From stretches to breathing exercises, and simply nodding your head, here are some valuable health hacks for your life
From nodding to ease a headache and tensing your tongue to tackle snoring, these simple moves can beat your body niggles.
Breathe through alternate nostrils …to ease earache
Special yoga breathing, or Pranayama, can help to relieve stress and soothe ear and neck pain says yoga expert Cheryl MacDonald from yogabellies.co.uk.
“Try alternate nostril breathing. Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position or on a straight-back chair and breathe normally. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left. Close your left nostril with your ring finger. Then release the thumb and exhale through your right side.
“Reverse the sequence and repeat the whole thing four times.”
Bend forward …to ease sinus pain
“Forward bends help drain the sinuses,” says Cheryl. “Stand with feet hip width apart. Inhale and draw your chest forward and up while you raise you arms above your head. Then bend forward from the hips and exhale as you stretch your hands towards the toes.
“Reach down with your hands as far as you are able and relax the head and neck. Hold the pose for up to five minutes or as long as is comfortable for sinus pressure.”
Nod your head …to ease a headache
Lots of headaches are caused by tension in the neck muscles. Nodding eases muscle tightness and so soothes your headache too. “Slowly lower your chin to your chest, hold for 10 seconds and then look up to the ceiling and hold for 10 – then repeat twice more,” says Earle Logan, naturopath and nutritionist for A.Vogel ( avogel.co.uk ).
Tense your tongue …to prevent snoring
Snoring happens when the soft tissues and muscles of our upper airways vibrate when they’re floppy. So tightening these muscles should result in less snoring.
Try pushing the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth and then sliding it backwards. Then with the tip of the tongue touching your bottom front teeth, force the back of the tongue against the floor of the mouth.
Bend your knees …to ease constipation
Bringing your knees into the chest and exerting pressure on your tummy can stimulate sluggish bowels, says yoga teacher Chris James, author of Mind Body Cleanse (Vermilion). “Lie face upwards with your arms beside your body and feet stretched out, heels touching each other.
“Bend your knees. Then take in a deep breath, and as you exhale, gradually bring the bent knees towards your chest, with the thighs applying pressure on the abdomen.
“Hold the knees properly in place by clasping your hands underneath the thighs. Inhale slowly, and release your knees so they rest above the hips. Repeat seven to 10 times, leaving a 15-second interval in between.”
Chris warns against this pose if you have high blood pressure , back or heart problems.
Twist …to get rid of trapped wind
Feel bloated or gassy? Personal trainer Ramona Braganza says: “Sit facing forward then rotate your torso to the right and reach around to hold the back of the chair. Repeat in the other direction.”
Massage your hand …to ease toothache
Try massaging the webbed area of the back of your hand between the thumb and forefinger. “We use acupuncture on this point to relax patients during treatment as a way of helping block the pain pathway,” says dentist Dr Stephen Pitt from the-dental-studio.com . A Canadian study found rubbing ice on this area reduced toothache by as much as 50%.
Do a yoga pose …to ease period cramps
“The Reclining Goddess Pose is a great way to help alleviate period pains,” says Helen Faliveno, yoga expert at betty. “Lie back, bend your knees, place the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop sideways. This pose opens out the hips, and stretches the groin and abdominals to help you relax.”
Tap your forehead …to curb a craving
Got an uncontrollable urge to consume a naughty sweet treat? Medical researchers at a New York weight loss program found that tapping your forehead for 30 seconds was an effective distraction technique for obese volunteers, helping them overcome their cravings.
It’s thought that the movement of tapping, which engages the motor cortex of the brain helps remove the image of the craved-for food from the visual cortex.
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.