Healthy body, healthy mind and healthy spirit.
The largest study of yoga that used biological measures to assess results concluded that yoga dampened and limited fatigue and inflammation. A study of 200 cancer survivors showed overall increases in vitality and, with regular practice, substantial health benefits. Smaller studies that measured inflammatory factors showed yoga practitioners had lower inflammatory responses to stress, and that yoga improves critical levels of glucose and insulin in patients with diabetes. Although regular practice is defined as two 90-minute sessions per week, there is reason to believe that any yoga is better than none, and the benefits we feel from yoga aren’t just in our mind! Yoga relaxes us, brings our heart rate down, and improves sleep. Reducing inflammation is very important as inflammation is associated with chronic diseases like coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, and arthritis. Practicing yoga as often as you can is good news for your immunity, lifestyle, emotions and stress levels, resulting in a healthier and happier life. Over 20 million yoga devotees worldwide can breathe a deep and profoundly peaceful sigh of relief; yoga has a proven positive impact on our health! Get started today…
Anti-inflammatory Yoga Sequence Sun salutations: Look on Youtube for examples of surya namaskar, or download an App for sun salutations like “Yoga Free for Ipad by Arawella Co.”
1 Padangusthasana Begin in mountain pose, feet at hip-wide distance. Rest the hands lightly on your hips, extend the spine as you inhale, and gently bend down at the hips, drawing the kneecaps upward to activate the quadriceps as you exhale. Bend the knees if there is excessive strain on any large muscle groups. Inhaling deeply into the lower belly, hold uddiyana bandha throughout the forward bend. Hold the pose for no less than five breaths. To exit the pose, inhale as you straighten your spine back up, using the core muscles to get you back to standing. The secret of this pose is in its belly slimming properties, particularly for those who carry weight around the abdomen who are at a greater risk of health problems.
2 Virabhadrasana II -Warrior Two Stand with your legs wide apart and arms stretched out at shoulder height, turn the right foot out. Bend the right knee to 90 degrees and keep the left leg straight and tightened at the knee. Ensure you are not leaning forward onto the right foot. Gaze over your right hand and hold
for five breaths. Inhale as you straighten the right leg and pivot the feet by turning the right and left feet by 90 degrees. Bend the left leg into Warrior II on the left side. While reducing fat around the hips, this pose helps deep breathing and alleviates discomfort in the tailbone.
3 Purvottanasana From a seated position, exhale as you take your hands further back behind the hips, fingers facing forward. Inhale and lift the pelvis towards the sky, keeping your legs and arms straight and fully engaged. Press the soles and toes of your feet to the earth. Look up or release the head back. The shoulders should be directly above the wrists, the torso parallel to the earth. Exhale as you lower your hips, coming back to a seated position. This pose relieves fatigue.
4 Dhanurasana Lie on your belly with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. (You can lie on a folded blanket to pad the front of your torso and legs.) Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Reach back with your hands and take hold of your ankles. Make sure your knees aren’t wider than the width of your hips. Inhale and strongly lift your heels away from your buttocks and, at the same time, lift your thighs away from the floor. Keep your back muscles soft. Draw the tops of the shoulders away from your ears. Gaze forward. Stay in this position from 20 to 30 seconds. Release as you exhale, and lie quietly for a few breaths. You can repeat the pose once or twice more. Upward bow lifts fatigue, eases anxiety, and relieves mild backache.
5 Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward dog From a standing position, fold forward, bend knees, bring your hands to the mat, and walk your feet back, taking your pelvis towards the sky and your heels towards the earth in an upside down V. Feet and hands should be hip and shoulder distance apart. The elbows and knees are straight. The neck is long and the gaze is at the navel. Breathe deeply and hold for no less than five breaths. Calms the brain, brings back lost energy, rejuvenates the nervous system, strengthens the body.
6 Savasana: After the sequence, finish in savasana (relaxation). For 5 minutes, lie on your back, relax your muscles and close your eyes while breathing normally. For more information about yoga classes and meditation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Claire 7719175. Visit www.yoga.vu for the Vanuatu Yoga Association yoga schedule.