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Live Wisely

Live Wisely

5 Yoga Poses That Make Us Feel Relaxed

Relaxation is important for your body and will help you feel better. Stress makes daily living hard and adding these simple yoga poses to your daily routine will help reduce those stressful feelings and replace them with relaxation. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Living on these emergency action hormones every day can make for some uncomfortable side effects. Breathing deeply and practicing the following five yoga poses will get you on the way to a more relaxing life.

The art of relaxation is not an easy one. Many of the poses we chose help you gradually enter a place of deep relaxation and enter a truly relaxed state.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The final pose of any yoga class is one of deep restoration. We chose this pose because when we do this pose it gets us ready to sleep and even if we aren’t relaxed when we start it, it helps us get closer to that feeling.

How to get started:

  •  Lie on your back with your legs and arms at your side. Rest your hand about six inches away from your body with the palms up.
  • Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes.
  • Let your breath occur naturally.
  • Allow your body to feel heavy on the ground
  • Working from the bottom of your feet to the tip top of your head, consciously release every part of your body.
  • Relax your face and let your eyes fall into the back of your head.
  •  Invite peace and silence into your mind, body, and soul.

Benefits

– Calms the brain and helps relieve stress

– Relaxes the body

– Reduces  headaches, fatigue, and insomnia

– Helps to lower blood pressure

Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This pose helps stretch the back of the legs and relieves fatigue and cramping in the legs and feet. We chose this pose because it really can help you if you have back problems from sitting or being on your feet all day.

How to get started:

  • Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall
  • Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.
  • Lower you back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.
  • Shift your weight from side to side and scoot closer to the wall.
  • Let your arms rest open at your side, palms facing up.
  • Release and relax letting your thigh bones drop towards the back of your pelvis.

Benefits:

– Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet

– Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck

– Relieves a mild backache

– Calms the mind

Supine Spinal Twist ( Jathara Parivartanasana)
This pose helps to stimulate your kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladder, and intestines.  We chose this pose because the twist makes us feel great after a stressful day.

How to get started:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Draw both knees to your chest and clasp your hands around them.
  • Extend your left leg along the floor, keeping your right knee drawn to your chest.
  • Extend your right arm out along the floor at shoulder height with your palm facing down.
  • Place your left hand on the outside of your knee. While exhaling drop your right knee over the left side of your body.
  • Turn your head to the right.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

– Stretches the back muscles and spine.

– Stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladders, and intestines.

– Releases stress.

– If the knee is straightened, it stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the legs.

 

Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This resting pose centers calms, and soothes the brain, making it a therapeutic posture for relieving stress. We chose this one because it gives us a feeling of being a child again.

How to get started:

  • Begin on your hands and knees
  • Spread your knees apart keeping your big toes touching.
  • Rest your buttock on your heels.
  • Sit up straight and lengthen your spine.
  • Bow forward, putting your torso between your thighs.
  • Allow your forehead to come to the floor.
  • Keep your arms long and extended, palms facing down.

Benefits:

– Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles

– Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue

– Relieves back and neck pain, when done with head and torso, supported

Standing Forward Bend ( Uttanasana)
Dropping your head below your heart calms your brain. We chose this pose because it helps us stay calm and really gets in a good stretch.

How to get started:

  • Begin in mountain pose.
  • Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening the front of your torso.
  • Bend your elbows and hold onto each elbow with the opposite hand. Let your head hang down.
  • Press your heels into the floor as you lift your sit bones toward the ceiling.

Benefits:

– Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

– Stimulates the liver and kidneys

– Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips

– Strengthens the thighs and knees

– Improves digestion

– Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

– Reduces fatigue and anxiety

– Relieves a headache and insomnia

– Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

 

At Coolibar, we love practicing yoga outdoors in our fitness items! All our clothing is rated UPF 50+ and will keep you protected from the sun while you breathe deeply and relax in any of your favorite poses. Our fitness items also contain Cooltech which keeps you cool as you sweat.

 

We love these two websites for new yoga pose ideas:

http://www.yogajournal.com/poses

https://yoga.com/poses

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Live Wisely

The Secret Advantage of Long Sleeves

On a hot, sunny day, long sleeves get a bad wrap. In fact, when it’s hot out, a wearer in long sleeves will endure laughter and ridicule on the golf course and the endless question, “Aren’t you hot in that?” Here’s the good news, if you wear UPF 50+ long sleeves when the rays are pummeling you, you no longer have to contend with those who simply don’t know the secret advantage of long sleeves.

The fact is that when the sun is shining and temperatures rise, UV protected long sleeves keep you safe from sunburn and keep you cooler. Doctors have long recommended wearing UV sun protective clothing as a way to prevent sun damage and protect against skin cancer; however what science is now proving that blocking UVA/UVB rays in combination with long sleeves actually keeps us cooler too.

A number of years ago, an inquisitive research team led by C Richard Taylor and Virginia Finch of Harvard University and Amiram Shkolnik and Arieh Borut of Tel Aviv University were puzzled by the ability of the Bedouins of the Sinai to minimize solar heat loads in a hot desert. The study, aptly called Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?, measured the people’s overall heat gain and loss in the robes, considering their amount of coverage, long sleeves and the color of their robes.

A volunteer wearing different levels of coverage and different colored clothing was faced into the midday sun in the desert for 30 minutes. Withstanding 95F, the volunteer placed in the Negev desert at the bottom of the rift valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Eilat wore either: 1) a black Bedouin robe; 2) a similar robe that was white; 3) a tan army uniform; or 4) shorts (that is, he was semi‑nude).

The results were surprising, but not surprising. Long sleeves and more clothing kept the wearer cooler. As the report puts it: “The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin.”

As far as desert temperatures in our everyday world, when it’s hot, our bodies sweat as a natural cooling mechanism. Let’s face it, sweat sitting on skin feels sticky and damp. Then often, the temptation is to “release” heat by removing clothes or wearing short sleeves, leading to damaging sunburn. Comfortable loose fitting UPF 50+ long sleeves in a wicking fabric transfers sweat away from skin so it can dry, and it creates a small air flow between skin and fabric to keep it cool while protecting against sunburn and UV damage.

While long sleeves can actually keep skin dry and cool, when it’s exceedingly hot, long sleeves are not a replacement for drinking liquids. Medical professionals will always recommend wearing a sun hat, UV clothing, taking frequent shade breaks, using a UV umbrella for portable shade and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids.

So, the next time friends question if you’re too hot in your long sleeves, you have your answer. Recommendations are for sleeves that are loose enough for some air flow. Long sleeve styles like UPF 50+ wraps layered over a tank top or accessories like UPF 50+ scarves channel air in, around and flow heat out, like a bellows. As for the color debate, it appears dark is not an issue as far as staying cool in the deserts. Nor, would we suppose, it be an issue around the pool or on the boat either.

 

Sources:

Strange, but true: science’s most improbable research, The Guardian.

The heat and the hazard: 9 facts about summer health, The Washington Post.

 

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