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Bikram Yoga – My Experience As A Tall Long Macho Man

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At 6’3″ with long limbs and a serious lack of flexibility, I never thought I would find myself twisted up in some awkward yoga pose — especially not Bikram yoga (as if I even knew the difference up until two weeks ago).

But, there I was, 30 minutes into the class, having gone from thinking, “yoga’s for girls,” to wanting to cry like a little school girl on the inside at that very moment.

I was sweating more than I had ever sweat at any basketball practice, gasping for air more than I had ever “gusped” during any weightlifting workout, and felt like I was literally in hell, given the 100+ degrees and 60% humidity that is standard for Bikram yoga studios.

If it wasn’t for my own massive male ego, and seeing a room full of women who had mastered this “little 90 minute morning routine,” I would have fallen to the floor and tried to claw my way out of this torture chamber.

Nevertheless, I pressed on. Fortunately, at around the 30-minute mark (my near breaking point), we go from standing/balancing poses (the most demanding part of class) to the lying/sitting poses (the slightly less demanding part of class).

Between the two phases, there is also a two-minute Savasana, which means “corpse pose” (how appropriate), where you lie on your back with your palms facing up like you just fell backwards out of your upstairs window.

Curse the Theory of Relativity!

Of course, these two minutes seemed like about two seconds, and the instructor was already ordering us into the next position.

A few of these were relatively easy (thankfully!), but once we hit the camel pose, it was back to Suckville. This one is where you stand up on your knees with your feet behind you, put your hands on the back of your hips, and bend your head, neck, and body backwards, while thrusting your hips forward.

It may sound simple enough, but something about the upside-down’ness of it, combined with my overwhelming need for oxygen, made me feel like I was going to throw up and pass out all in one graceful motion.

This was the first one I had to “fake it ’til you make it” by just barely tilting my head back and not bending my body much at all.

How Much Longer?!

After that, there’s only a few more postures left, none of which are particularly demanding. Of course, for my first time, I had no idea of the order or what terrible nightmare pose could be coming next, which only made it that much harder and more exhausting.

We finished the class with a breathing exercise where you look like you’re hyperventilating. You push air out of your lungs, using your diaphragm, at a rapid pace (about two or three times per second).

Imagine the way you breathe on your glasses to fog them up and clean them, then do that multiple times in rapid succession. It was actually surprisingly calming and a nice way to end the class, although I would have just as happily slammed my head through the wall if that was the traditional way of ending the class, anything to make it stop!

Once I limped to my car, dragged up my steps at home, and fell into and out of the shower, I did notice a significant increase in energy, and it felt great to have completed such a hard workout.

Glutton for Punishment

Seeing as I signed up for the unlimited one week trial, I was determined to go every morning since it was my off week from lifting weights, and I wanted to see how quickly I could improve.

The second day was almost as torturous as the first, but I made it a few minutes farther before I entered “schoolgirl mode.”

The third day was again insanely hard, but I made it all the way to the camel pose before crapping out.

And, finally, on day four, I made it through the entire 90 minutes, AND successfully completed both full camel poses!

I also noticed for the rest of the week that I could stretch just a little bit farther and bend just a little bit deeper on each posture, so my flexibility was clearly improving.

“I’m melting! I’m melting…”

The one thing I didn’t expect, and should have monitored more closely, is losing over 10 pounds in that one week alone! That’s a great endorsement for anyone looking to lose weight, but given my Energizer-bunny metabolism, I’m trying to gain weight and muscle, not lose it.

Of course, I wouldn’t normally be doing these 90 minute workouts 6 times a week, but it was a unique test for me on my off-week from weightlifting.

Where Are They Now?

I’ve been doing the classes once a week, on Saturday’s, for the past few weeks, and it’s a nice way to end a heavy lifting week, stretching and relaxing every muscle in my body.

My only gripe is that the classes are so long. Ninety minutes is a big chunk of time in and of itself, but again with my high metabolic rate, a shorter class would be ideal. I guess “speed yoga” would go against the whole peaceful and mindful aspect of the practice.

Now that the weather is warming up, I still plan on doing Bikram every other week or so on cloudy/rainy days, but when it’s nice out, I’ll be playing basketball at the park on Saturday’s and Sunday’s for my weekend cardio.

To Bikram or Not To Bikram

Believe it or not, after all the griping and complaining, I would absolutely recommend trying it out if there’s a Bikram yoga studio near you. When I first read about it, I thought it was just some Hollywood thing, so I was surprised to find there was a studio less than five minutes from my house in a shopping center that I’m in at least a few times a month.

If you’re into challenging your body and pushing yourself to the limit, Bikram yoga is a great test. They tell the first-timers before class that no matter how tired you get, you should never leave the room. Aside from disturbing others, going from such an extreme environment to the much cooler, dryer lobby will only further shock your body.

Instead, you should just skip a pose or two and lie down on your mat, which at least a few people do in every class. But last week, three different people bolted out of the room throughout the class. It was probably a bit of a domino effect after the first one left, the other two felt less pressure to stay in the room.

Even if you don’t want to jump right into the big leagues of Bikram, you could try out some less demanding “normal” yoga classes. A few of the moves and poses are very similar, minus the Sahara desert room of course, but even that is something to experience on its own.

If there was ever a time for the “check with your doctor” disclaimer, it would absolutely be right now! This ain’t your Grandma’s workout, and I would insist that you ensure you are healthy enough to embark on what will feel like your very last journey.

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Everything You Need For A Home Gym Fitness

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Let’s say that you want to change your lifestyle. Some people buy new clothes, others get a haircut. However, there are those that want to devote themselves to the process of transforming their body entirely.

Getting Started

Nowadays, people are getting more and more interested in creating a home gym. This way, you can enjoy the comfort of your home without anyone looking or staring at you. Working out from home is the best. With the growing popularity of online fitness coaches like CALIBER you can have all the benefits of a fully qualified expert for your home gym. Online trainers can develop exercise plans that incorporate your home gym equipment to ensure you get a great workout and create the body of your dreams. After you’re done, you can take a shower and watch a movie. There’s not a single person that doesn’t love this. Here’s some of the equipment that you might need to create your own personal home gym:

Working out is not something everyone’s fond of because it involves a lot of physical activities and sweating. Those that work out will tell you that the feeling is incredible. Not only is it good for your health, but for your physique as well. If you want to get slimmer and fitter, then you need to start working out as well.

Moreover, some people enjoy going to the gym. They like the company of others and can easily make new friends there. If you are not one of those people, then don’t worry. You can still work out even if you don’t visit a gym regularly.

Essential Home Gym Equipment

Nowadays, people are getting more and more interested in creating a home gym. This way, you can enjoy the comfort of your home without anyone looking or staring at you. Working out from home is the best. After you’re done, you can take a shower and watch a movie. There’s not a single person that doesn’t love this. Here’s some of the equipment that you might need to create your own personal home gym:

Weights

Weights are usually small and very practical. They are quite affordable as well. You can walk into a sports store and easily find the ones that will be good for you. If you are a beginner at this, then it is advisable that you get the lighter ones so that your arm can get used to the weight.

Once you get better at it, you can purchase the heavier ones. Every physical activity has a technique that needs to be mastered. You can watch online tutorials on how to accurately lift them. This will definitely get you those slimmer and tighter arms that you want.

Jump Rope

This item is probably the most practical one. Jump ropes are extremely easy to find, and they are probably one of the cheapest things you can get for a good workout. There are all sorts of activities you can do with a rope that will probably define every piece of your body. The jump rope is good for the calves, legs, thighs, hands, and arms. Make sure to check out Home Gym Reviewed for more details.

It is very easy to use, and all you have to do is jump. At first, it will be probably rather tricky because you’ll get quickly tired. Once you get the hang of it, you can jump a lot quicker and faster. Make sure to challenge yourself to do more and more jumping jacks each time you use the rope.

Exercise Ball

This item is also suitable for doing all kinds of physical activities. If you don’t know where to star, you can hire a personal trainer to come to your house and show you all sorts of techniques with it. The second option is to watch videos online with professional fitness instructors and how they use the exercise ball. The ball is affordable and really fun to use. You won’t be able to stop once you learn how to do the exercises with it. You can use it to build abs around your abdominal area or thighs as well. Whatever you choose to do with it, make sure that you sweat. A good workout always comes with a lot of sweat.

Stationary Bicycle

It’s the same as riding a bike, but you won’t be moving at all. You know how everyone says that it is very good for your health to ride a bike constantly? Well, you can get a stationary bike for your home gym and work out those legs and thighs. It’s a great piece of equipment that every homeowner needs to have. Read more here. The sensation and the feeling are the same as riding a regular bike. The more you ride it, the faster you’ll get the desired effect. Just don’t overwork your legs because they will hurt a lot later on.

Final Thoughts

Putting together your own home gym can be a rewarding experience. Often, you’ll be required to invest much less money than you think—provided you know how to shop! Careful study of home gym equipment reviews and your own personal goals will help guide you through the journey as seamlessly as possible!

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Nashville Personal Trainers for the Ultimate Body Transformation

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Some people prefer to work out at home where they’re most comfortable in. This can provide some results, but it won’t be the same if, for example, you work out with a trainer. You see, at home, you have no one to watch you and correct you if you’re doing something wrong. You can end up doing an exercise wrong all the time and risk damaging a nerve or a muscle in the body. This is not good, especially if you’re looking forward to losing weight.

Go With a Pro

Burning calories is easy. You just need to be persistent and motivated to do so. We all like to lie around in our beds, hoping to lose weight only by watching what we eat. This is not effective at all. You can lose 1 or 2 pounds by not eating unhealthy food, but it won’t make much of a difference. If you’re overweight, watching what you eat won’t be enough.

Benefits of Personal Trainers

This is where personal trainers come in handy. If you live in Tennessee, you would be able to find professional trainers very quickly. Nashville has quite the selection of experienced and knowledgeable instructors that will make all the difference in your life. Here’s why:

Quick results

If you have someone to monitor your progress continually, then you would be able to lose fat sooner. A trainer will show you the right technique for each exercise and create a nutrition plan that you have to follow. Just by following their program, you can start to notice a difference right away, instead of waiting for some miracle at home. You probably don’t know that much about a good fitness regime like a professional trainer does. Leave all the planning to the experts; you just play by their rules.

Avoiding injuries

Do you know how easy it is to pull a muscle or break a bone? Not doing the activities correctly can lead to all of that. That’s why it is safer to try your luck with a trainer and hope for the best. A trainer can guide you through all of the exercises until you learn to perfect them yourself. For example, lifting weights without guidance is the ultimate recipe for damaging your arm muscles. If you have a fitness instructor present at all times, you minimize the risk of injuries. So don’t waste any more time and find the perfect trainer for your workout.

Gaining muscle

Some prefer to lose only fat. Others want to build muscles. There can be a combination of both if you ask the right person for it. An experienced trainer will show you how to balance those things. Sure, you have to sweat and work really hard, but in the end, you’ll get the complete body transformation that you’ve been wanting since forever. Gaining muscle is a long process that involves proper nutrition like intake on proteins most of the time. You would be able to get used to that in no time, just be patient.

Setting goals

If you feel like you can’t set goals for yourself or don’t know how to, then leave it to the pros. Once you hire a personal trainer, you won’t have to worry about all of that. They can create a list of goals that you have to work really hard to achieve them. Of course, they would be here for the entire process to keep track of your progress. Setting goals will increase motivation, and they will lead you closer to your desire for the perfect body. Also, a trainer would be able to set realistic goals so that you wouldn’t lose hope.

Innovative workout routines

You can quickly get bored with repeating the same exercises over and over again. This might lead a person to quit if something repeatedly happens all the time. But, professional trainers know this. That’s why they mix up different combinations of physical activities so that each day you have something new to try out. This way, the whole fitness regime wouldn’t be monotonous. It will add to the sense of excitement and surprise trying to figure out what you will do next. Sooner or later, you can learn them all.

Establishing exercising habits

Let’s say that you’ve reached your goal. You were able to transform your body into something you’re glad of. This doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising altogether. You should continue the journey so that the body can stay fit. Believe it or not, after all that exercising and sweating, your trainer would have already made it a habit of you to exercise regularly. Once you get up in the morning, all you’ll want to do is go through a good workout. This is how things should go on in the future. Trainers pass their knowledge onto their clients to use it forever. To find out more click here.

Challenge

An excellent instructor would always challenge you to do and achieve more. Let’s say that you’ve done 50 jumping jacks. Each time your instructor would challenge you to beat your own score. This is how you get better and more confident in life. Soon you would be able to do 300 jumping jacks without breaking a sweat. It might seem impossible in the beginning, but with time and proper technique, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. You just need someone to challenge you all the way until you become a better version of yourself.

Encouragement

Everyone can have a minor setback when going through a journey of transformation. Let’s say that you’ve gained a pound or two instead of losing them. It’s normal for these things to happen. You mustn’t get discouraged once they occur. You are on the right track, but sometimes it takes a lot of time to notice a difference. This doesn’t mean that you won’t at all. Your personal trainer will encourage you constantly not to give up and embrace every setback as a lesson in life.

 

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5 Types Of Mobile Games That Can Actually Help Your Mind

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featMobile gaming is often viewed as a way to pass the time, or simply as entertainment. More often than not, these are perfectly fair descriptions. On other occasions, mobile apps and games can help optimize both body and mind!

Mobile Games & Puzzles for Brain Health

However, the mobile gaming market is vast, and among the offerings there are also some games that can help to train your mind in various ways, or in some cases improve wellness. Here, we wanted to give some examples of types of mobile games that can serve these purposes.

1. Escape Puzzles

In the real world, “escape room” attractions have become wildly popular in just the last few years. They’re generally seen as weekend recreation options for groups of friends or colleagues, but there are also those who believe they benefit your brain health. To our knowledge there aren’t in-depth studies into this phenomenon’s mental benefits just yet, but there’s certainly something to be said for the idea. Escape rooms lead to everything from positive moods to improved memory and heightened social skills. Escape puzzle games don’t carry all of the same benefits, but they are in many cases the mobile versions of the rooms, and they can certainly exercise your brain where concentration, patience, and problem-solving are concerned, at the very least.

2. Conquest Games

This isn’t quite as big a category as that of puzzle games, though there are actually different genres within the idea of a conquest-themed mobile game. What we’re referring to here though are games like the mobile versions of Sid Meier’s Civilization installments, which famously delve into real human history in quite a lot of detail. Simply put, games like these that teach real history can exercise the brain and help to improve memory, association, attention to detail, and specific knowledge.

3. Poker Games

Poker games are actually among the oldest ones available on mobile phones, though they’re steadily getting more sophisticated these days. Poker apps are included among the games spreading gradually into the U.S. through expanding gambling legislation, and even some free-to-play poker games are now employing advanced graphics and features that make them feel like the real thing. Whichever specific app you opt for though, you could actually stand to enjoy real mental benefits. Various medical studies have actually hinted at poker’s benefits in everything from improving focus and attention to detail to combating Alzheimer’s Disease!

4. Quiz Apps

Some might consider quiz apps to comprise their own category aside from gaming, but the distinction isn’t particularly important. Either way there are dozens if not hundreds of accessible quiz apps, and each and every one of them can teach specific knowledge and keep the mind sharp in general. It’s virtually never a bad idea to test your knowledge, and these kinds of games help people do it on a daily basis.

5. Brain-Trainers

Lastly, and most overtly, there are also apps specifically designed to train the brain. These are in some cases actually designed with medical input and consideration, but they’re still game-like in nature, or at least include games more often than not. The specific training varies from one app to the next, but this is definitely a category you’ll want to look to if you’re curious about using mobile games to improve your mind.

Final Thoughts

Mobile apps, games, and real-world puzzles such as escape rooms are sometimes purely for entertainment. Other cases, such as those discussed here, can be leveraged to help with brain training for better cognitive performance and perception. The best part is, these brain games can often be leveraged during times you’d otherwise be doing nothing else!

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