Be a Fan.

Well this week has been one for the books in the wonderful world of sports here at the Jersey Shore.

I love watching my daughter cheer and my son play sports. 

I am a fan. A fan of all kids and young adults who play sports it does not matter what school or what town, county or "over the bridge" or "over the tracks". It is inspiring to watch them grow whether it is the same team or kids on the other team. I sit, watch, listen and observe. I am not a screamer. I am a fan. A fan of young athletes playing sports that THEY love. 

This is something that I have been wanting to write about for a very long time. How parents behave at grade school and high school sporting events.

I clearly remember the first time. Biddy basketball. My son was 7. He had the ball, hauling ass to the basket. A dad (who never cared for me for some reason) stood up, screamed at his son "GET HIM NOW" "GET THAT KID"!!! 

"That kid". Hmmmmmm..... I believe he knew his name VERY well. His eyes were bulging out of his head like he wanted to get on the court and take the ball himself. It's BIDDY basketball. Give me a f'in break you nut job. 

Soccer season. First year playing and it was a good one for my son. One comment on parent behavior:

Please do not speak poorly about 13 year old boys. They are children. It is immature, disrespectful and the parent ALWAYS finds out. 

A few weeks ago, I witnessed a few parents who were out of line and out of control at a 8th grade basketball game. The words, the actions and the behavior. Unreal. Another mom and I silently said "It's only 8th grade basketball, no one should behave like that". Two seconds later a head came in between the two of us and she stated "all parents act like this at games". Our reply; "not here".

This afternoon was another great game played by BOTH teams. Athletic, young, talented 8th grade boys coached by amazing, hardworking, giving, coaches. The boys played so hard on both teams. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy watching how these boys have grown playing sports. They have been playing each other in hoops and baseball since they were little and it is wonderful to see how they have grown into young, talented teenagers. I always feel truly amazed and proud of the opposite team.

I usually sit alone. Today was one of those days. I sat on the bleachers with "fans" from the other team. This is what I heard:

"Jesus Christ Ref", "Oh my God he's holding". I will stop there.

hmmmmm.......We played a catholic school.  Enough said.

This week there was a local basketball game that my daughter was cheering at. Fortunately and unfortunately, I was not there. I wish I was there to watch my daughter, I am so glad I was not there to witness the inappropriate, immature behavior from parents in the stands from the away team. Another catholic school. (and people knock public schools) Don't get me wrong here. I went to catholic school pretty much my entire life.

My soon to be 16 year old daughter was completely in shock from what she witnessed. A grown man, getting thrown out of his sons basketball game??? Adults stomping their feet, yelling at the coaches, refs and KIDS!!! Adults yelling at kids that are not their own at a High School basketball game?? WTF is going on?

Is this how you want your children to behave when they are adults watching their kids play sports?

Remember, kids are a product of their parents. Monkey see. Monkey do.

We all want our children to succeed in school, sports, college and in life. If they are doing well in anything, it makes us feel proud and happy. Let us all behave like adults at sporting events and set a good example for our children; our future.

Of course I did some homework.

Here are The Top Ten Rules of Expected Parental Behavior by Rick Wolff's WFAN Radio Show, The Sports Edge

  1. Parents should be seen, but not heard. Blend in with the woodwork. Don't draw attention to yourself.
  2. If you have something to say, it should only be a positive phrase. It's simple.
  3. NEVER OPENLY CRITICIZE your kid and whatever you do, NEVER CRITICIZE somebody else's kid. 
  4. Please do not do a play by play of the game. Let the coaches coach.
  5. If you can't control your mouth, stand alone. 
  6. Refs are not there to be abused. 
  7. It's okay to applaud a nice play to the other team. We are trying to teach our kids to be good sports (I think) teach them to respect their opponents.
  8. Understand that YOU ARE A ROLE MODEL and they WILL follow your behavior.
  9. Give your kid a smile. Kids do look for parent approval. If you look like you are having a good time; so will they.
  10. If a coach or a ref tells you to calm down, take that seriously.

Let's all set good examples for our children by providing encouragement and support no matter what sport or activity they choose. We were their first teachers an we should remain the best teachers for the rest of their lives.

Be positve

Be calm

Be a FAN

Yoga, Aging and Knee Pain

We all know that yoga is a great form of exercise, both physically and mentally. It is a life changing experience.

Yoga makes us look good and feel good. 

Yoga has us glowing from the inside out.

The majority of the SUKHA family is in the 40's-50"s. But if you come to SUKHA for the first time, you would think you were in a room of 30 year old's!! You are all doing a great job!! Kudos my friends. Keep it up! 

In yoga, age is not measured in chronological years, but with the saying " You're only as young as your spine". And the amazing part of that is, you are never too old to start.

Let's face it, we are not getting any younger. We practice yoga, go the gym and eat well, but we still get aches and pains. 

The knees are most common that us old folks complain about. Including myself. Years of spin class at the gym, and running took a toll on my knees. Yoga has helped with the aches and pains. From time to time, I may have a few that I bitch to myself about, but that comes with being a 46 year old. 

Below is a great article on strengthening knees and avoiding knee pain,

Avoid Knee Pain and Injury with Yoga

BY CATHERINE GUTHRIE

There’s no doubt that yoga asks much of the knees. Done properly, asana practice can shore them up to prevent injuries and slow the progression of some musculoskeletal diseases, but practiced without mindfulness, it spells disaster for these joints. Clearly, there are just as many people who credit yoga with rehabilitating weak knees as there are determined yogis like Ray, who will themselves into complex poses and pay a big price for overdoing it. But in poses like hero pose , in which the knees can feel pushed to the edge, it’s sometimes hard to know if you’re helping or hurting them. So what’s a yoga practitioner who’s concerned about protecting the knees to do? Nothing can replace the guidance of an experienced teacher, but certain principles can guide you into a safe, beneficial practice.

Weak in the Knees

The knee marks the meeting place of three bones: the shinbone (tibia), the thighbone (femur), and the kneecap (patella). Two crescent-shaped pads of cartilage, each called a meniscus, sit between the shinbone and the thighbone and act as cushions between the bones and shock absorbers during movement. Two sets of ligaments—the cruciates and the collaterals—strap all three bones in place. The cruciates crisscross below the kneecap; the collaterals run alongside the outside of the kneecap. The leg’s substantial muscles help these ligaments keep the bones properly aligned.

Unfortunately, the knee’s mechanics are better suited to chasing animals for dinner than to sliding into second base, says Stephen Messier, professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “We weren’t designed to do the things we do with our bodies nowadays,” he explains. “The knee’s engineering isn’t the greatest.”

And it shows: Every year, nearly 11 million Americans complain to doctors about knee pain. Orthopedic surgeons operate more often on the knees than on any other body part; they performed more than 1.2 million such surgeries in 1996 alone (the latest year for which figures were kept).

Roughly 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis of the knee—a degenerative disease in which the cartilage gradually decays and fails to provide the shock-absorbent padding that cushions the bones. Many older people suffer from this painful arthritic condition; age is considered a risk factor, as are obesity and knee injuries.

For years, experts have touted leg strength as one of the best ways to ward off knee problems, including osteoarthritis. This is because the knee’s key muscular supports are the hamstrings—which run from the base of the pelvis down the back of the leg to just below the knee—and the quadriceps, the four muscles on the front of the thigh that (among other things) extend a bent leg. At the first sign of the disease, doctors often instruct their patients to build muscle tone and develop flexibility in the legs so as to delay cartilage deterioration and subdue pain.

But the findings of a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in April 2003 indicate that in some cases, building leg strength doesn’t slow the disease’s progression—in fact, it hastens it. Researchers tested 230 volunteers with osteoarthritis of the knee for quadriceps strength and knee alignment, and then retested them 18 months later. The results surprised the medical community: Many volunteers with strong quads also showed rapid cartilage deterioration. But there was a catch—many of those who had strong quads and experienced a rapid progression of the disease also had misaligned kneecaps, a small but significant impairment that intensifies pressure on the cartilage.

You don’t even have to suffer from osteoarthritis for misalignment to cause problems in your knees. In fact, Messier says, “misalignment can cause injury and osteoarthritis over long periods of time, especially if you have stronger muscles that are directing the forces improperly.” If the muscular contraction between the two sides of the knee isn’t balanced, the knee rotates as it bends, which makes the joint pull toward the stronger muscle. Over time, this wears down one meniscus faster than the other and eventually damages the bone the cartilage protects.

While the study points to the problems created by building uneven leg strength, Messier is concerned that its findings will be misinterpreted. “The last thing we want to do is discourage people from getting stronger,” he says. What the study actually highlights is the importance of evenly building the leg muscles to keep the joint properly aligned—a task for which yoga is perfect.

One of the Best Antidotes

Whether you’re out to guard against injury and disease or regain strength and flexibility after an injury, yoga can be a superb antidote to knee trouble. “Yoga is fantastic for the knees, especially for people recovering from damaged ligaments,” says Michael Salveson, who has worked on dozens of yoga students during his 33-year tenure as a Rolfer in Berkeley, California. “Yoga increases the stabilizing action of the leg’s big muscles.” When the inner and outer quadriceps are equally strong, he adds, they exert an equal pull on the ligaments, which keeps the kneecap in alignment.

Sandy Blaine is a good example. As a teenager, she enjoyed dance and gymnastics. By her early 20s, she’d dislocated both knees on several occasions. Searching for a low-impact way to stabilize her joints, Blaine tried Iyengar Yoga when she was 26. She was initially surprised by the discipline’s difficulty, yet what impressed her more was how remarkably good she felt afterward. Within six months of attending two to three Iyengar classes a week, Blaine found that her knee pain had vanished. Today, at 42, she still sounds as if she can’t believe her knees are pain-free, calling the result “an absolute miracle.”

“I was looking at a lifetime of being very constrained,” says Blaine, who is now an instructor at the Yoga Room in Berkeley and regularly conducts workshops on yoga and knee health. Regaining healthy knees “was an incredible relief,” she adds.

To evenly engage the leg muscles, Blaine does chair pose with her back against a wall. She focuses on lifting her toes and pressing down evenly through all four corners of her feet. Otherwise, the outer quadriceps do all the work and old patterns are reinforced, she explains. Another way Blaine works on equalizing muscle use is by balancing on one foot with her eyes closed. “Without the orientation of the eyes, your feet and ankles have to find a true alignment to come into balance,” she says.

Robust ligaments are also essential for healthy knees. Less elastic than muscles and tendons, ligaments can give a little and bounce back to their original shape. But trouble brews when they stretch too far: Like a rubber band that’s lost its snap, they lose their shape, leaving the joint loose. Salveson, who is also an instructor at the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado, compares the microtears a ligament sustains in an injury to frays in a rope; when a few strands snap, the rope lengthens. After a torn ligament heals, one side may always be a little longer and, therefore, more susceptible to reinjury. “You can make it stronger,” he says, “but you can’t make it shorter.”

Knee experts are actually divided about whether ligaments can be strengthened. “We know that you can increase muscle and bone strength,” says Angela Smith, M.D., a clinical associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Intuitively, we think that the other structures of the knee—ligaments and tendons—get stronger as well.”

Blane, for one, is convinced that years of Iyengar Yoga have toned her knee ligaments. “At first, my feet, ankles, and knees were so weak that the standing poses were sheer torture,” she says. “My ligaments and muscles were strong on the outer leg and weak on the inner leg, which pulled the knee joint to the side. Yoga helped me strengthen those weak areas. It taught me how not to go with the path of least resistance.” Her ligaments used to be so weak that she once dislocated her kneecap tripping on a curb. But since committing herself to a regular yoga practice, she hasn’t suffered a knee injury in years.

You also can’t overlook the role of the joint’s supple cartilage in supporting the knee. Without regular use, the cartilage protecting the knee joint becomes dry and brittle, making it vulnerable to decay. “Cartilage is like a sponge,” says William Roberts, M.D., president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine and associate professor of family medicine at the University of Minnesota. “When you exercise, you squeeze the sponge, which allows it to soak up nutrients.”

If you’ve ever struggled to sit between your heels in Virasana or cross your legs into Padmasana, you’ve probably felt a twinge in your knee joint. While most yoga instructors agree that sharp pain is a one-way ticket out of any pose, the answer to the bigger question of how much (if any) sensation is OK is less obvious. Roberts recommends stretching muscles, not ligaments. “Tension in the muscle is fine. Sensation directly above the kneecap is not a problem,” he says. “But if the tension is on the sides of the knees, I’d back off.”

Some yoga teachers, however, consider Robert’s warning too conservative. “It’s a controversial issue,” Blaine admits. “At some point, you’re going to have some sensation.” She advises her students to breathe through the mild sensation of stretching but to immediately come out of any posture that becomes painful.

Joni Yecalsik, a yoga practitioner since 1970, discovered Iyengar Yoga in 1988 while recovering from a torn meniscus. She now teaches Iyengar classes in Hoboken, New Jersey, and encourages her students to tune in to the subtle differences between a sensation in the joint itself and one in the muscle and to avoid anything that irritates the knee joint. “You should feel an opening sensation in the belly of the muscle,” she says, “but you don’t want to strain the tendons or ligaments.”

A focus on body awareness and allowing slow, deep openings make certain forms of yoga ideal for students recovering from knee injuries. These include Iyengar and Anusara (which focus on attention to detail) and Kripalu and Viniyoga (which focus on gentle compassion and healing). If you’re recovering from a knee injury or surgery, you might want to steer clear of practices that involve a lot of athleticism and quick transitions between asanas until your recovery is complete.

Regardless of the style you choose, make sure the teacher is knowledgeable about knees and willing to see you through the recovery process. Try to move toward a tough pose with patience and compassion for yourself and with the attitude that getting into the final pose is only the icing on the cake. Then, when you get there, your knees will be as happy as you are.

7 Ways to Protect Your Knees in Yoga

1. Avoid Hyperextending: When joints are overly mobile and flex too far back, they’re hyperextended. In the knees, hyperextension often occurs in poses in which the legs are straightened, such as Triangle Pose and seated foward bend, putting an unhealthy tension on the ligaments. If you’re prone to hyperextension, keep a slight bend in the knees during standing poses and keep your weight evenly distributed among the four corners of your feet. In seated forward bends, place a rolled-up sticky mat or towel under the knee of the extended leg or legs.

2. Start With Your Feet: Proper alignment through the feet is the key to building strength evenly in the ligaments on both sides of the knee; when all the ligaments are equally strong, the kneecap glides effortlessly up and down and the cartilage doesn’t get worn down. Separate your toes and press actively through the four corners of your feet in every pose, even inversions. If your feet are out of alignment, your knees are going to suffer.

3. Keep Your Knees in Line: When moving into deep knee bends, such as Warrior 2 and side angle pose, first align your bent knee over your ankle, then draw your kneecap in line with your second toe. Maintain awareness in your back foot, pressing down evenly, while lifting up from the arch of your front foot. “If you let the arch drop, the knee falls inside the big toe, and you’re set up to suffer a number of different kinds of overuse and acute knee injuries,” says Angela Smith, a professor of orthopedic surgery.

4. Tune in to Subtle Signals: “Oftentimes, the knees don’t give immediate feedback,” explains Iyengar teacher Joni Yecalsik. “Only later do you realize you’ve gone too far. When it comes to the knees, the sensation that would normally proceed the red flag is the red flag.” If you feel achiness when you come out of a bent-knee pose, you may have worked too hard.

5. Build Strength by Balancing: Balancing poses, especially those that require moving through a bent standing leg, such as Eagle Pose, are especially beneficial. “Very dynamic balancing protects the knee against future injury by training the functional alignment, not just working the muscle,” Smith says.

6. Be Prop-Friendly: When it comes to seated asanas, nothing makes a tight knee happier than a bounty of props. In Virasana (Hero Pose), try raising your seat with blankets or a block. Anytime the knees are deeply bent, such as in Childs Pose, pressure can be relieved by placing a rolled-up washcloth as far into the knee pit as possible before bending the joint.

7. Warm Up With Hip Openers: “If your big joints aren’t open, your small joints will always take the stress,” yoga instructor Sandy Blaine says. “Many people hurt their knees doing Lotus when their hips aren’t ready.” She recommends warming up with hip stretches like Bound Angle Pose.

Keep those knees safe!!

xoxo

MB

 

The Golden State Warriors are YOGIS

Thursday night my 12 year old son Patrick and his friends decided to take the Teen Yoga class at SUKHA. They loved it!! They are athletes. Full blown, non-stop, basketball, baseball, lacrosse players and surfers. Although, even if you don't play sports; we are all athletes. These boys are on their way to improving their game both physically and mentally.

Patrick has practiced before many times. With a group and of course, at home with me. Core work, flying into crow and just lying on his back relaxing. 

Have Woody and I noticed a difference? Absolutely. No more pouting, sulking, getting angry or crying! I am not saying it is all from yoga. Good parenting definitely has a big part. Talks, print outs on "how to be coach-able", contracts drawn up on loving the game, being a team player, respecting coaches, umpires and teammates and how to have fun.

Meditations, relaxation and breathing is key!!

YOGA IS NOT JUST FOR GIRLS!! 

I can not stress enough the importance of yoga for athletes. So many professional sports teams are practicing yoga daily. #everydamnday

Here is a great article that was posted on one of my sons favorite basketball teams. The Golden State Warriors!!

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

Updated: JANUARY 20, 2017 — 11:12 AM EST

by JANIE McCAULEY, The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Anderson Varejao lowered his 6-foot-11 frame into a runner's lunge and raised one arm high into the air to add a twist, demonstrating after a recent shootaround the new yoga pose he just learned

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

Then, he took it up a notch and attempted an airplane balancing pose on one leg with his arms spread wide.

The Golden State Warriors have become yogis.

Coach Steve Kerr is committed to changing things up, and he gave Golden State a day off from the practice floor one day last week so the players could practice yoga instead. In the middle of a prolonged stretch at home with a more regular routine, the schedule allowed for some improvising.

"I really liked it," Varejao said. "I'm going to do more."

Doubt you'll see Draymond Green or Klay Thompson doing downward-facing dog again soon - though Green might be talked into another try eventually.

"I'm bad," Green said. "Yoga isn't for everybody. I think it's a great thing, I just don't think my body is made for all of those different positions. I did well at a few of them. It's hard, it's tough. My body really isn't cut out for yoga."

The very next night after the group class, during warmups for a home game with the Pistons, player development coach Bruce Fraser pulled his foot to his opposite inner thigh for an impromptu tree pose. He laughed as an amused Shaun Livingston watched from the baseline.

Andre Iguodala is an experienced yogi who can really cat-cow and is considered top on the team, often taking classes. Center Zaza Pachulia also can forward fold with the best of them. They took prominent positions in the class led by Lisa Goodwin, Golden State's director of corporate communications and also a yoga teacher, at a Berkeley studio - a first for Kerr taking the team away from team headquarters for a yoga session.

No surprise, two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry can bring it on the mat, too.

"We've had some optional yoga sessions at our facility. This is the first time we took everybody and made it mandatory," Kerr said. "It was good."

The temperature was about 92 degrees for the hour-long power vinyasa class, so it was steamy.

Everybody was drenched in sweat by the end for final resting pose, or savasana.

"My muscles felt good," forward James Michael McAdoo said, rubbing his stomach where his core got a workout. "It was fun. It was hot in there, like working in a sauna. I told our strength and conditioning coach, 'You got to step up your game. Lisa embarrassed us.'"

"It's awful, it's pitiful," Thompson said of his own yoga ability. "It's something I worked on and it's something I actually enjoy. More than just being physically challenging, it's an incredible mental workout. It tests your pain tolerance and your ability to push yourself mentally. That's why I like it. It was really good. I think it helped a lot of us - everybody, even the coaches."

Along with the experienced yoga veterans, there were some first-timers.

A few found it extremely tough.

"I'm not the most flexible," acknowledged player development coach Chris DeMarco.

Assistant coach Mike Brown described his debut as "terrible."

"For me, it was really hard, but it was fun," he said, later adding, "I nearly passed out."

Ron Adams, another assistant who focuses on preparing Golden State's defense, happened to work out in the hottest corner of the room for his first time practicing in that high temperature.

"It's such a cleansing exercise," he said.

The Warriors aren't the only ones doing it.

Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy has scheduled yoga time for the Pistons, saying: "It's got its value, no question about it. Would I consider doing it with them? Probably not."

Kerr goes whenever he can fit it in, typically taking an hour-long class during the lunch hour on game days when the schedule - and his body - allows.

It's a time he can focus on taking some deep breaths, literally, away from the pressure-packed NBA workload and just be just another yoga student for 60 minutes out of his day.

This weekend marks one year since Kerr formally returned to the bench last Jan. 22 against Indiana after a lengthy leave of absence to deal with complications from a pair of back surgeries. Current Lakers coach Luke Walton led the way during a record 24-0 start and went 39-4 before Kerr's comeback on the way to winning Coach of the Year after an NBA record 73-9 finish.

While the 51-year-old Kerr still has some discouraging, physically challenging moments dealing with pain and headaches, he considers himself fortunate to be on the sideline doing what he loves.

"I guess normal is a good way to say it. He seems like his old self," Curry said. "You know he's been through a lot just physically trying to recover from the surgeries he's had. I can't imagine the frustration, how long it took and things he had to do and all the doctors he's met with. His whole story is crazy. We're obviously happy to have him back but not only that, you see him with energy and his presence like he wants. It's been good to see."

Whether Kerr will take his team back to yoga any time soon, time will tell. The Warriors are at the season's midway point and the "dog days" of January as Kerr has put it. Golden State was home for all but a night from Dec. 26 until leaving for Houston on Thursday for Friday's game against the Rockets, with just a quick bus ride to Sacramento as the lone road trip in a 10-game stretch during that span.

Because there was so much time to practice, the yoga day was a nice change of scenery.

 

Published: January 20, 2017 — 11:12 AM EST

Get your boys and girls to YOGA