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Yoga and Pilates
 by: Helena Ray
  • Yoga began as the science of quieting the mind. Now it is considered the art of living. It helps one to achieve perfect health physically, mentally, and spiritually. This state of complete health equips one to take on life's challenges with inner peace and tranquility. Yoga helps one to achieve a tranquil mind with energy, clarity and the sense of purpose to tackle problems successfully. yoga builds inner strength and flexibility.

  • One does not have to be fit. everybody can find a yoga class suited to their needs. Students need to find a teacher suited to them. Types of classes available range from those who are very fit and active (which includes headstands), moderate fitness, to those with limited body movement, and also those with special conditions such as ms. Some yoga postures affect the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The effect of which brings the metabolism into balance affecting both over and underweight individuals. However, all yoga practice involves the whole being. Yoga is a wonderful discipline that works all the systems, joints and gland of the body.

  • What can you expect at a yoga class?
    1. Exercises (postures) to develop the body, bringing balance, strength and flexibility.
    2. These postures also bring the body's energy level into balance.
    3. Concentration exercises that bring clarity and calmness to the mind.
    4. Breathing exercises that will help respiration problems and bring emotional stability. Relaxation exercises that encourage one to experience release and rejuvenation.

  • What are the benefits of yoga?
    1. Increased strength and flexibility
    2. Good posture and good muscle tone.
    3. Increased vitality and balance of energy.
    4. Sense of well being, calmness.
    5. Improved blood circulation.
    6. Increase awareness of the beauty of life in all its forms.
    7. Lowered blood pressure.
    8. Improved respiration.

  • There is several other different types of yoga. As we increase our asana (posture) practice, we come to realize that yoga is much more than stretching and relaxation--it's a way of life. the yogic teachings offer us a better quality of life. Which includes self-awareness and understanding on the path to achieving enlighten.

    Pilates - Facts and Statistics

    Fitness is good for the body yes, but it's also good for achieving a healthy mental and emotional balance. It releases endorphins and lifts the spirit. It gives us more energy. Gyro tonic and Pilates fitness systems relieve tension which is really stress that locks itself in our bodies and disguises itself as inflexibility, stiff necks, lower back pain, etc. Gyro tonic and Pilates will reward you with the physical benefits of a stronger, leaner, and more flexible body. It will offer you a sense of well being and a feeling of lightness that comes with breathing properly and stretching those tight joints.

    Pilates develops the POWER HOUSE (which is your back, buttocks, and abs.) It works rom the inside out, by first establishing and maximizing core strength and stability, by activating and strengthening the deep abdominal muscles. These are the muscles that wrap and support the spine; these are the muscles that give you an elegant posture, and happily, these are also the muscles that give you a nice waistline. So we accomplish all these things at once: strength, support, and a long, lean appearance.

    All Pilates exercises, whether performed on the mat or on the apparatus, rely on total body involvement; hence the Pilates workout is balanced, symmetrical and efficient, in that you never pump one muscle group at the expense of another. For instance, a bicep curl is a strengthening exercise for the biceps, but when performed on a moving carriage which is a REFORMER) in a sitting position with an abdominal curl, it becomes a core stabilization exercise involving the abdominal muscles, the scapular muscles, the glutei muscles and inner thigh muscles as well.

  • PILATES WORKS WITH THE PROPER BREATHING!!

    Correct breathing is absolutely essential in pailates. Why? You can double your workout if you are breathing properly during your workout. Pilates breathing is a deep inhalation thru the nose and pushing the navel to the spine (pushing stomach muscles in) and then a strong exhalation thru the mouth keeping your navel to your spine. (The feeling with the exhalation with the abdomen is pushing in and contacting the abdominal muscles.) This takes practice, but once you connect you will see a great difference in your powerhouse muscles. To release and propel the movement, to enable flexibility and lengthening of the muscles as well as toning and strengthening. Whether performing palates slowly and with focus, or as a kick-ass workout, you finish with a clean, sweeping flush of oxygen and energy.

    Pilates - Facts and Statistics
    Fitness is good for the body yes, but it's also good for achieving a healthy mental and emotional balance. It releases endorphins and lifts the spirit. It gives us more energy. Gyro tonic and Pilates fitness systems relieve tension which is really stress that locks itself in our bodies and disguises itself as inflexibility, stiff necks, lower back pain, etc. Gyro tonic and Pilates will reward you with the physical benefits of a stronger, leaner, and more flexible body. It will offer you a sense of well being and a feeling of lightness that comes with breathing properly and stretching those tight joints.

    DOING PILATES WHEN PREGNANT
    Pilates is a wonderful form of exercise and relaxation for the pregnant body. It's also a fantastic low-impact way to get back in shape post-delivery. Pregnant mothers will perform modified positions during pregnancy and also post delivery. Which will improve circulation in the abdomen area-firmer, stronger and longer abdomen muscles

    Gyro tonic - Facts and Statistics
    Gyro tonic
    is a system of exercises that combines the flexibility and the grace of ballet, the focus of martial arts, the body sculpting of weight training, and the core strength and stretching benefits of Pilates.

    Gyro tonic increases flexibility, core strength, joint mobility, alleviates in stress reduction, decreases back stress and tightness in the shoulders.

    Gyro tonic is a low impact expansion fitness system that can be practiced by everyone regardless of age or fitness capability. The work is ideal for the man, woman, senior, athlete or dancer, seeking health, fitness, stamina, strength and flexibility.

    Gyro tonic develops core strength, reconditions the nervous system and improves circulation.

    Gyro tonic was designed with total regard to freedom of movement. The gyroo tonic equipment guides your movements with resistance along circular pathways that nurture the natural curves of the body.

    The gentle stretching, twisting, circular and bending movements in sync with a strong awareness of breath, produce flexibility of the spine, and release the joints from ligament or muscular constriction, while equally strengthening the surrounding ligaments and their attachments.

DID YOU KNOW??

  • Yoga - Did you Know:
    Yoga deals with the whole person and balances all aspects of the human being. It affects one's health, emotional well-being, frame of mind, clarity of thinking etc.
    Yoga has a whole series of practices to directly reduce stress levels. While sweating in yoga you can be assured that disease (toxins) leaves the body and purification occurs. In essence the body becomes healthy and strong.

    However, there are 6 categories of posture: standing, inverted, forward bend, backward bend, twisting, lying. These different postureseach have different aims, which include working the various joints of the body, balancing the functions of the glands, realigning body structure and working muscles simutaneously. There is a wide variety of yoga classes. here is just a few:

    Bhakti-Yoga -- The self-trancending power of love. Bhakiti-Yoga is a path of love and devotion to god. Said to be the easiest and most rewarding path of yoga. While Raja-Yoga and Jnana-Yoga seek to transform and transcend the mind, and Hatha-Yoga seeks to transform the body, Bhakti-Yoga does the same thing by the emotions.

    HATHA-YOGA -- Cultivating a divine body. Hatha-Yoga is a pathe of physical discipline. It uses posturing, or asanas to bring the body into alignment with the energy centers or chakras. This division of Hatha-Yoga still has a great following and is said to bring those who practice it radient health and developes the body's potential to bring the energy centers into alignment. Note: Hatha-Yoga and Raja-Yoga are complimentary together.

  • You ask what are Chakras?
    The Chakras were developed by eastern practice. The study of Chakras comes from religious, mythical and mystical study. However, according to Eastern spirituality the Chakras form the matrix for an energy field that surrounds the body and this is know as the auro. It is said that when this field becomes strong (auro) it develops a more healthier, aware and spiritually minded person.

  • Jnana-Yoga -- Seeing with the eye of wisdom Jnana-Yoga is the yoga that pit's the mind against the mind to bring one to enlightment. Its path is one of meditation and descernment. The word Jnana translates as "knowledge", "insight" or "wisdom" and refers to a special type of liberating knowledge or intuition.

  • Raja-Yoga -- The yoga of spiritual kings. This type of yoga is to teach "how to concentrate the minds, then how to generalize their contents and form our own conclusions from them." In the end, this meditative quest is intended to lead to the discovery of the transcendent reality beyond thought and image, beyond worship and prayer, beyond ritual and magic. Bikram-Yoga-- Developed by Bikram Choudhury, who now has franchises of his studios all over the world. The practice is based on 26 postures in a standard sequence, in a room heated to 100-110 degree fahrenheit. The heat enables a deep stretch and removes toxins from the body.

    Kripalu-Yoga -- A three stage yoga designed for the needs of the western student, by yogi Amrit Desai. In the first stage, coordination of breath with postural alignment is paramount. In the second stage, meditation is introduced and postures are held for longer period of time. In the third stage, the practice blends the meditation and postures, becoming a "meditation in motion.

    Power-Yoga -- Taking its inspiration from Ashtanga Yoga, Power-Yoga is a combination of intense postures linked with the vinyasa, or connecting movement between the postures. The emphasis is on strength and endurance and also concentration and flow. It will guaranty a great sweat!!

    Ashtanga -- This is a practice which is vigorous and physically demanding, following a set series of postures, which is designed to cleanse and purify the internal organs of the body through prevention of the accumulation of waste products. For example - forward bending asanas are helpful in toning the internal organs of the abdomen and relieving constipation. The Ashtanga Yoga system places equal emphasis on strength, flexibility, and stamina.

    Kundalini -- Meditational practice. A variety of postures and breathing techniques are used to raise the kundalini (dormant energy in the spine) leaving the practicer feeling blissful and deeply connected.

    There are several other different types of yoga. As we increase our asana (posture) practice, we come to realize that yoga is much more than stretching and relaxation -- It's a way of life. The yogic teachings offer us a better quality of life. Which includes self-awareness and understanding on the path to achieving enlightment.

  • Fitness is good for the body yes, but it is also good for achieving a healthy mental and emotional balance. It releases endorphins and lifts the spirit. It gives us more energy. Gyro tonic and Pilates fitness systems relieve tension which is really stress that locks itself in our bodies and disguises itself as inflexibility, stiff necks, lower back pain, etc. Gyro tonic and Pilates will reward you with the physical benefits of a stronger, leaner, and more flexible body. It will offer you a sense of well being and a feeling of lightness that comes with breathing properly and stretching those tight joints.

    Developed in the 1920's by legendary physical trainer and founder of the Pilates Studio Joseph H. Pilates.

    What is Pilates? It is a practice that focuses on strengthening and stretching the body; resulting in long, lean muscles. Workouts are custom designed to meet each client's goals. Pilates is a life-long process of training your body with an expectation of health and wellness.

    Only recently having been "rediscovered" by the athletic community, PILATES offers one of the more optimum methods for conditioning the body. Comprised of over 500 movements performed on specialized equipment, which is designed to work with spring tension and pulleys to provide assistance and resistance. PILATES stretches and tones muscles while reducing tension and strain from the joints and lower back. The result is an increase in strength, energy and flexibility. Note: An extensively trained teacher should supervise most exercises in pilates. Pilates is good for fibromyalgia!!

    What is Fibromyalgia Syndrome? FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons--the fibrous tissues in the body.

    Most patients with fibromyalgia say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with fibromyalgia, but it shows up in people of all ages

    Gyrotonic - Did you Know
    The Combination Pulley Tower is the most popular and versatile unit of Juliu Horvath's Gyrotonic family of equipment. Its low impact exercises are performed on a beautifully handcrafted wooden machine that uses weights, cams and pulleys. The workout is designed to balance the body's strength and flexibility.

    If you elevate your awareness and please, don't be afraid to talk to yourself. You are and will be your own true inspiration. When the changes are made over time suddenly one day you'll look in the mirror and feel more in control about you, your health, and your environment. Then you can begin to teach others. Thank you for taking the time to enlighten yourself and remember the mind is like a parachute it only works when its open.

    The Gyrotonic Expansion System is the creation of Juliu Horvath, who was a competative gymnast and swimmer as an adolescent and ballet principal in early adulthood. By his mid thirties, Juliu stopped performing to study yoga to address his injuries. The result was the creation of a yoga system, which synthesizes yoga, dance, swimming and gymnastics, and is performed on handcrafted wooden equipment that utilizes weights, cams and pulleys-which makes the movements more accessible and/or challenging, depending on the client's needs and abilities.

    The information you just read on pilates and gyrotonic is to inform you on our vast varieties of physical activities you can participate in. Some of these exercises may be new to you, however, the key to a healthier life is about learning new ways to improve your well being and remember knowledge is a powerful tool for making sound and informed decisions that positively affect your life.

About the Author
Helena Ray is the creator of Convictions of the Heart (www.convictionsoftheheart.com), a website dedicated to helping people become aware of the current environmental problems and the personal effects on your health. Convictions of the Heart supports all green merchants and offers a variety of environmentally friendly products, all natural products, and whole foods.

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