I suffered from chronic neck pain for 15 years. I tried everything, including physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and going to a chiropractor. I bought therapeutic pillows and even a new memory foam bed. Eventually I resigned to living with my pain, and thought I’d be rushing to the ibuprofen bottle first thing every morning for the rest of my life. At the end of a physical therapy session one day, my therapist had an idea. She showed me a Theracane and told me to buy one online. I literally haven’t been to physical therapy since!
I followed my physical therapist’s advice and ordered a Theracane, which allowed me to perform “trigger point therapy” on myself. To learn how I also bought “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” by Clair Davies (Update: I’ve reviewed the book here). The key to how trigger point therapy works is the concept of “referred pain”.
Trigger points are basically knots in a muscle. What most people don’t realize is that these knots can cause pain in Continue reading
I have a lower back injury that creeps up on me now and then. That’s actually one of the reasons I started to practice yoga more seriously. So, I have a particular interest in yoga for back pain relief and core strengthening.
Yoga for Back Pain Online Videos
When I began focusing on yoga for back pain specifically, I found some YouTube videos to get me started. One short practice I liked was Esther Ekhart’s “Hatha Yoga Routine for Lower Back”:
It’s about nine minutes long and is low impact, instructed with live cuing (as opposed to voiceover). The instructor explains Continue reading
This is literally my second time ever doing yoga, so I wanted a short workout. I found a 10 minute yoga class on YouTube that featured a “Sun Salutation”. I thought it would be fun to try. It was also my first chance to use my new yoga mat! I love the mat and will review it in a future post.
This video was made by the same studio whose video I watched the first time I did yoga. It’s the same instructor, but with a different model. Like the other video, Continue reading
Today I came across something which is currently my new favorite yoga accessory: The Yoga Cat Mat! It’s a mat and toy made especially for yoga cats, from the yoga curious to the full on feline yoga gurus.
I can totally relate to how the Yoga Cat Mat’s creator, Paige Hodges, likely came up with the idea. On the “About” page Hodges explains, “In order to accommodate the felines and make room for myself on the mat I’ve learned to modify poses in ways that would make my yoga teachers cringe in horror”. In addition to getting a huge kick out of this, I was also relieved to discover that I’m not the only one that has to move my asanas to make way for the whiskered warrior poses.
Not only do my cats have the need to coach me when I’m in the middle of my yoga practice, Continue reading
I just finished the book “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Yes, that is the correct spelling. Yes, it’s impossible to pronounce!). Wow, what an amazing book. It’s a challenging read, but incredibly rewarding. Pretty much all 240 pages are packed with really profound insights on how to be happy. I wish someone would write “Flow For Dummies”!
Flow occurs when you’re doing an activity where the challenge matches your skill. When that happens the focus required absorbs you completely. When you’re playing tennis and you’re totally involved in the game, that’s a flow activity. You forget everything else but the game. That’s flow.
Yoga is arguably one of the best flow activities, and the book has a section specifically on flow and yoga. But almost anything can be a flow activity, from sports to music to reading. If it’s something you enjoy focusing on, it can be a flow activity.
Flow makes you happy
In spite of all the wonders of modern technology, humans aren’t any happier now than they have been throughout history. We are healthier and live longer, but we aren’t happier. So what can we do about it? Csikszentmihalyi shows that how often Continue reading
I’m shopping for some new yoga wear shorts and a bra. Specifically, I’d like some comfy yoga shorts and a couple of sports bras that can be worn on their own without another top. I’d like the sports bras to be supportive and comfortable enough to be worn also as sleeping bras.
A few years ago I bought some very inexpensive spaghetti strap sports bras from one of those close-out discount stores. I think it was something like $5 for a three pack. They were 96% cotton and 4% spandex and 100% comfortable. Actually, I still wear them and they’re still very comfortable but no longer as supportive as they once were now that I’ve worn and washed them about a million times. I know it’s unlikely that I will get the same deal I got that day, but I have searched for replacements and I think they must have been discontinued as I cannot find them. That’s probably why they were such a good deal!
So, for the past several months I’ve been trying to find something similar to these tried and true bras. I still want something that is mostly cotton with a tiny bit of spandex or lycra. I came across these Hanes Stretch Cotton Low Impact Sports bras. Although they were not spaghetti strap, the style was decent and they came in a two pack for under $10. Since it was free shipping and free return shipping, Continue reading