Find out what is happening with Yoga Shelter.

Breathing Exercises May Help Relieve Asthma


Patients with asthma who are willing to undertake intensive training may find benefits of asthma-targeted practice with a trained yoga practitioner.

According to a recent report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, breathing exercises are among the most popular alternative therapies for asthmatics and include  yoga breathing exercises.

The researchers found the most robust body of evidence supported hyperventilation-reduction breathing techniques, which achieved “medium to large improvements in asthma symptoms and reductions in reliever medication use of approximately 1.5 to 2.5 puffs per day.”

Researchers also found evidence for yoga exercises, which typically require deep breaths — usually through the nose — with extended exhalation and can relieve asthma. Most of the evidence came from studies in India, where yoga exercises are more intensive and frequent than in the United States.

Read full article

Health Benefits of Yoga


Yoga may increase muscular strength, flexibility and endurance. Many athletes use yoga to cross-train. Regardless of your exercise of choice, yoga can be a beneficial addition.

Yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.

The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood.


The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life.

Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, keeps off weight, and improves cardiovascular health, all of which lead to reducing your risk of heart disease.

Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better.

The stretching of muscles helps to reduce the amount of cellulite that can build around muscles.

September is National Yoga Month


September is the official National Yoga Month (a national observance designated by the Department of Health & Human Services) designed to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.

If you haven’t already discovered all of the wonderful health benefits yoga can offer, now is the perfect time to start. Through deep breathing, movement, meditation, and relaxation, yoga aims to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Yoga has continually proven beneficial in treating numerous health conditions and chronic diseases, not limited to asthma, ADHD, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, MS and osteoporosis. Numerous studies have shown yoga to be effective in reducing body weight, blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Yoga has also been shown to decrease depression, anxiety and stress while increasing feelings of well-being and optimism. Physically, regular yoga practice can improve muscle strength, endurance and flexibility while also alleviating chronic pain.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction

Benefits of mindfulness
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is not considered an alternative to mainstream medicine, but a complement to it – a highly effective complement. Practitioners have reported a number of benefits, such as a better ability to relax, an improved ability to cope with stressful situations, greater energy, and improved self-esteem. But the benefits are not just related to stress, Mindfulness-based stress reduction helps with a variety of medical conditions, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Skin disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances

The mindfulness-based stress reduction program has also helped people realize an overall improvement in wellness as well as helping many to learn effective strategies for preventing future illness.Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Center for Mindfulness
Kabat-Zinn has a unique background both as professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts and as a practitioner of meditation, which have lent legitimacy to Mindfulness-based stress reduction, helping it to become the popular program that it is today.

The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society is within the University of Massachusetts Medical School. With the backing of a major university, Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues have developed a wide body of research that support mindfulness-based stress reduction’s efficacy.

With a strong focus on scientific investigation, the Center for Mindfulness has conducted a number of studies to test mindfulness-based stress reduction. “Since the inception of the Stress Reduction Clinic, Mindfulness-based stress reduction research at UMass and other academic medical centers has shown consistent, reliable, and reproducible demonstrations of major and clinically relevant reductions in medical diagnoses.”

The Center for Mindfulness has found that the majority of those who complete the eight-week mindfulness course report lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms. Mindfulness-based stress reduction – it’s effective and it’s backed by scientific research. No wonder it’s so popular.

Learn more:

Health Benefits of Pineapples

The bright yellow fruit bestows a wide range of gifts for good health– including, but not limited to — being rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes whose properties promote digestion, relieve acid reflux, reduce inflammation, break down animal proteins, and even eliminate fingerprints after prolonged exposure to the juice.

Vitamins and minerals

· High in vitamin A and beta-carotene to protect eyes against macular degeneration and prevent lung and oral cavity cancers
· Loaded with vitamin C, flavanoids and antioxidants to build immune system, destroy free radicals, fight colds, flu and viruses, keep gums healthy and protect against periodontal disease and mouth cancers. Supports collagen synthesis in tissues; maintains blood vessels.
· Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) converts carbohydrates into energy, strengthens muscles and promotes proper nervous system function
· Phosphorus promotes strong bones and teeth, halting the development of osteoporosis. Potassium regulates blood pressure and supports the kidneys.
· Manganese, a vital mineral not made by the body, is in plentiful supply in pineapples. Manganese supports bone development and function, speeds healing of wounds, sustains healthy skin, strengthens the immune system, and stabilizes blood sugar to protect against diabetes and metabolic disorders.


Bromelain is the key enzyme found in pineapples; and its anti-inflammatory properties rival even the effects of potent pharmaceuticals such as NSAIDs and steroids, especially when bromelain is combined with the Indian spice turmeric (curcumin). Bromelain relieves joint pain of gout and most types of arthritis and fibromyalgia, relieves sore throats, stops the development of new tumors and shrinks existing cancers, reduces post-operative swelling, eliminates acid reflux, and supplies enzymes to promote and speed digestion and motility of the bowel.

And there’s more…

· Regulates the thyroid, reducing goiter
· Reduces discharges from mucus membranes and shrinks bronchial swelling from bronchitis, asthma and COPD
· Lowers blood pressure
· Flushes parasites from liver and intestines
· Relieves constipation
· Prevents nausea from flu, motion sickness and during pregnancy
· Low in calories; promotes weight loss
· High pectin content helps chelate heavy metals and toxins
· Anti-clotting agents make it excellent for thinning blood

So, ‘If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain’, or not; and, whether you’re into yoga or Sunday afternoon football — if you have half a brain — you’ll add pineapples to your diet to take advantage of their myriad of health benefits and deliciousness.

Learn more:

Yoga can help you lose weight

the yoga of physical postures and poses known as asanas, has caught on so much in the U.S. that it’s difficult to find a town that doesn’t have a yoga training studio.

In case your town is behind the times and you’re interested in pursuing yoga for health and mental/emotional equanimity, there are online courses.

Yoga is basically non-aerobic, and unlike strength training, no-pain, no-gain doesn’t apply here. That doesn’t mean it’s effortless. It takes work to get into postures, but one doesn’t tear muscles and ligaments getting into them. Repeated practice with postures and stretches will get you where you should eventually be.

There are even devices or methods of using chairs and walls to help with early struggles with positions due to physical limitations from injury or old age.

In addition to gaining flexibility, natural strength, and good health, yoga can help you lose weight. Various internal organs are strengthened with hatha yoga that promote sustainable natural, gradual weight loss. Especially assured if you eat properly according to yogic principles.

Six ways yoga helps you lose weight

  1. Activate the thyroid gland with the shoulder stand.
  2. Stimulate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract’s vital force.
  3. Activate internal body heat and increase heart rate with the sun salutation.
  4. Natural strength building by working your muscles with balancing poses helps create better metabolism with overall muscular strength without pumping iron.
  5. Flexing the colon will help unclog waste.
  6. The corpse pose is the most underrated and misunderstood all postures.

Learn more:

Combat high blood pressure with yoga exercises

Beneficial high blood pressure exercises

Certain yoga poses are therapeutic for high blood pressure, according to Yoga Journal. Well-known poses like downward facing dog and easy pose are beneficial, but so are lesser known exercises like the big toe pose and seated forward bend:

Big toe pose

Stand with feet together. Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the nose and bend forward at the waist, keeping the back straight. Grab the big toes and gently pull down.

Seated forward bend

Sit with legs straight and pressed together. Exhale through the nose and bend forward at the hips. Keep the back straight and reach for the toes.

Additionally,, a website managed by the Medindia Health Network, recommends camel pose and the knee squeeze as high blood pressure exercises:

Camel pose

Kneel on the floor. Exhale and arch the back, reaching back for the ankles. Tilt the head and look at the ceiling. Hips remain in line with the knees.

Knee squeeze

Lie face up on the floor with the legs straight. Exhale, bend one knee and hug it into the chest. Keep the other leg straight. Switch legs.

Learn more:

Flexibility Training


Flexibility exercises can aid in improving and maintaining range of motion in a joint or a series of joints. They should be performed in a slow, controlled manner, with a gradual progression made to greater ranges of motion. There are 3 main types of stretching techniques: static, dynamic, and PNF.

The muscle is stretched to a point of mild discomfort and then held at that position for an extended period of time (usually 15-30s).

The characteristics of static flexibility exercise are as follows:

  • Low injury risk
  • Effective, with little time and assistance required
  • Most commonly recommended method


Momentum created by repetitive bouncing movements produces a muscle stretch. However, dynamic flexibility exercises can cause muscle soreness or injury.

Stretching exercises

Stretching exercises should be performed a minimum of 2-3 days per week. For each stretch, 2-4 repetitions should be performed: 15-30 seconds of static stretching, as well as a 6-second contraction followed by 10-30 seconds of assisted stretching for PNF. These exercises can be effectively included in the warm-up and/or cool-down periods that precede and follow the endurance training exercise programs. A warm-up period should precede stretching exercises in order to elevate muscle temperature.

A systematic review examined the effect of acute static stretch on maximal muscle performance during preexercise routines. The authors found that stretch durations of less than 30 seconds (pooled estimate, -1.1% ± 1.8%) and 30-45 seconds (pooled estimate, -4.2% ± 2.7%) did not result in a meaningful reduction in muscular performance following these preexercise routines. However, they did find a moderate detrimental effect (61%) on peak performance with stretch durations of more than 60 seconds. Yoga, tai chi, and Pilates are techniques that can also be used to improve joint flexibility.

Yoga provides a natural cure for bad breath

In a study analysing the reports of the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), it was found that a 15-kg child who ingests 212 mL (7.2 oz.) of a brand name, widely available mouthwash can have a potentially lethal reaction to the ethanol content (the mouthwash in question was 27% ethanol). What’s perhaps more alarming is another finding that: “Approximately one-tenth that amount of ethanol can produce a toxic reaction.”

The study offers this as part of the solution: “The American Dental Association (ADA) should re-evaluate its acceptance criteria for advertising cosmetic mouthrinses in its publication.” Evidently, chemical dependency is big business.

Yoga offers specific breathing techniques, most commonly known as ‘pranayama,’ in order to aid in the complete balance of the entire system. On the way to that goal, the ancient sages observed that it had a potent influence over the respiratory and digestive organs. One of the many benefits through mastery of breath control was a sweeter-smelling exhalation.

There are countless pranayama techniques. However, one of the most approachable is a technique called “kapalbhati.” Different schools teach the method in various ways, but the common thread of the practice is the emphasis on the exhalation. First, take a comfortable seat and allow the belly to relax and extend. Then begin to rhythmically contract the belly (the sensation is akin to someone punching the stomach at regular intervals and forcing the air out of the nose). Keep a steady rhythm, with the eyes closed, and complete up to 100 rounds (50 for beginners). Worry not about the inhales, as they happen automatically with the pumping action of the tummy.

Benefits to the respiratory system: Useful in alleviating the symptoms of common cold, cough, rhinitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, tuberculosis, deviated nasal septum and emphysema.

Additional influence over the digestive system includes an improvement in the function of digestion absorption and peristaltic movement. Kapalbhati is an excellent remedy for those suffering from indigestion, gastritis, hyperacidity and constipation, which can all cause bad breath.

Though the physical benefits are already numerous, a regular practice of kapalbhati, preferably under the attentive eyes of a good teacher, has endless benefits for the mind as well. Most of us will see drastic improvement to the way our breath smells almost immediately and naturally, without the use of synthetic chemicals.

Learn more:

Doctors increasingly prescribe yoga and meditation to patients

Physicians are increasingly referring their patients to get mind-body therapies like yoga, tai chi, and meditation, when all else has failed, say researchers.

Based on data collected from the 2007 National Health Interview (NHI) Survey, Dr. Aditi Nerurkar from Harvard Medical School and her colleagues found that more than 6.3 million Americans, or three percent, use mind-body therapies because they were referred to it by their doctors. And another 35 million-or-so Americans, the team estimates, have been self-referred to mind-body therapies.

“What we learned suggests that providers are referring their patients for mind-body therapies as a last resort once conventional therapeutic options have failed,” Nerurkar said. “It makes us wonder whether referring patients for these therapies earlier in the treatment process could lead to less use of the health care system, and possibly, better outcomes for these patients.”

The 2007 NHI Survey explains that nearly 40 percent of Americans use or have used CAM treatments, and 75 of these involve mind-body therapies. The most commonly used CAM treatments include the use of natural products, followed by deep breathing, meditation, and chiropractic treatments. The fastest growing CAM therapies between 2002 and 2007 include deep breathing, meditation, massage, and yoga (

“Conventional medicine must recognize that natural therapies are a fundamental healing tradition of all cultures and that modern alternative medicine is also here to stay,” says Tori Hudson, ND, in her book, Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness. “A combined, well-thought-out cooperative and integrative approach is often the best that medicine has to offer.”

Sources for this story include:…
Learn more: