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:
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives—in any profession, at any age, no matter where we live. But there is a lot we can do to respond to stress in ways that mitigate its affect on our health and on our lives in general.
When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up—especially in the neck, shoulders, face, and jaw. We often don’t even notice that it’s happening. This unconscious buildup of tension can lead to headaches.
It can arise for many reasons: working long hours, holding the head in an uncomfortable or unnatural position for long periods of time, exercising excessively, regularly carrying a backpack or heavy load, and so on.
You may be surprised to hear that in addition to practicing yoga asanas, yoga relaxation and Yoga Sound Meditation can also help you lose weight.
One reason is because these techniques are so effective at reducing stress. Studies show that stress is one of the main reasons people overeat. Stress may also cause the body to hold onto fat, making it harder to lose weight. So by using these yoga techniques to reduce your stress, you’ll be well on your way to dropping a few pounds (provided you still watch what you eat, of course).