Day 19: Yoga for Health

Yoga and a Plant-Based Diet; Shiva Rae; Rodney Yee; The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chopra; Yoga Gave Me Superior Health by Theos Bernard

“Often one goes for one thing and finds another.” – Neem Karoli Baba

Welcome to Day 19!

Yoga is an exercise and a Life Practice that we can do no matter what our physical condition or location! It is accessible to everyone at all stages of life – and important at every age. Juice Feasting is an excellent time to begin a Yoga practice, and that is why we have made Yoga Camp the I Am Active movement practice (at the bottom of each Day) for the first 30 Days of the Juice Feasting Program.

During a Juice Feast, our body becomes more hydrated, oxygenated, flexible, and open to gentle transformation. You may have noticed your mind is becoming more flexible and open to new ways of being, as well.

People ask us what the best type of yoga practice is, and we always say that it is the one that you do! If you have been interested in yoga over the years and have had a hard time getting started, definitely check out this article:

Ten Tips to Get on the Yoga Mat

Yoga is an effective way to enhance both physical and mental well-being. While yoga is becoming more popular in recent years, it is actually an ancient activity that focuses on connecting the mind, the body, and the spirit by performing specific poses, breathing, and meditation. The practice of yoga has many health benefits that can improve everyone’s health. In fact, yoga is an inexpensive and effective way to improve all areas of one’s life.

Some of the physical benefits include:

+ Improved flexibility
+ Improved joint mobility
+
 Muscle building, toning, and strengthening
+ Posture correction
+
 Spine strengthening
+ Lessening back pain
+
 Improving muscular-skeletal conditions
+ Increasing strength and stamina
+
 Improving balance
+ Stimulating the endocrine system
+
 Improving digestion and elimination
+ Increasing circulation
+
 Improving heart conditions
+ Improving breathing disorders
+
 Boosting the immune system
+ Decreasing cholesterol and glucose levels
+
 Facilitating weight loss

Some mental benefits include:

+ Increasing body awareness
+ Relieving stress
+
 Relaxing the body by relieving muscle strain
+ Sharpening concentration
+
 Freeing the spirit

Recent studies have shown that yoga can also be instrumental in relieving symptoms connected to:

+ Arthritis
+
 Arteriosclerosis
+ Chronic fatigue
+
 Diabetes
+ AIDS
+
 Asthma
+ Obesity
+
 Accelerated aging

Yoga has been touted as a nearly perfect fitness activity that is effective for almost anyone of any age and fitness level. Even children can benefit from learning yoga. If children learn yoga while they are young it will enable them to retain their natural flexibility as they age. Older people can greatly benefit from yoga exercises because it can enable them to increase their mobility and it may also help alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis and poor circulation.

Yoga helps develop balance and coordination. It is an invigorating activity that stretches and tones muscles and joints and directs blood and oxygen to internal organs, glands, and nerves. Learning yoga develops self-discipline and will improve concentration and memory. Yoga is different from conventional forms of exercise because the focus is on quality of movement instead of quantity.

Consistent yoga will quiet the mind, refresh the body and enable overall peace and happiness.

Yoga involves motion without incurring strain or imbalances within the body. When yoga is done correctly there are no negative effects whatsoever and it can be quite demanding and strenuous. It is not an aerobic exercise but it involves almost every muscle and challenges the body very effectively.

Today’s File on Yoga

The attached file on Yoga today contains excerpts from the book Go Further by actor Woody Harrelson.Woody has an excellent story on how his yoga practice began – on the movie set of White Men Can’t Jump. I (David) saw Woody at the Tree of Life Foundation in Arizona, and he was quite obviously in excellent health with his diet of living foods and yoga practice.

The second half of the Yoga file is more from the perspective of Eastern traditions. It is technical and contains an article written by Dr. Gabriel Cousens on Vegetarianism and Yoga. If it gets too thick with terminology, just fast forward ahead! My favorite part of the article concerns the virtues of eating a plant-based diet:

A vegetarian way of life actively promotes six aspects of Ahimsa (nonviolence):

(1) compassion and non-cruelty toward animals;
(2) preserving the earth and its ecology;
(3) feeding the hungry;
(4) preserving human life;
(5) preservation of personal health;
(6) and inspiring peace.

What pleases us most about using whole and living foods food nutrition is that we enjoy health for myself and the world while doing something that we need to do anyway—eat!

Yoga and Juice Feasting

The cleansing program you are using now is the most supportive dietary measure you could possibly take in beginning or expanding your practice of yoga.

Your body is well hydrated, and you are consuming anti-inflammatory foods! You are more limber than ever, and accessing yoga will take you even further, preventing you from injury and enhancing your life in multiple ways.

We highly encourage you in this important time to begin doing Yoga as a Life Practice at your own pace. Go to the bookstore and purchase a simple book on yoga, or search the web for some information, and get started!

In all our years, we have never talked with someone who regretted doing yoga, or integrating yoga as a Life Practice.

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1 in 5 have persistent pain, which means it affects you or someone you love. Yoga can help, but not in the way you'd think.

What's the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today? Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. Get inspired as Suzuki discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory -- and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Theme Music: “Yoga Rhythms” by Shiva Rae

Humor: Yoga Mom

Rodney Yee: There is no Perfect Posture

Rodney Yee: Releasing Tension

Humor: “Yoga Girl,” the follow up jam to "Whole Foods Parking Lot" from Fog and Smog Films.

Gabriel Cousens, M.D. on Raw Food and Yoga

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Today’s Downloads

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The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga

by Deepak Chopra

A Conversation with Deepak Chopra on “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga”

1. Why do you think yoga has become so popular in the west lately? People are increasingly aware of the harmful effects of stress on their bodies and minds. Yoga offers a complete mind/body program to reduce stress, while enhancing flexibility, strength and balance. People practicing yoga quickly experience a deeper connection to their bodies with improved vitality.

2. How is yoga different from stretching? Yoga is stretching with awareness. It’s a technology to enhance mind body integration. Using attention and intention, yoga provides benefits to the mind and body beyond that gained through the stretching of muscles.

3. How does yoga benefit the body? A perfect exercise program enhances flexibility, improves strength and increase cardiovascular fitness. Yoga is a powerful tool for enhancing flexibility and strength and can, through various specific sequences of postures called Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), add to cardiovascular fitness. Scientific studies of yoga have shown that it can help relieve low back pain, arthritis and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It can help people with asthma and chronic bronchitis breathe easier. It can normalize blood pressure and stabilize blood sugars.

4. How does yoga benefit the mind? We are seeing epidemics of depression, anxiety and drug addiction in our society as a result of disturbed thinking. In these challenging times, people perceive their environment as threatening, which triggers thoughts that disturb their enthusiasm for life. Scientific studies on the psychological benefits of yoga have repeatedly demonstrated that yoga can help relieve depression, lessen anxiety, reduce smoking, ease chronic pain, stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the use of both prescription and nonprescription psychoactive drugs.


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Yoga

by David Rainoshek, M.A.

In this file you will find writing by Woody Harrelson on his introduction to Yoga on the set of “White Men Can’t Jump,” along with a stellar opening description of the practice. Also included is “The Role of Vegetarianism in Yoga” by Gabriel Cousens, M.D.


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Yoga Gave Me Superior Health

by Theos Bernard

Many will perhaps feel that they are too old to begin the practice of Yoga. This is quite wrong. It is taught in India that it is never too late to begin and that the slightest effort spent is never lost. There is authentic record in India of a famed Yogi who did not begin the practice until he was past fifty, and lived to be over two hundred years of age. A Yogi is not so much interested in finding the Fountain of Youth as he is in continuing the Spirit of Youth to the very end. There is nothing that will fill the human heart with more cheer than the practice of Yoga. It will give one the greatest joy, and help him to face life in its most dire aspects with understanding and courage.


Online Articles

Ten Essential Yoga Poses: How-To and Video with Rodney Yee

Yoga: An Alternative Treatment for Depression By Stephanie Brail

Feeling depressed or down? Don’t automatically reach for an anti-depressant. Do some yoga. These days, the typical treatment for depression comes in the form of a pill, which can often lead to serious side effects and dependency. Prior to modern drug companies, however, sages from the East discovered a method of calming the mind and soothing the spirit.

New Research: Yoga Better Than Western Medicine for Back Pain

A study just published in the journal Spine found that a group of low back pain sufferers who regularly practiced yoga postures had less pain, improved function, and a better mood. What’s more, they were far less likely to take drugs for their back problem than a matched group who received standard medical therapy.

Ten Tips to Get on the Yoga Mat

Yoga Takes Away Stress, Pounds, Toxins, Cholesterol and Cravings

Long-Term Yoga Practice May Decrease Women’s Stress by the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Iyengar Yoga for Chronic Low-Back Pain Shows Promising Results by the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Yoga: An Alternative Treatment for Depression by Stephanie Brail

Western studies have shown that regular exercise can provide relief from depression. In addition, yoga postures have been specifically shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which may alleviate depression. Furthermore, as many enthusiastic practitioners of yoga will tell you, yoga seems to go beyond the benefits of general exercise and helps increase overall happiness.

Yoga Takes Away Stress, Pounds, Toxins, Cholesterol and Cravings by Allison Biggar

When you breathe deeply and consciously – instead of taking short, shallow breaths – you not only feel more relaxed, you burn more calories. Studies have shown that regular deep breathing burns up to 140% more calories than riding a stationary bike!

Yoga Reduces Inflammation and Improves Heart Health by Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.

A recent study conducted at Ohio State University included 50 female participants. Half of the women were yoga novices who had practiced yoga for fewer than 12 sessions and the other women were considered experts who had practiced yoga twice a week for 2 years. Blood samples were drawn at various times during the study when the women were asked to perform yoga and light treadmill walking and during a stress test.

The blood samples showed that women who did not regularly practice yoga had 41% higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. This is a substance that increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation plays a major role in age-related diseases including heart disease and diabetes. This study shows that practicing yoga can help people fight illnesses as they age by reducing their levels of cytokine IL-6.


Great Books

by B.K.S. Iyengar

The definitive guide to the philosophy and practice of Yoga–the ancient healing discipline for body and mind–by its greatest living teacher. Light on Yoga provides complete descriptions and illustrations of all the positions and breathing exercises. Features a foreword by Yehudi Menuhin. Illustrations throughout.


by B.K.S. Iyengar

In BKS Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, the guru himself guides you through over 55 yoga poses, each with step-by-step instructions illustrated in full colour. Iyengar even explains his philosophy throughout the book - it's like having yoga classes with your own personal instructor.

A special, 20-week beginners' yoga course makes yoga accessible for those of all ages and abilities. 20 classic Iyengar yoga poses have a unique, 360-degree presentation so that you can see the correct form from all angles.

Specially developed yoga sequences help you to alleviate more than 80 ailments, ranging from asthma and arthritis to varicose veins.

In just 196 short aphorisms, this classic work of Indian philosophy spells out succinctly how the mind works, and how it is possible to use the mind to attain liberation. Compiled in the second or third century CE, the Yoga-Sutra is a road map of human consciousness—and a particularly helpful guide to the mind states one encounters in meditation, yoga, and other spiritual practices. It expresses the truths of the human condition with great eloquence: how we know what we know, why we suffer, and how we can discover the way beyond suffering.

Chip Hartranft’s fresh translation and extensive, lucid commentary bring the text beautifully to life. He also provides useful auxiliary materials, including an afterword on the legacy of the Yoga-Sutra and its relevance for us today.


Media, Films, & Documentaries

Get that long, lean yoga look while centering your mind and improving posture and fl exibility. Yoga masters Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman demonstrate all the basic poses in a detailed 40-minute Pose Training session. Learn accurate alignment, technique and how to avoid the mistakes they see most often. Then, put those lessons into practice with two full-length workouts. The 20-minute Morning Workout will get your day off to a refreshing start, helping you awaken and energize. The 15-minute Evening Workout restores, relaxes and soothes. Choose full, in-depth guidance as you get familiar with the routine or opt for minimal conversation so you can take in the sights and sounds of beautiful Molokai, Hawaii.

Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden present this twice-a-day yoga workout designed for busy beginners. Rodney Yee presents a daily 15-minute morning workout designed to increase circulation, improve mobility, and bring clarity to your mind, while Patricia Walden leads a 20-minute evening routine designed to quiet the mind after the stress of the day.


I Am Active

Yoga Camp - Day 19. Mind and Body. We don't call these videos yoga for hips, yoga for the spine. Yoga Camp takes a whole body approach! Check in with your body and check your thoughts. An approach that requires you to think big picture and cultivate self-respect. Go deeper. I RESPECT.