Muscle soreness and working out

2016Mar10_WomensFitness_ADoubling as a badge of honor, soreness is physical proof that you really pushed yourself and got out of bed for a workout. It might be normal for newbies to experience soreness after their first trip to the gym but for veterans that swear by the “no pain, no gain” mindset might want to reconsider.

That’s because muscle soreness actually stems from microscopic muscle damage. This means the muscle needs to recover before it can at optimal capacity. Working out while sore also increases your susceptibility to tears and serious tissue damage. Put down your gym bag and sneakers if you are experiencing any one of these seven signs:

Getting out of bed becomes extra hard

Not that getting out of bed is easy to begin with but if you are experiencing extra difficulty to lift yourself out of bed, sit down or stand up after an intense leg workout, you need to take note. This is the body’s way of telling you that it isn’t ready for another workout and needs more rest and some stretching.

Dreading the stairs

If you find that getting through a flight of stairs becomes nearly impossible, cool it. This normally occurs when you devote too much attention to your gams and forget that other muscles exist. Speed up the recovery process by trying a low-intensity, low-impact workout like walking or using the elliptical. Other options include cycling and swimming.

Pre-workout pain killers

Taking a couple of Advils before exercising to “get through it” simply means your worn out muscles haven’t fully recovered and won’t be recovering since you keep subjecting it to strenuous workouts. Just rest up instead.

Muscle soreness and movement

Your muscles are too sore to work out when the initial stiffness doesn’t subside with gradual movement.

Exceeding the time limit

Muscle soreness doesn’t set up immediately after working out, it reaches its peak approximately 24-48 hours after. But if the soreness still persists after three of four days, you have entered the overly-sore territory. It is best to seek medical attention to make sure that the problem isn’t something too serious.

Sharp, localized bursts of pain

Overall soreness is understandable, but if the soreness focuses in on one particular spot coupled with sharp, deep pain or excessive fatigue, this means you should hold off any exercises involving those muscles. Make sure to go see a doctor to make sure that it isn’t an injury like a muscle strain or tear disguising itself as sore muscles.

Dark urine and swollen muscles

This combination might be indicators of rhabdomyolysis, a rare yet life-threatening condition that stems from a direct or indirect muscle injury. The injury causes muscle death and releases myoglobin and creatine kinase directly into the bloodstream, potentially causing complications such as renal kidney failure.

It might be tempting to hit the gym again despite muscle soreness but it is vital to allow the muscles to properly heal to both maximize function and reduce the chances of injury or disease. For any further questions on identifying or easing muscle soreness, feel free to get in touch with our experts today.

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Three benefits of practicing Acroyoga

Two strong young women demonstrating an acrobatic yoga pose in a yoga studio

Two strong young women demonstrating an acrobatic yoga pose in a yoga studio

This particular discipline of yoga combines traditional yoga poses and flows with basic acrobatic skills to enhance strength and core training. Among the many variations of yoga available today, acroyoga stands out from the rest because it’s a focused and fun way in which you can enhance flexibility, mobility and core strength without having to give in to repetitive sequences and inconsistent levels of workout intensity.

The three primary roles in acroyoga are the base, the flyer and the spotter. The base is the person that lies on the ground to offer the flyer maximum stability and support, the flyer is the individual that is elevated from the ground by the base and moves into a series of movements and positions, and the spotter mainly observes and make suggestions to ensure the flyer lands safely. Besides making more friends, here are three other reasons why you should give acroyoga a try.

Develop core strength

Whether you are a base or a flyer, most of the core activation that is required of you falls in the category of stabilization. In order to hold many acroyoga poses or move through many acroyoga combinations it is necessary to move fluidly from one “tight” stabilized core neutral position to the next. So essentially your spine moves naturally and unloaded through flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral flexion to get to the next stable position with a neutral spine. Think fluid movements to planks in different position with a partner added in the mix.

Calisthenic conditioning

When practicing acroyoga, you’re with a partner, so the focus doesn’t lie solely on just your own body weight but also on the other person’s as well. If you are the base, you must create a strong platform for your partner to move on, for the flyer you must balance and press up from the base without overwhelming the base. Think calisthenics since you’d be holding people up and doing body weight exercises in the process.

It’s all about bench, overhead and leg pressing for the base with an added bonus of carrying a human being with a moving center of gravity. From the flyer’s perspective, think handstands, planches, and planks from various angles – regardless, acroyoga comes with a strength conditioning component that can’t be ignored.

Kinesthetic awareness

One of the hardest aspects of acroyoga is people not knowing where their body is in space. This requires a great deal of emphasis on executing the proper technique – without it, you can end up hurting not only yourself but your partner as well. To prevent injury, you must learn to examine joint alignment, body shape and position. Like weight lifting you won’t be able to achieve optimum results with being in the optimal position. By practicing acroyoga you’d experience what it feels like when joints are properly aligned to evenly distribute weight.

If your current yoga routines aren’t really doing much besides enhancing overall flexibility, you should give acroyoga a try. Not only do you get to defy gravity, core muscles are enhanced, condition overall strength with the calisthenics and become more aware of joint alignment and body position. For further information, take the leap and give us a call, we are more than happy to answer acroyoga-related questions you have.

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What to eat after working out

2016Mar4_DietAndNutrition_ANo matter how long your workout is, eating a proper meal afterward is important. Many say that the body is a temple, yet not too many treat it as such. The key to optimizing each and every workout is to eat a proper meal to help the body recover from strenuous exercise. Make sure the flab is really being fought with the following munching rules.

The 60-minute rule

After a grueling workout, try your best to eat a “recovery” meal no later than 60 minutes after finishing. The sooner you do this, the better. Exercise puts stress on your muscles, joints and bones, and the body uses up nutrients that need replenishment ASAP. Without properly refueling after exercise, the results you’ve worked so hard for will be delayed. It can cause excessive fatigue that could effect your next workout, increasing chances of injury.

Think beyond protein

It’s a fact that protein is a building block for muscles, but an ideal recovery meal should have good fats (needed for muscle and joint recovery) as well as protein. You can kick it up a notch and throw in some starch such as quinoa or sweet potatoes to replenish depleted nutrients and boost post-exercise metabolism.

You are what you eat

The human body is a wonderland that perpetually repairs, heals, and rebuilds itself, and the health of your new cells are determined by what you eat. So even if you are burning a lot of calories, that doesn’t justify two double cheeseburgers and a large order of fries. Opt for cleaner, nutrient-rich foods that help boost cell function which in extension, lessen the chances of premature aging, injury and disease.

Moderate is the new overcompensate

It’s important to not overestimate how much extra food you “earned” from working out, especially if weight loss is one of your goals. Let’s say you burn 500 calories, you mustn’t fall into believing that you can have an extra treat or pay less attention to your fruit portions. This can easily snowball and before you know it, you ate more than you’ve burned off. If you plan on having a meal after working out, put your hands up and step away from the protein bar.

Always rehydrate

If your workouts last longer than 60 minutes, you might need a sports drink as opposed to plain water. These beverages are designed to hydrate while also providing the body with electrolytes (such as potassium for regulating heart rhythm) lost from sweating. For shorter, less-strenuous and climate-controlled workouts, regular drinking water should suffice.

A general rule of thumb is to drink two cups, two hours prior to exercising, and half a cup every 15 minutes during your workouts. Aim for two (16 ounces) cups of water for every pound of body weight lost and don’t forget to monitor the color of your urine. If you are well-hydrated, the color should be pale.

Limit alcohol intake

Alcohol in moderation is fine but before hitting the bars, make sure to eat first as to kickstart the recovery process. Also, be mindful that alcohol intake has been shown to accelerate post-exercise muscle loss by up to 40%. It also potentially interferes with glycogen replenishment. Glycogen is the body’s “piggy banks” for storing energy. Low glycogen levels lead to a drop in energy or endurance for your next workout. Yikes!

With the following tips on how to properly eat after your workout, you can make use of each so you don’t have to live with the guilt of rumbling tummies. If you’re looking for more nutritional information or have any questions, feel free to contact our experts.

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How to shorten your exercise routine

2016Mar2_ExerciseGeneral_AThere’s a lot of time wasted at the gym. When you arrive there after a long day at the office, it’s easy to lollygag as you mentally unwind from the workday. But we all know that fitness isn’t the only important matter you need to attend to. Family, friends, and cooking nutritious meals all take up what precious few moments you have left outside of work. So to help you shorten your workouts and maximize your time at the gym, we’ve come up with some simple tips.

Stop training individual muscle groups separately

While most gym goers like to exercise their biceps, legs, abs and other muscle groups separately, why not opt for a full body workout instead? Simply put, full body workouts save time. Yes, we know it’s more difficult and makes you sweat, but isn’t that the point of exercise? A few full body exercises you can add to your routine are burpees, mountain climbers, and compound lifts like squats and the deadlift that workout two or three different muscle groups at once.

Be aware of the time

If you haven’t clearly defined a time to leave the gym by, you’ll likely end up spending far longer there than necessary. So first decide what time you want to arrive and leave by. Once you’ve done that, then decide on the specific exercises you want to perform, and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete them. Then when you finally make it to the gym, make sure you stick to your plan. You can use a timer or simply watch the clock to ensure you are completing each exercise on (or at least close to) schedule.

Don’t get distracted

Whether you’re oogle-eyeing the local gym hottie, chatting with your buddies, playing on your phone or making excessive trips to the water fountain, distractions aboud at the gym. So to help you stay focused, we’ve come up with three rules you should follow.

  1. Avoid any and all small talk
  2. Fill up a water bottle in advance, so you can skip trips to the drinking fountain
  3. Turn off your phone or, better yet, leave it in the car and use a music only player if you need to work out with tunes

When you combine these three tips with a focus on completing your workout in time, you’ll eliminate most distractions.

Shorten rest periods in between sets

Another key tactic to reduce workout time is to shorten the rest periods between your sets. Because let’s face it, most of us are probably guilty of taking longer rest periods than we should. So how long of a rest period is too long? For lower body exercises, rest for 90 seconds between sets. For your upper body, take 60.

Hold off on the donuts

We know you’re not likely chowing down on Doritos while you’re at the gym; it’s those other 162 hours in your week that we’re concerned about. So if you’re spending more time on the treadmill to offset all the calories you’re eating, then it makes sense to be more conscious of your diet. When you swap the pizza for salad or eat smaller portion sizes, you’ll quickly see for yourself how big of a role your diet plays in your waistline. So next time you’re flirting with a late night date with a tub of ice cream, skip it and you’ll soon be shortening your workouts in no time.

We know you likely have a very busy life outside of the gym. So we hope that these five tips will help you get back to it quicker. If you’d like more ideas to maximize your time at the gym or are ready to sign up for a membership, send us a message now.

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5 ways to cook with almonds

2016Feb23_DietAndNutrition_AConsidered one of nature’s most nutritionally-packed nuts and an original superfood, almonds are filling and can actually help with weight-loss. A recent Penn State study revealed that swapping a carbohydrate-based snack with an ounce and a half of almonds helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, which also reduces both abdominal and leg fat. Another plus is that almonds can be enjoyed “as is”; you can eat a handful of them raw, or add them to some yogurt or atop a salad. So, here are five ways to incorporate almonds into your daily meals and snacks.


Add whole almonds to powerful blenders, chopped ones for smaller blenders, even almond butter if you don’t want to damaging your machine. This helps bring nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet as well as protein. What’s more, the HDL fat in the almonds actually enhances absorption of antioxidants. When it comes to almonds, using a blender can add extra fun as you can play around and pick out your favorite ingredients and flavors. Throw in a scoop of protein powder, a bit of ice, some non-fat milk, a few fruits, add some almonds and blend -you’ve got a tasty, healthy snack.

Protein batter

Instead of smothering your proteins in traditional bread-based batter before frying them, try using almonds as a crust instead. Keep it simple by tossing some crushed almonds or almond flour in a bowl and mixing it with herbs of your choice. Brush the protein with Dijon mustard or dip into a beaten egg, press it into the almond mixture and bake away. Serve it over a bed of steamed greens or with a side of roasted potatoes. Your call!

Crumble topping

Try an alternative version of a crumble topping by mixing two tablespoons of almond butter with a quarter cup of raw almonds. Sprinkle this mixture over freshly-baked desserts or couple it with your favorite fruits (try frozen berries or sauteed pears) for a crunchy combination loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.

Get saucy

Not only can almonds be eaten raw but they can also be added to drinks, so why not make some sauce with them? Take some almond butter and thin it out with some vegetable broth. Season generously with grated garlic, turmeric and crushed red pepper. Drizzle the almond sauce over a serving of sauteed veggies with some lean protein and gluten-free buckwheat soba noodles.

Savory dishes

It seems that almonds can be added to just about anything, savory dishes included. Chopped almonds can be used in stir fry dishes with veggies, wild rice and quinoa to squash, lentil or tomato soup. They also add flavor and texture to chilled greens. So if you plan on making some coleslaw or are wondering what’s missing from your tossed salad, unleash the almonds!

With such versatility and adaptability, almonds can easily work their way into any of your dishes, savory and sweet alike. But if you have any other questions or are in need of more nutritional information, feel free to email or give us a call.

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How yoga can benefit Alzheimer’s

2016Feb22_Yoga_ANerve Growth Factor (NGF) is a key protein that helps diminish neural degradation. People with Alzheimer’s, however, are found to have significantly lower NGF levels causing them to be more vulnerable to the disease. Breakthrough research has revealed that NGF levels can be increased by introducing yoga into your fitness routines. Here are two easy exercises you can practice as a preventative measure.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a condition that normally occurs in older adults. Symptoms include gradual memory loss, confusion and eventually death. Currently there are 3.2 million women in the US with Alzheimer’s. Actually women have a 1 in 6 chance of developing the condition compared with men who have a 1 in 11 chance. As of today, there is no known cure for the disease, but there are measures you can take to help prevent it.

Inhale, exhale

Research reveals that yoga breathing exercises help boost NGF levels, according to a 2015 study published by the Journal of International Psychogeriatrics Association. This conclusion is supported by an experiment conducted during the study.

Twenty volunteers were divided into two groups: one taught a yoga breathing program and the other was asked to read quietly for 20 minutes. The breathing program consisted of 10 minutes of Om chanting and 10 minutes of yoga breathing regulation after which volunteers’ NGF levels were tested. The results revealed that the yoga group displayed a 60 percent increase in NGF levels compared to readers.

Dr. Sundara Balasubramanian, study researcher, biochemist and research assistant at the Medical University of South California, said, “Being a systemic exercise, yogic breathing could be a powerful tool in preventing and/or managing neurodegenerative diseases.”

The power of chair yoga

As the name suggests, the exercise routine is conducted on a chair that takes up little space. The 2014 study published in Research in Gerontology Nursing claimed that chair yoga helps improve balance and quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients. The conclusion was put to the test when the chair yoga program was administered to nine patients for eight weeks, where two sessions were held weekly.

The 50-minute session comprised of 10 minutes of breathing exercises, 20 minutes of chair yoga postures, 5 minutes of balance-enhancing postures and 10 minutes of relaxation and meditation. Researchers noted that participants had significantly improved balance and also showed improvements in walking and gait speed. Positive changes in physical measure brought about a positive turn neurally as well. This created a more positive mindset, especially since they were capable of moving and doing more, the patient’s initial focus was partially shifted from the disease itself.

Want to find out more on how yoga can prevent Alzheimer’s? Want to sign up for a class? Call us today. More information awaits.

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Electrolytes: necessity or accessory?

2016Feb18_WomensFitness_AElectrolytes are in the colorful, tasty sport drinks that help you through your workout. They also remind you of how athletes would treat themselves after crossing the finish line. But how big of a part do they play in unleashing the workout beast? Before marching towards the vending machine, here are a few things you should know about electrolytes.

What are they?

We know they come in liquid form, but most people know little else past that. According to Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., and fellow of the American Sports of Medicine, electrolytes are “positively or negatively charged substances, like the minerals sodium and potassium, that conduct an electrical current in your body.”

This is due to the fact that the human body itself is one giant electrical system, and electrolytes are in charge of tasks ranging from helping muscles receive signals from the brain, as well as retaining water and distributing it throughout your cells.

The supporting role

Someone exercising at an intense level loses liters of sweat per hour, not to mention thousands of milligrams of electrolyte sodium as well. With this loss it makes it harder for the body to retain the water you drink. That means despite all the water you’ve just chugged, you haven’t actually rehydrated. So if you want to avoid salt cravings and muscle cramps after two hours of a highly intense workout, loading up on electrolytes would be useful.

For those that work out at a moderate intensity for about an hour on a daily basis and adhere to a well-balanced diet and proper hydration, electrolytes won’t be necessary.

Final verdict

It really all boils down to how much exercise you’re doing and at what intensity level. Since the FDA states that we normally get enough salt in our lives, a warning goes out to those who consume excessive electrolytes and aren’t training for an athletic event. Too much of them can cause an imbalance of sodium over potassium. Side effects of such an imbalance include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Before hitting the gym, make sure you’re well-rested, hydrated and fueled – if so then you’re good to go. If you do experience post-workout salt cravings, mix ½ tablespoon of salt into your sport drink. Don’t forget to balance out potassium levels by incorporating a banana or a serving of spinach into your post-workout meal.

Need some more info on sports drinks? Have questions about electrolytes? Call us today. We have more information to help improve your workout efficiency.

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8 common blunders made at the gym

2016Feb17_ExerciseGeneral_AIf it isn’t the odd smell in the changing room or the utterly tantalizing proposition of happy hour, then it might be the thought of inevitable post-workout aches and pains that deters one from visiting the gym. Many chalk it up to overdoing it while others see this as sign of growing muscle mass; yet no one seems to realize that they may be making some common mistakes while getting their sweat on (yes, tiny ones still count). So here are a few common gym errors to be aware of during your next visit.

All prepped and ready to go

Be sure to prepare your gym bag the night before. This means your shoes should be in your gym bag and you should put the protein powder in the blender/shaker. Upon completion, the last (and vital) step is to put your bag by the door. Preventing you from forgetting it amidst the hectic morning routines doubling as excuses later on in the day. We all know you can’t imagine yourself working without your lucky hairband.

Fill up the tank

No we’re not talking about cars, but your belly. Those who believe that a 5k run on the treadmill goes best with energy levels fueled by half a banana and a salad are likely to power through their workout. If you plan on heading to gym, fuel properly throughout the day and, get in some protein, to ensure that you won’t collapse in public.

Reap the rewards

After learning that you should fuel up prior to the workout, similarly, one must refuel after the workout. Not only does this strike a biological balance but it also prevents cramping, and body aches and pains from occurring. These can contribute to you wanting to avoid the gym in the future.

Get in formation

To fully maximize each and every work out, one should take some time and come up with a plan as to what they will be doing at the gym. Walking in and heading for the nearest available machine isn’t a plan that ends well. This not only wastes time but it encourages you to use machines you don’t need to reach your goals. After all the inner thigh machine won’t do much for your calorie burn. Once you’ve designed the workout plan that works best for you, sticking to it should be a breeze.

Gyms are a Google-free zone

The gym certainly doesn’t lack sufficient internet connections, but it is best to leave your so-called wealth of information in the locker. Using the internet on your phone or tablet at the gym is a distraction. To maximize your time here, focus on your workout and not your favorite app.

Less is more

We’re not saying cardio is evil, but what is evil is subjecting your body to an hour of cycling after an hour run four times a week. This can hurt your body, leave you exhausted and make you dread going to the gym. The best way to prevent this from setting in is to mix up your exercise routine and not overdo cardio.

Definitely don’t call me maybe

The thought of a muscular, well-toned body that makes you the talk of the town come summer should be enough to keep anyone from answering the phone while they’re making it happen. It is best to switch your phone to airplane mode or leave it in your locker completely. Instead of bragging about how great your body will look on the phone, you need to focus on making it happen instead.

Need some more info on frequently-made workout mistakes? Have questions about exercise or fitness you need answered? Call us today. We have more information to help improve your workout efficiency.

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How to consume more water, even if you hate it

2016Feb16_DietAndNutrition_AOur bodies are made up of roughly 60% water. Consumption of it is not only essential to being alive, but it can also have a dramatic effect on our moods and feelings. In fact, many types of pain are caused by dehydration. Headaches, back or joint aches, constipation and even bad breath can be caused by not drinking enough water. Of course, though, we realize it can be difficult to choose water when there are a plethora of other better tasting beverages available – like coke, coffee or juice. So if you’re one of them who struggles to get your daily intake of water, here are some ideas on how you can drink more of it.

Explore your water options

Some people flat out hate the taste of water. If you’re one of them, the source of your water could be the reason for this. Some cities add chemicals (such as chlorine and fluoride among others) to the water supply, and this can alter its taste. To combat this, try different types of bottled water to see if you can find a brand you prefer. You can also alter the taste of your tap water by adding a filter to the faucet. Essentially the cleaner your water is, the better the taste.

Add flavor

There are a number of simple ways you can spice up your glass of H2O. Fresh fruit and herbs can be added such as basil, peppermint, or berries. You can also squeeze in some lime or lemon to give your water a nice new flavor. However, if all this sounds like too much prep work to bother with, consider food-grade essential oils. You can drip in a few drops of lavender, tangerine or whatever else you can find in your local health food store.

In addition to the flavor you get from spicing up your water with fruit, herbs and essential oils, you’ll also be gaining some health benefits. They can give you a quick boost of vitamin C, antioxidants, and even reduce inflammation. So not only will your water taste better, but you’ll be doing your body good in the process.

Go herbal

While not exactly water, herbal teas are a close alternative that can help you stay hydrated and add flavor in the process. While some herbal teas are blended with non-herbal varieties, true herbal teas have no caffeine, and therefore won’t dehydrate you like their non-herbal counterparts. Best of all, herbal teas can be enjoyed both hot and cold depending on the season and your preference.

Bubble it up

An often forgotten way to add more pizzazz to water is to simply add bubbles. To do this, you can get a sparkling water machine, which will infuse carbonation into your water, or buy soda water at the grocery store. And if you want to double down on this water flavor fest and create some real fireworks, try mixing in any of the fruits or herbs (mentioned above) to create a delicious water cocktail like no other.

Eat water-rich foods

Even easier to forget than bubbly water, fruits and veggies are also jam packed with H2O. Zucchini, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, tomato, celery, berries and melon all contain a high water content. But really, almost all fruits and vegetables are loaded with water; so if you’re trying to up your intake, just eat more of them.

We hope these five ideas to drink more water will help improve your health. If you’re looking for more ways to stay healthy and better your diet, get in touch with us today.

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Why newbies shouldn’t give up on yoga

2016Feb15_Yoga_AYour first yoga class can be intimidating. You’re in a room full of strangers, some wearing very little clothing, all stretching and contorting their bodies. As you see some of the more experienced students shifting into poses straight out of the cirque du soleil, you may feel a mixture of shock, amazement and embarrassment. How will you ever get to that level? Do you even want to get to that level?! If this sounds like you, we have two words for you: stop it. While you may be a few years off being a top yogi, you have to remember that even the students effortlessly standing on their heads in class were once nervous beginners like you. So if your first yoga class has left you feeling afraid and insecure, here are a handful of reasons why you should keep practicing.

You’ll find the right teacher

Finding the right teacher is key to developing a yoga practice you feel comfortable with. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a teacher you love right away. For those who don’t, there’s nothing wrong with looking elsewhere. Some teachers are gentle, and others are more demanding of their students. Some will play music you enjoy, and others won’t play music at all. Some will race you through poses like a drill sergeant, and others at a slow pace. There are an endless variety of teachers out there. Keep looking till you find the right one.

You’ll learn to love props

Maybe you’ve seen those blocks, blankets and straps sitting in the corner of the classroom. Yes, they can look a bit scary at first, but remember, they’re there to help beginners like you. The block, for example, can help bring the floor higher. So if you’re having trouble touching the ground in triangle pose (the pose where your feet are spread apart so your legs create a triangle shape), use the block. It can prevent you from toppling over and help you stabilize the pose. Just like the block, all props have a distinct purpose that can help beginners tremendously. If you’re confused how a prop can help you, watch how other students use them or better still, ask your instructor.

You’ll learn it’s okay to go easy on yourself

Besides the teacher, who is there to motivate and train you, no one could care less whether you’re completing a pose or falling on your bum. Other students in class are focusing on their own practice, not you. So if you don’t want to participate in the chanting or breathing exercises, it is completely acceptable. As a beginner, just keep it simple: focus on your poses. Be respectful to your classmates and teacher, and they’ll treat you the same. Go easy on yourself, and you’ll quickly start getting the hang of yoga.

You’ll learn to love the back row

As a yoga newbie, there is no better place to be than the back row. From the back of the classroom, you can easily see how the more experienced students get into, and hold, poses. Of course the teacher is there to help you as well, but watching how others do it can be invaluable.

You’ll make progress

While it may be hard to believe, even the most advanced students in class are still deepening their yoga practice. That’s why it’s important to remember that yoga is not only a practice, but also a process. You’ll get better over time, but there will never be a point at which you’ve achieved yoga perfection. And you shouldn’t expect to.

In your class, focus on doing the best you can today. With this mindset you’ll soon notice your own progress, which will deepen at one month, six months, a year, five years of practice, and so on.

You’ll become more centered and calm

You’ve probably already heard that yoga can relieve stress, and make you more calm and centered. Today, there is actually some evidence to back it up. Over a three month period in 2005, researchers in Germany observed 24 stressed out women as they participated in two 90-minute yoga sessions a week. At the end of the three months, the women noticed a reduction in their anxiety and depression, and also a 65% boost in their overall feeling of well being. How would you like to experience that?

Remember, no matter how good you are at a given task today, there was once a time when you were a beginner. Yoga is no different. Put in the practice and you’ll eventually be contorting your body into crazy poses like the rest of them. Until then, come down to our studio and benefit from the guidance of our experienced teachers. They are happy to help you become the yogi you are meant to be.

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