What the Crack!

Wondering what that cracking noise is in the joints while practicing yoga or stretching?

There are a few answers to this. When a joint is moved in or out of its regular positioning, gas escapes from synovial fluid in the joint. Ligaments stretching and releasing can also create sound.

According to international yoga teacher, Judith Lasater, sound comes from tendons moving across joints or from arthritic changes in the joints.

While it is usually normal, do pay attention. If symptoms change or if pain/swelling accompanies the popping or cracking noise, seek the advice of a qualified health professional. Otherwise, consider that crack a hello from your body to you!

Sphinx is no myth

Sphinx pose as a yoga asana or posture is a gentle back bend. Practicing this pose helps strengthen the spine and stimulate the abdominal organs. It expands and stretches the chest, shoulders, and lungs. Sphinx helps improve blood circulation while relieving the body of stress. Gentle twists and quad stretches can be added and this posture can be taken deeper into other yoga poses as well like cobra pose and raised cobra. Sphinx helps firm up the buttocks too!

Nourish Your Body

One of the easiest and most effective ways to nourish your body isn’t costly. It doesn’t take a lot of time and you don’t need to even leave your home. Self massage with warm oil is the perfect way to nurture and ground your body. And it only takes 15 minutes. Apply warm oil to the scalp, ears, and feet. An oil massage supports the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. It enhances circulation, lymph drainage, and helps establish sleep patterns.

A self massage routine can be done in the morning or evening. Enhance your experience with essential oils to add some aromatherapy. Drink it all in!

En Joy

“To enjoy life to the fullest, stop wanting anything. If something comes, let it come. If it goes, let it go. Just be contented with what you have. Even if something goes from what you have, it doesn’t matter. Accept it. True joy doesn’t come from anywhere. Nothing brings you joy. No person brings you joy. You yourself are joyful always. This is enJOYment. Depend on nothing, because nothing from outside can make you joyful.”

~From A Thought for Each Day, The Golden Present by Sri Swami Satchidananda

A Perspective on Letting Go

Forgiveness and the release of the past open the creative flow of life, supporting all levels of mind, heart, body, emotion, and spirit.  This energy flow determines the state of our health, our desire to create and procreate, our willingness to develop our gifts, and how we use or deny the life force that we are given as human beings. . . by choosing to let go of the past, our fears, and our negative patterns or reactions to life, we are suddenly funded with a resurgence of life force, which propels
us into a newfound way of being and a very different
way of understanding the world.

~Jamie Sams

Eco-Friendly Body Scrub

Take care of the skin your in, save money, and make use of something that would otherwise go to the compost or trash. Trifecta! The best scrub ever is one I make myself. Making use of coffee grounds from my organic coffee (any coffee grounds will do), sugar, organic coconut oil, and cinnamon. That’s it…

1/4 C organic coconut oil

1/4 C sugar

1/4 C coffee grounds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

A small jar or container with a lid (I use a small plastic container that had powder in it since I leave it in the shower and wouldn’t want broken glass). Also, note, the coconut oil will make the floor of the shower slippery, so please be careful.

AND, it smells and works great!

Osteoporosis and Yoga

Practicing yoga with osteoporosis can benefit the body if done mindfully. Many postures and practices can help improve strength and balance as well as restore function and relieve pain. The National Osteoporosis Foundation advises against the following movements.

Bending forward from the waist
Twisting or bending the torso to an extreme
Toe touches, abdominal crunches, and sit-ups

In being mindful, it is always important to take the lead during a group yoga class to ensure your own safety. Skip poses that your doctor does not recommend. Most poses can be modified in order to be practiced safely. Particularly helpful for osteoporosis are weight-bearing poses like chair pose, planks, and balancing poses.

Here are a few tips if you have osteoporosis:

Keep the spine long. Avoid rounding the back.
Keep the head on the ground when lying on the back.
Hinge from the hips, not the waist. Tilt the pelvis forward and keep spine long.
Practice with the support of a chair or the wall.
Move relaxed and smoothly. Avoid jerky movements.
Consider lying down rather than sitting to relax the spine.

Uniting the body, mind, and breath in a mindful practice can be a beautiful gift!

Brain Yoga

You may have heard of eye yoga, aerial yoga, or even wall yoga. But brain yoga? Well, not in the true postural sense. However, yoga has many benefits to the body and the brain. Here are just a few of the many.

-Yoga benefits memory and helps ward off cognitive issues.

-Hatha yoga improves the brain function and processing (speed and accuracy).

-It prompts and enhances self-awareness and reduces stress.

-Yoga helps improve psychological health in the areas of anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. There are studies that suggest yoga can produce effects similar to anti-depressants and therapy.

-Yoga helps with anger management and emotional resilience.

-The meditative aspects of yoga help to lower blood pressure, improve immunity, improve sleep, lower the risks of heart disease, and calm the nervous system.

-Clinical studies have shown that yoga stimulates skin pressure receptors that boost brain activity. This influences the production and release of hormones.

The benefits of yoga and meditation are far too numerous to list. Find your yoga today and make your brain happy.