Yoga as Therapy, Healing and Prevention

Wed

25

Jul

2012

Back Care

One of the primary focuses of yoga is the spine, and then, the shoulder girdle (arms, elbows, wrists, hands), and pelvic girdle (hips, legs, knees, ankles, feet). āsana (postures/movement) practice is to help alleviate physical discomfort, bring symmetry to the body, restore healthy pelvic/lumbar relationship and shoulder/upper back relationship so that we can live in a pain-free body. In Yoga classes you find that when you tweak the body and create soreness (such as too much gardening or shoveling) you have yogic tools to bring the body and mind back to balance/equilibrium.

 

I lead workshops and 12-week group class series on:
Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain: Develop a Healthy Back

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Wed

25

Jul

2012

Stress Management and Reduction

 

It is our birthright to live life less encumbered by stress. We live in a world that can occupy all of our attention and time if we allow external circumstances to capture and hold us. Our conditioning, the way we are raised, who we associate with, who we admire and emulate, where we work and the associated work culture, influence us and affects the way we react and respond to life’s challenges.

 

Yoga helps guide us in the direction to better manage life’s stressors. With conscious action we can change our reactions (automatic decisions) to responses (thoughtful decisions); we are not in control of other’s behaviors – only our own. And we can facilitate more successful relationships in the world – first we reconnect with the relationship we have with one’s self, with conscious breath in coordination with movement in yoga practice, and through meditation and relaxation techniques.

 

Some of these tools/practices will speak more to you then others and I invite you to explore them through group classes or private sessions to find the tools that help you to alleviate stressors and live a healthy life.

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Sun

17

Jun

2012

Breath as Gateway to the Mind and Heart

It may seem silly to talk about the Breath as Gateway to the Mind and Heart, but in the yogic philosophy an important tool is our breath. So think about it – breath is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do before we die. In our daily life we breathe and we move – and we do not often consciously coordinate breath with movement. Our bodies naturally coordinate our breath with movement on a physical and physiological level. When our bodies react to stress, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), a part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) activates the flight or fight response. Western science typically looks at the SNS as an automatic regulation system that operates without the intervention of conscious thought. In the Viniyoga methodology, the idea is to consciously activate the breath first, then initiate movement while we practice yoga.

 

Prāņāyāma (breathing techniques) positively affects our physiology, calms/focuses the mind, invokes the relaxation response and captures our attention away from an extraordinarily busy world that keeps us living externally as we meet the many converging demands of family, employers, and society. Prāņāyāma takes us from the external world to an inner personal space and focus.

 

I say to my students during breathing exercises and relaxation – “Soften into your breath, allow your breath to deepen and lengthen; hear the stillness within you; that stillness is with you where ever you go; this is your internal environment. Know that this stillness is a place where you can go to connect with your inner wisdom, innate intelligence and unique self. Enjoy this stillness and access this space through the connection with your breath whenever there is a need to do so, to replenish, refocus and rejuvenate.”

 

In addition to learning breathing techniques in group classes, I lead workshops that teach skills to improve breathing capacity.

 

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