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?Read More
Building Bone: Concepts and Controversies
The positive role that resistance training can play in building and maintaining bone and muscle tissue is well established. But how do other types of exercise affect bone? Recent research findings are sobering.
Walking does not build bone. Shocked? Doesn’t everyone say, “I don’t understand how I got osteoporosis. I walk. . . .” Most studies show that walking either doesn’t affect bone or may at best prevent bone loss (Martyn-St. James & Carroll 2008).
In our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload, “terror alerts” and sleeplessness—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Today’s fast-paced, digital world pressures children to grow up fast. Instead of running around grassy playgrounds, most of them live highly structured lives, shuttling from one organized activity to the next, often while playing with hyper-stimulating devices. For school-age children, homework, peer pressure, teasing, poor grades, bullying, parental demands and isolation can all trigger stress.Read More
Have you or has the facility where you work delivered any mind-body programs, like tai chi or yoga, to residents of older-adult housing communities? If so, please tell us about it. Let us know what level of care facility (independent or assisted living) was served, and what types of activity programs have been successful. Offer any tips on how you think others might also begin offering such programs.
Share your responses with editor Sandy Todd Webster, [email protected]Read More
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!Read More
How many times do you design your yoga class in your head on the way to the studio? While you may get by with this approach, it can’t always prepare you for the unpredictable variables you may encounter in class. On the other hand, you don’t want to fall into the template trap, which can water down your instruction and potentially harm students. To reinvigorate your passion for teaching, educate yourself on a regular basis.Read More
While overall yoga and Pilates participation changes yearly, the ratio of men to women in yoga is holding fairly constant, while the percentage of Pilates practitioners who are men is increasing. Currently, of the estimated 23.3 million Americans who do yoga, approximately 26%, or 6.0 million, are male. Of the estimated 8.5 million Americans who practice Pilates, 16%, or close to 1.4 million, are male (Sports Marketing Surveys USA 2013a, 2013b).Read More
Flexibility, balance, strength and endurance are common components of a yoga class. The poses alone provide an excellent workout, but if you’re ready for something different, consider adding stability balls to your practice. This is a fun way to recruit core musculature, incorporate more balance work, and increase range of motion.
Yoga on the Ball Details
GOAL/EMPHASIS: a basic yoga practice incorporating the stability ball TIME: 45–60 minutes (can be shorter or longer depending on how many reps you do or how long you hold poses)Read More
Even in childhood I had a philosophical bent. I distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table with my twin brother and discussing with him why the dog could eat hamburger and it became “dog,” whereas we could eat hamburger and it became “us.” An interesting question for a couple of 9-year-olds to pursue. Sadly, we never figured it out.
By my early 20s I had taken up the study of yoga, and my worrisome won- dering about the big questions of mean- ing and purpose in life was becoming more refined. Now I really wanted to “understand” what life was all about.Read More
In the first study to tease out the effects of different components of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, researchers have identified yoga and sitting meditation as particularly beneficial practices for promoting health among older adults.Read More
Many yoga teachers consider savasana—also known as corpse pose or relaxation pose—both the easiest and hardest of all postures. Why? On the one hand, the point of the pose is to relax deeply and fully in a supine position with arms and legs gently rolled out to the sides.Read More
Think back to a recent time when you left a yoga class and felt joyfully transformed. Maybe the teacher had great auditory and visual cues. Maybe he or she made you feel safe and supported, allowing you to explore poses in deeper and more rewarding ways than you would have been able to on your own. A well-balanced yoga teacher connects with all types of learners—auditory, visual and kinesthetic. The most fulfilling classes happen when the teacher successfully blends all three teaching modalities.Read More
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.Read More
Many women enjoy the benefits of yoga or other exercise during pregnancy, but then become inactive postpartum—perhaps because they don’t know which activities are safe or appropriate. Sadly, they miss the opportunity to restore a gateway to stability in the body, and later they may find themselves hampered by weaknesses in the pelvic floor and…Read More
I just finished reading the article “Is Yoga Safe?” by Shirley Archer, JD, MA (July–August). It is really terrific for students and teachers alike. I am a yoga teacher, trainer and holistic health counselor. Increased awareness regarding yoga safety and its medical benefits, as well as proper training for new teachers, is extremely important to the future of yoga. Thank you so much for the information, as well as for the suggestion that potential students look for a teacher with a background in somatics. Great advice!Read More