Saturday, 31 March 2012

YOGA FOR GOOD HEALTH


All of us would like to stay healthy, but with today's lifestyles it just seems to get harder and harder. This is perhaps why yoga has become increasingly popular. People of all backgrounds have begun to wake up to the fact that yoga is not some mystical practice for super bendy gurus and new age seekers of eastern religions.  Requiring just a few minutes each day anyone can attain the wonderful feeling of balance and serenity of mind and body that practicing yoga brings. 


So how does it work? Perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind when you encounter the word yoga is a person, seated on a mat, and doing some stretches. As strange as every yoga position may look like, it is those stretches that bring a feeling of wellness to the person performing it. By stretching your muscles, it helps to relieve muscle stiffness, pain, and tension. It also helps in lubricating the joints, making it easier and less painful to move our joints and other major body parts.

What are some of the health benefits?


Yoga improves posture. It helps in strengthening our muscles, allowing for better posture and body support. As we become less stiff It makes sitting and standing for longer periods of time a lot easier. 

Yoga is also deeply relaxing as it effectively removes tension not just from our bodies but also from our minds. It helps to release stress and in the process replacing it with a sense of calm. Often, people who do yoga for the first time claim that they immediately feel less stressed after just one session.

While yoga cannot be considered an aerobic fitness regime, it can improve our lung capacity. This is achieved through the mindful breathing that accompanies every yoga pose. Depending on the pose and the purpose, the breath can be deepened or lengthened to contribute to relaxing the body. This in turn affords greater ease in the stretch or posture.

For sufferers of high blood pressure yoga might just be the answer that you need. This is because of its relaxing effects that make us feel less tensed. Hence lowering blood pressure and makes us less prone to some heart diseases and even stroke.

Depression is one of the major causes of sickness these days. Because when we are depressed we tend to take less care of our body.  We start to eat unhealthy foods and often have no energy or enthusiasm to exercise. Sleep also becomes difficult and night time hours are spent  worrying. While yoga is not the complete solution it can definitely help in improving  mood and concentration which in turn help to fight off depression.

The health benefits of yoga goes on and on, but those mentioned in this blog are among the top ones.  Basically I'm just trying to encourage anyone who hasn't tried it yet to give yoga a try. You won't end up joining a cult or even wrapping your legs around your neck but you will begin to experience  better health and a sense of wellbeing as well as meeting some lovely similarly health-conscious people along the way. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

LOSE YOUR WINTER LOVE HANDLES


Springtime is magical, dynamic and a time of new beginnings.  As nature moves out of the cold, wet, dark winter toward spring, the pulse of life quickens, the earth warms, and blossoms unfurl, reaching for the sun. Nature makes it look smooth, but for us humans it's not as easy to transition gracefully from one season to the next—especially from winter to spring. More often we find ourselves feeling heavy and sluggish, like a cranky bear reluctantly coming out of hibernation.
One of the ways to shake off that sluggish winter cloak and lose those winter love handles is to bring more lateral movement into our bodies through yoga.
Lateral movement in yoga refers to stretching to the left and right sides. Other than reaching for your suitcase, you may not have to move laterally much in your daily life. By focusing on yoga poses that require lateral motion, also known as lateral flexion, you can open your lungs, tone your internal and external oblique muscles, and work your leg and back muscles.

Improve Flexibility
Another advantage of lateral poses is to improve flexibility and speed for other sports as we get ourselves fit for the summer months, One flowing yoga sequence you can so is to starts in Warrior II then inhale into reversed Warrior exhale into Side Angle Pose inhale back into Reversed Warrior then exhale in Triangle Pose and inhale back into Reversed Warrior . Repeat this five times on both right and left sides of the body. As you progress, you can gradually add a Half Moon moon after your last Triangle pose by taking the weight on to your front leg and lifting your back leg parallel with the ground.  Then exhale back into Side Angle Pose and continue via Down Facing Dog on to the second side.

Breathe Better
Practice Gate Pose to elongate the intercostal muscles between your ribs to improve your breathing and digestion, tone your spine and lose those winter love handles. Start from a kneeling position and stretch your right leg out straight to your side. Place your foot flat on the floor facing front. Inhale and stretch your left arm up and place your right hand on your right shin. Exhale and stretch to your right side. Hold for a few breaths, then come up and repeat on your left side.

Cool Down
At the end of your yoga practice, use lateral stretches to cool down. Try asanas such as Seated Wide Angle and Head to Knee Poses, stretching to both your right and left. From a seated position, lengthen your neck to the left and the right. Then, place your right hand on the floor and stretch to that side with your left arm overhead. Repeat on your left side. End in Child's Pose for a few breaths before you do Savasana, or Corpse Pose.

Friday, 16 March 2012

YOGA BECAUSE MUM'S WORTH IT


WOULD THE WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE ENJOY  A LITTLE TIME TO  HERSELF TO RELAX, RENEW & STRETCH THIS SPRING?



As a gift idea this Mothering Sunday, instead of flowers and chocolates why not give her the chance to do a little yoga either one to one or in a group.

 I am offering a private yoga session in your home for the special discounted price of £50 or alternatively  the opportunity to attend five of my Tuesday and Friday morning  9am classes at St Peter's Hall Portobello Road Notting Hill W11.

If you would like to treat your mother, wife or partner  please email me and I will email her a voucher to arrive on Mother's Day inviting her to make an appointment with me or to book into my classes for 5 sessions next term. Contact me via email giving me her email address and I can send you by return payment details. EMAIL elisa@elisawilliamsyoga.com

GO ON YOU KNOW SHE"S WORTH IT