Ask your stressed out friends how they deal with feeling overwhelmed and they’ll likely list off the usual suspects: Sleep. Caffeine. Sugar. Alcohol. Exercise. Yoga. Some of these are clearly healthier options than others, but even the easy fixes take time—something that a lot of people who are stressed out tend to have in short supply. But there is a quick fix for the times when you have too much stress and too little energy: The simplest and most effective tool for instant energy, banishing stress, and ridding toxins from the body is breath!
That’s right. Breathing—the thing we do all day and night long without thinking about it—is responsible for a whole lot more than fuel our body with oxygen. The rate at which we breathe actually helps regulate our heart rate which in turn controls a bunch of other physical aspects. Breathe slow and fast and our body and brain will automatically shift to that fight or flight mode, the one that comes with stress and sends your blood pressure and shoulder tension soaring. Focus on slower, longer, and deeper breaths and you’ll help calm your body and mind, fighting stress in a matter of seconds while also filling your body with energizing oxygen, the lifeblood of a creativity, productivity, focus, and fire for whatever our life demands.
So how can you breathe better? (more…)
The benefits of yoga continue to stretch across all walks of life. From teenagers needing a boost in self-esteem, to breast cancer survivors needing to relieve anxiety, yoga is not something to shun as some kind of weird activity with heavy spiritual undertones.
According to a recent study in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association, stroke survivors reduced their level of post-stroke disability by participating in a regular yoga routine. Survivors of a stroke often lose balance and coordination due to the damage that can arise within the brain. This leads to a greater risk of falling, potential dependence on a caregiver, and an increase in stress and tension that can contribute to depression and anxiety.
In the study, two groups of stroke survivors practiced yoga or yoga and relaxation. The other group, the control group, just received standard post-stroke medical care. After a battery of tests, both the yoga and the yoga and relaxation group showed improvements in balance, coordination, and reported feeling independent and empowered. (more…)
Being under stress is not fun. Tension headaches, insomnia, and back pain are just a few symptoms of taking on too much. These symptoms are uncomfortable to say the least, but if not addressed, they can lead to more serious, health-threatening ailments.
According to the American Psychological Association, one half of Americans say that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional lives, adding that stress is responsible for keeping them up at night. The American Institute of Stress claims that workplace stress costs more than $300 billion dollars each year in health care, and according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, stressed out workers incur an average of $600 more a year due to stress related needs compared with non-stressed out workers.
Whether you work, are retired, or are a stay-at-home mom, if you are under stress, please take note of the following five tips for releasing tension from your life. Not only will it help you, it may even relieve the stress from those around you.
Lack in muscle tone, a stiff neck, a couple of aching wrists and two tired eyes are what our modern day life is plagued with as a result of sitting at a computer for hours on end. If you fall into this category, help is on the way. All it takes is a few moments of computer yoga to feel refreshed, revitalized and ready to take on a new assignment. Aches and pains have nothing on you when you practice this simple yet effective routine during long stretches of time on your computer. Be the first to share this with your friends.
Facebook Fanny Firmer
Place both feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Squeeze your gluteal muscles (a.k.a. your rear) and hold for five deep breaths. Release, and repeat up to ten times. Feel your fanny firm right up as you type about computer yoga in your status update.
Twitter Tummy Tightener
Take a deep breath in and with your exhale draw your lower belly toward your spine. At the very end of your exhale, engage your abdominal muscles just a little bit more, and hold your muscles firm for as long as it takes you to tweet this article!
Hatha yoga is one of those commonly misunderstood and misused words in yoga. Unlike Ashtanga, Bikram or Iyengar, which are specific styles of yoga, Hatha yoga is the umbrella term for what Westerners consider to be yoga. In truth, Hatha yoga is the actual physical practice of yoga, or the postures. Therefore, all yoga that involves asana or postures is hatha yoga.
What it is
Hatha comes from two Sanskrit words: ha meaning sun and tha meaning moon. Implied in its meaning is the idea of uniting opposites, like the sun and moon or yoga’s specific meaning of yoking the mind, body and spirit together. (more…)
Are you thinking about purchasing a new stability ball or having trouble finding the right size?
Stability balls come in all sizes and you need to find one that meets your exercise goals. Most stability balls provide you with a list of height and weight recommendations for each size so make sure to check the box or package for that, but if you can’t find the information laid out for you, here’s how to find the right size on your own. (more…)
Do you have good posture? Are you hunched over at your desk while typing on the computer? Proper posture may not seem like that big of a deal, but realistically, it truly is. Proper posture is about more than holding your head up high; it is crucial for eliminating any unnecessary strains to certain muscles, joints, bones, or organs.
With correct posture, you can look taller, slimmer, and come across as being extremely confident- all of which are “A-OK” in my book. (more…)
Are you tired of doing crunches on the floor? Is your balance not as good as it should be? Well, the DynaDisc is here to save the day!
DynaDisc is a fourteen-inch in diameter inflatable cushion made out of the same material as a stability ball. This little guy is only a few inches thick, but can withstand up to 2,000 pounds of force per square inch, and offers endless benefits for every fitness level, from beginner to expert.
The DynaDisc works under the same principal as a stability ball- the surface is uneven, challenging your muscles to keep you in proper position. The DynaDisc, however, is flat, so you can stand on it, engaging the stabilizing muscles in your legs and core. (more…)
Pilates is a method of exercise developed by German born Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century as a means to heal his own body, which was ridden with illness. He learned that by integrating the breath, mind and body by what is referred to as “contrology,” participants could improve their state of health.
The original Pilates workout consisted of 34 exercises designed to target the core muscle groups, otherwise known as the body’s powerhouse. These exercises range from beginner to advanced and were practiced as a set series. Classic Pilates follows the original routine, while the modern version of Pilates allows for modifications to adapt to a variety of ages, abilities and needs. In addition, Pilates exercises have evolved to incorporate the use of equipment such as the Reformer and Pilates Cadillac.
Whether a beginner or advanced practitioner of the classic or modern Pilates method on the mat or on a machine, the benefits of this mind-body activity are extensive.
Today, we are focusing on using correct posture throughout your workout. This is a huge topic and I feel that it can make a difference in your workouts. Correct technique and maintaining good posture keeps your body in-line, over-compensation free, and decreases your risk of injury. You might have to decrease your weights in order to do so, but it will be worth it in the long run. I have a few demonstrations below to help you picture a few exercises.
Push-Up: Notice how his body is in-line from his neck to is feet. Try not to drop your head while performing this exercise.
Crunch: Keep it simple, do a crunch not a sit-up; better on the spine. Also notice how he is not pulling on his neck. Try to keep your head back and in-line with upper spine.
Standing Tricep Extension: Notice how her feet are shoulder width apart, head is up and in-line with spine, and her back is not hunched over. You will notice one of these three struggle if you are trying to lift too much weight.