National Yoga Month

September was National Yoga Month! What did that mean? Well hopefully you saw more yoga pop up and community classes being made available to you and your community. If not, that’s fairly understandable. It can be hard to just start a yoga program from scratch. It can be ever harder to start your own yoga practice at home.

Here are a few tips to help you start your own yoga practice at home:

  1. Find short yoga videos – there are so many FREE yoga videos available on YouTube. Some are long and daunting…BUT some are really short and sweet. Use those short practices to jump start your yoga practice.
  2. Create a yoga space – even if it’s just a small space in your bedroom or office, create a special place for you to do yoga. Put some paintings on the wall, leave your mat in the corner. Do something special to that space to denote it from the rest of your home.
  3. Set your alarm – this is probably the most important step. Set an alarm to do yoga. Whether it’s in the morning or at night, use the technology that you already have to support your drive to create a yoga practice.
  4. Find a yoga community you connect with – use Facebook or Instagram to inspire you to try to do yoga on the reg
  5. Get friends involved – use your friends!!! Let them hold you accountable if you can’t.

Yoga is a great method to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. It is definitely one of the best things I’ve done for myself. Trust me, you won’t regret a daily home practice…even if it doesn’t mean waking up at 5 am like me.

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Yoga for Work Stress

Now that the holidays are over, many of us are dealing with the reality of going back to work. Many of us struggle to continue feeling the relaxation and renewal we gained through a vacation or simply having time off. Even after a long weekend, so many of us curse that dreaded Monday alarm. This is often because of the stress we feel from our jobs. Every job has stress, whether you work at a computer all day or you work with people, stress is a factor. This stress often illicit physical and mental reactions, resulting in a negative association with our jobs or workplace.

Here are some yoga tips to help mitigate that workplace stress:

First, before doing any physical poses, when you feel stressed take a few deep breaths.

Then, continue on to do a few yoga poses at your desk to help reduce some of that work place stress. Here are some examples:

Seated Crescent Moon Pose

Image result for chair crescent moon pose

Chair Pigeon Pose

Image result for chair pigeon pose

Sit and Stand Chair Pose


Desk Chaturanga (push-up)


Desk Downward/Upward Dog Pose

Credit: Women World

Seated Cat/Cow

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Repeat each pose as desired, or as much as you have time for. Also remember to breathe throughout the pose. Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths to receive full benefits for stress reduction.

Hopefully these will help in transitioning back to reality.

*All images are from Google Images

Yoga for 12 Step Recovery

Addiction has gotten a lot of attention recently, as the Surgeon General and other political figures have put a spotlight on how addiction does not discriminate, how any individual can become addicted to substances. Recent deaths, including that of Prince, have also brought addiction to the public’s attention, calling into question medical practices for dealing with pain.

Some addictions do begin with a truly well-meaning prescription for pain, whether it is pain from an injury or pain from surgery. Other addictions begin with experimentation or boredom.

Regardless of how it begins, addiction has the power to ruin anyone’s life. BUT, with treatment and support, one can break through the bonds of addiction and come out on the side of recovery, come through with the tools necessary to rebuild a potentially shattered life.

Many of these tools are scientifically based. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, medication assisted treatment, and 12-step programs have all been scientifically proven to have results in improving the quality of life for those in recovery. These evidence based practices have truly been life changing for many.

A relatively new supplemental treatment is also making waves in the recovery arena. Yoga of 12 Step Recovery (Y12SR) is a combined group meeting and yoga practice session using the tools of the 12 Step method combined with the tools of yoga to help individuals face their addictions as well as the behaviors and thoughts which may have led to the addictive behavior. Guided by the theme “the issues live in the tissues”, this methodology uses the physical practice to help release underlying trauma and thoughts, ingrained in the individual’s core which may have resulted in addiction. Each Y12SR meeting combines the principles of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yogic breath), and meditation. The meetings also include a group sharing portion.

Y12SR is open to everyone. As the founder, Nikki Myers, puts it, “all A’s are welcome, meaning all asses are welcome”. This includes anyone suffering from addiction, whether its substance, behavior, or a combination, or anyone affected by addiction.

Y12SR meetings are being held all over the world. They take place in yoga studios, churches, community centers, and treatment facilities. The organization is moving towards becoming evidence based, meaning research is being done to show its efficacy. Overall, Y12SR is taking off.

With addiction at such high levels in the U.S. alone, I truly believe we can use all the treatment methods we have available to us.

For more information on Y12SR and to find a meeting near you, check out their website:


*Please note, Y12SR is not a substitute for 12-Step Meetings or any other form of addiction treatment, it is meant to be used as a supplement to those treatments.


Cervical Traction: One of Many Benefits

Neck pain has become a growing problem in our modern day society as we humans become more sedentary. As people are working more on computers, our necks are being maintained in more sedentary and flexed forward positions for long periods of time. This flexed forward position puts continual pressure on the front part of the inter-vertebral disc in the neck see. This continuous and constant pressure at the front of the disc leads to mechanical failure of the disc. This mechanical failure causes degenerative disc disease and can cause the disc to bulge to the sides and backwards into the spinal nerves and into the spinal canal and sometimes can lead to compression of the spinal cord. This degeneration can then cause increased pressure on the facet joints at the back of the spine which can lead to degeneration or arthritis in the facet joints leading to more neck pain. Gravity then causes a continuous downward pressure reinforcing the degeneration in the cervical spine of the neck.

Moving the neck in the opposite direction, opposing the downward force of gravity with an upward force, can take the pressure off of the disc and take pressure off of the cervical facet joints. This will not only relieve pressure and pain but can assist with reversing the disc bulging and degeneration.
There is no blood flow into the cervical facet joints or into the cervical disc. The disc are known to be the largest avascular structures in the body. This means they are the largest structures in the body that do not have blood flowing to them. Almost all the structures in the human body (the organs, bones, skin, etc.) receive their nutrients from the blood and get rid of their waste products into the blood. The cervical disc and the discs throughout the spine receive their nutrients from diffusion from surrounding tissue. This occurs when there is negative pressure in the disc such as when the spine is stretched. When the neck is moved in the opposite direction of gravity or upwards this creates a negative pressure in the disc allowing the nutrients to be reabsorbed into the disc and the negative pressure will also cause reabsorption of bulging or protruding disc.
How can the neck removed in the opposite direction appropriately and safely?

Cervical Traction. Cervical traction can effectively and safely provide just the right amount of force and pressure relief in the appropriate direction to assist with reducing and relieving neck pains, improving degenerative cervical spine conditions, and potentially preventing the disabling neck problems which are becoming common in our modern day society.

Comfortably relaxing in a cervical traction unit for 15 to 20 minutes per day just 2 to 3 days a week is all that may be needed.