Strengthening yoga postures like this Four-Pointed Staff
© Renata Ferraz is pictured in can lend to a healthy back.
Nothing makes you feel older than a stiff back. That’s what I remember thinking as a recent post-grad in my early twenties. It was exhilarating getting my first salary and a gig at a prestigious company– it was debilitating sitting at a desk for eight hours, plunked down another four hours for my daily train commute. I started scheduling bi-weekly chiropractic adjustments to cope. I was just one of countless Americans, “spending $50 billion a year on medications, physical therapy and related costs” for back pain alone as the New York Times‘ Well Blog reports.
That’s until I met yoga. My back pain is nevermore and now science has just corroborated the same. Yoga is a bad back’s best friend.
Start chatting up other yoga practitioners. They’ll likely tell you the same. My yogi boyfriend found himself literally stuck on his back for a month or more after working for an advertising firm. Hours were long, hard and yes, at a desk and in a car commute. He had started practicing yoga earlier but was in a period of intermittency.
The Science of Yoga and Back Care
No, you don’t have to jump ship from your career for the life of an aspiring yogin, but you can jump in and obtain the body-soothing findings from the latest study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
228 participants suffering from chronic low back pain were randomized and divided into 12 weekly classes of yoga (92 patients) or conventional stretching exercises (91 patients) or a self-care book (45 patients). After 12 weeks, the patients were given a questionnaire and asked to rate their pain using a numerical scale. The results: yoga practicing patients felt better than those using the self-care book, but conventional stretching methods — when combined with strengthening exercises — were just as effective as yoga.
Skip the Meds! Build a Yogin’s Back
The yoga group was given only 5-11 yoga postures. I’m convinced that if the yoga group were given a more comprehensive practice, they would have outshone the stretching group.
If you’re looking to build a strong iron-clad back through yoga, look for a quality instructor (even better if they’ve had a history of back challenge) or class that’s offering just as much strengthening postures and transitions as it does stretching, and commit to a thorough, consistent practice. It requires discipline, but man is it worth it.
I think disposable water bottles are an abomination; wasteful and unnecessary… I have been using a Voss water bottle for years now.. But this is a great upgrade and won’t break if you drop it..stylish too!
Because of the species’ stability, hardness and strength, these bottles are made from Phyllostachys Pubescens bamboo (also known as Moso and Mau Tzu). The bamboo is grown and harvested in temperate conditions that allow it to grow to its maximum potential – 90 feet in 9 months! The best part of the harvesting method is the hand selection and hand cutting of the bamboo. This allows maturing and flowering strands to remain flourishing and minimizes the impact on ground soil since no heavy machinery is used. Once cut, the bamboo will continue to grow just like mowing your lawn. This selective cutting process leaves the soil and land in its best possible state.
Where to buy; Bamboo Bottle
Wool slippers handmade from recycled sweaters… non-skid, soft-soled, and they stay on!
The Etsy Store offers these yummy slippers in Lambs wool or Merino Wool in sizes from baby’s to adults…
I am a major coffee fan..love it. I grind my own beans by hand each morning with a Zazzenhaus grinder from Sweet Maria’s..an amazing source for all things coffee; grinders, green beans, anything you can imagine..
I get my coffee from Green Mountain Coffee online; a wonderful deal at $6.95 a pound for organic, fair trade coffee!
Here’s how to make this thick, luscious coffee;
Start with an Ibrik (Turkish coffee pot), some freshly ground espresso coffee.
Using a whisk, mix 9 ounces room temperature water with 2 Tablespoons sugar, 4 Tablespoons coffee, and spices (cardamom in traditional in Turkish coffee but cinnamon or chocolate is also awesome), stirred into the Ibrik. Then place on medium high heat. When foaming starts at the edges of the ibrik, slowly begin reducing the heat. The goal is to keep the coffee foaming, but not to let it rise more than a quarter of its volume. If you turn the gas down too quickly and the foaming stops, just turn it back up. The goal is to foam for 3 additional minutes (5 minutes total time). At 6 minutes total the coffee tastes over extracted, and at 4 it can be thin. The temperature at the end of 5 minutes should be around 167 F.
Swirl the ibrik gently to help the grounds caught in the foam subside. Traditionally the coffee is pored very slowly into the cups to keep the grounds out as much as possible. I personally do not like them in my coffee, so I use a Porcelain coffee cone with a hemp filter in it to strain the coffee through.
0-4% of water mass. I find using half the mass of coffee is just about the maximum to balance the bitterness and really let the acidity shine.
I like the Zassenhaus Turkish mill. Mine is set 3/4 of a turn past French press–the burrs brush lightly when there is no grist.
Our blog is about health, healing and happiness. About living simply, naturally…and luxuriously. With a keen eye toward quality of life, quality of content.
Andrew Paul Williams, PhD Andrew Paul Williams, PhD (writer, researcher, communication consultant, and photographer). Millie Lewis Barnes (Paleo-, Gluten-, and Lactose-Free Chef, Nutrition Coach , Urban Gardener, and Radical Environmentalist). Each has over 25 years’ experience in thier respective fields. Thier zest for life, thier path to healing has led them to share thier knowledge with thier clients for over 30+ years…
Get to know Andrew and Millie here and professionally on thier website- CriterionLiving.com.