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Songline Running


You’re a creative type? Love the buzz of that busy mind bursting forth new ideas? Of course! There’s only one little hiccup; a bug in the cranial software. It’s called ‘conscience’.

This little pest insists on telling you you should be exercising (just when you thought you’d mastered the fabulously healthy skill of dismissing all ‘shoulds’).  It gnaws at you with the ‘exercise’ message, ensuring you faintly recall a virtuous feeling you had when you did some years ago. But a huge groan keeps pace with conscience, fuelling an ongoing battle for songwriters like me, who are notorious for not exercising anything other than the mind. Until now.

Today,  a new sport, Songline Running, invented itself. And it’s not the regular sport of running with headphones on.  It goes like this:

You take up Songline Running, (having a name for something always helps).  In your first session, totally new, (and, you tell yourself, ‘vastly better’), songlines run through your mind as you run – (and, you tell yourself, this is the only way they come in at this level). Even miniature runs yield this quality of creative occurrences.  I call my miniature runs ‘shuffles’ …

Then follows the best bit. You treat yourself with the well deserved REWARD – (you might need to picture the reward before you begin, to get you out the door in the first place). And the reward is? Vastly better songlines of course, (or poetry if you’re a poet, novel ideas if you’re a novelist, and so on). You get to slam all that breakthrough, higher level brilliance into your songwriting software the moment you get home. Athletes call this a ‘warm down’ – you see them stretching in all sorts of gangly poses after the run. But for we ‘arteests’ the best ‘warm down’ is to ‘get it down’ … I’ve just completed my first Songline Run and I couldn’t wait to tell you!  I’m FULL of world-shattering new ideas.

Next time I post a song, you’ll be so impressed you’ll immediately take up the sport yourself, (that is, unless you’re already impressed with this triumphant little article, in which case, you’ll take up the sport now). OK. I’ve warmed down getting this all down. And I’ve popped those gorgeous new lines into my songwriting software, which I reckon is thanking me. Now it’s time for brekkies.

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Filed under The Music of Life, What's Behind the Song

May as well Laugh!


1. Dare I mention wrinkles? … waves of skin falling over skin?
2. Do you feel younger in ‘hide-the-evidence’ clothing?
3. Is your mental composure lost at the look of your anatomy while engaging in a forward bend?

Having answered yes to the above, I had to do something about it. I tried the gym … and lasted about two minutes. Then, breakthrough … a way to get my stubbornly sagging biceps to actual lift off point. This song, on my Still Dancing album, does the trick!

Gravity  

Good old Newton had a flash
Evolved the idea, gave it a bash
Wrote it on paper for all to see
And now we have the theory of gravity
What was firm is not so sound
What stayed up must come down
Look at great grandma and you will see
The long term effect of gravity!

Gravity, gravity
It’s all happening to you & me
We take it all so seriously
May as well laugh at gravity

What was tight is growing slack. You want your youthful figure back
But a face lift’s just a bit of messing around
When even your internals are falling down!
That’s nature – It’s all fine. She gave the solution
It’s in the mind. Forget the lines, and sing with me
May as well laugh at gravity

Gravity, gravity – It’s all happening to you & me …

But Newton’s in a grave situation
Physicists across the nation say
Our subatomic essence is totally free
Beyond the pull of gravity!

Quantum physics says your face consists of little – mainly space
Celebrate! It could be worse – Our essence is the universe!
So why not entertain this truth
And drink from the quantum fountain of youth?
You’re beautiful! Set yourself free!
May as well laugh at gravity.

Gravity, gravity, it’s all happening to you & me
We take it all so seriously
May as well laugh at gravity

© Radha Sahar, February 2009

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A Body Like an Avatar Alien, part 2

Here it is!!! – my new Avatar body – not bad eh!

Now before you elaborate on the finer differences between me and the Navi Babe in part 1, realise we are on another planet. On Pandora, no way you would learn about slimming. The Navi eat plant-based wholefood. They put me in the picture, saying …

‘You skip through the forest collecting ripe treats here & there. It’s tempting to graze but you learn that food is actually precious. You gather & hunt for the whole family – none of this individual indulgence stuff. You take what you need and no more – no private pigging out! Anorexia? Bulimia? Obesity? – such diseases of ‘civilisation’ do not occur here’.  If your morning hunt takes all morning; what happened to breakfast? I wonder. They reply …

‘There’s plenty of pure water, and the Avatar Tea in your hunting pouch sports a little plant-milk; just enough protein to keep you going’. I tried it out. By midday I experienced a new feeling – hunger!!! What I used to call hunger was just my stomach digesting. Real hunger feels different – primal and healthy. It only occurs in waves every four to six daylight hours. The Navi explain that they still observe the ancient ways; the ancestors ate according to the sparse cycle of hunger – when and if there was food to go around.

So much for all the slimming tips and recipes we Earthlings secretly hoped to pick up during our Navi training! Evidently the apex of our induction has just been reached. We aimed, we fired and we’re on target. We now have the knowledge of how need to get a body like an Avatar Alien:  be active & eat healthy food in small amounts when you’re genuinely hungry, period. Back to Earth … Galump! As mother used to say “Give thanks”, “Eat your greens” and “Think of all the starving children.”

All your extra indulgences now go into the food bank trolley at the supermarket – lots of struggling families now. You tune into your body and find you’re gradually turning a rather triumphant shade of blue …

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Have a Body like an Avatar Alien! – part 1

Avatar Alien ImageOK, so you don’t want blue skin; fair enough. But those slim, agile limbs and CGI waistlines! – what wouldn’t you do to have those? You decide to take the leap …
back to nature, where such endowments are a natural given in the hunter gatherer lifestyle.  Suddenly ancient ways are making sense. Time to get hunting & gathering …

You’ve been great at hunting for bargains and gathering weight, but now you’ve seen Avatar

1. Back to the Plot
Square one. You realise that, like the Na’vi, you’re living on a plot of soil – well it was, before you had it concreted a decade ago. It’s out with the concrete and in with a magical, Pandora-style vege & herb garden. Out with that designer pebble courtyard and in with a luscious little lawn. Trimming inches Hand Mowing imageoff your waist as you trim the grass with a dinky little push-mower, you’re in tune with nature. Exercise, now integrated into daily home-living, is not only burning off calories, it is increasing your metabolic rate and your lean tissue mass! Every muscle sings as you dig compost and plant and weed your green heaven. Gathering your very own harvest, you thank the goddess you haven’t lost the plot.

2. Out with Labour Saving Devices
Was there white-ware on Pandora? You didn’t even see a laundry, let alone white-ware. You realise over-civilization has you in its deadly, muscle-wasting grip. No longer. You’re washing laundry by hand, picturing yourself dressing real scanty like the Na’vi once your new body is fully formed. Hanging clothes out in the sun, your big-stretch regime has new meaning. Everything hums as you ‘vacuum’ the floor with your hand-sweeper (remember those cute Eggbeater imagepush-things grandma had?). Manual labour is back ‘in’ as do-it-by-hand beaters, graters, peelers and lemon-squeezers consume energy – yours, not the environment’s. Your thighs are lithe from constant knee-bends, your arms are firm enough to go sleeveless and you’ve actually got a waist! But what to do with the waste? A boomer truckload of white-ware & electrical gadgetry is donated to those in need – frantic parents with a house full of kids to raise, for instance. You are now free to fight the good fight …

3. Facing the Cold, Hard Fax
On the 3D battlefield, you were in retreat and your stomach, in advance.  You stand on attack, bravely facing the fax – the cold, hard truth aliens have been bleeping to humans since consumerism took over planet Earth. It is this:
Consume Less. If you have surplus fat, you’ve eaten more calories than you need. There is no way to shed weight, and keep it off, other than eating less and exercising more. End of transmission. Gulp. Blush. Surely the facts don’t have to be that black & white? That cold?

Luckily, you’ll only need to eat moderately less, and exercise moderately more – that’s hot! But you soon go cold realising it has to be ongoing. As it turns out ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ are your friends’ – extreme temperatures can increase your metabolic rate by up to 20% – it’s all gong to work out as you work out.

Yoga imageIt’s off to hot yoga, or at least a weekly sauna. You jog in the winter air, take bracing, short, cool showers and go easier on the central heating. Being cold makes you fidget, but fidgeting is also your friend! According to US research, fidgety humans are more likely to be slim than laid-back humans. Movement, of any sort, is hot – that’s cool!  You pace around. You rapidly improve at Forward Bend imageyoga, Avatar suppleness now yours to show off! You’re stronger too as you do a little weight-lifting at the supermarket, grabbing five pounds of butter in each hand and carrying them up and down the aisle. You’re so smart! But your stroppy playfulness is short lived. It dawns on you that this 10 lbs of butter is how much extra fat you’ve got stored inside you. Groan. You’re gonna have to do the calorie drop sometime. You decide to ditch the butter … a good way to up your health as you lower your carbon footprint as well as your weight.

If only you could get it over with and go back to normal life. But no, it’s not a quick fix. It’s going to take months to lose that weight in a healthy way, and the rest of your life to keep it off. Yes, you’ll have to permanently eat less if you want to keep your new Avatar body. You won’t be able to go back to the amount you used to eat, because your Avatar Metabolism is slower. It’s slower because you have less weight to carry around.  It’s slower because you now eat less. You’re not so hungry because your stomach has shrunk, (and that’s one big stretch you’ll never need to do again!) You will eat less from now on. You’ve faced the cold, hard fax. They took a bit of digesting … but at least you’re digesting something!

4. Learning New, Ancient Ways

It’s induction time; you’re the chosen one – the one who will be super-gorgeous, lithe, fit, muscle-endowed and trim. Your hope for a bright future lies with the alien ancestors. You’ve already started Echo Living, so you’re well on the way backwards. Step further now, into the ancient ways …

~ Mining Precious Minerals
Planet Pandora’s bogglingly valuable mineral, ‘unobtanium’ is not nearly as in demand on planet Earth as the one you’re discovering: ‘weightlossium,’ which is highly active when you get back to the essentials; minerals & vitamins. You discover seaweed, the ultimate mineral-rich food, and other ancient, super-foods. Every calorie counts. You go nutrient-rich – wholefoods, high in nutrients, low in calories; juicy fresh fruit & vegetables being the most valuable. You tread carefully with energy-dense foods – refined, high in calories and low in nutrients; gluggy fries & donuts, and ‘empty’ foods like candy for instance. You start digging into the garden instead of digging in at the bakery, dessert restaurant, sweet shop, or fast food stop.  You’re high on nutrition, low on calories. Your new culinary goldmine is raking in the profits.

~Becoming Unrefined
Leaping around in the wild, you’re eating foods as nature made them. Nothing is refined on Pandora – no food industry exists to refine it. No fillers, additives, artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, humectants, emulsifiers, sweeteners, acidity regulators, modified genes and other profit-making, up-sizing ingredients. Your taste buds burst you into new heights of ecstasy.

Dinner imageAs you serve up dinner in your little cabin, you’re doing the diet and it’s delicious! All the vitamins you need are within the healthy, natural foods you love; (though being vegan on Earth you take B12, maybe Vit.D). Sitting on the throne, you reach a new level of ‘regular,’ enjoying kiwifruit, delicious whole grains and the all that natural fibre without even thinking – each day is a moving experience! What a relief – returning to your, natural, unrefined, radiant self! 🙂

Tell us how you go experimenting with your new Avatar body – or at least what you think about ‘weightlossium!’ There’s more coming up, so look out for Part Two … (it will find you if you subscribe by email, top right column). May the force be with you!

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Filed under Health Viewpoint, What's Behind the Song