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Recap: Yoga In Central Park by Yoga on the Fly x Lyfebulb

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Tuesday, May 16th was a perfect spring day. The temperature was in the mid to high 70’s, the sun was out, and the weather was breezy. If that alone was not enough to make one feel happy and at peace, add in the yoga.

In partnership with Lyfebulb Patient Entrepreneur, Elizabeth Feinstone, and her co-founder Avery Westlund of Yoga on the Fly, we hosted an afternoon yoga class in the middle of Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. As guests arrived, they were greeted with a yoga set up that included mats by Yoga by Numbers and canvas goodie bags curated by Yoga on the Fly that included soothing essential oils by DoTerra, a discount code for Satva yoga clothing, customized Yoga on the Fly hand sanitizer and chapstick, and a Fiji water bottle.

Photo by: Krista Bonura

While waiting for the class to begin, guest picked their mats and quickly formed friendships with those around them. Both Elizabeth and Avery went around introducing themselves to guests, making it a comfortable environment for everyone.

Photo by: Krista Bonura

Once the class was about to begin, guests were given a set of headsets by SoundOff TM. The headsets are a part of Yoga on the Fly’s business model, that allows anyone to engage in a yoga class while traveling, by going into a private mini studio at the airport, choosing an instructional video on a (provided) iPad, and doing yoga while being instructed through the wireless headset.

Once the headsets were on, all outside noise and hustle and bustle of New York City disappeared.

Photo by: Krista Bonura

Avery led the beginner level class, which was perfect for everyone in attendance. The class ended with a very fitting tree pose.

Photo by: Krista Bonura
Photo by: Krista Bonura
Photo by: Krista Bonura

At the end, everyone was zen. There was no better place to be at that moment, then right there in Central Park.

“It was a beautiful evening for yoga in Central Park, and a perfect way to end the chaotic day. New friendships were formed, old friends reconnected, and everyone left smiling. Thank you to Lyfebulb, Sound Off headphones, and Yoga by Numbers for their enthusiasm and making the evening a success!”
– Elizabeth Feinstone, Co-founder, Yoga on the Fly

“It was a privilege to bring together the Lyfebulb and Yoga on the Fly communities and to partner with SO and YbN on such a gorgeous spring night in Central Park! We had blast and look forward to teaming up again and growing our mindful, supportive community! Stay tuned for future event details on our instagram at @yogaontheflyllc!”
– Avery Westlund, Co-founder, Yoga on the Fly

How To Properly Plank

Planks are a great yoga pose. There are two types of planks- a high plank and an elbow plank. Do you know the difference? Check out the why and the how for each plank below:

High plank

Why?
Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and abdominal muscles

How?

  1. Start in table top.
  2. Keep shoulders and hands as they are.
  3. Step feet back so you’re up on the balls of your feet.
  4. Balance your weight evenly between both hands and feet. Imagine you are in mountain pose. Suck belly button in and up to elongate and straighten your spine.
  5. Feel as if your lower back is pressing up.
  6. Make sure shoulders don’t pass wrists.
  7. Breathe here.

Check your position in a mirror if possible, or ask a buddy to watch. If your low back is swaying, you have several options:

  1. Pike your hips to decrease the curve in your spine.
  2. Bring knees down if necessary, but be sure to keep your abdominal muscles engaged.

Or, if you’re not ready for a high plank, start with your knees on the floor, so there is a straight line from the crown of the head to the knees.

If you’re unable to exercise with a mirror or a buddy, or can’t tell where your body is in space, time your planks (from your feet or knees) in 10-second increments, then return back to a table top position.

Note: A plank is about trying to equally distribute body weight. Our bodies feel and work differently daily, so doing a plank might feel differently day to day.


Forearm plank

Why?
Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and abdominal muscles

How?

  1. Start in table top position.
  2. Bring your forearms to the ground.
  3. Align your shoulders over elbows. Your hips will naturally shift backwards.

    You have 3 options – place palm face down on the ground, bring each hand into a fist, or bring both hands together and interlace your fingers.

  4. Press your hands down into the ground.Step your feet straight back so the balls of your feet on the ground.
  5. Balance your weight evenly between both forearms and feet. Imagine you are in mountain pose. Suck belly button in and up to elongate and straighten your spine.
  6. Feel as if your lower back is pressing up.
  7. Make sure shoulders don’t pass elbows.
  8. Distribute weight in forearms and hands/fists and not on your elbows.
  9. Breathe here.

Once again, if you’re unable to exercise with a mirror or a buddy to see if your low back is swaying, time your planks in 10-second increments, then return back to a table top position.

 

 

 

 

Balance Training

Balance has to do with our ability to stay in one position for a given period of time without moving. It sounds silly because how often do any of us actually do this? Balance training is more important than just teaching us how to stand still with our eyes closed.

yoga on the beach, healthy lifestyle concept

However when we practice standing on one foot, eyes open or closed, we learn how to use gravity, environmental feedback, cues from our feet, and what we see to train the muscles in our body. Balance training also involves strengthening core muscles and muscles around joints. By learning where our bodies are in space and improving joint stability, we are better able to sense which muscles are needed to activate or deactivate to keep joints in proper alignment when moving. This improves coordination, athletic skill, and posture, which prevent falls and muscle strains, decreasing the likelihood of injuries.  

Wonder where to start? First, test your balance. Stand close enough to a wall that you can use it for support. Stare at a spot on a static object in front of you and slowly shift your weight onto one foot while lifting the other off of the ground. If you feel yourself falling, place your foot back on the ground or your hand on the wall. If this is challenging, continue to practice this on both sides.

If you feel comfortable doing this, try walking heel to toe in a straight line. You can slowly progress to walking lunges and using props to help improve your balance. Simply sitting on an Indo Board, Physioball, or BOSU balance trainer will strengthen your core muscles by challenging your balance. Once you develop greater balance, you can begin to stand on an Indo Board and BOSU trainer, then take that one step further and use these props for dynamic exercises, for example doing squats on a BOSU trainer.

Getting into exercise for the first time or after a long hiatus? This is the place to start. Balance training is the best way to get to know your body and become conscious of where it is in space.

If you are currently active, return your focus to balance training. Combine balance exercises with flexibility, endurance, and strength training to improve overall physical fitness. But first, consult with a doctor, physical therapist, or a well-educated personal trainer to make sure your body is up for the challenge.

Flirting with Burnout

I’m sitting here in France after a whirlwind tour of Europe. We come here every year and it’s always a bit of a challenge to juggle suitcases, meals, train and plane travel with my daily diabetes management requirements. But besides a bit of grumbling, I take it in my stride.

This year though it’s been a bit more challenging. If you’ve ever been to Italy you’ll most likely agree that the food is incredible, the people deeply heartfelt and the scenery – BREATHTAKING! But try and get something practical done with a government organization? Forget about it! Last year I had a diabetes test strip debacle when my friend sent me test strips to an address in Italy. It took oodles of red tape to wrestle the test strips from customs, only to have them arrive after I had left Italy.

It was hard not to ruminate on this kind of madness when I tried to get a seat on a train from Milan to Cannes

Imagine, I’m ready for lunch, my blood sugar is a nice 6.0 mmol. I ask my beloved to wait with the suitcases on the platform while I pop down to the reservation center to get us a seat.

Oh my god! The reservation center was filled with at least 500 gesticulating Italians. I found a line which led to a guy who was passing out numbers. I told him I wanted a seat on the 3.10 train to Cannes, which apparently was impossible. I freaked out! My blood sugar was dropping, I didn’t have anything with me and I couldn’t get in touch with my partner to bring me my food.

What to do?

I hightailed it out of there and decided to sit in whatever seats we could find. We dragged our bags onto an overcrowded train and were of course sitting in someone else’s seats. Eventually we sorted everything out and landed in Cannes. But the trip took its toll.

Higher blood sugars, physical exhaustion, and feeling frustrated were the initial symptoms. But days later I am dealing with insulin resistance and the feeling that I just don’t want to have anything to do with diabetes!

For 8 years I have managed this disease with diligence and care. I’ve cried a ton, been angry, practiced yoga every single day, surrendered, you name it. But right now as I balance between something that feels like depression and anxiety, apathy and distress I think I must be experiencing my first bout of diabetes burnout.

It’s mild and in the background but it’s there.

I can’t ever imagine not checking my blood sugar, or ignoring my daily insulin injection. But I can feel some other form of rebellion brewing. And strangely it’s taking the form of inactivity. I am not signing up for the next webinar, not updating in facebook groups, not planning our next event. Not spending all my time on twitter, Instagram etc. I’m actually reading a book, sitting in the sun, baking flaxseed muffins, taking naps and staying in my P.J’s for most of the day.

And as my burnout morphs into relaxation, I’m wondering; is burnout actually the crisis we need to take a step back and make important changes in the way we manage our diabetes?

I know for myself that being so diligent can work against me. I try too hard to get perfect numbers. My whole life has been about doing my best.

When I take a step back and accept that some things are out of my hands it can almost feel like I’m flying blind. It’s a scary and fragile feeling. And reminds me of how it feels to ride on the back of a motorbike in the wind. Holding tight to the driver’s waist I close my eyes and trust that I’ll get where I’m going in one piece.

I know that living with diabetes isn’t quite like that, I mean you can’t just ignore it. But you can trust that sometimes the way you think about your diabetes contributes as much to unstable levels as the diabetes itself.

Talking with other people who live with diabetes is, in my opinion, one of the best coping strategies. Last month I met up with fellow Lyfebulb Ambassador Hanna Boethius whose lived with diabetes for 30 years. We started discussing the process of upping our basal insulin when morning levels get higher. She shared that even though we tell ourselves it’s something else, like stress or food or whatever, taking that little bit more insulin will bring the levels down. We don’t want to believe it because we want to take as little as possible, but sometimes you just have to suck it up, inject and trust that you’ll be okay.

Something that my partner has taught me through his own assimilation of the deeper aspects of yoga is that we forget that the body is bound by time. The physical practices keep the body as healthy and fit as possible for as long as possible. Yoga also teaches us that the body is a vehicle. We’re in the driver’s seat. The parts may wear out but the driver remains. Getting to know the driver is the richest aspect of yoga. We think that getting to know the driver is all about our likes and dislikes, who we are as individuals. But the purest teachings take it one step further and pose the question; who is it that is seeing, touching tasting feeling and driving this vehicle?

Whenever I really get stuck I go back to my mat and the feelings of “I’ve had enough” give over to pondering “whose feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and burnout?”

It’s amazing how that one simple question can unravel the knots, bring me back to what matters and reset my day. It’s not that I have all the answers but I do know what I’m not.

I’m not my burnout, nor am I my disease. I’m simply a person who lives with what ever comes along, doing my very best every single day.

I’d rather be skating than dreaming

Ice skating saved my life. I was introduced to the sport when my mom took me to watch my cousin compete. I was four years old. Soon after I took my first steps on the ice, and I never wanted to take my skates off. I didn’t, until doctors told me I had to.

I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at eight years old. It attacks quickly with signs of severe fatigue and bruising. I went from ice skating five hours per day, five days per week to barely five minutes, and the slightest fall caused the largest bruise. I don’t know how long it would have taken my parents to recognize the signs had it not been for ice skating. But really, does it matter? I’m alive. What does matter is that ice skating continues to be my savior in a myriad of ways.

My treatment protocol kept me in the hospital and isolated for weeks, and blood transfusions happened regularly. However, my life still revolved around ice skating and cancer was getting in the way of me reaching my dreams. Early in my treatment I suffered brain damage and was in a coma for about one month. Afterwards I needed rehabilitation to learn to walk again. I didn’t care about walking. All I wanted to do was skate.

My team of doctors gave me a firm “no.” I suffered from severe neuropathy so they didn’t believe I would be able to skate anyway. Then they saw the picture I drew for the Courageous Kids calendar, a calendar filled with 12 pictures drawn by kids in prolonged hospital stays.

Elizabeth drawing“I’d rather be skating than dreaming” was the caption. Doctors’ main concern was my extremely low platelet count, despite the constant transfusions, which meant that if I fell and hit my head, an uncontrollable brain bleed would occur. They said, “OK,” but vehemently told me to wear a helmet.

It turned out that I could skate better than I could walk. Physical therapists and doctors were mystified and dumfounded. I didn’t need rehabilitation. They needed to record me skating and try to understand what was happening. I don’t think I was wearing a helmet in the video. I valiantly competed for two years in subzero temperatures without a hat or hair. While most kids would have been petrified to be outside with a baldhead, ice skating didn’t allow cancer break my spirit.

Eventually I learned how to walk again. I completed treatment in two years and two months and lived a relatively normal life for five years. Each day started and ended with skating, with school in between, and in the evening I returned home for homework and dinner and sleep.  I did well in school and increased skating levels fairly regularly. I battled constantly with fatigue and neuropathy and headaches and seizures, along with a host of short and long-term effects of chemotherapy. I was taught how to scan my body regularly for abnormalities. I thought I knew everything that might be thrown my way.

I wasn’t taught to scan my brain for post-traumatic stress disorder. When I was diagnosed with cancer, doctors consoled my parents saying “Don’t worry, you will see your daughter graduate from high school.” What they didn’t mention was that she might be graduating with PTSD. As it turned out, cancer did break my spirit. Suddenly passion burned out of my body. Ice skating no longer filled my heart with joy, and I turned to a psychologist for help.

When I arrived at George Washington University, I stopped going to therapy and dove into my pre-med requirements. Once I moved on from skating, I realized how badly my body hurt from an unfortunate combination of cancer survivor and figure skater aches and pains. My anxiety level was through the roof and in the middle of a sport psychology class, I experienced my first panic attack. Several days later my academic advisor noticed that I couldn’t stop shaking my leg and suggested I take a yoga class for a semester.

I laughed but took her advice because I didn’t see the harm. I began practicing yoga twice a week and immersed myself in classes like personal health and wellness, exercise psychology, medical anthropology, and preventive and integrative medicine. My focus evolved from western medicine to natural and traditional healing approaches. I introduced exercise and nutrition to childhood cancer survivors, yoga to socially disadvantaged populations, and resiliency training to those deployed into demanding environments. I learned about cultures that viewed epilepsy and flashbacks as blessings. I began to see my health conditions in a new light. I realized I had the power to take back control of my life by applying the skills I was teaching to others to myself.

And my life began to change.

I graduated from GW with a BS in Exercise Science and immediately moved to New York to start a Master’s in Public Health program at Columbia University. I started the program only to realize I wasn’t ready to take on the rigor. I needed to understand yoga and exercise more deeply to help myself before I could better learn how to help others.

That year I became a 500 hour registered yoga teacher and personal trainer. To this day, ice skating continues to move my spirit. In yoga, the poses and exercises that I found most transformative were those that mimicked aspects of figure skating.  And, I finally recognized that figure skating was my form of meditation and, for four years, a major piece of self-care was missing. I went on to complete my MPH program at Columbia with a newfound systematic approach to design health interventions for people with chronic disease. All of my worlds coalesced and my path became clear. I was on the hook to teach others how to take control of their bodies to increase their quality of life.

Through countless hours of self-work, I accepted my body and its chronic conditions as limits that I had to work within. I strengthened the weak muscles that caused the aches and pains and moved my body in ways to minimize long-term side effects of chemotherapy without working so hard a seizure would occur. I live a mindful, balanced life, which allows me to live in moderation. I eat and move and breathe and meditate in ways that allow me to thrive.

Don’t get me wrong. There are days I want to rebel against my body, but I’ve learned it’s wasted energy. All of our bodies are beautiful, with or without chronic health conditions, and we have the power to heal ourselves as best we can. Far too often we forget to work on ourselves because we don’t know how. Nobody has ever taken the time to educate us, give us the skills, or provide a safe space for us to practice or learn. That’s what I’m here to do.

Yoga is the Magic Word

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I woke up at 4 am this morning to a Blood glucose reading of 4.9. Not really a big low for someone living with diabetes, but low for me, especially because I know my body. I know that if I go back to sleep I’ll be too low. I’ve been on long-acting Insulin for over a year now and I still feel like I’m on a learning curve, discovering what food trigger highs, how much insulin triggers lows and using diet and exercise to keep me stable.

It all takes discipline. Something that comes quite naturally to me. When people ask me where I find the motivation to stay so focused the answer is simple, Yoga.  My Yoga practice keeps me sane. I owe my passion for yoga to my teachers. As a young adult, I lived in a small town in Australia and took up yoga with two yoginis who had studied with Patthabi Jois in India. The practice they shared was like a dance. It transformed my body and shaped my mind and taught me that I could achieve anything. I couldn’t get on that mat early enough. It’s all I wanted to do and the only thing that really made me happy. I wanted to be like them and achieve what they did. Their mastery made me want to excel. I was competitive and I still am. But now I compete with myself. It’s like a game. I wonder some times if its dysfunctional to always strive to do better.

I often use the word hate. My partner is always pointing it out. He says no one should hate anything and insists things can be uncomfortable or challenging, but that hate is too strong a word.  Nevertheless, I hate having diabetes. I hate having to check my blood sugar, not being able to enjoy a variety of foods without fear of lows or highs. I hate that with all the new technologies there is no definitive cure and I hate going to sleep at night with the fear that I won’t wake up in the morning. I hate that this disease strikes children and that it’s so random and unpredictable. I hate, hate, hate diabetes!

There I’ve said it.

I truly feel that the expression of anger is a healthy emotion. My anger has helped me to accept my diagnosis.

And anger keeps me disciplined.

The other side of discipline is relaxation, the essence of yoga. With every moment of mastery in a posture, there’s a deep sense of letting go. As one muscle tenses the opposing muscles releases. The postural practice is one of tension and flexion, opening and closing, day and night, feminine and masculine. It soothes and invigorates and constantly seeks harmony. It’s the perfect complement to any challenge.

A yoga practice demands your attention, it pulls you out of the need to identify with all the thoughts, worries and anxieties about your condition. It gives you a mental and emotional break from living day in and day out with diabetes. Wherever you place your attention during the practice that’s where the energy goes.

So what kinds of practices work? Is it the postures? The breath? Being mindful? In my experience, it’s all of the above.  To practice correctly you have to execute the pose, breathe deeply and be completely mindful. It doesn’t matter what pose you do. If you are there, the magic happens. In fact, it’s impossible for you to be absent. Because without you there, present, there would be no yoga.

Yoga these days can be misrepresented. It’s splashed all over the media as something that young vegan, smoothie drinking girls do in bikinis on the beach.  Don’t get me wrong. I think those girls are beautiful, but that’s not yoga. The practice of yoga is for everyone, any size, any age. There is a practice that’s perfect for you. I encourage you to find a teacher you gel with and a practice that feels right.

Inspired to get motivated or want yoga to help lower levels? Choose an active practice like power or vinyasa yoga.

Want to relax, restore and rebuild your adrenals? Try yin or a slower form like hatha.

Ready to develop discipline? Choose a style of yoga that has the same set sequence. The mind loves repetition and routine.

Wanting to come to terms with your diagnosis? Explore nonphysical styles like Bhakti or Karma yoga. Both Bhakti and Karma yoga are styles which ask you to give of yourself in devotion or selfless service. When we step away from what’s in it for us and give. We forget our ourselves in the offering.

Want something practical you can do right here and now to get the ball rolling?

Try this quick breathing and moving vinyasa:

Sit in a comfortable cross legged seat, straddle a bolster, or if you have any knee or lower back issues sit in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor.

Interlace your fingers at the center of your chest

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Inhale and extend your arms out in front

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Keep inhaling and reach your arms towards the sky with the palms facing upwards. It all happens in one continuous movement.

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Exhale, unclasp the fingers and release the arms down by your sides

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Inhale take your arms behind you, clasp the fingers with the palms facing each other and reach your knuckles towards the ground

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Exhale relax your hands on your thighs with the palms facing upwards

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Repeat this sequence five to 10 times.

When you finish the vinyasa sit quietly observing the sensations in your upper body and notice the breath becoming calm and imperceptible

You can do this sequence any time you need more energy, or to get motivated to do a longer practice.

Rachel’s Bio:

Rachel Zinman is an international yoga teacher with over 30 years experience who was first diagnosed with diabetes in 2008 at the age of 42.  It took nearly six years for her to accept and understand her diagnosis of type 1 LADA diabetes because she refused to believe that she couldn’t cure herself with yoga and alternative therapies. Her personal journey from denial to acceptance led her to discover that even though yoga couldn’t cure her condition it could definitely help her to manage the volatility of the disease. Now her mission is to give back and share how yoga helps her to manage her health each and every day. To find out more about Rachel and her new book on Yoga for Diabetes visit  http://yogafordiabetesblog.com/yoga-for-diabetes-book/ and http://www.yogafordiabetesblog.com

 

Simple moves for life – a yoga pose in 7 steps

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At 19, I started yoga tough. I couldn’t touch my toes. My hips were tight and my upper back and chest were so muscle bound I could hardly breathe. To top it off I was highly competitive. When I looked around me and saw people doing arm balances, or sitting in wide open splits I was jealous. My need to be the best drove me hard and I pushed myself to the edge. I treated my yoga class like boot camp. But doing it tough isn’t all good. I overstretched, injured myself and stressed my nervous system. I had yogi burnout and I was only 25.

Not long after I fell pregnant, and with the changes in my body came a new perspective. I realized that slow and gentle isn’t a cop out. Instead it’s nurturing and it heals. I began to explore postures that opened me without effort. I rested in between sets. I allowed my body to guide me through the practice.

30 years later I have refined my approach and put together sequences that are easy to implement. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how open or tight you are. If you keep it simple and build in stages eventually the body will be open and strong.

One of the central poses of a yoga practice is mastering the down dog position. It’s quite a challenging posture because it requires that you have strong wrists, open shoulders and hamstrings. and a natural arch in your lower back. When most people first attempt this pose they’re arms start to ache, their hamstrings scream and they think what’s the point!  Working into down dog in 7 steps is the key. Each step along the way is a pose in its own right. You can perform the sequence in one fluid flow or just do one a day, one day at a time. Eventually over time you’ll feel light and open in the final posture and be able to easily hold it for 10 breaths or more.

Pose 1

Start in Child pose take your seat to your heels and have your belly against your thighs. Reach your arms out in front and lift your elbows, Breath deeply so you can feel the back of your body breathing.

Pose 1

Pose 2

Come into cat pose on all fours. Have your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Breathe and relax here. This is a really simple way to strengthen your wrists and open your chest. When you have held the pose for 5-10 breaths return to child pose.Pose 2

Pose 3

Come into half dog. This is a perfect variation to down dog. Make sure your hips and knees are in line as you stretch you arms out in front. Place a blanket under your knees if they are sensitive. Rest your forehead on the floor. Breathe deeply into your chest. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then come back into the cat position, send the seat back to the heels and rest in child pose.Pose 3

Pose 4

If down dog is too challenging and you can’t do half dog because you have knee pain or it’s hard to get down to the floor, place your hands on blocks underneath your shoulders. Extend your spine and breathe. This is also a great variation if you have high blood pressure because the head stays level with the heart. If you don’t have blocks you can also do this with your hands at the wall with the arms extended. If the hamstrings are tight bend the knees.Pose 4

Pose 5

Come into dolphin pose. This pose is great variation to down dog if you have any kind of carpal tunnel problems or weak wrists. It also works strongly to open the chest.  Start the posture on your hands and knees in the cat position, then place your forearms on the floor directly underneath where your hands were. Make sure your elbows are shoulder width apart. Clasp your hands together inhale and lift your sitting bones to the ceiling. make sure you draw your chest towards your thighs. Bend your knees in the posture if your hamstrings are tight. Stay here for a few breaths and come down to child pose.Pose 5

Pose 6

Start in child pose. Inhale and lift your sitting bones high to the ceiling. Keep your knees bent which helps to lengthen the spine especially if you are tight in the hamstrings. Make sure your feet are no wider than your inner hips. Bring your weight towards your hips away from your hands. Feel your spine long and extended. Take a few breaths here and come back and rest again in child pose.Pose 6

 

Pose 7

To come into the full down dog position straighten your legs, make sure there is no pressure in your lower back or pain in the hamstrings. If there is, bend the knees again. Push the floor away from your hands sending the weight towards your hips. Engage your thigh muscles and breathe deeply into your chest. If you feel tightness behind the shoulders round your upper spine a little to relieve the pressure. Hold for 10 breaths unless you feel fatigued. Come down and rest in child pose.Pose 7



Tracking your Numbers

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Tracking your Numbers: Walking through the process of checking and recording your blood glucose levels through light and moderate Activity. 

It’s important to learn the levels of your own body, and how different exercises can affect your levels over the course of the activity. Throughout and after playing college football I have participated in yoga to protect my body against the pounding that comes with running, playing pickup basketball, and weight lifting. So we’ll use yoga in this scenario because it’s a light to moderate activity that should produce one singular blood glucose action.

Step 1: Test your Blood Glucose Level (BS) 3 hours before the Yoga Session

At three hours from activity, there’s plenty of time to eat any meals or make adjustments necessary before needing to be truly concerned about BS levels. I recommend this initial check just for general safety and to make sure your number isn’t extremely high due to a missed bolus or pump malfunction

Step 2: Re-Test BS 45mins-1 hour from the start of the Session

Yoga will cause your BS level to drop, so BS levels should be slightly elevated immediately before starting yoga. Having a normal resting BS level an hour before Yoga is acceptable if you then consume a snack to be slightly elevated for the start of the session.

Step 3: Test right before the start of the Activity in order to be thoroughly safe against an adverse event. Knowing whether you need to back out or if you can continue is paramount. Testing just before will also give you an exact starting point if you feel your BS going either high or low.

During Yoga:

Be mindful of the drop in BS the activity might cause. Have your testing materials close by so that in the event you feel weak or lightheaded, you can see exactly where you stand. My yoga sessions are only an hour long, so if not prompted I won’t test again until after the activity is complete

Step 4: Immediately After Yoga, test your BS and note the differences between the starting and resulting numbers after an hour or so of activity. Actually write it down. This change will give you a great indication of how your body reacts to low to moderate sustained activity for this amount of time. You can use this information to better estimate future activities at similar intensity levels.

Step 5: 2 hours after yoga you should test yourself again. By this time, your body should be fully recovered and you may be surprised to see either a substantial rise or drop as a result of that recovery. As suggested in Step 4, write down how your BS has changed and make note of this event for future activities.

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