Home HEALTH Mind + Body: April 2018

Mind + Body: April 2018

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On Your Mat, Get Set, Flow!  The world’s only mindful triathlon returns to New Orleans this month.

While you may have heard about the Wanderlust yoga festivals, you may not have heard about Wanderlust 108. This unique, mindful triathlon returns to New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds April 7 with a 5k run (or walk); a music-fueled, outdoor yoga class led by Faith Hunter; and a guided meditation led by Noah Levine. Attendees can also groove to the sounds of DJ Drez, browse the Kula Marketplace of local food and craft vendors (think clothing, jewelry and handcrafted items), and experience bonus fitness classes throughout the day. There will also be a retail store experience created by adidas and Wanderlust housed in a 60-foot goedesic dome that will feature a co-branded collection of items.

New this year, participants can choose from a variety of ticket options (ranging from $30-$150) to create the perfect individual experience. For example, the $150 ticket package includes a Manduka WAN(DER)LUST mat; a Wanderlust 108 tote; a WAN(DER)LUST water bottle; a Wanderlust fandana; premium mat placement for the yoga and mediation portions of the event; a scheduled bonus activity (such as aerial yoga, AcroYoga, hooping or Flying Therapeutics); a A Wanderbowl for lunch (a Mexican-inspired vegetarian or vegan meal); and a free Wanderlust TV class to continue the experience online at home. This year, Wanderlust will donate $1.08 from every ticket sold to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS with (RED), which could provide more than three days of life-saving HIV medication. To date, (RED) has generated more than $500 million for the AIDS fight, supporting HIV/AIDS programs and services in eight countries in Africa. wanderlust.com/new-orleans, red.org

 

Behavioral Fitness: A local psychotherapist offers therapy on-the-move in what he calls Walk ’n’ Talk sessions.

Gregory Salerian, a licensed clinical social worker who moved to New Orleans from Houston in 2016, has been practicing as a psychotherapist since 2006 (with a three-year sabbatical hiatus). “I have always loved the spirit of New Orleans, and my brother and sister-in-law moved here in mid-2016 so I thought I would give it a shot,” he says.

He initially chose behavioral health as a profession because of two factors: change and empathy. “I have always been enamored with the dynamic human experience — the range of behaviors and emotions that we experience — and the ever changing array of influences upon them,” Salerian says. “I love helping people learn, adapt and navigate life’s obstacles to bring about change in their lives. Reduce the negative, increase the positive.”

Salerian says that he is a cognitive behavior-based, eclectic clinician with a direct empathic problem solving-based perspective on treatment. To say it simple, he stays away from the hokey stuff. However, he has created a unique approach to behavioral health that combines fitness with talk therapy called Walk ’n’ Talk.

“[It’s] exactly what it sounds like — therapy on-the-move,” he says. “There is ample scientific and anecdotal evidence about the positive impact of exercise on mental functioning and clarity. Exercise stimulates neurotransmitters, which facilitates mental processes and augments therapy making ‘breakthroughs’ more likely and progress more efficient. I have mostly stuck to Audubon Park for Walk ’n’ Talk sessions with plans to expand to City Park if demand warrants it. I have also done sessions in the Lower Garden District near my office.”

While there are many signs that you may need therapy, a few that Salerian mentions are: a sustained departure from a person’s baseline or normative function; excessive use of substances; avoidance; isolation; aggression; and recklessness. “I wouldn’t want someone to wait until they are having a heart attack to go to a doctor and then try to make changes to protect their cardiovascular health,” he says. “Preventive action is always the best. Mental health and behavior is no different. I advocate a preventive approach to mental health. [It’s important to] develop mechanisms and routines that create a buffer of resiliency to stress with regular exercise, problem-solving, minimizing bad habits, expanding good habits, enriching positive relationships, eating well, and managing tasks and time efficiently and effectively in life (all with the understanding this is easier said than done, but worth the effort).” Center for Behavioral Fitness, 625 Celeste St., (504) 517-3485, retraindatbrain.com

Maria’s Pick: Hot Dang! A new book reveals how women can changes their lives by changing the way they love.

What if this is the year when we finally take the reins on our love life? We are all familiar with the discouraging fact that almost half of all marriages end in divorce. But even if a marriage survives, it’s important that it also thrives. That’s why longtime divorce attorney Michelle Afont penned her new book, The Dang Factor: A No-Nonsense Lesson on Life and Love ($13, TFS Press). She has spent more than 20 years as divorce attorney and has seen first-hand what breaks marriages apart and what prevents people from having the love life they so deserve.

In the book, Afont combines her professional experience with what she’s learned on her own personal journey of discovery, divorce and rebirth. She also includes the results of more than 4,000 interviews with both men and women across the United States on the topics of relationships, betrayal, sex and commitment to form a complete and powerful guide for women.

“This handbook on finding your best love — and therefore your best life — is a must-read for anyone who has struggled in the love department,” says Maria Muro, publisher at New Orleans Living. “It covers the importance of now allowing our past to define our future, which is a reminder we can all use sometimes. It’s encouraging and empowering, and a really quick read.”

**Photo by Harlin Miller for Wanderlust Festival