Monday, October 26, 2009

Hot Yoga is Really Hot!

What is hot yoga (also known as Bikram Yoga)?

Bikram or hot yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a very heated room, which is usually maintained at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 40 degrees Celsius). Yoga at this temperature promotes profuse sweating, which is believed to help rid the body of toxins. It also keeps the body very warm and, therefore, more flexible.[5]

Bikram Yoga works toward wellness, restoration and rejuvenation. The heated studio facilitates deeper stretching, prevents injury, and relieves stress and tension. Bikram Yoga was designed to systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint and organ of the body. Participants are guided through a series of 26 postures during which the heart, lungs, circulation, muscles, brain activity and mental capacity are all affected. There are two descriptions of the 26 exercises and they are asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). Both of these rely on each other to deliver positive results. According to Bikram, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and just like any muscle, the lungs must be stretched in order to (through practice) withstand holding more oxygen. When one is practicing the pranayama s/he will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve blood circulation. (Choudhury, 2007)

Is this class for beginners? This past weekend, I attended an all-level type hot yoga class. I must say I found it very challenging for a multi-level class. I believe it all depends on the instructor or studio/gym philosophy. If you are new to yoga, it is best to start with a beginner type class, then progress from there.

What is the controversy that sometimes accompanies this type of the class? Since the temperature of the yoga room is higher, there may be an increased chance of dizziness or fainting due to blood circulation.

Another concern is that the warmth of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments allows them to be more flexible than that at room temperature. Since this may enhance an individuals stretch, it may cause tissue damage by stretching past their safety limit.

Lastly, it has also been suggested that sweating profusely in a confined room with increased humidity may cause an increased air-bourne toxins. However, I believe there still needs to be more conclusive evidence of this.

Overall Rating of Hot Yoga - 4 out 5

I really enjoy the class because I tend to have a lot of muscles stiffness and soreness. The increased heat in the room allows my tight muscles to warm up with the stretching.

For more information on Hot Yoga classes, click here...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick Days Are Needed

No matter how many times I try to get myself back into shape, some obstacle will always come to challenge me. Today, it is a cold. I decided to take a "sick day" to recover for the week so I can get back to my goal of "losing weight". I sometimes feel guilty for taking a sick day because of how it may affect others' lives (clients, family, etc.). However, I can't be everyone's saviour. I need to take care myself and I would extend that to everyone else I know. We can only reach our fitness goals if all aspects of our health are on track.

Like everybody else, when I don't know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds. ~George Jean Nathan

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Part I - OMG...Am I Still In Part I

Well, obviously, my workout/diet plan has not gone according to...plan. It is not that I haven't had the intention to get my butt in gear, it is just that my drive just doesn't seem to be there. I believe it is because I am trying to be the fit person that I was before having kids. The reality is that I do not have to same amount of time and energy to commit to the same hours as before. In addition, that was a part of my career at the time, which I have not pursued in some time. I know I need to make a change, both career and health. I really miss teaching classes and personal training. And I really want to be the healthy, vibrant person I used to be.
So I have decided to make some big changes. I have decided switched training gyms. That was a real big step for me, since I have been at the previous gym since 2003. I also hired a personal trainer to help me get started. Even though, I have personal training experience, I need some motivation at this stage of my life.
I have also decided to stick to some type of diet plan by adding more protein to my meals. In the beginning, I was trying to eliminate wheat in my diet but I don't think it was helping me lose weight. It also made me feel very constipated, which is really not a good thing.
Well...I think that is it for now. I will try to get to the gym today. Perhaps try a class or two. But first, I need to enjoy a big cup of coffee.

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. ~Author Unknown