What is your moon?

The other day, I was talking to a close friend who’s heart had just been just broken. She had just parted ways with her significant other of one year. Just a few months prior to starting a relationship with him, she had divorced her partner of 15 years. She recounted this recent year-long relationship and how he moved out of state after they split. A few weeks after their breakup, she went on a business trip to the city where he now resides. She recounted feeling anxious while she was there, actually physically shaking, fearing that she would see him. The chances she would, in such a big town? Almost none. But the feelings were there, and almost crippled her with anxiety.

I asked what she was worried about, to play out the scenarios of what her specific fears actually were. But she was not able to elucidate them – she just felt fearful. The relationship, although not the healthiest, represented a new start after her divorce; the hope that he would be the answer to many of the questions she had during her tumultuous marriage.

As I struggled to help her understand, I called upon a Buddhist proverb that I used to think of a lot, but in recent times, has slipped my mind. “He was not the moon; he was never the moon. He was just the finger pointing to the moon.” She paused and her eyes welled up with plump, tense tears. I watched her chest tighten, and finally, release all the emotion she had been holding, all the hope that she had misplaced.

We are all searching for the moon. That is the human condition. It’s never about the finger. It’s about seeing for yourself where the finger is pointing. And meditation isn’t about meditation. It’s about helping you see the nature of your mind, and the world around you. And as we search for the moon, we will sometimes misplace our heart in places where it will not flourish.

Remember, the moon is you. It is your broken heart. Is your search for love, belonging, faith, sanctuary. Take a moment to think about what you have been searching for, what you have been struggling towards. Ask yourself: is what has been on my mind the moon? Or the finger pointing to the moon?

Watch my presentations on Yoga Therapy for COVID-19 recovery

I am honored to have delivered two 45-minute presentations on Yoga Therapy for COVID-19 recovery, both of which were hosted by Give Back Yoga Foundation and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

In the first presentation, you will learn:

  • Surprising, cutting-edge research findings about how COVID-19 acts
  • How yoga professionals can help individuals who are recovering from COVID-19
  • The effects you might see in your clients in a organ systems based approach

The second presentation is a follow up to the first presentation explaining the science and practice of yoga for COVID-19 long-haulers. I review the pranayama protocol and asana protocol, which were developed based on the latest research and her clinical experience working with COVID-19 patients. I also answer the questions from the first lecture.

Watch the presentations here.

Ingrid’s homemade borscht

 

 

Ingrid’s homemade borscht

I love vegetables. So this recipe calls for more vegetables than the typical borscht recipe, and I skip the potatoes. You will need a handb-lender and a heavy hand for the salting!

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 medium beets, cooked to tender, and chopped
  • medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon of dried)
  • 6-8 celery ribs, cghopped
  • 4-8 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6-8 cups water
  • Dill for garnish
  • Sour cream or homemade yogurt to dollop on top
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the beets until well done (whatever technique you use, I use my instant pot)
  2. In a large 6 quart pot (or larger), cook diced onion with olive oil, thyme and a sprinkle of salt, until translucent
  3. Discard thyme stems, and add chopped carrots, sauté about 3-4 minutes
  4. Add chopped celery, sauté until carrots and celery are tender. Add a bit more salt and pepper here.
  5. Chop beets and add to pot with 6-8 cups of water.
  6. Cook down for approximately 20 minutes.
  7. When done, take a handblender and create up the veggies to make a thick, chunky blend – so you can still decipher to separate vegetable, but the different flavors meld together.
  8. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a dollop of cream or yogurt and dill.

Dr. Yang on Get Healthy 360 Podcast

Listen to Dr. Yang’s interview with Dr. Kris Ferguson on her transition from economist, lawyer, yoga therapist and physician. Learn about all things yoga, life transitions, and finding your calling in life. https://gethealthy360.com/yoga-motivation-and-finding-your-calling-in-life-ingrid-yang-md-jd/

 

Waiting for your vaccine… do the ends justify the means?

Many people believe that to stop a deadly pandemic, the end justifies whatever means are necessary. While I agree that we have to stop this pandemic, and we will, we must also have the patience and faith to do so in a manner that is fair, orderly, and kind. Many people have recently contacted me asking how they may be able to “cut the line” in getting the vaccine earlier because they “can’t wait to travel” or “want to go out again.” (Keep in mind, that vaccinated status does not give anyone a free pass to travel or do whatever want, myself included!)
It’s worth remembering that the means by which we get to the other side of this are a measure of our character. If we succeed in opening minds and hearts, the question is not only whether we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. We should also ask whether we are proud of how we’ve achieved it.
Did you continue to go to bars without masks and pretend like this wasn’t happening while millions of people died? Half a million of your own Americans? Someone you know or at least a second degree acquaintance? Or did you shelter in place and work on your own sense of self-worth, sustainability, and heart opening?
I don’t believe it’s my place to change anyone’s mind. I’ve just been here to give you the facts during this pandemic and let you make your own choices based on the data. While our numbers are downtrending, we are still facing over 3,000 deaths per day. While it is down from our height of 4,500 deaths/day, that is still 3,000 souls that lose their bodies every day. Every. Day. And you may be contributing to this with your cavalier actions.
All I can do now is hope that you rethink your actions when you want to travel or gather in large groups. That you bear whatever side effects may come with the vaccine, knowing that you will likely save someone (if not several people’s lives) by dealing with a sore arm, or headache, or 24-hour muscle aches. That, compared to death and/or the long term lung damage alone would be worth it. I hope to stay open myself and understand other’s thinking and ask if they’re open to some rethinking. And I hope you understand that there is dignity to waiting your legitimate turn for this life saving vaccine. The rest is up to you.
Love, Dr. Yang

Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine recently. “Should I get it if I’m pregnant?” “What if I have an allergy to bee stings?” “What if I’ve already been infected with COVID-19?” “What side effects have you had?” And the most common one: “If you get the vaccine and have immunity from the disease, can you still transmit it?” (Hint: most likely not).

So here is your best resource for your answers (click here for full article from NEJM)

In short:

Should I get it if I’m pregnant? So far, there have been no reports of the vaccine injuring fetuses, however, thus far there have been no large studies on this. On a personal level, I have had friends get the vaccine who are pregnant, and have since had their babies and all is well.

What if I have an allergy to bee stings? Thus far, there does not appear to be anaphylaxis responses to the vaccine for people that have anaphylactic responses to bee stings. The best way to gauge your allergic response is if you have had allergies to vaccines in the past.

What if I have already been infected with COVID-19? Those who have active infection to COVID-19 should wait to get their vaccine (because it will be less effective). But if you have had the infection in the past, it is still recommended that you get the vaccine.

What side effects did you have? I had a sore arm for just done day with each shot (I’ve gotten the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine), and a mild headache after the second shot, which resolved after a day.

Can you still transmit the disease if you have been fully vaccinated? Probably not (after you have gained the full immunity, i.e. at least 1 week after your 2nd dose). For one, the virus is very unstable outside of the body. Prevention of disease also equates to prevention of infection. However, as this is still being studied, it is still recommended that you take all precautions as you did before such as hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing.

Remember, the vaccine is not just 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, but close to 100% effective in prevent serious, life-threatening illness with COVID-19! This downgrades it to less deadly than influenza, and saves so many lives!

Click on this link to read more from the infectious disease expert, Dr Paul Sax in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The opinions expressed on this page and by the owner of this website are published for educational and informational purposes only, and are not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.