Friday, May 29, 2009

Are you Over Exercising?

We often get so enthusiastic about our exercise program that we sometimes run into problems. Do you find that your workouts suddenly feel harder than before even though you are still doing the same routine?

Sometimes this is may be due to not resting enough to allow your body time to recover or you are doing the same exercise too much. Some common symptoms of over exercising are:

• Feeling tired, drained and lacking energy
• General body aches or mild muscle soreness
• A decrease in performance
• Inability to complete workouts
• Headaches
• Insomnia
• Lack of motivation

If you have been over exercising, the following tips from an article "No Pain = BIG Gain. Is Your Exercise Program Wearing You Out?" by Jen Mueller, a Certified Personal Trainer may help you to get back on track.

1. Your first priority should be rest. Just a day or two probably won’t do it. Depending on how severely you’ve been pushing yourself, three to five days should give your body enough time to recover—both physically and mentally.

2. Get plenty of sleep and make sure you’re eating well, particularly during this recovery period. Focus on getting adequate amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates and lots of fruits and veggies.

3. When you are ready to return to your exercise routine, start off slowly. Most research shows that it is okay to return to that same level of intensity, but you may need to cut back on the length and frequency of your workouts for the next few weeks. After that, you should be able to resume normal activities.

The article also gave some tips on what you can do to avoid over exercising and burnout:

• Use common sense! Work out less on days when you’re not feeling up to it. Schedule at least one or two rest days per week. Resting might mean no exercise at all, or just “active recovery,” which is light activity (an easy walk around the neighborhood, for example). Rest days should give you the feeling that you’re storing up energy.

• When you push yourself through a high-intensity workout (cardio or strength training), tiny tears develop in your muscle fibers. Allowing your body to rest and recover for a day (or two) gives your hard working muscles time to repair those tears and a wonderful thing happens—your muscles start to grow back stronger! Without ample recovery time, you continue breaking down the muscle fibers and that’s when fatigue and injury can occur.

• Incorporate a variety of activities into your exercise program. Or, if there is one thing you really enjoy, mix up your routine. Add speed or distance, increase the incline or change your route—all of these variations can improve fitness, prevent injury and keep your motivation high. Try different kinds of workouts within each week. For example, try an interval walking workout, a long distance walk and a few “regular” walks at an easier speed and distance.

• Don’t do too much, too soon. Some people take the “all-or-none” approach, going from a sedentary lifestyle to exercising for 45 minutes or more, 5-6 days per week. At this rate, exercise doesn’t make you feel good like everyone says it will. You’re tired, your knees hurt and your muscles are sore. After a week or two, it’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up. Instead, increase your workouts gradually and allow adequate recovery time to reduce these symptoms.

• Take care of yourself. Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and getting adequate sleep. Allow for flexibility in your program. If you’re planning to walk and its 110 degrees outside, think about exercising in water or at least avoid the heat of the day. If you’re not feeling well, give yourself a break—no guilt allowed. You may end up doing more harm than good by pushing yourself to exercise if you’re getting sick.

Exercise should make you feel refreshed and energized—not exhausted. If it’s causing fatigue, soreness or a feeling of utter dread, listen to your body! It may be time to make a change.

I find the above good advice for my yoga practice and I am now scheduling two rest days a week (not going for classes at the studio) as I have noticed that my body need some time to recover and I feel much more refresh after the break.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Workplace Stretch Reminder

Need a reminder to do some stretching while you are at work? Well, under iGoogle add gadgets, you can add the Workplace Stretch Reminder to your iGoogle homepage. This gadget reminds you to take a 5-minute break to do some stretching as sitting at a desk or computer for extended periods of time can cause muscle tension, stiffness and strain in the neck, arms, wrists, hand, back and legs.

The reminder comes with stretching routines as well as instructions for each individual stretch which we can do at our desk. The exercises are quite well-rounded as there are stretching exercises for the different parts of our body. Try it out!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Pose for the Month - Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Fish Pose (Matsyasana) is my pose for the month of May.

The Fish pose expands the chest to facilitate deep breathing for better oxygen delivery to all tissues, enhances the functioning of organs in the abdomen and pelvis through the stretching of the mid-trunk and through a gentle internal massage, stimulates the thymus gland and so contribute to the competence of the immune system and useful in counteracting constipation.

Doing the Fish pose also relieves the stiffness of your neck and shoulder muscles and corrects any tendency of having rounded shoulders.

1. Lie on your back with legs stretched out in front and your arms at your sides. Relax your jaw and breathe regularly.

2. Bend your arms and press on your elbows to help you to raise your chest and arch your back.

3. Very carefully stretch your neck and ease your head towards your shoulders. Gently rest the top of your head on the mat. (Take most of the weight on your bottom and elbows, not on your head).

4. Hold this posture for a few seconds to start with; longer as you become more comfortable with it. Breathe slowly, smoothly and as deeply as you can without straining.

5. Very carefully ease yourself out of the position to resume your starting position. Rest.

The Knee Hug is a good posture to do following the fish pose.

Some points to note:

1.The fish pose should be practiced after plough pose and shoulder stand, as a counter-balance pose.

2.You should remain in this pose for at least half the amount of time you spent in the shoulder stand in order to balance the stretch.

3.Beginners sometimes strain their neck in this pose. If you feel any discomfort in your neck or throat, either lower your chest slightly toward the floor, or put a thickly folded blanket under the back of your head.

4.The back bending position in Matsyasana can be difficult for beginning students. Be sure your head rests lightly on the floor and your throat is soft.


1. To increase the challenge in this pose, slide your hands out from underneath your buttocks and bring them into Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal) with arms and legs outstretched and fingertips pointing toward the ceiling.

2. Try this variation if you are flexible enough. In the Easy Pose, clasp your toes. Lie back, arch up, and rest your buttocks on your heels. Lay the top of your head on the floor.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yoga & Swine Flu

It's back... A brand new Flu virus - this time as the Swine flu!

It's amazing why people don't get it. Why wait for the umpteenth mutation to catch up with us before acting upon it?

Yoga has always held that one can make their bodies resistant to withstand the onslaught of multifarious disorders. The solution lies in prevention instead of the cure.

When looked at this way, the answers are almost invariably the same. More importantly, they are quite simple. All it requires is a `prevention mindset' and a little discipline to adhere to it.

The fact is that there is no other way. The same principle holds true for all things. Just as a nation builds up its intelligence to PREVENT terrorist attacks, we must build up our natural defenses to detect intrusions & foil them `before' they get a chance to breed, fester and multiply within our system.

It must always be remembered, that viruses don't cause the disease immediately; they enter; breed using our weak defenses (rendered weak by accumulation of toxins and improper cleaning). Their rapid multiplication then gives them the strength to overcome the good immune cells. It is only then that we catch the disease.

Yoga has several cleansing techniques to keep our defenses primed up from INSIDE. When the immune system is alert & kicking, there is little to fear external viruses. You can read about these cleansing techniques in the free e-report that you get when you subscribe to our free newsletter.

Nasal cleansing, also called Neti is a wonderful way to build up our natural defenses. What's more, it's had wonderful results in treating sinus infections and other ENT disorders. To read the special relevance of Neti in the time of this new Swine virus, click here to read the article.

Enemas are another good way of detoxification by cleansing the colon of toxins and relieving the immune cells of the unnecessary load and leaving them ready to fight external threats.

Adopting regular Yoga Cleansing practices not only help us ward off unending external threats, but keep us invigorated and cheerful.

Courtesy: A popular website that helps you find natural solutions for complete health and detoxification. Discover health and beauty…. Naturally

You can learn more on which yoga poses that can help to protect you against the virus from this article about 3 Yoga Moves to Boost Immunity.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dieting Without Hunger

Going on a diet does not means that you should eat less or skip your meals as hunger is often a barrier if you are trying to shed a few kilos. You will probably end up snacking more in between meals and will find that you did not loose any weight (or worse, you have gain a few kilos!).

Follow these tips to stock yourself with food that fills you up with fewer calories.

1. Eat More Veggies

Leafy greens, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, squash and onions are high volume, high satisfaction and low-calorie superstars. Eat them as salads or add them in stews, soups, pasta sauces, pizza and meatloaf.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Half of your total fluid intake should come from plain water. Water makes up two-thirds of the body’s weight and is the best drink for rehydrating the body. Drink coffee and tea in moderation and healthier alternative are fresh fruit juices and herbal teas.

3. Load up on Protein

Protein makes you feel full for longer so it is good choice to eat food in this food group which includes lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, soy and grains.

4. Take less dry foods

Avoid taking dry foods such as crackers and chips which lack water and can pack a lot of calories.

5. Goodness in wholegrain

Eat wholemale bread and cereals as they are rich in energy-giving carbohydrates and are important sources of fibre. They give bulk to your diet and so fill you up without adding many calories and fibre in these foods are essential in digestion.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fingers Exercise For Your Heath (5)

9. Apana Vayu Mudra - Mudra of Heart

The tips of the middle finger and ring finger touch the tip of thumb, while the index finger touches the base of thumb and little finger stretched out.

It benefits the heart.
It works like injection in the reduction of heart attack.
It is as powerful as sorbitate tablet.
It reduces the gas content in body.

Time Duration:
Practice it as many times as you can. Heart patients and BP patients can practice it for 15 minutes daily twice for better results.

It strengthens the heart and regularizes palpitation.
It regulates excretory system.
It redeems gastric trouble.

10. Linga Mudra - Mudra of Heat

Interlock the fingers of both the hands and keep the thumb of the left hand vertically straight and encircle it with the thumb and the index finger of the right hand.

It generates heat in our body. Take milk, ghee, more water and fruit juices in addition to practice of this mudra for much benefits.

Time Duration:
Practice it any time you want. But don't practice it a lot as it produces heat in the body. It can cause sweating even in winter if you practice it longer.

It stops production of phlegm and gives power to lungs.
It cures severe cold and bronchial infection.
It invigorates the body.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Special Karma Yoga Class

In conjunction with Mother’s Day, this Sunday’s FREE Karma Yoga class at Beyoga to be led by Azmi will be a light open hearted practice in tribute to all mothers.

The Karma Yoga class is open to everybody and Azmi would like to invite all mothers or mothers-to-be and anyone who wants to dedicate this special day to their mothers to come and practice with him.

The class is for beginners and the postures are all heart opening postures to fill it up with the love of the mother we know who is still alive or who has left us. You can also bring along a piece of memento to channel your energy and focus your intention as we embrace the gift of love of a mother.

You can register for the class online at Beyoga website or call tel no. 03-77286182/77296182.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hatha 1 with Lila at Beyoga

Yesterday’s Hatha 1 class with Lila was wonderful! I have always enjoyed going to Lila’s class as she would incorporate poses to open up our bodies especially for the shoulder and hips.

The class started with us doing a variation of the sun salutation with our thumbs locked as we do the forward bend. By locking our thumbs, it helps to open up the shoulders as we bend. There were stretching of the hamstrings in downward dog as well as the quadriceps during the lunges in Warrior 1. The upward dog pose helps to strengthen our back muscles and Lila asked us to place two blocks under our thighs to help us lift our torso off the mat.

Towards the end of the class, Lila asked us to go to the mirrors which act as the wall for the poses. We were asked to do a modified version of downward dog with our arms extended out to touch the mirror. This pose help to stretch our hamstrings but I could feel the stretch at my shoulders as well as I have tight shoulders. We also did the triangle pose and the half moon pose at the mirrors which really helped to open the hips. I find doing the half moon pose at the mirror helped me to balance in the pose. As I pressed my foot against the mirror, it helped to keep me steady as I turned my torso up and raised my arm and turned my head to gaze at my raised arm. We did a couple of other poses using the mirrors as a prop and finished the class with the resting pose with either our legs raised up or with our heels pressed together against the mirrors.

The renovation at Beyoga is fully completed and the studio is now operating with four classes in the morning and four classes in the evenings on weekdays and four classes during the weekends. The teachers presently teaching are Azmi, Ninie and Lila but they will be getting a few teachers to join them. If you are interested to try out the classes at Beyoga, they are offering RM30 off for the 1st class, you just need to pay RM8 for the class! You can check out their time-table and book your class online at Beyoga website. Lockers and shower facilities are available but you have to bring your own towels.

(pictures from The Yoga Instructor Diaries)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fingers Exercise To Health (4)

7. PRANA MUDRA - Mudra of Life

Bend ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of thumb with their tips Keeping the remaining two fingers stretched.

As it is the mudra of life, it improves the power of life. Weak people become strong. It reduces the clamps in blood vessels. If we practice it regularly, we will become active.

Time Duration:
No specific time duration. One can practice it any time.

It improves immunity.
Improves the power of eyes and reduces eye related diseases.
It removes the vitamin deficiency and fatigue.

8. APANA MUDRA - Mudra of Digestion

The tips of middle finger and ring finger touch the tip of thumb while the other two fingers are stretched out.

It plays an important role in our health as it regulates the excretory system.

Time Duration:
Practice it daily for 45 minutes, but practice for longer time yields more benefits.

It regulates diabetes.
It cures constipation and piles.
It helps excreting the normal waste regularly.