Umbilical hernia

A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandi...
Image via Wikipedia

As you’re reading this right now, I’m either still in surgery for or recovering from an umbilical hernia repair surgery. Not quite the way that I wanted to spend my Tuesday, but it has to be done. The pain was unbearable and annoying and eating only worsened it. People have to eat and most people like to do it without pain. Plus, the hernia-induced bloat made my pants so uncomfortable that this will all be worth it in the end!

I’m having a

Benefits of Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Repair

* shorter operative time
* less pain
* shorter recover period

I’m dealing with a “minimally invasive (laparoscopic) hernia repair” which will then be reinforced with mesh and secured with tacks. Yes, tacks. Gross, right? Three small (well, one is 12mm and the other two are 5mm) incisions will be made, I’ll be filled with carbon dioxide gas, and a camera with a light will be stuck inside me to close and attach the mesh. Ick.

The next few posts have been pre-posted, so hopefully you enjoy the rest of the yoga moves for women! Be well!

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YPFW :: Warrior III Pose

Warrior III Pose :: (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)
Virabhadra = the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet; wielding a thousand clubs; and wearing a tiger’s skin.

Type of Pose :: standing and balancing
Benefits: Strengthens legs and abdomen, can improve balance

How to do Warrior III :: From Warrior I, bring hands onto hips. Bring weight forward into front foot as you gently kick up back leg. At same time, bring torso forward until it is parallel to floor.

Keep neck relaxed, as natural extension of spine. Keep both hips pointing toward floor as you bring the back leg in line with body. Flex raised foot and keep muscles of raised leg actively engaged. Bring arms back along sides. Repeat on other side.

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YPFW :: Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog :: (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna)
adho = downward
mukha = face
svana = dog

Type of Pose :: standing, mild inversion and resting
Benefits :: stretches and strengthens your entire body

How do to do Downward Facing Dog :: Come to hands and knees with the wrists underneath shoulders and the knees underneath hips. Curl toes under and push back raising hips and straightening legs. Spread the fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.

Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening collarbones. Let head hang, move shoulder blades away from the ears towards hips. Engage quadriceps strongly to take weight off the arms, making this a resting pose.

Rotate thighs inward, keep tail high and sink heels to floor. Check that the distance between hands and feet is correct by coming forward to a plank position. The distance between hands and feet should be the same in these two poses. Do not step feet toward the hands in position in order to get heels to floor. This will happen eventually as muscles lengthen.

Beginners: Try bending knees, coming up onto balls of feet, bringing belly to rest on thighs and sit bones up high. Then sink heels, straightening legs keeping high upward rotation of sit bones. Also try bending arms slightly out to the side, drawing chest towards thighs. Then re-straighten the arms.

Advanced: If very flexible, try not to let rib cage sink towards floor creating a sinking spine. Draw ribs in to maintain a flat back.

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International Women’s Day

Happy International Womens Day
Image by Steffe via Flickr

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, so I’d like to wish all of my female readers a happy Women’s Day!

As much as the cramps hurt, the breasts bounce and I detest the widest part of my body (oh hips you are the bane of my existence!), I love being a woman.

I love that I can cry and no one thinks I’m a wuss because of it.
I love that I could grow another human being inside of myself.
I love that I can rock out to Celine Dion and Metallica and tobyMac and no one thinks I’m weird.
I love that I can choose to embrace my femininity.

Today, on International Women’s Day, I encourage you to check out some of my favorite women health bloggers:
Angelique of Breaking the Mirror
Liz of Healthbolt
Peggy of Lively Women
Gayla of Mental Health Notes

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Yoga poses for women :: Child’s Pose

While I’m healing from herniagate*, I have realized that I really miss doing some basic yoga poses. There are ten yoga poses that have been “recommended” for women, and for the next few days, I’ll run through a few with my readers!

Child’s pose :: (bah-LAHS-anna) bala = child

Type of pose :: a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a three minutes
Benefits :: stretches hips, thighs and ankles

How to do Child’s pose :: Kneel on floor. Touch big toes together and sit on heels, separate knees as wide as hips. Exhale and lay torso down between thighs.

Broaden sacrum across the back of pelvis and narrow hip points toward the navel, so they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while lifting the base of skull away from the back of neck.

Two arm variations :: Either stretch the arms in front of you with the palms toward the floor or bring the arms back alongside the thighs with the palms facing upwards.

*See this post for more information on the beginning of herniagate!

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Ten lies that are okay to tell

Actor Ashton Kutcher ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Women’s Health recently shared an article with ten lies that are okay to tell. They made me smile so I had to share them with you!

1. “Most people can’t pull off short hair, but you totally can,” to a friend who butchered her locks.
2. “You look just like Ashton Kutcher,” to the maître d’, when you want to be seated right away.
3. “My dog likes you, and he hates everyone!” to your landlord, whose leg is being humped by Pookie.
4. “No, we’ve never slept together,” to your father, about your fiancé.
5. “It just crashed. I have no idea what happened,” to tech support, when you had five applications open while downloading videos from YouTube.
6. “Of course I remembered our anniversary!” to your husband, though you now have to cancel an eyebrow wax and martini night with the girls.
7. “Yeah, I didn’t get a raise either,” to a coworker, who’s bumming about “budget cuts.” She doesn’t need to know about your 15 percent boost.
8. “Oh! Oh! Oooh! Yes! Yes! Yes!” to your guy, when he’s thundering on and all you want is a little shut-eye.
9. “I love this!” to Aunt Maude, about the Indonesian desk chimes she calls a birthday gift. Wait 2 weeks, then make use of eBay the way PayPal intended.
10. “Your legs will be cut like Beyonce’s,” to yourself on the treadmill, when you’d rather be bathing in Häagen-Daz.

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Women’s History Month

New York Public Library #5
Image by an untrained eye via Flickr

Check out Feministing for a national calender of Women’s History events!

Join other women celebrating our femininity at events like the New York commemoration of the 1969 Abortion Speakout; the College Park, Maryland “How are women affected by the war on drugs?” lecture or the Kirksville, Missouri Pap Art exhibition!

See what’s going on in or near your city!

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Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom in her first appearance, wearing her fatsu...
Image via Wikipedia

Today is a very important day!

It’s my Mama‘s birthday! Without her, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I’m so very thankful to have a mom who is also my friend!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope you have the most fantastic day! I have presents for you and will deliver them soon!

On another note for my readers:
If you could get anything in the world for your birthday, what would it be?

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Indonesian condom theives

Flickr crisis
Image by Bartek Kuzia via Flickr

I keep being linked to this hilarious, but still quite serious, article.

Indonesian robbers steal thousands of condoms, birth control pills from woman’s health office both makes me angry and makes me giggle.

I have a hard time imagining a bunch of people robbing a clinic for birth control pills and running out with thousands of condoms, but the seriousness behind it makes me almost angry. Birth control pills are expensive for Americans, I’m sure they’re equally, if not more expensive for Indonesian women. The article mentions that birth control is legal in Indonesia, but it’s still got to be expensive and could have gone to better use.

Unless the thieves were stealing the birth control pills to give away to low-income women, then I’m all for robbing the clinics! (Okay, not really, but still. You get the point!)

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Extended side angle pose

Sticking with some great back stretching and posture-enhancing ideas, I’m bringing you the extended side angle pose today.

“The spine is responsible for sending messages throughout your body, and when you’re hunched, the pathway isn’t as smooth,” says Alison West, Yoga Union Center for Back Care and Scoliosis co-director.

Stand with your feet about four feet apart and turn your left foot out about 90 degrees.
Extend your arms, palms down, at shoulder height.
Bend your left knee until it’s over your ankle.
Flex from the waist to the left and place your left hand outside your left foot. (Can’t reach the floor? Place your elbow on your knee or your hand on the inside of your foot–as shown below–­instead.)
Reach your right arm over your ear and turn your chin toward your right armpit.
Look up and take five slow breaths.
Return to standing and switch sides.
Repeat 3 to 5 times.

New to yoga? Do the move with your back against a wall. “Using the wall takes the balance component out of it,” West says, “so you can concentrate on lengthening your spine and rolling your chest open.”

I can attest to the beauty of this move. I live with chronic back pain (thank you ankylosing spondylitis) and this both stretches my spine and invigorates me! I absolutely recommend this move!

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