My Wholesome 1 Exercise for Fibromyalgia Video!

Hi Veda Healthies!

If you suffer from aches, pain and soreness or have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you might wonder if you can ever exercise again? Well, the answer is YES! 

Fibromyalgia sufferers can actually benefit from slow, controlled physical activity and moderate exercise. Check out my informative video for some great ideas and options for fitness while living with Fibromyalgia.






The Calming Breath – Nadi Shodhana

(nah-dee show-DAH-nah) 
nadi = channel
shodhana = cleaning, purifying

Step by Step

Sit in a comfortable asana and make Mrigi Mudra. Beginning pranayama students may have some difficulty holding their raised arm in position for the length of the practice. You can put a bolster across your legs and use it to support your elbow.

Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring-little fingers. Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril.

Keep the right nostril open, inhale, then close it, and open and exhale slowly through the left. This is one cycle. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then release the hand mudra and go back to normal breathing. (NOTE: some yoga schools begin this sequence by first closing the left nostril and inhaling through the right; this order is prescribed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 2.7-10).

Traditionally Nadi Shodhana includes breath retention, fixed ratio breathing, and the repetition of certain “seed” mantras (cf. Gheranda Samhita 5.38-54). For beginning pranayama students, it’s best to focus only on the inhales and exhales.


Clean Green Living Class!

earth in hand
Healthy living goes beyond just eating right. Household cleaning and personal care products also have a significant impact on our health and that of our families. Many products are loaded with chemicals and toxins that we breathe in or are readily absorbed through our skin. Come learn about clean, green living with holistic health coach, Julie Cerrato, to benefit yourself and the environment! In this class, you will discover incredible tips to go “green” for you and your family’s health and for reducing the environmental impact in your home. With in class demonstrations, you’ll learn what steps you can take on your path to “Clean Green Living” for a holistic household & personal care, how to choose safer products, and some easy, effective homemade DIY solutions. Join us and go clean, green today!Instructor: Julie Cerrato

Free Fall Offers: Intro Phone Consult & Fall Holistic Tips!

Fall tree

September is here!

Vata season is upon us, but are you ready?

Currently, we are in Ritusandhi, the change of seasons where Summer is transitioning to Fall.

You might begin feeling a little dry, sluggish and cold.

Veda Heath can help keep you balanced and healthy for the upcoming season!

For a smooth transition to Fall, Veda Health is offering a

Free Intro Phone Consult and free Holistic Health tips!!!

Just enter your email in the Sidebar and click our Facebook Like button on our homepage.

We’ll be in touch soon to set up your Free Fall Intro Phone Consult!

You’ll also be sent our Free Fall Vata Tips!

Take advantage of these Free Fall Offers and balance Yourself today. =)

I look forward to meeting you!


Julie @ Veda Health

*If you have Previously entered your email for Veda Health but are now interested in a Free Intro Phone Consult and/or the Fall Holistic Health Tips, Like Us on Facebook  and visit our Contact Page to Email us your request.

veterans yoga

The Veterans Yoga Project,

working with Meghan’s Foundation and the Solebury Club,

is offering a yoga teacher training program,

at the Solebury Club in Buckingham, PA, October 25-27th, 2013.

This program is for all yoga instructors interested in working with students who have faced trauma.  

Honing the special skill set required to work with students who have faced trauma requires

a thorough understanding and special sensitivity of the unique needs of this particular community.


If you, or other instructors you may know, are interested in working with traumatized students,

please sign up for the course by using the link below.

Please pass this opportunity along to those yoga instructors who you think might also be interested.

The registration page is up:


Thom Shortt

Amazing Opera by Yogini May-Chee Chen!

Good Morning Veda Healthies, 

I have some exciting news to share! Our good friend and yogini, May-Chee Chen, is an incredible composer who has created a beautiful Opera. You simply must visit her website and videos to see and hear her unique and soulful compositions.

Thank you May-Chee for adding such beauty and heart to the world!



Here’s a sneak peak:


 Born in Taipei, May-Tchi Chen received a BA degree from Soochow University, Taiwan, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Her main teachers were Ma Shuei-Long and Jonathan Kramer.  During 1991-94, she was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York City. In 1997-98, she led the Program-Planning Division of the National Theater/Concert Hall in Taipei.

As an International Nadia and Lili Boulanger Fellow in 1988-89 based in Paris, Chen participated in the Boulez workshop in Avignon. During her year in France, Ms. Chen’s music was performed at Radio FRANCE and Centre George POMPIDOU. In 1991, she was selected by the National Music Hall in Taipei to be the first ‘Young Music Talent’ to present an entire concert program. After moving back to the United States, Chen was a nominee for the 1997 Music Composition Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ms. Chen’s compositions have been performed in Cincinnati, Boston, Buffalo, Darmstadt, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Hiroshima, Paris, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, New York, Vienna, and her home town of Taipei.  Among the conductors and musicians who have performed her music are Bernard Rands, Gerhard Samuel, Aldo Brizzi, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Wu Man and Cho-Liang Lin. Groups that have performed her works include the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble, Shanghai Silk and Bamboo Ensemble, Darmstadt Ferienkurs Ensemble, Taipei Municipal Chinese Classical Ensemble, Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra 2001, Pulse Percussion Group, Relâche Ensemble, and the French Ensemble 2e2m.

In 1992, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the public radio station WGUC commissioned an orchestral piece from Chen.  The Cincinnati Enquirer described Continuum as ‘mesmerizing to watch as to hear,’ and also commented ‘Chen displayed an ingenuous use of timbres and virtuoso writing.’

Ms. Chen has received grants and commissions from the French Government, the Gaudeamus Foundation, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, Council for Cultural Planning and Development, and World Music Institute.  Music critics from the Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer have acclaimed her music. The New York Times called her percussion piece, Beyond the Festival, ‘compelling – the metrically complex structure exhibits an aggressive edge that gives it both drama and drive.’

Having explored a variety of contemporary aesthetics and composition techniques in earlier pieces, Ms. Chen’s recent works have incorporated Oriental influences, ranging from the ancient Chinese Elegant Music found in the Japanese and Korean Court Music to Taiwanese folk theater music.

In 2001, Chen produced a concert of her spiritual cycle Sonic Mandala with renowned violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and Chinese lute player Wu Man at the Taipei Theater in New York.

Chen’s most prominent work is a new opera The Firmiana Rain, based on a ninth century royal love tragedy of the T’ang Dynasty.  The New York City Opera selected The Firmiana Rain for their Vox 2002: Showcasing American Composers.  A full production was premiered at National Theater, Taipei, Taiwan, in November 2007. The production team assembles the best talents of Taiwan and Japan, includes the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra. Four thousand spectators packed the house in three performances.

She continues to collaborate with excellent musicians worldwide for new works.  Her currently work is an flute ensemble piece for the French Flute Orchestra in Paris for an October concert at Salle Cortot.

In 2011 her pipa solo piece [Transformation in Purple] performed by Wu Man, became the sound track of “Shadow | Play: The Empress Dowager in the Movies.” at the Power|Play exhibition at the Freer/Sackler Gallery in Smithsonian Museum for 4 months.

In 2011, she presented her opera the Firmiana Rain in a lecture concert with opera singers and musicians from China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing, which was followed by a broadcast by Central China TV.

Her most recent piece is a violin concerto written for the renown violinist Cho-Liang Lin with Orchestra 2001.  The premier will take place in Philadelphia, and Taipei in the 2014-15 season.







News and Press










Parsvottanasana – How to Do Pyramid Pose in Yoga!

Pyramid Pose is a standing yoga posture that combines the benefits of three major movements: Forward bending, backward bending, and balancing. It requires intense focus and a very calm mind to balance and stay in correct alignment.

Its Sanskrit name, “Parsvottanasana” (PARZH-voh-tahn-AHS-uh-nuh), comes from four words:

  • “Parsva” — meaning “side” or “flank”
  • “Ut” — meaning “intense”
  • “Tan” — meaning “to stretch”
  • “Asana” — meaning “pose”

Because of its root words, it is also sometimes called “Intense Side Stretch” or “Intense Flank Stretch.” This pose is sometimes confused with the similarly named Extended Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana), which also stretches the sides of the body. However, Parsvottanasana stretches both sides of the body equally and at the same time; Parsvakonasana stretches each side separately.

Parsvottanasana helps to prepare the body for seated forward folds, backbends, inversions, and twists. Some good follow-up poses include: Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana), Locust Pose (Salabhasana), and Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana).

Benefits of Parsvottanasana

This pose is particularly helpful in simultaneously stretching the hamstrings and shoulders. It builds balance and full body coordination, calms the mind, and improves postural habits. In addition, Parsvottanasana stretches the spine, chest, and hips. It is also known to be therapeutic for flat feet. This pose also stimulates the abdominal organs, which improves digestion.

The essence of yoga is equanimity.

The Bhagavad Gita, 200 BCE


Do not practice this pose if you have a hamstring injury. If you have a shoulder or wrist injury, do not practice the full version of the pose (do not reach your arms behind your body). Instead, practice with your arms forward with your hands resting on blocks or on the floor. Women who are pregnant and those with back injuries or high blood pressure should practice the pose against a wall (see Modifications & Variations, below). Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.


  1. Begin standing at the top of your mat with your arms at your sides in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Turn to the left and step your feet 3 to 4 feet apart. Place your hands on your hips. Align your heels. Turn your right foot 90 degrees so the toes point to the top of the mat. Point your left toes at the top-left corner of your mat, turned about 60 degrees. In this “scissored” stance, your feet should be about hip-width apart.
  2. Keeping your feet in place, turn your entire torso to face the same direction as your front foot. Press your weight evenly through the outer edge of your back foot and the big toe of your front foot.
  3. Draw your left hip slightly forward, squaring your hips to the top of the mat. Draw your shoulder blades firmly into your back, but do not let your low ribs puff forward.
  4. Inhale as you reach your arms out to the sides. As you exhale, reach your arms behind your back. Clasp each elbow with the opposite hand. If your shoulders are more flexible, bring your hands into reverse prayer position, pressing your palms together and reaching your fingers toward your head.
  5. On an inhalation, elongate your torso. Exhaling, fold at the hips and extend your torso over your front leg. Keep your shoulders drawing back, but do not over-arch the low back. Maintain the length of your spine. Keep the crown of your head extending forward and your tailbone reaching behind you. Be sure to fold from the hip, not the waist.
  6. Ground down through the heel of your back foot. Gaze at your front big toe.
  7. Hold for up to one minute. To release, press firmly through your back heel and slowly lift your torso. Release your arms and place your hands on your hips. Change the position of your feet, and repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications & Variations

Parsvottanasana can be a great way to lengthen your hamstrings and open your shoulders, counteracting years of habitual poor posture! Try these simple changes in the pose to find a variation that works for you:

  • The full version of the pose is performed with the hands behind the back and the palms pressed together in prayer position (Anjali Mudra). If that option is not attainable for you yet, cross your arms behind your waist and clasp each elbow with the opposite hand. Fold the opposite arm on top when you change leg position.
  • If you have a shoulder or wrist injury — or if you would just like to lighten the backward bending aspect of the pose — release your arms forward to the floor instead of reaching behind. Rest your hands on blocks if your hands don’t easily rest on the floor.
  • If you are having trouble balancing, step your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
  • For a deeper shoulder stretch, try this variation: From the full pose, release your hands and extend your arms behind you. Then, interlace your fingers behind your back. Exhaling, drape your torso over your front thigh and reach your clasped hands up and over the top of your head. Keep your arms straight as you do this variation.
  • If your back heel lifts in this pose, practice with that heel pressed against a wall. You can also fold your yoga mat and press your heel into the cushioning, or place a firm, folded blanket beneath the heel.
  • Some yoga traditions and teachers will instruct you to keep a flat back throughout the pose; others will tell you to drape your torso forward, dropping your head. Note that there is no right or wrong variation — but if you’re in a class, follow the instruction your teacher gives. He or she is instructing you that way for a reason!
  • If you are pregnant, or if you have a back injury or high blood pressure, practice this pose against a wall. This variation is called Half Pyramid Pose or “Ardha Parsvottanasana” (in Sanskrit, “Ardha” means “half”). Perform steps 1, 2, and 3 as described above, a few feet away from the wall you are facing. Exhale as you lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor, while also extending your arms forward. Press your palms against the wall, with your fingers pointing upward. Your arms should be fully extended. Keep the front of your torso long.


Parsvottanasana will challenge your balance, serenity, and flexibility when practiced in correct alignment. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:

  • Keep your hips squared throughout the pose.
  • Lengthen the front of your torso from your breast bone to your navel.
  • Keep the crown of your head reaching forward as you simultaneously extend your tail bone behind you.
  • Note that your feet are significantly closer together than they are in other standing poses, such as Warrior I or Triangle Pose. Take your time getting the correct foot placement. Then, as in every standing pose, work the pose from the ground up.

Unveil the Mystery of the Pyramid

The more you practice Pyramid Pose, the more confidence you’ll gain in your ability to balance. Simultaneously forward bending and backward bending requires patience and a lot of concentration! But with dedication to your practice, you will strengthen your legs, lengthen your spine, and develop clarity and grace that endures.


5 Things About Yoga That Just Aren’t True (And The Cats To Prove It)

Huff Post

You know, you know. There are so many benefits of yoga: It can relieve stress and anxiety. It cansoothe your headaches. It can even make you smarter.

But for first-timers, yoga can be absolutely intimidating. Those virtuoso yogis always seem to be balancing on their heads while playing a ukulele in one hand and writing poetry with the other. Or something like that.

Before you write off yoga as a practice for your artsy, flexible friends, take a moment to reconsider. You don’t need to be able to do a headstand to reap the benefits of the ancient art. To equip you with the facts, we asked yoga instructors Vyda Bielkus, co-founder of Boston’s Health Yoga Life, and Eva Norlyk Smith, managing editor forYogaU Online, to help debunk some common yoga myths. Discover some yoga truths below, then let us know why you like to get bendy in the comments section.

You Have To Be Flexible To Practice
flexible cat

“It’s really not about what the posture looks like from the outside,” adds Smith. So if your pose doesn’t mirror your agile neighbor’s, you needn’t worry. “There is an important process that happens no matter where you are in the posture — yoga is an exploration of what your body is capable of doing, and how you can transform your body over time.” As Dr. Judith Lasater puts it, “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down.”

Yoga Is Expensive

You argue your wallet can’t handle a $30/class yoga habit, and that’s certainly fair. But paying out of pocket per class is not your only option. Both Smith and Bielkus mention community and donation-based classes that don’t cost a thing. Many studios promote monthly packages and discounts: Once you find a class you love, you can take advantage of its special offers. Bielkus says her studio offers a volunteer program: Yogis can volunteer to clean, maintain or do administrative work in exchange for classes. If this option interests you, ask your teacher about the possibility after class.

You can even bring your practice home, once you get the basics down. “You don’t have to go to a studio all the time,” Bielkus says. “It’s good to get a sense of what you’re doing in a class,” and revisit for a refresher every now and again.

Lastly … ever heard of Groupon (and other similar services)?

Yoga Doesn’t Count As Exercise
Tired cat
This simply is not so. Take the right kind of class and you’ll leave covered in sweat. “There are some types that are as aerobic and challenging as any workout you can find,” says Smith. Bielkus agrees: “Yoga definitely counts as exercise … It works on all of the body systems, like the nervous system, the cardiovascular system — it’s a total body workout in that regard.” There are more athletic styles — like Vinyasa and power yoga — where you’ll experience an immediate increase in your heart rate, but even some breathing techniques, like kundalini, will have you sweating pretty quickly, Bielkus says.

Yoga Is Boring

Blasphemy! You just haven’t found the right class yet. Some classes are set to club music. If that’s not your thing, try a class above the ground or in the ocean, if you dare.

But lest you think yoga needs flashy add-ons to keep it interesting, our yoga experts explain: The root of the practice is anything but boring. “Yoga is all about what happens inside,” Smith says. “It is the constant exploration of the finer nuances in your body, and the reaction your body has to different postures.” Yoga means you’re always learning. Again, it’s all about finding the class and instructor that gets you ticking. “If the teacher has an inspirational message that speaks to you, you’ll keep coming back,” Bielkus says.

You Have To Have A Spiritual Side
This is Opie.
Does that opening chanting and om-ing discourage you from yoga? You’re not alone, so luckily there are plenty of classes that do without any of these kinds of exercises. If your class does sneak in a hum or two, don’t freak: Bielkus suggests viewing the chanting as an exercise in getting to know your own voice, or as a practice that connects you with your community.

And, while yoga developed from spiritual roots, there are endless class offerings that have nothing to do with religion. “I think that most people coming to yoga classes in America today are not coming for any spiritual intention,” Bielkus says. Though the instructor suggests you might accidentally happen upon your spiritual side if you keep up with a practice. “I think that yoga can lead to being a little more inquisitive about your own journey through life — maybe purpose and meaning will become more of a focus for you [since the practice often has you turning inward], but it really doesn’t have to.”

For more on yoga, click here.

Savasana By The Sea…!

Om Shanti Veda Healthies, 

Check out this wonderful opportunity for a Yoga Retreat by the Sea hosted by my friend and fellow Yoga instructor Shelley Fisher! What a beautiful way to find some inner peace and attune with nature. If you’re seeking balance or centering then this may be just what you need. Thanks for passing this along, Shelley!



Savasana by sea 1savasana sea 2

Help Veda Health Reach 1,000 followers!


Veda Health is trying to attain 1,000 followers!

If you’ve read our multidimensional blog, then you know we share insight from Holistic Living, Nutrition, Fitness, Ayurveda, Acupressure, Food Safety, Yoga, Natural Body Care and much, much more!

Please share our blog with your friends, family, coworkers and social buddies.

Just direct them to and  encourage them to enter their email on the homepage.

You’ll begin to receive valuable articles, recipes, yoga tips, healthcare info, natural remedies and more to help you reach your Health and Wellness goals.

***Soon Veda Health will be offering Webinars and Discounts on Services to Subscribers***

So, do something great for yourself today. Subscribe to

We’re just over the 600 mark right now so post, post away!

Many thanks  & Blessings =)



Amazing Acu-Yoga!

 Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7:00 PM  

 126 North State Street, Newtown PA 18940  See map

Love Yoga?

Come try this Amazing Restorative Energy Yoga that incorporates Acupressure points and Asanas.

Acu-Yoga is a great way to remove energy blockages in the body and stimulate self-healing. In this class, you will learn about the meridians of the body and how to activate Chi while doing Yogic postures.

Truly Unique, Relaxing and Rewarding. Come treat yourself to a class today!

$15 Tuesdays @ Soulutions For Daily Living, 126 N. State Street, Newtown PA
7pm – 8:15pm

The Top 5 Fat-Burning Yoga Poses


Can you use yoga for weight loss? Yes! Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone but, with the right attitude, you can make a real difference in how you look and feel. These fat-burning yoga poses will help kick-start your metabolism and build up lean muscle-tone. For some extra advice, check out Gaiam’s Quick Start Yoga for Weight Loss. This informative DVD is a useful part of any positive-thinking weight-loss program.

Wind-Releasing Pose

This fat-burning yoga pose is great for targeting your abdominal area.

  • Lie down on the floor and bring your knees up to your chest with your ankles together.
  • Clasp your arms together over your knees as you bring your head up off the floor.
  • Breathe deep as you feel the stretch work your abs, then relax slowly.

Cobra Pose

Even beginners can get good results from this simple yoga pose, which works to firm the buttocks and tone the abs.

  • Lie face-down on the floor, with the tops of your feet flat against the ground.
  • Press your legs and hips down. Place your hands under your shoulders, plams down and fingers spread apart.
  • Press into your hands, lifting your head, chest and upper back off the mat. Keep your gaze forward and up and your shoulder blades down and back.
  • Push back your shoulders and feel the stretch spread evenly along the length of your spine.
  • After a few deep breaths, relax to a prone position on an exhale.

Bow Pose

This advanced yoga pose can really burn fat while toning your arms, legs and abdominal area.

  • Lie down on your stomach, bend your knees and reach around to grab your feet.
  • Pull in your stomach and extend your feet upward, raising your upper body at the same time. Keep your shoulder blades down and back.
  • Hold for several breaths, then relax.

Side-Stretch Pose

This yoga pose can help raise your heart-rate and burn calories.

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
  • Rotate your torso and turn both your feet to the right. Keeping legs straight, exhale and hinge over your right leg until your torso is parallel to the floor, reaching your hands to the ground (if you can’t touch the floor, you can rest them on a block).
  • Hinge further with each exhale, moving your torso closer to your right thigh.

Remember to keep breathing, then relax and repeat in the opposite direction.

Warrior I Pose

This yoga pose can work your abs, thighs and arms, and is most effective if used as part of a sequence like Sun Salutation.

  • Standing straight, step your left leg 4-5 feet to the left, then rotate both feet and your torso toward the left.
  • Bend your left knee over your toes while keeping your right leg straight.
  • Raise both arms high above your head with your fingertips pointing upward, looking up at your hands.

How can you use yoga for weight loss?

With all the chanting and seemingly stationary poses, one might wonder how you can lose weight through yoga. But the truth is it can be an effective weight loss tool, if you practice it regularly and correctly.

The first factor you should consider is that not every type of yoga is conducive to consistent weight loss. Some types are better for reducing stress and helping relaxation but don’t provide the cardiovascular workout needed for weight loss. The second factor is consistency. As with any fitness plan, yoga needs to be done regularly and with intensity. Finally, it is important to remember to maintain a healthy diet in combination with any workout regimen.

Vinyasa: Flow yoga

One type of yoga that’s good for weight loss is Vinyasa, or flow yoga. This style of yoga is made up of a series of “sun salutations,” that you move through quickly, allowing for the increased heart rate required for caloric burn and weight loss.

The best part about Vinyasa is that its popularity has led to the production of many yoga weight loss DVDs. With so many options, it’s easy to find a Vinyasa DVD that matches your skill level that allows you to begin losing weight in the privacy of your own home.

Bikram: Hot yoga

If you want more of a challenge, try your hand at Bikram yoga. Similar to Vinyasa, it takes you through a series of poses, but, instead of a cool yoga studio, you are in a heated studio that is heated up to 105°F.

As you move through the Bikram poses, you not only burn calories and fat but temporarily lose water weight while eliminating toxins. But note that Bikram yoga for weight loss is extremely vigorous, and should not be undertaken if you arepregnant or have certain medical conditions.

Power yoga

Nowadays, many gyms are offering “power yoga,” which combines yoga poses with a cardiovascular workout by pushing you through the poses faster and with less rest time in between. If your gym doesn’t offers such a class, the good news is that power yoga is also offered on DVD.

These yoga poses also strengthen your muscles and, subsequently, increased muscle mass will increase your resting metabolic rate, resulting in greater weight loss throughout the day.


The final benefit of yoga is mental clarity. Yoga reduces stress and allows you to take a break from your busy lifestyle. This brief rest from the hustle and bustle of life can permit you to take a moment and reevaluate your lifestyle choices.

For instance, you may reflect on the health of your diet, as well as whether or not your activity level is sufficient to keep your body in good shape. Yoga’s meditative atmosphere can provide an opportunity for self-awareness, which is always the first step to a healthier and happier you.

Practice more fat-burning yoga poses with yoga for weight loss videos!

Yoga Helps Fight Sinus Infections!

You know the signs: congestion, pressure, pain, dripping, fever, cough, feeling run down. Another sinus infection. The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, has recently published a study of 166 individuals with sinus infections randomized into two treatment groups: a standard course of amoxicillin or placebo, both also taking one or more symptomatic treatments like decongestant or pain relievers. Their conclusion: for an acute sinus infection, amoxicillin offers no benefit over placebo plus symptomatic relief.

So what’s a yogi to do? Plenty. While waking up with a sinus infection may make you groan and pull the covers over your head, on your yoga mat you’ll find relief and support for rocking the rest of your day.

If you have time for only one thing, do the right thing and put your legs up the wall. This pose, called Viparita Karani in Sanskrit, is supportive to the immune system and triggers the parasympathetic nervous system – the rest and relax response. While triggering the sympathetic nervous system has complex effects on inflammation and immunity – sometimes enhancing, sometimes suppressing – the parasympathetic nervous system is wholly supportive of effective immune function andreducing inflammation. Whether you use a bolster under your low back or snug your behind up to the wall and extend your legs, you’ll get all the benefits of inverting with hardly any effort and lots of relaxation.

More time? Start with some conscious breathing. Breathing is the problem, you say? Two simple yoga practices can help clear that up. First, nasal irrigation can mechanically clear some of the uglies out of your head. A neti pot with a mild salt solution is the easiest way to accomplish this, but I’ve used paper coffee cups in a pinch. Always use filtered or distilled water. Warm water, tested on the inside of your wrist is best.

Once you’ve rinsed some of the offending mucous free, alternate nostril breathing, or Nadi Shodhana, can help to equalize the pressure and maintain a clear head. Even three rounds of alternate nostril breathing can have noticeable effects on air flow and steadiness of mind.

Finally, don’t plan a super sweaty, bendy, challenging practice. A few simple twists, chest openers, shoulder openers will do wonders. For a simple and effective sequence, move with your breath between Cobra and Child’s Pose with your arms out, fluidly, up to 10 times. This sequence will pump your lymphatic system, open your breathing muscles and massage everything in between.

The next time you wake up with a head full of uglies and feeling like a Hanuman play-toy, you’ll have a few more and effective options than resorting to over-used antibiotics. Take your power over your health and well-being seriously and roll out your mat!

The Surprising Weight Loss Benefits Of Yoga!

by  | March 6, 2013 | Updated: March 8, 2013 | 11 comments

  • Yoga weight loss 1 The Surprising Weight Loss Benefits Of Yoga

While walking around your city, you’ve probably seen a variety of yoga studios—everything ranging from Bikram to Anusara, Jivamukti, and Vinyasa yoga. Bikram is known for hot rooms and sweat-dripping bodies, while vinyasa is all about the flow of movements.

If your goal is to get lean and lose body fat, you might be wondering whether, or how, yoga fits into your program. There are a multitude of benefits to practicing yoga, but does yoga help with weight loss?

Yoga Only Burns 3-6 Calories Per Minute

In order to lose body fat, you have to create a deficit of calories. If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight, and one pound of fat is equivalent to about 3500 calories.

Yoga classes often endure for about 60-90 minutes. According to research done by the American Council on Exercise, the average individual burns about 3-6 calories per minute practicing yoga, which equates to a total of only 180-360 calories burned during that class.1 In contrast, a kettlebell workout burns about 13-17 calories per minute, which equals about 800+ calories burned in an hour.2 That’s a significant difference in calorie expenditure.

While it depends on the type and intensity of the class– certain styles of yoga are much more rigorous such as power yoga, hot yoga, and vinyasa, whereas yin yoga, restorative, and hatha yoga are more gentle and slower-paced. 3 Regardless of the intensity of the yoga class, circuit training is still superior in terms of overall metabolic boost and calorie burn.

But even with the calorie difference, yoga has other benefits that can help the weight-loss individual.4

…But Yoga Can Still Be Effective For Weight Loss. Here’s Why

From 2000-2002, medical researcher and yogi Alan Kristal, in association with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, conducted a study on the effects of yoga on weight-loss. The study surveyed 15,500 middle-aged men and women about their physical activity and weight over time, and controlled for factors such as diet, health, and other forms of exercise that could cause changes in weight. The study found that both over-weight and normal-weight adults who regularly practiced yoga for at least 4 years were less likely to gain weight than those who did not practice yoga. In fact, those who were overweight and practiced yoga actually lost an average of 5lbs during the four-year period, whereas the overweight non-practitioners gained about 14lbs.5

Alan Kristal and the other researchers noted: The weight loss had nothing to do with burning calories. Kristal pointed out that, from a scientific standpoint it was unclear why practicing yoga helped people keep the weight off: “Except for very strenuous yoga practices, you don’t really burn enough energy to make any difference in terms of weight.”

If calorie expenditure didn’t account for weight maintenance or loss, what did? The researchers found a strong association between a regular yoga practice and mindful eating, which they did not find in other activities such as walking or running.6

How Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Reasons that yoga might help the weight loss process include:

  1. Effective stress management, reducing the likelihood of stress eating
  2. Increased body awareness, specifically relating to hunger and satiety
  3. Mindfulness and mindful eating

Although practicing yoga doesn’t burn the most calories, it might still have a place in your workout routine. An effective fat loss program that encourages maintenance of lean muscle and maximizes calorie burn should be founded on a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular activity. However, yoga could be used as active recovery and flexibility training between more intense workouts. The benefits of stress reduction and mindfulness associated with yoga could lead to improved sleep, better eating habits, and increased self-awareness, which could mean more weight loss and improved maintenance of weight loss results over time. Regardless of the exercise you’re doing, however, good nutrition is essential. If you’re not paying attention to your diet, you won’t see the results you want. Exercise right, eat clean, and you’ll be able to actualize your goals.