Deb's Healthy Plate
Call: 203-929-9414

Yoga and Nutrition Luncheon

I offer workshops and you can request a workshop in my home/office or yours.  They are informative, relaxing and fun!  I lead a 1 hour discussion on topics such as:  Hormones, Deconstructing Cravings, Stress/Time Management, Nutrition Basics, Nutrition Label Detective, Glorious Greens, Whole Grains, Juicing, etc.  One of my Yoga instructors lead a 1 hour class of Yoga.  Then, I serve you a healthy lunch.  The total cost is $40.00 per person.  Classes are limited to 8 people per workshop.  If you are interested in hosting a workshop in your home or coming to one in my home contact me in Shelton, CT.  203-929-9414 debbiebarbiero@yahoo.com

Yoga Has Many Health Benefits

People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years.  Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways.   Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.

Yoga Helps You Become More Flexible

When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast or bendy like Gumby. That makes them worry that they’re too old, unfit, or “tight” to do yoga. The truth is you’re never too old to improve flexibility.  I have done yoga classes with 75+ year olds and some of them are more flexible than me.

The series of yoga poses called asanas work by safely stretching your muscles. This releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints. It may also increase lubrication in the joints. The more often you practice yoga, the more flexible your body will become.

Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. And no matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility.  I can honestly say my shoulder pain has greatly improved.

Yoga Improves Your Strength

Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous than others. Practicing one of these styles will help you improve muscle tone.

But even less vigorous styles of yoga, such as Iyengar or hatha, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits.

Many of the poses, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose, build upper-body strength. This becomes crucial as people get older. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Poses that strengthen the lower back include upward dog and the chair pose. When practiced correctly,  many poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.    Many stores sell the videos or you can even borrow one from your local library to practice in the privacy of your own home.  I have even practiced on my ATT Uverse for free.

Yoga Can Help Your Posture

With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength. That’s because you’re counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose. With a stronger core, you’re more likely to sit and stand “tall.” Another benefit of yoga is the increased body awareness. This heightened awareness tells you more quickly when you’re slouching or slumping so you can adjust your posture.

Breathing

Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. This can also improve sports performance and endurance. But yoga typically isn’t focused on aerobic fitness the way running or cycling are.

Most forms of yoga emphasize deepening and lengthening your breath. This stimulates the relaxation response — the opposite of the fight-or-flight adrenaline boost of the stress response.

Yoga Helps You Feel Less Stress and More Calm

Even beginners tend to feel less stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress. Other yoga styles depend on deep breathing techniques to focus the mind on the breath. When this happens, the mind calms.

Among yoga’s anti-stress benefits are a host of biochemical responses. For example, there is a decrease in catecholamine, the hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters — dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine — creates a feeling of calm. Some research points to a boost in the hormone oxytocin. This is the so-called “trust” and “bonding” hormone that’s associated with feeling relaxed and connected to others.

Yoga Helps With Concentration and  Improves Your Mood

Almost every yoga student will tell you they feel happier and more contented after class. Recently, researchers have begun exploring the effects of yoga on depression, a benefit that may result from yoga’s boosting oxygen levels to the brain. Yoga is even being studied as an adjunct therapy to relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Yoga Even Helps Your Heart

Perhaps one of the most studied areas of the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart disease. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga was a key component to the heart disease program designed by Dean Ornish, MD. This was the first program to partly reverse heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery. On a biochemical level, studies point to a possible anti-oxidant effect of yoga. And yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.

Yoga’s Effects on Other Medical Conditions

Medical researchers have been studying the benefits of therapeutic yoga which is also called integrative yoga therapy or IYT.  It is used as a treatment for specific medical conditions, from clinical depression to heart disease.  It also helps relieve asthma symptoms, back pain and arthritis.  Some studies outside of the US have even discovered that yoga helps insomnia and multiple sclerosis.

The only way to be certain of all that yoga can do for you is to try it for yourself and see.

SOURCES:

International Association of Yoga Therapists: “Health Benefits of Yoga.”

American Council on Exercise: “ACE Yoga Study.”

Sarley, D. and Sarley, I. The Essentials of Yoga, The Omega Institute and Dell Publishing, 1999.

SFGate.com: “Doctors study the health benefits of yoga.”

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on March 06, 2011

©2005-2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment

I have been taking yoga classes weekly for about 2 years now. I love it! Some days I have gone there with shoulder or back pain and it was feeling so much better when I left.

I do workshops together with a Yoga Instructor. I do a 1 hour talk on a nutrition topic such as: Hormones, Weight Loss, Sugar Cravings, Nutrition Label Detective, Time/Stress Management etc. She teaches one hour of Yoga. I serve a healthy lunch. It is a time for YOU. Everyone loves it!

Yoga Class

 

 

Here are a few pictures of some of the group classes doing Yoga.

2 Comments
  1. I appreciate you takng to time to contribute That’s very helpful.

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