Body Awareness: 5 Reasons Why Your Body is Mad at You

FatigueOriginally published here.

In modern times, we are in such a rush and have such a DO! DO! DO! attitude, that we forget our bodies. We ignore them, push them to the limits, and expect them to do what we want them to do without asking them what they need to get the job done.

If you listen, your body is often trying to have a conversation with you, but during a hectic day, it’s easy to keep ignoring its pleas.

Here is an example of my day before I began practicing body awareness.

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Interview with DOGA author Mahny Djahanguiri

Doga yoga for you and your dog
Are you ready to try yoga with your dog?

While exploring Twitter, I stumbled across the most interesting profile – @DogaYogaMahny from London.

Mahny Djahanguiri is Europe’s leading Dog Yoga expert and author of the book DOGA–Yoga for you and your dog.

Being a dog owner and yoga lover, I wanted to know all about doga and Mahny was kind enough to answer a few questions about it.

Mahny was on BBC’s The Barking Hour yesterday. Listen here.

What is doga?
Doga is a human yoga practice that enhances the natural bond one has with their pet. The dog aids as a weight (small dogs) or, if larger, as a yoga bolster. Doga includes canine massage, yoga breathing, yoga postures that you can do together with your dog. The main aim is to relax the owner so the dog can absorb the owners “calm.”

What are the origins of doga?
Doga originates from the US. A yoga teacher, Suzy Teitelman, explored doga with her two poodles when she found them wanting to join in her practice on the mat. She designed poses that help encooperate the dog through lifts and stretches. She’s been running classes in Miami since 2006.

What are the benefits for the owner and dog?
The benefits are the same for dog and owner. As the parasympathetic part of the central nervous system overrides the sympathetic nervous system, both dog and owner will gain a deeper more valuable sleep, release stress, eradicate anxiety and stress related issues, and help digestion and skin disorders. The owner gains a fit body by toning muscles, building core strength, stability, and flexibility. Doga is fun – and through petting your dog, love hormones are released which help you to de-stress.

Do dogs ever misbehave in your doga class?
Dogs ALWAYS misbehave in my class, that’s part of the doga fun. In Doga I try to encourage people to lose their “ownership,” which is the controlling part and the ego. The more we allow and ignore our dogs conditioned behaviour in a group/pack the more your dog can figure out were he belongs in the pack. Showing anxiety doesn’t help your dogs behaviour issues. Through using yoga we focus solely on ourselves while our dogs “act out” their stress. Once the owner has slowed down their central nervous system the dog will automatically be drawn to this inner stillness. It takes sometimes up to fifty minutes for a dog to stop barking or dominating his peers. But at the end of the session ALL dogs are totally out.

How long are doga classes and how much do they cost?
A Doga session consists of ninety minutes breathing, yoga poses, relaxation and chanting. A class costs £20 per dog. One can also bring along family members especially children. It’s a group therapy and focuses on bonding with nature.

Watch the book launch video here.

A special thanks to Mahny Djahanguiri for telling us all about DOGA. Please leave your questions and comments for her below.

Find out more DOGA Mahny’s website and Twitter.

DOGA-Yoga for you and your dog is available on Amazon.

6 Ways to Dissolve Stress

Stress Free Zone

Last week on the Basic Life Blog, we learned how chronic stress damages your body–creating an environment that fosters disease and accelerates the aging process.

This week, I list its top six recommendations for ways to cope with, manage and diffuse stress to counteract the negative effects it has on the way you look, feel and behave.

Yoga 2

Yoga
Who knows if the first yogis thousands of years ago suffered as much stress as we do in the modern age, but they sure were on to something! The benefits of this ancient art are too many to list, but among them are:

-oxygenation of the brain and body
-increased lymph flow and detoxification
-reduced joint and back pain
-quicker reaction time
-decreased in blood pressure, blood sugar, and stress hormones.

There’s no denying the peaceful yet energized feeling one gets after a good yoga practice. Yoga stretches and releases tendons and fascia. It encourages healing blood flow to your muscles and joints. It also gently manipulates your internal organs for more efficient function. On top of all of that, it can give you a strong, sexy body. The deep breathing alkalizes the body and some even believe yoga reverses aging!

Find out more about the benefits of yoga.

Nature Therapy

Nature Therapy
How do you feel at the cusp of dawn when all is quiet except the first birds singing? How about when you’re captivated by a glorious sunset that stops you in your tracks? Or what about that serene feeling that washes over you when listening to the waves crash at the beach? Then you’ve already experienced the stress-relieving power of Mother Nature.

Why exactly do we have a tendency to sink into a state of calm when we admire the beauty of nature? Perhaps it is because that is where we came from, or because it never fails to awe us. Whatever the reason, most probably do not get enough of it.

Many of us are cooped up indoors most of the day surrounded by concrete and artificial light. A quick stress-fix would be go to a nearby park and stroll around or bring a blanket to lay on and gaze at the clouds. A mere fifteen minutes can clear your mind and ground you. If you cannot escape your urban environment during the week, get out to a hiking or biking trail on the weekend. Then you will get the benefit of some exercise as well.

Young Woman Meditating

Meditation
Meditation reduces stress physically by slowing the heart and respiratory rate and focusing brain activity. Meditation also provides a gateway to confronting unresolved emotional issues, conquering fears, and neutralizing obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.

Some methods involve simply sitting quietly and trying to clear the mind of all thoughts. Other meditation practices may use a series of visualizations to guide the subject into total relaxation. Binaural beats are good for beginners to quickly entrain the brainwaves into a deeper state.

Woman Resting in Bath

Hydrotherapy
Nothing is faster to release tension in the body and mind then a few minutes in a hot tub. Just check out how quickly it works–from Spa Depot’s spa-cylcopedia.

  • 5 minutes- your blood pressure and pulse rates may begin to drop.
  • 8 minutes – your circulation improves in your hands and feet making them feel warmer.
  • 12 minutes – your muscles relax, becoming more receptive to passive exercise. Tissues become more pliable and responsive to stretching, encouraging the release of lactic acid and other toxins from your system.
  • 15 minutes – your minor aches and pains will often experience a temporary decrease in severity.

If you don’t have access to a Jacuzzi, a good old-fashioned hot bath can do wonders. The benefits of hydrotherapies have been used and understood for centuries. Add baking soda to your bath for an alkalizing effect.

Woman Receiving Back Massage

Massage
Massage therapy is another ancient form of alternative medicine that has been used throughout the ages to treat stress and its harmful effects on our body and mind. Like the other stress-relieving methods above, massage therapy’s benefits are well documented and wide ranging. They include:

-Detoxification by increased lymph flow.
-Increased circulation.
-Relaxes tense muscles, ligaments and fascia.
-Releases those warm and fuzzy feel-good hormones that dissolve stress

woman-drinking-water

Living an Alkaline Lifestyle
If you suffer from chronic stress, an alkaline diet and lifestyle can combat its harmful effects. Alkaline foods as well as drinking plenty of fresh alkaline water will help your body eliminate the toxins that accumulate from dealing with stress.

Though there have been many breakthroughs in modern medicine when it comes to stress, people have relied on these natural ways for thousands of years. So don’t let stress get the best of you!

What is your favorite healthy way of beating stress?
Please share with H2O Alkalizer below!

And don’t forget to subscribe to the Basic Life Blog!

Download free alkaline food charts here.

Learn more about ionized water here.

Finance an H2O Alkalizer machine here.

The information in the Basic Life Blog is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your doctor.

Stress Free Zone Photo credit

All other images are public domain

What’s so special about #yoga?

YAW Youga at Work London

Last week, Suzanne Orfali from Yoga at Work (YAW) talked about combating the dangers of a sedentary job. Today she explains why yoga, in particular, is a comprehensive workout for the body and mind.

By Suzanne Orfali

I think a common misconception is that yoga is just a meditative practice or is limited to those that are flexible. In reality, yoga works on many different levels. It offers your mind and body a great workout and unlike other forms of physical activity, it can be done anywhere.

Physiologically, yoga has a profound effect on your overall body strength. Downward and upward dog build vital muscles in the arms and shoulders. The plank does likewise for the core. Eagle strengthens leg muscles and the lower back, stretches your shoulders and, opens your hips! Eagle is actually a good example of how one pose can be beneficial on so many levels, as it strengthens, ‘opens’ and stretches more than one area of the body. As yoga works with your own body’s resistance and gravity, it does not put too much stress on any one specific muscle group.

People often say that they are not flexible enough to do yoga, or mistakenly think that flexibility is a goal or requirement of yoga. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how inflexible you are, as you work with your own body’s limits. Unlike weight training, yoga builds muscles without causing tightness to the muscle tissue. It is through your yoga practice, that your flexibility improves. Yoga also stretches other soft tissue in the body such as ligaments and tendons, increasing the range of motion in the joints and allowing you to move around more freely.

Practicing yoga enables you to strengthen key core muscles, become more flexible and improve your overall body muscle tone and strength. This directly benefits your posture enabling your abdominals and back muscles to fully support your weight so you can sit and stand tall. Finally, another great physiological benefit is that yoga helps increase bone density. In the long run that reduces your chances of developing osteoporosis.

Yoga is great for your vitals. When you practice yoga regularly, your lung capacity increases as a result of the deep breathing process used in the practice. This aids other sports and also increases your stamina and endurance. During yoga, the class instructor may take you through various phases of endurance. My classes tend to typically follow the following format (1) warm up (2) strength building and cardio to get the blood moving! (3) slowing down the flow and opening areas of tension in the body (4) final relaxation. The meditative and calming yoga asanas lower students’ heart rates. This in turn reduces blood pressure and medically, this has also been linked to improving the immune system and lowering cholesterol.

Yoga is great for the mind as it helps manage and lower stress and improves your mood. Stress has numerous negative effects and one of these is weight gain. Being overweight can be a sign that there are imbalances in your everyday life and a major contributor to weight gain is excess stress. Practicing yoga enables you to bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind, helping you to de-stress and in turn enabling natural weight loss.

Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques to focus the mind on your breathing which in turn quietens the constant ‘mind chatter’. Numerous studies have pinpointed that even 5 minutes of these simple meditative rituals can contribute to alleviating stress and enabling you to feel relaxed. Practicing yoga can boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.

Various exercises, such as squash, running, or playing football often involve a series of rapid, forceful movements, which means that effort is at a maximum and there is a higher risk of injury and increased muscle tension. Often, strenuous exercise engages an imbalance of opposing muscle groups whereas yoga concentrates on balancing this activity and uniting your body and mind. It is rare to hear of yoga related injuries, but quite common to hear of sporting related injuries. The result of practicing yoga is an injury free, and healthier you.
A very big thanks to Suzanne Orfali for joining us.

Please look for YAW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and leave any questions you have about sedentary lifestyles and Yoga at Work below.

Yaw Yoga at Work London
Are you concerned about the health risks associated with your sedentary job?
Ask your employer for Yoga at Work! Please see the website for more details www.yawlondon.com or contact at Suzanne@yawlondon.com.

 

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