Excercise Archives

Kundalini Yoga – My Yoga Journey Begins

meditation

 

 

Over the years my levels of exercise has decreased and I have found that my flexibility has also diminished.

Every now and then I go on a campaign to get fit, but the last effort resulted in a torn tendon in my foot which saw me spend the first part of my holiday to the US and Europe, in a wheelchair. The program consisted of going for a walk and doing fast sprints up hills. Obviously my body decided this wasn’t what it wanted to do. And the fact that I didn’t do a proper warm up would have had something to do with the outcome.

Well I’ve made the decision to not have this sort of problem in the future so Paula and I have embarked on a program that suits us both. This is the Kundalini Yoga: A Complete Course for Beginners.

So What is Kundalin Yoga:

kundalini-yogaKundalini yoga is known as the Yoga of Awareness and it  is a comprehensive practice of yoga that combines meditation, physical exercises, breathing techniques and mantras. Our teacher on the DVD is Nirvair Khalsa who studied for many, many years under Yogi Bhajan. He is easy to listen to, is very thorough in showing the correct technique for each pose and explains everything in detail.  There are parts where he tells a few anecdotes that you can simply skip over when playing the disc through again.

Kundalini literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved” and alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within all of us. The object is to awaken the power of an individual to excel and fulfill their personal destiny.

All this will no doubt come to me in time but what I want right now is the benefit of a program that will help me with flexibility as well and this is what I am finding with Kundalini Yoga.

Day 1: We popped the first dvd on and settled back to watch the introduction. Okay so far so good. OOPs now we need to start some gentle stretching and are introduced to slow, deep breathing.

Nothing too demanding. Of course there is a bit of reaction in some of my joints but nothing painful or unbearable.  Remember, this body hasn’t been strenuously tested for many moons.

At the end of day 1 I am comfortable with what has been achieved and I’m really looking forward to day 2.

Day 2:

A bit of a twinge in the joints on waking, nothing intense and it passes as soon as I start moving about.

So after we have done our daily gratitude journal we pop in the 2nd disc which starts with simple stretching and breathing exercises. These are a little more intense than day 1, so we have decided to do the Part 1 exercises for a few more days.

The stretches certainly reach deep into the muscles and joints and I am unable to completely master some of exercises just yet but even as I am doing them I can feel the flow of energy making it easier with each passing minute.  The deep breathing exercises help to relax the muscles making it easier to stretch longer and deeper. So all in all a good day. See how I front up tomorrow.

Day 3:

Feeling great, so I decided to try something a little more intense. I put on the weight loss disc.  Hmm, not quite flexible enough to tackle some of the routine but I’m reasonably happy with how I have gone when I get to the end.  I have to say that I am really enjoying this Kundalini Yoga course  and I am already starting to feel an improvement in my flexibility.

Day 4:

Well today didn’t go quite as well for either of us.  For some inexplicable reason both Paula and I  felt lethargic, and I definitely wasn’t quite at the top of my game. Everything was an effort to do.  I think my body has just realised that this is an ongoing exercise and decided to rebel.  Nevertheless I persevered and pushed through the twinge barrier. I dDidn’t feel quite as refreshed and invigorated at the end of the session but I’m looking forward to tomorrow as I firmly believe that the more I continue the better and easier it will get.

I love the music that plays during the exercises we went searching the net for it and found it on youtube. The piece is called “Rakhe Rakhanha’ by Singh Kaur, a woman with a truly beautiful voice. This piece of music is ideal for doing yoga or meditation.

 

I will keep you posted with my progression over the coming weeks, I have to say I am excited.

 

 UPDATE:

We have been continuing with our sessions on and off over the past few months. We are both feeling really great and I have noticed a marked improvement in my flexibility. And even when we take a few days off for whatever reason, it is never as hard to do as when we first started.

I will definitely keep doing these sessions.

 

 

 

exercise-with-weightsThe Tabata method combines anaerobic and aerobic training in a very short period of time. This training causes a lactate threshold effect in the body that benefits body builders, people who train in martial arts and other athletes. One of the best things about the Tabata method is that it can be performed using any cardiovascular exercise or piece of exercise equipment. This method is commonly performed using weights, but they are not required.

How Was the Tabata Method Developed?

The Tabata method was originally tested and designed in Japan at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports. The method is named for Dr. Tabata Izumi, a lead researcher on the project. Dr. Izumi and his team compared the results of two cycling training programs. One of the programs was moderate intensity with a long duration, while the other was short duration and high intensity. The short duration, high intensity workout produced significantly more improvement in their anaerobic capacity than the moderate intensity, long duration workout. The method was tested using other forms of exercise and the results were always the same.

How it Works

The Tabata method benefits the body by increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen using both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Exercisers who use the Tabata method work out for just four minutes each day, compared to the minimum of 60 minutes that most exercisers work out each day. Exercisers complete as many repetitions of their chosen exercise as they can in 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds before starting reps again. This routine is repeated for four minutes. It is important that you work at your highest intensity during every 20 second activity period to get the best results from using the Tabata Method.

It is easy to lose count when you are practicing the Tabata method because you are working out at your maximum. Using an online calculator is helpful because it will keep you on track for both activity periods and rest periods. You can do the same exercise the entire four minutes or change exercises to work both the upper body and lower body. This method can be used to target specific muscles or as a great workout for the entire body. The best part is that it only takes four minutes per day, but you will be sweating and burning calories much longer than your total workout time.

Benefits of the Tabata Method

The Tabata method burns fat quickly by increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Intense exercise raises the basal metabolic rate of the body by about 15 times the normal rate. When this stress is put on the body regularly it increases the normal metabolic rate to account for the increased demand. The basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy the body burns while it is resting, so the body burns more calories when you are not working out when you use the Tabata method regularly. Another Benefit is retention of muscle tissue. Dieting can cause the body to lose muscle tissue along with fat. The Tabata method stresses the muscle tissue, telling the body that it needs to increase muscle tissue production rather than decrease it.

The Tabata method also saves time. It is easy for anyone to work out for just four minutes per day, meaning that people are more likely to stick to the workout because it doesn’t require a large time commitment. The exercises can be varied as you see fit as long as you keep the basic principle of working out at your max for 20 seconds at a time.

Does the Tabata Method Work?

Studies have shown that the Tabata method is very effective if it is performed properly. The Tabata method works for people who give it their all. At the end of the four minutes you should be sweating, gasping for air and feeling like you can’t move another muscle. People who are training for a sport that is very physically demanding usually get great results from using the Tabata method, particularly sports that require the body to be in excellent condition both aerobically and anaerobically. These sports include wrestling, football, martial arts, soccer, basketball and boxing.

Is the Tabata Method Safe?

The Tabata method is safe for most exercisers and athletes, but should not be performed by people who are out-of-shape. Even people who exercise often may need to ease into doing the full Tabata method. Exercise experts suggest starting with 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 90 seconds of rest. The rest time should be shortened during each workout by about 10 seconds until you have reached the standard of 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest. It is important for you to listen to your own body and stop if you feel intense pain. There is a difference between the pain you feel from working out at your maximum level and the pain caused by an injury.

About the Author

OnlineClock.net are the creators of online fitness countdowns and other great, free time tools that you use right in your web browser. These tools are loved by many because they’re great for timing your fitness workouts.

 

 

 

Getting Your Kids to Exercise

Kids these days are so much more interested in sitting in front of the television playing video games or watching their favorite shows or playing on the computer than they are in going outside and running around and riding bikes and getting exercise. It’s no secret, and in fact it’s contributed to part of America’s obesity problem.

But getting kids to be excited about exercising isn’t exactly easy. They have short attention spans, less endurance and less desire to exercise than adults. So how do you get them excited to get moving? Here are just a few ideas.

Lead By Example

If kids see their parents exercising, they’ll be more likely to get moving themselves. Make it a habit on your end to have a regular exercise routine, and make physical activities a part of your day as a family. Try to take the kids with you when you take the dog out for a walk or plan bike rides to a park for a healthy picnic or something.

You could even let your kids come with you to the gym once in a while. They’ll get to sit and watch how you work out, and they’ll be more inclined to follow your example. You should also try to play sports with your kids, whether it’s playing catch out in the yard or getting some tennis rackets and going to the tennis courts or even swimming with them. If you’re involved in it, they’ll stay excited about it.

Think Outside the Box

Not every child is going to enjoy organized sports as much as some parents would like them to. Think about other activities your child could do to stay active – think along the lines of judo or karate, dance, swimming or anything that’s more individualized. Your child may find that they like personal attention better than being part of a team, which is fine as long as what they’re doing gets them moving!

The point is to let your kids have fun if your goal is to hold their interest in an activity. Keep trying different things until you and your child both find one that works.

Make It Sound “Cool”

Kids are so concerned with being cool that they’ll do anything they think will make them “cooler” amongst their peers. Familiarize your children with some famous athletes in sports that they seem to show interest in. Make sure they know just how awesome these professional athletes are. Before you know it, your kid will be running around everywhere saying they want to be like whoever their favorite professional is. That’s a good thing.

When kids see someone successful and “cool” doing what they do, they’ll be more likely to stick to it. It will also help if you talk to the parents of your child’s friends and try to get their children involved in the same or similar activity. This will make your child feel more like they fit in and like what they are doing is actually making them cooler.

Provide Positive Feedback

No matter how much you know about whatever sport your child decides to play (if they choose one at all), don’t go to their practices or games to dissect every little move they make and tell them where they didn’t do the best job at something. For example, if you played soccer in high school and in college and were a defensive star, don’t go to your child’s games to tell them how poorly they played on defense.

Instead, approach every practice and every game in a positive manner. Even if your child just runs around after the ball and never touches it, applaud his or her effort anyway. Consistent encouragement will keep your child engaged in what they are doing. Never discourage your child in any physical activity unless you want them to end up back on the couch in front of the television.

Use Props

Ah, the beauty of a giant piece of equipment called a trampoline! You’d be shocked at how much energy jumping on a trampoline requires. Send your kids outside to play on it – they’ll have a blast and get a solid amount of physical activity in at the same time.

A swing set is another beautiful piece of lawn equipment. Kids of all ages love to swing, and the constant pumping of the legs and pulling on the chains can actually be a great workout for your little ones.

Even installing a swimming pool in your backyard will help get your kids more active. It will quickly become their favorite activity in the summertime, and if they love it enough at home, you could even consider taking it one step further and enlisting them in swim lessons to build their interest in the sport.

Getting kids to be active doesn’t have to mean sending them outside to run around in circles in the yard all day (unless, of course, that’s what they want to do!). You can think of creative ways to involve the whole family in being active and encourage your child to continue doing what it is they enjoy doing. You’ll have a healthier, more active child in no time!

Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer and loves children. Her niece and nephew love visiting her because her entire basement is covered in gym flooring that they can run around and go crazy on all day long without falling and getting hurt! She thinks it’s important for every child to find an activity that they love and stick to it!