By Caron Bosler - Caron has been teaching Pilates for over 15 years. She received her Yoga Teacher Training from Yoga Vida Gurukul. She is the author of 3 books on Pilates. For more information please go to www.cor-e-nergy.com
Cardio for Yogis
Being an exercise trainer, I have noticed the universal truth that most yogis love pilates, and vice versa. Clients will religiously do yoga and pilates every week, but consider sweating? Nope. Nada. Zilch. We appear to be in tune with our centers and out of touch with our sneakers. So, as a reaction to the permanent mutiny surrounding me, this article is written in the vain hope that someone, somewhere, will be convinced to start cardiovascular exercise by simply knowing how good it is for them.
Aerobic exercise, or cardiovascular fitness, simply means any form of exercise that brings the heart rate up over a sustained period of time. Your heart is a muscle, and just like your other muscles, it responds well to exercise. Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats, or contracts, per minute. Aerobics gently increases the number of beats per minute, raising the heart rate, thus strengthening the heart. Aerobic literally means, ?with air? and was developed in 1968 by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper in San Antonio, Texas to prevent coronary artery disease. It originally consisted of exercises such as: cycling, running, and swimming.
The benefits of cardiovascular exercise are numerous. The most obvious benefit of aerobic exercise is weight loss. It also reduces the risk of diabetes and strengthens the heart. It improves metabolism, which simply means all the energetic reactions that happen within the body at the cellular level. Aerobic activity reduces risk of heart disease and lowers the amount of time your heart beats per minute (your resting heart rate). It increases the body?s ability to take in oxygen, and improves the ability to absorb and break down fat.
Generally every yoga session should have a positive resolve, may it be for better physical or mental health or any other purpose. This positive resolve should be integrated with inhalation process, as the air or prana entering in to the body affects the entire body - mind complex. The exhalation can be used for relaxing and removing the stress from body - mind complex.
Ujjayi or victorious breath can also be integrated while maintaining the asanas, as this increases the psychic sensitivity and helps mind calm down faster. Also Ujjayi lowers the blood pressure so people having low blood pressure need to be careful.
There are a couple of guidelines to use when performing aerobic activity in order to strengthen the heart in a safe and effective manner. Targeting your optimal heart rate is fairly simple and involves just a bit of basic math. Take 220 and subtract your age to get your Maximum Heart Rate. For example, a 40 year old woman would subtract 40 from 220= 180. Usually, you should exercise between 60-80% of your Maximum Heart Rate. Or, an easier measurement is known as the ?Talk Test?. If you can converse comfortably while exercising, the intensity is perfect! If you are feeling breathless or uncomfortable, please rest.
Since endorphins were discovered in 1975, there has been the universal belief that cardiovascular exercise triggers endorphins in the brain that make people feel good. The word endorphin is a combination of two words, ?endogenous morphine?. Unfortunately, this theory is debated scientifically. But just because science can?t prove the natural ?high? people feel chemically in the body, doesn?t mean it?s not there. Just ask any runner. Getting started is easy. Do you enjoy riding a bike? Running? Swimming? Fast walking? Aerobics? Tread Mill? Cross Trainer? Cross country skiing? Rowing? Basket ball? Football? Decide what form of exercise you think you might like.
Then, make a firm commitment, to yourself, to set aside time every week for you. Schedule your workouts at least one week in advance, and make sure you do not let anything take your time away from you. Once you get into the habit of weekly workouts, you will feel better, more energized, and toned for everything else you do.
Try and exercise 3 times a week. Maybe you could start with 20 minutes of brisk walking, or any other activity you enjoy that will get the heart rate up. Slowly build up the length of time to 30 min, 40, 50... etc until you can do an hour 3 times a week.
Exercise benefits your mind as well as your body. By mobilizing the joints, strengthening the limbs, and stretching your muscles you will feel more energized and ready for the day?s events. Who knows?
You just might like it!
Caron Bosler - http://www.cor-e-nergy.com
Yoga Vidya Dham, Kaivalya Nagari,
College Road, Nashik - 422005.
Phone - +91-9822770727 (for courses in ENGLISH)
+91-253-2318090 (For courses, in HINDI or MARATHI)
(Please call during 9.00 AM to 5 PM Indian Time)
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