Yoga Electrolytes, Detoxifying your Body & Farting in Class

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Terry asks:

What is the best, effective stretch for the sciatica nerve? Is there a way to heal a pinch nerve or strengthen it? Can the sciatica nerve be strengthen?

My problem is that I have pain in my left leg, between the ankle and the knee. The pain only comes when I am sleeping in which it wakes me up. I also notice that my left leg seems to be weaker than the right. What can I do to strengthen the left leg?

Actually sounds there is couple of things going on, the first thing I would say is that might not be sciatica, if you know sciatica ignore this but if you don’t know sciatica that’s not a common place to feel a sciatic pain between your ankle and your knee. Normally it would start much higher, it can sometimes feel like a hamstring, like a lower back pain, you can feel the pain in all kinds of places. If you don’t know for sure its sciatica, it might not be sciatica. I would go and check out and talk to somebody. In terms of the best stretches for a sciatic nerve, it’s really great question because it is so specific, you try to find the solution. The challenge here is that a nerve things are very unpredictable, sciatic nerve in particular. People who have sciatica come to a yoga class and yoga will make them feel so much better, sometimes they can come and yoga will make them worse but it can really change week to week. The key thing is to really take it slowly, check in forward bends like symmetrical forward bends like separate leg, forward bend stretching, poses like this. Also take care of your nervous system like take b-vitamins, b12 is really great for your nervous system, take anti inflammatory foods like Omega3 and take it easy because sometimes these things can get worse because we go too fast and too hard.

Jennie asks:

Q: I ordered and received the Yoga Water-E. Can I add it to hot drinks such as hot tea? If so, do I add it in before I boil the water or after?

The answer is yes, definitely after the boil, we don’t like to cook vitamins or minerals but adding the Yoga Water -E to a hot water is just fine. Tastes really great, can add it to juice, can add it to water, can add it to anything.

James asks:

I was curious to know what your opinion would be on body (organ) cleansing. Which would be the best overall cleanser/detoxifier on the market ?

This is a great question and anyone who knows my story – when I first got into yoga I did 5 day cleanse and I lost about 41 pounds, really changed my whole life. So I’m a huge fan of detoxification and cleansing but I’m not a fan of what most people teach – something like to sit on the toilet for 10 days. The confusion with cleansing happens that people tend to read these books that promote urban myths like these toxins are laying in your stomach, for most parts these are not true. All of us have these chemicals but the place they are stored, this is very important to get this, it’s in your body fat and in your mucus so this is why we always talk about the low mucus forming diet and anything fitness based is trying to lower your body fat contents. The less body fat you have in your body the less places you have to store toxins. If you are on a very high toxin diet is another reason your body will actually store fat to protect you from those toxins and to create a barrier around those toxins. What would be your best cleansing program? I don’t have anything on the market, I don’t recommend any those kits that show the pictures of these alien looking things coming out of people. There is really great book called “Clean” by Dr. Junger, I have just finished reading it, is very simple, very pragmatic and its medically sound. I really recommend checking out that book.

Sonal asks:

I just ordered YOGABODY this past weekend and I started the stretches today. I’m 31 years old and I have limited flexibility. I cannot touch my toes without bending my knees while I am standing or sitting.

The Rag Doll

Should my weight be balance over my whole foot or more in the ball or the heel?

The answer here is – don’t think about it, just try to relax, you will actually feel the way shifting between the ball of your foot and the heel of your foot. Most people tend to put more weight into the heel but don’t think about it, bend your knees a little and just let it happen.

The Flamenco

I use a cloth belt (similar to a yoga strap) and I find it very hard to ‘relax’ since I’m constantly straining to reach my foot with my hand or to hold onto the belt. If I use the opposite arm with my leg it is a little easier but still very hard to do for 2 minutes.

I’m tempted to use a wall for the open and across stretches as well so I can relax into the pose instead of fighting do hard to stay in it. Are there other modifications you could recommend?

Should the ‘no-active’ leg, back and shoulders remain flat on the floor or is it okay if you end up a bit on your side?

This is a common, common problem. If you are using a belt or even if you are using your hand, you want to get your arm and your leg straight, if they are straight it takes little afford to hold your leg up, if they are not straight, if your arm is bend even a slightest bit when you are in that pose, relaxed on your back, it will get really strenuous very quickly so make sure your arm is straight and its walking you hand further up the strap and that you straighten your leg.

Mardy asks:

I just purchased some Yoga Water-E and I’m wondering if I can mix up a gallon at a time?

Great idea, for sure you can mix it. We do that all the time, in our office I stick in our water filter, in glass bottles as well. It’s really great when you do it because you don’t have to think about it.

Bruce asks:

I sometimes have gas in yoga class. Class etiquette? What to do? Gas common in my family. I have a good diet, lots of veggies, fruit and whole grains.

There are couple of things, you know its normal to have gas. Gas is a part of a digestive process. If you are having an inappropriate gas, there is perhaps something going on in your diet that is not quite working for you. What I find is that often times that sort of foods will trigger people for gas and they can be the simplest things, lot of times they are a food additives, S protein, lot of chewing gums and candies, sort of kinds of beans will set people off, sort of kind of grains as well. It is great to eat healthy food but if you are eating stuff that is making you feel uncomfortable and giving you gas, I think it is time to look at to see if there is a different way you can navigate through that. Just pay attention what is going on and see what makes sense. In terms of class etiquette, it is definitely no no so try to avoid that one. Does happen though, any yoga teacher will tell you.

Pamela asks:

I have Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility. Muscles are shredded because of extension. I am in terrible pain and mostly bedridden, was a gymnast in my youth. Any suggestions?

What you are dealing with is way beyond my expertise. For sure go to see somebody. Gymnasts, circus performers, anybody who needs to use their body, I call it 100% flexibility on stage, those people get in trouble with their joints, knees, shoulders, all the kinds of things are really common. Go and see somebody and work with somebody to try to stabilize those joints again.

Irene asks:

I can’t squat. My hills just cannot reach the floor when doing The Down Dog post and cannot sit up with my hills. My hands are unable to reach my toes when doing stretching. My body is just too stiff. Any advice?

People often will say I can’t do yoga because I can’t squat, I can’t do yoga because I can’t do The Down Dog or whatever it is. The thing, that is the whole reason your should do yoga, If you could do all those things, maybe yoga wouldn’t be right for you. If it’s not hard, it’s not a appropriate so the first thing is if you can’t do that stuff, don’t let it discourage you instead of have it encourage you. The key thing is just to keep add it and doing it. If you do your gravity yoga flexibility stretches every night, make sure you keep a little journal, make sure you meet or beat your hold times. I promise you will notice huge differences very quickly. There are sort of things in life that aren’t accessible to everyone but flexibility really is one of them. It is a process, it has to do with a commitment, you can do this, just keep add it and modify poses as you need.

Penny asks:

What do you recommend for arthritis…or painful stiffness in knee and hip joints? Also a bump raised on my thumb, second joint, after getting it pinched between a case of water and the shopping cart. A small bump over my right eyebrow. I feel like all of this is related. Any suggestions?

If you feel it is all related, I would say your intuition is probably correct. If you are getting an arthritis and stiffness, I would for sure go to talk to somebody. If you have a doctor your trust, talk to your doctor. There is a lot of different things that might be inappropriate but probably getting your minerals balance in your body, probably dealing with some hydration issues and dealing with some toxicity issues too, might be helpful but not something I could help you with virtually here but for sure I would trust your instinct on that.