It’s allergy season — that time of year when many of us are plagued by itchy or watery eyes, runny noses, and bouts of sneezing and coughing that threaten to knock pictures off the wall. These common allergy symptoms are the body’s way of defending itself against bacteria and viruses. Luckily, yoga can help!
First, we have to figure out where those annoying symptoms are coming from. Allergies are triggered by allergens. Some of the most common seasonal allergens include pollen, dust, mold, food and insect venom. Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and some strong odors (such as perfumes) also impinge the respiratory system.
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid what triggers them — such as by staying indoors on days when the pollen count is at its highest and keeping your home free of dust. But yoga can also help with both the prevention and management of allergy symptoms.
With air travel rates literally reaching the skies, many people are choosing to drive instead of fly to their holiday destinations. But along with the excitement of your trip, you can expect to feel some anxiety and stress. Not to mention, succumbing to the inevitable frustration of traffic and road rage after spending hours in the car. In order to balance the added stressors that accompany affordable travel, get into the habit of stretching while on the road.
Here are five yoga poses, stretches and breathing techniques to undo the tension of long hours in the car and help you arrive to your destination refreshed and happy.
Everybody is susceptible to tight hamstrings, from professional athletes to soccer moms. People who spend long hours sitting at a desk or who have rigorous training schedules can especially benefit from a “hammie” stretch or two (or three or four).
Could your children be making decisions that hurt their physical development? While I don’t claim to be a doctor, I do have very specific feelings about your young athletes specializing in one sport too early. Consider these points when your 12-year-old tells you he/she only wants to play soccer from here on out and eventually become a pro!
How much more productive would you be if you could clear your mind by opening your body? If you sit at a desk all day, taking periodic breaks to move your body can counteract chronic “desk slump” and reduce stress and muscle tension.
Since yoga is all about balance, it is the perfect tool for creating a happy, stress-free body. When your body is in this state, your mind is more focused, making you a more productive and valuable employee.
In order to bring the body into balance and increase blood flow and oxygenation, do the following desk yoga routine at least once a day. Need a reminder? Write yourself a Post-it note! I’ll bet you have some in your desk…
Maybe it’s cabin fever, or perhaps it’s just all those Girl Scout cookies, but I’m ready for something new in my fitness routine. Aren’t you?
Like many people, I made a resolution to lose weight, and I’ve been keeping up my end of the bargain I made with myself to work out for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Now I’m ready for something new: a new challenge, a different routine, a never-tried-that-before workout.
Traditionally, yoga focuses on inner beauty, but I recently came across a secret yogi technique to enhance the outer beauty as well. No scalpel, no down time, no pain, no magic creams — sounds like a slam dunk to me! Why wouldn’t you want to try it?!
Ancient yogic texts mention an exercise known as Kaki Mudra, which can be used to strengthen the muscles in your face. The routine was meant to be kept as a sacred yogi secret, but I aim to share the wealth.
For athletes, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. Strain to the fascia weakens it, causing pain and swelling in the heel. It is a problem that plagues regular exercisers as well as football players, tennis players, soccer players and basketball players every day.
- High arches or flat feet
- Working, running or standing on hard surfaces
- Being overweight
- Tight Achilles tendons
- Tight calves
- Weak inside edge of foot, causing roll-in (pronation)
Aside from rest and ice, you can take anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin (consult your doctor first) to help with an acute case. I take a standpoint of prevention. There are several defensive approaches.