Posted in Yoga

Tips for Avoiding Yoga Injuries

Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are ― Jason Crandell

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Do you think that yoga is an injury free practice and that there is no way you to get really hurt moving so slowly? Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. Without theI’m proper care and planning, yoga injuries can be quite common. In order to protect yourself, I put together a few pointers and keep you safe.

#1 Listen to Your Body

Depending on your personality, the yoga instructor, and your fellow yogis, it can be easy to get somewhat competitive. Pushing your body too far on any given day can quickly result in a painful injury. 

Understanding that some days will be better days than others and that your sleep, diet, and focus can all affect your performance in some way. Instead of thinking “I was able to do this pose last week,” or “Heidi is rocking this pose, I need to push myself more,” listen to what your body is telling you. If it’s a day to challenge yourself, fantastic! If it’s a day to hold back, then listen to what your body is telling you. 

#2 Choose a Knowledgeable Yogini

Yoga is an extraordinarily popular practice and there are classes in just about every community in the world. The immense growth of yoga studios means a tremendous increase in the number of instructors too. Be aware that not all instructors are not created equal – some are very skilled while others still learning. 

Amateur instructors can unintentionally cause injuries by pushing students too far or by positioning your body into a pose that you’re not ready for. Pay attention to your instructor’s attitude and practices. How do they handle beginners? Are they willing to talk to you before or after class to give you some one on one pointers or attention? Additionally, you should review their accreditation and talk to fellow yogis to get their opinions on the. Many yoga studios put Bios of their instructors on their websites and you can usually find some reviews in local facebook groups.

#3 Give Yourself Time to Learn

Everyone starts yoga at the same place, as a beginner. Allow yourself time to be a beginner and ease into the practice. It is your journey and it will be more valuable if you take the time to absorb what is happening around you and how it makes you feel. You need to know that it can take some time to find the right instructor, studio and yoga type that fits your needs and personality. Grant yourself time to learn and give your body time to adapt.

#4 Develop a Routine

 Also, give your body time to warm up before and cool down after class. As you ease into and out of each class, you’ll give your body time to adapt and do what you request of it. That also means going into postures slowly and coming out of them slowly, too. This routine will help you be in the moment and help you be conscious of the mind/body connection.

In order to get the most benefit out of your practice, it’s very important to be consistent in taking at least one yoga class once a week. The more time you give your body to practice the movements, become flexible and strong, the better your experience will be. Most importantly you’ll reduce your risk of injury. Yoga is wonderful for your body, mind, and spirit. Take it easy on yourself and prevent injuries so you can enjoy your practice all year round.

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha

Posted in Mental Health, Self Care

Choose a Kick-Ass Self-Help Book With These 7 Tips

If you don’t have the courage to change yourself, then nothing will ever change around you. – Unknown

You will reach points in your life where you will need a little help and guidance. Of course, you can turn to your tribe, but occasionally you will realize that the type of help you need isn’t the type of support your friends and family can provide you with. Most of us turn to a good self-help book at one point or another to encourage and inspire us toward a range of possibilities for growth. Looking inside yourself and deciding to make a change is the first step towards improving your life. You will want a book that can provide you with the best advice but there are often too many to choose from.

Here is a list of what to look for in a self-help book and how to choose the best one for you:

Time for some soul searching…

1. Look for a book that focuses on a limited range of problems. The books that tend to rank the highest are the ones that have only focused on one specific disorder. 

2. Review the author’s credentials. Before purchasing a self-help book, you’ll want to get a book that has up to date information and is backed with research and knowledge. Look for books that are ranked high or are written by doctors and professors. 

3. Avoid books that contain claims that you know are too good to be true. You probably already know how to spot these types of grandiose fabrications, but it is especially important to be cognizant when it comes to you counseling yourself. For example, if a book claims to banish your anxiety issues forever, don’t get sucked in!. Unfortunately, a book cannot guarantee you with relief from anxiety, or any other mental or physical health issue, forever. 

4. Is the book you’re looking at based on scientific evidence? This is often hard to tell right off the bat, but you can rest assured that the books that are ranked highest usually have some sort of data and/or experiments to back up their credibility. 

5. Look for a book that helps you monitor your progress. Having this type of guidance and help allows you to see how far you’ve come, which is something wonderful within itself. You can visually see and feel how far you’ve come and how much you’ve changed since the beginning of your self-help journey. If the book has an accompanying workbook this will definitely help you stay on track and provide you with a place to record your insights about yourself.

6. Flip through the book or tables of contents (if it has one) and see if it ever discusses the possibility of relapse or any setbacks. Only about half of all the self-help books published allude to a sense of setbacks or relapse and how to bounce back from them. The goal is to resolve the issues, however, sometimes it takes more than one attempt to find the right recipe for you.

7. Does the book discuss when you should seek professional help? Sometimes you can’t overcome all the underlying issues that led to the problem or you may face some unsettling emotions on your self-help journey. If you reach that point, it is important that you get the support you require from someone who specializes in your problem. 

Photo Credit: Ellieelien on Unsplash

There is a large variety of self-help books available to help you along your journey of learning more about yourself. The key is that you purchase a book that can provide you with as much value and guidance as possible. Don’t go for books with flashy covers and taglines just because you like their look. If need be, look into each book and provide yourself with the best chance of being rejuvenated and inspired to grow.

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha

Posted in Mental Health, Stress Reduction

Zen Your Way to Work

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs

Getting up and going to work can be a real challenge. When you are returning to work after an extended leave or illness, it can be overwhelming but it doesn’t behave to be! There are small changes or additions that you can incorporate into your routine that will help keep you in a positive mindset and create a comfortable work space when you arrive at your desk.

One day at a time…

Below is a list of zen ideas to help you transition back into the office:

  1. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual – allow yourself time to press the snooze button, ease your feet to the floor and lift your head off the pillow.
  2. Take time to sip your favorite morning drink. Whether it’s a cup of hot water with lemon, a fruit smoothie or a steaming cup of coffee, let that first sip be a moment of self care for the day.
  3. Dress the part – keep the goal in mind. Of course there are days that I wear my jeans to work with a nice top but for the most part I dress like a boss. The key to incorporating some zen into your wardrobe is picking out the articles or accessories that make you feel good. Wear a comfy pair of colorful shoes, a funny pair of socks, stacks of bracelets or your favorite printed scarf. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual – allow yourself time to press the snooze button, ease your feet to the floor and lift your head off the pillow.
  4. The commute to work can be quite stressful as we need to do drop offs at school and/or daycare, make our way through traffic and various weather conditions. With a little advance planning, you can create a playlist of tunes, download some podcasts or listen to audio books to shift your focus elsewhere during the commute.
  5. Add 1-2 family pictures to your desk area along with a green plant ( or more of you have a green thumb!) occasionally bring in flowers to freshen up your desktop.
  6. Keep your work area clean. Remove piles of papers, extra office supplies. Make a point of dusting and wiping down the desktop at least once a week.
  7. Get an ergonomics assessment done to ensure you have all the office furniture and supplies you need to be comfortable, productive and efficient.
  8. Consider a happy light! If you are in an office with no natural light, a happy light for seasonal depression can be your savior. Even if you have a window office, it can be a great tool for those dark Fall and Winter days that are part of many time zones.
  9. Determine if music helps or hinders you. I have never been able to study or work In silence – I need background noise. I have a small radio at my desk to energize me with some tunes to keep me on task.
  10. The sense of smell is connected to our emotional center, so adding a scent that evokes pleasant memories can calm your nervous system. My personal favorites are fruit incense stick in grapefruit, lemon and strawberry. Peppermint, cinnamon and rosemary can help with energy and focus. If you share an office and can’t have essential oils or candles, you can make a cup of tea with these ingredients have the benefits.

I hope that some of these ideas will help you while you start your progressive return or restart your daily work routine.

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha