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“I am a yoga teacher and truly enjoy Joanne’s blog. It is relaxing to read, refreshing and relevant. I often send her blogs to my students.” Virginia W.
After much thought and deliberation, I’ve decided to take the plunge and become certified as a yoga therapist. We’ll meet for two weeks, two times a year for two years so it’s a big commitment.
I’m excited about the opportunity to deepen my knowledge, particularly from a therapeutic aspect. There is a great deal of ground breaking medical research being conducted that proves the power of yoga therapy to heal. Science is now proving what our ancient ancestors knew centuries ago. Continue reading
I recently attended a spinning class. I really love these classes. The music is motivating and the teachers are high energy, encouraging us to be strong and give it our all. We are instructed to “play through the pain” and “push to get stronger”. By the end of class I’m exhausted but energized and feeling good. Continue reading
It’s always good to go back to basics and practice the fundamentals. Professional athletes do it regularly. It’s a good refresher and lets you know you have a good foundation.
In yoga, breath is fundamental to every practice and is at the foundation of what makes yoga … yoga because focusing on it brings your attention inward. Continue reading
This past weekend I attended a workshop given by Rama Jyoti Vernon. She has been practicing yoga for over 50 years and was instrumental in facilitating the yoga movement in the U.S. She has also been teaching yoga for decades and has led worldwide peace missions. She recently published a book, Yoga: The Practice of Myth & Sacred Geometry and I was attending her book signing. What she said about asana as meditation really resonated with me. Continue reading
The statistics are scary … 1 in 9 Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease and it is now our third biggest killer. The numbers are grim but I did read a hopeful article in the April 2015 issue of Prevention Magazine, “How to Beat Alzheimer’s at Its Own Game.” The hopeful part is that a new science is emerging related to prevention. Continue reading
A daily meditation practice does wonders for your health and wellbeing and actually promotes wellness. Scientists are beginning to understand what is happening physiologically that causes these benefits to happen.
In recent studies, meditation was shown to initiate change at the cellular level, “turning on” genes that make us healthier and “turning off” genes that lead to disease. A control group meditated 20 minutes a day for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks, researchers discovered that immune response; energy metabolism and insulin secretion (prevents diabetes) were enhanced.
These results are truly remarkable. What is also remarkable is that it’s all in our control. We don’t need a doctor to write us a prescription or spend a lot of money to get these benefits. It’s literally free. Continue reading
Meditation can be hard to explain without sounding woo-woo and esoteric to those who have never experienced it or are trying it for the first time. From my experience as a yoga teacher helping students to meditate, most students think they aren’t doing it “right” because their minds wander constantly. As I tell them, “welcome to the human condition of Monkey Mind.” Continue reading
Most of my private yoga students are 50 and over and very interested in staying mobile for life. Balance plays a big part in staying both mobile and healthy. In fact, research confirms ability to balance on one foot for at least 20 seconds is an important indicator of brain health.
With these benefits in mind, our posture focus this week is on balance and adapting Tadasana for that purpose.
This adaptation of Tadasana is particularly good for strengthening your feet and lower legs. It also has the following benefits, which are found in all balance postures:
- Improves posture
- Develops mental stamina
- Improves focus and attention
- Increases self confidence
People come to yoga for all sorts of reasons. They include wanting to reduce stress and balance emotions; improve fitness; lose weight; improve flexibility; improve strength. The list is long and the reasons are as varied as the people. But, there is a common thread in all these reasons and that’s the recognition that some aspect of life needs to be different.
So, the recognition that something needs to change is Step #1 in starting any yoga practice. It’s also important to believe change is possible and to have a deep desire to have it happen. Continue reading
In my opinion, yoga is tailor made for today’s world.
Many years ago I started practicing yoga as a way to reduce the stress of corporate America. It was very effective. Fast-forward to today and our world has become even more stressful. There are fewer and fewer boundaries separating our working lives from our non-working lives. The Internet and mobile devices have made us “available” 24/7.
One researcher says that being connected 24/7 to emails, texts, social media, etc. is a big reason why we feel busy all the time. It’s hard to feel like we’re getting away from work and work-like activities, which makes us feel overwhelmed. See my blog Busyness for more about this research. Continue reading
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