Trikonasana-Triangle Pose

Trikonasana (TREE-kone-AA-SUN-aa) — is an asana (posture) that activates and moves energy through the entire body by stretching the side body and challenging the balance. This asana is named from the Sanskrit words, Trikona, meaning triangle, and asana.

Some of the benefits

Stretches and opens the hips, chest, and lengthens the spine.

Opens the hamstrings, groin, calves, and shoulders.

Stretches and tones the muscles of the legs.

Stretches the intercostal muscles of the rib cage.

Strengthens the neck. Note: ensure the head isn’t droppping down to the shoulder.

Can bring relief to backaches and menstrual cramps.

Gives a deep, full, nourishing stretch to the sides of the body.

Strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms, and chest.

Increases mental and physical balance.

Improves digestion.

Reduces anxiety, stress, back pain, and sciatica

Go Pro: The Benefits of Probiotics

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests illnesses can be treated and prevented with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Studies have shown that probiotics may have an impact on many health conditions such as allergic disorders, liver disease, and the common cold. Research from the U.S. Library of Medicine has shown that probiotics can provide relief from diarrhea and benefit blood pressure. They can also help with gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.

Probiotics are considered safe as they are already present in a normal digestive system. However, as with anything else, it is wise to be cautious.  Always consult with a practitioner familiar with you and with probiotics to discuss this dietary addition.

One of the best ways to add probiotics to your routine is by eating them. Foods like yogurt and kefir are easily incorporated into a regular diet. Food in a brine like sour kraut and dill pickles provide a healthy supply of probiotics. Just ensure they are brined in water and sea salt and not vinegar. Other sources are sourdough bread, kimchi, miso soup, kombucha, tempeh, lassi, and microalgae.

Enjoy DIY (Do it Yourself)? Here’s a super simple, inexpensive way to make your own probiotic (fermented kraut):

Ingredients:  one head of green cabbage, one TBS salt

Directions:

Cabbage. Any head of green cabbage will do.

Wash or peel outer-most leaves, but DO NOT wash the inside. Those are the organisms we want.

Shred or chop the cabbage.

For each court, add 1 tablespoon of salt to one head of cabbage shredded. Manipulate, punch, squeeze the cabbage until when squeezed, a handful of water streams out.

Optional: add other vegetables like beets or seasonings such as caraway seeds, dill seeds, pepper flakes, or fresh herbs.

Fill a 1-quart ball jar with a handful at a time and with each addition press vegetables beneath brine with your hand, submerging each addition. The brine naturally forms as the cabbage is manipulated.

Leave 1 inch of headroom in the jar. Place it on a dish to capture overflowing juices.

Lay the lid on, but don’t screw it down.

Place the jar in a relatively warm part of the kitchen.

Twice daily, take a fork or spoon and press the vegetables beneath the brine so that the kraut doesn’t get moldy.

In a few days it will bubble and rise. Just keep submerging it twice a day.

When the bubbling subsides, it is fermented. Taste and decide if you want to put it in the refrigerator and start eating it or ferment longer.  Time makes it more sour and less crunchy.

Go Pro!

Yoga and Digestion

 

There is far more going on in a yoga session than meets the eye. The blend of yoga postures, or asanas, with deep breathing and twists, stretches, massages and moves intestinal toxins out of the body. This helps with gas, bloating and constipation that can lead to more serious digestive disorders like heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and pain. Many of the yoga postures that benefit digestion also help to flatten and tone the stomach.

Here are a few yoga postures that specifically target the digestive area:

  1. Vajrasansa (thunderbolt pose) properly aligns the body for digestion in this seated, kneeling posture. The buttocks sit back toward the heels. To enable ease and comfort in this posture, try putting a block under the buttocks or a blanket in between the buttocks and calves. This posture is wonderful after a big meal or any meal.
  2. Seated or reclining twists like Ardha Matsyendrasana (half lord of the fishes pose) or Supta Matsyendrasana (supine spinal twist) in combination with breath, provide a deeply targeted massage of the digestive region. Twists can also be done in a seated cross-legged position or in a chair with one leg crossed over the other. Twists squeeze out toxins from the body facilitated by deep breathing.
  3. Uttanasana (standing forward fold) improves digestion due to the compression of the abdominal area. It prompts circulation within the region and movement. It is also a multipurpose pose in that it calms the nervous system and allows for relaxation. Because the heart is higher than the head in this posture, there is a reversal of blood flowing to the brain.
  4. Balasana (child’s pose) Positioning the upper body to lay directly onto the thighs helps the digestive process as well targets the digestive region.

A strong, regular practice of diaphragmatic breathing, inherent in some yoga classes, moves the digestive organs giving them a steady massage. It activates digestion and burns away toxins. A regular yoga practice incorporating the above-as well as good food choices-is a great way to do something healthy and beneficial for the body and mind.