Sep 15

Restorative Yoga and Physical Therapy – Perfect Partners for Your Path to Recovery

You may know that there are various forms of yoga – including some that can really have you working up a sweat. While most people understand that the range of types of yoga make it appealing to people of all ages and fitness levels, not as many are aware that regular yoga practice can also be a beneficial component to physical therapy.

For those who have suffered an injury or are working through physical limitations via physical therapy, one form of yoga – known as restorative yoga – can not only expedite the healing process but help you become even stronger through it. As dedicated yoga professionals, we’re committed to helping people become their best with an approach to physical and emotional health through focused yoga movements. If you’re undergoing physical therapy or are concerned about someone who is, here’s a bit more information about restorative yoga and how it can complement traditional treatment.

What Is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on relaxation and gentle movement with the use of props as necessary to aid in the healing of injured or fatigued muscles, bones and other supporting structures. The goal of restorative yoga is to slowly and gently build strength by doing fewer asanas but holding them for a longer length of time.

Restorative yoga triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is involved in how your body perceives, responds to and heals from stress. So, as you’re practicing restorative yoga, not only are you healing and building a stronger body, but also addressing the natural stress responses to pain and injury.

3 Ways That Restorative Yoga Compliments Physical Therapy

There’s no reason to subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy when it comes to healing and recovery for your body. Restorative yoga is a gentle, effective form of exercise that can be adapted to an individual’s injury or current physical limitations. Here are 3 benefits that illustrate how well restorative yoga compliments physical therapy.

Improved Responsiveness of Muscular Tissue

Restorative yoga improves muscular response to exercise. The poses used stimulate a tissue that surrounds your muscles called fascia. This powerhouse of connective tissue has a significant role in how the muscles function, move and perceive pan. Restorative yoga stimulates nerve receptors in fascia and results in an overall increase in muscle responsiveness.

Build Body Awareness

Many times, the focus of physical therapy is solely on healing and building strength in the injured or affected areas. Of course, this is important but restorative yoga serves to also build a greater sense of awareness of how the body moves and responds to certain movements. For example, someone suffering from a knee injury can also benefit from a greater sense of balance and body awareness to prevent additional injury in the future.

Speedier Recovery

Anyone that has ever suffered an injury that limited their physical capabilities understands firsthand how frustrating it can be to put your life on hold during the healing process. Proper recovery requires baby steps and can take a long time. While there’s no magic cure for expediting the healing process, regular restorative yoga practice can help remove some of the barriers to healing by reducing pain and stiffness while increasing flexibility.

Let Us Introduce You to Physical Therapy Yoga

If you’re undergoing physical therapy or have an injury or condition that prevents you from a full range of mobility, we’re here to talk to you about solutions such as physical therapy yoga. Our experienced staff can work with you to develop a routine specifically for you. Contact Yogacorefit today to learn more.

Sep 01

3 Easy Poses That Prove Yoga Is for Everyone

Do you have a yoga mat that’s just sitting in the corner, collecting dust? Perhaps you bought it with the best of intentions, but then when it came time to use it you began to doubt your own body’s ability to stretch and contort itself into some of the complicated yoga poses you’ve seen. Here’s a little secret – you’re not alone. Practically everyone who practices yoga regularly was once at that point where they wondered if yoga was right for them.

It’s time to put away your worries. There are various forms of yoga, which makes is a great form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels – and you don’t need to be flexible enough to bend yourself into a pretzel to enjoy it. Go grab that yoga mat, dust it off and try one of these poses that prove yoga is for all ages.

Child’s Pose

Before you ask, no it’s not just for children. Child’s Pose is a comforting yoga position that gently stretches out the lower part of the back, relaxes the spine and slowly warms leg muscles. It’s also a great default position for transitioning from one position to the next, or for when you find one position too challenging but don’t want to pause your sequence.

To put yourself into Child’s Pose, kneel on your hands and knees with your hands placed just in front of your shoulders. Slowly stretch lower buttocks until your mid-section is resting on your thighs. Then stretch your arms out in front of you along the mat until your feel a warm but comfortable stretching through the spin and lower back.

Tree Pose

Balance is a major focus of yoga, and there’s no better pose for building it than Tree Pose. Along with improving balance, this pose will also help to strengthen the core, spine and muscles of the thigh and calf areas.

To achieve Tree Pose, stand with your feet a close togethers as comfortable. Carefully shift your weight to one leg and then raise the other leg high enough to grab your angle and place your foot on the inner thigh of the opposite leg. An alternate method is to slowly slide the foot up the inside of the weight bearing leg to as close to the thigh as is comfortable. Lift up through the weight bearing leg and hold for a moment before releasing and repeating with opposite leg.

Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose is a great, low stress position for strengthening and building flexibility in the back muscles and spine. It’s also great for building up muscles in the shoulders, chest and parts of the abdominal core. Cobra Pose is a good pose to use towards the end of your session because it can easily transform into resting poses, such as the Corpse Pose.

To get into Cobra Pose, lie on your belly with your forehead touching the mat. Place hands so that they are under your shoulders, keeping elbows tucked close to the body. Inhale and press your weight into the mat through your lower body while using your arms to lift your head and chest off the floor. Remember to breathe as you lower yourself and repeat.

We Focus on Yoga for All Ages

The poses here barely scratch the surface of yoga exercises that are suitable for all ages and skill levels. We offer a variety of yoga classes in Vacaville to fit your needs. Contact Yogacorefit today to learn more and begin your yoga journey.

Aug 15

4 Amazing Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga practiced today. Focusing on flow movement workouts, it delivers many health benefits and is ideal for people who prefer a more strenuous, yet challenging, workout.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the main health benefits regular Vinyasa Yoga sessions provide.  Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 01

5 Reasons Why You Should Embrace Outdoor Summer Yoga

By practicing yoga outdoors, you’ll be able to take advantage of the beautiful weather, while simultaneously doing something that will improve both your health and your quality of life.

Yoga has been proven to increase strength, endurance, peace of mind, and balance. But that’s not all.  There are extensive health benefits that come from practicing yoga, some of which can even help you overcome stress.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 15

How Yoga and Mindfulness Are Interconnected

Take a minute and look around. Does it seem as if the world that surrounds you is buzzing with constant energy? We’re a society of multitaskers, always on the move and trying to scratch just one more thing off our never-ending to-do lists.

Commotion has a place in the world, but that place shouldn’t be in your mind or your heart. The constant stimulation isn’t good for your physical or mental health, but unfortunately it’s incredibly easy to fall prey and lose sight of the present moment in the blur of activity.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 01

5 Ways Pilates Works to Build Core Strength

Pilates is form of exercise based on the foundations of flexibility, body awareness and most importantly core strength. A strong core foundation not only makes you stronger overall, but can prevent injury, chronic pain and the natural decline in strength that occurs as we age.

Many people coming to Pilates for the first time are confused or misinformed about their core muscle groups and how Pilates movement helps to strengthen and build them. An understanding of how the body works, including the core, and Pilates role in strength building is important to the bodily awareness aspect of a regular routine.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 15

Determining the Optimal Frequency for Practicing Yoga and Pilates

We all know that regular exercise is incredibly important to good health. Many well-intentioned people start a fitness routine with an excess of enthusiasm and then quickly burn themselves out because they did too much, too soon. In Pilates and yoga, as with all forms of exercise, the correct frequency can make the difference between a successful practice and one that falls to the side along with your fitness goals.

With this in mind, we’d like to offer some advice on determining the right frequency of Pilates or yoga practice to accomplish your health and fitness goals. calendar

Pilates: Is a Daily Commitment Too Much?

There are two questions that people often ask when signing up for a Pilates class. Almost everyone is interested in knowing how often they should do Pilates, and if they should practice at home, outside of their scheduled classes.

The only proper response to this question is that it depends entirely upon your goals and the results you want to see.

Pilates is an excellent tool for improving flexibility, but when done with greater frequency, it can also be key in sculpting your body. Since the benefits of Pilates vary so widely, an individual’s frequency of practice will too.

For example, if you’re looking to increase flexibility or ease back pain, 1-2 sessions a week is a great start. Data supports the idea that the optimal frequency of stretching for improved flexibility is 6 times a week. What’s important to remember is that this doesn’t necessarily mean 6 days per week, or that Pilates needs to be your primary form of stretching movement. You might choose to do some light morning stretches 4 times a week and then Pilates later on 2 of the days.

However, if you’re looking to unlock the serious sculpting power of Pilates, then the answer is different. You should make a commitment to Pilates at least 3-4 times per week, letting your body be the guide to intensity and frequency. If toning up is your goal, make sure that you’re alternating the muscles groups used during each session.

Finally, Pilates is incredibly adaptable to your level of fitness and lifestyle. From once or twice a week to 10 minutes everyday and everything in between, as long as you’re honoring your body, Pilates fits into your schedule and your fitness goals.

Yoga: Finding the Perfect Fit

Much like Pilates, determining the frequency of a yoga practice is more about your physical comfort and goals than it is anything else. We hear a lot these days about daily morning yoga practice, but in some cases “yoga” is a term used to describe light stretching and mindfulness more than the practice of yoga itself.

Daily stretching is a great idea. However, yoga is more focused, and depending on the style, it can be quite intense.

If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, let your body decide what the right frequency is. For many seasoned in yoga, once or twice a week is perfect to stay flexible and toned. If you’re new to yoga, you might want to start out with a gentler type of yoga, but with more frequency – up to 3 or 4 times per week.

We’d love to help you develop a yoga or Pilates practice that fits your needs. We offer a range of class options and are here to answer all your questions. Contact YogaCoreFit today to learn more and take a look at our class schedule.

Jun 01

What You Need to Know to Prepare for Your First Flying Yoga Class

Flying yoga is a type of yoga practice that’s gaining traction in yoga centers everywhere. It’s no wonder considering the health benefits and the sheer feeling of freedom that comes with combining yoga movements with aerial dance. Flying yoga is amazing, and while many people are interested in trying it, the uncertainties about what to expect from an aerial yoga class prevent some from ever experiencing this life-changing form of exercise.

So, to answer your questions, and ease your fears, we’d like to talk about what to expect from an aerial yoga class. yoga mat Read the rest of this entry »

May 15

The Importance of Deep Breathing in Pilates

A focus on breathing is essential to the core philosophy of Pilates. While breathing properly is important for any type of exercise, the intent of purposeful breathing in Pilates is a little different.

Pilates strengthens your body, but in a way that’s different from say running or weight training. With those types of exercises, you’re breathing to perform. With Pilates, you’re breathing to live.  Read the rest of this entry »

May 01

3 Quick and Easy Yoga Fixes for Beating Stress

Stress is one of those facts of life that none of us are immune to. The truth is that a certain level of stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that the body is responding appropriately to physical and emotional stimuli.

Unfortunately, however, stress can build quickly to the point that you start to feel burned out. This is a signal that it’s time to slow down, take a deep breath and let it all go. This is also something that’s easier said than done.

When you’re looking for a way to relieve stress and heal from its effects on your body, yoga is the perfect solution. The good news is that there are yoga fixes for stress that can be done anywhere, with or without comfortable clothes and a yoga mat.

Here are three quick yoga fixes for when stress gets to be too much. meditating

Focus on Your Breath

In yoga, we learn the importance of breath for life. Each move is in harmony with breath because it’s our lifeforce.

Focusing on your breathing is a simple, stress relieving solution that can be done anywhere at any time. It really doesn’t matter if you’re in your office or stuck in traffic, breathing is a quick fix that’s always accessible.

To focus on your breath, start by quieting your mind. If you’re in a chaotic environment this might be difficult, but you only need to do this briefly. Clear out that mental clutter and focus only on the breath entering and leaving your body.

Breathe in deeply, imagining clean, purifying air entering your body. Next, exhale fully while visualizing dark, heavy stress being cleansed away with each outward breath.

Repeat this until the tension starts to ease away, your mind clears, and you feel restored.

Child’s Pose

One of the most comforting positions in yoga is the child’s pose. While your coworker might look at you strange if you get down on the floor in the middle of a board meeting, child’s pose is one that requires little space, so it can easily be done behind a closed office door or outside on the grass.

Along with being comforting and soothing, which are great for relieving emotional tension, this pose also supports the physical relief of stress. When in position for this pose, you’re gently supporting your adrenal glands, which are hard at work when you’re overstressed. By soothing the adrenal glands, child’s pose helps you immediately feel calmer and centered.

Easy Pose

This simple, calming yoga pose is one that can be done absolutely anywhere. With this pose, you simply sit up straight, as if a line is connecting the earth and the sky through the center of your body. If you’re able to sit on the ground in comfortable position, that’s great. If not, any chair or seat will do.

Next, just place your hands on your knees, making a circle of completion with each thumb and index finger. Now, just breathe in and out, letting each breath strengthen your body and connect you to the earth.

Repeating this for just a minute or two will not only relax you but also help you feel more grounded so you’re less susceptible to the stress that comes at you.

Regular yoga practice is one of the best ways to keep stress at bay. We offer a variety of yoga classes for all interests and levels. Contact Yogacorefit to learn more today.

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