Author: admin

Oxytocin and Longevity

Oxytocin and Longevity

Almost opposite to dopamine and its effects, is the hormone Oxytocin (the longevity hormone).  Oxytocin has been linked to optimal health, longevity, reducing heart disease.  This hormone is produced when you love, give, care, and take care of others.  This hormone is in contrast to dopamine, where dopamine usually is exacted when you do things for yourself, and oxytocin is produced when you care for others.  We are more related to loving, compassion, and caring for others, and these expressions bring us back to harmony and balance with mankind and nature.   

We carry microbes in the inner lining of the intestines, the skin and other parts of our body.  When we are stressed, the nature of these microbes change.  Stressed microbes will be more prone to illness and disease whereby a harmonious body, through higher levels of oxytocin will contain good microbes and will gravitate to a increased state of well being.  Epigenetics or the modification of gene expression experience an alteration through our giving, loving and caring.  A supposed genetic predisposition has little effect when the acts of giving, loving and caring change our microbes and our genetic expression.

Current science agrees with Ayurveda in suggesting that we are expressions of Love.  The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes that we not be attached to the fruit of our actions.  When we care for others and give unconditionally, we are no longer concerned with return on investment, however, sometimes in life it is almost unavoidable to become attached to the fruit, or what we get in return.   

We often set in motion agreements in our relationships with others based upon the fruit of our actions.  You can see where the reward chemistry would apply when we wish our companion might respond a certain way if we were to be good or not so good to them.  If we were to open the flower of our love, with no expectation of the outcome, the result will be pure and the relationship with our significant other would reach new awareness and perhaps enlightenment.  It may take the intention to understand others and casting away our old patterns of engaging to get there.

When someone inflicts hurt (throws a dart) at us, we can have one of three different  reactions:  1) we can throw a dart back, 2) we can turn and walk away, or 3) we can identify with the dart being thrown and understand that it exists because the other person is feeling pain.  If we throw the dart back, we continue the cycle.  If we turn and walk away, the other person feels abandoned.  The pain continues.  If we choose the way of 3), with that understanding comes compassion and we remove the protective armor around us (freeing ourselves from old patterns and behavior) and show our true side which comes from a genuine love. 

This is an example of transformational change, which is a goal of Longevity.  If you can free yourself from old patterns and behavior and enter a new awareness and expression you create an environment within that is loving, giving and kind.  This is the environment where good microbes flourish, and change in genetic expression and telemeres create a natural transformation toward longer life.  In a loving giving kind environment our body feels safe and we evolve without the stress.

Ayurveda and the Science of Longevity Pt 1

Ayurveda and the Science of Longevity Pt 1

I have taken the time honored practice of yoga and yoga principles as a foundation upon which to apply modern physiology and spirituality.  John Douillard takes the same approach in is workshop “Ayurveda and the Science of Longevity, applying modern science to the time tested methods of Ayurveda.

Auyurvedic medicine is a circadian medicine as it focuses on the natural rhythms of the earth.   In some ways, we have strayed from those natural rhythms. The current approach to life is from a perspective of survival from things that are out to harm our existence or the inevitability of aging.  

In addition to living in synchronicity with the natural rhythms of the earth and nature around us, the Auyurvedic lifestyle opens awareness so we become more conscious of ourselves.  How did we get here?

From an early age, we want approval from our parents and childhood experiences cement into our subconscious a reward chemistry.  We strive for approval.  We feel good when getting a raise, a new car or new home.   This carries to a daily level where activities like a stop at Starbucks or going out shopping causes our dopamine levels to rise. We feel gratification from things accomplished or things acquired or even things consumed. 

When we become still, and exist in a state of being in the present moment, we become conscious of who we are.  This is accompanied by feelings of satisfaction towards our surroundings and who we are at a very deep level.  Eckhart Tolle mentions this contrast in trying to find gratification be constantly doing compared to the state that we achieve when just being present.

That is not to say our lives should be transformed by just spending all our time in meditation.  We are continuously manifesting in life and a large part of that involves the doing.  Moreover, if we lead a balanced life with exercise, eating well and becoming more aware of ourselves, the things we manifest come with much less effort and stress.  John Douillard compares this to an archer, who is holding the bow with steadiness before releasing it to its target.  Be still, knowing the target, aim with steadiness and then perform action.  As our mind body harmony and balance improves, our targets also change as we refine what we want to manifest in life just by developing it in our state of presence.  Our quality of life and our life expectancy increases!

Great Hall Yoga at Veasey Park

Great Hall Yoga at Veasey Park

Please join us for practice at Veasey Park in Groveland on Wednesday evenings at 7pm. The address is 201 Washington Street, Groveland, MA 01834. We practice in the Great Hall; a wonderful place of serenity and energy. Admission is $8 per class or $40 for 6 classes. We hope to see you there!