Tag Archives: yoga

Summer Solstice Yoga

A great opportunity to enjoy a beautiful yoga experience, for a great cause.

SUMMER SOLSTICE YOGA.final

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14 Best and Worst Exercises for people with exercise induced Asthma

A great read for those with Asthma: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20672105,00.html?hootPostID=58d30d2c3c6e4225971f17b0a764a04f .

Two of the “great” suggestions for people with Asthma, swimming and yoga…..we’ve got them both, and both are included in our fitpass membership.  Come and visit us for a FREE week pass to give them a try! 

As always, check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity. And quite often, the fitter one becomes, the better controlled asthma symptoms can be.   Hope to see you soon!

-YWCA Fitness Staff

Yoga for Beginners

Yoga is a great compliment to any workout program, particularly running. The repetitive joint and muscle actions of running can make for some serious flexibility and/or muscle imbalance issues. Our triathlon coach, Kim, leads Yoga classes at the YWCA on a regular basis. Come and give us a try! Ask at reception for a one week free trial, and come check out our amazing instructors, classes and facilities!

Not close by? Check out this article from Runner’s World Online about yoga for beginners…..

http://www.runnersworld.com/beginners-yoga-for-runners?cm_mmc=NL-TrainingExtra-_-1708862-_-05272014-_-Yoga-for-Beginners

Yoga Lifestyle

The benefits of yoga practice are many.  Too many to cover in one blog post.  I’d like to narrow this discussion to the “lifestyle enhancing” aspects of a regular yoga practice.

The original and ancient guidelines of yoga serve as a prescription for basic moral and ethical conduct and the importance of self-discipline.  Who among us wouldn’t benefit from more of that?   These guidelines can direct our attention toward better health and help us acknowledge any of the spiritual aspects of our nature.  Make no mistake, however;  yoga is not a religion or belief system.  It is simply an opportunity to quiet a turbulent mind, remove obstacles and find contentment.  Learning to be in stillness and silence for short periods of time encourages present moment awareness.  Our busy lives so often have us racing ahead of the clock and on a perpetual treadmill toward the next obligation or task.  Mindfulness is built through that present moment awareness and can give us the tools we need to be our best possible expression of humanity.  Yoga encourages gratitude and I believe gratitude grounds us and adds an important perspective to our daily life.

Try a class or simply try being still and quiet for a few short minutes a day.  Give your mind and body a rest.  Appreciate all that you are, all that you have and all that you can offer!

Namaste

Kim

So many reasons to try yoga

Written By Kim
(trainer, fitness instructor, yoga instructor and triathlete coach)

Yoga is a 5000 year old tradition originating in India.  It is a connection of mind, body and spirit.

Yoga does not provide a sense of peace,  it helps you quiet your mind and body so that you can experience your true nature,  which is to be peaceful and in harmony.

Yoga is a path toward clarity, pure awareness and consciousness.  It guides us toward understanding that we are not separate from the whole.

The practice of yoga is about coming back to ourselves.

It is NOT a belief system or a religion.

From a purely physical perspective,  yoga can challenge your balance,  improve your muscle strength and endurance,  enhance flexibility,  aid digestion and encourage healthier breathing patterns among many other benefits.

Of equal importance,  yoga allows us to practise being fully present.  Learning to live life with present moment awareness also has many benefits such as:

Improved capacity to regulate emotion

Improved patterns of thinking

Enhanced immune response, healing capacity and feelings of general well-being

Reduced stress and anxiety;  a quieting of the mind

Ability to experience deeper and a more lasting inner peace

If you have never practised yoga,  consider taking a class.  Start slow,  communicate to the instructor that you are new and listen to your body.  If the pose becomes to challenging or the flow of the class to difficult,  take a break and just breathe!!

“Be patient….Be Present…..Move at the right moment and bring contentment with you as you go”

Namaste

(image source)

Looking for a Relaxing Holiday??

 Now that winter has come to an end and the spring season is here with summer trailing closely behind, many of you may be thinking of taking a break from your regular routine and getting away for awhile. If you are one of these people who see a relaxing vacation to a sunny destination or a week at the cottage in their near future, chances are you haven’t thought much about keeping up your exercise routine while you’re away. I know the purpose of a vacation is to get away from the everyday routine of your life (which hopefully includes exercise), however while you are enjoying your “time off” there are some good ways to stay active, while still feeling like you are getting the relaxation you need. These Travel Friendly Yoga Poses can actually help increase your level of relaxation while helping you maintain an active lifestyle during your time away.

Try performing the following 5 poses holding for 30 seconds each when you wake up in the morning/ late morning. Doing these poses in the morning will help you create energy for the day so you can get the most out of your vacation!

1. a) Half Downward-facing Dog: Eases tight hamstrings, calves, and back muscles.

Stand facing a wall, 3 feet away from it, with feet directly under your hips. Press your hands into the wall between belly- and chest-height bringing your spine into a neutral position. With feet and hands shoulder-width apart, bend forward from your hips bringing your torso is almost parallel to the floor.

 

 b)

Gazing at the floor, slowly walk your hands back up the wall with your arms straight, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and back muscles. Your back should form a diagonal line.

2. Revolved Triangle Pose: Relieves back pain and improves circulation by stretching your sides.

Stand 3 feet from the wall, still facing it after half dog. Place your legs so they are about 3 feet apart. Looking down at the floor, press your hands firmly into the wall, keeping arms straight and stretching your hamstring and calf muscles. Leave your left hand on the wall and drop your right hand to left thigh. From your belly button up, twist your torso to the left, allowing your right hand to slide down your leg as necessary. Switch sides.

3. a) Bridge Pose: Strengthens glutes, thighs, and core.

Lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat about 6 to 10 inches from your rear, with arms relaxed at your sides. Contract your abs and press your hips to the ceiling until you form a flat diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders. Roll your shoulders under your back to press up further, clasping your hands beneath you to make a platform.

b)

Once you are stable in your Bridge position, extend your right leg toward the ceiling. Hold, then lower, and repeat with the left leg. Do this move two to three times on each side.

4. Seated Twist: Relieves anxiety and stress along with back pain. 



Sit with legs crossed on the floor, arms at your sides. Gently twist to the right side, using your hands on the floor to leverage your body further. Hold and then repeat to the left side.

5. Seated Forward Bend: Calms nerves by literally letting blood flow to your head. This poses also releases tight hamstrings and lower-back muscles.

Sit on the floor with legs extended hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Close your eyes. Fold your torso forward from your hips, reaching toward your feet. Go as far as you can comfortably, breathing easily. As you exhale and feel your muscles release, allow yourself to bend closer to your legs.

 You can literally do these poses pretty much anywhere, on the beach, in your hotel room, on your balcony, or wherever you choose. And if you are running short on time, and you cannot go through all of these poses, choose one or two poses, whichever one best suit your needs. So next time you are thinking of going on vacation, consider adding these five travel friendly yoga poses to your packing list and get the most out of your vacation experience! You won’t regret it!

Carah

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