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!
People with glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in America, may require specific modifications when practicing yoga. As many as 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of them know they have it, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
The market for services such as yoga therapy, meditation and other mind-body methods of complementary care, as well as complementary health products, continues to grow, according to survey data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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 , 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.
"Joanne," aged 51, presents with hot flashes and vaginal atrophy. She feels depressed, anxious, irritable, fatigued and not as confident in herself as she once was. Somehow she feels out of control. Her body is behaving unpredictably: She doesn't know when her next hot flash is coming or how to control the fat that is shifting up toward her waist.
"Sandra" is only 37 years old and has experienced menopause prematurely. She has not yet had children. She is having severe physical and emotional adjustment problems, including extreme mood swings.
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?
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.
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.
When leading client sessions, do you find that you have difficulty maintaining focus on the task at hand? Learn how to break the habit of mind wandering to become a more mindful—and fulfilled—personal trainer.
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.
For more guidance on the May 2015 Inner IDEA exercises, view this special IDEA Web Extra from author Lawrence Biscontini, MA.
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.
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]
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!
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.