Last issue we gave you tips on how to jump start your new diet in the new year. We’re not gonna stop there tho. Perhaps you’re like me and aren’t all that interested in getting up before work, driving to the gym and getting all sweaty. Well no worries! Why not try yoga or pilates at home to get to your ideal size?:
|Basic Yoga Poses
What is yoga?
While some people think of yoga simply as physical exercise, it is actually a complete, holistic system for overall health and well-being. Having been practiced for thousands of years, yoga includes everything from physical postures (asanas
), personal hygiene, and a healthy diet
to premeditation, breathing
, and relaxation techniques. The most advanced forms of meditation and self-realization are also a part of yoga.
What is Pilates?
Derived from ancient yoga asanas
, the Pilates exercise system was developed by Joseph Pilates over 80 years ago. Practiced for decades by dancers, Pilates has become very popular in recent years. Although Pilates works the entire body, the primary focus is on the core muscles (abs, lower back, and stabilizing muscles). Pilates exercise machines (such as the “Reformer”) can add a weight training element to the workout, with very precise and fluid movements, making it safer than most weight training.
Guidelines for yoga and Pilates practice: •
Yoga postures, especially inversions and those that compress the abdomen, should not be done on a full stomach. Listen to your body—if you practice too soon after eating or drinking, certain poses will feel uncomfortable.
• It’s best to practice yoga asanas barefoot, using a yoga mat or nonslip surface for standing poses. A mat, rug, or folded yoga blanket will provide firm padding for other asanas.
• Wear comfortable clothing, something that allows you to move freely.
• Ideally, the room should be well ventilated. Have enough space to extend your arms and legs in all directions without hitting anything.
• While practicing, concentrate on the feeling that the asana is producing in your body.
• If you feel too weak or shaky in a pose, come out of it. Gradually, you will build up your strength and be able to hold the pose longer.
• Don’t go beyond your personal limitations, but extend your boundaries gently. Doing the asanas correctly means doing them to the best of your ability without straining.
• Throughout the workout, focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling fully and completely through your nose. Breathing with awareness not only feels good, but also balances and regulates energy flow within the body, strengthening your internal organs and boosting your resistance to disease.