Yoga classes have abruptly shifted from the studio to our homes. Not everyone has a yoga mat, block or other props available for home practice with online courses.
Learn how to use household items as props and yoga mat to participate in online yoga classes.
This video explains how to adjust for missing props with general household items and still participate fully in your favourite yoga classes.
Watch the surprise explanation why not having a yoga mat can be good for you.
The immune system and inflammation are linked.
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to initiate repair and healing.
For example: Inflammation can trigger white blood cells to start chasing and gobbling up viruses and bacteria.
Redness, swelling, heat and pain as well as stiffness and fatigue are all part of the immune response.
Inflammation actually begins on a cellular level. Each cell membrane, or cell surface, can initiate a chemical reaction that cascades over multiple steps to produce the multifaceted inflammatory response.
A cell in inflammation action is not doing its normal job. It’s in an emergency situation trying to save its own life. Now that is stress!
Inflammation creates stress in your tissues. Conversely, stress of most kinds, can create inflammation.
Because inflammation is a cellular response, it can occur throughout the body. Any disease name ending in ‘-itis’ indicates it is an inflammation.
Inflammation can be devided into two...
The immune system and our immune response vary greatly with our sleep and rest patterns.
While sleep is easy to define, rest (for our purposes) has two types.
- rest after physical exertion
- resting from mental activity: i.e.: meditation
While this sounds quite familiar for most of you, we do need to remember and practice the fundamentals.
The human immune system and sleep both are associated and influenced by each other. Sleep deprivation makes a living body susceptible to many infectious agents.
The current situation requires improved sleep habits to make the immune system efficient for a healthy life. 
A lot of information is available to promote this exercise or that workout.
For good health, good immunity and actual longevity, it’s the rest and repair breaks in-between that make the difference. We do too much and slip into depletion territory.
Stress is the background of many illnesses. It depletes important nutrients, increases inflammation and saps your...
How can we boost our immune system and immune function with vitamins and minerals?
There are actually a number of easily available nutrients that help our immune system working better.
We will also address how loss of sense of smell fits into the immune system picture.
In this video I’d like to focus on just four of them. The four nutrients are:
Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate and B12, and Zinc.
But let’s begin with a brief look at the immune system itself and why nutrients are important.
The immune system is spread all over our body.
We have some organs, tissues and cells.
Organs such as the liver and spleen are more densely involved in the immune system. We also have tissues, often referred to as ‘glands’ and their associated network of tubes - the lymphatic system.
Further, there are the white blood cells that can actively roam through our blood vessels and other tissues. 
I like to use the analogy of comparing the white blood cells to pac-man. They...
Have you ever wondered why one side of your body always feels somewhat more stiff, the other side more mobile or you seem to twist further to one side than the other?
This video and post explore one important factor in this imbalance and how to check for it.
You might remember a song from when you were little, something from primary school. It includes the line: ‘… the thigh bone is connected to the hip bone, …
Because of its direct connection at the hip socket, along with the many ligaments and strong muscles, the thigh (and with it the thigh bone) have a strong influence on positioning and stability of the hips.
The hip bone is only one part of the three-part pelvis. The pelvis itself is comprised of the left and right hip bones, and the sacrum in the back centre of this ring structure.
What makes the difference between a rigid ring structure and our pelvis are the three joints.
At the front of the pelvis the pubic joint is mobile, so are the two sacroiliac joints,...
We already found that the immune system responds to what we eat and drink.
This video examines what effects movement and exercise have on the body.
We know that all tissues of our body respond to challenges, let’s call them stress, by strengthening. That holds true for our muscles as well as our immune system.
Overall, exercise and movement helps us build a more robust immune system and reduce influenza related mortality. , 
For this video I’d like to distinguish between movement and exercise.
movement is limbering up, removing stagnation from otherwise inactive parts of the body. This would include, for example: walking, gentle stretching and most breathing exercises.
exercise on the other hand involves a degree of exertion. And it’s at the exertion point where the role of the immune system becomes interesting.
But let’s return to movement first.
Circulating air through our lungs and pumping blood to all areas of our body is helpful for immunity.
Our entire body functions by adapting to stress. This adaptation happens by strengthening.
This can be easily related to when we think of our muscles. We challenge them with weights or certain exercises and they strengthen as a result. Most people have heard that weight bearing stress on our bones encourages increase of bones strength.This same principle applies to all other tissues in the body, including our fascia, nervous system and of course our immune system.
In these current times the main health advice we are given is centred around avoidance.
As a yoga practitioner and naturopath I know that passively sitting back, letting someone else do the work, is insufficient.
I would like to share with you in this and the coming posts five simple factors that help you build a healthier and more resilient immune system and increase our well-being.
- There are no medical therapeutics to help with COVID-19 
- The COVID-19 and Flu virus are similar 
- Our immune system responds to...
You have a choice. Now you do. As a baby you didn’t. Back then, the task was to stand, counteract gravity in whichever way possible until your feet carried you.
Fast forward to today. How much have you consciously upgraded your standing skills?
When you let your mind drift to the last time you saw baby feet, or the feet of a very young child that couldn't stand yet, what shape feet were they?
I get it, they are cute, and soft, and puffy and - flat. Babies don’t have arches in their feet. By what process do we then, hopefully, gain the arches of our feet as we grow up?
The answer lies simply in the use and coordination of our muscles.
Remember we have twenty six bones held together by connective tissues in our feet?
In order to move and animate and support our body weight on our feet, we need to add muscles into the picture. Ligaments and fascia are all good and useful, but they don’t initiate movement. Plus, when put under load they stretch...
Following yoga class instructions helps us move in and out of postures without having to look at and observe the teacher.
Many instructions that are given produce varying responses and results in class participants. This can be a result of individual interpretation of the meaning of such instructions, or, maybe for the sake of brevity, a hint actually referring to a range of actions or movements.
Interpreting yoga instructions helps us gain clarity on what certain instructions mean, what the intended postural action is.
Watch this video about turning the upper arms out in downward facing dog to see the difference between intended action and literal response.
Alignment suggests specific positions and relationships of body parts in postures.
In our life off the yogamat, or when not practicing specifically, we rarely adhere to those specific alignment guidelines.
In this video I discuss the reasons why alignment can be helpful. Looking at the example of the fierce pose, or utkatasana, or chair pose, I describe the difference between specific alignment and its real-life application and relevance.
Once we are clearer why we suggest or follow alignment cues, we have greater choice and freedom to explore a broader range of movement and positions safely.