A Woman on A Mission

Let’s endure this journey called life!

The Myth of Multitasking October 5, 2008

Has this ever happened to you before? You are so sure of something in your mind, and then finally, you see it proven on paper? I had also known that people cannot multitask but was never able to prove it.

“People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves,” said neuroscientist Earl Miller. And, he said, “The brain is very good at deluding itself.”

Miller, a Picower professor of neuroscience at MIT, says that for the most part, we simply can’t focus on more than one thing at a time.

What we can do, he said, is shift our focus from one thing to the next with astonishing speed.

Don’t you think that this is just common sense?

“Switching from task to task, you think you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you’re actually not,” Miller said.

“You’re not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously, but switching between them very rapidly.”

I have always thought that I was mildly retarded for not being able to multitask, but in all actuality, it was the ego of others making them out to be “better” (despite mistakes while “multitasking”) that make others with a swift ability to concentrate, less worthy.

People with sharp attention spans are not regarded in society.

“Think about writing an e-mail and talking on the phone at the same time. Those things are nearly impossible to do at the same time,” he said.

Actually, people DO do this. But… when they are “talking” to you on the phone, they aren’t listening to YOU. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That email they are writing may be loaded with errors as well.

I know somebody who constantly blames not being able to multitask on their age. But this person blames everything on their age. It’s not an “age” thing.

Dominant โ€” and, perhaps, too confident in our own skill. Studies show that we frequently overestimate our ability to handle multiple tasks.

For early humans, that sort of miscalculation could have meant becoming a tiger’s lunch. These days, the consequences are more likely to be stress, a blunder โ€” or maybe a car crash.

Sadly, over-confident humans holding on to their egos for their lives are the majority. The ones who can admit to only being able to focus on one thing at a time, are in the minority. And with that said, it is why there are so many problems in the world.

Feel free to read more on this topic here.


To Lock Knees or not to Lock – NOT! September 30, 2008

I have a long history with trick knees… ones that lock. Long hauls on the treadmill 7 years ago brought about mild pain in my knees. I just ignored it. I didn’t think it was enough pain to make any fuss over.

Fast forward, after six years of having been sedentary, I am in what I believe to be remission from an illness that I had surgery for that has no direct link to my knees. But now that I feel better, I am exercising a lot which includes a 30 minutes session cycling on a stationary bicycle on level 3 resistance and thereafter a 2 hour yoga session. Two hours may seem long to most, but what I am doing in my yoga session is basic yoga which includes lots of breathing and stretching (nothing like this, of course – nothing all too complicated). In my yoga session, I incorporate homework (physical therapy) given to me by my physical therapist. The below illustrated instructions are mandatory to help strengthen my knees and make my hips more flexible: (click to enlarge)

If you look at the above illustrations closely, you’ll notice how each exercise requires you to LOCK your knees!

I had been exercising since July 19th, 2008 and shorty after, I realized I had all sorts of problems with my full skeleton – more than I had ever imagined which is why I am seeing a chiropractor and began physical therapy at a professional facility. To make a long story short, I had been locking my knees for most of the above stretching exercises.

My knees are worsening to the point where occasionally I cannot walk at ease. I sleep on the floor which forces me to bend my knees to get up which may not be helping my cause. But my knees should not be getting worse… I would like to think. They should be getting better!! So, I decided to research, and I came across a yoga blog that mentioned locking the knee causes undue pressure on it that can cause chronic pain. One commenter in that blog said something that hit me hard:

As a fitness professional and Registered Yoga Teacher, I never allow my students to lock their knees. This is a common yoga technique that I have never agreed with. Not only are you putting excessive pressure and stress on the joint, but you are also missing out on strengthening the muscle surrounding the joint. Locking the knees (or any joint) takes the resistance away from the muscles and places it on the joint. Thatโ€™s why itโ€™s easier to hold a pose; you are using the joint, instead of the muscle, for support. Our joints donโ€™t need any more stress, but our muscles do. Namaste!

I only wonder if it is never good to lock your knees or just for the standing poses in yoga only? My guess, just for common sense sake is that it really doesn’t sound “right” to lock your knees on purpose (even though I had been instructed to do so according to my physical therapy homework as illustrated above.) A friend of mine said that they could even stay locked…. OUCH! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Does anyone have an opinion about this? I love yoga so much that I’d hate for anything to get in the way of it.


What music do you listen to when you do yoga? September 29, 2008

Filed under: Yoga — Elle @ 3:54 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The 7 best yoga music albums of all time can be found here (just in case you’re looking).

I have tried putting all sorts of disks into my CD player with relaxing yoga music on it that I find excellent. However, in practice, the one CD that I keep playing (or returning back to) during my yoga sessions is called, “Natives” by R. Carlos Nakai and Peter Kater. There are samples from this CD on amazon.com if you’re interested.

If you want something simply to relax to, this is an amazing album.

If you are doing Yoga at the beach, the sound of nature is better than anything, of course. But if you’re at home, what do you listen to? I’d be curious to hear what helps others get into that “Yoga mood”.


Sunshine is So Underrated! (UPDATE!) September 27, 2008

Let the Sunshine In! ๐Ÿ™‚

Did you know that it only takes 15 minutes in the sun a day to get your daily dose of Vitamin D? I believe you get somewhere between 10, 000 units – 15, 000 units of Vitamin D from just 15 minutes out in direct sunlight.

Why is this important? If you have anything going wrong with your bones, your joints or your overall skeleton, Vitamin D is critical to aid in restoring some bone health. Just never overdose on the pill version of it as it could be fatal. Talk to your doctor about how much is necessary for YOU to take. Or perhaps ask him/her to do blood work to see how your levels are doing. In any event, why not go out into the sunshine as a preventative measure? Keep in mind, 15 minutes is all you need.

Are you feeling depressed? The sun also aids depression as it increases the amount of Serotonin secreted in your brain.

Please refer to this article for the whole story as to why the Sun is so good for you!

When I come back inside from my daily bath in the sun, I feel much better always. However, we are moving toward winter. I wonder how effective the sun is during the winter? Sounds like a dumb question, but I just wonder. I will certainly miss the penetrating warmth from the sun in the winter – that is for sure.

If you are worried about skin cancer, I hardly think that 15 minutes daily can do that to you, but if research says otherwise, I will update this post. My problem is that once I get out into the sun, I don’t want to come back inside because it feels so good.


Research shows that more people die from Vitamin D deficiency than from skin cancer. SPFs also block Vitamin D absorbion in the body. Feel free to read more here.


My Reasons for Kicking the Coffee Habit September 25, 2008

I used to drink two medium sized Styrofoam cups of coffee per day. I have been weaning little by little off of coffee since the beginning of August. I just have a couple more days to go. And boy, am I feeling the withdrawal!

Below are my reasons for wanting to quit:

  • It increases my appetite.
  • It is acidic and is thought to worsen or cause arthritis (which I have).
  • Because I have arthritis and am deconditioned, I’d rather be hydrating my innards instead of dehydrating them.
  • It causes frequent urination.
  • It sometimes actually made me tired.
  • I have severe RLS and it can only worsen it.

The below two stories about coffee drinking helped me feel even better about my decision:

I will update this two weeks or a month into my detoxing period to talk about any changes in my feelings or physical condition. I want to be able to work out and do Yoga like I used to, so I will give up anything for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck to all of you that decide to quit coffee.


Welcome to My New Blog September 24, 2008

This blog will be about my journey to better health, quality of life and inner peace through yoga and other healthy tips.