Yoga – Downward Facing Dog

Downward facing dog is a resting pose, ideal for recovery during an intense routine. It stretches the legs and back and is a great pose to try after a long day sat by a desk.


Yoga Instructions - Downward Facing Dog

Spread your feet shoulder width apart ensuring your weight is evenly balanced and spread your toes.


Keeping your back straight, bend forward from your waist and press your palms flat on the floor, fingers pointing forward and spread apart (You can bend your knees if you need to).


Step each foot back so you’re in a push-up position, arms extended, hands beneath your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.


Slowly raise your hips toward the ceiling keeping your hands and feet in position. Your body should make an inverted ‘V’ shape.


Gently push your chest toward your knees. Try to keep your eyes on your toes and press your heels toward the floor.


Breathe deeply, holding the pose for up to a minute. As you exhale, move more deeply into the pose.

Yoga – Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose is one of the most basic Yoga poses. Simple and solid, it’s the start of many Yoga routines. Here we explain how it’s done in 7 detailed steps.


Yoga Instructions - Mountain Pose


Whilst standing with you feet together, close your eyes. Imagine that you are planted to the ground, like a mountain.


In a gentle motion, rock back and forth from the balls to the heels of your feet, finding a strong, even resting point. Attempt to spread your toes slightly, to give yourself an even stronger base.


Open your eyes, keeping your head level. Softly bend your knees and then straighten them to Loosen your leg joints. Make sure your knees are directly over your ankles.


Curl out your pelvis and try to straighten your spine as much as possible. Try to imagine the alignment between your spine, hips, knees and ankles. This helps to minimise pressure on one area.


Lift your chest away from your stomach, extending your spine. Then relax your throat and lengthen your neck, as if a cord is being pulled directly up, on your head.


Press down evenly into the floor with your feet and slowly raise your arms above your head.Think about pushing down with your feet, whilst stretching your finger-tips above your head.


Keeping your gaze straight ahead breathe deeply. Try to retain your balance (this may take a little practice), and hold the pose for 30 seconds.

Toning Up – The Science

Here is the complete guide to everything you need to know about toning up.

  • What is toning up?
  • How can you tone up?
  • Can you tone up in different areas?

What is toning up?

(Source:www.fitnessvsweightloss.com)

Toning up is a common thing many of us want to achieve through various tummy, arm or bum exercises. But what exactly is it?

It often get’s misused as a standalone concept, away from fat loss and muscle bulking. However, without a combination of the two toning up wouldn’t be an option.

Toning happens when you remove layers of fat between the muscles and the skin. It is here that your muscles can then be become more noticeable, firm and refined, giving you a toned look. Overall, when you tone up you are essentially losing fat and gaining muscle.

How can you tone up?

We can get more noticeably leaner, more trimmed and firm by undertaking a combination of 3 activities.

 

 

 

http-::www.healthline.com:health:importance-strength-training-women

(Source:www.healthline.com)

Weight lifting

Weight training is the perfect way to lose weight and develop leaner looking muscles, without bulking them out. As you push your muscles gradually with weights, they get stronger.

If practised regularly, your muscle cells then start to develop leaner protein that is noticeable. This is good because your growing muscles will continue to require more energy than fat cells, pushing up your metabolism rate to use more energy from the fat stores. Ultimately, your fat cells then shrink leaving you looking more toned.

To find out how to lift check out our blog and challenge sections.

Nutrition

70% of your weight loss comes from the right diet. To shed pounds and get a little more toned, you have to choose foods which are full of nutrients, making it harder for body to break these nutrients away from one another. This prevents sugar highs and sugar lows during digestion. As a result, your body is not desperately seeking any more food, reducing sugar fluctuations in the blood and making you feel less hungry for longer. You have not consumed any excess calories, so less of them get stored as fat.

Getting a good balance between the combination below is important for achieving tone:

  • Leaner proteins
  • Browner carbohydrates
  • Healthier Fats

To find out more about these visit our relevant blogs and challenges here to get more nutrition into your diet.

Interval training

To counteract the weight gain through any excess calories consumed, it necessary to use them up through physical activity. We can do this efficiently by having the perfect cardiovascular combination of high to low intensity workouts.

Interval training is well known for its “afterburn effect”. After only 20 minutes of a cardiovascular workout, you can still be burning fat when you’re sat on your sofa.
This is known as “excess-post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPEOC). The more exercise you do, the more oxygen you consume. This causes your metabolic rate to be higher because the more you are using up energy and hence calories. This energy is taken from the quick breakdown of fats as they are more calories dense, leading to fat loss.

To find out more about interval training, check out our challenges and blog.

5-Things-Tuesday-Interval-Training-Whats-the-Fuss-All-About

(Source:www.myfitstation.com)

Can you tone up in different areas?

Let’s firstly dispel the myth that you can tone up in certain areas, otherwise commonly known as “spot reduction”. There are loads of tummy, bottom and thigh “tone up” exercises out there to chose from.

Here’s why they don’t work:

1. The muscle areas that you work upon does not reflect the fat areas your are trying to lose to tone up and look leaner

Fat cells are made up triglycerides which cannot be directly converted energy for the muscle cells to keep functioning. Fat loss occurs through the breakdown of triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerides. these fat components are then let loose into the bloodstream and are then used as energy.

Forget about the specifics, research shows that fat loss can come from any part of the body leading to a reduction in your total body fat.

2. Many of the spot reduction tone up techniques do not allow you to burn many calories compared to other workouts.

To lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume within your food. If you cannot exceed the calorie levels of your food, then you will either stay at the same weight or even gain weight. Calories are the energy components of your food that if left unspent during inactive times are stored as fat within your cells.

10 Types of Yoga you should try before you die

If you’re not sure about what type of yoga to try, look at our handy guide to help you choose. From a beginners to an advanced yoga level, you can find out what to expect and how each type of yoga can help you improve your mental and physical well-being.

Yoga has 3 elements that will surface consistently throughout every type of yoga. These foundations are stretching exercises, breathing and meditation techniques.

Well-being can transform how we look and how we feel about ourselves. Often, such positive changes can be taken away from the yoga mat and into our everyday lives to undertake more positive behaviours.

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(Source:Indiasmart.com)

In a nut shell, please see below the 10 most popular forms of yoga that could fit around your lifestyle.

Ashtanga

Ashtanga is different from the rest. You move quickly through a series of set yoga poses, flowing from one position to the next without intervals. There is no variation which means that you can continue to develop your strength and flexibility in the same areas. Similar to Power yoga, you can work out your cardio fitness alongside the benefits of meditation.

Power

Power yoga is identical to Ashtanga. The only difference is power yoga does not have a set sequence. There is more focus on certain types of poses and body parts in a session compared to the general bodily ashtanga approach.

Hatha

If you’re a beginner and just want to know more about yoga, Hatha is a good starting point. It eases you in by helping you to focus on the basic yoga and relaxation techniques.

Bikram

If you can exercise in strong heat then this is the perfect type of yoga for you. Imagine doing 26 yoga poses within a hot room. The temperate can different between classes but usually starts from 35 degrees. It is perfect for flushing out any toxins through a series of deep but relaxing stretches.

Iyengar

Iyengar is good for improving your flexibility. You can use lots of different types of props to help you get into certain poses. These props include belts, blocks, harnesses and pillows. You are focusing here on your body alignment, holding poses over longer periods of time compared to other yoga techniques.

Vinyoga

If you want to choose yoga that fits around you and you alone, then personalise it. Other types tend to be dictated around set routines. With Vinoga, your trainer takes a much more personalised approach, tailoring your yoga routine to your age, health and physical needs.

Kundalini

This is an all-in-one yoga regime encompassing all aspects of the yoga tradition. There will be a combination of physical poses, breathing, movement, stretching, meditation, chanting and relaxation. You will focus primarily on your spine, helping you to become more flexible.

Vanyasa

This type of yoga helps you to de-stress by focusing more on relaxation techniques. You are practising yoga with 12 basic poses that is matched to certain types of breathing. Focus and stillness are the prime benefits.

Kripa

Kripa has 3 stages, each providing you with a step-by-step guide to yoga. Firstly, you will learn about the different poses, stretches and relaxation techniques. Then you will try to hold and sustain these newly learnt poses for long periods of time. Finally you will be able to move between poses. These stages can be achieved at your own pace, where you’re ability tends to lead the way during sessions.

Sivanda

Wellbeing is at the heart of Sivanda; It relies on your ability to develop habits that will enrich and change your life. It is a fairly gentle regime, where you will be practising 12 poses alongside breathing and relaxation techniques. It is here where positive thinking and meditation will become part of your daily routine.