Tired of shelling out $15 a pop for yoga classes? If you like having the guidance of a teacher, but need to economize, here’s the Middle Way: downloadable yoga classes from iHanuman.com. You can save cash and feel good about supporting a local company (iHanuman is based in Nelson County).
Sara Pope, iHanuman co-founder, had a vision of preserving great yoga classes in audio form.
Site co-founder Sara Pope explains that, while going through yoga teacher training in 2004, she was “attending lots of yoga workshops with incredible teachers from around the world, and I would leave the workshop thinking, ‘I wish I had a recording of that.’” Voila: an online library of first-rate instruction.
I tried it out by buying a $17 download: an hour-long beginner’s Anusara class taught by Suzie Hurley. It came in the form of a series of mp3s which I stored on my computer. Whenever I’m home and want a yoga boost, I just boot up my machine, play the mp3s and enjoy the sensation of a private yoga class right there in my living room.
Of course, it’s not quite the same as a live teacher, but after getting five or six “classes” for my money, I feel justi-fied in buying another. And iHanuman has classes for as little as $8—plus some that are free!—Erika Howsare
Hotter than a shot
Take one tumble and call us in the morning.
Forget that flu shot and echinacea regimen: If recent research is correct, getting frisky may be the best (or at least, the most entertaining) way to fight off those sniffles.
While it may not cure the swine flu, regular sex is a proven immuno-booster: In a recent Wilkes University study, researchers found that men and women who got busy one or two times a week had a 30 percent increase in IgA, an antigen and the body’s first line of cold and flu defense. Those who had less sex showed a much smaller increase, while sex more than three times a week also meant lower bumps in IgA.
While the connection between the two isn’t clear, we figure that getting an extra tumble or two in your day couldn’t hurt. Just be sure to exercise moderation and enjoy the opportunity to roll back in bed—doctor’s orders.—Lucy Zhou
Got a big presentation, interview or test? A little adrenaline can be helpful, but you don’t want to be too anxious to stutter out a sentence or recall what you’ve studied. What you put in your stomach before the big moment can make all the difference. Here are three breakfasts for days you need to stay calm.
Grapefruit: part of this low-stress breakfast.
1. Oatmeal with honey; a fresh sliced peach
2. Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter; a hard-boiled egg; half a grapefruit
3. Whole-grain cereal with chopped walnuts and sliced banana
With any of these, orange juice or herbal tea is a better beverage choice than a huge cup of coffee or a dairy-laden latte.
Avoid too much caffeine (of course), nicotine, high-fat foods like cheesy omelets, and high-sugar foods like chocolate pastries. Still feeling jittery? Try some lemon balm tea or Rescue Remedy.—E.H.
How many is too many?
Sip, don’t gulp. One drink a day is the healthy limit for women.
Overdoing it on booze is obviously not healthy, but where exactly is that fine line between “too much” and “part of this complete diet”? Life might be simpler if we could declare that any alcohol is a detriment to your health, but for most people that’s not the case.
Actually, a number of studies have found that moderate drinking has a surprisingly long list of health benefits. Moderate drinkers live longer than those who abstain completely; they have fewer heart attacks, fewer strokes, and a lower risk of hypertension. Drinking—again, of the moderate variety—also helps reduce or prevent a host of health problems from diabetes to hearing loss to Alzheimer’s to stress (that last one, at least, is no surprise).
Great, you say, but what does “moderate” mean? The consensus, for women, is that moderate drinking means one drink per day. Staying within that guideline is important for all those health benefits. (Of course, as you know, stick to juice or soda if you’re pregnant or driving.) So raise a glass—but just one.—E.H.
Invisalign is a low-profile way to straighten out your mouth.
Goodbye braceface, hello, smile? Instead of a mouthful of barbed wire, Invisalign offers an alternative: a series of clear aligners, switched every two weeks and custom-fit for your grin. Marketed to adults, they’re essentially invisible and removable, sidestepping some of the adolescent awkwardness and dental hygiene snags associated with braces and making it easier to go about business as usual—meaning there’s no need to spend Happy Hour close-lipped and covering your mouth.
What’s the catch, you ask? Invisalign is a good bit more expensive than traditional metal braces, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to upwards of $6,000 depending on the complexity of the shifts you need. Although said to fix any number of problems, from under- and overbites to gaps and crowding, Invisalign can’t address more serious orthodontic issues as effectively as braces can, and generally takes longer to produce results. The consensus seems to be, do your homework and consult an orthodontist. Drs. Hamer & Hamer do the procedure locally: see cvillebraces.com or call 296-0188 for the deets.—L.Z.
The antidote to pointy-toed shoes: YogaToes.
If YogaToes sound like something to make your feet go “om,” that’s the idea: These sets of plastic toe aligners advertise the ability to work wonders to strengthen feet, reverse damage from pointy-toed heels, and recover from stress and strain. The rubber devices make your feet look like they’re in the stocks, with each toe separated from its neighbor, but are said to be soothing, even wearable during sleep.
YogaToers are instructed to dampen the apparatus with water before slipping it on, toe by toe, and taking a seat—these Toes aren’t made for walking, pal. Wear in the tub or the pool! Refrigerate! Keep cool! When there’s years of abuse to your poor piggly wigglys to be undone, you’re advised to take it slow.
At $49.95 (see yogapro.com), this is not an impulse buy. Perhaps it’s best to ask your doctor’s opinion before you take the big step.—L.Z.