Life by DailyBurn » Yoga http://dailyburn.com/life A better you, for life. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:38:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Don’t Think You Have a Yoga Body? Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-modifications-all-body-sizes/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-modifications-all-body-sizes/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:15:19 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42555 Don't Think You Have a Yoga Body- Here's Why It Doesn't Matter

https://instagram.com/p/3-GpZfMuC3/

Just five breaths in downward dog felt like an eternity for Dana Falsetti when she first started attending yoga classes in 2014. “I remember feeling really defeated…. I think that’s a common thing for any beginner,” she says. Her shoulders felt weak attempting to hold her bodyweight — and her ego took a hit, too. “It was sort of a double whammy — I can’t do any of these poses and I’m also sort of the fat girl in the room.”

RELATED: Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

After years of struggling with her weight, which has fluctuated between 170 to 300 pounds since she was in eighth grade, Falsetti turned to yoga at age 21. Yet, as other students began kicking up into handstands, Fasletti feared that her body was too big for such feats.

Turns out her anxieties on the mat were unwarranted. Now, just over a year after she started practicing, Falsetti can easily pop upside-down to perform inversions (like the pose in the photo below). Her personal transformation — documented on her popular Instagram page — even motivated her to get her teaching certification and tour the country leading yoga workshops this summer.

https://instagram.com/p/5F6HnMMuA5/?taken-by=nolatrees

“People often ask me, ‘How do I get stronger?’, and I simply tell them to keep practicing, but practice smart,” says Falsetti. “Practice with alignment in mind, with body awareness [and] with integrity.”

“It starts making you wonder what other things in your life you’re telling yourself you can’t do, that you can do.”

Your Body on Yoga

Though you might picture all yogis as long and lean, yoga transcends size. Body type or gender do not automatically predict skill level, either. “I’ve learned that size doesn’t necessarily matter,” says Kent Katich, an LA-based yoga instructor who has worked with NBA players for over two decades. “I’ve been blown away by the grace and balance of [seven-foot tall] guys and amazed at how weak some of the supposedly powerful ones are.” Tap your way to #curvyyoga or #yogadudes on Instagram and you’ll see almost 100,000 posts from folks of all shapes and sizes, as they twist into gravity-defying arm balances, and crazy configurations.

https://instagram.com/p/4heRxgrVJd/?taken-by=nikebasketball

Roughly 10 percent of U.S. adults practice yoga, and for good reason. It delivers a slew of benefits, including improved blood circulation and better sleep. And plenty of those people are nowhere close to a size zero (like Olympic snowboarding champion Jamie Anderson and NBA star Lebron James, pictured above).

Yoga’s benefits extend beyond the physical, too. Falsetti’s journey has helped her feel more confident than ever. “It starts making you wonder what other things in your life you’re telling yourself you can’t do, that you can do,” she says.

Strike a Pose

Yoga can be a challenge for any beginner, no matter their body. Even the fundamental postures require a great deal of strength, says Falsetti. Luckily, modifications can help make yoga accessible to everyone. “Instead of seeing an advanced pose and thinking, ‘Impossible,’ break the asanas, all of them, down into shapes,” she says. "If you can understand the shapes, the alignment, the concepts, then you can practice with [more] body awareness.” The rest, she says, comes with a healthy dose of patience and discipline.

Where’s a yoga newbie to start? We asked Falsetti to share a few tips to help beginners of all sizes get started on their own yoga journey.

4 Ways to Make Yoga Poses Work for Any Body

Forward Fold

1. Forward Fold

How to: Stand at the top of your yoga mat. Your toes can come to touch or you can place your feet hip-width apart, making sure they are parallel (a). Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine. Bend forward from your hips, leading with the chest (b). Bend your knees as needed so your belly and thighs touch. Hands can come to the floor or can rest on blocks, or can wrap around your calves (c).

Pro Tip: The objective of this pose is to lengthen your spine, so don’t worry if you can’t straighten your legs completely. The best thing you can do is start with bent knees even if you think you don’t need to, says Falsetti. Once your chest and thighs are touching, you can then try to straighten your legs.

Downward Dog Pose

2. Downward Dog

How to: From a forward fold, place your hands shoulder-width apart on the mat (a). Step your feet back as though you are coming to a plank, but keep them hip-width apart or closer. Your legs do not have to be completely straight and your heels do not have to be flat. Maintain a nice flat back and long spine (b). Lift through your hips (moving upwards with your shoulders) and press the floor away from you, pouring your weight into your fingertips and not your wrists. Keep your head in between your upper arms and gaze towards your belly (c).

Pro Tip: Try bending your knees in order to get a flat back (it’s even OK to let your chest rest on your thighs), Falsetti says. Put a rolled-up blanket under your heels for extra support, she adds.

RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose

Dolphin Pose

3. Dolphin Pose

How to: Start in downward-facing dog, then drop your forearms to the ground (a). Make sure they’re parallel to each other, since a lack of shoulder mobility may cause your elbows flare out slightly. (Correct this by engaging your triceps and broadening your shoulders.) Each arm should form a 90-degree angle (b). Press your shoulder blades out but away from each other. Like down dog, lengthen your tailbone and lift your hips to the sky. Keep your head between your upper arms (c). Gaze towards your belly to open your shoulders more.

Pro Tip: Keep your knees slightly bent and your heels slightly lifted if you find your upper back rounds when you try and straighten your legs. As you feel more comfortable in the pose, try and walk your toes closer towards your elbows, says Falsetti.

Camel Pose

4. Camel

How to: Kneel on the floor, legs hip-width apart, and place your hands on your hips. If you’re a beginner, place blocks next to your ankles or keep the toes tucked. Bring your hands to your chest and touch your palms (a). Draw your shoulders down, away from your ears, and lift your chest towards the sky. Lift up and out of the hips as you send them forward, initiating the back bend here (try not to compress the low back) (b). Breathe in, engaging your core and lengthening your spine, and slowly come back to an upright position. Hands can come to the low back or sides to encourage lifting the hips Slightly tuck your tailbone and draw your navel towards your spine (c). On the exhale, reach back and place your hands on your heels, or on the yoga blocks. Gently press upwards with your pelvis and take deep, controlled breaths. The neck can relax so let your head drop back, if that feels comfortable (d).

Pro Tip: Don’t worry if your body doesn’t want to assume a dramatic arc right off the bat. The important thing is to create space. Falsetti recommends using blocks to support your hands if you have trouble reaching your hands towards your heels, or keep your hands pressed together in front of your chest for a simpler lift.

The post Don’t Think You Have a Yoga Body? Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Don't Think You Have a Yoga Body- Here's Why It Doesn't Matter

https://instagram.com/p/3-GpZfMuC3/ Just five breaths in downward dog felt like an eternity for Dana Falsetti when she first started attending yoga classes in 2014. “I remember feeling really defeated…. I think that’s a common thing for any beginner,” she says. Her shoulders felt weak attempting to hold her bodyweight — and her ego took a hit, too. “It was sort of a double whammy — I can’t do any of these poses and I’m also sort of the fat girl in the room.” RELATED: Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off After years of struggling with her weight, which has fluctuated between 170 to 300 pounds since she was in eighth grade, Falsetti turned to yoga at age 21. Yet, as other students began kicking up into handstands, Fasletti feared that her body was too big for such feats. Turns out her anxieties on the mat were unwarranted. Now, just over a year after she started practicing, Falsetti can easily pop upside-down to perform inversions (like the pose in the photo below). Her personal transformation — documented on her popular Instagram page — even motivated her to get her teaching certification and tour the country leading yoga workshops this summer. https://instagram.com/p/5F6HnMMuA5/?taken-by=nolatrees “People often ask me, ‘How do I get stronger?’, and I simply tell them to keep practicing, but practice smart,” says Falsetti. “Practice with alignment in mind, with body awareness [and] with integrity.”
“It starts making you wonder what other things in your life you’re telling yourself you can’t do, that you can do.”

Your Body on Yoga

Though you might picture all yogis as long and lean, yoga transcends size. Body type or gender do not automatically predict skill level, either. “I’ve learned that size doesn’t necessarily matter,” says Kent Katich, an LA-based yoga instructor who has worked with NBA players for over two decades. “I’ve been blown away by the grace and balance of [seven-foot tall] guys and amazed at how weak some of the supposedly powerful ones are.” Tap your way to #curvyyoga or #yogadudes on Instagram and you’ll see almost 100,000 posts from folks of all shapes and sizes, as they twist into gravity-defying arm balances, and crazy configurations. https://instagram.com/p/4heRxgrVJd/?taken-by=nikebasketball Roughly 10 percent of U.S. adults practice yoga, and for good reason. It delivers a slew of benefits, including improved blood circulation and better sleep. And plenty of those people are nowhere close to a size zero (like Olympic snowboarding champion Jamie Anderson and NBA star Lebron James, pictured above). Yoga’s benefits extend beyond the physical, too. Falsetti’s journey has helped her feel more confident than ever. “It starts making you wonder what other things in your life you’re telling yourself you can’t do, that you can do,” she says.

Strike a Pose

Yoga can be a challenge for any beginner, no matter their body. Even the fundamental postures require a great deal of strength, says Falsetti. Luckily, modifications can help make yoga accessible to everyone. “Instead of seeing an advanced pose and thinking, ‘Impossible,’ break the asanas, all of them, down into shapes,” she says. "If you can understand the shapes, the alignment, the concepts, then you can practice with [more] body awareness.” The rest, she says, comes with a healthy dose of patience and discipline. Where’s a yoga newbie to start? We asked Falsetti to share a few tips to help beginners of all sizes get started on their own yoga journey.

4 Ways to Make Yoga Poses Work for Any Body

Forward Fold

1. Forward Fold

How to: Stand at the top of your yoga mat. Your toes can come to touch or you can place your feet hip-width apart, making sure they are parallel (a). Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine. Bend forward from your hips, leading with the chest (b). Bend your knees as needed so your belly and thighs touch. Hands can come to the floor or can rest on blocks, or can wrap around your calves (c). Pro Tip: The objective of this pose is to lengthen your spine, so don’t worry if you can’t straighten your legs completely. The best thing you can do is start with bent knees even if you think you don’t need to, says Falsetti. Once your chest and thighs are touching, you can then try to straighten your legs. Downward Dog Pose

2. Downward Dog

How to: From a forward fold, place your hands shoulder-width apart on the mat (a). Step your feet back as though you are coming to a plank, but keep them hip-width apart or closer. Your legs do not have to be completely straight and your heels do not have to be flat. Maintain a nice flat back and long spine (b). Lift through your hips (moving upwards with your shoulders) and press the floor away from you, pouring your weight into your fingertips and not your wrists. Keep your head in between your upper arms and gaze towards your belly (c). Pro Tip: Try bending your knees in order to get a flat back (it’s even OK to let your chest rest on your thighs), Falsetti says. Put a rolled-up blanket under your heels for extra support, she adds. RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose Dolphin Pose

3. Dolphin Pose

How to: Start in downward-facing dog, then drop your forearms to the ground (a). Make sure they’re parallel to each other, since a lack of shoulder mobility may cause your elbows flare out slightly. (Correct this by engaging your triceps and broadening your shoulders.) Each arm should form a 90-degree angle (b). Press your shoulder blades out but away from each other. Like down dog, lengthen your tailbone and lift your hips to the sky. Keep your head between your upper arms (c). Gaze towards your belly to open your shoulders more. Pro Tip: Keep your knees slightly bent and your heels slightly lifted if you find your upper back rounds when you try and straighten your legs. As you feel more comfortable in the pose, try and walk your toes closer towards your elbows, says Falsetti. Camel Pose

4. Camel

How to: Kneel on the floor, legs hip-width apart, and place your hands on your hips. If you’re a beginner, place blocks next to your ankles or keep the toes tucked. Bring your hands to your chest and touch your palms (a). Draw your shoulders down, away from your ears, and lift your chest towards the sky. Lift up and out of the hips as you send them forward, initiating the back bend here (try not to compress the low back) (b). Breathe in, engaging your core and lengthening your spine, and slowly come back to an upright position. Hands can come to the low back or sides to encourage lifting the hips Slightly tuck your tailbone and draw your navel towards your spine (c). On the exhale, reach back and place your hands on your heels, or on the yoga blocks. Gently press upwards with your pelvis and take deep, controlled breaths. The neck can relax so let your head drop back, if that feels comfortable (d). Pro Tip: Don’t worry if your body doesn’t want to assume a dramatic arc right off the bat. The important thing is to create space. Falsetti recommends using blocks to support your hands if you have trouble reaching your hands towards your heels, or keep your hands pressed together in front of your chest for a simpler lift.

The post Don’t Think You Have a Yoga Body? Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 15:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42234 Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

[caption id="attachment_42250" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You’ve decided to finally start doing yoga — but after Googling classes in your area, your head is spinning. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good.

But here’s why you shouldn’t be scared: Like cross training, incorporating a variety of types of yoga into your regular practice can help keep you balanced, says Nikki Vilella, senior teacher at Kula Yoga Project and co-owner of Kula Williamsburg. “Try a few different studios, teachers and styles. Then, stick with the one that resonates with you for a good amount of time and be dedicated to the practice,” says Vilella. “The first day you don’t like a class shouldn’t be a reason to bolt and try something new.”

RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap

Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things,” Vilella says. “Someone who is hyper-mobile and flexible doesn’t need the same thing as someone who’s muscular and stiff.”

So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your Ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). We’ve got your definitive list — plus, tips for identifying the style you might like best.

Yoga for Beginners: The 9 Types You Need to Know 

[caption id="attachment_42252" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Hatha

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. “It’s a practice of the body, a physical practice that balances these two energies. So, in reality, it is all hatha yoga,” Vilella says.

Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice.

RELATED: Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout for Your Brain?

"All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do."

2. Vinyasa

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses.

Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes are also drawn to Vinyasa class because of the continuous movement.

3. Iyengar

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique.

Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar — teachers share a wealth of information during class. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (though you should consult with a doctor first), Vilella notes.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

[caption id="attachment_42253" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Ashtanga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, while Mysore style classes (a subset of Ashtanga) require you to perform the series on your own. (But don’t worry – there will always be a teacher in the room to offer assistance if you need it.)

Best for: Type-A folks. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand have given Kundalini a cult-like following.

5. Bikram

Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand.

Best for: Amateurs. Those who are newer to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence.

RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out

6. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity.

Best for: Hardcore sweat lovers. If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class.

[caption id="attachment_42256" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Pond5 Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Kundalini

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand and author Gabrielle Bernstein have given Kundalini a cult-like following. Yet, this physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas —repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness.

Best for: People looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate

8. Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles. Like meditation, it may make you feel antsy at first, but stick with it for a few classes and its restorative powers might have you hooked.

Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. Keep in mind, Yin yoga is not recommended for people who are super flexible (you might overdo it in some poses) or anyone who has a connective tissue disorder, Vilella says.

RELATED: Yin Yoga for Beginners

9. Restorative

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a Restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.

Best for: Everyone. In particular, Vilella says it’s a good yoga practice for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, who has experienced insomnia or who struggles with anxiety. It’s also great for athletes on recovery days.

Ready to try yoga? Head to DailyBurn.com for a free 30-day trial. 

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

[caption id="attachment_42250" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption] You’ve decided to finally start doing yoga — but after Googling classes in your area, your head is spinning. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good. But here’s why you shouldn’t be scared: Like cross training, incorporating a variety of types of yoga into your regular practice can help keep you balanced, says Nikki Vilella, senior teacher at Kula Yoga Project and co-owner of Kula Williamsburg. “Try a few different studios, teachers and styles. Then, stick with the one that resonates with you for a good amount of time and be dedicated to the practice,” says Vilella. “The first day you don’t like a class shouldn’t be a reason to bolt and try something new.” RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things,” Vilella says. “Someone who is hyper-mobile and flexible doesn’t need the same thing as someone who’s muscular and stiff.” So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your Ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). We’ve got your definitive list — plus, tips for identifying the style you might like best.

Yoga for Beginners: The 9 Types You Need to Know 

[caption id="attachment_42252" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Hatha

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. “It’s a practice of the body, a physical practice that balances these two energies. So, in reality, it is all hatha yoga,” Vilella says. Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice. RELATED: Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout for Your Brain?
"All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do."

2. Vinyasa

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses. Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes are also drawn to Vinyasa class because of the continuous movement.

3. Iyengar

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique. Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar — teachers share a wealth of information during class. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (though you should consult with a doctor first), Vilella notes. RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga [caption id="attachment_42253" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Ashtanga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, while Mysore style classes (a subset of Ashtanga) require you to perform the series on your own. (But don’t worry – there will always be a teacher in the room to offer assistance if you need it.) Best for: Type-A folks. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.
Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand have given Kundalini a cult-like following.

5. Bikram

Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand. Best for: Amateurs. Those who are newer to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence. RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out

6. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity. Best for: Hardcore sweat lovers. If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class. [caption id="attachment_42256" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Pond5 Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Kundalini

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand and author Gabrielle Bernstein have given Kundalini a cult-like following. Yet, this physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas —repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness. Best for: People looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy. RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate

8. Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles. Like meditation, it may make you feel antsy at first, but stick with it for a few classes and its restorative powers might have you hooked. Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. Keep in mind, Yin yoga is not recommended for people who are super flexible (you might overdo it in some poses) or anyone who has a connective tissue disorder, Vilella says. RELATED: Yin Yoga for Beginners

9. Restorative

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a Restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose. Best for: Everyone. In particular, Vilella says it’s a good yoga practice for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, who has experienced insomnia or who struggles with anxiety. It’s also great for athletes on recovery days. Ready to try yoga? Head to DailyBurn.com for a free 30-day trial. 

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Fitness Class http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-for-your-first-fitness-class/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/tips-for-your-first-fitness-class/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 15:15:27 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42424 What I Wish I Knew Before My First Group Fitness Class

[caption id="attachment_42434" align="alignnone" width="620"]What I Wish I Knew Before First Group Fitness Class Photo: Pond5[/caption]

The bright lights, wall-to-wall mirrors and spandex-clad regulars might leave you too intimidated to even step foot inside a boutique fitness studio. Which is totally understandable. (And why we love our DailyBurn workouts that much more.) It’s natural to feel like an outsider looking in: “There are so many unspoken rules, unfamiliar machines and potentially hard-to-navigate areas,” says Lisa Niren, head coach at Peloton Cycle. But don’t let your anxiety stop you from checking out that new HIIT class or stepping on a VersaClimber. Here, a few things you should know before you attend, plus tips from top boutique trainers on how to handle it all.

RELATED: 9 Trainer Tips to Get More From Your Fitness Class

6 Things to Know Before Your First Fitness Class

“Be patient, keep trying and know it will get less frustrating the more you practice.”

1. It’s OK to ask for help.
“When you first walk into a class, find your instructor or facilities staff and have them get you set up properly,” says Niren. She recommends arriving at least 10 minutes early — we’d even say 15 if you want to get comfortably situated before the sweat session begins. And your instructor is there precisely to help you, especially in terms of your positioning. “Proper form is everything [when it comes to avoiding injury],” says Marcy Modica, instructor at SLT NYC, a Pilates studio in New York City. “It is the instructor’s job to set you up for success; tell you where to put your hands, feet and body, where you should be feeling the exercise, or how to modify it for any injuries or sensitive spots,” she adds. Bottom line? If you need something, speak up.

2. Comparing yourself to others won’t make you feel better or worse about yourself.
While you may feel insecure, keep in mind that everyone is there for his or her own good, not to judge your performance. “No one cares how you look or what you’re wearing,” or, in the case of Pilates, how high your leg extension is. “Everyone is too busy focusing on their own form,” says Modica. So chill out and don’t worry if you can’t get into Crow Pose (most of us still struggle after years of regular yoga practice). We’re all at different levels, and the guy in a handstand next to you isn’t bothered by your newb status. If you’re still feeling unsure of yourself, Niren suggests bringing a workout pal along or first trying the class at non-peak hours.

RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

3. Getting frustrated is part of the process.
Remember: These pro-designed workouts are designed to be tough, not unlike our Inferno HR or Pilates: Phase 2 both are. Attending a new class is supposed to be challenging, explains Modica. In fact, it’s almost “like learning a new language," she says. "Be patient, keep trying and know it will get less frustrating the more you practice.” Whatever you do though, “just don’t quit,” says Niren. Frustration can sometimes be the ignition of true passion, even if you don’t recognize that at first. The key, says Niren, is to look for signs of change, soreness being the most obvious, and generally first, sign.

4. You’ll want to eat something before. Seriously.
“It makes me crazy when someone shows up to class and has to stop multiple times because they’re feeling faint. It signals to me that they are not taking care of themselves,” says Modica. “You can’t move nonstop for an hour without fueling your body.” Niren’s favorite pre (and post!) workout snack is a medium size banana. “They’re essentially nature’s Power Bar,” she says, “and are packed with digestible carbohydrates and loaded with potassium, which helps maintain muscle function.” Not a fruit fan? Try a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Carbohydrates

5. Dehydration can happen to anyone. And it ain’t pretty.
Drinking water is critical to a great workout: after all, it does make up about two-thirds of your body. (And forget those fancy flavors you’re seeing in the market — plain H20 is always best, says Modica, not to mention calorie-free.) Bring your own bottle, since each studio’s water supply may vary. And don’t worry about overhydrating, also known as hyponatremia. It’s unlikely you’ll drink too much group fitness setting, Modica says. It’s more commonly associated with endurance sports, she adds.

RELATED: 8 Cool New Fit Gear Finds on Kickstarter

6. There are good days, and then there are bad days.
It’s important to remind yourself that progress isn’t necessarily (and in fact, often not) linear. There will be classes when you can nail a resistance you hadn’t hit before or get into a new pose, and likewise, there will be classes that follow where you can’t get those same power numbers or move your limbs the same way. That's totally fine. Remember, there will be peaks and valleys. Enjoy the ride — and both the mental and physical rewards you’ll reap.

The post 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Fitness Class appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
What I Wish I Knew Before My First Group Fitness Class

[caption id="attachment_42434" align="alignnone" width="620"]What I Wish I Knew Before First Group Fitness Class Photo: Pond5[/caption]

The bright lights, wall-to-wall mirrors and spandex-clad regulars might leave you too intimidated to even step foot inside a boutique fitness studio. Which is totally understandable. (And why we love our DailyBurn workouts that much more.) It’s natural to feel like an outsider looking in: “There are so many unspoken rules, unfamiliar machines and potentially hard-to-navigate areas,” says Lisa Niren, head coach at Peloton Cycle. But don’t let your anxiety stop you from checking out that new HIIT class or stepping on a VersaClimber. Here, a few things you should know before you attend, plus tips from top boutique trainers on how to handle it all.

RELATED: 9 Trainer Tips to Get More From Your Fitness Class

6 Things to Know Before Your First Fitness Class

“Be patient, keep trying and know it will get less frustrating the more you practice.”
1. It’s OK to ask for help. “When you first walk into a class, find your instructor or facilities staff and have them get you set up properly,” says Niren. She recommends arriving at least 10 minutes early — we’d even say 15 if you want to get comfortably situated before the sweat session begins. And your instructor is there precisely to help you, especially in terms of your positioning. “Proper form is everything [when it comes to avoiding injury],” says Marcy Modica, instructor at SLT NYC, a Pilates studio in New York City. “It is the instructor’s job to set you up for success; tell you where to put your hands, feet and body, where you should be feeling the exercise, or how to modify it for any injuries or sensitive spots,” she adds. Bottom line? If you need something, speak up. 2. Comparing yourself to others won’t make you feel better or worse about yourself. While you may feel insecure, keep in mind that everyone is there for his or her own good, not to judge your performance. “No one cares how you look or what you’re wearing,” or, in the case of Pilates, how high your leg extension is. “Everyone is too busy focusing on their own form,” says Modica. So chill out and don’t worry if you can’t get into Crow Pose (most of us still struggle after years of regular yoga practice). We’re all at different levels, and the guy in a handstand next to you isn’t bothered by your newb status. If you’re still feeling unsure of yourself, Niren suggests bringing a workout pal along or first trying the class at non-peak hours. RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class 3. Getting frustrated is part of the process. Remember: These pro-designed workouts are designed to be tough, not unlike our Inferno HR or Pilates: Phase 2 both are. Attending a new class is supposed to be challenging, explains Modica. In fact, it’s almost “like learning a new language," she says. "Be patient, keep trying and know it will get less frustrating the more you practice.” Whatever you do though, “just don’t quit,” says Niren. Frustration can sometimes be the ignition of true passion, even if you don’t recognize that at first. The key, says Niren, is to look for signs of change, soreness being the most obvious, and generally first, sign. 4. You’ll want to eat something before. Seriously. “It makes me crazy when someone shows up to class and has to stop multiple times because they’re feeling faint. It signals to me that they are not taking care of themselves,” says Modica. “You can’t move nonstop for an hour without fueling your body.” Niren’s favorite pre (and post!) workout snack is a medium size banana. “They’re essentially nature’s Power Bar,” she says, “and are packed with digestible carbohydrates and loaded with potassium, which helps maintain muscle function.” Not a fruit fan? Try a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter. RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Carbohydrates 5. Dehydration can happen to anyone. And it ain’t pretty. Drinking water is critical to a great workout: after all, it does make up about two-thirds of your body. (And forget those fancy flavors you’re seeing in the market — plain H20 is always best, says Modica, not to mention calorie-free.) Bring your own bottle, since each studio’s water supply may vary. And don’t worry about overhydrating, also known as hyponatremia. It’s unlikely you’ll drink too much group fitness setting, Modica says. It’s more commonly associated with endurance sports, she adds. RELATED: 8 Cool New Fit Gear Finds on Kickstarter 6. There are good days, and then there are bad days. It’s important to remind yourself that progress isn’t necessarily (and in fact, often not) linear. There will be classes when you can nail a resistance you hadn’t hit before or get into a new pose, and likewise, there will be classes that follow where you can’t get those same power numbers or move your limbs the same way. That's totally fine. Remember, there will be peaks and valleys. Enjoy the ride — and both the mental and physical rewards you’ll reap.

The post 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Fitness Class appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-yoga-poses-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-yoga-poses-workout/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:15:45 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41713 yoga-poses-for-beginners

[caption id="attachment_41751" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga Poses for Beginners Photo: Pond5[/caption]

If you’re a yoga newbie, it’s completely normal to feel intimidated by the die-hard yogis who warm up for class with handstands. Yes, handstands. But remember, everyone’s got to start somewhere. “And in theory, there are no poses you must know before a class — you’re going there to learn,” says Mandy Ingber, New York Times best-selling author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, not to mention the woman responsible for Jennifer Aniston’s yoga addiction (and rock-hard abs).

Even if it’s Day 1 of your journey, your task is simple: Throw on some form-fitting clothing (you’ll be able to see your body better in poses — and avoid a wardrobe malfunction), then get familiar with these seven essential poses. While you may not see all of them in every class, they’ll help you get started and feel more comfortable when you walk in the room. So grab a mat: Ingber and fellow yogi Tanya Boulton, a New York-based instructor and designer of her own activewear line, break down the must-know beginner yoga poses you'll want to pick up any yoga practice.

RELATED: Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

[caption id="attachment_41726" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mountain Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

What to Know: “The mother of all yoga poses,” according to Ingber, “mountain only looks easy.” But this two-footed stance is the foundation for many others you’ll encounter that require awareness and balance. “It is through this pose that one finds the proper alignment and shape for additional movements,” she says.

How to Do It: Stand with feet together and arms at your side. Ground your feet, making sure all four corners are pressed down. Next, straighten legs, then tuck your tailbone in as you engage your thigh muscles. As you inhale, elongate through your torso and extend arms up, then out. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head, toward the back of your waist as you release arms back to your sides.

[caption id="attachment_41722" align="alignnone" width="620"]Childs Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

What to Know: Consider this your reset moment. Simple in design, this pose relaxes your nervous system and is a great place to take a breather during class if you need one. Got knee problems? Make sure to lower into this position with extra care.

How to Do It: Start in a kneeling position with toes tucked under. Lower your butt towards your feet as you stretch your upper body forward and down with arms extended. Stomach should be comfortably resting on thighs, with your forehead resting on the mat.

[caption id="attachment_41731" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cat Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_41732" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cow Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

3. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)

What to Know: Cat/Cow is a great way to warm up your back, explains Ingber, and get your body ready for downward facing dog. It also helps address mobility (hello, desk jobs) and work your core without the extra stress down dog places on your wrists and shoulders.

How to Do It: Begin with hands and knees on floor, with a neutral spine and abs engaged. Take a big inhale, then, as you exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling and tuck your chin towards your chest, releasing your neck. On the next inhale, arch your back and relax your abs. Lift your head and tailbone upwards, being careful not to place any pressure on your neck by moving too quickly or deeply.

RELATED: How Yoga Helped This Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time

[caption id="attachment_41723" align="alignnone" width="620"]Downward Facing Dog Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanansana)

What to Know: One of the most recognizable poses of the bunch, down dog is a great way to stretch your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and well, just about everything, as well as get you calm and centered.

How to Do It: Come onto hands and knees with palms just past your shoulder, fingers pointing forwards. Knees should be under your tips and toes tucked. Press back into a V-shape position with your body. Feet should be hip-width apart, and if you can’t get your feet to the floor, it’s OK as your hamstrings are likely tight. Spread through all 10 fingers and move chest towards legs.

[caption id="attachment_41729" align="alignnone" width="620"]Warrior I Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

What to Know: The first in the Warrior series, this pose strengthens your legs and opens your hips and chest, while also stretching arms and legs. Plus, you’ll see an increase in your concentration and balance — both essential qualities to carry through your own yoga practice.

How to Do It: Start in mountain pose. As you exhale, step your left foot back about four feet, so you’re in a lunge position with the right ankle over the right knee. Raise your arms up to be in line with ears and turn your left foot about 90 degrees to face the left wall. Align your left heel to be perpendicular with your right heel. Expand your chest and shoulders back, then slide down, and make sure your hips are square as you continue to breathe.

[caption id="attachment_41725" align="alignnone" width="620"]Warrior II Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

What to Know: Similar to Warrior I, Warrior II is just a slight variation on the former, with your body externally rotated to the side instead of facing forward. You’ll still reap the same quad-strengthening benefits of Warrior I, but also open up your hip flexor muscles for greater flexibility, too.

How to Do It: Begin in mountain pose. Exhale and step your left foot back about four feet, making sure the heels are in line. Turn your back foot 90 degrees so that it’s now perpendicular with the front one. Raise your arms out to the side to shoulder height, parallel to floor. Bend your front knee so it’s directly over ankle and sink hips low until the front thigh is parallel to floor. Look straight ahead, eyes in line with your front-facing arm.

RELATED: Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You

[caption id="attachment_41724" align="alignnone" width="620"]Shavasana Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

What to Know: Lying around may seem pointless, but this is one of the most meditative moments in any yoga practice. Corpse pose calms the mind, relieves stress and induces a relaxed state. (Why do you think yogis are so chill?)

How to Do It: Lie down on your back and let your feet fall to their sides. Bring your arms alongside your torso, but slightly separated with palms facing the sky. Relax the entire body — your face included. Usually the final pose in a class, you’ll stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to five or 10 minutes. Your instructor will cue you when to slowly awaken your thoughts and return to a seated position.

Want more beginner-friendly yoga routines? Head to DailyBurn.com/yoga to try your first 30 days free. 

The post 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
yoga-poses-for-beginners

[caption id="attachment_41751" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga Poses for Beginners Photo: Pond5[/caption] If you’re a yoga newbie, it’s completely normal to feel intimidated by the die-hard yogis who warm up for class with handstands. Yes, handstands. But remember, everyone’s got to start somewhere. “And in theory, there are no poses you must know before a class — you’re going there to learn,” says Mandy Ingber, New York Times best-selling author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, not to mention the woman responsible for Jennifer Aniston’s yoga addiction (and rock-hard abs). Even if it’s Day 1 of your journey, your task is simple: Throw on some form-fitting clothing (you’ll be able to see your body better in poses — and avoid a wardrobe malfunction), then get familiar with these seven essential poses. While you may not see all of them in every class, they’ll help you get started and feel more comfortable when you walk in the room. So grab a mat: Ingber and fellow yogi Tanya Boulton, a New York-based instructor and designer of her own activewear line, break down the must-know beginner yoga poses you'll want to pick up any yoga practice. RELATED: Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off [caption id="attachment_41726" align="alignnone" width="620"]Mountain Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

What to Know: “The mother of all yoga poses,” according to Ingber, “mountain only looks easy.” But this two-footed stance is the foundation for many others you’ll encounter that require awareness and balance. “It is through this pose that one finds the proper alignment and shape for additional movements,” she says. How to Do It: Stand with feet together and arms at your side. Ground your feet, making sure all four corners are pressed down. Next, straighten legs, then tuck your tailbone in as you engage your thigh muscles. As you inhale, elongate through your torso and extend arms up, then out. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head, toward the back of your waist as you release arms back to your sides. [caption id="attachment_41722" align="alignnone" width="620"]Childs Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

What to Know: Consider this your reset moment. Simple in design, this pose relaxes your nervous system and is a great place to take a breather during class if you need one. Got knee problems? Make sure to lower into this position with extra care. How to Do It: Start in a kneeling position with toes tucked under. Lower your butt towards your feet as you stretch your upper body forward and down with arms extended. Stomach should be comfortably resting on thighs, with your forehead resting on the mat. [caption id="attachment_41731" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cat Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption] [caption id="attachment_41732" align="alignnone" width="620"]Cow Pose Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

3. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)

What to Know: Cat/Cow is a great way to warm up your back, explains Ingber, and get your body ready for downward facing dog. It also helps address mobility (hello, desk jobs) and work your core without the extra stress down dog places on your wrists and shoulders. How to Do It: Begin with hands and knees on floor, with a neutral spine and abs engaged. Take a big inhale, then, as you exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling and tuck your chin towards your chest, releasing your neck. On the next inhale, arch your back and relax your abs. Lift your head and tailbone upwards, being careful not to place any pressure on your neck by moving too quickly or deeply. RELATED: How Yoga Helped This Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time [caption id="attachment_41723" align="alignnone" width="620"]Downward Facing Dog Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanansana)

What to Know: One of the most recognizable poses of the bunch, down dog is a great way to stretch your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and well, just about everything, as well as get you calm and centered. How to Do It: Come onto hands and knees with palms just past your shoulder, fingers pointing forwards. Knees should be under your tips and toes tucked. Press back into a V-shape position with your body. Feet should be hip-width apart, and if you can’t get your feet to the floor, it’s OK as your hamstrings are likely tight. Spread through all 10 fingers and move chest towards legs. [caption id="attachment_41729" align="alignnone" width="620"]Warrior I Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

What to Know: The first in the Warrior series, this pose strengthens your legs and opens your hips and chest, while also stretching arms and legs. Plus, you’ll see an increase in your concentration and balance — both essential qualities to carry through your own yoga practice. How to Do It: Start in mountain pose. As you exhale, step your left foot back about four feet, so you’re in a lunge position with the right ankle over the right knee. Raise your arms up to be in line with ears and turn your left foot about 90 degrees to face the left wall. Align your left heel to be perpendicular with your right heel. Expand your chest and shoulders back, then slide down, and make sure your hips are square as you continue to breathe. [caption id="attachment_41725" align="alignnone" width="620"]Warrior II Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

What to Know: Similar to Warrior I, Warrior II is just a slight variation on the former, with your body externally rotated to the side instead of facing forward. You’ll still reap the same quad-strengthening benefits of Warrior I, but also open up your hip flexor muscles for greater flexibility, too. How to Do It: Begin in mountain pose. Exhale and step your left foot back about four feet, making sure the heels are in line. Turn your back foot 90 degrees so that it’s now perpendicular with the front one. Raise your arms out to the side to shoulder height, parallel to floor. Bend your front knee so it’s directly over ankle and sink hips low until the front thigh is parallel to floor. Look straight ahead, eyes in line with your front-facing arm. RELATED: Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You [caption id="attachment_41724" align="alignnone" width="620"]Shavasana Beginner Yoga Poses Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

What to Know: Lying around may seem pointless, but this is one of the most meditative moments in any yoga practice. Corpse pose calms the mind, relieves stress and induces a relaxed state. (Why do you think yogis are so chill?) How to Do It: Lie down on your back and let your feet fall to their sides. Bring your arms alongside your torso, but slightly separated with palms facing the sky. Relax the entire body — your face included. Usually the final pose in a class, you’ll stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to five or 10 minutes. Your instructor will cue you when to slowly awaken your thoughts and return to a seated position.

Want more beginner-friendly yoga routines? Head to DailyBurn.com/yoga to try your first 30 days free. 

The post 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Do You Have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout? http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sweat-during-exercise-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sweat-during-exercise-workout/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41506 sweating-featured

[caption id="attachment_41562" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweat and Exercise Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Your recent workout left you sweating buckets — that means it was great, right? Not necessarily. “Sweat is not always a great indicator of how good your workout was,” says Jessica Matthews, the American Council on Exercise's Senior Adviser on Health and Fitness. Then there’s the common misconception that how much you sweat determines the amount of calories you’ve burned — which is not always the case.

RELATED: Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First?

First, a lesson on why you’re dripping (or staying pretty dry): “Sweating is one way your body prevents itself from overheating,” explains Matthews. When you exercise, your body literally heats up, stimulating your sweat response. Then, as sweat evaporates off your skin into the air, you cool yourself down.

But it’s important to remember that each person is unique. “Some people can be really sweaty even if they’re not being very physically active, [whereas] someone else can go to the gym for 60 minutes and look like they barely stepped out of the house,” explains Matthews.

And how much you sweat, or what’s referred to as your rate of sweat, is determined by a slew of factors including temperature, humidity, and even how fit you are. Generally, more physically fit people sweat sooner because their bodies’ thermoregulation — aka air conditioning — system turns on faster. But that’s not always the case: So don’t sweat not sweating just yet.

RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

Does Sweating More Help You Burn More Calories?

Because we often associate sweat with exercise, it’s easy to assume the two are related. “The truth is, no matter how much or little you sweat, it doesn’t always correlate to calories burned or how hard you’re working,” Matthews says.

Take a hot yoga class or an outdoor run on a scorching day, for example. Odds are, after you’ve finished, if you step on the scale you’ll notice you’re a few pounds down. Keep in mind that’s water weight — not fat — and is only a temporary loss. Once you rehydrate, you’ll gain it all back.

In one study, Colorado State University researchers found that in a 90-minute Bikram class, men burned around 460 calories, while women averaged 330. Far fewer than you’d think, right? That’s because heated classes are designed to improve muscle flexibility, not increase calorie burn. So while you may be sweating a lot more than you would in your typical power yoga class, you are likely burning less cals, since it’s a less rigorous form of yoga.

RELATED: The 5 Biggest Myths About Metabolism

What Really Matters With Calorie Burn

Matthews cites that duration and intensity are the two most important factors for boosting (or measuring) caloric burn. For aerobic exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine generally recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week. But they note that you need more time on top of that (150 to 250+ minutes) if you’re looking to lose weight.

For resistance workouts, Matthews says weight load is a good measure. Generally, to build muscle, you want to lift a heavy enough weight you can do eight to 15 reps — it should feel hard, but not entirely impossible.

But all this doesn’t mean you should forgo all workouts that don’t make you sweat. Take restorative yoga, for instance. You’re barely breaking a sweat, but you’re reaping quality, calming mind-body benefits. Plus, one study found restorative yoga can help you burn fat, too.

RELATED: Burn More Calories With DailyBurn’s Inferno HR Workout

So forget stressing about your sweat. Just keep moving. Remember: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s more often about upping the intensity, not doing everything you can to sweat more.

The post Do You Have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
sweating-featured

[caption id="attachment_41562" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweat and Exercise Photo: Pond5[/caption] Your recent workout left you sweating buckets — that means it was great, right? Not necessarily. “Sweat is not always a great indicator of how good your workout was,” says Jessica Matthews, the American Council on Exercise's Senior Adviser on Health and Fitness. Then there’s the common misconception that how much you sweat determines the amount of calories you’ve burned — which is not always the case. RELATED: Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First? First, a lesson on why you’re dripping (or staying pretty dry): “Sweating is one way your body prevents itself from overheating,” explains Matthews. When you exercise, your body literally heats up, stimulating your sweat response. Then, as sweat evaporates off your skin into the air, you cool yourself down. But it’s important to remember that each person is unique. “Some people can be really sweaty even if they’re not being very physically active, [whereas] someone else can go to the gym for 60 minutes and look like they barely stepped out of the house,” explains Matthews. And how much you sweat, or what’s referred to as your rate of sweat, is determined by a slew of factors including temperature, humidity, and even how fit you are. Generally, more physically fit people sweat sooner because their bodies’ thermoregulation — aka air conditioning — system turns on faster. But that’s not always the case: So don’t sweat not sweating just yet. RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

Does Sweating More Help You Burn More Calories?

Because we often associate sweat with exercise, it’s easy to assume the two are related. “The truth is, no matter how much or little you sweat, it doesn’t always correlate to calories burned or how hard you’re working,” Matthews says. Take a hot yoga class or an outdoor run on a scorching day, for example. Odds are, after you’ve finished, if you step on the scale you’ll notice you’re a few pounds down. Keep in mind that’s water weight — not fat — and is only a temporary loss. Once you rehydrate, you’ll gain it all back. In one study, Colorado State University researchers found that in a 90-minute Bikram class, men burned around 460 calories, while women averaged 330. Far fewer than you’d think, right? That’s because heated classes are designed to improve muscle flexibility, not increase calorie burn. So while you may be sweating a lot more than you would in your typical power yoga class, you are likely burning less cals, since it’s a less rigorous form of yoga. RELATED: The 5 Biggest Myths About Metabolism

What Really Matters With Calorie Burn

Matthews cites that duration and intensity are the two most important factors for boosting (or measuring) caloric burn. For aerobic exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine generally recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week. But they note that you need more time on top of that (150 to 250+ minutes) if you’re looking to lose weight. For resistance workouts, Matthews says weight load is a good measure. Generally, to build muscle, you want to lift a heavy enough weight you can do eight to 15 reps — it should feel hard, but not entirely impossible. But all this doesn’t mean you should forgo all workouts that don’t make you sweat. Take restorative yoga, for instance. You’re barely breaking a sweat, but you’re reaping quality, calming mind-body benefits. Plus, one study found restorative yoga can help you burn fat, too. RELATED: Burn More Calories With DailyBurn’s Inferno HR Workout So forget stressing about your sweat. Just keep moving. Remember: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s more often about upping the intensity, not doing everything you can to sweat more.

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Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-yoga-crow-pose/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-yoga-crow-pose/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:15:20 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41469 Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

[caption id="attachment_41484" align="alignnone" width="620"]Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Try Photo by Alex Orlov[/caption]

For newbie yogis (and even more seasoned devotees), crow pose can seem downright intimidating. Yet, mastering this move is easier than you might think — and we’d say it’s worthy of every yogi’s bucket list.

Why Crow Pose Is So Tricky

Launching into crow is no easy feat: After pitching forward from a squat position, you’ll need to balance your entire bodyweight on just your hands. (And did we mention your knees are resting in your armpits, of all places?) “You need the strength and flexibility to get yourself in the right position to take flight, but once you’re [there] a lot of it is the balance, core work and…being able to stack your bones correctly,” says NYC-based yoga instructor Kristin McGee. But once you’re there? “It almost feels effortless, like you are flying.”

RELATED: How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now

Catching air will take some prep work, though. The secret to building up to crow lies in strengthening and stretching a few key areas of your body, before popping into position, according to McGee. “A deep squat is important to work on, because you need that range of motion in your hips to get your knees high enough around your armpits,” McGee says. “Your armpit is like a baseball glove and your knee is like the ball, it should be a perfect fit.”

If you’re scared of falling flat on your face, McGee recommends creating a “crash pad” to ward off worries. “Put some blankets or pillows at the front of your mat, so even if you fall forward, at least that gives you a sense and understanding of how far forward you need to be in order to get into that position.”

RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose

Practice these three moves and before you know it, you’ll be popping into crow like a pro.

3 Moves to Help You Master Crow Pose

Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

1. Deep Yoga Squat

How to: Stand with feet hip-distance apart (a). Rise onto your tiptoes, and hold your arms straight out in front of you (b). Slowly lower your body into a deep squat, until your thighs are parallel to the floor (c). Return to standing.

Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

2. Reverse Squat

How to: Start with feet planted on the floor, turned out and slightly wider than hip-distance. (a). Descend into a deep yoga squat until your butt is nearly touching the ground. Use a blanket or weighted bag to anchor your hands onto the floor (b). Slowly straighten your legs, lowering your head to look between your knees (c). Lower back into a squat.

Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

3. Modified Crow

How to: Get into a deep yoga squat, toes slightly turned out, heels on the ground (a). With your arms between your knees, plant your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, elbows pulled in near the sides of your body (b). Pull shoulders away from ears (c). Transition onto the balls of your feet, lifting your butt into the air (d). Walk your feet in closer to your body, until you can fit your knees into the spaces created by your armpits on both sides (e). Lift one foot off the ground, then return it to the mat. Repeat on opposite side.

Once you’re feeling strong in modified crow, it’s time to try the real deal. One pro tip from McGee: Make sure your shoulders are pulled back and down — don’t slouch! Then, engage your abdominal muscles to hold yourself in position. Before you know it, you’ll be flying.

Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

Crow Pose

How to: Get into a deep yoga squat, toes slightly turned out, heels on the ground (a). With your arms between your knees, plant your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, elbows pulled in near the sides of your body (b). Pull shoulders away from ears (c). Transition onto the balls of your feet, lifting your butt into the air (d). Walk your feet in closer to your body, until you can fit your knees into the spaces created by your armpits (e). Shift your weight forward towards your fingertips (f). Float your toes up into the air, keeping your gaze directed at the mat. Aim to hold the pose for a few seconds, gradually adding time as your body grows stronger.

The post Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

[caption id="attachment_41484" align="alignnone" width="620"]Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Try Photo by Alex Orlov[/caption] For newbie yogis (and even more seasoned devotees), crow pose can seem downright intimidating. Yet, mastering this move is easier than you might think — and we’d say it’s worthy of every yogi’s bucket list.

Why Crow Pose Is So Tricky

Launching into crow is no easy feat: After pitching forward from a squat position, you’ll need to balance your entire bodyweight on just your hands. (And did we mention your knees are resting in your armpits, of all places?) “You need the strength and flexibility to get yourself in the right position to take flight, but once you’re [there] a lot of it is the balance, core work and…being able to stack your bones correctly,” says NYC-based yoga instructor Kristin McGee. But once you’re there? “It almost feels effortless, like you are flying.” RELATED: How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now Catching air will take some prep work, though. The secret to building up to crow lies in strengthening and stretching a few key areas of your body, before popping into position, according to McGee. “A deep squat is important to work on, because you need that range of motion in your hips to get your knees high enough around your armpits,” McGee says. “Your armpit is like a baseball glove and your knee is like the ball, it should be a perfect fit.” If you’re scared of falling flat on your face, McGee recommends creating a “crash pad” to ward off worries. “Put some blankets or pillows at the front of your mat, so even if you fall forward, at least that gives you a sense and understanding of how far forward you need to be in order to get into that position.” RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose Practice these three moves and before you know it, you’ll be popping into crow like a pro.

3 Moves to Help You Master Crow Pose

Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

1. Deep Yoga Squat

How to: Stand with feet hip-distance apart (a). Rise onto your tiptoes, and hold your arms straight out in front of you (b). Slowly lower your body into a deep squat, until your thighs are parallel to the floor (c). Return to standing. Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

2. Reverse Squat

How to: Start with feet planted on the floor, turned out and slightly wider than hip-distance. (a). Descend into a deep yoga squat until your butt is nearly touching the ground. Use a blanket or weighted bag to anchor your hands onto the floor (b). Slowly straighten your legs, lowering your head to look between your knees (c). Lower back into a squat. Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

3. Modified Crow

How to: Get into a deep yoga squat, toes slightly turned out, heels on the ground (a). With your arms between your knees, plant your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, elbows pulled in near the sides of your body (b). Pull shoulders away from ears (c). Transition onto the balls of your feet, lifting your butt into the air (d). Walk your feet in closer to your body, until you can fit your knees into the spaces created by your armpits on both sides (e). Lift one foot off the ground, then return it to the mat. Repeat on opposite side. Once you’re feeling strong in modified crow, it’s time to try the real deal. One pro tip from McGee: Make sure your shoulders are pulled back and down — don’t slouch! Then, engage your abdominal muscles to hold yourself in position. Before you know it, you’ll be flying.

Crow Pose, Made Easy: 3 Moves to Pull It Off

Crow Pose

How to: Get into a deep yoga squat, toes slightly turned out, heels on the ground (a). With your arms between your knees, plant your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, elbows pulled in near the sides of your body (b). Pull shoulders away from ears (c). Transition onto the balls of your feet, lifting your butt into the air (d). Walk your feet in closer to your body, until you can fit your knees into the spaces created by your armpits (e). Shift your weight forward towards your fingertips (f). Float your toes up into the air, keeping your gaze directed at the mat. Aim to hold the pose for a few seconds, gradually adding time as your body grows stronger.

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How Yoga Helped This Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-mom-stress-relief/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-mom-stress-relief/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:15:21 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41074 How Yoga Helped One Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time

[caption id="attachment_41078" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Yoga Helped One Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time Photo: Pond5[/caption]

If you’re a parent, or about to become one, we bet you can think of a million to-do’s that don’t involve taking the time to perfect your downward dog. Yet, practicing yoga may be one of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re trying to balance the demands of life and taking care of little ones.

Rebekah Borucki, a mother of five, didn’t start practicing yoga until just before she became pregnant with her fourth child. “And when I tell you it was night and day between that pregnancy and all my others it’s no exaggeration,” says the blogger behind yoga and meditation site BexLife.com. Now a certified yoga instructor, Borucki says, “Just the idea of being fit during pregnancy was so new to me. [Yoga] allowed me to have a practice that was easy on my body, while still maintaining muscle tone and creating happy hormones — endorphins.” Post-pregnancy, she credits yoga and meditation with giving her more patience, and helping her to practice self-compassion, even during the most hectic days.

Here’s how picking up a yoga practice (whether for 10 minutes a day or a full hour) might help you stay grounded, too — no matter what parenthood throws at you.

Yoga and Meditation: A Happiness Practice

Since she was just eight years old, Borucki, now 37, has battled depression and anxiety. But she says yoga and meditation have helped her manage those conditions for over 15 years. “It encourages me to have a better, more honest relationship with my body,” Borucki says. While it’s important to speak with your doctor if you’re feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety, some research seems to suggest that yoga and meditation can act as a mental balm for some people.

“Meditation is a conversation that I’m constantly having with myself."

A small study published in January 2014, found that mindfulness practices, including yoga, had positive effects in women during and after pregnancy. “Although pregnancy can be a time for excitement and happiness, it can also be stressful…for some women more than others,” says study author Janice Goodman.

Goodman says through yoga and meditation, the 24 study participants learned to be kinder to themselves and more accepting of their thoughts and feelings. They also learned to be less reactive. “For example…turning around negative thinking before it spiraled out of control,” Goodman says.

Borucki adds, “Meditation is a conversation that I’m constantly having with myself, and with that constant checking in I’m more mindful of not only how I talk to myself but how I talk to my kids and my partner about myself.”

[caption id="attachment_41079" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Yoga Helped One Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Savasana Your Way to Less Stress

Making time for asanas might also help soothe stressors, big and small. Plus, for moms-to-be, finding time to decompress can be beneficial for baby, too. A 2014 study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found that women who attended yoga class for eight weeks had lower anxiety levels compared to women who didn’t practice.

RELATED: 10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress

Though study author James Newman, PhD, a research associate at Newcastle University says his study didn’t uncover why yoga was so helpful, study participants reported enjoying it for a variety of reasons. “Some really appreciated the exercise components as it helped with aches and pains, whereas others found the breathing techniques really useful for maintaining calm at periods of stress,” he says. “Then others enjoyed the social aspect of meeting other pregnant women.”

How to Make Time for Yoga in Your Life

Between work and family (and don’t forget about sleep!), it can feel impossible to set aside time for something as simple as savasana. Borucki has a career built around yoga — and even she says it can be hard to fit in practice.

RELATED: 17 Tips from Fit Mom Bloggers on Finding Time for Exercise

When she wants to devote 20 minutes or an hour to yoga, Borucki says she makes it a priority to workout before her children wake up. “It’s hard, but I have to do it to maintain sanity,” she says.

She’s also developed a four-minute meditation routine that she can do anytime, anywhere. “That can look like sitting in my car in the driveway before going into my house, for four minutes, and taking deep breaths, repeating the mantra, ‘Inhale and exhale.’”

To try yoga in the comfort of your own home, visit DailyBurn.com for a free 30-day trial.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

The post How Yoga Helped This Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
How Yoga Helped One Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time

[caption id="attachment_41078" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Yoga Helped One Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time Photo: Pond5[/caption] If you’re a parent, or about to become one, we bet you can think of a million to-do’s that don’t involve taking the time to perfect your downward dog. Yet, practicing yoga may be one of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re trying to balance the demands of life and taking care of little ones. Rebekah Borucki, a mother of five, didn’t start practicing yoga until just before she became pregnant with her fourth child. “And when I tell you it was night and day between that pregnancy and all my others it’s no exaggeration,” says the blogger behind yoga and meditation site BexLife.com. Now a certified yoga instructor, Borucki says, “Just the idea of being fit during pregnancy was so new to me. [Yoga] allowed me to have a practice that was easy on my body, while still maintaining muscle tone and creating happy hormones — endorphins.” Post-pregnancy, she credits yoga and meditation with giving her more patience, and helping her to practice self-compassion, even during the most hectic days. Here’s how picking up a yoga practice (whether for 10 minutes a day or a full hour) might help you stay grounded, too — no matter what parenthood throws at you.

Yoga and Meditation: A Happiness Practice

Since she was just eight years old, Borucki, now 37, has battled depression and anxiety. But she says yoga and meditation have helped her manage those conditions for over 15 years. “It encourages me to have a better, more honest relationship with my body,” Borucki says. While it’s important to speak with your doctor if you’re feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety, some research seems to suggest that yoga and meditation can act as a mental balm for some people.
“Meditation is a conversation that I’m constantly having with myself."
A small study published in January 2014, found that mindfulness practices, including yoga, had positive effects in women during and after pregnancy. “Although pregnancy can be a time for excitement and happiness, it can also be stressful…for some women more than others,” says study author Janice Goodman. Goodman says through yoga and meditation, the 24 study participants learned to be kinder to themselves and more accepting of their thoughts and feelings. They also learned to be less reactive. “For example…turning around negative thinking before it spiraled out of control,” Goodman says. Borucki adds, “Meditation is a conversation that I’m constantly having with myself, and with that constant checking in I’m more mindful of not only how I talk to myself but how I talk to my kids and my partner about myself.” [caption id="attachment_41079" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Yoga Helped One Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Savasana Your Way to Less Stress

Making time for asanas might also help soothe stressors, big and small. Plus, for moms-to-be, finding time to decompress can be beneficial for baby, too. A 2014 study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found that women who attended yoga class for eight weeks had lower anxiety levels compared to women who didn’t practice. RELATED: 10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress Though study author James Newman, PhD, a research associate at Newcastle University says his study didn’t uncover why yoga was so helpful, study participants reported enjoying it for a variety of reasons. “Some really appreciated the exercise components as it helped with aches and pains, whereas others found the breathing techniques really useful for maintaining calm at periods of stress,” he says. “Then others enjoyed the social aspect of meeting other pregnant women.”

How to Make Time for Yoga in Your Life

Between work and family (and don’t forget about sleep!), it can feel impossible to set aside time for something as simple as savasana. Borucki has a career built around yoga — and even she says it can be hard to fit in practice. RELATED: 17 Tips from Fit Mom Bloggers on Finding Time for Exercise When she wants to devote 20 minutes or an hour to yoga, Borucki says she makes it a priority to workout before her children wake up. “It’s hard, but I have to do it to maintain sanity,” she says. She’s also developed a four-minute meditation routine that she can do anytime, anywhere. “That can look like sitting in my car in the driveway before going into my house, for four minutes, and taking deep breaths, repeating the mantra, ‘Inhale and exhale.’” To try yoga in the comfort of your own home, visit DailyBurn.com for a free 30-day trial. Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn. 

The post How Yoga Helped This Mom Fight Stress, One Pose at a Time appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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11 Must-Read Books for Runners, Yogis and Food Lovers http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/must-read-books-spring-2015/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/must-read-books-spring-2015/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:15:27 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38840 11 Must-Read Books for Runners, Yogis and Food Lovers

11 Must-Read Books for Runners, Yogis and Food Lovers

Nothing says warm weather like launching yourself into a swimsuit-inspired whole body makeover. Luckily, there’s a new crop of fitness, diet and wellness books to guide you along the way (and save you from the downward spiral of a juice cleanse). Blogilates star Cassey Ho will teach you how to practice Pilates in a whole new way, while happiness guru Gretchen Rubin will help you learn how to make new habits stick. Celebrity trainer Bob Harper will hook you up with advice on how to keep off any pounds you lose — and J.K. Rowling (yes, the Harry Potter author) will teach you that it’s OK to fail sometimes, too.

Whether you read these at the gym, on the beach or at home in your bed, these reads will inspire you to reconnect with your inner health and fitness fiend, fast.

11 Must-Read Books for Health Fiends

[caption id="attachment_38849" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Reads Books: Meb for Mortals Photo: Rodale[/caption]

1. Meb for Mortals
In the first sentence of this book, Meb Keflezighi, Olympic silver medalist and winner of the Boston and NYC Marathons declares, “I’m not the most talented guy.” Before you roll your eyes, give Keflezighi a chance to explain. The champion runner argues that most of his success comes from hard training, combined with nutritional and mental strategies. And now, he’s letting you steal his secrets. You’ll get tips on how to set goals (don’t make them vague or easy), drills to improve your running form and learn Meb’s energy drink of choice (coffee). You’ll also score more than 25 pages of Meb demoing strength training moves — because real runners need muscle, right? ($19.99)

[caption id="attachment_38850" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Hot Body Year Round Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption]

2. Hot Body Year Round
Author Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates, is on a mission to bring Pilates to the masses. (Her YouTube channel has more than two million subscribers!) Now debuting her first book, the 28-year-old is offering an all-out manual for living a fitter life. You’ll get recipes, meal plans, 20 full-length workouts and 120 different bodyweight moves to try. True to its mission to provide you with year-round results, the workouts are seasonally themed. In spring, you’ll strive to start fresh and reinvigorate your body with exercises like the ‘Saddlebag Shaver’ and meals featuring ripe ingredients. We’ll try the Lemon-Cherry Quinoatmeal this month, please! ($18)

RELATED: 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Beginner Core Workout

[caption id="attachment_38852" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Skinny Habits Photo: Ballantine Books[/caption]

3. Skinny Habits: The 6 Secrets of Thin People
If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, you’ve probably wondered how-in-the-heck some people seem to always stay thin. Celebrity trainer Bob Harper, creator of DailyBurn’s Black Fire program, outlines the six habits that are key to long-term weight loss success. Some of these secrets might surprise you — like making sure to rest and recover, even when you’re following a killer workout plan. Also essential: Avoiding “toxic boredom” in your life. Whether you have 10 pounds to lose, or 50, at least one of Harper’s tricks is sure to hit home. ($22)

[caption id="attachment_38854" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Tone It Up Photo: Rodale[/caption]

4. Tone It Up: 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous
Looking at trainers Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, you’d never guess how much they’ve both struggled to stay healthy. Within the first few pages, Karena details how fitness saved her from a life of drugs. Meanwhile, losing 20 pounds in middle school and another 26 pounds she gained as an adult is what motivates Katrina. Get a peek at their personal tips and struggles (Karena cops to having cellulite), and try their daily fitness challenges and healthy recipes. You’ll feel like you’re working out with your BFFs. ($24.99)

RELATED: 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons

[caption id="attachment_38855" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: The Wild Diet Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption]

5. The Wild Diet
When Abel James graduated college, he found himself packing on pounds despite his diet of seemingly “healthy” snacks, like fat-free crackers and zero-calorie Jell-O. It wasn’t until he switched to a diet of real foods — meat, fresh veggies, eggs, real butter and cheese that he started to see results. Now known as “The Fat Burning Man,” the name of his podcast, James has built a following amongst people who want to slim down like he did. James has a paleo-esque approach of eating like our ancestors did and employs high-intensity interval training to shed pounds. You’ll find 40 tasty recipes, ranging from Mustard-Roasted Chicken Legs with Peach Salad to Spicy Beef Chili with Mashed Sweet Potato. This diet’s definitely not about starvation. ($27.95) 

[caption id="attachment_38856" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Running Strong Photo: Rodale[/caption]

6. Running Strong
Dr. Jordan Metzl has completed 32 marathons and 12 Ironmans competitions. And if that doesn’t make him knowledgeable about staying injury-free, the fact that he’s a sports medicine doctor sure does. With tips for everyone from running virgins to seasoned marathoners, Metzl teaches you how to avoid injuries — and what to do when you feel a twinge of pain affecting your stride. (People who love Googling symptoms will appreciate this book’s diagnostic tools — but don’t forget to see a doctor, too!) You’ll get stretches and strength moves for practically every part of your body — and some great 5K to marathon-level training plans as well. ($21.99)

RELATED: 3 Quick and Easy Ways to Prevent Running Injuries

[caption id="attachment_38858" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Better Than Before Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption]

7. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
Feel-good guru Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and several other books has set out on a new quest — figuring out how to make habits stick. In this well-researched narrative, Rubin uses herself and her friends as guinea pigs along the way. You’ll learn to identify your personality type, and how it affects your habits, plus techniques that might help you stick to your goal (like actually scheduling time for new activities). Self-improvement books can be a snooze, but this one weaves in real-life anecdotes to draw you in. It might even get you to finally stick to that new workout routine. ($26)

RELATED: The 30-Second Trick That Might Stop Your Food Cravings

[caption id="attachment_38873" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: The Blue Zones Solution Photo: National Geographic[/caption]

8. The Blue Zones Solution
Journalist Dan Buettner has spent years studying the secrets of the Earth’s “Blue Zones” — regions where people enjoy remarkable longevity, mostly free of disease. Now, he’s going to teach you how to harness the habits of people living in areas like Ikaria, Greece, and Okinawa, Japan. You’ll get a look into the lifestyles of people in each area, including what they eat, and how they exercise. Buettner breaks these secrets down into 44 “Blue Zone Foods” to start incorporating into your diet, and 77 easy longevity-enhancing recipes to try. These healthy living techniques might just convince you to start planning ahead for your 100th birthday party. ($26)

[caption id="attachment_38860" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Yoga Girl Photo: Simon and Schuster[/caption]

9. Yoga Girl
With over a million Instagram followers, Rachel Brathen’s yogi ways are familiar to many. What her followers may not know is that she travelled a hard path to get to where she is today. Brathen’s stepfather died tragically when she was young, and she smoked, drank and did drugs as a teen (even landing in jail for a night). When Brathen’s mother shipped her off on a meditation retreat when she was 18, her life began to change. She moved to Costa Rica and then Aruba, and became a yoga instructor. Her story is interwoven with delicious, healthy recipes (hello, raw banana ice cream!), yoga sequences and tips. If the pictures of poses done in tropical locales don’t draw you in, Brathen’s compelling story surely will. ($19.99)

RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap

[caption id="attachment_38862" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Natural Born Heroes Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption]

10. Natural Born Heroes
After following ultrarunners through Mexico’s Copper Canyon’s in Born to Run, author Christopher McDougall takes his investigative skills to Greece. His mission: To discover how heroes are made. In Crete, otherwise known as the “Island of Heroes,” he strives to learn how savvy natives fought a Nazi invasion during World War II. He also delves into the stories behind modern-day heroes, like a teacher who saved her students from a knife-wielding attacker. One key: Learning to rely on your body (not weapons) for strength. Do you have what it takes? ($13.99) 

[caption id="attachment_38866" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Very Good Lives Photo: Hachette Book Group[/caption]

11. Very Good Lives
Even if you’ve never picked up Harry Potter, these wise words from author J.K. Rowling are worth reading anytime you need a pick-me-up. The book is a transcribed version of Rowling’s famous 2008 Harvard University commencement speech. Rowling admits that seven years after she graduated college, “By every usual standard I was the biggest failure I knew.” Yet, she argues these failures benefited her in the long run — and helped her turn to imagination to push herself outside her comfort zone. You might find the magic words you need to motivate you to hop off the couch and pursue your goals — whether running a marathon or applying for that dream job. ($15)

Originally posted April 7, 2015. Updated June 2015. 

The post 11 Must-Read Books for Runners, Yogis and Food Lovers appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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11 Must-Read Books for Runners, Yogis and Food Lovers

11 Must-Read Books for Runners, Yogis and Food Lovers Nothing says warm weather like launching yourself into a swimsuit-inspired whole body makeover. Luckily, there’s a new crop of fitness, diet and wellness books to guide you along the way (and save you from the downward spiral of a juice cleanse). Blogilates star Cassey Ho will teach you how to practice Pilates in a whole new way, while happiness guru Gretchen Rubin will help you learn how to make new habits stick. Celebrity trainer Bob Harper will hook you up with advice on how to keep off any pounds you lose — and J.K. Rowling (yes, the Harry Potter author) will teach you that it’s OK to fail sometimes, too. Whether you read these at the gym, on the beach or at home in your bed, these reads will inspire you to reconnect with your inner health and fitness fiend, fast.

11 Must-Read Books for Health Fiends

[caption id="attachment_38849" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Reads Books: Meb for Mortals Photo: Rodale[/caption] 1. Meb for Mortals In the first sentence of this book, Meb Keflezighi, Olympic silver medalist and winner of the Boston and NYC Marathons declares, “I’m not the most talented guy.” Before you roll your eyes, give Keflezighi a chance to explain. The champion runner argues that most of his success comes from hard training, combined with nutritional and mental strategies. And now, he’s letting you steal his secrets. You’ll get tips on how to set goals (don’t make them vague or easy), drills to improve your running form and learn Meb’s energy drink of choice (coffee). You’ll also score more than 25 pages of Meb demoing strength training moves — because real runners need muscle, right? ($19.99) [caption id="attachment_38850" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Hot Body Year Round Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption] 2. Hot Body Year Round Author Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates, is on a mission to bring Pilates to the masses. (Her YouTube channel has more than two million subscribers!) Now debuting her first book, the 28-year-old is offering an all-out manual for living a fitter life. You’ll get recipes, meal plans, 20 full-length workouts and 120 different bodyweight moves to try. True to its mission to provide you with year-round results, the workouts are seasonally themed. In spring, you’ll strive to start fresh and reinvigorate your body with exercises like the ‘Saddlebag Shaver’ and meals featuring ripe ingredients. We’ll try the Lemon-Cherry Quinoatmeal this month, please! ($18) RELATED: 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Beginner Core Workout [caption id="attachment_38852" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Skinny Habits Photo: Ballantine Books[/caption] 3. Skinny Habits: The 6 Secrets of Thin People If you’ve ever struggled with your weight, you’ve probably wondered how-in-the-heck some people seem to always stay thin. Celebrity trainer Bob Harper, creator of DailyBurn’s Black Fire program, outlines the six habits that are key to long-term weight loss success. Some of these secrets might surprise you — like making sure to rest and recover, even when you’re following a killer workout plan. Also essential: Avoiding “toxic boredom” in your life. Whether you have 10 pounds to lose, or 50, at least one of Harper’s tricks is sure to hit home. ($22) [caption id="attachment_38854" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Tone It Up Photo: Rodale[/caption] 4. Tone It Up: 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous Looking at trainers Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, you’d never guess how much they’ve both struggled to stay healthy. Within the first few pages, Karena details how fitness saved her from a life of drugs. Meanwhile, losing 20 pounds in middle school and another 26 pounds she gained as an adult is what motivates Katrina. Get a peek at their personal tips and struggles (Karena cops to having cellulite), and try their daily fitness challenges and healthy recipes. You’ll feel like you’re working out with your BFFs. ($24.99) RELATED: 15 Fun, Fast and Beginner-Friendly Marathons [caption id="attachment_38855" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: The Wild Diet Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption] 5. The Wild Diet When Abel James graduated college, he found himself packing on pounds despite his diet of seemingly “healthy” snacks, like fat-free crackers and zero-calorie Jell-O. It wasn’t until he switched to a diet of real foods — meat, fresh veggies, eggs, real butter and cheese that he started to see results. Now known as “The Fat Burning Man,” the name of his podcast, James has built a following amongst people who want to slim down like he did. James has a paleo-esque approach of eating like our ancestors did and employs high-intensity interval training to shed pounds. You’ll find 40 tasty recipes, ranging from Mustard-Roasted Chicken Legs with Peach Salad to Spicy Beef Chili with Mashed Sweet Potato. This diet’s definitely not about starvation. ($27.95)  [caption id="attachment_38856" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Running Strong Photo: Rodale[/caption] 6. Running Strong Dr. Jordan Metzl has completed 32 marathons and 12 Ironmans competitions. And if that doesn’t make him knowledgeable about staying injury-free, the fact that he’s a sports medicine doctor sure does. With tips for everyone from running virgins to seasoned marathoners, Metzl teaches you how to avoid injuries — and what to do when you feel a twinge of pain affecting your stride. (People who love Googling symptoms will appreciate this book’s diagnostic tools — but don’t forget to see a doctor, too!) You’ll get stretches and strength moves for practically every part of your body — and some great 5K to marathon-level training plans as well. ($21.99) RELATED: 3 Quick and Easy Ways to Prevent Running Injuries [caption id="attachment_38858" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Better Than Before Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption] 7. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives Feel-good guru Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and several other books has set out on a new quest — figuring out how to make habits stick. In this well-researched narrative, Rubin uses herself and her friends as guinea pigs along the way. You’ll learn to identify your personality type, and how it affects your habits, plus techniques that might help you stick to your goal (like actually scheduling time for new activities). Self-improvement books can be a snooze, but this one weaves in real-life anecdotes to draw you in. It might even get you to finally stick to that new workout routine. ($26) RELATED: The 30-Second Trick That Might Stop Your Food Cravings [caption id="attachment_38873" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: The Blue Zones Solution Photo: National Geographic[/caption] 8. The Blue Zones Solution Journalist Dan Buettner has spent years studying the secrets of the Earth’s “Blue Zones” — regions where people enjoy remarkable longevity, mostly free of disease. Now, he’s going to teach you how to harness the habits of people living in areas like Ikaria, Greece, and Okinawa, Japan. You’ll get a look into the lifestyles of people in each area, including what they eat, and how they exercise. Buettner breaks these secrets down into 44 “Blue Zone Foods” to start incorporating into your diet, and 77 easy longevity-enhancing recipes to try. These healthy living techniques might just convince you to start planning ahead for your 100th birthday party. ($26) [caption id="attachment_38860" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Yoga Girl Photo: Simon and Schuster[/caption] 9. Yoga Girl With over a million Instagram followers, Rachel Brathen’s yogi ways are familiar to many. What her followers may not know is that she travelled a hard path to get to where she is today. Brathen’s stepfather died tragically when she was young, and she smoked, drank and did drugs as a teen (even landing in jail for a night). When Brathen’s mother shipped her off on a meditation retreat when she was 18, her life began to change. She moved to Costa Rica and then Aruba, and became a yoga instructor. Her story is interwoven with delicious, healthy recipes (hello, raw banana ice cream!), yoga sequences and tips. If the pictures of poses done in tropical locales don’t draw you in, Brathen’s compelling story surely will. ($19.99) RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap [caption id="attachment_38862" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Natural Born Heroes Photo: Penguin Random House[/caption] 10. Natural Born Heroes After following ultrarunners through Mexico’s Copper Canyon’s in Born to Run, author Christopher McDougall takes his investigative skills to Greece. His mission: To discover how heroes are made. In Crete, otherwise known as the “Island of Heroes,” he strives to learn how savvy natives fought a Nazi invasion during World War II. He also delves into the stories behind modern-day heroes, like a teacher who saved her students from a knife-wielding attacker. One key: Learning to rely on your body (not weapons) for strength. Do you have what it takes? ($13.99)  [caption id="attachment_38866" align="alignnone" width="620"]Must-Read Books: Very Good Lives Photo: Hachette Book Group[/caption] 11. Very Good Lives Even if you’ve never picked up Harry Potter, these wise words from author J.K. Rowling are worth reading anytime you need a pick-me-up. The book is a transcribed version of Rowling’s famous 2008 Harvard University commencement speech. Rowling admits that seven years after she graduated college, “By every usual standard I was the biggest failure I knew.” Yet, she argues these failures benefited her in the long run — and helped her turn to imagination to push herself outside her comfort zone. You might find the magic words you need to motivate you to hop off the couch and pursue your goals — whether running a marathon or applying for that dream job. ($15) Originally posted April 7, 2015. Updated June 2015. 

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9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/easy-yoga-poses-happy-go-yoga/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/easy-yoga-poses-happy-go-yoga/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38941 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_38971" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Illustrations by Cody Shipman[/caption]

A former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, Christine Chen used to spend hours behind the news desk, delivering headlines about the latest disasters and scandals. Over time, the lack of sleep, stress and her hectic schedule led to anxiety and back pain. During commercial breaks, she’d lie on the floor of the newsroom to muster up enough relief to smile through the next news segment.

“I see many patients who work in finance or jobs where you’re at your desk all day,” says Dr. Johnny Arnouk, orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Since most people don’t sit with good posture, their back starts to hurt. What seems like a mild strain at first often becomes a chronic problem years later.”

RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap

Chen, then in her early 30s, was willing to do anything to feel better. Eventually, thanks to a combination of medical treatments and yoga, she began experiencing relief. Most importantly, as she began to incorporate yoga into her everyday life, she felt happier and less stressed. Eventually, she left her job in TV news to become a certified yoga instructor.

While many of us could benefit from a stress-busting yoga practice, the truth is, it’s difficult to find time to go to class. Chen’s solution, detailed in her new book, Happy-Go-Yoga, is to take traditional yoga poses and adapt them to everyday situations. “When I was in a lot of pain and stressed out, all I wanted was to not feel so terrible,” says Chen, now 47. “Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, doing little things on a consistent basis.” And encouraging movement throughout the day is good for you, too. “It makes you think of yourself and your health first once in a while,” says Dr. Arnouk.

Want to reap the benefits of yoga, even off the mat? These nine tension tamers and feel-good moves can be done anytime, anywhere.

RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out

Sunrise Stretches

Take control of your day before it gets away from you. These three moves help set a good overall tone for your morning by opening your body and mind.

1. Rock Your Heart

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Desperately in need of a good stretch when you wake up in the morning? This pose might help. “It’s a good, gentle way to balance the body,” says Chen, who lives in New York City. “When you wake up in the morning, you’re crumpled and slumped from sleeping. This opens your chest, gets your blood moving and brings suppleness to the spine.”

How to: Sit up in a comfortable chair and place your hands on your hips (a). Inhale and lift up the center of your chest. It should feel like the lift originates from your middle upper back between your shoulder blades. (b). Exhale and draw your belly button into your body and gently tuck your chin to your chest. Feel your upper back dome slightly. (c). Repeat at least five times or more.

2. Swimmingly

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This move is based on yoga’s classic fish pose. Instead of lying on the floor, you’ll use the wall to find the shape. “I feel like I’m snorkeling in this pose,” says Chen. “Reach your arms behind you and lift your head and chest slightly like you’re looking for fish in front of you.” This pose stretches your chest and helps release tension in the neck.

How to: Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width distance apart, shoulder blades resting on the wall (a). With your arms by your side, press your fingertips, palms and forearms firmly into the wall. (b). Begin to lift your chest up and away from the wall. Your shoulder blades should move slightly closer together on your back while your lower back remains on the wall. (c). Inhale and lift your chest a little more. Continue to breathe deeply.

RELATED: Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You

3. Unbreakable You

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Have a big presentation or important meeting ahead? This move is based on a traditional mudra, or hand gesture, meant to connect you with your inner strength. Your interlocked fingers represent the coming together of your skills; the act of pulling your fingers apart is a symbol of your power, Chen says.

How to: Stand or sit, back straight, and let your shoulders relax (a). Interlace your fingers and place your palms on your torso, just below your chest and above your belly button. Extend your thumbs up toward your chest. (b). Pretend to pull your fingers apart and reach your elbows out to the side. Your fingers should form a lock and prevent your hands from separating. Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears. (c). Slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist and reach through the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

Deskside De-Stressors

Sitting and staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t doing your body any favors. “It’s important to get up every so often, stretch and keep yourself loose,” says Dr. Arnouk. These three moves address the main culprits of on-the-job pain — poor posture, tight hips and neck tension.

4. Spine Align

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

When you sit for a while, you may inevitably start to slouch. To counteract this, “All you need is a thin blanket or thick scarf to re-create the same feeling of a bolster to help you sit up nice and tall,” says Chen. “This aligns the spine, and relieves tightness in the neck, shoulders and back so you’re not working so hard to sit up.”

How to: Roll your blanket, scarf or towel into a thin, smooth roll. The roll should be about as long as the distance between your seat and the base of your neck (a). Vertically align the roll with your spine and place it between your back and the back of the chair. Make sure you’re sitting back in your chair to secure the base of the roll in place. (b). Lean back and feel your chest and shoulders gently open.

5. Counter Pose

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Do your hips feel as tight as rubber bands when you stand up from your desk? This pose was one of Chen’s go-to’s at the news desk to counteract the built up tension in her hips. It’s based on yoga’s pigeon pose.

How to: Stand and face your desk, making sure that the space in front of you is clear (a). Lift your right leg and rest your outer shin, calf and knee on the desk. Your knee should be positioned slightly wider than your shoulder. (b). Place your hands on the desk to stabilize yourself. Flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. (c). Lean forward gently onto your left hand. Take your right hand to your right hip crease and let your fingers fan along the outer thigh. Press gently and rotate your thigh out and down toward the desk. Try to keep your hips even. (d). If you still feel okay, hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a flat back and walk your fingertips forward. The forward fold will further calm your mind. Switch sides.

RELATED: How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now

6. Let It Roll

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

When you’re stressed, it’s common to find your shoulders slowly creeping towards your ears, causing your neck and shoulders to become stiff over time. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rise, this move will help you roll away the tension and restore mobility in your neck in 10 seconds max.

How to: Sit in a chair, back straight (a). Inhale and shrug your shoulders, drawing them toward your ears. (b). Exhale and relax your shoulders. (c). Keeping your right shoulder down, inhale and gently drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. (d). Exhale and roll your chin toward your chest. (e). Inhale and continue to roll your head so that your left ear comes toward your left shoulder. (f). Exhale and roll your head back to center. (g). Inhale and roll your head to the right. Repeat several times.

Commute Calmers

Can’t stand your commute? Crowded trains and planes, combined with delays and cranky passengers are a recipe for stress. The next time you travel from point A to point B, try these moves to find relief for your body and mind.

7. Eagle Perch

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat. Instead of elbowing your neighbors, make your own space with this pose. It releases tension in your shoulders and upper back and helps you turn your focus inwards.

How to: Sit up straight. Bend your elbows and lift them straight in front of you, to shoulder height (a). Take your right arm underneath your left arm and wrap it around your left arm. Connect your palms or the back of your hands together. Alternatively, press your arms together from elbow to palm. (b). Move your elbows forward slightly and let the tops of your shoulders drop away from ears. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper arms and back. Switch sides.

RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

8. Bird of Prey

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This pose will help you improve your focus, while also teaching you to pay attention to your posture. You’ll open up your chest and sit taller. It’s also a good pose to complement Eagle Perch.

How to: Sit in a chair towards the front of your seat (a). Take one arm behind you, elbow bent and forearm resting against the middle of your back, parallel to the seat of your chair. Your palm should face the back of the seat. Roll your shoulder up and back toward the seat. (b). If you feel comfortable, take your other arm behind you in the same fashion. Grasp opposite elbows. (c). Gently lift your chest forward and up. Widen across the collarbones and breathe deeply.

9. Reach for the Moon

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

If your energy levels are shot at the end of the day, try this pose on your commute home. It’s based on the yoga pose Standing Half Moon and is designed to refresh you, working your core and spine while improving your flexibility. It’s best for train or subway commuters.

How to: Stand up straight (a). Inhale, reach your right arm up and over your head to grasp an overhead bar or handle. Let your left arm rest by your side. (b). As your reach for the bar, let the back of your right shoulder drop toward your waist. Keep your right arm straight but not locked. (c). Inhale and grow taller in your spine. Gaze up at your upper arm and don’t let your chest collapse. (d). Exhale and gently side bend to your left. Gaze towards your right shoulder. (e). Inhale and exhale at least 5 times. On an exhale, come out of the side bend.

 

The post 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_38971" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Illustrations by Cody Shipman[/caption] A former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, Christine Chen used to spend hours behind the news desk, delivering headlines about the latest disasters and scandals. Over time, the lack of sleep, stress and her hectic schedule led to anxiety and back pain. During commercial breaks, she’d lie on the floor of the newsroom to muster up enough relief to smile through the next news segment. “I see many patients who work in finance or jobs where you’re at your desk all day,” says Dr. Johnny Arnouk, orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Since most people don’t sit with good posture, their back starts to hurt. What seems like a mild strain at first often becomes a chronic problem years later.” RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap Chen, then in her early 30s, was willing to do anything to feel better. Eventually, thanks to a combination of medical treatments and yoga, she began experiencing relief. Most importantly, as she began to incorporate yoga into her everyday life, she felt happier and less stressed. Eventually, she left her job in TV news to become a certified yoga instructor. While many of us could benefit from a stress-busting yoga practice, the truth is, it’s difficult to find time to go to class. Chen’s solution, detailed in her new book, Happy-Go-Yoga, is to take traditional yoga poses and adapt them to everyday situations. “When I was in a lot of pain and stressed out, all I wanted was to not feel so terrible,” says Chen, now 47. “Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, doing little things on a consistent basis.” And encouraging movement throughout the day is good for you, too. “It makes you think of yourself and your health first once in a while,” says Dr. Arnouk. Want to reap the benefits of yoga, even off the mat? These nine tension tamers and feel-good moves can be done anytime, anywhere. RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out

Sunrise Stretches

Take control of your day before it gets away from you. These three moves help set a good overall tone for your morning by opening your body and mind.

1. Rock Your Heart

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Desperately in need of a good stretch when you wake up in the morning? This pose might help. “It’s a good, gentle way to balance the body,” says Chen, who lives in New York City. “When you wake up in the morning, you’re crumpled and slumped from sleeping. This opens your chest, gets your blood moving and brings suppleness to the spine.” How to: Sit up in a comfortable chair and place your hands on your hips (a). Inhale and lift up the center of your chest. It should feel like the lift originates from your middle upper back between your shoulder blades. (b). Exhale and draw your belly button into your body and gently tuck your chin to your chest. Feel your upper back dome slightly. (c). Repeat at least five times or more.

2. Swimmingly

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel This move is based on yoga’s classic fish pose. Instead of lying on the floor, you’ll use the wall to find the shape. “I feel like I’m snorkeling in this pose,” says Chen. “Reach your arms behind you and lift your head and chest slightly like you’re looking for fish in front of you.” This pose stretches your chest and helps release tension in the neck. How to: Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width distance apart, shoulder blades resting on the wall (a). With your arms by your side, press your fingertips, palms and forearms firmly into the wall. (b). Begin to lift your chest up and away from the wall. Your shoulder blades should move slightly closer together on your back while your lower back remains on the wall. (c). Inhale and lift your chest a little more. Continue to breathe deeply. RELATED: Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You

3. Unbreakable You

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Have a big presentation or important meeting ahead? This move is based on a traditional mudra, or hand gesture, meant to connect you with your inner strength. Your interlocked fingers represent the coming together of your skills; the act of pulling your fingers apart is a symbol of your power, Chen says. How to: Stand or sit, back straight, and let your shoulders relax (a). Interlace your fingers and place your palms on your torso, just below your chest and above your belly button. Extend your thumbs up toward your chest. (b). Pretend to pull your fingers apart and reach your elbows out to the side. Your fingers should form a lock and prevent your hands from separating. Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears. (c). Slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist and reach through the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

Deskside De-Stressors

Sitting and staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t doing your body any favors. “It’s important to get up every so often, stretch and keep yourself loose,” says Dr. Arnouk. These three moves address the main culprits of on-the-job pain — poor posture, tight hips and neck tension.

4. Spine Align

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel When you sit for a while, you may inevitably start to slouch. To counteract this, “All you need is a thin blanket or thick scarf to re-create the same feeling of a bolster to help you sit up nice and tall,” says Chen. “This aligns the spine, and relieves tightness in the neck, shoulders and back so you’re not working so hard to sit up.” How to: Roll your blanket, scarf or towel into a thin, smooth roll. The roll should be about as long as the distance between your seat and the base of your neck (a). Vertically align the roll with your spine and place it between your back and the back of the chair. Make sure you’re sitting back in your chair to secure the base of the roll in place. (b). Lean back and feel your chest and shoulders gently open.

5. Counter Pose

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Do your hips feel as tight as rubber bands when you stand up from your desk? This pose was one of Chen’s go-to’s at the news desk to counteract the built up tension in her hips. It’s based on yoga’s pigeon pose. How to: Stand and face your desk, making sure that the space in front of you is clear (a). Lift your right leg and rest your outer shin, calf and knee on the desk. Your knee should be positioned slightly wider than your shoulder. (b). Place your hands on the desk to stabilize yourself. Flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. (c). Lean forward gently onto your left hand. Take your right hand to your right hip crease and let your fingers fan along the outer thigh. Press gently and rotate your thigh out and down toward the desk. Try to keep your hips even. (d). If you still feel okay, hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a flat back and walk your fingertips forward. The forward fold will further calm your mind. Switch sides. RELATED: How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now

6. Let It Roll

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel When you’re stressed, it’s common to find your shoulders slowly creeping towards your ears, causing your neck and shoulders to become stiff over time. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rise, this move will help you roll away the tension and restore mobility in your neck in 10 seconds max. How to: Sit in a chair, back straight (a). Inhale and shrug your shoulders, drawing them toward your ears. (b). Exhale and relax your shoulders. (c). Keeping your right shoulder down, inhale and gently drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. (d). Exhale and roll your chin toward your chest. (e). Inhale and continue to roll your head so that your left ear comes toward your left shoulder. (f). Exhale and roll your head back to center. (g). Inhale and roll your head to the right. Repeat several times.

Commute Calmers

Can’t stand your commute? Crowded trains and planes, combined with delays and cranky passengers are a recipe for stress. The next time you travel from point A to point B, try these moves to find relief for your body and mind.

7. Eagle Perch

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat. Instead of elbowing your neighbors, make your own space with this pose. It releases tension in your shoulders and upper back and helps you turn your focus inwards. How to: Sit up straight. Bend your elbows and lift them straight in front of you, to shoulder height (a). Take your right arm underneath your left arm and wrap it around your left arm. Connect your palms or the back of your hands together. Alternatively, press your arms together from elbow to palm. (b). Move your elbows forward slightly and let the tops of your shoulders drop away from ears. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper arms and back. Switch sides. RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

8. Bird of Prey

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This pose will help you improve your focus, while also teaching you to pay attention to your posture. You’ll open up your chest and sit taller. It’s also a good pose to complement Eagle Perch. How to: Sit in a chair towards the front of your seat (a). Take one arm behind you, elbow bent and forearm resting against the middle of your back, parallel to the seat of your chair. Your palm should face the back of the seat. Roll your shoulder up and back toward the seat. (b). If you feel comfortable, take your other arm behind you in the same fashion. Grasp opposite elbows. (c). Gently lift your chest forward and up. Widen across the collarbones and breathe deeply.

9. Reach for the Moon

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel If your energy levels are shot at the end of the day, try this pose on your commute home. It’s based on the yoga pose Standing Half Moon and is designed to refresh you, working your core and spine while improving your flexibility. It’s best for train or subway commuters. How to: Stand up straight (a). Inhale, reach your right arm up and over your head to grasp an overhead bar or handle. Let your left arm rest by your side. (b). As your reach for the bar, let the back of your right shoulder drop toward your waist. Keep your right arm straight but not locked. (c). Inhale and grow taller in your spine. Gaze up at your upper arm and don’t let your chest collapse. (d). Exhale and gently side bend to your left. Gaze towards your right shoulder. (e). Inhale and exhale at least 5 times. On an exhale, come out of the side bend.  

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Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/aerial-yoga-workout-antigravity/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/aerial-yoga-workout-antigravity/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:15:42 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38531 Aerial Yoga

[caption id="attachment_38541" align="alignnone" width="620"]Aerial Yoga Photo: AntiGravity Yoga[/caption]

Gwyneth Paltrow is a known fan and now Lena Dunham is Instagramming pictures of herself balancing mid-air. We’re talking about aerial yoga: Performing poses, inversions and other movements suspended off the ground with the help of a hammock. But how did this hundred-year-old circus art break ground in the fitness industry — and is it safe? One thing’s for sure: It’s trending!

What Is Aerial Yoga?

After spending years as a dancer and acrobat in a performance entertainment company, Christopher Harrison’s body was beat up. All the jumping and tumbling had taken a toll on him and fellow crewmembers. One night in 1999 after practice, Harrison proposed doing the same types of shows — but from hanging apparatuses. By suspending themselves in the air, the performers could make the moves less taxing on their bodies. So they decided to give it a go. “Circus silks were perfect because when light hit them, they looked beautiful to a crowd,” says Harrison.

Soon, his company was performing aerial shows — and Harrison went on to share in a Tony Award win for his work. Eventually, celebrities like Mariah Carey were requesting Harrison’s trademarked hammocks for performances. They even appeared at President Obama’s Inauguration and were a part of the medal ceremonies at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

In his time hanging upside down, Harrison realized his new sport was also helping to get rid of the kinks in his back. And with that, the performer — who also had a gymnastics, ballet and yoga background — lowered the silks closer to the ground and created a new aerial art form, AntiGravity Yoga, in 2007. Today, there are 250 locations worldwide including classes in India, Taiwan and Australia.

RELATED: Yoga for Beginners: How to Do a Handstand [VIDEO]

“I began adapting modalities from forms I knew using the apparatus,” says Harrison. “I codified every grip and wrap and developed a program. And then I got it approved by fitness organizations like Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).”

Getting Past Fear: Is Aerial Yoga Really for Everyone?

For individuals with back and neck pain, many yoga poses and inversions, like headstands or even downward dog, just aren’t an option. But when you’re suspended in the air, performing these positions and holds doesn't put any pressure on your spine or neck. (Note, if you have a lingering injury, be sure to check with a doctor before trying.)

“Because people aren’t pushing against gravity, but rather falling into gravity with some of the backward bending positions, it’s possible they are bending in ways that are less problematic,” says Sharon Gary, MSPT, physical therapist based in New York City. “For the neck, it’s a really interesting approach.”

Harrison even got his 70-year-old mother to try using a hammock. “She’s heavy-set and has two new hips so of course she was nervous at first,” he says. “But taking it one step at a time, she was able to do inversions.” She now practices restorative yoga, six to eight inches off the ground, which Harrison says is great for older individuals or people who are physically challenged.

RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

Still not keen on the idea of being suspended upside-down? All AntiGravity Yoga instructors are trained to teach using guided progressions, so students can scale moves according to their comfort level in order to be successful. Think of it like learning any other physical activity — one step at a time.

What Are the Benefits of Aerial Yoga?

[caption id="attachment_38543" align="alignnone" width="620"]Aerial Yoga Photo: AntiGravity Yoga[/caption]

If “because Pink and Mariah Carey are doing it,” isn’t enough to convince you to give antigravity workouts a try, there are a lot of other potential benefits to aerial yoga.

“The best reason to do it is because all day gravity is compressing us, whether we’re sitting, bicycling or typing at a desk,” says Harrison. While it might not seem harmful at the time, extended periods of sitting have been linked to back, neck and hip pain. “Instead of compressing, AntiGravity is decompressing. Many people love it because it has helped get rid of their pain.”

RELATED: The 7 Best Mobility Exercises You Haven’t Tried Yet

The complex movements also force you to focus your attention on breathing and rebalancing the body and mind. “Every time you breathe and move with purpose, you reconnect,” says Harrison. “If you don’t have balance in your workout, you won’t have balance in your life.”

Beyond that, aerial yoga can also build strength. Moves and poses recruit both the arms and legs, plus a constantly engaged core is required to perform most of the balances. “I imagine the strengthening effects are probably pretty incredible,” says Gary. “I can’t think anyone up there couldn’t get stronger.” It’s the best way to get an ab workout without even noticing how hard you’re working.

Plus, swinging and turning upside down is just plain fun. “You open up space in the body and mind, and the more space, the happier you can be,” says Harrison.

To learn more about AntiGravity Yoga or to try a class, visit their website at antigravityfitness.com.

The post Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Aerial Yoga

[caption id="attachment_38541" align="alignnone" width="620"]Aerial Yoga Photo: AntiGravity Yoga[/caption] Gwyneth Paltrow is a known fan and now Lena Dunham is Instagramming pictures of herself balancing mid-air. We’re talking about aerial yoga: Performing poses, inversions and other movements suspended off the ground with the help of a hammock. But how did this hundred-year-old circus art break ground in the fitness industry — and is it safe? One thing’s for sure: It’s trending!

What Is Aerial Yoga?

After spending years as a dancer and acrobat in a performance entertainment company, Christopher Harrison’s body was beat up. All the jumping and tumbling had taken a toll on him and fellow crewmembers. One night in 1999 after practice, Harrison proposed doing the same types of shows — but from hanging apparatuses. By suspending themselves in the air, the performers could make the moves less taxing on their bodies. So they decided to give it a go. “Circus silks were perfect because when light hit them, they looked beautiful to a crowd,” says Harrison. Soon, his company was performing aerial shows — and Harrison went on to share in a Tony Award win for his work. Eventually, celebrities like Mariah Carey were requesting Harrison’s trademarked hammocks for performances. They even appeared at President Obama’s Inauguration and were a part of the medal ceremonies at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. In his time hanging upside down, Harrison realized his new sport was also helping to get rid of the kinks in his back. And with that, the performer — who also had a gymnastics, ballet and yoga background — lowered the silks closer to the ground and created a new aerial art form, AntiGravity Yoga, in 2007. Today, there are 250 locations worldwide including classes in India, Taiwan and Australia. RELATED: Yoga for Beginners: How to Do a Handstand [VIDEO] “I began adapting modalities from forms I knew using the apparatus,” says Harrison. “I codified every grip and wrap and developed a program. And then I got it approved by fitness organizations like Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).”

Getting Past Fear: Is Aerial Yoga Really for Everyone?

For individuals with back and neck pain, many yoga poses and inversions, like headstands or even downward dog, just aren’t an option. But when you’re suspended in the air, performing these positions and holds doesn't put any pressure on your spine or neck. (Note, if you have a lingering injury, be sure to check with a doctor before trying.) “Because people aren’t pushing against gravity, but rather falling into gravity with some of the backward bending positions, it’s possible they are bending in ways that are less problematic,” says Sharon Gary, MSPT, physical therapist based in New York City. “For the neck, it’s a really interesting approach.” Harrison even got his 70-year-old mother to try using a hammock. “She’s heavy-set and has two new hips so of course she was nervous at first,” he says. “But taking it one step at a time, she was able to do inversions.” She now practices restorative yoga, six to eight inches off the ground, which Harrison says is great for older individuals or people who are physically challenged. RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class Still not keen on the idea of being suspended upside-down? All AntiGravity Yoga instructors are trained to teach using guided progressions, so students can scale moves according to their comfort level in order to be successful. Think of it like learning any other physical activity — one step at a time.

What Are the Benefits of Aerial Yoga?

[caption id="attachment_38543" align="alignnone" width="620"]Aerial Yoga Photo: AntiGravity Yoga[/caption] If “because Pink and Mariah Carey are doing it,” isn’t enough to convince you to give antigravity workouts a try, there are a lot of other potential benefits to aerial yoga. “The best reason to do it is because all day gravity is compressing us, whether we’re sitting, bicycling or typing at a desk,” says Harrison. While it might not seem harmful at the time, extended periods of sitting have been linked to back, neck and hip pain. “Instead of compressing, AntiGravity is decompressing. Many people love it because it has helped get rid of their pain.” RELATED: The 7 Best Mobility Exercises You Haven’t Tried Yet The complex movements also force you to focus your attention on breathing and rebalancing the body and mind. “Every time you breathe and move with purpose, you reconnect,” says Harrison. “If you don’t have balance in your workout, you won’t have balance in your life.” Beyond that, aerial yoga can also build strength. Moves and poses recruit both the arms and legs, plus a constantly engaged core is required to perform most of the balances. “I imagine the strengthening effects are probably pretty incredible,” says Gary. “I can’t think anyone up there couldn’t get stronger.” It’s the best way to get an ab workout without even noticing how hard you’re working. Plus, swinging and turning upside down is just plain fun. “You open up space in the body and mind, and the more space, the happier you can be,” says Harrison. To learn more about AntiGravity Yoga or to try a class, visit their website at antigravityfitness.com.

The post Why You Should Try Aerial Yoga Even If It Scares You appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hot-yoga-benefits-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hot-yoga-benefits-tips/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:15:57 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=37360 Hot Yoga Benefits

[caption id="attachment_37362" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hot Yoga Benefits Photo: Pond5[/caption]

What I remember from my first hot yoga class: dashing out of the room to escape the heat and collapsing on the floor gasping for air, as the rest of the class focused on the “half prayer twist” pose. Ten minutes and a liter of water later, I ventured back in and managed to stave off dizziness until being rewarded with the resting pose, savasana.

Yet once I peeled off my drenched clothes in the locker room and started to cool down, I felt surprisingly energized. I was also proud that I had been able to stretch farther — at one point even laying my palms on the floor — than I had done at my regular vinyasa flow class. It didn’t take long before I was hooked on hot yoga.

RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose

As the popularity of yoga soars — nearly 10 percent of U.S. adults are now practicing, according to the latest survey by the National Institutes of Health — many studios have added classes that are conducted in rooms heated anywhere from 90 to 105 degrees. (Those run by U.S. guru Bikram Choudhury are on the hottest end of the spectrum.) Devotees claim the heat gives you better stamina, flexibility and metabolism — never mind the chance to sweat out supposed “toxins” and drop a few pounds.

Yet health experts warn that practicing in such extreme temperatures brings added danger, such as heat stroke and over-stretching, to an activity already under scrutiny for causing injuries and modest weight loss. Finally, newbies are asking: Is all that torture really worth it? Aren’t “warrior I” and “standing head-to-knee” poses hard enough without the risk of slipping in a pool of group perspiration?

It Pays to Sweat

Despite a general lack of research comparing styles of yoga, there’s a growing body of evidence that the hot kind might be good for your heart. “If you put people in a sauna or hot room, their cardiovascular system responds the same way as if they were running on a treadmill,” explains Stacy Hunter, PhD, who researched the effects of Bikram yoga while completing her doctorate at the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. “Both the heart rate and blood flow increase. So the logic goes that combining yoga exercise and heat will be even more beneficial.” Among her findings to support her case: improved metabolism for older obese adults and less arterial stiffness for young adults.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

Besides, hot yoga just feels good. “So far, we have anecdotal information of people describing an euphoric or energetic sensation after class,” says Hunter. “Some people feel they’re ready to seize the day.”

At the very least, the practice won’t hurt you, concludes a small study that was sponsored by the American Council on Exercise. Researchers recorded the core body temperature and heart rates of 20 participants who completed two 60-minute yoga sessions, first in a 70-degree room and then another the next day in a room heated to 92 degrees. Even though the people in the warmer room perceived that they were working harder, the data showed they weren’t. Of course, it’s worth noting these classes were shorter and cooler than the grueling 90-minute Bikram sessions, in 105-degree heat with 40 percent humidity.

It Gets Better

The biggest challenge for beginners is tolerating the initial phase of discomfort from the heat. “You’ll get used to it within a couple weeks of practicing every other day,” explains Mike Fantigrassi, master instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine based in Chandler, Arizona. “You just have to be careful and ease yourself into it.” As you become acclimated, you’ll start to sweat sooner and more frequently, which helps your body cool down. “Don’t be alarmed if you’re drenched — it’s actually a good sign,” he says. “The only downside is that you’ll get dehydrated faster if you’re not replacing those fluids during and after exercise.” Over time, your body will get better at holding on to the electrolytes that you sweat out. Also, you’ll increase your production of stress proteins that prevent cellular damage from exercising in heat.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

Want to learn to savor the sweat? Here are some expert tips to help you stick with the practice as the temperatures rise.

[caption id="attachment_37363" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hot Yoga Benefits Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Tips to Survive a Hot Yoga Class

1. Drink Up
This is a no-brainer for any form of strenuous exercise, but it’s extremely important for hot yoga. That means drinking enough water before you start class, says Kay Kay Clivio, a hot yoga instructor of 14 years, currently teaching at Pure Yoga in Manhattan, New York. She also advises preparing for class by drinking coconut water or beverages with electrolytes or taking trace mineral supplements to replace the salt and potassium you’ll lose. (She swears by Emergen-C.)

RELATED: BlueFit: A Smart Water Bottle That Monitors Hydration

Fantigrassi suggests weighing yourself before and after class and drinking one-and-a-half liters for every two pounds of water weight lost during the sweat session. You’ll know you’re dehydrated if you have a headache, feel lightheaded or lethargic. “It will feel like a hangover,” he says.

2. Give Yourself a Break
Although yoga encourages students to push past their comfort zone, you shouldn’t do it in hot yoga. Not only do you risk over-heating, but also you might injure your muscles that feel unusually flexible thanks to the humidity and high temperatures.

“You never know when that feeling of dizziness or shortness of breath is going to suddenly come over you,” says Clivio. Her advice: Don’t run out of the room or dive into child’s pose. Sit down on your mat, take a sip of water, and focus on slowing down your breathing before catching up with the class.

However, if you’re feeling flushed, don’t be embarrassed about stepping out for a few minutes to cool off, adds Fantigrassi. Wipe off with a wet towel or splash water on your face to lower your core temperature.

RELATED: How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now

3. Lose the Layers
This is one activity when you don’t have to worry about appearing immodest by wearing short shorts or going shirtless. “You want to expose as much skin as possible to increase the area for sweat to evaporate, so heat can escape, which helps you stay cooler,” says Fantigrassi.

4. Mind Your Own Body
Clivio says hot yoga tends to attract students with competitive personalities who like the mental and psychological challenge. “[Yoga] feels harder in 105 degrees,” she says. “This is the ultimate opportunity to turn inward, focus on your breathing and get mentally focused and strong, instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing.”

Even if hot yoga feels hard at the beginning, Clivio promises that students who keep practicing will be transformed physically and spiritually over time. “Stay inspired by the small shifts you make during each class to gain the big results.”

The post How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Hot Yoga Benefits

[caption id="attachment_37362" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hot Yoga Benefits Photo: Pond5[/caption] What I remember from my first hot yoga class: dashing out of the room to escape the heat and collapsing on the floor gasping for air, as the rest of the class focused on the “half prayer twist” pose. Ten minutes and a liter of water later, I ventured back in and managed to stave off dizziness until being rewarded with the resting pose, savasana. Yet once I peeled off my drenched clothes in the locker room and started to cool down, I felt surprisingly energized. I was also proud that I had been able to stretch farther — at one point even laying my palms on the floor — than I had done at my regular vinyasa flow class. It didn’t take long before I was hooked on hot yoga. RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose As the popularity of yoga soars — nearly 10 percent of U.S. adults are now practicing, according to the latest survey by the National Institutes of Health — many studios have added classes that are conducted in rooms heated anywhere from 90 to 105 degrees. (Those run by U.S. guru Bikram Choudhury are on the hottest end of the spectrum.) Devotees claim the heat gives you better stamina, flexibility and metabolism — never mind the chance to sweat out supposed “toxins” and drop a few pounds. Yet health experts warn that practicing in such extreme temperatures brings added danger, such as heat stroke and over-stretching, to an activity already under scrutiny for causing injuries and modest weight loss. Finally, newbies are asking: Is all that torture really worth it? Aren’t “warrior I” and “standing head-to-knee” poses hard enough without the risk of slipping in a pool of group perspiration?

It Pays to Sweat

Despite a general lack of research comparing styles of yoga, there’s a growing body of evidence that the hot kind might be good for your heart. “If you put people in a sauna or hot room, their cardiovascular system responds the same way as if they were running on a treadmill,” explains Stacy Hunter, PhD, who researched the effects of Bikram yoga while completing her doctorate at the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. “Both the heart rate and blood flow increase. So the logic goes that combining yoga exercise and heat will be even more beneficial.” Among her findings to support her case: improved metabolism for older obese adults and less arterial stiffness for young adults. RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga Besides, hot yoga just feels good. “So far, we have anecdotal information of people describing an euphoric or energetic sensation after class,” says Hunter. “Some people feel they’re ready to seize the day.” At the very least, the practice won’t hurt you, concludes a small study that was sponsored by the American Council on Exercise. Researchers recorded the core body temperature and heart rates of 20 participants who completed two 60-minute yoga sessions, first in a 70-degree room and then another the next day in a room heated to 92 degrees. Even though the people in the warmer room perceived that they were working harder, the data showed they weren’t. Of course, it’s worth noting these classes were shorter and cooler than the grueling 90-minute Bikram sessions, in 105-degree heat with 40 percent humidity.

It Gets Better

The biggest challenge for beginners is tolerating the initial phase of discomfort from the heat. “You’ll get used to it within a couple weeks of practicing every other day,” explains Mike Fantigrassi, master instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine based in Chandler, Arizona. “You just have to be careful and ease yourself into it.” As you become acclimated, you’ll start to sweat sooner and more frequently, which helps your body cool down. “Don’t be alarmed if you’re drenched — it’s actually a good sign,” he says. “The only downside is that you’ll get dehydrated faster if you’re not replacing those fluids during and after exercise.” Over time, your body will get better at holding on to the electrolytes that you sweat out. Also, you’ll increase your production of stress proteins that prevent cellular damage from exercising in heat. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Want to learn to savor the sweat? Here are some expert tips to help you stick with the practice as the temperatures rise. [caption id="attachment_37363" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hot Yoga Benefits Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Tips to Survive a Hot Yoga Class

1. Drink Up This is a no-brainer for any form of strenuous exercise, but it’s extremely important for hot yoga. That means drinking enough water before you start class, says Kay Kay Clivio, a hot yoga instructor of 14 years, currently teaching at Pure Yoga in Manhattan, New York. She also advises preparing for class by drinking coconut water or beverages with electrolytes or taking trace mineral supplements to replace the salt and potassium you’ll lose. (She swears by Emergen-C.) RELATED: BlueFit: A Smart Water Bottle That Monitors Hydration Fantigrassi suggests weighing yourself before and after class and drinking one-and-a-half liters for every two pounds of water weight lost during the sweat session. You’ll know you’re dehydrated if you have a headache, feel lightheaded or lethargic. “It will feel like a hangover,” he says. 2. Give Yourself a Break Although yoga encourages students to push past their comfort zone, you shouldn’t do it in hot yoga. Not only do you risk over-heating, but also you might injure your muscles that feel unusually flexible thanks to the humidity and high temperatures. “You never know when that feeling of dizziness or shortness of breath is going to suddenly come over you,” says Clivio. Her advice: Don’t run out of the room or dive into child’s pose. Sit down on your mat, take a sip of water, and focus on slowing down your breathing before catching up with the class. However, if you’re feeling flushed, don’t be embarrassed about stepping out for a few minutes to cool off, adds Fantigrassi. Wipe off with a wet towel or splash water on your face to lower your core temperature. RELATED: How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now 3. Lose the Layers This is one activity when you don’t have to worry about appearing immodest by wearing short shorts or going shirtless. “You want to expose as much skin as possible to increase the area for sweat to evaporate, so heat can escape, which helps you stay cooler,” says Fantigrassi. 4. Mind Your Own Body Clivio says hot yoga tends to attract students with competitive personalities who like the mental and psychological challenge. “[Yoga] feels harder in 105 degrees,” she says. “This is the ultimate opportunity to turn inward, focus on your breathing and get mentally focused and strong, instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing.” Even if hot yoga feels hard at the beginning, Clivio promises that students who keep practicing will be transformed physically and spiritually over time. “Stay inspired by the small shifts you make during each class to gain the big results.”

The post How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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Trainers Tell All: Their Best Active Dates http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/trainers-tell-all-best-active-dates/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/trainers-tell-all-best-active-dates/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 16:15:06 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=31080 Best-Active-Dates-Featured

[caption id="attachment_31140" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fitness Dates Photo courtesy of Kathryn Budig[/caption]

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is definitely in the air. Are you courting your crush or significant other with some active dates? If yes, then you’re doing it right. Research shows couples that participate in high-octane activities report a higher quality relationship. What’s more: two out of every three runners believe running as a couple leads to more sex.

So ditch that dinner and a movie. It’s time to step up your dating game with some endorphin-boosting activities. And who better to clue us in than the fitness pros themselves? Read on to hear our favorite trainers, coaches and health gurus share their most epic fitness dates. From spontaneous weekend bike tours to surfing in exotic locales, these stories might just inspire you to find love in a sweati-er place.

1_Rob-Sulaver

1. Rob Sulaver

CEO/Founder of Bandana Training
Status: Single
Dating Style: Playful
Sometimes you just gotta step it up. Rob’s killer stair workout on the Santa Monica Pier with a trash-talking accomplice he calls “AngelCake” was his most memorable sweat date. After a few grueling rounds, she flipped the script by challenging him to carry her up the stairs as well. “I only made it to the top because I was D-Dog Double Dared,” he reminisces. “Without question, the best and worst fitness date of my life.” If “AngelCake” doesn’t call him back: “My dream date would be to run through the streets of Arabia after my little monkey stole some stuff from the market. With Jasmine. From Aladdin. Come on, you know she's foxy.”

2_Rebecca-Pacheo

2. Rebecca Pacheco

Yoga Teacher, Writer, Creator of OmGal.com
Status: In a serious relationship
Dating Style: Relaxed and romantic
Who needs a car when a bike will do? Rebecca and boyfriend, running coach Dan Fitzgerald, say they have their best dates on two wheels. One of her favorites: an ambitious evening of dining al fresco and attending concerts in two different locales with just their bicycles as transport. “By the time we got home, we’d logged a lot of miles and dancing,” she says. “Thank god, I wore comfortable shoes!”

3_Adam-Rosante

3. Adam Rosante

Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition Coach
Status:
Married
Dating Style: Well-thought-out, but presented with ease and simplicity
An authentic adventure through the jungle of Costa Rica is the way to Adam’s heart. While on vacation with his girlfriend (now wife), they packed up a truck and went four-wheeling through the brush up to the edge of the rainforest. “We hiked up to the top where we had a long, leisurely lunch prepared by this incredibly sweet local family,” says Adam. The pair surfed until sunset, when they called it quits to roast fresh-caught fish on the beach for dinner.

4_Roger-Lawson

4. Rog Lawson

Sultan of Sexification at RogLawFitness
Status:
Boo'd up
Dating Style: Witty banter, flirty innuendo and rapid-fire hilarity
Believe it or not, bingeing on ice cream followed by a long walk on the beach under the Australian sunshine was how this trainer’s favorite date began. The two hit the gym together the next day, getting their sweat on with “some good 'ol fashion heavy lifting, circuits and boxing bag work.” Since the couple had the place to themselves, they blasted their own custom soundtrack, which included DMX and Kanye West. The post-workout meal of choice? “Cinnabons,” Rog confesses, “which, without fail bring any experience to near legendary levels.”

5_Kathryn-Budig

5. Kathryn Budig

Yogi, Founder of Aim True Yoga
Status: Engaged
Dating Style: Playful and honest
The sky’s the limit for yogi Kathryn Budig and her fiancé, who happens to be a professional skydiver. “Our initial courtship consisted of going on skydives as dates,” she says. “We even did a high-pull jump once where we brought two beers and had a picnic in the sky!” These high-flying lovebirds hope to explore Santorini, Greece one day. “We’d hit the ocean, explore the town, soak up some sun, practice outdoor yoga and share amazing food and wine,” she says.

6_Jonathan-Angelili

6. Jonathan Angelilli

Jedi Fitness Ninja of TrainDeep
Status: Married
Dating Style: Super adventurous
“We had no plan, and the only occasion was that it was a beautiful spring day on the weekend,” says Jonathan of his most memorable date with then-girlfriend, a former dancer (now his wife). The pair spontaneously hopped on bikes and ventured around New York City while chatting it up. Some romance and fresh fruit under the shade in Washington Heights was just the right kind of recovery after their active day, he says. Their dream picnic location? The French Alps. “Just us and miles and miles of beautiful mountain peaks, soaring birds and open sky…”

7_Andia-Winslow

7. Andia Winslow

Professional Athlete and Sports Performance Coach
Status:
 Single, but dating
Dating Style: No-stress, but plenty of respect!
“Disheartened for missing the New York City "5 Borough Bike Tour," and still talking about my misfortune months later, my date got creative and planned his own version,” Andia says. From the Bronx down to Brooklyn and across parts of Queens, the pair shared an epic bike ride followed by a ferry ride to Staten Island and an equally epic dinner date. Andia’s recipe for success? Scenery and adventure. “Surfing in Australia, kayaking in Maine, and hiking Table Mountain in South Africa” are all on the golf pro’s bucket list.

8_Brett-Hoebel

8. Brett Hoebel 

Celebrity trainer on NBC's The Biggest Loser season 11 and creator of the 20 Minute Body™
Status:
I don't kiss and tell…
Dating Style: Full of surprises
From Brazil to Greece to Japan, this jetsetting trainer has enjoyed his fair share of exotic locales. But sailing around the Greek Isles — and swimming to shore for even more exercise — would be his pick for a romantic active getaway, he says. To keep their hearts racing, they'd head south and stop over in Turkey for a hike. And for a hometown date, Brett’s all for picking a handful of local, iconic places and venturing out on a bike tour. “As an ex-New Yorker, I would pick the new World Trade Center, Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge,” he says.

Anja-Garcia

9. Anja Garcia

Equinox and DailyBurn Trainer
Status:
 Married
Dating Style: Fun and romantic
Anja’s date swept her off her feet — literally! Her beau, a rower and fitness instructor, took her stand up paddleboarding in the Los Angeles Marina for their first date. “Of course, while telling a full-gestured story on the way back to the dock, I fell in the water!” she confesses, saying that her date gave her his pullover to stay warm. We’re guessing he didn’t mind her slip too much since 13 months later he was ready to pop the question. And how does a sporty duo celebrate on the honeymoon? Ziplining through the rainforest of St. Lucia, NBD.

11_Shaun-Jenkins

10. Shaun Robert Jenkins 

Fitness instructor at CityRow, Tone House, Revolve NYC
Status:
In a relationship
Dating style: Laid back, romantic and traditional
What Shaun finds sexy? Women who aren’t afraid to let loose and go hard during a workout. His favorite active date involved taking a class at Tone House with the person he’s currently dating. “My date was cursing, grunting and sweating right alongside me,” he says. “It was such a turn on!” Shaun’s dream date would include a monster workout balanced with some yoga. “Any woman that has a good yoga practice earns a massive amount of sex appeal points with me.”

Lacey-Stone

11. Lacey Stone 

Celebrity trainer of Lacey Stone Fitness
Status:
Single
Dating Style: Romantic
Because I work out for my career, I'm not a huge fan of doing it on my off time,” admits Lacey. Her ideal itinerary instead? Relaxing “with a very athletic clever goddess” on an exotic beach in the south of France. “Every morning we would wake up and go for a swim in the ocean, lay in the sun, go for long walks on the beach, and at night... We dance. I did warn you — I’m a romantic.”

12_Michelle-Lovitt

12. Michelle Lovitt 

Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Status:
In a relationship
Dating Style: Romantic and adventurous
Why hydrate with water when wine will do? On their second date, Michelle’s sweetheart surprised her by packing booze instead of H20 for their hike around the mountains of California. The duo found a hidden bench just in time to rest their legs and enjoy the sunset view. But the challenges weren’t over just because daylight was fading. “Upon hiking down, the park had closed so we had to jump over a 20-foot fence to get to our car,” admits Michelle. Her dream adventure? “Flying to Peru to hike Machu Pichu.”

Chelsea-Dornan

13. Chelsea Dornan 

Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor at Uplift Studios
Status:
In a domestic partnership
Dating Style: Laid back and romantic
Horsing around with real horses was on the agenda for Chelsea’s most memorable active vacation. She and her partner had an activity-packed day while traveling in Ricón, Puerto Rico. Part one of the excursion was a surfing lesson where Chelsea got up on two waves. After lounging on the beach for the afternoon, the pair enjoyed a private horseback ride along the beach and cliffs just before sunset. The perfect ending to the incredible date? Hotel room service, she says.

14_Justin-Rubin

14. Justin Rubin 

Group fitness coordinator at Equinox, DailyBurn trainer
Status:
Married
Dating Style: Laid back but active
Where does a spinning instructor take his future wife for their first date? To the front row of his class, of course! “She kicked butt,” says Justin. After the session and a quick abdominal workout, he met his sweetheart for a cocktail party in the Equinox lobby. “She’s cascading down the stairs and I’m holding the margaritas waiting for her,” he reminisces, saying they later continued their lively conversation at a wine bar. Countless triathlons, marathons and mud runs later, the fit duo have been married for almost two years.

Originally posted August 21, 2014. 

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Best-Active-Dates-Featured

[caption id="attachment_31140" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fitness Dates Photo courtesy of Kathryn Budig[/caption] It's almost Valentine's Day and love is definitely in the air. Are you courting your crush or significant other with some active dates? If yes, then you’re doing it right. Research shows couples that participate in high-octane activities report a higher quality relationship. What’s more: two out of every three runners believe running as a couple leads to more sex. So ditch that dinner and a movie. It’s time to step up your dating game with some endorphin-boosting activities. And who better to clue us in than the fitness pros themselves? Read on to hear our favorite trainers, coaches and health gurus share their most epic fitness dates. From spontaneous weekend bike tours to surfing in exotic locales, these stories might just inspire you to find love in a sweati-er place. 1_Rob-Sulaver

1. Rob Sulaver

CEO/Founder of Bandana Training Status: Single Dating Style: Playful Sometimes you just gotta step it up. Rob’s killer stair workout on the Santa Monica Pier with a trash-talking accomplice he calls “AngelCake” was his most memorable sweat date. After a few grueling rounds, she flipped the script by challenging him to carry her up the stairs as well. “I only made it to the top because I was D-Dog Double Dared,” he reminisces. “Without question, the best and worst fitness date of my life.” If “AngelCake” doesn’t call him back: “My dream date would be to run through the streets of Arabia after my little monkey stole some stuff from the market. With Jasmine. From Aladdin. Come on, you know she's foxy.” 2_Rebecca-Pacheo

2. Rebecca Pacheco

Yoga Teacher, Writer, Creator of OmGal.com Status: In a serious relationship Dating Style: Relaxed and romantic Who needs a car when a bike will do? Rebecca and boyfriend, running coach Dan Fitzgerald, say they have their best dates on two wheels. One of her favorites: an ambitious evening of dining al fresco and attending concerts in two different locales with just their bicycles as transport. “By the time we got home, we’d logged a lot of miles and dancing,” she says. “Thank god, I wore comfortable shoes!” 3_Adam-Rosante

3. Adam Rosante

Wellness, Fitness and Nutrition Coach Status: Married Dating Style: Well-thought-out, but presented with ease and simplicity An authentic adventure through the jungle of Costa Rica is the way to Adam’s heart. While on vacation with his girlfriend (now wife), they packed up a truck and went four-wheeling through the brush up to the edge of the rainforest. “We hiked up to the top where we had a long, leisurely lunch prepared by this incredibly sweet local family,” says Adam. The pair surfed until sunset, when they called it quits to roast fresh-caught fish on the beach for dinner. 4_Roger-Lawson

4. Rog Lawson

Sultan of Sexification at RogLawFitness Status: Boo'd up Dating Style: Witty banter, flirty innuendo and rapid-fire hilarity Believe it or not, bingeing on ice cream followed by a long walk on the beach under the Australian sunshine was how this trainer’s favorite date began. The two hit the gym together the next day, getting their sweat on with “some good 'ol fashion heavy lifting, circuits and boxing bag work.” Since the couple had the place to themselves, they blasted their own custom soundtrack, which included DMX and Kanye West. The post-workout meal of choice? “Cinnabons,” Rog confesses, “which, without fail bring any experience to near legendary levels.” 5_Kathryn-Budig

5. Kathryn Budig

Yogi, Founder of Aim True Yoga Status: Engaged Dating Style: Playful and honest The sky’s the limit for yogi Kathryn Budig and her fiancé, who happens to be a professional skydiver. “Our initial courtship consisted of going on skydives as dates,” she says. “We even did a high-pull jump once where we brought two beers and had a picnic in the sky!” These high-flying lovebirds hope to explore Santorini, Greece one day. “We’d hit the ocean, explore the town, soak up some sun, practice outdoor yoga and share amazing food and wine,” she says. 6_Jonathan-Angelili

6. Jonathan Angelilli

Jedi Fitness Ninja of TrainDeep Status: Married Dating Style: Super adventurous “We had no plan, and the only occasion was that it was a beautiful spring day on the weekend,” says Jonathan of his most memorable date with then-girlfriend, a former dancer (now his wife). The pair spontaneously hopped on bikes and ventured around New York City while chatting it up. Some romance and fresh fruit under the shade in Washington Heights was just the right kind of recovery after their active day, he says. Their dream picnic location? The French Alps. “Just us and miles and miles of beautiful mountain peaks, soaring birds and open sky…” 7_Andia-Winslow

7. Andia Winslow

Professional Athlete and Sports Performance Coach Status: Single, but dating Dating Style: No-stress, but plenty of respect! “Disheartened for missing the New York City "5 Borough Bike Tour," and still talking about my misfortune months later, my date got creative and planned his own version,” Andia says. From the Bronx down to Brooklyn and across parts of Queens, the pair shared an epic bike ride followed by a ferry ride to Staten Island and an equally epic dinner date. Andia’s recipe for success? Scenery and adventure. “Surfing in Australia, kayaking in Maine, and hiking Table Mountain in South Africa” are all on the golf pro’s bucket list. 8_Brett-Hoebel

8. Brett Hoebel 

Celebrity trainer on NBC's The Biggest Loser season 11 and creator of the 20 Minute Body™ Status: I don't kiss and tell… Dating Style: Full of surprises From Brazil to Greece to Japan, this jetsetting trainer has enjoyed his fair share of exotic locales. But sailing around the Greek Isles — and swimming to shore for even more exercise — would be his pick for a romantic active getaway, he says. To keep their hearts racing, they'd head south and stop over in Turkey for a hike. And for a hometown date, Brett’s all for picking a handful of local, iconic places and venturing out on a bike tour. “As an ex-New Yorker, I would pick the new World Trade Center, Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge,” he says. Anja-Garcia

9. Anja Garcia

Equinox and DailyBurn Trainer Status: Married Dating Style: Fun and romantic Anja’s date swept her off her feet — literally! Her beau, a rower and fitness instructor, took her stand up paddleboarding in the Los Angeles Marina for their first date. “Of course, while telling a full-gestured story on the way back to the dock, I fell in the water!” she confesses, saying that her date gave her his pullover to stay warm. We’re guessing he didn’t mind her slip too much since 13 months later he was ready to pop the question. And how does a sporty duo celebrate on the honeymoon? Ziplining through the rainforest of St. Lucia, NBD. 11_Shaun-Jenkins

10. Shaun Robert Jenkins 

Fitness instructor at CityRow, Tone House, Revolve NYC Status: In a relationship Dating style: Laid back, romantic and traditional What Shaun finds sexy? Women who aren’t afraid to let loose and go hard during a workout. His favorite active date involved taking a class at Tone House with the person he’s currently dating. “My date was cursing, grunting and sweating right alongside me,” he says. “It was such a turn on!” Shaun’s dream date would include a monster workout balanced with some yoga. “Any woman that has a good yoga practice earns a massive amount of sex appeal points with me.” Lacey-Stone

11. Lacey Stone 

Celebrity trainer of Lacey Stone Fitness Status: Single Dating Style: Romantic Because I work out for my career, I'm not a huge fan of doing it on my off time,” admits Lacey. Her ideal itinerary instead? Relaxing “with a very athletic clever goddess” on an exotic beach in the south of France. “Every morning we would wake up and go for a swim in the ocean, lay in the sun, go for long walks on the beach, and at night... We dance. I did warn you — I’m a romantic.” 12_Michelle-Lovitt

12. Michelle Lovitt 

Strength and Conditioning Specialist Status: In a relationship Dating Style: Romantic and adventurous Why hydrate with water when wine will do? On their second date, Michelle’s sweetheart surprised her by packing booze instead of H20 for their hike around the mountains of California. The duo found a hidden bench just in time to rest their legs and enjoy the sunset view. But the challenges weren’t over just because daylight was fading. “Upon hiking down, the park had closed so we had to jump over a 20-foot fence to get to our car,” admits Michelle. Her dream adventure? “Flying to Peru to hike Machu Pichu.” Chelsea-Dornan

13. Chelsea Dornan 

Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor at Uplift Studios Status: In a domestic partnership Dating Style: Laid back and romantic Horsing around with real horses was on the agenda for Chelsea’s most memorable active vacation. She and her partner had an activity-packed day while traveling in Ricón, Puerto Rico. Part one of the excursion was a surfing lesson where Chelsea got up on two waves. After lounging on the beach for the afternoon, the pair enjoyed a private horseback ride along the beach and cliffs just before sunset. The perfect ending to the incredible date? Hotel room service, she says. 14_Justin-Rubin

14. Justin Rubin 

Group fitness coordinator at Equinox, DailyBurn trainer Status: Married Dating Style: Laid back but active Where does a spinning instructor take his future wife for their first date? To the front row of his class, of course! “She kicked butt,” says Justin. After the session and a quick abdominal workout, he met his sweetheart for a cocktail party in the Equinox lobby. “She’s cascading down the stairs and I’m holding the margaritas waiting for her,” he reminisces, saying they later continued their lively conversation at a wine bar. Countless triathlons, marathons and mud runs later, the fit duo have been married for almost two years. Originally posted August 21, 2014. 

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10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-poses-how-to-relieve-stress/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-poses-how-to-relieve-stress/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 16:15:46 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=36863 Briohny Smyth Malibu

[caption id="attachment_36932" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga Workout with 10 Easy Poses to Relieve Stress Photos: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

When your stress levels hit new heights, yoga can be an effective way to clear your mind while giving your body the attention it deserves. And while it can seem unlikely that twisting yourself into a tricky poses would promote relaxation, you'd be surprised at the benefits. Research shows that yoga can promote overall health and well-being in a multitude of ways; it can boost immunity, fight food cravings, and can even help relieve stress since most practices incorporate meditation that brings your thoughts and feelings into awareness.

“The key to de-stressing is realizing how to calm the mind and be present,” says world-renowned yogi and DailyBurn instuctor Briohny Smyth. No time for “me” time? To balance family life with the demands of a busy career, Smyth wakes up extra early to dedicate time to her own personal practice. “It’s really important for me to start the day calm and clearheaded,” she says.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

Smyth developed the beginner-friendly sequence of yoga poses below to promote physical and mental awareness and help tame tension. If you’re practicing at night (which can help you sleep better), she recommends you end in savasana (corpse pose) or viparita karani, where your back is pressed on the ground and your legs are up the wall. If you’re practicing in the morning, Smyth suggests beginning and ending with a seated meditation.

Restorative Yoga Sequence

Ready to unwind your mind? Scroll down to view each pose in this beginner’s relaxation sequence, and then try to set aside just a few minutes each day to practice. You might feel relaxed right away, but the key to maintaining that zen and unlocking all of yoga’s benefits is to make a habit out of your practice, Smyth says.

1_Toe Squat Yoga Pose

1. Toe Squat 
Kneel on your mat and tuck your toes under your feet. Lean back so your bottom is balanced on your heels. Feel a stretch in the arches of the feet and the toe joints. Focus on lengthening your spine so it’s straight, and bring your attention to your breath. Remain here for one minute.

2_Uttatasna Yoga Pose

2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
To come out of the toe squat, keep your toes tucked under and put your hands on the floor next to your knees. Lift your knees up so you’re standing on the soles of your feet with your upper body bent over. Grab your opposite elbows and relax the crowd of your head towards the floor, using the weight of your upper body to stretch the back of the legs. As you inhale, lengthen the spine away from the pelvis. Stay here for two minutes.

RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)

Down Dog Yoga Pose

3. Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Inhale to a flat back and step back to downward dog, holding for one minute. Let energy flow through your arms and out through the sit bones. Keep your neck long and draw your shoulders away from the ears. Press down through the heels as you exhale, which will help stretch the hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendons. Reach the right leg up and back and let your hip open up.

Anjanayasana Yoga Pose

4.  Low Lunge (Anjanayasana)
To transition from down dog with the hip open to low lunge, rise on the ball of your left foot and bring your right knee in towards your chest, assuming a one-legged plank. Point the toe of your left foot and lift your butt up high as you place your right foot next to the right hand. Have your fingertips under your shoulders and inhale to a flat back. Place your left knee down on the mat. Bring your torso back over your pelvis, with hands on your front knee, and hold the stretch. For more sensation, reach back with your left hand and grab your left foot, pulling the heel towards the left glute.

RELATED: Q&A with Yoga Supermom Briohny Smyth

Pigeon Pose Yoga Workout

5. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Place both hands on the mat under your shoulders, coming onto your fingertips. Heel-toe your right foot towards your left wrist. Scoot your left leg back to get a proper stretch. If your hip is off the floor, grab a towel or block to help fill that gap. As you exhale, fold your upper body over your shin and lower down on to your forearms. Untuck your toes.

Head to Knee Yoga Pose

6. Head to Knee Pose (Janushirasana)
Bring your left leg around and place it straight out in front of you. Move the sole of your right foot to the inner left thigh. Reach your arms up for one breath, and on the exhale, bring them down and grab the outer edges of the left foot. Inhale, exhale and lengthen your spine.

Half Bound Ankle Yoga Pose

7. Half Bound Ankle Pose (Half Baddha Kosana)
Now reach your right hand in the above your head and fold to the left so are grabbing your left calf with your right hand. Bring your forehead as close as you can to the outside of the left knee. Take a few breaths here. Inhale fully, and sit up on the exhale.

RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose

Seated Bend Yoga Pose

8. Seated Bend (One-Legged Upavistha Koasana)
Fold toward the center and keep both feet flexed. Open your right shoulder and extend your arm up as you exhale. Fingertips should reach towards your opposite toes. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and press deeper on the exhalation. Inhale once again come to a seated position as you exhale.

Transition Vinyasa Yoga Pose

9. Transition (Vinyasa)
Shake your legs out in front of you. Hug your knees to your chest and roll three times on your back so your spine feels a sensation. Rock with momentum so you land crouching on your feet. Next, place your hands down under your shoulders and jump the legs back, then bringing your hips up into down dog.

Repeat steps 3-8 on the opposite side.

Savasana Yoga Pose

10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Sit up after the final pose and roll on to your back, hugging your knees to your chest. Close your eyes. Open your legs and arms one at a time. Surrender any tension you have, and relax for 3 minutes. Roll to the right side of your body, then press yourself up to a comfy seated position. Sit tall, take a deep breath through your nose, and open your eyes. Namaste, you are finished!

Want more yoga with Briohny? Visit dailyburn.com/yoga for a free 30-day trial. 

The post 10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Briohny Smyth Malibu

[caption id="attachment_36932" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga Workout with 10 Easy Poses to Relieve Stress Photos: DailyBurn.com[/caption] When your stress levels hit new heights, yoga can be an effective way to clear your mind while giving your body the attention it deserves. And while it can seem unlikely that twisting yourself into a tricky poses would promote relaxation, you'd be surprised at the benefits. Research shows that yoga can promote overall health and well-being in a multitude of ways; it can boost immunity, fight food cravings, and can even help relieve stress since most practices incorporate meditation that brings your thoughts and feelings into awareness. “The key to de-stressing is realizing how to calm the mind and be present,” says world-renowned yogi and DailyBurn instuctor Briohny Smyth. No time for “me” time? To balance family life with the demands of a busy career, Smyth wakes up extra early to dedicate time to her own personal practice. “It’s really important for me to start the day calm and clearheaded,” she says. RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga Smyth developed the beginner-friendly sequence of yoga poses below to promote physical and mental awareness and help tame tension. If you’re practicing at night (which can help you sleep better), she recommends you end in savasana (corpse pose) or viparita karani, where your back is pressed on the ground and your legs are up the wall. If you’re practicing in the morning, Smyth suggests beginning and ending with a seated meditation.

Restorative Yoga Sequence

Ready to unwind your mind? Scroll down to view each pose in this beginner’s relaxation sequence, and then try to set aside just a few minutes each day to practice. You might feel relaxed right away, but the key to maintaining that zen and unlocking all of yoga’s benefits is to make a habit out of your practice, Smyth says. 1_Toe Squat Yoga Pose 1. Toe Squat  Kneel on your mat and tuck your toes under your feet. Lean back so your bottom is balanced on your heels. Feel a stretch in the arches of the feet and the toe joints. Focus on lengthening your spine so it’s straight, and bring your attention to your breath. Remain here for one minute. 2_Uttatasna Yoga Pose 2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) To come out of the toe squat, keep your toes tucked under and put your hands on the floor next to your knees. Lift your knees up so you’re standing on the soles of your feet with your upper body bent over. Grab your opposite elbows and relax the crowd of your head towards the floor, using the weight of your upper body to stretch the back of the legs. As you inhale, lengthen the spine away from the pelvis. Stay here for two minutes. RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal) Down Dog Yoga Pose 3. Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) Inhale to a flat back and step back to downward dog, holding for one minute. Let energy flow through your arms and out through the sit bones. Keep your neck long and draw your shoulders away from the ears. Press down through the heels as you exhale, which will help stretch the hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendons. Reach the right leg up and back and let your hip open up. Anjanayasana Yoga Pose 4.  Low Lunge (Anjanayasana) To transition from down dog with the hip open to low lunge, rise on the ball of your left foot and bring your right knee in towards your chest, assuming a one-legged plank. Point the toe of your left foot and lift your butt up high as you place your right foot next to the right hand. Have your fingertips under your shoulders and inhale to a flat back. Place your left knee down on the mat. Bring your torso back over your pelvis, with hands on your front knee, and hold the stretch. For more sensation, reach back with your left hand and grab your left foot, pulling the heel towards the left glute. RELATED: Q&A with Yoga Supermom Briohny Smyth Pigeon Pose Yoga Workout 5. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) Place both hands on the mat under your shoulders, coming onto your fingertips. Heel-toe your right foot towards your left wrist. Scoot your left leg back to get a proper stretch. If your hip is off the floor, grab a towel or block to help fill that gap. As you exhale, fold your upper body over your shin and lower down on to your forearms. Untuck your toes. Head to Knee Yoga Pose 6. Head to Knee Pose (Janushirasana) Bring your left leg around and place it straight out in front of you. Move the sole of your right foot to the inner left thigh. Reach your arms up for one breath, and on the exhale, bring them down and grab the outer edges of the left foot. Inhale, exhale and lengthen your spine. Half Bound Ankle Yoga Pose 7. Half Bound Ankle Pose (Half Baddha Kosana) Now reach your right hand in the above your head and fold to the left so are grabbing your left calf with your right hand. Bring your forehead as close as you can to the outside of the left knee. Take a few breaths here. Inhale fully, and sit up on the exhale. RELATED: Yoga 101: How to Fix Your Chaturanga Pose Seated Bend Yoga Pose 8. Seated Bend (One-Legged Upavistha Koasana) Fold toward the center and keep both feet flexed. Open your right shoulder and extend your arm up as you exhale. Fingertips should reach towards your opposite toes. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and press deeper on the exhalation. Inhale once again come to a seated position as you exhale. Transition Vinyasa Yoga Pose 9. Transition (Vinyasa) Shake your legs out in front of you. Hug your knees to your chest and roll three times on your back so your spine feels a sensation. Rock with momentum so you land crouching on your feet. Next, place your hands down under your shoulders and jump the legs back, then bringing your hips up into down dog. Repeat steps 3-8 on the opposite side. Savasana Yoga Pose 10. Corpse Pose (Savasana) Sit up after the final pose and roll on to your back, hugging your knees to your chest. Close your eyes. Open your legs and arms one at a time. Surrender any tension you have, and relax for 3 minutes. Roll to the right side of your body, then press yourself up to a comfy seated position. Sit tall, take a deep breath through your nose, and open your eyes. Namaste, you are finished! Want more yoga with Briohny? Visit dailyburn.com/yoga for a free 30-day trial. 

The post 10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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17 Tips from Fit Mom Bloggers on Finding Time for Exercise http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/fit-mom-exercise-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/fit-mom-exercise-tips/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:15:50 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=36447 Best Fit Mom Tips

[caption id="attachment_36456" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Sticking with an exercise routine can be a struggle for anyone. But for moms, squeezing in workouts can feel darn near impossible. After all, how are you supposed to find time to work out when you can’t even go to the bathroom undisturbed?

Take Katy Widrick, for example. Before becoming a mom, the TV producer, blogger and group fitness instructor thought she was a master multi-tasker. “I juggled a full-time job with a blog, training for half-marathons and more. Then came my daughter — my perfect, amazing little girl. And boy, did she teach me that everything I thought I knew about managing my time was a joke!” she says.

Between caring for kids, workplace demands, household chores, doctors appointments, school and all the rest, there is often precious little time for moms to sweat. So we asked some of our favorite fitness-minded mom bloggers to share their best tips for making exercise a reality and a priority. (It’s possible. We swear.)

RELATED: 15 Healthy Snacks for Kids (And Grown-Ups, Too)

17 Tricks That Will Make It Easier to Be a Fit Mom

1. First Things First
Work out before the day gets away from you. “If I waited until after work, I’d never get my workout in. There are just too many activities and commitments that come up,” says Angela Bekkala, clinical exercise specialist, mom of twins and creator of Happy Fit Mama. “No one will schedule a meeting at 4:30 a.m. That’s my time to rise and sweat,” she says. Meredith Atwood, author of Triathlon for the Every Woman and blogger at Swim Bike Mom offers another reason to sweat early. “You're finished before the kids wake up!” she says.

2. Block It Out
If you have an appointment on your calendar, chances are you show up. That same tactic helps Madeline Glasser, the blogger behind Food, Family and Fitness and a full-time student, find time for her sweat sessions. “If I set aside specific times in my planner, they feel more like an appointment I have to keep,” she says. Each Sunday, Widrick manages her family’s calendar. “I'll actually block out ‘Katy goes to yoga’ on Thursday nights, so my husband knows it’s his night to pick up our daughter and prepare dinner. I do the same for him,” she says. Schedule it as part of your day and make it non-negotiable.

3. Have a Plan for How You’ll Sweat
Once you've penciled in your workout, don’t forget to think about what you’ll actually do once you get to the gym. That’s one strategy Ashley, of Coffee Cake and Cardio, uses to make her 5 a.m. workout a reality. Gia Alvarez of Run Gia Run and mom of twins adds, “It’s one thing to find the motivation to work out. It’s another thing to find the motivation to figure out what to do for a workout. If I know beforehand exactly what I plan to do, I make it happen,” she says.

RELATED: DailyBurn Postnatal Yoga: A Gentler Way to Exercise

4. Don’t Worry About Your Outfit
Printed capris or plain black? Tank top or t-shirt? Don’t waste your little free time debating wardrobe choices. To make it to her early morning workout, Ashley lays out her clothes the night before. “Heck, sleep in your workout clothes if that helps!” she advises. Glasser says, “Eliminating that one step of figuring out what to wear helps getting up at 5 a.m. easier.”

[caption id="attachment_36458" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Take RUNch
If crack-of-dawn or after-work training sessions aren’t your jam, try taking runch aka “running lunch.” “Since I work full-time, I block out time on my calendar every day from 12 to 1:30 p.m. to workout,” says Nellie Acevedo, creator of Brooklyn Active Mama. Katie McFarland also believes in taking runch. The director of corporate real estate strategy and voice behind Mom’s Little Running Buddies runs in the afternoon at work when possible. “You have half an hour. Do your workout, run, yoga, whatever but you have to create the opportunity and then commit to it,” she says.

6. Include Your Kids
It’s hard to find dedicated “alone time” as a parent — but do you really need it? “I struggled with finding time to work out alone without the kids. I quickly learned that wasn’t always possible,” says Rachel Steffen of Running Rachel, a stay-at-home mom. “I’ve embraced working out with my boys, and they see that Mommy is a strong woman who enjoys working out,” she says. Personal trainer and mom Tamara Grand of FitKnitChick agrees that you should ditch the ‘either-or’ attitude. “Children instinctively love to move. Resistance bands are great for playing ‘hop over’ and Bosu balls make fun mini trampolines,” she says. As your children grow older, workouts can be bonding time. Tracy Morrison of Sellabit Mum has always made a point of introducing her daughters to fitness. “Now my oldest daughter runs with me a few times a week, and we just ran her first 10K together,” she says.

RELATED: 20 Partner Exercises from the Fittest Couples on Instagram

7. Make the Jungle Gym Your Bootcamp
Who says that you’re too old to play outside? “When I take my kids to the playground, I try to play right along with them. I’ll do triceps dips off a bench, incline push-ups, step ups, and try to do a pull-up on the monkey bars,’ says Bekkala. “Those little bursts of activity do add up quickly!”

8. Run With ‘Em
When her childrens’ increasingly early wake-up times threatened to ruin her early morning jog, Morrison ran with it. “I’d put them in the jogging stroller and take them with me. I’d sing and chat during our run together. Instead of spoiling my run, it just made it a little bit sweeter,” she says. Michele Gonzalez of NYC Running Mama, also relies heavily on a running stroller. “It requires a bit more planning since the kids have to be dressed and I have to pack snacks, books and drinks, but it was a great way to spend time with them while exercising,” she says.

RELATED: Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It

9. Sweeten the Deal
Sometimes, you have to grease the wheels in order to fit in your workout. “My best ‘trick’ is to bribe my children,” says Steffen. “Whether the bribe is a fruit snack, park play [time], or something else, my boys are more willing to participate with minimal complaining when there is something in it for them,” she says. No shame in that.

[caption id="attachment_36459" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

10. Be a Workout Ninja
Stealthy workouts become a must when your schedule is overflowing. “You have to sneak around and get your workouts in wherever you can – and sometimes that means in some curious ways,” says Atwood. “But you can do 10 to 15 minutes of strength training while the kids are eating. Find a show they love and get on the treadmill. You are guaranteed at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted time while they are calm and quiet,” she says. Amanda Tress of Fit Parenting and Pregnancy and work-from-home mom says, “If I have a super busy day, I will break up my workout throughout the day and do some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) at home in 10 to 15 minute spurts. Bethany Meyer of I Love Them Most When They're Sleeping saves her strength training for the evening. “Getting it done in the family room while catching up with my husband and sons satisfies my need to multitask. Often, somebody will join me for planks and bicycle twists!” she says.

RELATED: The Ultimate 20-Minute MetCon Workout

11. Take to the Streets
Being a soccer mom in a minivan is cliché — so ditch the ride. When weather permits, make your commute an active one. Walk your kids to school or bike to work. “I live about a mile and a half from my daughter’s daycare. When the weather is nice, I push the running stroller to and from school,” says Widrick.

“I’ve learned to accept the time I do have and make the most of it."

12. Audit Your Schedule
“Regular exercisers don't find time, they ‘take’ time,” says Grand. “Most of us have unused chunks of time in our day. Those 30-minutes we spend on Facebook or Pinterest. Those 10-minute intervals we spend checking email or cleaning. Pay attention to how you’re spending your time and figure out which activities you could ‘take’ time from,” she says. “If possible, lump them all together and use them for a workout. If not, spread your activity throughout the day.”

RELATED: 5 Bodyweight Exercises for a 15-Minute Workout

13. Music Class for Them…Gym Class for You
Between soccer practice, ballet or music lessons, kids are sometimes as busy as their parents these days. “Use the time that your kids are in classes,” says Alvarez. “Your kids are getting their fitness in, why shouldn’t you?” While her son is at soccer practice, Meyer squeezes in time on the track. “My kids decompress from their school day, get some exercise, and connect with their friends on the playground. And I get to do the same on the track,” she says. Naptime is another prime time to squeeze in a workout. “As soon as my kids go down for a nap, I leave them with Dad and I go out for a run or to the gym. I am back by the time they wake up and everyone is refreshed,” says Acevedo.

14. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Let’s face it, life happens in the form of sick days, tantrums and gigantic messes that won’t clean themselves. “There are days when I only have time for a few miles instead of the planned 7 or 8 miles on my training plan,” says Gonzalez. “I’ve learned to accept the time I do have and make the most of it. I might run the miles faster than planned or run a few more miles the next day,” she says. If you do miss a day, don’t stress. “Don't compare yourself to other moms,” says Laura Peifer, Health and Running Coach, and creator of Mommy Run Fast. “Do your best for you.”

[caption id="attachment_36461" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

15. Make Any Space a Home Gym
While not making it to the gym or a class is a convenient excuse, the truth is, you don’t need fitness special equipment, or a gym membership, to work out. “If I’m truly stuck at home…I use what I have at my disposal,” says McFarland. “Sometimes it’s nothing more than a chair, but you’d by surprised at the range of exercises you can do with a chair!” For example, we’re pretty sure you can do this “Sexy Chair” Dance Workout and How to Booty Pop video anywhere (well, almost anywhere).

16. Build a Support Crew
Juggling the responsibilities of family, work and life can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Like-minded parents are a great support system. “Find a buddy or share your workout on Instagram. It really helps to have others hold you accountable,” says Ashley. Fellow parents can also sympathize when life gets messy. “I was up with a fussy, crying toddler at the wee hours of the morning and sure didn’t feel like working out after that!” says Widrick. She posted her experience in a local mom’s Facebook group. “Not only did I get some good tips on how to ease my daughter’s pain, I got a lot of empathetic comments that reminded me that this too shall pass,” she says. And ask for help when you need it. “A few times a week, I hire a babysitter for a few hours so I can accomplish housework and fit in a workout,” says Tress. “I've come to realize that it’s OK for me to ask for help. Then, I’m refreshed and able to focus on quality time with my family.”

17. Make It Worth It
At the end of the day, spending more time with your family is always a priority. “Working full-time, traveling, blogging and everything else means less time with my kids. One of the mantras I’ve adopted is: Make it worth it," says McFarland. “If I’m going to choose to run or go to the gym rather than spend time with my kids, I better make sure I’m pushing myself the entire time.” McFarland incorporates a mix of compound moves and HIIT to maximize her time at the gym.

Fitting fitness into a busy schedule is hard and exercise is often the first thing to get scratched from the calendar. But, with a little forethought and planning, it’s doable. “Make your well-being a priority,” says Widrick. “I just don’t allow myself to think of my health as a secondary priority. When Mommy's happy and healthy, everyone else has a better shot of following suit.”

What tips and tricks do you use to find time to workout?

The post 17 Tips from Fit Mom Bloggers on Finding Time for Exercise appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Best Fit Mom Tips

[caption id="attachment_36456" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption] Sticking with an exercise routine can be a struggle for anyone. But for moms, squeezing in workouts can feel darn near impossible. After all, how are you supposed to find time to work out when you can’t even go to the bathroom undisturbed? Take Katy Widrick, for example. Before becoming a mom, the TV producer, blogger and group fitness instructor thought she was a master multi-tasker. “I juggled a full-time job with a blog, training for half-marathons and more. Then came my daughter — my perfect, amazing little girl. And boy, did she teach me that everything I thought I knew about managing my time was a joke!” she says. Between caring for kids, workplace demands, household chores, doctors appointments, school and all the rest, there is often precious little time for moms to sweat. So we asked some of our favorite fitness-minded mom bloggers to share their best tips for making exercise a reality and a priority. (It’s possible. We swear.) RELATED: 15 Healthy Snacks for Kids (And Grown-Ups, Too)

17 Tricks That Will Make It Easier to Be a Fit Mom

1. First Things First Work out before the day gets away from you. “If I waited until after work, I’d never get my workout in. There are just too many activities and commitments that come up,” says Angela Bekkala, clinical exercise specialist, mom of twins and creator of Happy Fit Mama. “No one will schedule a meeting at 4:30 a.m. That’s my time to rise and sweat,” she says. Meredith Atwood, author of Triathlon for the Every Woman and blogger at Swim Bike Mom offers another reason to sweat early. “You're finished before the kids wake up!” she says. 2. Block It Out If you have an appointment on your calendar, chances are you show up. That same tactic helps Madeline Glasser, the blogger behind Food, Family and Fitness and a full-time student, find time for her sweat sessions. “If I set aside specific times in my planner, they feel more like an appointment I have to keep,” she says. Each Sunday, Widrick manages her family’s calendar. “I'll actually block out ‘Katy goes to yoga’ on Thursday nights, so my husband knows it’s his night to pick up our daughter and prepare dinner. I do the same for him,” she says. Schedule it as part of your day and make it non-negotiable. 3. Have a Plan for How You’ll Sweat Once you've penciled in your workout, don’t forget to think about what you’ll actually do once you get to the gym. That’s one strategy Ashley, of Coffee Cake and Cardio, uses to make her 5 a.m. workout a reality. Gia Alvarez of Run Gia Run and mom of twins adds, “It’s one thing to find the motivation to work out. It’s another thing to find the motivation to figure out what to do for a workout. If I know beforehand exactly what I plan to do, I make it happen,” she says. RELATED: DailyBurn Postnatal Yoga: A Gentler Way to Exercise 4. Don’t Worry About Your Outfit Printed capris or plain black? Tank top or t-shirt? Don’t waste your little free time debating wardrobe choices. To make it to her early morning workout, Ashley lays out her clothes the night before. “Heck, sleep in your workout clothes if that helps!” she advises. Glasser says, “Eliminating that one step of figuring out what to wear helps getting up at 5 a.m. easier.” [caption id="attachment_36458" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption] 5. Take RUNch If crack-of-dawn or after-work training sessions aren’t your jam, try taking runch aka “running lunch.” “Since I work full-time, I block out time on my calendar every day from 12 to 1:30 p.m. to workout,” says Nellie Acevedo, creator of Brooklyn Active Mama. Katie McFarland also believes in taking runch. The director of corporate real estate strategy and voice behind Mom’s Little Running Buddies runs in the afternoon at work when possible. “You have half an hour. Do your workout, run, yoga, whatever but you have to create the opportunity and then commit to it,” she says. 6. Include Your Kids It’s hard to find dedicated “alone time” as a parent — but do you really need it? “I struggled with finding time to work out alone without the kids. I quickly learned that wasn’t always possible,” says Rachel Steffen of Running Rachel, a stay-at-home mom. “I’ve embraced working out with my boys, and they see that Mommy is a strong woman who enjoys working out,” she says. Personal trainer and mom Tamara Grand of FitKnitChick agrees that you should ditch the ‘either-or’ attitude. “Children instinctively love to move. Resistance bands are great for playing ‘hop over’ and Bosu balls make fun mini trampolines,” she says. As your children grow older, workouts can be bonding time. Tracy Morrison of Sellabit Mum has always made a point of introducing her daughters to fitness. “Now my oldest daughter runs with me a few times a week, and we just ran her first 10K together,” she says. RELATED: 20 Partner Exercises from the Fittest Couples on Instagram 7. Make the Jungle Gym Your Bootcamp Who says that you’re too old to play outside? “When I take my kids to the playground, I try to play right along with them. I’ll do triceps dips off a bench, incline push-ups, step ups, and try to do a pull-up on the monkey bars,’ says Bekkala. “Those little bursts of activity do add up quickly!” 8. Run With ‘Em When her childrens’ increasingly early wake-up times threatened to ruin her early morning jog, Morrison ran with it. “I’d put them in the jogging stroller and take them with me. I’d sing and chat during our run together. Instead of spoiling my run, it just made it a little bit sweeter,” she says. Michele Gonzalez of NYC Running Mama, also relies heavily on a running stroller. “It requires a bit more planning since the kids have to be dressed and I have to pack snacks, books and drinks, but it was a great way to spend time with them while exercising,” she says. RELATED: Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It 9. Sweeten the Deal Sometimes, you have to grease the wheels in order to fit in your workout. “My best ‘trick’ is to bribe my children,” says Steffen. “Whether the bribe is a fruit snack, park play [time], or something else, my boys are more willing to participate with minimal complaining when there is something in it for them,” she says. No shame in that. [caption id="attachment_36459" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption] 10. Be a Workout Ninja Stealthy workouts become a must when your schedule is overflowing. “You have to sneak around and get your workouts in wherever you can – and sometimes that means in some curious ways,” says Atwood. “But you can do 10 to 15 minutes of strength training while the kids are eating. Find a show they love and get on the treadmill. You are guaranteed at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted time while they are calm and quiet,” she says. Amanda Tress of Fit Parenting and Pregnancy and work-from-home mom says, “If I have a super busy day, I will break up my workout throughout the day and do some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) at home in 10 to 15 minute spurts. Bethany Meyer of I Love Them Most When They're Sleeping saves her strength training for the evening. “Getting it done in the family room while catching up with my husband and sons satisfies my need to multitask. Often, somebody will join me for planks and bicycle twists!” she says. RELATED: The Ultimate 20-Minute MetCon Workout 11. Take to the Streets Being a soccer mom in a minivan is cliché — so ditch the ride. When weather permits, make your commute an active one. Walk your kids to school or bike to work. “I live about a mile and a half from my daughter’s daycare. When the weather is nice, I push the running stroller to and from school,” says Widrick.
“I’ve learned to accept the time I do have and make the most of it."
12. Audit Your Schedule “Regular exercisers don't find time, they ‘take’ time,” says Grand. “Most of us have unused chunks of time in our day. Those 30-minutes we spend on Facebook or Pinterest. Those 10-minute intervals we spend checking email or cleaning. Pay attention to how you’re spending your time and figure out which activities you could ‘take’ time from,” she says. “If possible, lump them all together and use them for a workout. If not, spread your activity throughout the day.” RELATED: 5 Bodyweight Exercises for a 15-Minute Workout 13. Music Class for Them…Gym Class for You Between soccer practice, ballet or music lessons, kids are sometimes as busy as their parents these days. “Use the time that your kids are in classes,” says Alvarez. “Your kids are getting their fitness in, why shouldn’t you?” While her son is at soccer practice, Meyer squeezes in time on the track. “My kids decompress from their school day, get some exercise, and connect with their friends on the playground. And I get to do the same on the track,” she says. Naptime is another prime time to squeeze in a workout. “As soon as my kids go down for a nap, I leave them with Dad and I go out for a run or to the gym. I am back by the time they wake up and everyone is refreshed,” says Acevedo. 14. Don’t Beat Yourself Up Let’s face it, life happens in the form of sick days, tantrums and gigantic messes that won’t clean themselves. “There are days when I only have time for a few miles instead of the planned 7 or 8 miles on my training plan,” says Gonzalez. “I’ve learned to accept the time I do have and make the most of it. I might run the miles faster than planned or run a few more miles the next day,” she says. If you do miss a day, don’t stress. “Don't compare yourself to other moms,” says Laura Peifer, Health and Running Coach, and creator of Mommy Run Fast. “Do your best for you.” [caption id="attachment_36461" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Fit Mom Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption] 15. Make Any Space a Home Gym While not making it to the gym or a class is a convenient excuse, the truth is, you don’t need fitness special equipment, or a gym membership, to work out. “If I’m truly stuck at home…I use what I have at my disposal,” says McFarland. “Sometimes it’s nothing more than a chair, but you’d by surprised at the range of exercises you can do with a chair!” For example, we’re pretty sure you can do this “Sexy Chair” Dance Workout and How to Booty Pop video anywhere (well, almost anywhere). 16. Build a Support Crew Juggling the responsibilities of family, work and life can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Like-minded parents are a great support system. “Find a buddy or share your workout on Instagram. It really helps to have others hold you accountable,” says Ashley. Fellow parents can also sympathize when life gets messy. “I was up with a fussy, crying toddler at the wee hours of the morning and sure didn’t feel like working out after that!” says Widrick. She posted her experience in a local mom’s Facebook group. “Not only did I get some good tips on how to ease my daughter’s pain, I got a lot of empathetic comments that reminded me that this too shall pass,” she says. And ask for help when you need it. “A few times a week, I hire a babysitter for a few hours so I can accomplish housework and fit in a workout,” says Tress. “I've come to realize that it’s OK for me to ask for help. Then, I’m refreshed and able to focus on quality time with my family.” 17. Make It Worth It At the end of the day, spending more time with your family is always a priority. “Working full-time, traveling, blogging and everything else means less time with my kids. One of the mantras I’ve adopted is: Make it worth it," says McFarland. “If I’m going to choose to run or go to the gym rather than spend time with my kids, I better make sure I’m pushing myself the entire time.” McFarland incorporates a mix of compound moves and HIIT to maximize her time at the gym. Fitting fitness into a busy schedule is hard and exercise is often the first thing to get scratched from the calendar. But, with a little forethought and planning, it’s doable. “Make your well-being a priority,” says Widrick. “I just don’t allow myself to think of my health as a secondary priority. When Mommy's happy and healthy, everyone else has a better shot of following suit.” What tips and tricks do you use to find time to workout?

The post 17 Tips from Fit Mom Bloggers on Finding Time for Exercise appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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10 Easy Ways to Burn 500 Calories This Winter http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/winter-fat-burning-exercise-infographic/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/winter-fat-burning-exercise-infographic/#comments Thu, 25 Dec 2014 05:10:36 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=22620 Burn 500 Calories

An afternoon of skiing and a night filled with dancing sounds like the perfect way to spend a cold day, right? But is it enough to burn off those heavy winter cocktails and decadent desserts? Chances are you're indulging with the best of them this season — and we encourage plenty of R&R. Just be sure you're not neglecting all your healthy habits in the name of holiday cheer.

Fitness doesn't need to be a chore — in fact, winter is the perfect time to dust off the old skates, snowboards, skis and swim caps. So how much exercise is needed to burn off 500 calories (yes, those last two cookies did count!)? A 40-minute spin class or an hour on the rower might do just the trick. While the infographic below shows just 10 ways to blast calories fast, there are countless ways to break a sweat solo — or with the entire fam. Not sure where you stand? Read on to find out if you’ll need to pencil in a few more activities this week. Getting a jumpstart on your 2015 resolutions…priceless.

RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

10 (Semi) Easy Ways to Burn 500 Calories

10 Ways to Burn 500 Calories

RELATED: 4 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

A Note on Nutrition

Exercise is a pretty incredible antidote for most things, but as the saying goes: You can't out-train a bad diet. If you're looking to really clean up your act, aim to eat as clean as possible (in addition to committing to a fitness routine). With diet and exercise in check, you're setting yourself up for a year filled with success. And yes, a few well-deserved cheat meals.

For more diet and nutrition tips from Life by DailyBurn, head here.

What's your favorite way to attack those winter lbs? Tell us in the comments below!

Originally posted on December 23, 2013. Updated December 25, 2014. 

The post 10 Easy Ways to Burn 500 Calories This Winter appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Burn 500 Calories

An afternoon of skiing and a night filled with dancing sounds like the perfect way to spend a cold day, right? But is it enough to burn off those heavy winter cocktails and decadent desserts? Chances are you're indulging with the best of them this season — and we encourage plenty of R&R. Just be sure you're not neglecting all your healthy habits in the name of holiday cheer. Fitness doesn't need to be a chore — in fact, winter is the perfect time to dust off the old skates, snowboards, skis and swim caps. So how much exercise is needed to burn off 500 calories (yes, those last two cookies did count!)? A 40-minute spin class or an hour on the rower might do just the trick. While the infographic below shows just 10 ways to blast calories fast, there are countless ways to break a sweat solo — or with the entire fam. Not sure where you stand? Read on to find out if you’ll need to pencil in a few more activities this week. Getting a jumpstart on your 2015 resolutions…priceless. RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

10 (Semi) Easy Ways to Burn 500 Calories

10 Ways to Burn 500 Calories RELATED: 4 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

A Note on Nutrition

Exercise is a pretty incredible antidote for most things, but as the saying goes: You can't out-train a bad diet. If you're looking to really clean up your act, aim to eat as clean as possible (in addition to committing to a fitness routine). With diet and exercise in check, you're setting yourself up for a year filled with success. And yes, a few well-deserved cheat meals. For more diet and nutrition tips from Life by DailyBurn, head here. What's your favorite way to attack those winter lbs? Tell us in the comments below! Originally posted on December 23, 2013. Updated December 25, 2014. 

The post 10 Easy Ways to Burn 500 Calories This Winter appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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5 Yoga Poses to Show Gratitude http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/gratitude-asana-yoga-poses/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/gratitude-asana-yoga-poses/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:15:26 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=21535 Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth

[caption id="attachment_34590" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Yoga Poses to Show Gratitude Photo: Pond5[/caption]

We’re used to expressing gratitude around a holiday meal, but many of us have probably never considered that fitness could help bring more gratitude into our lives. Research shows that acknowledging what you’re thankful for can lead to a happier, healthier life. Like gratitude, yoga makes you healthier, too. And the physical and mental awareness that comes from a regular practice can help you feel gratitude toward yourself, others and your body. These five yoga poses will keep the feeling strong long after you’ve woken up from a Thanksgiving dinner coma.

5 Yoga Poses to Give Thanks

Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Cat Cow

1. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

Like a cat’s first big morning stretch, moving through a few cat/cows can really wake the body up and help you tune in. That’s why it serves as such a good warm-up in yoga classes, says DailyBurn yoga expert Briohny Smyth. It’s a great move for first thing in the morning or for when you’ve been sitting too long.

How to: Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, making sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders, your knees are in line with your hips, and your head is in a neutral position. Then, slowly lift your gaze, chest, and butt as you inhale (cow pose). On the exhale, round your back toward the ceiling while lowering your gaze (cat pose). “This is a great movement because it helps you get in touch with the body’s capability of moving and getting rid of the kinks,” says Smyth. And who wouldn’t be thankful for that?

RELATED: 9 Ways Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Fitter and Richer

Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Warrior II

2. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

While it’s one of the basics, warrior II is considered among the most powerful of all the yoga asanas. The reason: It can help you feel gratitude toward the strength of your own body, says Smyth.

How to: Begin standing with your legs out wide and both feet parallel to the front of your mat. Next, pivot your front foot so it’s facing the front of the room and bend that knee deeply while keeping your back leg long and strong. Raise your arms up to shoulder level on either side of you, palms facing down, and move your gaze toward the front of the room as you bend your knee even deeper while keeping your torso upright. “While you’re trying really hard to keep your arms up and bend your knees deep, you realize that just sitting in the pose makes you feel present,” says Smyth.

RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps

Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Handstand

3. Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

Another powerful (and advanced) pose is the handstand. Not only does this impressive inversion require a strong back and shoulders, the core, glutes and legs work equally as hard. “When you’re standing on just your hands you’re grateful for the strength of your body to know what a handstand feels like,” Smyth says.

How to: Start in downward facing dog with your fingertips a few inches away from a wall, hugging your upper arms toward one another and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Bend one knee and step the foot in closer to the wall, with the other leg remaining straight behind you (this will be your swing leg). Use the bent leg to hop up while your swing leg arcs toward the wall. At first, these hops may be enough, but eventually you’ll build the strength and finesse to kick both legs all the way to the wall. With even more practice, you won’t need to rely on the wall and will instead be able to trust your own strength.

RELATED: Video Tutorial: How to Do a Handstand

Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Pigeon

4. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Variation)

Stretches, especially hip stretches, allow you to connect with the tightness and tension in your body and mindfully, consciously let it go, Smyth says. “Any time you bring awareness to where you’re tight and can release it, you feel grateful.” Pigeon is a deep hip opener that has that effect.

How to: To begin, start in downward facing dog, bend one knee and place it on your mat a little wider than your hip, with your shin parallel to the front of the mat. Fold forward over your shin with the other leg extended behind you, keeping the hips even as they press toward the floor.

Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Savasana

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana, the final pose in a yoga class, is an opportunity to be still, calm and present while soaking in the benefits of your practice. “It’s a great place to express gratitude and even connect with and feel gratitude for the people and things you have around you,” says Smyth.

How to: Settle into it by lying on your back with your legs slightly apart and your arms extended at your side, palms facing upward. Inhale and exhale through your nose, allowing your breath, muscles and mind to be completely relaxed.

Tell us what physical activity makes you feel grateful in the comments below! And for the mommies-to-be, DailyBurn’s Beautiful Belly program (led by Briohny Smyth) is specially designed to help you feel more gratitude in your first trimester — and beyond.

The post 5 Yoga Poses to Show Gratitude appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth

[caption id="attachment_34590" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Yoga Poses to Show Gratitude Photo: Pond5[/caption] We’re used to expressing gratitude around a holiday meal, but many of us have probably never considered that fitness could help bring more gratitude into our lives. Research shows that acknowledging what you’re thankful for can lead to a happier, healthier life. Like gratitude, yoga makes you healthier, too. And the physical and mental awareness that comes from a regular practice can help you feel gratitude toward yourself, others and your body. These five yoga poses will keep the feeling strong long after you’ve woken up from a Thanksgiving dinner coma.

5 Yoga Poses to Give Thanks

Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Cat Cow

1. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

Like a cat’s first big morning stretch, moving through a few cat/cows can really wake the body up and help you tune in. That’s why it serves as such a good warm-up in yoga classes, says DailyBurn yoga expert Briohny Smyth. It’s a great move for first thing in the morning or for when you’ve been sitting too long. How to: Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, making sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders, your knees are in line with your hips, and your head is in a neutral position. Then, slowly lift your gaze, chest, and butt as you inhale (cow pose). On the exhale, round your back toward the ceiling while lowering your gaze (cat pose). “This is a great movement because it helps you get in touch with the body’s capability of moving and getting rid of the kinks,” says Smyth. And who wouldn’t be thankful for that? RELATED: 9 Ways Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Fitter and Richer Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Warrior II

2. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

While it’s one of the basics, warrior II is considered among the most powerful of all the yoga asanas. The reason: It can help you feel gratitude toward the strength of your own body, says Smyth. How to: Begin standing with your legs out wide and both feet parallel to the front of your mat. Next, pivot your front foot so it’s facing the front of the room and bend that knee deeply while keeping your back leg long and strong. Raise your arms up to shoulder level on either side of you, palms facing down, and move your gaze toward the front of the room as you bend your knee even deeper while keeping your torso upright. “While you’re trying really hard to keep your arms up and bend your knees deep, you realize that just sitting in the pose makes you feel present,” says Smyth. RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Handstand

3. Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

Another powerful (and advanced) pose is the handstand. Not only does this impressive inversion require a strong back and shoulders, the core, glutes and legs work equally as hard. “When you’re standing on just your hands you’re grateful for the strength of your body to know what a handstand feels like,” Smyth says. How to: Start in downward facing dog with your fingertips a few inches away from a wall, hugging your upper arms toward one another and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Bend one knee and step the foot in closer to the wall, with the other leg remaining straight behind you (this will be your swing leg). Use the bent leg to hop up while your swing leg arcs toward the wall. At first, these hops may be enough, but eventually you’ll build the strength and finesse to kick both legs all the way to the wall. With even more practice, you won’t need to rely on the wall and will instead be able to trust your own strength. RELATED: Video Tutorial: How to Do a Handstand Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Pigeon

4. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Variation)

Stretches, especially hip stretches, allow you to connect with the tightness and tension in your body and mindfully, consciously let it go, Smyth says. “Any time you bring awareness to where you’re tight and can release it, you feel grateful.” Pigeon is a deep hip opener that has that effect. How to: To begin, start in downward facing dog, bend one knee and place it on your mat a little wider than your hip, with your shin parallel to the front of the mat. Fold forward over your shin with the other leg extended behind you, keeping the hips even as they press toward the floor. Gratitude Yoga Briohny Smyth Savasana

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana, the final pose in a yoga class, is an opportunity to be still, calm and present while soaking in the benefits of your practice. “It’s a great place to express gratitude and even connect with and feel gratitude for the people and things you have around you,” says Smyth. How to: Settle into it by lying on your back with your legs slightly apart and your arms extended at your side, palms facing upward. Inhale and exhale through your nose, allowing your breath, muscles and mind to be completely relaxed. Tell us what physical activity makes you feel grateful in the comments below! And for the mommies-to-be, DailyBurn’s Beautiful Belly program (led by Briohny Smyth) is specially designed to help you feel more gratitude in your first trimester — and beyond.

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How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/thanksgiving-dinner-exercise-infographic/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/thanksgiving-dinner-exercise-infographic/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:30:48 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=21522 Thanksgiving Dinner Exercise

It happens each year: The dishes you've been craving all season long are finally passed 'round the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes — all smothered with a heaping portion of gravy. It's a masterpiece, yes. But it's also a single meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories (nearly twice the calories recommended daily). While there's no need to skip your favorite feast in the name of fitness, we recommend taking a peek at this infographic, which puts those cals into perspective. It's not all bad news, though. That Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot will earn you a delicious slice of Mom's apple pie. But you just might think twice about the gravy: A quarter-cup will cost you 50 burpees! Find out how much you have to work for each Turkey Day dish here.

RELATED: 9 Tips to Ward Off Winter Weight Gain

How to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner

How Much Exercise It Takes to Work Off a Thanksgiving Feast

RELATED: 15 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Calorie counts got you down before Thanksgiving has even rolled around? Remember that this is a time to celebrate and give thanks, so don't forget to keep things in perspective. (A little stuffing never hurt anybody!) Just keep your goals within sight, and your workout journal close by. Whether you're down for an hour of dancing, a friendly push-up contest, or some flag football with the fam, there's always a fun way to stay active and in control of your health and wellness.

RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

Was this infographic a helpful guide or a total downer? Tell us what you think in the comments below! 

Originally posted on November 22, 2013. Updated on November 2014. 

The post How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Thanksgiving Dinner Exercise

It happens each year: The dishes you've been craving all season long are finally passed 'round the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes — all smothered with a heaping portion of gravy. It's a masterpiece, yes. But it's also a single meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories (nearly twice the calories recommended daily). While there's no need to skip your favorite feast in the name of fitness, we recommend taking a peek at this infographic, which puts those cals into perspective. It's not all bad news, though. That Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot will earn you a delicious slice of Mom's apple pie. But you just might think twice about the gravy: A quarter-cup will cost you 50 burpees! Find out how much you have to work for each Turkey Day dish here. RELATED: 9 Tips to Ward Off Winter Weight Gain

How to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner

How Much Exercise It Takes to Work Off a Thanksgiving Feast RELATED: 15 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes Calorie counts got you down before Thanksgiving has even rolled around? Remember that this is a time to celebrate and give thanks, so don't forget to keep things in perspective. (A little stuffing never hurt anybody!) Just keep your goals within sight, and your workout journal close by. Whether you're down for an hour of dancing, a friendly push-up contest, or some flag football with the fam, there's always a fun way to stay active and in control of your health and wellness. RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now Was this infographic a helpful guide or a total downer? Tell us what you think in the comments below!  Originally posted on November 22, 2013. Updated on November 2014. 

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Yoga for Beginners: How to Do a Handstand [VIDEO] http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-beginners-handstand-clinic-video/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-beginners-handstand-clinic-video/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:00:24 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=28076 Handstand-Clinic-Featured

Handstand GIF

Let’s face it: Yoga inversions can be intimidating. Sure, famous yogis make handstands and headstands look easy, but maybe you’re not quite ready to throw your legs in the air like you just don’t care. But there’s good reason to get vertical: Handstands and other forms of yoga inversions can strengthen muscles in your arms, shoulders and upper body, and require superior core strength to stabilize the body. Plus, you’ll increase circulation to your upper body and relieve pressure on your legs and feet.

If you’re healthy (and daring) enough to try to defy gravity, DailyBurn trainer Briohny Smyth demonstrates how to prepare and stretch for the handstand by focusing on your hands, wrists and core. She also breaks down the best ways to strengthen your core to help you master inversions. Give it a shot in honor of National Yoga Month! 

How to Do a Yoga Handstand

Want more yoga tips from Briohny? Head to DailyBurn.com for full-length yoga practices you can stream anytime, anywhere. 

The post Yoga for Beginners: How to Do a Handstand [VIDEO] appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Handstand-Clinic-Featured

Handstand GIF

Let’s face it: Yoga inversions can be intimidating. Sure, famous yogis make handstands and headstands look easy, but maybe you’re not quite ready to throw your legs in the air like you just don’t care. But there’s good reason to get vertical: Handstands and other forms of yoga inversions can strengthen muscles in your arms, shoulders and upper body, and require superior core strength to stabilize the body. Plus, you’ll increase circulation to your upper body and relieve pressure on your legs and feet.

If you’re healthy (and daring) enough to try to defy gravity, DailyBurn trainer Briohny Smyth demonstrates how to prepare and stretch for the handstand by focusing on your hands, wrists and core. She also breaks down the best ways to strengthen your core to help you master inversions. Give it a shot in honor of National Yoga Month! 

How to Do a Yoga Handstand

Want more yoga tips from Briohny? Head to DailyBurn.com for full-length yoga practices you can stream anytime, anywhere. 

The post Yoga for Beginners: How to Do a Handstand [VIDEO] appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout For Your Brain? http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hatha-yoga-better-for-brain-study-082014/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hatha-yoga-better-for-brain-study-082014/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:30:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=31038 Hatha Yoga

[caption id="attachment_31046" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hatha Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Whether you love the endorphin rush you get after a run, or the sense of peace you feel after the final om in your favorite yoga class, exercise of all forms clearly has mental benefits.

But now, a new study from researchers at the University of Illinois reveals that yoga may be even better for your brain than other forms of exercise. You read that right: Your warrior pose could actually be making you mentally stronger, too.

In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, 61 older adults committed to attending an hour-long hatha yoga class, led by a certified yoga instructor, three times a week for eight weeks. Over the same period, another group was assigned to do a 60-minute toning session three times a week. While the yoga group did sun salutations, the other group got sweaty with resistance band work, bicep curls and total-body strengthening.

Then, rather than measuring each group’s success in terms of pounds shed or muscle gained, the participants were assessed by the changes in brain power they experienced between the start and end of the study. And their results might make you a little more eager to finally master your down dog.

The group practicing hatha yoga saw significantly increased performance on various cognitive tests measuring working memory, mental flexibility and multitasking abilities, compared to the group focused on toning. 

Your Brain on Hatha Yoga

Why the difference between the yogis and the get-toned set? Hatha yoga, the most common form of yoga practiced in North America, is known for requiring participants to integrate poses with breathing and meditation practice.

“It is possible that yoga’s ability to quiet the mind and assist our ability to focus without becoming distracted led to [the participant’s] improved ability to focus and sustain attention,” says study author Edward McAuley, a professor at the University of Illinois. Furthermore, various types of yoga, and meditation, have previously been associated with decreasing stress and anxiety — two factors that have been shown to have a negative impact on a person’s concentration, McAuley notes.

If yoga has been on your bucket list of workouts to try, this study demonstrates it may bring you more than just physical benefits. The tests completed by study participants indicate that getting your lotus on could make you better at managing multiple projects at work, or blocking out distractions when you’re trying to be more productive.

“The tasks are representative of that aspect of cognition called executive function,” says McAuley. “We call on executive functions all of the time, as they deal with our abilities to plan, to inhibit inappropriate responses, multitask, store information in working memory for retrieval at a later time to execute a particular task, etc.”  

And while building muscle may make your body feel great and help your mind get happy, it doesn't necessarily require you to pay attention to your breathing, or to aim for a meditative state of mind.

That said, if you’re more of the jogging or CrossFit type, don’t sweat it. You’re still getting plenty of health benefits.

 Convinced you should start practicing yoga? For routines that range from beginner to advanced, join Briohny Smyth at dailyburn.com/yoga

The post Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout For Your Brain? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Hatha Yoga

[caption id="attachment_31046" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hatha Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Whether you love the endorphin rush you get after a run, or the sense of peace you feel after the final om in your favorite yoga class, exercise of all forms clearly has mental benefits.

But now, a new study from researchers at the University of Illinois reveals that yoga may be even better for your brain than other forms of exercise. You read that right: Your warrior pose could actually be making you mentally stronger, too.

In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, 61 older adults committed to attending an hour-long hatha yoga class, led by a certified yoga instructor, three times a week for eight weeks. Over the same period, another group was assigned to do a 60-minute toning session three times a week. While the yoga group did sun salutations, the other group got sweaty with resistance band work, bicep curls and total-body strengthening.

Then, rather than measuring each group’s success in terms of pounds shed or muscle gained, the participants were assessed by the changes in brain power they experienced between the start and end of the study. And their results might make you a little more eager to finally master your down dog.

The group practicing hatha yoga saw significantly increased performance on various cognitive tests measuring working memory, mental flexibility and multitasking abilities, compared to the group focused on toning. 

Your Brain on Hatha Yoga

Why the difference between the yogis and the get-toned set? Hatha yoga, the most common form of yoga practiced in North America, is known for requiring participants to integrate poses with breathing and meditation practice.

“It is possible that yoga’s ability to quiet the mind and assist our ability to focus without becoming distracted led to [the participant’s] improved ability to focus and sustain attention,” says study author Edward McAuley, a professor at the University of Illinois. Furthermore, various types of yoga, and meditation, have previously been associated with decreasing stress and anxiety — two factors that have been shown to have a negative impact on a person’s concentration, McAuley notes.

If yoga has been on your bucket list of workouts to try, this study demonstrates it may bring you more than just physical benefits. The tests completed by study participants indicate that getting your lotus on could make you better at managing multiple projects at work, or blocking out distractions when you’re trying to be more productive.

“The tasks are representative of that aspect of cognition called executive function,” says McAuley. “We call on executive functions all of the time, as they deal with our abilities to plan, to inhibit inappropriate responses, multitask, store information in working memory for retrieval at a later time to execute a particular task, etc.”  

And while building muscle may make your body feel great and help your mind get happy, it doesn't necessarily require you to pay attention to your breathing, or to aim for a meditative state of mind.

That said, if you’re more of the jogging or CrossFit type, don’t sweat it. You’re still getting plenty of health benefits.

 Convinced you should start practicing yoga? For routines that range from beginner to advanced, join Briohny Smyth at dailyburn.com/yoga

The post Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout For Your Brain? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/benefits-of-yoga-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/benefits-of-yoga-tips/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:14:40 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=26908 The Benefits of Yoga

[caption id="attachment_30595" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

There’s more to yoga than just getting to class, doing a few flow sequences, and being done with it. Unlike some forms of exercise, a yoga practice requires much more than just going though the motions. “It’s what sets yoga apart from other disciplines,” says Colleen Saidman Yee, internationally acclaimed yoga instructor and creator of the new DVD Calorie Killer Yoga. “Yoga tones from head to toe, but focuses on training the mind.” And Colleen’s yogi husband, Rodney Yee, agrees, saying that in the beginning, the practice honed in on the mind. “We’ve turned it into physical fitness,” he says. “It’s fine if that’s the doorway for most people to find yoga, but it’s much more than that.”

Learn how to get more from your practice — inside and out — with these tips from Colleen and Rodney.

A Mindful Practice

While you may have heard the term, you’re not alone if you aren’t sure what “mindfulness” means. About 2,500 years ago, when the practice was just beginning, the sole focus was on the mind. Recently, it has become more about getting physical fitness and getting a workout in. And while that’s OK for students to do, being present, mentally present, can make all the difference when it comes to a yoga session. “A good teacher will keep your mind there,” says Colleen. She and many other instructors use breathing to bring students’ minds back so they can reap the many benefits that come with focus. “What they come in and get on their mat for, isn’t what they leave with,” says Rodney. “They could come in for spirit and leave a vegetarian or come in just to get in shape but leave feeling more in tune with their thoughts.”

Reaping the Benefits of Yoga

It can take time to start seeing breakthroughs in your practice. But these fundamentals can help get your journey underway.

1. Drop the distractions.
It’s easy to get so caught up trying to focus that you begin to get frustrated with yourself when you can’t turn your mind off. “A main tool is to try not to push anything away,” says Colleen. “Accept where you are and in that acceptance something softens.” Keep in mind that you’re not trying to get rid of any thoughts but rather make space for everything so that you feel a sense of relaxation. “Science is proving now that there is no such thing as multitasking, but that you might just be jumping from one thing to another,” says Rodney. “Try bringing yourself back to the activity at hand and dedicate time to your practice. “

2. Just breathe.
Why is breathing such an essential part of yoga? The process is both voluntary and involuntary, but by focusing on it, you can give it power. “Your mind wants something and by giving it breath, it’s not chatter or a to do list,” says Rodney. “[The breath] satisfies the mind by giving it something that isn’t verbal.” Plus, by listening to the breath, you allow it to calm you down. “It becomes a source of meditation to calm the mind and the physiology of the whole body … and be present in your practice,” says Colleen.

3. Tune out the crowd.
What, you don’t enjoy when someone accidently kicks you in the face during a vinyasa or a sweaty armpit ends up right next to your face? A crowded room can be the pits (literally) for some students. So why not just leave? “I actually think this is when you get your deepest practice,” says Colleen. “Not only do you have the support of everyone being there with you, but with a small space and lots of breathing and sweating around you, you’re forced to go into your own space on your own mat and bring your senses inward.” According to Rodney, you really can benefit by stepping out of your comfort zone and sticking it out. “You get this influence of energy, like someone playing solo music versus a huge symphony — it’s a completely different beast.”

4. Maintain consistency.
Like anything in life, the more often you do yoga, the quicker and better it all soaks in. “It’s sort of this everydayness of something, so it’s not special but ordinary,” says Rodney. “Being ordinary, it seeps deeper into the fiber of your being and you don’t have to try so hard.” The more frequently you practice, you won’t have to think about it as much as it will become routine. And this type of practice will help you advance in yoga.  

5. Acknowledge your progress.
“Some people can have this dynamic ‘aha’ moment in their first class and then search the rest of their life to get that back,” says Colleen. But the bigger picture benefits can be just as meaningful. “Out in the world if you’re having an argument or someone cuts you off on the highway, you can stop and notice your breath or your feet and you can hone in on those sensations. It’s incredibly powerful.” And the more you practice, it sets the groundwork for you being able to reach those moments of zen (especially when they are much needed) more often.

“We have a strange philosophy that more is always better, says Rodney. “Even though we know that’s not true, we’re stuck on it.” So what happens when you finally unplug and experience that sensory withdrawal to help recharge your batteries? “Everything is more accessible and clear,” says Colleen. “It’s the most beneficial thing you can do for productivity, relationships, basically everything.”

Remember that yoga is about regaining quality, not just adding quantity to your practice. “Be attentive to that,” reminds Rodney. “Otherwise, you’ll get to the end of life and think ‘Why did I always have my glass at full tilt?’”

To better your yoga practice, head to DailyBurn.com to personalize your routine at home, in the gym, or on-the-go. And to take class with Colleen or Rodney check out Yoga Shanti in New York City or Sag Harbor, New York.

Originally posted on April 11, 2014. 

 

The post How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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The Benefits of Yoga

[caption id="attachment_30595" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

There’s more to yoga than just getting to class, doing a few flow sequences, and being done with it. Unlike some forms of exercise, a yoga practice requires much more than just going though the motions. “It’s what sets yoga apart from other disciplines,” says Colleen Saidman Yee, internationally acclaimed yoga instructor and creator of the new DVD Calorie Killer Yoga. “Yoga tones from head to toe, but focuses on training the mind.” And Colleen’s yogi husband, Rodney Yee, agrees, saying that in the beginning, the practice honed in on the mind. “We’ve turned it into physical fitness,” he says. “It’s fine if that’s the doorway for most people to find yoga, but it’s much more than that.”

Learn how to get more from your practice — inside and out — with these tips from Colleen and Rodney.

A Mindful Practice

While you may have heard the term, you’re not alone if you aren’t sure what “mindfulness” means. About 2,500 years ago, when the practice was just beginning, the sole focus was on the mind. Recently, it has become more about getting physical fitness and getting a workout in. And while that’s OK for students to do, being present, mentally present, can make all the difference when it comes to a yoga session. “A good teacher will keep your mind there,” says Colleen. She and many other instructors use breathing to bring students’ minds back so they can reap the many benefits that come with focus. “What they come in and get on their mat for, isn’t what they leave with,” says Rodney. “They could come in for spirit and leave a vegetarian or come in just to get in shape but leave feeling more in tune with their thoughts.”

Reaping the Benefits of Yoga

It can take time to start seeing breakthroughs in your practice. But these fundamentals can help get your journey underway.

1. Drop the distractions.
It’s easy to get so caught up trying to focus that you begin to get frustrated with yourself when you can’t turn your mind off. “A main tool is to try not to push anything away,” says Colleen. “Accept where you are and in that acceptance something softens.” Keep in mind that you’re not trying to get rid of any thoughts but rather make space for everything so that you feel a sense of relaxation. “Science is proving now that there is no such thing as multitasking, but that you might just be jumping from one thing to another,” says Rodney. “Try bringing yourself back to the activity at hand and dedicate time to your practice. “

2. Just breathe.
Why is breathing such an essential part of yoga? The process is both voluntary and involuntary, but by focusing on it, you can give it power. “Your mind wants something and by giving it breath, it’s not chatter or a to do list,” says Rodney. “[The breath] satisfies the mind by giving it something that isn’t verbal.” Plus, by listening to the breath, you allow it to calm you down. “It becomes a source of meditation to calm the mind and the physiology of the whole body … and be present in your practice,” says Colleen.

3. Tune out the crowd.
What, you don’t enjoy when someone accidently kicks you in the face during a vinyasa or a sweaty armpit ends up right next to your face? A crowded room can be the pits (literally) for some students. So why not just leave? “I actually think this is when you get your deepest practice,” says Colleen. “Not only do you have the support of everyone being there with you, but with a small space and lots of breathing and sweating around you, you’re forced to go into your own space on your own mat and bring your senses inward.” According to Rodney, you really can benefit by stepping out of your comfort zone and sticking it out. “You get this influence of energy, like someone playing solo music versus a huge symphony — it’s a completely different beast.”

4. Maintain consistency.
Like anything in life, the more often you do yoga, the quicker and better it all soaks in. “It’s sort of this everydayness of something, so it’s not special but ordinary,” says Rodney. “Being ordinary, it seeps deeper into the fiber of your being and you don’t have to try so hard.” The more frequently you practice, you won’t have to think about it as much as it will become routine. And this type of practice will help you advance in yoga.  

5. Acknowledge your progress.
“Some people can have this dynamic ‘aha’ moment in their first class and then search the rest of their life to get that back,” says Colleen. But the bigger picture benefits can be just as meaningful. “Out in the world if you’re having an argument or someone cuts you off on the highway, you can stop and notice your breath or your feet and you can hone in on those sensations. It’s incredibly powerful.” And the more you practice, it sets the groundwork for you being able to reach those moments of zen (especially when they are much needed) more often.

“We have a strange philosophy that more is always better, says Rodney. “Even though we know that’s not true, we’re stuck on it.” So what happens when you finally unplug and experience that sensory withdrawal to help recharge your batteries? “Everything is more accessible and clear,” says Colleen. “It’s the most beneficial thing you can do for productivity, relationships, basically everything.”

Remember that yoga is about regaining quality, not just adding quantity to your practice. “Be attentive to that,” reminds Rodney. “Otherwise, you’ll get to the end of life and think ‘Why did I always have my glass at full tilt?’”

To better your yoga practice, head to DailyBurn.com to personalize your routine at home, in the gym, or on-the-go. And to take class with Colleen or Rodney check out Yoga Shanti in New York City or Sag Harbor, New York.

Originally posted on April 11, 2014. 

 

The post How to Reap the Benefits of Yoga, Starting Now appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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