Our society has come to the point where we spend our days contorting our bodies out of natural position. Sitting all day at a desk, walking with purpose and our chins sticking forward, teeth clenched in stress, posture slumped and curved.
What becomes to feel natural for our bodies is actually far from it – even down to the ways we breathe. We live out of tune with our bodies. We need to bring our bodies and our minds back in touch with each other to build a foundation for health and well being.
The naturally remedy for rekindling this connection is yoga.
Yoga is not about contorting our bodies into insane positions. Yoga is about balancing mind, body and breath.
You can quiet your mind by quieting your breath. You can quiet your breath by slowing your body.
The deep breathing in yoga promotes relaxation, circulates fresh air throughout your lungs, feeds oxygen to muscles that are stiff and need stretched. Most of us take rather shallow breaths. At any given time, likely twenty percent of the air in our lungs is stagnant. Lord knows how log that air’s been in there. Unless we take time and effort to push all the air out, it just hangs around in there, collecting the toxins of our environments.
Yoga, like anything else, can become complicated – but it doesn’t have to. Even if your only take five minutes each morning and evening to sit still, up straight, and fully fill and empty your lungs three times, you can count that as a “yoga exercise.” (Or you can call it “relaxing.”)
If you really want to give yourself the body boost, take a few minutes each day to “belly breathe.” Chest breathing comes from stress. Belly breathing is breathing with the diaphragm in the belly, and not the chest. Your lungs will feel as though filling from the bottom up, not top down. Belly breathing spreads more oxygen to the entire body.
Sit up straight, loosen up a little bit with a shoulder roll and a neck roll or two, then place one hand on your belly. Breathe out through your nose, pushing with the diaphragm, and lightly your hand, until you feel you’ve fully emptied your lungs. Then breathe in through your nose, relaxing the stomach muscles, feeling the air lifting your stomach below your hand.
Practice belly breathing for five minutes a day, and you can count that as your second “yoga exercise.” (Or you can call it “meditating.”) Wow. Isn’t yoga strenuous?
Now – if you’ve made it this far, you really should try at least one official yoga pose.
The Corpse Pose is one of my favorite poses. It requires very little effort or practice:
Lay with your back on the floor, with your ha6nds at your sides, palm up. Your legs should be straight, feet relaxed. (If this hurts your lower back, bend your knees.) Now, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax. As you hold the position, notice tight or tense spots in your body and think, “relax knees” or “relax shoulders” or whatever part seems tight.
Now you have the knowledge you need to schedule your own mini-workout. It has to be one of the easiest workouts in existence, but the results will be truly amazing! You’ll notice increased energy, lower blood pressure, less stress and tension, greater overall wellness.
Of course, you don’t have to call it exercise. Just breathe.
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The June 2011 issue of Two-Lane Livin includes: The Distractions of Nature; WV Aerobics; Getting Motivated; Killer Garlic; Star Light, Star Bright; What Triggers Your Emotions; Making Your Food Budget Go Farther; In Pursuit of the Muskie; Kitchen Religion; Non-Foods; Your Ghee Tastes Terrific; Skincare 101 and more
The May 2011 Issue Includes: Monkeys From a Barrel; Making Homemade Yeast; For Rent – One Fairy House; What s In An Address?; A Window to My World; The Whipple Coal Company Store; Plastic World; Advice on Advice; Making Your Food Budget Go Farther; How To Become An Early Riser; Recipe for Chicken Squares; Hallelujah ; Straw Bale Gardening; The History of Bee Hives; My Friend Ginger; Dehydrating Dairy; Introducing Kefir; Scared of Your Swimsuit?; The First Thoratic Vertebra; What Is a Raptor? and MORE
Folks at our distribution locations often ask us for more copies. Our typical response to that is, “we don’t have any more.”
When you publish a free magazine, you can only print as many copies as your solid advertising base will allow. We began at 10,000 copies per month, quickly increasing to 12,000 copies a month, then 15,000, and for the last year or so, 16,000 copies per month.
Now, that alone makes us the largest independent publication in the state.
But even then, we rarely have leftover copies to spread around. Less than 2% of any issue is left behind in the first 30 days and within 60 days, because of our recirculation policy, we have zero left.
We have over 500 locations in 16 counties, and we work the numbers monthly to make sure as many copies as possible are picked up. Most locations, by the time we return with the next issue, all the copies are gone.
But when travel season kicks in, we start having problems:
“I get my copy every month at ____, but this time by the time I got there, they were gone.”
“We ran out of copies a week earlier.”
“Several of our regulars didn’t get theirs. Do you have any left?”
What happens, during travel season, is that folks who are passing through pick up copies as well, leaving fewer copies available for our regulars.
So this year, for travel season (April-August), we’ll be printing 1,000 more copies per issue –to try to make sure all of our regular readers still get theirs, even if the tourists take some too.
We hope our advertisers appreciate the extra 1,000 copies of their ads (at no extra charge to them) and we hope we reach more people with Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine. But most of all, we hope our family of regular readers still get theirs.