In this chapter of Why we do Yoga, I travel to a few new places to find out the reasons and ways people do yoga. Familiar faces and new encounters lead me through a slew of changes plans but graceful adjustments. Watch as one connection leads to another from Martinique all the way back to Atlanta and a few places in between. Luck and coincidence carried me through this one. Look forward to the next soon enough. Peace
The list of Yogis keeps growing but you can find most of the people seen in this one on Instagram
The Inspiration for this capture was the perspective I gained of yoga before I actually practiced. The image of the people doing yoga in the magazines and documentary films were not the people I saw doing yoga on a daily basis. I simply set out to record the experiences of people I know that practiced yoga. The all star line up includes Yirser Ra Hotep, PintsizeNurse, Superdopemin, Bendi.Locs (Ifcukgirls), Ona Hawk, Lisa Ralston, Marisol, Sara Clark, Sacred Brooklyn Yoga studio plus more! Check it out and let us know what you think.
Introducing the cube. We are working on a project titled Introducing the cube. This will be a documentary exploring the idea of simply introducing people to the Cubensis mushroom and documenting their experience. There has been a mis-perception built around the “magic” mushrooms. We will be focused on showing show that this particular mushroom is not dangerous and can teach you much more than you will ever know.
Look forward to How to Grow workshops, Yoga and meditation sessions based around Cubensis. Each T-shirt purchase helps us funds the goals we have set to see this vision become a reality! Thank you, Support the project & Grab a Spore Print T Shirt Below
While anecdotal reports indicate psychedelics are useful in artistic and meditative pursuits, users have also reported them beneficial for physical activities dependent on alertness, awareness, and the rapid processing of sensory data — everything from climbing rock pitches to pitching in pro baseball, it seems.1–4
But in recent years, accounts have surfaced on internet forums of psychedelics offering a different sort of benefit for exercise: increased energy and reduced fatigue during endurance sports like cycling and running.5–8
While the scientific literature is lacking in empirical studies examining the effects of psychedelics on aerobic exercise, experts suggest there are several possible mechanisms — including the placebo effect — that may describe these users’ experiences.
What the Experts Are Saying
In his comprehensive and widely cited 2016 overview of psychedelic science in the journalPharmacological Reviews, researcher Dr.David Nicholsof the University of North Carolina addresses the effects of psychedelics on brain function, sleep, time perception, and visual perception — but nothing related to endurance.9
By email, Nichols confirmed he was unaware of any studies to date focused on this research question in humans. He did, however, suggest a potential mechanism for increased energy and stamina based on previous findings in animal models:dopamine.
“Locomotor activity in rodents is generally a product of increased activity in dopaminergic areas of the brain,” Nichols said.
Psychedelics can turn off inhibitoryGABA pathwaysthat suppress dopaminergic tone. So dopaminergic activity is disinhibited, and the effect is similar to what happens if you take an amphetamine.
More generally, research in sports physiology has shown that perceived effort, fatigue, and energy levels — especially in endurance sports — are tightly metered and mediated by the brain. Performance isn’t as closely linked to purely physiological parameters such as VO2 max and lactate threshold as researchers once thought.
In his 2018 bookEndure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, journalist and author Alex Hutchinson argues that runners and cyclists are far more beholden to brain chemistry than they often acknowledge.10For example, even elite athletes during serious competition have been shown to accelerate — not slow, as expected — toward the end of a race, suggesting they were subconsciously holding back until the effort was almost over.
Hutchinson cites the work of researchers like Romain Meeusen, a professor of human physiology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, who has shown that brain chemistry is involved in the regulation of fatigue during prolonged exercise — with the neurotransmittersserotoninand dopamine (mimicked by “classic” psychedelics andmescaline, respectively) both playing important roles.11,12
“There’s no doubt that perception of effort is mediated by the brain, even though many of the inputs — temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels, and so on — are coming from elsewhere in the body,” Hutchinson wrote in an email. “And in endurance sports, if you can change perception of effort, you can change your performance. So the idea that psychedelics might boost performance isn’t totally outlandish.”
Meeusen’s team has tried — unsuccessfully, it seems — to improve physical performance during exercise through nutritional manipulation of neurotransmitter systems.13,14But he hasn’t tested psychedelics yet, he acknowledged when contacted byPsychedelic Science Review.
Possible Role of the Default Mode Network
There is a yet another potential mechanism more germane to psychedelics that could be involved, at least in theory. Extensive research has shown that activity in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain is reduced after ingestion or injection of psychedelic drugs. The DMN, as we now know, is associated with introspective and self-reflective thought. Additionally, activity in the DMN is often inversely correlated with that of nearby networks geared toward task completion.15
If the DMN is tamped down by a psychedelic during exercise, and task-oriented networks amplified, could the result be an athlete who is less likely to dwell on discomfort or self-doubt and more likely to be laser-focused on the job at hand — all while being energized or at least distracted by a heightened sensory experience?
In her 2019 bookThe Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage, author Kelly McGonigal notes that studies have shown that exercise (particularly in green spaces like parks) can reduce activity in the DMN, just like psychedelics.16
“If you focus on what is unique about green exercise, the class of drugs it most closely resembles is the entheogen, a category that includespsilocybin, ayahuasca, andLSD,” McGonigal writes in her book. “Like green exercise, these drugs alter consciousness by temporarily reorganizing the default state.” So perhaps there is some synergy in play.
Is it the Placebo Effect?
Or could all this be the result of the placebo effect — more cynically, an imaginary phenomenon — engendered by some people’s desire to perform better, or at least to feel better, after taking a small dose of a psychedelic? Even given all the potential mechanisms seemingly available to explain away claims on internet message boards, Hutchinson wouldn’t rule that out. At least until some treadmill tests have been run.
“There’s a difference between saying something is theoretically possible and showing something is actually true. And to make that jump requires more than anecdotes and subjective impressions,” he writes. “So to me, until proven otherwise, psychedelics are in the same category as all the supplements and wearable gadgets that I get press releases about: it’s an interesting idea, but nothing more until proven otherwise.”
SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY, Ariz. – Jacob Butler eyed a lemon tree—its bright yellow fruit nestled among thick green leaves and set against the blue Arizona sky—then checked on the tiny pomegranates and grapes in the garden as a black-striped lizard darted into the shade of a mesquite tree. In the distance, downtown Phoenix glittered under the rising sun.
”Our garden is a platform to perpetuate our culture.“
“We try to grow what’s been here for hundreds, if not thousands, of years,” says Butler, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community garden coordinator, as he surveyed the land and the plants growing on it. “For the past 13 years we’ve been doing this, so it’s in the minds of the people now.”
Traditionally, Pima and Maricopa tribal members grew lima beans, squash, corn, and other vegetables; used mesquite trees for food, medicine, and other practical purposes; and relied on wild game for food. Today, about 12,000 acres of their reservation are used for industrial farming—cotton, alfalfa, potatoes, and other commercial crops—but, in the garden where Butler works, agriculture isn’t a financial boon: It’s a way to strengthen and cultivate culture.
“What are the stories that go along with this tree? What’s the story we tell that says when squash came to the people or corn came to the people? What are the songs that go with those things?” says Butler. “That’s what we incorporate here: Our garden is a platform to perpetuate our culture.”
According to Butler, tribal members once cultivated myriad varieties of beans, squash, and melons. Now, many of those crops have become extinct and their stories lost, and losing other heirloom foods would have irreversible effects on cultural practices.
Indigenous communities have been sustained by thousands of years of food knowledge. But recent federal food safety rules could cripple those traditional systems and prevent the growth of agricultural economies in Indian Country, according to advocates and attorneys. Of the 567 tribal nations in the United States, only a handful have adopted laws that address food production and processing. Without functioning laws around food, tribes engaged in anything from farming to food handling and animal health are ceding power to state and federal authorities.
To protect tribal food systems, those advocates and attorneys are taking the law into their own hands, literally, by writing comprehensive food codes that can be adopted by tribes and used to effectively circumvent federal food safety codes. Because tribes retain sovereignty—complicated and sometimes limited though it may be—they can assert an equal right with the federal government to establish regulations for food handling.
Recent federal food safety rules could cripple those traditional systems.
“Tribal sovereignty is food sovereignty, and how do you assert food sovereignty?” says A-dae Romero-Briones, a consultant with the First Nations Development Institute, an economic development organization. “You do that through a tribal code.”
Food codes and laws are basic legislation governing agriculture and food processing. Food codes are good things: They are designed to protect consumers from products that could make them sick or even kill them, as with a national salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter in 2008, and, more recently, E. Coli outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants in 11 states.
Since 2011, food laws have become tougher, thanks to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major rewrite of U.S. food-safety laws in more than 50 years. Under FSMA, producers must take into account everything from the packaging and refrigeration of products to how crops are grown, all in the name of safety. These safety controls raise interesting questions in Indian Country.
In many Native communities, for example, access to certified kitchens and state-of-the-art facilities is slim to nonexistent. That means producers often must rely on traditional knowledge to make foods that are safe for consumption. One example, says Romero-Briones, is blue corn products.
“That’s an industry that has existed for generations,” she says. “But if you want to produce it or process it in traditional fashions, you’re probably not going to be able to do that because you’re going to have to do it in a certified kitchen.”
Under FSMA, tribal food economies face two options: Assimilate by complying with federal law or keep tribal food products confined to the reservation.
“It’s one thing to say that we have to develop food and process food in certain ways, but it’s another thing to recognize that tribes have their own versions of food safety,” says Romero-Briones. “Tribes have been developing food economies for thousands of years.”
Another example of how traditional foods are impacted is buffalo slaughter. Dozens of tribes from the Dakotas to Oklahoma are engaged in buffalo management and harvesting. But those hoping to get buffalo products into markets outside of tribal communities often face big hurdles.
”Tribes have been developing food economies for thousands of years.“
Buffalo, for example, is considered an exotic animal under federal guidelines, says Dan Cornelius, with the Intertribal Agriculture Council. And that has repercussions when it comes to what the federal government will support.
“For domestic animals, USDA will pay for the cost of that inspector. For exotics, they don’t,” Cornelius says.
Inspections can run as high as $70 an animal, and all buffalo products must be processed in an FDA-approved facility. By implementing food codes, tribes could find alternative ways to getting buffalo meat inspected and processed. Cornelius says building an infrastructure that lowers costs would allow buffalo meat to get to market faster.
“Ultimately, is it a safe process? If it is, then how can you develop a tribally specific provision that still is ensuring a safe and healthy food but is addressing that barrier where there is a conflict?” he says.
So how do 567 different tribes with 567 different traditions, needs, and goals go about writing food codes specific to their cultural heritages? They call a lawyer. Specifically, Janie Hipp, director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, a legal think tank at the University of Arkansas.
Editorial travel and commercial automotive photographerArjun Menonhas been exercising his creative muscles as of late by shooting cinematic scenes at home using action figures and household items.
“I was listening to this song […] when this idea popped into my head,” Menonsays. “Joker falling down a skyscraper and yet showing no signs of fear or remorse! After all, being a sociopath comes with their own ups and downs.”
The above photo of Joker falling from a skyscraper was captured with an assortment of things, including an air conditioning cover and some computer equipment.
Menon began by finding the long AC cover — it was long and symmetrical and would allow light to pass through, giving it the appearance of a tall skyscraper.
“I used its filters [for] the other two surrounding buildings,” the photographer says. “Found a few more things like keyboards, Bluetooth speakers, dumbbells as buildings. Then I made a road map with rice lights. Added candle LEDs as building lights.”
The snow on the ground was shaving cream and cornflour, and the snow in the air was hairspray shot with a flash.
“Loved the way this shot came to life with practical effects,” Menon says.
Watermelon may be one of the most appropriately named fruits. It’s a melon that’s 92 percent Trusted Source water. It’s also got a healthy amount of vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients.
The most popular part of the watermelon is the pink flesh, but like its cousin, the cucumber, the whole thing is edible. This includes the green scraps that usually end up in the compost bin.
The rind, which is the green skin that keeps all that water-logged delicious fruit safe, is completely edible. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider not throwing it out.
1. It may make you better in bed
No, watermelon rind isn’t nature-powered Viagra, but some research shows that it may help men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Its libido-boosting powers come from the amino acid citrulline, which is concentrated in the rind.
One studyTrusted Source showed that taking L-citrulline supplements can improve erections without many of the potential side effects associated with Viagra.
Try spritzing your watermelon rind with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on it. Both additives also are good for your heart, and your, ahem, other love organ.
2. It might give your workout a boost
Besides improving your performance in bed, citrulline might improve your next athletic performance as well. However, most evidence for this is anecdotal.
Citrulline promotes the dilation of blood vessels. One studyTrusted Source suggests that citrulline supplements improve oxygen delivery to muscles, potentially improving exercise performance.
To get it naturally, try pickled watermelon rinds, an old-fashioned treat in the southern states.
3. It can reduce your blood pressure
If your doctor instructed you to lower your blood pressure, try eating watermelon — rind and all. Some research has shown that watermelon extract supplements are able to help obese adults control their blood pressure.
However, citrulline supplements are likely more effective. Most studies suggest citrulline supplements reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Watermelon is also a potential diuretic, which often is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. Try freezing whole watermelon slices for a nice treat on a summer’s day.
4. It’s rich in fiber
Another benefit of watermelon rind is that it’s a rich source of fiber. A diet high in fiber has a whole host of health benefits, including the following:
Fiber helps maintain regular bowel movements and may help reduce the risk of developing diseases of the colon.
Fiber can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Foods with fiber fill you up faster, helping achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Only about 5 percent of adults in the United States get the recommended daily value of fiber. Consider eating the rind to boost your fiber levels!
Next time you slice into a watermelon, consider keeping the rind. It’s a quick and tasty way to improve your overall health.
This Bookshelf Can Be Reassembled Into A Coffin After The Owner’s Death
When we have a quiet moment to ourselves, we sometimes think about the world we’ll leave behind after we’re gone. Will the world be a better or worse place when you’re no longer in it? That’s one of the questions that drives people to consider the impact they have on the environment.
Designer William Warren created a set of bookshelves that will last you a lifetime: they can be reassembled as a coffin. In other words, the ‘Shelves for Life’ is a piece of furniture that will follow you on your final journey.
“The wood will color, the surfaces will mark and stain, and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you,” Warren writes. “When you die, the shelves can be taken apart and reassembled as a coffin. The brass plate under the bottom shelf, that tells the story about this transformation, is then flipped over and your dates inscribed on it.”
Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with Warren.
William Warren designed a set of bookshelves that can be reassembled into a coffin
According to Warren, people, in general, were at first surprised and then amused by his design. “It’s not everyone who sees the charm but some do. People are very pleased when they realize the designs can be downloaded for free.”
The designer admitted that there have been critics who did not enjoy his work: “I offered the design to a Japanese company when I first made it but they really didn’t like the reminder of death. Since then, some squeal and some smile.”
Warren revealed to Bored Panda that he’s still busy working away as a designer. Among his recent projects, he designed all the furniture and interiors in a new children’s hospital in Edinburgh and new gates for Kew Gardens in London. “I’m also teaching design at several universities and developing other music and video projects.”
The designer added that “we are all going to die” at some point and there’s no need to ignore it or try to forget it. “If you don’t think about it in advance, you’ll be buried or burnt in a chipboard box with paper that looks like wood and plastic handles that look like brass. Your grieving family will pay £400 for this £40 piece of rubbish because nobody argues with an undertaker. Better to have something you’ve made, something solid and something that has lived with you in life and has the stains and scars to prove it.”
This is how you can convert the shelves into a coffin
The eco-friendly shelves were first launched during the 2005 London Design Festival at the British Library and have made waves on the internet ever since.
Warren runs a furniture and product design consultancy, is a Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University, and also lectures at three other universities and colleges. His design philosophy is all about creating emotional experiences, making us think about our belongings, and his designs often feature humorous conceptual twists.
The designer has his very own set of ‘Shelves for Life’ and will send you a free personal design if you send him your measurements. According to Warren, these bookshelves will “store all your knowledge and prized possessions.”
He added that “it will be a visible part of your life and will get coffee stains and burns on it. So it will mean more when you use it as shelves and it will mean more when you are buried in it.”
Warren told the Financial Times that coffins are some of the most expensive pieces of furniture that people will ever buy while having the worst quality. “I’m happy for as many people to have mine as possible,” he said.
What do you think of Warren’s shelves, dear Pandas? Share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section.
Here’s how some people reacted to Warren’s design. A lot of folks loved the idea
To Benefit from a Medicinal Mushroom, You Need to Know What You’re Getting
Not all fungi products are equal. You should know what you’re getting when you purchase supplements to reap medicinal mushroom benefits. And with so many products on the market making claims about ingredients and efficacy, it can be challenging to understand what really offers the most benefit to your health.
Read on to learn the myths and facts about medicinal mushroom supplements to get the most functional health support from fungi.
Mushroom Parts & Marketing Hype
The way many supplement brands market and sell their fungi products is cause for concern. If consumers don’t know what to look for when buying a medicinal mushroom supplement, they may easily be misled by the packaging, naming, and labeling of the vast products available.
It can be difficult to distinguish a real mushroom extract made of the mushroom (fruiting body) from one made of the mushroom’s “root” structure, mycelium. Reading a supplement’s packaging and nutritional labels won’t necessarily tell you the whole story either.
Mushroom product labeling requirements from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tell manufacturers to clearly distinguish whether the product contains actual mushroom (the fruiting body) or just the mycelium in any food or supplement product. But not everyone follows these rules and this is low on the FDA’s enforcement priorities.
In 2017, The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) released labelling guidance for Fungi Dietary Ingredients. This is not enforceable but gives recommendations on how Fungal based products should be accurately labelled to clearly inform the consumer on what is in the product.
Too often, brands disguise the true nature of their products and misdirect consumers who want to buy effective medicinal mushroom products. Here we will separate the myths from the facts about mushroom terminology, their active compounds, and the marketing hype, to give you the information you need to buy a supplement with the most medicinal mushroom benefits.
To reap these benefits, you need a supplement with high concentrations of the parts of the fungi that offer the most therapeutic compounds. This article gives you the knowledge you need to make informed purchasing decisions, so you can truly experience the adaptive health benefits of medicinal mushroom supplementation.
Mushroom vs. Mycelium
The Difference between Fungal Parts
A mushroom is the “fruiting body” of a fungal organism called a basidiomycete (except in the case of the cordyceps mushroom — they are an organism called an ascomycete). Basidiomycetes have three distinct parts that develop throughout its lifecycle: spore, mycelium, and mushroom.
The spores are in the surrounding air all around us, and under favorable conditions, these will germinate and begin to grow branching filaments called hyphae. As the hyphae continue to grow, they will fuse together to form mycelium.
Mycelium is an underground network that expands and feeds off of organic plant matter. This phase of the basidiomycetes’ life cycle is the vegetative stage. During this time, the mycelium produces enzymes that break down the plant material in its growth radius and recycles it into beneficial compounds that return to the soil.
In nature, this typically means that mycelium will form large networks of fungal matter by breaking down wood, logs, leaves, and other plant matter. The plant matter on which fungi feed is commonly referred to as the substrate. The mycelium becomes entwined in whatever substrate it’s in, making an inseparable mass of substrate and mycelium.
If environmental conditions are right, the mycelium will produce a mushroom, a.k.a. the fruiting body. The mushroom is actually the reproductive structure of this organism. When fully mature, it produces spores that, when distributed across plant matter, will allow for the creation of new mycelial networks, and ultimately the spread of the fungus.
Mycelial networks can live for hundreds, if not thousands of years and spread across vast distances. In fact, the largest organism on earth is a mycelial mat of a honey mushroom in eastern Oregon that is 890 hectares in size and over 2,000 years old!
It is important to reiterate that just as a mushroom is not mycelium, mycelium is also not a mushroom. These terms are not synonymous and should be accurately differentiated.
Identifying Fillers in Your Supplement
Read the ingredients on the mushroom or mycelium supplement package to see which part of these fungi the producer used. Based on the labelling, many times it is unclear. The product could be any combination of mycelium, mushroom, sclerotium, spore, and substrate matter, dried, ground into a powder and then potentially extracted.
Using all the parts of the fungi might seem like an effective way to reap the most benefits. However, there are parts of the basidiomycete, like the mushroom (fruiting body), that contain more active beneficial compounds than others. The mycelium, on the other hand, when grown on a solid substrate will also contains compounds of whatever substrate material it has been grown on.
The majority of commercial mycelium producers grow it on grains like rice, oats, or sorghum. Therefore, all that grain becomes inseparable from the mycelium and remains in the final product, leading to high amounts of starch.
When myceliated grain forms the bulk of a supplement, the grain acts as a fillerand“dilutes” the product because it doesn’t contain any active compounds. Myceliated grain dramatically reduces how much beneficial compounds are in each serving of your supplement.
A team of organizations has completed construction of a ground-breaking eco-building in Morocco that combines hemp construction with a high-tech solar energy system for total independence from the electrical grid.
The SUNIMPLANT project, designed as a single-family dwelling, was created as an entrant in the recent “Solar Decathlon” organized by the United States Department of Energy and Morocco’s Centre de recherche en Energie solaire et Energies nouvelles. The biannual international competition challenges teams of students to design and construct solar-powered buildings. The most recent edition was hosted in Ben Guerir, Morocco, the first time the competition has been held on the African continent.
Advanced ‘space ship’
“This ‘space-ship’ is advanced in time and reflects a turn not only in North Africa but in hemp construction, which doesn’t have comparable prototypes anywhere in the world,” said Monika Brümmer, a German architect and natural builder who led the project.
While the building was designed as a stimulus for rural development, the technology also has application in urban settings, Brümmer noted.
Owner at Spain-based Cannabric, Brümmer is also a co-founder of Adrar Nouh (2017), an NGO which promotes the use of indigenous hemp stalk for rural development and sustainable employment in Morocco’s impoverished High Rif. Adrar Nouh was started in 2017 by Brümmer and Abdellatif Adebibe, a Moroccan expert in alternative development in the Rif region.
The challenge was to create a hemp composite using vegetable-based bio-resins, avoiding technical or synthetic components, Brümmer said. The cylindrical envelope of the circular building, with minimal exposure of the 24 exterior panels, gives interior comfort through optimal damping and thermal phase shift, and osmosis of the components in the hempcrete formulation, Brümmer said.
Nature meets high-tech
Built for around $120,000, the building’s price tag was less than half the cost of the most expensive buildings in the competition. Additional features of the 90 sq. m. SUNIMPLANT building include:
• A double skin façade that employs a mixture of hemp, earth, pozzolan and lime, all sourced locally; and bio-composites incorporating hemp technical fibers that were produced via vacuum injection technology.
• A spherical, aerodynamic outer skin comprising 24 semi-flexible photovoltaic panels. Sponsored by DAS-Energy, the panels are exposed to all faces for their use of sun and light, with maximum 40% losses.
• Curved bio-composite panels made with hemp wool, which increase the performance of the photovoltaic panels by protecting their back side against the weather extremes of the semi-arid region of Ben Guerir, where temperatures reached 42°–46°C (107°– 114°F) in the shade during the construction phase last August and September.
• High-performance glass from French glassmaker Saint Gobain.
Brümmer said even greater performance could have been achieved if original plans to install hemp-clay boards for the internal partitions and floors, and other minor modifications, had not been abandoned due to funding constraints.
Adrar Nouh contributed the architectural design, developed the hemp materials and cooperated in the construction of the building. Other participants on the SUNIMPLANT project were Morocco’s National School of Architecture and National School of Applied Sciences, both based in Tetouan, Morocco, and Germany’s Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics.