respiratory system

5 Yoga Poses to Fight Seasonal Allergies

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | May 7th, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: air pollution, allergens, allergic reaction, allery symptoms, alternative medicine, alternative therapies, asthma, backbends, breath, breathe, breathing, bronchitis, cigarette smoke, coughing, doctor, dust, expert, Fish Pose, food, Gwen Lawrence, health, holistic healing, immune system, insect venom, instructor, inversions, itchy eyes, mold, perfume, plow pose, pollen, respiratory system, runny nose, seasonal allergies, shoulder stand, sneezing, stress, strong odors, teacher, Three-Part Yogic Breath, watery eyes, well-being, wellness, yoga for allergies, yoga poses

Yoga for Allergies

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.

Make Your Posture Perfect: Breathe Down Your Spine

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 13th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: breath, breathe, breathing, chest breather, diaphragm, Dr. Kelly Starrett, erectors, exercise, intercostal muscles, Jill Miller, lower back, lungs, massage, muscles, posture, respiratory system, rhomboids, ribs, slouch, slump, spine, tension, trapezius, vertebrae, Yoga, Yoga Tune Up

Are you proud of your posture? Or do you feel a bit slumpy? Did your mom tell you to sit up straight? Does she still cajole you?

I’m on your mom’s side! Most people do not pay enough attention to their daily posture and everyday movement habits, and it can have long-term health consequences if left unimproved. I see postural issues daily in my Yoga Tune Up® classrooms. And as a self-proclaimed “posture princess,” I want to motivate you to make better choices to improve your carriage.

Did You Finish Breathing Yet?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 27th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: abdominal muscles, abs, body, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, CrossFit, diaphragm, focus, hiccup cure, hiccups, Jill Mller, Kelly Starrett, lungs, mindful, Mobilitywod.com, pranayama, respiration, respiratory system, San Francisco CrossFit, uddiyana bandha, Yoga, yoga class, yoga instructor, Yoga TuneUp

Yoga class standing in Mountain Pose

SCENE: A yoga class. Students are standing in Mountain Pose like a Buddhist “army.”

Teacher: Breathe in…

Class: (A subtle, yet audible “sucking” sound is heard.)

Teacher: And breathe out…

Class: (A subtle, yet audible “whooshing” sound is heard.)

Teacher: Good. Now three more deep breaths just like that.

Class: (They are audibly compliant until…)

Teacher: Now step your right foot back.

Class: (The sound of 25 left feet strike the pose, and no more breathing is heard.)

Teacher: What, no more breathing? Let every movement be a prompt to remind you to breathe for the next 90 minutes.

Class: (Sound of breathing is amplified again, and class proceeds smoothly until … well, the class forgets to breathe again. And again. And again sporadically throughout the class.)

What’s going on here? Why do so many of us forget to breathe? Did you actually finish breathing?

It seems laughable, the notion of “finishing breathing.” Our nervous systems are actually built in such away that breath happens automatically, without us prompting our breathing muscles every few seconds. Think about it, a lot of mental energy is actually required to control every single breath (instead of letting it happen on its own), and our brains have a zillion other tasks to balance. But the breezy thing about breathing is that we can control it, and in so doing we can deliberately impact every system of the body.

Kaki Mudra: Yoga for Outer Beauty

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | February 16th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Yoga | tags: acne, aging, beautiful, blemishes, breathing techniques, chakras, complexion, face yoga, fifth chakra, glow, Gwen Lawrence, inner beauty, kaki mudra, Kika Mudra, outer beauty, parathyroid, respiratory system, skin, thyroid, wrinkles, Yoga, yoga for beauty, yoga for the face, Yogi Malik

Face Yoga

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.