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How Do You Accessorize Your Yoga Poses?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 1st, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Yoga | tags: awareness, balance, breath, breathe, breathing, concentraion, core, Fitness, Jill Miller, lycra, male beads, muscle tension, muscles contraction, nervous energy, nervous system, nervousness, neurological overflow, neurological phenomenon, over-exertion, overcompensate, overflow, relax, relaxation, shoulder blades, shoulders, stability, stress, Whac-A-Mole, Whack-A-Mole, working out, workout, Yoga, yoga pose, yoga poses, Yoga TuneUp

Women making faces while doing yoga

Peep into any of the thousands of yoga classes across the globe and you will find that students are donning more than just yoga outfits. In addition to the latest leggings and tank tops by Zobha, Gaiam and Alo, you’ll also find students of every age, both male and female, sporting a different kind of accessory. These, however, are not made from lycra, mala beads or precious metals, but rather from an overzealous nervous system.

Glance around the room after the teacher calls out “Twisted Half Moon” (Pavritta Ardha Chandrasana) and you’ll see students with arms akimbo, clenched toes, fingers curled and faces contorted beyond recognition. These students are “accessorizing” their poses with parts of their body that don’t actually need to be involved.

Who Knew Emotions Were So “Weighty”?

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | July 19th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: bad habits, binge, binging, calories, cravings, depression, diet, dieting, eat your feelings, emotional, emotions, exercise, Fitness, food, friends, habits, healthy habits, healthy-eating, hobby, hunger, isolation, meditate, meditation, nutrition, overeat, overeating, portion control, self-control, stress, stress eating, support, the firm, weight gain, weight-loss, work out, workout

I did a Google search on what causes stress in people’s lives and I found things like unemployment, divorce, financial problems, health issues, fatigue and so on. In reflecting on how I deal with stress, let’s just say that far, far less than unemployment has caused me to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting!

Yes, I’m talking about stress eating. Most of us have had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing it at one point or another, and it is not for the faint of heart. I can down a whole can of party peanuts if Auden has a particularly bad day at school! Thankfully I have come to terms with the real me and I am now able to recognize the signs of impending stress and do a fairly good job of not eating us out of house and home when things get rough. Please allow me to share some of my tips, and I welcome any you have to share that have worked for you.

Experiencing “Yoga Block”? How to Get Out of That Pose Rut

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 29th, 2011 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: asana, barbara benagh, boredom, change, creativity, cross-training, exercise, Fitness, gabriella giubilaro, imagination, Jill Miller, Kathryn Budig, muscles, plateau, repetitive, repitition, rodney yee, routine, sequence, Triangle Pose, willy wonka, workout, Yoga, yoga block, yoga DVDs, yoga poses, yoga rut, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga videos, yoga-practice

Yoga block

Is your yoga practice getting a little stale? Maybe you’ve been going to the same class at the same time each week for the past year. Or perhaps you use a video — the same video — every day. If you’re finding yourself a tad uninspired to get on your mat, you might be suffering from yoga block. And I don’t mean a yoga block “prop,” although if you’re really in a rut then your practice may need a little propping up!

10-Minute Yoga Supersets: Better than Another Hour of Yoga

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | June 22nd, 2011 | 17 Comments
topic: Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: abs, arms, back, biceps, bursts, butt, Chaturanga, chest, child's pose, Cobra Pose, core, Crossed Kicks, downward dog, exercise, Fitness, glutes, hamstrings, legs, lunges, metabolism-boost, muscle tone, Navasana Twists, obliques, Plank Pose, plateau, plateaus, pushup, quadriceps, Sadie Nardini, Shakti Kicks, stomach, strength, strength training, supersets, Swimming Locust, thighs, triceps, work out, workout, Yoga, yoga fusion, yoga poses, yoga supersets

supersets-knee-down-lunge-11

This year, after 15 years of yoga practice and transforming my body, I found myself hitting a plateau. Though my practice regularly involves power moves like jumping forward into Crow Pose and holding Warrior Pose for a long time, my muscle tone seemed to be stuck on autopilot: never decreasing, but never really going to that next level, either.

4 Signs it’s Time to Change Up Your Exercise Routine

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | June 13th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness | tags: bored, boredom, burn-calories, cardio, challenge, change, exercise routine, fat-burning zone, Fitness, goals, heart rate monitor, injuries, injury, intensity, lose-weight, muscles, over training, recovery, rest, results, slump, strength training, target heart rate, the firm, variety, walking, weight loss plateau, weights, work out, workout, workout rut

Workout RutWe all know that the key ingredients to weight loss and maintenance are exercise, healthy nutrition and proper rest. But what happens when you feel like you’re no longer getting results with your exercise routine? Does this mean that exercise doesn’t work anymore? Not a chance! It could just mean that you need to break out of your current workout rut — variety is the spice of life, after all!

Here are four signals that your routine might need a tune-up:

1. Your workout bores you.

You used to enjoy walking outside, so why do you dread your walk workout each day? It’s easy to get bored if you stick with the same routine for too long. Sometimes it helps to add variety to your walks. For example, try listening to music when you walk, adding speed or hill intervals, or bringing a family member or friend along with you. I’m sure your family pooch would welcome a stroll around the neighborhood! If all of that isn’t enough, then maybe it’s time to try a new activity. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try biking or are interested in taking a dance class? Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you something to look forward to.

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?

Reviewers Recommend Gaiam’s Best Yoga Gear

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | April 1st, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: accessories, asanas, clearance, colleen saidman, CouponSherpa, customer reviews, DVDs, emails, exercise, facebook, Fitness, gaiam, gym bag, mat bag, newsletters, non-slip, online yoga club, organic cotton, outlet, pilates, poses, product reviews, rodney yee, sale, saving money, slippery, social-media, sticky, tote, towels, twitter, water bottles, work out, workout, yoga class, yoga clothes, yoga coupons, yoga flip flops, yoga gear, yoga mats, yoga sandals, yoga socks

Gaiam Yoga Products

Customers know that Gaiam is the place to go for the best yoga mats, DVDs, clothes, and other yoga gear, according to our many glowing user reviews. Based on these reviews and satisfaction rates, we’ve selected the best yoga products from the Gaiam catalog. Here are the seven most loved, most purchased, most reviewed and most awesome items Gaiam has to offer.

Is Too Much Stretching Bad for You? One Yogini’s Story from Floppy to Fit

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | March 3rd, 2011 | 10 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: ashtanga, body, connective tissue, exercise, fascia, Fitness, hypermobility, injury, Jane Fonda, Jill Miller, joints, Kettelbell, Leaf Lifestyle, muscle, muscle tear, overstretching, PNF, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, sciatica, strength training, stretching, workout, Yoga Tune Up®

Woman stretching during yoga

I began practicing yoga at age 11. My mom brought home the Jane Fonda workout and Raquel Welch Yoga videos and I became obsessed … especially with the yoga. At first I wasn’t very flexible, couldn’t touch my toes, and was extremely weak in my shoulders and core.

7 Signs That It’s Time to Recharge

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | February 22nd, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Fitness | tags: body, burnout, cardio, cool-down, depression, energy, exercise, fatigue, Fitness, headaches, high intensity, injuries, injury, interval training, low intensity, muscle pain, performance, recovery, repair, resolution, rest, sets, sleep, tears, the firm, thirst, time off, work out, workout

The FIRM Recovery blog

We are still early into 2011, so talking about recharging our batteries and taking a rest might sound crazy. However, it’s important to remember that sufficient rest and recovery periods are necessary to avoid burnout and injuries, as well as to get the best results possible from our exercise routines.

Check out this list of signs to see if you may need a little recharging:

Love Your Body and Accentuate the Positive!

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | February 14th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth | tags: accentuate the positive, back muscles, body-image, dumbbells, exercise, Fitness, goals, hourglass figure, love, lower back, pear-shaped, proportion, resistance bands, self, shape, shoulders, strength training, the firm, tone, weight-loss, weights, work out, workout

Happy woman wearing fitness clothesWhat do you love about your body and why? Do you automatically think to yourself, “Uh, nothing?” I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to come up with a list of good things about myself it takes a lot of thought and time. Now, if you were to ask me what I would like to improve about my body, I could give you a list of ten things in no time flat.

Why is this? Why is it so easy for us to be self-deprecating (no matter if we are in the best or worst shape of our lives)? Yet when we are asked to name a positive or two, we really have to stop and think. And I mean really stop and think for a while, maybe even a day or two.