Help Your Health – The Weekly Review

Important Disclaimer:
The news, suggestions, information, exercises and other items in this list are intended for informational purposes only. Not all exercise is suitable for everyone. To reduce the risk of injury, please consult your Doctor before engaging in any physical and/or therapeutic exercise program. Nothing is intended to be a substitute for professional medical care.

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Guided Tadasana: AUDIO


Help Your Health – The Weekly Review Fall Session 2017 – #01

Asana this week:
Posture Poles
Sun Salutations in the Chair
Walking Lunge

Name: Posture Poles

Using a 3ft. long, about 1/2 inch round pole to help guide you towards honoring your natural curves of the spine/body.
Holding the pole with one hand at the bottom, as much as possible in contact with the tail bone. Take the other hand and hold the top of the pole to the back of the head.
Standing in good Mountain Pose/Tadasana begin walking around and keep the contact points of the pole to the body. There are more details which were described in class.

Physical Benefits: Awareness of current posture and a tool for better posture.

Standing: With feet wide apart/soft knees or more of a bend if the hamstrings are tight and pole in place, hinging at the hips (never at the waist), forward fold slowly and carefully being mindful not to round the spine (if you do you will notice how quickly the pole comes off the tailbone and possibly the head also, continuing to honor the natural curves of the body (explained this past week and to be discussed again in class).
Sitting: Forward on the chair with the legs spread apart and proper alignment of knees/ankles. Holding the pole in place and hinging forward (following FF instruction above).

Name: Sun Salutations with the Chair

Description: Please find both PDF stick figure description here on my website. Find Sun Salutations with and without the chair also as video (first and last) on my video page or on my recent DVD.

Name: Walking Lunge

To begin stand in good Mountain Pose/ Tadasana next to the wall with one hand on the wall for balance. It is necessary to learn proper foot/knee/leg placement before adding balance into the movement.
Taking a comfortable step forward with one foot bending the knee so it remains directly over the ankle. Bend the back leg so the heel comes off the floor. Keeping your shoulders and head over the hips, do not bend the upper body forward. Dipping with the back knee only a little to begin with and while you dip make sure the front knee does not move forward, you should always be able to see the toes of the front foot.
Keeping all points facing directly forward: shoulders, hips, knees, feet including toes and heels.
Alternating legs and eventually doing this without holding on to the wall. Don’t rush leaving the wall, first be secure with the movement.

Physical Benefits:
Building bone density of the hips and strengthening the leg/feet.

Adaptations/ Variations:
Standing facing a chair: with the front knee at the chair seat/ ankle directly under the knee.
Also holding on to the wall if necessary.
Do not lean forward to hold the chair, keep shoulders over the hips and face forward. Following movement as described above.

General Class:

Supine: Chair Opening 2x, Morning Walk-Up Stretch, Hip Openers, Ankle/Wrist Movements

Prone: Cat and Cow, Balancing Cat

Standing: Tadasana/Mountain Pose, Posture Polls (Sitting/Standing/Walking), Walking Lunge

On Belly: Heart Lift, Locust (A-Symmetrical/ Symmetrical), Yogi Snack: A flow of any or all, of the following with the breath: Cobra/Up-dog/Down-Dog/Plank/Child’s Pose.

Sun Salutations with the Chair

Pranayama: Remembering to breath in and out through your nose, the mouth is closed.

Music: Barbara Thompson “Songs from the Center of the Earth”

Quote: A Teaching from His Holiness The Dalai Lama
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.
I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others.
I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”


Balance Check (from the AARP magazine)
The issue of balance will be an important part of our Fall session “Balance, Bones & the Breath”, ……..don’t be disillusioned by the results at first if they are not what you imagined, practice can make a big difference. Consider also, although it is not mention in the article, if you are taking certain medications they can interfere with your balance.

Test for Balance:
Stand on a flat, hard surface, with your arms folded across your chest. (this is harder than arms extended out to the side or overhead-begin slowly and progress)

While standing on your preferred leg, raise the other foot off the floor a few inches, making sure the foot remains parallel to the floor and isn’t resting against the standing leg.

Time how long you can keep the leg raised before it touches the floor as you lose your balance (try to keep up for 30 seconds).

Do the test twice, once with the eyes open and once with them closed (see my additional suggestions below).

What you want to see!
The ability to hold your balance with your eyes closed.

Science suggests that those who can perform this task have lower rates of mortality from all causes than those who cannot.

If you see….
That you can’t hold the position at all with your eyes closed:

Consider talking to your doctor about doing a deeper dive into your overall health and fitness.

In a study of 53-year old men and women conducted at University College London, those who could balance on one leg with their eyes closed for more than 10 seconds were more likely to survive over the next 12 years of the study.

The following is my suggestion as to how to begin:
Standing with arms folded across the chest, firmly grounded on both feet. (As described in class)
Bending one knee and reaming on those toes, other foot grounded.
Begin with the eyes open and then try with the eyes closed.
If you feel the body wobbling then begin with both feet grounded, first eyes open and then eyes closed.
Try any and all of these above before proceeding to lifting one foot off the floor while standing with the eyes closed.
I believe that the body needs to become accustomed to balancing with the eyes closed and this needs to be done in sequences of skill over a longer period of practicing twice daily.

The only thing you can do wrong is to give up, keep practicing.

Feel free to pass this mail to others who may want to do a ‘Balance Check’.

Lecture at the Founder Center on Monday, September 18th by Dr. Gary Small:       

A few notes, suggested by many students who attended:

The suggested Curcumin/Tumeric is “Theacurmin” -90mg twice daily, available at Mothers (possible Sprouts and Whole Foods) a bottle of 30 -60mg cost $25.

His most recent book “2 Weeks to a Younger Brain”.




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