Tag Archives: yoga

What Type Of Yoga Is Best For Me?

Have you wondered why there are different forms of yoga? Each one is a match to your kind of personality, physical need and fitness level. Some are gentle yet persuasive while some are rigorous enough for the advanced fitness enthusiasts.

First, know what you want to gain out of yoga. Are you after reducing stress? Do you need to I-dont-have-all-day2strengthen both mind and body? Or are you simply after flexibility as you are already in great shape?

Below are some of the popular yoga forms and how they can help depending on your needs.

  1. Ashtanga and Power Yoga: a challenging form but is great in increasing strength and losing weight.

Ashtanga involves a series of poses that you do nonstop. You learn a special breathing technique so that you are able to keep your mind focused while doing the postures. It teaches you discipline as well.

Power yoga is fitness-based so you can expect it to be vigorous. Some call it “gym yoga” because of its emphasis on flexibility and strength hence its name. It may have been patterned after Ashtanga, it does not follow a strict set of poses. Each session may differ from the other but it is a great way to work out especially if you are the type who easily gets bored of repetitions.

  1. Yin Yoga: a slow-paced form that is great for reducing stress.

If you are typically tired and your mind works nonstop, you will benefit from Yin yoga. It targets your body’s deep connective tissues stimulating them to peacefulness. It helps exercise your bones, joints and ligaments to the maximum.

Yin yoga is suited for all levels since stress knows no beginner or advanced. It can hit anyone.

  1. Hatha Yoga: this gentle form is great for beginners.

This form teaches more of the basic poses than the breathing techniques or exercises. It is mainly the physical form of yoga appropriate for beginners who are being introduced to the benefits of the practice.

  1. Iyengar Yoga: a slow-paced form that is gently suited for beginners

This form is similar to Hatha in gentleness but is more detailed. You may be asked to use some tools like bolster pillows or blocks and belts and other props that may be helpful so that you can do the poses properly.

  1. Bikram or Hot Yoga: advanced style with a higher degree of difficulty; not suited for those with heart diseases or low heat tolerance and pregnant women.

Bikram is known for its healing ability. Each heated class (105 degrees) is 90 minutes where you do a set of 26 consistent postures led by Bikram-trained or affiliated instructors.

Hot yoga is also done in a heated venue but less hotter ( 80-100 degrees). Poses vary depending on the instructor. In any of the two forms, you can expect to have every muscle, tendon, ligament and joint in your body to be fully worked so that you feel a systematic fresh change internally.

Below is a free Yoga workout to get you started!  For more Yoga workouts like this, go to:
http://workoutsondemand.com/workouts_yoga.htm

What Is Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa yoga is just one of dozens of forms of Yoga. Sometimes called Flow Yoga, this workout involves movement which is synchronized to your breath. Vinyasa actually means “breath-synchronized movement” and the workout uses poses that use the power of inhaling and exhaling to enhance the yoga experience.  This kind of exercise is about discipline through Unknownpostures and breathing techniques. For those who wish for maximum relaxation of the mind, body and spirit, I highly recommend Vinyasa yoga.

What makes it interestingly different is how it becomes dance-like with the way the poses flow in a faster manner. The class is lead from pose to pose, inhaling and exhaling, proper breathing a vital part. Vinyasa means “connection” to poses or “asana” in yoga lingo, linking the two together.  Don’t be surprised if the class follows no particular sequencing because the instructor can vary it but within parameters. That variation is what makes it motivating and has made me fall in love with it. Here’s more why I enjoy it:

  • Unlike other traditional yoga forms, Vinyasa offers cardiovascular benefit because of the constant movements and changes of poses.
  • It can provide muscle strength as the poses can be quite challenging.
  • Endurance and flexibility are also improved.
  • Reduces stress levels – a very important factor!
  • It is fun and a very stimulating way to work out.

Another wonderful feature of this form of yoga is the distinctive but diverse routines you can do starting with sun salutations, which are the succession of postures done in fluid motion. It is not only about movement but a lot of stretching too. Depending on the instructor and the level of the workout, the routine can go slow or fast and may have you chanting which makes it all the more excitingly unique. It is also referred to as Power Yoga, Flow Yoga

If you are curious whether or not you can do Vinyasa yoga, my advice is this: know your fitness level first. If you are completely new to working out, try the milder, gentler yoga versions. Don’t worry because there is always one that is suited for different and individual capabilities. Vinyasa has no particular sequence that an instructor observes and you might have a bit of difficulty keeping up but given enough exposure and practice I’m sure you will agree with me that it is definitely worth giving a try.

If you are curious whether or not you can do Vinyasa yoga, my advice is this: know your fitness level first. If you are completely new to working out, try the milder, gentler yoga versions. Don’t worry because there is always one that is suited for different and individual capabilities.

For more on Yoga workout videos, go to:  http://workoutsondemand.com/workouts_yoga.htm

What Is Hatha Yoga?

A union of opposite pairs, a forceful yoga, a routine that requires more physical effort – these are just some of the ways Hatha yoga is described. “Ha” is sun and “tha” is moon that is why it is translated in many different meanings of togetherness to create a balance.

UnknownHatha yoga mainly dwells in “Asanas” (postures) which is a set of physical exercises with two main objectives:

  1. The practice of real meditation – perfecting one posture comfortably in a long period of time. Once perfected, more postures may be practiced so that inner mediation techniques are developed.
  2. The opening of path called nadis – the regular indulgence into Hatha yoga opens the path to bring in health and energy for both the mind and the body.

Mastering the postures, while important, is not the primary intention when indulging in Hatha yoga. However, through perfecting the postures, the ability to achieve strength of concentration and willpower will help open the body channels especially the spine channel to let the free flow of energy. This can be achieved after regularly doing Hatha yoga and the skin, bones and muscles have been aligned, the mind is conditioned, the body is toned and a perfect balance is created with the development of strength and flexibility.

Self-transformation through the unfolding of different Hatha yoga journeys:

  1. Shakti Krama – mostly practiced by Sadhus (holy men), it is a means to increase power.
  2. Siksana Krama – an intensive 2-week practice of asanas.
  3. Shrishti Krama – the stimulation of youthful developments of the physical, spiritual and mental being through improved concentration, flexibility and flow of energy.
  4. Rakshana Krama – yoginis who are active will benefit from this which is good for health maintenance. This practice essentially requires a relaxed state.
  5. Adhyatmika Krama – similar to Rakshana but with a more spiritual benefit leading to a stronger connection between mind and body.
  6. Chikitsa Krama – this is a healing yoga practice developed through recovered physical, spiritual and emotional balance.

I have experienced how Hatha yoga helps in self-transformation. The benefit you get out of each journey is worth each moment spent on every practice. To maximize all benefits in one, there are yoga classes that combine all 6 journeys.

Hatha Yoga in Today’s World

A yoga class that often deals with the basic and gentle movements but is without flows between poses is described as Hatha. It may be the perfect introduction to poses for beginners who are learning different techniques for relaxation through breathing exercises, slow-paced stretching and meditations. But will it work for you too? Here’s my take on it. I love the relaxed feeling I get from each session. It is slow yet very meditative and effectively prepares me completely from head to food, inside and out. If you want the same, I suggest you give it a try.

Below is a short 10-minute Yoga exercise video.  For more Yoga workouts like this, go to: http://workoutsondemand.com/workouts_yoga.htm

What is Meditation? And How Can it Help Me?

I have been in the business of being physically fit long enough to realize that it means more than the physical structure. Being fit has to be mind, body and soul. It is how I stay enthusiastically inspired, happy and content while being healthy at the same time. This is what I want every woman to have. Working out, following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep are allI-dont-have-all-day2 good but then other factors can still get the better of you and stress you out. This is where meditation can help.

What is meditation?

If I told you that meditation can help lower your blood pressure, give you better perspective about things, make you happier and give you other health benefits, wouldn’t you be interested? That is exactly how I became interested too and all these benefits are backed by studies about meditation.

Meditation is a mind prescription that helps balance and harmonize things; a form of relaxation and stress reduction tool and has been practiced for many, many years now. Originally meant to understand the spiritual and sacred aspects of life, the way it leads to an enhanced physical state and emotional comfort took it to a higher level.

How does meditation help?

We all do our best to live a well-managed life but there are just so many outside factors that can negatively affect us. This sometimes makes us feel bad-tempered with so much going on in our head. When I feel like my thoughts are in a jumble, I meditate. How it helps me focus my attention so that I am able to get rid of the things that crowd my mind and other benefits of mediation is what I wish to share.

  • It boosts both the emotions and physical health to allow a better sense of balance, calm and peace.
  • With enhanced mental and emotion well-being, the body responds positively improving certain medical conditions.
  • It helps you manage information overload so that you can have a better and quicker understanding of things.
  • It can increase self-awareness, make you more focused and help build your emotional war skills – all these can help reduce negative feelings that contribute to making stress and certain illnesses worse than they really are.

Some experts still feel there is a need to substantiate meditation’s health benefits. But that does not eliminate the fact that studies have established how people who meditate were found to better manage anxiety issues, depression, sleep problems and stress. All these conditions, if not kept under control may contribute to the worsening of some health conditions. In the same way that some cases may worsen with too much mental contemplation. I don’t recommend meditation as a traditional medical treatment alternative. From experience, I know it has its benefits but I suggest you discuss the possibilities with your doctor. Because if stress, anxiety and worries have you tensed and can’t find inner peace, meditation may yet be your inexpensive way to address such a situation.

Top Six Reasons You Should Stretch

In my experience as a physical fitness buff, I have seen how people tend to forget to stretch. Perhaps that’s because there is not enough certainty of its benefits since they aren’t evident. Unlike when you run, you see the pounds going or when you lift weights, you see the bulks developing. But let me reiterate that stretching, like your regular exercise, is an important part of a fitness journey.

Stretching does not benefit the body only but the mind as well. That is why yoga or pilates are funnydogpicturesimportantstretch_thumbvery effective in giving that soothing, calming effect, physically and mentally. Both involve a lot of stretching, don’t they? Each session is a tension-release moment and that’s just a fraction of the benefits of stretching.

Let me go on then and share with you the top 6 reasons why you should stretch.

  1. Trains the body to deal with pain.

Exercising exposes your muscles to different aches and pain. Stretching allows good flow of blood where it is badly needed, providing enough oxygen so that you are able to bear with muscle soreness.

  1. Promotes faster healing.

Have you heard of muscle fever or DOMS (delayed onset muscle syndrome)? It is a common experience following a strenuous physical activity. When muscles are exerted, toxins are produced. Stretching moves these toxins towards the bloodstream to be crashed and eliminated helping the body to recover faster.

  1. Defense against injuries.

Stretching after an exercise makes your body flexible. Flexibility readies you better for the next workout schedule keeping you free of injury and other accidental wear and tear of ligaments.

  1. Helps strengthen and extend muscles.

This is another valid reason why I encourage you to stretch. You see those well-developed muscles that look kind of stunted? That’s because they don’t get regular stretching. When you stretch, you achieve toned muscles that don’t look underdeveloped.

  1. Gives a calming effect.

I just can’t get enough of how soothed I feel after a good stretch – body and mind! Give it a try and you will certainly know what I mean.

  1. Improves overall well-being.

Stretching lowers your risk of falling because of improved posture, balance and coordination. As someone who is so into workouts, I certainly know how the lower back is pained by stiff and tight glutes, hamstrings and hip muscles but stretching eases the pain away. On top of it all, I have learned from studies how stretching can help improve blood pressure because of improved artery function.

Considering all these benefits isn’t it about time you too did stretching? You’ve got nothing to lose but a lot to gain.

Pilates or Yoga? What is Best For Me?

I know Yoga has always been popular but let me tell you that Pilates is fast becoming a trend that even celebrities are so into it. Both gentle exercise forms offer great benefits but if you are confused as to which of them is best for you, it depends on what you want to achieve.

Allow me to shed some light on their distinction because while they both help you build strength and give you flexibility, they differ physically and philosophically.

Yoga

  • It is the movement of energy through the body. You feel more of life the more energy you let freely flow within.
  • It is a controlled strengthening and stretching of the body that makes the body become yoga-pants-created-on-the-eighth-daystrong yet supple.
  • Worry, nervousness, stress and other physical tension may obstruct that flow of energy and may negatively affect some body parts.

As an old Eastern form of meditation, the physical postures along with proper breathing are the calming effects of yoga. As you learn to control breathing and hold challenging poses at the same time, yoga enables you to become aware of your overall physical being and attain inner and outer balance.

Pilatesimages

  • It is predominantly about physical conditioning that is unique in its ways.
  • The movements originated from what is often overlooked when exercising – the core muscles around the spine and those deep within the abdomen. Beginners of this exercise form are trained to isolate these muscles so that they are effectively taken on.
  • It is highly effective in improving body awareness and posture while promoting polished, fluid movements.
  • It allows muscle development without the pronounced bulk.

Joseph Pilates is the father of this form of exercise. He developed it as a means to help injured WWII soldiers recover. Because of its nature, explicit Pilates exercise tools such as mats are required. Compared to yoga, Pilates is more like weight training because it strengthens and develops lean muscles minus the bulkiness.

I can tell you that both exercises come with many benefits but then again, it depends on your goal to know which is best for you. If you want to tone your muscles to improve the way you look and carry yourself, then Pilates it is. If what you seek is rejuvenation of both mind and body, my recommendation for you is yoga.

There is no right or wrong choice because how the exercises affect you may also be affected by the kind of conditioning your body needs. The best thing to do is to try variation so that you get to experience and feel what it is that will work for you best.