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The Ultimate Guide to 10 Different Types of Yoga

By Maire,

yoga-for-beginners-2

How to find the best class for you.

by Jake Panasevich

When I first started yoga, I wanted a fast-paced, physical and sweaty flow class. After a few months, I tried other styles, but they were hit or miss. In one class I ended up in, for example, the teacher talked about philosophy and led us in chants for nearly half the time. I was confused, bored and in pain from sitting cross-legged. If that had been my first experience with yoga, I’m not sure I would have continued.

If you are looking to get into a yoga routine this fall, choosing from all the different styles can be overwhelming. Studios offer more variations of yoga than ever before, but don’t let all the trends and gimmicky classes distract you. Be clear about what your goals are before you choose your path. Once you know what you want, choose a program that fits you best. Here’s how:

Yoga for the Athlete

  • Flow: If you want to get in shape and tone up without bulking up, an exercise-heavy flow class is a good choice. When I first started yoga, I lost 40 pounds practicing heated power yoga or hot Vinyasa. These classes include plenty of lunges, core work and pushups, which are effective movements to build strength and burn calories fast. The temperature of a power yoga class is around 90 degrees, and you move very quickly through the poses. It is very fitting for those who want to sweat more and talk less about alignment and philosophy.
  • Fusion: Classes that blend yoga and exercise are popping up everywhere. CorePower Yoga, for instance, is a newer, popular branch of the standard power yoga class. CorePower offers heated flow classes as well as yoga with resistance and weights. The weights will help increase the intensity and help you get a more chiseled physique. However, the stakes are much higher if you misalign. Another fusion of fitness and yoga combines yoga and barre, which involves a workout using a ballet barre. All of these options are focused on physicality and moving quickly to get a workout.
  • Vinyasa: “Vinyasa” can mean many different things – so much so that it is difficult to tell exactly what you are signing up for when you attend a class. However, most Vinyasa classes move briskly in cadence with your breath. These classes are not heated, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a good workout. While Vinyasa is fun and moving fluidly can be beneficial, these classes are not the best choice if you have an injury or joint pain.
  • Bikram: Bikram yoga is also a very intense method that builds focus. It is a very different physical challenge than Vinyasa. The yoga studio is heated to a sweltering 104 degrees and it is humidified to 40 percent so you break a sweat almost immediately. In Bikram, you practice 26 postures in 90 minutes, and hold the poses for a set amount of time. Bikram teachers repeat the same script each class, and it is the same sequence every time. If you enjoy the intensity of the heat and thrive with consistency, you will excel with Bikram yoga. If you enjoy variety, you should consider a different class.

Yoga for the Engineer

  • Alignment: If you have injuries or tend to be more tight and strong than flexible, an alignment-based class like align and flow, Iyengar or alignment-based Hatha is a good fit. The classes focus on subtleties where you learn by intellectualizing the biomechanical components of the practice. At some point, whether it is from getting hurt or just longing for more depth and knowledge about yoga and the poses, most people eventually seek out a slower, more thought-out, mechanical practice. Each class focuses on key alignment principles that provide insight on how to progress, and they are normally organized around a peak pose or a general focus. Additionally, alignment-based classes are great for beginners. You will move more methodically through poses and hold them longer than in a flow class. Pausing in a posture allows for more depth in a pose. This will provide a completely different challenge than moving at a quick pace.

Yoga for the Poet or Mystic

Yin and restorative yoga are perfect for those who love being still and who just need to stretch, restore and relax. In these classes, you will hold just a couple of positions for long periods of time. Exercise is involved in either style. Sequences are slow-moving and you use props to set up poses in a way that you can hold them for five to 10 minutes and attune them to your breath. If you are already on a grueling workout regimen, this type of yoga is a nice way to recover. By finding stillness in the poses, it becomes more of a meditative practice.

  • Restorative: Restorative is focused on alignment and positioning your body in a way that engages your muscles to protect your joints. This often requires props or using the support of the wall. For example, you may be asked to lie on your back with your legs up the wall for five minutes. This pose encourages students to attune to their breath and body.
  • Yin: Yin is slightly different from restorative yoga in the way instructors teach the poses. In this style class, you settle into the poses and stretch. There is less emphasis on engaging your muscles and, instead, you relax into each position.

Yoga for the Light-Hearted

If you are just looking to try something new and to not take yourself too seriously, there a couple options that are very playful and can be fun to try with a partner:

  • Aerial: If you’re feeling adventurous, you might try this style, in which the teacher helps you move through yoga poses while you are suspended in midair. I recommend trying a beginner’s class first and be willing to laugh at yourself when you fall and enjoy the anti-gravity effect.
  • Acro: Acro yoga normally involves coordination and time to build strength and to learn how to spot your partner. Usually, it takes some time for students to build self-awareness in their own bodies before trying these classes.
  • Partner: Practicing with a friend is helpful to go deeper into your poses. Events are also a fun way to make friends and try a class with a twist. Workshops range from music-themed classes – think metal music paired with Vinyasa – to yoga followed by beer tasting.

 

Find your flow and check out the latest Fit Radio Yoga mixes on our Yoga Station!

When to Replace Your Running Shoes

By Maire,

Runner

3 Signs You Need a New Pair of Running Shoes

BY: Julia NaftulinHealth.com

The relationship you have with your running shoes isn’t meant to last forever. Here’s how to know when to buy a new pair to prevent injury and prolong an enjoyable running experience.

A comfortable and supportive pair of shoes are a runner’s best friend, but even the best aren’t built to last forever. Avid runners know working out in worn-out sneakers can cause unwanted running injuries like shin splints or runner’s knee. But how do you know it’s time to trash your sneaks and invest in a new set? Here, two running experts share the signs that cue a much-needed trip to your local shoe store.

You’re racking up miles

“As a rule it’s best to update your running shoes every 300 to 400 miles,” says Nikhil Jain, senior footwear product line manager at Brooks Running. Since wear and tear on the shoe itself isn’t always obvious, this method ensures you get new shoes before your worn ones cause pain or an injury.

You can easily track your runs with apps such as Strava, MapMyRun, or Wahoo, or with a fitness tracker. You could also opt for an old-school approach and hand write your runs in a journal. If you’re looking to eyeball your mileage based on time, take advice from a pro: New York City-based running coach John Henwood says he replaces his own shoes every two months.

You feel aches and pains

“As soon as one of my runners feels a shin splint, the first thing I do is ask them how long they’ve had their shoes for,” says Henwood. Knee pain and shin splints, which cause pain in the lower part of the leg, could both signal you need new shoes, especially if you haven’t changed up your running routine at all.

Not ready to part with your precious sneakers? Jain suggests keeping them around for leisurely walks or running errands. “While they may no longer be in good condition to run in, it’s likely that you won’t need as much cushion and support in your other activities,” he says.

Your shoes look shabby

According to Henwood, there are three areas on the shoe itself that signal it’s time for a replacement: the sole, the tread, and the exterior fabric.

“The cushioning in your shoe will be the first thing to break down because midsoles are designed to absorb shock and protect the body,” says Jain. “The tricky part is that this wear isn’t easily visible.” If the soles are shot, the shoe may appear lopsided from putting more pressure on one part of your foot than the others.

The tread of the shoe will be the next area to wear out, so if the bottom of the shoe appears flat and smooth, chances are your soles have lost their support and cushioning. Any holes that appear in the shoe’s exterior fabric provide a third red light that they’ve deteriorated.

To prevent your shoes from wearing out before you hit 300 to 400 miles, Henwood suggests using them exclusively for your runs. “If you’ve got running shoes, don’t walk around in them,” he says. “Have your running shoes for running and other shoes for walking because how you use them changes how they last.”

Jain also suggests rotating between two pairs of running shoes to prolong each pair’s life. “In addition, having more than one running shoe in your rotation helps you work a slightly different set of muscles in your feet, helping you strengthen them,” he says.

Fit Radio Success Story – Meet JT M.

By Maire,

jtmsuccesstory

I’m a physical educator/coach and I’ve been teaching Physical Education for 17 years in Texas. I was at a conference in early June and another teacher told me they had read about Fit Radio and it might be a good app for us to use and safe to play for the kids.

After my 3 hour trial ran out I was SUPER sad! When I figured out that Fit Radio was $28 for the year I decided it was worth the investment. I’ve had Spotify Premium before, but felt like it was a little expensive. I don’t normally buy a year’s subscription to anything yet alone pay for a music service, but Fit Radio was SO dramatically different than anything I had used before.

Since July, I have deleted Spotify and Pandora.

Maybe it’s my ADD, but I like Fit Radio–even just to enjoy music–not necessarily for working out, but all the time.

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I plan tell our teachers about Fit Radio because it’s the perfect fit. You can safely play continuous music with clean lyrics without pauses or ads, you can start/stop whenever you want, and there are plenty of genres/mixes/etc. to choose from.

I also plan to use it for my after-school teacher workouts that I do for my staff members. I’m always genuinely excited to play Fit Radio during these classes because I know they will most likely ask what app I’m using. They agree, nothing is more annoying than using Spotify and having an ad interrupt a workout.

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Every Summer I try to find a few new games/activities/strategies for my gym – this year Fit Radio is at the top of my list!
Music is HUGE in my gym/classroom so Fit Radio is something that I need everyday.

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Do you love Fit Radio? Tell us about your experience for your chance to be featured! Click here to learn how.

Apple's New 'EarPods' A Better Choice For Gym Goers

By superadmin,

If you are one of the select few who have dropped a couple Benjamins on the new iPhone 5 then you know all about the new ‘EarPods’. As for the rest of us, don’t worry, a new pair (sans iPhone) is available for the fair price of $29. The newly designed EarPods boast a more natural fit in the user’s ear (whereas before you probably felt you might be damaging your ears you were cramming in so tightly…I did!). Another change to the design includes a larger remote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The larger remote (which is FIT Radio compatible just like the old one) will allow the user to change the volume and pause whatever mix they are enjoying much easier than before. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your ear buds, check these out. Anything that makes your workout with FIT easier and more enjoyable is always okay with us 🙂

For more on this go to Forbes.com

Celebrity Fitness Spotlight: Emily Blunt

By superadmin,

The new Romantic Comedy, “The Five-Year Engagement” starring Emily Blunt hits theaters this weekend and we are pumped to share the leading lady’s outlook on fitness and living a healthy lifestyle from one of our favorite sites, fitsugar.com!

It’s as simple as staying positive, having fun and indulging when you want to as long as you’re smart about it. Could it be any easier? We don’t think so!

 

DIY: A "Dead-Simple" Workout Band

By superadmin,

We found this fun and easy DIY project from one of our favorite sites, cnet.com. Not only is it cheap and easy but it’s perfect for the gym and any time you want to pair music with a workout (which should be all the time! 😉 Click the pic for the deets! And follow this article’s author, @SharonVak for all of her updates and entertaining tweets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more fun, DIY projects posted?? Let us know, and if you attempted this project yourself let us know how easy it was! We’re rummaging our sock drawers as we speak!