Legs Up the Wall Reduces Stress

19 08 2012

It just takes five minutes in Legs Up the Wall pose to relieve stress. Sometimes I like to end my yoga session with Legs Up the Wall, or midday to rejuvenate my body and mind. This pose is considered an inversion pose and all inversion poses help to clear the mind. Situations, relationships, and we take on a new perspective when we are looking up, rather than down.

Practiced regularly, Legs Up the Wall may help to:

 Calm the mind

 Relieve low back tension

 Aid in relieving minor anxiety and depression

 Ease stress on the adrenal glands

 Reduce swelling and cramping in the legs and feet

 Aid in digestion

 Relieve minor headaches

 May help regulating blood pressure

 Insomnia

 May relieve some symptoms of menopause and PMS

CAUTION: Legs up the wall is generally not recommend for those menstruating, with eye problems, with neck or back problems, after third month of pregnancy, and anyone with heart problems. Check with your yoga teacher first. during this pose, bend your knees, touch your soles together, and slide the outer edges of your feet down the wall, bringing your heels close to your pelvis.

Moving into Legs Up the Wall:

Before beginning, you may want to have a blanket or two handy to use, if needed for support. Remember, comfort is important.

1: Stand next to wall with your left shoulder and left hip against the wall. Sit to the floor with the shoulder and hip remaining against the wall. (Option: place a folded blanket close to the wall and place buttocks on blanket when sitting.)

2: Swing around to bring your bottom up close to the wall and legs reaching up the wall towards the ceiling. Lower back and head to the floor. (Option: If using a blanket, position hips comfortably on blanket to relieve any back or leg discomfort.)

3. Move hips away from the wall if hamstrings are tight or lower back is uncomfortable. (Option: Bring soles of the feet together, bend knees out to the sides, and slide outside edges of feet down the wall towards the pelvis.)

4. Make sure the neck is comfortable. A folded towel under the head or neck may be helpful.

5. Arms are placed out to the sides away from the body with palms up. (Option: Body temperature may drop slightly. A blanket to cover up with may be helpful.)

6. Close the eyes and breathe deeply. Inhale and exhale slowly, filling and expelling the lungs.

7: After 5- 10 minutes, bring knees toward chest and roll to your right side. Remain on the right side and take 2-3 deep breaths before sitting up slowly.

Experiment with the blankets and positioning of the hips and legs.

Need to de-stress before going to bed? Grab a blanket and head for the nearest wall.

Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Do what is necessary to be able to sleep 8 hours each night.

Body: Trade workout DVDs with a friend or borrow one from the library. Ask a friend to join you!

Soul: Smile at yourself each time you look in the mirror. You must love yourself before anyone else is able to love you.

Namaste

Tammy





Leg Exercise is Important

17 06 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 10, 2012.

When meeting with a new client at the gym where I work as a personal trainer, I will ask them to give me a little background on their past exercise experiences and future goals. What I hear most is the desire to firm up, get healthy, and lose weight.

The legs and buttocks make up the largest muscles of the body. Working these muscles not only tones and strengthens, but also increases the metabolism. Leg exercises are a must for strength, flexibility and functional mobility.

Leg exercises promote working the largest muscles and muscle balance, while remaining healthy and pain-free. Proper form is most important to avoid injury and build muscle strength.

One of my favorite leg exercises is the squat. The squat requires the gluteus, quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles to work, which strengthens the leg and supports the knee.

The squat: If you are currently working with a health care professional, you will want to consult with them before trying the squat. You do not need a gym or special equipment to perform a squat. For a beginner you may want to stand near a wall or chair for support. • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead • Tighten and pull in abdominal muscles • Lower body as if sitting in a chair, slowly • Stop when legs are parallel to the floor • Hold squat for a few seconds • Now press through the heels and return to standing position • Repeat for 2–3 sets, 8–12 repetitions each • Rest 60–90 seconds between sets

The easiest way to minimize stress on the knee is to be aware of the positioning of your knees and toes during the exercise. Simply, keep your hips from moving forward when your knees are bearing the load. If you ever feel knee pain, you need to stop. The knees are very complex joints and are highly susceptible to damage. Did you know, when we are standing, the knee carries approximately 80 percent of our body weight?

Functional “real life” movement is something we want to maintain throughout our lives. The squat will help you keep the strength and flexibility in your lower body to be able to bend down to pick something up. You will be glad you kept up with your squats!

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: No trans fats – read the labels of everything you eat.

Body: Do three sets of squats, three times a week, with a day of rest in between.

Soul: Write down 10 things that make you happy and smile.

I would love to hear from you. Email me at
Tammy@TammYoga.com, visit my TammYoga Facebook page, or tweet me @TammYoga.

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy