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Yoga

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yoga and brain health

Yoga Boosts Brain Fitness

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | March 30, 2020 |

Practicing yoga benefits both brain structure and function by increasing grey matter in brain regions responsible for memory recall and emotion regulation, among other changes, according to research findings published in Brain Plasticity (2019; doi:10.3233/BPL-190084). Researchers at the University of Illinois and Wayne State University reviewed 11 studies that examined the effects of yoga on brain structures, function and cerebral blood flow.

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Core Yoga Slow-Flow Sequence

By Heather Agnew | April 24, 2019 |

Mindful movement practices like yoga and Pilates allow you to incorporate flexibility, core work and body awareness into your current client programming. Core yoga is a practice that blends the precision, control and core-strengthening benefits of Pilates with the mindful and meditative benefits of yoga.

Try this core yoga slow-flow sequence and share it with your clients!

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Growth in Yoga and Meditation Practice

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | February 11, 2019 |

Americans continue to turn to yoga and meditation as leading ways to improve health, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). In 2017, yoga was the most commonly used complementary health approach, practiced by 14.3% of American adults (35.2 million). This represents an increase of almost 13 million practitioners since 2012. Meditation was the second most popular complementary health practice, used by 14.2% of adults. In growth, however, meditation outpaced yoga, with participation more than tripling from 2012 (4.1%).

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Breathing New Life Into a Yoga Journey

By Sandy Todd Webster | December 13, 2018 |

When I landed at IDEA over 17 years ago, I had tried yoga just a handful of times.

Roll back to 1997. We had moved from Los Angeles to San Diego, and I was working part-time, waiting for my newly minted PhD husband to get hired somewhere (please, anywhere!) as a college professor. Working just 20 hours per week, I had plenty of time to explore San Diego. I bought a gym membership at the University of California, San Diego, and spent a lot of time there, self-guided, trying all the classes and training myself based on what little I knew about movement and the body.

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Yoga for Optimal Performance

By Helen Vanderburg | December 6, 2018 |

You’re a student of the body, committed to helping people improve their functional capacity and independence. Human movement is complex and uniquely individual. From a physical perspective, joint structure, neurological patterning, muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia and skin all affect movement. Psychological and emotional factors may also cause restrictions.

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The ABCs of Teaching Yoga

By | December 5, 2018 |

What makes a yoga teacher skilled, effective and relatable? In reality, you could answer this in several ways, but there are some key principles that make up the foundation of a teaching practice. Let’s call them The ABCs of Teaching Yoga.

Surprisingly, the ABCs are not always taught in professional training programs, and many teachers find themselves stumbling through their classes when just starting out. The good news is you don’t have to! I’ve outlined everything you need to know here.

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Hot Yoga May Provide Heat Stress Conditioning for Athletes

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | October 11, 2018 |

If you’re looking for a good cross-training technique for your more athletic clients, suggest they practice hot yoga, which may boost aerobic performance while minimizing exercise stress.

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, researchers recruited 10 elite female field hockey players for observation. All athletes participated in 60-minute hot-yoga classes (30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit) over 6 consecutive days, during which they did not engage in any other exercise. Following the intervention, the athletes played in a national-team camp.

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Mindful Exercise in the Pool

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | September 21, 2018 |

The sensory-rich pool environment—soothing and simultaneously challenging—is an ideal setting for mindful movement and a welcome respite from digital stress. It’s also a place where people of all ages and ability levels can thrive. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that aquatic exercise posted the third-greatest growth among group exercise and training protocols in the 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, with 12% facility member participation last year, up from 7% in 2014.

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New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 23, 2018 |

As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.

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Teaching Yoga at the Wall

By Linda Freeman | May 23, 2018 |

As a yoga teacher, you guide participants through a practice that deepens their understanding of asanas (poses) and how these take shape in students’ bodies. You cue, coach, align, adjust, demonstrate and discuss, and you offer tips on breathing, anatomy, “feel” and sensation. Often, the most effective way to help participants understand a specific element is to slow down, grab a prop or two, and work a little deeper. You may have access to straps, blocks and bolsters, but you might be forgetting another perfect “prop”: the wall.

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Thai Yoga Improves Flexibility

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | May 10, 2018 |

If your clients need to improve their flexibility, you may want to encourage them to try Thai yoga during their time away from training. In a review of randomized controlled trials, researchers found that consistent practice of Thai yoga improved muscular flexibility and specific joint range of motion. Thai yoga is from traditional Thai medicine and includes gentle dynamic stretching, deep breathing, meditation and self-acupressure.

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New Review Determines Weight Management Tool

By Ryan Halvorson | February 9, 2018 |

Mindfulness practices such as meditation and conscious eating techniques may offer secrets to losing weight and keeping it off, say researchers from Montreal’s McGill University.
Noting some inconsistencies in prior findings, the researchers undertook a comprehensive analysis of 19 mindfulness and lifestyle modification studies that included 1,160 subjects. Here’s some of what the scientists learned from their investigation:

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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