Posts Tagged ‘physical activity’

Beginning a Yoga Practice for Sedentary Lifestyles

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Physical activity is one of the most important actions in which any person can take part.  There are many reasons to practice Yoga, but one would be to decrease the chance of an untimely death. That said, living a lifestyle that is mainly sedentary can have disastrous consequences. Whether this lifestyle is led by choice (being a notorious couch potato) or by necessity (logging long hours at a desk job), it is important to incorporate physical activity back into your life; and Hatha Yoga is the perfect way to do this.

A long term sedentary lifestyle causes damage to the body, by weakening muscles and decreasing flexibility. A radical upsurge of activity, however, can cause injury. Since Yoga posturing is a  low impact activity, it is a wise choice as a tool to gradually ease into an active lifestyle.

Your hip flexors have been caused a lot of trauma, due to all that sitting around, so it is important to stretch them daily to avoid lower back pain. The Warrior I pose, or Virabhadrasana, is a great hip flexor stretch. While performing this exercise, it is important you ensure your body is in proper alignment – with your heel perfectly in line with your knee, and your hips are aligned in a forward position.

The reclining hero pose, or Virasana, is also an excellent stretch for your hips, and can be practiced every day. Downward Dog is a great pose to promote healthy blood flow. Sun Salutations are also very beneficial because they increase the body’s activity greatly and speeds up the metabolism. To start with, go through each pose gradually and mindfully. Do not worry about making up for past mistakes.  Set your own pace to create a healthier lifestyle.

A lack of self-discipline may have been what created your sedentary lifestyle, but self-discipline is what is needed to end it. Make it a habit to practice Sun Salutations as soon as you wake up, for a healthy greeting to your day. It is crucial to carve out time for physical activity and do it - no matter what. If it’s hard for you to give up your TV, practice Yoga in front of it! Find little spaces of time to do poses, and slowly increase that amount each day, until your sedentary habits are replaced.

Turning a sedentary lifestyle around is crucial to your health and your future. Imagine how accomplished you will feel when you achieve this goal, and use that as your driving force. The self-discipline you gain, while practicing Yoga, can assist you in other aspects of life, as can the many other benefits of practicing Yoga.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our complete selection of Yoga teacher training courses, please feel free to visit the following link.

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/Teacher-Courses/

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter. FREE Yoga Videos. Free Podcasts. Bonus: Free Yoga e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”

FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!

Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Everybody knows that Yoga relaxes the body and increases flexibility, but is it enough to keep the body fit? According to some Yogis, the answer is: “yes.”  Strength can be developed by holding postures for 20 seconds or longer.  Yoga styles that hold postures for minutes, will develop strength levels in their students, without an increase in body weight. In contrast, flowing styles, such as Vinyasa Yoga, develop flexibility and strength through repetitive movement.

While the exact definition of fitness can vary from one person to another, there are several components that all degrees of fitness have in common. According to some schools of thought, physical fitness relates both to the ability to perform a physical activity, and to prevent or manage health-related concerns, such as heart disease.

In the purely physical sense, there are five major areas to which fitness applies: Body fat to lean muscle mass ratio, health of internal organs, flexibility, condition of the muscles, skeletal health, and the cardio-respiratory system. When analyzing Yoga, to determine whether it is enough to stay physically fit, it has been found that results depend not only on the type of physical routine, but also how much time is dedicated to the practice.

The same rule applies to other physical activities, such as a walking program. In the case of walking, a minimum of 20 minutes a day is considered a low end benchmark. What makes anyone think any other physical activity should be different, when considering a minimum standard for physical benefit? From a holistic viewpoint, a balanced Yoga routine requires a combination of flowing movements, and weight-bearing poses, for a minimum of three hours per week, in addition to breath work (pranayama) and meditation.

12 Yoga Moves that Really Help You Stay Fit

• Sun Salutations

• Moon Salutations

• Warrior Poses

• Shoulder Stand

• Bridge Pose

• Plank Pose

• Tree Pose

• Triangle Pose

• Seated Twists

• Downward Facing Dog Pose

• Upward Facing Dog Pose

• Boat Pose

5 Popular Styles of Yoga to Help You Stay Fit

• Hatha – focuses on gentle stretches and breathing techniques; great for beginners

• Iyengar – concentrates on body alignment and balance; uses props; also great for beginners

• Kundalini – uses fast movements, while chanting and breathing; emphasizes energy systems

• Ashtanga, or Power Yoga – incorporates quick moves, designed to build stamina and endurance; usually does not include meditation

• Bikram – takes place in a 105 degrees Fahrenheit room; cleanses toxins and loosens muscles

Regardless of whether staying fit means – maintaining the energy and stamina to pursue a daily lifestyle, or the endurance and vigor to perform athletic feats, there is a style of Yoga, and a selection of poses, to meet the designated goal. The needs, abilities, and aspirations of every person are different. Therefore, it is helpful for students to seek the help of an experienced Yoga instructor when setting up a fitness plan.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Online Yoga teacher training courses, please visit the following link.

http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter. FREE Yoga Videos. Free Podcasts. Bonus: Free Yoga e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”

FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!