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Ancient healing arts boost heart health

February 13, 2015 - Barb Barrett
Be kind to your heart. I will continue this month to inform with some heart warming activities. One in three women die of heart disease and stroke and it can be prevented. Muncy has some great choices of ways to stay on track and get some kindness to your heart. Our bodies are designed for activity, and giving ourselves at least 30 minutes will help prevent heart diease according to the American Heart Association.

Yoga can boost heart health. This ancient practice from India focuses on breathing and meditation giving us a feeling of well being and relaxation. You don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to do the moves. I tried a free class on Saturday morning at the new Yoga studio that opened in Muncy. It was the meditation class. I was amazed how quickly the time passed. I didn't think I could sit still that long, because my mind constantly wanders and thinks about what I have to do next. I felt so relaxed, almost hypnotizing to the point that my mind and body was in a total state of mindless tranquility. The instructor made it easy to be comfortable and I found I didn't need the self discipline I thought I would. I looked around me and found the class consisted of all ages.

I discovered that life's hard journey can be interrupted for a moment of inner peace. It was like starting all over again, forgetting about yesterday, not worrying about the future, but living for the quiet moment while I was in that class.

When I left the Muncy studio known as 'Sat Bhakti Shala', I felt more buoyant, more energized somewhat, and also felt a stronger sense of purpose. I would like to return, try another class, as there was a nice variety - from the art of meditation to guided meditation, free flow and dancing meditation. Amber said that each class will allow my "always constant thoughts" to dissolve.

Another great heart resource very near to us is the Mt. Equity Zendo Center here in Pennsdale where they offer "compassionate teachings" in meditation. Every 5th Tuesday they have an introduction to Zen meditation. Mindful meditation has proven to help decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Tai Chi is another great form of exercise. It’s not too late to join in the Tai Chi classes with Debby at the STEP, Inc. Meck Senior Center on Monday afternoons at 12:30 p.m. This is an alternative ancient method to relax, tone and stregthen the body, mind and spirit.

And while I am on the subject of ancient healing arts, the East Lycoming YMCA is featuring a multi-rank masters class for all levels in Kung Fu. The "Shadow of the Dragon" class is designed to teach self discipline, better mind and body control, and provide health to the heart. It is offered every Tuesday night and Saturday morning.

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