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Yoga

Question of the Month

With the American Heart Association’s recent recognition of meditation and mindfulness practices and with meditation studios appearing in Los Angeles and New York City, it’s clear that these activities are going mainstream. Are you or is your facility integrating this trend into programs? For example, are you offering yoga and meditation classes or meditation-only sessions?

Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller at [email protected]

Cultivating a Home Yoga Practice

Do your yoga students hunger to build a home practice but struggle to stick with one? Sustaining a regular home yoga practice can be challenging even for the most loyal yoga enthusiasts. But practicing independently—as a complement to learning from a skilled teacher—offers a variety of advantages that make it well worth the effort. Find out why a home practice can benefit your students, how you can encourage them to create the space for it, and what will help them get on the mat every day.

Mindfulness, Stress and Blood-Sugar Regulation

A Penn State University study found that women with overweight or obesity had significantly lower levels of stress and fasting glucose after participating in a mindfulness-based stress reduction [MBSR] program. Researchers evaluated the effects of MBSR on cardiometabolic outcomes in 86 women with overweight or obesity. The 8-week MBSR program—which consists of group training in mindfulness, stress reduction, mindful movement and meditation—includes weekly 2.5-hour sessions, one 6-hour retreat and a recommendation of daily home practice.

The Science of Yoga

“Jane,” like many clients, tried yoga to reduce her stress and anxiety, but she often held her breath during triggering moments, taxing her to the point where she’d feel faint and need to lie on the floor. After taking yoga sessions with Nicole DeAvilla, RYT 500, of Kentfield, California, Jane immediately felt calmer, more grounded and more optimistic.

Are Yoga Postures Power Poses?

Next time you’re feeling down, you may want to try a yogic raised-hands pose, also known as the upward salute that is part of the sun salutation. You may recall research conducted by Amy J.C. Cuddy, PhD, MA, associate professor at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that suggested “power poses” can increase people’s sense of competence and power. Now, research suggests that open, expansive yoga postures held for 2 minutes may
increase self-esteem.

Control Your Moods, Achieve Your Goals

Anxious, fatigued, unhappy, uncertain? We’ve all been there, all known times when our emotional hot buttons take over. We swear to ourselves that this time we will overcome them and stay committed to our goal, but it doesn’t work and we react with indulgent self-gratification. “I had such a long day, and I just don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve already fallen off the wagon so I’ll just eat what I want and start again on Monday.”

Streamline Your Yoga Cuing

When you were new to teaching yoga, you had a lot to focus on. You navigated the room, demonstrated poses, gave hands-on adjustments, held space for emotions and skillfully managed time. In the early days, it may have felt like a victory just to make it through a class successfully!

Tai Chi: The Perfect Balance for Aging Adults

Why tai chi?
These Chinese movement patterns have been around for centuries. In recent years, study after study has proven the benefits of tai chi—particularly for older exercisers—yet most fitness professionals seem to know little about it.
That’s too bad, because just about any fitness client can learn tai chi, and any fitness professional can teach it. Like other types of exercise, tai chi simply requires you to learn its movements and experience its benefits.

U.S. Yoga Injuries Increasing

Yoga injuries in the United States are on the rise, particularly among older adults, according to data from hospital emergency rooms nationwide. Researchers from the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), Alabama, examined data from 2001 to 2014 to establish the injury risk involved in yoga participation.

Mind-Body Exercise and Menopause

Are you in menopause? Chances are that you sometimes feel that you are not in control of your body! If you are seeking ways to cope with unpleasant menopausal symptoms, you may want to try yoga and other mind-body practices.
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, an award-winning author and IDEA’s mind-body spokesperson, explains the research and application of mind-body exercise on menopause.

Irritability and Mood Swings

The Poetry of Yoga

Some 80 million Americans were expected to try yoga last year, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study (Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance 2016). Couple this statistic with the continuing effort to entice baby boomers with new and effective movement class designs, and you get a sense of the opportunity yoga provides for dedicated teachers with skill and creativity.

When Students Grieve

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us when we live.
—Norman Cousins

Sooner or later, most of us will lose someone we care about. The pain this causes can be overwhelming, and we may feel that nothing will ever be normal again. Losing someone we love is a highly personal experience, and no two people cope in the same way or progress within the same time frame. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

A Yoga-Based Finish

Sun salutations integrate strength, endurance, flexibility, controlled breathing and mindfulness. This cycle of postures is traditionally used in many yoga classes to warm up the body, as the sequence addresses all major joints and muscle groups while increasing blood flow and circulation. However, it also helps to release stress on the spine and promote relaxation, a perfect combination for a cool–down!

Yoga and Tai Chi Offer Nondrug Pain Management

Complementary approaches like yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, massage therapy and relaxation techniques can help some people manage chronic pain, says a research review published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2016; 91 [9], 1292–1306). In the United States, chronic pain affects 126 million adults in any given year, with as many as 40 million of them suffering from severe pain. Leading disorders include back pain, joint pain, neck pain and headaches.

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