Why do humans move?
Being human, our lives are built on the body, a best friend, and vehicle for bringing our dreams and aspirations into reality. Keeping our bodies healthy through diet, exercise and mindfulness are the best ways to enhance the many years we will spend on the planet. Learning to control movement in the body and bring strength to the different areas of your body brings a one-pointed focus which integrates the mind and body, and in fact increases our mental acuity and ability to do more than our physical activities; improving our concentration in the work of our daily lives whatever that vocation might be. By doing yoga, pilates, and Gyrotonic we create a synthesis.
Movement and joy!
We move to create space and to open up in areas that feel tight or blocked. We move because it’s our nature and it’s a joy!
Dancing, running, jumping, twisting, back-bending, forward bending, balancing, breathing, laughing, catching, throwing, pulling, pushing, lifting, dropping, holding are just a few kinds of movements we do. When we look at all things in nature, we know that this is inherent. All living things breathe move and change.
Movement and Balance
Throughout our lives we use balance to do so many things. We use balance in our bodies unconsciously every day. Climbing, standing, stepping, falling, getting up, spinning around, walking backward, walking forward, jumping, and navigating. As we age balance becomes much more important, because we can no longer take it for granted, we must find ways to practice!
Sport specific and targeted workouts.
Bringing this work to your life.
HATHA YOGA is a practice focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises originating from ancient India. The word haṭha:(lit) “force”.
Hindu tradition believes that Shiva himself is the founder of hatha yoga.
In the 20th century, hatha yoga, particularly asanas (the physical postures), became popular throughout the world as physical exercises, and is now colloquially termed “yoga”.
Yoga’s combined focus on mindfulness, breathing and physical movements brings health benefits with regular participation. Yoga participants report better sleep, increased energy levels and muscle tone, relief from muscle pain and stiffness, improved circulation and overall better general health. The breathing aspect of yoga can benefit heart rate and blood pressure.
The 2012 “Yoga in America” survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yoga Journal, shows that the number of adult practitioners in the US is 20.4 million, or 8.7 percent. The survey reported that 44 percent of those not practicing yoga said they are interested in trying it.
IYENGAR YOGA named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.
B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama (with variations of many of them) ranging from the basic to advanced. This helps ensure that students progress gradually by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step.
Iyengar Yoga often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas (postures). The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old.
Iyengar Yoga is firmly based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras.
Consult to meet goals for conditioning and health.
Balance & Aging
Increase neuro-muscular activity and plasticity.
WHAT IS THE CORE?
When you walk or run, you’re probably thinking more about putting one foot down in front of the other than you are about your core muscles. But did you know that your core is where all movement in your body originates? Not only that, but when you run — or walk, ride a bike or skip across a room — your core muscles are hard at work, keeping you upright, stabilizing your body as your weight shifts and absorbing impact from ground forces.
Your body’s “core” — the area around your trunk and pelvis — is where your center of gravity is located. When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine for just about any activity.
Over time, a weak core can make you susceptible to poor posture and injury. For instance, the weaker your core muscles, the more likely you are to experience lower back pain. Strong core muscles keep you protected from such injuries.
“The best brace you can give yourself is your muscle brace — the best corset is your muscle corset,” says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Learning how to identify and properly activate your core muscles is the first step. Then you can practice this technique while learning some basic exercises. By enhancing your core strength, you’ll be on your way to greater fitness.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CORE…
Even if you have muscular arms and legs, if your core muscles are weak, you won’t be able to move as efficiently — your muscles won’t respond as readily to the task at hand. A strong core creates the stabilization necessary to carry your groceries or pick up your toddler — not to mention going the distance while playing tennis or jogging.
Core strengthening is about working your muscles from the inside out. The muscles targeted in core strengthening exercises are those in your trunk — they’re layered, overlapping and connected to each other.
Rather than isolate each muscle group in your trunk, the best exercises for your core are those that get your whole system working together at the same time. Focus on the quality of your moves rather than the quantity. You’ll gradually build up to a greater number of repetitions. When starting out, take it slow and learn how to properly execute each exercise.
“Body position and alignment are crucial with these exercises,” notes Dr. Laskowski. “You can simulate doing these exercises halfway, but then they won’t really do what you need them to do.
“Because technique is so important, it would be ideal if somebody — such as a fitness expert or physical therapist — could look at the way you’re performing the exercises,” suggests Dr. Laskowski. “Just to make sure you’re on the right track.”
ANATOMY OF A POSE…
The focus on actions include the LIMBS which effect change throughout the body. Hatha yoga and specifically Iyengar yoga use this. Today we are touching on the concept of “lengthen, strengthen, integration” using Parsvottanasana(Intense Side Flank pose) and Virbhadrasana 2 (Warrior II).
Parsvottanasana internally rotates the shoulder joint, thus providing a healthy stretch to the infraspinatus (and teres minor) muscles of the rotator cuff. I use pressing the edges of the hands into the back to contract these muscles in the stretch, thus strengthening them (and creating a PNF stretch). A variation that is good for those with wrist issues is to simply hold the forearms and press them into the back. Then I draw the shoulders away from the ears and down the back to engage the rhomboids and trapezius (middle and lower portions).
Finally, integrate the muscles by externally rotating the shoulders in Warrior II. Combine this with internal rotation by attempting to press the mounds of the index fingers down. Draw the shoulders away from the ears and expand the chest to engage the muscles that stabilize the scapula (the rhomboids, trapezius and serratus anterior).
The infraspinatus and teres minor muscles tend to be weakened by the “slumped shoulders” position where we are often sitting at a desk or computer. This can lead to muscle impairments affecting the shoulder joint which can cause stiffness and other problems such as impingement of the rotator cuff. Counteract this by stretching, strengthening and then integrating the muscles that are out of balance.
Exercises and breathing techniques to facilitate stress reduction and peace.
Doctor prescribed pilates yoga and gyrotonic
PILATES (/pɪˈlɑːteɪz/; German: [piˈlaːtəs]) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. It is practiced worldwide, and especially in western countries such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.
Pilates called his method “Contrology”
“The Pilates Method teaches you to be in control of your body and not at its mercy.”-Joseph Pilates
For practitioners to control their bodies, they must have a starting place: the center. The center is the focal point of the pilates method.Many pilates teachers refer to the group of muscles in the center of the body – encompassing the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs — as the “powerhouse”. All movement in pilates should begin from the powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs. This is the main focus of pilates. It does this to strengthen the rest of the body. This can have effects for years to come if you are consistent with the exercise.
GYROTONIC ® was developed by Juliu Horvath, an ethnic Hungarian and professional dancer from Romania. Horvath suffered a series of debilitating injuries during his dance career, and began developing what are now known as the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods as a way to heal himself and regain his strength and agility.
Students perform exercises that feature gentle spiraling movements with weighted resistance, counterbalancing opposing forces, and coordinated breathing patterns. These movements focus special attention on increasing the functional ability of the spinal column, making it much less vulnerable to injuries. Specialized equipment supports flowing movements that lengthen muscles, stimulate circulation, increase spine and joint mobility, and build core strength in a relaxing, rejuvenating workout.
The principles in this movement embrace key elements also found in yoga, dance, swimming and martial arts. It works systematically and softly on joints and muscles. This system teaches athletes to train themselves through spherical movements in space, which allows one to lengthen their body, and simultaneously develop it with minimal effort.
Movement through Grace
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
– Vivian Greene
Besides loving to teach people about their bodies and functional movement, I enjoy hiking and many other outdoor sports, being with my family, and traveling; which has included fruitful trips to India. Reading historical fiction and history and writing have always been a wonderful pastime.
Vairagya Eiger is Certified in Yoga, Gyrotonic®, and Pilates with over 21 years of experience teaching and a whole lifetime of learning and practicing yoga since I was 4 years old!Vairagya Eiger