Posted by: yoga librarian | January 2, 2015

Walk Which Way?

Walk This Way!

Walk and/or jog facing trafficAs I take my regular walks through town, I’m always surprised by the number of people who walk with their backs to the traffic. I was taught to walk facing traffic.

So I decided to do the research. (I was a librarian…..)

Most states have traffic laws that require pedestrians to walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk available. That means walking to the left side of the road.

We were all taught as children to walk to the right. And as drivers, we drive on the right side.

But those rules don’t include what should happen when cars and people are sharing the road.

Here are some tips:

  • Walk facing traffic that provides the best safety and allows you change direction or move farther to the side. If you walk with your back to traffic you need to keep looking behind you to check on the traffic, and you’re not watching where you are going. Unlike cars, you don’t have a rear-view mirror.
  • Make eye contact with drivers. Wave.
  • Walk single-file on curves. Drivers aren’t expecting to see a group on the other side of the curve.
  • Don’t be distracted by your phone. Don’t text or read email while you are walking!  “…distracted walking causes more accidents per mile that distracted driving.”
  • Be aware of bicyclists and joggers. Listen.
  • If you are listening to your iPod, keep the volume low and only use one earbud. Traffic noise can give you important safety signals. I had a neighbor who not only walked with his back to traffic, but wore the big, industrial headphone most often seen on airport ground crews. I always gave him a lot of room when I drove past him. He never noticed.
  • Be visible. At night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
Posted by: yoga librarian | August 1, 2014

Are You Taking the Same Dose of Calcium Supplements Every Day?

Calcium Supplements

Dr. Diane L. Schneider, author of The Complete Book of Bone Health, asks “Are You Taking the Same Dose of Calcium Supplements Every Day?”

“Do you eat the same thing every day? Although what you eat for breakfast may be pretty routine, your other meals throughout the day are probably not. Are you a creature of habit when it comes to taking your calcium supplements?”

The IOM guidelines—1,000–1,200mg/day—include all sources of calcium, including your diet and other medications.

Calcium supplements are meant to supplement your diet. So you need to take your actual diet, which varies from day to day, into account when determining how much you need to supplement each day. 

Read Dr. Schenider’s complete article on»

Buy her book, The Complete Book of Bone Health, on


Female triathletes at risk for pelvic floor disorders, other complications

From ScienceDaily, July 24, 2014

Female triathletes are at risk for pelvic floor disorders, decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density, according to researchers at Loyola University Health System (LUHS). These data were presented today at the American Urogynecologic Society 2014 Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC.

The study found that one in three female triathletes suffers from a pelvic floor disorder such as urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. One in four had one component of the female athlete triad, a condition characterized by decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density from excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition.

“There has been a surge in popularity of high-impact sports such as triathlons, but little has been known until now about the prevalence of pelvic health and certain other issues associated with endurance training and events,” said Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, study investigator and physiatrist, LUHS.

Researchers surveyed 311 women for this study with a median age range of 35 — 44. These women were involved with triathlete groups and most (82 percent) were training for a triathlon at the time of the survey. On average, survey participants ran 3.7 days a week, biked 2.9 days a week and swam 2.4 days a week.

Of those who reported pelvic floor disorder symptoms, 16 percent had urgency urinary incontinence, 37.4 percent had stress urinary incontinence, 28 percent had bowel incontinence and 5 percent had pelvic organ prolapse. Training mileage and intensity were not associated with pelvic floor disorder symptoms. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed screened positive for problematic eating patterns, 24 percent had menstrual irregularities and 29 percent demonstrated abnormal bone strength.

“While both pelvic floor disorders and the female athlete triad are prevalent in female triathletes, both are often ignored,” said Johnny Yi, MD, urogynecologist and study investigator. “Doctors should be aware of how common these conditions are in this group of athletes and treat patients appropriately to avoid long-term health consequences.”

Loyola University Health System. “Female triathletes at risk for pelvic floor disorders, other complications.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2014. <>.

Posted by: yoga librarian | July 22, 2014

Health Tip: Using the Web for Health Information

As a (former) librarian, I’m often asked to help find information on a variety of exercise- and medical-related topics. Although there is a lot of great information on the internet there is also a lot of garbage. (I won’t mention the weird stuff I found today….)

How can the average consumer figure out which is which?

I came across some great tips today on MedlinePlus that may help make separate the good stuff from the not-so-good.

Health Tip: Using the Web for Health Information: Make sure the information, source are sound

By Diana Kohnle (Monday, July 21, 2014)

(HealthDay News) — While the Internet can be a great source of health knowledge, it is important to make sure that you’re getting sound advice from a trusted source. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these guidelines:

  • Make sure the information was either written or medically reviewed by a doctor, or that the original source is clearly noted.
  • Look for reliable sources for statistics.
  • Make sure the information is factual, versus opinion.
  • Look for information that has been written or updated within the past year.
  • Sites run by government, university or nonprofit organizations tend to be reliable because they are not funded by companies that may have a conflict-of-interest.

Related MedlinePlus Page: Evaluating Health Information

Posted by: yoga librarian | July 12, 2014

Yoga May Provide an Antidote to Teacher Burnout

An Antidote to Teacher Burnout: How Yoga and Mindfulness Can Support Resilience In and Out of the Classroom

A movement to bring yoga and mindfulness to children is blooming. Many schools have implemented contemplative programming to help kids thrive, and research studies document the positive effects of yoga and mindfulness practices for children. But, what about the teachers, administrators, and other school personnel who work with children on a daily basis?

It’s no secret that teacher burnout is a pressing issue in our educational system. A shocking statistic: nearly one third of all newly recruited teachers are either resigning or reporting burn out in their first 3 to 5 years of professional experience.Gallup’s State Of America’s Schools 2012 Report says nearly 70% of K-12 teachers surveyed do not feel engaged in their work… 

Among many studies linking yoga and mental health, there is a significant research agenda studying the effects of contemplative practices specifically on teachers. 

Read the complete article on>>

Posted by: yoga librarian | July 8, 2014

Yoga May Slow Down Aging

New Study Suggests That Yoga May Help Slow Down Aging

Most people know how a regular yoga practice can improve energy and vitality. But does yoga actually impact the biochemical markers of healthy aging? A new study indicates so. The study found that intensive daily yoga practices may stimulate the production of two key hormones linked to youth and vitality, growth hormone (GH) and DHEAS.

Reposted from Yoga U Online. Read the full article>>

Posted by: yoga librarian | June 26, 2014

New Study Shows Yoga Has Healing Powers

National Geographic Daily News reports on several new studies on the healing powers of yoga.

  • In a study of 200 breast cancer survivors who had not practiced yoga before the study, the group that had practiced yoga reported less fatigue and higher levels of vitality three months after treatment had ended. The study was led by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University, and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  • In research that has not yet been published, Maryanna Klatt, an associate professor of clinical family medicine at Ohio State University found that 160 third graders in low-income areas who practiced yoga with their teacher had self-reported improvements in attention.

Read the full article>> New Study Shows Yoga Has Healing Powers.

Posted by: yoga librarian | April 21, 2014

Community Teamwork volunteer selected as Hannaford Health Hero

Westford resident recognized for commitment to health and wellness for local seniors

LOWELL, Massachusetts – A volunteer with Community Teamwork in Lowell has been selected by Hannaford Supermarkets as a “Hannaford Health Hero” for her dedication to increasing health and wellness awareness among local seniors.

Pat FitzGerald of Westford serves as the volunteer leader in the Bone Builders program with Community Teamwork. In her role, FitzGerald organizes senior fitness classes focusing on balance and strength-building exercises and educates class attendees on osteoporosis-related topics, such as fall prevention and proper nutrition.

FitzGerald is the first Bay State resident to be recognized this year by Hannaford Supermarkets in conjunction with the Hannaford Health Hero program. Now in its third year, the program will recognize the work of 12 volunteers who inspire others within the community to make healthy choices for life on behalf of non-profit organizations.

“At Hannaford, we strongly believe in promoting health and wellness within the communities we serve,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Community Relations Specialist Molly Tarleton. “We are thrilled to honor Pat as a Hannaford Health Hero and commend Community Teamwork for its commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles for Massachusetts residents.”

FitzGerald was nominated by Joan Aseltine, Bone Builders coordinator for Community Teamwork, which serves low-income individuals by providing opportunities for them to achieve stability, self-sufficiency and have an active voice and participation in the decisions that affect their lives.

In the nomination, Aseltine wrote, “Pat’s leadership and quality of volunteer training has been the key to our successful Bone Builders program. She has made an enormous impact on the healthy lifestyles of over 300 individuals in the greater Lowell area.”


Posted by: yoga librarian | August 23, 2013

Elvis Presley Yoga Video

Elvis Presley – Yoga Is as Yoga Does

Those are probably two things you never thought you would see in the same video. This is from his 1967 film, Easy Come, Easy Go.

How can you not love a movie with Elvis Presley as a former Navy frogman who moonlights as a nightclub singer and is searching for sunken treasure with the help of a go-go dancer who practices yoga?

Elvis Presley – Yoga Is as Yoga Does (Words & music by Nelson – Burch)

Well I can see that you and yoga will never do

Yoga is as yoga does there’s no in-between
Your either with it on the ball or you’ve blown the scene
I can see lookin’ at you, you just can’t get settled
How can I even move, twistin’ like a pretzel

(Yoga is, yoga does)
(There’s no in-between)
(Your either with it all the way) Or you’ve blown the scene
(Or you’ve blown the scene)

Come on come on, untwist my legs
Pull my arms a lot
How did I get so tied up
In this yoga knot
You tell me just how I can take this yoga serious
When all it ever gives to me is a pain in my posteriors

(Yoga is, yoga does)
(There’s no in-between)
(Your either with it all the way) Or you’ve blown the scene
(Or you’ve blown the scene)

Stand upside down on your head, feet against the wall
A simple yoga exercise done by one and all
Now cross your eyes and hold your breath, look just like a clown
Yoga’s sure to catch you if you come falling down

(Yoga is, yoga does)
(There’s no in-between)
(Your either with it all the way) Or you’ve blown the scene
(Or you’ve blown the scene)

(Yoga is, yoga does)
(There’s no in-between)
(Your either with it all the way) Or you’ve blown the scene
(Or you’ve blown the scene)

Posted by: yoga librarian | August 23, 2013

Aging Well – Happy Birthday Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch
Yoga teacher Tao Porchon-Lynch, who celebrated her 95th birthday last week, has just released her first yoga DVD.

I’ll sometimes ask my yoga students to guess her age. Most guess 70s or early 80s.

A Yoga Journal birthday tribute quotes her advice to those who hope to keep up their yoga practice into their 90s?: “There is no such thing as ‘age.’ Tune into the power of the eternal, and feel the beauty of life. Nothing is impossible. Yoga revitalizes us with every breath we take.”

Order her video on Yoga with Tao Porchon-Lynch.

And visit her website to read her biography, watch interviews, and see photos of her doing competitive ballroom dancing.

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