We interview yoga Goddess Jennifer Houghton of Bountiful Yoga and Wellness who teaches gentle yoga for people over 50. Get ready for a nice and relaxing podcast.
Coming to you this time from the 2 Boomer Broad’s spacious stick yoga studio.
Gentle Yoga Breathing
If you sit and focus on your breath, and are fully present, you are actually doing yoga. The breath is a bridge between the body and the mind. It can be used for relaxation, to build energy, to relieve pain, or to sleep better.
Jennifer specializes in working with people over 50, which has given her an understanding of the physical and mental needs of that demographic. Many times an older person will begin doing yoga for the first time to relieve pain and stiffness, to be more flexible or relaxed.
Yoga should meet you where you are. It shouldn’t be a matter of you adapting yourself to the yoga.
The word “yoga” means the union of body, mind and spirit. If you are doing positions that will hurt you, that is a disconnect. That’s why it’s become popular to offer gentle yoga or yoga for seniors to help reduce aches and pains. We should be doing yoga to enhance ourselves rather than hurt ourselves.
Fight or Flight
When we go into a fight or flight mode, our body does what it needs to in order to survive. Our blood pressure rises, (blood gets diverted from internal organs to the limbs so we can run fast or throw a spear) digestion and other bodily functions slow down to save energy, we start to breath fast and shallow only in the upper lobes of the lungs. We react to psychological stresses the same way we react to physical danger. In the modern world, we are in a moderate state of fight or flight all the time.
The one thing we can control is our breathing. When we take deep inhales through the nose, rather than the mouth, slow down the breath and breathe into the lower lobes of the lungs, that sends a signal to the body to go out of stress mode and into relaxation mode. The digestive system becomes renewed, hormone production is more balanced, and muscles relax. Endorphins stop the production of pain hormones.
Using gentle yoga to alleviate pain.
Jennifer broke her ribs in a fall. She used her breath to pay attention to her breath and slowed it down. Her muscles began to relax. She used mindfulness techniques and focused on the area that was experiencing the strongest physical sensation. Instead of calling it pain, she gave it a neutral label. She asked herself, “What does this sensation feel like? It feels like pulsing.” So rather than give it a label that is negative, she turned it into a neutral -positive. She followed the sensation for a while until it moved (because it usually does) Then she labeled it again, heat – heat – heat – tingle – tingle – tingle, and so forth. Doing this allowed her to sleep and heal faster
How to work with Jennifer
Jennifer works with clients online. She has streaming videos that you can access from anywhere in the world and a 4-step breathing process that people for pain reduction that you can watch anytime you like with guidance.
Jennifer takes the 2 Boomer Broads through a breathing practice. You will need to listen in to the podcast to hear and participate in the entire guided exercise. If you have any type of pain, including arthritis or fibromyalgia, you will want to hear this.
Laughing is breathing. When we laugh we are letting stuff out. Crying is the same. Both are great ways to breathe and release tension.
You can do some form of gentle yoga no matter what your physical conditions. Jennifer works with people who have MS, are walking with canes, are in wheelchairs or have other conditions.
Visit Jennifer’s website at www.bountifulyogaandwellness.com You will find information about her posture project for people who want to strengthen their backs.