Nowadays a lot of people work from home. Sitting for extended period of time shortens the front of the body. Most of us hold stress in our neck and shoulders. Stretches lengthen the spine, the sides of the trunk and the lower back and aim to open the chest.
In Autumn (at the change of seasons) we are all prone to catching colds. Sniffles, mild throat sore and coughs are typical for this time of the year.
What can we do to improve our chances to stay healthy/healthier?
The answer is to include poses in our practice which are restorative and have a number of health benefits such as: open the chest,which helps with breathing, calming the mind, boosting the immune system by allowing the body to rest in a constructive way.
Staying grounded, mentally well is just as important as physical well-being. Continue reading “Yoga to boost your immune system”
As we age it easier to put on weight, the metabolism slows down so we need to watch the energy intake and output more closely. Hormones also affect how and where we store fat on our body.
My aim is to show you a variety of poses which lengthen the spine and make you move around the waist.
Australia (or ‘down under’) is sooo far away from everything we need to travel long haul, crossing several time zones in the process.
While my parents were alive I made regular trips to Hungary (about 25 trips!). Many years ago the floor at the airport lounges were carpeted, nowadays cold tiles. If you ever saw a woman laying on the floor with legs up the wall or calves resting on the seat of the chairs … it might have been me.
During my numerous trips to Europe i came up with the following guidelines for long haul air travel: Continue reading “Yoga poses to help with jet lag”
Sometimes our eyes want to eat more than our stomach can handle.
The Ayurvedic guideline is to have 1/3 of your stomach filled with food, 1/3 with liquid and the remaining 1/3 is “space” to allow digestion. I regularly misjudge the 1/3 food 🙂
Sitting on the floor while you eat helps to limit the food intake.
Generally it is NOT recommended to practice yoga with full stomach however there is one pose which is “do-able” if you overindulged. Continue reading “Yoga poses to assist digestion”
When was the last time that you thanked your feet for carrying you to your destination – day after day, year after year?
As long as we are healthy, we take it for granted that our body functions as it should do.
I used to bush-walk and we often talked about boots, orthotics, dome under the ball of the foot, corns and bunions. No-one of these topics are sexy but as we age the shape of the feet change and we cannot ignore this.
To keep the small muscles in foot to stay active we need to exercise our toes which are closed in shoes most of the year.
Do you know the feeling of toes rigidly curling up and would not release or the calf muscle pains and you have to jump out of bed, walk a bit before returning to bed?
My students (just like me) are over the age of 50. In class sometimes students get a cramp, generally in the foot (toes) or legs (calves).
Cramp is a painful, involuntary contracting (shortening) of part or all of a muscle, or several muscles in a group.
Cramps of the extremities, especially the legs and feet, and most particularly the calf, are extremely common. Other common areas for muscle cramps include: back and front of the thigh, hands, arms, abdomen, and rib cage muscles.
The actual cause cramps in the legs and feet is not known, but it may be caused by conditions or activities such as overuse of muscles, dehydration, nerve compression, mineral deficiency and cold weather.
Foot cramps are more common in older adults and sometimes they happen at night. Nerves and muscles can wear out as aging occurs, causing cramping. Stretching, staying active, and eating a nutritious diet can help older adults prevent leg cramps.
People of any age who lead a sedentary lifestyle are also at higher risk for leg and foot cramps.
I would like to share my favourite poses which – if practiced regularly will significantly reduce cramps and will strengthen your ankles as well. These poses (as yoga in general) can be practiced almost anywhere. The photos were taken on a recent trip to the Wollomombi area of North/West New South Wales.
Raising both heels:
Start with standing tall in the mountain pose. Keep the spine erect, chin parallel to the ground. Roll the shoulders back, bring the shoulder blades in and left the chest.
If you can keep your ankles together and come up on your toes. Release and bring the heels back to the ground. This is one cycle. Repeat fifteen times. It is recommended to do three sets in a day. This pose will strengthen the ankles and the muscles in the sole of your feet and in the toes.
Releasing one heel:
Come up on your toes (as in previous pose) and release one heel to the ground. Raise the heel so now both heels are off the ground. Release the other heel then raise it. This is one cycle. Repeat it ten times, several times a day.
Stretching the calves:
Place the toes of one foot against the wall or a solid structure. Have your hands on the wall or a solid structure. Keep the front leg bent, shin vertical. Step back with the other leg to a distance where the ankle is on the ground. Do not bring the foot across our midline, try to keep the foot in line with the hip. Feel the stretch in calf. Keep your back straight (take in your spinal processors), chest open and shoulder are wide. Hold it for say 10 cycles of your breath, i.e. one inhalation and one exhalation are one cycle.
Keep the front leg as it and step forward with the other leg. This will bend both of your ankle. Stay in the pose for 10 cycles of your breath. This variation will also strengthen your ankles, good for bushwalkers going down the hill.
Repeat on the other side (i.e. have the other foot at front).
I hope regular practice of these poses will help you to manage the cramps.