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Yoga

Choosing a Yoga Mat for the 50 and Older Population

A Yoga Mat is the foundation tool for your Yoga practice.  It is an item that everyone uses to sit, stand and lay upon for the entire session.  It is important to consider the size and the material of which it is made in order to accommodate the type of practice for which it is used by older adults.

Many fitness and department stores as well as Yoga Studios sell Yoga mats.  The decision to purchase a mat rests upon intuition because neither of the aforementioned merchants tell you the important things to consider when you purchase.

I find the following information from these websites to be helpful when buying a Yoga mat.

 https://www.huggermugger.com/blog/2014/how-to-choose-the-best-yoga-mat/

This gives a brief history on the evolution of the Yoga mat.  The article discusses benefits to using each of the various types of mats and the material from which it is made.  Additionally, it mentions personal preferences which helps one consider a Holistic decision-making approach.  Most  impressive, Charlotte Bell.  Namaste!       

https://www.manduka.com/pages/collections-yoga-mats

Maduka’s Mat Quiz calculates physical needs and matches them to the type of mat that is right for you.  The quiz considers age, height, gender and type of yoga that you practice.  There is a section on the site about how to clean and disinfect each type of mat. Since these things are important to me I am buying a Prolite Yoga Mat for myself to teach Gentle Yoga – Yin Style.  

This is a Yoga mat that I use for Warm Flow Yoga. It is heavy and thick enough to support my arthritic back.  It gives the support for standing poses with good grip for a Vinyasa practice.  Subsequently, it is a good mat for the 50 and older population who have a daily Yoga Practice.  The Artletica mat will last a long time and is worth the price!   

Remember to make time for self-care by signing up for classes at https://beaulieuyoga.com/classes .

Categories
Yoga

YOGA PROPS – The What’s, Why’s, Where’s and How’s to using them.

What are Yoga Props?

Yoga Props are Blocks, Blankets, Straps, Bolsters, and pillows.

Yoga Props support the body’s alignment and create a comfortable position to stabilize a Yoga pose.

Yoga Blocks come in different sizes and are made from various materials such as foam, bamboo, wood and cork. Learn more about them.

BLANKETS provide a soft surface and refine a relaxation response. They are used in many ways. A Mexican blanket has a loose weave which makes it easy to create folds and blanket rolls and in my opinion is the preferred one to use for Yin Yoga in Beaulieu Yoga’s Gentle Yoga Classes.

Straps come in various lengths. They usually have buckles on them but it is not necessary to have a buckle. Gentle Yoga Yin Style classes on Tuesdays requires the use of a strap to release connective tissue. Read more.

Deluxe Microfiber Bolsters
BOLSTERS

Bolsters come in rectangular and round shapes. Both are used in the Gentle and Restorative Yoga Class on beaulieuyoga.com/classes/ . They benefit the body’s relaxation response as well as provide support for areas of the body resting upon them. I have found the most supportive ones come from www.yogadirect.com.

Meditation cushions are used to sit upon while in a crossed-legged position. They are soft and yet provide support enough to tilt the pelvic girdle to take the stress off of the Sacrum. This enhances a relaxed state of mind.

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News

BEAULIEU YOGA CLASSES COMING SOON

Start enrolling for the Beaulieu Yoga Classes which begin November 3d. Log into the Class Fit schedule on the Classes Page before they fill up.

Categories
Health

Yoga and Surgical Intervention for the Knees

Clients are always wanting to know information regarding Yoga poses and their impact upon movement with prosthetic knees. 

These links provide information about how a person’s baseline anatomy affects range of motion as well as how a type of implant may affect ability to move the joint.

https://orthoinfo.assos.org/en/treatment/knee-replacement-implants/

This article provides information regarding the types of implants and their structures based upon which ligaments are moved or replaced.  The decision depends upon the integrity of the surrounding cruciate ligaments.

Cruciates are ligaments that cross each other and are on the inside of the knee joint.  There are 2 inside the knee that hold the femor and tibia closely together.  The one in the front is named the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and one in the back labeled the PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament).  The word cruciate means “crossing”.  David Keil, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Neuromuscular Therapist, illustrates a clear picture and explanation of these in his book Functional Anatomy of Yoga A Guide for Practitioners and Teachers on Page 71.  It is a book worth owning even if you are not a Yoga Teacher. 

https://bonesmart.org/knee/knee-replacement-implant-materials/

This article contains information regarding the various materials from which implants are created.  This seems to address decisions made upon a possible allergy toward other implants. 

https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/books/NBK499896

This takes a look at implants and how they are designed based upon the current stability of the cruciate ligaments.  The discussion is based upon the surgeon’s decision whether or not to remove the PCL.

https://bonesmart.org/knee/types-of-total-knee-implants/

This article reviews fixed versus mobile implants.

Once an individual has knee replacement(s) it is important to follow your doctor’s post-op instructions exactly.  Rehab with a Physical Therapist is usually implemented after the first post-op visit.  Once you are discharged from PT, get clearance from your doctor to take a Yoga Class from a Certified Yoga Therapist or Healthcare Professional who is skilled with teaching Yoga Classes to individuals who are physically challenged.

The way I prepare clients toward strengthening the integrity of the muscles that support the knee is to provide education about the anatomy of the leg.    The longest muscle in the body is called the Sartorius muscle whose function is to move the hip and knee. This is the only muscle that covers 2 joints within the body.  The links below are videos about the Sartorius muscle.

Kenhub is an excellent resource to learn about the human anatomy.  I am providing the link for educating you about the Sartorius muscle.

Beaulieu Yoga classes are structured to increase the integrity of this muscle along with the quads, glutes and core.  These all work together to provide stability for our knees.  Modifications are queued in case there is a concern for any issues.Thank you, Gabriela Ferroni, BSN, RN for providing the research posted in this blog.  Gabriela is a Licensed Registered Nurse in the state of Pennsylvania working on an Orthopedic Unit.    

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News

Wellness Programming at Tel Hai: Healing through Yoga Ministry

At Tel Hai, we don’t just have yoga. We have a “yoga ministry” that’s led by Judith Beaulieu. With more than 45 years of experience in clinical and pharmaceutical nursing, Judy leans on her medical expertise and faith to provide twice-weekly classes to Tel Hai residents and members of the greater community.

yoga class

A registered nurse by trade, Judy is also a Registered Yoga Instructor, Medical Information Specialist, Certified Health Coach, and Certified Healing Touch Practitioner. Teaching at Tel Hai since 2012, her journey to our community was unique.

“I started to serve at Tel Hai as a volunteer in 2009 when my mother was a resident. I felt that there was an opportunity to give back through yoga as a volunteer instructor. My class went from 5 residents to 30 residents, and I eventually developed coursework and instruc- tion techniques. My approach to yoga is as a ministry—a healing yoga ministry,” she shared.

“Our mutual connection is our Christian belief that Jesus is the greatest healer that’s ever been. We connect to God through our practice of yoga by connecting our bodies and minds together. God gave us this opportunity to make these years the best last chapter of our lives,” commented Judy. “We use this class as a time to center ourselves, talk to God, and even pray for each other with loving hearts.”

From individuals experiencing chronic pain to someone recovering from a surgery, there are no limitations to participating in yoga. “Yoga is for everyone at all ability levels. I’ve had students with cognitive challenges, physical limitations, and breathing issues. I always remind my class that ‘you aren’t your diagnosis.’ Your optimal level of health can be better than what you have right now,” she said.

For Tel Hai resident Joan Rumer, this “yoga ministry” has had a profound impact.

“My husband Ron and I have lived at Tel Hai for 8 years. I can’t tell you how she has kept me moving and feeling wonderful most of the time. She keeps us all moving and enhances my life every class she teaches,” shared Joan. “Personally, I was dealing with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), which is a musculoskeletal condition similar to fibromyalgia. After participating in her yoga class twice a week for years, I no longer need to take any medicine related to my PMR. She has been a lifesaver to me, and to many others in our group.”

“I’m being called to do something greater than myself. Here at Tel Hai, I want to use God’s gift of yoga
to help transform the lives of others. It’s facilitating the connection of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy in a way to heal the body.”

GOT QUESTIONS? Contact Allyson Welsh, Director of Wellness and Resident Services, at (610) 273-9333, ext. 2756 or email wellness@telhai.org to chat about upcoming “Gentle Flow Yoga” classes and how to enroll. Tel Hai welcomes community members to attend select classes and wellness programming for a nominal fee.

woman with outstretched arms
three people stretching
Categories
Health

Improve Shoulder strength and mobility

Teaching Yoga to my tribe of people over the age of 50 includes modifications for asanas that prove difficult for some.  Yoga props are imperative not only to support the body but to explore ways to enhance a Yoga pose.  

Recently, I came across Rocky Heron, a Yoga Teacher, who is a new resource for me. Yoga International is an Association that offers Yoga Instructors continuing education on-line and offers a class entitled “Isometric Strength Drills”.  Rocky’s approach to improve shoulder mobility offers a unique approach that explores the gaps that traditional Yoga does not address.  

This is a video that addresses his style of teaching which enhances my style of teaching Ashtanga Yoga and Slow Flow Yoga Classes.  Enjoy.

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News

CELEBRATING NURSES

The “Blessing of the Hands” is a Holistic approach to self-care for nurses.  This prayer is posted on the AHNA website to honor all nurses on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, May 12th (www.ahna.org). 

2020 is the “Year of the Nurse”, however, National Nurses’ Week is celebrated every year.   The “Blessing of the Hands” is a tradition that began on May 12, 2000 through the endeavors of Holistic Nurses honoring the spirit of holistic nursing.  It is a beautiful way of heightening the awareness of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms of life that encompass the nursing profession.

NURSES’ HANDS

Blessed be these hands that have touched life. 

Blessed be these hands that have embraced with compassion.

Blessed be these hands that have been clinched with anger of withdrawn in fear.

Blessed be these hands that have drawn blood and administered medicine.

Blessed be these hands that have cleaned beds and disposed of wastes.

Blessed be these hands that have anointed the sick and offered blessings.

Blessed be these hands that have comforted the dying and held the dead.

Blessed be these hands, we hold the future in these hands.

Blessed be our hands for they are the work of Your hands, O Holy One. 

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News

Part 2 of Dr. Sara Gottfried’s Presentation on Depression

Categories
Health

Combine this medical approach with a Complementary Therapy

Categories
Health

SELF-CARE AND THE ART OF HANDWASHING

This is the 200th Celebratory year of Florence Nightingale’s birth (May 12, 1820).   Florence was the first practicing Nurse Epidemiologist in the world (“Fundamentals of Nursing”, Eighth Edition; Patricia Potter & Anne Perry; Page 2).  

Epidemiology is the study (scientific, systematic, and data-driven) of the distribution (frequency, pattern) and determinants (causes, risk factors) of health-related states and events (not just diseases) in specified populations (neighborhood, school, city, state, country, global). (cdc.gov)

Consequently, 2020 is designated by the World Health Organization as the “Year of the Nurse”.  This acknowledgement motivates me to raise the awareness level of sanitary techniques introduced by Florence during the Crimean War in the mid-1800’s that decreased infection rates of soldiers from 43% to 2%. (Fundamentals of Nursing”, Eighth Edition; Patricia Potter & Anne Perry; Page 2).

One effective way to help prevent any virus or bacteria from spreading is through thorough handwashing techniques.   This is a list of two that I have been using and teaching clients:

ALCOHOL BASED HAND SANITIZER: 
1 – Apply a dime-sized amount (2-3 drops) into palms of dry hands
2 – Rub product into the hands as follows:
Placing palm to palm begin applying onto fingertips of each hand rubbing between and around  fingers.
     Rub each thumb and the back of each hand with opposite palm.
3 – Rub hands until dry and do not wipe off.
This technique is effective if hands do not have any food, clinging dirt or other noticeable substances.  Otherwise use warm running water and soap technique.
HAND WASHING WITH RUNNING WARM WATER AND SOAP
1 – Wet hands under running water
2 – Apply soap by rubbing over hands vigorously to create an abundant lather
3 – Rub palm to palm, fingertips of each hand going in between and around fingers         
4 – Clasp each thumb then finish rubbing the back of each hand with opposite palm
5 – Rinse hands thoroughly under warm running water
Repeat this technique if you want to be sure that you gave yourself enough time to thoroughly sanitize yourself after using the gas pump, shopping carts, ATM machines, or other items in public places.
Take the time to be cautious not only during this Covid19 panic but all throughout the year.
Namaste,
Nurse Judith