Jul 11

California community may ban private fitness classes, yoga on beaches

Getting fit and pursuing tranquility are two things that many Californians are all about, hence the widespread Dahn Yoga community there. However, in one area just south of Los Angeles and Long Beach, officials may soon ban private fitness-oriented classes from public park areas.

According to the Daily Pilot, Newport Beach's Parks and Recreation Commission may shortly approve a measure that would make it illegal to conduct unapproved, for-profit fitness classes on beaches and in park lands within the town limits.

However, that does not mean that these sessions cannot take place at all. They simply must be approved, a process that may soon consist of acquiring a permit from the town's Recreation and Senior Services Department, the news source said.

This means that individuals who want to take a yoga class on Newport Beach may still do so, with a little paperwork. And, of course, one can practice yoga alone nearly anywhere, free of charge.

Why is the city thinking of passing the measure? Large private fitness classes can get in the way of park maintenance programs, the newspaper said.

Newport Beach is also considering banning smoking on its shores, meaning it may soon be a little easier to do solitary deep breathing techniques there.

Jun 11

Breathing exercises may reduce psychological trauma after natural disasters

You can use yoga to calm yourself after a long day of work or errands, but is the regimen as effective in relieving mental pressure when stressors are immense, inexorable and even life-threatening? A study published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica looked into this idea.

Research conducted by psychologists in India and the U.S. determined that engaging in yoga-based breathing exercises can help survivors of natural disasters reduce their risk of developing depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

They came to this conclusion after asking 183 tsunami survivors to regularly use calming breathing techniques for up to 24 weeks.

All participants had survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the epicenter of which was off the west coast of Sumatra.

Shortly after the mass disaster, which claimed 230,000 lives, CNN News reported that the earthquake was the third-most powerful temblor ever recorded, registering at between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale, causing the whole planet to wobble by as much as a centimeter.

After surviving such a horrific event, the participants noted that deep breathing calmed them down. Researchers said that 60 percent of volunteers saw a decrease in their PTSD ratings, and 90 percent displayed fewer signs of depression after the intervention.

Jun 11

January Jones plans on doing yoga before and after having her baby

After being spotted heading into prenatal yoga classes, actress January Jones opened up to the Tucson, Arizona-based radio station KRQQ about using the holistic mind-body system to stay healthy before, and potentially after, she gives birth to her first child.

Likewise, she talked about baby names and her former employer Dairy Queen. The 33-year-old mother-to-be, who stars in both the hit television show Mad Men and the recently released film X-Men: First Class, worked at the popular fast food chain in her home town of Sioux Falls.

"We don't have [Dairy Queen] in LA, but I was just home visiting my family and I went, literally, every day! I made my dad take me. Pregnant or not, I love Dairy Queen," she told the radio station.

She did not break her silence about the father of her child, however. Instead, Jones talked about baby names – she does not plan on choosing an uncommon one – and her fitness regimen, which includes regular yoga sessions.

She told the news source that she plans on returning to yoga after she gives birth in the fall.

She appears to be highly motivated about it. Ok Magazine reported that Jones has been seen going into a West Hollywood prenatal yoga center every day.

Jun 11

Women with anxiety disorder may self-soothe with yoga

Feeling overwhelmed by run-of-the-mill stress or fatigue can be bad enough, but what is a person to do if they suffer from a diagnosed anxiety condition? One answer, according to Iranian researchers at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, is to turn to yoga for stress relief.

A study published by the team in the journal European Psychiatry found that women who had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were more likely to want to continue taking yoga sessions after six weeks of yoga-based interventions.

The research team asked half of a group of 40 women with GAD, all of whom were on antidepressants, to take regular yoga instruction as a way to reduce stress. All participants saw a decrease in their stress levels, and those taught the holistic mind-body practice tended to be eager to continue it beyond the study period.

GAD is an anxiety-related condition in which an individual worries excessively about health, relationships, personal finances or other stressors for at least six straight months.

Nearly 6 percent of U.S. adults will suffer from the disorder in their lifetimes, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Jun 11

January Jones is spotted doing prenatal yoga

Most expectant mothers need a way to relax, be it through yoga, tai chi or even a few extra minutes of sleep. With all the recent media attention surrounding her pregnancy, actress January Jones may need the yoga’s stress relief more than most.

According to numerous news outfits, website PopSugar chief among them, the star of the TV show Mad Men has been taking prenatal yoga sessions as a way to relax and stay fit and healthy.

Jones, who made recent headlines for announcing her pregnancy while declining to identify the baby’s father, in all likelihood needs a break. She told the website that lately, she’s gotten one.

“I’ve been enjoying a nice break,” she said to the news source. “I’ve been in a nesting phase… I’ve had the luxury of a couple months off.”

In her break between filming the upcoming film X-Men: First Class and the next season of Mad Men, the 33-year-old mother-to-be has been spotted heading into yoga sessions in Los Angeles, pink yoga mat in tow.

Studies have shown that taking yoga and meditation classes can help pregnant women relax, sleep and improve their well-being.

May 11

Staying well in the workplace may mean meditating the anxiety away

American corporations turn to countless activities in the never-ending search for a cost-effective – not to mention, just plain effective – way to reduce tension and anxiety in the workplace. With that in mind, more and more firms are finding that employee yoga programs offer stress relief that can hardly be beaten for their ability to ease the cubicle crunch.

The Los Angeles Times recently published a report stating that yoga is one of the popular choices for workplace fitness. The article noted that many companies are hiring yoga instructors on a once-a-week basis so that employees can get the full benefits of a professionally led yoga session.

James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, told the newspaper that 75 percent of American adults get virtually no physical activity, which may be one reason why many individuals seem so vulnerable to stress.

Engaging in regular yoga and meditation can stimulate the body and calm the mind simultaneously, since the holistic regimen is largely about reconnecting the two.

A blog post at Forbes recently emphasized that yoga can keep employees fit and happy while spurring productivity, boosting morale and potentially leading to saved healthcare costs and fewer sick days.

May 11

Free classes make yoga-based stress relief public

Shaking off the stress of a packed work week can be difficult, especially when you have hardly a moment to yourself. This problem can be exacerbated by the difficulty in finding good local yoga studios. For individuals who do not live close to the nation’s dozens of Dahn Yoga community centers, occasional public meditation events may serve in the meantime.

The Washington Post reports that Yoga Week will kick off in the nation’s capital, with outdoor instruction offered at the Sylvan Theater free of charge. Likewise, many yoga programs in the area will be offering reduced-cost classes to individuals interested in the holistic mind-body system.

Finding stress relief in a hectic world is not always easy, which is why Dahn Yoga offers a wealth of classes to individuals of all ages, body types and backgrounds.

For those who think that they can only afford free yoga instruction in a public park, Dahn Yoga often announces coupons, reduced rates and limited time offers. Currently, the program’s Mother’s Month deal is still in effect.

All mothers will receive 10 percent off of a Dahn Yoga membership, with a coupon from participating sites like Dahnyoga.com.

Mar 11

Stop at the Berkeley Rose Garden on your journey to personal wellness

When people take the time to separate themselves from their everyday responsibilities and focus on stress relief, they often become much happier with the world around them. Getting in touch with nature is an excellent way to become more grounded and free, and the Berkeley Municipal Rose Garden in California offers a wonderful opportunity for visitors to do just that.

The venue began as a project for the Civil Works Administration during the Great Depression and was completed in September 1937 with more than 2,500 rose bushes planted. It is situated in the El Valle de Los Codornices canyon and has varying shades of velvety-soft petals lining each terrace.

One intriguing feature is the redwood pergola, which is an arched walkway through the arboretum that allows guests to take a calming stroll to reach other areas of the garden, including tennis courts, picnic tables, a terraced amphitheater and much more. The Rose Garden also has a mesmerizing view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge, which becomes even more spectacular at sunset when the pink and orange hues stretch over the San Francisco Bay.

The Berkeley Rose Garden is a great place for one to practice Dahn Yoga meditation techniques.

Mar 11

Veterans find stress relief in yoga, deep breathing

The anxieties of the workaday world can be stressful enough, but those left over from combat are inarguably worse. Dahn Yoga breathing techniques already suffice for individuals suffering from the trials of work and family life. Now, war veterans are being instructed in deep breathing for stress relief.

Some veterans in Boca Raton, Florida, are learning to calm themselves down using yoga, deep breathing and stretching exercises, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The group, called Connected Warriors, meets to learn basic yoga methods that can reduce post-war fear, anxiety or past-traumatic stress disorder, the news organization said.

“I am learning to stop being on the defensive,” sergeant major Maria Mariska Allsopp told the source. “I am making my own kind of peace.”

Stress relief is a key goal of Dahn Yoga breathing techniques, which focus on inhaling refreshing energy and exhaling toxins, tension and negative emotions.

This respiratory method, which is known as Jung-Choong breathing, also concentrates the mind on the body’s Governing Meridian, up which cool energy flows the the brain and warm energy flows down to the belly, a cycle that is necessary for equalizing the body’s forces.