Tag Archives: humor

In the News: Strange Phenomenon in Yoga Studios

1 Apr

Yes we are a bath and body company, yumscrub.com, and our blogs usually focus on those things related to it.  But, Yum Scrub Organics’ founder, Denise, is also a yoga teacher.  She found this article in the San Jose Post so alarming she thought we should share it in case you or anyone you know practices yoga – just to be prepared.

A new unexplainable phenomenon is happening to yoga students in yoga classes in California and apparently spreading eastward.

It began a couple of weeks ago in a class at the Mudhatama Yoga Studio in San Jose, California while students were doing cat and cow pose.  Cat/cow is a movement done on the hands and knees. Students flex their spine by moving from rounding it to extending it. It is called cat/cow because the rounding of the spine resembles a frightened cat, and the extending of the spine where the belly drops down looks like a cow. This time though the poses took on a life of their own. Students involuntarily began to meow and moo spontaneously.

The teacher, Josh Riddel, sensed right away that something was wrong–that this was no game.  He said he felt chills go up and down his spine at the sound because they were so realistic.  Riddel could see by the bewilderment and fright on the students’ faces that something strange was going on.  The sounds stopped when the class of about 24 students moved from cat/cow to sitting.

After the students calmed down, Riddel asked if they could explain what happened. The students could not explain.  They all reported the same experience: Something uncontrollable came over them, and the meows and moos emanated from their mouths on their own volition.  Several of the students were so frightened they began to sob while others laughed it off as part of the yoga experience.

Riddel asked for student volunteers to go back into cat/cow to see if the sounds would emanate from them again.  Several students did volunteer, and once again they all meowed and mooed.  He had no explanation to give his students.  It didn’t end there.  Other teachers at the yoga studio reported the same sensations were happening in their classes.  And soon, posts on social media showed that the meowing and mooing were not limited to this one studio.  Like a virus, it had spread to other yoga studios all over California.

Some gurus are saying that this is merely students embodying the essence of the pose.  “I know that yoga is to transform me.  But I don’t know if I’m ready to be transformed into a cat or cow even if cows are sacred in India.  Well…besides we aren’t in India, and I’d probably get eaten here in the U.S.  This is what has become of me since that day; I make no sense at all when I speak.  This whole experience has ungrounded me,” said Flo Hardy, a yoga student in Riddel’s class.

Since the San Jose Post broke the story, many students are staying away from yoga classes while other people who have never done yoga are flocking to them.  They want to have what they see as a once in a lifetime experience.  During the full moon in March, many yoga classes were held outside so students could meow/moo at the moon…a yoga version of howling at the moon.

The SJP interviewed medical personnel in various fields to see if they could offer any insights or explanations, but no one as been able to identify a cause.  Strangely, it is only happening in yoga classes and only with the cat/cow movement. Students are not barking in downward facing dog………not yet.  Also, teachers are not affected, and individuals practicing at home do not report the same experience.

Some speculate that maybe a mass Kundalini awakening or enlightenment is happening, and others say it is a sign that points to the birth of the aquarius age.  The aquarius age, which humanity is in the beginning stages, is said to cause consciousness rising. Unsettling consequences can happen to those not prepared for higher levels of consciousness in this new age, Dr. Shaman Mee, director of Spirit Rising explains. Whether it is related no one knows for sure–all is speculation.  What is known, however, is that the phenomenon is not just isolated to California.

It is moving east.  Reports of the Meow Moo Mantra, as it is now being called, are coming in from Oregon, Washington State, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.  Since it seems to be spreading like a virus, it’s only a matter of time that yoga studios nationwide may be affected.

If you or someone you know practices yoga, all that we can tell you to do is:


 Have a Happy April Fool’s Day!

Love and Light to All~

Denise & Mackenzie

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Abbott and Costello: What’s Natural?

6 Jun

Sometimes the confusion over natural, organic, and 100% organic puts me in the mind of the famous Abbott and Costello baseball skit, “Who’s on First?”  I imagine a discussion between them on natural, organic, and 100% organic labeling going something like this:

             Abbott:    Did you get the lettuce?

            Costello:  Yeah, got it right here.

            Abbott:    Is it organic?

            Costello:  It says it’s natural. 

            Abbott:    The lettuce talks?

            Costello:  No, the label.  It states the lettuce is natural.

            Aboott:    Does that mean it’s organic?                       

            Costello:  Naturally.

            Abbott:    Natural is organic, naturally?

            Costello:  Sure, it grows in nature doesn’t it?

            Abbott:    So, why does the label say natural and not organic?

            Costello:  Because organic is natural and natural organic.  So, it doesn’t matter.

            Abbott:    Natural is organic, naturally then you say?

            Costello:  Organic is natural.

            Abbott:    Only if it’s not on a label.  Then there’s 100% organic.

            Costello:  Huh?

            Abbott:    100% organic is more organic than organic and natural.

            Costello:  What about natural?  Nature is nature, which is organic.

            Abbott:    Naturally you’d think that.  But natural is marketing.

            Costello:  I go to the market to get natural?

            Abbott:   Natural is marketing spin.  It makes food & things look healthy and organic.

            Costello:  I’m beginning to spin.  So, I go to the market and spin my food to make it natural & organic.

            Abbott:   You don’t spin it.  Companies with marketing departments do.

            Costello:  Companies have departments that do the marketing?  I want to work there.

            Abbott:    They don’t do the shopping for you.  Marketing departments spin words and create images to make the products more appealing to customers.           

            Costello:   Is this natural?

            Abbott:    We’ve been over this.  100% organic is natural only.  Only in the natural world is organic natural and 100% doesn’t exist.

            Costello:  So, let me get this straight.  Natural marketing is unnatural, natural is not organic, and organic is not 100%.

            Abbott:    Naturally…

            Costello:  Don’t start; I’m leaving with my lettuce.

Okay, so maybe it’s not as funny as the “Who’s on First,” but it does offer a description of the confusion over natural, organic, and 100% organic.  And yes, some of the confusion is done purposely by marketing machines, especially the “natural” description.

“Natural” Labeling Is a Marketing Term Only
Basically, “natural” had no official designation when it comes to most food and means nothing with regard to cosmetics.  The USDA defines “natural” only as it relates to meat, poultry, and eggs only.  For meat, poultry, and eggs the definition means, “minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients.”  It doesn’t say anything about how the meat, poultry, or eggs are farmed or produced.

Companies have latched onto the fact that “natural” and “from nature” have no official designation.  The terms can be used broadly to describe about anything that has even a remote connection to nature.

The same is true with “natural” or “naturally-based” cosmetics.  Theoretically, a product can contain 99% chemical based ingredients and state on its label that is “natural” or contains “natural ingredients.”  Many companies take advantage of this to confuse consumers because they want to capture and use the trend toward organic lifestyle.

“Natural,” “from nature, “natural source derived” are all marketing terms.  Period.

“Organic” Products Can Contain Chemicals
In addition, “organic” does not mean that the ingredients are all organic as in without manmade chemicals.  By USDA regulations, multi-ingredient products can have up to 5% nonorganic ingredients.  These ingredients must come from USDA approved nonorganic list.

Not to confuse you even more, but products labeled “contains organic ingredients” can have up to 30% manmade chemicals or nonorganic ingredients.

100% Organic Assures No Synthetic Chemicals
Only those products labeled 100% organic are truly natural in the true sense of the word as in straight from Mother Nature without chemical additives or chemical processes.  Products labeled such cannot contain any manmade chemicals or chemicals derived from natural sources.

Ending the Confusion
So, hopefully you are not as confused as Abbott and Costello.  Just remember “natural” is not synonymous with “organic” or “100% organic.” It is a term latched onto by marketing departments.  And “100% organic” is the only labeling that is regulated to not have any chemicals in the product.  However, to the honesty of 100% organic labeling….well, that’s for another post.

Natural.  As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

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Get Your Happiness On

7 Mar

So, for skin to be healthy and beautiful, you need good nutrition, good sleep and rest, exercise, a skincare regimen, great products (ha-hum), etc.  However, there is something we tend not to relate with healthy, beautiful skin and that is happiness and laughter.  Do not underestimate what feeling happy and laughing can do for the skin. 

Happiness and laughter bring a natural glow to the skin.  Feelings of happiness, reduce stress and lower blood pressure, which gets reflected on your skin with less wrinkles, improvement in skin conditions, such as acne and eczema, and more suppleness.  With less stress and worry, more nutrients flow to your skin instead of being directed to bodily functions that are a part of the body’s “fight and flight” response.

An Angel We Can All Love

Kick Start Your Happiness Gene
Okay, we don’t really know if there is a happiness gene.   But imagine there is one, and we are going to turn it on.

The quickest way to turn on your “happiness gene” is to think or list all the things you love, every little thing and every big thing you can think of.  Just keep going and going and going with the list.  Hand-n-hand with love is gratitude.  Again, list all the things big and small, you are grateful for.  If it’s hard getting started, think of all the people whose work makes your lifestyle possible: farmers, utility workers, builders, grocery workers, farm workers, automobile designers and workers, etc. 

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists ever, gave thanks and gratitude 100 times a day every day.

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

Here are few videos and images to jump start your happiness! Yeah, some are cute, some funny, and some ridiculous.  Enjoy.

Ridiculous Happiness

Lizards Get Happy Too

Blossoms Bring Hope

Joyous Abandonment: It's Catchy

Piggy Possum...Too Full to Move...Caught Red Handed

Nothing Like a Good Roll in the Snow

Sign of Spring

Kissable Lips

14 Feb

Roses, candy, and dinner are just the backdrop for tonight’s main attraction–the Valentine’s Day kiss or the hope of getting that kiss.  We want you to make the best of it by having lips worth kissing. 

Just to be sure those kissable lips aren’t wasted because of faulty kissing technique, head over to kissing.com.  There you’ll learn how to make that Valentine’s Day smooch crackle with fireworks.  Though kissing has been happening for thousands and thousands of years, some of us apparently haven’t gotten it down yet.   There’s probably a gene for kissing that has yet to be discovered and unlocked for some.  Not only can you learn some toe wiggling kissing techniques at kissing.com,  you can also buy some lessons.  How about that for a Valentine’s Day gift?

While we will not share our snogging (Brit’s term for smooching) secrets, we will share some tips to get your lips properly prepared for a big smooch.

Tips for Kissable Lips

  • Honey is great for softening and smoothing chapped lips.  Put about a teaspoon or so in a small bowl, add a drop of water.  Apply to lips and let sit for a few minutes.  Take a wet toothbrush or damp washcloth over lips to remove dry skin.  Be gentle. Apply lip balm or some olive oil, Shea or cocoa butter.
  • Coconut oil also works well for softening lips.  Apply directly to lips; let sit for a few minutes and remove dry skin as above.
  • Run a warm air humidifier or vaporizer at night to prevent chapped lips.
  • Before applying your favorite lipstick, apply some chap stick to your lips first.  This is a good technique if you find that your lips become chapped after applying lipstick.  Lipstick can sometimes cause lips to dry out, esp. if you are sensitive to an ingredient in the lipstick, such as lanolin.  Also, the ingredient propyl gallate and phenyl salicylate (salol) in lipstick causes contact dermatitis in some people.
  • Lip balms can cause your lips to become chapped if there is an ingredient that your lips are sensitive to.  i.e.  I can’t use any chap stick that has hemp or lanolin in it.  Those two ingredients will cause my lips to become chapped.  Beeswax is the one ingredient I look for in a chap stick.
  • Stay away from petroleum, fragrances, and scents in lip balms.  They can also make lips worse.  Ingredients should be simple and natural.
  • Never lick your lips when they are chapped.  It will only make them worse.
  • Keep hydrated with some good old water.  It will help in preventing dry lips in the first place.
  • Breathe through your nose and not your mouth to prevent dry lips.
  • Citrus fruits, nickel, sodium lauryl sulfate in tooth paste, dyes used in candy and food, hypothyroidism can all contribute to chapped lips.

Now that your lips are kissable, the rest is up to you.  Oh, don’t forget to check the breath.  Kissable lips won’t mean a thing if the vapors emitting from your mouth keep your sweetie from coming within twenty feet of you.

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Kunin, Audrey, M.D. “Chapstick and Verse; A Guide To Chapped Lips.” Online: http://www.dermadoctor.com/article_Chapped-Lips_185.html.

Bird Poop – Urine – Snakes: Beauty Treatments??

28 Sep

Today for your beauty pleasure we have a smorgasbord of extreme beauty treatments.  For $180, you can get bird poop (guano) smeared on your face, for around $70.00 (plus travel expenses) you can have a massage with snakes, but the good news is the urine therapy–it’s free.  You use your own.

The Poop on a Geisha Facial
We know all you DIY’s are excited to run out and start collecting bird droppings to do your own bird poop facial.  However, this isn’t ordinary poop; the bird droppings in a Geisha Facial–the more exotic name–are special (of course).  It’s from Japanese nightingales.  The guano doesn’t come from just any ordinary nightingale either; it comes from the Japanese bush warbler.  The question is (among others) what makes nightingale poop more special than say, a sparrow or pigeon’s droppings?  Pigeons are certainly proliferating poopers.  But, in this case quality over quantity apparently prevails.  But then again, maybe nightingales are good guano makers.  You would think they would need to be for the worldwide demand of the “poop” facials….   Are there really researchers examining the benefits of bird poop and whose poop is more nutrient rich for the face?

Apparently this is not the case, as the research of the beneficial properties of nightingale excrement is more organic and very ancient.  The use of guano for the face has its roots in ancient times; the Koreans used it for removing dye from fabrics and introduced it to the Japanese.  The Japanese Geishas used it as a replacement for zinc and lead to whiten the face.  Just so you know the guano is sterilized and mixed with other ingredients.  One of the main components of nightingale excrement–urea–segues into the next extreme beauty practice–urine.

Pee U Therapy
Urea is the main chemical component of Urine.  Urine therapy has also been around for a very long time. Used on the face, it supposedly does a similar thing that bird guano does.  Users claim that it helps with acne, evens out facial tones, and moisturizes.  And…drum roll…it’s free.  As long as you don’t find yourself dehydrated out in the desert, you’ll have an ample supply.  Just in case you’re intrigued to try it, it’s suggested that mid-stream pee is best.  This is most likely to catch the more sterile part of it.  Urine is sterile until it reaches the urethra where it can pick up bacteria.  Also, it’s reportedly better to use the first pee of the morning.

We don’t want to further engage your gag reflex, but many people drink their pee for therapeutic benefits.  Proponents of urine therapy claim that urine is rich in beneficial nutrients.  Thank you, but I think I’ll stick to supplements and food.  So, the next time you run out of your face cream, toner, or whatever just catch some pee and apply….

Creepy Crawler Therapy 
Now that we have grossed you out, let’s see if we can give you the heebie-jeebies.  Snakes! Just imagine snakes crawling all over your body.  They’re slithering up and down your back, over the shoulder, up and down the legs…maybe around your neck and tickle your eyelashes.  How does this image feel to you?  Well, the Ada Barak Spa in Israel says it’s relaxing.  They use it as part of a massage therapy.  They use heavier snakes for deep tissue and lighter snakes for a more soothing…um-touch.  Just so you know, all the snakes are nonpoisonous.  Just wondering when an American entrepreneur will bring it to the states.  Can’t wait!!!

Now We Need a Beer 

Oh, sorry this beer is not for drinking.  It’s for a beer bath! Beer baths are apparently becoming a hit in European hotels. The claim is that it releases toxins through sweat…um…so does exercise. How many kegs do you think it takes to fill up a tub? How about adding beer to a hot tub and throw in some beer reveling friends, sounds like a typical college party not a spa treatment!   


Carrots, Attraction, Happiness, and Bugs Bunny, huh?

25 Mar

Ha.  Wondering how these will get connected?  Read on.

A study done by the University of Bristol showed that fresh fruits and vegetables high in carotenoid give skin a healthy glow. . People with a light yellow hue (we’re not talking sun yellow or anything) are considered more attractive.  It turns out that yellow undertones are more attractive to the opposite sex than tanned skin.  Although the study was done on Caucasians, the researchers belief this holds true across all ethnicities.  The yellow undertone is interpreted as healthiness to the opposite sex.  It becomes important when someone is looking for a mate.  As part of the evolutionary process, a person wants a healthy looking partner in order to procreate. Carrots are high in the yellow undertone-making nutrient, cartenoid.

In his book, “The Secret of Water,” Masaru Emoto measured the energy vibration of different vegetables.  Carrots came out to be high on the happiness chart.  Okay, some people question the validity of his research.  I’m going with it because how can eating carrots make you unhappy?  And besides, there is Bugs as proof.

Carrots are all that Bugs Bunny ever eats.  He is adored by millions and over several generations.  And even when facing the barrel of Elmer Fudd’s gun, he is calm and happy.  No matter what Elmer (“that pesky wabbit”) does to Bugs, Bugs takes it in good humor.

So, there you have it carrots equal attractiveness and happiness as proved by Bugs Bunny.

You know what else makes you attractive and happy? 

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