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fall yoga poses
Wellness
Published Thursday Oct 10, 2019 by Amber Scriven

Carve Out Time for Self-Care With This Seasonal Yoga Practice

Yoga
Acupuncture
Relaxation
Meditation
Expert Advice

Self-care is vital as we head into a busy pumpkin carving season filled with cold and flu viruses. Prepping your immune system with supplements, healthy foods, regular exercise, and staying hydrated are all the basics. But what if you could take it one step further and exponentiate these fall health benefits with your yoga practice?

During the fall season, acupuncture professionals work towards strengthening the lymphatic system, lungs, and intestines to keep the immune system healthy. You are what you eat, but if your gut isn’t able to sufficiently absorb and process your nutrients versus excrete waste, then the immune system can struggle. Promoting lung and intestinal health is very effective as a preventive care method, and you can modify your yoga practice to encourage the same benefits.

You can promote your immunity by deepening your breath to clean out your lungs, twisting from the waist to invigorate the organ's natural filtration responses, and stretching the myofascial tissues to encourage hydration—and release toxins.

Here’s a simple fall yoga sequence based on this concept to help you reap the health benefits of the autumn season.

 

Seated Neck Stretch

Release tension and loosen tight neck muscles to get started. 

Sitting comfortably with your right arm over your head, allow your right hand to cup your left ear and—without pulling—drop your right ear towards your shoulder. Next, press into your left hand straight down towards the ground and slowly drop your chin to your chest to feel that awesome stretch through the neck muscles. Hold for three deep breaths and repeat on the opposite side.

 

Three-Part Breath 

Use three-part breathing to unwind and de-stress, all while clearing your lungs. Lowering stress levels will improve immune health dramatically. 

Start with one hand on your chest and take a sip of air to fill your chest. Without exhaling, move your hand to your lower ribs and sip more air to fill the diaphragm. Move your hand to your belly and sip even more air to fill your belly. When you are full of air, begin to exhale to empty just your belly. Then move your hand back to your ribs and exhale to empty the diaphragm. Finally, move the hand back to your chest to empty all the air. Go slowly and repeat this five times. 

 

Modified Fish Pose

This long hold is great for stretching the chest wall to help open the diaphragm and lungs. It is relaxing and perfect for decompressing after a stressful week.

Take a rolled-up blanket or a small rectangular cushion and slide it between your shoulder blades as you lie on your back. Rest your head on a block or the top of the cushion so your neck isn’t strained. Let your arms fall open on either side of you, and feel free to bend or straighten your legs to relax. Stay for as long as three minutes if you like.

 
Mountain Pose with Lion’s Breath 

Add even more lung and diaphragm clearing by starting in a loose forward fold with your knees slightly bent. Gently roll up to standing, reaching your arms up and overhead. 

Take a long sip of air in and as you exhale with open mouth and eyes wide. Cactus your arms around your ears and stick your tongue out. Then sip the air back in and reach your hands to touch overhead before forward folding down through the heart center and dangling upside down in ragdoll for a couple of breaths. This tongue-out action elevates the hyoid bone below your chin and above your thyroid, to encourage the digestive process from the top down. You could repeat this a few times over to really reap the benefits.

 

Dhanurasana

Rocking in this backbend shape massages the intestines to help filter out waste and toxins.

Reach back and catch one or both feet or ankles. Press your thighs towards each other to keep your back safe, and kick your feet into your hands. Then very gently rock front to back and side to side.

 

Seated Twist (for intestinal health)

Get deeper into a belly massage (and undo the backbend above) using this easy twist.

From a seated position, place your hand on your opposite knee and twist to look over your shoulder. Remember, it’s not about how far you turn your head; it’s about how much you twist from your middle. Return to neutral and repeat on the opposite side.

 

Savasana

This shape is incredibly underrated. 

Savasana is about engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages de-stressing and promotes our “rest and digest” response. Decreasing stress is a great way to promote a healthy immune system, so stay here for eight minutes— that is about how long it can take to interact with that parasympathetic response.


Repeat something similar to this as part of your self-care regimen this season and see how it makes you feel! 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.
healthy-apple-recipes
Wellness
Published Monday Nov 11, 2019 by Sara Lesher

4 Healthy Apple Recipes to Indulge Your Fall Cravings

Food
Recipes
Expert Advice

 

Autumn is the season of apple picking, pumpkin carving, and delicious holiday treats. Whether you’re searching for a delightful morning pick-me-up or your go-to seasonal salad, we’ve found four apple-featuring recipes that are yummy, healthy, and perfect for fall!

Breakfast

 

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

If you think quinoa for breakfast sounds a little strange, trust us, it’s a game-changer. This protein-packed, healthy treat is a great way to start your morning off strong. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free.

 

Photo credit: Simplyquinoa.com
 

1
Breakfast

 

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

If you think quinoa for breakfast sounds a little strange, trust us, it’s a game-changer. This protein-packed, healthy treat is a great way to start your morning off strong. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free.

 

Photo credit: Simplyquinoa.com
 

Lunch

 

Autumn Apple Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

This salad is packed with so many different flavors, and they work in tasty harmony. It might be called the Autumn Apple Salad, but we want to eat it all year long.

 

Photo credit: Houseofyumm.com

2
Lunch

 

Autumn Apple Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

This salad is packed with so many different flavors, and they work in tasty harmony. It might be called the Autumn Apple Salad, but we want to eat it all year long.

 

Photo credit: Houseofyumm.com

Dinner

 

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples

Sweet and savory, paleo and Whole30 approved, cooked in just one pan… ‘nuff said.

 

Photo credit: Wellplated.com
 

3
Dinner

 

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples

Sweet and savory, paleo and Whole30 approved, cooked in just one pan… ‘nuff said.

 

Photo credit: Wellplated.com
 

Dessert

 

Healthy Vegan Apple Crisp

This dessert is gluten-free, vegan, and delicious. It’s made with salted caramel cashew butter and maple syrup. YUM.

 

Photo credit: Veggiesdontbite.com
 

4
Dessert

 

Healthy Vegan Apple Crisp

This dessert is gluten-free, vegan, and delicious. It’s made with salted caramel cashew butter and maple syrup. YUM.

 

Photo credit: Veggiesdontbite.com
 

Sara Lesher About the Author Headshot
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As MINDBODY’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).