Blog post by Teresa Dornellas. Banner photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

Lately, the word “inflammation” has been thrown around frequently. We all keep hearing about foods that cause inflammation, foods that prevent inflammation, anti-inflammatory supplements and so on.

But what the heck is inflammation? The word “inflammation” traces back to the Latin for “set afire.” In some cases, the inflammation can cause heat, swelling, redness and so on.

Growing up, I always thought of it as the result of a wound that doesn’t get treated promptly or properly and it gets inflamed. But I’ve recently discovered that it’s a lot more than that.

According to this article, “inflammation is a process by which your body’s white blood cells and the things they make protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.”

So far, that was my understanding of what inflammation means. However, there’s more: “in some diseases, like arthritis, your body’s defense system — your immune system — triggers inflammation when there are no invaders to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, your immune system acts as if regular tissues are infected or somehow unusual, causing damage.”

And the body can manifest many symptoms of chronic inflammation: muscle pain, join pain, frequent swelling, redness, stiffness, among others.

How to prevent chronic inflammation

The more I look into it, the more information I find. There are so many approaches and so many natural ways to prevent and treat chronic inflammation, but there are a couple of approaches that a lot of natural health enthusiasts seem to agree on.

One of them is the use of turmeric, which I have recently incorporated into my daily supplementation. Turmeric is a flowering plant of the ginger family, grown mostly in tropical Asia. Once its roots are dried and ground, it becomes a bright orange-yellow powder, used as dye (used to color the robes of monks and priests), for cooking (it’s one of the ingredients in curry), and it’s also widely used for its medicinal properties.

Photo by Hamed Taha on Unsplash

The other approach is a clean diet. Last year, a friend of mine introduced me to this anti-inflammatory diet, a 5-day meal plan where you eat super clean, and the food is really tasty to boot. I’ve done it a few times and always feel a lot less bloated when I do it (and I drop a few pounds too!). I actually do it for 7-10 days each time. It’s easy to follow, very healthy and the food is great. My ultimate goal is to follow this meal plan at least 1 week out of each month, and keep clean eating the remaining 3 weeks.

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention regular exercise. Whether you like a mellow routine like gentle Yoga or prefer to break a serious sweat – or anything in between – it’s important to keep moving in ways that sustain your health and support your wellbeing. We offer a wide variety of live fitness classes, which you can take from the safety of your home. Here is our class schedule.

I know that taking care of our health can feel like a full time job – but it’s worth it! After all, we live in our bodies full time.

Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to drop me a note!

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!