Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yoga Can Change Your Mood!

I was delighted to be able to attend my Hatha Yoga class at yesterday evening.

After a few hiccups in recent weeks, and a visit to Sweden, I was really missing guided practice. I get so much more from participating in a class than I do when I practice alone.  There is always something to learn from the teacher.

I have been feeling physically tired and lethargic the past few days but fighting hard against it.  The tiredness was making me snappy with my family, especially my mother and my son. I have been sleeping really deeply and waking with what feels like a hangover!  I literally dragged myself along to yoga, because, although I felt exhausted, I just knew that it would make my mood improve. And as usual, that was what happened.  I went in there feeling tired and a little down in the dumps and came out feeling elevated and alive.Okay, that feeling only lasted a few hours and I was in my bed asleep again by eleven but I was so so glad that I went.

The class also gave me the push I need to get back on the healthy eating track today. Suzanne led the class in a gentle, yet challenging routine and at one stage I had to face the mirror doing postures against the wall.  I was shocked as I looked at myself doing a twisting posture.  My hips looked positively humungous and thats after losing almost 17lbs!   It inspired me to get back to the mindful way I have been eating in the last while. I am not focusing on the losing weight, or focusing on any particular diet. I am focusing on being more aware of each thing I choose to eat in my day.

Yoga is about the best thing I have found to change my mood.  There really isn't anything else that can do so, so instantaneously, except maybe my little son's smile!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yoga for Asthma And Other Ailments

Now that I am in my forties and I know the ailments that have shown up in my family,  I am going all out to prevent them.

There is heart disease, osteo arthritis and cancer.  My father had heart disease but passed away with cancer.  One disorder that has shown up a fair few times is Asthma. I have a sibling, nieces, nephews and cousins that had it and have grown out of it. But I also have relatives who have developed it again in later life.The predisposition to some conditions may be so strong that I can't avoid them,  but at the very least I hope to be able to alleviate them.

My mother  has COPD (chronic Obstructive Pulmunory disease) brought on by her asthma.  She has never smoked and the asthma itself seems to be a hereditary condition.  However, while recovering from a knee replacement operation due to osteoarthritis a few years back, she had an asthma attack.  This scarred her lungs causing her condition to deteriorate.  She uses various inhalers and tablets and a nebuliser six times a day ever since. She gets constant chest infections and is regularly on antibiotics and steroids which play havoc with her weight and mood. While trawling medical sites, I discovered that if both parents have asthma, there is a 70% chance of the offspring getting it. If only one parent has it then the chances are down to 30%.  I want to reduce that 30% if I possibly can. Yoga may be a good way to help to prevent the condition or at least the suffering that may ensue from it.

Yesterday evening, after a hectic few days, I was all set to go to my new yoga class at  My  little boy, who is almost four, usually stays with my mother for the short while I am away.  I don't mind leaving him there as my brother or her friend are usually there too. Even if they are not, my mother wears an emergency bleeper on her arm and my little boy knows how to phone for aid. When I arrived at her house, she was struggling to breathe.  She was grey in the face and exhausted from the effort of just being. She had made an appointment with the doctor so I packed her into my car and we headed straight up there. As we thought, she had a severe chest infection and had to have a strong course of antibiotics and steroids immediately.  She was lucky that she didn't end up in the hospital as she has done many times before. We went straight to the pharmacy to get her medication and straight back to her home. There was no way I could go to my yoga class, so extremely disappointedly, I settled in for the night.

Since I started yoga, I have lost 17lbs in weight and for the first time since I hit forty, my cholesterol is normal. Before Yoga, I had been on 40mg lipitor for the condition and had to have an angiogram to check that all was okay with my heart. Yoga, and I am convinced it is yoga that has done it, has changed all that. Through becoming more aware of my body and mindful of what I eat, the weight is coming down and the bad fats with it.  Now I am determined to see what I can do to ward off any respiratory, cancerous or arthritic complaints that may await me in the future.

I am off to do a bit of research now and will ask some questions of yogis that I admire with regard to the above.  I will be posting the best postures and foods to help with the ailments that  I have mentioned today so please come back!