How much flexibility is enough?

I like to start by answering a simple questions and at the end of this post I have a list of 5 questions you can self reflect on. 

Okay, here we go…

Do you want to be Flexible or Functional?

They are not the same.

Flexible can translate to being pliable; or bending without breaking.

Functional however refers to working conditions; being able to move with ease.

A functional body is naturally both flexible and strong.

Let’s take two common scenarios of flexibility to understand this better:

  1. A gymnast 🤸‍♀️ needs the highest amounts of flexibility which comes from joints distraction. Compromising joint integrity by the excessive joint range of motions.
  2. We are naturally born both flexible and functional and mostly stay that way till the age of 6-8 which comes from less resistance in the muscles, which keeps the joint’s range of motion optimal.

And as most of us are born naturally flexible when we involve in various functional activities/sports (except gymnastics and similar activities that promote hyper-flexibility) our body develops accordingly.

If you are involved in tennis from a young age your body will develop one-sidedly.

If you are involved in running or similar sports you will develop certain muscles more than others and so on. You get the idea.

So unless you are competing in Olympics as the best gymnast, aiming for a highly flexible body is not necessary. (And of course, that is your decision to make)

But, in my opinion, the best option is to be both.

Flexible + Strong = Functional

Sound simple?

It’s not that simple; because there is a limitation to measuring the level of flexibility and strength someone needs to go by the day and it differs from person to person.

And if you are stiff like wood then that just shows how much you screwed up your posture over the years.

And randomly stretching a tight muscle is not the right solution, perhaps the worse. Most people don’t know the difference between tight and overworked muscle.

Let’s try to understand this with an example;

It’s most obvious you feel tense and overworked when you have to do the job of 2 people just because your boss hasn’t found a replacement for the employees he fired last month. (Yes you can handle it for a few weeks or months but what happens afterward)

We can also debate on stretching helps relax the overworked muscle. Same as you need to get a massage on a weekend or grab a drink after work or have a smoke during work breaks to relax your mind.

You see all that is just temporary and you need to look for a long term solution; hire the people so you don’t have to do their job and you can be more efficient.

Same as improving your posture by training the right muscles to do their job to maintain a good posture.

That’s going to ultimately reduce the stress and tension and you won’t feel an urge to become flexible.

See the problem with becoming flexible or feeling the need for stretching is an addiction.

And not different than a person lifting weights playing sports running hiking all day, every day. (Perhaps they are only good at doing that!) and

That’s just an addictive behavior that comes from limiting beliefs. Many of our behaviors are shaped by our limiting beliefs.

How many times have you got a suggestion from your friend, girlfriend, wife, or colleague to try yoga?

…You either tried yoga, loved it, and still doing it…

…Or you did once and said it’s not for you…

…Or perhaps you did so much that now you are the yoga teacher yourself…

No matter where you are at now in your yoga journey it’s important to look back and remember the primary reason and reflect on it for a few minutes.

Now self reflect or answer these questions.

  1. What level of flexibility have you achieved?
  2. How long did it take to get there?
  3. What has changed in your body since then that has directly improved your physical ability to do something with ease?
  4. Do you feel functional or just flexible?
  5. Are you satisfied with your current posture?

And if you are looking for accountability send your answers to info@abbysan.com

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!