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Yoga Basics: A Great Way to Start Your Day
Yoga positions, called asanas, are the basic physical part of a yoga practice. Although yoga poses are a type of exercise for your body, they are also much more. The word yoga itself is from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, and refers to the union of mind and spirit. Yoga began in India more than 3,000 years ago and is still practiced today for the health of the mind, body, and spirit. A morning yoga practice is a great way to get energized for the day ahead.
"Warrior One is a standing position that signifies and stimulates strength and power,”. Start by standing up straight, and then step your left leg back 3 and a half to 4 feet. Bend your right knee so it’s directly above the ankle, and turn your left foot in slightly. Raise your arms directly above you, reaching strongly, and look up. This yoga pose stretches the back and the lower body. “It can be strenuous on the arms, which are held high in the air,”. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, then repeat, reversing leg positions.
Warrior Two is similar to Warrior One, but the arms are held out to the side with the head looking forward, and the back foot is at a 90-degree angle instead of turned in slightly. "As with all yoga positions, breathing is an important part of the exercise,". "As a matter of fact, yoga without breathing and meditation is just a stretching exercise. You can run through a series of morning stretches in about 20 minutes or you can add periods of meditation and have a morning yoga session that lasts an hour or more.
If you want to get a really good morning yoga stretch, include this yoga pose in your routine. Seated Twist will ring out all your tension like twisting a wet towel. Start by sitting with legs out straight. Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor, and then slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor. Your right leg should be over the left with your right foot standing on the floor outside your left hip. The right knee points directly up at the ceiling The upper body twists as far around as your shoulders and waist will let you turn. Hold for about 30 seconds and then stretch the other way.
Cat-Cow Pose is a great morning stretch for your back. "This yoga position opens the whole spine,". To get into this yoga pose you need to get down on all fours. While gazing up at the ceiling, you drop your back down toward the floor as you inhale. Then while looking down at your belly button, you arch your back up like a cat and exhale. "Try to do this movement for one or two minutes,".
Extended Side Angle Pose is another standing yoga position, which improves strength, flexibility, and posture. This pose is particularly good to stretch the side of your body and strengthen your legs. "No matter what the yoga position, it's important to understand that yoga draws energy from inside the body. Physical movement wakes up the body,". In this pose, the legs are spread as in Warrior Two, but the torso is turned sideways with one arm pointing to the ceiling and the head looking upward. When your right knee is bent, you’ll have your right palm planted on the ground outside the knee, and your left arm reaching up so there’s a straight line from your left foot all the way up the side to your left arm. Hold for about a minute and then repeat on the other side.
Camel Pose frees the energy in your throat, chest, and heart. "This yoga position is for intermediate or advanced practitioners,”. “It's important to remember that not everyone can do every yoga pose perfectly, but yoga can be adapted to each person's abilities." To get into the pose, start in the kneeling position. The upper torso is gradually bent backward until the arms are extended backward, the hands are touching the soles of the feet, and the head is completely extended. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute. For a beginner’s modification, in a kneeling position, simply lean your upper body back, keeping your hands on your hips, until you feel a stretch in your legs.
This is a standing yoga pose that helps to cultivate balance and strengthen your legs. To get into Tree Pose, stand straight and then shift your weight to the right foot, bringing the sole of your left foot up to your right inner thigh. If you can’t balance with the foot on the thigh, try placing your foot on the calf instead — just avoid putting your foot on the knee. The hands are held together in a prayer position over the chest. "This yoga position requires balance and concentrates the mind,". Try to hold this pose for a minute or two and then switch to the other leg.
If you have ever seen a dog stretch, you know how Downward Dog got its name. It’s a standard yoga pose, though not all beginners are able to do it. For this position, start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Press back, lifting your knees away from the floor while keeping your arms straight, and lift your tailbone up. Stretch your heels toward the floor to lengthen your hamstrings. "This yoga pose opens up the back of the body and is very energizing. It should be held for about 30 seconds to one minute,".
Pranayama includes Controling and regulation of Breath. "Pranayama is control of Breath". "Prana" is Breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and "ayama" means control. So Pranayama is "Control of Breath". One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama and achieve healthy body and mind. Patanjali in his text of Yoga Sutras mentioned pranayama as means of attaining higher states of awareness, he mentions the holding of breath as important practice of reaching Samadhi. Hatha Yoga also talks about 8 types of pranayama which will make the body and mind healthy. Five types of prana are responsible for various pranic activities in the body, they are Prana, Apana, Vyan, Udana & Samana. Out of these Prana and Apana are most important. Prana is upward flowing and Apana is downward flowing. Practice of Pranayama achieves the balance in the activities of these pranas, which results in healthy body and mind.
"Meditation" and "mindfulness" are buzzwords these days for good reason. Yogis have been practicing dhyana (meditation) for millennia. Get expert insight here on meditation and its symbiotic relationship to yoga. Use our hub as your go-to resource for simple tips and guided practices to quiet your mind and make meditation part of your modern daily life.
The food you eat provide you the energy necessary to perform your workout properly. But good nutrition plays also a big role in muscle toning and recovery after a workout.
This nutrition plan will contain all the meals necessary to get your dream body!
Whether you want to get toned, lose fat or maintain your weight, nutrition will play a big role during this process! Your nutrition is what fuels your body with food, which is measured in calories.
You caloric consumption will determine what kind of body you will obtain:
Macronutrients are nutrients that our body needs in large amount: Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat. It's important to define the right macronutrient ratio according to your fitness goal; whether you want to tone your body or lose fat.
In short words, this ratio will depend on:
During this women's nutrition plan we will define a general macronutrient ratio for each fitness goal: toning, burning fat and maintaining weight. Like said earlier, we all have different body types, so it will be your job to slightly change this ratio if your body doesn't respond to it.
The macronutrient ratios are:
"I want to lose fat, shouldn't I avoid eating fat?". This is good question, in fact there is several type of fats. Some are bad and others are required by your body. I recommend you to read this article: good fat versus bad fat.
"Eat fruits, vegetables and drink water and everything will be all right". This is what you read in magazines or on the internet. However, that sentence is not completely true. These days, eating healthy means consuming foods low in fat and high in micronutrients; vitamins and minerals.
Indeed foods with vitamins make you have a better health. However, you can eat all the healthy food of the world, but if you don't hit your daily macronutrient; you won't get the results you want. Does it make sense?
In short words; calories are calories. If you want to achieve your fitness goals you will have to first worry about your macronutrients, whether it's with "healthy food" or not. It's pure science!
We all know that person that tried every diet that exists on earth and always give up because it's too hard. Nowadays, diets are all about food restrictions so you feel guilty if you eat one more rice grain than indicated. But again, what is really important there is your ability to hit your daily macronutrient.
Whether you want to lose some weight or tone your body, we will aim for 3 main meals and 1-2 snacks. However, if you can attain your calories in less meals, feel free to do it.
Why? Because eating every 3-4 hours will allow you to never feel hungry, which will help you to stop craving junk food.
This women's nutrition plan will be an example, so you can organize it according to your schedule. It's very important to eat something between your main meals and once again hit your macronutrients!
You calorie intake depends on your age, height, gender and how often you exercise weekly. I recommend you to try a calorie calculator.
For a healthy woman with a balanced diet, who is moderately active it's recommended to eat between 1800 and 2200 calories. We will start with these numbers.
It's very easy to calcule how many grams you should have for each macronutrient.
First you need to know how many calories contain each macronutrient :
Then, let's take 2200 calories as an example and our macronutrient ratio for maintaining weight:
You can reward yourself with one cheat meal per week, where you won't count your calories at all; yes you deserve it!
This women's nutrition plan will be the basis for the other ones, so take notes. Just a few changes will be made in order to hit your macronutrients.
Download the women's nutrition plan!
The women's nutrition plan to get toned will use the same organization as the maintenance one. However, we will make a caloric surplus with a few changes in the meals.
Download the women's nutrition plan!
The women's nutrition plan for losing fat will use the same structure as the maintenance one. However, we will make a caloric deficit with a few changes in the meals.
Download the women's nutrition plan!
Let's summarize what we've just learned: