Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

lose weight with yoga

Busy lives often mean that we don’t dedicate as much attention as we should to getting enough exercise and eating the right foods. Many of us try diets, only to gain the weight back again as soon as we return to old habits. To take excess weight off and stay healthy, we need a consistent lifestyle change. Yoga can be an important ingredient in the changes that can help us get to a healthy weight, increase our energy levels and feel much better.

Despite its gentle nature, with slow stretching and deliberate breathing, yoga has excellent potential to help you burn the calories needed to lose weight. On average, you can burn anywhere from 180 to 360 calories for every hour spent engaged in your practice. The calorie level you burn will depend on the type of yoga class you are taking. Power yoga styles like vinyasa and yoga fusion workouts can give you the best calorie burning boost.

No matter which style of yoga you choose, you get the benefit of deep breathing techniques. These help boost the performance of your lymphatic system, helping your body work more efficiently. This breathing also helps with stress relief and can help cut down on stress hormones like cortisone. People who suffer from chronic stress also use calories inefficiently. They are more likely to gain weight or to have trouble losing weight. When you are feeling more calm and centered, your body is able to metabolize the foods you eat the way that it should.

Another benefit that you take from any yoga class is a greater sense of focus and awareness. When you are fully present in your life, it is easier to make healthy choices. Consider the difference between absentmindedly grazing while you work and deliberately cooking and savoring a well-balanced and healthy meal. When you are more tuned into your body, you are more aware of the sluggish feeling that fast food or heavy meals can give you and how much better you feel when you choose lean proteins, whole grains and other nourishing foods instead.

Yoga is not just an exercise system. It is a mind and body connection that allow you to be more present and deliberate in your life. Sign up for a class yoga in Vacaville studio today. We have classes available for people at all skill levels and classes that can help you move toward any of your health and wellness goals.

What Are the Benefits of Hot Yoga?

benefits of hot yoga

When you begin the process of choosing the right yoga class for you, you’ll find that there are many styles available. One of the most popular right now is Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga. Hot yoga is performed over a 90-minute period in a studio where we maintain a temperature of 105 degrees and about 40 percent humidity. The higher temperature can provide practitioners with a wealth of benefits, including:

1. Improved balance.

Researchers at Colorado State University tracked yoga students through eight weeks of Bikram yoga. They found that, at the end of that period, those who practiced this style had greatly improved balance than when they began.

2. Increased flexibility.

The warm room helps warm your muscles, making it easier to stretch than it would be in a cooler studio. The heat helps you attain poses that you may otherwise struggle with and can help protect against injury.

3. Cardio benefits.

People performing hot yoga have a higher heart rate than people who are practicing in a cooler room. This makes even gentle stretches a good cardio workout, allowing you to work toward better cardiovascular health and better endurance.

4. Increased strength.

The Colorado study also found that people who are doing hot yoga enjoy an improvement in their level of strength, as well. Plus, yoga is a low impact exercise, so you have less chance of injury while you are building up your strength. These exercises are especially good for building strength in your core muscles, leading to better posture, more resistance to injury and less of the daily aches and pains so many of us deal with.

5. Weight loss.

When you are working harder, you burn more calories and lose more weight. If you are exploring yoga as a way to help yourself shed a few unwanted pounds, hot yoga could be the right fit for you.

6. Focus.

A hot yoga class is meditative and deliberate. Usually, you will repeat the same twenty-six poses and two breathing exercises. These help build enormously strong focus over the span of your class. And, you will find that that deep sense of stillness and focus extends to your everyday life even outside of class. You’ll be more capable at work, calmer when handling stress and enjoy a greater sense of peace.

We offer the hot yoga Vacaville residents are eager to learn. Our class schedules fit your busy life, with sessions available throughout the day on most days of the week. Take a look at our calendar and book your first class today.

What to Expect at Your First Ballet Barre Pilates Class

first ballet barre pilates class

If you are ready for a more varied and challenging workout, ballet barre pilates may be a great fit. In these fast-paced classes, you build endurance and strength through lengthening and strengthening exercises. They can be intense, but the upbeat music and camaraderie can make it some of the most fun you can have while breaking a sweat. A few things to know before your first class:

1. Start off by introducing yourself to your instructor.

You’ll get a quick rundown on the set-up and the opportunity to talk about any injuries or restrictions. When your teacher knows where you are starting, she can help you with modifications of moves and help you out with extra attention if you need it.

2. Wear the right clothing for an easier class.

Fitted tops keep your shirt from riding up if you bend over. Leggings and a tighter top also allow your teacher to observe your form and offer corrections. And, put aside your shoes as you enter the classroom. Ballet barre pilates is always performed without shoes. Regular ankle socks are okay for a first class. If you decide to continue, invest in a pair of socks with grips on the soles for a better workout.

3. There will be props.

The barre is the main prop that you will be using during your class. There may also be straps for stretching, a small, soft ball that you can squeeze between your inner thighs or balance under your feet and small hand weights for working muscle groups that cannot be worked through body weight workouts. Don’t worry about bringing props with you. We can provide what you need for your class.

4. Make sure you are well-hydrated.

Bring water to class so you can sip between moves to keep yourself from getting dehydrated. You may also want to bring a banana or another snack to eat afterward. This can help boost your potassium levels and help you recover after a tough workout.

5. If you can hold a ballet barre, you can do ballet barre pilates.

This is a challenging workout, but, there are modifications you can do while you get in the groove. The moves are easy to pick up once you have a bit of experience. By the time you have a few classes under your belt, you will feel right at home.

Looking for a full body workout that keeps you engaged and challenged? Check out the ballet barre pilates Vacaville, Hollywood and New York is crazy for. We have classes daily to fit your busy schedule.

Can Yoga Make You Better at Your Job?

yoga makes you better at your job

In the west, we tend to think of things as discrete and unconnected. We have our work lives, our personal lives, our families, and we don’t often think about how these spheres connect. Because of this, people are often surprised to learn that, when they start taking yoga for exercise, they can also benefit on other areas of their lives, including in their careers. A few of the ways that the yoga that you do on your own time can enhance your performance at work:

1. Yoga can help improve your focus.

The focus that you bring to your practice extends throughout the day. You’ll have better concentration and be able to complete tasks more accurately and quickly.

2. Yoga can help you get along better with your coworkers.

When you are tense, it’s hard to stay patient with the people around you. Yoga reduces your stress levels, allowing you to stay more calm and open when you are at work. And, because your focus is increased, you will be better able to listen and understand the people around you, making them feel better about working with you.

3. Yoga makes you more resilient and calmer in the face of change.

In a high-paced workplace, you have to be able to adapt quickly as situations change and new opportunities present themselves. You’ll have an inner stability that can keep you centered even when things around you are uncertain. That calm can help you handle any disturbances with grace, making you a more valuable asset to your workplace.

4. Yoga helps enhance your memory.

In a study on mindfulness meditation, they discovered that people who engage in regular meditation are more able to multitask because of their stronger memories. This allows you to move from task to task fluidly without losing track of what you are doing.

5. Yoga gives you more energy and enhances your health.

Between lost days at work and lower productivity when we aren’t feeling our best, illnesses cost the US workforce $576 billion every year. When you get more physical exercise, you reduce your susceptibility to illness as your body gets stronger. And, the lower stress levels that regular yoga practitioners enjoy also enhance health and improve your immune system. When you are feeling your best every day, you do better at work and often manage to skip whatever cold is going around the office this week.

By increasing your personal wellness, you can enhance other seemingly unrelated areas of your life, as well. Visit our Vacaville yoga studio to find a class that fits your life and your needs.

What to Expect at Your First Yoga Class

yoga classes

First Yoga Class

Doing something new can be both exhilarating and intimidating. If you are considering your first yoga class, you may be hesitant because you don’t know what to expect. Where should you set up? Will you be wearing the right clothes? What happens if you can’t keep up? Learning a little bit in advance can help you get prepared and put yourself at ease:

1. You’ll be more comfortable in the right clothes.

No matter what stock photos tell you, you don’t need to be wearing gorgeous and fashionable clothing. What is most important is comfort and range of movement. Layers are a good idea on your top half. This allows you to shed clothes if you get too hot during class. Pick a top that is somewhat fitted so that it doesn’t ride up when you are bent over. High-waisted leggings or yoga pants can keep your pants from riding down during stretches.

2. It’s best to show up about 10 minutes early.

Your teacher will probably want to ask you a bit about your previous yoga experience and whether you have any injuries that they should be aware of. Showing up early gives you a chance to set up your mat. For beginners, a place near the back is best.

3. You should find out about gear in advance.

Most studios have mats, straps, blocks and other yoga props that you can borrow or rent for the day. Once you have a few classes under your belt, you’ll probably want to buy your own mats that fit your preferences.

4. Take off your shoes and socks before class.

When you are entering the studio, you should take off your shoes and socks. There may be cubbies or a storage area for them. Yoga is practiced barefoot. If you have issues with circulation and cold feet, look into yoga socks that have grip material on the soles.

5. Don’t forget to breathe.

Breathing is the core of yoga. You may find yourself holding your breath during more challenging poses. Remind yourself to continue breathing steadily. Steady breath can help make poses more comfortable. If you have trouble breathing, you may be pushing yourself too hard. Consider doing a modified version of a pose instead.

6. Stay through Savasana.

The class will end with what is known as Savasana or corpse pose. This is a time where you lie on your back and relax. When you are new, it can be hard to force yourself to calm yourself and be still. But, this recentering is important if you want all the benefits of yoga.

Remember that yoga is not competitive and there is no way to be bad at yoga. There will always be people who are stronger and more experienced than you are. Go into our yoga Vacaville CA class open to learning and you will soon find your comfort level there.

Cut Stress and Make Time for You

stress relief

Stress Relief

You have a million demands on your time. Work, home and family all need your attention. If you’re like most people in the area, you also have a lot of unpredictability and uncertainty in your days. Plus, about half of all Americans say that they’ve experienced some sort of major stressful event in the past year such as the loss of a loved one, a job or another big negative event. Over time, this all drains you and pulls you out of balance. Stress can have a major effect on your emotional wellbeing and your physical health.

Physical Effects of Stress

Our body’s stress response is designed to protect us. It gives us the ability to act quickly if we are in danger. But, when stress is ongoing, the effect of pumping all that cortisol, the fight or flight chemical, into our brains takes its toll. You can experience high blood pressure, headaches, muscle aches and stomach distress. Stress can lead to sleeplessness, which only compounds the toll on your body.

Chronic stress upsets our emotional stability, as well. We’ll find ourselves getting frustrated more easily than usual. We react more intensely to negative situations. Over time, it can harm our senses of self-worth and self-esteem. This can have a negative effect on our relationships, perpetuating the cycle of high stress.

Finding Your Center with Yoga

Often, there isn’t a lot that we can do to remove outside sources of stress. But, we can strengthen our own inner peace and develop the tools to deal more effectively with whatever stressors life throws your way.

Yoga can be a highly effective tool for developing an inner sense of calm and emotional resilience. When most people think of yoga, they think of stretching and exercise. And, they are right that these are both effective for combating stress. Regular stretching helps relieve the muscle tension that can build up during a hectic day. The endorphins released during a good workout can be extremely soothing and calming. Exercise also reduces your levels of cortisol. Over time, your brain becomes able to utilize what you release more effectively, meaning that your body produces less of it.

The meditative quality of yoga is arguable an even more important benefit. Researchers have found that, after just eight weeks of regular mindfulness and meditation, people felt less stressed out and more able to handle aggravating situations. People who meditate regularly have more gray matter than those who do not. In one study, they found that 50-year-olds who meditate on a regular basis have the same brain health as people half their ages. This increased gray matter improves your cognitive function and memory. Less time spent hunting for your keys means less time feeling harried, late and uncertain.

At Yoga Core Fit, we have classes for every practitioner, from the novice to advanced. Come to us for classes like the hot yoga Vacaville residents say is effective at managing their stress. Pick a class from our schedule today and take some time for self-care and stress relief.

Increase your Energy Levels with Yoga

energy levels

Energy Levels with Yoga

Do you find yourself hitting the snooze button over and over each morning or reaching for an afternoon cup of coffee every day? You don’t need to feel constantly fatigued. Yoga can act as a more effective pick-me-up and allow you to feel more energized without those extra caffeine boosts.

How yoga increases energy levels

When you stretch, you let go of tension that can cause lethargy and fatigue. Poses which require balance make you focus and increase your level of alertness. The deep breathing involved in yoga can increase your oxygen levels and blood flow. There are also poses that can increase cortisol levels, which make you feel more aware.

Poses to Increase Energy

Instead of recaffeinating mid-afternoon (and dealing with potential sleeplessness later at night) try performing a few yoga poses when you are feeling tired and overwhelmed. A few that can do wonders for your energy levels:

Tree Pose

This is a pose that requires balance, which can sharpen your focus and make you feel more awake. The pose also works muscles in your lower extremities, increasing blood flow.

Mountain Pose

Bringing your hands into prayer position in front of your chest allows you to rest and gather a calm feeling as you breathe. When you raise your hands over your head and tilt your head back, you can feel the stretch in your upper arms and neck.

Downward-Facing Dog

This yoga pose allows for an all-over stretch. Perform it slowly and hold the pose for many breaths to enjoy the full benefits.

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

The twist of this pose lengthens your spine, relieving tension and allowing you to feel more energized. It can also help with digestion, which can be just the thing you need after a heavy lunch. Go into the pose slowly and gradually turn to increase the intensity of this pose.

Corpse Pose

Sometimes, simply breathing and being still is what is needed to help you recharge. Lie down flat and let your shoulders relax into the mat. Focus on your breathing. If thoughts intrude, acknowledge them and release them. Spend at least 10 minutes breathing slowly and holding this pose. This can help you recharge nearly as well as a mid-afternoon nap.

Include at least a few of these into your practice each day to keep your energy up. Many can be done anywhere, no matter what you’re wearing.

At Yoga Core Fit, we offer a wide array of yoga, ballet barre pilates and other classes that can help you gain strength and increase your energy levels. Sign up for a class today to start building your best, most capable self.

Exercise to Relieve Back Pain

relieve back pain

Relieve Back Pain

Back pain regularly plagues many Americans. A Gallup-Healthways poll found that 80% of adults in the U.S. had suffered back pain at some point in the past year. Thirty-one percent said that they suffered from chronic pain in their backs. Back pain does not discriminate between sedentary people and athletes. You can develop pain from spending too long sitting or from overexertion. The good news is, there is a lot that you can do to heal your body and control pain naturally. Exercise, especially yoga, can stretch and strengthen your body while providing relaxation and pain relief. A few of the best types of exercises to incorporate:

Yoga Breathing

One of the core principles in yoga centers around the breath, also called pranayama. Smooth and steady breathing helps relax muscles and allows you to let go of the tension that can contribute to pain. When you are practicing yoga, you should always ensure that you are moving slowly and smoothly enough to keep your breathing steady. For pain relief, start cross-legged in the meditation pose. Inhale while focusing on spots where you feel tension, then blow out and relax. Relief will start within around 10 breaths.

Gentle Stretching Exercises

Stretching your back, hamstrings and other muscles helps relieve the muscle tension that can lead to tightness and pain. Beginning with a sun salutation stretches your hamstrings and elongates your spine. Sphinx pose allows you to concentrate on your lower back. Thread the Needle continues to stretching through your lower back and thighs. If you are new to stretching exercises, be sure to take it easy at first and use modified versions of poses when necessary. It can take some time to get the full range of movement necessary without injury.

Core Strengthening Exercises

When you build stronger muscles, they are better able to support your body properly and help prevent back pain. Yoga positions like downward facing dog help build your abdominal muscles, will help support your back. The plank or dolphin plank pose works muscles all throughout your core, increasing your strength and building better posture.

By adding regular soothing exercise to your routine, you can release stress and build the strength that can help combat pain. Yoga Core Fit offers classes yoga Vacaville Ca. residents can fit into their busy lives. We have classes for every level for beginners to advanced. Check out our schedule to find a class and start feeling better today.

Hot Yoga: What It Is, and Why It’s Great for You!

hot yoga

hot yoga

Having access to a reputable and highly-experienced yoga instructor is definitely not something to be taken for granted. By taking part in yoga at least once a week, you can greatly improve your life, including your mentality and satisfaction with life. Do keep in mind that there are different types of yoga, so finding one that best meets your needs and preferences is key to sticking with this type of exercise. Here’s a close look at hot yoga, including what it is and why it’s great for you.

What is hot yoga?

Hot yoga is comprised of numerous yoga positions, yet you will be performing them in a space that has been heated up to 104 degrees. Studies have shown that hot yoga — also commonly referred to as Bikram yoga — can greatly improve strength and muscle control. Even better is that those included in the study often saw a slight drop in weight. For someone wanting to lose 10 to 20 pounds, hot yoga very well may be the best solution.

Hot yoga will burn an average of 460 calories each hour for men, and about 330 for women. Your heart rate will speed up, so do remember to have your physician clear you for hot yoga if you suffer from a heart condition of any type. The positions are usually quite difficult to perform, but only at first. As with any type of yoga or form of exercise, the more you practice and attend workout sessions, the easier it becomes to perform the moves.

Your yoga instructor will explain the ins-and-outs of hot yoga during your first session. One of the primary topics explained is adverse side effects that can come as a result of hot yoga. This doesn’t mean there is any reason to fret taking advantage of this type of yoga, but you must be smart. If you notice any of the following during your workout sessions, let your instructor know immediately:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Confusion
  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea

What are the top ways in which hot yoga can improve health?

In addition to enhanced mental clarity, there are numerous other health benefits to enjoy as a result of doing hot yoga. After the first few sessions, you’ll notice improvement in flexibility and strength, as well as the ability to better control your breathing. Cardio is another enhancement that you’ll notice, and if you’re healing from an injury, this type of yoga may be able to improve the healing process. Those with back pain usually report that hot yoga helps relieve this pain, and it’s also been known to minimize symptoms associated with high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, and depression.

To learn more about hot yoga workouts and therapy sessions in Vacaville, please contact us today. We’re here to help you start living a better life.

Is Ballet Barre Pilates Right for You?

ballet barre pilates

Ballet Barre Pilates

If you’ve never taken advantage of Pilates, you should know you are missing out. Fortunately, though, no matter how old you are, Pilates can still be of benefit. There are many types of Pilates, so you’ll want to speak with a local instructor to determine which type is best for you. Since some types are more physical and challenging than others, you also want to get it cleared with your physician to take part in the type of Pilates you want to try. Here’s a close look at Ballet Barre Pilates and whether or not it’s right for you.

What is Ballet Barre Pilates?

As you might have guessed, Ballet Barre Pilates was created by a ballerina. The equipment used in this type of Pilates is the same that ballet professionals use — the ballet barre. Most of the moves performed in Ballet Barre Pilates are based on classical ballet moves; however, there is lots of conditioning in this form of Pilates when compared to other types. The creator of this form of Pilates incorporated rehabilitative therapy into the positions, making it perfect for those who are healing from back injuries.

If you can’t dance or perform ballet moves as of now, there’s no need to fret. Many people who can’t dance have taken advantage of Ballet Barre Pilates. It’s all about practice and experience. The more you practice, the better you will get. Most barre classes are fairly similar in nature, regardless of who the instructor is. A warm up performed on your mat will likely include planks and push-ups, and then you’ll move onto doing arm exercises. Once you are ready to go to the bar, you’ll perform moves that strengthen your lower body, including your thighs and glutes. Core-focused moves are usually performed before your cool-down.

How does this form of Pilates differ from other types of exercise?

When you take part in a Ballet Barre Pilates, you’ll be doing moves that are considered isometric. The moves are performed in tiny increments, with the most common saying in a Ballet Barre Pilates class being “down an inch, now up an inch.” You won’t be performing squats or shoulder presses, but still yet, you’ll be greatly improving your strength.

You may not notice much of an improvement after your first couple classes of Ballet Barre Pilates, but by your fourth or fifth session, you should. The strength improvement won’t be astronomical, but it will increase with each class you partake in, and by the time you’ve been doing Pilates for several months, your body and mind should feel much healthier.

To learn more about Ballet Barre Pilates, as well as other types of Pilates and yoga, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Vacaville professional instructor today.