With so many different styles of yoga available these days – everything from “hot yoga” to “power yoga” to “naked yoga” (I’m not making this up!) – how do you choose the right style for yourself, especially if you have back pain? In this month’s article, I’ll go over some of the styles of yoga that are out there. In the next issue, I’ll cover some other things to consider when looking for a yoga class that won't hurt your back. Though yoga is known for its many health benefits, from improving strength and flexibility to reducing stress, you can [...]
Thanks to the suggestion from Traci Hanson of Crystal Rose (www.crystal-rose.org), the studio has been totally remodeled! It has a fresh, clean look that seems more spacious. We're finishing up the last few details, but you can get a sense of it from the images here. Traci's husband David did an amazing job painting and upgrading the trim along with many other details. Traci's skill in interior design helped her pick out great colors and new furniture as well. Thanks much to Traci and David!
This is the time of year that many people set goals for what they'd like in the New Year. These New Year's resolutions often don't last more than a few weeks. It can be demoralizing to set a goal only to find yourself slacking off less than halfway through January (right about now)! Is one of your goals for 2016 to get out of pain? How about to look and feel healthier? If so, changing your posture can make a huge difference in that area. Like exercise, changing your posture has many benefits, including reduction or elimination of muscle and [...]
Arthritis: A Pain in the Joints Over 52 million people in the US have been told by their doctor that they have arthritis. (cdc.gov). The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition leading to joint pain. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage on the ends of bones wears away, causing pain, swelling, stiffness and redness (mayoclinic.org). This often leads to reduced range-of-motion, especially when cartilage wears away; then there is bone-on-bone contact, which can be extremely painful. People are then likely to avoid activities that aggravate the pain in the joints involved, and may [...]
This was a fascinating article by a woman who went to Paris to study with Noelle Perez-Christiaens in hope of relieving her back pain. There is a lot here that reminds me of my own visit to Paris! Whether Noelle would consider herself a "yoga witch" is another story... http://www.racked.com/2015/7/22/9005869/yoga-back-pain-paris
While yoga originated in India, some Americans were especially responsible for its spread in the early 1900s. One of them, Pierre Bernard, had an exciting life worthy of blockbuster film! He was involved with scandals, the police raided his yoga schools periodically, and he was viewed with suspicion by many in the cities where he lived and taught (including San Francisco, Seattle and Nyack, New York). I just finished reading a fascinating book about him called The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America by Robert Love. (New York: Viking, 2010). Love writes: â€œPierre Bernard may have been [...]
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A recent study that appeared in the journal Surgical Technology International showed that the common use of cell phones can be damaging to your upper spine. Itâ€™s how you use the phones that is the problem here â€“ in other words, your posture. The average human head weighs 10-12 pounds. When the head sits right on top of the spine, thereâ€™s no problem. Yet whose head is in that position today? Itâ€™s rare in industrialized countries to find that kind of healthy alignment, except in young children and immigrants from less industrialized parts of the world. When you tilt your [...]
Around 1990 I began to hear Flamenco-influenced music on the radio by musicians like Ottmar Leibert, Strunz & Farah, and the Gipsy Kings. I loved the music and really wanted to dance to it, but I didnâ€™t know how. When I saw my first Flamenco show I knew I was ready to dive in immediately. Flamenco became my passion from 1991 until around 2000, when I retired from performing and teaching. I know very talented Flamenco dancers that have had to give up dancing due to back or neck pain. This is too bad, but isnâ€™t surprising considering the typical [...]
Last month I talked about how doing yoga poses in bed can help you to relax and have a more restful and relaxed sleep. Morning or evening stretches in bed can also help you reduce pain and arise without stiffness. I do one stretch every night before I go to sleep (the â€œCrescentâ€ stretch described below). Crescent Pose I learned this stretch from Jean Couch, director of the Balance Center in Palo Alto, CA (www.balancecenter.com).Â A few years ago I was noticing pain in the side of my hip while sleeping on my side. It was getting worse, and one [...]