Yoga & Healthy Aging: Maintaining Independence, Activities of Daily Living, and Equanimity

Baxter Bell, MD with yoga students in a restorative pose

Baxter Bell, MD is not just a family medicine physician, he’s also a certified acupuncture practitioner and yoga therapist. Together with co-author, Nina Zolotow, they wrote the book, Yoga for Healthy Living: A Guide to LIfelong Well-Being. Baxter talks about his journey and shares insight about what aging people care most about — increasing one’s health span, maintaining independence over time, and cultivating equanimity. The thousands of people that have attended his trainings or follow his blog are concerned about cardiovascular health, brain health, and stress management. Yoga can assist with each of these.

Please check out Baxter’s Yoga & Healthy Aging Blog, his YouTube channel, and his book.

Terms discussed in this podcast episode:

  • Asana: In yoga, an asana is a posture in which a practitioner sits; asanas are also performed as physical exercise where they are sometimes referred to as “yoga postures” or “yoga positions”. Some asanas are performed just for health purposes. Asanas do promote good health, although in different ways compared to physical exercises, “placing the physical body in positions that cultivate also awareness, relaxation and concentration.” (Wikipedia)
  • Savasana: corpse pose; is an asana usually done at the end of a yoga practice in which practitioners lie flat on their backs with the heels spread as wide as the yoga mat and the arms a few inches away from the body, palms facing upwards. (Wikipedia)
  • Pranayama: breath or life force; the word is composed from two Sanskrit words: prana meaning life force (noted particularly as the breath), and either ayama (to restrain or control the prana, implying a set of breathing techniques where the breath is intentionally altered in order to produce specific results) or the negative form ayāma, meaning to extend or draw out (as in extension of the life force). (Wikipedia)

If your interest is piqued, check out these earlier podcast episodes on resilience and equanimity.


Qigong: Move that stagnant qi!

Nicole teaches medical qigong in Alameda.

Nicole teaches medical qigong in Alameda.

You’ll be learning about the ancient practice of Qigong in this podcast episode. Paul Robison – licensed acupuncture practitioner – explains qigong as a longevity exercise. Barbara finds her qigong practice helpful with symptoms from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. And Nicole Stone, my qigong teacher, brings a background of dance, yoga, and meditation to her medical qigong practice.

For additional information check out the National Qigong Association.


Health is a process that unfolds slowly…

Those are the words of a young man who has faced many health challenges. Paul Robison, L.Ac., shares his personal story of achieving health and eventually becoming an acupuncturist and herbalist.

You can find Paul at the Washington, DC integrative practice Capital Center. To locate a licensed acupuncturist in your area, please consult these organizations: National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, or American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.


Accurate Puncturing

Leslie at the acupuncture clinic

Leslie with acupuncture needles

This little play on words occurred to me earlier today as I lay prostrate with various needles in me. It’s a monthly habit. Sometimes there are good habits.

Several years ago a couple of acupuncture student interns were guest speakers at my MDA support group. They gave a little history of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and promoted a study. They were looking for people with mobility problems. At that time I didn’t qualify. But they discussed a number of ailments that acupuncture has proven helpful for. One of them was carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

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