Key 7: Movement

Week 21: Yogahh

Dear Enchanted Ones,
Yoga + Ahh= Yogahh.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that feels great to both.

FYI…since last week we put the spotlight on Dragon Chatter that talks you out of moving, in the yoga department, you might hear: “Oh come on! I can’t sit still in one position for that long.” For active, flowing postures it might be, “I thought yoga was like sitting still in a pretzel shape. I can’t stand up, squat down and do push-ups and that’s what they do for the whole class.”
Don’t buy into it!

The focus is on yoga today because of its all-encompassing benefits. Journey Guide, Dr. Richard Carlson, psychotherapist, motivational speaker and author of many best-selling books, including, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff, said of yogic practice, “On the physical side, yoga strengthens the muscles and the spine, creating flexibility and ease of motion. On the emotional side, yoga is a tremendous stress reducer. It balances the body-mind-spirit connection, giving you a feeling of ease and peace.”

Journey Guide, Dr. Andrew Weil, (the bearded one) specifically recommends yoga for people diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which is the under-active thyroid condition. The shoulder stand pose (which you can work up to with the help of a wall) stimulates the thyroid and increases blood flow to the area. He suggests that this pose is even more effective when combined with visualization.

Yoga is a moving meditation. The Sanskrit word means, “union.” It is a series of Asanas, or physical postures, accompanied by breathing techniques, called Pranayamas. So there is breath, movement, the wringing out of muscle tension and toxins and then full relaxation for recovery. Several different You Tube videos demonstrate the poses. For this week, set aside 20 minutes a day to try a few basic poses. Do some sun salutations, cat stretch, down dog, warrior poses and end with shavasana, or corpse pose. Lying on your back on your mat, extend your arms overhead and stretch upward as your feet stretch away, in the opposite direction. Gently pull your knees to chest and relax, rocking from side to side. Then release your legs straight out, still on your back, arms by sides, with palms turned upward. Allow several moments for recovery.

Here is what the experts say occurs, following a yogic practice:
• a decrease in heart rate and the rate of respiration,
• a decrease in blood pressure,
• a decrease in muscle tension,
• a decrease in metabolic rate and the consumption of oxygen,
• a reduction in general anxiety,
• a reduction in the number and frequency of anxiety attacks,
• an increase in energy levels and in general productivity,
• an improvement in concentration and in memory,
• an increase in focus,
• a decrease in fatigue, coupled with deeper and sounder sleep, and
• improved self-confidence.
Great stuff and you don’t even need to wear shoes.
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Thank you to www.flickr.com for the lovely poster image

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