Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Pain-Relieving Yoga Poses

Good afternoon,

Since we are all about integrative and holistic health, we wanted to share an article with you posted a few years ago about five yoga poses which can help with significant pain relief.
"If you're looking for an alternative to pills to treat joint pain and other common (and uncomfortable) aches, relief may be a yoga class away. A review of 20 years worth of studies conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that yoga is effective in the treatment of chronic pain, including osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia. In the studies reviewed, patients saw significant reductions in joint pain, muscle stiffness, and overall physical discomfort while greatly improving their flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength."


To continue reading and see photos of each yoga pose, click on the link below:
http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/yoga-poses-relieve-aches-and-pains?cid=socFit_20150723_49648076&adbid=10153419261351469&adbpl=fb&adbpr=87494991468

Monday, July 20, 2015

We're at our best when we can think clearly. Here are 5 ways to help get there.

Good Morning everyone!

Today we are sharing a post from Upworthy on how we are at our best when we can think clearly. Although this particular post mentions one sanctuary in particular, it does do a good job of highlighting some points that make help you think more clearly and fulfill your goals.

The mind is a powerful place. How do you make time to step back and really think?
How do you solve the questions in your life when your mind feels cluttered? Perhaps being able to think more clearly can help us all work through tough times or situations that occur in our lives. Take a look and see what you think!

For more, check out the link below:
 http://www.upworthy.com/were-at-our-best-when-we-can-think-clearly-here-are-5-ways-to-help-get-there?c=ufb1

Monday, July 13, 2015

Why Does Anyone Do Yoga, Anyway? An article from Psychologytoday.com

Good Morning!

Today we are re-sharing an awesome article featured on Psychologytoday.com about Yoga and the incredible benefits it can have not only on a person physically, but mentally too. Enjoy!

Why Does Anyone Do Yoga, Anyway?
The health benefits are very real. But few understand how it affects the mind. Post published by Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on Jun 22, 2015 in Urban Surviva

After my last weekend of yoga teacher training, a friend asked me at dinner, “Why do you do yoga? So you can learn to do what, headstands?”

Why do people do yoga?

More than 90% of people who come to yoga do so for physical exercise, improved health, or stress management, but for most people, their primary reason for doing yoga will change. One study found that two-thirds of yoga students and 85% of yoga teachers have a change of heart regarding why they practice yoga—most often changing to spirituality or self-actualization, a sense of fulfilling their potential. The practice of yoga offers far more than physical postures and headstands—there is self-reflection, the practice of kindness and compassion, and continued growth and awareness of yourself and others.

Yet the health benefits are very real: Yes, yoga can increase your flexibility, improve your balance, and decrease your cholesterol. A recent review in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology showed that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease as much as conventional exercise (link is external). On average, yoga participants lost five pounds, decreased their blood pressure, and lowered their low-density (“bad”) cholesterol by 12 points.  There is a vast and growing body of research on how yoga (link is external) improves health concerns including chronic pain, fatigue, obesity, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, weight loss, and more.

As a psychiatrist, though, I am also naturally interested in the brain. While most people intuitively get that yoga reduces depression, stress and anxiety, most people—even physicians and scientists—are typically surprised to find out that yoga changes the brain.

A new, May 2015 study published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain to show that yoga protects the brain from the decline in gray matter brain volume as we age. People with more yoga experience had brain volumes on par with much younger people. [In the figure to the left, red triangles represent people who have zero yoga experience and filled circles are people who practice yoga with varying frequency]. This finding has also been true in brain imaging studies of people who meditate (link is external). In other words, yoga could protect your brain from shrinking as you get older.

Even more interesting, the protection of this gray matter brain volume is mostly in the left hemisphere, the side of your brain associated with positive emotions and experiences and parasympathetic nervous system activity—your “rest and digest” relaxation system. Emotions like joy and happiness have exclusively more activity in the left hemisphere of the brain on positive emission tomography (PET) brain scans.

But the truth is that the practice of yoga is not just about changing the brain, the body, headstands, or even about gaining greater joy or happiness. If it were, it'd be just like another spinning class or weight-training at the gym. Yoga aims toward transcendence of all those things. In a culture in which we rush from one day to the next, constantly trying to change our health, body, or emotions, or to plan the future, yoga opens up the possibility of connecting to what we already have—to who we already are.

As Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron explains:

“When we start to meditate…we often think that somehow we’re going to improve, which is a subtle aggression against who we really are.

"Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest….We recognize our capacity to relax with the clarity, the space, the open-ended awareness that already exists in our minds. We experience moments of being right here that feel simple, direct, and uncluttered.”

So, why do I practice yoga? The answer can be complex and personal, but it can also be simple and universal: Because I want to be present. Because I want to be present not just on my mat but also to myself and the people—the community— around me.

Yoga can change the heart—but we’re not just talking about blood pressure.

Marlynn Wei, MD, JD (link is external) is a psychiatrist and author in New York working on the upcoming yoga book along with co-author Harvard psychiatrist James E. Groves, MD.

Follow me on Facebook (link is external) and on Twitter  @newyorkpsych (link is external)

Copyright Marlynn H. Wei, MD, PLLC © 2015


To view the original article, click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/urban-survival/201506/why-does-anyone-do-yoga-anyway?utm_source=FacebookPost&utm_medium=FBPost&utm_campaign=FBPost

Monday, July 6, 2015

Yoga Hacks for Stress & Anxiety

We know that yoga can help with the physical strain of an intense workday, but what about the mental exhaustion, creative blocks or anxiety that surface as well?

Today we are sharing an article from 99u.com on just that. Check out the link below for more!

http://99u.com/articles/43297/yoga-hacks-for-stress-anxiety?utm_source=99U&utm_campaign=6f643d176e-Weekly_05_10_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bdabfaef00-6f643d176e-145452681