Recess Endurance Training with Restorative Yoga

Photo Credit: Reebok Experience Store Prague

While I nourish my need for sweating, focus, discipline and determination during my cardio, weight training & rigorous Asana practice. I have discovered a way to nurture the more energetic spiritual side of my nature through restorative yoga. Instead of trying to fit the idea of the “correct” alignment in squats, burners, and planks, restorative poses allow you to let go and sink into what feels right in the moment as your muscles enter a restorative phase. Maria G. Araneta, PhD, MPH, of University of California San Diego, designed a study to analyze a steady loss in fat in obese women from low intensity exercise than aerobic exercise, which has been known to increase heart rate, burn calories and fat. Their findings revealed the significance in restorative yoga practice to reduce levels of cortisol which rises during times of stress and is known to increase abdominal fat. Findings also reported that yoga participants lost significantly more subcutaneous fat over the initial 6 months of the study period, and kept losing it during a maintenance period with less direct supervision. As Arenata explained, Poses are held much longer than in other styles of yoga, often as long as 7 minutes, compressing the muscle aligning with the breath, deepening the pose as measured breathing is emphasized. As endurance athletes, we ask much of our bodies. Moderate to intense exercise stimulates our sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system, which literally breaks down muscle. Every workout we do challenges the body, and when the body adapts, it becomes stronger. However, the adaptation or recovery phase is just as important as the workout itself. Without recovery, there would be no gains in power, strength or endurance. One way to enhance your recovery is by practicing restorative yoga. Many athletes view yoga as an alternative means of exercise or physical training, but if practiced in its true spirit, yoga can balance body and mind, which enhances both athletic performance and well-being.

For more on restorative yoga to balance your endurance workout life, join me Thursday, September 21 @6-7:15pm at Oakland’s Loka Yoga for a rejuvenating flow experience.

See you on the mat!

Power it up with Resistance Bands -On or off the Mat!

 

bandsResistance bands are the greatest muscle building tool on the planet – there, I said it! However, If you do the same workout over and over not only will your body stop responding, but you will get bored and eventually skip your sessions. And that’s when yoga comes in to break up the monotony in your workout life.

 

What you need: One exercise band with handles, Wacces® NEW 5 Resistance Bands SET for Yoga, ABS & Gym Workout is what I recommend. I teach my clients that need core strengthening with Wacces. Choose light resistance if you’re new to strength-training, medium if you’re already working out.

Leg Extensions

Stretch your adductors and hamstrings with leg extensions. Lie on your back with both legs extended along the floor. Bend the right knee and place the resistance band around the ball of your right foot. Extend the right leg toward the sky and hold both ends of the band with your right hand. Slowly allow the right leg to fall toward the right side, stretching the hip.

Dancer Pose

Standing with a straight spine, bend your right knee and wrap a resistance band around the top of your right foot. Hold both ends of the band behind you with your right hand, and tilt your torso forward to a 45-degree angle. Raise the right leg toward the ceiling as high as it will go and extend the left arm out in front of you for balance. Press back slightly with the right foot against the resistance of the band, engaging the quadriceps.

Squats

The squat is my favorite exercise of all. Start with “Off the door anchor” squat. This style of squat will require you to stand on the bands. There are two variations of this squat that relate to your hand position. Many people prefer to squat by holding the handles up in what I call “Bar Position” (as if you have a bar across your back). Others prefer the second variation, which is simply holding the actual bands with your arms positioned straight down. Try each variate to see which style feels better. There you go. The essential, unbelievable squat for resistance bands workouts.

 

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In 2015, Prevention tested five ways to get strong—weights, resistance balls and bands, Pilates, yoga, and body-weight moves like push-ups—on 18 sedentary women to find out which could deliver a leaner, firmer figure the fastest. Resistance bands was the winner of them all. After 12 weeks, the women in our band group shaved 30% more inches off their bellies, hips, arms, and thighs, averaging a total loss of 15 inches. They also dropped 18% more weight—averaging 6 pounds each—while one of them built enough shapely muscle to rev up her metabolism by about 120 calories a day.

For these moves you’ll need a sturdy chair and small, looped resistance band. Add a few of the exercises below to your current total-body routine (perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.)

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A great exercise of spinal strength is to work with a chair for some resistance workout. The chair requires openness through the front side of the torso while deepening the bend into the legs. Most importantly, the weight of chair pose is back in the heels, allowing for accessible stacking of the vertebra to create shoulder over hip alignment. Sometimes, the range of motion in the shoulders limits the ability to take the arms up and overhead.

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Adding a resistance band will increase the amount of tension taking the arms back and allow for an easier stack of the shoulders over the hips.

Book a session with me if you want to explore circuit training through a resistance bands. I hope this blog was beneficial and can add to your next workout, on or off the yoga mat! Happy banding!!