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Yoga Journal USA - June_2016

live well ASK THE

live well ASK THE EXPERTS Answers to your questions about muscle fatigue, yoga for sleep, twisting protocol, and more. How can I keep my yoga practice strong when I travel? For starters, remember that yoga can help alleviate the aches and pains that tend to pop up when you’re on the road. Any chance you get, focus on lengthening the lumbar spine, which gets compressed after hours spent sitting slumped on an airplane or in a car, a posture that can really sap your energy. Try five minutes of Cat-Cow Pose to extend and stretch your lower back. Also, try hanging in Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend): Place your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, bend your knees slightly, and lower your head toward the floor, grabbing opposite elbows and allowing the weight of your head to create space between your vertebrae. Gently sway side-to-side here for two to three minutes. To make longer practices more feasible once you’ve reached your destination, pack a lightweight yoga mat. Don’t have your entire practice memorized? Take a free 20- to 30-minute class at Krissy Jones Co-owner of Sky Ting Yoga, New York City june 2016 26 Which way should I twist first to aid digestive cleansing? To the right. Twisting helps move stool through your colon, which contains four main parts: the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon, all named for the way your colon moves waste toward your rectum. An initial twist to the right widens the ascending colon, which gets stool moving up and across the transverse colon. Then, a twist left encourages stool to move down the descending colon, into the sigmoid colon, and toward elimination. Helgrid Randolph Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Denver My muscles feel weak in yoga class. What can I do to feel stronger? You may need to better fortify them after your last yoga class or workout. During any activity, muscles use glycogen, a simple form of sugar that fuels movement. The more intense the exercise, the more glycogen you use. To restock glycogen stores in your muscles, you need to replenish with carbs and protein—the main sources of glycogen. Within 30 minutes of any exercise, eat a 150- to 200-calorie snack that contains a ratio of carbs to protein ranging from 3:1 to 4:1. One example: 8 ounces of chocolate milk, which has been shown to contain the optimal blend of muscle-fueling carbs and protein to prevent muscle-protein breakdown and weakness or fatigue. Michael Ormsbee, PhD Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida Will a vigorous evening vinyasa class disrupt my sleep? It can. Sleep largely depends on lowering your core body temperature, and vigorous exercise has the opposite effect. In a healthy sleep pattern, your body temperature drops when the sun sets, reaches its lowest point just before dawn, and starts to elevate at sunrise. But an after-dark high-energy yoga class under bright lights suppresses melatonin production and activates your sympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow to your muscles, making you feel more awake. If the evening is your only window for practice, choose a slower-paced yoga class, such as Yin or restorative, that emphasizes deep breathing and prolonged pose holds. You might also seek a class that’s held in a candlelit or low-light room to avoid stimulation. These options engage your parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with relaxation. Rubin Naiman, PhD Clinical and sleep-health psychologist, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Tucson, Arizona Have questions for the experts? Send them to

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