Yoga and meditation have gained popularity over the years as a low-impact way to keep the body and mind healthy, but many people are intimidated by the thought of learning a new exercise. Seniors can often have a hard time putting together a new routine, especially if they have health or mobility issues. Yet, yoga is one of the easiest workouts to break into because it’s low-impact, and it can be molded to fit just about anyone’s needs. In fact, individuals who are living with a disability or who have an existing health condition may find that it’s one of the best ways to exercise simply because it allows for modifications that make movement easier.
When paired with yoga, meditation can be a wonderful way to keep anxiety or stress under control, and creating a routine that allows you to do it daily can help you learn to cope with those feelings when they arise. Boosting your mental health is crucial as you get older, as it helps keep you safe from the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders.
Not surprisingly, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding an exercise routine that works for your needs. Here are just a few things to think about.
You Can Do It from the Comfort of Your Own Home
Yoga classes are likely available in your area, but one of the benefits of learning the poses is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Once you’re comfortable with establishing a routine, all you need is a space to practice in and maybe a yoga mat for comfort. If you have a spare room you’re not using, such as a dining room or extra bedroom, this can be the perfect spot for your practice. You can use YouTube tutorial videos and fitness apps to supplement your workout at home and keep yourself motivated to continue with a healthy routine.
Improve Balance and Stability
Yoga focuses on balance and strengthening your core, which is great news for seniors who have mobility issues. By practicing the poses every day, you can build up your balance and stability, which can, in turn, help prevent falls — the leading cause of injury to seniors. Just make sure you’re stable during your workout; you can use a chair to help with balance if you feel unsteady.
Your ability to reduce stress and remain calm can seriously affect everything from your heart health to your mood, making yoga one of the best ways there is to impact your overall well-being. When combined with meditation, yoga can help you relax, focus on your breathing, and put the stresses of the day behind you, so make sure your practice space is free of distractions. Listen to soft music, dim the lights, and focus on yourself for the entirety of your workout. You’ll be doing your body — and mind — a favor!
Help Your Gut
Among yoga’s many benefits, one of the most overlooked is the fact that it can help with digestion and stomach issues. Many studies show that the state of our overall health depends on gut health, and digestion is one aspect that is affected by both good and bad gut bacteria. When your gut houses plenty of good bacteria, your immune system and mood also improve. So, when you practice yoga regularly, you’re setting up your body and mind for good overall health.
Because of the nature of many of the poses and the way they work your abdominal muscles, you’ll likely see an improvement in the way your body handles certain foods. One unexpected side effect of this is that it can help you sleep better, reducing the risk of heartburn and allowing you to rest easy through the night.
Yoga and meditation can have multiple benefits regardless of your age and abilities; the key is to start things off right by finding a routine that works best for you. Remember to go slowly and to stop if you feel any pain. By combining a workout for your body and mind at the same time, you’ll be able to focus on your wellness every day.
If you’re going to dive headfirst into the world of juicing, you will need a great juicer and some fresh produce, but you'll also need some great recipes.
While technically you can just unload your crisper into most juicers without any problem, a little strategizing will help you maximize the taste and the nutritional value of your juicing concoctions.
In this article, we take a close look at a few yummy juicing recipes you’ve just got to try.
1. Breakfast Blend
If you’re like most people, you probably want to start your day off with something tasty and non-confrontational (we love our greens but sometimes they can be a little much at six a.m.). If you just can’t stomach starting your day with kale, this breakfast blend may be to your liking.
With several simple ingredients, you can enjoy something sweet, energizing, and distinct.
Start by washing your carrots, oranges, and ginger. The tops and peels may need to be cut off to maximize the taste factor. After that, chop them up so that they are sized appropriately relative to the needs of your juicer, and let the machine take care of the rest.
The orange provides a great flavor to the drink, while the carrots can aid with digestion and heart health. Ginger is full of fiber and antioxidants, enhancing the health value of the drink while also adding a unique taste.
-One inch of ginger
2. Time to Get the Greens In
Now that you’ve met the day with a tasty beverage, it’s time to move on to a vitamin overload. That’s right, it’s time to drink your greens. This green juice features cucumbers, spinach, celery, ginger, apples, and parsley to blend an enticing flavor with lots of nutrients.
The nice thing about this juice is that it is calorically light, but it is also rich in flavor. The cucumber and ginger make the drink taste extremely refreshing. Meanwhile, the two apples overload the taste of the spinach, so you get all the nutrients, but you don’t have to choke down that earthy taste that some people turn away from.
Bottom line? It’s a tasty beverage that packs an insane amount of nutritional value in a single cup.
-Two cups spinach
-Six celery stalks
-One inch of ginger
-1/2 cup of parsley
3. Kale That Isn’t Terrible
Kale is one of the most nutritionally powerful foods in existence. If it didn’t taste like dirt, we’d probably all be eating it constantly. But what if you could load up on the kale with a beverage that doesn’t make you gag? Indeed, that is the promise of this tropical kale concoction.
Using just five simple ingredients, you can enjoy the taste of the tropics with every sip you take. The kale packs a nutritional wallop, while the pineapple, coconut, and apples bat cleanup to make sure the drink tastes, you know...good. It’s great as a meal or a snack, so drink up!
Note: if you’re looking for more recipes like this one I would recommend checking out some of these recipe books.
-Two bunches of kale
-1/2 cup coconut
Food can be medicine, but it doesn’t have to taste like it. The recipes on this list feature the perfect combination of taste and health benefits. But the beautiful thing is that there aren’t really any hard and fast rules when it comes to juicing. In fact, for most people, it is a very personalized experience. Juice enthusiasts like to tinker, and you needn’t be an exception. Feel free to experiment as you look for the perfect juice recipe for your palate and your health. You’ll be glad you did.
The Yoga Shala now offers 20 different yoga classes, and we warmly welcome current and aspiring yoga practitioners of all levels to discover the joy of harmonic breath and movement.
If you’re looking for a beginner’s class, we offer a Yoga Basics class on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. If you want to turn up the heat and are up for a challenge, we have a variety of Power, Buti, Hatha and Vinyasa classes available every day of the week. If your body is asking for a more relaxing and restorative flow, drop in to Yin Yoga on Sundays, Relax & Restore on Mondays, Flow and Stretch on Wednesdays, or Therapeutic Yoga on Wednesdays. New Students can take advantage of all these fabulous new offerings for our special $39 for 30 days of unlimited yoga (non-ashtanga classes). That means for just a little more than a dollar a day, you can take as many yoga classes as you want for a whole month! How great does that sound?
If you’re looking for something very different, very traditional, and very individualized, the Mysore program at The Yoga Shala provides the unique opportunity to explore the Ashtanga Yoga system. The owner of The Yoga Shala, Krista Shirley, was authorized to teach this style of yoga by her teacher in Mysore, India. This self-practice is based on a specific sequence of poses, taught one-on-one and hands-on by one of our dedicated Ashtanga instructors. We have a 6-class Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga course to build the foundation of your practice, no matter whether you’ve practiced 20 years or you’re trying this for the first time.
As an added bonus, The Yoga Shala hosts various workshops with teachers visiting from near and far. In October, 2019, The Yoga Shala will host Harmony Slater, a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher from Canada, with a full schedule of workshops and Mysore classes. https://www.theyogashala.org/harmony-slater---october-18-23-2019.html In January, 2020 the lovely Kino McGregor, another certified Ashtanga teacher, will join us for a weekend full of workshops and a Traditional Led Primary Class. https://www.theyogashala.org/kino-macgregor---dec-6-8-2019.html
In February 2020, join the owner of The Yoga Shala, Krista Shirley, on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to practice yoga for a week and explore Patagonia, South America. https://www.theyogashala.org/patagonia-retreat-2020.html
If you seek to immerse yourself, expand your knowledge of Ashtanga, or are maybe thinking about teaching some day, The Yoga Shala offers a 5-month Ashtanga Apprenticeship (8 weekends Friday-Sunday) with Krista Shirley, starting in March 2020.
For more information about the classes, workshops, retreats, or any of our offerings, check out theyogashala.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@theyogashala).
With a long history, yoga is a mind, body, and spiritual practice that is rooted in Indian philosophy. These days, there are several different types of yoga that practitioners can take part in that combine different postures, meditation, breathing techniques, and relaxation.
While yoga can be a sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping passion, it is also known for helping practitioners tap into their spirituality and connect a person's soul with the physical.
The inclusion of cannabis within the yoga community is a natural and easy one, given how the use of cannabis can help put a person's mind and body at ease, and promote mental focus. And now that recreational marijuana is legal in California and other states like Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, incorporating legal cannabis with yoga is becoming increasingly popular.
Known as "ganja yoga," this practice is exactly what it sounds like: smoking or otherwise indulging in cannabis products before practicing yoga.
Why Practice Ganja Yoga?
As the stigmatization of the cannabis plant continues to weaken and its legalization becomes more widespread, the research being done on cannabis also becomes more common and in-depth. There are now a number of different studies that have shown the many powerful medicinal and wellness properties of marijuana and the cannabinoids within it.
Adding cannabis to a yoga session can help practitioners take advantage of these perks while simultaneously benefiting from yoga itself - the practice is growing in the industry as cannabis and yoga enthusiasts recognize the benefits of this collaboration.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of combining yoga with cannabis is the mindfulness aspect. A big part of yoga involves quieting the mind and connecting to the spirit, and the marijuana plant’s relaxing effect can help yogis achieve a heightened state of meditation.
But there are plenty of other health and wellness benefits of marijuana that yoga practitioners can take advantage of:
Reducing inflammation. Perhaps one of the most powerful healing benefits of marijuana is its ability to combat inflammation. While inflammation can be a good thing and is the body's way of responding to and healing a wound when injured, it can often have negative effects.
At the root of many ailments, chronic inflammation can cause several diseases and medical conditions, including arthritis and some types of cancers.
The cannabinoids in marijuana have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help combat a slew of different ailments. By interacting with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the body and brain, marijuana cannabinoids can effectively reduce the inflammatory response, as well as minimize all the negative effects that come with inflammation.
Reducing pain. When there’s a reduction in inflammation, a reduction in pain tends to follow. One of the more common reasons why medical marijuana is used is because of its pain-relieving effects.
Many people who use marijuana do so specifically to alleviate their pain. Whether they smoke it, eat it, or rub it onto their skin at specific sites on the body, marijuana can offer similar pain-relieving effects as pharmaceutical painkillers.
Relieving pain can help to enhance mobilization of the body, which can be helpful when practicing yoga. It can also help relax and loosen the muscles in preparation for the challenging stretches that tend to come with yoga.
Relieving anxiety. While there are traditional medications that can be prescribed to combat anxiety, marijuana has been shown to help relax the mind naturally.
Since yoga is a practice that is designed to quiet the mind and relax the soul, incorporating marijuana into the mix can serve an important purpose and strengthen a person's ability to combat anxiety.
Heightening the senses. Marijuana consumption is known to alter the mind and create a euphoric state, which encourages the senses to be heightened. Adding cannabis to the practice can provide a shortcut to enlightenment and help practitioners get more out of their sessions than they might have without it, especially for newbies.
Lowering inhibitions. Certain yoga poses can seem very uncomfortable, especially for those who are new to the practice. As such, they may be a bit hesitant to go all out with their poses and inherently limit what they can get out of their session. But marijuana can help people lower their inhibitions and try different moves that they may otherwise be apprehensive about.
How Does Ganja Yoga Work?
While different yoga classes may do something a little different, they all obviously incorporate the use of marijuana with the practice of yoga.
While yogis can smoke their cannabis before they arrive to class, one particular Ganja Yoga studio in San Francisco led by Dee Dussault encourages students to get there a few minutes early and consume it just before the poses start. Some classes may even have different marijuana products available to sample, including edibles and tinctures.
Throughout the class, participants can take smoke breaks every now and then to maintain their "zen." Once class ends, students are usually encouraged to stick around to sober up following a puff-and-pose session to ensure everyone's safety. Dussault also has a ganja yoga studio in LA.
But Dussault's classes aren't the only ganja yoga sessions that take place in the Golden State and surrounding states. There are plenty of others for yogis to choose from, and there will likely be many more to pop up as the legalization of marijuana continues.
Lit Yoga is Los Angeles' first marijuana-only yoga studio, co-founded by Hannah Mason. The beginning of each class involves a cannabis and tea ceremony where students sip on herbal tea and pass joints around for the first few minutes of class before the posing really starts.
The cannabis tea ceremony serves as a way to be intentional about using marijuana and preparing the mind and body for the session to come.
While California might sound like an obvious place for ganja yoga classes to take place, other states have their own cannabis-yoga studios that are popping up. In Denver, Colorado, Bend & Blaze Held led by yoga instructor Amanda Hintz blends a great workout with cannabis to encourage a deeper, experience.
And Ganjasana in nearby Boulder, led by Rachael Carlevale, offers both co-ed and women's-only cannabis yoga classes, as well as cannabis yoga teacher certifications.
Although there aren’t many cannabis yoga studios in many other parts of the US because of the issue of legalization, there are still plenty of marijuana yoga meetups that take occur all throughout the country where recreational cannabis use is legal.
Yoga can be an invigorating workout that can strengthen the muscles, but it can also be a way to develop a deeper connection to the spirit. And for those who are looking to take their yoga practice to new heights, participating in a ganja yoga class can potentially help them achieve a more intense and focused state of mind while benefiting from all the miraculous properties that marijuana possesses.
This article originally appeared on myfoli.com
By April Joyce Yoga - Namaste Florida
Benefits of meditation
This one is especially for all the guys out there.
This article is originally published on knowledgeformen.com
Meditation is all about clearing your mind and achieving a mental state of peace and calm regardless of the circumstances of the outside world.
So what’s it all about? What are all these people finding that you may still yet to realize? What are the actual benefits of meditation that can help you in your life and your career?
1. Meditation Reduces Stress
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
OK, guys, we all know how life can go.
The constant grind to find the next dollar, to seal the next deal, to land the next gig, to leave the legacy of which you can be proud, to achieve, achieve, achieve!
All this ambition and drive is great, but it can come with a price, namely, your peace of mind. The problem is, that all this responsibility and angst can overwhelm you and create tremendous stress. The weight of the world can end up on your shoulders.
So what can you do with all that pent-up stress?
Instead of ignoring it, drinking or drugging over it, fighting it or trying to push it away, many are finding that going inward helps them discover the part of the mind that remains calm.
Science has found meditation to be incredibly effective at reducing stress and anxiety.
One study found that mindfulness and Zen type meditations significantly reduce stress when practiced over a period of three months.
Another study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. (SOP)
According to the Harvard resource, 100 percent of insomnia patients reported improved sleep, and 91 percent either eliminated or reduced sleeping medication use.
An amazing 75 percent of insomniacs who started a daily meditation program were able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. (MBMI)
It was found that during meditation the production of the stress hormone cortisol is greatly decreased, thus making it possible for those people to better deal with stress. Sixty percent of anxiety prone people showed marked improvements in anxiety levels after 6-9 months of starting a meditation protocol. (PM)
With all that angst and ambition driving your stress levels skyward, why would you wait to shut up the world and find the benefits that inner stillness can offer?
2. Meditation Increases Your Overall Sense of Well Being
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
What can you do with an agitated, busy and depressed mind but live an agitated, busy and depressed life?
No more, right?
Why not let go of these things and live a life of happiness, joy, and energy?
Anyone interested in going beyond the depressed state of Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live?
According to studies, mindfulness meditation increases your psychological functioning and in the process improves your sense of well being. When regularly practiced, meditation has significant therapeutic effects, increasing your quality of life. (SOP)
High school students exposed to a relaxation response-based curriculum had significantly increased their self-esteem. (MBMI)
Meditators were more independent and self-confident. People who deliberated daily were less fearful of death.
It has also been documented that people who use meditation and relaxation techniques may even be physiologically younger by 12 to 15 years. (PM)
If that last stat didn’t wake you up just a bit, you may already be dead.
If not, then keep reading. There will be tips on how to get started when you’re ready.
3. Meditation Improves Your Emotional Reactivity
“There are different things one can do to establish and hasten the peace process. Meditation is one way.” ~ Mike Love
There’s nothing more embarrassing and disempowering than a man who constantly flies off the handle, overreacting to every little stressor and negative situation.
Kind of like Jackie Gleason used to do from the old “The Honeymooners” show: “One of these days Alice – boom pow to the moon.”
What man wants to be at the mercy of his emotional nature, falling prey to being so out of control?
Or would you rather have a strong control over your emotional states?
To relate to others, to empathize, to hone your ability to pick up on cues indicating how others are feeling?
According to studies, meditation does just that, as well as increase your emotional stability, making you less likely to be influenced by negative people in your life. (SOP)
According to Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” meditation can put you into that flow of life when you are absolutely absorbed in the present moment, finding success in whatever you are doing.
Maybe it’s when you are painting, or writing or playing a sport. Research indicates you can reach a state of mind where you are operating in harmony with the ability to perfectly handle all challenges.
Only happiness can follow.
4. Meditation Improves Focus and Productivity
“When we meditate, what we actually do is enter into the deeper part of our being. At that time, we are able to bring to the fore the wealth that we have deep within us.“ ~ Sri Chinmoy
You’re the man for the job.
What you need to accomplish has been laid out before you.
Do you want to have a razor-edge focus so you can be as productive as possible?
Think of the lazer-like focus one of the most productive quarterbacks in NFL history.
Tom Brady’s eagle eyes on the field and even on the sidelines tells you this athlete is on the mark.
Whereas he hasn’t commented on any meditating habits, his wife Gisele Bundchen’s did credit her own meditation as a cause of his Patriots’ team 2017 SuperBowl victory, saying on the Jimmy Fallon show: “After screaming and praying and calling my family and asking everyone to pray I started meditating, because it was the only thing that could calm me down. I channeled some great energy and I feel like a little responsible.”
Research shows that meditation does improve cognition and increases abilities to perform tasks requiring focus. (SOP)
Project Meditation reported that a Detroit-based chemical plant posted the following results three years after implementing meditation:
Other clinical findings included inner city middle school students improving grade score, work habits and cooperation, and decreasing absences. (BPMI)
So if you are the man for the job, get focused, get on it, and get meditating.
5. Meditation Improves Creativity
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” ~ Deepak Chopra
The free and relaxed mind is open to ideas.
And in that state what a man thinketh he may just be able to “create-eth.” Yes, we know that’s not a word, but you get the idea.
According to studies, being mindful helps reduce cognitive rigidity leading to some higher inspiration. The science says that meditation increases your creativity, unleashing deeper thoughts that may reside below the surface thinking. (SOP)
It’s no wonder that famous creatives like John Lennon and David Lynch made meditation a major part of their life. Make it yours, and you just may come up with a brand new idea … or two … or 1,000.
6. Meditation Improves Your Memory
What did you have for dinner two nights ago?
There is little chance of recalling. But what about those vital ideas and concepts that would be great to have committed to memory? Such as lines for a play, answers to test questions, data for research, or the name of your boss, or coworkers or girlfriends?
A successful man would possess a keen mind and a steel-trap memory. You don’t have to become one of those memory experts who can recall everyone’s name in an audience of 200, but if you simply want to improve your memory, medication does the trick.
Research has shown that. In an Indian study in 2004, the practice of Transcendental Meditation was shown to improve academic performance in university students. (SOP)
Meditation helps. Remember that!
7. Meditation Improves Your Immunity
“People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
It’s tough to be a powerful He-man or Hercules if you are coughing up a lung, or carrying around Kleenex for your sniffles. Worry not, sneeze not. Yes, meditation can support you around health as well.
Different types of meditation have shown to strengthen the body’s immunes system, which makes you more resistant to viruses and infections. (SOP)
Throw that hanky away Hercules and get back to business.
8. Meditation Can Lower Blood Pressure and Inflammation
Imagine boosting your cardiovascular health by not even moving a muscle. Counterintuitive yes. But it’s true!
Research indicates mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease. (SOP)
Heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen consumption are all decreased with meditation. Thickness of the artery walls is shown to decrease, which effectively lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke by 8 to 15% (PM)
As well, 80 percent of hypertensive patients have lowered blood pressure and decreased medications – 16 percent are able to discontinue all of their medications. (BPMI)
So instead of letting your blood boil over, sit still and chill.
10. Meditation Can Improve Decision Making Skills
Indecision is not a sign of a man standing in his truth or power. Imagine a high-powered executive at a board meeting, claiming “well, I’m not sure which way to go.”
Important finding: meditation improves your ability to make decisions.
Studies have found that with mindfulness meditation you can improve the functioning of your brain’s decision-making centers. (SOP)
So to meditate or not to meditate – it’s your decision.
What’s the move?
11. Meditation Can Be Used to Alleviate Pain
You’ve heard “no pain, no gain?” Well, the truth may also be “do meditation, lessen pain.”
One study claims that meditation reduces physical and emotional pain better than morphine.
Hard to imagine, but it’s a scientific finding in a Forbes research article.
It’s also been shown that relaxation therapy has been helpful in chronic pain patients. (PM)
And chronic pain patients have shown to reduce their physician visits by 36 percent after starting a meditation practice. (MBMI)
So if you are struggling with chronic pain… You may want to put down the pills and pick up the “Oms” it might just prove more effective in the long run.
This article is originally published on knowledgeformen.com