Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Yoga Clothes and Apparel

There are a few Yoga accessories that you may want to take into consideration if you plan on doing Yoga on a more regular basis. The Yoga mat would be the first item I would purchase and there are many makes and models available so depending on how much you want to spend I will give you an idea on what you need to look for.

There are a variety of Yoga clothes and apparel to choose from, they vary for cheap to very expensive , so here I have reviewed some of the most popular Yoga clothes and apparel that may suit your lifestyle.

Yoga Pants

You can never have too many pairs of Yoga pants. they come in a variety of lengths, I tend to put mine on in the morning and wear them all day around the house and to the shops, so it does pay to get quality Yoga pants as they do last a lot longer.

To help you sift through the choices, here are some of the most popular brands and styles.

Then there are the  Yoga Props that help you get to the right position , we all need a little help some times as our bodies are different shapes and we all have weakness and strengths in different areas.  So the next item I would look at getting would be a pair of blocks and a Yoga strap, there are some great combination deals.

One of the newest Yoga accessory items that has been very popular is the Yoga Mat Sport Bag is available in a variety of colors, ebony,, blue, purple, green, grey, red, taupe and gold, it is made from heavy duty polyester and has a specialized mat locker system that holds most 5 lb. Yoga mats, the mats must be purchased separately. This Yoga backpack is so well thought out it has compartments for all of your items you may need. It is very comfortable and easy to carry with the one strap - sling strap, over the shoulder style backpack.

The Yoga Backpack is a new development to the Yoga accessory family, , but it is such a useful item to have in your home as it can be used on your family hikes, sports days, great size for carrying on a plane with all your daily needs for that flight.

The  Yoga Mat Sport Bag is available in a variety of colors, ebony,, blue, purple, green, grey, red, taupe and gold, it is made from heavy duty polyester and has a specialized mat locker system that holds most 5 lb. Yoga mats, the mats must be purchased separately. This Yoga backpack is so well thought out it has compartments for all of your items you may need. It is very comfortable and easy to carry with the one strap - sling strap, over the shoulder style backpack.
The main compartment measures 19 inches high and 12 inches wide and has a depth of about 7 inches. This easily holds your Yoga blocks, strap, towel  and spare clothes. It is big enough to put in a laptop
There actually is a special pocket to fit your phone in that is on the strap that fits over your right shoulder, so the phone is easily accessible when you need it.
There is a separate compartment that is lined and can fit your  clothes in after a workout, this is on the front of the backpack that is clipped open and closed.
And a separate side mesh area to fit your drink bottle in. And on the other side is a larger mesh pocket that fits your rolled up Yoga mat in.
The cushioning the bag gives on your back is very supportive and keeps your lower back from hurting.
I would highly recommend buying this back and using it for travel, work, hiking, the gym or whatever else you may need it for.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yoga Recipes

I enjoy a healthy diet and eating healthy foods and there are so many Yoga recipes I would like to share with you. Following a good Yoga diet helps your mind, body and soul.
Practicing mindful eating inspires a sense of gratitude, so try and consume foods that benefit your body in healthy amounts, appreciate your food and where it comes from and savor each and every mouthful

Healthy Yoga Recipes

Smoothies are so easy to prepare, put all the good foods into a blender , pulse and enjoy. all the health benefits. Pineapple Smoothie which is rich in vitamin C and manganese, thiamin which is have great anti inflammatory, anti cancer and healthy heart properties.

Below is a Minty Green Tea can help you burn calories as green tea reduces your appetite and the mint is a pain reliever and reduces bloating and flatulence.

Turmeric Bombs are a wonderful way to get the health benefits of turmeric, this little spice should be in everyone's daily diet as it is a powerful anti oxidant and potent anti inflammatory and aids heartburn and indigestion.

Try the Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Pancakes below , they are a tasty treat as pumpkin is rich in fiber which slows down you digestion, Macadamia nuts  are a rich source of Vitamin A, irons and folates all which promotes good health.

Spicy Black Bean Soup  is high in fiber which helps lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease, this soup also contains Vitamin B1 and B6, black beans are one of those wonder beans.

check out the Tart Cherry Elixir below it is a wonderful drink after your workout, try this recipe with tart cherry juice this drink tastes like a treat, not a treatment. 

Minty Green Tea Cooler

Green Tea has so many health benefits including cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease prevention. So here is one is my favorite summer iced tea. It requires some preparation but you can make a big batch and drink it over the course of a few days.

For optimal health benefits, add a squeeze of lemon to your green tea. Catechins are the uniquely powerful anti-cancer substance in green tea, but they can be difficult for the body to absorb. Adding citrus (or vitamin C) has been shown to boost absorption — one study showed that the rate of absorption was 5 times higher with a bit of lemon juice.
I recommend steeping your green tea for 10 minutes (again, for optimal health benefits).
If this makes the taste too strong for you, steep for only 5 minutes instead or adding a bit more agave nectar.
4 cups of water
4 teaspoons of loose jasmine green tea or 4 tea bags
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
3 teaspoons agave nectar
Sparkling water
Lemon and mint for garnish
1. Bring the water to boil in a saucepan.
2. Turn off the heat and add the green tea, agave, and mint.
3. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
4. Pour the tea mixture through a strainer into a sturdy glass container.
5. Refrigerate for at least an hour, and then serve over ice and sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon and few mint sprigs. I like to do half of the tea mixture and half sparkling water.

 Tart Cherry Elixir

This combination of tart cherry juice, ginger and turmeric is a health drink that will knock your socks off and its so good for you.

  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1 tsp raw ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
Pour 1 cup tart cherry juice.
Add 1 teaspoon raw ginger and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
Enjoy this flavor full elixir

Pineapple Smoothie

The most delicious refreshing Pineapple smoothie when fresh pineapples are in season. Pineapples have so many health benefits, they are rich in anti oxidants which helps prevent cell damage and protect you against heart disease and various cancers. Pineapples are rich in vitamin C which will reduce the common colds and pineapples also contain manganese which helps strengthen bones.

  • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup coconut meat
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 2 dates, pitted (optional for sweetness)
1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Add pineapple chunks, cashews, coconut water, pineapple juice, lime juice, coconut meat, and coconut cream into a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
  2. Add dates, for optional added sweetness.
  3. Pour into glass and serve with lime garnish.

    Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Pancakes

    These are Gluten-Free Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Pancakes, pancakes are enjoyed by most people, so I have found a healthier version for you to enjoy, these are delicious.

    • 1 cup Gluten Free pancake mix
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 cup pureed pumpkin with pie spices
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter, for a richer taste
    • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
    This makes about eight good-sized pancakes, or 12 dollar-sized. (Of course, for my family I have to triple this recipe.)

    Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Put a little coconut oil on your griddle (just to add another layer of flavor) and drop your batter on. Then cook, flip over and serve with fresh berries and plain Greek yoghurt.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Yoga Poses for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Yoga Poses for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Here are some great Yoga Poses for neck and shoulder pain, with our busy technological world, we spend far too much time on our iPhones and computers, even carrying heavy grocery bags, young children and we get our neck into an unnatural position. 

Upper back pain commonly stems from the tendency to slump in the spine and round the shoulders. Slumping causes the shoulder blades to slide away from the spine, chronically overstretching and weakening the muscles around them. Eventually these muscles harden into tough bands to protect themselves from this constant strain. 

Check out these Yoga exercises to help relieve the stress on your neck.

Open Chest Stretch

In this stretch the hands are clasped behind the body, and the arms are drawn away from the back to stretch the fronts of the shoulders.

Bend your elbows and interlace your fingers behind you, separating the palms of your hands. Keeping the elbows bent, lift and square your shoulders; then draw your shoulders back, moving your elbows toward each other so that your upper arms are parallel.

The proper action of squaring the shoulders, bending the elbows, and bringing the upper arms parallel will rotate the upper arms outward, opening the space between your upper chest and the fronts of your shoulder joints.

Standing Wall Stretch

The standing wall stretch can get into the tightest areas in the arm, shoulder, and chest. Stand next to a wall with your feet parallel and comfortably separated. Place the fingertips of one hand on the wall at shoulder height with your arm fully extended. Place your other hand on your hip.

 Cup your fingers so that only the fingertips touch the wall, and rotate your arm outward slightly so that your thumb points upward. Keep your shoulder aligned with your hand and begin to lift and open your chest with your breath, rolling your collarbones back.

This stretch reaches some of the deepest levels of tension in the arm and shoulder, and opens the flow of circulation to the entire area.

Upward Seated Plank (Purvottanasana)

This posture stretches the brachialis (inner arm muscles) as well as the chest. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet a comfortable distance in front of you. Place your hands on the floor 12 to 16 inches behind you, wider than your hips and (ideally) with your fingers pointing forward. (If you feel wrist pain in this position, place a support such as a folded towel under the heels of your hands or turn your hands outward.) 

Bend your elbows slightly, and, as you exhale, soften your chest downward, bowing your head. As you inhale, draw your shoulders back, keeping your elbows bent and your upper arms parallel. Lift and open your upper chest, feeling the stretch just below the lines of your collarbones. Keep your hips on the floor.

For the best results it is very important to lengthen your short muscles in the inner arm and chest establishes better alignment in the shoulders and frees you of fatigue and painful spasms in your upper back.

Cat and Cow

This is a great exercise for neck and back pain A lot of tension can be built up in the shoulders and neck which is why breathing is essential for releasing tension from the body.)  

 The upper and lower trapezius, deltoid, rotator cuff muscles (suprispinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor), and latissimus dorsi benefit from the cat posture as well.   

The upper trapezius muscles connect at the base of the scull called the occiput, which can aide in releasing tension from the neck. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Yoga DVDs for Back Care

There are many Yoga DVD's now available , but here are the Top Yoga DVDs for Back Care.


These are some very gently Yoga poses for anyone with back problems, they are easy-to-use interactive DVD menus allow you to choose from 6 routines that range from 20-40 minutes to help with common back related issues including:

Yoga for Back Care - 6 Routines
Back Care (Revitalizing) (40 Min.)
Neck Care (40 Min.)
Lumbar Care (20 Min.)
Sciatica Relief (35 Min.)
Scoliosis Routine (25 Min.)
Rest and Restore (25 Min.)

The gentle sequences on this DVD are appropriate both for those who are actively in pain and for those who wish to maintain optimal back health. Prior yoga experience would be helpful, but it is not a necessity, as Benagh provides thorough, detailed instruction and offers modification suggestions throughout.

Yoga Journal: Yoga For Total Back Care With Annie Carpenter

Here is the renowned vinyasa flow yoga teacher Annie Carpenter and she provides you with the tools you need to learn how to release tension and prevent injury in the neck, back, and shoulders. These are the essential poses and methods for achieving and maintaining a strain and injury free back.

Annie's instruction focuses on proper alignment as a gateway to well-being. Two 45-minute sequences target the major problem areas to help students build awareness both on and off the mat. 1. Neck, Upper-Back, Shoulders Saver: Sequence One will strengthen the upper back and shoulder girdle, providing the stability you need to keep your neck pain- and tension-free.

Monday, March 16, 2015

eBook for Back Pain Relief

Free eBook for Back Pain Relief

 A wealth of knowledge about back pain at your finger tips

Click here to download  your Complimentary eBook in PDF format

Download Instructions:
1. Right-click on the icon above.
2. Select “Save Target (or Link) As”
3. You will be prompted to save your file on your hard drive. Choose a location and click the “Save” button.
Note: If you don’t follow the instructions above, the file will not be saved to your hard drive.

Yoga Mats and Accessories

It is important to get the right Yoga mat and accessories that a suitable for your size body. Yoga mats come in different lengths and size thickness,. The Yoga stability ball also comes in different sizes and it is very important to get the right size for your comfort, here are some of the most popular Yoga mats and accessories I would recommend to you after having experienced some bad mats in my past.


There are so many mats to choose from and from personal experience the cheapest ones don't last long and they are uncomfortable. Make sure you Yoga may is not too thin and it is long enough .

Some of the best yoga mats can cost as much as $100, but the low-priced YogaAccessories (TM) 1/4'' Extra Thick High Density Yoga Mats stands out for the rave reviews it receives from users. Owners say the mat is an incredible bargain, providing the same level of support and cushioning as mats that cost five times as much.

It cushions your feet and gives you stability during some of the stretching moves. This mat is a full 1/4" thick and provides great cushion for your yoga routines. It is cushiony enough that it supports me in a variety of poses, whether I'm standing, kneeling, laying down, stretching. It is far better than doing yoga on a bare floor.

The Yoga Mat and Towel Combination is a great way to keep yourself sweat free during your Yoga workout, designed for the hot Yoga classes, I love it for my everyday workout. They bonded a non slip microfiber towel onto a regular yoga mat.

Lush, Super Absorbent, Ultra Thick and Extra Long 72" x 24" wide. Durable and Long Lasting. Easy to care for and machine washable.

 It's like practicing on a magic carpet. It weighs less and washes beautifully. Yes, it's more expensive than a simple yoga mat or towel, I highly recommend this combo.


I love the stability ball, it lives in the corner of my living room, it's a great spare chair when kids are around and I pull it out when I am watching TV, this is a must in my house.

Even have one in your office at work, when you need to take 5 minutes away from your computer, it is so relaxing doing a few stretches on the Stability Ball, Your Yoga and Fitness Companion.

Make sure you get the right size ball, when you are sitting on it you hips, knees and posture should be at a 90 degree angle.

I am going to do a whole section on the benefit of the stability ball with back pain.


These are two Yoga accessories you may need to help you get into positions a little easier, I have short arms and trying to get  from downward facing dog  to Warrior is not easy for me and this is where I use my block to help me lift my body up off the floor a little.  This Yoga Strap & Block Combo  supports your body to make difficult poses more accessible.

The strap can be used to stretch out you poses a little further or you can use it as a resistancy tool, you would be very surprised at how useful this tool is.

The Mandala Yoga includes two balls, durable, solid rubber massage balls. Mandala Yoga Massage Balls are approximately four inch solid balls. Mandala Massage Balls provide greater support than a tennis ball!!

They are pliable too. Learning to use the Mandala balls takes no time at all. They are truly user friendly. Lay on them, roll your fee on them. Just use pressure if you are rolling them anywhere you can't lay on.

 YOGA BackPack
Here is one of the newest Yoga accessory items that is dual purpose, the Yoga Mat Sport Bag, it can be used for day hikes , travel or going to a day out on the sports field , this very versatile bag comes in an assortment of colors and the are many pockets to hold an assortment of your personal belongings..

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Easy Yoga Poses for Back Pain

Child's Pose

Here are the best Yoga Poses to help ease your back pain.

Poses can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Easy floor and wall Yoga Poses


The Sphinx Pose is a gentle back bend that opens up the chest, lungs and lower back, there are a variations of sphinx poses.

  The Yoga pose with the legs on the wall is a restorative pose and has a tremendous amount of benefits, not just for your lower back but also for your digestive system, calms your immune system, regulates your blood pressure and relieves tired muscles.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yoga for Lower Back Pain

I use Yoga for my lower back pain, after years of struggling with achy joints and muscles, I decided to try Yoga and it has helped me in so many areas in my life.

Lower back pain can be caused by overuse of the ligaments or  muscles and they tear, or there is pressure on the nerves and this is where Yoga is ideal for lower back pain,

Warm Up Back Rotation

Before you begin your exercise it is very important to warm up the spine, so I recommend sitting on the floor or mat with your legs crossed in your most comfortable position and your arm on either side of your knees, hanging and relax your shoulders.

Then start moving your shoulders in a clockwise position, starting out with a small circular motion, slowly making your circle bigger. Close your eyes to feel your momentum. Continue this for 1 minute and then stop and center yourself and then begin the rotation in an anti clockwise position. Again start out with just small circles, getting bigger and bigger, again for another minute. 

 Yoga is a relaxing and very easy method to use to help reduce or even eliminate your back pain.

Side Stretches 

Once you have warmed up your back from the side rotation exercise, lift your right hand straight up above your head and lean over to the left, putting the left and on the floor as your momentum takes your to the left, keep you back as straight as possible and slowly stretch your side, hold for 15 seconds and return back to your center position.

Repeat on the other side, raise your left hand up above your head and lean over to the right, hold for another 15 seconds .

Repeat this exercise 5 times on each side and now you are ready for some

Butterfly Stretches

The Butterfly stretch is an easy way to give your back some immediate back pain relief. To do the butterfly stretch all that you need is a little bit of room to stand up and stretch. 

First place your hands, palms down, on your shoulders. Keep your hands in place, without moving, as you bring your elbows together in front of you. The closer your elbows come to each other the tighter your back will feel. Once you feel a strong stretch you should hold it for at least five seconds.

 Repeat this move 9 or 10 times for maximum back pain therapy.

Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with your knees bent and pointing straight up, with your feet close to your butt. Your feet should be parallel to each other and the same distance apart as your knees (about 6").

Lift your hips and press down with your feet to help lift your hips up off the ground. Your feet, arms, shoulders, and head should remain on the ground.

Hold this pose for as long as you can and remember to breathe in this pose. If you cant get your hips off the ground very far then place a blanket or a yoga block under the arch of your spine, just to release your hips a little further.

 Focus on expanding the chest as you inhale, and scooping in your belly as you exhale.

To release the pose, unclasp your hands and simply lower your hips to the mat.

Spine Rotation

This is a very relaxing pose and a wonderful release for your back, lie on your back with your knees and hips bent and your feet flat on the ground. 

 Have your arms in the crucifix position, now rotate your knees to one side and hold the position for 30 seconds, make sure you keep your shoulders on the floor.

Then reverse this position by rotating your hips to the other side and hold it for another 30 seconds.
Repeat this exercise 5 times, preferable 2 times a day.

Cat and Cow

Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders. Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged.
As you inhale, let your belly soften, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone. This part of the stretch is called cow.

With an exhale, round your spine up to the ceiling pulling your abs toward your spine, and simultaneously tuck your tailbone in and tuck your chin toward your chest. This part is known as cat.

Continue flowing back and forth from cat to cow, breathing deeply so as not to rush each movement.

These are 5 wonder easy exercises for back pain and these should be done first thing in the morning to wake up your back and then again at night, it can be done in front of the TV.

A wonderful position to finish your program with is Child Pose.

Child s Pose
This is a wonderful position to relieve your back pain at any time.

Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart, and your big toes touching behind you.
Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, lie your torso down onto your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine, by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone, and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.

Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you. I also like to separate my knees and bring my arms between my legs, and turn my head to the side so my cheek is on the mat. Each of these variations will stretch your back, neck, and shoulders differently, so try them all to see which one you like best.

Stay here for five breaths or longer, and once you've had enough, you can inhale to lift your torso up.

These are just some of the most successful Yoga exercise for lower back pain, for more advanced exercise please check out Yoga Therapy for Chronic Back Pain if you have more than a niggle. Yoga involves whole body alignment and is the key to helping your body return to it’s natural posture. Find out how yoga can help you to return to a balanced life style.