Saturday, October 20, 2012

Just Breathe...

As a yoga teacher, I am very aware of the benefits of deep breathing. Few of us realize that our normal pattern of breathing is very shallow, and unless we make a conscious effort, we rarely completely inflate (or deflate) our lungs. The good news is you don't have to attend a yoga class to experience the effects of deep breathing. You only need the awareness, and the intention to take a few minutes out of your day to breathe. It's as simple as sitting or lying comfortably, and breathing in through your nose and expanding the belly (really the lower lobes of your lungs) with your breath. You will feel your abdomen rise as you do so. Next, you will feel the breath fill your lungs between your ribs. Lastly, allow your breath to fill your upper chest before exhaling through the nose, and engaging the abdominal muscles to squeeze out the stale air as the navel moves towards the spine. Try to match the length of your exhalations to the length of your inhalations.

When you practice deep breathing, you are sending a message to your autonomic nervous system that all is well, you are safe. This downregulates the production of stress hormones by the adrenal glands-adrenalin and cortisol-which are also fat storage hormones (part of the "fight or flight" response). When you consider that stress also contributes to anxiety, elevated blood glucose and blood pressure, muscle tension and impaired immunity, you will see that you have many good reasons to take a few minutes at least once a day to just breathe...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Knee Pain

I recently heard from a credible resource that every 1 pound of extra weight we carry exerts an extra 4 pounds of pressure on the knee joint. No wonder we have so many people suffering from pain, not to mention the number of prescription drugs and surgeries performed-all with their associated side effects. Isn't it reassuring to know that managing our weight, without fad diets, is possible? Once again, nutrition can be the solution. Whole foods, healthy meal replacements and high quality supplements to support the joints and reduce overall inflammation are readily available.Procosa is my choice for joint support. It is vegetarian, and contains patented Meriva, a bioavailable curcumin complex. Let these be your first line solution, and turn to the prescription medications and surgeries only as a last resort.