Teaching Yoga and Addiction Recovery: Addressing Insomnia

By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed. Can Yoga be used as an adjunct therapy for addiction recovery? According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 60 million Americans have difficulty with some form of insomnia on a regular basis. Insomnia can take the form of problems falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, and waking up too early. [...]

Mindful Breath Awareness – Teaching Yoga Outside

  By Faye Martins The mindful breath awareness technique can be used to bring attention to the breath during movement while practicing yoga. We commonly see this in transitions and vinyasa. When practiced without movement, this meditation is a good way to make it through an intense focusing practice. The literal translation of pranayama is [...]

The Benefits of Yoga Practice in Relation to Stress

Practicing yoga gives your body a designated time to relax in what can often be a hectic life. It improves muscle strength as well as blood circulation which in turn works to detoxify the body’s major organs. The calming effect brought on by deep breathing and the meditative state often experienced throughout and almost always at the end of a yogic session stabilises the autonomic nervous system which works to bring about more balance within the body.

Yoga and Meditation for Stress Reduction

Many people picture yoga as a posturing practice, but it’s necessary to remember that meditation and pranayama are monumental parts of a complete practice. Meditation has been demonstrated to not only decrease stress levels, but also induce changes in brain physiology. Eileen Luders, a researcher in the UCLA School of Medicine, conducted a study in 2009 that compared the MRIs of 22 meditators, with 5-46 years of experience, with 22 non-meditators, and found that meditators had increased gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with attention, regulating emotions, and decision-making. In effect, meditators were more focused and better equipped to deal with negative or stressful situations and make logical, mindful decisions. Similarly, in 2009, Philippe Goldin, a project director in Stanford University, monitored individuals taking an 8-week course on meditation and yoga.

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