THERMAL YOGA®-GIVE IT A TRY!

Yoga in any form is an effective, low-impact exercise that can have positive effects on overall health. All Yoga forms can help manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, Yoga relieves stress and improvyoga stretches symptoms of depression. Thermal Yoga® is a series of poses performed in a room heated at 105°F. It is not for everyone but for those who give it a try, Thermal Yoga® can have amazing physical and mental benefits. The added heat increases your pulse and metabolism and allows the blood vessels to become more flexible. This makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the arms and legs. Muscles that are warmed are less likely to become injured. The 26 postures practiced in Thermal Yoga® are designed to promote flexibility and to release toxins within the body. Thermal Yoga® has also been found to play a huge role in managing arthritis pain. While we are not suggesting anyone with a severely inflamed joint move it, moving joints afflicted with arthritis, though initially painful, is the first step to managing the pain. Thermal Yoga® can also be beneficial in relieving a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes with suffering with constant pain.

Rosalie Smith, GATC Thermal Yoga® Instructor, has arthritis and says this,
“I inherited those traits (arthritis) from my mother and after trying and being trained in most forms of yoga, it is the only yoga with the heat and series of postures that keep my joints lubricated and my body moveable.”

GATC offers thirty-one yoga classes every week, including seven Thermal Yoga® classes.

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager

EVERYONE SHOULD DO STRENGTH TRAINING!

Whether your New Year’s resolution was to begin a weight lifting routine or you need to get in shape for the beach, starting a weight training program can be intimidating.
Here are some answers to common questions:

  • How many times should I lift weights per week?weightlifting
    The general recommendation for beginning weight training is two to three times a week. Give yourself a day after you lift to recover before lifting again.
  • How many repetitions should I do to start with?
    There are different repetition and set ranges depending on your goals. For general fitness, two to three sets of 12-15 repetitions at a moderate weight is suggested.
  • How long should I rest between sets?
    A minute to a minute and thirty seconds is recommended.
  • What weight should I start with?
    This varies greatly for each person and each exercise. A good guide is try a light weight and do 12 repetitions. If that weight feels easy, move to the next size weight for the next set. Continue this until you find a weight that is moderately difficult for up to 15 repetitions. This trial and error will help you find your starting weight.
  • How do I handle muscle soreness?
    Soreness is a common effect of lifting weights. Pain is not. If you experience pain after weight training, consult a professional trainer or physical therapist. Muscle soreness is a normal response and will decline the more you lift. If you experience significant soreness or stiffness the best recommendation is to do light cardiovascular exercise the next workout rather than lifting.
  • What body parts should I focus on? For general conditioning, focus on a total body program including chest, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, abdominals, shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves.

Be sure to visit GATC’s weight room and for more information on a creating a lifting strategy or hiring a trainer to develop a program for you, contact Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training.

Mindfulness is Meditation

The idea of meditation causes panic and resistance in most people. Sitting still for an hour trying to keep your mind from wandering is a difficult, seemingly impossible task for most. Visions of a yogi sitting in lotus position in front of Buddha come to mind!

In reality, mediation can be a much broader practice. Meditation can be as simple as facilitating mindfulness, rather than a classic seated practice. Mindfulness means taking the time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Take a few minutes each day to take in your surroundings and stop multitasking. Mindfulness practice can be achieved by simply turning off your radio on the way to work as you take in another beautiful Colorado morning, taking a slow walk around the block, listening to soft music, sitting under a tree eating your lunch or a yoga practice.

The trick is to do one thing a day with absolute mindfulness. Focus completely in that moment, feel everything, every physical sensation, every emotion that comes to the surface. Breathe slowly and smile at the stillness.

The easiest technyoga meditationique to help you get started is breathing. Conscious breathing truly is the difference between feeling anxious and feeling relaxed. Try adding a few rounds of 4,4,8 count breath into your daily routine. Inhale for four counts, hold for four counts and exhale for eight counts. Close your eyes. Be slow and repeat.

Namaste!
Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

In movement, everyone has a story. At birth, our story begins and continues to develop to be what it is today. Although it takes time and history to create that story, there is opportunity to redefine how your story reads in the future. You might be asking, what story?

Our bodies have shaped to our habitual activities. No two bodies are the same; it is our musculoskeletal system that provides each of us our unique shape and story. Our bodies are shaped not only by genetic code, but from the experiences (physical and emotional) we have encountered. We are shaped by the sports we play and have played, the jobs we perform, our hobbies and the injuries we have sustained. Often, the things we love to do, or things we have done repeatedly in the past, create imbalance.

With every client who Pilates studio blogwalks in the Pilates studio comes a physical shape that tells a story about their life. Picture the man who spent years in an office rounded over a computer and who was also a weekend warrior on a road bike. Sometimes the story comes free of pain but in most cases, people are dealing with discomfort or pain on a daily basis.

THE FACTS:

• Sedentary lifestyles lead to disease and imbalances throughout the musculoskeletal system
• Injury reverberates through the entire body leading to faulty movement patterns
• Depression and stress “pull down” posture and negatively affect our movement
• Routine leads to the over-recruitment of some of the muscles while others are under-utilized
• Improper training programs exacerbate muscular imbalance

As a result, our bodies forget how to move properly and the brain recognizes movement patterns, not muscles or muscle groups, and these basic patterns of movement build sequentially, beginning in infancy and developing throughout childhood. Pilates is a great way to reverse the patterns, providing a workout that restores muscle balance, movement efficiency and builds endurance in the deep intrinsic muscles that support the skeleton and spine.

Pilates was developed decades ago to help align imbalances. It is the perfect form of exercise to deconstruct negativity in the body. As a form of exercise practiced on a regular basis, Pilates examines the integration of movement and impact on function. Instructors are trained to study the functional and dysfunctional patterns in the body and are skilled at constructing series of exercises to create balance. It is our mission to cater to individual needs with a plan that will gradually change what might currently be a negative (imbalance) into a positive (balance).

Remember that the body is always learning, with every workout and every movement. Therefore, the quality of movement dictates the outcome. Pilates is a powerful way to improve stability and movement efficiency. When practiced alone or in combination with traditional fitness modalities, it educates and creates body awareness. The simple words “change happens through movement and movement heals” underscore the fact that the body learns by doing. What story is your body telling you or are you telling your body?

Sara Talbert, Director of Pilates