- Ashtanga-is a gymnastic style developed by Pattabhi, a student of one of the original yoga masters.
- Bikram-hot yoga that more resembles boot camp than yoga.
- Hatha-the ancient classic.
- Iyengar-the modern classic.
- Kundalini-the heavy breathing style popularized by a Sikh mystic.
- Power-an aggressive form of Ashtanga.
- Vinyasa-a flowing style developed relatively late in life by a yogi and popularized by his student, Srivatsa Ramaswami.
Confused about the different styles of yoga? I have been practicing for many years and only recently discovered the difference between the several to choose from. Here is the readers digest version.
The joy of movement is the secret to health. Excess exercise puts as much stress on your body as does over eating or mental anxiety. The key to health is the pleasure principal. If it feels good do more of it and if it doesn't then stop. The "no pain, no gain" or "feel the burn" has no place in any fitness regime. If you enjoy the movement then chances are you will continue and fitness will be a pleasant by-product to the activity. This is the philosophy of Nia. Check out a class. The first one is free! If nothing else, come for the pants and stay for the dance!
This ancient Vedic saying underscores the importance of not what you eat but how you eat. Your body will assimilate more of the nutrients from a Big Mac eaten under a tree at a park, than a salad eaten in your car rushing from one place to another. Food consumed mindfully is better than any elimination diet and will produce better results than following the latest fad diet. "To eat is human, but to digest is divine."
After lathering up in a warm shower, do a 30 second blast of cold water! Once the initial shock wears off, you will feel more invigorated as blood flows away from the surface of your body toward your core to try and conserve heat. One study found that it actually helps release endorphins, so that your polar bear moment could have an antidepressant effect.
I often suffer from bloat for many reasons, flying (in an airplane), eating cold foods, irregular routine, and driving in the city. All activities that increase the air in my system and therefore the bloat that goes with it. One of the best ways I have found to combat the feeling of exploding is to drink a tonic made from cumin, coriander and fennel.
Flat Belly Tea for Two!
I don't know about you all, but I have just worked through a very unpleasant cold/cough/flu. One remedy that I find helpful is to sip on Ginger Cinnamon Tea often throughout the day. This tea is especially good for colds that include congestion, headache, body aches and a runny nose. It is also a great way to ward off a cold when you feel it coming, on as it boosts immunity.
Ginger Cinnamon Tea
1 tsp. of grated ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon or 1 small stick
pinch of cardamon or 1 crushed cardamon pod
Add the ingredients to one cup of boiling water and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain into a cup and add one teaspoon of raw honey once it has cooled a bit.
Word of caution, do not combine ginger and aspirin as they are both blood thinners and should not be taken together.
Once again I find myself drawn to the topic of sleep. Perhaps because it is the one process that can restore health without any effort! One of the easiest changes to make in order for your sleep to function at its best is to sleep on your left side. The stomach and pancreas (which make digestive enzymes) hang on the left side, like slings. If you lie on your left side, they hang naturally which will allow for optimal and efficient digestion. The food is encouraged to move through the stomach naturally and the pancreatic enzymes are released as needed, rather than dumping them out all at once, which happens while laying on your right side with the pull of gravity. The liver and gall bladder, however, hang on the right side. Resting on the left side of your body allows them to hang freely and secrete bile into the digestive tract with the help of gravity. Precious bile emulsifies fats and neutralizes the acid in the stomach. A small change that will allow for optimal digestion and therefore optimal absorption of nutrients.
80% of the drugs administered in the hospital do not impact the illness, in fact 90% of them are to treat these symptoms:
Seven hours seems to be the magic number of hours for a fully functioning human. If you fall short, these are some of the symptoms you may experience:
As a Vata with a mind that sometimes can get the best of me, I often remember the saying, "Not my monkeys, not my circus!" Then I take a few minutes to quiet my mind with three, deep, continuous breaths of the same length and visualize three quiet monkeys. One reminds me to see no evil, one reminds me to speak no evil and one to reminds me to hear no evil.
As a life long learner with a ferocious growth mind set, Kammi devotes a minimum of 30 minutes a day to reading. Join her as she passes on abridged versions of the topics she finds most interesting. Enhance your life by taking what you need and leaving what you don't!