Monthly Archives: March 2015
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
The other day I was feeling stressed. When I’m at my computer I feel that way frequently. It usually has to do with social media and working to expand Yoga for Self’s presence “out there”. I’m trying to understand what works and what doesn’t which, of course, changes daily because the people who design social media are sadistic. Well, probably not literally but you get my drift.
Anyway, I was feeling more and more overwhelmed and feeling like I was wasting a lot of time. So, I said to myself, time to take a break and practice some of the yoga breathing techniques I teach.
Feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Being pulled in a zillion directions? Feeling like nothing ever gets completed?
“Take a deep breath.” We’ve heard it before. Something stressful happens to someone who then gets told to … “take a deep breath.” Somehow it begins to calm the person down. Why does that work? What goes on in our bodies to trigger a more relaxed state? Continue reading
“I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.” I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard that comment. My response is always, “Every Body can do yoga.” As my yoga teacher says, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” In other words, you don’t need to twist, stretch or bend into the shape of a pretzel to reap the benefits of yoga.
Muscular vs. Skeletal
Everybody’s body is unique. We are all built differently. I have yet to see the perfect body and am confident I never will. Continue reading
Several days ago, I blogged about the five directions of spinal movement in my post, Yoga for Spine Flexibility. An ability to move easily into and out of these five directions is fundamental to spinal health.
Forward bending is one of these five directions and, in yoga, can be done standing, kneeling, sitting and lying on your back. In my yoga tradition (Viniyoga), the primary purpose of a forward bend is to stretch the low back. In order to do that, it makes a difference how the movement into the forward bend is accomplished. Continue reading
What do the New York Times and Consumer Reports for Health have in common? They both describe Viniyoga as a highly effective form of yoga for stress reduction, improved sleep quality and back pain relief. (See What is Viniyoga? for definitions)
When I quit my corporate banking job in 1994 to pursue my passion for yoga, friends, family and business associates were shocked. Back then yoga was on the fringe and no one thought yoga and meditation could possibly ever have a place in the business world or traditional health care system.
Fast-forward 20 years. Things have certainly changed! Continue reading
Yoga needs to come with a warning label …
Use Extreme Caution: Regular Practice Could Be Hazardous to Your Lifestyle Continue reading
This week Breathe Easy welcomes guest blogger Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones. Jo Ann is an internationally acclaimed author and movement educator, as well as a full Professor of Kinesiology and dance. We became acquainted through her book The Vital Psoas Muscle, which is excellent and can be found at www.amazon.com. Her eagerly awaited next book, The Concise Book of Yoga Anatomy, is due out this fall, 2015.
Many of my private yoga students have had hip replacement surgery and I asked Jo Ann to blog about how this surgery affects the psoas and illiopsoas muscles and the sacrum. Her comments and advice are excellent and highly useful. Whether or not you have had this surgery, staying mobile for life depends on appropriate conditioning of these areas. Enjoy Jo Ann’s blog. Continue reading
Yoga has hundreds of postures and each one has the purpose of moving your spine in one of five directions. Being able to move easily in all ficve directions is one of the keys to wellbeing and healthy aging. In fact, iit’s been said that a flexible spine is a key indicator of health.
Think of the elderly people you know. How easily do they move around? Can they get up and down from the floor with ease? Can they twist around and reach something from the back seat of their car? Do they walk with a shuffle or is there energy in every step? Continue reading
The other day I was at the gym doing my exercise routine when I began to observe my self-talk. It went something like this:
“Okay, what else do I need to get done today? I still need to get my blog written for tomorrow’s post. Then, I need to prepare for my classes. Oh, and I need to stop by the grocery store and pick up something for dinner… etc. etc. etc.”
All of these thoughts were racing through my mind as I was racing through my workout. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was just going through the motions, oblivious to my workout or my surroundings.
My mind was a million miles away thinking of my next to-do and robbing myself of enjoying something I really like.
Have you ever been there? So caught up getting things done that you forget to enjoy what you were doing? Continue reading
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