Yoga: From the Sanskrit word “yug” meaning “to yoke or join together”, as in joining the body and mind; the physical and emotional/spiritual bodies.
Ujjayi: “Conqueror’s breath”, pronounced oo-jy (rhymes with pie-ee), is a diaphragmatic breath involving a slight constriction of the throat creating a rushing, or an ocean wave-like sound, and slight vibration in the back of the throat. This breath is a balancing and calming breath which increases oxygenation and builds body heat during yoga practice.
Asanas: More commonly known today as Yoga postures, positions, or poses. The translation from Sanskrit means “sitting down”, as the practice of Yoga originally was the mastery of sitting still for long periods of time.
Chaturanga or chaturanga dandasana: Also known as “Four-Limbed Staff Pose” or “Crocodile pushup”. Part of the “Sun Salutation” series of yoga poses and very similar to a tricep pushup with the elbows tucked tightly into the side body as the body lowers from a plank position (“high pushup”) to a “low pushup”.
Sun Salutation: Sanskrit name is “Surya Namaskara”. A sequence of yoga poses (or “asanas”) meant to salute the sun. This sequence synchronizes breath with movement, warming up the muscles and increasing core temperature.
Chakra: Literally translated as “wheels”, the Chakras are seven energy centers starting at the base of the spine leading up to the crown of the head. Each Chakra is associated with a color and body part or system.
Spinning®: A tradename version of group cycling.
Benefits of exercise: The current recommendations by the American Heart Association for all health adults (aged 18 – 65 years old) is at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days per week. Cardiovascular exercise done for 30 minutes or more increases the production of endorphins (our feel good hormones and natural pain killers).
Group Cycling: Group cycling is a great cardiovascular workout performed indoors on a stationary bike. The class is led by a certified instructor and is set to music, but is paced by you – you add on or take off resistance on your bike, you pedal as fast or slow as your body is ready for. Your “ride” consists of flat roads and hills, simulated by increasing or decreasing resistance on your bike. Indoor cycling is a low-impact exercise that is gentler on the back and knees than high impact aerobic activity. Group cycling also burns a tremendous amount of calories! The average person burns more than 360 calories in 45 minutes of indoor cycle classes. Indoor cycling is a great way to cross-train for other activities, including outdoor cycling, but also other sports that require lower body strength and aerobic efficiency, such as running and swimming.
Yoga: Yoga improves strength, flexibility and posture. Regular practice will also increase lung capacity and ability to focus and relax. The benefits of yoga are amazing: yoga helps improve mood and sleep, reduce anxiety, lower heart rate and blood pressure, aid in digestion and increase immune responses. Studies by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support these claims. You don’t need to be flexible or able to balance on one leg to get the benefits of yoga! There is no wrong way to do yoga, there is no perfect pose. Yoga is for everyone! So many people tell us they can’t do yoga because they’re not flexible. That is exactly why they should be doing yoga! :o) Balance is something we lose if we don’t practice, the older we get, the more important our balance and core strength becomes. In the US, falls and fall-related injuries account for over 90% of broken hips, 16% of all emergency department visits and almost 7% of all hospitalizations.
Hot Yoga: Hot yoga provides all the awesomeness of other yoga classes, with some added benefits: the heat allows the muscles, tendons and ligaments to stretch more; further increasing flexibility and reducing risk of injury. Sweating is our body’s natural cooling system. As our bodies heat up, the blood vessels in our muscles dilate and carry out the toxins stored within our cells to be removed by our liver and kidneys, thus detoxifying our bodies. We also detoxify our minds in a heated yoga class, as we concentrate and breathe deeply to stay in the moment and hold poses, or flow through sequences despite the heat.