Tag Archive | health benefits of yoga

Benefits of yoga for older people

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In August 2015 I attended The Australian Yoga Therapy Conference which was organised by Enlightened Events. Various speakers covered a number of areas where yoga practice can be helpful, such as managing heart problems, increasing the immune system and mental illness in children.

The topic which was closest to my heart and body was about the benefits of yoga for older people. For this purpose I believe over 60 is when we are called an “older person”.

With ageing we experience some level of decline in vision, hearing and memory. Balance and muscle strength are often affected and anxiety and depression may increase along with sleep disorders.

 

So what can yoga offer us as we age?

 

Dr Shirley Telles, is an internationally acclaimed Yoga therapist, medical doctor and neuroscientist. She is the director of the Patanjali Research Foundation in Haridwar, India. Dr Shirley Telles presented the findings of her research into yoga and ageing (Oxford University Press will publish it sometimes in 2015).

Dr Shirley Telles’ studies have shown that:

  1. Yoga can increase bone mineral density (Judith et al., 2009)
  2. Yoga can increase muscle strength and prevent deterioration (Telles et. al., 2014)
  3. Yoga can reduce central obesity, associated with increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Telles et al., 2014
  4. Yoga can improve glycemic control and HbA(Ic) – useful to avoid and manage diabetes (Beena et al., 2013)
  5. Yoga can prevent deterioration of lung capacity (Manjunath et al., 2006)
  6. Reduce blood pressure (Chobanian et all., 2003)
  7. Improve cardiorespiratory efficiency (Papp et al., 2013)
  8. Improve primary working memory (Laveretsky et al., 2013)
  9. Enhance sleep (Manjunath et al., 2005)
  10. Induces a positive mental state (Wood, 1993)

 

Please note the above benefits are only achieved through regular yoga practice – over an extended period of time. It might take a few months before you notice the difference!

 

My students are typically over 50 and most of us have a number of pre-existing health conditions.

So how do I teach a class where there are several different “contraindications” are present?

I teach small classes (maximum 12 students) and modify the poses to suit the individual. It is not unusual that we have two or three variations happening for the same asana. Some students might need to use more props (blanket, block and maybe a chair) to gain the benefits of the poses. In my sequences I include ‘exercises’ which open the chest, keep the spine mobile and upright and we almost always practice standing poses to increase strength and balance. Whilst preparing for inversions fresh blood rushes to the brain and thus increases memory function. Of course students with high blood pressure would do modified inversions! Forward bends tend to calm the mind and slowing down the breath (especially lengthening the duration of the exhalation) reduces anxiety. I also believe in the social effect of practicing in a class environment. My aim is to teach the students poses which they can practice at home or during their travels.

For more information on my yoga background please refer to: About Mary

For timetable refer to: Classes

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me: tranquability@gmail.com  or 0408 29 6670.

Hope to see you on a mat near me!

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Relax and Renew Workshop – Sun 21st June 2015 10.00am

Relax and Renew – 2 hour workshop

me~ photo VK over chair

Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.  When we are stressed it effects all areas of our life most importantly our sense of self. 

 Celebrate the International Day of yoga 2015 and the winter solstice (day of the year that has the least daylight hours) by participating in this restorative class.

When:            Sunday 21th June from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm

Where:           Yoga Light, Level 1, 165 Alison Road, Randwick

                       (enter via the purple door – close to Belmore Rd corner)

Cost:              $35 – to be booked and paid by 19th June 2015

This yoga workshop will involve nurturing physical poses, supported by the props, staying each pose for a few minutes. The aim is to let go in a safe environment. You will feel refreshed after the workshop and you will learn poses to practice at home.

 

Relax and Renew Prana Space  Aug 2014

Relax and Renew
Prana Space Aug 2014

If you require more information about this workshop please Contact  me.

For timetable refer to Classes.

Namaste,

Mary

NEWSLETTER ~ APR / MAY 2015

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Dear Yogis,

My intention in March was to post monthly newsletters and I have fallen behind.  We are all pulled into several directions simultaneously and sometimes we get overwhelmed, maybe get lost in the details – which is what happened to me.  If you have renovated your residence before you know what I mean.

This is what happened since my March newsletter:

During Easter we had our usual Saturday class in Randwick.  To keep in line with the holiday and to amuse ourselves we practiced bunny jumps.  Bunny jump is one of the preparatory poses for the hand stand, it strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders and increases balance.  Another way to prepare for handstand is stationary, we create a right angle with our body, hands on the floor and the soles of the feet are on the wall.

This year Anzac Day fall on Saturday.  To honour the 100th anniversary of landing in Gallipoli the theme for the class was hero poses.  Think about the strong leg work, arms stretched wide and balance required for all three “warrior” asanas.  The torso is long and the chest is open in all these poses indicating confidence!

In the week leading up to Mother’s day, as my gift to you, I asked each of you which is your favourite pose and incorporated those in the classes.  The most popular requests were: work with the hips and twists laying on the floor.  We, women, hold a lot of tension in our hips and thighs and with the cold weather creeping on us we get tighter so we need keep our joints moving!  Twists on the floor release tension in the lower back, they are safe and they mobilise the whole spine – from the tailbone to the neck (if you turn your head away from your legs).  Twists in general generate heat in the body which  increases our immune system. If you are menopausal you might not need extra heat 🙂 though! As winter approaches we are likely to include more twisting poses in the class as they are also helpful in reducing the effects of scoliosis and help digestion.

Are you curious which poses will we do on the Queen’s birthday long weekend?  I already have some ideas – please come along!

 For regular students ‘10 class passes’ are available in both studios (some conditions apply).  They represent a minimum saving of $50 for 10 classes.

Thanks again for supporting my classes, hope to see you soon!

Namaste,

Mary

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NEWSLETTER~March 2015

lotus yoga

Dear Yogis,

The Year of the Sheep is truly underway and it is an opportune time to reflect on 2015 so far.

RANDWICK – Over 50’s

We have been practicing in Randwick Junction for two months now.  Based on your feedback we all love our new the studio, good location, lots of natural light, loads of props, colourful mats – all clean and tidy.

Student numbers vary between four to twelve (per class).  Some of you come almost every week whilst others when time permits.  There is a good mix of ‘old’ students from Clovelly (some of you have been practicing with me for a few years) and some ‘new’ students who joined our likeminded, health conscious group.

My intention is to keep the classes relatively small (compared to gyms) to allow me to continue to provide individual attention to each and every one of you.  The focus of our yoga practice over 50 is keeping the joints mobile, maintaining or even increasing strength and balance.

Some of us re-group after class for a coffee.  After a careful testing process we selected the coffee shop next door as our favourite spot where gluten free food is available and the freshly squeezed juices are lovely.

In an effort to keep my small business sustainable the price for the class will increase from $20 to $25 (to cover the increased overheads). The new price will start after Easter, on 11th ‘April 2015.

As a reward to those of you who come to the class regularly I will offer 10 class passes (with 3 months expiry date) at the current rate of $20 per class. i.e. for $200 upfront investment you would be saving $50.  You can purchase these $200 passes till 30 June 2015.  There will be some conditions such as: if the pass expires you will need to pay extra $5, no refunds and passes after 1 year will not be accepted.  Consideration will be given if you are seriously ill.

Some of you have expressed an interest to practice during Easter, so at this stage I am planning to teach on Sat 4th April at the usual time of 11.30 a.m.  I will confirm it closer to the time.

ROSE BAY – Golden Yogis

Student numbers in Rose Bay have steadily increased since the beginning of the year.  Some of you have been practicing in the class since I started to teach it a year ago.

We now have a new computer system to record attendances and associated finances.  Hoping to get faster at registering you!

I presume we will not have a class on Easter Friday, 3rd April 2015.

Thank you for all of you supporting my classes!

Namaste,

Mary

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Yoga to cure Hangover

herring-fish-business-suit-drinking-beer-bottle-100216907 ‘Hangover’ is the trifecta in my blogs for the Christmas / New Year 2015 festive season, the previous topics were digestion and jet lag. The last time I had a hangover I was in high school so I needed to do some research into the subject.  Please do not visualise me lying in a gutter (on my favourite pink yoga mat) and slurry AUM’s in the name of research…  I consulted a senior teacher, Tracey as my imagination stopped at the forward bend with the forehead supported.  It appears there is more to this sequence that meets eye. If you do decide to practice yoga do it slowly, be gentle with yourself, learn from the experience and move on. The aim of the practice is to let go of the toxic thoughts, release toxins from the body – by doing twisting poses. The main points:

  • Hydration, hydration, hydration (if the headache persists 2 paracetamol is also useful and some rehydration salts).
  • Due to the acid in the alcohol your joints might have tightened.  Loosen up your joints, move your head side to side, stretch and flex your toes and fingers, rotate the ankles and the wrist in both directions, open the hips.
  • Avoid inversions, especially if you if you are experiencing nausea, heartburn or indigestion.
  • Spinal twists will help to release the toxins from the liver.
  • Abdominal pose like Navasana (Boat) will help indigestion and gas).
  • When you do forward bends rest the forehead either on the floor, on a block or even on a chair as I demonstrated in the “jet lag” blog.  Forward bends calm the brain.

Suggested sequence: Lay down in Savasana with the head higher than chest, chest higher than pelvis (i.e. sit in front rolled up blanket or bolster, slowly lay back so your spine is supported, use a folded up blanket or towel under your head.) Turn your neck slowly from side to side, co-ordinate with your breath.

  • Keep your arms resting on the floor, slightly away from your torso, palms facing up.  As you inhale bend the arms, leaving the elbows on the floor.  Start rotating the wrists, then extend the fingers then make a fist.
  • Feet approx. hip width apart, bring the big toes to touch.  Start rotating the ankles away from each other. Do a few cycles and reverse the direction.

Rollover to your right side and come up to standing and do the following standing poses,

  • Parivritta Trikonasana (revolving triangle)
  • Parivritta Parsvakonasana (revolving side angle pose)

Sitting twist, such as Maricyasana, do the open version, one leg bent, elbow to inside of the knee.  Sit on the edge of a folded up blanket, sit up tall, if you need use a block behind your spine. Sit in Badha Konasana (cobbler pose) to release the hips. Forwards bend with the head supported on a chair (Pachimottanasana or Janu sirsana).

IMG_1708

Supported forward bend

Savasana or modified Viparita Karini with calves resting on the seat of the chair.

Savasana

Savasana

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Modified Viparita Karini

The success of all these poses or the need for it will depend on the size of the hangover.  You will probably not feel great while doing the yoga (your joints might hurt) and backbends could make you feel sick if your liver is really put out. A good night’s sleep and an alcohol free day just for good measure will help with your recovery. You might want to experience with essential oils on your eye bag or on Kleenex tissues under your forehead (try lavender or peppermint). Enjoy NY Eve and the rest of 2015! Mary  

Yogis’ Christmas Survival kit

I have complied a few poses which will aid digestion, help you to relax.  In a separate blog I will include poses to reduce the effect of jet lag.

Poses to do if you overindulged

I am an expert in this area…

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 tend to misjudge the 1/3 food bit…

Generally it is not recommended to practice yoga with full stomach however there is one pose which is “do-able” in “emergency”.

  1. Supta Virasana (laying down hero pose) – two variations
Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana

Easier version of Supta Virasana

Easier version of Supta Virasana

The aim in this pose is to lengthen the trunk.  Whilst you are in this asana you quadracep muscles will be extended too.

Most of us would not be comfortable laying back without support. For support you can use a bolster (or fold up two blankets).

If your ankles, knees or back does not allow you to lay back over a bolster use a folded-up chair against the wall and make sure it won’t slide away.  I suggest to sit on some elevation such as a block or a book as this will ease off the pressure from your knees.  .

Whichever version you do sit up tall before laying back and extend the tailbone away from your waist to lengthen to lower back.  Keep your knees either together or hip widths apart, a strap will assist.  Use a rolled up blanket, towel or a small cushion to support the back of your head and neck.  Once you established that you are comfortable in this pose stay in it for a few minutes.

If you have more time and energy try the following sequence to aid digestion:

There are 5 poses in this series.  The food has to travel approx. 11 meters from entry to exit so the aim is to help the digestion process by pushing the food down.

These poses lengthen the trunk, open the sides, twist, squeeze and massage the organs in the abdominal cavity and finally assist towards elimination.

1.

Urdhva Hastasana - on toes

Urdhva Hastasana – on toes

2.

Side opening

Side opening

3.

Twisting the trunk

Twisting the trunk

4.

Twist -Inspecting the heels

Twist -Inspecting the heels

5.

Squatting twist

Squatting twist

Brief description of the above poses, I assume you have done enough yoga to safely go into the poses and come out of the poses with awareness and control.

1. Stand in Tadasana, inhale and raise the arms in line with your shoulders, interlace the fingers and on the next inhalation raise the arms above your head (or you can hold the left wrist with the right hand) and come up on your toes.  Exhale lower the arms and bring the heels down. repeat a few times (4 to 8).

2. Stand in Tadasana, inhale raise the arms in line with your shoulders, interlace your fingers and raise the arms above your head .   On exhalation extend the right side of the body, keep the chest and hips to face the front. Change the interlacing of your fingers and repeat on the other side.  Repeat the cycle a few times.

3. Stand in Tadasana, inhale raise the arms shoulder height and with an exhalation twist to one side.  Allow the whole trunk to turn. Inhale back to the centre and exhale to the other side.  Repeat the cycle a few times.

4. Lay down on your abdomen, either have your elbows on the floor (like I have) or straighten your arms.  Tuck the toes under and on exhalation turn your head to inspect your heels (try to see both of them). Inhale, turn back to the centre and on exhalation do the other side. Repeat the cycle.  This pose will massage your internal organs.

5. Start with squatting.  It is a twisting movement, bring one knee towards the floor and twist away from it.  Repeat on the other side and complete a number of cycles.  This pose will help with elimination and it is the last one in this series.

Poses to relax

If you feel you need to take time off try one or all of the following poses.

Modified Viparita Karini

Modified Viparita Karini

Supta Badha Konasana

Supta Badha Konasana

When the going gets tough the tough go to Savasana

WISHING YOU A SAFE CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY, HEALTHY 2015!

Mary

Ayurvedic Tip to help you stay gorgeous after 50! – Self-massage

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The first teachings of Ayurveda (the Indian holistic health science where Ayur means “life” and Veda means “knowledge”) were written down sometimes 2,000 to 4,000 BC.

It was suppressed during the Muslim invasion and the British occupation of India.

Since the 1990’s there has been a growing interest in Ayurveda as a holistic healing science where emphasis is on prevention rather than cure. In Ayurveda they distinguish three doshas: Vata (air and space) Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth). We are all a unique combination of all three.

The link between Yoga and Ayurveda is Prana (Life force).

Enjoy this Ayurvedic Tip to help you stay gorgeous after 50!

Self Massage

Written by Justin Rintul Yoga Teacher from Triveda Therapies – see her contact details below.

According to Ayurveda, life after 50 years of age is ‘Vata’ time of life. This means of the 5 elements our bodies are made up of (water, earth, fire, space and air), this period is dominated by Air and Space. When these elements dominate there is a drying up effect on the body. Basically we start shrivelling up and drying out! How can we counter this drying effect and at the same time feel nourished and rejuvenated?

How about I give you a tip from the ancient science of Ayurveda to help you remain ‘juicy’ into old age. I really encourage you to try this as not only will it keep you young, it is also a delicious, calming and relaxing experience. It is a simple self-care exercise that you can introduce into your weekly or even daily routine. It is ‘Self Abhyangha’ or ‘Self Warm Oil Massage’ (massaging the body with large amounts of warm oil).

There are numerous benefits to Self Abhyangha including the following:
• Soothes Vata Dosha
• Helps build resilience to stress
• Increases energy and removes fatigue
• Helps to eliminate toxins by stimulating strengthening lymphatic flow
• Strengthens and tones skin and body
• Grounding and nourishing
• Helps with insomnia

Here’s how to do Self Abhyangha:
This massage is best done before your shower, either in the morning or before going to bed.
1. Select your oil – As a general rule of thumb go with Coconut oil in Summer and once the weather becomes cooler and Coconut oil begins to solidify switch to Sesame (Melrose Organic is a good one) or Sunflower oil. For an extra dimension to the experience, you may like to add an essential oil of your choice to your massage oil.
2. Warm the room you are in and warm the bottle of oil in a bowl of hot water.
3. Stand on a towel that you don’t mind getting oily.
4. Pour a small amount of oil into the palm of you hands and begin with a head massage, slowly massage oil into scalp in a similar way you shampoo. (If you don’t like having oily hair you can skip the oil here.) Use your finger tips to rub your scalp even gently tugging at your hair.
5. Take some more oil into the palm of your hands and start to massage your face and then the neck, shoulder and arms, remember circles on the joints and long strokes on the limbs. Massage slowly and adjust the strokes and pressure according to area on body, i.e. more vigorous on soles of feet and limbs, slowly around face and abdomen.
6. Continue over the rest of the body, with clockwise circles on the abdomen (to follow the colon) and upward strokes on chest.
7. Spend extra attention on your feet; massaging the soles of your feet as well as the toes for a soothing experience.
8. When you are finished you can either let the oil soak in and then rinse off in the shower or wipe the oil off with a towel.
9. Sit quietly for 10-15min, drink some water or sip on herbal tea to complete the experience!

Enjoy the benefits this simple practice has on your Mind, Body and Spirit. Abhyanga along with Yoga, Meditation and a healthy diet will help keep you feeling more ‘juicy’, healthy and looking young well into your 90s!

Justine Rintoul
email – justine@triveda.com.au
mobile – 0430532227
website – http://www.triveda.com.au
facebook – facebook.com/TrivedaTherapies

In the next blog I will recommend poses to balance Vata.

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