Healthy Lifestyle

Energy, Balance, Mindfulness

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As we age, we become more aware of our own mortality. Sooner or later, we start paying attention to things that wouldn’t have normally crossed our minds when we were spritely young teens, such as balance, aches, and pains (or preventing them altogether), and longevity in all ways, shapes, and forms.

People search for a goal or set of goals that may give them the motivation to maintain a meaningful life. Some may go to the gym, while others find solace in much simpler things, such as caffeine, specific snacks, or anything in between. What do these actions lead to? Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all strive to be happy and attain the highest quality of life possible.  In my journeys, through much discovery and unraveling, I have developed The Bo Yoga System; and I am very excited to share what I have learned through my experience as a Yoga Teacher with you.

Nate Guadagni Qi Gong Pose

Bo Yoga brings the best of yoga, martial arts, and dance into a comprehensive system that is practical, easy to learn, and fun. Yoga and martial arts have their own methods of teaching one of the most neglected, yet important practices especially during recent times — meditation.

Meditation will not only help us think clearer but also help us become more attuned with our own bodies. The better understanding we have of ourselves, the better we will be able to carry out our intentions. Bo Yoga is a way of living that focuses on energy, balance, and mindfulness.

 

 

The Bo Yoga system adds to and builds upon the long-proven benefits of yoga, martial arts, and dance. The main tool that we use in Bo Yoga is the Bo Staff — a stable and flexible prop that is used in most, if not, all aspects of each session. We use the Bo Staff for stretching, balance, and stability; an overall tool that will make your yoga experience easy and enjoyable.

4 Foot Bo Yoga Staff

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and check out our Facebook Page for videos and updates on how Bo Yoga can improve your healthy lifestyle.

 

Photo credit: donnierayjones on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Sitting Too Long Bo Yoga

The counter-pose to sitting.

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Relieve pain and increase your energy naturally.

If you work or study from home with a computer or watch TV everyday you are likely sitting for many hours a day.

When you sit for more than an hour or two, 3 things happen.

  1. Your hips become tight
  2. Your back and neck become hunched
  3. Your breathing gets shallow

These uncomfortable conditions lead to minor annoyances like headaches when you are young, but can lead to longterm problems like chronic pain and permenant disfunction as you age.

“Over 60% of Americans who died from an opioid overdose suffered from chronic pain.”
American Journal of Psychiatry 2017

The negative effects of sitting too long can be quickly reversed if you simply follow these 2 counter-poses to sitting.

A counter pose in yoga, is a pose that complements or balances the previous pose. For instance, after doing a back bend, a good counter pose is a forward bend.

If you are new to yoga, you can use a Bo Yoga Balance Bar to to assist with balance and to make the poses safer.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead and stand up and try the poses and then share in the comments what you felt.

Sara Russell Skills for Change Wisdom 101

Sara Russell Interview

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Wisdom 101: Relationship Anarchy and Skills for Change Coach

Sara Russell is a Skills for Change Coach and relationship anarchist. She explains in the interview.

Lee Holden Qi Gong Interview

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Listen to this exclusive interview with American Qi Gong Master, Lee Holden.

In the interview we talk about:

– What is Qi Gong?
– How can it be applied to yoga, meditation and other systems?
– What are the main benefits?
– What is Qi Gong flow?
– How he became the producer for “SuperHuman” film coming out soon.
– How to become “Superhuman”.
– How to use technology to share ancient wisdom.
– Is a 5,000 year old practice still relevant today?
– What is Qi Gong “alchemy”?
– How does Qi Gong mimic nature?
– What does it mean to “push the river”?
– How yoga teachers can offer more to their students.
– What is the best way to practice with Lee directly?

Lee Holden is an experienced instructor in Qi Gong, meditation, and Dao Yin and has worked to bring the ancient Taoist teachings to western culture. His work has popularized qi gong through books, classes, workshops, video courses, online programs, and PBS programs.

Holden has been acknowledged by the International Chi Gong Association (2009) for his ability to make the esoteric Taoist teachings accessible to modern students without compromising or diluting their essence. He conducts training and certification programs in traditional and medical qi gong and continues to study with qi gong masters in Thailand, Indonesia, Moscow, Japan, and China.

A licensed acupuncturist, Lee Holden practices in Santa Cruz and Los Gatos, California. In addition to his international teaching and private practice, he works as a stress management consultant to corporations, including Apple and 3Com.

Go to www.HoldenQiGong.com to find out more info.

How to Improve Your Balance – Interview with Nate Guadagni

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This interview is by Doug Schrift.

Doug Schrift is a Physical Therapist, Certified Geriatric Specialist, and senior fitness coach. Doug is the creator of Eldergym® Senior Fitness, which promotes safe, simple and effective exercise for seniors and the elderly.

Through his website, www.eldergym.com and Senior Fitness Radio. http://seniorfitnessradio.com

Doug encourages seniors to take genuine steps toward better health, improved mobility, and increased function.

This includes helping seniors discover the revitalizing power of exercise; inspiring them to feel more vital, energized, and ready for their day; helping them to get rid of those negative thoughts about their age, health conditions or physical body; teaching them how to achieve real and objective goals with activities that they enjoy doing.

Doug has advanced certification as a Geriatric Specialist with the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He continues to be active as a Physical Therapist, working with seniors and the elderly. He also has a special interest in balance disorders.

Your Life Choices Magazine placed eldergym.com in the top 10 fitness websites saying, “This site is tailored for the seniors’ age group and gives some great advice for what fitness activities you should be focusing on in your age category.” Doug is truly a leader in senior fitness and continues to create new programs and videos to help older adults.

Doug is the creator of ElderGym Academy Online Courses:

https://www.eldergymacademy.com/courses

In this interview you will find out how to test your balance, learn the 5 factors of balance and practice some simple exercises to help you improve your balance.

“Today I am very happy to have Nate Guadagni on the show.

Nate has been teaching yoga, Qigong and meditation full time for over thirteen years and is the founder of Bo Yoga®, a rapidly growing health and wellness system. His mission through Bo Yoga is to make mindful movement accessible to all people by providing innovative props and training techniques and adapting to students diverse needs. He is the author of Bo Yoga: 7 Essential Values to Energize Your Life and has produced three DVDs: Bo Yoga for Beginners, Bo Yoga Basics and 5 Elements Qigong. He has also created online courses and leads national workshops and teacher trainings around the country. He is a member of the Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. His most recent training is Sarahjoy Marsh’s 500 Hour Yoga Therapy Program.”

 

Enjoy!

How to meditate – Meditate with Nate – Episode 1

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Meditate with Nate Episode 1 – 100 Count Breath What is meditation, and how do I do it?

“Meditation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration.”

-Roger Walsh & Shauna L. Shapiro. American Psychologist.

This is one description that I like, and there are many more.

Some research on meditation has shown that it can:

1. Help you sleep better.

2. Reduce stress.

3. Slim your waistline.

4. Decrease Pain

5. Reduce Anxiety.

6. Lift Depression.

7. Improve your love life.

* Research references at the bottom

I hope that you enjoy this 100 Count Breath, and let me know how it goes for you. Please share your experience in the comments and ask me any questions that you may have.

See you next time!

Nate

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/boyogatraining

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boyogaofficial

Questions?

E-Mail: info@boyoga.com

* Research References:

1. S. Patra, S. Telles, Positive impact of cyclic meditation on subsequent sleep, Medical Science Monitor 2009; 15(7): CR375-381, June 2009

2. L. Flook, S. B. Goldberg, L. Pinger, K. Bonus and R. J. Davidson. (2013). Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout, and Teaching Efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, Volume 7, Issue 3, pages 182–195, September 2013.

3. 2. Jennifer Daubenmier, Jean Kristeller, Frederick M. Hecht, Nicole Maninger, Margaret Kuwata, Kinnari Jhaveri, Robert H. Lustig, Margaret Kemeny, Lori Karan, and Elissa Epel. (2013). Mindfulness Intervention for Stress Eating to Reduce Cortisol and Abdominal Fat among Overweight and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Study. Journal of Obesity Volume 2011, Article ID 651936, 13 pages.

4. Zeidan, J.A. Grant, C.A. Brown, J.G. McHaffie, and R.C. Coghill. (2012). Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain. Neurosci Lett. Jun 29; 520(2): 165–173.

5. Hoge EA, Bui E, Marques L, Metcalf CA, Morris LK, Robinaugh DJ, Worthington JJ, Pollack MH, Simon NM. (2013). Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Effects on Anxiety and Stress Reactivity. J Clin Psychiatry. Aug;74(8):786-92. doi: 10.4088/JCP.12m08083.

6. Killingsworth, Matthew A. and Gilbert, Daniel T. (2010). A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind. Science 12 Nov. Vol. 330 no. 6006 p. 932.

7. Freeman, Elizabeth. “Meditation Improves Emotional Behaviors in Teachers, Study Finds.” University of California San Francisco. UCSF, 28 Mar. 2012.

Bo Yoga : 3 Weeks to Better Balance – Udemy Course Introduction

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For more info or to sign up for 3 Weeks to Better Balance Course, go to:

https://www.udemy.com/bo-yoga-3-weeks-to-better-balance

ABOUT THIS COURSE:

Learn simple and effective exercises to improve your balance in a step by step system perfect for anyone over 40.

Improve your balance safely and easily with Bo Yoga’s comprehensive three week program.

This course includes:

– Bo Yoga Balance Assessment
– Three Week Training Curriculum
– Daily Better Balance Exercise Videos
– Beginners Exercise Guide
– Bonus Videos and Bo Yoga Book
– Daily E-mail Reminders (Optional)

Imagine being stronger, quicker and more graceful than you have felt for years!

When you are young, balance is an automatic reflex and you can quickly recover from a trip or stand up after a fall. However, studies show that balance naturally begins to decline after age 40 and one in three people aged 65 will suffer a fall.

Your balance is regulated by 5 Factors:

1. Vision
2. Reflexes
3. Muscle Mass and Strength
4. Proprioception (The ability to feel the body in space)
5. Inner Ear

Changes linked to growing older or sedentary lifestyles affect all of these areas:

1. Weaker eyesight
2. Slower reflexes
3. Weak and stiff muscles and joints
4. Poor circulation (leads to lack of physical sensation)
5. Vertigo / Dizziness (due to deposits or crystals in inner ear)

As you get older you may exercise less, gain weight, and start to feel less confident in your body and your balance.

However, the good news is that with a proper exercise and mindfulness program, almost anyone can improve their balance.

Bo Yoga blends the best of yoga, qi gong and mindful movement into a comprehensive system that includes the support of a Bo Yoga Balance Bar; a unique prop which assists with leverage, balance and stability.

Nate Guadagni, the founder of Bo Yoga, brings over a decade of experience into this program and will lead you through daily exercises that are fun, challenging and effective.

Content and Overview

Bo Yoga Balance Assessment will allow you to check your balance measurably and precisely before, during and at the end of your course.. A special formula is included which shows the percent of improvement from week to week and from the beginning to the end of the course.

Three Week Training Curriculum includes step-by-step instructions for each day of the week and shows you how to select the right Bo Yoga Staff for your practice space and your height.

Daily Better Balance Exercise Videos will give you the strong ankles, knees, hips and core that you need for good balance. You also will learn how to balance with your eyes closed which helps reduce visual dependency and improve your proprioception and reflexes. Classes always end with meditation and visualization to help you relax and recharge after the workout. You will end each class feeling energized and refreshed.

Beginners Exercise Guide gives you the confidence to know that you are doing the exercises properly and safely and you can also use it for quick and easy future reference.

Bonus Videos and Bo Yoga Book Understanding the underlying health and wellness principles of Bo Yoga will be important to get the most from this course and to apply it to your life.

Imagine walking, hiking, dancing, climbing and playing with renewed confidence in the power and stability of your own body.

Join me for the next three weeks, and I will show you how!

To find out more info or to sign up, go to:

https://www.udemy.com/bo-yoga-3-weeks-to-better-balance

For more info about Bo Yoga go to:
https://www.boyoga.com

or contact:
info@boyoga.com

What is “Advanced” Bo Yoga?

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When you think of advanced yoga, what images come to mind?

Do you think of people putting their feet behind their heads, doing the splits, or balancing on one arm? There is a popular conflation of yoga and contortionism that makes it seem like the goal of yoga is to see how far you can bend, stretch and dismantle your body.

More yoga teachers, students and studies are showing that intense, vigorous and forceful asana (stretching) postures can cause as much harm as good. There is a growing community of wise teachers and researchers who are working to change the public misconception that the advancement of a yoga practice is shown by how flexible the practitioner is.

It is true that many people would benefit from increasing their flexibility; building strength, stability, mobility and balance in a functional range of motion can be achieved in a much safer and easier way.

In the practice of Bo Yoga, we see “advanced” practice differently. How many movements do you make in your day? Thousands? Millions? How about in a month or in a year? Of these movements, how many of them have come from inspiration, rather than from obligation? Our bodies become like programmed robots: we walk a certain way, we sit a certain way, we write the words people want us to write, and we say what people want us to say.

Bo Yoga is about taking back our bodies and minds, and about allowing ourselves the freedom to move and to express ourselves honestly. There are few better feelings or greater accomplishments than honest self-expression. BoYoga will help you practice and master the ability to guide your own movements. It may seem counter intuitive to think that copying movements from a system will teach you how to freely make your own movements, but that is indeed the goal. Think of Bo Yoga as similar to learning a new language. Although you may copy the new language exactly, you do not walk around only reciting what you learned in your textbook to the people you meet in a new country. You use the language to express yourself, your own thoughts and ideas. You can copy and learn the Bo Yoga system directly, but that is not mastery, only mimicry. When you come to the point where the Balance Bar feels like an extension of your body, when you can truly express yourself, heal yourself, and depend on yourself, then you have found the meaning and true value of Bo Yoga.

The legendary Bruce Lee said, “Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself… I mean it is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky… Or I could show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself… Now that, my friend, is very hard to do.

The purpose of Bo Yoga is to unlock the chains of habit and obligation that have ta ken over your body, and to give you permission and encouragement to move freely and honestly. Our bodies are built around circles and operate with rhythms. When we move with greater harmony with our inner selves, we will feel ourselves becoming more natural. Duke Kahanamoku, a pro surfer and five time Olympic gold medalist, described excellence in his sport very simply: “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.” Really, that is how it should be for each person in any walk of life.

I hope you will look at Bo Yoga as a reflection of your life, not as just another class that you are taking. How you think about the program is probably an indication of the way you think about many things. Do you have preconceived ideas of what you can or can’t get from this training? If you can be aware of your own thoughts as you practice, you may remove patterns of perception that color all parts of your life. When you are doing a posture and feeling inadequate and unhappy with yourself because you aren’t doing it as you wish, you probably have those thoughts in other parts of your life. If you are comparing yourself to the teacher or to the other students, it’s likely that this is a pattern of competition that you experience in other areas of your life as well.

Instead of seeing the class as a part of your life, try to see a part of your life in your class.

Watching your own thoughts and emotions while enjoying the physical practice will lead to greater gains in all areas of your life. If you train with this attitude, the Bo Yoga class will help you strengthen your character as well as your core, and it will strengthen the flexibility of both your mind and your body.

Four arms linked

The Three Keys to Healthy Relationships

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There are three keys or rules that will help you find peace and joy within all relationships, including the most important relationship in your life, the one with yourself.

The first key is found in almost every religion and ethical tradition from the beginning of recorded history: the Golden Rule. Simply put, it states, “Treat others the way that you want to be treated.” This is a profound guideline and one that will never lose its value. Halil the Elder, who lived 100 years before Christ, once summarized the entire Torah with the similar phrase, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah. The rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

Although this rule is self-explanatory and resonates with the deepest parts of our being, doesn’t it also leave something out? What if the way that we want to be treated is not the way that others want to be treated? What if a man opens a door for a feminist who takes offense at the offering, which to her implies that women are weak and need men to help them? What about the imperialist who invades native cultures and insists that they must be saved from their barbaric ways with modern lifestyles and luxuries? Ignorance can be well intentioned, yet tremendously damaging.

Let us consider the second key, known as the Platinum Rule: “Treat others as they want to be treated.” This requires a new level of communication, empathy, and understanding. It requires not only the intention to treat others well, but also the willingness to take the time to learn how people want to be treated. Many charities waste enormous sums of money and effort giving to communities without spending the time to understand what that community really needs. Disaster reliefs are often flooded with well-intentioned cans of food and bottles of water, yet what actually may be needed are blankets and electricity. Applying the Platinum Rule to our relationships will bring immediate improvement because the only way to know what another person wants is to let go of our own assumptions and projections and to ask.

There is one final key, and it is perhaps the least understood and practiced. The Diamond Rule states: “Treat yourself the way that you want to be treated.” This is a new paradigm of thought. The application of this rule could lead to a mass shift in the perspective of millions of people who are stuck in feelings of victimhood and blame. To take responsibility for our own lives and to take the initiative to treat ourselves as we want to be treated by others is probably not a way of life that you have seen demonstrated by your community.

This idea alone is enough to alarm and distress people who misunderstand it to mean that we should not cooperate or consider each other but just take what we want for ourselves. What it really means is that nobody else knows exactly what you want, and even if they do know, it’s not anyone else’s responsibility to do it for you or to give it to you. Each of us is the creator of our own lives, the thinker of our own thoughts, and the actor of our own actions.

How can we practice this rule and apply it to our lives? If you are wanting others to love you, see that you love yourself first. If you want others to pay attention to you, check if you really give genuine attention to yourself. If you want to have more respect from others, see if you really respect yourself.

With simple introspection, it becomes clear that everything we think we want from others, whether it is love, attention, respect, or trust, is actually a deficit in ourselves that we hope others can fulfill. To the exact amount that we don’t give ourselves enough attention, we will want it from others. To the same degree that we don’t love or respect ourselves, we will crave it from others.

The problem is that the only person who can give us unconditional and unlimited love, respect and attention is ourself. Everyone else will disappoint us, no matter how much we want them to, or even how much they want to satisfy our deep needs, they cannot do it alone. The one person that you really want love and respect from is yourself — your true self. We can see ourselves with the same unconditional love as a parent looking at a newborn child — filled with love and admiration, recognizing our own infinite value, and marveling at the mystery of life. One of life’s greatest realizations is to see ourselves through the eyes of our true self. At this moment there is a life-changing shift in identity described eloquently by George MacDonald: “You do not have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”

The main reason that the Golden Rule isn’t working well is that people treat themselves with criticism, abuse and disrespect, and so they are incapable of giving much else to others. As author and civil rights leader Howard Thurman wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The truth is that “You do unto others as you do unto yourself,” for better or for worse. As William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” When we learn to treat ourselves better, we will finally know how to treat others better as well.

All three Rules are important to enjoy balanced and healthy relationships.  Of the three, the Diamond Rule is the one that is most within our sphere of personal influence.  Spending more time developing this constant relationship with ourselves will build a foundation for all other interactions. From a platform of genuine self-confidence and emotional stability, it will be easier to treat others the way we have been treating ourselves — with love, respect, and dignity.

A Woman who is having Stress Bo Yoga

The Three Types of Stress and How to Handle Them

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“You should meditate each day for twenty minutes. If you don’t have time, you should meditate each day for an hour.” — Zen Proverb

Take a moment now to close your eyes and breathe deeply and count to ten. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.

Okay, now how do you feel? In just ten seconds, you can reduce your stress significantly and feel more relaxed. Yet, as much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, in those same ten seconds, thirty-five people have died as a direct result of stress. That’s 110 million people every year. Stress is a sobering health risk that we are only recently beginning to understand.

The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” According to the Center for Disease Control/National Institute on Occupational Safety & Health, the workplace is the number one cause of life stress. Consider these statistics:

★ 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job

★ Nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress

★ 42 percent say their coworkers need help reducing stress

★ 40 percent of workers report their job is “very” or “extremely” stressful (Northwestern National Life)

★ 26 percent say they are “very often burned out by stress” (Yale University)

★ Stress is responsible for 30% of all disability claims
★ Stress costs American businesses an estimated $300 billion a year

What is stress, exactly? The term “stress” was coined in 1936 by Hans Selye, a pioneering Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist who dedicated his life to research on the topic. In his later years, when asked to define stress, he told reporters, “Everyone knows what stress is, but nobody really knows.” If nobody knows what stress is, yet it is causing so many problems, how can we deal with it better?

One definition of stress sums it up well: “Stress is the resistance to change.” To the degree that you resist the changes that are happening to you and around you, you will feel an equivalent amount of stress.

If you look carefully at what causes stress for you, you will see that there is always a situation requiring you to change, but you are not willing. Consider these scenarios:

  • Paul is late for a meeting and when traffic slows, he feels very stressed. In the next car over, Jason is listening to a book on tape while enjoying the sunset; he is not feeling stressed at all.
  • Carrie hates to speak in public and is dreading her presentation, yet Maria loves the spotlight and can’t wait for her chance to present.
  • Tina lives for deadlines and thrives under the pressure of monthly quotas. Her coworker Zach feels overwhelmed and often gets sick at the end of the month.

In each case, the level of stress reflects the level of resistance that each person has in relation to his or her situation. It may seem that stress comes from outside circumstances and conditions, but if that were true, everyone would feel the same way about a situation. Stressors are like the weather: It rains on everyone, yet some people are prepared to deal with it while others are not. If you have a warm house, car, or raincoat to protect you, then the rain isn’t as bad as it would feel without the protection.

REI’s clever motto states, “There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” I say the same is true for stress. There is no bad stress, just inappropriate coping. If we enter the arctic with a t-shirt and shorts, we will surely die. Yet if we prepare for the situation beforehand, we can survive and even enjoy the journey.

Stress is no different, and the ability to adapt to change is completely learnable and teachable. While there are countless stressors, there is basically only one stress response. Instead of trying to control situations and people, it is much more effective to understand and manage our stress response.

The stress response is controlled by dual parts of the nervous system — the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic set of nerves creates the stress “fight/ flight/ freeze” response. The parasympathetic set of nerves causes the relaxation “rest/ digest” response. The important thing to know is that only one set of nerves can be active at one time. It is not possible to be in both states at once. If you had to choose, in which state would you like to spend most of your day?

The problem with stress in our society is that almost everyone is quite an expert at inducing the stress response, and they do it often. And if they don’t bring it on themselves, someone else will surely help! Unfortunately, the ability to induce the relaxation response does not come as automatically. However, it is not any more difficult to induce the relaxation response than it is to induce the stress response, and with some practice, a state of relaxation can be maintained.

Often people point to the positive benefits of stress, such as getting things done and making things exciting. Often a high-energy lifestyle is preferred, and people worry that if they relax too much, they will lose their edge or become boring, stagnant, or dull.

However, if you think of your body like a car, your dual nervous system is similar to the gas pedal and a brake pedal. One makes you go faster and one makes you go slower. One is not better than the other; they both are important. A good driver can seamlessly blend their speeds to suit their journey.

Striking a balance between stress and relaxation in our lives is paramount. If our own lives aren’t enough evidence, statistics show us that too much stress is a much bigger problem than not enough stress. The ideal balance of stress and relaxation is called “relaxed focus.” This state is attainable with practice and awareness. Bo Yoga gives the foundation for stress relief and the ability to manage our own nervous system. We may not be able to control the stressors of our lives, but we can do a lot better at managing the stress response in ourselves.

There are 3 levels of stress:
★ Acquired stress (from your past)

★ Potential stress (in the present)

★ Preventable stress (in the future)

The first level of stress relief deals with acquired stress, which you likely feel in your body now. This type of stress can include tension in your shoulders, tension headaches, back pain, or any other physical, mental, or emotional discomfort. Acquired stress is a current problem that you have carried over from your past, due to lifestyle, a sudden event, or injury.

Acquired stress is dealt with by directly working on your body to get rid of the pain and tension. Stretching, deep breathing, and guided relaxation, along with the gentle pressure and tapping of the Bo Staff, can all help to relieve the stress that you feel now. Without dealing with the stress of your past, you will have a hard time facing stress from the present or the future.

The second level of stress relief is dealing with potential stress. This type of stress is the kind that is happening right now. If potential stress is handled well, it won’t become acquired stress. The vicious cycle of stress leading to more stress will end. This requires the ability to recognize the stress response in yourself as you face the stressor. For instance, when you are in traffic, you can begin to assess your stress by noticing that your shoulders are tensing, that you aren’t breathing well, and that you are gritting your teeth. The easy part of this is that usually, when you realize what you are doing, the solution is quite obvious. If you aren’t breathing, start breathing again. If you are clenching your jaw, open your mouth a bit. The hard part is doing this frequently enough to make it an automatic habit.

Bo Yoga and mindful exercise helps this second level of stress relief; when you become more attuned to your body, you will more easily recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, and you will learn to quickly recognize and release resistance within yourself. Also, after you take a class, your mind and body will be like a clean slate, comfortable and relaxed, making it easy to catch small stress responses before they grow too big. Catching stress early and nipping it in the bud is very helpful. Just like it’s easy to pull out a weed from your garden when it is small, it will be much harder to deal with it after it has grown deep roots or has gone to seed. It is important to reduce potential stress as soon as possible before it adds to the pain and suffering of the actual stress that you will carry with you everywhere you go.

The third level of stress relief is preventable stress. This type of stress is when you have released most of your actual stress to the point where your body generally feels good, free of pain, and energized. At this point, you are also good at dealing with potential stress by managing your personal stress responses, such as breathing patterns, physical tensions, and letting go of negative thoughts. Now that you are feeling pretty good, you can get ahead of stress and begin to prevent it before it even happens!

If the Earth is your body, your ability to prevent stress is like the ozone layer. It burns up meteorites in the atmosphere and also shields the Earth from harmful radiation. Not only does it protect the Earth from outside threats, it also creates a layer of insulation that maintains a healthy environment within it, despite the fact that it’s floating in the middle of cold and desolate space.

Preventable stress relief means that your shields are at full power, negativity burns up in your atmosphere, and you maintain a happy and positive mindset, no matter how negative and dark your surroundings are. Preventable stress relief means that you have a buffer around you that gives you time to choose responses instead of reacting. As people and situations come close to you, you can feel and sense if they are good for you or not. You not only build a huge tolerance to stress, you know how to repair any damage to your personal ozone layer when it occurs.

If stress is caused by resistance, then stress relief is caused by the release of resistance. Multiple studies have shown that mind-body training is highly effective to this end. Bo Yoga includes the following types of mind-body training:

★ Moving meditation: The fluid movements of Bo Yoga are meant to be practiced in a state of relaxed concentration, not unlike sitting meditation, except you get to move your body, too, which most of us need to do more often.

★ After class relaxation: Class is typically concluded with a savasana, the yoga “corpse pose” position, which involves lying on the floor to release all tension from the body.

★ Fun and laughter: The proper attitude for Bo Yoga is not overly serious or up-tight. Having a great time doing it is really the only proper way to practice because fun and laughter release beneficial hormones and encourage continued practice.

★ Distraction from stressors: When you take some time to practice Bo Yoga, you forget about your troubles for a moment and just focus on yourself and your own health.

★ Positive social environment: If you are practicing Bo Yoga with others, you can be sure you have found other individuals who, like you, are committed to positive changes in their lives.

One of Bo Yoga’s main benefits is its ability to release physical, emotional, and mental resistance. Through it, you have a regular practice of body, mind, and emotional healing that recharges you and releases you from resistance. Bo Yoga’s effectiveness for you depends on how well you can use it to this end.

Bo Yoga®