Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to strengthen our lungs?

Along with social distancing, wearing a face mask is a critical component in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, masks may make it more difficult to breathe. Some people even fear they'll lead to hypercapnia, or too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the bloodstream, as a result. 
To help quell your mask-related fears, we broke down how masks may affect oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and rounded up expert-approved tips for supporting your lungs.

How might masks affect breathing?
"Our lungs allow for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which is essential for the body to function," physician Robert Graham, M.D., MPH, FACP, says.
Because masks cover the nose and mouth, they may make breathing difficult, says human performance coach and New York Timesbestselling author Brian MacKenzie. In an Instagram post, he writes that masks may even trap carbon dioxide, which could be dangerous for people who are CO2 intolerant. "CO2 intolerant means we don't use our lungs as much and do not use O2 optimally," MacKenzie tells mindbodygreen.
According to one study, symptoms of CO2 retention (hypercapnia) may include rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), shortness of breath (dyspnea), flushed skin, confusion, headaches, and dizziness. 
Unless your mask is tightfitting and used for a prolonged period of time, though, there is little risk of becoming hypercapnic. "For most people, wearing cloth or surgical masks puts them in little to no danger of breathing in unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide," Graham says. 
That said, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with CO2 retention, Graham suggests taking off your mask while social distancing and breathing deeply.
While breathing in fresh oxygen is a critical solution, it's still a short-term fix. "[Oxygen] cannot work without CO2, and the better we control our breathing—say spending most of the time nasal-only breathing—the better we develop a tolerance to CO2," MacKenzie tells mbg.
To help you strengthen your lungs over time and increase your tolerance to carbon dioxide, these four tips could help.

1. Exercise

"[Exercise] raises carbon dioxide, which is why we breathe more when we exercise," MacKenzie says.
In fact, one study explains, it's normal to get breathless during exercise, but regular exercise can increase the strength and function of your muscles. "Your muscles will require less oxygen to move, and they will produce less carbon dioxide," the study says. "This will immediately reduce the amount of air you will need to breathe in and out for a given exercise."
Exercise is important because it requires more metabolic activity, MacKenzie tells mindbodygreen. "That would be optimized by doing things that are aerobic in nature like hiking and running." You can also increase metabolic activity through strength exercises, like squatting, pressing, and pulling. "Picking heavy things up from time to time is critical and can be done a number of different ways and through varying modalities," he says.

2. Breathwork 

To increase awareness of the diaphragm muscle, Graham recommends practicing diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing, and simple deep breathing. "These techniques get you closer to reaching your lungs' full capacity," he says.
To do this: 
1.    Count how long your natural breath, in and out, takes. 
2.    Slowly add one more count to every inhale and exhale.
3.   Do this until you can comfortably extend the time it takes to fill and empty your lungs. 
"Learning to have some sort of breath control or doing some hypoxic work...will increase your CO2 tolerance, which will increase your ability to have on a mask," MacKenzie says in the post. It may also help to reduce panic associated with wearing a mask.

3. Improve your posture 

Certain postures can interfere with respiration. To prevent this, Graham says to "stand strong while lifting the chest and opening the front of your body as you breathe deeply." Most importantly, don't hunch over. 

4. Stay hydrated 

Staying well hydrated is important for several reasons, including respiration. Drinking water throughout the day helps keep the mucosal linings in your lungs moist, Graham explains, which helps the lungs function better. 

Bottom line. 


Breathing in excessive carbon dioxide is dangerous, Graham tells us, especially for people with preexisting respiratory conditions. However, the risk of becoming hypercapnic from appropriately fitting cloth masks is low.
If you do notice dizziness, fatigue, or other symptoms of hypercapnia from prolonged use, separate from others, remove your mask, and breathe in fresh air.


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Sunday, May 24, 2020

New Video - Yoga for Sleep

Having some issues going to sleep, lately? Follow this easy and slow practice in the evening... No age restriction! Enjoy the practice and your sweet dreams afterwards :-) Breathe & Smile :-) #soyoga #soyogaonline #yogaforsleep

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sweet & Strong Video by So Yoga on Youtube! Perfect for you and / or your tween or teen at home!

Nice and deep stretches for hips and shoulders, as well as lots of balancing poses... Are you ready for it? Don't hesitate to share with your friends and families, send me feedbacks and subscribe to this channel! Take care.. Breathe & Smile :-) Sophie / So Yoga #yogaonline #kidsyoga #tweenyoga

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Toddler - Sea Yoga Class online - Free!

Do your kids like moving? Do they like sea animals? Try this video with them! I've added loots of illustrations to please them 
A short yoga session to swim like dolphins, sharks, whales, wiggle as an octopus, and relax like star fishes.... Tell me if you like it, and share with your friends with mini yogis at home!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Your "Me" time today!

Join me for a complete body fix... It's quick, so you can do it every day - even if you're out of time! You'll stretch our upper & lower body, front & back, left & right sides - while improving our strength. Give me a thumb up if you like it, share it with your friends and subscribe to the channel! Let me know your thoughts, feedback too! Breathe & Smile :-)

Getting Quality Sleep Is More Important Than Ever For Your Immune System

Although it is always important to be conscious of the health of your immune system, it's even more so while we are in the midst of a pandemic. Because of the restrictions placed on our normal lives while sheltering in place, we face a number of challenges that affect our immune health: Many of us are not moving or exercising as much since we are stuck inside, the lack of sunshine may be affecting our vitamin D levels, and, for a number of reasons, we're experiencing shifts in our stress hormones.
However, one thing that most of us still have control over is the ability to create good sleep behaviors. I can't emphasize enough that good-quality sleep is especially important right now to support a healthy and balanced immune response. 

Why is sleep important for a healthy immune system?
All of our bodily functions are based on a 24-hour circadian rhythm. Our sleep-wake cycle is part of this system and is regulated mostly by the presence of dark and light. The immune system is directly connected to that cycle: At night when it gets dark, there's a drop in our stress hormone cortisol, along with hormones from our sympathetic nervous system like epinephrine and norepinephrine. At the same time, hormones connected to immune function, such as melatonin, are elevated when we sleep. In addition, melatonin acts as a free radical scavenger and helps repair any damaged cells.
While our body is resting, the immune system cells can also focus all efforts and energy on a strong attack against viruses and bacteria. Also, sleep enhances the formation of memory antibodies to bacteria and viruses, to help build a stronger immune system for the future.

Conversely, lack of sleep can have a negative effect on our immune system. For example, sleep deprivation is associated with a rise in susceptibility to the common cold. One study that worked with 153 male and female participants found that those with shorter sleep duration in the weeks leading up to exposure to a rhinovirus were less likely to be resistant to the illness.

Matthew Walker, Ph.D., sleep scientist and author of Why We Sleep—Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, notes in his book that "after just one night of only four to five hours of sleep, your natural killer cells—a main player in viral killing—drop by 70%."

How can you help promote better sleep? 

At the present time, many of us are dealing with a multitude of challenges to our sleep, whether it's stress from the barrage of news and social media or disruptions to our regular work patterns, exercise, and eating routines. As a result, many of us are staying up later at night, sleeping in, or taking naps. All of this throws a massive wrench into our normal circadian rhythm—an integral part of which is sleep.

Nonetheless, there is plenty we can do to safeguard our sleep and optimize the effectiveness of the immune system: 

1. Create a schedule daily and stick to it.

Many studies have shown that adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep for maximum health. Make an effort to go to bed at about the same time daily and get up at the same time.

2. Add in calming and sleep-enhancing supplements.

One great way to ease yourself into sleep is via calming adaptogens and magnesium supplements.*
I particularly love magnesium+ by mindbodygreen that combines magnesium glycinate, which may promote relaxation; pharmaGABA to support sleep quality; and jujube, a fruit used in traditional Chinese medicine, which is often used to support healthy cortisol levels.*
I also love herbal teas and tinctures, such as valerian, passionflower, hops, and lemon balm before bed.

3. Create a soothing nighttime ritual.

It doesn't have to be long and complicated. It may be just a quick body scan meditation or some yin yoga stretches. I also like to journal before bed to dump any stressful thoughts out of my brain before I sleep. Using calming essential oils like lavender and geranium can also be helpful for sleep and a nice addition to your evening routine.

4. Optimize your melatonin.

If you use a tablet for reading, make sure that you always use the backlight dimming feature and/or wear blue-light-blocking glasses one to two hours before bed. You can also use special bulbs in your bedside lamps that filter out blue spectrum light. This will allow for the natural rise of your immune-activating hormone melatonin. 

5. Don't hit the snooze button.

In order to get that morning cortisol rise to start your day, wake up, get out of bed, and expose your eyes to some nice bright morning sun.

However you choose to support your rest routine, just remember that it's especially important to prioritize sleep right now and set your immune system up for success.

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