How to go that extra mile – Cyclists help post

In a few instances, recreational activities and work habits may stress the musculature in such a manner as to make the body stiff, limit the range of motion in joints, and may lead to back pain. Soccer players, for instance, develop an increased tone in their hip flexors from kicking the ball and running.

Cyclists often show an increase in the size and strength of their quadriceps and gastrocnemius (calf) muscles due to the repetitive bending and straightening of the knee. Their hip flexors are often weak in comparison to soccer players or runners. In this post, I want to share a few things you can do as a cyclist to go that extra mile.

Gastrocnemius (Calf) - Stretch

Quadriceps (Thighs) - Stretch

Psoas & Abdominal (Core) - Strengthening

Upper Back - Strengthening

Hydrating your body 24 hours before your cycling session will help you cope with that outdoor heat better and reduce chances of fatigue due to loss of water. If you are a professional you know you can’t really drink lots of water during your cycling so your best best bet is to prepare a day before. Also Adding beetroot in the form of salad or juice helps with better oxidation in your muscles and keeps them active for a longer period of time. Let’s try and let me know how if this works for you.

Contact Us, if you need help creating a personalized program for you via Zoom Call or In-person.

The Benefits Of Improving Flexibility

Improved-flexibility-Abbysan

Flexibility relates to the ability of the muscles to allow the joints to move freely.
Flexibility is often used as synonyms to Joint motion. To achieve optimium flexibility required for the functional movement on everyday basis we require to aim the following.

  1. Stretch the tight muscles and/or strengthen the weak muscles
  2. Improve joints mobility to gain normal range of motion at every joint.

Purpose of Improving Flexibility

  1. Improved flexibility may enhance performance in aerobic training and muscular conditioning as well as in sport.
  2. Flexibility training used in yoga postures helps in active relaxation that can improve both mental and physical recovery.
  3. Reduces stress in the exercising muscles and releases tension developed during the workout.
  4. Assists with posture by balancing the tension placed across the joint by the muscles that cross it. Proper posture minimizes stress and maximizes the strength of all joint movements.
  5. Reduces the risk of injury during exercise and daily activities because muscles are more pliable.
  6. Improves performance of everyday activities as well as performance in exercise and sport.

Techniques for Improving Flexibility

Joint mobilisation techniques:
By improving your range of motion, your body requires less energy to make the same movements and you also will have more flexible joints thus lessening the likelihood of injuries sustained during workouts, or any other time.

Stretching techniques:
Recent research has shown that static stretching can reduce muscle soreness after exercise. These slow, gradual movements involve a controlled elongation of the muscle through it’s full range of motion, and is then held for 15-30 seconds in the farthest position that can be held without pain. By stretching in this way, you can improve muscular balance and your resting posture.

Fascial release techniques:
Applying compression to the affected site induces a bio-electric and bio-chemical response that changes the connective myo-fascia from a semi-solid state into a more viscous or fluid state, freeing it to glide smoothly against adjoining tissues. Often, once the fascia is released the underlying muscles will relax.

All types of flexibility training will be more effective after a thorough warm-up, when the body temperature is elevated. Choose activities that serve two functions: relaxation and flexibility. This does not mean that the entire time has to be spent stretching.

Methods of Improving Flexibility

Methods of Improving Flexibility

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi
  • Hydro-therapy
  • Manipulative Therapy

One of the most notable benefits of theses methods is that it promotes muscular relaxation and because of this, can lessen lower back pain. Since those muscles are commonly contracted throughout the day, whether sitting or doing activities, they can become stressed and cause pain. Becoming more flexible in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and other muscles can help reduce that stress on the lower back and reduce the tightening that causes pain.

Yoga and pilates also increases the blood supply to muscle tissues, and your entire body delivering essential nutrients through your blood stream. It also increases joint synovial fluid, the lubricating fluid that promotes the transportation of nutrients to your joints. This allows for a greater range of motion, less joint pain and a reduced risk of joint degeneration.

Better Overall Health and Vitality can be achieved through above methods. You will notice less pain, improved movement, reduced muscle soreness, and improved physical performance. The feeling of well-being, and vitality you will notice as a result of a regular flexibility routine can provide many important health benefits.

“Stretching is not just a part of a workout, it can be a workout by itself.”

Improved-flexibility-Abbysan

3 Step Process To Build A Solid Foundation In Yoga

3 Step Process To Build A Solid Foundation In Yoga

It would be best to have a solid foundation in yoga for certain poses and prevent injuries from faulty yoga practices; this is also true of homes and education.

I will share some significant reasons you need to build a solid foundation in yoga and some tips on doing this.

1. Feet Foundation

Yoga is a barefoot practice; you use all your feet muscles almost in all yoga poses. That’s why the first thing you need to do is start with your feet. Your stance and foot placement are the most critical part of building your concrete foundation in yoga.

The foot and ankle have very complex and often opposing functional responsibilities. They must flexible to adapt to uneven surfaces. Transfer high forces, and allow movement of the body in multiple directions.

During weight-bearing activities, the foot must quickly transform into a rigid lever that allows muscular contractions to propel the body forward, upward, sideways or any combination of these motions.

Your feet will sense and report if you are about to fall, or if your body is having issues with the yoga pose, or if you need to modify the position.

The foot also has a vital role in balance, sensing body location, and maintaining an upright posture; they directly connect to your core.

Realigning your foot and ankle is the first step in avoiding injury and building a foundation for your core.

Recommended Abbysan Classes – Hatha Yoga 1 and 3

2. Leg Foundation

Establishing a solid leg foundation can help prevent you from passing out and to recognize your endurance level.

You need to develop strength in your legs without locking your knees because locking your knee can cause you to pass out in yoga classes. Preferably, find your stability in your legs and observe when your body may be feeling fatigued. Fatigue can lead to passing out and various issues.

Recommended Abbysan Classes – Hatha Yoga 1 and 3, Hip Flow.

3. Core Foundation

Whole-body awareness is the ultimate goal of building a foundation for Yoga practice.

The feet explicate your balance, your legs reveal fatigue, and your core foundation can determine if your mind and body are connected. When you can sense the disconnect, you can re-connect. This is the most considerable benefit for many people in yoga and trying to build a foundation.

Recommended Abbysan Classes – All Yoga Classes, and especially Back Stretch Vinyasa, Yoga Core, and Core Flow.

As you move through your yoga journey and practice, you will discover other reasons to make the solid foundation you need for your Asanas (Yoga Poses in Sanskrit) and daily routine.

When you have issues formulating your concrete foundation, consider a consultation with one of our yoga & wellness coaches. They can help you recognize and develop the foundation and work to make it stronger.

Join the presale list and get up to 200$ OFF on the YOGIC SCIENCE EXPERT CERTIFICATION COURSE by Dr Abhishek Agrawal opening on 9th August, 2021.

Why aren’t you as flexible as you were born?

Why aren't you flexible as born?

The human body is amazing and it never ceases to amaze – with the
ability to learn new techniques and adapt over time in order to survive – however,
there is one thing that it gradually ceases to do: be flexible.

A human fetus (unborn baby developing in the mother’s
womb) spends whole of its time floating and somersaulting in amniotic fluid
(water that breaks before a woman goes into labor). This could explain the
smooth flexibility of babies. One can often see an infant suckling their big
toe or tumbling left and right in their cots and cradles. This flexibility only
increases during childhood when they get the hang of their bodily functions.
The newly acquired skills of walking, running and jumping add to the mayhem as
kids are seen playing everywhere. However, this privilege starts to decline as
they get older.

The first slump in a kid’s
flexibility is during their teenage years or adolescence. In this age, kids are
having a rage in hormones and a lot of bones and joints are reaching
ossification (bones become rigid and strong). The second slump occurs in their
twenties – when they have reached their prime and are now regressing slowly to
a degenerative phase of their life.

The question is : why does this happen? Why don’t
we remain as flexible as when we are born? What factors affect this change?

1. Connective Tissues

Growth is a natural process. It happens to everyone. It is
inevitable. No elixir in the world can prevent it from happening. We grow
taller and more mature. We grow smarter and acquire new skills. Different
organs and systems in our body contribute in growth. To the naked eye, it would
appear that only our bones and muscles are getting bigger and longer. In
reality, our entire body is made up of congregations of cells. Connective
tissue is one of the most abundant kind of tissue present in the body. It holds
various structures and fluids in place.

As we grow, our connective tissues
also adapt to the surrounding conditions, environmental stress and genetic
predisposition. The cells grow bigger and multiply into various progenies
(families) until they can do no more. Their lifespan is spent and waste
products accumulate as a result of it. Common among these inclusions
(substances that are found suspended in cells) are lipids and pigments, eg
lipofuschin, which is a fatty brown pigment. [1]

The impact of these wastes makes cells
acquire a stiffer arrangement. Not only the vasculature (blood vessels like
arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood) or airways, tissues also have
great trouble getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Thus, they end up
getting stiff. This change, however, is not sudden.

2. Joint Structure Formation

When we are born, we are very small
and flexible  This is because majority of
the structures in our body have not undergone complete development. The bones
have not been completely fused and hasn’t acquired complete length either.

Aging leads to ossification (becoming
rigid) of bones and development of joints. As these elements fix, our body
loses flexibility. It has also been observed in cases of immense stress that
our muscles tend to become taut. Acute or chronic stress can directly injure
muscle tissue by increasing damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a
greater rate of accumulations in the cells 
This cell damage leads to apoptosis (cell death) of muscle cells, and
thus, contributing to increased rigidity and decreased mobility. [2]

3. Bone and Muscle Hardening

It is apparent that the body undergoes various changes with time.
Our bones are initially soft and our movements more swift. However, it is our
habits that shape how our body transforms. For example, how pelvic joint fuses
and bones of the body become harder as we get involved in various day to day
activities. Whether we are active or sedentary also determines the fate of our
flexibility. The more active someone is, the more likely he or she is to be
swift in their movements. It has also been noted that activities like
stretching directly contributes to ease in mobility, whereas weight training
and heavy duty activities decrease it.

But it is essential to note that activities are performed during
a certain time frame. It is the long-term position of our body that ultimately
determines our state. Just like prolonged collision with a water stream can
form rivers or even crack open rocks, repetitive movements – or lack thereof – can
leave lasting effects. Good posture is key.

Everyone must have heard phrases like “don’t
make that face or it will stick that way” in their childhood. Well, there is
some truth in it. How you stand or sit affects the alignment of your body. If
you continuously cock your head forward near a screen or perhaps bend your neck
to get a closer view of your phone every other minute, you might see a hump
forming in some time. This is the effect of posture.

Other than the position we maintain while we’re
wide awake, our sleeping positions also matter. On average, we sleep 6 to 8
hours a day, and some even 9 or 10 hours. The posture we maintain during this
time can affect the mobility of our joints and the tautness of our muscles and
fasciae (the connective tissue sleeves that cover muscles and associated
structures in place, fitting like a glove).

4. Race

It is undeniable that our genetic makeup plays a major role in determining our adaptation in every aspect of life. Whether it is contributing to our intelligence or our physical characteristics. It has been observed that most Asians with have soft connective tissues as compared to the people of the West. [3]

5. Use It or Lose It

There is a simple theory called “use it or lose it”.
According to this, if you keep on using your joints and performing everyday
activities, you will remain able to move swiftly. It is seen that kids move
around a lot and thus are immensely flexible but as they start to age, pain and
inflammation, and a sedentary lifestyle prevents them from practicing and
exercising their joints at the rate they used to. This leads to a disuse
atrophy and joints become hypoflexible (less flexible). [4]

Thus, it can be summed up that healthy lifestyle modifications early on in life can contribute to a healthier and easier adulthood, with lesser obstacles in movement. Eating healthy foods, regularly exercising, and good posture can set you up for a flexible life.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2147307/

[2] https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body

[3] https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article-abstract/26/1/9/1781943?redirectedFrom=fulltext

[4] https://arapc.com/maintaining-flexibility-with-aging/

9 Principles of Health and Longevity

Tips on How to Stay Healthy in Phuket

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

You want to live a long and healthy life, full of beauty, love, and contentment, long enough to achieve your purpose in the world, to see your kids grow up and be happy, and to enjoy all the great experiences that life has to offer.

Get a Lot of Fresh Air

1. Get a lot of fresh AIR

The air we breathe plays an essential part in our health and functioning.

People often tend to forget about the importance of spending time outside and underestimate the health benefits of spending time outdoors.

Here is a list of important health benefits of fresh air:

  • Fresh air is good for digestion.
  • It improves your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • It makes you happier.
  • Strengthens your immune system.
  • Fresh air cleans your lungs.
  • You will have more energy and a sharper mind.

Enjoy time outdoors and get the maximum out of the health benefits of fresh air.
If you are spending most of your time inside the air-conditioned office or home, you are forcing your body to use stale air. By doing so you are making it harder for your body to stay healthy and fresh.

Long-term exposure to toxic or polluted air can compromise the health and functioning of the cells and organs of our body leading to increased susceptibility to infections and various forms of the disease.

Some long-term effects of polluted air include Lung cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, and even damage to parts of the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys, etc.”

Drink Ample Amounts of Water

2. Drink ample amounts of WATER

Our body is made up of about 75% water. Every single cell is made up of water including the cells in our own body. Water is critical for the life and functioning of cells, tissues, and organs in our body. Water carries elements of life and has the ability to transmit and maintain them.

Consequently, thought processes, movements, nerve function, blood circulation, digestion, elimination of waste, etc., depend on water for their normal and effective functioning.

Did you know drinking water at different times of the day and before and after certain activities have a tremendous benefit to our Health.
Drinking plenty of water helps to:

  1.  Maximize Physical Performance
  2.  Positively affects Energy Levels and Brain Function
  3.  Prevent and Treat Headaches
  4.  Relieve Constipation
  5.  Treat Kidney Stones
  6.  Prevent Hangovers
  7.  Reduce Body Fat

Get Adequate Amounts of Sunlight

3. Get adequate amounts of SUNLIGHT

The Sun provides the basis for all life on earth. The body manufactures vitamin D after being exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is critical for the body because it helps the body absorb calcium and also helps it keep the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

Without a sufficient amount of vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or even misshapen.

Eat Whole Food that Have Strong Nutrious Values

4. Eat WHOLE FOOD that has strong NUTRITIOUS values

Real food consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, unprocessed meats and seafood, and naturally-occurring starches and fats. What we eat plays a significant role in the functioning of our body, health, and well-being. Emphasize vegetables, and eat local or organic whenever possible. Eating food with little or no nutritious value can, over time, lower the effectiveness of the body’s defense system and compromise your physical and mental health.

Besides choosing healthier, whole foods it’s essential to learn how to consume less at each meal. Keep this in mind:

  1. Don’t serve meals family-style, with heaping plates and bowls of food on the dining table for everyone to help themselves. You’ll all consume about 14 percent less if you dish out everything at the counter and put the rest away.
  2. You can trick your mind and stomach by making food look bigger than it is; for example, cut back on the cheese and meat in a sandwich and load it up with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and other veggies.
  3. Find smaller plates and bowls to serve food in; the bigger the dish, the more we fill it (and then think we have to eat it all).
  4. Focus on your food, not the TV. Eat more slowly to give your body time to recognize the signs that you’re no longer feeling hungry.
  5. Avoid sugar, processed and packaged foods, which tend to lead to weight gain, cardio-metabolic issues, disposition toward diabetes, and declines in brain health and function.
  6. Eat vegetables daily, aiming for four to six servings (2 to 6 cups).
  7. Limit meat portions to no larger than the size of a deck of cards.
  8. Eat nuts, but watch the portion size; a 1-ounce serving can be 150–200 calories.

Get Adequate Amount of Sleep

5. Get an adequate amount of SLEEP

Sleep plays a critical role in people’s physical as well as their mental health and functioning. Lack of sleep can compromise immune system effectiveness, which can lead to various forms of health problems. Some experts believe that lack of sleep can make the body become resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps carry glucose from the bloodstream to cells. Other problems resulting from lack of sleep include lack of mental clarity, memory problems, moody disposition, and higher stress level.

Be Active and Regularly Perform Physical Movements

6. Be active and regularly perform physical MOVEMENTS

Staying active doesn’t necessarily mean just going to the gym a few times per week. It means making low-intensity physical activity a daily part of life, and little changes make a big difference.

Physical movement is fundamental to the human experience. Throughout history, humans have walked, run, lifted things, carried them over distances, and crafted natural resources to their own use (building shelters, making tools).

Some benefits of moving multiple times a day include reduced risk of developing diabetes, control of type II diabetes, reduce risk for high blood pressure, reduce level of current high blood pressure, control weight gain, build healthy and strong bones, muscles and joints, improve blood flow throughout the body, improves the body’s capacity to use calories, and reduces both mental and physical stress.

Be active without having to think about it.

Here is what you can do to be active:

  1. Get rid of handy helpers like the TV remote, the snowblower, the power lawnmower.
  2. Hand washes your car without a pressure washer.
  3. Plant a garden, it reduces stress and produces fresh, healthy vegetables.
  4. Walk to a colleague’s office rather than emailing or calling them.
  5. Conduct the meetings during walks.

Here is what you can do for better movements:

  1. Walk, maybe jog or sprint a little every day.
  2. Pick up the kids or groceries and lift them over your head.
  3. Dance, do whatever movement feels natural for you.
  4. The Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi are the most effective mindful movements to keep all organ systems especially endocrine, nervous and lymphatic system responsive.
  5. Regular AEROBIC EXERCISE is beneficial in making your heart stronger and works more efficiently by reducing the amount of fat that can build up which can interfere with electrical impulses necessary for the proper functioning of the heart.

Stay Connected with a Community Around You

7. Stay connected with a COMMUNITY around you

Get together with friends, family, and people with shared interests face-to-face; stop hiding behind the internet. Humans need connection and social support and you are no different. Tribes and close-knit communities are what helped us survive. Make spending quality time with family and friends a priority. Those with regular positive social interaction, tend to live longer and happier across all cultures.

Remember to Play & Laugh

8. PLAY & LAUGH

Play not only helps us stay connected and relieves stress, but it also sparks learning, imagination, creativity, and problem-solving (source), so perhaps more play just might be the creative in-sight need to discover the fountain of youth.

Perhaps if you let yourself laugh, joke, roll, jump, hide and seek, you’d all be a little happier, a little less worried, and have more energy to live a little longer. Plus, the fun of play can oftentimes lead to laughter and laughter is the best medicine.

Try to see the humor in life, be able to roll with the punches, and flow with life ups and downs and you’re sure to live a long life. Too much or too frequent stress causes the body to age more quickly; it negatively impacts the endocrine system, the adrenals, and even the heart.

Experience Gratitude Peace & Contentment

9. Experience GRATITUDE, PEACE, & CONTENTMENT

Whenever possible, feel gratitude in your body, let that be the foundation of contentment and you will be at peace. This is the counterpoint to striving too hard, being continually dissatisfied with your life, and looking outward for happiness because all of this creates added stress and lowers mood, which impacts the quality of life, the willingness to live, and since the mind influences the body, physical health is also compromised.

One quote that comes to mind is, “So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health” by A. J. Reb Materi.
Fortunately, to experience gratitude, peace, contentment, and the health and longevity it brings, you don’t have to spend money or time searching for it. These positive sentiments will see you through a happy life and their effects will ensure your body wants to live a long time in radiant health.

Observing these principles will have you eat right, maintain the community that nourishes your spirit, lift your mood, keep your brain sharp, and ensure your body is healthy to sustain yours for a long and vital life.

Leave a comment below and let us know what do you see as fundamental to a long and healthy life.
“Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.” – Osho

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Large Group Pilates Classes

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Do Large Pilates Classes

Let’s say that you get a common cold. So you then call your doctor and you make an appointment in order to get a custom treatment. You meet with the doctor, he looks at you and asks you questions, and then prescribes a treatment. It’s the same for when you break your arm…you go to an orthopedic doctor and you get it fixed. When your child is sick you go to a pediatrician, and so on.

What do all of these situations have in common? Well, they are all specialists in their field and they are all offering individual consultations. In none of these cases, you don’t go to a group class.

So if you have back issues or a poor posture and you decide to try Pilates, why would you go to a class with 20 other people? Each one of them has their own health issues and limitations, so doing a generic Pilates program will definitely not help.

What should you do instead? 

Now let’s look in more detail at some of the reasons why group classes are not so effective when it comes to Pilates:

1. Safety Pilates is not a dangerous activity, but there is a slight risk involved. Most people that begin doing it are out of shape and have a bad posture or various back issues, so even when doing very simple poses they can get injured.

This especially applies to Reformer Pilates classes, where those big devices can be overwhelming for some people. Those machines have lots of benefits, but only if they are used correctly.

When teaching to a large group of 20 or more people, the Pilates instructor will simply not have the time to show the movements to each and every person and to assist and correct everyone. Each person has its own issues and limitations, and there are certain exercises that work great and others that should be avoided. So the training program should be customized based on each person’s individual needs.

2. Getting Results – people don’t go to Pilates just for the fun of it, and they usually want to achieve a certain goal. And this can only be achieved by performing the movements with the correct form. Not knowing how to do each exercise correctly will not activate the right muscles and will not give the needed results.

3. Personalized Instructions – even if someone knows how to correctly perform all the movements, this still does not guarantee results. And this is because each person is unique, and each person has certain muscle imbalances or tightness. So the movements should be adjusted according to each participant’s needs.

4. Quantity Over Quality – personal trainers and group trainers need to make a living too, and sometimes they take shortcuts. They focus on training as many people as possible in order to earn as much money as possible and neglect the quality of each class.

This explains why individual classes are more expensive than group classes. But instead of wasting your money on group classes that don’t produce any results, it’s better to invest a bit more on individual classes that actually work.

5. Lack of Commitment – there are some exceptions here, but most classes do not follow a path toward an end-goal. You simply go there and perform just about the same movements every week. It’s better to show up and do something than to do nothing, but with the time you will get bored. This is why all the classes are full in January, and slowly decrease with each passing week.

Sure, some of the group classes have a certain path and they evolve over time. But this has a drawback as well: if some people miss a class or two, then they are left behind and it’s very hard to pick up when they come back.

So individual classes are much better, as you can do things at your own pace, and be able to keep up even when you missed a class or two.

6. Lack of Flexibility – group classes always takes place at the same hour and at the same day of the week. So if anything comes up and you can’t make it at that exact hour, then you missed your workout. This then leads to what we talked about at the previous point, and you end up quitting the class altogether. However, the private classes can be scheduled whenever you are available and can be postponed or moved according to your needs.

There were 6 important reasons why Pilates group classes are not effective. So what’s the solution? 1 on 1 class or at least classes with up to 3 people max. The Abbysan center offers both private classes and 3rio classes that have a maximum of 3 attendees. Our classes are highly personalized and adapted to your own needs and limitations. Find out more by visiting this link.

Why Fancy Yoga Postures Are Not Important

Why Fancy Yoga Postures Are Not Important

So it’s Monday evening and you are tired after a long day at work, but you just signed up for that cool Yoga class, so you drag yourself there. But after the warm-up and a few simple poses, the teacher asks everyone to do a handstand, a headstand or who knows what kind of crazy arm balance pose.

Everyone seems to go for it, so you try it as well. But you end up falling, diving into your nose or even injuring yourself. You were never good at arm balances, but you see everyone doing them on social media, claiming that they feel so amazing afterwards. But those complicated poses you see on Instagram are the results of years of practice and a life long journey of yoga. There are many factors involved in what poses someone can or cannot do, and they include age, occupation, body type, joints, range of motions, genetic tissue composition and the acquired postural habits.

And the truth is that head standing or arm balances don’t matter. None of the fancy looking postures are that important, and not a single posture will make a huge difference in your life or bring you closer to enlightenment. What’s more important is to do the poses suited for your level and experience, to stick to yoga on the long term and to gradually get better at it.

The History of Yoga

While yoga has been around for thousands of years, the truth is that these fancy poses are relatively new. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a popular text from the second century does not mention any postures at all, except for seated meditation. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a book from the 14th century only includes 15 poses, which are quite basic.

The first texts with more complex yoga poses only appeared in the 1800s and become more popular in the mid-1900s. So they are new practices that were definitely not performed by our ancestors and the inventers of yoga. There are now hundreds of postures and new ones are invented regularly. Does this mean that you need to learn and master ALL the postures in order to reap the benefits of yoga? Definitely not!

What Should You Do Instead?

If you really want to do those fancy yoga poses, you simply need to be patient and to practice them a lot. Anyone can develop certain skills with the right training and persistence. But if you are a regular person that does yoga once or twice a week, then it’s more important to develop skills and mobility that can help you in the day to day life.

A responsive body with good reflexes and a good balance will help you to walk and to run better, to have a quicker response when slipping on ice or to avoid certain dangers and injuries. Having mobility will allow you to easily perform cleaning or gardening tasks and keep up with your children when playing with them. And the great part is that you only need a few yoga and Pilates postures in order to break free from pain and mobility limitations, and to live a better life.

Because of certain health issues and severe limitations, some people may not do any yoga poses at all. But they still can benefit from the meditation and the yoga philosophies & practices that make you calmer and more emotionally balanced. They can also make you love yourself more and love others as well, and least but not last they can help you discover your true self and accept who you are.

Many people have reached a state of wellbeing without ever being able to stand on their head or on their hands. Some have even become successful yoga teachers without being able to perform ALL of the crazy acrobatic yoga techniques.

Not being able to perform certain poses discourages a lot of people and they quit yoga altogether. But this should not happen. You should go there because it makes you feel better and you like it. You should not feel forced to do yoga just because it’s cool and looks good on social media. The yoga mat should become your best friend and you should really look forward to using it. Even if you don’t always get to the classes, you can take a few minutes at home (or even at the office), and just seat in silence, reflect and meditate. This can be more beneficial than going to a yoga class on a Monday evening and performing a head stand.

If it seems like fun and you feel like doing those poses, sure, go for it! But if it doesn’t feel right and only makes you feel uncomfortable and inadequate, just forget about it and focus on the poses that you CAN do. Sticking to yoga and Pilates on the long term is much more important than one single fancy pose.

In case you need a healthy diet approach, mindfulness coaching or Yoga & Pilates classes, the Abbysan Center is here to help. Contact us today!

Real Cause Of Sports Injuries

Real Cause of Sports Injuries

The answer to a fit and balanced body is definitely not found in sports. Sure, sports are fun, have some health benefits, and get us outdoors. Some are good for us. But to consider starting a sport to have a fit and well-balanced body is not the best option. Sports do not get us in shape; they actually get us out of shape.

The problem with most sports is that they develop tight muscles and create imbalances, either because of uneven use of muscle groups or because of uneven use of one side of the body.

Imbalances in Running and Tennis

Let’s take running for example. Sure, it is great for the cardiovascular system. But it dramatically tightens the muscles at the back of the legs. And besides this, it has no effect on most other muscles of the body. This intense shortening or disproportionate strengthening results in major muscular and structural imbalances.

Tennis is a game of repetition, and it creates a lot of strength and flexibility imbalances throughout the entire body, imbalances that could lead to injuries if not corrected. First of all, the player gets stronger in his dominant side and by always hitting the ball with the same hand. All parts of the body are linked together in a kinetic chain, and when one single part of this entire system does not work properly, it can create imbalances throughout the entire body and injuries on muscles that need to take abnormal loads.

Long Term Side Effects

The harder you train, the tighter your muscles will become, and this applies to most sports. Sure, there are some benefits to this as well. You will initially lose a few pounds, burn some fat, add some muscle mass and feel great about yourself. The problems appear over the long term when imbalances are created (unless you do something about this).

Muscle tightness or imbalances are bad, but they are not that bad. Some people can live with them for their whole life, not even realizing what the problem is. The real problem is when these imbalances lead to major injuries. Then you will have to quit working out completely or to switch to a different activity and start it all over from scratch, losing all of the progress you made to this point.

But switching to a different sport or activity will not solve the problem, and will eventually lead to the same injury again. We already discussed more about this in a previous article, and the solution lies in Yoga and Pilates.

Imbalances Lead to Injuries

Invariably, a lack of awareness about existing imbalances and the need for total fitness training is what leads to injuries. All injuries in sports are caused by structural and muscular imbalances, and we are not talking here about the obvious cases where you fall of the bike, you trip over a rock or the hockey puck hits you in the head.

If you start a training program with an existing imbalance that may have developed over the years from poor posture, an old injury or genetic bad luck, it will make its presence known at one point during training. The same thing is true when developing muscular and structural imbalance as a result of training.

Unfortunately, old-fashioned stretching is not something that most people like to do or have time for. And then, they slowly have to witness their bodies getting tighter and tighter. They eventually recall their pre-training days when they were free of muscle tightness and they were still able to touch their toes.

In the morning they barely crawl from bed to a hot shower, to their training clothes, and maybe also take an aspirin or two on the way. Then they wander through the city in search of chiropractors, physical therapists and orthopedists.

The Solution

Once injured, you will have to go through a lot of re-patterning, body tissue adaptations and changes in muscle length and strength ratios. If you got injured 1 year ago and didn’t do any rehabilitation, then the recovery will also take 1 year or more. It’s the same with weight loss. If you gained a lot of weight over the course of 2 years, it will also take around 2 years of eating healthy and working out in order to get back in great shape.

No matter the type of muscle imbalance or tightness you have, we can help you get back to normal through our Yoga and Pilates programs. We have many years of experience, helping both professional athletes and regular people. We offer a wide variety of methods and classes that can help relieve stress, treat certain medical conditions, rehabilitate after injuries, have more mobility and a better posture. Check our website for more info and contact us today! The staff at the Abbysan Center will gladly assist you!

Be Pain Free – One Alternative

Be Pain Free - One Alternative

With half the celebrities around the world getting their pictures taken leaving Pilates classes, and perhaps your friends and neighbors reducing aches and pains and becoming fit with Pilates, you might be wondering about Pilates lessons for yourself.

What’s Pilates?

“A core workout” is the vaguest answer you will get in just one sentence. Still, surely there is more to it, and only a professional Pilates instructor will be able to give you a better answer.

“Excuse my technical terms in this article, but I can’t help it. I found most individuals rarely make an effort or want to learn more about themselves than they do about others.”

Restructure Your Core

Your Core is your entire body from your diaphragm to your pelvic floor. Pilates can help make your abs stronger or give you better muscular endurance in your Core. Honestly, the focus of a Pilates class is primarily on your inner unit “powerhouse.” That being the central focus of the Pilates programs at Abbysan Centre, it will also serve your back, arms, legs, neck, and feet!

Rebuild muscle tone

You might know at least one Celebrities who credit Pilates as the reason for their toned muscles. It makes your arms lean and toned.

Maintaining the underlying tissue quality of Gluteal muscles is your best asset. It helps in maintaining pelvic stability, knee alignment, power in jumps, speed when running, and make your buttock look shapely in tights, of course. Do Pilates for a more extended, leaner muscle system making you stand taller and look slimmer!

Dancers love it

Pilates is the exercise of dancers. Think of the bodies you see in movies or on the stage — if you want long, lean muscles and ensure the safety of your joints, unlike the dancers; then this is the workout for you.

Athlete and Sport’s Conditioning

Late, Mr. Joseph Pilates initially developed the method as a rehabilitative tool. Joseph Pilates, a German gymnast, born in 1883, who believed that poor posture goes hand-in-hand with poor health and dedicated his life to teaching his exercise techniques. He had a strong belief that having an awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, we could develop the deep spinal and abdominal muscles, and reduce stress.

Clinical Pilates

* Chronic Low back pain (LBP)

* Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)

* Post Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

* Multiple sclerosis

* Lymphedema after Breast Cancer Treatment

* Spinal Deformities

Warning!

  1. If you have an injury, consider doing a few one-on-one sessions with one of our Pilates specialists first to learn the basics. On a personal level, always remember the rule that if something hurts, don’t do it.
  2. Attending classes throughout pregnancy also significantly help and speeds up the process of getting your body back in shape after childbirth. Remember, as with any exercise, always check with your doctor first, and remember to tell your trainer that you are pregnant before commencing class.

Abbysan Studio is located at the entrance of boat lagoon in Phuket, offering highly effective body sculpting Pilates workouts.

Based on various studies indicate people who practice Pilates with proper technique over time see the following benefits:

  • Improved flexibility and mobility
  • Trunk stability
  • Core and pelvic floor strength
  • Injury prevention
  • Improved posture
  • Improved coordination and athletic performance in some sports.

Dr. Abhishek Agrawal

As a pilates instructor, I feel rewarded when my clients achieve their goals, be it getting pain-free or having more ease-of-movement.

Visit the following research links for your reference

Pilates: how does it work, and who needs it?

The Effects of Pilates Mat Exercise on the Balance Ability of Elderly Females

Effects of modified Pilates on the variability of inter-joint coordination during walking in the elderly.

Impact of Clinical Pilates Exercises on Patients Developing Lymphedema after Breast Cancer Treatment

Pelvic Floor – The Base Of Your Core

Pelvic Floor - The Base Of Your Core

Your body is a majestic work of art. Different concepts and ideas have been morphed together to create symmetry and functional physics so you can do all sorts of things. You have a number of nerves, vessels, muscles and bones carefully put together to perform certain functions.

Most parts of the human body show symmetry and this is mirrored in different parts like eyes, ears, arms etc. The hip bone also shows symmetry. What most people do not know is that we have two hip bones that are fused together. Now, imagine this, your conjoined hip bone is like a bowl or a vase with its bottom cut. So naturally, a vase needs some sort of base to hold all of the beautiful flowers it contains. That’s where the pelvic floor comes in.

What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is literally a floor for the pelvis (the lower part of the torso between the abdomen and the legs). It is made up of a group of muscles, arranged in layers, that stretches out like a hammock attached to the symphysis pubis (the place where two hip bones join in the front) and the coccyx (the tail bone that is considered the very end of the spine, and is present at the back).

What is the pelvic floor?

Where is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is present at the bottom of the pelvis (the area between the abdomen and the legs). To get a general idea, your pelvic floor has holes for your anus and urethra to pass through. So now, you can imagine where your pelvic floor is.

What is the importance of pelvic floor?

This hammock of muscles acts to support all the pelvic organs like the bladder, womb (uterus) and bowel (colon). These organs have openings to the outside of the body through tubes, namely, urethra, vagina and anus. The urethra (present in the front most from where you pee), the vagina (present in the middle of urethra and anus) and the anus (present at the back from where you poop) all pass through the pelvic floor muscles. So every time these pelvic floor muscles contract, it would tighten the tubes and every time the pelvic floor muscles relax, it would loosen the tubes. In this way, the pelvic floor muscles can be held responsible for regulating micturation (the process of passing urine), sexual activity, and defecation (the process of eliminating feces/ poop from the body). Therefore, the dual role of the pelvic floor is to provide support for the pelvic viscera (bladder, bowel and uterus) and maintain the functional integrity of these organs.  Hence, it is necessary to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong.

The pelvic floor can be activated along with the surrounding muscles in association with the body and lumbopelvic posture as well as sitting posture. In patients with incontinence, urine usually leaks out in the standing position as a result of gravity and pressure from the pelvic organs on the musculofascial supportive structures. Learning to activate the pelvic floor can be helpful in patients of incontinence.

In addition, it was detected that the pelvic floor muscles showed a feed-forward response during arm and leg lifts in women, according to research in Sweden. This was especially evident in women who had previously given birth and were without lumbopelvic pain. These normal speed movements set off an electromyographic response for pelvic floor muscles.

Due to the constant burden on pelvic floor muscles, with the added effect of pregnancy and labor in women, the pelvic floor can become weakened or lax with age. Since the pelvic floor supports various organs, continuous pressure or an increase thereof can lead to prolapse.

What are some methods or techniques to activate the pelvic floor?

The muscles of the pelvic floor are so out of tune with our body that we may not know how to control them. To relearn how we can control the different types of muscles in that area is called activation of the pelvic floor.

The first thing on the checklist is knowing which muscle is which. This can be done by squatting and trying to tighten all those different tubes. This would help in recognizing the muscles. Try to stop midstream when urinating. Remember, do not tighten your buttocks. Squeeze and draw in the muscles around your anus and your vagina at the same time while lifting them up inside as if you are trying to suck in water inside them. Make sure you are breathing correctly. You should have a sense of lift each time you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, trying to hold them strong and tight all the while counting to 8. Now, let the muscles go and relax, just like your thighs. You should have a distinct feeling of letting go of ad relaxation.

It is best to rest for about 8 seconds in between each lift up of the muscles. Of course, it is possible that you cannot hold for 8. In this case, just hold for as long as you can. 

Repeat this “squeeze and lift” as many times as you can, up to a limit of 8 to 12 squeezes.

Try to do three repetitions of 8 to 12 squeezes each, with a rest in between.

Do this whole training plan (three sets of 8 to 12 squeezes) each day while lying down, sitting or standing.

What is the cause of pelvic floor weakness?

Muscles of the pelvic floor are most often not used voluntarily but they play quite a role involuntarily when we shift all of our stress to this area. You see, every time we are faced with a stressful situation, the muscles of the pelvic floor clench themselves. This constant state of clenching hinders the power of the muscles to perform well as they might not contract and be stuck in their contracted state.

This lack of control of pelvic floor muscles leads to a lack of control of other important bodily functions like micturation, defecation, sexual activity, et cetera.

What is the relationship of the pelvic floor with latent energy and Kundalini?

All the negative energy from stress situations is gathered in the pelvic floor. This collection of energy must be released in order to maintain a balance. Different postural variations in exercise and yoga play an important role in stress release. Kundalini energy is a term used to refer to this energy that is locked in the Mula banda (pelvic region). This area is best stimulated while strategically contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor in coordination with your breathing and contraction and relaxation of other muscles of the body. Repeatedly exercising for a good five minutes will result in shifting of this energy upward and outside the body.

What is the relationship of the pelvic floor and breathing?

The pelvic floor is depressed downwards when we breathe in. This is because the air that enters the lungs puts pressure on the diaphragm. The diaphragm pushes on the organs below and the pressure is transmitted via the pelvic organs to the pelvic floor. It is said that while breathing in, the pelvic floor must not be contracted, so as not to squash the pelvic organs. To the pelvic floor should be relaxed. Whereas when breathing out, there is no positive pressure on either the pelvic floor or the organs, so, the floor can be contracted now.