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Yoga increases neurogenesis

Interesting study came up this week. Following a 3-month yoga retreat, increases were observed in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), reductions in awakening cortisol, and reductions in some (not all - interestingly) inflammatory markers. In plain language, this means the participants: grew more neurons; reduced stress; and improved health and resilience. You might think 'duh'. I think 'great'. We are moving beyond simplistic measurement of the effects of this practice. It's challenging because science demands a reductionist approach to tease out an active component. However, yoga is a system for good reason. It includes the philosophical, the physical, the breath, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation because a complete and complex approach is needed to match the complexity of an individual. Now these...

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Stress fatigue

Today I feel tired, bone tired. As some of you already know, we've been undertaking some major works at Chez Taylor that have consumed us for almost two months. All the while, we're working full time, teaching part time, (trying) to maintain our personal practice(s), and look after our family near and far. This week one of the messiest phases, involving insidious plaster dust, finally reached conclusion and we're beginning to restore cleanliness and order at home. Now 'safe', my body has decided to acknowledge the exhaustion. I could barely drag myself to work this morning, let alone practice. On the neurophysiological level, this is about the endocrine system and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. Under stress, the Hypothalamus in the...

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Aching Legs and Feet

Aching legs and feet? I received a wonderful question about this last week that I thought I might share.This client experienced significant pain and discomfort in their legs and feet, particularly feet, after long periods standing at work. They wondered if yoga might help.Without a detailed, personal review, I can only offer general advice and I always check if someone has sought medical attention for the condition first. This is important before trying to support any condition with yoga therapy.Specific postures for aching legs and feet will depend on the individual and the cause of the condition. It could be circulation, sciatica or any number of factors. However, I might suggest starting with something quite gentle like this Pawanmuktasana sequence...

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Case Study: Oral Cancer and Yoga

R. is a 43 year old woman from the Northern Territory, married with four (4) children. She is a Ward Clerk, working in hospital administration for more than seven (7) years. In July 2015, she visited her dentist with symptoms of a sore tongue, culminating in an oral cancer diagnosis requiring surgical excision of half her tongue and 31 lymph nodes from her neck.Timeline13 July 2015Consulted dentist with a sore tongue – no diagnosis, no treatment, recommended to come back in two weeks.14 July 2015Second dental opinion sought – no diagnosis, ground teeth to ensure no impact, referred to specialist20 July 2015Following difficulty with specialist availability - consulted Maxillofacial team, two painful biopsies taken under local.27 July 2015Results indicated low...

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Happy New Year - Changes at Mr and Mrs Pose

Happy New Year! I want to wish you a beautiful 2016 and fill you in on changes taking place at Mr and Mrs Pose. Firstly, I want to thank you for your support since our launch in 2011. It has been a wonderful five years growing from yoga clothing and accessories for men and women to live events, online classes and video content. I launched the business with the vision to "Practice with Someone You Love." The idea was to encourage people to practice at home with partners, family, and friends. It has been such a pleasure to enjoy that evolution with you, our extended yoga family. Secondly, changes are underway at Mr and Mrs Pose. I have been accepted...

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