Food for thought

The nutrition is directly linked to the performance of asanas and our lifestyle in general. The yogi diet is based on Ayurvedic teachings. Some products are strictly forbidden by them, others are consumed in small quantities and in a certain period of time, and third yogis eat constantly. Three types of food in yoga According to Ayurveda, even the best and cleanest foods are not always healthy. So, there is food that should be consumed only in winter or summer. Some foods should be eaten in the morning, because they excite and give energy, others in the evening, as they calm and set you up for a long sleep. Yoga  divides all food into three types:

       Sattva, which means “purity.” This includes all fresh vegetarian food. Mostly seeds and sprouted grains, fruits, wheat, butter, milk and honey.

      Rajas is a food that excites the body. It is better not to use products from this category or to reduce their amount in the diet to a minimum. This includes citrus fruits, tea and coffee, as well as spices, fish, seafood, eggs, alcohol, soda, garlic and onions.

     Tamas is a rough and heavy meal. It is difficult to absorb by the body. It does more harm than good. Relaxes, after eating it makes you want to sleep. These are root vegetables, red meat (beef and pork), all canned foods, mushrooms, food with a heavy taste (roach, etc.). This includes frozen food and one that has been stored for some time. These are also considered dishes that are reheated, alcohol and food that has been cooked in a restaurant or store.

 Doing yoga, you will feel what products you will not need. Changes in the body will occur harmoniously and in accordance with the needs of your body. The gradual process of rebuilding the habits of the body is very important.

Many (and not only in yoga) make the same mistake: they abruptly begin to change their diet (completely abandon meat, fish, eggs, switch to the most sophisticated diets, such as raw food diet, etc.). With this development of events, in a few months you will face a series of ailments, such as colds, exacerbation of all previously existing sores, and digestive upset. And then it could be worse. Naturally, there can be no question of doing yoga.

Beware of this mistake!

  • never abruptly change your lifestyle, especially in nutrition, non-compliance with this rule leads to big trouble;
  • a complete rejection of meat food does not always bring positive results. If you abandoned the meat, you need to replace it with another animal protein: milk and dairy products, eggs, fish;
  • in your diet should always be present in large quantities vegetables and fruits;
  • food should always be fresh and harmoniously selected.

It must be remembered that the body will never tolerate abuse of itself both in the diet and in the mode of activity. And with the right approach to yoga, you become as independent as possible from environmental conditions, feeling great in any situation, with any set of food products.

 

Yoga or Pilates?

For many people , Yoga and Pilates look very similar – there are no power or cardio loads, exercises are performed slowly and consciously , with calm music. Pilates and yoga are wellness systems that include exercises to develop flexibility, endurance, and concentration. Regular exercises tidy up the body, allow you to find harmony with yourself. In this, both areas of fitness are similar.

But, having examined   these   practice closely, we  can find a lot of differences between them

    What is yoga?

     Yoga is the ancient Indian system of human self-development, which originated long before our era. This is a spiritual tradition, experience and wisdom of many generations that millions of people around the world have followed to this day.

Translated from Sanskrit, yoga means “union, communication, harmony.” Those. the unity of the physical and mental state of a person, the harmony of health and spiritual beauty. The purpose of classes is to achieve and maintain this unity.

It is impossible to imagine yoga without performing various asanas (static postures) that help improve the body. But physical practice is only part of the philosophy of yoga, one of the tools for working on consciousness. It also includes:

  • rules of personal and social behavior;
  • breathing exercises;
  • meditation
  • singing mantras;
  • body cleansing;
  • concentration of attention;
  • desire for complete control over the senses.

Therefore, yoga is a way of life aimed at achieving a balance of physical and psychological health, and not just a set of static exercises that develop flexibility and endurance.

What is pilates?

   Pilates is a system of healing the body, based on the dynamic performance of exercises that are performed in a specific technique and sequence. Their goal is to develop flexibility, improve the condition of joints and spine, posture and coordination of movements.

Pilates, unlike yoga, is a young trend in fitness. The German trainer Joseph Pilates developed gymnastic exercises for the rehabilitation of patients suffering from diseases of the musculature system at the beginning of the 20th century.

6 fundamental differences between Pilates and Yoga.

  • Yoga is the oldest system of self-development, philosophy, lifestyle. Pilates is a relatively young wellness system for the body, one of the types of fitness.
  • Pilates training is aimed at creating a healthy body, practicing yoga – at achieving harmony of the body, spirit and mind.
  • Many exercises and asanas are similar, but have a significant difference in technique. If in classical yoga you need to enter a pose and fix it for a long time (static load), then in Pilates the main thing is movement. All exercises are dynamic, repeated several times. Important consistent articulation of the spine and body muscles when entering and exiting the position.
  • Pilates breathing control helps to concentrate on doing the exercise and working muscles. Ancient practice provides breathing, as one of the steps to self-improvement (pranayama).
  • In Pilates, the muscles of the back and cortex are mainly worked out, in yoga – all muscle groups.
  • In classical hatha yoga additional equipment is not used. In Pilates classes  fitball, rings, rollers are actively used.

In my opinion, you should try both this practice and chose which is most suitable for you. However, if  you want to get a little more than just a beautiful and healthy body, then you may want choose yoga. After all, ancient practice is also aimed at working with the mind, includes methods of spiritual development and self-improvement. Practice will show what is right for you.

Getting Into Baddha Konasana

  1. Sit with legs out along median plane
  2. Lateral rotation of both thighs to bring legs away from median plane
  3. Bringing both soles along the transverse plane towards each other, place heels close to the groin.
  4. Press soles of feet together.
  5. Extend spine up along the coronal plane.
  6. With back straight, flex at hips to bring body down along median plane, out along transverse plane and place chin down.

Ushtrasana Part II

Ushtrasana Part II–Coming out of the pose
Coming out of ushtrasana should be done slowly and with care.  One should imagine “rolling up” one vertebra at a time to a kneeling position.  Start by returning the palms of the hands to the sacral area.  This is achieved by flexing the elbows (concentric contraction—biceps, eccentric—triceps), supinating the elbows and hyperextending the wrists.  Place the hands so that the fingers are facing toward the floor.
Come up slowly, performing the following actions together—extending the neck, extending the spine (concentric–pectoralis, levator scapulae, rectus abdominus, rectus femoris, iliopsoas; eccentric–rhomboids, trapesius, erector spinae), internally rotate the shoulders to return them to neutral.  The glutes are already contracted here but will also work eccentrically to help extend the hips.  The arms are released by extending the elbows (eccentric—triceps, concentric—biceps), extending the wrists, and pronating the elbows back into neutral.    
Flexing the hips (concentric–rectus femoris, iliopsoas, rectus abdominus; eccentric–glutes, erector spinae, trapezius) will bring the body forward while flexing the shoulder joint (concentric-anterior deltoid; eccentric–posterior deltoid) into the counter pose, balasana.
Ushtrasana should be avoided by individuals with serious spine injury such as lumbago or herniated discs.  The pose can be modified as needed by keeping the hands on the hips (not fully dropping and grasping the ankles).

Pose Breakdown: Ushtrasana, Part I

Ushtrasana:  Part I
Ushtrasana opens the chest (pectoralis major/minor) and fronts of the shoulders (anterior deltoids), stretches the hip flexors (iliopsoas), and front thighs (quadriceps) while increasing flexibility and strength of the spine and strengthening glutes.  Benefits also include stimulation of the spinal nerve and stretching of the digestive organs.  With long term practice, it can also relieve sciatica, asthma and kyphosis (hunching of thorasic spine).   Ushtrasana is also beneficial in stimulating the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Getting into the pose:  Ushtrasana is approached from a kneeling position (vajrasana).  Extension of the hip joint will take the practitioner to a “standing position” on the knees (which are flexed, with feet plantar flexed).  From here, one must hyperextend and internally rotate the shoulder joint, flex and pronate the elbows and hyperextend the wrists to get the palms on the sacral area with fingertips pointing downward.  “Roll back” the shoulders (external rotation) through concentric contraction of the rhomboids (agonist) and eccentric contraction of the pectoralis (antagonist) to retract the scapula open the chest.   The glutes must engage isometrically to stabilize the lumbar spine and hips as the backbend is performed.  One must lean back, engaging trapezius, latissimus dorsi and erector spinae (concentric) coming back with the control provided by the (eccentric) contraction of rectus abdominus and rectus femoris, and hyperextending the cervical spine to gaze upward.
Once the back bend is achieved, the hands are placed one at a time on the ankles, by extending and supinating the elbow joints.  Now all of the above mentioned muscles must work in isometric contraction–without movement–to stabilize the pose (aside from those used in respiration).