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Lifelong Health:

Achieving Optimum Well-Being at Any Age

Taught by Professor Anthony A. Goodman, Montana State University

Lecture Titles

1. A Personal Path to Lifelong Health

2. The Cellular Biology of Aging

3. The Physiology of Aging

4. Myths of Aging—Magical Times and Places

5. Myths of Aging—Magical Substances

6. Optimizing Health— Tests and Procedures Optimizing Health—Prevention How We Look—Surgery and Skin-Care The End of the Journey— Death and Dying

10. Health Advances on the Horizon

11. Nutrition—Choices for a Healthy Life

12. The Physiology of Nutrition

13. The Role of Vitamins

14. The Role of Supplements

15. Whole Foods for Optimum Health

16. The Good Fats

17. Sugar, Salt, Allergies, and Additives

18. The Physiology of Weight Management

19. Healthful Eating versus Fad Diets

20. Movement and Recreation— a.k.a. Exercise

21. The Physiology of Muscle

22. Resistance Training and Weight Training

23. Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

24. Exercise in Dealing with Injury and Disease

25. Joy in Movement—Sports and Exercise Options

26. Martial Arts and Yoga

27. Mental Health and Stress Reduction 2S. Brain Physiology, Alzheimer's, and Dementia

29. Maintaining Your Mental Edge

30. Focus on Women's Health

31. Focus on Menopause

32. Focus on Men's Health

33. Focus on Children's and Adolescents' Health

34. Healthy Choices in Your Daily Life

35. Becoming an Educated Patient

36. Here's to Your Healthy Life!

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Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at Any Age

Course No. 1970

36 lectures (30 minutes/lecture)

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iter class with Natasha Rizopoulos, written by Karen Macklin hot wheel

The intensity of full Wheel Pose offers an ideal opportunity to cultivate steadiness, under any circumstances.

Urdhva Dhanurasana

(Upward Bow Pose) is an uplifting posture. It stimulates the nervous system and opens the heart, and can leave you glowing with energy and vitality for the rest of the day. But Urdhva Dhanurasana can also be used as a tool for gaining clarity and focus. In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali writes, "Effort toward practice"

(1.13). If you apply that principle to your Urdhva Dhanurasana practice, you'll discover a whole new layer of potential in the pose.

"Urdhva Dhanurasana is a challenging posture," says Natasha Rizopoulos, a senior teacher at YogaWorks, who lives in Boston. "But challengingpostures are the best places to work on steadying the mind. The challenges becomc a place for you to really focus and pay attention."To begin a mindful approach to Urdhva Dhanurasana, start by setting an intention

\ * 4

...-ji. _ u A video of this Master Class sequence can VVa Iv, I I be founcj online at yoqajournal.com/livemag.

master class with Natasha Rizopoulos

1 Adho Mukha Svanasana

(Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

This pose teaches many of the anatomical actions you need to use in Urdhva Dhan-urasana. Create a straight line from your hands to your hips, with a 180-degree angle in the shoulders. Keep the legs in a neutral, nonrotated position, parallel and hip-distance apart. Press down through each hand and lift your inner shoulder toward the ceiling. Hold for 2 to 5 minutes. Quiet the mind by focusing your attention on a steady drishti (gaze).

2 Adho Mukha Vrksasana

(Handstand)

Here, you'll continue to work on keeping the arms parallel and opening the shoulders at a 180-degree angle for Urdhva Dhanurasana. Root down through every knuckle In each hand as a way of moving energy up toward the feet. Spin your inner thighs toward the wall and keep the same neutral position of the legs that you had in Adho Mukha Svanasana. Direct the flesh of the buttocks to the heels to lengthen the lower back. Every breath or two, shimmy your heels up the wall again. Cultivate mindfulness by focusing on your balance and distributing your weight evenly in the hands.

3 King Arthur's Pose

Place your left hip just to the inside of your left heel and your left leg in an up-the-wall Virasana (Hero Pose) position. Bring your right foot back so that your right knee Is at a 90-degree angle, and your buttocks and back are at the wall. Lift your arms above your head into a parallel-arm Urdhva Has-tasana (Upward Salute) position. Drop the tailbone and move the front ribs toward the frontal hipbones to lengthen the lower back. Stay present with the physical intensity of the stretch in this pose as a way to cultivate mindfulness while opening the hip flexors for Urdhva Dhanurasana.

5 Urdhva Dhanurasana

(Upward Bow Pose)

Enter this final pose slowly and deliberately, with the intention of staying focused on an even curve in the spine and keeping a steady mind. Once in the pose, re-create the evenly rooted hands, parallel arms, and open shoulders from Adho Mukha Svanasana and Adho Mukha Vrksasana. Keep your knees slightly bent and stacked directly over your ankles, with your feet hip-distance apart and parallel. As you move into your full backbend, see if you can bring your navel to the highest point of the curve.

4 Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

(Bridge Pose)

With your thighs and knees parallel, lift the hips by engaging the hamstring muscles. Interlace your fingers beneath your back and roll your outer upper arms under, pressing down through your outer shoulders. Release your inner thighs down toward the floor and extend the flesh of the buttocks toward your knees to lengthen the lower back. Practice a smooth, steady breath, establishing a tone of evenness and calm that you'll re-create when opening your heart and lengthening your spine again in the final pose.

Opens the chest and shoulders

Stretches the Internal organs in the front of the body

Increases the mobility of the upper back, improving posture

Lengthens the hip flexors

Strengthens the arms and legs

Energizes and uplifts contraindications )

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Glaucoma, detached retina

Wrist problems, carpal tunnel syndrome

Back problems, especially disk injuries

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to open evenly and progressively into it, as opposed to simply going for your biggest pose at all costs. The most intelligent and advanced Urdhva Dhan-urasana is not the biggest one you can muster, but one in which the spine is an even, rounded curve.

It takes mindfulness to achieve this, 'line evenness of the spine is often thwarted by tightness in either the shoulders or the hip flexors. To avoid the resistance from that tightness, you overcompensate at the junctures where the spine changes direction.This results in an uneven backbend with little points in it, which causes jamming and potential injury. However, if you bring focus and patience into your practice, you can learn to open into the spine deliberately and evenly. "We tend to rush through hard things," says Rizo-poulos. "If you go slowly and can be more interested in the actions than in the result, you'll be better able to find that even curve and do so from a place that is calmer and more composed."

Once you are in Urdhva Dhanurasana, you can continue to cultivate a steady mind. Tune in to the places where you feel tight—the hip flexors and shoulders, for most people—and make a mental note for the next time you practice to address those areas with preparatory poses like the ones offered in this sequence. When you do feel resistance in the shoulders or hip flexors, Rizopoulos suggests that you stay present enough to linger for a moment with the tension instead of trying to avoid the discomfort by forcing yourself further into the pose. You can also use a soft and unwavering drishti (gaze) to steady the mind throughout this sequence as you prepare for this demanding posture.

Practice with the clear intention of maintaining a quiet mind, move slowly and deliberately, and stay present with sensation. You'll not only enable your body to practice this pose for years to come but also cultivate the ability to keep a steady mind in stimulating situations—a great tool you can use in everyday life.

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