayne W. Dyer There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.

Liv Mitchell

Comments Off on Well, Well, Well

Liv Mitchell is a senior yoga teacher and freelance writer/editor.


YogaMeWell blog here soon!

Would love you to join me for enlightened group discussion on all things Oogie-Boogie (spiritually-minded chit-chat) and yoga. Here at YogaMeWell blogspot, launching April 26. A dedicated website/blog is on the way …

Liv Mitchell

Comments Off on YogaMeWell blog here soon!

Liv Mitchell is a senior yoga teacher and freelance writer/editor.


WANTED: Ziggy Marmalade

Lock your doors. Pack up your doonas. Hide your Crumpler Bag (Ooo. Too late.) And whatever you do, DON’T look him in the eye. . .

The nastiest, meanest, low-downest, lily-livered piddler in the West has just entered the flat.

Big. Bad. Kitty Witty. Rarr.

Liv Mitchell

1 Comment »

Liv Mitchell is a senior yoga teacher and freelance writer/editor.