Getting stuck in traffic is enough to turn your hair grey. Blood pressure rises, muscles tense, and a positive attitude plummets when your car is at a standstill. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasurable, and gain some health benefits while in the process.
The following are three easy yoga inspired exercises you can do the next time you find yourself wedged bumper to bumper.
Scoot your hips back so that your spine is upright against the seat of your car. Lift the crown of your head toward the sky as you inhale deeply, and press your hips down into the seat as you exhale fully. By doing this, you are creating space and decompression between each vertebra. As a result, you will gain energy, not to mention have to readjust your rear view mirror to take on your new height. (more…)
Nearly everyone has aspirations to be healthy. Following diets and new and improved workout plans are popular behaviors at the beginning of each New Year, as many will vow to eat better and get more exercise.
A few months of eating fresh, high quality cuisine and hitting the gym makes a big difference in the way we feel. A slimmer waistline, clearer skin, and an overall feeling of health is worth it, so why is it so hard to stay the course?
Your lifestyle plays a huge role in whether or not your good intentions are going to stick. If you think your lifestyle might not be supporting your desire to be healthy, keep reading. (more…)
The popularity of yoga has been on the rise for quite some time. From Bikram’s hot yoga to Anne Anderson’s snow yoga (Snowga), there are styles sure to assuage all types of desires.
Although there are an estimated 22 million people practicing yoga today, a large number of American’s have yet to give it a whirl. If you are in need of a little coaxing to join a yoga class, check out the following reasons why making it your New Year’s resolution might be of benefit to your health and happiness.
You will learn more about yourself
You might be 60 years old and seemingly privy to all of your nuances and inner workings, but there will always be just a little bit more about yourself you can learn.
The word yoga means ‘to yok’ or ‘to join.’ The true purpose of yoga is to unite mind, body and spirit. In the process of this yoking, we discover parts of ourselves that we had no idea existed. This awakening is worth the effort, and it is what makes yoga so much more than just exercise and stretching. (more…)
With the holidays here and nearly at their peak, we can only image how busy and stressed most of you must be scrambling to finish all of your shopping and gift wrapping before you either hit the road or relatives arrive at your home. Stressed is exactly where we’re at, but we have a solution.
We often get so caught up in all the hustle and bustle that we forget to take time off and just relax. And working out? Is there really enough space on your to do list for that, too? Here’s an idea: Kill two birds with one stone by adding some yoga to your routine this Saturday morning (before hitting your ever-growing to do list). We promise it will provide both relaxation and a refreshing workout in one session.
Studies have found yoga to provide benefits such as stress reduction, increased flexibility, weight management, total body toning, improved balance, increased strength and decreased chances of injury. And that’s not all – it can also aid in managing chronic health conditions such as depression, pain, anxiety, cancer, insomnia and fatigue. It can even help reduce heart rate and blood pressure! Good luck with coming up with any reasons why not to give this extremely beneficial practice a try. Now, let’s get started.
Yoga For Babies
The Yoga Bible
Yoga For Anywhere
We all know get-rich-quick scams work about as well as weight loss from a pill. While these enticements are tempting for most people in this country, there is another camp of people who always seem to want to make things harder for themselves. Be it working, dieting, or exercising, the old adage “less is more” often takes a back seat to the preferred “no pain, no gain.”
For those of you who are tired of experiencing pain for your gain, an ancient yogic practice called Yoga Nidra may help loosen your fierce grip on your need to achieve your goals.
Yoga Nidra is essentially the yoga of sleep, but it is not the type of sleep we engage in while napping, or at night. It is a relaxation induced, conscious sleep.
The benefits of attaining a super-restful yet fully awake state of mind reach far beyond just putting your feet up and enjoying a cup of tea. Yoga Nidra settles the nervous system and slows brain waves for an overall feeling of euphoria and inner peace.
A typical Yoga Nidra class may involve some guided imagery, body scanning techniques, or gentle pranayama practice. To aid in relaxation, participants are instructed to lie comfortably with their eyes closed and listen to the teacher’s vocal directions. (more…)
The holidays are undoubtedly a stressful time of year and many folks become highly vulnerable to anxiety and depression when the sleigh bells start to ring.
Instead of reaching for food, try rolling out your yoga mat. Studies have shown that a regular yoga and meditation practice can reduce stress and help fight depression.
The following is a short list of three must-do yoga poses that beat the holiday blues. Practice them at least once a day or as needed. This short series will help tame your tension and get you back in to a cheerful holiday spirit.
When you are ready to take a mental vacation from the mayhem, begin your yoga practice with child’s pose.
Come down on to your hands and knees, reach your hips back over your heels, and rest your forehead on the mat, your stacked forearms, or on a pillow. Close your eyes and stay in the pose for up to ten long, slow, deep breaths.
Child’s pose will instantly induce a state of calm and help get you feeling centered and ready to face any challenges that may lie ahead. When you are ready to exit the pose, do so slowly. Coming up too fast will negate the benefits of the pose and could be agitating to your state of mind. (more…)
When it comes to stress and frustration, sometimes it’s just good to let it out. We yell, run, punch – whatever it takes to blow off some steam. However, letting out aggression forcefully isn’t the best habit to fall into especially if you find yourself needing to do so often.
When I think of the best workouts for stress, my mind naturally goes to punching, kicking or tearing things in half. However, fitness expert and health coach Stephanie Mansour would suggest otherwise.
In college, Stephanie had a professor in an aggression and media class who told her the worst thing you can do when you’re upset is to start punching things. As a result, she’s concluded that when we’re angry or upset and need to take it out on something, we’re not teaching ourselves how to actually deal with our issues or become a mature, centered person.
As a fitness coach, Stephanie sees her fair share of clients who come to her for a stress-relieving workouts. But instead of letting them rip into a punching bag, she guides them toward these more relaxing exercise instead.
Breathing techniques – To practice intentional breathing, place your hands on your stomach and draw in air like you’re trying to inflate a balloon, and then slowly let your breath out through your nose like you’re deflating the balloon. In the process, feel your stomach getting bigger and smaller as you breathe, and think about breathing in perspective and breathing out stress. (more…)
Waking to the news about the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, this morning reminded me a lot of September 11, 2001.
My responses were somewhat different, but prior to both tragedies, I had received sad news about death and loss impacting me and those close to me in quick succession. Just this week, two families I know lost babies and other friends experienced other losses. With social media, I was also exposed to the losses of friends of friends. In 2001, I had been to four funerals in just the few months prior to 9/11. Today, the sky is gray and it matches how I think many people are feeling.
When we are stressed, we tend to reach for sugary or fatty foods. It is kind of a natural craving, but it doesn’t mean that it will help you manage your stress. While we may be most tempted to cheat on our diet plans when we are stressed or grieving, it might be the worst time to do it. (more…)
The typical American takes just two to three weeks of vacation a year. Do you fall into this category? If so, new studies suggest that too much work and not enough play may be putting your health in jeopardy.
Dean Obeideallah, a former attorney and political comedian, recently wrote an editorial piece for CNN that argued the life-saving power of vacations.
“Take a vacation or die,” he says. Otherwise, we face an increased risk of heart attack and stress, which Obeideallah argues could eventually kill us.
‘Stress causes a slough of problems such as the inability concentrate, poor sleep and even body rashes,’ he said. And contrary to what people believe, taking time off from work can actually make you more productive at work as studies have shown that people who take vacations sleep better, work better and are generally more alert. (more…)
New research regarding the division of housework was reported recently by TODAY Health, and in a nutshell, women are still doing more than half of the domestic work in the home versus men. Plus, big shocker, it’s stressing them out.
Obviously who does what in your house is between you and your spouse. However, if the stats are true, the brunt of that work will land on the woman’s shoulders. If perspective is shifted, perhaps that response of stress can be turned into reward. Yes, there just might be reward in housework and it’s possible to make it enjoyable. As enjoyable as scrubbing a toilet can be, that is.
I live in reality and no forest friends come sauntering in once I begin my cleaning routine. And apparently most Prince Charmings aren’t coming to help dust the shelves either. So, how can there be any reward in picking up after everyone else? I’ll tell you how. You can burn as many calories cleaning the house as you can running the hamster wheel at the gym. (more…)