BALASANA or Childs Pose is a beautiful restful posture which balances and restores and bring harmony to the body. It also opens up the mind and makes it more receptive. This is a pose that you can include in between other poses – poses that are more demanding.
How to do this pose:
Kneel on the floor with the knees close together. Bring the buttocks towards the heels. Lengthen up through the spine. Bring the heart close to the thighs and rest the forehead on the floor. If this is too difficult, rest the head on the hands instead – keeping one fist on top of the other. As you exhale, sink deeper and deeper into the pose and to a relaxed state.
This pose offers a opportunity to practise our breath. Every time you breath in, tune into the movement of the breath in the back of the horse. Feel it expand and widen all the way down to the sacrum. Every time you exhale, release all tension and feel the muscles soften. Observe the flow of the great through the whole body.
I absolutely love YOGA and PILATES
So what is really the difference? Well, PILATES works on lengthening and stretching all major muscle groups in the body. It will work on creating balance in the body, stretch out the areas that needs to be stretched out and strengthen the areas that needs to be strengthened.
The Pilates exercises is done with a certain rhythm and with a specfic breathing pattern. The exercises are done with control and while really concentrating. You never work the muscles to exhaustion which means you won’t strain any muscles and you won’t work up to a sweat. Most Pilates workouts consists of a number of exercises that usually are performed about 5 – 10 times.
You can do Pilates just on the mat without any equipment but you can also do it with smaller props such as the ball, resistance band. Pilates can also be done on the Reformer, a springloaded “bed”.
The best way to learn Pilates is to start doing it “one on one” with a Pilates trained instructor. You can then go into a class situation.
Pilates is suitable for everyone from elite athletes from people with very little flexibility and mobility, elderly, pregnant women etc.
So what benefits will you reap by practising Pilates?
- Increased body awareness
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Increased flexibility
- Increased strength, particularly the abdominals and back (core strength)
- Improved posture
- Prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- Improved concentration
- Stress management and relaxation.
Yoga is a very old practise, it dates back as far as 5000 years! The word yoga means ‘to join or yoke together’. It brings the body and mind together and is built on three main structures – exercise, breathing and meditation.
The yoga exercises are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. You will practise breathing techniques during your yoga session which will increase breath control to improve the health and function of body and mind. The two systems of exercise and breathing prepare the body and mind for meditation, with an approach to a quiet mind that allows silence and healing from everyday stress.
There are many various styles of yoga such as Hatha, Bikram, Iyengar, Purna etc.
Yoga is mostly practised in a class situation with an experienced instructor that also gives personal attention.
So what benefits will you reap by practising YOGA?
- Increased strength and flexibility
- A calmer mind
- Soothed nerves
- Improved muscular and postural strength
- Increased flexibility of the muscles and joints
- Reduced fatigue
- Reduced pain and muscle stiffness
- Enhanced ability to concentrate
- Improved energy levels and ability to cope with stress.
Yoga Nidra is also called “Yogic Sleep” and is a sleep like state
which Yogis experience through their meditations.
The benefits of Yoga Nidra are reduced tension and anxiety.
Yoga Nidra is kind of a conscious awareness of the deep sleep state.
You become deeply relaxed, you come close to falling asleep but stay highly aware.
It is kind of conscious deep sleep.
One appears to be deeply asleep but the unconscious mind is functioning
at a deeper level – it is sleep with a trace of deep awareness.
Yoga Nidra is normally instructed by a Yoga or Meditation Teacher,
but you can also purchase Yoga Nidra CD’s.
A lot of surfers realise the benefits of doing Yoga and practise it regularly.
There are many places you can do it. Maybe this way is for you?? Check out the video…
Well, if that looks too hard for you, why don’t you come along to one of Aspire Health and Personal Training’s classes in Torquay or Anglesea?
Please send me a message to email@example.com if you would like a FREE PASS to come and try out a class. This is only valid for new participants.
To keep moving and exercising for example doing Yoga or Pilates is extremely beneficial when you are getting up in age. By keeping active we keep our body more supple, “alive”, stronger and our mind more open and active etc.
Many older adults may feel like “taking it easier” as they grow older but I believe we really benefit by keeping going. If we “stop” or slow down the muscles will shorten, become weaker and the bones become more brittle. There are so many ailments that you can get if you “slow down” too much and don’t move enough, ailments such as arthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain, poor circulation, increased amount of body fat, reduced joint flexibility and much more.
Yoga and Pilates for example are two very suitable activities for the older adult. These activities can help reduce many of the health concerns.
So what are the benefits from practising Yoga and Pilates as you grow older? You will sleep better, you will increase your strength,type II diabetics can achieve better blood sugar control, your blood pressure can be lowered, you will keep being more mobile and supple.
Well, there you go…just keep going!