Yoga has become increasingly popular. While many people consider it as a form of exercise, Sarah Silver explains how yoga offers so much more than that.
“Be faithful in small things because is it in that your strength lies! – Mother Theresa
Yoga is the union of mind, body and spirit. The ultimate goal is to attain enlightenment to find meaning in this world and how we fit into it. The original yogic system is more spiritual than physical and the first yoga texts do not emphasis postures. Traditionally there are four paths of yoga Karma-Bhakti-Raja-Jnanana. Yoga we practice today has evolved from these teachings. Modern day yoga (1850 to the present) descends from Raja yoga. It is a comprehensive method that embraces meditation while encompassing the whole of yoga dealing directly with the thoughts of the mind and follows all the preparation of hatha yoga (yoga postures).
Our breath is directly linked to the central nervous system. t is an important indication of our physical, mental and emotional well-being. We can use it to induce feelings of calm by taking conscious control which changes the neural pathways within our brain and nervous system (flight/fight). It teaches us to become aware of the quality of our breath and through yogic breathing you begin to notice how the body experiences it. it is the key to unlocking your body in your yoga practice.
These are tried and tested, they have been developed over thousands of years to purposely exercise every muscle, nerve and gland within the body. Practising once or twice a week increases body strength, flexibility and grounds you spiritually. No special equipment is needed, you just come on to your mat with your breath and some resolve. This makes it suitable for all age groups and those with mobility problems. There are several yoga centres in the local area that provide classes for all levels.
Meditation and spirituality
Meditation is a flow of mental awareness which we directly experience by emptying the mind. Several methods are used: Breathing, Visualisation, Mantras and Chanting and Gazing to ground and help us to focus the mind. Love is the highest state and final goal of spiritual realisation, having an open heart is the key in moving your lie forward. Love is your inner source, your potential and your true nature. Meditation helps to clear and mental attachments – anger, greed and fear in order for us to move forward and grow a compassionate people.
“The answer my friend is blowing in the wind” – bob Dylan.
There’s one thing that can put a damper on a holiday and that’s back pain. If you are one of the many people who are taking to the skies this summer to reach their holiday destination, Arif has put together some timely advice for you.
Arif’s Back Safe Air Travel Advice
To minimise backache and to keep in good spinal health when flying for over an hour I recommend these brief points and gentle mobilising exercises.
When handling your baggage keep the case as close as possible into your body and avoid jerky movements when lifting the case
Pull a case off the carousel with both hands, this will spread the load and lessen the chances of twisting as you lift
As with most lifting bend always remember to bend your knees
Sit higher up on the seat with your bottom against the back of seat, raise your height by placing the blanket and cushion provided on long haul flights under your bottom.
Every one to one and a half hours take a break from your seat and do some gentle mobilising exercises:
Find an area to stand with your back against a wall and pull one knee up to your chest with both hands holding below the knee cap. Gently tug the leg 10 times. Repeat this for each leg 3 times so that’s 10 tugs 3 times per leg.
Next stand with your feet just beyond hips width apart with your hands on your hips and swing gently and rhythmically from side to side for 2 minutes or longer. This mimics the act of walking and is good for circulation too!
On returning to your seat, sit upright and clench your buttocks firmly, holding for 10 seconds, release and repeat 10 times. This will help to keep your circulation flowing (and provide a giggle to the passenger next to you and laughter is always beneficial:)!).
Use a horse shoe pillow to stop your head rolling if you fall asleep.
Avoid looking down to digital devices for more than a few minutes to avoid neck strain and possible headaches.
Whether you are jetting off or taking a staycation this summer we hope you have a relaxing holiday and safe travel.
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Arif hosted a Sunday lunch for the Cliffs’ team at the end of May. The company was fabulous, the food was abundant and the sun shined – what more could we ask for:)
Arif says “I am blessed to spend much time with a team I truly cherish. I was able to have them and their families for Sunday lunch. It was a small way to show my gratitude for the positive influence they are in my life and I believe in the lives of the many they touch.”
Whilst small handbags are making a comeback it doesn’t appear that leaving behind larger and heavier bags is going to go away anytime soon. There’s always too much stiff to carry around, right?
Unfortunately there’s often a price to carrying these large and heavy bags around. Research* undertaken by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) in 2017 revealed that oversized bags and those worn on one side of the body was in the top 5 most worn clothing item that may cause back pain in women.
Our team of chiropractors at Cliffs Chiropractor in Southend offer this back safe advice to all of you who can’t leave the house without a large and heavy bag:
Declutter: Empty your bag out and leave behind all the unnecessary clutter. It may be surprising just how much clutter there is.
Avoid certain types of bags: Bags that must be carried in the crook of your arm, for example, result in the bag being carried away from the body, pulling one shoulder lower than the other and twisting the neck and spine, which is not a good thing.
Alternate shoulders: If your bag has a strap then alternate the shoulder you are carrying it on.
Wear the bag across your body: If your bag has a long enough strap then wear it across your body.
If you are experiencing back pain for more than a few days then you seek professional help. Our chiropractors at Cliffs advise that an undiagnosed problem could lead to longer-term problems if left untreated. If you are in pain, you can call our friendly reception team and they will make an appointment for you to visit one of our chiropractors.
*The 2017 research was carried out between 14/02/2017 and 20/02/2017 on a sample of 2,082 UK adults aged 16 + on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association
Most popular clothing choices among women which could cause neck and back pain:
Recently Arif returned to St. Thomas More High School to have a round table debate with several students who he first met following a talk he gave to about 120 sixth form students a few months ago. He returned to find out from them how we can best educate teenagers to have a healthier lifestyle.
The Back Story is a very exciting project developed to help people make small changes which can have a significant difference to their health and well-being.
Arif says, “The Back Story is such an important project as we’re treating more and more young people with the kind of neck, shoulder and back problems associated with ageing. Making small changes now will deliver long lasting benefits.
I’m hoping these sixth form students will help me spread the word. The message is very simple to young people – Start Looking after Yourself Now!”
In the video, Arif explains how there are plenty of exercises that young people can do like the Chin Tuck and The Squeeze. Just as important is eating healthily. Starting the day with a homemade smoothie can be a simple and nutritious way to get started.
Watch Arif’s video below to find out how this team of sixth form students is going to help him spread the word to other young people.
We’re pleased to welcome our latest recruit to our team at Cliffs. Emma Chaplin has joined our therapy team as a masseuse.
She has already had her hands on patients and they came out smiling:)
Emma’s personal passion for health and fitness led her to pursue a career as a massage therapist.
Emma says “When the chance arose to become part of the Cliffs Chiropractic team I was overjoyed. Having the opportunity to work within highly this respected award winning clinic, alongside like-minded professionals and provide treatment that compliments the healing process is fantastic! Each day I am able to make a difference to how people feel is a fulfilling and rewarding experience.”