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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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.**

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**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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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.**

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**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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Can Cardio Get Rid of Belly Fat? | Q+A

Can Cardio Get Rid of Belly Fat? | Q+A

Question:

I am 6’2″ and about 215 lbs. and average build. I started working out the last two weeks after long time. I am doing 20 minutes of Stairmaster and 15 minutes of treadmill. Along with that, I’m doing push/pull/legs alternative days. My goal is to build muscle and lose fat. I think I have large/moderate amount of belly fat. I’m wondering whether doing cardio will help to get rid of belly fat and what my caloric intake should be. Thanks for your help.

– Prabhu M.

Answer:

Yes, it takes at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise to increase fat burning. This is because of the body’s use of available fuels in metabolism processes. There are other sources of energy burned before body fat and these reserves last approximately 30 minutes. There are a series of reactions and hormones that kick in after the first half-hour of exercise that allow stored fat to be accessed. Abdominal fat is both under the skin (subcutaneous) and between organs (visceral), necessitating a diverse nutrition approach beyond just caloric restriction.

Am I doing the right things with my diet and exercise to lose belly fat?

Your estimated energy need is about 2000 calories daily, but you will need at least a 500 calorie energy deficit between actual intake and expenditure. In a study of 768 overweight or obese individuals following diets that represented a deficit of 750 calories, at 6 months the average waist circumference reduction was 5-6 cm, and at 2 years an average 4-6 cm loss in circumference was maintained. That’s about a 2-inch reduction, with the best results from the group consuming 20% fat, 25% protein and 55% carbohydrate.

Weight-Loss Diets, Adiponectin, and Changes in Cardiometabolic Risk in the 2-Year POUNDS Lost Trial. Ma W, Huang T, Zheng Y, et al. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2016;101(6):2415-2422.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

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Vertical Training vs. Horizontal Training: Which Do You Need?

Vertical Training vs. Horizontal Training: Which Do You Need?

Whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned vet, most likely you once experienced the feeling of walking into a gym and not knowing where to begin. With all the various cardio and weight equipment, how do you know where to start? Is it with cardio? How many days a week should you weight train? What type of training is right for your body? A lot of questions tend to flood the mind and can oftentimes scare people away from returning to the gym. Let’s break things down a bit, starting with: what is vertical training vs. horizontal training?

Vertical training can be viewed as anything that involves ascension (i.e. rising/climbing), whether actual or simulated. Examples of vertical training could be climbing on the Stairmaster, an inclined walk or run on the treadmill, or mountain climbing.

Horizontal training, on the other hand, refers to exercises that would keep your form parallel to the ground. Some typical exercises include using the rowing machine, running (without incline), or working out on a stationary bike.

Now that you know the differences– which form of training is best?

If you guessed both, you are correct. Neither is necessarily “better” for you than the other. It’s up to personal preference and which part of the body you are looking to train. Some machines may better benefit those recovering from an injury, while others training  specific skills or for a competition may want to use others. The best thing to do before questioning what type of training is right for you or getting overwhelmed by all of your options is this: come up with a clear and defined list of goals.

Knowing your goals may seem pretty obvious, but it’s a lot more than simply knowing you want to lose weight, or you want to get stronger. Break down your overall goal into smaller ones. If you want to lose weight, ask yourself where you want to lose the weight. Is it from the stomach area? Maybe you want to tone your arms? Knowing the muscles you would like to strengthen will help you narrow down which machines to use and what type of exercise you should be engaging in.

If you have your “baby goals” written down, but you’re still unsure where to begin, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help. More often than not, people enjoy helping others who are looking to better themselves. Making your health a priority is an admirable goal, and many share that goal. Everyone starts somewhere, so ask a friend or fellow gym-goer how to use a machine you’re unsure of. Better yet, ask an employee to help you out. If extra assistance is needed, consider signing up for personal training to get a deeper, more personalized plan for you.

Once the “scariness” of the gym goes away, you will be surprised how much easier going seems to be. Don’t be afraid to try new machines, attempt a new class or make a new friend. As author Jack Canfield once put it, “everything you want is on the other side of fear.” So, where will you begin? Is vertical training better than horizontal? In the battle between the two, both win. Train the way that best fits you, and watch all you can accomplish!


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