The Carbon Cycle
Original Research by Terry Stainton
The Big Picture
There is a large Maple tree in my back yard that must weigh 5 Tons and is about 30 to 40 feet tall.
Yet, my back yard has not been ravaged and depleted of building material.
The roots draw various nutrients and water of course, but not material to build the actual plant.
I began to wonder where it got 5 Tons of material.
Air is 78% Nitrogen, 20% Oxygen and traces of Carbon Dioxide.
We know that animals inhale air to get Oxygen and exhale Carbon Dioxide back.
Plants on the other hand consume Carbon Dioxide and return Oxygen.
very convenient, for both plants and animals and is an example of symbiosis.
For animals to move, their muscles must contract to produce physical force.
The energy to achieve this force is produced by Oxidization.
Oxidization is the combining of an Organic Compound with Oxygen.
A conventional flame or fire is an example of Oxidization.
Rust, fire and explosives are all examples of Oxidization at different rates.
To produce the energy for a muscle contraction, the arteries need to transport Oxygen from the lungs and blood sugars from the digestive system to the muscles.
These sugars are combined with the Oxygen through the process of Oxidization to produce physical force.
Carbon Dioxide and water are produced as a by-products.
The Carbon Dioxide is borne as a blood gas to the lungs to be expelled into the atmosphere.
What is a tree largely composed of?
Cellulose, which is an organic compound formed of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen.
Where did it get all that Carbon, to form the wood of the tree?
From thin air.
The muscles produce Carbon Dioxide but where does the body get all that Carbon?
Carbohydrates are molecules made of Carbon and Water (H2O).
For example Glucose is a sugar with the molecular formula C6H12O6
Glucose is made in plants during photosynthesis combining water from the roots of the plant with Carbon Dioxide from the air, using energy from sunlight.
This solar energy is stored as Glucose in plants, as starch or lipids. (Tree sap is a Carbohydrate.)
To produce energy for muscular movement we need to eat plants to gain Carbohydrates to be Oxidized.
When our muscles move, the resulting Carbon Dioxide and water is the very thing that plants need to survive.
They grow, scrub the air of CO2 and are eaten (again and again) by animals.
The components of this cycle (Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen) are broken up and reformed over and over:
So. . .
Sugars are formed by plants using water, Carbon Dioxide and sunlight.
Once the C has been removed from the CO2, the O2 is released into the air.
This Oxygen is used to Oxidize plant sugars to power the muscles of animals, that then produce CO2 and water.
Around and around.
The external energy source is the sun, so the whole thing is
Powered by Nuclear Fusion ®
® Registered Trade Mark of Mother Nature.
Actual Sucrose Molecule. A Carbohydrate.
Stick Family on their minivan.
Yoga For Special Populations
What is yoga good for? While yoga is good for many conditions and life challenges one
particular condition that benefits from a regular daily yoga practice is Rheumatoid
Rheumatoid Arthritis | Medicine Net, 2014
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic
- The cause is unknown and it can affect people of any age, but is more common in
adults 40-60 years old
- People suffering from RA go through periods of inflammation and periods of
- Inflammation with RA affects the joints by swelling, redness, stiffness and pain,
but can also occur in tendons ligaments and muscles
Yoga and Rheumatoid Arthritis | (Robinson, 2013)
- Creates strong muscles to support joints and improve mobility
- Reduces stresses and improve mood which is especially important for people
experiencing chronic pain
- RA is linked with diabetes and heart disease and yoga benefits the healing of both
of those diseases
Safety (Robinson, 2013)
- Speak to rheumatologist about any exercises to avoid
- Promote listening to your body
- Gentle is best, typically recommended to avoid Ashtanga or power flow classes
- Make modifications, shorten practice, or practice another day when there is a flare
- Remember the importance of pranayama and stress relieving techniques for this
Instructors (Robinson, 2013)
- Study the condition before taking on clients with this condition and make careful
observations when working with RA clients to ensure that the asanas,
pranayamas, mudras and bandhas that you are recommending are right for each
- Ask questions regularly for clear open communication.
- Encourage clients to ask questions and communicate all felt senses that arise.
- Limit movement during period of inflammation to a range of motion that is
comfortable for clients.
- Robinson, K, M. (2013). Why yoga can be good for rheumatoid. WebMD. Reviewed by
Brunilda Nazario, MD.Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoidarthritis/features/yoga-good-rheumatoid-arthritis
- Medicine Net. (2014). Rheumatoid arthritis pictures slideshow: Joint-friendly exercises & fitness routines. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/rheumatoid_arthritis_exercises_slideshow/article.htm
- Iyengar, B., K., S. (2001) Light on yoga. Thorson. London, England.
- Yoga Wiz. (2014). Yoga for healing rheumatoid arthritis. Retrieved from
common uses for yoga, yoga and arthritis, yoga and rheumatoid arthritis, yoga uses
Here’s To Small Successes
by: Krista Blakelock, Prenatal Yoga Instructor
I’m exhausted this morning and am trying hard to think positively about going to teach mom and peanut yoga. Reluctantly, I decide to be nice to myself and take the bus instead of walking to the clinic where I’m going to be teaching allowing myself an extra 15 minutes to rest. Unfortunately, when I get to King Street I’m reminded that half the road is dug up and bus routes have been diverted so I’m back to walking to the clinic, 15 minutes behind schedule. I mentally kick myself. Being late is something I always feel guilty about, especially in this case since I was being “lazy.” As I hustle my way to the clinic by foot, I start thinking about the word “Failure.”
People often tell me that they “can’t do yoga…” followed by a wide array of reasons. They’re too busy, they’re not flexible, they don’t know how, they have injuries…
Behind all the excuses though, I imagine we’re really trying to mask our fear of looking silly, and of failing at what we intend to accomplish. If this is the case then the problem is not in the action itself, the concern is actually with the intention, the goal. If someone who has never taken a yoga class and has limited flexibility believes she has to be able to forward fold and touch her toes, as well as know all the weird Sanskrit words and sequences the teacher will use then she has already failed. However, if she is able to set a different intention she may be surprisingly proud of herself. Perhaps her intention ought to be: show up for one class and aim to forward fold her fingertips to her knees.
Robert Pirsig similarly states in his novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, “An experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don’t prove anything one way or the other.”
I arrive at the clinic, 10:28. Technically I’m not late but I still feel bad since the moms are there waiting. Unrolling my mat I look around and see a one year old, three year old and an 8 week old babe. Suddenly “Failure” takes on an entirely new meaning. The one year old is climbing up onto a yoga block, smiling in delight and jumping off. Occasionally she wobbles off and tumbles to the ground, only to hop up again, move the block into a different position and try again. Sitting down on my mat, mom’s following suit I ask them to set their intention for this practice to notice the successes they can find in each pose. It doesn’t have to look like what I am doing, in fact they don’t even have to be in the same pose as me. If they are feeling awesome in one posture and smiling, stay there. If it feels icky, adjust yourself and find a new way to get comfortable and smile again.
I watch the one year old wobble and topple, while maintaining the most precious smile and think, that maybe we can only learn new boundaries to our potential and soar, by falling flat on our faces first.
krista blakelock, robert pirsig, yoga blog, zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance