Femme Slender and LA Muscle have teamed up with one of the world’s leading Doctor’s of Natural Medicine, Dr. Kyrin Hall, to bring you two of the best, most invigorating natural forms of exercises you can perform almost anywhere!
Yoga and Pilates have long been favourites amongst women the world over and can have fantastic effects on your entire respiratory and core muscle system.
Here, we look at combining the best of both worlds and bring you fantastic techniques and ways to get you in a perfect state of mind, body and soul.
Deep breathing and meditation can alter our psychological state and help us to put things into perspective. When in a relaxation mode, our heart rate can slow down and the feelings of anxiety experienced during stressful situations are calmed. Breathing is an involuntary action, done deeply can induce a relaxation response which positively affects our metabolic rate, respiratory function, blood pressure, emotional state, hormones, aging, and our appetite.
Get comfortable, ideally lying flat on your back with knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Consciously relax your face, especially around your eyes and mouth. Place your hands on your abdomen, next to each other, then practice breathing outwards and towards your hands. Observe the quality of the air as it enters and leaves the body. Keep the mouth closed and breathe through the nose. The ultimate aim is to slow the breathing down to two breaths per minute.
Deriving its roots from the ancient teachings of India, the word ‘yoga’ originates from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning "to unite". Yoga integrates the body, breathing, and the mind. There are many styles ranging from Hatha yoga, gentler stretching to Asthanga (a more cardiovascular exercise) and strengthening practice. The teaching of yoga is often accompanied by a meditation practice and can invigorate your mental state drastically.
Pilates is a series of exercises that also teaches awareness of breathing and the alignment of the spine. Started by Joseph Pilates during the first world war, Pilates aims to condition the body by strengthening core abdominal muscles, using the control of the breathing techniques with flowing movements – This can be done on a reformer (machine) or a mat.
The Hundred. Lie on your back with knees bent and maintain a relaxed spine. Extend the legs forward along the floor, without the lower spine lifting off the mat. Take your arms alongside your body and lift your legs off the floor. Gently pump the arms up and down a few inches, in unison with your breath. Keep your abdominals scooped inwards. Do a cycle of 10 full breaths. Each cycle is five short inhalations and then five short exhalations. The Hundred requires the coordination of the breath with the movement and it is often used as a dynamic warm-up for the abdominals and lungs.
Imagine you can tie your navel to your spine – this will improve core postural awareness. A better respiratory system and posture equals a better state of mind and, as they say, if you feel good on the inside, you'll feel great on the outside.
Engaging in a practice of Yoga or Pilates helps to promote strong mind-body connection. Aid one in developing mindfulness and the realization that we are working not just on our bodies but also on our minds, which enables us to develop qualities like focus, patience, discipline and gratitude.
Dr. Kyrin Hall can be seen exclusively on LA Muscle TV giving useful Yoga and Pilates advice on her show.
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