18.07.20 – Humming & A Forbes List

This week I came across an article in Forbes titled 3 Foods You Probably Eat That Are Dangerous For Your Brain According to Science by Jon Levy (https://goo.gl/E8UjK1).

Stick with me here … there’s a connection between humming and diet that I found quite interesting …

The article begins with a story about the deterioration of a mother’s cognitive ability.  She was asked to pass the salt and the neurological pathway took four to five seconds instead of the usual instantaneous response.  By the year 2050, it is estimated that 14 to 16 million United States citizens will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  That information comes from the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.

The article lists these three foods: fast-burning carbs (sugar-filled beverages, junk food, saltine crackers & wheat thins), industrial cooking oils (canola, soybean and grapeseed oils) and processed food additives (emulsifiers like polysorbate-80 and carboxymethylcellulose).  The conclusion Levy makes is that Alzheimer’s and dementia coincide with vasoconstriction (smaller blood vessels prone to clogging in the brain and body), poisoning of mitochondria (inhibits the brain’s ability to produce energy) and creating metabolic dysfunction (leading to shrinkage of the brain).  The common denominators here … the body & the brain.

Here’s where the #yoga and breathing come in.  Let’s use the body to assist the brain.  Author Patrick McKweon, The Oxygen Advantage, educates his readers on the gas nitric oxide.  This simple gas influences all the major systems and organs of our body, helps keep us free from diseases (like cancer), promotes longer lives and even helps us perform in bed.  And also …

  • Vasoregulation – The opening and closing of blood vessels.
  • Homeostasis – The way in which the body maintains a state of stable physiological balance in order to stay alive.
  • Neurotransmission – The messaging system within the brain.
  • Immune Defense – The body’s ability to respond to foreign invaders.
  • Respiration – The regulation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
  • Athletes – The dilation of smooth muscle layers for better oxygen transfer during exercise.

In Pantanjali’s Eight Limbs of #yoga, it is important to realize or recall the opportunity we have for optimal health through our breathing (pranayama).  One specific breath technique that increases nitric oxide content is BEE’S BREATH (Brahmari’s Breath).

#1 – Here’s how … (credit https://goo.gl/mwBEw2 & https://goo.gl/jnMxAA)

#2 – Here’s what is sounds like …

#3 – Here’s how long and often to practice …

  • Yoga International says 6 Rounds (inhale & exhale being one round) – https://goo.gl/8ua4RE
  • LifeForce Yoga says 10 Breaths (inhale & exhale being one breath) – https://goo.gl/jnMxAA
  • AnxietySlayer states 5 to 10 Breaths (inhale & exhale being one breath – https://goo.gl/tQugt6
    • Be sure to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY as it responds to this breath technique and choose the number of breaths that connect to your uniqueness.
  • Practice once or twice daily and adjust based on results from discussions with your body and your primary care physician.

#4 – Here are the contraindications …

  • Practice on an empty stomach for optimal health.

Conclusion – Let’s take the time to be aware of our diet and supplement our body with Bee’s Breath daily.  

If you would like to learn more about this technique, then please comment below or click “Contact Me” at the top of the page.  I would be honored to assist you in optimizing your health or the health of someone near to you.

YogaFred 🙂

And if you’re especially intrigued … check out this current research article … Getting to NO Alzheimer’s Disease: Neuroprotection versus Neurotoxicity Mediated by Nitric Oxide
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4677236/

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17.01.05 – Inflamed: Welcome to your Microbiome!

Our digestive system is the foundation for wellness & immunity, having the highest concentration of immune cells in our entire body.  It was Hippocrates who first said, “all disease begins in the gut.”
Inflamed by Shelly Malone – Amazon

What if I told you that our gut could be the epicenter for gas, bloating and poop issues? Continue reading “17.01.05 – Inflamed: Welcome to your Microbiome!”

16.12.29 – Inflamed: What is a “lifestyle disease?”

And when almost one-half of all Americans (and 50% of our children) live with some type of chronic health condition and 38 million people across the globe die each year from preventable “lifestyle disease,” it is time for us to take notice and put some energy towards addressing the root cause of the issue.
Inflamed by Shelly Malone – Amazon

So the question becomes … what is the issue? Continue reading “16.12.29 – Inflamed: What is a “lifestyle disease?””

Pose Breakdown – 15.08.20 – Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is a foundational pose that has so many interesting variations.  If we are tight through the extensor muscles on the top of the foot, then we curl our toes.  If our hips are tight, then we can use our elbows or a block to elevate the hips to comfort.  We can also leave our knees in line with our shoulders or take our knees to the edges of our mat.  Our arm position can be forward … to the side … or to the rear of our mat.  With all of these beautiful variables to fit so many unique body types, child’s pose allows for an opportunity to rest, relax and check in with our physical body.  Therefore, child’s pose should be our pose in the moment and not one that is predefined as we enter.  The guide below from Yoga Journal should be one that we explore rather than submit to.  Enjoy learning about our body each time that we sink into child’s pose, balasana.

Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.

Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.

Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.

Balasana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Beginners can also use Balasana to get a taste of a deep forward bend, where the torso rests on the thighs. Stay in the pose from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.
(http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/child-s-pose/)

Health Benefits (http://www.yogabasics.com/asana/child/)

    Benefits: Child pose calms the body, mind and spirit and stimulates the third eye point. Child pose gently stretches the low back, massages and tones the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion and elimination.

    Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the knees.  Ask for a modification if pregnant.

Pose Breakdown – 15.07.28 – Knees to Chest (Apanasana)

Knees to chest, or Apanasana in Sanskrit, took patience for me to realize the benefits.  As an athlete turned Yogi, I wanted to feel strength being built in each posture.  Warrior 1, Warrior 2 … Warrior YES!  It wasn’t until I connected with my breath that I started to feel my erector spinae (long group of muscles traveling down our back) lengthen.  In my body, as with most of us in Western society, as we lean forward at a desk, in a car or holding a cell phone, we strengthen our back but become deficient in our core.  Knees to chest offers us an opportunity to take our tight back muscles and release tension.  This allows for the removal of chronic pain and the chance for us to build a more helpful core.

Start with a sitting position on the ground with your feet flat, spaced at a distance greater than your hips-width. While inhaling, bring your arms forward. While exhaling, let your torso fall slowly to the ground and lie flat on your back.

Now increase the length of your torso by extending your arms further. After that, pull in your knees close to the chest and clasp them with your extended hands. You should look as if you are hugging your knees. Your shoulder blades should be relaxed and collarbones should be spread wide.

Now rock your body from one side to other as your relax your lower back. You should insert your chin in between your knees in order to protect your posterior neck. You may also use a blanket beneath your head if you experience a bit too much discomfort during the rocking portion of the pose.
http://www.lovemyyoga.com/knee-to-chest-pose.html 

One modification that can be helpful for those of us with sore knees is to place the hands behind the thigh instead of on the front of the knee.  I usually cue this in my classes as it is a safer approach.

Health Benefits (http://www.lovemyyoga.com/knee-to-chest-pose.html)

  • Eliminates painful lower back.
  • Helps alleviate gastro-intestinal pain and the physical pain associated with menstruation.
  • Relieves constipation.
  • Reduces tension in the lower back and aids in removing the sciatic nerve pain.
  • Helps resolve Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Pose Breakdown – 15.07.18 – Standing Mountain (Tadasana)

Standing Mountain, or Tadasana in Sanskrit, is one of the five foundational poses that has evolved for me over time.  In my first ever Yoga class, I remember standing with my shoulders hunched forward and feeling as if time was being wasted.  As I grew in my awareness of my physical body, I began to discover dynamic tension.  Dynamic tension asks us to investigate the pulling of our muscles in opposite directions.  My Standing Mountain went from letting my shoulders hunch forward and my mind becoming bored to a posture that brought beads of sweat to my forehead.

Challenge ourselves to stand upright, feet hips distance apart and spread our toes wide.  Pressing into our mat with our entire foot we begin to activate dynamic tension and disobey gravity here.  Soften the knees enough for a tiny bend (no one wants to be that person at a wedding that falls over from our knees being locked out) and let our belly be pulled in toward our spine.  As our shoulders roll back, let our fingers become active in reaching toward the floor.  The crown of our head reaches skyward allowing our spine to lengthen.  Continue to cycle our consciousness through these different points of emphasis.  Hold the posture for five full breaths.  How do we feel?

Feel free to repeat for fewer or more breaths as we feel necessary.  This posture can also be completed in a chair at home, work or even in our car (please keep both hands on the wheel though if driving).  Always investigate and ask how we feel :).  Who knows what we might learn about our body.

Health Benefits (http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/mountain-pose/

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Firms abdomen and buttocks
  • Relieves sciatica
  • Reduces flat feet

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PERFORMANCE YOGA – 06.08.15 (Do What You Have Been Coached to Do!)

Who drives our performance … spectators or us?

Modern society does not like to accept us for who we are.  It will constantly distract us from who we are to build a persona that does not fit us.  It would like for us to fit it’s perceived reality and consequently destroy our authentic self in an attempt to appease the masses.  It will yell and scream at us in our moments of failure and display jealousy in our moments of success.  Is there a way to appease the world around us?

No.  An answer of “no” to that question drives a stress response in our bodies.  We want to be loved and admired.  When we cannot meet the requirements of others, we become stressed and our bodies suffer.  It is our deepest fear that we are powerful in who we are, but the world will not accept who we are.  So a different question should then be asked.  Should I do what I have been coached to do?

Throughout life we have mentors and friends that allow us to bring our authentic self out for the world to see.  We all receive coaching to find the depth of ourselves.  Re-frame the thought process and our intention.  Our performance and life are not for others.  They are for us.  Step out, be who we are right now and let our abilities define us.  Embrace our abilities, our role and give weight to that which we can control (Interval pace, stick handling, cross-over, training, etc).  The reactions of others are for them.  Look in the mirror … what have you been coached to do?

BOOK – “The Champion’s Mind:  How Great Athletes think, train and thrive.” by Jim Afremow
Do What You Have Been Coached to Do!

“Your job when you play is not to win or please others – that’s beyond your control.  Instead, your job is to do what you have been coached to do by carrying out your specific assignments with the right attitude to the best of your abilities – that’s within your control.

Know what your job is and do your job.

Knowing your responsibilities and doing your job is how you can magnify the relevant aspects of your performance while shrinking everything that is irrelevant.

Embracing your role on the team is how you can be true to what it is you are doing.