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.
Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know
While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.
Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.
It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.
At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.
Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.
A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?
It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.
The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.
So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment”.
Thankfully, common sense prevailed and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.
In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.
It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.
That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.
Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.
While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:
#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.
#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.
#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.
#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.
Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.
What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution
If you operate your own professional gym or are looking to create a home setup, it’s crucial that you carefully consider your storage solutions. A tidy gym is without doubt a happy environment for people to work out in!
Good storage will help protect equipment from scratches and other damage, make it easy to find where equipment has been left, and prevent hazards such as trips.
It can also help the gym to feel more of a clean and organised environment that can keep members motivated while working out, which typically leads to a higher retention rate.
When it comes to gym storage, there are not many companies around that share the same expert knowledge as PowerGym Fitness. PowerGym is a supplier of commercial gym equipment, from weights and barbells to high-end strength training machines, with clients throughout the world.
They are also experienced in providing gyms with advice and support for installing the perfect setup.
PowerGym Fitness have provided us with some pointers on how you can create the perfect gym storage solution for your commercial facility or home setup.
The type of storage you will require can depend on the type of equipment that your gym provides. For example, some gyms may specialize in cardio equipment as opposed to strength training, or vice versa. That said, most gyms will typically include dumbbells.
Dumbbells are a popular form of free weights that can help users to build muscle mass. Dumbbell racks are one of the best ways that you can keep your gym tidy and free of hazards.
Without a rack, there would be no designated place for members to collect and return a dumbbell. Dumbbells left on the floor can cause damage and can be hazardous for other members when walking around the gym space.
These racks are designed to securely hold a certain amount of dumbbells when they are not in use. All round, it adds a safer and more organised structure to your environment and increases the longevity of the dumbbells.
Weight Plates Holders
As with dumbbells, most gyms typically include some type of weight plates. Tri grip and bumper weight plates are two examples that are available for purchase at PowerGym Fitness.
The plates can be attached to a barbell which can be used for effective and flexible weightlifting routines. One type of weight plate holder includes a storage tree.
This provides the option of a simple vertical holder where the plates can just slide on to a storage horn. Another option is a wall weight plate storage, allowing easy access to plates from a wall position – plus, it saves up space and improves the aesthetic design of your gym!
Gym mats are essential for exercises that require closer physical contact with the floor. This can include press-up exercises as well as Yoga, Pilates and studio workouts. Mats provide an extra level of comfort so that you don’t encounter discomfort when encountering the floor.
Mats can be used by a lot of people each day, so naturally there’s a lot of wear and tear. Mats that aren’t stored properly can lead to greater damage which will result in you needing to replace the mats sooner than should be required. With a mat hanger, when the mats are not in use, they can be stored safely to prevent unnecessary damage.
Whether you use a barbell freely or with a weight plate attached, it’s important that you store the bar appropriately when it’s not in use. Bars can be very heavy which can lead to floor damage and potentially serious injury if it drops to the floor or is left unsecured.
Like with weight plates, there are options for horizontal and vertical storage. These storage products can either be attached to the wall or the floor. They provide an organised and safe place for barbells to rest when not in use.
Cable Attachment Racks
Cable attachments are additional products that can help athletes take their strength training to the next level with varied workouts. With several types of attachments available, from revolving bars to handles and ropes, they expand the options that are available on a cable machine.
Most of these attachments are quite small, so it can be easy for them to become lost or get muddled in with other pieces of equipment. A cable attachment rack is a great way to store the attachments so that gym members can easily see where the attachments they require are placed.
Power Rack Storage Horns
Power racks are fantastic pieces of equipment to have in your gym. They are premium products that often act as the centerpiece of the gym. Power racks provide a safe space to perform a wide range of exercises, with freedom of choice left to the user.
Alongside the power rack, it’s widely recommended that you get storage horns that will seamlessly attach to the power rack. These horns can then be used as a storage option for weight plates. It will allow you to free up space around the gym and provides users with a quick and easy way to access the plates they need.
The storage options that we have talked about so far clearly relate to products that have been specifically designed for certain gym equipment. To improve the tidiness, safety and structure of your facility event further, you can get a storage cage that will hold the rest of your smaller items.
This can include things such as medicine balls and bags, as well as boxing equipment. The cage can usually be locked for added security and with lockable wheels, it’s easy to transport the equipment from place to place.
Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out
In this modern world, we are so used to having a lot of “instant”. Most of us are not used to the long and arduous processes, even though we think we do. You may have noticed the impatience of most people especially when it comes to services. They want to have what they want right now, and this is why most companies adapt to the situation.
You can see it in their products and services; they want to deliver it fast enough to save more time. The same reason applies to humans who want them all as soon as they can. Even the food industry has to go with this notion, but this has also led to a new trend: obesity.
This may not be a problem in most countries. In the West though, it is considered a major health issue. There has been an increase in the overall weight of the US population for example; at least 40% of the people over 20 are overweight as this article reveals.
It has been such a serious problem due to the prevalence of fast-food chains. There is nothing wrong with consuming them, but many depend on them for their daily diet. With all of its sugars and salt, it can be quite detrimental to your health in the long run.
New Horizons in Medicine
Fortunately, there have been advances in the field of medicine as well. Weight loss has become way different compared to the way it was in the previous century. People did not know anything about it. There was a time when fat is considered as the devil’s advocate of being overweight, and sugar was thought to be the healthier option. Even though this has already changed in recent times, there is still a prevalence of this kind of thought in many circles. If you want to lose weight, you need to read and learn more about the proper way of doing it.
There might be a lot of factors that can contribute to this goal but we are just going to narrow it down to three: diet, exercise, and genetics. There is nothing that we can do with the last one though since this is already in our system. Some people might be lucky enough that they do not need to control their diet or even exercise. Their bodies have already reached their full potential, so all they need to do is to maintain it.
Unfortunately, others are not that lucky. It is either they need to have a rigorous diet plan, more exercise, or both. It is a lot of effort to lose the mass, but it can be worth it in the end. You may visit Supplement Smarts website and other similar sites to learn more info regarding this.
If you are experiencing difficulties or you want to have the results faster, then you might need to take a supplement for that. There are many options in the market these days, so choosing just one can be quite confusing. You also need to understand that not all of these supplements may work for you. Below are some of the best substances that can certainly help you with weight loss.
Options for Cutting Those Flabs
Everyone knows what this is; it is just the main ingredient in the most popular beverage in the world besides water. Aside from being the universal pick-me-up in the mornings, it has also been found that caffeine can assist in weight loss.
It speeds up metabolism moderately, which also helps in the faster absorption of calorie intake and fat burning process. However, you do need to take it in conjunction with other substances for it to take on full effects. You also need to be careful as it can still cause dependence.
Green tea Extract
Another common beverage that has some medicinal properties, green tea has been around for ages. It has its origins in China, but the rest of the world is already enjoying it. However, green tea is the fresher version and it has little to no added processing in its consumption.
It is rich in antioxidants, as well as having the ability to burn fat. It is more focused on the stomach area though, where most of our extra fat goes anyway. If you want to reduce your waistline, then having this a part of your daily supplement may help with that. Check this link https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538 to know more.
Garcinia cambogia Extract
This might seem to be unfamiliar to most people, but it has been gaining some popularity in the previous decade due to its mainstream exposure. It is a green fruit with pale flesh, and it is native to Indonesia although other countries have started cultivating it as well.
Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, also known as citric acid lyase. This is said to help in losing weight by also removing excess fat from the body. There are still ongoing studies about this as there is unclear evidence of how it works. However, it is safe to consume as long as you control your dose.
This is another form of supplement, but this time it is a combination of other substances including caffeine, wild mint extract, and cumin extract among others. It was developed by MuscleTech Research and Development, and it aims to help you lose those extra pounds.
It has been rather popular for the first ten years of its existence due to these various extracts. Even though it is under one name, there are many kinds of it available in the market. Some of them even exclude some ingredients like caffeine for those who have adverse effects from taking them.
Lastly, this is a diet supplement made from a root vegetable called konjac or elephant yam. It is full of fiber amongst other nutrients, which make them great for controlling your eating habits. Once you eat or drink a supplement, it will make you feel full because of all the fiber.
It will also help with digestion and excretion of wastes in your stomach. However, you will need to drink a lot of water when using this as it can promote too much hydration loss. You will also need to check on your doctor if you can use this safely and follow the dosage always.
Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know
What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution
Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out
Dianabol for Sale – What You Need to Know
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