Yogis

Join Pain BC’s Day of MOVEment: Every Movement Counts For People In Pain

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 9.37.35 AM

AN EXCITING NEW FUNDRASIER COMES TO BC!

Pain BC’s Day of MOVEment, is a day to move – any and all kinds of movement count! Investing in your health and supporting the health of others has never been so easy.

Daily movement is vital to improving the quality of life for people living with pain. However, many of us have limitations and are unable to participate in a typical 5km run or walk. Plus, as a province-wide organization, we want to create an inclusive event that involves all British Columbians.

That’s why Pain BC has created a brand new event to raise money and awareness for chronic pain. No matter where you live or what your physical abilities are… you can get involved!

A DAY OF MOVEMENT SUNDAY JUNE 12TH, 2016

This day exists because Pain BC is dedicated towards promoting health in our community, as well as raising awareness for chronic pain. Your participation offers you the opportunity to do something healthy for yourself and support those who deal with chronic pain every day.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 7.39.44 AM

JOIN OUR ONLINE MOVEMENT YOGA VIDEO

The Rise and Shine Video is designed for anyone and everyone – from beginners to advanced movers and shakers. Explore joint and tissue range through slow, progressive movements in standing and seated postures. This style of movement is a great way to start your day and shake off any stagnant energy!

Designed to be available in the comfort of your own home so you can access movement anytime, anywhere. We had a great time creating this video at Ocean Breath Yoga on Granville Island. There’s nothing more uplifting than being near the ocean on a beautiful day.

Start your day with this 38min movement video – Click Here. 

 

JOIN ONE OF OUR MOVEMENT CLASSES IN BCScreen Shot 2016-06-10 at 9.39.05 AM

On Sunday June 12, 2016, join a MOVEment class at one of the participating studios. Yoga is not only about balancing the mind and body, but it’s also about fostering a connection with your community. No matter where you live, or what your schedule will be we have a class near you.

Thank you to all the studio’s providing karma classes and giving our community a boost in support!

For a list of yoga studios and classes near you – Click Here.

 

Your support can help Pain BC improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of British Columbians living with pain and transform how pain is recognized and treated. To date, Pain BC has done a lot with a little, effecting significant change in BC in a few short years. We’re poised to deepen our impact. With your support, we can build on our early wins, expand our reach, and increase our capacity to improve the lives of people living with pain.

We hope you’ll join the MOVEment! Because every move counts for people in pain. And if you are feeling extra passionate, why not consider donating to the cause. You can do so by – Clicking here. 

 

Find Out More About This Charity

3300-910 WEST 10TH AVENUE

JPPN 3

VANCOUVER, BC , V5Z 1M9

[email protected]

Visit our Web Site

 

Leslie Kaminoff’s YogaAnatomy.net Newsletter

Leslie Kaminoff’s YogaAnatomy.net Newsletter

I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I finally signed up for a weekly online newsletter at http://yogaanatomy.net/ delivered by Leslie Kaminoff, a leading anatomy teacher and author of the  #1 best-selling yoga book “Yoga Anatomy.”

Once a week, I receive an email that features tips and information about yoga and anatomy. Every email features a different pose and its anatomical intrigues: for instance, Halasana (Plow Pose) a couple of weeks ago included information about the muscle groups, skeletal movements and rotations, as well as implications for the breath and a couple of excellent animations to illustrate the pose.

Kaminoff also includes a quote of the week. An ardent fan of a well-intentioned quote, I especially appreciate this inclusion. They are often perfectly straight-to-the-point. Just what a yoga student needs to hear:

There is nothing wrong with you that you have one tight hip and one loose hip, or one leg that wants to turn out a little more than the other. This is what it is to be human. So give yourself a break.

The newsletters include a short video on various topics related to teaching. They also provide information about signing up for his acclaimed Yoga Anatomy Course, previously only available at his studio (now available online!). “The Breathing Project in NYC, has helped teachers and practitioners from yoga, dance, pilates, and somatic therapy backgrounds improve their teaching, enhance their personal practice, and provide better experiences for their students and clients.” (http://yogaanatomy.net/)

If you aren’t already receiving the weekly newsletter from YogaAnatomy.net, sign up now! Visit www.YogaAnatomy.net and provide your email address in the top right corner. Enjoy the wonderful information from Leslie Kaminoff!

The (Me)ntal (Heal)th of Yoga

The (Me)ntal (Heal)th of Yoga

Most of us recognize that when we breath and move, we feel better.  Slowing down and taking time to de stress, relaxes our body and mind, isn’t just a “buzz phrase.” There are physiological, as well as psychological proven benefits that extend well beyond the mat when you practice yoga and deeply affects your mental health.

Thursday night I held a salon conversation connecting youth with the positive platform of mental health and at risk youth. Yoga came up frequently,  from all the speakers, as one of the best forms of exercise that can be implemented into schools to help promote self confidence, discipline, and balance.

Lets dig deeper and answer these questions…

Can yoga help them do more than just feel a little bit better?

Can it heal their mental illness?

Yoga has long been seen as a tool for improving mental health, although concepts of what that entails have shifted over time and are distinct in different cultures. Not to mention mental health statistics vary globally.

Mental illness affects 1 in every 3 Canadians, and what most of us do not realize is that suicide is the second largest killer of young adults between the ages of 15-24. The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, states about 20 percent of adults suffer some sort of mental illness each year, and about 5 percent experience a serious disorder that disrupts work, family or social life. In Canada, one 1 out of every 6 children or youth has access to mental health resources. These are staggering numbers.

There are several schools of yoga that focus specifically on the intersections between asana practice and emotional health, and a growing body of studies indicates that yoga is often an excellent tool to treat the troubled mind.

My personal opinion on style is through experience with populations who have or are at risk for mental illness, and what I have found works for clients with mood disorders and especially my work with vets in the Canadian Armed Forces, injured in combat, a Yin style or light Vinyasa seem to have the largest affect. Both involve breath work and slow, controlled movement.

To date, the most persuasive evidence of the benefits of hatha yoga, and in particular pranayama, stems from research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience  in India. New studies have shown a high success rate—up to 73 percent—for treating depression with breathing. .” It involves breathing naturally through the nose, mouth closed, in three distinct rhythms.

Yoga has been integrated into many high stress service careers; such as police departments and the Canadian Armed Forces. People who suffer from operational stress injuries or jobs that are high stress physically, as well as mentally are at greater risk, and Yoga can help combat high stress levels. Stress is one of the key factors in the onset of depression and anxiety.

Other benefits of yoga on our mental can include; improved ability to sleep, better moods, increased feelings of self-control, and better concentration and focus.

 

 

Sources:

Check out the full report in The Washington Post : http://wapo.st/wzYeST

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA): http://vancouver-burnaby.cmha.bc.ca/

 

Shouldering Responsibility: The Nervous Systems Highway (week three)

Shouldering Responsibility: The Nervous Systems Highway (week three)

Fascia is our third top communicator in our body, thus it’s no wonder that it is often described as our body’s natural transportation system (next to the nervous system). As we know it is a web of tiny fluid filled microtubules that exist in a multidimensional structure surrounding every cell in our body, head to toe, in and around every organ, muscle and joint. Microscopically, fascia is arranged in tiny micro-tubules, composed of collagen and elastin. Form follows function and these tubules act as a mini transportation system.  Blood vessels and nerves travel within our fascial highway. In turn, fascia itself receives a profound number of nerve endings and innervates 10 times more than muscle. It is a fundamental structure in which the circulatory system and nervous system rely on sensory feedback and input/output.

Majority of chronic pain in the body is caused by dysfunction in the muscles, instability or lack of mobility.  In other words, chronically tight or strained muscles that are stuck in patterns of compensation are frequently at the root of significant pain, as well as the pain referral will usually show significant breakdowns in other areas along the restricted line or muscular sling. It’s common for muscular imbalances to build up in the body without any symptoms at first. The body is extremely dynamic and will often adjust itself to numerous imbalances for long periods of time without there being any pain at all.

Many rotator cuff injuries are secondary to fascial problems. Shoulder problems may be due to the blade not gliding or a restriction in the ribs that prevent the arm from going up and extending the way it should. Failure to resolve patterns of muscular compensation through appropriate treatment can predispose the shoulder to further injury.

Sometimes a simple movement such as reaching behind you or above you can push the problem over the brink.  For instance, lets use “frozen shoulder” as an example; which is a pain in the deltoid muscle, caused by strain and fatigue when the shoulder blade no longer moves freely. After a while, the deltoid becomes ischemic, meaning it’s blood flow is significantly reduced. And then you have a muscle that’s working overtime, without an adequate supply of blood to nourish it.

A protective neuromuscular response in the body, is to limit movement to avoid further pain or damage and thus allowing the fascia to shorten up and inhibiting muscular movement. This can lead to stress and inactivity, which can result in unconscious bracing of the shoulder muscles and gradual tightening of the surrounding tissue.

Neuromuscular re patterning and structural integration are ways that can assist the body in reaching it’s ultimate alignment.  They involve an analysis of the existing alignment and patterning within the body, manipulation of the soft tissues including muscles, ligaments and fascia, and a plan that will encourage the body to stay aligned between sessions.

Modification of upper arm coordination and shoulder girdle placement is greatest addressed in conjunction with alterations in the cervical vertebrae and tonic neck reflexes

For lasting shoulder pain relief, it’s essential to follow the stages of rehabilitation in the proper order:

1. Eliminate spasms, fascial binding and hypercontraction in the tissues (Manual therapy such a neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, structural integration bodywork)

2. Restore proper biomechanics (Soft-tissue re-patterning, corrective movement, structural bodywork)

3. Restore flexibility to the tissues (Stretching, somatic movement, structural yoga, fascial stretch therapy)

4. Rebuild the strength of the injured tissues (Physical therapy exercises, corrective movement, strength conditioning)

5. Build endurance (Aerobic exercise)

Shouldering Responsibility: When Mobility Goes Over(your)head? (Week Two)

Shouldering Responsibility: When Mobility Goes Over(your)head? (Week Two)

Raise your arms overhead. If you can’t extend your arms up without your arms bending or feel tension in your neck or how about scrunch your face up like you just ate something sour – then you are in for some challenges in your yoga practice! Guaranteed downward facing dog is probably not your favorite pose, but do not fear because improving your shoulder mobility and fascial elasticity in your arm lines can be done, with a few simple corrective movements.

As we know, corrective movement is all about unblocking tension and reducing compensations through better movement mechanics. This is why it is said that Yoga is 90% waste removal. Our fascia plays a significant role in integrating the systems that aid in removing waste and unwanted tension that is limiting our movement and experience on and off the mat.  Many systems integrate together to achieve this, and the facial system is a large contributor.

Most injuries are connective-tissue (fascial) based, not muscular injuries (this happens after the body’s blocked energy has to go somewhere, and results in an ”ouchie”—so how do we best train to prevent and repair damage and build elasticity and resilience into the system? By listening to our body, and be reducing tension on the joints.

When we talk about shoudlering responsibility, the deep arm lines – take the front lines!

The fascia of the upper torso and arms are comprised of multiple designations (4) intertwined in the webbed matrix known as the “Deep Arm Fascial Lines.” The 4 Arm Lines run from the front and back of the axial torso to the tips of the fingers. These lines connect seamlessly into the other fascia lines particularly the Lateral, Functional, Spiral, and Superficial Front Lines.

These lines (for which we have 2 on either side of the body) are the following:

The Brachial Fascia, derived from the Pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi medially and from the deltoids laterally. It differs in thickness, being thin over the biceps brachii,  but thicker where it covers the tricpes brachii and is continuous by covering the deltoids, and the pectoals group attaching above (and to) the clavicle,  acromion as well as the spine of the scapula.  This fascial line forms a thin, loose, membranous sheath for the muscles of the arm and is composed of fibers disposed in a circular or spiral direction, and connected together by vertical and oblique fibers.

The  antebrachial fascia (or antibrachial fascia, deep fascia of forearm) is continuous with the above , as with the brachii fascia and follows from the elbow to the wrist and finger tips via the the palmar fascia; which consists of resistant fibrous tissue arranged in longitudinal, transverse, oblique, and vertical fibers and is a dense, membranous investment, which forms a general sheath for the muscles in this region.

The Arm Lines affect posture indirectly, since they are not part of the structural column; however they are integral for sensory input in response to our environment; such as examining, pushing, pulling, manipulating and interacting with our external world.

When we talk about the arm lines, you will also notice we have included the pectorals group and the latissimus dorsi as significant muscles contributing to the efficiency of shoulder mobility. These two muscular groups contribute substantially to tight “shoulders” when they too are tight, because they significantly limit shoulder flexion in overhead extension, as well as pull the shoulder into internal rotation, which can lead to kyphotic posture and forward head carriage.

Another honorable mention in shoulder limitation is the rhomboids group (sitting in between your  spine and your shoulder blades).  These muscles pull your shoulder blades towards the spine and promote a proud chest. If tight these muscles will prevent the scapula from movement at all.

Fortunately, there are many Yoga poses you can perform to improve your shoulder mobility and alignment in downward facing dog, shoulder stands and inversion.  Try adding these shoulder openers to your home practice and move more freely:

  • Myofasical release with the foam roller –  ( focus on mid back and under the arm for the lats)
  • Thoracic Extension with a towel or roller for chest expansion –  (place along the length of the spine)
  • Eagle Pose (arms) – (stretches the rhomboids)
  • Cow Face Pose – (arms) – stretches the triceps, lats and shoulders)
  • Bridge Pose – (passive bridge, place a block under the hips along the pelvic ridge and sacrum)
  • All fours posture with reversed palms – (stretches the anterior forearms and biceps group)
  • Cobra Pose – (focuses on stabilization of the spine and spinal flexion)
Vancouver Yoga Review Author Featured On The Georgia Straight!

Vancouver Yoga Review Author Featured On The Georgia Straight!

Vancouver Yoga Review author, Sarah Jamieson, is currently featured on the cover of the Georgia Straight magazine. This inspiring yoga teacher and movement coach is running for the world to raise money for charity:

Nearly a decade ago, the North Vancouver native made it her goal to raise $1 million for charity by the time she hit 35, a venture she’s dubbed Run for a Cause. Now 32, she’s raised almost $800,000, logging thousands of kilometres running at home and abroad to support organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Vancouver Police Foundation, and Engineers Without Borders, among many others […]

Read the full article here or pick up a print copy. Congrats Sarah!

A Guide to Shouldering Responsibility: Be Shoulder Savvy (Week One)

A Guide to Shouldering Responsibility: Be Shoulder Savvy (Week One)

Being shoulder savvy in your yoga practice is a great asset to both being a teacher and a student. Your shoulder joint and the proper functioning of the muscles associated with the movement of your shoulder joint and shoulder girdle are paramount in yoga and many yoga postures.

When we think of the shoulder, we tend to think of only the joint itself. The shoulder girdle, the shoulder girdle consists of several bony joints, or “articulations”, which connect the upper limbs to the rest of the skeleton, along with attachment sites of the connective tissue  and provide a large range of movement (hence it’s known as a ball and socket joint). The shoulder girdle may also see this referred to as the “pectoral girdle.”  The main bones which form the shoulder girdle are the clavicle, the scapula and the humerus.

Shoulder Anatomy 101:

There are three main joints in the shoulder girdle, these are the glenohumeral joint (GHJ),  acromioclavicular joint (ACJ), and the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ), all of which come into play in many yoga postures such as downward facing dog, upward facing dog, shoulder poses and inversions.

When asked to locate the shoulder, most often people will point to the glenohumeral joint, which provides a large proportion of the movement at the shoulder girdle; however the ACJ and the SCJ joints are just as integral in load distribution and muscular recruitment in all yoga postures. The ACJ is formed at the lateral end of the clavicle and is important in transmitting load and force through the upper limb and shoulder to the axial skeleton. The ACJ has minimal mobility due to its supporting ligaments; whereas the SCJ occurs at the sternal end of the clavicle, the cartilage of the first rib and lateral, upper portion of the sternum, which functions in all movements of the upper limbs and plays a larger role in throwing or thrusting movement patterns.

Another important (and often neglected) joint that permits movement and postural awareness is the scapulothoracic joint ; which supports movement and stabilization of the shoulder. It overlies the 2nd – 7th ribs, is tilted slightly forwards by an angle of 30°, and is encased by 17 muscles which provide control and stabilization against the thoracic wall (the ribcage). Even though it is not technically a “joint” it is referred to as one because of its functionality.  This joint relies entirely on the surrounding musculature for its control and aids in movement of the skeleton and spine. During elevation the glenohumeral joint rotates 2° for every 1° of scapulothoracic rotation.

How can we protect our shoulder joint in Yoga, as well as off the mat?

Learning to engage and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and the muscles associated with our posture is crucial to preventing common shoulder injuries. For students who lack mobility, learning how to properly improve mobility to the muscles surrounding these joints will reduce tension and force to the joint structure, as well as improve proper recruitment and motor control through movement and postures.

 

The rotator cuff consists of the subscapularis, infraspinatus, teres minor, and supraspinatus. This group is one of the most important but widely misunderstood structures in the body. The names of three of the muscles give you a clue to their location: subscapularis sits under the scapula, between the ribs and the front surface of the scapula. Supraspinatus sits above and infraspinatus sits below the spine of the scapula. Teres minor sits on the outer edge of the scapula, near the posterior fold of the armpit.

Its job is to support and position the ball that forms the head of the humerus and fits in the socket of the shoulder joint. The shoulder is inherently an unstable joint, so building the strength of these supporting muscles is crucial to proper functioning.

These important external rotators, infraspinatus and teres minor, are the part of the rotator cuff that is strengthened in Downward Dog. A weakened rotator cuff might lead to abnormal shoulder-movement patterns, which can contribute to inflammation and pain. Not only that, but weak muscles are likely to tear when you put a load on them that they aren’t strong enough to handle. Thus practice makes perfect, and to do so stay focused on the transitional movements and modify if necessary.

When I teach downward dog to students, I have them start in poses such as an elbow plank to dolphin pose, then from a straight arm plank moving to downward facing dog, cueing on the important of external rotation and recruitment of the shoulder girdle.

Once you’ve mastered keeping the external rotators engaged in these poses, you can apply the action to more challenging poses such as upward-Facing dog and chaturanga dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), and even into inversions and hand stands.

Adding in a little thoracic spine mobility would also support proper elongation of the spine and assist in deep breathing while moving through pose to pose. Next week we will dive deeper into the functionality of the rotator cuff muscles and it’s association with the fascial system for improved stability and mobility.

 

Rock Star Yoga

Lead singer of Maroon 5 and a judge on NBC’s The Voice, Adam Levine practices yoga religiously. He credits his daily yoga routine for sharpening his mind and chiseling his body.

Recently featured in an article titled Adam Levine’s Rock-Star Yoga, found in the latest issue of DETAILS magazine, Levine shares why he turned to yoga, his essential asanas, five yoga styles he swears by, and tunes from his yoga playlist. Read the full article here, and watch his following video:

Transformation at Kushala Yoga

The yoga studio formally known as Kula Yoga has recently changed their name to Kushala (Kushala is Sanskrit for well-being). This change is perfect timing as they are celebrating the expansion and grand opening of their new Port Moody location in Suter Brook Village.

Along with an amazing view and masterful instructors, the new location has two studio spaces, a retail shop full of yoga goodies, a tea lounge and a wellness center! There are also rumors that another location will be opening in early 2012!

What I love about Kushala is that they offer a wide variety of classes, so there is definitely something to meet everyone’s needs. Some of their more unique offerings include: Sunrise Hatha at 6am, Wild Thing Wednesdays (a class designed for more advanced yogis), Yoga 101 (for the beginner yogi) and Pre-Natal Yoga.

Kushala Yoga also specializes in teaching the philosophical side of yoga with courses such as: Prana 101 (students learn meditation and breathing techniques) and the Dharma Series that takes a closer look at Eastern philosophies.

What I enjoy most about Kushala is the extremely warm and inviting atmosphere that only a great yoga studio can provide!

For more about Kushala, please visit:

http://www.kushalayoga.com/

 


Laughter Yoga

Laughter yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995 in Mumbai, India.  The idea came to him at a time he was writing an article ‘Laughter- The Best Medicine’.  It originated as a ‘Laughter Club’.  After two weeks of telling the same jokes, the participants became bored.  Dr. Kataria’s wife is a yoga instructor.  He consulted with her in further developing the ‘Laughter Club’.  They discovered that there were a lot of similarities between laughing and pranayama exercises.  Laughter yoga was born, resulting in a blend of Yogic Deep Breathing, Stretching, and Laughter Exercises that cultivate child-like playfulness.  Dr. Kataria came to the realization that the body cannot tell the difference between real and pretend laughter.

I took my very first Laughter Yoga class at Open Door Yoga on Commercial Drive.  I have to say, there were a lot of times when I thought to myself, what the heck am I doing.  However, the laughter was contagious.  I left the class feeling happier and lighter.

Give Laughter Yoga a try.  Go with an open mind and an open heart.

Namaste.

 

 

What Is Kriya Yoga?

Kriya Yoga refers to actions designed to remove obstructions involving body and mind. Kriya Yoga covers a wide range of techniques, including mantras and meditative techniques for control of the life-force (prana), bringing calmness and control of both body and mind.

Paramahansa Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Fellowship in 1920 to make available these universal teachings of this sacred spiritual science originating millenniums ago in India. Kriya Yoga teaches the laws of general conduct (yama and niyama), including harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, etc. Kriya Yoga promotes the study of metaphysical principles, physical and mental health, cleanliness and purity. The ultimate goal of Kriya Yoga is to unite with pure Awareness (God/ Universe/ Higher Power).

The West’s First Yoga Master Of India

Paramahansa Yogananda was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West. Born and raised in 1893 in Gorakhpur, he arrived in America in 1920, and proceeded to travel throughout the United States, filling large halls, on what he coined his “spiritual campaigns.”

He founded Self-Realization Fellowship (the first center was located in Boston, MA) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India’s ancient science and philosophy of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation.

Yogananda’s spiritual legacy has had a lasting impact on Western culture. His Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution in the West. It has since been translated into multiple languages, and remains one of the best-selling spiritual classics to date.

Yogananda continued to lecture and write until to his passing in 1952. To read more about Paramahansa Yogananda’s biography, visit the site here.

Look Up Yoga DVD Series For Kids

Look Up Yoga DVD Series For Kids

Certified yoga instructor, Susie Lopez, strives to enhance the lives of inner-city students across New York City through Bent on Learning. The organization goes into public schools and teaches students how to reduce stress, increase concentration, boost their self-esteem, and improve their overall health. Bent on Learning, which caters to students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade, also offers teachers simple workshops which teach them how to incorporate simple yoga techniques into to their curriculum.

From her success with Bent On Learning with public school children, Susie Lopez, has created the Look Up Yoga DVD series for all youths, anywhere in the world, to use in their homes. Look Up gives kids a fresh way to get moving, learning, and growing, both emotionally and physically, in a fun and entertaining way.

Susie just launched her website www.lookupyoga.com were you can watch a trailer of her Look Up DVD, and it will soon be available on iTunes. For more information about Susie and her endeavors, visit www.bentonlearning.org, and www.fiveforkids.org – which helps children foster healthy relationships with food and empowers them to make positive choices.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...