Resiliency And The Brain Protein That Helps You Bounce Back From Stress

I often get asked why some people are more resilient and handle stress more easily and readily than other people do.  Many people know that one friend that seems to be able to take on the world, scrimp on sleep and seems to bounce back instantly from a stressful event like my favorite character in Empire Records who was sickening perfect until you find out that she’s actually a speed freak!
While most of us struggle with keeping stress at bay and maintaining balance even when we are ‘doing everything right’, many people also ask if there is a way to become more resilient and better at coping with stress on a brain level? The answer (thankfully) is Yes!

What is Resiliency?

Before we can understand why some people are more resilient than others, we have to know what ‘resiliency’ actually means.  Resilience is how well you can properly adapt or change in the face of stress and adversity. It is how well your brain and body are able to bounce back from difficulties, everyday stresses and annoyances that build up over time and start to ‘bog us down.’  
Because modern life is filled with these constant low grade stresses and our brains are constantly ‘on’ and connected to email, social media and work, it is more important than ever to be able to adapt to stress.
Good resiliency is protective against major depression and burnout syndrome which is a growing problem in all western countries and affects not just job performance but also overall life satisfaction and health.  Burnout Syndrome is the number one issue I see my corporate clients facing that can threaten their careers, health and happiness.

New Research on the Resiliency Brain Protein

Luckily, research has proven than we all have a resiliency factor built into our brains and we all have the ability to adapt to life’s stresses.  Being resilient doesn’t mean that you never get sad or experience life’s ups and downs but resilience does give you the capacity to recover from the lows and reclaim your zest for life without falling prey to depression, fatigue, insomnia and constantly feeling overwhelmed.  Some of us are naturally more resilient while others have to ‘work harder’ at bouncing back from stress.

The Brain Protein That Protects Against Stress

A new study published in the journal Nature may explain why and it has to do with a single protein called beta catenin in the brain that determines how well your brain copes with stress.   It may be the protein in the brain behind the ‘bounce back’ factor and it is called B-catenin. Researchers have now shown that levels of this protein in the brains’ reward centre called the Nucleus Accumbens, can predict how resilient a person is to stress.  

Beta Catenin and Resliency to Stress and Depression

The researchers are working on the beta catenin protein in mice at the moment.  They found that the mice with lots of active Beta catenin in the Nucleus Accumbens were protected from stress but that those with low levels of beta catenin not only got stressed more but started to show signs of depression after exposure to chronic stress.  
What’s more, they found that by blocking the beta catenin protein, perfecty well adapted happy mice became depressed and when they turned this protein on in mice who were lacking it, they went from depressed to normal and able to handle stress and adapt properly.
We now need more studies in humans so we can see what this means for us and whether this protein can be used to treat and even prevent depression and poor ‘resiliency’ to stress in humans, so depression never  ’takes hold’ in the brain to begin with in those people who are high risk.  

How to Make Your Brain More Resilient

While more research is still needed on how much beta catenin will play a role in helping humans become more resilient, there are 3 simple ways you can become more resilient to stress by building ‘resiliency’ neural networks or positive ‘brain patterns’ by using these 3 simple steps:
  1. Get 30 minutes more sleep before midnight.  Lack of sleep is one of the biggest factors that affects your brain’s ability to adapt to stress and therefore your resiliency levels and just catching up on sleep debt by sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t work to restore the brains ‘sleep debt’ effectively
  2. Practice activating your Brain’s Relaxation Response for 10 minutes each day.  Your brain’s inbuilt resiliency mechanism is called the relaxation response, discovered by harvard doctor and researcher Dr. Herbert Benson (link to benson tech).  The easiest ways to activate it are with simple relaxation techniques or breathing exercises.
  3. Start meditating for just 10 minutes a day.  It changes your brain profoundly on an MRI in only 8 weeks for total beginners, especially the frontal brain regions (like the prefrontal cortex or pfc) key for improving resiliency, and emotional regulation called the prefrontal cortex. References here and here.
Just committing to even one of these steps will lead to a happier, calmer and more resilient you.

Stress Symptoms In Women: How To Stop Running On Empty & Relying On Caffeine To Deal With Stress

One of the biggest issues I have found working with high achieving women that effects their health and happiness is what I call ‘Running on Empty.’ This is one of the biggest signs and symptoms of stress in women.   
Now, modern women have to juggle jobs, home life, usually have the lions share of house keeping responsibilities, and that is even without adding kids into the mix!  And the good thing is that there is so much about women’s empowerment out there now telling us ‘you can do it all, you can have it all,’ that a lot of women feel the pressure to keep it all up and make it look easy!
But when we feel pulled in a million directions, overwhelmed and not having enough hours in the day to get everything done, we start using up our ‘resiliency stores.’ both mentally and in the brain, and physically in our bodies.  One of the main issues that happens in the brain and body is that there is not enough energy being produced in your little energy cell powerhouses called your mitochondria.  And because there just isn’t enough ‘juice’ in the tank, you have to do something to keep going!  
The most common solution is using caffeine every day or most days to get going in the morning, temporarily get rid of ‘fuzzy brain’ so you can get more done in less time, and still have the energy to go to the gym after a hectic work day when all you want to do is ‘zone out.’ The trouble is, if your brain is trying to deal with low grade chronic stress and daily caffeine is onboard, it can really wreak some havoc on your mood, how much patience you have, feeling anxious, and waking up in the middle of the night or having trouble falling asleep, even if you only drink a coffee in the morning!  
If you are a smoker, the half-life of caffeine in the body and brain is cut in half, but if you are a non smoker on a birth control pill, the half life is double—meaning it takes your brain and body twice as long to get rid of the caffeine!!! So you may still have effects at bedtime from your morning cup of coffee—crazy right!?
Caffeine produces a central brain and nervous system stimulant affect by blocking something called adenosine receptors.  Basically, what caffeine does is increases the excitatory brain neurotransmitters and ’speeds everything up’ and also releases more NE and dopamine, which is why caffeine feels so good, because dopamine is your brain’s ‘reward’ peptide.
But this is also why caffeine in an already ‘revved up’ too excited all the time brain on the way to burnout is a really bad idea—because your brain and body can only keep this up for so long before living in a ‘hyper-aroused state’ leads to issues like anxiety, irritability, issues concentrating, mood swings and eventually fatigue that is only relieved by more caffeine!  
In this hyper aroused always ‘on state’ your body also pumps out more stress hormone from your adrenal glands, which makes you crave carbs and also makes your brain really crave quick fuel from carbs AND not burn fats quite as well, leading to you holding onto every ounce of fat for dear life and creating more ‘metabolically active’ fat around your tummy and middle bit.
OK, so we can now see the connection between juggling a hectic busy life, needing caffeine to keep going, and issues leading to anxiety and burnout BUT now what you can do to stop this viscous cycle ?  
Well the first step is weaning off of caffeine, slowly, over 2-4 weeks so you don’t get the energy crash and the headaches!  Decrease by about a 1/4 cup of coffee each day.  To make it even more painless, I use something with my patients called adaptogens, which are special compounds plants make in nature to protect themselves from stress and they can work for us too.  
I use my blend which is a combination of corydceps and reishi mushroom in a tincture taken in the morning for the weeks when you are weaning off to give you energy without the jitteriness and crashes that caffeine gives you and provide stress support your body and adrenal glands.  You can also find adaptogen supplements in pill form at many good quality natural pharmacies and health stores.  

Caffeine Overdose, Addiction & Coffee and Stress: How Much Is Too Much?

Let me me start by telling you one of my secrets: I love great coffee.  And I split my time between two amazing ‘coffee culture ‘ place of Vancouver Canada and Bali. 
But here’s the thing, I am ALSO pretty darn caffeine sensitive, so that means I have to drastically limit my coffee intake, especially in Bali where decaf is near impossible to find! 
Everyone has a different caffeine ‘threshold’ to what they can consume without it sneakily sabotaging sleep and mood and leading to feeling anxious or irritable. 
And these effects can really sneak up on you so that it’s easy to justify continuing to drink coffee because it’s not super clear cut.
Caffeine has been proven to decrease brain blood flow in normal people, when they consume about 2 cups of coffee worth of caffeine.  
Caffeine has also been proven now in multiple studies to increase ‘state anxiety’ that is, feeling anxious in ‘normal’ people who don’t have any panic or anxiety disorders.  Another study found that caffeine increased anxiety, depression and hostility traits one hour after consuming it even in small amounts!
The good news is that if you overindulge in a few too many cups of coffee, and you are like OMG I just OD on coffee!! and feel anxious or jittery, a recent study showed that cardio exercise can help get rid of those caffeine jitters in a snap!  I’ve definitely made use of this trick myself;)
When I work with my clients, most of who are busy professionals dealing with stress in their lives, I look for few key markers that they should go on a 4 week ‘caffeine holiday’ to hit the ‘reset button’ and feel calmer, happier and actually by the end of four weeks—many feel more productive, patient and creative too!  I limit myself to MAX one cup of coffee /day and not every day and I take at least 2 month long caffeine holidays each year to reset, and always feel amazing afterwards!
So, here are the things to check to see if you need a caffeine holiday:
You feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed more than once/week 
You have fragmented sleep, that is, waking up in middle of night or difficulty falling asleep more than once a week
You are too tired to work out or socialize after work if you don’t have at least one cup of coffee/day
You have a headache and brain fog if you don’t start your day with a cup of coffee
You are having a hard time concentrating and feel like it’s hard to sit still at work and focus for more than 20 minutes on a task
So if you said yes to any of those, then you may be ready for a caffeine free month!  If you drink lots of coffee or caffeine, gently decrease your coffee consumption by a bit each day over a few weeks time to avoid caffeine crashes.

How to Improve the Immune System by Eliminating Toxic Thoughts

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Toxic Thoughts Negatively Impact the Immune System

Today I’m going to tell you how to improve the immune system by eliminating toxic thoughts throughout your day. Toxic thoughts, negative emotions, worry and negative self talk actually impacts how your immune cells talk to each other. It also directly impacts how well they can fight off invaders like viruses that cause colds and flus. It is often hard to believe that something so seemingly unrelated as negative self-talk, negative thoughts or worries could harm your immune system. No one talks about it when you go to the doctor. The fact is it can actually make you physically ill and the research proves it. This is because worry, negative thinking spirals and fear based thinking actually changes your brain. It activates brain stress loops in areas like the amygdala. The brain then sends signals to the immune system that weaken your immune cells.

 Step 1: Acknowledge You Have An Issue

To stop this vicious cycle the first step is to acknowledge that it is an issue for you. Once you have accepted this link, you can convince your brain to take action to stop it! The next step is start making time each day for a guided relaxation practice focusing on immunity. Something called Yoga Nidra is a great tool to help you do this. Yoga Nidra is a powerful way of training the brains relaxation response out of worry loops. It also helps strengthen positive neural networks instead.

Step 2: Schedule 15 Mins a Day For Relaxing Meditation

Scheduling in 15 minutes each day, after dinner in the evenings for Listening to a Yoga Nidra recording in a quiet calm space in your home is a really powerful way to start working on the subconscious toxic thought patterns that can sabotage you secretly. I do this myself why I do my evening yoga practice and it works wonders!

Want to know how to transform your life and start feeling amazing? Go to to download my free book now!

YOU CAN overcome the health issues that are holding you back from the freedom of feeling amazing every day.

How to Boost Your Immune System By Sleeping Better

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The Truth About Sleep Dysfunction

Bolstering your immune system especially when the seasons change is one of the most important things you can do to avoid getting cold and after cold and having them hang around for weeks! The key to avoiding bad health this winter, without spending any extra cash is… sleep! Every person that I see as a client and patient has had some level of sleep dysfunction and most of them were not even aware of it. Even more surprising to most people is that getting not just enough sleep but also the right KIND of sleep is the single most important thing you can do for your immunity and your immune system. It is more important than any supplement or superfood and it’s free!

Sleep and The Immune System

Here are the facts about sleep, based on research, that are hard to believe and most doctors won’t talk to you about it. Most people do NOT get enough good quality sleep and this directly hurts your immune system. Most people need to have 9-10 hours of time spent in bed to get at least 8 hours of high quality sleep and 90% of my clients and patients when they first come to me are not getting anywhere NEAR this amount! In multiple studies, immune factors such as the interleukins, regulate sleep and in turn are altered by sleep deprivation. Even a small level of sleep debt can cause immune dysfunction.

Are You Sleeping Enough?

Many people are completely unaware that they are not sleeping well, or enough, and subconscious patterns of stress and anxiety prevent getting a good sleep without people even realizing it. In one study looking at the relationship between sleep, mental stress and not being able to shut off thoughts at night and immune function; decreased REM sleep and episodes of waking-up were associated with lower natural killer cell counts, one of the most important cells in the immune system to fight viruses and prevent cancer.

So to avoid getting sick with colds or the flu this winter make sure you are getting the right amount of quality sleep every night. Read my post from last week to learn more about the damaging effects of sleep debt and why it is so important to prioritize getting good sleep!

Click here to try my Natural Sleep Program for free!

The #1 Technique for Creative Thinking – Dr Dani’s Creativity Skills


In this video, I’m going to bust the biggest myths about creativity and tell you why you have the innate ability to be creative and use it to help you in business, in your personal life and in creating more happiness in your life in general! Plus, I’ll tell you one simple technique to boost your creative thinking.



What Is Creativity?

So what is creativity anyways, when people say wow that person is a creative genius! what do they mean?

Creativity is the ability to create something novel, something new, that has to be original and unexpected.  It also has to be valuable in some way, if not to everyone, at least to a certain group of people.  It also has to avoid stereotyped ideas, or if it’s something that solves a problem, it must avoid stereotyped solutions because then it isn’t novel and original!

Creativity is also about solving a problem or creating something new and unexpected within believed or perceived constraints. It’s not just for artists and writers.  In fact the ability to think creatively is essential for best success in business, especially if you are an entrepreneur. It is also key to helping you keep healthy relationships because if you can brainstorm creatively to solve problems in your personal life too, there will be less friction and stress and you will ultimately be happier!

The Brain Science Behind Creativity

So, back to the brain science behind creativity.  Scientists used to believe that creativity was an individual difference, like hair color: some people were born more creative, just like some people are born with brown hair.  However, now we understand through modern brain imaging that during creative states, creativity is actually a brief state and it can happen in everyone given the right tools, situation and environment.

So that means we are ALL creative but most of us don’t access that state on a regular basis, due to being stuck in the linear thinking process of busy, stressful modern life. In fact, the biggest creativity killer is low grade chronic stress and being over scheduled. A stressed brain is NOT a creative brain, the two brain states are incompatible because different brain areas get lit up under chronic stress vs. creative states.

Technique For Creative Thinking: Yoga Nidra

So the most important first step to getting more creative is carving out 10-20 minutes a day for a brain relaxation practice to start training your brain out of stress overload mode and into a state compatible with creativity.  It really helps if this practice involves imagery and body relaxation together and for this reason, Yoga Nidra audio recordings are the best and easiest tool to help you get there.

Yoga nidra is a special practice from India that combines relaxation, positive suggestion and imagery and can be done by listening to a recording in a quiet relaxed place each day.  The bonus to doing this each day is not only will you feel more creative, you’ll also start to sleep better and have more energy during the day to cope with stresses that do pop up so they don’t derail your day!

I’ll be giving a talk all about creativity and the brain at Hubud Co-working Space in Bali, Indonesia THIS THURSDAY 12-1pm. Those in attendance will get the chance to sign up for a MASSIVELY discounted Brain Mapping session at Yoga Brain Lab HQ for a chance to understand creativity levels in your own brain!

Mindfulness Meditation: ‘Name it To Tame it’

Mindfulness, being ‘present’ not getting ‘attached’ –these are common phrases we now hear on a daily basis but what do they really mean??  And  how do you get to become more mindful exactly and most importantly, why should you devote effort into trying?

Mindfulness and your brain

Mindfulness meditation is just a technique to help train your brain to do what you want it to do, and avoid getting stuck in the habitual patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours that aren’t all that helpful for you, and in some cases are very harmful.

One example is if you suffer from panic attacks, if you can learn and start practicing a specific technique to help recognize the very first signs of when your body is starting to go down that path (these signs are so early and you probably don’t even know what they are without some exploration!) you can use the technique to activate different brain centres, shut off the panic and anxiety brain circuit in your limbic system and amygdala, and avoid the panic attack completely.

So what is the magical technique?  Well, there’s not just one but many!  A very good one to start with can be found here.

After you’ve done that for a week or two every day, you can start to add on a new layer to your meditation to start training your brain out of those limbic and amygdala ‘fight or flight’ loops.  Dr. Daniel Friedland talks about this technique that he calls’ recognizing  your reactivity’  and then the ‘Name it to Tame it’ technique.

Name It To Tame It

What this involves is uncovering what physical sensations in your body, feelings and emotions and thoughts that happen when you are facing a really stressful situation.  You may think you know what these are, but I can guarantee you there’s some subtle ones you are likely missing.

Let’s find them together now so you can start to recognize the first signs of your body and brain going down that ‘fight or flight’ path and into your stress circuits in the limbic system with this brief exercise:

Close your eyes and imagine in vivid detail a recent highly stressful situation that you can easily recall.  Set the scene: where was it, who was there, what were you wearing, AND most importantly, go through and do a body scan of all of the physical body sensations you had in those moments.  Here are some examples of common ones:

  • Physical Sensations of Stress:
  • Tightness or tension in chest, shoulders, neck or lower back
  • jaw clenching
  • fatigue
  • lump in throat
  • dizziness
  • sweaty hands
  • feeling cold
  • feeling hot
  • feeling heart racing
  • Hearing blood rushing or ringing in ears
  • Tingling in feet or hands
  • can’t catch your breath
  • feeling like your ribcage is restricting your breathing

Emotions and Thoughts

Ok, next recall what types of thoughts and emotions you had in those stressful moments.  Some common normal emotions we have come in when we are experiencing stress include: anger, resentment, fear, sadness, feeling alone, feeling panicky, or feeling the need to escape.

Some common thoughts are: blaming yourself or others, feeling that you not good enough, feeling like a failure, thinking that others are judging you, etc.

Once you have identified what physical sensations, emotions and thoughts you experience when you encounter stress, you can practice a mindfulness technique called ‘Name it to Tame it.’  This means that once you recognize what stress FEELS like in your body, when it get’s going, you can say in your head i.e. name, the emotions, thoughts and sensations that you are experiencing.

For example, saying mentally,  “I’m feeling angry” or “I have tension in my shoulderblades.”  When you ‘Name it’ You actually activate competing brain circuits to the fight or flight & anxiety loops, so it will instantly take the edge off of your feelings of stress.

So now you have 2 mindfulness practices to start using to decrease your reactivity to stress, decrease anxiety and stress hormones, and start to understand your body’s ‘warning signs’ that it’s going down that fight or flight path so you can ‘reset’ your course!

Sometimes when the stress circuits in our brain are very strong, from years of chronic unrecognized stress, it takes more than this to really get out of those destructive loops.  In upcoming posts, we’ll be digging deeper how to do this  so you can build on what I’m teaching you each week to retrain your brain and gain control over your responses to stress!


Yoga For Anxiety Research Proves Yoga Really Works to Heal from Anxiety & Sleep Issues!

Yoga has origins in Ancient India and is more than just gymnastics or poses-it’s also about controlled breathing called pranayama, deep relaxation and meditation and something known as yoga nidra, which is basically the original hypnotherapy.

Modern Research Supporting Yoga For Mood Issues

Modern medical research studies are now suggesting that yoga has similar effects to the best conventional combined treatment for mood issues, sleep problems, anxiety and for improving attention and concentration–so it’s potentially as good as the best pills out there for these problems without all the side effects.

yoga and anxiety 2

This really cool study has a diagram .  I have to share because it’s so revolutionary that now we can find stuff like this in bona fide medical journals, this one is called Frontiers in Psychiatry–it looks at all the newest stuff coming out about mental health.

Ok, so Some of the effects of Yoga in this picture are things like reversing HPA axis hyperactivity, which I talk about ALOT in all of our programs as a main cause of sleep problems, anxiety, IBS, and even weight issues.  It decreases cortisol and other stress hormones, actually CHANGES what peptides get made in your brain–like increasing your happy hormone serotonin amoung others.  Yoga also can even increase this really cool thing called brain neurotrophic factors, which helps you make new brain cells–so it makes you smarter–it enhances something called neurogenesis–pretty cool!!

It also boosts how well your immune cells function and increases how well your brain is able to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Yoga IS Medicine…..

OK wow!!  So yoga is actually MEDICINE!!!!!  is what we are saying.  And as an integrative medicine doc that is music to my ears!!  I have a pretty serious practice, get up every morning to do at least a half hour, usually an hour of yoga and then usually another short session in the evenings after work because I’m total proof that it works, makes you look and feel younger without spending any money on creams, scary needles or fancy supplements!

Yoga For Insomnia

In the sleep studies, people with severe sleep problems who did yoga for 6 months were sleeping well at the end of the study, had more energy during the day, no longer felt depressed and felt over just better.  Often these are people who have tried the all the pills that doctors usually give for sleep problems with little improvement or intolerable side effects!

So My message to you is this: As a doctor and a yogi, one of the best things you can do to help with sleep problems, stress, feeling tired or feeling anxious is to start making an appointment with yourself for 20 minutes each morning to do yoga.

Yoga is powerful medicine, but it’s not ‘fast food medicine’–meaning it’s gonna take some time, but you will get better from these problems I’ve been talking about if you just do yoga.  Everyone gets better with you who suffers with these problems.  T

How To Yoga At Home…

To get started at home, please check out our full length Yoga for Beginners video today and leave me your questions and comments so you can get the most out of the video and start feeling amazing!!

Yours In health,

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Brain Benefits Of Practicing Mindfulness Meditation

My fiance Nick and I are practicing some new mindfulness techniques and have decided to devote an entire afternoon every week for the next 10 weeks to developing our Mindfulness Meditation Practice.

We both have a regular am yoga and meditation practice, but we’re taking it one step further and delving into the science behind each specific technique, i.e. the latest studies on practicing meditation techniques for health benefits and for changing your brain, and we’re going to be trialling these different techniques and then sharing them along the way with you so you can follow along at home too if you choose!

How Practicing Mindfulness Meditation Changes Your Brain…..

The coolest part is, that in as little as 11 hours of mindfulness practices, (and this includes a wide array of practices that take just a few minutes each day), your brain structure and anatomy starts to CHANGE-and the areas that make you resilient to anxiety and stress start to light up like a Christmas tree, like an area of the brain called the cingulate gyrus.

In addition to the resilience pathways lighting up and getting bigger, your stress circuits, like those in the limbic system and specifically in your amygdala, will get weaker–a good thing because if these circuits are hard-wired, it makes your brain very susceptible to mood lows, anxiety, sleep problems and the feeling of constantly being stressed out.

Using the science behind these practices to change your brain chemistry and ‘hard circuitry’ so you can actually have control over you mind and body to prevent illness and to help heal from stress related health problems ranging from gut issues to anxiety and depression is the goal of Mindbody Medicine and Integrative medicine–it’s an evidence-based modern approach to the problems that have no magic pill, and that western drug-based approaches along just don’t do a great job at treating.

The best part is that this stuff REALLY works and we now can explain why thanks to functional MRI brain studies using these meditative techniques to change our brains and control our subconscious activities!  Learning how to use these techniques is easy and doesn’t take hours a day, and it’s the way to empower yourself and understand how your brain, mind and body actually works so you can make your brain work for you and not against you!

Mindfulness Meditation And The Relaxation Response

There are many different ways to do a mindfulness practice, all of which activate your Relaxation Response (more on this in a moment), such as focusing on your breath or on a word or phrase and being present of what is going on in the present moment and watching without judgement as your thoughts pass over you.

So this, week, I’m going to be teaching you about one of the Mindfulness practices that I do and teach, and that was pioneered and researched at Harvard University to be a very simple but effective Mindfulness Practice and it’s Called the Benson technique, after it’s creator, Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard U.  It’s a really simple quick way to activate this thing in your body called the Relaxation Response.

The Relaxation Response is an inborn mechanism but most of us have forgotten how to activate these brain circuits to the highly stressful, chaotic, busy and fast-paced modern life, and certain personalities have a harder time than others ‘remembering’ how to activate this circuit because their brains get wired onto the stress pathways in the amygdala (part of the brain that lays down emotional patterns and fear).

These people who have harder wired stress circuits tend to have busy stressful jobs, push themselves hard, can be perfectionists and maybe called ‘type A’ personalities, and they at highest risk for stress related illness like anxiety, poor immunity, weight gain, digestive issues and sleep problems.

Ok so if that sounds familiar, here’s how to start rewiring your brain circuits to get out of those stress loops and tap into your Relaxation Response loops instead!  Set Aside 5-10 minutes twice a day to sit comfortably in a quiet space and practice this technique and start changing your brain!

How To Activate The Relaxation Response

Find a quiet spot, sit comfortably and pick a word: if you are not religious or don’t already meditate, you can use the word ‘one.’  If you have a short prayer or meditation phrase you can use this too;)

Now  breath in through your nose as you expand you belly outward and then your ribcage and then exhale all the air our deflating your ribcage and watch your belly falling as your breath out through your mouth, making your exhale LONGER than your inhale.  On the exhale, repeat your word over in your head.

At first, when you are developing your breathing skills and lung capacity, you can inhale for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 3, but work towards exhaling for a count of 7 over a few weeks to a month, never straining the breath, but focusing on progressively extending your exhale as you say your word.

…..And If You Need Help Relaxing…..

Just sign up for my free mind body medicine course at the bottom of this post!

Can You Do Yoga Inversions During Your Period & Yoga For PMS Cramps

This week’s episode is one for the ladies, because I often get asked these questions- “Dr Dani, can you do yoga inversions during your period?” and “does it help to do yoga for PMS cramps?”. Today in AskDrDani TV we’re talking all about yoga, periods and PMS and whether you should do headstands and inversions on your period (and for you guys out there who has a woman in their life that suffers with PMS–you might want to watch this too!).

Yoga Helps Ease PMS Bloating And Cramping….

If you suffer with PMS emotional ups and downs, energy slumps and then get to look forward to days of cramping and bloating when your friend finally does arrive, this episode is for you because I’m talking about the best yoga for PMS and period pain and whether or not you should do any inversion, or upside down yoga poses just before and while you are on your period.  I’m also giving you your PMS yoga ‘cheat sheet’ below the video to help you out!

I’d love to hear your experiences with doing yoga on your period, or what else you’ve tried to help with PMS and any questions you have yoga-related or otherwise about PMS-just leave a comment below the blog post and I’ll get right back to you!

And if you have yet to test drive the 15 minute yoga for beginners video from last week, wake up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow morning and start your day with this series so you float into the office with a ‘yoga glow’ on Friday!


Yoga For PMS cramps
Yoga For PMS cramps


I really hope this helps you, yoga has made a huge difference to my periods.

Yours In health,

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