I’m Jane Ribinskas Director of Yogaconcepts with over 35 years Yoga experience including 25 years of teaching and specifically over the past 12 years personally developed “The Knowing Flow” Vinyasa Yoga sequences. My practice is advanced and I take my keen divine students to a level of advanced postures like you may see in the yoga magazines.
With a positive evolving Yoga practice it is crucial to respect and understand it is a process that takes time and commitment on lots of levels. Yoga is an ancient science of the soul and total wellbeing practice incorporating integration of the body mind and soul. Individuals learn about, meditation, pranayama (or breathing) to support your whole system, calming the nervous system, boosting the immune system, helping with anti-aging (we all like that) and teachers practioners about staying focused in the present moment. With focus a healthy mind and connection with intuition is essential to safely amping up a practice. If an individual pushes competitively beyond where the physical capability is at, the body becomes vulnerable.
Being a “testimonial” myself of living in a pain free body, being happy and able to jump around on a mat like a kid is a divine space to be in as a mature person. Every time I move into and out of an advanced posture I move with gratefulness, focus and breathe to engage all my senses and feel what I am doing. I translate this experience to my students for an ongoing safe practice that keeps on miraculously unfolding with patience. Lots of positive shifts can take place quickly other deeper change takes time. Once individuals become more present and accept where they are at and drop off the pushing themselves with negative ego amasing growth unfolds.
Students often come to me with injuries or tight, shoulders, back, hammies weak core strength and overall stiffness. Generally the commitment from a student to growth their practice is from at least 2-4 sessions a week. If they can’t make it to a class a home practice is great to develop for discipline and self motivation. Ideally it’s great to practice some Yoga every day. Practicing a dynamic yoga style generally prepares the body more quickly as heat generates as a result of the workout. As the body warms, individuals build strength flexibility, stamina, an advanced yoga practice and overall wellbeing. Have fun and amp your practice up today.
About the Author: Jane Ribinskas Director/Founder started Yoga Concepts as a result of a long-term vision and personal journey, discovering self-empowering wisdom knowledge and techniques that have totally changed her life and cultivated happiness on all levels. read more →
Pilates (puh-LAH-teez) has rapidly become one of the most popular exercise routines in the country. Chances are excellent you’ve heard someone talking about the benefits. But, what the heck is Pilates anyway?
It’s a form of exercise, developed by German born, Joseph Pilates, a century ago. Pilates is a body conditioning routine that builds flexibility, long, lean muscles, strength and endurance in the legs, abdominal muscles, arms, hips, and back. The emphasis is on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing to allow adequate oxygen flow to muscles, developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Pilates’ flexible system allows for exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced levels of fitness. No muscle group is under or over trained.
One of the advantages of the Pilates method is that it works well for a wide range of people including athletes, dancers, seniors and people at various stages of physical rehabilitation.
All types of people, at all fitness levels, who have begun doing Pilates say they’ve seen improvements in their range of motion, flexibility, circulation, posture, and abdominal strength — and decreases in back, neck and joint pain.
Some of the benefits of Pilates include:
- Improved breathing
- Improved concentration
- Improved flexibility
- Increased muscle strength, particularly of the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks
- Balanced muscular strength on both sides of the body
- Enhanced muscular control of the back and limbs
- Improved stabilization of the spine
- Greater awareness of posture
- Improved physical coordination and balance
- Relaxation of the shoulders, neck and upper back
- Helps prevent musculo-skeletal injuries
Pilates consists of a slow, sustained series of movements using abdominal control and proper breathing. The quality of each posture is important, not the number of repetitions or how quickly you can move through the routine.
Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. Think of a tree, Pilates experts say. The tree is only as strong as its trunk and roots. Without a strong trunk, the tree would topple over.
It’s the same for human bodies, say Pilates experts. If we concentrate on building a good foundation and a strong trunk or core, we’ll end up with fewer physical weaknesses and be less injury-prone. Kevin Bowen, co-founder of the Pilates Method Alliance, says it is important that abdominals are flexible, not just hard. “A flexible muscle is a strong muscle,” says Bowen.
There are two basic forms of Pilates:
- Mat-based Pilates – is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your body weight to provide the resistance. The central aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of the body to improve posture, balance and coordination. To the casual observer it looks very similar to yoga.
- Equipment-based Pilates – this includes specific equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance. The equipment based Pilates method uses a variety range of apparatuses to guide and train the body. For the uninitiated, the apparatus may resemble a torture device of some kind, but rest assured, Pilates is low impact exercise.
Some forms of Pilates also include small weighted balls, foam rollers, large exercise balls, rotating disks, and resistance bands.
The most affordable way to experience Pilates is to take a group class. Later, if you find you enjoy it, you can invest in some simple equipment to incorporate into your routine at home.
About the Author: Dawn is a seasoned communications professional with twenty-five years’ experience with private enterprise, non-profits and public corporations.She originally hails from the Midwest but now has her home in San Francisco, CA the home of garlic fries, Anchor Steam Beer, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Summer of Love. read more →
Having a home gym can be very convenient, or not motivating. Keep yourself motivated with realistic goals. When you reach your goal create another; then another goal. This will keep you moving forward to your main goal; being healthy, energetic, looking younger and feeling happy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will become second nature. Your cravings for bad habits will disappear over time. You don’t always need to buy a lot of equipment to workout. Change it up and keep your muscles guessing.
My home gym is very simple. I live in a limited space environment so I need equipment that I can put away and bring out when I need them. I use my own body weight for resistance. This gives me a low impact workout to create lean muscles without over straining my joints and ligaments. My equipment consists of: removable door chin up bar, yoga mat, Pilates circle and 2 swivel discs.
Music is key! Dancing like there is no one watching can give you that quick cardio workout.
De-stress with laughter! Laughter can burn 10 to 40 calories.
We are all living a busy lifestyle and want to fit in workouts when we can. Always be creative and have fun!
About the Author: Monica is a performer, instructor and model. Dance has encouraged Monica to teach and help others to enjoy life. Her passion for dance ranges from Zumba, Hawaiian Hula, Salsa, Brazilian Samba and Belly Dance. She is also a certified Pilates instructor through Body Harmonics. Her Yoga training is from Darshan Yoga Studio. She teaches all styles of yoga. She is currently studying and developing her own combination of Yoga, Dance and Pilates to encourage free flow of movement and energy. She is very creative in the kitchen. Always creating simple recipes on different organic superfoods from around the world.
She has recently appeared on W network’s Eat Yourself Sexy, Street Eats episode for Season 2:Morocco/Tunisia on Sun TV and Chris Rouse’s Soul Beautiful music video. read more →
One of the biggest problems for women who workout at home is to neglect one set of muscles and over-train another. This leads to muscle imbalance and eventual aches and pains.
No one would just do bicep work without also hitting their triceps. This causes muscle imbalance and eventual unexplained elbow or shoulder pain. Unfortunately, many women and men, who workout at home will neglect half their upper body and only do push-ups and neglect pull-ups.
Pushups or any type of pushing exercise targets your chest, shoulders and triceps – half your upper body. Pull-ups on the other hand targets your back, biceps and forearms – the other half of your upper body.
Most women already have tight chest muscles from everyday activities of computers, laptops, tablets, as well as, other activities that draw our shoulders forward like driving, office work, cooking, folding, etc. Our daily activities further contract our pec muscles, which become even tighter if we only do pushups. This is why it is important to work those opposing back muscles that draw our shoulders back.
Not all, but most women can’t do pull-ups, which is why it is smarter to do inverted pull-ups. Inverted pull-ups make it possible for women to get the same benefit of a regular pull-up. Inverted pull-ups are like knee push-ups…they make the movement possible so you can finally add that shape and tone to your back and biceps.
You will see people at the gym performing inverted pull-ups on a Smith machine, but not too many people have that equipment at home. Therefore, one option to help you do modified pull-ups would be to bolt a door-mounted pull-up bar about 30 inches off the ground. A second option would be a portable pull-up bar that gives you the advantage of setting it up in your living room or outside if you want.
The big takeaway for anyone who trains at home and has neglected half their upper body would be to give inverted pull-ups a try. Those two exercises are what real boot campers have been training with for years. Try them for 30 days and see if you don’t notice a difference in your workout as well as some of that unexplained upper back pain go away.
About the Author: Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert. He is the author of “To Burn or Not to Burn – Fat is the Question” and creator of the “Work Horse Fitness Trainer.” He blends sports medicine/strength training with natural medicine to help create true health and fitness programs. To learn more visit www.workhorsefitness.com. read more →
We are often tied by our time constraints so the workout gets dropped from our schedule. I find having ways to exercise that I can do at home are instrumental to my health. Less time, easier access and fits a quick pinch when the gym has been rescheduled due to a life emergency.
I teach Tia Chi Chuan health moves, Aharaj Yoga and Feminine Fitness that can easily be done at home. All of these offer simple ways to fitness that do not require anything but music if that inspires you. You can be in your jams, have no travel time and no worries that one will see you unkept.
The greatest wisdom I offer is that women get the best health benefits from a workout that they enjoy, feel good about and get inspired from. Our body awakens our innate health system when we revel in ourselves and our body in joy. When we are criticizing ourselves, on whatever level we are in, it is killing our systems these days. So to find a place of joy, safety and acceptance of our body puts us in oxytocin, our hormone of health.
As a circuit we can easily call upon our innate joy of dancing. We love this as women, so we can use this as a home workout and strengthen so many levels of ourselves at once. Emotionally we feel great, we love our physical body as we dance and revel in it, and mentally we enjoy the ease with no pressure to do this or that correctly. Putting on any music and allowing our body to just enjoy the sound and move as it does with no mental thinking and judgment is a delicious way to increase our health and heart rate.
Releasing Warm Up
I suggest that you begin with a warm up to open our bodies. Head rolls connect the mind with the body. Shoulder rolls both ways moves the tension about our neck and gives freedom there. Moving our rib cage side to side, front and back, rolling it one way and then the other opens our hearts, gives movement to a much stressed area of the woman’s body and allows lymph drainage to that area. It allows sad emotion and pain to release as we add movement to this part of our body. Hip circles, moving our hips front and back, figure eights with our hips, s open a very clogged area of our body. It aids digestion and gives movement to an area we normally don’t move and yet our energy conversion system is there needing support and energy release.
Once we have gotten our body awake, the torso which houses all our organs moving and flexible, then we dance free form to whatever sound delights us. I do three dances usually with the intent to be grateful for my sacred body that carries me about. It takes about 15 minutes to dance three songs. You get your heart rate up, you allow your body to move energy in how it sees fit, you enjoy connecting to your emotions through sound and how it moves you. This is a delightfully easy way to enjoy your workout. High emotion, movement of the body and pleasure of great sound sings our soul as woman.
The magic this creates in mood and presence to a woman is magnetizing. When you walk out into the world after dancing in joy, allowing your body to move, you can’t help but have great pride in your body called grounding. You walk out in magnificence that no other movement can offer as easily as dance. It is a sacred art and an easy circuit for you without anything but your glorious vessel. I find it the most rewarding health on all levels that exists. Your body naturally balances itself, moving energy, adding tone, engaging your heart, your beauty and your joy.
About the Author: Lyn Hicks is an educator of health, wellbeing and green living. Trained in Tia Chi Chuan, Aharaj Yoga, and ancient feminine cultures, she shares her yoga of living on her organic flower farm in Pennsylvania. A love of nature, beauty and grace inspires Lyn to share the power of feminine essence with other woman. Educating others to live in more connection with their bodies to allows our innate health system and intuition to strengthen. After doing this herself, it became natural to share with others through writing, videos and retreats at her farm. The Art Of Being A Woman is her passion and claim to her magnificence. Strengthening our collaborative power with each other to change the world together into a more nourished placed. Her book The Lotus Project, The Art of Being a Woman. Alluring well beauty and beauty through green living will be available in March 2013. read more →
With spring now having officially arrived, every one of us would like to have glamorous arms to show off during these warmer months. Unfortunately, most of us live such hectic lives that traveling to the gym can become stressful and daunting even if we’d like to transform our arms. Not to worry!
Enclosed are three quick exercises that you can perform in the convenience of your own home to develop stronger and leaner arms.
An exercise program using no weights can be one of the most effective workouts around. Using one’s own body weight saves on money for equipment and you can do the program anywhere, which means you don’t need to head to the gym. Doing a combination of the following exercises will help you lose weight, tone and tighten muscles and build strength, power, and flexibility.
Never forget the usefulness of your body weight for strength training. Pushups strengthen your triceps, shoulder and chest muscles. In order to complete more reps, flex your hips and knees and bring your legs under your body. To strengthen your core, do leg lifts in the supine position, side lying or prone leg extensions. Planks are exactly what they sound like. Hold your body in a rigid plank position, tighten your muscles to isometrically strengthen your muscles.
In order to get your blood pumping, and elevate your heart rate, do Tae Bo kicks and punches repeatedly. Balance and range of motion can be improved by Tai Chi movements which are slow, deliberate movements through a gradually increasing range of motion. Lying on your back doing bicycle kicks while doing a butterfly movement with your arms will also increase your strength and conditioning. Be creative and you won’t ever have to make the excuse that you couldn’t exercise because you couldn’t make it to the gym.
About the Author: Dr. Paul Scheatzle is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician and Author of “The Journey, Take The Path To Health And Fitness, Energize Your Life read more →
Some of the best, most productive workouts can be done without any bulky equipment. So, whether you’re on vacation, stuck at home with a sick kidd-o, or just need to squeeze in a workout in your living room, here are a few sets to perform that will get your heart rate pumping.
Perform two to three sets of each exercise.
1. Run in place for 60 secs followed by Tuck Jumps (think cheerleader jump with both knees coming up to your midsection) for 60secs.
2. Plank, holding full extension on hands for 60 secs. Lift your right leg off the floor & hold for 10 sec. Rest & Switch to the left leg off the floor & hold 10 sec.
3. Push-ups to a frog jump (Perform a regular push-up and then jump your feet to the outside of your hands and then back to your beginning plank position)- 20 reps.
4. Squat Jumps (Squat down and then jump up landing back into your squat)- 20reps.
5. Alternating lunges with torso twists for 2 minutes. (Extend arms forward and twist over front knee.)
6. Tricep push-up with burpee (Start in plank position and keep hands close by your sides and elbows tucked in– think yoga chattarunga pose. Take a tricep push-up and then jump forward and stand up. To repeat, squat down to floor and jump back into plank)- 15reps.
Perform two to three sets of each exercise.
1. Core kicks for 30 to 60 seconds. (Sit, hands on floor behind you with fingers facing forward. Perform bicycle abs with legs lifted 4 inches off floor).
2. Leg lifts for 20 reps. (Lie down with legs at 90-degree angle and lift bum 1 inch off floor).
3. Timed twists for 30 to 60 seconds. (Sit while holding one weight or a medicine ball. Lean back with bent knees and feet on ground and twist side to side while dropping weight to floor).
About the Author: Melissa Farley is the founder and owner of FitTrition. Her extensive experience as a dancer, certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, and holistic health coach has allowed her to create a unique signature training style called the FIT method. Melissa trained as a private in-home trainer in New York City, in addition to NYSC, WSC, and Balance Gym. Melissa danced with the Joffrey Ballet and has also appeared in various commercials and magazines including: Sports Illustrated and GQ. Melissa’s mission is to inspire, educate, and build a connection between quality food and a quality life!! read more →
Osteoporosis is a major health threat for 44 million Americans every year. 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 8 men will get osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is known as the silent killer because ½ of the population who have low bone mass are not aware of it. Osteoporosis puts people at a much higher risk for painful bone fractures that are sometimes fatal.
Osteoporosis isn’t picky either as it has lots of bones to choose from. You have 206 bones in your body. So what do you think all these bones do? They aren’t just holding you up. Your bones are living storing materials. Think of your bones like a savings account. Bones have a storage vault: 95% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones. You see, your body absolutely NEEDS calcium to survive. Calcium is even more important for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and blood clotting. Calcium actually helps your heart contract because your heart is a muscle. So given a choice between keeping your heart beating or thinning your bones, your body will withdraw from your bone account, leaving your savings weak, thin and frail. And that’s how you get Osteoporosis. You survive, but may be bound to a wheelchair and/or suffer a debilitating fracture. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of hip fractures, a tragedy that I am called upon to treat regularly. Hip fractures are painful and can result in permanent loss of independence and even death. Preventative action should be taken now. Weight bearing and resistance exercises play an important role in Osteoporosis prevention and treatment. The earlier you begin to build a deposit in your bone bank, the healthier you will be.
Your bones are very complex living cells. There is blood formation within your bones which includes red cells that carry oxygen and white blood cells to defend us against disease.
The best exercises to increase bone density are weight bearing and gravity resistant activities. To receive the most benefit from your Functional Fitness Bone Builder DVD, increase the weight as tolerated. When building bones, the amount of repetitions is not as important as the amount of weight you lift. You need to gradually increase the amount of weight you lift because in order to build bone mass you need to overload your muscles with weights. Weights are not only great for changing the architecture of your bones, they also are readily available and keep you more functional with your activities of daily living.
5 Tips to Healthy Bones:
- Do strength training 3 days a week every other day.
- Ask your Doctor about a bone density test.
- Check with your Doctor about medications that slow bone loss
- Eat a well balanced diet that includes the recommended daily amount of calcium for your gender and age.
- To decrease falls that could lead to fractures, practice balance exercises.
Start resistance training now and reap the rewards of healthy bones.
About the Author: Suzanne Andrews, star of Functional Fitness on PBS TV guides you with bone strengthening exercises in Bone Builder DVD with a seated and standing version therapeutically designed for Osteoporosis. Perfect for the person who doesn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to exercise as it’s a short 25 minute workout. Available now at Amazon. Click the link to learn more about Suzanne Andrews Functional Fitness Bone Builder DVD. read more →
Subscribe to receive updates!
The Pretty Hard Work Store
- Dr. Len Lopez on Don’t Neglect Half Your Upper Body – Try Inverted Pull-ups!
- samac on How to Fuel Your Workout
- Tony Nguyen on 4 Tips for Those Who Can’t Stop Sweating After a Workout
- Quick Start Morning Workout | Iron Mountain Pilates & Movement Ltd. on Quick Start Morning Workout
- Where to Find Motivation to Exercise | Pretty Hard Work « Try Wellness on For Size on Where to Find Motivation to Exercise