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Practicing Yoga When Sick with Cold or Flu Can Aid Your Recovery

I am often asked if it is appropriate to practice yoga when sick with a cold or some sort of energy-zapping bug. Some experts are convinced that rest is the best medicine when not feeling well, but practicing a little bit of yoga when you are sick can be beneficial.

The following is an explanation of why yoga can help restore your health while you are fighting an illness.

Immune Boost

Yoga stimulates the immune system by flushing swollen lymph nodes and circulating white blood cells throughout the body. Gentle inversions such as downward dog help to create a small amount of pressure on the lymphatic system so fluids can flow freely and help the body fight infection.

The key point to remember is that too much yoga is not going to be beneficial. The body uses a lot of energy when it is sick, and stealing some of that energy so you can do a full yoga practice is not advised. Practice just a few poses, and make sure you have a lot of time to rest in between each pose. If your body is telling you to stop, honor its request and take a break.
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Choose Wisely: The Color of Your Yoga Mat Can Affect Your Practice

Have you ever wondered why you are attracted to a certain color? Be it stark grey, or a wild and vivid fuschia, colors can have a direct affect on our mood, as well as reflect the way we feel about ourselves. The history of feng shui, the philosophy behind the chakras, and the classic mood ring from the 70s all reveal a close look at the influence certain colors can have on our lives.

It is no surprise that yoga mats these days come in a rainbow of shades. Tiptoe across the floor of your yoga studio and you will see varied tones of greens, yellows, and reds, in addition to multicolored, patterned, or printed mats of numerous colors. Not to mention, Kelly at KellyTurnerFitness.com just had a custom mat made with a “dead guy chalk outline.” The mat options are endless, really!

You may not realize it, but the color of your yoga mat can either inspire or dampen your enthusiasm with regard to your yoga practice.

The following slideshow offers a few explanations of how the color of your yoga mat can affect your mood, energy level, and inner peace.

View Yoga Mat Color Meaning Slideshow
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3 New Comfort Foods that Boost Mood While Improving Wellness

Most of us have heard of comfort food. Sticky, gooey, chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven, a plate of warm mashed potatoes and rich gravy, or a bowl full of creamy chicken and dumpling soup are just a few items that come to mind when the need for some self-pampering arises. The problem is, the food we reach for when we need comfort is usually far from comforting. Indigestion and bloating, heartburn, or pure guilt are just a few of the nagging side effects that can actually worsen our mood as a result of our epicurean indulgence.

If you’re going to sink in to comfort food and eat feelings of happiness, sadness, or just overall feel good, try these three foods that you wouldn’t think of as typical comfort foods. These actually have the ability to lift your spirits and get rid of the blahs without the bloat.

Watermelon

This cooling fruit not only tastes great and has a pleasurable texture, but it conjures up memories or images of picnics, family gatherings, and summer vacation, too. When you eat a slice of watermelon, listen for the crunch, feel your mouth water, and have some fun spitting the seeds onto the ground. Turn an ordinary eating experience into an adventure, and before you know it, you will feel like a kid again, tickled by a childlike zest for life.
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3 Yoga Poses That Boost Mood and Energy

It is easy to feel lazy or lethargic in the heat of summer. Some days the thought of dragging yourself to the gym or the yoga studio is the last thing you want to do, even though you know it will make you feel better. If your youthful enthusiasm is wavering and your upbeat mood is suffering, you might find that just a few minutes of doing the right thing is all you need to get your energy back.

The following are three yoga and martial arts inspired exercises that are sure to bring your mood from drab to dynamite, plus give you a youthful and positive frame of mind.

Mountain Pose

This yoga pose can be practiced anywhere, and at anytime of day.

Stand tall, raise your arms up overhead, and take several powerful deep breaths. The fresh oxygen that will be coursing through your veins will refresh your brain. Standing in this pose energizes your core, your arms, and your legs, so take advantage of it whenever you can.
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Teens May Benefit from Yoga More than Traditional Physical Education Classes

Attention high school teachers! Do you find yourself rushing to yoga after school to help you deal with the stress of being around teenagers all day? Perhaps you do, and you go because you know after an hour of yoga you will feel better, calmer, and have more energy for an evening of grading papers. It is generally understood that after practicing yoga, your mind will be clearer and as a result, you won’t stress over the little things that would otherwise bog you down and wear you out.

But if you are stressed from being around teens all day, how do you think the teens feel after constantly being around each other? Peer pressure, hormones, social anxieties and low self-esteem are all components that contribute to having a high level of stress.

The Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics recently piloted a study to determine the psychological effects of yoga on high school students. Led by Jessica Noggle of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, the results of the study concluded positive benefits of yoga on teenagers.

For ten weeks, one group of teenagers participated in regular physical education classes, while the other group practiced Kripalu yoga; a style of yoga that consists of yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation. Prior to the start of the PE or yoga program, and after ten weeks of attendance in class, students completed a run of psychologically focused tests. Testing included measuring states of anxiety, tension and mood.


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