Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 22, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 9

Mountain Views News Saturday, February 22, 2014 
9HEALTHY LIFESTYLES Mountain Views News Saturday, February 22, 2014 
No, we don’t worship statues. Just to be clear – yoga is not a religion. But 
it can be spiritual. It can be a lovely addition to your faith. It can make 
your faith stronger. Or, it can just be yoga. Yoga is a science, a way to 
seek enlightenment, liberation. The statues that you see in a yoga studio 
are the representations of the many faces of God. In the study of yoga, 
we draw on the many, many stories that, like parables, are there to teach 

us lessons. They give us examples. They give us hope. The stories are about good versus evil and 
the triumph of persistence, discipline, compassion and love. It does not matter if you are religious, 
spiritual or not. 

Ganesh is the elephant headed deity. He is chubby, with a big belly. He represents love, compassion, 
the enjoyment of life and the removal of obstacles that stand in the way of our progress. He is usually 
depicted as a happy guy who likes sweets. Our happy elephant god is worshipped in the Hindu faith 
(which has many similarities to Christianity, believe it or not). He is consulted before every contract 
signed or marriage entered. He is the son of Shiva. The story goes that Shiva was off in battle, fighting 
the demons and had not seen his son in many moons. Paravati, Ganesh’s mother, was in the bath 
and Ganesh was guarding the bathhouse when Shiva returned. Ganesh did not recognize his father 
and Shiva did not recognize his son. When Ganesh would not admit Shiva to the bath, Shiva used his 
mighty sword to cut off Ganesh’s head. When Shiva saw Paravati distraught, he realized his mistake 
and vowed to replace Ganesh’s head with that of the next living thing. That happened to be an elephant. 
So our cute, playful Ganesh has the head of the elephant. The big ears represent his ability to 
hear our requests. His big belly represents his love of sweets, or that which is sweet in life. His trunk 
represents his ability to bestow the sweetness of life on us. In other words, to help us understand our 
desires and to help give treats to others. The symbolism goes on and on. 
Next Friday, Feb. 28th at Yoga Madre we are having a workshop exploring deity’s and mantras. You 
can find more info at if you would like to join us.
See you in class.
Namasté, René 

Dr. Tina is a traditional 
naturopath and nutri-
tionist at Vibrant Living 
Wellness Center


Do you have heart disease? Do you believe you are destined to have high 
blood pressure or some other form of heart disease because of your family 
history? There is no question that there is enough evidence out there 
that shows that our family passes on DNA (information in our genes) 
that predisposes us to being more susceptible to diseases than maybe our 
neighbor. More important though than DNA is lifestyle. In particular 
your lifestyle and what you eat. I tell all of my clients that “your DNA 
loads the gun but your lifestyle pulls the trigger”. To date, heart disease 
remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and 
women. If you could simply change the way you eat and either prevent 
getting heart disease or reverse the heart disease you already have would 
you do so? 

The evidence is pretty compelling, a plant based diet lowers your risk 
of ever developing heart disease and may reverse or certainly lessen the 
severity of existing heart disease. Even former president Bill Clinton who 
was notoriously known for having a less than healthy diet has seen the 
light. During his time in the White House he was known to try and jog 
off his fast food binges. It worked and he was able to pass all of his health 

checks while he was president. During that time his heart disease was progressing. In 2004 Clinton 

underwent bypass surgery and in 2010 that surgery failed. Later that year, Clinton began a plant-

based diet. The result, he began to feel great, he lost weight and his heart disease began to reverse 


In an analysis published in 2009 in 
the American Journal of Cardiology, 
a plant based diet has been shown 
to: Lower levels of triglycerides, 
lower blood pressure, decrease body 
weight, decrease risk of death from 
any cause including heart disease, 
improves insulin sensitivity and 
So, if you have high cholesterol, 
or you know someone who does, 
checking out a plant based diet may 
be well worth your time. Adjusting your diet may be one way to lower your cholesterol and prevent 
heart disease. 

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