If you’re suffering from chronic pain, you may want to begin a yoga or meditation practice. In addition to increasing the risk of depression and anxiety, chronic pain changes brain anatomy by reducing gray matter and adversely affecting white matter, according to the American Pain Society (APS). As many as 19% of adult Americans suffer from chronic pain.
At the APS 2015 annual
meeting in Palm Springs, California, M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, presented research showing that mind-body practices may be helpful to this population.
After working with an older adult (aged 82–92) for 10 years, I was troubled to discover that she had begun having difficulty getting out of the waiting room chair before embarking on our weekly Pilates session. What was I missing? She had faithfully completed Reformer Footwork, Eve’s Lunge and Side Splits, as well as Standing Leg Pumps on the Wunda chair, each week. Why was she continuing to lose leg strength?
When Tanya Colucci, MS, trains clients, she pulls from many different resources to offer the best results possible. Owner of Tanya Colucci Myofascial Release Therapy in Bluffton, South Carolina, Colucci believes in an integrative mind-body approach, which appears to resonate with many people. Case in point: client Aileen Worthington, age 71, who has osteoporosis.
In today’s complicated world, just listening to the evening news on television or radio can raise cortisol rates in the body. High stress levels, combined with current technological advancements, almost unending sensorial bombardment, and the ever-changing dietary habits of many developed countries, can deny the body time for repose and resynthesis.
Traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day, the yoga sun salutation series warms up the body and prepares it for practice. While this flow successfully targets large muscles and brings the mind to a singular focus, it does so primarily in the sagittal plane. When you add movements that address the frontal and transverse planes, sun salutations become a functional warm-up for any class, including circuit, step, dance and strength. Bare feet are not required!newsletter_teaser: Traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day, the yoga sun salutation series warms up the body and prepares it for practice. While this flow successfully targets large muscles and brings the mind to a singular focus
For perimenopausal and menopausal women, mind-body activities may be beneficial for reducing menopausal symptoms and cognitive impairment conditions like memory loss, according to a review study conducted by Baylor University researchers in Waco, Texas.
Encouraging news for those with scoliosis, and valuable information for yoga and Pilates instructors who have clients with scoliosis: Regularly performing a yoga side-plank pose on the convex side of the primary curve can significantly reduce the curve’s angle in people with scoliosis, according to research published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine (2014; 3 , 16–21; doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.064).
For years, yoga has supported my career as a b-girl (breakdancer) and professional contemporary and hip-hop dancer. From this stable foundation, I’ve built strength, grace, balance and power. The following sequence—which blends dance, yoga and footwork drills—has the basic structure of a hip-hop class. The combination gives participants a unique cardio experience while safely building flexibility and increasing upper-body and core strength.
By my early 20s I had taken up the study of yoga, and I really wanted to “understand” what life was all about. Soon I realized that I couldn’t figure it all out by thinking, and my questioning became more practical: How was I going to act in this life? What choices would I make? It is said that the only things we really own are our actions, and if that was the case, I wondered, what exact principles could I use to guide my actions in my everyday life? newsletter_teaser: By my early 20s I had taken up the study of yoga, and I really wanted to “understand” what life was all about. How was I going to act ? What choices would I make? What principles could I use to guide my actions in my everyday life? One of the biggest helps to me in this search for how to live well was the discovery of the five yamas of Patañjali.