Healthy Food Intake Challenges

The human body requires a continuous supply of energy to perform its many function. The food we eat play a vital role in how we can perform while exercise. Eating a healthy diet that is varied, balanced and moderate can provide you with all the body needs without getting too much or too little of any one nutrient. Thurs, I’ve planned on a seven days healthy diet plan and want to know how will it affected me and how would I feel. From day to day, I felt a little difference by a little on my daily yoga practice. I felt a little bit lighter; breathing was smoother, more concentrated during practices and able to stay continue focused for longer period.

There’s many studies show that healthy food intake as most important part of fitness programs, e.g.:

  • -eating well-balanced diet can help you get calories and nutrient you need to fuel your activities
  • -some super-foods contain compounds that increase our metabolism for more efficient fat burning
  • -good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout
  • -improved cardiovascular health, including better blood flow and delivery of oxygen
  • -stronger bones and muscles

Here’s the tips for healthier options:

  • -CARBOHYDRATES: choose complex carbs found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans, instead of rely on simple carbs that found in sweets and processed food. Complex carbs help you to feel full for longer and fuel your body throughout the day, also helps stabilize blood sugar level.
  • -VITAMIN AND MINERALS: aims to fill half of your plate with fruits and greens at every meal. ‘Eat the rainbow’ by choose different color fruits and veggies, it helps you enjoy full range of vitamins and minerals.
  • -PROTEINS: choose lean proteins that are low in saturated and trans fats, limit the amount of red meat and processed meats.
  • -FATS: choose healthy fats, unsaturated fats help to provide essentials fatty acids and calories that need for daily activities.
  • -WATER: don’t forgot to drink enough of water too, body needs water to function.

When it comes to eating and exercise, everyone is different. You shall identify your body reaction during your workout, let your experience tell you how you feel and identify the best that work for you. Do consider to take few experiments on your own, and design the best diet that is just tailored for you.

Sirsasana – Headstand

Other than practicing at studio and get adjusted and helps of teacher, you also need to have constant practices to get into the pose. You can’t see your body when you’re standing on your head, so you have to record a video to check on yourself and give your own adjustment and alignment. While you already have a picture of yourself in mind, together with alignment to watch, muscles and techniques to incorporate, slowly, slowly, you will get there.

*Photo by Yuni Martin on Unsplash*

Steps + alignment + adjustment:

1.Start in all fours onto mat, shoulder over elbow. Take hold of elbows with the opposite hands to measure elbows apart equally.

2.Elbow stay at same position and interlock your finger, to form a triangle. Top of the head place in between the hands onto the floor and back of your head in the cupped hands. However, never press the weight onto the head.

3.Press on your shoulders, your shoulders are protracted and away from ears. Pull navel in towards spine.

4.Come up standing on toes and straighten knees, send hips to the sky without rounding your lower back or neck. Slowly start walking a little by little closer to shoulder until your hips are stacked over your shoulders. Means, slowly shifting weight from hips to the arms.

5.From here, you can lift one leg by one time straight up to the ceiling. When you feel stable, lift another leg straight up towards the ceiling. Or if you are confident, lift both legs up at the same time. Make sure your body is one straight line. Core and legs are engaged, spine is straight, rib cage in towards the spine, pull navel in towards the spine at all time.

6.Most of your weight should be on your arms and shoulder, they are pressed and lifted and not compress (not hunch shoulder). Cervical spine is neutral, no pressure at your neck.

 

In headstand posture, there should be no muscle lengthening but every body part is either stabilizing or contracting. Ultimately, body is stacked in a single plane. We need arms strength and upper body strength to build a solid foundation that allows us to stabilized in this pose. Shoulder joint internally rotate to prevent elbows flare out. The muscles of the rotator cuff and deltoid are concentric contraction, it will stabilize and protect shoulder joint. Serratus anterior is concentric contraction(shorten), it will stabilize scapular to prevent retraction of scapular. Eccentric contraction at triceps brachii also help to resist elbows to flare out. All of this leads to a stabilization of shoulders and arms. The stabilizer in headstand also from building of engagement of rectus abdominal and spinal extensor, iliopsoas and quadricep. Also, engage pelvic diaphragm to keep the sacrum stable.

Lastly, not to forget about breathing. Do not hold your breath. The inverted nature needs strong engagement of the abdominal muscles and which help to stabilize the center of gravity over the base of support. So, in headstand we keep our breath natural and smooth, by using ujjayi breath but shallower at throat area. 

Be safe. Practice by the wall first and take enough warm up before trying to get into Sirsasana.

How to bring your loved ones into yoga world?

“I’m not flexible, I can’t do yoga”, “nah,I don’t think I can…..”;

These responses were always what I got when I invite family members and friends to join yoga together. Yoga is always a misconception of you need to be flexible or thin, or it’s connected with religion.

Yoga isn’t “too hard” or “too easy.”. Yoga isn’t a religion. Yoga is for everyone at every level, and yoga can fit into every lifestyle. If you’re open to trying the practice, you just might discover how inclusive and uplifting yoga can be.

What can we do to help our loved one to roll on their first mat and try? Here what’s in my mind: ~

  • Give them a picture of what will be happened from the start of class till end of the class. Tell them what’s the entire process; it could from a sign-in section / pranayama breathing exercise / who when how during the class, a simple studio etiquette brief. Let them have a clue beforehand so that they are not totally lost.
  • Help them not to shy away. You might want to share with them about suitable outfits, props and mat. Of course, most of the studio now did provide what are needed for practices. Most importantly, let them know no one is judging at them when they’re in studio practice. Why did I say that? This is because many yogis have been where you are and they relate to what you’re going through—regardless of what they look like now, and what they’re capable of on the mat now. Let them know yoga is so much about personal experience and development. Basically, what they need to ready are just themselves with water bottle and small towel =)
  • Choose the best fit first class for them. With the wide range of yoga class available out there, you can find some interesting class that may helpful to introduce yoga at their first class. You might also want to choose classes that might fit more into their personality. However, we still want them to have their own experience.
  • Share your story with them. Not only sharing how yoga has benefit your physical health, but also mental stability. Yoga helps calm our mind, de-stress and relax, relieves anxiety. Through yoga, you get to know yourself and building self-trust. You became self-conscious and mindful, you able to understand yourself with compassion and love, as well as toward others too. Mental health and self-awareness are issues need to deal by every individual to balance life and find sense of inner-peace.

We have to appreciate that everyone is different, and yoga is so much about personal development and understanding. At the end of the day, we can’t force people to do things they don’t want to do. We can however share our stories, gently present them with the opportunity to try, and let them experience it at their own time and in their own way. A small introduction might be a good starting point that will help ease them into the world of Yoga.

Ahimsa towards Yourself

Ahimsa towards yourself

Ahimsa, the first and foremost five Yama of Eight Limbs of Yoga. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word meaning of “non-violence”, or in another words it means “absence of injuries”. Ahimsa is not only non-violence in the physical sense, but with your words and thoughts as well. It’s the absence of violence in physical, mental and emotional form.

Many of us could say good words and show pleasant behavior to our families and friends, or even could show generous kindness to stranger. But we seem to forgot the most important “myself”. You may not identify some thought and mind actually harm yourself. 

It’s important to remind ourselves of ahimsa throughout our yoga practices, it is easy to just judge at ourselves for not being at a level of enough strength or flexibility and push ourselves too much further which beyond what our body can do thus hurting or injuring ourselves unconsciously. This is not saying that we shouldn’t push ourselves to get better, but we need to be made the process slow and steady for improvement. We have to be thoughtful to our physical body and only go a little bit beyond your ability day by day, one day you will get here. While we practicing on mat, celebrate every moment between you and yourself. Practicing ahimsa over and over again, eventually it will become natural part of us.

The more often you practice self-care and compassion, eventually you become ‘ahimsa’ naturally and effortlessly. Take a moment for yourself, sit comfortably and upright, close your eyes and place your palms together in heart center. Take a deep breath in, notice whatever within you now, maybe you can feel your pulse or even a fluctuated mind, but they’re all fine. Whisper to yourself “Thank you, you’re great.”