YOGA FOR ANY AGE

Yoga is an activity that is appropriate for all ages. This article discusses a few benefits of yoga, makes some recommendations for how you might practice and offers tips to get the most out of your time.

There are numerous benefits of yoga. Here are just a few.....


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TMJ AND TENSION RELIEF

In the root of your jaw, a tight aching sensation throbs subtly … or not so subtly. Tender to the touch, the sensation moves into your temples or perhaps your ear or into your face. You may or may not feel a clicking or locking in the joint of the jaw. Does any of this sound familiar for you?  You may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMJD). Good news: This is generally temporary and can be self-treated. Talk to a health care practitioner for recommendations tailored to your own needs...

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VISUALIZATION WITHOUT EYES

Our incredible human minds can see without eyes. We have the power of vision whether our lids are open or shut, measured at 20/20 or legally blind.  With yoga practice, we can create a vivid vision nonexistent outside our minds but quite tangible to the mind that has created it. A mountain vista, passing clouds and geometric patterns sketched on the surface of our neural pathways can be part of a practice involving pratyahara. Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs that comprise a yogic approach to living.

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PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH WITH MULA BANDHA

Pelvic Floor Breathing Exercise

Try the following exercise for your pelvic floor muscles, alternating engagement with relaxation. You don’t even need to wear gym clothes for this one.



Explorations:



Cautions:

Cautions: If you are experiencing any pelvic floor dysfunction, consult your health care provider. This dysfunction may take the form of incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, abnormally weak orgasms, vaginal pain during sex, constipation, ache in the pelvis and more.


It is not uncommon in yoga practice to keep a constant engagement of mula bandha during a yoga asana class. It is important to counter such engagement with relaxation.


Sources and Resources:



  

LAUREN WEAVER, RYT 200

Lauren Weaver is a Yogi, Yoga Instructor, and Assistant Instructor with the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She can be reached via email at Lauren.mw32@ gmail.com.

more articles by Lauren Weaver

While it may be uncomfortable to confront the topic of pelvic floor health, it is an important subject of concern for women in particular. The pelvic floor is comprised of layers of musculature at the base of your pelvis that serve many functions, including organ support, bladder and bowel control, childbirth, sexual pleasure and intra-abdominal pressure.


Daily life and large events such as childbirth can result in either weak muscles or overly engaged muscles. Both of these can lead to a series of problems. Let’s look at how we can avoid pelvic floor issues by integrating mula bandha into our life.


The Bandhas

The bandhas, defined as bonds or body locks, are specific engagements of interconnected musculature that are practiced in yoga for their own benefits as well as for the benefits they provide when integrated with other poses. Three bandhas are widely practiced. Jalandhara bandha involves the neck and upper spine; uddiyana bandha involves the diaphragm and lower abdomen; and mula bandha involves the muscles of the pelvic floor.


In the context of this article, mula bandha is the most important bandha and has even been recommended as an alternative approach to Kegels, the exercise also intended to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, though it often narrowly focuses on the muscles that control urination.