One inspiring cue:
Find a strong base by pressing through the four corners of your feet. Then, lift your kneecaps by engaging your quads. Inhale, reach your arms overhead, and lift your low ribs away from your hips (feel length in your low back when you do this). Pause with your arms overhead and see if you can gain a bit more length in your spine by inching your side ribs up and softening your neck. Take another inhale and then, as you exhale, begin to find your backbend. Continue to breathe as you find a comfortable position for your fullest expression of the pose.
Standing backbends improve mobility and increase flexibility. This version is also easy to practice anywhere and will help promote good posture. I like to exhale into a backbend because we naturally engage our core on an exhalation, which supports the low back.
One inspiring tip:
Use a wall as a reference point as you can see me doing in the image above. Feel as if you are stretching your heart up and towards the wall behind you to help you create even more length.
Note: you don’t need to practice deep backbends to gain the benefits they have to offer. Keep in mind that, for some people, deep backbends can even do more harm than good. I like to look at any pose through the lens of the actual range of motion I will need for everyday activities. When you think about backbends, not much. So, work on the extension they have to offer and know that just a little bit goes a long way!
One inspiring song:
One inspiring quote:
“Be where you are, not where you think you should be.”
LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE
I’m talking about blood pressure this month because I decided to get a home blood pressure machine (after I passed out a couple of months back) and saw that my diastolic BP was really high. It turns out the machine was broken and my blood pressure is normal, but it certainly scared me! Heart disease is a serious issue, and I’d like to share some natural ways to help lower your BP.
You may already have some of the natural ways to lower blood pressure under your belt: watch your weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise, get a good night’s sleep, limit alcohol, and no smoking. Way to go if you can check all these off!
“High blood pressure is the most common, preventable risk factor for heart disease. It affects nearly half of all American adults. The best way to manage high blood pressure is through a combination of the right medications, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors. That said, there are several promising herbs and spices you can incorporate into your diet that may help lower your blood pressure. They include basil, parsley, celery seeds, Chinese cat’s claw, Bacopa monnieri, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, to name a few. Keep in mind that many herbs and spices may interact with common blood thinner medications, and many extracts and supplements discussed above lack sufficient safety research. For this reason, always consult a healthcare provider about what herbs and spices you’re considering incorporating into your diet and never discontinue a medication without consulting them first.” – Healthline
To fully understand the benefits of certain herbs and spices, click here or on the image below:
Here are two easy ways to incorporate some herbs/spices into your diet:
- Add parsley, celery seeds, thyme, and basil to your salad. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I regularly recommend adding herbs and spices to your salads for more nutrient density and bone health…and now we’ll add heart health to the list!
- Add cinnamon to your tea or coffee. I actually use 1tsp of green tea and 1tsp of organic instant coffee and add: Ceylon cinnamon, cayenne pepper, a dash of vanilla, a dash of ginger, with a little bit of stevia. Delicious!!In my next newsletter, I will cover some whole foods that are believed to help lower blood pressure. Until then, try practicing a standing backbend a couple times a week to open your heart and help with good posture. And, consider adding a few more herbs to your diet to help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy!