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IN THIS ISSUE                                                                                   February 15, 2007
  • Make Yoga Safe, Satisfying and Effective
  • Shed Some Light on Your Energy Levels
  • Team Sequoia MS Walk for 2007 
  • New Healthy Products Page


Make Your Yoga Safe, Satisfying and Effective

There is an interesting article in Newsweek online by Anne Underwood called The Perils of Posing. Anne speaks with Dr. Johnny Benjamin, an orthopedic surgeon in Vero Beach , Florida . There is a growing problem of Yoga injuries due in part to the increasing numbers of people taking Yoga classes. "According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 5,000 yoga-related injuries in 2005 that resulted in visits to doctors' offices, clinics and emergency rooms--up from 3,700 in 2004. Those numbers are largely a function of more people, especially aging boomers, taking up yoga. The cost of treating these injuries in 2005 came to nearly $90 million," Underwood reports.

When properly performed, Yoga is an excellent part of a complete health and fitness program. In combination with functional fitness training, relaxation activities and healthy eating, Yoga offers just another way to stay active, feel and look better, reduce some stress and improve your health. Just like with any other physical activity, you can get hurt performing Yoga. A little common sense and working with your body will keep you pain and injury free.

When starting any new physical activity, your body tissues requires 4 to 6 weeks to "remodel" themselves. This process eventually allows for more flexibility, strength and stamina. Muscles, joints and ligaments are structurally different in the sedentary body than in the active body. The accommodation time is much less with someone who is already active. If you are sedentary and just starting an activity, this accommodation process can take a bit longer.

Here are three simple steps to follow if you have decided that Yoga is something you would like to try in 2007.

Find a Good Instructor
To keep it safe, look for the best Yoga instructor and not the cheapest price. This is especially important for first time students. Before you take their class, it's a good idea to share any limitations or concerns you may be having with the instructor. Based on your needs, the instructor may suggest a few private classes bringing you up to speed before you begin a group class. This can be money well spent especially if you want to play it safe and are committing to take Yoga for an extended period of time.

Look for a Small Class Size
It's hard for any instructor, good or bad, to effectively monitor more than 8 people at one time. If one person needs help, the instructor has to go over and assist. That means the rest of the class is on their own for that period of time. It's important to get the personal attention you need especially if you are a beginner. A smaller and skill matched class allows the instructor to give everybody a fun, safe and healthy experience.

Be Smart and Listen to Your Body
If you listen, your body will tell you when it has had enough. In my book, any pain means stop right away especially if this is all new to you. Forget the old mantra "No Pain, No Gain" or my new one "No sprain, no gain." Generally, injuries come from two sources, not enough warm-up before the class and trying too hard in the class. Both of these sources of injuries are easily avoided. Have fun with your Yoga and you'll spend less time in the doctor's office and more time practicing your moves.

To read more of the Anne Underwood article, go to:

To learn more on how to make your lifestyle healthier with Fresh Start, go to
To schedule your no-cost Healthy LifePlan consultation, call 703-464-5171 or email


Shed Some Light on Your Energy Levels

Natural light is an important and many times over looked part of a healthy lifestyle program. Changes in your hormone balance occur without enough exposure to natural light. This disrupted hormone balance can lead to a lethargic and depressive mood. Symptoms associated with a lack of natural light are more problematic in the winter when so much time is spent indoors and any outdoors time is spent all covered-up with clothes and sunglasses. The type of weather your area experiences, cloudy days vs. sunny days, also has an impact on your total natural light exposure.

How Does Natural Light Benefit Your Health
Natural or full-spectrum light, as it is called, is essential for good health because of its beneficial affect on your hormone balance. Your brain requires a certain amount of natural light each and every day. The natural light that hits your retina (light gathering area inside the eye) is transmitted to an area of your brain called the pineal body. The pineal is the brain center for the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates daily body rhythms, most notably the day/night cycle (circadian rhythms). Normal melatonin levels are important for natural sleep cycles and proper immune system function.

Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD
Just about this time of year, certain people who are light sensitive start experiencing something called the "winter blues." Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is the body and minds most extreme response to a lack of natural light. People affected by SAD exhibit extreme depressive behavior and complain of a lack of energy, increased need for sleep, a craving for sweets and exhibit weight gain as a result of their sedentary nature and unhealthy dietary habits.

Symptoms usually begin in the fall as daylight hours become shorter, peak in the winter and then usually resolve themselves in the spring as daylight hours become longer. The National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda , Maryland had this to say about SAD, "Along with food, air, and water, sunlight is the most important survival factor in human life." This is important to think about in this time of generalized sun phobia.

How to Get Healthy Levels of Natural Light
During the summer, getting enough natural light is as easy as taking a walk for 10 to 15 minutes without glasses, sunglasses or contacts. Without these devices on the eyes, natural, full spectrum light easily passes into the eye, striking the retina and positively affecting your brain. In the winter, weather permitting, taking a 10 to 15 minute walk midday provides at least some natural light exposure. To augment your outdoor natural light time, their are several important lighting changes that can be made indoors.

The Benefits of Full Spectrum Indoor Lighting
Tailored Lighting, a company that specializes in lighting, has a patented full spectrum light source called SoLux. Their light sources replicate the daylight spectrum to near perfection. Solux light sources have been verified by leading medical equipment and light therapy companies in Europe . These companies have incorporated the SoLux light source into their products with great success.

No other light source is known to replicate daylight more accurately and precisely than SoLux. The outstanding success stories from these European companies are a testament to Tailored Lighting's commitment to producing the best daylight simulation products for SAD and other light deprivation aliments. To learn more about indoors natural lighting options, go to Improving Your Health with Solux Lighting.

To learn how Fresh Start can help you feel better through the winter months while preventing the symptoms associated with SAD, please contact Woody McMahon at
703-464-5171 or email to

Team Sequoia MS Walk April 2007

It's that time again. Time to start preparing for the 2007 MS Reston Walk!!! The MS Reston walk is scheduled for Sunday, April 15th starting and finishing at Reston Town Center . Team Sequoia had almost 30 people walk and we raised over $5500 last year for MS education and research. This year we want to try and double both our number of walkers and set a fundraising goal of $10,000.

The MS walk is a great goal to set for yourself for 2007. This is the time of year everyone is making commitments to get more active. Here is your chance to do something good for yourself and MS.

We are looking for a sponsor for our pre-walk breakfast so let me know if you are interested or have any good ideas for places to eat. Starting in January we will have some "FUN Walks" to get our little feet in shape and initiate our fundraising drive. We'll also have another Whack-it tournament in February to raise money as well.

Go to to register and learn more about the event.  If you have any questions or would like to help volunteer please email me at or call 703-628-2880.

I look forward to seeing you walk again this year. Woody

New Healthy Products Page

Check out our new Healthy Products page. I have tested and use each of these products
personally finding them to meet or exceed my expectations.
To learn more go to

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon , VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. 

Copyright (c) 2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitnes
s, Inc.

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please contact Woody McMahon :
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    A mindful and holistic approach to Fall Prevention, Balance, Full Body Functional Strengthening and Posture Exercises for All Ages! Our Science-Based Exercises are Safe and Appropriate for Your Ability. Our Exercises Help Improve Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Fear of Falling, Balance and Strength Problems. Reston, Great Falls, Herndon, Middleburg, Arlington Sterling and Northern Virginia.

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