If you spent the weekend out of town for the July 4th holiday weekend, chances are you may have endured hours of sitting in traffic traveling to and from your destination. Below is a simple back stretching sequence that can help release built up tension in the spine. Start this exercise very gently if you have a lot of tightness in your spine and hips. Take your time and move slowly.
1. Stand on all fours, hands underneath your shoulders, shoulder width apart, knees hip distance apart
2. On an exhale pull in your abdominals and round spine
3. Slowly draw your hips back towards your heels
4. Inhale and drop the elbows to the floor
5. Straighten the elbows and gently arch the back
6. Repeat a few times
We all know how delicious and juicy strawberries are, but recent research supports this fruit’s ability to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. The study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that participants who consumed 500 g of strawberries daily for one month had an improvement in their general plasma lipid profile, antioxidant biomarkers, antihemolytic defenses, and platelet function. Researchers state “this is the first time a study has been published that supports the protective role of the bioactive compounds in strawberries in tackling recognized markers and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
This powerful and delicious fruit can be creatively added to many dishes and adds sweetness to salads, sandwiches, and of course blended drinks.
Read the study here.
After a long winter, summer has arrived! It’s a time to get outside and connect with nature. It’s also a great time to kick start your exercise routine and meditation practice. You may want to try walking or biking outside or take your yoga mat down to the beach for an asana and meditation practice. Whatever outdoor setting inspires you!
If you need some guidance you can download my asana and meditation practice on itunes and practice anywhere you like.
Download my free meditation guide: Key points to a Meditation Practice download
Of the 15 million people in the United States practicing yoga, approximately 72.2% are women and 27.8% are men. With all the benefits yoga has to offer, I would like to encourage men to go out and try a class. There are so many choices available; men are bound to find a class they like. If you are athletic, try power Vinyasa Flow, Hot Yoga or Ashtanga. If you need to relax, try Restorative Yoga or a meditation class. Most importantly, beyond the physiological benefits of yoga, yoga can help men, fathers, and all of us to become more present and aware of our behavior. Awareness and conscious behavior can help enhance relationships with your children.
Below are five ways by which yoga can boost a man’s physical and psychological well-being:
1. We lose flexibility and muscle mass as we age. Yoga helps keep our muscles and bones healthy, helping us move more efficiently.
2. Yoga lowers stress and improves concentration which aids in work performance
3. The mind/body connection can lead to a greater level of sensitivity. Towards yourself and ultimately permeating into all relationships.
4. Many pro athletes (NFL, NBA, NHL) cross train with yoga because Hatha Yoga enhances athletic performance.
5. Yoga increases awareness of the concept of Ahimsa (non-violence), which in turn creates compassion for all living beings.