flexibility

9 Yoga Moves to Blast Holiday Calories

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | December 5th, 2013 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: abs, arm balance, belly, Boat pose, body, Bound Lunge, burn-calories, Child’s Pose, christmas, core, Core Plank, diet, Dog Splits, downward dog, Easy Pose, eat, exercise, Fitness, flexibility, food cravings, handstand, health, holiday weight, holiday yoga, holidays, inversion, lose-weight, meditate, meditation, release, Revolved Pigeon, Shiva Kicks, Side Angle, side plank, strength, stress, Sukhasana, thanksgiving, thighs, Yoga, yoga for weight loss

GAIAM SIDE ANGLEHolidays are a time for family, friends and — let’s not kid ourselves — food. I love to go away for a few days and eat things I normally don’t in amounts that would shock a Sumo wrestler. Hence, it may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also a time when it’s all too easy to pack on the pounds along with the cheer.

Yoga for Tight Hips and Knee Injuries

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | June 28th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: athletes, bow pose, cobbler pose, double pigeon pose, flexibility, flexible, football, Frog Pose, Hero Pose, hips, IT band, knee, knee injury, knee pain, legs, legs X MCL strain, MCL strain, open your hips, Pigeon pose, preventing knee problems, running, sports injuries, squats, Standing Forward Bend, strong hips, Yoga

Mother, father and daughter doing yoga

If your hips are tight, it makes sense that you increase the likelihood of injuring your knees. Running, jumping, pivoting and acrobatic endzone catches or goal shots put a lot of pressure on the hips.

Let’s stop and think for a moment: If you get hit on the football field, for example, the energy of the body hitting you has to be absorbed somewhere in your body. And if your hips lack suppleness and don’t give in to this energy at all, then the energy will go to the point of least resistance — the very vulnerable knee joint.

A flexible hip will not always avoid a devastating knee injury, but it will help a lot! So let’s talk about keeping the hips open and a safe for long life for your knees.

How Far We’ve Come

Laura Hobbs by Laura Hobbs | May 18th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: acceptance, balance, blockages, change, contentment, exercise, Fitness, flexibility, Gaiam Hope Project, Krishnamacharya, optimism, personal development, Personal Growth, personal journey, pessimism, practice, self-improvement, self-love, shift, strength, transform, transformation, Yoga

How Far We’ve Come

There is a quote that sums up my experience heretofore with yoga better than anything else I’ve ever read. I don’t know from whom or where the quote came, or I would totally give the person mega props and a huge, bear-like, electronic hug. The quote goes a little something like this:

My yoga practice is no longer the battlefield of a long-waged self-improvement project by an overachieving person. It has become what I always hoped it would be — a place for love and acceptance.

I think this quote embraces the yoga journey for many of us, because let’s be real here: How many of us started yoga because we wanted a thinner waist and perky yoga butt? How many of us, in the beginning, saw yoga as something we would conquer rather than embrace? How many of us saw someone in Crow Pose and said to ourselves, “I can do that shit.”

Over time, however, as we dove deeper into our practice — no doubt bumbling, grunting and falling along the way — our hardened layers begin to peel away, and we were left with the lingering feeling that yoga is something more than a way for us to gain strength, flexibility and balance. As we emerged from Savasana, time and time again, we began to realize that something else — something besides exercise — is going on here.

Top 10 Sports-Related Injuries and Yoga Poses to Avoid Them

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | April 12th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: abdominals, abs, Achilles tendon, ACL, ankles, athletes, avoid injury, balance, feet, flexibility, flexible, foot, hamstrings, hips, injuries, joints, knees, low back, lower back, MCL, meniscus, muscles, neck, New York Giants, pain, plantar fasciitis, problems, shoulders, sports, sprains, strains, strength, tight, wrists, yoga poses

Yoga for Sports Injuries

The most common reason for sports-related injuries — whether you’re a recreational athlete or a pro, from ages 10-80 — is overuse and abuse. In my experience, most injuries arise when athletes disconnect from their bodies. Their eyes are on perfection, or the competition.

It follows that the best prevention is to become acutely aware of your body — its shape, its symmetry, how it feels, the range in the joints. Many sports can create asymmetries in the body because they are one-side dominant (think of swinging a baseball bat or golf club or tennis racket). It’s your job to recognize these imbalances before they become injuries. To help you, I’ve identified the top 10 most common sports-related injuries and given you a few yoga poses for athletes to to help correct the imbalances and asymmetries that cause them.

Marathon Problems, Yoga Solutions

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | March 13th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: Achilles tendonitis, endurance, flexibility, Frog Pose, Heavy Legs, Hero Pose, injury, jogging, knee pain, legs up the wall pose, marathon, marathoning, mind-body fitness, muscle fatigue, Opposite Arm Opposite Leg, Pigeon pose, plantar fascia, running, Standing Forward Bend, stretching, Yoga, yoga for runners

Yoga for Marathon RunnersSetting a goal to run a marathon is life altering and monumental. But the training leading up to your marathon may be filled with blisters, mental challenges, muscle fatigue, weakness and injury. Yoga can help you:

The NYC marathon and many other races are approaching. Here are my top six yoga moves for runners — from weekend warriors to serious marathoners — to do daily before training, after a workout and, most importantly, after the big day.

Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape — Open Your Hips!

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | December 19th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Yoga | tags: alignment, disc degeneration, flexibility, hip openers, hips, Jill Miller, leg stretches, mobility, pain, Paris Hilton, posture, spinal discs, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up

Bent out of shapeFew things outrage me more than bad posture. I get really bent out of shape when I see people who are literally bent out of shape. It is so simple to improve your posture, and it is totally free and requires no gym membership.

Here are some Don’ts:

1. Don’t lean into one hip and cock it off to one side.

2. Don’t slump your spine like a willow tree.

3. Don’t emulate the posture of Paris Hilton.

Here are some Do’s:

1. Stand up straight.

2. Point your toes forward.

3. Have some respect for your own structure.

Okay, good, glad I got that off my chest.

Perfection Doesn’t Equal Success — Moderation Does

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | August 8th, 2011 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: 90/10, diet, Fitness, flexibility, food, healthy-eating, moderation, nutrition, perfection, success, the firm, weight-loss, work out, workout routine

ModerationWe’ve said it hundreds of times in our decades of sharing fitness with the world, but we all need a reminder now and then. In order for fitness and weight loss to be successful long-term, exercise and changes in your diet must be integrated into your lifestyle. And the only constant in life is change. Your diet and exercise routine has to be flexible. Your mindset about them both has to be flexible. Enter a key word: moderation.

Loosen Up! How to Stretch Your Way to Flexibility

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2011 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: bone spurs, collagen fibers, connective tissue, dynamic stretching, elastin fibers, fascia, flexibility, flexible, foam roller, inflammation, injuries, Jill Miller, Kelly Starrett, Kettelbell, loosen, massage, osteoarthritis, overstretching, self-massage, static stretching, stretch, stretching, Thai Massage, tight muscles, Yoga, yoga balls, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up Therapy Ball

Flexibility yoga blog

A few months ago I wrote a blog on the perils of overstretching that seemed to strike a chord with many of my students and readers. But for every overstretched yogi or yogini out there, there are four times as many folks who are bound up and moving like the tin man! Most folks I meet want to know how they can become more flexible, not less flexible. So I dedicate this blog to all of you who wish to become more supple and mobile. Let the bending begin!

The Unseen Benefits of Physical Fitness

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | April 8th, 2011 | 5 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Weight Loss | tags: aging, anxiety, benefits of physical fitness, blood pressure, body composition, bone health, cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiovascular, cholesterol, depression, diabetes, diet, exercise, Fitness, flexibility, health, heart disease, life span, longevity, metabolic syndrome, metabolism, muscular endurance, nutrition, obesity, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, the firm, uscular strength, weight-loss, working out, workout

Fitness BenefitsMost of us pursue fitness in order to look good. In this quest, we run an extra mile to lose five pounds or pick up a heavier weight to trim our arms. A balanced fitness program and sensible eating habits are powerful tools for weight loss. However, the same tools we use to look our best and lose weight are also powerful tools in maintaining the quality of our lives and our health.

What is physical fitness? Physical fitness includes five health-related components: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility and body composition. The FIRM workouts are designed with these components in mind. Once you’ve begun to see results on the scale, in your jeans and with your tape measure, what are the benefits you don’t see?

When Yoga Hurts Instead of Heals

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | November 4th, 2010 | 12 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: addiction, asanas, back-pain, biomechanics, drop backs, flexibility, forward bend, forward fold, headstand, injuries, joint torque, neck pain, nerve damage, Patricia Sullivan, plow pose, practice, sciatic pain, shoulder stand, theraputic, Veeparita Korani Mudra, Yoga, Yoga Journal, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga-therapy

Woman doing a painful yoga posePain, numbness, tingling? Do any of these describe the feelings you have when you come out of an asana? Please heed these warnings! Not all yoga poses are safe for all people. Just follow expert yoga teacher Patricia Sullivan’s story in the October 2010 issue of Yoga Journal. She painfully details a journey of denial in which her headstand caused (yes, caused) crippling nerve pain that eventually culminated in her falling asleep at the wheel and driving off the road into a lagoon.