Feb 15

Top Pilates Trends for 2018

We all have seen how much CrossFit and intense Beach Body workouts have dominated the fitness landscape over the course of the last few years, but while so much emphasis has been placed on intense interval cardio, it’s important to recognize that almost all of those programs also work in an element of yoga or Pilates because they know they offer their fair share of health benefits, as well.

While Pilates has been around for ages, we do look forward to a few exciting new trends on the horizon for 2018 here at YogaCoreFit. The following are four of the most notable trends that could shake up the world of Pilates in the twelve months to come:

A Shift Toward “Inner Health”

Those high-intensity workouts that basically involve people slamming themselves as fast as humanly possible into the heaviest weight-lifting activities known to man are a big hit at the moment, but we see a shift in 2018 coming toward a more holistic approach to physical fitness that also involves serious attention being given to “inner health,” which looks at the spiritual aspect of exercise. Pilates, obviously, is a great activity for that.

Live-Streamed Classes

With the advent of fitness apps taking over smartphones over the course of the last couple of years, we predict a bigger shift than ever toward fitness done at home with a live-streamed class via app. With so many excellent Pilates apps from which to choose, people can get themselves access to any of a number of courses taught by any of a number of experts that should help them get their workouts in whenever they want and wherever they are. It should make Pilates classes easier than ever to attend.

Family Pilates

One of the excuses many people give for not exercising more often is that family responsibilities keep them from escaping long enough to fit in a workout. In 2018, we predict the advent of family Pilates courses that encourage people to bring their spouses and children with them to participate in the sort of activities that encourage entire families to stay fit and healthy together. Believe it or not, kids love to workout with their parents, and these types of classes will help them do that while also ensuring adults get in the Pilates workouts they crave.

Further Integration of Wearable Technology

Not only are more and more people getting wearable fitness bands to track their daily health, fitness, nutrition and sleep, but more and more software is invented each year to help integrate those fitness bands into classes. We absolutely could see fitness tracking work its way into Pilates classes so people participating can get a better sense of what they are getting out of their workouts.

Of course, at its core, Pilates still will be Pilates in 2018. If you would like to sign up for any of our classes here at YogaCoreFit, do not hesitate to reach out. We will give you the best and newest of what Pilates has to offer, all while giving you the sort of meditative core workout you always have loved and appreciated.

Feb 01

Top Yoga Trends for 2018

One of the teams on this most recent season of CBS’s “The Amazing Race” is comprised of two friends that started a “Goat Yoga” business, which likely is something fitness nuts read something about over the course of the last year. Taking pets to yoga class or heading to yoga classes with animals was one of the more entertaining yoga trends of 2017, and it proves that literally anything is possible for 2018.

Here at YogaCoreFit, we are looking forward to this new year with an eye toward what might change over the course of the next twelve months. The following are some of our predictions for the biggest yoga trends of 2018.

Flotation Yoga

While people who know very little about yoga tend to think it looks fairly easy, those who participate regularly can attest that it’s one of the sweatiest workouts known to mankind. There are some gyms with access to pools that are adding flotation yoga to their list of classes, which means standing on a floating surfboard to perform the requisite asanas. It adds a whole new layer of difficulty and balance to these exercises, but for those looking to level up, it could be a fun new way to practice yoga this year.

Beer Yoga

Beginners, meanwhile, may be given their first taste of yoga by also being given a taste of some delicious craft beer. Brewed well, beer actually has its own fair share of health benefits, and using it as the proverbial dangling carrot at the end of the workout is a great way to help motivate people through their classes. Not only that, but it sure is a fun twist on an activity that already was good for the soul.

Yoga Vacations

The entire purpose of getting out of your hometown for a hard-earned vacation to re-center yourself, escape the hectic nature of everyday life, and enjoy your time in a new locale. Yoga vacations are starting to pop up as a way to get people out of their homes for a much-deserved holiday while also working in plenty of yoga along the way. Classes in exotic places like wilderness clearings or serene, sandy beaches could transform yoga for some people. Then, with the rest of your time, you could just enjoy your vacation as usual!

More Holistic Approaches to Fitness

We know how much intense interval cardio workouts like CrossFit have grown over the course of the last decade, but there is a feeling that the tide may turn in 2018 toward exercises that enrich the mind as well as the body. The meditative qualities of yoga are a huge part of the draw, and we suspect that more people than ever will come to that realization in the months to come.

In a general sense, people want their precious fitness time to go toward activities that are effective, fun, and enriching, and yoga trends for 2018 look as though they will check all of those boxes. Here at YogaCoreFit, we can’t wait to see how this ancient art continues to evolve, and we welcome any and everybody to attend a class this winter!

Dec 15

Buti Yoga vs. Traditional Yoga

Just about everybody in the fitness world knows the standard tenets of traditional yoga. It’s about meditation, balance, focus and strengthening the core, all of which are good things, but most of which are quite different from the recent Buti Yoga craze that has fallen upon us here at YogaCoreFit. Both are completely viable fitness options for those looking to get into shape, but to say that Buti Yoga is anything like its traditional counterpart would be quite far from the truth.

Five Major Differences Between Buti Yoga and Traditional Yoga

Someone could watch a Buti Yoga workout and know immediately that it was entirely unlike anything they’ve ever ever seen before. The following are some of the major differences between it and traditional yoga:

Plyometrics Aren’t Part of Traditional Yoga

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two yoga forms is in the rigor. While traditional yoga has no qualms about making people sweat, its asanas are low-impact, while Buti Yoga works in higher-impact plyometrics to go along with some variations on traditional asanas. It even includes some aspects of dance, making it a more rigorous workout that burns calories and fat in different ways than the traditional version.

Buti Yoga is More Cardio-Intensive

An obvious side effect of the increased vigor is that Buti Yoga is a more cardio-intensive exercise, meaning it does more to get the heart pumping than the more stationary traditional yoga classes. For those looking for a new exercise program that encourages cardio, Buti Yoga could be an excellent consideration.

The Core-Toning Focus is Different

Yoga in all its forms tends to focus on those core muscles that serve as a sort of muscular hub for the rest of the body, but Buti Yoga approaches these muscles through the Spiral Structure Technique, which tend to rotate the spine, where traditional yoga accomplishes those strengthening exercises through more linear movements.

The Philosophy of Buti Yoga Centers Around Self-Confidence

The word “Buti” roughly translates to, “a secret remedy or curse,” in large part because this exercise is meant to boost practitioners’ self-confidence. Those who partake in this tend to celebrate their self-image by wearing more freeing clothing, not only to champion their bodies but to allow for the activity’s massive range of movements. If traditional yoga is about inner peace and meditation, Buti Yoga is about confidence and self-esteem.

Buti Yoga is More Fun!

Plain and simple, Buti Yoga is more entertaining and energetic than its traditional sibling. The music is faster, louder, and peppier, while the movements themselves go beyond simply holding poses and move toward an all-out dance party at times. It’s a youthful, vibrant way to celebrate the human body, and that high energy makes it a legitimately fun activity.

If you are interested in signing up for a Buti Yoga course, contact us here at YogaCoreFit and we’d be happy to introduce you to this exciting new take on an incredibly popular exercise. All it takes is one class to fall in love with it, so get yourself into one of those classes today and give it a try for yourself!

Dec 01

What is Buti Yoga?

Yoga has become one of the most popular fitness activities on the face of the planet, in large part because of its low-impact, sweat-inducing physical benefits and in part because of its meditative advantages. “Yoga” is an extremely broad term, however, as there are different versions of the activity that we teach here at YogaCoreFit, including one of our favorite forms: Buti Yoga.

“Buti” is a Marathi Indian term that means, “The cure to something that’s been hidden away or kept secret.” In other words, it is a form of yoga that allows its practitioners to discover some new part of themselves, to work toward their full physical, mental and emotional potential. Not only is great for the body, but it is meant to inspire great confidence and assist people in overcoming their fears and weaknesses.

If that sounds awesome, and it should, then perhaps a Buti Yoga class here at YogaCoreFit could interest you!

What Happens in a Buti Yoga Class?

Like in any yoga class, a Buti Yoga class will focus on some specific low-impact moves, but it doesn’t stay low-impact for long. In combining vinyasa-style yoga with plyometric exercises and tribal dance moves, it’s the sort of workout that strengthens the core and gyrates just about every part of your body over the course of the workout. It’s not as static as standard yoga, in other words; things move a little more quickly and there’s very little holding of poses. If yoga were a form of dance, Buti Yoga is what it would look like.

There is no question that this is a challenging activity, and a full class, no matter how long, is going to send you home exhausted and a little sore (but in a good way!). The clothing that people wear is a little more energetic, the music certainly is more uptempo, and the energy of the group is unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed in a yoga class. While it is meant to challenge the people doing it, there are different levels of courses for everything from beginners to experts. This ensures you end up being appropriately challenged and practicing with people not unlike yourself.

The Spiral Structure Technique

Also known as “SST” for short, the Spiral Structure Technique is Buti Yoga’s way of building strength in all of the major muscle groups. Developed by Buti Yoga founder Bizzie Gold, it is meant to completely transform the way a body looks and performs on a daily basis. Done correctly, Buti Yoga is the only workout you need over the course of the day and doesn’t have to be supplemented with any other weight work or cardio. By strengthening your core and all the other major muscle groups, you’ll see physical and mental transformations almost immediately.

If you would like to enroll in a Buti Yoga course, give us a call here at YogaCoreFit any time and we’ll do everything we can to find the right class for you. This really is a transformative exercise that has revolutionized the way people see yoga. Why not give it a try yourself to unleash the best possible version of yourself?

Nov 15

How Pilates Fits Into Total Fitness Program

While it absolutely is true that some physical activity is better than no physical activity at all, people that want to get truly healthy cannot rely on just one type of physical activity alone. When it comes to Pilates, for example, there are those who believe doing some stretching and strength conditioning are enough to work slowly toward complete physical fitness, but while Pilates is a great activity for toning up muscles and aligning the spine, it is not enough all by itself to help someone become truly healthy.

Building a Well-Rounded Fitness Regimen

So how should one approach a total fitness program? Like everything else, the best approach is a holistic one, which includes a number of different activities, such as:

Pilates

The health benefits of Pilates are plentiful, but in terms of physical fitness its biggest assets are strength training and improved flexibility. Of all the muscle groups Pilates works, the abs, lower back, hips and buttocks (“core” muscles) are the most affected, and after a good amount of time practicing these exercises it is not uncommon to see real changes in those areas of the body. Pilates also can improve posture, stabilize the spine, and improve lung capacity through deep breathing. In other words, it does a lot of really positive things, but true health comes from adding other aspects of a workout regimen.

Weight Training

Working with weights is one example. Using Pilates to tighten up the core muscles is a great start, but there obviously are more muscle groups that need work beyond those in the middle of your body. Doing work on your arms, legs, shoulders and back all are effective ways to further tone and strengthen the rest of your body. When it comes to weight lifting, set a baseline with whatever lifts you are planning on doing, and record your progress as you increase weight and reps from week to week. Seeing progress in some of these other muscle groups may also help you see progress in your Pilates program. It certainly will move you closer to overall health.

Aerobic Exercise

The third group of essential fitness activities are aerobic in nature. While Pilates certainly can inspire deep breathing and get the heart pumping, it does not count as aerobic exercise. That’s why it is so essential to make sure you are pairing your strength training with some cardio workouts to pump oxygenated blood to the muscles. This can be as easy as working in a few brisk walks over the course of the week, or it can be more intensive in the form of running, bicycling or swimming. These are very different types of workouts that, combined with Pilates and weight training can have a tremendous effect on physical fitness.
Well-rounded exercise is the best approach to getting completely healthy, to say nothing of the importance of a well-rounded diet, and while Pilates here at YogaCoreFit certainly can help, the best exercise regimens are those that tick off all the boxes. Start with exercises you love, then add the ones that will help you become the healthiest version of yourself possible.

Nov 01

Yoga Poses That Can Strengthen Your Knees

Everybody has a different reason for getting into yoga, ranging from stress relief to weight loss, but some people start practicing yoga because they have very specific pain in very specific areas and they believe these exercises can help. Take, for example, knee pain, which according to Catherine Guthrie of the Yoga Journal affects over 11 million Americans every year. If yoga can help, why not give it a shot?

Four Yoga Poses Focusing on Knee Strength

There are certain poses that can help strengthen knees and relieve the pain that affects so many people, but they need to be performed efficiently and effectively to have the intended consequence. There is no question that certain poses can be pretty hard on the knees, but the following will serve to strengthen the knees (and other areas) if practiced enough:

Chair Pose

One of the first and most rudimentary poses most yoga students will learn, this one is ideal because it keeps a student’s weight in their heels and hip sockets rather than the knees, while also adding strength in the hips, thighs and calves, all of which work together to take pressure off of the knees. The stronger those other muscles are, the less work the knees have to do on a daily basis.

Peaceful Warrior Pose

This pose, which has the student step one foot forward, toes straight, with the other foot turned 90 degrees to the side, includes a pretty significant lunge. While reaching with one arm overhead and looking to the ceiling, a person will feel the pull in their hamstrings, their quads, and their rear ends. Once again, these are leg muscles that, when strengthened, remove stress on the knees since they will be doing more of the work.

Bridge Pose

In lying face-up, knees bent and shoulders bearing most of the body weight, yoga practicers are able to work a lot of the aforementioned muscles as well as the IT band, which runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to just below the knee. This elastic connective tissue often is the source of nagging knee pain, especially in runners, and the bridge pose works to stretch and strengthen the IT band to relieve some of the pain people feel in their knees.

High Lunge Pose

Like any lunge, the high lunge pose is going to work just about every muscle and joint in the leg. This one also involves raising the hands toward the ceiling, leaving the legs to do all the work. One tip in using this pose is to allow a slight bend in the back leg to relieve some of the tension in the knee. If knee pain is the issue, then locking that back knee won’t do any favors. A little bit of slack still allows for all that strengthening in the leg muscles without putting as much tension on painful areas.

Here at YogaCoreFit, we are happy to help anyone put together a series of stretches to help with trouble areas, but these exercises can be especially great for those experiencing knee pain. Feeling relief there is about getting stronger in the areas that can take pressure off of the knees, and that is exactly what several yoga poses do.

Oct 15

Is Barre Pilates Cardio?

For good health, you need a mix of strength training and cardio. Many people considering barre Pilates wonder whether this workout conveniently checks off both boxes. The truth is that barre was created specifically to be an all-body workout that provides intervals of cardio, strength and stretching to give you a more thorough and balanced workout.

What happens at a barre class?

Generally, a barre class will involve some time on the mat doing warm up exercises that can include planks and push-ups. This will be followed by a series of arm exercises and a section that focus on muscles in the lower body. The movements are generally small, a few inches at a time. While it may seem like such small movements can’t possibly be an adequate workout, you will begin feeling the effort right away. Our classes are fast-paced and infused with music that makes you move, so you’re sure to get the cardio workout you need.

How can you tell whether you are getting a cardio workout?

Cardiovascular exercise is all about raising your heart rate. You are getting a cardio workout when your heart rate gets up to 50 to 75% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is easy to calculate. The quick and dirty trick is to subtract your age from 220. So, if you are 36 years old, your equation will look like this: 220-36=184.

From there, you can find your cardio rate with a bit more math. Fifty percent of 184 is 192 (184*.5). To find 75%, multiply 184 by .75 (138 beats per minute).

An inexpensive heart rate monitor worn during class can tell you whether you are hitting the cardio zone during your barre Pilates workout. Fitness monitors like Fitbits will, if you input some basic information into their associated apps, calculate your cardio range for you.

What are the benefits of cardio?

When you work out your cardiovascular system, they get stronger just like any other part of your body. Your heart and lungs get a workout, making them stronger. Plus, you get into a zone where your body is burning calories more rapidly, which is a boon if you are working out for weight loss.

Stronger hearts and lungs don’t have to work as hard to do their job, which means less stress on your system overall. Cardio is associated with living longer and staying healthier, too.

What if I’m not getting a cardio workout?

If you are new to barre Pilates, you may be going easier on yourself than you will once you’ve gotten more experienced. Give it a few classes to see how your endurance and your ability to push harder develop over time. You can also talk to your instructor about how you can focus more on cardio during class for a more balanced workout. You can also mix up your class schedule to incorporate a blend of classes that involve strength, flexibility and cardio workouts for the most well-rounded practice.

Oct 01

Does Yoga Burn Belly Fat?

People take up yoga for all kinds of reasons, but one of the most common is slimming and toning their bodies. our belly may be one of those stubborn spots where your body stores fat. Are there any yoga moves that can “spot tone” that area to burn fat?

We’ll get this out of the way first thing: no. There is no exercise, pill or diet that will specifically address fat deposits on any one area of the body.

What yoga forms like aerial yoga, hatha and others can do, however, is help you burn calories and build up muscle tone. These two together can make you slimmer and stronger. A few of the way that these work together:

1. Burning calories equals burning fat.

While the relationship between body fat and calories is not 100% without complications, for most people, regular aerobic exercise increases metabolism. If you are burning more calories than you are taking in, your body will look to its stored calories for energy. Body fat is where those calories are stored, so you’ll lose it over time.

2. Yoga tones.

When you look at the gentle and graceful movements of yoga, it can seem, from the outside, like a practice that just involves stretching and some increased flexibility. However, once you’ve gone to a few classes you realize that yoga can be an intense workout. This is especially true in classes like our Vinyasa yoga classes and our Rock & Flow.

Regular yoga practice strengthens muscles, particularly in your core. This, in turn, creates definition that can make you look slimmer and more confident even if your belly is one of the places your body loses fat last.

3. Yoga improves posture.

A lot of us spend large portions of our lives sitting and desks and peering at computer screens. This does a number on your posture. Yoga makes you more aware of your body and can naturally improve the way that you hold your body.

Anyone who’s ever stood in front of a mirror and watched the image in their reflection change as they stood up straighter knows how effective this one move is at improving the appearance of belly fat. When yoga is part of your regular practice, standing up straighter becomes a natural habit instead of something you need to concentrate on consciously.

Every one of our bodies has its quirks and its flaws. One of the most powerful benefits of yoga is that it improves our minds and bodies at the same time. When your yoga practice becomes an everyday part of your life, you will find that you love your body more in any shape even as its shape is coming closer to your personal ideals.

There’s no one “right” body for practicing and enjoying yoga. Have you been hesitant to sign up for a class? There’s no need to worry. We have classes on our schedule for every skill level so you can start today.

Sep 15

Do You Need Extra Protein When You Work Out?

When you are working to make yourself stronger and increase your abilities, you begin to look at every aspect of your life. Do you sleep enough? Are you under too much stress? Are you getting the right mix of macronutrients?

Many people think that someone who is engaging in workouts like barre Pilates needs more protein than they otherwise would. However, the truth is a little more complex than that. It’s a common misperception that most people are not getting enough protein. Other people think that you need significantly more protein on a day when you have an exercise class. The truth is, if you are getting enough calories, you are probably getting enough protein.

Getting enough protein each day.

Each individual’s protein needs are different. They will depend on your age, your body fat percentage, your daily activity level, your gender and your age. In general, most people need up to a gram of protein for every kilogram in body weight. So, if you weigh 130 pounds (58.9 kg), you should get a little under 60 grams of protein every day.

Protein doesn’t have to come from a single source or a single meal. Most people get a bit throughout the day through regular meals and snacks. Vegetable sources will have what are known as “incomplete” proteins, because they do not contain the mix of amino acids that meat sources have. However, by eating proteins from a variety of sources throughout the day, you’ll get all the nutrients you need.

Choosing the best protein sources.

It’s not uncommon for people to think that they need to eat special protein shakes or smoothies to get the right protein mix. Food sources of protein, however, are best. We like the lean protein that comes from sources like fish, lean meat, chicken breast and vegetable sources like quinoa or whole grains. Throughout the day, you can get protein from snacks that include Greek yogurt, nuts and cheese.

Protein-rich foods make a great snack or meal on the days when you are on the go from work to barre class to other obligations. Start your day with some overnight oatmeal made with milk and some added nuts or seeds, for instance. This can help you feel full longer and can provide the energy needed to meet all your demands.

In the end, the best thing to do is to pursue a balanced diet with a wide range of food choices. By eating a variety of foods, you can best ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need for the performance that you want. Include leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and lean protein sources to keep up your energy while nourishing your body.

Sep 01

Why Balance and Flexibility Pay

Aerial yoga, like other yoga practices, offers a wealth of benefits. It helps you relax. It can battle pain and muscle tension. It can help you become stronger and more fit. It also has a benefit that can keep you safer now and as you age: increased balance and flexibility.

Doctors consider these two of the most important physical skills for both athletes and older adults. Balance and flexibility both decrease your chance of falls or other injuries. They can also keep you from getting hurt if you do experience a fall, twist or overextension.

See benefits immediately.

At Stanford University, the football team added a new training regimen in 2007. In addition to the expected weight training and cardio, players engaged in regular training in both balance and flexibility. The benefits were seen immediately: the injury rate dropped by 87% the first year. In the most recent year that we have figures for, only two players had serious injuries requiring surgery during the football season.

They also saw and increase in performance on the field. A team that, in the previous season, won a single game went to the Bowl Championship Series four times in a row.

Athletes in other disciplines may also find that adding a practice like aerial yoga that offers increased balance and flexibility can help them avoid injuries on the field while improving their performance in general.

See benefits for years to come.

As people age, they typically see a reduction in their muscle mass. And, if they have not been working regularly to keep their balance good, they may find that it gets even worse with age. When balance fails, falls become more likely. Falls can also become a greater danger as we get older, as reduced bone mass makes injury more likely.

Many yoga poses already call on a good sense of balance. In aerial yoga, there’s a need for even better balance skills. These skills don’t just make it possible to achieve graceful poses. They transfer to your life outside the yoga studio, making you more agile and less likely to trip and fall, no matter what age you are.

Additionally, aerial yoga allows you to relax even more fully and deeply into each pose. By allowing gravity to aid you, you gradually increase your own level of flexibility.

Yoga is a practice that is worthwhile on its own merits. The benefits to our health and our outlook are significant. The improvement in balance and flexibility that you take with you are just a bonus. We like to think of it as one of the many ways that yoga practice augments and becomes a seamless part of your life instead of just a break from it.

Has it been awhile since you’ve been in the studio? Check the schedule. We have classes in many time slots throughout the week to meet your needs.

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