tension

Top 6 Yoga Poses for Back Pain

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | September 4th, 2013 | 188 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: abs, asanas, back spasms, back strength, back traction pose, back-pain, child's pose, core strength, curvature, down dog, downward facing dog, fists forward bend, forward fold, pigeon, Sadie Nardini, sciatic pain, spinal alignment, spinal discs, spine, support, tension, wall plank, yoga for back pain, yoga poses

Yoga for Back Pain - Forward Fold

Fifteen years ago, I was not acting my age. Since I would recoil from any form of exercise, as well as any green foods, I was overweight, inflexible and debilitated by lower back pain. The 40 extra pounds on my frame — plus tight, shortened back muscles and weak abs — left me moving like an 80-year-old version of myself.

I suffered daily from sciatica, back spasms, limited mobility, weakness, you name it. When I got stuck in my car one day, unable to swing my legs out because of my sciatic pain — at age 23 — I realized, “Something’s gotta change.”

I started reading up and realized a shocking number of people suffer with chronic back pain, partly from hours spent sitting in a way that flattens the lower back curve. (BTW, Gaiam’s Balance Ball Chair, the very one I’m sitting on as I write this, is a great tool to help build core strength and re-align your spine.)

Then, I found yoga. Over time, using some of the same poses I’m showing you here, I built a lean and pain-free body.

Yoga for Road Trips

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | December 7th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Fitness, Yoga | tags: back-pain, breathing, breathing techniques, car, dry eyes, eye stretches, Forward Folds, Gwen Lawrence, high gas prices, holiday, holiday travel, inflation, lions pose, low back, road rage, road trip, road trips, shoulder shrugs, shoulders, stress, stretching, summer, tension, tight forearms, travel, vacation, wrist rolls, wrists, Yoga

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.

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.

The Most Important Part of a Yoga Pose

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: brain, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, clear the mind, inversion, legs up the wall pose, meditation, muscles, nervous system, pranayama, relax, relaxation, self-massage, stress, tension, thoughts, tissues, Unmani Mudra, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, yoga-practice

Yoga PoseHave you ever wondered what to prioritize when you are doing a yoga pose? What is the most important thing to focus on when doing Triangle? Or Downward Dog? Or Savasana? Ask 15 different yoga teachers from different yoga lineages and you will likely get 15 different answers. Is alignment the most important? Is it the breath? Awareness? Eye gaze? What is it?

I have wrestled with this question myself and have attempted to deconstruct hundreds of poses to figure out what is most important … but after 29 years of practice (yep, I’ve been practicing since I was a kid!) there is one element that I come back to again and again — and it might surprise you!

Undercover Yoga: Strike a Pose Wherever You Sit

Kate Hanley by Kate Hanley | December 17th, 2008 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: digestion, stress, stress-relief, tension, twist, Yoga

Seated twist pose how-to from The Practical Power of Yoga

Seated twist pose how-to segment from The Practical Power of Yoga

I’m writing this post from a coffee shop. On one hand, I love working in a coffee shop: It spurs me to put on clothes that aren’t covered in smashed up pieces of banana (I have a 10-month-old), get some fresh air, and interact with other humans.

The Most Effective Way to Eliminate Stress

Gay and Katie Hendricks by Gay and Katie Hendricks | May 28th, 2008 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: stress-relief, tension

Recently we’ve been getting a lot of email asking about how to deal with stress and tension. It may be because of an uncertain economy or other factors, but whatever the cause, here is some key information about stress.

First, stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Science tells us that some stress is necessary, but that too-high levels impede learning, slow productivity and make you sick. What stress level is optimal for you?