Friday, March 18, 2011

  Om Shanti Shanti Shalom Nate! I live in Long Beach, CA and have grown to love the city. It will never take the place of my beloved Compton, CA but I've lived in the LB for 20 some odd years and lived in Compton for 17. This week LB Stalwart East Sida Nathaniel "Nate Dog" Hale died from congestive heart failure and complications from two strokes.  He was 41.

41, Forty One, Forty Plus One Year. Four decades plus one solar cycle.  Anyway you break it down, forty one years old is too young to die.  Rest in Peace Nate. God (IAM) Bless your Family and all those who's lives you touched.

I, like Nate Dog am 41.  I have high blood pressure and take medication for it. When I was 21, a Doctor told me that every time that he took my blood pressure, it was high.  It could be hereditary, he said but it thought it might be my kidneys because 21 was too young to have high blood pressure. I had my kidneys checked and they worked fine.

I wasn't fat, I didn't smoke, drink or eat pork.  I didn't have a regular exercise program that included cardio and some weights so I was overweight.  I wasn't fat but I was overweight! My diet consisted of french fries, pastrami burgers and soda. Lots and lots of Soda! I grew up as a Seventh Day Adventist Christian and I knew better. I was taught to eat lots of grains, vegetables and fruit and not to eat meat. And if I did eat meat do not eat pork or scavenger fish and certainly not fried. I ate tons of Fried foods. I would have starved if it wasn't for cheap, fried foods loaded with cheese.  Yeah Baby but I digress. (Laughter)

I didn't drink water unless you count the ice that was in the SODA or after it melted.  So, here I was on high blood pressure medication and sick as a dog from it.  I felt better when I didn't take the medicine so I didn't.
My Doctor warned me that I could have a stroke, kidney failure or a heart attack.  I could also go impotent.

I've changed my diet and now work out regularly including a regular yoga practice.  I take my medication and feel real good.  I am now giving up the fatty, fried, foods that have loved me and comforted me in times of trouble. I drink alot of water now.

Hey Black Man! It's time to take a serious look at our health and well being. Black Men are less likely than European American Men (White Men) to live to old age and if we do then not healthly. Why? 

1. Lifestyle: Poor Diet, Drinking, Smoking, sleeping habits
2. Lack of regular Medical Check ups
3. Lack of proper Exercise
4. High Stress and Anger and lack of Stress Management
5. Violence: Murder at the hands of another

Yoga points out of a path to balance.  I know the sheer pleasure of a triple bacon burger with pastrami. I also know what it's like to be winded and hear your heartbeat after walking a half a block.  I know physical, chronic pain like it's a limb. I know it! So do some of you reading this.

We can live pain free. Regular exercise can do that. A proper diet with an emphasis on good nutrition can help with that. Fruits, fresh vegetables! Meatless Mondays to start. Then, Lean meats, grilled, baked or broiled.
We can learn to manage anger and conflict and that will reduce violence and help lower blood pressure. 

Let Go! That's what Yoga, the Gita, The Bible and The Quran teach. Let Gooo! We can learn  to move on and put things in proper perspective. 

Om Shanti Baby!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yoga is for Girly Men! Really?

Om Kriya Babaji Namah Aum!

Hey Soul-Starrs!

I've lifted weights and used to be an active martial art student. As a kid, I played baseball, softball, street football, and my favorite sport basketball. These were mascasline sports! Men's games! Over the last decade though I have studied Yang style Tai Chi, and Kriya Babaji Najaraj, and Vinyasa Flow Yoga. I love them. They are inclusive. Anyone can do them and with the physical limitations that I have, these are good for me.

Both I have found are tough! They are tough physically and anyone who begins a regular practice needs to become Mentally tough to handle the physical rigours of the arts.  Yoga and Tai Chi are NOT competitive sports.

I would like to see alot more Afrikan American Men taking up both as a practice and including the lifestyle changes into their lives.  Mediation, Pranayama (Breathing) Asanas, (The Exercises) and Diet.  Put that pork chop sammich down Mista!

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabaar, the NBA All Time Leading scorer and Six Time NBA Champion is also a practicing Yogi. Now, Cap (That's Kareem for all y'all BB fans born in the 90's) is also a real Martial Artist having practiced Jeet Kun do with Bruce Lee. Again, not a girly Man.

Lakers small forward Ron Artest does yoga. Not a girly man! All these dudes practice yoga and speak on the benefits it provides. So it frustrating to see only four or five dudes in a class when there are about 50 Women. Some hawt effin Women, in sweats, or danskins Damn! I'm married so I dare not do anything more than appreciate the fairer sex. (Laughter)

Listen fellas. Forget about the Viagra and Cialis. Let's change our DEATHstyles to LIFESTYLES. Daily exercise (20 minutes to 1 hour) with cardio, weights and YOGA. Try a class. Good nutrition. Five fruits and vegetables a day with a lil lean meat.  And lots of water. Lots of water!

Om Shanti Baby!

BE Prayererful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!