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Yoga and mindful living

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"Being a vegan and a strong yogini will protect me from the seasonal flu".

This is what I was mistakenly thinking when the reality was striking straight into my immune system and forced me to admit that...well.. I am human too.

So yes, I have suffered from a sore throat and coughing BUT compared to my non-vegan friends my recovery was much faster.

Being sick (or lazy) is an opportunity to be creative with modifications to our yoga practice. This is the principle that guides me when I teach Yoga Therapy classes, to modify the postures according to the student's needs.

In my case I needed to treat my coughing. I did it by expending the respiratory system with chest openers and reclining twist. "Lags on the wall" relieved my headache and improved my immune system.

So here is what I came up with: Modifications to three Yoga postures in bad.

Reclining twist (Jathara Parivartaranasana)

Health benefits:

  • Relaxes and widens the shoulders,chest and hips. Very helpful for coughing.

  • Supports the parasympathetic nervous system and the relaxation response.

  • Dissolves negativities such as stress, anxiety and tension by calming the mind.

  • Enhances bowel function and the digestion process.

  • Makes the spine and the back muscles flexible.

How to:

  1. Lie flat on Back.

  2. Pull your right knee up toward your chest.

  3. Bring your right knee toward the floor/pillow on left side of body.

  4. Hold right knee with left hand.

  5. Gently, turn your head to the right.

  6. Stay for 3-5 minutes, then change to the other side.

Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Health benefits:

  • Provides migraine and headache relief, especially when done with a bandage wrapped tightly around the forehead and back of the skull.

  • opens the chest area to facilitate breathing.

  • Improves the immune system.

  • Regulate metabolism.

  • It calms the nerves system.

  • Relief from fatigue and insomnia

How to

  1. Place a pillow or two vertically to the wall.

  2. Sit sideways on right end of the pillow, with your right side against the wall (left- handers can substitute “left” for “right” in these instructions).

  3. With one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto the mat.

  4. Check that the front of your torso gently arches from the pubis to the top of the shoulders. If the front of your torso seems flat, then you’ve probably slipped a bit off the support. Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis off the support a few inches, tuck the pillow/s a little higher up under your pelvis, then lower your pelvis onto the support again.

  5. Lift and release the base of your skull away from the back of your neck and soften your throat.

  6. Keep your legs relatively firm, just enough to hold them vertically in place

  7. Close your eyes, breath what you feel and enjoy the ride.

  8. Stay in this pose at list 7-20 minutes.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Health benefits:

  • Widens and relaxes the shoulders and chest area to facilitate breathing.

  • Reduced occurrence of headaches

  • Decreased muscle tension.

  • Reduced nervous tension and stres

  • Increased overall energy levels

How to

  1. Sit up straight on the top of your yoga mat and bring the soles of your feet together as your knees drop open to both sides as far as it is naturally comfortable.

  2. Place a pillow or a folded blanket under each knee.

  3. Place a pillow horizontally on the mat, behind you.

  4. Lean backwards and let your elbows rest on the floor.

  5. Continue lowering yourself all the way down until your back is flat on the pillow, using your arms and hands for support.

  6. Spread your arms sideways, in 90 degrees angle.

  7. Close your eyes, breath what you feel and enjoy the ride.

  8. Stay in this pose 7-20 minutes.

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