Friday, September 03, 2010

Yoga for Everyday Ailments

I recently began subscribing to Yoga Journal (and I love it). As a new-subscriber gift, they sent me a small booklet of different yoga poses that are natural remedies for everyday ailments. The asanas are common – but it is nice to know what health benefits each one has, and what specific condition each one targets.

1. Common Cold: Downward-Facing Dog. The pose encourages blood flow to the sinuses. Other recommended poses: Supported Bridge Pose, Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose, and Supported Goddess Pose.

2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Cobra Pose. Combating mild to moderate CTS symptoms is primarily a matter of counteracting the repetitive motions that created them. That means stretching the upper back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and wrists. Ideally, 30 min. per day is enough to stretch those areas, preferably in two 15 min. intervals.

3. Computer Vision Syndrome: Corpse Pose. A recent study showed that nearly 90 percent of employees who work with computers for longer than 3 hours at a stretch experience blurred vision and stinging, dry eyes. Placing a sandbag over the eyes in Savasana helps relax the eye muscles in the head area.

4. Insomnia: Standing Forward Bend. According to the National Sleep Foundation, fewer than half of Americans sleep long enough or well enough. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, increases irritability, and worse – accelerates the aging process. Most sleep problems are attributed to stress. Before bedtime, try winding down with uttanasana, a calming pose.

5. Headache: Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose. Rounded shoulders, a curved upper back, and a head pitched forward slightly can all add up to muscle tension that causes head pain. In fact UC Davis Medical Center says that 75 percent of all headaches are caused by bad posture. Holding Legs-Up-The-Wall pose for 5 min. can help bring the spine back into alignment.

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