Tag Archives: relaxation

How to Practice Yoga Off the Mat

Are you lacking in time or motivation to make it a yoga class today? Don’t worry; you can still practice yoga even if your mat is hiding out in the closet or lost somewhere in the back seat of your car.

Many people see yoga as a workout that strengthens, stretches, and relaxes our mind and body, but it is also deeply layered with philosophical premises. These premises are what help to fuel the sought after “post yoga glow” at the end of class. You will emit this glow after holding sometimes rigorous and sweat producing yoga poses, but there is a lot more you can explore beyond taking your favorite yoga class.

First, you must identify your intention for practicing yoga. Are you after a perfect rear end, sculpted arms and a flat stomach? Or is your approach more about reducing stress, heightening the awareness of your body or flirting with new levels of spirituality?

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Yoga for School Teachers

Teachers are educators, leaders, pseudo parents, heroes, friends and mentors. Their jobs are often thankless, yet teachers are those amazing people that help shape the future of our world.

Being a teacher takes a tremendous amount of commitment, and commitment requires a tremendous amount of energy. Presenting concepts, math equations and scientific theories while continuing to be a positive influence in the classroom can be challenging for the tired and overworked educationalist.

Thankfully, the magic of yoga can come to the rescue to refresh, rejuvenate and inspire before burn out ensues.

Bank a second wind well before you might actually need it with these simple suggestions that can be practiced in the teacher’s lounge or in the classroom.

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Be a Happy and Healthy Bride on Your Wedding Day

by Kelsey Murray

Spring and summer are possibly the most popular times for a wedding. Unfortunately for many brides, along with the wedding comes a boat load of stress to look “perfect” on their big day. Sadly, this quest for perfection can be very hard on a bride’s health. Crash dieting is often the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions a bride’s preparation for her wedding.

Aside from drastic weight loss, there are many other things that brides often do in preparation that can be unhealthy or harmful to her health. Here are some tips for avoiding some common practices that brides-to-be might not realize are putting their health in danger.

Choose your makeup carefully. Some makeup contains ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. Some symptoms might include skin redness, dryness, and itchiness. Look for makeup that is fragrance-free or made for sensitive skin and do not change makeup brands right before a big event because you do not know how your skin might react to it. If you are having your makeup done professionally, ask the makeup artist which makeup he or she uses and make sure that it will not cause you to have a reaction.

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Cortisol: the Stress Hormone’s Effect on Your Health and Weight Loss

Stress is simply a part of life. Stress can be a positive thing: It can save your life in a fight or flight situation, or it can be the kick in the butt you need to finally finish that project at work you’ve been putting off. Too much stress, however, can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health. In today’s society, where we are moving faster, taking on more responsibility and are constantly technologically connected to the demands of work and home, our lives are becoming more overwhelming, and it may be taking a toll on our waistlines.

Cortisol, dubbed the “stress hormone”, is an important hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, responsible for many functions in the body including regulating metabolism and blood pressure, immune function, inflammatory response, and releasing insulin, which maintains blood sugar levels.

Cortisol isn’t only secreted when the body is under stress, but it is secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress (think of when something pops out and scares the crap out of you. That surge you get is your body’s fight or flight response- you either jump and run, or start swinging.) The stress we encounter on a daily basis isn’t always so obvious or sudden, but daily stress, i.e. a jam packed schedule the next day or not knowing how you are going to afford next month’s bills, isn’t immediately remedied, so your stress levels stay elevated for an extended period of time until the stressor is remedied, or more often than not, until another stressor comes along and takes over.

Just as with everything in life, too much of something is never a good thing. Elevated cortisol levels cause many physical, negative changes to the body, including impaired cognitive function, blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, and lower immunity, causing you to feel slow and drained of energy, or even come down with an illness.

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Practice Self Care to Curb Emotional Eating

This guest post comes from  
Alesha Sevy,  Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.

Creating healthy habits is a lifelong journey – you won’t always feel the same from day to day, and you may need to make a consistent effort to create healthy habits that leave you feeling good. At the Biggest Loser Resort, we educate our guests on emotional eating and how to identify when you are actually hungry vs. emotionally hungry. If you find that you are snacking from boredom, stress, happiness, sadness – anything that isn’t actually true hunger, try the simple strategy of doing something else. But not just anything else – take a moment to practice self care. It’s still a “treat” that you can give yourself, and you may actually burn calories in the process rather than consuming!

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7 Tips to Get the Most from Your Massage

If you’ve never had a massage by a licensed massage therapist before, let me tell you something: You are missing out. Massage therapy is fantastic for exercisers as it can help keep your muscles flexible, reduce soreness and even improve your mobility and range of motion. It is also the perfect reward for a few solid weeks of eating right and moving more!

The first time I got a massage, I was excited, but really nervous about what to expect and what to do. So I put together a list of seven tips to get the most out of a massage, be it deep tissue, sports or just a basic Swedish treatment. These tips are geared to first-timers, but it’s also a great refresher for those who visit a massage therapist often!

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Healthy People Play: Workouts Shouldn’t be Work

Healthy people play. I first heard that phrase from Dr. Karyn Purvis at an adoption conference. I copied it down in my notes, probably with an exclamation point or underlining. It may not be a profound statement, but it resonates with the truth of the ethos. It is something that we all know intuitively and yet often ignore. If you are not healthy, physically or emotionally, you will not play. In the same way, play helps you to be healthy, both physically and emotionally.

The National Center on Accessibility defines play as “a physical or mental activity that has no purpose or objective outside of pure enjoyment or amusement” (Definition of play, 2004). While children learn so much through play, their goal is pure fun. This fun helps us to relax and makes us better learners. Although, the goal of play may be pure fun, play is educational and a path through development. Play helps us to grow cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically. We learn more about our world, ourselves, and others through play, all via the vehicle of fun. Even as adults, play can benefit us in all the same ways. Play helps us to grow in creativity, abstract thinking, problem-solving, empathy, confidence, cooperation, conflict resolution, concentration, vocabulary and more. It allows us to be physically active, practice taking risks, practice interpersonal skills, and try new things.

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Practicing Yoga Breathing Helps Promote Balance

You’ve probably all heard of yoga – a physical and mental exercise that originated in India. While there are different types of yoga for people at all levels of physical fitness, breathing is the most important part of any yoga practice.

“Though some people have difficulty learning the physical poses and routines, others find it difficult to adapt to the yogic breathing patterns that can relax us and keep us balanced,” said expert yogi and professional yoga instructor Rodney Yee.

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What is Active Meditation?

Relaxation is a calm mind and a calm body. Meditation is a technique that is often used to help achieve relaxation; however, meditation is primarily about creating a calm mind.

If you are chronically multi-tasking, if your mind jumps from topic to topic, or if your to-do list is never-ending, you would probably benefit from meditation. Ok, everyone can benefit from meditation. If you are chronically multi-tasking, if your mind jumps from topic to topic, or if your to do list is never-ending, you will probably find the stereotype of meditation pretty difficult. If you sit with your legs crossed and your eyes closed, you’re either going to fall asleep or make a shopping list, draft a blog, and practice a conversation with your child all in under ten minutes, right?

If that sounds familiar, active mediation might for you. Like all things, learning to focus your mind takes practice (practice, practice). Focusing on nothing is much more difficult than focusing on one thing. We have to start with getting our minds to focus on one thing for a short amount of time before we try to get it to focus on one thing for a longer period of time. (more…)

Relaxation Drinks Take Shot at Chilling You Out

Energy drinks have long been popular with people needing a mid-day pick-me-up. And while Red Bull and Rockstar may not be knocked off the top of the heap, there’s a possible new trend arising that takes consumers in the opposite mental direction.

People can now “chill out” to relaxation shots. Some of the products hitting the market include such catchy names as Snoozeberry and iChill. But there are 350 total relaxation drinks on the market, according to Agata Kaczanowska, an analyst with the research company IBISWorld. While I guess I’m not really looking for them, I’m surprised that I am unaware of this stuff, when there are so many on the shelves already.

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