Your Furniture is Eating You Alive

Your furniture is slowly killing you. That’s right. You heard me. In between your sofa, coffee table, end tables, your bed and the many wondrous furniture designed to carry “stuff” like the dresser, china cabinet and armoire you are left with very little room. How much square feet of wide open space do you have in your home? Do you have room to dance, to do a cartwheel, to do yoga?

Dr. Gregory Wells among several others referred to sitting as the new smoking. “A recent review of 43 studies analyzing daily activity and cancer rates found that people who reported sitting for more hours of the day had a 24% greater risk of developing colon cancer, a 32% higher risk of endometrial cancer and a 21% higher risk of lung cancer—regardless of how much they exercised.” – Time Magazine

I will take this idea a step further. It is not just our chairs that are slowly increasing our risk of heart disease, chronic fatigue, back pain, foggy brain, over productive pancreas, soft abs and and poor circulation(to name a few).

Our modern conveniences have allowed us the luxury to have so many short cuts that we can go through life with very little movement. Our bodies are designed to engage in a vast range of movement. When we were hunter gatherers we would naturally engage in these movements out of necessity.

Our houses are so filled with the many pieces of furniture and things that we have very little room to prance around. Our furniture beckons us because we have no other choice. We move from our bed that is so hard to pluck ourselves out of to our comfortable cars, to our chairs at work. And the cycle continues.

What I suggest is going beyond supplementing your sitting at work with a standing desk. Look at your house. What pieces of furniture are stifling your movement the most? Get rid of them! Just getting rid of your coffee table would free up some room in your home. Look around you, how can you create more space in your home so that you can MOVE MORE.

Yoga Obstacle: The Romance Period Ends

"...first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."   Matthew 7:5

Among the very few biblical quotes that are imprinted in my mind is this one. It is one that has been re-surfacing for me a lot lately.  When I first started getting into yoga, I wanted everyone I knew to do it too! (oh wait, I still do) I was in the romance period, where I was still experiencing a high from the practice and thought that yoga would fix the world's problems(oh wait, I still think this too) That's not my point though. The point is that I find a common thread amongst my students and that is the thread of judging those who do not do yoga.  I find myself still doing this as well. I still look at the speck of sawdust in my brother's eye and pay no attention to my own plank.

We stick our feet on the sand at the beach and mistake it for the entire ocean. We tell our friends how great the ocean is but haven't even stuck our feet in the water. This reminds me of one of the NINE obstacles to attaining yoga.  WHICH IS: thinking you have gotten there when you haven't. This is like standing halfway up Mount Everest and thinking you are at the peak.

It is great to frolic in your own bliss from your practice. STAY THERE! Be mindful of the tendency for this romance period to steer you in the direction of concerning yourself with another's journey. 

Oftentimes this judgement(of others or ourself) is the greatest OBSTACLE. It has been for me, and this is why I am sharing it with you. Now, when I observe this pattern in my mind, I try to catch it before it goes any further. I invite you to do the same.

The yogi is in a state of bliss amidst the chaos around him/her.  So, when you find yourself involving yourself, release and remember to come back to the present moment. The latter is a distraction from yoga. 

Yoga is an endless journey, It is a journey that takes you deep within to the core of your being. It is a journey that requires much from you in terms of admittance, acceptance and reconciliation. 

-REMEMBER: When you feel negativity toward another (including politics,YEP, I am going there) this is merely an aspect of yourself of which you have yet to explore. #truthbomb #dropmic #offmyboxforMEOW

Ali Nohinek

Biomechanist Enthusiast and Aspiring Yoga Student

Move it or Lose It!

Move it or lose it! You might have heard something similar before but have you really internalized the implications of such an idea? The fact of the matter is that the LACK of movement we are getting, even among those who workout regularly is limited. This impacts our body’s ability to operate optimally. The secret is adding a more diverse arrangement of movements into your daily routine.

Many common pain symptoms are a result of your body not getting all of the movement it requires to perform to your maximum ability.  This is hard for most of us to hear. Accepting this places RESPONSIBILITY on THE SELF. We say things like, “I have bad knees,” or “That’s my bad foot,” or my favorite, “I’m just all messed up.” It is easy to think that your health is out of your control.

However, our health is not out of our control. This is the good news. As one of our great minds, Tim Ferriss says, “REALITY is NEGOTIABLE.”

The truth is: YOU are NOT UNIQUE, nor are you the product of some genetic mishap if your lower back hurts, or if your knees hurt, or your shoulders, hips or neck. You are the product of our modern lifestyles. Simply stated, your comfortable chairs, beds and sofas are so comfortable that you don’t want to get out of them.

The lie we are all told is that our modern comforts are a sign of success. But what is the result from all of this sitting? Our modern comforts come with a large price tag: our health!

There was a time when studies were done that quantified the average Americans level of physical activity and they divided people into two general categories: active and sedentary. Things haven’t changed but our language has been refined. People now fall into these two categories: sedentary or actively sedentary.


You: Hmmm.. So everyone is sedentary?

Me: YES! EVEN ME and I teach yoga for a living!

Let’s face it. Even if you are an active person and you workout 5-6 days a week, you most likely also sit for a good portion of your day. Furthermore, when you do workout, whether it is yoga, training for a sport, or running, your movements are limited! You are not getting the fullest range of movements of which your body and your spine are capable.

The pain we often complain about is a result from sitting for long periods of time. Many of our muscles are constantly in a contracted state and the result is that the muscles can become tight and weak. The muscles that aren’t firing get so used to their dormant state that when they do fire, often times they do so in a far from efficient manner. This paragraph is a book all on its own. 

If you want a pain free body, the fix is not in a medication. Nor is it in an herb or essential oil. To rid your body of pain you must eliminate the movement habit that caused it in the first place and replace it with a more diverse physical routine.

Written by: Ali Nohinek BS E CYT 500 Owner and Operator of Yogali