Namaste Healthy

Namaste Healthy

“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.” – Anonymous

Yoga is all inclusive. Give it a try for a complete body, mind, and soul transformation. This healthy lifestyle workout both strengthens and helps brings relaxation to your body. Having originated approximately 5,000 years ago in India, this age-old practice continues strong today. Some describe Yoga as a science, while others practice it for its spiritual aspects, a way to combine the physical realm with the spiritual realm. Whichever way you choose to see it, one thing is certain, Yoga is here to stay.

But, what is Yoga exactly?

It’s all about “harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing exercises, yoga poses (asanas) and meditation.”1 If you’re new to this form of fitness, don’t be intimidated, the necessities needed for Yoga are pretty basic. When it comes to clothing, the looser, the better. As yoga requires a lot of fluid body movements, try to wear clothing that doesn’t constrict you too much. Generally, women typically opt for leggings and a somewhat form-fitting top, while men usually wear shorts, however loose pants work just as well. No shoes or socks are needed for classes, and some Yogis choose to leave their shoes at the door. LA Fitness offers complimentary yoga mats for its members to use. If you are bringing your own, consider a mat that grips well to the floor.

The claimed health benefits of Yoga are astounding. Various studies have found that Yoga may help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety2, aid in improvement of chronic back pain3, help lower blood sugar in those suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes4, boost energy5 and mood6, while also having positive effects for those battling heart disease7, cancer8, and other illnesses. It’s amazing how such a non-forceful workout approach can be so beneficial to our bodies. Below is a list of five different styles of Yoga that are said to have certain effects on the body.

Use code “Yoga15” to save 15% off ShopLAFitness.com for National Yoga Month!**

1. Ashtanga or Power YogaFor Weight Loss

Astanga Yoga is a type of yoga is based on eight principles: Yama (moral codes), Niyama (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (absorption into the Universal). Power Yoga is an offshoot of Astanga Yoga, which uses the same poses, just sped up.

Fun fact: The yoga classes offered at LA Fitness are based on a Vinyasa flow. This type of yoga flows smoothly from pose to pose and closely resembles Ashtanga and Power yoga.

2. Iyengar YogaFor Strength and Stamina

Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga that was developed by Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar. It corrects alignment of all parts of the body and establishes a sense of well-being. The precision of each pose is supposed to help assist in building strength, stamina, balance and flexibility. No two classes are ever the same. This method is all about developing better attention to detail.

3. Yin Yoga For Relaxation

Imagine Yin Yoga as a slower paced version of basic yoga. Now before you think this sounds unchallenging, it’s actually quite difficult, while still bringing relaxation to your body. Yin Yoga requires its students to hold postures, or asanas, for longer periods of time. This is supposed to target the deeper tissues of the body, rather than the superficial tissues alone. It’s not uncommon for poses to be held 3 to 5 minutes at a time, sometimes even as long as 20 minutes. The poses for this style of Yoga are similar in form to meditating.

4. Bhakti YogaFor Love

This Yoga practice may be for love, but not in the traditional romantic way we may first come to think of. Bhakti is one of the major six branches of Yoga, which focuses on cultivating a love and spiritual devotion. Bhakti Yoga is also known as the path to self-realization. It’s a form of yoga that is recommended for those who feel they are in touch with their emotions. It the path of the heart and devotion. The ultimate goal of practicing Bhakti Yoga is to reach a state of pure bliss, reached only when surrendering oneself.10

5. Bikram YogaFor Healing

Bikram Yoga is a form of Yoga that involves repeating the same set of 26 poses in set cycles over a 90-minute time frame. According to the official Bikram Yoga site this style is intended to “systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to 100 percent of your body, to each organ and fiber.”9 Bikram style yoga is often grouped together with hot yoga, due to the fact that these classes take place in a hot room, either at or above body temperature.

Use code “Yoga15” to save 15% off ShopLAFitness.com for National Yoga Month!**

LA Fitness, LA Fitness Living Healthy Blog, LAF, Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yin Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, meditation methods, different yoga styles, B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga at LA Fitness, National Yoga Month, history of Yoga, what is Yoga

Lisa K., Grey’s Peak (elevation 14,278). The tenth-highest summit of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Interested in trying yoga out for yourself? In order to get a deeper understanding, we interviewed LAF Group Fitness Yoga instructor Lisa K. who helped us understand Yoga on a different, and more personal, level.

Q: How has Yoga influenced you? How many years have you been practicing?

Lisa K.: Yoga has given me permission to slow down, pause and be present. We all experience different levels of stress in our lives and practicing yoga has also allowed me to focus inward and enjoy the energy and positive flow of each class. After I practice I feel stronger both physically and mentally and my mind is at peace. I started practicing in 2005 when I was in the midst of raising my children, working full time and getting my master’s degree. My stress level was at an all-time high and a friend suggested that I try her yoga class. It was truly a life-changing gift!

Q: What can those new to Yoga expect to gain from attending a Group Fitness Yoga class?

LK: Yoga is more than touching your toes! It can help to relieve stress, build strength, stretch your muscles, increase flexibility, stimulate your immune system and leave you feeling calm and centered. The beauty of yoga is that we’re all practicing at different levels and instructors will show modifications for each pose so no one will feel left out, lost or discouraged. Members are reminded that some participants have been doing yoga for years while others are experiencing their first time on the mat. We “practice” together and support each other without competition or judgment.

Q: Why should members include adding Yoga to their exercise routine?

LK: By adding yoga to your fitness routine you’ll likely be rewarded with better posture, increased balance, strength, mindful breathing to reduce stress and increased awareness on how YOU and your body feel. Yoga is said to help eliminate toxins from your body and improve circulation and can help lower your blood pressure. Each class ends with a Savasana; which is a few minutes of conscious relaxation. Now doesn’t that all sound divine?

Q: In honor of National Yoga Month, would you mind sharing one of your favorite Yoga mantras with us?

LK: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. In some way, may I contribute to that happiness and freedom for all.”

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to our readers, what would it be?

LK: A few thoughts: Open your mind and try something new. Be patient with yourself. Set aside any judgment or self-doubt. Focus inward on what you hope to receive by attending the class. Be aware of how your body feels in each pose. Honor your limitations and celebrate your successes. Breathe. Repeat.

 

 

Feeling inspired to get your Yoga fitness on? Well, LA Fitness has you covered! Check out our list of Group Fitness Yoga classes at a location near you.*

*Group Fitness Class offerings and schedules vary by location.

**Offer expires at midnight on September 31st, 2017. 


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Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

commit to fit logo, LA Fitness, member fitness goals

Do you have a fitness goal? Let us know here! To learn more about Commit to fit, click here.

Goals, Commitments, Community

These are our most recent members who have committed to their fitness goals.

Jessica P.

Jessica P. is getting married in April! She plans on working out, in addition to Pilates. Congratulations Jessica P.!

Dominic E.

Dominic E. wants to lose weight and eventually run a marathon – you can do it! Keep at it and never give up!

Kray T.

Kray T. uses fitness as a way to live a healthy lifestyle, stay fit, and help with anti-aging. Lookin’ good, Kray!

Meghan D.

Meghan D. plans on staying fit during her pregnancy, way to go fit mama!

Ryan H.

Ryan H.’s goal is to maintain – which is sometimes just as hard as losing weight in the first place! Keep it up!


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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 5 – What’s the Best Way for Toning the Tummy Area?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 5 – What’s the Best Way for Toning the Tummy Area?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., explains some helpful ways to tone the tummy area. Hint: Steer clear of crunches! Find out what really works for toning the core by watching the video below.

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

14 + 2 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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Health Tip: Rest Days Are Crucial

Health Tip: Rest Days Are Crucial

Leg day and chest day and arm day… oh my! When you’re making it a priority to get your body feeling and looking its greatest, you may find yourself pushing harder than ever to achieve your goals. However, all work and no rest can do the body more harm than good. When you’re putting in the extra time and commitment, don’t waste those epic workouts and tough dietary restrictions by overexerting your body. By not allowing the body enough adequate rest and recovery time, a string of unhealthy issues could start to ensue.

Consider the benefits of rest days below:

Things to consider:

  • Those new to fitness may need more of a ‘full rest day’ vs. bodybuilders. Those used to working out, especially at a higher intensity or higher frequency, may still want to get some light cardio in. It depends on your own personal fitness level.
  • If you don’t want to take a full day off, try opting for a different exercise routine. Yoga is a great example of a slower paced class that can still tone and sculpt the body without overexerting the muscles, like some cardio and weight training might.
  • A rest day should not count as a “cheat day”. By allowing your body a rest day, you should be doing simply that, resting. Try not overindulging in calories like you might on an otherwise heavy workout day. This can put you over your caloric intake for the day and cause weight gain.

Tip Takeaway: Don’t worry about taking a day off, “in general, it takes your body almost two weeks of non-activity before you start losing a noticeable amount of your progress or performance level”.2 How do you choose to spend your rest days? Share in the comments below!

  1. Gain Muscle – Lifting weights creates tiny tears in the muscles – sounds painful, right? This is actually a good thing. When we rest, our bodies are hard at work fixing these tears up, which helps make the muscles stronger and build them up. Meaning, if you want to gain muscle, allow proper rest time.
  2. Prevent Burnout – Too much of anything can cause eventual burnout. Working out should help make our bodies feel better, stronger and healthier. If working out becomes a tedious chore, it can cause stress to our bodies, increase cortisol, and store fat rather than burning it off.
  3. Protect Your Immune System – The immune system is triggered when we work out because it’s helping to build our bodies back up and provide proper recovery. However “if the body doesn’t come out of continual practice, this system doesn’t have the time to catch up and start patching everything back up”.1
  4. Strengthen Your Performance – Overtraining can affect your sleep by increasing restlessness, which may cause your body to have a higher heart rate and alertness. Lack of sleep can cause the body to feel more tired and dampen performance levels due to lack of energy.
  5. Lessen Your Chance of Injury – Resting helps prevent your body from overuse. If muscles and joints aren’t given enough time to recuperate it can lead to strain and injury. So kick your feet up and lay back, because it really can help recharge the body!

Sources:

  1. Gibson, Sarah. “Give It a Rest: It’s OK to Skip Your Workout.” Wellbridge Athletic Clubs. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2017.
  2. Karnazes, Dean. “6 Reasons Why Rest Days Are Important.” Fitbit Blog. N.p., 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 July 2017.

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Member Spotlight | Never Give Up

Member Spotlight | Never Give Up

“Always find time to take care of yourself no matter what, because you can’t take care of someone else if you’re running on empty and not healthy yourself.”

Kelly G.

LAF Member

Struggles are a part of life, and for Kelly G. of Hennepin County, Minnesota, she has learned to fight through them for herself and her sons. Having struggled with weight since puberty, Kelly decided to join LA Fitness in 2014, after years of wanting to become healthier. In middle school and high school, Kelly was teased for being a bit larger than her classmates. She stood at 5’4” and weighed in at 180 lbs. From there, her weight slowly increased through adulthood, especially after having her children. The most she remembered weighing was 215 lbs., and she knew then that something had to be done.

The problem was that Kelly would get on a fitness kick and begin to lose some weight, but then something would happen that would set her back, or she’d feel lazy, stop working out and then feel miserable. She noticed that she tended to binge eat whenever she was stressed. She recognized this as a problem, and began to change her ways. She got on a positive health kick in May 2014, which inspired her to join LA Fitness. She was working out, eating healthier, feeling good and even began losing some weight – until she received some of the worst news possible. Her oldest son had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cancer.

The cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes, sending Kelly into a tail spin of emotions, stress and depression. She stopped working out. She stopped taking care of herself. And she fell back into stress eating. Her son went through 42 weeks of chemotherapy and had 28 sessions of radiation. His last chemo appointment fell on Kelly’s birthday. It was on that day, in September of 2015, that Kelly decided if her son could fight through cancer like a champ, then she could fight to get healthy too.

During her son’s cancer treatments, Kelly had gained 30 lbs. She was miserable and in pain. Her feet hurt, her back ached all the time, and she weighed the most she ever had. Kelly shared the physical pains she was experiencing with her doctor, who told her very bluntly to lose 20 lbs. and then see if her feet were still hurting. She was a bit shocked at how up front he was, but with no sugar coating, it helped Kelly get on a mission. She wanted to get healthy not just for herself, but for her sons.

Kelly started taking advantage of her LA Fitness membership again and got really strict with her nutritional choices. Her determination to succeed superseded the obstacles she found herself facing in the past. Each day she strived to get healthier than the day before. In the past year and a half, Kelly has lost 80 lbs. by eating a low-carb diet and working out five to six days a week. At almost 40 years old, Kelly now weighs less than she did in middle school and high school, and she’s feeling much better. Kelly strives to do better each day and has since gained a new appreciation for life. Her advice to others is to “always find the time to take care of yourself no matter what, because you can’t take care of someone else if you’re running on empty and not healthy yourself.” Kelly hopes to lose another 5 to 10 pounds and add some additional muscle definition. Judging from how far she’s come, there’s no doubt she’ll reach her goals and then some!

This article is not meant to be construed as medical advice. Results will vary. Consult with your physician before starting a new fitness or nutritional routine.


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