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.  Continue reading

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.  Continue reading

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.

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 Continue reading

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.  Continue reading

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.

How Pilates Builds Body Confidence

Loving the body you have isn’t all about reaching the perfect number on the scale or fitting into the dress you wore 5 years ago. Being comfortable and confident in your own skin is about feeling strong, healthy and capable of handling whatever the world throws at you.

The fact is, we were each born with a different body type. Two people with exactly the same health habits might have very different bodies. It’s time to accept that this is ok, and that building body confidence is more about how you feel, than what you see in the mirror.

Of all types of exercise and physical activity, Pilates is one of the best for building strong body confidence. Here’s how a regular Pilates practice will help you to feel more confident, strong and resilient, inside and out.

The Six Confidence Building Principles of Pilates

There are 6 core principles of Pilates that guide the student through each of their exercises. These principles are outlined so that you can get the most out of your Pilates practice, but they serve double duty in that they’re important foundational principles for building body confidence.

Let’s look at the principles and how they relate to confidence.

  • Concentration: Concentration is essential for the mind body connection of Pilates, but practiced concentration and mindfulness also helps you keep things in perspective. When you’re concentrating on what your body is doing, and how it’s working, you gain appreciation and let go of comparing yourself to others.
  • Control: Precision and control are required in Pilates, but control is something that most of us haven’t mastered. In fact, we tend to feel out of control much of the time, especially when it comes to our bodies. Pilates helps us learn to control not only how our bodies move, but also the negative thoughts that tend to creep in when we don’t feel like we’re meeting our own expectations.
  • Precision: Precision in movement is important because it prevents injury and helps to build a strong body. Practicing with precision in mind also helps to quickly build your confidence in Pilates practice. You become amazed by what you’re capable of, and how strong your body is becoming because of it.
  • Breathing: Controlled breathing is an important part of Pilates. It’s crucial to increase the circulation of oxygen through your body and not fight against movement with your breath. But, learning to breathe requires that you slow down and pay attention. You learn how to honor your body, and its processes, by taking the time to breathe and be appreciative.
  • Flow: Pilates builds you up to be more fluid, flexible and graceful. You feel your muscles become longer and lean and gain new appreciate for how they carry and support you every day.
  • Center: Your core is the powerhouse of Pilates. It’s impossible to participate in regular Pilates practice and not build a stronger core. You’ll stand taller, feel stronger and exude natural confidence.

Are you ready to become stronger and more confident with Pilates? We have the classes and instructors to help. Contact Yogacorefi today for schedules and more information.

4 Yoga Rituals to Welcome Spring

It’s a great feeling when the last bits of winter melt away, and spring starts to peak through. It’s a season of rejuvenation, for both the body and spirit. The change of seasons is a great opportunity to refresh your exercise routines, including your regular yoga practice.

Yoga rituals that invigorate the spirit and detox the body are perfect for welcoming spring. Here are few ideas for yoga rituals that will help you bid farewell to winter and welcome spring with open arms.

Sun Salutations

It’s a yogic tradition to welcome the change of any season with 108 sun salutations. The number 108 holds spiritual significance in yoga and Hinduism. According to yogic tradition there 108 sacred places in the body, and the number represents a wholeness of the spirit.

Devoting some time to this sacred sun salutation practice is a wonderful way to welcome spring. However, if this number is a bit much for you, you can adapt it to a number that has significance to you. For example, you could do one sun salutation for each spring equinox you have been alive through.

Take Your Yoga Practice Outside

Did you wake up with the birds singing and a warm ray of sunlight kissing your face? If you normally practice indoors, switch things up and head outside on the first day of spring where the weather is accommodating.

Practicing yoga outdoors brings you closer to nature and helps to align your body’s natural rhythm to the change of the season. Choose a location that’s quiet, peaceful and holds some sort of significance for you.

Detoxify Your Life

Now is the perfect time to rid your body of all the stress and tension of the winter season, as well as shed the toxins that have accumulated in your body. Some people might choose to do a whole-body detox, including a fast, supplements or other type of detoxifying dietary plan.

Whether you detox through diet or not, you should also consider adding a detoxifying yoga ritual to your routine. Yin yoga, which is done at a slower pace with asanas held for a longer amount of time, helps to boost the detoxifying function of the liver and gallbladder while supporting an emotional cleansing at the same time.

If you’ve taken the time to detoxify your body, why not put in a little effort in to detoxify the rest of your life? Remember a couple months ago when we all made resolutions to live healthier, happier lives? How far have you come in your progress?

The start of spring brings with it the opportunity to banish negative behaviors, rid ourselves of toxic relationships and cleanse the home environment where we spend so much of our time. Ask yourself what’s holding you back, and then welcome spring by ridding yourself of all the unnecessary baggage.

Sign Up for a Yoga Class

Spring offers a chance for a fresh start. Why not make yourself a priority and treat yourself to a yoga class. We’re sure that after just one class, you’ll love the feeling of optimism and renewal. Contact us at Yogacorefit for a current schedule and more information.

3 Yoga Centered Morning Rituals to Boost Productivity and Focus

Whoever invented the snooze button was a genius. Unfortunately, they also made it way to convenient to create excuses to be less than productive, especially in the morning hours. The truth is how we start our day affects our thoughts and actions the whole day through. It’s all connected.

If you’re having trouble harnessing energy and focus in the morning, these 3 yoga inspired routines, that honor your body and spirit, can help.

Wake Up Early

For those of us who aren’t exactly morning people, the idea of waking up earlier than needed is almost painful. But, yoga principles teach us that an early start makes for a more productive day. Here’s why.

The moments right before sunrise are infused with vata energy. Vata is the energy of movement, and it controls blood flow, breathing and unlocks the flow of thoughts through the mind. Waking up and moving out of your bed 15-20 minutes before the sun rises allows you enough time to soak up this incredible energy.

These early moments are a great time to do a few yoga stretches. Instead of feeling groggy as your start the day, you’ll feel energized, your thoughts will be clearer, and you’ll feel more focused and organized. All of these are important for a productive day.

Tea Meditation

Your state of mind in the morning greatly influences how the rest of the day will go. Just think about the last time you woke up late, grabbed something to eat in the car but managed to spill it all down your shirt, and unsuccessfully tried to sneak into the morning meeting 15 minutes late. No great day ever starts like this.

It’s important to take some time in the morning to center your thoughts. One of our favorite ways of doing this is something called a tea meditation. This can be done with any beverage, but there’s a bit or ritual to tea that makes it perfect.

Start by preparing everything for the tea and setting in front of you. Do a few stretches, center your breath and be in the moment. Next, mindfully brew your tea and honor the patience that’s involved in the steeping process.

Then bring the cup up to your nose and inhale the aroma. Picture it infusing your entire body with energy before taking a sip. Again, practice mindfulness and fully experience the sensation of the tea warming your body.

Take your time with this and be fully aware of each sensation. This sets the stage for mindful, focused thought as chaos and disorder slip away.

Set Your Intentions

Finally, one of the most important things you can do for a productive day is set your intentions. Whether you do this through journaling, focused thought or another practice that feels right to you, this one ritual will give you direction and help eliminate distractions for the entire day.

What are some of your favorite morning rituals? We’d love to hear about them. We’re here to help you build a yoga centered life. Contact Yogacorefit today for more information about our classes.

5 Tips to Make Couple’s Pilates a Success

For most of us, a workout buddy helps to keep us focused and accountable with our fitness goals. But, what about if that workout buddy is your romantic partner? Some might laugh at the idea, but experts say that working out with your partner can be great for your relationship.

Pilates is a great form of exercise for couples to do together. It’s easily adaptable to different levels of fitness and many of the exercises work great for two people. If you’re thinking about starting a Pilates practice with your love, here’s 5 tips that will help make it a success.

Decide on a Schedule and Routine

Anytime that you’re working out with a partner, the obvious first thing you need to do is set a schedule. One reason that couples choose to do Pilates together is they want more quality time with each other. For busy couples with hectic schedules this can present even more of a challenge.

The key is finding a time that works for both of you. This might mean a morning Pilates practice together at home, meeting after work or even a quick lunch time session at a nearby fitness facility.

Second is deciding on a routine. Pilates is great for couples because there are so many exercises that are great for working together. You’ll want to take individual fitness levels into consideration when developing and adapting your Pilates routine.

Double Up on Equipment

If you’re doing Pilates at home, make sure you double on essentials like mats, blocks and bands. You might be able to get away with sharing equipment most of the time, but occasionally there will be an instance where you’ll both need the same equipment at the same time.

Don’t Try to Compete

A little playful competition can be a good thing for relationships, but your Pilates routine isn’t really the best place to get competitive. To start, Pilates and competitiveness don’t exactly go hand in hand. But, it’s also important to keep your goals in mind, which are probably to become healthier and stronger while enjoying some time together. Save the competitiveness for board games.

Set Independent Goals

You’re likely coming at your Pilates practice from two different directions in terms of strength, fitness levels and endurance. Each of your bodies are going to respond to Pilates differently, so it’s important to set individual fitness goals. The only goal you should make as a couple is to show up and support each other.

Think of It as a Date

The best way to share Pilates with your partner is by making a date out of it. This is a time when the two of you get to work closely together, one on one. It’s a chance to get to know your partner and grow as a couple. With the right mindset, Pilates can be a romantic experience.

For your next date night, why not consider a Pilates class? We’re excited to help you and your partner get strong and fit together. Contact Yogacorefit today for our Pilates class schedule.