Yoga and pregnancy

I had a student recently ask me what poses she should not be doing while pregnant.

I told her what I knew off hand. But I told her I would do some research and let her know the next time I saw her.

So this, of course, has prompted a post.

If you are pregnant you should check in with your doctor and discuss any form of exercise, yoga included. Please make sure to discuss with your doctor since I am not a doctor and I am not your doctor.

After you tell your doctor and partner that you are pregnant you should tell your yoga teacher that you are pregnant. Sometimes we can’t tell because you are so early and/or aren’t showing. And if you are showing, we can’t assume you are pregnant because … what if you’re not …

From my own knowledge, what I have learned from my teachers and the research I have done online, here is some basic information.

Yoga poses you should avoid when pregnant:

Dry lips, lip balms & vata

For about 2 1/2-three weeks earlier this month my lips were super dry, like I have never felt before.

It started about a week before I left my job. So there was a lot of stress and a lot of super unhealthy eating and drinking going on.

The cheesy potluck at work seemed to trigger it, or at least that was when I first noticed.

My normal lip balms didn’t seem to be helping. My lip balms of choice were (and will be again) eos (lemon) and Chapstick hydration lock, which I got in my Birchbox.

I believe that stress, unhealthy eating and drinking were causes of the dry lips. But I also believe vata also played into this as well.

As we transition into Autumn in the ayurveda system, which is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment and yogic breathing, we are in vata.

Vata represents chaos, movement and wind.

Vata is the dosha (three fundamental principles formed by a combination of two elements) that represents the air and ether elements, according to ayurvedic construct; vata controls the movement of fluids and cells through the body, … Continue reading

Cooking and blending my way to healthy eating

During this time I am taking off from working full time I want to get back to healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and in any other way I can.

I have started eating better, drinking even more water than I was before and I am even cooking a bit. (I’ve also started back with my regular home yoga practice, regularly attending public yoga classes and getting some cardio in at my gym.)

Let’s get back to that cooking thing I mentioned above …

Even though I have two parents who are amazing cooks, I don’t like cooking. When I was a kid and my brother and I were old enough we were given the task to cook one night a week to help our mom, who was a single parent.

I absolutely hated it. I begged my mom for any other chore. So I had to vacuum the house. And to the day I still don’t mind vacuuming.

I have many goals in mind during my break. One of them is not to become a housewife–this is no offense to housewives, it is just not me.

One of my goals (besides tackling that atrocious unorganized pantry, cleaning up my e-mail inbox, … Continue reading

Benefits of chia seeds

A friend at work recently recommended I try chia seeds. I have heard of them before and knew they were supposed to be good for you. But I hadn’t sought them out.

Recently at the grocery I saw them and decided to buy them and try them out.

My friend uses the seeds in her morning smoothies.

I don’t make morning smoothies. So I have been adding a tablespoon of them into my 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt snack.

I like the texture and consistency of the seeds.

I also like the health benefits. (There are some claims that chia seeds help you lose weight. Not sure if that is true. And frankly, I don’t want to explore it. A healthy and balanced diet is what helps you lose and maintain weight. There is no quick fix or pill for that.)

According to WebMD, chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. … Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.

Livestrong lists the top 10 health benefits of chia seeds: high in fiber; … Continue reading

Venison: The other (healthier) red meat

Curt and I are back in his home state of Missouri and hometown of Albany for deer season.

I realize that some of my readers (and friends) don’t eat meat. And I respect that. And I would never try to convince you that you should. (I might try to convince you that protein is important to stay healthy–but there are many ways you can get protein in your diet. Non-meaters just have to work harder to meet their body’s need for protein.)

Last year when we were back here I wrote about a program called Share the Harvest, which states why the organization exists: Many families and individuals have no dependable source of protein in their diets. Red meat can provide that important component. Deer is a valuable source of protein; but, unlike most red meat, it is unusually low in fat. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri hunters can help provide this part of the daily diet.

According to a Livestrong article, a 3-ounce serving of roasted venison contains 140 calories, less than 1 gram of fat and 26 grams of protein, which is 50 percent of the daily value for protein. … A 3-ounce serving of grilled beef tenderloin steak, … Continue reading

My fragrance sensitivity

As I am getting ready to travel my fear of being stuck next to someone on the plane who is wearing perfume, smelly lotion or hair products or cologne or aftershave I start to worry.

According to this Livestrong article, fragrance sensitivity, also called multiple chemical sensitivity or environmental illness, is not technically an allergic histamine reaction, but it can cause uncomfortable, painful or even debilitating symptoms. Common symptoms include headache, nausea and tightening of the throat.

When I encounter someone wearing perfume, smelly lotion or hair products or even fragrant laundry detergent or air freshener for an extended period of time I get a raging headache and feel nauseated.

When we moved into a new building at work the new carpet smell gave me a raging headache and nausea. Even after I left work the symptoms lasted for hours.

I have had to ask people at work who I have closely worked with to stop wearing a perfume or smelly lotion. One time someone said, but it is expensive perfume. Yea, that has nothing to do with it.

An article in Medical News Today says, until the 20th century, perfumes were made from natural ingredients derived directly from plants … Continue reading

Walking Wednesdays

When the weather is nice in South San Francisco (and that can be iffy) there is a small but mighty group who walks together on Wednesdays.

The regulars come and go and come and go and new people trickle in.

I am not a huge walker and personally would rather not walk.

But if it is with a group of people it makes me much more motivated. (And with our wellness program you can earn points, which eventually earns you prizes.)

I can’t walk every Wednesday as on alternate Wednesdays I have Toastmasters. But when I can I join.

There are so many great reasons to be part of this group: meet new people; meet up with co-workers/friends you don’t see as often; get away from your desk (I rarely take a lunch break and usually eat at my desk while working); fresh air; and, of course, exercise.

According to this Mayo Clinic article, walking helps you maintain a healthy weight; prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; strengthen your bones; lifts your mood; and improves your balance and coordination.

The Mayo Clinic article has some great tips. I recommend … Continue reading

Working those butts, hips & thighs

I have struggled with the exercise part of this month’s Monthly Challenge. (And a little with the water part since I have was traveling and drinking a lot of beer. But I am back on track with the water intake.)

Travel usually makes it difficult for me to keep up with healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise.

While I was at my hotel in Austin I got to the gym a couple of times and made sure my exercises focused on butt, hips and thighs.

I learned my lesson while in Dallas and have decided for now it is not a good idea for my knee to run.

(I need to try glucosamine and get that in my system before I try the running again. According to Wikipedia, glucosamine is marketed to support the structure and function of joints and the marketing is targeted to people suffering from osteoarthritis.)

While I was in Austin last weekend I did a quick walk with an incline on the treadmill for about 30 minutes, then lunges with biceps curls, squats while holding extra weight and dirty dog while lying on my side, which is described in this Continue reading

Squats, lunges & water for May’s Monthly Challenge

One of the things that stuck with me with last month’s challenge was that a few mentioned they liked that it could be done at home. I know for a variety of reasons people can’t get to a gym or yoga studio.

I will do my best for future challenges to make it accessible for most. But, of course, you are always welcome to adjust to challenge for yourself accordingly.

Since summer is upon us, let’s prepare for it.

Exercise: Let’s work those thighs, butt and hips. We can work these body parts with squats, lunges and a variety of yoga poses.

Usually I like to give a number–do 500 or 1,000 a week. If you want a number, try to get in a 1,000 squats, lunges, any other exercise or yoga pose to work those areas each week. If the number idea doesn’t work for you, let’s just focus on those areas.

Nutrition: We roughly need at least 64 ounces of water a day. Another way to look at it is you should have half your body weight in water. For example: If you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day. If you aren’t … Continue reading

Spinning that hula hoop

One of the challenges in Go Fit Girl’s April Monthly Challenge is to rock that hula hoop.

According to this article on Healthy.com, we are all as cool as the First Lady. And we know how cool Michelle Obama is. And I can guarantee she can rock that hoop.

The article also says, doing any combination of hula-hoop moves for 30 minutes will have you burn 150 to 250 calories.

I am pretty good with the hula hoop. I haven’t maxed out on time yet–I usually stop myself even though I know I could keep on going. But after just five minutes I can definitely feel it in my abs, but especially in my obliques.

The Health.com article also gives tips on how to hula hoop. I think the advice is pretty good.

Here are tips on the Forward Stance: Stand inside the hoop with your right foot (or left foot–whatever feels comfortable) forward, holding the hoop against your lower back. Keeping your pelvis tucked, shoulders squared, and chest lifted, bend your knees slightly and give the hoop a good counterclockwise spin around your waist, making sure it’s level. To keep the hoop moving, shift your weight quickly between your … Continue reading