Why All Athletes Should Practice Yoga
Many sports have repetitive movements, usually in one direction, such as cycling and running. These repetitive motions can build up certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Over time, this can cause disparities in the muscles and joints, leading to injuries from over use. This can cause the body to over load onto different joints not intended to hold extra weight.
Athletes get over use injuries most commonly to the:
· Illiotibial Band (ITB)
· Hip Flexors
Often, these injuries are directly linked to misalignment. Yoga helps to align the spine and strengthen the core. Yoga goes beyond simple stretching (pre- or post-workout) by working the muscles and joints through all ranges of motion. By activating the little muscles that help support the primary muscles, the body is worked through all three planes of motion in order to remain balanced and healthy. Yoga works not just in the sagittal plane but, in the frontal and transverse planes as well, ensuring well-rounded development.
JOIN US for a Yogi Triathlon!
Sprint. Sculpt. Stretch
May 18 - Wheaton
5:30 am - 7:30 am
Join Jacky R, Lauren K and Casey for a killer marathon of sculpt! Challenge yourself through this 2 hour workshop of sculpt, taking 15 minutes outdoors for a heart-pumping sprint. Cool it down with Casey as she guides you through a gentle stretch. No sculpting or yoga experience required.
Day of Pricing
What to bring
Gym shoes (we will be running/walking outdoors)
(Yoga mat rentals and bottled water available for purchase at the studio)
She has been feeling it for awhile now - that sense
of awakening. There is a gentle rage simmering
inside her, and it is getting stronger by the day.
She will hold it close to her - she will nurture it and let it grow.
She won't let anyone take it away from her.
It is her rocket fuel and finally, she is going places.
She can feel it down to her very core - this is her time.
She will not only climb mountains - she will move them too.
Author: Lang Leav
The short answer is yes, yes it can! Even gentle and restorative yoga can help with weight loss by kicking on the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates breathing, digestion, and hormones. Yoga also speeds up the metabolism by stimulating endocrine glands that regulate the metabolic rate.
Certain poses can also help with weight loss:
· Shoulder Stand and Fish Pose: Both rouse the thyroid, helping to give your body a metabolism boost.
· Valrasana (spinal twist), a lengthening Child’s Pose, and Cobra Pose: These twisting poses massage the abdomen, target internal organs and aid with optimal digestion.
· The Dogs: Downward-facing Dog and Upward-facing Dog poses are particularly helpful in toning hips and thighs.
Many yoga practices burn fewer calories than traditional exercise (e.g., jogging, brisk walking); however, yoga can increase one's mindfulness and the way one relates to their body. So, individuals will become more aware of what they are eating and make better food choices.
But if you’re someone who really wants to lose weight through yoga, you are going to have to be in a class that challenges you. There's all different levels of yoga. There is yoga that's meant for the mind, for the spirit, for healing, repair, preventative, therapeutic and there's power yoga, and yoga sculpt, that are meant more for exercise... there is yoga for anything your body needs, really.
Stand in Mountain pose, hands to heart’s center, feet planted on the Earth. Wiggle your toes, feeling the grass and the warmth or coolness of the Earth. Feel the Earth’s energy be absorbed throughout your body, as you breathe deeply. Listen to the sounds around you, the birds, the wind and feel the air touching your skin.
As your palms press against each other, breathe and focus in on how your body and mind feel after spending this time in nature, moving your body and sharing gratitude for Mother Earth. Focus in on an intention for how every day can be Earth Day.
Everyday Is Earth Day
By Kelly Roper
Every day is earth day,
Or at least it should be.
We should take steps every day
to save our planet, don't you agree?
Try walking when it's practical,
And skip driving a car.
It will help cut down emissions
And raise air quality by far.
Reuse, renew, recycle,
Think of how much you throw away.
Our earth can only hold so much trash,
One day there'll be the devil to pay.
And when it comes to littering,
It's not enough to clean up after yourself.
Leave places better than you find them,
And pick up litter left by someone else.
Don't spray your garden with pesticides,
Protect the birds and the bees.
Choose natural ways of deterring pests,
That won't carry poisons in the breeze.
These are easy things we all can do,
To protect the earth for future generations.
If we continue to ignore all the warning signs,
We'll face sad and irreversible ramifications.
One of the first songs we teach to babies about their bodies is, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Knees and Toes…” Why? Because babies are fascinated with their bodies and love exploring what they can do! Yoga gives us the opportunity to re-visit that sense of discovery and wonderment.
Try practicing Tadasana (Mountain Pose) every day to remind yourself of the awesomeness your body provides you. Can you spread your toes? Can you shift your ankles so they are upright, allowing you to balance your weight evenly? Can you feel your joints stretching and releasing tension in your arms, wrists and hands?
If you can’t bend all the way down to your toes, that’s okay. You are where you are. What a glorious feeling it is to reconnect with your body every day. Because let’s face it, our bodies feel different every day. Our muscles continually lengthen and shorten during every day movements, such as making our bed or taking a shower. Pay attention to what areas of the body need stretching and work on those (song is optional). ;)
“When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”
by W. Timothy Gallway
You track how many steps you take, jot down how many reps and sets you did, and note how deeply you stretched, but what about monitoring your breath? Ensuring you’re getting the most out of your workout is not just about what’s on your Fitbit. How you breathe between your movement matters! Studies have shown that practicing proper breathing can improve your fitness performance by as much as 15 percent.
While breathing is an autonomic bodily function – one that does not require thought – it should be a conscious thought and effort, while practicing yoga and really any exercise for that matter. When practicing yoga, it is important for your movements to be guided by your breathing and not the other way around. You may notice that when you completely submerge yourself into a pose, pushing to achieve a peak goal, you may lose your breath or even hold your breath. It is at that very moment that you break your pose. You think to yourself, “Aaah! I was doing so well and I blew it.” That’s okay.
Before attempting any pose, try taking some inventory on your breath before you begin. This is especially important for beginners. Practice yogic breathing without the postures. Develop an idea of what is good for you. When you’re ready, inhale through your nose for one or two seconds, then slowly raise your arms above your head on the inhale. When you reach the end of the inhalation, pause, then slowly exhale for one to two minutes as you bring your arms down to your sides. This is the best way to take inventory on how you feel. Do you know when and why your breath is shallow, or what makes it speed up?
Learning to control your breath through deep awareness, not only improves focus and concentration, but also has been shown to lower blood pressure. You will learn as you practice when to inhale and when to exhale to optimize your experience. For instance, we inhale when lifting or opening our chests and exhale when we fold or twist. We create space in our bodies for the air to fill when we inhale and cleanse that space through our breath’s detoxifying exhale. This is how we get that oxygen-rich blood to flow!
Yogic breathing teaches us how to most effectively use oxygen to improve endurance, because the body uses oxygen to produce energy. By focusing on your breath, you are conditioning your lungs and respiratory system for sports and all other forms of exercise. Combining breath with movement can be tricky, but it is pertinent in extending the life of your energy source.
No matter what you do for exercise - spinning, kick-boxing, or CrossFit - add in some yoga for a mental boost!
Incorporating yoga into your workout routine can totally benefit your mental health. Research has found that people performed better—both speed-wise and accuracy-wise—on brain functioning tests after practicing 20 minutes of yoga.
When practiced together, the connection between mind and body, improves overall fitness and wellbeing.
Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system. Yoga's positive benefits on mental health have made it an important practice tool of psychotherapy (American Psychological Association).
Adding yoga to your workouts helps improve functional mobility and sharpens the mind to enhance performance. This prevents injury and prolongs the lifespan of activity.
Try yoga as you begin any workout. It get your blood flowing and rids the body of toxins.
Sky-gazers Get Ready!
The third and final Super Moon (nicknamed the Full Worm Moon) in 2019 will appear in the night sky TOMORROW at 9:43 pm ET, — shortly after the spring equinox, marking the first time these astronomical events have occurred on the same day since March 20, 1981.
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night). On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world. So regardless of where you are in the world, the equinox means that almost everyone will experience exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. This only happens one other day of the year (during the September equinox).
With the equinox, we will enjoy more sunlight hours, earlier dawns and later sunsets.
In yoga tradition the equinox is celebrated by performing a Yoga Mala. A yoga mala is a string of 108 (or 54) sun salutations. This "marathon of yoga" allows you to break free form the hibernation of winter to recharge mentally and physically.
Join Mackenzie for an Equinox Yoga Mala Workshop on Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 – 4:00 pm.
Day of Pricing
Wear comfortable clothing.
Avoid eating at least one hour before and drink a lot of water prior to class.
Bring a mat & water.
Sign up online https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=38484&stype=-107&sTG=23&sVT=20&sView=day&sLoc=1&sTrn=100000046&date=03/23/19
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Saying you’re not flexible enough for YOGA is like saying you’re too dirty to take a BATH.”
So, you say you're not flexible? I hear that a lot. I’ve found it to be the most common reason why people are hesitant to try yoga. When I attended my first yoga class I could not touch my knees with my hands. I WAS NOT FLEXIBLE. There’s a saying in yoga that you are considered a beginner for the first 10 years of your practice. And what a blissful experience it was and continues to be.
Many factors can contribute to a less-than-bendy body, from genetics to the weather outside. Age and gender also play a role, as men and older people tend to be less flexible than the young and females. But that doesn't mean you should rule out yoga. Yoga will help you feel calmer, sleep better, and yes, get more flexible.
There may be some poses you can do ‘perfectly’ right off the bat. And then there are poses that may take months, years or decades until you can do them ‘perfectly.’
Yoga isn’t about performing that ‘textbook perfect’ pose. Every single person has their completely unique challenges and they are on their own journey. Yoga is more about this process of unwinding and participating in your journey.
Yoga is also not just about flexibility. It’s about flexibility, strength and balance and creating a calm, cool collective expression while practicing.
In yoga, we talk about practicing santosha, which is the idea of letting go of expectations and preconceived ideas about how things should be. A yoga class can be intimidating for a first timer, but this idea that we need to be able to wrap our bodies up like pretzels on the first go is setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, see if you can cultivate a sense of passive acceptance to what is happening in each moment. Don't worry about what happens in the middle of class or the end of class or even next week's class. Stay present and fully aware in each moment and you will reap the benefits tenfold.
But one thing is for sure, if you keep avoiding yoga because you’re not flexible enough… then when will you be flexible enough to do it?
Live, love, laugh,