Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Monday, April 25, 2005

What is Yoga?

  1. What is Yoga? The word yoga means "union." Yoga is a form of exercise based on the belief that the body and breath are intimately connected with the mind. By controlling the breath and holding the body in steady poses, or asanas, yoga creates harmony. Yoga practice consists of five key elements: proper breathing, proper exercise, proper relaxation, proper diet, and positive thinking and meditation. The excercises, or asanas, are designed to ease tensed muscles, to tone up the internal organs, and to improve the flexibility of the body's joints and ligaments.
  2. Check with your doctor! Yoga asanas can be practiced by young and old alike. While there is no one who should be excluded, check with your doctor before you begin a course if you suffer from a medical condition or have any doubts.
  3. Proper exercises: YOGA ASANAS. The aim of proper exercise is to improve suppleness and strength. Each posture is performed slowly in fluid movements. Violent movements are avoided; they produce a buildup of lactic acid, causing fatigue.
  4. Proper Breathing. Most people use only a fraction of their breathing capacity. Proper breathing focuses on nasal breathing techniques to unlock energy and vitality. Breathing exercises concentrate on exhalation rather than inhalation, to cleanse the lungs of stale air and to eliminate toxins from the body.
  5. Proper Relaxation. The release of tension through relaxation is vital to keep the body healthy. Begin and end each session of yoga asanas with relaxation, and relax between postures. This allows the released energy to flow freely.
  6. Proper Diet. The recommended diet for a student of yoga is a simple and wholesome vegetarian one, made up of natural foods that are easily digested. It keeps the body vital and healthy, and the mind calm and free from restless thoughts. Processed and canned foods are to be avoided when possible.
  7. Positive Thinking & Meditation. Meditation is a state of consciousness. When practicing meditation, you must first learn how to calm the mind and focus your mental energy inward. Meditation can help relieve stress and replenish your energy. If it is practiced on a daily basis, you will also find that it will enable you to think more clearly and positively, and to be at peace with yourself.
  8. The Importance of a Teacher. Whether you are learning yoga singly or in a group. It is always best to be supervised by a qualified teacher. A teacher will demonstrate how to ease your body gently into and out of the yoga postures and, most importantly, how to breathe correctly when holding a balance. He or she will ensure that you do not strain your limbs and will help you align your body in the asanas.
  9. What You Need. You do not need special equipment to practice yoga. Although you can buy special yoga mats, a towel on a carpeted floor will do just as well. For practicing indoors, you will need an open space without furniture. The room should be comfortably heated and free from disturbances.
  10. When & Where To Practice. Try to practice yoga every day. At the same time, be gentle. Do not force yourself. A yoga session should be a joy. Set aside a time when you will not be disturbed and you will not have to rush. Practicing in the morning helps loosen stiff joints after sleep. Practicing in the evening relieves the tensions of the day. Whenever you practice yoga, avoid eating for at least two hours beforehand.
  11. Each Session: How Long? For maximum benefit, you should set aside about 90 minutes. When you are busy, try a shorter session with fewer asanas. It is very important not to feel rushed and to allow time for relaxation between poses. You can always perform the breathing exercises at a later stage.
  12. Know Your Body's Capabilities. Before you begin your yoga asanas, it is important to recognize your body's capabilities. Never force your body into a posture or try to go beyond you limit. Remember, yoga is not a competitive sport. Progress may be slow, but with time your body will become flexible. Ease yourself gently into each position, and when you are holding a pose, check the body to see if you can feel tension building up anywhere. If you do, consciously try to relax that tension using the breathing.
  13. Balancing Both Sides of the Body. Many of our regular daily activities tend to emphasize the use of one part or side of the body. To achieve a healthy and harmonious balance, it is important to keep all parts of the body equally strong and flexible. Yoga exercises make each group of muscles work equally on the left and right sides of the body to achieve equilibrium.

Enjoy! Mind, Body, Spirit :-)



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