A Balanced Plate
Last week in Chair Yoga, somehow we got on the subject of balanced meals. We were trying to remember the current design that depicts the balanced meal. So I have displayed it here. We have gone from pyramid to steps to a plate. The plate makes a lot of sense. However I do not see chocolate listed on the plate!! It is interesting that fruits and vegies take up half the plate! Let me know what you think!
The myplate.gov website has a "Super Tracker" which is a personalized interactive program to help us eat. You can set goals for weight or exercise or eating. The program gives you guidelines and gives you a place to enter your information so you can watch as you move toward your goals. I have started entering my info. When I entered my weight goal, the program gave me a calorie limit of 2000. It also set up a display of how much of each food group I should be consuming.
Give it a try!
The website also has handouts that can be printed for yourself or to distribute to others.
Connection to good handouts: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips/ten-tips.html
Vayan Mudra and Hypertension
A co-worker, Cat, at the Y recently mentioned her doctor told her to participate in yoga to help with her hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is when the pressure of the blood flowing through your veins is higher than it should be. There are a number of causes or factors leading to hypertension. The doctor told Cat the college food might be the cause of her hypertension.
Websites on hypertension:
United National Library on
There is evidence that yoga can help lower high blood pressure. WebMD states a study that showed participating in yoga 2 to 3 times a week will lower blood pressure. "ABCs of Yoga" lists poses for high blood pressure. Most of these poses are mainline in yoga practice.
Vayan Mudra: This mudra is for HTN, releasing muscular tension, helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Sit in a positions with your back aligned and shoulders relaed. Bring the tips of the index and middle fingers to the tip of the thumbs Extend out the ring and pinky fingers together. Rest back of hands on the thighs or knees.*
*From Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page
There is some concern people with high blood pressure practicing poses that are inverted as in downward facing dog. There are some conflicting responses. It is important to check with your doctor if you have any questions. It is also important as always to listen to your body while you complete inverted poses. Modifications can be made such as slowly coming out of a forward bend to allow for your body to adjust to the change.
Some websites for further research:
http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/594 Well written.
Yoga and Pregnancy
Thursday Night yoga class has been growing...in some ways literally! One student is pregnant! So I went online to find some websites with information on practicing yoga while pregnant.
The references gave benefits for yoga during pregnancy, poses to avoid and poses that are beneficial.
Things to avoid: poses on the back, and poses that overstretch the abdomen
Poses to avoid: back bends, Backbends, Balancing poses on one leg (unless supported by chair or
wall), Camel, Handstands, Headstands, Upward bow http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-do-yoga-during-pregnancy_5699.bc
Poses that are helpful: Mountain Pose, Triangle, Warrior, Standing Side Stretch, Standing Spread Leg Forward Bend, Seated Forward Bend, Fish, Tree Pose and More. http://abc-of-yoga.com/Yoga-and-health/Yoga-for-pregnancy.asp
Hope this is helpful!
How to Choose a Chair for Yoga
During Wednesday's Chair Yoga class we talked about picking a chair at home to practice yoga. Some of the things to think of and look for:
- The Height of the Chair: Do your feet touch the floor comfortably?
- The Seat:
- Is it level front to back?
- Is it level side to side?
- Is it flat?
- The Sturdiness of the Chair: Does it stay upright when you lean onto the back of the Chair?
- If it tips front or back, or side to side, the chair is not safe.
- Chair Back: Is it comfortable for you to sit in the chair?
- Arms: Chairs with arms can be suitable for yoga. They will limit some side movements. Chair arms are useful for those who need help getting up out of the chair.
When I first started teaching Chair Yoga I practiced at home on my kitchen chair. It was not long before I realized that the chair was uncomfortable and not appropriate for Chair Yoga Practice. The chair is heavy and sturdy, but my feet do not touch the floor easily and the seat tilts towards the back of the chair. Today I participated in the first day of a Senior Yoga certification. Some of the chairs we used were light weight versions of the metal type folding chairs as pictured above. The seat and back were made of skimpy black plastic. The back was very short leaving a large opening between the seat and therefore little support for my back. The seats had a bowl like dip toward the back. The legs were made of a light weight aluminum and were not as wide apart front to back as the standard metal chair. All this made the chair very tippy and unsturdy for yoga.
A member of our Wednesday Chair Yoga class does yoga in his wheel chair. One of my teachers works with people in their homes sometimes leading them through practice in stuffed living room chairs and couches. This yoga practice is less active and is limited in some of it's movements but can be effective for the needs of the participants. This practice is often followed by tea and conversation! It's about what you want to accomplish during your practice. The important thing in picking a chair is listening to your body and how it feels while you practice yoga. Enjoy and have fun!
I enjoy yoga as it brings peace to my life. Teaching yoga has brought joy to my life and given me a chance to encourage others in learning yoga.