Hi all! Sorry, I haven’t written in a while, I was actually quite busy with work this period. One way to let off steam after working is exercising. I have already written before that I have a love for the great outdoors. So my friends and I arranged a nice little yoga session in nature last Saturday. Maybe yoga is dull for some people, but I guarantee it is a great way to deal with work stress.
In fact, there are studies that show that yoga decreases the levels of cortisol, basically the stress hormone. And needless to say, yoga also comes with a bunch of other health benefits, it reduces anxiety levels, it can reduce inflammation, improve heart health, it can help with chronic pain, depression, improve sleep quality, and life quality in general and yes, it improves breathing as well – and you know just how important breathing is for asthma sufferers like me!
The way this works is that most yoga incorporates breathing exercises too, called yogic breathing or pranayama. This yogic breathing then increases your vital capacity, basically the maximum amount of air that people expel from their lungs after maximum inhalation. And improved vital capacity is especially important for those with lung disease and asthma!
Anyway, one thing I didn’t associate yoga with is using it as a technique to quit smoking. My friend Karen has never been a fan of the outdoors, and much less exercise. So I was surprised when she decided to join us on Saturday. The reason, as she explained, is that recently she experienced a relapse, and started smoking again. Those of you who are smokers know all too well that it can take several trials before you finally kick that nasty habit of smoking.
Anyway, Karen explained to me that apparently yoga is praised to be very useful if you decide to quit smoking or experience a relapse as she did. The logic behind it is simple actually – yoga helps you with those strong nicotine cravings because it calms down the mind and reduces stress and anxiety as I mentioned before. While any yoga exercise can be helpful when quitting cigarettes, there are some yoga exercises that are especially helpful here, including anulom vilom (alternate nostril breathing), the so-called camel pose, Sukhasana (also known as the Easy pose), etc. Bottom line, thanks to yoga exercise, Karen is again smoke-free for weeks now, sweet! So if you’re looking for a natural way to quit smoking, you might want to consider adding a few yoga stretches to your daily routine.
After our outdoor yoga session, I felt great, but I was sooo sweaty! So rushed home to take a shower with my new solar powered system. Ah yes, I decided to go solar and I am loving it! For one thing, I have more space now, and this will definitely have benefits for the environment and my budget as well. But then again, solar is not for everyone, I guess I’m lucky to live in a place where there are enough warm days for both my solar heater and my outdoor exercise.