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Yoga

Modification for NAVASANA – BOAT POST Using Props

Boat Pose is not an easy pose to learn. It is an excellent core strengthener. The use of props to modify it are helpful for low back pain. If you are not used to doing this pose or if you frown upon it in Yoga class, take heed, help is here to achieve this pose.

Set up for the pose with a rectangular bolster, 2 blocks and a back support such as a sit-up and stretch pad. Go to https://www.yogadirect.com and search Sit-up and Stretch Pad to learn more about this prop.

Lay down on your back with the torso on the Sit-up and Stretch Pad. Place the head on a block or a blanket roll. The knees are bent with the feet on the bolster. Extend the arms at the sides with the palms facing the torso.

Gently tilt the pelvic girdle and press the small of the back into the mat. The press is felt on the lower end of the prop. Inhale and lift the arms, torso and head together. Lead with the heart toward the knees, gaze to the knees. Ground yourself with the feet on the bolster. Do not lift the legs. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 breaths when first learning this pose. The goal is to get to 10 breaths. Slowly bring down the head, torso and arms together while tilting the pelvic girdle to support the lower back. Once the torso is back down extend the arms out at shoulder level, extend the legs straight out on the bolster and relax.

Some modifications suggest using the arms to support the back of the legs to lift them. This is too stressful for neck, shoulder and/or arm issues within the 50 and older population. Additionally, the bolster anchors the pose to target the core while protecting the lower back.

Sign up for classes at https://beaulieuyoga.com/classes to experience using props for a safe and enjoyable Yoga practice.

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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 .

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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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Yoga

Developing a Spiritual Realm of Life

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Yoga

The “Change” has Come – How to handle perimenopause

The blog “Healthcare De-Mystified” has been dormant because the author has been going through some “changes”that needed readjusting.  These changes led to a life-style congruent to the needs of the body and mind known as CAM Therapy (Complementary Alternative Modality Therapy).  Since today’s blog will only reference CAM Therapy you can go to a reliable reference regarding CAM Therapies such as healthlibrary.standord.edu and webmd.com.

It has been many years since my body went through “surgical menopause”, however, there are still times when my body experiences a “hormonal impact” as if those female organs were alive and kicking.  Sometimes I still awaken at night in night sweats with subsequent fatigue in the morning.  It continues with a fogged mind to which I try to remedy with a “caffeinated” morning beverage.  Throughout the day there is a struggle with “mental blurring” which encompasses forgetfulness, lack of concentration and daydreaming.  

Ten years post-menopause I had a body with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and continued night sweats from time to time.  Medical intervention with pharmaceutical agents were administered by my Healthcare Professionals to prevent further damage to the heart, brain and kidneys.  The night sweats still  continued from time to time.  Body changes ensued with some hair loss, side effects from cholesterol medication and a weight gain that won’t budge with exercise and nutritional corrections.

One day I decided to look into Complementary Alternative Modalities also known as CAM Therapy.  The result of discovering CAM and integrate it into my life relieved the insomnia and managed stress in order to facilitate the blood pressure medication to work more effectively.  Focus and concentration have improved as well as sleeping through the night without waking up in night sweats.

I posted this video regarding “Menopause The Musical” as a tool for women to recognize and know  areas of  life that are affected by going through Menopause also known as “Perimenopause” or “The Change”.  Talk to your Healthcare Professional about alternative therapies and if they are not familiar with any of them refer them to the American Holistic Nursing Association at www.ahna.org and FEMTIQUE Associates Incorporated at www.femtique.org.  It is very important that you are seen by a qualified Medical Professional even though you might engage in a CAM Therapy.

Healthcare De-Mystified is getting ready to post more information regarding CAM interventions that address perimenopause, premenstrual syndrome, hormone needs when reaching puberity or “menarche”, post-partum hormone imbalance, hormonal benefits to lactation as well as adrenal dysregulation.

Stay well and be happy!

Femtique e-nurse Judith  

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Yoga

Society versus Mother Nature

History always repeats itself in some way. Take a look at the struggles women face just being females. During the 1950s the actress, Lucielle Ball, overcame a fopoux by appearing on her own television series in the state of pregnancy http://scholarworks.umass.edu/berksconference/Workshops/180/5.  She was met with resistance and rose to the challenge with persistence and political savvy.

Now, in the 21st Century, women face the challenge of Breastfeeding their babies outside of their home.  How has the American Society dehumanized this basic function of a woman’s body and replaced it with a lessor means of healthy nutrition?  Why is it that a non-pregnant, non-lactating female can reveal more of her body than the aforementioned female without a controversial remark?

Isn’t is about time for all of America to show support for a Baby-Friendly world?!  Retailers, grocery stores,      Universities and Colleges and any other entity where women use their products and services need to pool together to support safe, respectable ways to offer our Breastfeeding Mothers a comfortable place to feed their babies.  It is a basic need and one that has the very valuable function of helping babies grow into healthy human beings.

Who is driving this message of negativity about Breastfeeding?  How did all of this suddenly start to become an issue instead of a natural function of life?  The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Maternal Child Health Bureau as well as the Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. have joined forces with the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Initiatie (BFHI) to help support Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life.  It is part of a global strategy for optimal health and wellness of infants and young children.

At the present time, the US has a score of 7 out of a possible 50 points on the US National Report Card which is produced by the Healthy Children Project.  Fulfill your Academic Realm on this subject by going onto the following websites:  www.surgeongeneral.gov; www.cdc.gov; www.unicef.org and www.babyfriendlyusa.org.  These sites will provide you with the information on why it is so important to supply human breast milk only for our babies.

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Yoga

Defining Successful Health and Wellness Coaching

There is a saying “The difference between a successful person and a non-successful person….A successful person continues to do things he doesn’t want to do.”  I don’t know where this quote comes from or who said it, but it is a truth in life when someone persists toward achieving a goal no matter what stands in the way success doesn’t stop with achievement.  Success is also measured in how one continues to deal with roadblocks that stand in the way of maintaining an achieved goal.

The Health Coach is a guide who has the ability to provide information and resources to guard against failure.   Coaching is a process that involves identifying your strengths and empowering you with knowledge, ideas, solutions and complementary alternative methods of health and wellness toward achievable goals.   The Health Coach brings information from all areas of life to help you achieve your health goal; translate research or concepts into understandable language; pose questions that may need answers and direct you to sources of information including but not limited to your Insurance Provider, Non-profit Organizations, Healthcare Provider and others, as well as to reliable internet sources.

Success is yours.  “Yours and yours alone……No one else can live your life.  No one can eat for you or exercise for you or create your career.  Your sleep is your own and every waking moment is yours to use.  You are at the center of your body with all its beauty and strength as well as all of its challenges.  you are also in control of your thoughts and decisions.  Experiences happen to you, this is true.  But you are able to frame them at will; to decide if they will be learning opportunities or weapons of destruction in your life experience.  Even when we work from a faith base that says God is in control of life there we recognize that the responsibility for making decisions is entrusted to us.” (“Maximum Level of Attainable Wellness and Performance; 8 Realms of Life by Intention”; W.Carranza, Ph.D., 2010)      

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Yoga

Travel to Puerto Rico

A destination that has always been on my wish list is Puerto Rico.  It has beautiful people, captivating beaches, great food and the shops in Old San Juan are quaint and inviting.  Experiencing my wish for the past 10 days has been all that I envisioned except one thing.  

After five days of experiencing our present surroundings, we contemplated spending time engaging in adventuresome activities.  I noticed that the tour desk at the Hotel we were staying advertised tours to the rain forest.  The rain forest was quite a distance drive and isolated within an area high up in the mountains. It occurred to me that maybe it could be a health risk since the forest is home to many parasites, snakes and other dangers not made known to unsuspected human visitors.  Due to my nursing instincts, my husband and I decided not to take any tours away from the area where we were staying.  This turned out to be a very good decision based upon a subsequent encounter.

While we were having diner across the street from the Hotel, our waiter introduced himself as an American from the states who just graduated from college and came to Puerto Rico to be with his brother and sister who have been living in Puerto Rico for the past few years.  He went on to explain that he was interested in going to graduate school in Puerto Rico to study epidemiology which in layman’s terms is the study of the occurrence of disease in well-defined populations.  He explained that he read that there is a high incidence of malaria-like disease in the more remote areas of Puerto Rico.  The opportunity to combine his studies with helping the island’s population was motivating him to stay and explore the demographics of this issue.

Upon our return home to the US, I researched some information about the incidence of malaria and malaria-like diseases and found out something that everyone who travels to tropical areas should know about.  The malaria-like infection is known as Dengue Fever or Dengue Infection and is endemic (prevalent) in Puerto Rico (www.cdc.gov).  Currently, there is not a vaccine to prevent this infection.  The CDC reported that there were 2 confirmed cases reported in Dade County, Florida back in October 2011.

This infection is caused by a mosquito bite.  Initial symptoms are a sudden high fever up to 104 degrees Farenheit or higher, a flat rash 2-5 days after the fever turning into a raised rash that looks like measles.  Fatigue, headache behind the eyes, joint and muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and vomiting are also other symptoms that may occur (www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov).

The point of sharing this with you is to make you aware of researching before you go on any trips in order to avoid getting sick through exposure to parasites or elements within an environment that can harm you.  Even trips within the US to areas that have undergone floods in the past have the potential to breed species of bugs that might not have been indigenous to that area in the past.  When I think about Dade County, Florida, and the discovery of Dengue Fever within our country, it compels me to make everyone aware of the importance of implementing precautions.

The best resource to use is the Center for Disease Control website for knowing about up-to-date information.  Stay well everyone!  e-Nurse Femtique Judith  

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Yoga

Piriformis Syndrome

The practice of Yoga has been a valuable activity in my daily life since September 2011.    I am taking a 200 hour Teacher Training Certification Curriculum while taking on extra-curricular classes taught by different instructors to learn all of the various types of Yoga asanas (poses).   Recently, a sciatic pain developed that was so intense that after getting out of bed from an 8 hour sleep,  my legs buckled from under me when getting out of bed.  This was remedied through trying different stretching positions on the floor until I was able to stand without shooting pain.

I mentioned this to an instructor who recognized this syndrome as “Yoga Butt”.  What a term for a diagnosis!  I had “Yoga Butt”!  The recommended remedy provided was to bend the knees during poses that place too much tension on the hamstrings.  OK, that made sense and so I implemented the intervention to no avail.

A few days later I told a different instructor about my diagnosis of  “Yoga Butt”.  She asked me to explain what I was feeling.  I told her that the pain was originating in the piriformis muscle and shot down to mid-hamstring level.   She identified this as a possible strain by overextending hip-opening poses.  She proceeded to assist me with modifications during the class and provided appropriate counter poses.  The end result is after a few days working with modifications and counter poses, I do not have the intense sciatic pain.

Anatomically, the sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle.  The piriformis originates from the anterior surface of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sacral segments of the spine.  The sacral nerve plexus is located on the surface of the piriformis muscle (Netter’s Anatomy Flash Cards, 3rd edition).    When the piriformis muscle is stretched and taut it compresses the sciatic nerve.  Over extension or an intense Yoga asana may result in muscle spasms if a counter pose is not engaged.  This causes the radiating pain down the nerve pathway.

Aadil Palkhivala identifies asanas that stretch the piriformis are Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana), King Pigeon Pose (Raja Kapotasana),  Forward Bend, Ankle to knee pose, Staff Pose (Dandasana) (www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers.

Palkhivala recommends the best way to release the hip flexors or Counter Poses is by doing Back-Bending Series.  A few good asanas for this are the Bow Pose (Dhanurasana), Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana), Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)  and Fish ( Susan L. Smith, MYI, ERYT,  “Susan’s Power Flow Yoga”);  additionally,  One Leg Reclined Hero Pose (Eka Pada Supta Virasana) (www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers).  Aadil Palkhivala is a Master Yoga Teacher, Writer, Attorney and Rounder-Director of Yoga Centers in Bellevue, Washington.

Another good reference that I use in addition to the above instructors is “The Key Poses of Yoga”, “Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends” and “Anatomy for Backbends and Twists” by Ray Long, MD, FRCSC.  The acronym FRCSC stands for Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.  Dr. Long is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who has studied Hatha Yoga for over 20 years.  He studied in India with B.K.S. Iyengar and many other leading Yoga Masters.

Nameste!

     

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Yoga

Meet Health Coach Judith Beaulieu: Network of RN Health Coaches Empowers Women and Children

Meet Health Coach Judith Beaulieu: Network of RN Health Coaches Empowers Women and Children