I’m sure we all know of an elderly man or woman who has fallen and broken a hip. This is a painful and often traumatic experience requiring surgery, rest, and recovery time. It can take several months of using a cane or walker to regain mobility. This can be quite demoralizing to someone in their later years, who may already be struggling to retain their independence. Generally hip and other bone fractures in the elderly are due to osteoporosis, or the loss of bone mass.
The practice of yoga asanas is truly a boon for the deskbound, both for one’s physical and mental health.
Even just a few exercises done at or next to your desk throughout the day lets you enjoy a boost of energy, a wave of relaxation, and a clarity of mind that makes you more focused, productive, and solution-oriented.
Since ancient times, yogis teaching and practicing asanas have placed a great deal of emphasis on the back, especially the spine.
They appreciated the value of keeping the spinal column straight, strong, flexible, and relaxed. Not only does a healthy spine have a favorable impact on your overall comfort and mobility (both present and future), but it also benefits your internal organs, glands, and tissue. A healthy back and spine also helps increase your energy level and improves the circulation of prana (subtle energy) throughout the body.
With the fall upon us and winter not far away, respiratory conditions like allergies and colds become more prevalent. Luckily, yoga techniques offer several ways to strengthen our respiratory system and hopefully fend them off before they can take hold.
A common misconception these days is that in order to benefit from yoga asanas, we have to strive hard, work up a sweat, do extreme poses, and really push our limits. While there’s nothing wrong with challenging ourselves, practicing yoga asanas in a gentle, passive way has many benefits. It allows us to slow down and really check in with what’s going on in our body, to respect our limitations and work with them to gradually increase our well-being.
While Yoga Sound Meditation is often practiced while walking, lying down, or sitting comfortably in a favorite chair, it’s also nice to practice it in the traditional way, sitting cross-legged with your spine erect.
Taking care of our liver is not something we think about very often, but our liver certainly takes care of us. This large organ is a key player in running the complex machine of the body—in fact, it performs over 300 functions. For example, the liver filters toxins in the blood that may come from drugs, alcohol, or other poisonous substances. It breaks down protein into amino acids. It converts the carbs we eat into glycogen, which can later be converted back to glucose to give us energy. Bile, which is necessary for breaking down the fats we eat, is produced in the liver.
We all know that practicing yoga asanas is good for us—it improves our strength and flexibility, increases circulation, and helps us to breathe better. But did you also know that it’s good for your skin?
Keeping the heart healthy is essential to living a long and active life. The heart works hard for us every day; its steady beat pumping blood through our arteries, bringing oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in our body. It’s common knowledge that a good diet and regular exercise are both key elements to keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. The American Heart Association recommends that we either exercise moderately for at least two and a half hours every week or exercise vigorously for 75 minutes per week.
If you practice yoga asanas and you have small children, the chances are they are “playing yoga” with you. If you’re wondering how to keep them practicing as they grow and develop, here are some hints: