Musings ...

from a Twisted mind.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lake Atlantica

Lake Atlantica aka Atlantic Ocean

Swimming in the ocean last weekend inspired me to share my thoughts regarding the condition of my local ocean water.

Tropical Storm Isaac whirled through our area the week prior, and while there was no perceived “damage” other than excessive rain and wind, I believe there are severe consequences; not from Issac, from our actions.  Injury to our fragile eco system.  Devastation that far exceeds branches being knocked to the ground or your patio umbrella being impaled into the neighbor’s yard.  

The coastline is my playground, my sanctuary of reprieve from my everyday involved life.  While I sat on the beach, I was shocked at the color of the water.  Tannin.  Brown.  Dirty.  Gross.  Even the foamy little white caps were tinged a burnt caramel color.  The almighty Atlantic Ocean had transformed into Lake Atlantica.  What happened?  Our precious ocean was full of our run-off.  The recent excessive rain had sunk into the ground, made its way into our local rivers and lakes, and now hugged the shoreline I love so much.  Pesticides and herbicides that we (as a culture) spray onto our food to kill unwanted pests.  Residue from the continued efforts to keep the alien grass of our countless golf courses shiny green.  Remnants of the efforts to keep our manicured lawn prettier than the Joneses.

Of course the Atlantic Ocean can handle this and in the end, I do believe our Earth will persevere.  But, in the meantime, we are killing the delicately balanced coral reef eco system located all along the south eastern coastal region.  As a SCUBA diver who has volunteered for NOAA and The Nature Conservancy offices located in the Florida Keys, I have seen the sad state of pearly white coral being eaten away by such chemical excess.  One of purposes of a coral reef is to protect the land from extreme wind and high waves that accompany hurricanes.  When we douche our land in poison, in actuality we are setting the table for more damage from the very thing many of us greatly fear.

For example, remember the bottomless effect of your choice the next time you chose conventionally grown fruits and vegetables over organically grown.  Superficially it may effect your wallet, but really folks, in the big picture - by how much?  Not to mention, internally it may seriously impact the quality of your health - take a look around at the supporters of the S.A.D. (standard american diet).  And globally the dangers are countless.  

If you wash your own car, use castile soap and white vinegar.  Forego the neon green washing liquid that claims to brighten your car more than any other, that’s called marketing.  If you don’t wash your car, do.  Or hire someone who is conscious about the products they’re using or offer to provide your own.  Because that very water the runs down the driveway and into the drainage system ends up in the ocean.

With the invent of the world wide web, obtaining information about local suppliers that offer less toxic possibilities has never been easier.  Finding recipes and solutions online for alternative home care products is a breeze.  If you have a small garden, learn about companion planting or other organic options.  If that’s not your fancy, shop the farmers market for locally grown organic produce and your palate will melt into the sweet homegrown taste.  Consider switching your yard to xeriscaping, imbibing native plants vs alien ones, observe the decline of your water bill while your plants and flowers flourish with minimal attention.  Encourage the caretakers of your favorite golf course to support companies that suggest less lethal measures.  There are many tools we can implement to ensure a more pure and clean world.  

Our decisions do make a difference ... small ripples flow outward.  

Copyright 2012 by Janet Meredith

Author of the forthcoming inspirational book, Beyond Five Star.  A guide chock full of tips, ideas, and groovy solutions toward a more healthy body, home, and spirit.

Also Founder & CEO of  Stay tuned for the grand opening of an e-commerce store presenting pure products for a discerning lifestyle.  Pure: wholesome, perfectly in tune.  Living: pursuit of a lifestyle of a specified type.  Boutique: serves a sophisticated clientele.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Kino MacGregor Interview

Today, I have the honor to interview Kino MacGregor.  If you don’t know her, I’ll offer a brief background on this dynamic young woman.  Kino is an international yoga teacher, author, producer, writer, vlogger, world traveler, and co-founder of Miami Life Center.  She is one of a select group of people in the world to receive the certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from Mysore, India.  Kino is deep devoted to carrying the torch of Ashtanga Yoga all over the world and sharing this amazing tradition with everyone who is inspired to practice. 

Good Morning, I'd like to discuss the elusive and mysterious mula bandha.  What is it?  Where is it? Is it for women and if so, how do we locate it?

This is a BIG question, so big so that I devoted nearly a whole section in my new book (to be released in 2013) on it. Mula Bandha is first and foremost an energetic experience that happens when the strength transcends the physical and moves into the spiritual level. On a muscular level it is located around the muscles of the pelvic floor.

I have a personal question.  When I tighten the muscles around my sit bones [as I've been told to do by male ashtanga teachers], it is uncomfortable and makes my hamstrings tighter and I think resulted in an attachment tear and tighter hips.  Yet, my pelvic floor itself doesn't seem affected and for many years I have had uterine prolapse resulting in some incontinence if I run, jump rope, or sneeze aggressively.

Focus on engaging but not over-engaging the space between the sitting bones and the space between the pubic bone and the tailbone. If you feel your butt clenching relax a little. If you feel your hamstring mobility restricted relax a little (unless you are using that activation to protect the hamstrings).

Have you read the ancient texts; Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gherenda Samhita, and Siva Samhita?  Some claim these books are the only references to mula bandha and that the practice is strictly for men and forbidden for women.

I've read those texts and I did not find anything that says that the practice should not be for women.

There is a lot of discussion these days about incontinence and the allopathic medical community seems to be suggesting some drastic and bizarre measures.  One national yoga instructor actually preaches against women practicing mula bandha, claiming it might worsen the epidemic.

Actually my experience has been quite the reverse, that women who suffer from incontinence and other problems related to that find relief and sometimes even full cure from the practice of strong engagement of the pelvic floor.

Are you familiar with pelvic floor rehabilitation administered by physical therapists?  

Only for post-natal women.

One last question, if someone working on the primary series has 30-45 minutes in their schedule for practice, what do you recommend they do?  

It really depends on the student and how advanced they are. But generally I would recommend that they start with the Sun Salutations and move into the Standing Postures and then into Closing until that becomes stable and grounded. 

Thank you for your taking time from your tremendously busy schedule to speak with me.  

Also published, August 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lay Your Cards On the Table

Lately I’ve been having a lot of tarot card readings.  Some I take with a grain of salt and others I take very seriously, but nonetheless all are fun.  I also chalk that up to my tarot reader who is not only brilliant but quickly becoming my new best friend.
In my life; all intimate relationships have had a beginning, middle, and end.  Recently I had the courage to let go of a dead-end three year relationship and once again, I find myself single and back on the market with a broken heart.  Yuck.  Not necessarily an attractive sight when one is quickly approaching their 50th birthday.  
After a few months of tears, depression and loneliness, I decided it was time to be proactive with my life.  Having felt sexually and skin starved for quite some time, I phoned an acquaintance who was also freshly available.  Together we settled on a casual sexual liaison.  Yummy, a younger lover.  A relationship wherein both our primal needs get met, sprinkled with doses of out of the bedroom fun thrown in for good measure.
Ironically, we were both a tad bit surprised at our intense chemistry.  After some steamy nights (and days!), it became apparent that we needed to have “that” talk.  Is this going anywhere?  If so, where?  Is there an expiration date?  This is what I want.  This is what I need.  This is how I feel.
It was of great importance to me to continue walking the line of lightness and respect of our newfound connection.  For those of you that know me personally, you can attest to my pining for crystal clear communication.
Whilst taking a painting course in France, I was introduced to watercolor pencils.  Such a expressive way to draw and create an illusion of iridescence in the same stroke.  A light bulb came on one afternoon, I had the perfect idea to gently open the door for our conversation.  I whipped out the pencils and some paper.  Drawing inspiration from recently gazing at such alluring tarot cards, I cut the paper into seven rectangular shapes.  This is what they said:
name of my ex
name of the ex of my lover
sex (with little fireworks!)
a red heart/a grey scarred heart
One evening, I said, “I am going to lay my cards on the table”.  
I asked my new lover to shuffle and place them face down upon my table.  One by one my lover drew a card.  I commented on each and encouraged questions and remarks.  Together we had an insightful and brilliant conversation.  Creative and full of clarity - which is something this passionate Leo deeply cherishes.
So, if you’re feeling a little anxious about a heavy topic, give it some levity by unlocking your imagination!

Monday, November 14, 2011

G is for GREEN ... TEA!

G is for GREEN ... TEA

Drinking green tea is certainly nothing new and in recent years Americans consumed over 50 billion servings of tea annually. Although the majority is black tea, 20% was green and that number continues to soar. Green tea was discovered in China nearly 5,000 years ago and has long been heralded for its healing properties.
Why the interest in green tea? Green tea contains no sodium, fat, or sugar and is relatively caffeine-free. Green tea contains magnificent antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants are paramount because they prevent or delay oxidative damage to the body, cells, and tissues. Another plus is that green tea has the means to lower cholesterol. An ingredient known as catechin which boosts metabolism is also found in green tea. Drinking up to five eight ounce cups per day can increase your energy expenditure by 90 calories! 
A study conducted by the University of Birmingham located in Birmingham, United Kingdom reports that not only does green tea exert its affects on fat oxidation but also improves insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance. Essentially this means it may have the potential to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes.
Each day more studies are being conducted and scientific data continues to pile regarding the benefits of green tea.  
Prior to your favorite exercise, drink a cup of green tea; you’ll not only burn more calories, keep your cholesterol down and reduce your risk to other diseases ... you’ll also save money by going “green”!

originally posted:

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Each day my belief in supporting the community where I live grows stronger. As fall is approaching in South Florida, albeit rather slowly, I am excited for the local farmers market to open. Within walking distance from my home, it's one of my favorite weekend activities. Roaming the aisles, talking with the farmers, searching for the best croissant while sipping hot tea are all fond memories from fall Saturday mornings. Carrying cloth bags bursting with brilliantly colored greens makes me smile. This year I'll have a new bicycle and envision my cute little basket full of local wildflowers, organic herbs, dinosaur kale and maybe a fresh baguette - shhh. My friend Pam would always say, “You have to meet people to meet people, so go out and talk.” Buying locally and organically grown produce not only feels a bit decadent, it also gives back to my local community and the food is much tastier and nutrient dense!

When I lived in Boulder, Colorado there was a community garden nearby. One could actually rent a small section on a plot of land to plant their own garden. How cool is that? Folks would grow different vegetables and swap with one another. Such participation boosts collectiveness, sparks new friendships and maybe introduces one to a new vegetable or fruit. For me, local gardens create a bond with the very Earth I walk upon.

Each year, from the time I can recall, my father has planted a garden. Last year he proudly handed me a full bag of; tomatoes, onions, banana peppers, cucumber, radishes and potatoes. What didn’t immediately make it in my special salsa, stayed fresh for a month!  Does your produce last that long? Oftentimes ingredients needed or wanted may not be available locally. This is a perfect opportunity to substitute, experiment and perhaps create a delightful new dish.  If I absolutely must have that certain something, I'll head to the nearest locally owned health food store.

Remember, it is straightforward and extremely rewarding to grow your own food; parsley, rosemary, basil, dill, or baby collards. Local farmers often have starter plants for sale. How fun to snip snip delicacies from your window sill or balcony and add to your salad!  

Learning to live from our land and learning to live in community with one another is the preservation of the future. So grab your shovel and follow my father's old pick up truck, you'll know which one when you see the sticker on the bumper "No Farms No Food".