One of the major processes of the human body is digestion. Why is this important? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH):
"When you eat foods—such as bread, meat, and vegetables—they are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment. Food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy."
This NIH web page contains a wealth of knowledge about the digestive system and how it works, click here to read more. Take a look at the picture as well and for a moment try to visualize how what we eat and drink travels through us.
How does digestion relate to our practice of yoga? Well there are many considerations. Click here to read about a variety of topics like the nutrient cycle, balance of the diet, heartburn and IBS and which yoga asanas (poses) may help with each issue. Yoga Journal also shares an article (click here) of which foods are appropriate to eat together for ideal digestion.
As always, we can remember that digestion takes energy, so it is best not to have a large meal before our practice. If we are hungry, a small piece of easy to digest fruit would probably be the best option. In addition, sufficient water and reducing excessive salt will help our digestion work optimally. The best indicator is thirst. Bring a canteen of water everywhere with you, find a water fountain or head to the water cooler and your body will thank you!
at May 17, 2009
Sometimes it's tough to find good yoga clothes and accessories. There are several companies that are geared towards the yoga community, but one that I have found stands out. It's called Lucy (www.lucy.com). They carry a variety of clothing with neat designs and good quality, and some awesome sales! Check them out next time you are doing some home shopping and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
at May 13, 2009
So you may have been practicing yoga for a while. Your down dogs are feeling more comfortable and your tree branches are shaking less. You are feeling greater flexibility, better breath awareness, and stronger stabilizing muscles throughout your body. What better way to give your practice a lovely mix up than to take your mat outside!
Practicing yoga outside has many potential benefits. These include:
- The sounds we encounter connect us with nature and humanity.
- It brings us directly to the energy of the world.
- Little differences in a living surface of the earth and grass can make balancing a bigger challenge.
- Being in nature can help us feel outside our concerns as well, giving perspective.
- The sunshine can foster vitamin D production, and feelings of bliss.
- Deep breathing can take on a new facet as our sense of smell carries the ecosystem around us into our practice.
at May 03, 2009
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