Different Ways To Use How To Clean Glasses To Your Advantage

META: Many Americans who wear glasses grow frustrated trying to keep them clean. This article is a guide that details how to clean glasses.

If you are one of the two-thirds of Americans who wear prescription glasses, there’s a good chance that you often grow frustrated with how often you have to clean them. It likely seems that no matter what you do, there’s no way for you to keep your glasses clean. One of the things that you should look at is whether you are cleaning them correctly.

Failure to clean your eyeglasses is not only inconvenient, but it could cause a host of problems, such as headaches or worsening vision. That’s because when your glasses aren’t clean, you’ll have to strain our eyes to see. This could cause you to have to buy new lenses, which could cost up to $200. Below, you’ll find a guide and tips on how to clean glasses. The guide applies to all glasses, including:

  • Readi​ng Glasses
  • Prescription​​​​ Eyewear
  • Sunglass​​​​es

Use Dishwasher Soap

set of eyeglasses

According to American Optometric Association chairwoman Teri Geist, the best way to clean your classes is with dishwasher detergent. She recommends running your lenses under warm water and then putting a dollop of the dishwashing detergent on your fingers. Then, work it into the palm of your hand to create a lather, and apply this to your lenses. Once clean, you can dry the glasses with a soft cloth.

When doing so, make sure that the water that you use is warm and not hot. Although your glasses could potentially handle the hot water, this is not a risk you want to take. That’s because hot water can ruin the protective coating that covers many lenses. While the safest option would be to not use hot water at all, you should, at the very least, check with your glasses manufacturer to see if hot water is allowed.

Also, be sure to use the proper dishwashing soap when cleaning your glasses. You should not use any brand that contains added lotions or moisturizers, as these will damage your lenses. Be sure to check the label before using the dishwashing soap that you have next to your kitchen sink. You can use the soap not only to wash your lenses but to clean oil away from the nose pads as well.

You should also note that before you clean your glasses, you should take the time to ensure that your hands are clean. Otherwise, you’ll transfer lotions, oils, dirt, and grime from your hand onto your lenses. Be sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling or cleaning your eyewear. If you’d like to be extra careful, consider something like a lint-free towel to dry your hands.

Lastly, make sure you dry your glasses thoroughly. If you fail to do so, you’ll likely leave soap residue behind on the lenses. This could cause streaks to appear on your lenses. It could also increase the likelihood of smudging or the chances of attracting dust particles. Make sure your glasses are completely dry before you begin wearing them again. Rinse both sides of the lenses, not just a single one.

Use A Cloth Designed Explicitly for Glasses

woman wearing eyeglasses

When cleaning your glasses, you should also be sure to pick a cleaning cloth that is designed explicitly for lenses. Consider using something like a soft microfiber cloth, or head to your local optometrist to pick up a fabric made for your type of glass. The material on these clothes is soft enough that they won’t scratch your lenses. They’ll also soak up any excess water that is leftover from cleaning.

Use Disinfecting Wipes To Clean Areas Besides the Lenses

eyeglasses

When it comes to cleaning your glasses, you should not only concern yourself with the lenses but with the frames as well. To clean the frames on your glasses, consider using disinfecting wipes. This will help kill germs or buildup that has occurred on the nose and ear pieces of your shells. Tubs of disinfectant wipes are relatively cheap and should last you for months.

Consider Glasses Wipes While on the Go

eyeglasses

When traveling, you may not always have access to a sink and dishwashing detergent. As we’ll highlight in the “Ways Not To Clean Your Glasses” section below, many people elect to use their shirt in an attempt to wipe their lenses clean. However, this often proves to be ineffective and could cause more problems.

Instead of using your shirt, consider carrying glasses wipes with you. Many companies make portable glasses wipes that are individually sealed. This makes it easy to toss them in your wallet, purse, or pants pocket. If you happen to smudge your glasses while out, having one of these convenient wipes should clean things up in no time.

Eyeglass Cleaner Spray

eyeglasses

Another option you have while traveling is a spray eyeglass cleaner. Many companies offer travel-sized spray. This is best for those who do not have access to tap water or dishwashing soap. However, you’ll want to make sure that you still have a microfiber or lint-free cloth available to dry the lenses. You’ll need to dry the lenses thoroughly when using a spray, just as you would with water and soap.  

Before using the spray, you should also check to see if your lenses have an anti-reflective coating. The type of spray that you purchase will depend on whether your glasses feature the anti-reflective coating. If your eyeglass manufacturer or optometrist provides you with the spray, it is likely ok. But if you’re ordering spray in the future, make efforts to ensure that you’re purchasing the correct product.

Allow a Professional to Clean Your Lenses

eyeglasses

If you notice that you’re having a difficult time keeping dirt and oil from building in particular areas of your glasses, you may want to look into having your glasses cleaned by a professional. Professionals can disassemble your glasses, removing the gunk that’s accumulated, and put them back together. They may also use an ultrasonic cleaning device or replace and necessary components.

Protect Your Glasses When Not in Use

eyeglasses

Many people tend to throw their glasses around their home when they are not wearing them. Unfortunately, this is an excellent way for them to accumulate dust and debris. They are also prone to scratching and breaking, especially if you are unsure where you last put them. To prevent this from happening, store your glasses in a protective case.

If you do not have a storage case, you should be more conscious of how you leave them laying around. Do not leave your glasses with the lenses facing down, causing them to make direct contact with a surface. This increases the chances of the lenses scratching. If you cannot store them in a protective case, be sure to leave your glasses upside down. Also, make sure you leave the temples open.

Ways Not to Clean Your Glasses

eyeglasses

Many people feel as though they do not need to learn how to clean glasses. They feel as though the methods that they use currently are valid and that they do not need to make any changes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many of the conventional methods used to clean glasses are ineffective. Below, you’ll find the ideas you should avoid when learning how to clean glasses.

Fogging the Lenses and Using Your Shirt

This is arguably the most common method of cleaning glasses, but it could not be more wrong. Many people exhale onto their lenses, creating a fog. They then wipe the glasses clean with the inside of their shirt. However, this is ineffective because your shirt likely contains dust or dirt. In essence, you’re merely spreading dirt around your lenses and increasing the likelihood of scratching the glass.

Using Household Cleaners

Believe it or not, this method is more common than you may think. Many people use household cleaners like Windex to clean their glasses. Unfortunately, these cleaning agents often contain harsh chemicals that could strip the protective coating of your lenses. Never attempt to use any other household cleaner besides dishwashing detergent when it comes to cleaning your glasses.

Similarly, some people have said that they use a combination of vinegar and lemon juice to clean their glasses. The belief is that this is an all-natural cleaning agent, so it must be safe to use on glasses. However, this mixture is incredibly acidic, which could eat through the protective coating of your lenses. Even though it’s natural, you should still not use it to clean your glasses.  

Paper Towels or Napkins

As mentioned previously, one of the best tools to clean your glasses is a microfiber cloth. You should not use anything like napkins or paper towels. You should even avoid using toilet paper. That’s because all of these materials are harsh and can scratch your lenses easily. Additionally, they are not the best at removing dirt and grease. You’ll merely end up smearing your glasses rather than cleaning them.

Toothpaste

When browsing online, it appears that some prescription eyeglass wearers have attempted to use toothpaste to remove scratches from their lenses. If you notice a scratch in your glass, we recommend that you do not try to fix it yourself. Instead, take it to your trusted optometrist, who can help you remove the scratch or potentially order replacement lenses.

6 Possible Causes of Night Blindness

Night blindness is a condition that causes people to have limited to no vision in low light and poor light situations. There are several treatments available, but until you know the cause, treatment has to wait. Here we will examine night blindness and its causes to help you get to the bottom of the condition.

Although there is no age limit, night blindness generally affects older persons. Anywhere between 40 and 80-year-old humans, night blindness becomes an issue. We don’t know how many are affected, but the number being treated grows every year.

What causes this condition? Can it be treated? Can it be cured? This article will examine these questions and provide the answers. We will look at the seven main causes and find out what we can do to prevent and treat them. If you or someone you know suffers from this debilitating condition, this is the article for you.

You should always check with an eye doctor to be sure of the condition. Eye exams will be given, and specialized tests may be conducted to determine the cause. Because there are so many different causes, treatments, and conditions, it is next to impossible to say why a particular person may be suffering. Only a licensed ophthalmologist can find out for sure.

What is Night Blindness?

The medical term for the condition is called Nyctalopia. By definition, it is problems seeing in the dark or low light conditions. The cause is due to some different conditions, genetics or diseases, each with their own treatment or cure.

The main problem is identifying the cause. The only sure way is to have an eye exam which may require specialized testing. The eye doctor, or ophthalmologist, will be able to determine what is causing the impaired vision and be able to recommend a course of action regarding treatment better.

There are several terms for the condition which you may hear from time to time, especially from the eye doctor. These terms include:

  • Nyctalopia
  • Day Sight
  • Nyctalopia
  • Nocturnal Amblyopia

Regardless of the scientific term, one thing remains the same: Vision health when viewing objects, surroundings, and obstacles when switching from light to low light, or darkened areas, is difficult if not impossible.

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Night Blindness?

The actual number of causes will vary depending on who you talk to. However, most medical and scientific professionals can all agree that there are seven main causes. Let’s take a look at each one and find out what they are and what symptoms they cause.

Vitamin A Deficiency

The most prominent cause is a lack of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a degeneration of rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a molecular pigment in the rods of the pupil that are reactive to light. When they are exposed to light, they go through a condition known as photobleaching. The end result is our pupils dilate or constrict, controlling how much light enters our eyes.

Rhodopsin is named from the Greek combination of words for rose and sight, because of the purple or pink rose color of the pigment. Vitamin A deficiency can cause this rhodopsin to fail to photobleach, and in dim light situations, they do not return the pupil to its correct dilation.

Corrective lenses can be worn to help counteract this condition, as well as increasing your diet of Vitamin A, which can be found in green leafy vegetables, milk, and liver.

Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the top three reasons for the impaired night vision. Cataract is the medical name for the clear lens of the eye becoming cloudy.

Over time the cloudiness can become such that the vision is impaired, leading to eventual blindness if left untreated. Before blindness, though, cataracts will prevent the required amount of light to enter the lens of the eye through the pupil.

In low light situations, this can mean you won’t see much, if anything, at all. Because the cloudiness blocks the light, in dim lighting no light may make it through to the eye.

In most cases, cataracts are treated through medications and eventually surgery. Once the surgery is completed, normal vision is returned, though cataracts often return, it is a slow process and may only present once if the person happens to be too old for the condition to return before their death.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a medical condition that affects the optic nerve. This nerve is what connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma presents with the eventual decay of the nerve and can lead to total blindness. Like cataracts, before this happens, night vision becomes impaired.

Glaucoma is generally treated with medications, which can also cause night vision problems. The medications constrict the pupils to let less light in, which feeds glaucoma. Because the pupils stay dilated even in low light conditions, the medications can also be blamed for day sight.

If this happens, corrective surgery may be taken to help protect the optic nerve, or a new medication may be administered to attempt to prevent surgery and maintain vision at night.

Diabetes

When blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, it can affect vision. Diabetes has many detrimental side effects, one of which being poor eyesight.

If diabetes has progressed, untreated to the point of vision impairment; little can be done to reverse it. However, if the disease is treated before vision problems, they can be avoided altogether.

It is unlikely, though it does happen, that vision impairment is the first sign of diabetes. In those rare cases, though, corrective lenses can be worn to aid the eyes in receiving enough light in dim light situations, or at night.

Unlike the corrective lenses used for a vitamin A deficiency, most diabetic lenses are not allowed to be used to drive a vehicle at night.

Keratoconus

Biological conditions are also a cause for vision impairment, and one such condition can lead to problems seeing at night. The condition is known as keratoconus, which is a biological condition where the cornea has a steep curve.

The cornea is the clear lens of the eye that reflects and directs light into the pupil. In people with keratoconus, the lens is too steeply curved to direct light to the pupil when the light sources are low, such as at night.

The condition also plays havoc in lighting conditions that are both bright and dim at the same time, such as watching a movie in a theater, where the screen if bright but the ambient lighting is dark.

You may also find this condition in flickering lights such as when candles or blinking lights are used as the sole light source. There are several treatments for this condition, depending on how severe the case is.

In mild cases, glasses can be worn to correct the lighting issue. In more severe cases you may require surgery. These surgeries can include intacs surgery, which is a surgical implant of a hard lens in the inside of the cornea (instead of a contact lens on the outside), or a complete corneal transplant surgery.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a condition with the pigmentation of the eye which causes the eyesight to deteriorate slowly. Unlike untreated diabetes, the condition rarely, if ever, causes complete blindness.

However, it can be severe enough to cause you to fail to see at night. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic condition and is passed down from generation to generation. It isn’t a guarantee that you will have the condition just because your parents or grandparents do. However, in virtually every case, there is a family member who also has it.

The condition is slow progressing, though it rarely stops completely. Once it has set in, it can take decades to reach complete blindness. Night vision is usually one of the first vision acuities to fail, though.

There is no known treatment for the condition. Several things can be done including increasing vitamin A intake, corrective lenses and learning to do things at a slower pace to help adjust to changing light conditions. You may need to stop in a dark room for a minute or two instead of walking straight in, for example. Or shield your eyes when a light is first turned on.

​In Conclusion

Impaired night vision is a real concern. What is most alarming is the number of different causes and underlying conditions. With at least seven known causes of night blindness, the varying treatments, if any, and the severity of the underlying conditions make it a truly terrifying condition.

Only an eye doctor can diagnose what is causing the impairment, and it is crucial to make an appointment as soon as you have fears of losing your sight at night. The conditions do not go away on their own, and the sooner you can be tested, the sooner treatment can be administered.

While losing your vision in the dark isn’t the end of the world, it can cause you undue stress and frustration, so get your eyes checked and continue to do so regularly.

7 Common Types Of Eye Infections

Woman wearing eyeglasses to prevent eye infections

Conjunctivitis is the most common type of infection that can affect the eyes. However, there are many other types of infections that have similar symptoms. Here is what you need to know about the most common eye infections and how they are treated.

Eye infections usually cause symptoms such as redness, pain, and discharge to appear. Did you know that infections can have different causes? These are the most common types of infections that can affect the eyes, their symptoms, and how they are usually treated.

Different Types Of Eye Infection

elderly getting checked up due to eye infections

Conjunctivitis Or Pink Eye

Woman with eye infections

Conjunctivitis is by far the most common infection that can affect the eyes. It can be very contagious, and young children are likely to be affected by this condition. It can spread from one eye to the other, which is why you should avoid touching your eyes if you suspect you have pink eye.

The good news is that conjunctivitis typically clears up on its own after a few days. However, you will have to take a few steps such as washing your hands regularly or changing your pillowcase to prevent the infection from spreading to the other eye and avoid contaminating others.

Pink eye affects the mucous membrane that protects the eye or conjunctiva. This membrane becomes red and inflamed.

Discharges or mucus can happen, and it is possible to experience itchiness, sensitivity to light, and a blurred vision.

Pink eye is often caused by a viral bacterial infection. Swollen lymph nodes are a common sign of a viral infection. In some cases, pink eye is caused by viruses, fungi, or is linked to an allergic reaction.

The treatment varies in function of what caused the infection. A viral infection will typically go away after a few days. Antibiotics or antihistamines might be prescribed if your doctor suspects that your conjunctivitis is caused by a viral infection.

Viral Keratitis

Eye with infections getting treated with eye drops

Viral keratitis is an infection of the cornea or transparent tissue that covers the eye. This type of infection can become serious if it isn’t treated early. In some cases, keratitis can damage vision is left untreated for too long.

The symptoms of viral keratitis resemble other eye infections. You might experience redness, pain, discharge, and blurred vision. You may also feel that there is a foreign object in your eye and it might be difficult to open your eyelid.

This type of infection can be the result of swimming in contaminated water, being exposed to a virus, or using contact lenses that haven’t been properly disinfected.

Antibacterial and antiviral eye drops are often used to treat this type of infection. You might need to take oral antibiotics if you suffer from a severe infection.

Fungal Keratitis

Woman with eye infections while in the beach

This type of infection is caused by a fungus. There are different species of fungus found in nature that can cause fungal keratitis.

This condition is more frequent in tropical regions. It is often contracted after an injury where a foreign object penetrates the eye. However, contact lenses can also cause fungal keratitis.

The symptoms are similar to other forms of keratitis. They include redness, pain, and discharge.

Fungal keratitis is diagnosed by analyzing a sample of corneal tissues. If the infection is found to be caused by a fungus, your doctor will prescribe antifungal eye drops or ointment to get rid of the infection.

Ocular Herpes

Woman treating her eye infections with eye drops

Ocular herpes is not a common type of infection. However, the type 1 herpes simplex virus can affect the eyes if a person is in contact with someone who is infected with an active strain of the virus, or if they have been infected with the virus and end up touching their eyes after touching a cold sore.

Ocular herpes is similar to the process of a cold sore forming on the skin, but it affects the cornea of the eyes. It causes an inflammation of the eye and can affect vision.

In some cases, ocular herpes appears in tissues that are deeper than the cornea. This type of infection is rare and can cause more serious vision problems.

It is possible to manage this type of infection with antiviral eye drops and oral medication. An ointment or steroid drops can reduce inflammation and prevent scarring of the cornea. If scar tissues appear on the corner, they can sometimes be removed with surgery.

Contracting herpes means that recurring infections are likely to appear. Ocular herpes is a condition that will more than likely come back, but it is possible to manage it with eye drops or medication.

Trachoma

Boy with Trachoma eye infection

Trachoma is a serious eye infection that can result in blindness. It is caused by a type of bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis.

This isn’t a condition you are likely to encounter in the U.S., but it is the most common preventable cause of blindness around the globe. This is a condition you need to be aware of if you plan on traveling abroad. Children are more likely to get this type of infection.

Trachoma is contagious. It can spread by touching, by sharing items, and is sometimes spread by flies.

This condition is characterized by symptoms such as itching, irritation, and discharge. Patients often experience eye pain and sensitivity to light as well.

This infection causes the eyelid to swell and become deformed. As a result, the eyelashes can scratch and damage the cornea. If the infection isn’t treated, the cornea becomes cloudy and blindness sets in.

Trachoma can be treated with antibiotics. In some cases, surgery is needed to remove damaged tissues.

Endophthalmitis

Endophthalmitis eye infection

Endophthalmitis is a type of infection that affects the deeper tissues of the eye. It is not a common type of infection. However, you might be at risk to develop this condition if you underwent eye surgery or sustained an injury.

Cataract and glaucoma surgeries increase your risks of developing an infection in the deeper tissues of the eye. An injury where a foreign object penetrates the eye can also result in an infection appearing. There are also cases where endophthalmitis is the result of an infection spreading from another part of the body to the eye.

Symptoms include eye pain, decreased vision, discharge, and swollen eyelids. This condition can appear a month or more after a surgery or injury. It usually starts with mild symptoms such as a blurred vision or sensitivity to light.

If a healthcare provider suspects that the symptoms are caused by an infection, they will take tissues from the eye and do some tests to determine if an infection is present.

It is possible to treat this type of infection by injecting antibiotics into the eye to immediately reach the deeper tissues. Corticosteroids can be used to treat swelling.

If endophthalmitis is linked to the presence of a foreign object in the eye, removing the object should be a priority.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Acanthamoeba Keratitis eye infection

Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare type of eye infection caused by an amoeba known as Acanthamoeba. It affects the cornea and is similar to other types of keratitis.

This amoeba can be found in nature. Infection can happen after swimming in a lake, or after the eye is exposed to a foreign object. It is also possible to develop this infection by wearing contact lenses that weren’t properly disinfected or stored.

Symptoms include redness and sensitivity to light. You might also experience discharge and tearing, blurred vision, and eye pain. Some patients feel that there is a foreign object in their eye.

Blindness is a possible complication if this type of keratitis isn’t treated. It is diagnosed by scraping tissues from the cornea and analyzing them. It can be difficult to diagnose this condition since the symptoms are similar to other forms of keratitis.

You can reduce your risks of developing this type of eye infection by keeping your contact lenses clean and by storing them properly. Avoid swimming with contact lenses, and keep in mind that you are more at risk to develop this type of infection if you have a damaged cornea.

When To See A Doctor

Even though the severity of these different infections varies, the symptoms can be very similar. It can be difficult to determine if you are experiencing the symptoms of pink eye or the early symptoms of a more serious type of infection.

You should see a doctor if you experience eye pain or if your vision changes. You should also schedule an appointment with your doctor if the symptoms last more than a couple of days or if they seem to get worse.

Conjunctivitis is a mild condition that often goes away on its own. However, it is best to see a doctor to rule out other causes for your symptoms. It is crucial to treat serious eye infections as early as possible to prevent damages to eye tissues.

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, stop wearing contact lenses and keep in mind that some of these infections can be contagious. Wash your hands often, don’t share items with others, and avoid touching your eyes. Don’t try to self-medicate with eye drops since using eye drops or ointment that isn’t adapted to your condition could make things worse.

These are the seven most common infections that can affect the eyes. Conjunctivitis is by far the most common condition that can affect the eyes, but keep in mind that there are other more serious infections with similar symptoms that require medical treatment.

How To Do Vinyasa Yoga: Tips and Basics

Vinyasa yoga is a style of yoga that focuses on movements and breathing. You might be familiar with basic vinyasa flows such as the cat-cow pose or the sun salutation routine. Here is how you can practice with this style of yoga.

Practicing yoga regularly is associated with several health benefits. Yoga can help develop your flexibility, improve your strength, and tone your muscles. It can also boost your energy levels. If you are looking for a way to get a great cardio workout and lose some weight or just want to have fun, you should add vinyasa yoga to your daily routine.

What Is Vinyasa Yoga?

woman doing yoga

There are different ways to practice yoga. Some approaches focus on breathing, movements, alignments, or meditation. If you are interested in yoga, you should try different styles to keep things new and fresh and figure out which approach you enjoy the most.

Vinyasa yoga is a style that focuses on breathing and the transitions between different poses. You will need to pay attention to your movements and to your flow as you adopt a series of poses.

There are specific breathing techniques you need to follow while practicing this style of yoga. Inhaling or exhaling at the right moment helps you keep up with the flow and perform the right movements.

This style is sometimes called Ashtanga yoga. Some studios offer hot yoga classes, during which you will perform vinyasa flows in a warm environment to sweat more.

This style is ideal if you want to develop flexibility, boost your energy levels, and tone your muscles. It is also a good way to work on your cardio since the pace is faster than during a typical yoga practice. Vinyasa exercise can help you lose weight and develop breathing techniques that apply to a wide range of sports and activities.

Other styles such as Hatha yoga typically require you to hold the poses for longer and might not focus on breathing and transitions as much.

Practicing Vinyasa Yoga As A Beginner

yoga class with the instructor

This style of yoga is very accessible since you can practice flow and movements with positions you are already familiar with. Some vinyasa routines can push you and get your blood pumping, but you can practice at a slow pace to learn how to breathe properly.

Try finding a vinyasa class for beginners in your area so you can learn the basics of your style. Many yoga instructors incorporate some vinyasa routines in their classes even though the main style they teach is Hatha yoga.

It is best to start practicing slowly so you can focus on breathing, movements, and posture. Don’t try to speed up the pace until you have a good grasp on how to achieve smooth transitions between the different poses of a routine.

Practicing different vinyasa routines is interesting because it will help you gain a better understanding of how your body moves and finds balance when adopting different poses. It’s also a fun way to practice yoga and it will improve your flexibility and endurance.

The cat-cow pose is a common vinyasa flow taught to beginners. This exercise requires you to switch between the cat and cow poses.

This is an interesting introduction to breathing techniques used in vinyasa flows. You should inhale as you look up and stretch to adopt the cat pose and exhale as you arch your back and look down to adopt the cow pose.

Practice this simple flow and pay attention to how your breathing helps you transition from one pose to the other. This is a simple flow but understanding how breathing is linked to movement will help you master more complex vinyasa routines.

Getting Into The Flow

yoga position

You can practice different vinyasa flows at home. Make these flows a part of your daily yoga routine to add some variety and make your practices more fun and dynamic. Here are a few tips to help you practice vinyasa flows.

Find The Right Pace

Practicing a vinyasa flow is not about moving from one pose to the next as quickly as possible. The pace is faster when compared to other yoga styles, but you should still take the time to stop and breathe for each pose and pay attention to your movements.

Practice each transition until you can easily move from one pose to the next without overthinking your movements. You will then be able to focus on breathing and finding the right pace.

Learn To Breathe With This Basic Vinyasa Flow

You can start practicing vinyasa routines with this simple flow. This is a flow that is often taught in yoga classes and this is probably what your instructor is referring to if they ever ask you to go through your vinyasa or to do a vinyasa.

Keep these simple rules in mind when going through vinyasa routines. Inhale when you need to lift a part of your body and exhale when you need to shift your body weight. Your instructor should guide you by telling you when to inhale or exhale when teaching more complex flows.

A simple flow you can easily master starts with a plank pose. You will then adopt the chaturanga pose, the upward facing dog pose, and finish the flow with the downward facing dog pose.

Here is how you can perform this vinyasa flow:

  • Start in the plank position. Exhale as you move your body weight down and shift to adopt the chaturanga pose. Focus on moving your shoulders down slowly.
  • Inhale and lift your upper body up to adopt the upward facing dog pose.
  • Hold this pose for a few seconds, and exhale as you shift your body weight and arch your back.
  • Start pushing with your feet to adopt the downward facing dog and finish the flow.

This is a flow you can practice to master breathing techniques and get used to paying attention to your movements, posture, and flow when practicing yoga. These are poses you should be familiar with if you have been practicing for a while.

If you are new to yoga, practice each pose individually before trying to get through this routine.

Add The Sun Salutation Flow To Your Daily Routine

Once you can breathe properly while doing the cat-cow pose and the basic vinyasa flow described above, you can start practicing the sun salutation routine.

This is probably an exercise you are already familiar with but might not know how to breathe properly throughout this flow. The sun salutation routine is a great way to start your day, stretch, and a take a few minutes to relax and focus on your body and breathing.

Here is how you can practice the sun salutation vinyasa flow:

  • Stand up straight and lift your arms above your head to adopt the mountain pose. Inhale as you slowly raise your arms and join your hands above your head as you look up.
  • Bend at the waist as you exhale slowly. Adopt the forward bend or uttanasana pose. Your finger should touch the ground when you are done exhaling.
  • Look up and adjust your hands if needed to adopt a flat back position as you inhale slowly.
  • The next step is the plank pose. You can jump back for a more dynamic flow or simply step back as you exhale. Pay attention to how your body weight shifts as you adopt the plank pose.
  • Exhale as you lower your knees, chest, and chin.
  • Lower your waist and legs and push with your arms to lift your upper body as you inhale. You can either adopt the low cobra pose or the upward facing dog at this point in the sun salutation routine.
  • Exhale as you push back to adopt the downward facing dog pose, just like in the shorter vinyasa flow described above.
  • Exhale and bring your feet forward. You can jump for a more dynamic flow or step forward to adopt the forward bend pose again.
  • Inhale and stand straight up. Exhale and lift your arms above your head to adopt the mountain pose and finish the sun salutation.

Practice this routine until you achieve a natural flow with your movements. Focus on your breathing until you instinctively know when to inhale or exhale in the routine.

You can perform the sun salutation as slowly as you need to. Pick up the pace once you are more comfortable with the flow and don’t have to think about what your next movement should be.

Create New Flows

Make your yoga practices more varied and interesting by creating your vinyasa flows. Practice with the sun salutation flow until breathing becomes natural so you can use these techniques with any flow.

Pick four or five positions you can easily adopt one after the other. You can make a few changes to the traditional sun salutation flow, for instance by beginning with the child’s pose instead of the mountain pose. You can also create an interesting flow by adopting the different warrior poses one after the other.

Vinyasa yoga is a popular approach since it helps you breathing techniques and is a great cardio workout. Get started with some simple flows so you can get used to focusing on your movements and breathing before attempting more complex sequences.

12 Health Benefits Of Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals. You should think about adding this fruit or juice to your diet to reduce your risk of developing plaque, improve blood flow, or manage symptoms of diabetes.

Pomegranate is a fruit rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. This fruit has several health benefits, including preventing plaque buildup, improving blood circulation, and providing you with several important vitamins and nutrients. Pomegranate juice has all the benefits of the fruit and is easier to add to your diet. Here are the main benefits of this juice.

Antioxidant Content

pomegranate

Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols. These plant compounds are powerful antioxidants that can prevent cell damage caused by the free radicals present in your system. It is interesting to note that juice extracted from pomegranates contains three times as much antioxidants as green tea.

Damage from free radicals is what causes the effects of aging. This type of damage has also been linked to cancerous cells appearing and spreading.

Polyphenols help prevent this damage by eliminating free radicals. Studies suggest that polyphenols can help prevent the appearance and growth of prostate cancer.

The antioxidant properties of pomegranates also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the cause behind conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease that impact cognitive functions.

It is important to add foods rich in antioxidants to your diet since it is difficult to limit your exposure to free radicals. Free radicals are the result of exposure to pollutants while others are generated during exercise or by inflamed tissues.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

A study has found that pomegranate juice could significantly reduce inflammation in subjects who drank it regularly. The antioxidants present in pomegranates help reduce the damage caused by free radicals and prevent inflammation from appearing as a result of cell damage.

This is how pomegranates help reduce oxidative stress on the brain and nervous system. The anti-inflammatory properties of this fruit and juice have beneficial effects on the digestive system as well.

Joint pain is another health condition linked to inflammation. Eating pomegranates or drinking juice should help control inflammation and address symptoms such as pain and swelling besides preventing these symptoms from coming back.

Reducing Plaque

pomegranate

The antioxidant content of pomegranates helps prevent plaque from forming and limit the damage caused by the presence of plaque. A study followed subjects for three years and found a significant difference in plaque buildup between a group that drank pomegranate juice and a group that didn’t.

Plaque buildup can happen in the mouth and inside of arteries. Dental plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if it isn’t cleaned regularly.

Deposits of fat, calcium, and other compounds found in blood can cause plaque to appear in arteries. This causes the arteries to become narrower and restricts blood flow.

Reducing plaque is one of the benefits of pomegranates that has been thoroughly studied and proved to be true. This benefit alone is enough to justify adding this fruit or juice to your diet.

Improve Blood Flow

Pomegranates act as an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. This enzyme plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and blood flow.

Inhibiting this enzyme dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow. This mechanism of action is similar to the way blood pressure medication works. Pomegranate juice could be a natural alternative to a prescription if you need to take medication to regulate blood flow or blood pressure.

Improved blood flow can help with symptoms such as fatigue, improve skin health, and help with fertility as well as digestion.

Cholesterol Levels

pomegranate

More research is needed to prove that pomegranates can help regulate cholesterol levels. However, a study that looked at the different positive effects of this juice found an improvement in cholesterol levels among the subjects.

These results are not conclusive and more research is needed to confirm that there is a correlation between pomegranates and cholesterol levels.

However, the antioxidant properties of pomegranates can help eliminate oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in arteries among other health issues.

Hormonal Balance

Pomegranates contain a compound known as ellagic acid that acts as an aromatase inhibitor. This means that ellagic acid can limit the production of estrogen.

There are benefits associated with lower estrogen levels since high levels of this hormone have been linked to breast, uterine, and prostate cancer in men. High levels of estrogen can also cause PMS, varicose veins, cysts, bloating, and other health problems.

Adding pomegranates to your diet could help regulate your hormonal levels depending on your current estrogen levels. High estrogen levels are more common than one might think since there are many compounds that are similar to estrogen in growth hormones and pesticides that end up in the food we eat.

Antibacterial And Antifungal Properties

The plant compounds found in pomegranates have antibacterial and antifungal properties. This fruit is also believed to be an effective remedy against the yeast known as Candida albicans.

This fruit or juice could help support the immune system by eliminating some fungi and bacteria. It could also reduce inflammation and bloating in the digestive tract if there is unbalanced gut flora.

Vitamin C And E

Did you know that you could get 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C by eating the equivalent of a cup of pomegranate?

Vitamin C plays a crucial role in repairing damaged tissues and cells. It is also used to create new cells and tissues.

Vitamin C is necessary for healthy bone, cartilage, and teeth. This vitamin also helps your body absorb iron.

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps eliminate free radicals. It supports your immune system and a diet rich in Vitamin C makes you less likely to become ill and helps you recover faster.

Vitamin E is very important for heart health. A diet rich in Vitamin E makes you less likely to develop cancer, supports brain and nervous system health, and limits muscle tissue damage after exercise. Vitamin E is also beneficial for skin health.

Folate Content

pomegranate

You can get 16 percent of your daily recommended folate intake by eating a cup of pomegranate. Folate is a type of Vitamin B that plays a crucial role when new cells are created.

Folate prevents changes to the DNA that can cause cancerous cells to appear and spread. It also plays an important role in the creation of red blood cells.

Pregnant women need to take a folic acid supplement to prevent neural tube defects. Even though pomegranates are rich in folate and can be added to a healthy diet during pregnancy, they won’t replace folic acid supplements.

Potassium Content

A cup of pomegranate contains 12 percent of your daily recommended potassium intake. Potassium is an essential mineral because it regulates fluid levels in your body.

A potassium deficiency can cause you to become dehydrated. Potassium and sodium are the two main electrolytes that maintain a healthy fluid balance in your body. Your potassium levels impact the quantities of fluid inside of your cells.

If your potassium and sodium levels are not balanced, dehydration can occur. Frequent dehydration can cause kidney stones and other health problems.

Potassium is also beneficial for nervous system health, heart health, and for your muscle tissues.

Vitamin K

You can get 36 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K in a cup of pomegranate. Vitamin K plays a major role in helping blood clot. It helps balance the calcium levels in your blood, which reduces the risks of plaque developing and supports bone health.

Vitamin K is primarily found in green leafy vegetables. If your diet isn’t rich enough in this type of vegetables, pomegranates could be an excellent alternative.

Pomegranate Juice And Diabetes

Different studies have looked at the benefits of this juice for diabetics. A study found that consuming juice extracted from pomegranates had positive effects on heart health and cholesterol levels among diabetic subjects.

It is believed that pomegranates limit the absorption of unhealthy LDL cholesterol by the digestive system. It lowers the risk of plaque forming in arteries, which is a potential complication of diabetes and improves energy levels without causing blood sugar levels to spike.

It is also believed that pomegranates could help improve insulin resistance, which is what causes blood sugar levels to increase. Pomegranates could help manage the symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes, but more studies are needed to confirm that this fruit can help with insulin resistance.

We already mentioned that pomegranates had a positive effect on blood flow. Poor circulation is one of the possible complications of diabetes, which is why these fruits are an excellent choice for diabetics.

Keep in mind that fruits and juice with no added ingredients can help with the symptoms of diabetes. However, store-bought fruit juices often have added sugar and can have a negative impact on blood sugar levels.

Pomegranates, like any other fruits, contain fructose. Fructose is easier to process than other types of sugar, which is why it typically doesn’t cause sharp increases in blood sugar levels. However, fruits should be eaten in moderation and balanced with other foods if you are managing a condition like diabetes.

What’s The Most Popular Eyeglasses Frames

There are several interesting trends that are currently reshaping the world of eyewear fashion. You should research these different trends if you want to get a new pair of glasses. These seven popular eyeglass frames are worth considering if you want something new and fashionable.

Are you shopping for a new pair of eyeglasses? There are many options to consider if you want to try a new type of frames. Designers are offering a wide range of eyeglass frames and finding something that matches your style and personality should be easy thanks to the many fun design trends that are popular at the moment. Here are the main trends you need to know about.

Thin Metal Frames

In previous years, designers focused on thick acetate frames. This design is great if you want to make a statement or are looking for a hipster or geek chic look.

Thin metal frames are a new trend that goes back to retro designs. The thin metal frames evoke the very first eyewear designs but designers have found several ways to revolutionize this design.

You can, for instance, find frames that combine materials. The lower portion of the frame is made out of a thin metal wire while the upper portion is made out of acetate and balances the frames by adding thicker lines.

You will find a lot of rounded or aviator styles if you want to shop for this trend. These styles are discreet and versatile but work best for those with certain face shapes, including square, diamond, or heart shapes.

Because the thin metal style emphasizes the round design of the frame, this style might not be flattering if you have a round face unless you can find a design that uses angular lines, for instance by using acetate and thicker lines to create a classic horn-rimmed design.

Retro Minimalist Styles

Retro styles combined with minimalist lines are in. You can find eyeglass frames inspired by classic designs such as cat-eye frames or aviator glasses. These classic designs are fun but can look bulky. The modern takes on these classics use a minimalist approach to make these designs more versatile.

You will also notice some frames that create a modern effect by combining materials. Metal and acetate is a common combination that helps create minimalist lines based on classic frame shapes.

The minimalist approach makes lines and shapes stand out. The material and color of the frames become secondary, and the minimalist frames you choose to wear will help draw attention to your eyes and other features.

This trend is interesting if you want to find frames that will look discreet and need something you can wear in a professional setting.

The great thing about shopping for retro minimalist frames is that you can find designs that match your face shape. Designers have found new ways to play with round designs, square frames, cat eyes, aviator frames, and many other designs.

Wooden And Earthy Tones

Wood frames are a new trend that some celebrities and social media influencers have adopted. Wearing wood frames is a bold choice and this is something you should think about if you want frames that make a statement.

This original trend is connected to another more popular style. You will find a lot of designers who are offering frames in wooden and earthy tones.

You can also find frames that mimic the natural patterns of wood. We like this style because it is very original and it makes the frames stand out, but these frames make a strong statement and shouldn’t be combined with other extremely noticeable accessories.

Wooden and earthy tones are a more discreet choice that will work well with a wide range of styles and outfits. You can find frames in tones such as sienna, umber, oak, coffee, or ochre. These are original colors you wouldn’t expect to find when shopping for eyewear, but these wooden or earthy tones are very flattering for any skin tone or undertone.

We think this trend is an interesting way to wear frames with bold colors without having a hue overpower your entire look.

Transparent Frames

Transparent frames with a matte effect are another amazing trend for 2018. These eyeglass frames come in a wide range of hues and the matte finish makes these frames easy to combine with any outfit you want to wear.

Acetate is the most common material used to make these frames. Designers tend to favor square designs for these transparent frames, but you can find a few round designs as well.

This trend is interesting because it opens up the door for a wide range of hue that can be difficult to find when shopping for eyeglasses.

You can opt for an entirely transparent frame for something discreet, or shop for colorful frames that are still appropriate in a professional setting thanks to the matte finish.

The matte finish also works well with a wide range of eye color, hair color, and skin tones. We recommend getting different transparent frames, so you always have a few different hues to choose from and find the best glasses for your outfit or mood.

Transparent frames tend to look best with light clothing and discreet makeup, but the matte finish opens up more possibilities since the frames won’t stand out as much as a regular colorful frame would. However, we recommend that you opt for large frames if you decide to follow this trend.

Neutral Hues

Neutral hues have always been popular for eyewear. However, the current trend is to offer a wider range of neutral hues.

Traditionally, neutral hues included charcoal frames, rose gold, silver, and some nude shades. Neutral hues are more popular than ever before, and you can find a wide range of colors available.

Designers are expanding their selection with colors like discreet light blues, pinks, and purples. You can find warm whites and beiges, peach frames, smoky grays, or gold and rose frames with a matte effect.

You should own at least one pair of glasses in a neutral hue. These can be your go-to frames when you need to get dressed for work or want a pair of eyeglasses that will work with your outfit regardless of what you are wearing.

Wearing a neutral frame allows you to draw attention to another bold accessory or to wear bright colors that won’t clash with your frames.

Neutral hues can help soften your features, show off your natural eye color, and make it easier to wear thick frames without worrying about your eyewear becoming a fashion statement.

We like having a wider selection of neutral hues to choose from since these frames are a great way to add a pop of color to your outfit without overdoing it.

Tortoiseshell Patterns

Tortoiseshell frames are a classic trend that is making a comeback. They are traditionally reserved for sunglasses but you can find this pattern when shopping for regular frames as well.

The tortoiseshell pattern is very stylish and evokes classic fashion from the 50s. You can find this pattern on frames that have a vintage inspiration or on more modern designs.

Acetate is often used to make these modern frames. You can find frames with traditional tones used for this type of patterns, such as yellow, brown, or honey.

However, some designers are bringing new and unexpected colors to these patterns. You can find frames that use original colors like blue or purple to create a classic tortoiseshell pattern.

Look for horn-rimmed frames if you want to create a geeky and stylish look, or explore other shapes that would be more flattering for your features. This trend is fun when combined with oversized frames.

These frames are ideal if you often wear dark clothes, but you can make them work with other styles. They will probably look best if you have a vintage style or like accessories and clothes that create a modern take on a classic trend.

The downside of the tortoiseshell frames is that these patterns can look busy. These frames aren’t easy to combine with clothes that feature prints and patterns.

Topline Frames

Topline frames combine the transparent frame trend with designs that use thick and colorful acetate frames. The color changes along the frame and creates a lifting effect for your features.

The top of the frame is usually darker and thicker. Some frames have a dark color such as brown or smoky gray while others use a bold color or a pattern to draw attention to the top of the frame.

The lower portion of the frame is either transparent or uses a lighter color. Most topline frames have a lower portion that is thinner than the top of the frame.

We like this trend because these frames look very stylish and can help make you look younger by drawing attention to your brow and creating a lifting effect for your features.

You can find interesting color and pattern combinations, and a topline frame could be a great way to incorporate a bold color or pattern into your outfit without making a strong statement.

These seven frames would be an excellent choice if you are shopping for new eyewear. We like these trends because they are fun, modern, and easy to combine with your style and outfits you usually wear.

Understand How To Do Hatha Yoga Before You Regret

Meta:This year alone, over 36 million Americans will practice yoga–and most of them will be practicing hatha yoga. Learn more about what hatha yoga is (and what it isn’t), plus uncover yoga’s surprising health benefits and learn our top tips for getting started with your practice.

Over 36 million Americans practice yoga today (that’s about 15% of people in the United States), and all signs point to even more yoga practitioners taking up their mats in the coming decades.

If you’ve already tried hatha yoga for yourself (most yoga in the west is considered hatha yoga), you understand why it’s become so popular–the benefits are vast! Here’s our take on what makes hatha yoga unique and why you should join the millions of Americans who are already enjoying it.

What Makes Hatha Yoga Special?

Yoga is a spiritual practice that’s been around since the dawn of time (more or less). Here’s a noteworthy caveat, however: yoga, as we know it today, looks almost nothing like the original practice as it was developed thousands of years ago.

Our idea of yoga got to us like this: originally a type of meditation, something called Tantra popped up during medieval times (the 5th century, roughly). This type of spiritual practice was rooted in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist traditions and aimed for self-deification as the ultimate embodiment of peace and satisfaction.

Is Hatha Yoga Tantric?

Tantra (which, we should note, had little to do with sex originally) eventually birthed hatha yoga, which combined meditation and breathing with body postures known as asanas or poses.

After being introduced to the west in the early decades of the 20th century and then becoming wildly popular in the 80s (thank you, Madonna) along with other new age practices, original hatha poses have morphed into what we practice today: the sun pose, the warrior pose, downward dog, and all the rest.

Technically, hatha yoga encompasses just about all of the yoga practices we enjoy here in the United States: Bikram yoga, vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, and so forth. Usually, if hatha yoga is specified, it’s because the class is gentle and slow-paced, setting it apart from the more physically demanding practices.

Why Practice Hatha Yoga?

To say that yoga is good for you is an understatement. Yoga has wildly available benefits and also has the distinction of being widely studied by medical and health professionals. Here are just a handful of ways a hatha yoga practice might benefit you:

1. Fight Back Against Inflammation

Inflammation is a powerful immune strategy that enables your body to heal itself. However, sometimes that inflammation can get out of hand, and when it does, it leads to serious problems like cancer and age-related disease (diabetes, for instance).

Practicing hatha yoga, however, might help to lower your body’s inflammation. A 2015 study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research concluded that “regular practice of yoga can protect the individual against inflammatory diseases.”

Other studies have found similar results (and still more studies are needed to confirm findings), but if you’re interested in helping to decrease your risk of cancer and the problems that come from aging, hatha yoga can be a powerful aid!

2. Help With Depression and Anxiety

Hatha yoga has long presented itself as a way for the practitioner to create a mental buffer between themselves and the stress they encounter daily, and science is starting to agree.

A 2018 Harvard Mental Health Letter explains that an increasing number of studies are finding links between yoga and lower physiological arousal when presented with stress. In other words, people who practice yoga have higher pain and stress tolerances than those who don’t.

This has huge indications for people who cope with chronic pain (which, itself, can heavily impact depression) and who battle anxiety and depression.

Being able to regulate your stress response isn’t the only way that hatha yoga can help with your depression and anxiety. A 2004 study examined twenty-eight young adults who experienced mild depression.

During the five-week trial, participants attended two one-hour yoga classes. By the middle of the classes (which focused on poses thought to help with mood, including backbends, standing poses, and inversions), students were reporting higher levels of cortisol in the mornings and lessened levels of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

You can see two more positive studies here and here, but it’s safe to say yoga has tremendous potential when it comes to alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Lose Weight

In addition to helping you deal with inflammation, depression, and anxiety, yoga may be able to help you lose weight in several different ways.

First, yoga helps you become more mindful, which can help you develop conscious eating habits (this means you focus on savoring each bite, which in turn means you’re likely to eat less). Greater mindfulness can also help you focus on things like healthy eating habits, but it can also help you reduce the stress that leads to many of our poor eating habits.

Yoga can also help you sleep better at night, which can have a direct impact on your weight loss. And, if your yoga practice includes especially energetic yoga, you can even burn calories, helping to jumpstart weight loss!

Finally, hatha yoga can help you feel better about yourself, both because it puts you in a better headspace and because it increases your strength and flexibility. And let’s face it–when we learn how strong our bodies can be and what they’re capable of, we start to love our bodies just a little more.  

These three benefits to yoga practice aren’t the only ones. Hatha yoga may also help decrease your risk of heart disease, help you reduce migraines naturally, and improve balance, strength, and flexibility.

How to Get Started Practicing Hatha Yoga Today

Have we already convinced you it’s time to start practicing yoga? Great! Here are a few tips to getting started on your yoga journey!

1. It Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Sure, you can enroll for expensive classes at high-end studios, but if you’d rather save your pennies, there are lots of ways to enjoy live, group yoga practices that don’t cost an arm and a leg (you’ll need those for your yoga poses).

Most studios allow you to try a class for free and many offer terrific sign-up bonuses. If you enjoy benefits through your employer, you can also check for gym benefits; sometimes memberships are included or offered at reduced rates and most gyms provide yoga classes free of charge for members.

2. Check Out YouTube

One of our favorite tips for getting started with hatha yoga is to try YouTube. It’s a great opportunity to check out different styles of yoga without worrying about whether or not you have the right clothes and mat, and without being distracted by other people.

Yoga with Adriene is one of our favorite channels; Adriene is chill and down to earth, and her channel has tons of great videos, like this total body yoga stretch sequence and this 30-day yoga challenge. You can also find information on specific poses on YouTube, like this video from Gaia on the lizard pose.

3. Find a Friend

We like YouTube for help getting started and for those times when you can’t get to a class, but there’s no replacing the commingled energy of a great live class. If you’re feeling shy about getting started by yourself, see if you can find a friend. Better yet, find a friend who already practices, and join her at her favorite spot!

One of the best parts of yoga is the communal aspect–working together to accomplish your individual goals. Yoga class is also a great place to make friends; people who do yoga are likely to be active and health-conscious, which only helps you to be more active and health-conscious as well.

4. Here’s What To Do If You Didn’t Like it the First Time

If you’ve tried yoga once or twice and weren’t impressed, here’s our advice: try it one more time. Like anything, sometimes yoga is something you just have to get used to and teachers, locations, and surroundings all impact whether or not you enjoy something. Don’t be afraid to try lots of different styles and studios before deciding yoga isn’t for you.

5. Bring Your Mat

While we don’t recommend rushing out to buy a whole new yoga wardrobe (unless you want to–we won’t argue with you!) right away, there is one piece of equipment that’s invaluable: your yoga mat. It doesn’t have to be expensive or anything particularly special, but you’ll need it to practice.

Our final tip is small, but it may be the most important thing you read here: have an open mind. When it comes to hatha yoga, it’s about finding what feels good for your body, learning to accept yourself, and growing in strength and awareness. That’s something money just can’t buy.

7 Health Benefits of Ginger Tea Plus a Yummy Recipe

Meta: Ginger tea can help with nausea, make your brain smarter, and even help with migraines, menstrual pain, and muscle pain! Ginger might be one of the most potent superfoods available, and it’s delicious, cheap, and easy to prepare. We share ginger’s top seven health benefits plus a yummy recipe for ginger tea.

The term “superfood” is used for lots of different foods (including chocolate, kefir, and pomegranate), but ginger tea may be one of the few foods that truly deserves the title! After all, few ingredients have been used since ancient times and can still go head to head with modern medication today.

Ready to learn about what ginger tea can do for you, and how to prepare it? Read on!

1. Eliminate Your Migraines

If you’ve ever had a migraine, you have instant compassion for the other 39 million Americans who suffer from them. Migraines can include severe, throbbing pain, auras, light sensitivity, and many other symptoms, and can last a few hours or a few days.

It’s not uncommon for migraine sufferers to turn to all manner of help for these awful episodes, but it can be very difficult to find effective solutions, and many find themselves forced to turn to medication with tons of side-effects.

In a 2014 study, ginger as an aid for migraine relief was compared to sumatriptan, the most popular drug used to treat migraines. One hundred patients who suffered from migraines randomly received powdered ginger or sumatriptan, and their symptoms and side effects were measured.

After a month, the authors established that ginger was just as effective as sumatriptan at the two hours mark! Even better, study participants reported zero side effects with ginger.

2. Make Your Brain Smarter

brain

Chronic stress can have some painful effects on your brain; one of the most alarming is that it can shrink your brain. How stress and the brain interact can be varied and complex, but what we do know is that most of us encounter more stress than our ancestors did just a century ago.

Information bombards us constantly thanks to technology, advertising, and social media, and the stress causes our bodies to increase cortisol production. Cortisol is an excellent hormone in moderation, but too much can hurt our brains.

That’s what makes ginger such a valuable supplement. Experts believe middle-aged women “develop some form of cognitive impairment” (source), but when given ginger in a 2012 study, they were able to significantly enhance their performance on cognitive tests that measured recall and other indicators.  

Other studies on animals have found that ginger can improve memory and even help treat Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Knock Out Your Period Pain

In 2009, researchers in Tehran, Iran, published a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine detailing the results of treating menstrual pain with ginger. The study took place over six months and included 150 women who experienced pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea).

Women divided into three groups; one group took ginger four times a day for the first three days of their periods, and the other two groups took either mefenamic acid or ibuprofen. After assessing symptoms for all three groups, researchers found that each group experienced significantly reduced symptoms and significantly increased pain relief.

They concluded that “ginger was as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen” for relieving period pain. Here’s another study that found similar results.

4. …And Other Pain, Too

Ginger is believed to have powerful analgesic and inflammation-fighting properties, which might explain why it’s so effective in helping to relieve pain. While it doesn’t work like, say, popping ibuprofen, this 2010 study found that a small dose of ginger can help reduce the effects of exercise-induced pain in its “day-to-day progression.”

Another study published the same year in The Journal of Pain concluded that “daily supplementation with ginger reduced muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise.”

5. Relieve Nausea

Even if you’re unfamiliar with natural remedies, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of ginger as an aid for nausea. While it’s been used traditionally to soothe upset and queasy stomachs, academic studies are now beginning to confirm ginger tea’s effectiveness.

Morning sickness (vomiting and nausea during pregnancy) affects nearly 80% of pregnancies, but there’s hope! In 2014, the Nutrition Journal analyzed twelve different studies involving almost 1,300 women. When compared to a placebo, ginger didn’t reduce how often women vomited, but it did improve nausea symptoms.

Plus, as long as the dose stayed belong 1500 mg, there was no concern for the baby’s health or side effects.

There’s also hope for people undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing nausea. The Supportive Care in Cancer Journal published a study that included over 700 cancer patients. They were divided into four groups: three ginger groups and one placebo group.

Scientists found that ginger significantly reduced nausea for cancer patients, especially those whose daily dose included between .5-1.0 grams of ginger. A 2006 meta-analysis also backed up these findings.

6. Fight Germs

man drinking ginger tea

When it comes to fighting bacteria and fungal infections and increasing your immunity, ginger might be one of the most powerful ingredients in your pantry or fridge.

This study found that fresh ginger (the kind you enjoy when you make ginger tea) is highly effective at protecting you from RSV, a common respiratory illness that can be dangerous for at-risk populations, like young children and the elderly. Since RSV is a viral infection and can’t be treated with antibiotics, being able to prevent it is especially beneficial.

Ginger might also hold promise in the fight against drug-resistant diseases since it has been found to have a strong antibacterial effect.

This microbiology study even found that ginger has “good antifungal and antibiofilm formation” properties against certain strains of fungi and bacteria that can cause infections in the mouth. The study authors suggest that “perhaps, the use of herbal extracts such as ginger represents a new era for antimicrobial therapy” now that antibiotics are becoming less and less effective.  

7. Relieve Inflammation

woman holding a ginger tea

We tend to think it’s germs or injuries that make us sick or cause damage to our bodies, but at the heart of most modern disease and aging is inflammation. Inflammation is part of how our body heals itself, but chronic or ongoing inflammation leads to serious problems.

There is now some evidence – however – that ginger may help the body cope with inflammation. This review looked at all studies published between 2000-2010 and determined that ginger has “well documented” antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer potential thanks to the fact that it includes gingerol, shogaol, and paradol.  

A 2015 study also found a similar promise for ginger’s effect on platelet aggregation, a marker for disease.

How to Get More Ginger in Your Day

There are lots of ways to consume ginger. It’s a delicious spice that adds a lot to authentic Asian and Indian dishes. Meals like Masala Beef with Ginger and Curry Leaf or Indian-Style Chicken with Ginger and Curry enjoy a rich flavor profile thanks to the bite and excitement of ginger.

Working With Fresh Ginger

Fresh is typically the preferred method for using ginger in recipes, and since ginger is a root (think: a long, skinny, very knobby potato) it’s easy! To use ginger, cut off a piece (usually about one or two inches) and then carefully slice away the skin with a sharp knife. From there, you can dice, mince, chop, or grate ginger as the recipe directs.

Ginger will store in your fridge, but if you find you’re not using it fast enough, you can freeze small, peeled sections in the freezer, and then grate as normal straight into the food you’re preparing!

This is also a great way to prep fresh ginger for ginger tea; if you want to use fresh ginger but don’t want the hassle of preparing ginger every day, you can prep it and store it in the freezer. Your hot water will melt it.

Supplementing With Ginger

Another great way to ingest ginger is to use powdered or encapsulated forms. If you’re trying to get a very high dose of ginger or happen to not like the taste, this is the easiest way to do it.

Making Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is extremely easy to make whether you’re sick, in pain, or simply looking for a healthy way to start the day. You can use pre-made ginger tea bags, but to get maximum effect you should use fresh, raw ginger.

One of the great things about ginger and ginger tea is how versatile it is; we love experimenting with different add-ins to create a customized, delicious creation!

The secret to great ginger tea is to let the ginger steep for a long time. You can even boil the ginger in water for as much as twenty minutes if you find steeping does not create a rich enough flavor for you. To make it an even better experience, use a beautiful teacup and teapot.

Here’s our favorite ginger tea recipe:

Ginger Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • About one to two inches of raw, fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
  • 10-20oz of fresh water
  • Optional ingredients: a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, a tablespoon of raw honey, fresh mint leaves, a cinnamon stick, agave nectar, fresh chamomile, echinacea tincture, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Add your ginger to your mug or teapot and bring the water to a boil. Pour it over your ginger and allow to steep for four to five minutes. Strain if desired and add additional ingredients if desired. Enjoy!

A Guide To Which Progressive Lenses Are The Best

Progressive lenses are a unique type of glasses designed to offer a smooth transition between the far and near-sighted parts of your lens. Not every progressive lens is the same, however. With four options to choose from, you might be wondering which ones are the best.

Since each option is tailor-made for different needs, this article is here to answer your questions and help you make the best buying decision possible. So, which progressive lenses are the best? Here’s what you need to know.

The Four Types

Progressive lenses come in four varieties. Each offers its own unique style and benefits, making it essential to weigh the pros and cons of each based on your individual needs. Here’s what each option has to offer.

Type 1

With technology constantly at your fingertips, your eyes are in a state of perpetual strain as you stare at a computer or your smartphone all day. If you’re the kind of person who is tech-savvy, then Type 1 Progressive lenses might be for you.

The strain placed on your eyes by computer screens causes objects closer in your field of view to become out of focus. With Digital Inside Technology, you can wear two near vision lenses in one. The first is adjusted for print media like newspapers or books, while the second lens is positioned at a different angle to make reading texts or emails easier.

The idea is to create a natural head position no matter what you’re reading. So, if you merely want to read as easily as you used to, these are an excellent option. This is also a great choice if you prefer thin, light lenses.

Type 2

Larger framed glasses are trending once again, but several types of lenses have yet to catch up. This creates a problem with the position you have to tilt your head, the quality of your vision, and your sense of style.

Several people with Progressive lenses run into adaption issues when switching from smaller to larger frames. The places they are used to looking through for reading support shift, which takes the eyes a while to get used to.

Style 2 incorporates FrameFit+ and Adaption Control Technology that makes it simple for your eye care professional to select the right lens size for your new frames. Like Style 1, this model is also suitable for both print and digital media.

By switching the position of the near vision sections of the lens, you can enjoy a new pair of glasses without any readjustments. If you enjoy being fashionable and hate dealing with a re-adaption each time you get a new pair of glasses, then this is an excellent option.

Type 3

Everyone’s face is unique, including their eyes and vision. If you require the aid of a stronger prescription or particular issues, then Type 3 is designed with you in mind. The company calls it FaceAdapt Technology, which means that each lens is tailor-made to meet your individual needs.

Not only are the lenses made with you in mind, but the anatomy of your face is also taken into consideration. By studying how the lenses rest once your frames are places on your ears and nose, Zeiss can ensure that their lens’ optical benefits are in the perfect position for you.

If you’ve had a difficult time with Progressive lenses in the past, require your glasses for every aspect of your day, or have special lens requirements based on your vision, then Type 3 might be the best option for you. Since these are custom made, you can also have them placed in new, fashionable frames.

Type 4

Is your job demanding or taxing on your vision? Maybe you spend your days at a drawing board, in the office, or create architectural design plans. On the other hand, you may be a caretaker who needs to switch between near and far vision constantly.

Whatever the case may be, Type 4 Progressive lenses are for you. This variant is also tailor-made, but is designed with your primary daily task in mind to make life a little easier. With IndividualFit Technology, these Progressive lenses incorporate every lens technology possible into your glasses to ensure your vision is comfortable from the beginning of your day to the end.

Which Lens Is the Best?

Determining which Progressive lens is the best depends on how you use your glasses. Picking out the option most suited to your lifestyle and vision isn’t always so easy, though. So, we’ve made this buyer’s guide to help steer you in the right direction.

Consider Your Vision

If you’re looking at Progressive lenses, then you already know you need a dual lens for both near and far objects. However, the strength of your prescription is a determining factor in which type is best.

Weaker prescriptions tend to be lighter on your face, which makes Type 1 an excellent choice if your vision just needs a little boost. Type 2 is also designed with weaker prescriptions in mind, though it can accommodate stronger options when necessary.

If you know you need a stronger prescription, or if you have special vision needs like glaucoma, then Type 3 is the best option. These lenses cater to unique needs, ensuring you can see everything crystal clear.

Type 4 is also an excellent option for those with stronger prescriptions, but it works better as a specialty lens for work situations. If you work long hours performing a single type of task but still need special vision requirements, then Type 4 is your best bet.

Think About Comfort

Everyone has owned that one pair of glasses that didn’t sit well on their face. It’s an annoying situation to deal with, often leading to the costly purchase of a second pair. So, keeping your comfort in mind when buying Progressive lenses ensure you’ll happier wearing them daily.

If you’re used to wearing a heavier pair of glasses all day, and the weight doesn’t bother you, then Types 3 and 4 are right up your alley. Stronger prescriptions increase the weight of your glasses, so these options should feel similar to what you are used to.

Some people can’t stand heavy glasses, which is where Type 1 comes into play. These lenses are designed to be lightweight on your face while remaining efficient. They’re similar to standard Progressive lenses with minor tweaks in the near vision part of the lens.

Type 2 works as a blend of comfort and style. If your prescription is light, then these might be the best option for you when picking out new frames. Keep in mind that Types 3 and 4 can also be tailor-made to fit new frames.

Consider Your Usage

How often do you plan on using your glasses, and what will you use them for the most? If you’re an everyday wearer that puts their glasses on when you wake and doesn’t take them off until it’s time for bed, then you might want to consider Type 4.

These lenses are tailor-made to suit the ins and outs of your day. Whatever your job or obligations might be, the near vision part of the lens is crafted to help you make the most out of your new glasses. If you need to see further more often, then the smaller parts within the lens can be widened. If you need to read most of the day, then they can be pushed closer together.

Like all Progressive lenses, they do so without having you tilt your head in uncomfortable positions like you would with bifocals. Plus, they can be custom fit into any style frame to help you look your best.

If you don’t wear your glasses all the time (maybe you primarily need them to read and drive), then opting for Types 1 or 2 would be the better choice. They’re lighter, more comfortable, and are ready to provide visual assistance when you need them.

All of these lenses are durable. So, wear and tear are the same as any other lens. You don’t have to worry about them deteriorating or popping out of the frame just because you wear them all day long.

The Best Lens

If you were to weigh the pros and cons of each Progressive lens, you would see that some offer more benefits than other. Take a look at this handy chart:

Type 1

  • Great for reading
  • Handles both digital and print media
  • Lightweight and thin

Type 2

  • All three qualities from Type 1
  • Fashionable
  • Tailor-made for your line of sight
  • Customized for modern lenses

Type 3

  • Also stylish
  • Tailor-made and customizable like Type 2
  • Handles high prescriptions and special visual needs
  • Great for digital and print media
  • Uses your facial anatomy to create a unique, personalized lens

Type 4

  • Everything from Type 2, except for the use of facial anatomy
  • Designed around your daily schedule

Most Popular Ways On How To Do Kundalini Yoga

Maybe you’ve spotted a Kundalini yoga class at your yoga studio, or maybe you’re just interested in brushing up on your yoga knowledge. Whatever the case, Kundalini yoga is an incredibly powerful type of yoga that can transform your mind and body.

While it isn’t as popular as, say, Bikram yoga or vinyasa, Kundalini yoga is one of the most effective forms of the practice, especially when it comes to helping your body handle stress.

What Does Kundalini Yoga Have to Do With Wellness?

yoga session

If your health were a war, stress would be public enemy number one. Stress has serious consequences on our bodies and minds and can have an enormous impact on obesity, mental health, and diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Yoga and meditation, however, have a long, well-documented history of helping individuals deal with stress and increase their wellbeing; Kundalini yoga is a vital part of that trend.

What Makes Kundalini Yoga Special?

Most of the yoga practiced in the Western world today is hatha yoga. While yoga is an idea that dates back to ancient times, what we practice in studios today likely has almost no resemblance to what was practiced in ancient times.

Plus, there’s been a shift in Western thinking about yoga as something that offers transcendence to something that’s simply good for the body. Kundalini yoga, however, helps to merge those two ideals back into one. It was brought to the states in the 1960s by Yogi Bhajan.

A master of Kundalini yoga by the age of sixteen, Bhajan’s goal was to help people living in the west to be healthy, happy, and holy. While others types of yoga focus largely on the physical acts, Kundalini Yoga uses meditation to give you “an experience of your soul.”

The Coiled Serpent

three woman doing yoga

Kundalini Yoga recognizes the seven chakras or energy centers and believes that one of those centers (the Kundalini) sits at the base of the spine. Your guide will lead you through poses, breaths, meditations, mantras, and more to help you uncoil the Kundalini and release it through your remaining six chakras. This peaceful and energizing experience is called the Kundalini Awakening.

In the words of its founder, “The kundalini experience does not mean you have gone into a deep breathless trance and are beyond this world. … It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you can act more efficiently.”

Another thing that makes Kundalini Yoga unique from hatha yoga is its history of secrecy. Kundalini Yoga used to be a closely held secret that took years of devotion. It wasn’t till Bhajan brought his expertise to the west that it became publicly available.

This, however, is partly why the practice of Kundalini Yoga requires the guidance of trained teachers. Unlike other kinds of yoga, which can be practiced on one’s own, Kundalini yoga should be practiced under the guidance of an experienced yogi.   

How Popular is Kundalini Today?

Though it’s been available since the tail end of the 60s, Kundalini has (understandably) not been as accessible as other forms of yoga. This is for several reasons, one of the first being the need for guides. As more yogis have trained in Kundalini yoga, there are more teachers available, and the practice has grown in popularity.

There are reports, for example, of celebrities like Russell Brand, Madonna, and Jennifer Aniston practicing Kundalini yoga.

What Are the Benefits of Kundalini Yoga?

women performing yoga

Practicers of Kundalini yoga enjoy many of yoga’s benefits, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved athletic and mental performance
  • Lowered inflammation
  • Increased flexibility (so you’re less prone to injury)
  • A better night’s sleep
  • A better metabolism
  • Decreased anxiety
  • And much, much more!

However, Kundalini yoga practitioners can enjoy even more benefits, in addition to the ones we’ve already listed. Yoga experts point to what the ancients and today’s scientists understand about stress–it causes us harm.

This week alone, for example, you will encounter more information than your relatives did in the course of their whole lives just a hundred years ago. You encounter it in the form of emails, text messages, the news, advertisements, social media, and so much more, and while it can be wildly helpful, most of us don’t have the tools to handle it all and end up sick, overweight, diseased, and exhausted.

Kundalini yoga, however, can help create a “buffer zone” that protects your mind and body from information overload. Not only does it help to rebuild your body as you stretch and strengthen yourself physically, but it helps you achieve better mental clarity. Plus, as yoga experts love to point out, it’s fun, and it feels great!

How Do You Practice Kundalini Yoga?

woman doing yoga on top of building

One of the most powerful tenants of Kundalini yoga involves mantras. Bhajan, the yogi who brought Kundalini yoga to the states, believed that mantras, as sound, created energy that has a direct impact on chakras and humans in general.

The Power of Mantra

Because everything in our universe is in constant motion (that is, it’s all comprised of energy), creating sound energy at certain, careful vibrations cause other things in the universe to come closer or go farther away. This is, in part, how individuals can release anger and bring spiritual knowledge to them.

There are many mantras that are used in a variety of ways. Most often, they are recited in Gurmukhi, an Indian dialect that is considered sacred. It’s very important that pronunciation is performed just right, which is why it’s so important to practice with a teacher. You can, however, find recordings of the mantras available online in the proper vibrations.

Here are a few commonly used mantras. Keep in mind; you don’t have to understand each word to recite and benefit from them–thought deeper understanding is certainly helpful!

  • Sat nam (“truth is my identity”–also used as a greeting)
  • Happy am I, healthy am I, holy am I (this is one of Bhajan’s core mantras)
  • Wahe guru (“Wow! The divine inner teacher, the dispeller of darkness, is beyond description!”)

(You can find these and many other mantras listed here).

The Power of Asanas

Kundalini yoga poses are known as asanas and are usually the same as hatha yoga poses. So, if you’re familiar with downward dog and child’s pose, you’ll be familiar with Kundalini asanas!  

A sequence of Kundalini asanas is called a kriya, and Kundalini uses specific kriyas in partnership with meditation and the mantras we’ve already explained. These kriyas and asanas have many goals, among them:

  • Increasing circulation and muscle strength
  • Establishing a link between the body and mind and unbinding emotional blocks
  • Opening a pathway between energy meridians
  • Self-diagnosing conditions of your body, glands, or emotions

Like many other yoga practices, Kundalini yoga can feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. When it does, you should work with your yogi to work your way through the pose till you began to feel better. This natural, better feeling is an indication that the asana has begun to do its work in you!

Kundalini Yoga as a Lifestyle

Kundalini yogis are careful to explain the Kundalini is not a religion; it is, however, a lifestyle and has tenants that impact everything we do! To practice Kundalini yoga in its entirety and reap its full benefits, here are some other practices to follow:

1. Create a Healthful Daily Routine

Daily habits have a tremendous impact on our lives and spirituality, as well as our health. Bhajan taught his followers to take great care in their daily practices. Taking cold showers in the morning, for example, revitalizes the entire body, increasing your energy and bringing your chakras into balance.

Other daily habits include brushing your teeth and clearing your “monkey glands” daily, preparing for sleep so that it is a healthful process, wearing white, caring for hair to promote better energy, and covering your head.

2. Practice Conscious Eating 

Yogis believe that you are what you eat, and Bhajan encouraged Kundalini yoga followers to reject meat and eggs, and instead consumer lots of fresh, healthy vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and dairy products.

Conscious eating is more than just being careful about what you consume; it’s important to be careful about how it is consumed. Bhajan taught his followers not to gulp their food, but to savor and enjoy each bite. Even food preparation should be done carefully and consciously!

These aren’t the only practices included in a true Kundalini yoga practice, but they’re an excellent start. A trusted yogi can guide you further down the path to increase your health and wellness.

How to Get Started in Kundalini Yoga

woman bowing

Whether you’re simply interested in trying out Kundalini yoga, or you’re already convinced it will change your life, the best way to get started is by finding a local Kundalini community, studio, or yogi in your area. There, you’ll be welcomed and invited into the rich Kundalini lifestyle. Sat nam!