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Yoga for Stress Reduction and Injury Prevention at Work

Every day, employees cope with various forms of stressors on the job. Increased risk for psychological and physical disorders may be due to work related trends such as working in repetitive and monotonous tasks, performing in a fast-paced environment, and or fearing a layoff during an unstable period in the economy. Psychological stress can be induced by extremely low or high demands on the individual and is a typical situation of many simple and repetitive work situations, in which health problems are common. This has innumerable health and financial implications for both employees and employers. Low job satisfaction and little variation in job task are significantly associated with back and shoulder pain. The majority of headaches people experience are tension headaches resulting from contraction of neck and shoulder muscles. Carpel tunnel and arthritis are associated with the repetitive strain from spending greater amounts of time at a computer. Job stress also can lead to burn out, and mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.

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More About Yoga/Mindfulness and Private Sessions

Mindfulness theory is the practice of increasing mindfulness and decreasing mindlessness. Mindfulness theory is acceptance towards the ever-changing world, with the goal to increase cognitive flexibility, unconditional self-acceptance, and to decrease self-evaluation, social comparison, and rigidity. It simplifies and honors the interconnection of all perspectives and theories by focusing on being present to the now experience. Practice of mindfulness theory not only allows one the capabilities to observe multiple concepts but to also shift behavior and cognition based on the concept of the present moment. When one mindlessly acts according to a limited and single perspective, behavior will become automatic, and when one attaches to a single perception they become committed and rigid decreasing opportunity, authenticity, and creativity.

Mindfulness theory and the practices of yoga are in support of the cognitive behavioral theory, which is that through conscious self-study a person can cognitively choose to adapt their behavior according to the present moment. When perception is coming from mindfulness a person can choose to see the positive value of the present situation and take it as an opportunity for growth of body, mind and spirit. Perhaps the most important aspect of mindfulness theory and cognitive behavioral theory is that the individual takes responsibility for their state of being, decisions, and perceptions.

We can live now the causes to create the effects we truly desire in life.

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Private and Semi-Private Yoga sessions

Required phone, or Skype Consultation for first time clients prior to scheduling. Possible rates apply if extends beyond 5 minutes.   All consults will be scheduled via email request.

Consultation ensures proper and creative sequencing, and development

60 minutes=$75

90 minutes= $100

Fees are subject to change based on commute and space.  If renting out studio space clients are responsible for the studio rental fees.  Savings will result with package programs.  Shannon reserves the right to chose who she works with.  If additional research and accommodation is required, rates will reflect energetic exchange.

Shannon is happy to accommodate your questions, physical abilities, and yoga interests. For example if you are interested in learning about the chakras, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, The Eight Limbs, etc.

If you are wanting to create your own workshop for your friends, or Yoga Teacher Training support these services are also available.

 

Breathing Techniques- Practice

Choose your seat. Find a comfortable upright position. Ground down through both sit bones equally. Set up the connection to the Earth. Stack and create space between each vertebra. Reach up and lengthen through the crown of your head. Bring your attention to your breath.

Allow a couple rolls of the shoulders to release any tension, stress. Then have the shoulders relax and squeeze shoulder blades together to open the heart.

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Environmental Consciousness- Research by Shannon Connell

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We have come to a point of instability. Our environment is under siege and our human population is increasing at an unsustainable rate (Lappe, 2010). The greatest paradox in the environmental crisis is that it is of human origin (Briggs, 2003). Pharmaceuticals, pest pollutants, industrial chemicals, heavy metals, hormones (Edwards & Meyers, 2008), agricultural wastes, improper waste disposal, transportation (Briggs, 2003), radiation (Page, Petrie, & Wessly, 2006), and animal agriculture (Lappe, 2010) are some of the significant polluters of industrialization, globalization, and human psychological misconception. Animal agriculture is the most significant (Lappe, 2010). Environmental pollutants are responsible for our current climate change (Roberts & Bacon, 1997, Lappe, 2010) and strongly connected to human psychological and physiological “dis-ease”.

The Dominant Social Paradigm (DSP) describes how human beings distort their true nature of being interconnected with all beings and all things (Roberts & Bacon, 1997). It is a paradigm that believes that we are the doers and that the earth was created for our control, just as in man’s misinterpretation of the Book of Genesis, believing that man has dominion over Nature (Roberts & Bacon, 1997). The DSP brings to attention the previous and current beliefs held by humans that there are unlimited resources, that private property is a right, growth is necessary, living in harmony with nature threatens economic growth, and that science will be able to solve all environmental problems (Roberts & Bacon, 1997). Perhaps the greatest human misconception is that we can create or think of anything as permanent.

Man’s perception that the earth is here for us to control, weak environmental legislation (Briggs, 2003), lack of policy, and conflicts of interest between corporate economic growth and environmental protection (Jaffe, Newell, & Stavins, 2004) has led to our increasing environmental health risks, especially in developing countries (Briggs, 2003). There are study correlations between environmental pollution and cardiovascular disease (Brook, Franklin, Cascio, Hong, & Tager, 2011), breast cancer (Wolf & Toniolo, 1995), Lung cancer (Page, Petrie, & Wessely, 2006), birth defects (Brook, et al., 2011), respiratory disease (Frampton, Samet, & Utell, 1991), anxiety, depression, and fear (Page, et al., 2006). One of the greatest challenges to environmental disease theories is that it takes time for a disease to develop and time for critical levels of exposure (Briggs, 2003). There is also the challenge of individual freedom versus policy change (Schneider, 2006). Many people still believe that environmental protection is up to the government and don’t pay attention to how their actions can contribute to environmental pollution or protection (Schneider, 2006). Education, research credibility, self-reflection and policy change are some necessary actions that need to be implemented, and we are running out of time.

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Proper Food Combining for Optimal Digestive Health

  1. Proteins DO NOT Combine with Starches!

This rule heads the list as being the worst of the dis-ease-producing habits. If you know anything about the facts of digestion, you’ll realize that there’s no way this combination will ever digest. What about meat and potatoes, hamburgers, sub sandwiches, meat pizzas, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and all? Take for example the hamburger-the meat is a protein and the bread is a starch. It takes a series of acid digestive juices to digest the protein and a series of alkaline digestive juices to digest the starch. Did you ever burn yourself in chemistry class with acid and were told to apply an alkaline to neutralize the acid!? This same result is what happens to the digestive juices in the stomach when you eat a protein and a starch together. They neutralize themselves and NO DIGESTION IS THE RESULT. If it doesn’t digest properly, it rots in our stomachs! This is when you get the TUMS, feel the acid reflux, have horrible gas, etc…

Any soaked nuts, grains and sprouts (all proteins) combine very well with any leafy green produce. The same is true for any protein. Add leafy greens and you have a good combination.

Exceptions:

Avocados combine well with all starchy vegetables and grains.

Legumes combine fairly well with grains.

 

  1. Fruits DO NOT Combine with Starches!

The digestion of fruits requires hardly any time at all in the mouth and stomach, while starches require most of their digestion time in the mouth and stomach. The fruit sugars are quickly absorbed into the intestines while the starch requires digestion in the mouth and stomach. Starch is the only food that begins to digest in the mouth with the enzyme Ptyalin. If the fruit sugars are held up in the stomach while the digestion of starch continues, the food will rot. Fruits and Starches will always be a problem when combined and eaten together. The rule of thumb, when eating fruit is-eat fruit as a fruit meal.

Fruits DO NOT COMBINE with Proteins!

Once again, fruit sugars are absorbed directly into the intestines, and the protein requires time digesting in the stomach. If the sugars are held back in the stomach while trying to digest the protein, the food will rot. There is an exception to the rule-Avocados. Avocados combine well with acid and sub acid fruits AND there is enough oil in seeds and nuts (raw and soaked) to prolong the protein digestive gastric juices in the stomach while the fruit sugars of acid fruits and papaya are absorbed into the intestines. BE WISE – Your health is your greatest treasure. When you have it, you have everything. When you don’t, nothing else matters.

3.  Fruits DO NOT Combine with Vegetables

An easy way to remember this is that FRUITS are CLEANSERS and VEGETABLES ARE BUILDERS. Do NOT combine fruits and vegetables. No way can you build a house and clean it at the same time. Tomatoes are considered a fruit and are an exception to this rule along with apples (in moderation) and papayas.

  1. Eat Melons Alone or Leave Them Alone-OR YOUR STOMACH WILL MOAN!

Melons combine with no other food! They are in the simplest form and require not much digestion time at all in the stomach. If they are held back in the stomach of 104° while digesting anything, they WILL ROT. Put a piece of melon outside in the sun of 80° or 90° and watch it rot before your eyes. Eat melons alone or leave them alone.

  1. Acid Fruits DO NOT Combine With Sweet Fruits

No exceptions to this rule!!

  1. Desert the Desserts!

When you eat sweets, even fruit, after a meal, you foul up your digestion process and your food rots. Bacteria turn the foods into Alcohols and Vinegars and NO DIGESTION is the result.

 

The Bottom Line is: The strength of a person lies not only in the foods they eat, but also their persistence in eating foods for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

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Stress and Diet- Research by Shannon Connell

There is an interconnection between stress, cortisol levels, eating behavior, food choices, psychological and physiological health (Epel, Lapidus, McEwen, & Brownell, 2001). Stress can lead to either decreased or increased food intake (Adams & Epel, 2007). Today, most humans are increasing food intake as a reaction to stress (Adams & Epel, 2007). From an evolutionary perspective food supply was once unpredictable and often inconsistent (Pinel, 2009). Having the ability to eat large quantities of food and to store fat was at times critical to survival (Pinel, 2009). Industrialization has not only increased availability of food, but increased the variety of foods (Brannon & Feist, 2010). Serving sizes have increased and nutritional whole foods are less accessible and more expensive (Jung, 1997). Technological advancements are also leading people to more sedentary lifestyles and more stress, resulting in a major epidemic in chronic diseases, known as Syndrome X (Jung, 1997, Monat, Lazarus, & Reevy, 2007). Recent studies in psychoneuroimmunology and the allostasis of stress and eating suggest that increases in cortisol are related to greater food consumption and more unhealthy food choices (Epel, et al., 2001). Studies have also shown that dysfunctions of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis relate to food addiction and binge eating behavior (Adams & Epel, 2007).

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Transitioning to a Vegetarian/Vegan/Raw Foods Diet

This can be an uncomfortable subject as it has to do with our behavior.  Choosing a vegetarian diet is not only an act of self-love, but also an action of environmental stewardship.  Many clients communicate that on a spiritual level they desire to be a vegetarian, but in the past when they have attempted a vegetarian lifestyle they experienced discomfort (fatigue, break-outs, etc.)

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Our Role In Health: Stress or Peace?

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a field of research that deals with the interaction of the central nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system, and how these systems can be altered through behavior and stress. The immune, nervous, and endocrine systems communicate to maintain health. All is interconnected, all levels, all existing.  The interest in PNI is the effects of thought and emotion on our health. Stress affects the entire Be-ing, nerves, cells, tissues, and systems of the body (individual and global). Stress if held, can disrupt nervous, endocrine, and immune system functioning resulting in “dis-ease.”  What is our body communicating to us?  Our Home, Take Care.

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Shannon Connell