Yoga Practice - Sitting at a Desk

alignment health real life Oct 25, 2020
 

It’s quite common to hear people say ‘I’m going to my yoga class now’ or ‘I'm going to practice yoga’.
Many teachers and instructors also promote ‘yoga off the mat’.
All this sometimes really puzzles me.

Even if we were to reduce yoga practice to postures and movements - don’t tell me sitting on a desk is not a posture.
And it’s often our absence of paying attention to our posture , especially when we’re seated, that it is blamed for sore lower backs, tight shoulders, necks and hips.

Paying attention to how we sit, how we move - that is yoga practice in action.

Now you might ask, does it really matter? I need to focus on my work, not my posture, I’ll do some stretches later.

Here are two observations that may help you decide to pay more attention to your work posture.
And this is not about tight and tired shoulders. This is more profound.
1- forward head posture: can reduce blood flow to the brain, especially in the...

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Locust Pose - Practical Yoga Applications

 

Watch this video for a look at locust pose to support your sitting posture.

Don't we often find ourselves sitting slumped using our arm or hand to prop us up when at a desk or table? This is quite an external body support.

In this video, we’ll take the first step and focus on the muscles along the spine in the back, often collectively called the erector spinae muscle group.
One pose that really addresses these muscles, is the locust pose, or salabasana.
To really get to the bottom of this, we would need to look at many different factors coming together. The many different muscle groups and postural support ideas.

In locust pose, or salabasana, we lie on our belly and lift both the torso and the legs up against gravity.
The active muscles for lifting up are along the back side of the body. Since muscles only pull, and do not push, we can imagine ourselves a little bit like string puppets. The strings on the back of the torso or spine and on the back of the legs need to pull to lift...

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What To Do About Clunks In Loose Joints

 

What do do about clunks in loose joints

Recently a few people have asked me about clunks and instability in their joints.
The people described themselves as hypermobile.
Joints can crack and ‘clunk’ for a number of reasons. This video examines these clunks in more mobile people.

Anatomically, extra mobility comes from extra space in the joint. This greater space permits more mobility before the bones get to a position of compression - pressing against each other to limit further movement.
The space, or distance between individual bones is held by fascial components. Ligaments and the joint capsule are considered part of the fascia system.
Extra mobility in a joint stems from either more space or greater mobility in the fascia itself. This mobility can be the result of less tone on the tissues. This is sometimes called ligament laxaty.
If you find yourself to be someone with more mobile joints, this doesn’t mean you have a problem with your joints.
The solution or help...

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The Plantar Fascia Does Not Stretch From Rolling

Anyone who has experimented with rolling the sole of the foot knows the results.
The foot feels more loose and forward bends are less restricted.

The reason for this miraculous trick is often assumed to be lengthening of the fascia tissues under the foot. Namely the Plantar Fascia.
However, this piece of fascia is generally so strong, it won’t respond to rolling with lengthening.
Still we feel and can experience rolling the sole of the foot creates length.
What is going on?

More than creating length, we are aiming for mobility.
The ability of the layers of fascia membranes to glide over one another will provide more mobility than lengthening the tissue. At the same time tissue strength and integrity is preserved.

Now that we know we’re looking to restore  tissue glide, we can ease off the intensity - you’re not going to squeeze the plantar fascia into a longer shape.

Movement is your choice. Know your body and take an AnatomyShow course.

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Inflammation and the Immune System

health real life Apr 12, 2020
 

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...

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Better Immunity with Rest and Sleep

health real life Apr 08, 2020
 

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. [1]

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...

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Boost your immune system with Vitamins and Minerals

health real life Apr 05, 2020
 

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. [1]  
I like to use the analogy of comparing the white blood cells to pac-man. They...

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How to improve your immune system and generate greater well being with movement and exercise

health real life Apr 01, 2020
 

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. [1], [2]

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.
Remember,...

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Improve your Immune System - How to Build Resilience in Times of Challenge

health real life Mar 30, 2020
 

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.

We know:
- There are no medical therapeutics to help with COVID-19 [1]
- The COVID-19 and Flu virus are similar [2]
- Our immune system responds to...

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