5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA GO FAR BEYOND FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY

For centuries yoga has been considered a workout for the mind, body and soul. Last month I wrote a piece for Natural Health Magazine where I shared five surprising health benefits of yoga that you may not realise and I wanted to share these with you just incase you missed it…

1. BOOSTS CIRCULATION AND IMMUNITY

By practising yoga, you are not only training your body to adopt postures and learn sequences, but you are also taking control of your breathing. The correlation between movement and breathing aids the circulation of blood flow, which in turn improves your internal organ functions and boosts your body’s immune system – leaving you fit as a fiddle.

THE KEY POSE: SUN SALUTATION (SURYA NAMASKAR)

This eight pose sequence will generate great circulation and an increased but controlled breathing rate.

2. INCREASE YOUR SEXUAL LIBIDO

There is both a mental and a physical relationship between yoga and sexual libido. The mental process of controlling your breathing whilst practising yoga will improve your sexual performance. The physical movement involved to achieve the desired pose will increase blood flow to the genital area and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, also known as the Mula Bandha. An increased circulation of blood flow will also heighten the level of sexual arousal, and so through yoga you can increase your libido and fire up your sex life.

THE KEY POSE: BOUND ANGLE POSE (BADDHA KONASANA)

This pose is a great hip opener, strengthens your inner thighs and stimulates your pelvic floor muscles.

3. RELIEVES STRESS AND ANXIETY

Yoga is known as a relaxing activity and those feelings of contentment and satisfaction go far beyond the practice itself. Yoga helps you to find a physical, mental and emotional balance which can reduce underlying levels of stress and anxiety. The mind-body practice of yoga which combines posture, meditation and breathing can lower blood pressure and restore a healthy resting heart rate.

THE KEY POSE: CORPSE POSE (SHAVASANA)

This pose will allow the body to regroup, relax and reset itself.

4. PROMOTES BETTER POSTURE, BALANCE AND BODY AWARENESS

Yoga teaches you how to hold and control your body in a healthier position. The more you practise, the more you will see your balance and body awareness improve outside of the exercise. In a yoga class, you are coached to make small, subtle adjustments to improve your body alignment – this can lead to an improved posture in the long run. In doing so, it will increase the level of comfort you have in your own body, and lead to greater self-confidence.

THE KEY POSE: TREE POSE (VRIKSASANA)

This pose will improve your sense of balance, body awareness and postural control.

5. SPEEDS UP THE HANGOVER RECOVERY PROCESS

Following a night out on the town, or even just one too many glasses of vino, yoga may well be the last thing on your mind. However, it is a proven way to increase the metabolism and detoxify your entire system. Poses such as the ‘Fish’ and ‘Shoulderstand’ work on stimulating the thyroid gland, improving metabolism and allowing you to recover more quickly from a hangover. The right yoga routine will also cleanse your body as a detoxifying yoga sequence can squeeze out toxins, ease digestion and build lean muscle mass.

THE KEY POSE: SEATED TWIST (ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA)

This pose will cleanse your body by stimulating the liver, kidneys and digestive tract.

Why not purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programme available on the SupaChick shop, and try collaborating your workout routine with some yoga on your designated holistic training days t0 find out for yourself how yoga may benefit you in more ways than you think…

BE FIT, BE WELL, BE SUPA!

SupaChick x

SupaChick

Sleep to stay young!

Sleep is a key component to the desired healthy lifestyle you have always dreamt about…EVERYTHING happens in your sleep! Reductions in the amount or quality of sleep has been associated with many disorders including: lack of energy, poor memory and performance,premature ageing and being overweight to name a few. Some people seem to neglect the importance of aiming to get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Here I have broken sleep effects down into 4 categories: Muscles, Skin, Brain and Digestion to allow you to gain a better insight into the relationship sleep has with each and really make catching some zzz’s top of your priorities.

1. Muscles

Sleep is the prime time for your body to rest, restore, and reset. Your growth hormone only functions at night meaning it is prime time for your lean muscles to grow and in turn burn body fat whilst doing so.

2. Skin

During sleep your skins grows and sheds at a faster rate resulting in cellular renewal and noticeably glowing skin.

3. Brain

Sleep has been proven to improve memory and concentration levels meaning you are more alert and ready to tackle your day.

4. Digestion

Your parasympathetic nervous system is dominant at rest (sleep being the best form of rest of course) which favours blood flow through your entire bloodstream which enhances absorption of gut breakdown products. Parasympathetic activation also stimulates salivary gland secretion, gastric activity and peristalsis – all aiding in digestion efficiency.

SupaTips:

  1. Aim to get 6-8 hours of sleep per day
  2. Reductions in quality sleep can lead to a number of disorders
  3. Sleep has a positive relationship with your Muscles, Skin, Brain and Digestion.

Why not CLICK HERE to purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programme available on the SupaChick shop, and introduce an innovative workout routine alongside adequate sleep and see for yourself how amazing you feel!

BE FIT. BE WELL. BE SUPA!

SupaChick x

SupaChick

Wellness – What is it and how can we improve it?

I am sure, like me, you have been witnessing the use of the buzz word “wellness” in recent months and many coaches and fitness professionals are now calling themselves ‘Wellness Coaches’ rather than Fitness Instructors or Personal Trainers…but what actually is “Wellness”?

The term ‘Wellness’ is defined as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life.

Easily understood by most but firstly how do you start doing this and who knows which information is correct in todays media.  Secondly, how do I make choices and changes that will last and ultimately improve my wellness…

There are many types of wellness – Occupational, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Financial to name a few, but I would like to focus on two types that are well within your own control and with a little focus are easier than you think to maintain.  Physical wellness and Emotional wellness

Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking professional assistance where needed. Physical health is attained through exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and paying attention to the signs of illness and getting help when needed.

Emotional wellness relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress. It is important to pay attention to self-care, relaxation, and stress reduction so you can learn and grow from experiences.

We all want to live and feel better but understandably things take priority over our wellness goals and therefore things get pushed to the back of the line.  Like me I am sure you are all busy but just take 5 mins to take a pad and pencil (or your iPhone/Android!) and ask yourself these 3 questions…

  1. Would improving my wellness help me achieve my full potential?
  2. On a scale of 1-10 how important is wellness in my daily life?
  3. What are the 2 things I can focus on in the next 5 days that will make a difference to my wellness?

Once you have answered these, providing the answer to number 1 is ‘YES’ and to number 2 the answer is ‘ABOVE 5’ sit down and think about what simple things can you focus on – It may be drinking a little more water, going to the gym once more each week, getting off the bus a little earlier and walking to work etc, this is totally your choice.  We all have to start somewhere…

The Golden Rule – Whatever your focus is when you ask yourself can you achieve this every day for the next 5 days or more, and if the answer out of 10 is less than 8 then the goal is too hard and not sustainable.

Example:

My focus for the next 5 days is to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Out of 10 how confident am I that I can achieve this every day for the next 5 days – My answer is 6. This is deemed not sustainable so I would reduce the amount of water to 1 litre a day and the same rule applies – my confidence level is now 9…and there, I have my goal for the next 5 days.

Maintaining a decent level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness does matter. Once you get into the habit of reassessing every 5 days you will see great changes that are sustainable and gain the information from someone you trust – check out my other blogs or get in touch with me here at Supachick – leave any questions and queries in the comment section below!

SupaTips:

  1. Physical and emotional wellbeing are two forms of wellness that are within your control.
  2. Ask yourself the 3 important questions above and tailor your 5 day goals around your answers.
  3. Set achievable wellness goals to ensure you stay positive and focused on achieving them.

Why not CLICK HERE to purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programmes available on the SupaChick shop, and allow me to help keep you on track both physically and mentally 😉

BE FIT. BE WELL. BE SUPA!

SupaChick x

SupaChick

*GUEST BLOG* – Diana Azavedo: Yoga – a union of mind, body and self

Diana Azavedo is the founder of Radiance of Yoga, Dubai. Diana developed a fondness for yoga some years ago and has since followed her passion and built up her own yoga and wellness business together with her mother. Radiance of Yoga offers a variety of classes and information relating to the improvement of health and wellness through yoga and is based in Dubai. Today Diana has written a piece for SupaChick around her belief that the practice of Yoga helps one to find the light, the guidance and the radiance within one’s self…ENJOY! 

Is there anyone who has not heard about Yoga in today’s modern world. If you look around, every gym and wellness centre offers Yoga today – some of the biggest successful events revolve around health and fitness. With the ever soaring stress levels in our life today, it is no surprise that Yoga, a centuries old physical, mental and spiritual discipline is gaining more popularity day by day.

So why is Yoga so good for you? How does it benefit you? and what is Yoga? Yoga from its Sanskrit root “yuj” means to unite or join. To attain this unity or one-ness, you can work towards the body, then the mind and finally with the inner self. This work involves actual practice not only reading articles or theories.

Most people are initially attracted to the obvious physical benefits because we can relate best with our gross self- the body. On a pure physical layer; the practice of asana or a pose helps you build muscle flexibility & strength, perfects posture & spine alignment, relieves back pain, massages your internal organs which aids digestion; all of which contribute towards a good night’s sleep and rest. After a while, it sparks curiosity of whether Yoga is just about the physical or is there something more subtle to it?

Understand that the physical practice in a yoga studio is an important but minuscule part of Yoga, only to prepare the body to sit in a steady and comfortable pose to prepare for other more powerful aspects of Yoga like pranayama (breathing techniques) and finally meditation. Yoga through meditation works remarkably to achieve harmony between the body, mind and inner self as the goal of Yoga is defined to be. The meditative practice provides a personal platform for you to observe your sensations arising from surrounding activities, or interactions with other people or our emotions caused by ever-changing circumstances around us. You will see that stress levels may continue to remain the same, however your ability to manage stress has changed dramatically. This in turn creates a significant calmness and a positive outlook, which also has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body.

Yoga becomes your very own support system, and it takes continuous effort and dedication, which is why it is called a discipline and a practice. You enrol on your mat each time, you take time out for yourself every day, every time to breathe, to stretch , relax and de-stress. So ask yourself…Are you ready for your first Yoga class? 🙂

Why not purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programme available on the SupaChick shop, and try collaborating your routine with some Yoga on your designated holistic training days?

Namaste,

Diana Azavedo x

www.radianceofyoga.com

Instagram: @radiance_of_yoga

Facebook: Radiance of Yoga

 

SupaChick

Carb Phobia? Why you need to get over it…

Ladies…please listen to what I am about to say – “DO NOT be SCARED of the word CARBS”

Seriously, you shouldn’t be afraid of carbohydrates as manipulating them can be a powerful fat-loss tool. Before you get too excited that I am suggesting you can go and over indulge on a pizza or power your way through multiple packets of crisps, let me be clear that when I am talking about carbs, I am referring to “good” carbs!

Good carbs are wholesome, complex and unrefined carbohydrates that are high in fibre and contain essential vitamins and nutrients. If controlled, foods such as vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can be a great aid to fat-loss and lean muscle generation as well as leaving you feeling satisfied and energised.

“Carbohydrates give you energy and help retain muscle, yet they can also stimulate fat storage. When you eat fewer carbs and replace those carbs with protein, the body ramps up fat-mobilizing enzymes and hormones, resulting in accelerated fat loss,” Rachel Cosgrove, celebrity trainer and author of The Female Body Breakthough says. “However, a prolonged period of low or no carbs will leave your muscles weak and lacking in glycogen.”

Completely eliminating carbs not only makes you feel sluggish and deprived, and it’s actually not good for you…in fact, you are putting yourself into starvation mode and as a result training your body to preserve fat – meaning you may struggle to lose weight long term. To maximize the benefits of carbohydrates my advice is to restrict your carb intake to wholesome complex carbohydrates that are unrefined and organic where possible; limit the amount of simple sugars such as fructose (from fruit, juices, smoothies etc); and avoid all refined carbohydrates – they are the devil!

SupaTips:

  1. Do not deprive your body of “good” carbs – manipulate them as a powerful fat-loss too.
  2. Prolonged periods of low or no carbs will put your body in starvation mode resulting in preserving fat.
  3. Refined carbohydrates are the devil – avoid them as much as possible.

Why not CLICK HERE to purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programmes available on the SupaChick shop, and try a new training routine along with a balanced nutrition regime?

BE FIT, BE WELL, BE SUPA!

SupaChick x

SupaChick

SUPACHICK GIRLS NIGHT OUT – PREPARE FOR THE RECOVERY!

Life is all about balance. You must work hard and live well, but you also must reward yourself with a girl’s night out with your girl friends. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, holiday, or just enjoying a night out with the ladies, your celebratory cocktails will leave your skin and body looking and feeling less than its best in the morning. Turn to these beauty recovery tips below to help your skin recover ASAP.

Before The Fun Begins

If you know you will be heading out tonight, eat Supa healthy during the day, and increase your hydration. This will help to balance out the dehydrating effects of overconsumption. Also, eat before or as you drink. However, the Extra Supa Tip is to continue drinking one tumbler glass of water for every drink you order. I know, this is tricky when doing shots! Even if it’s not an exact science, keep a glass or bottle of water nearby all night long. Greatist provides a few additional tips for hydrating while drinking.

When You Come Home

I know, the last thing you want to do after a night out is tend to your skin. However, this step is one of the most important steps after a night of overindulgence. Before you head to bed, wash your face, moisturize, and drink 2-3 tumbler glasses of water—or another hydrating beverage like natural coconut water. The good news is these tips only take a few minutes, and effectively help your body to begin the rehydration and repair process.

The Next Day

Aim to sleep in as much as possible, but between work and your Supa busy schedule, you may not be able to. Start the morning with a refreshing shower, and, at least, another 2-3 tumbler glasses of hydrating fluids. Eat something, even if it is light, so your body has the energy required to begin the repair process—and take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed. If you see that your eyes are red, use an over-the-counter eye drop. If your eyes are puffy, ease puffiness with cold cucumber, a cold spoon, or a refrigerated eye mask.

SupaTips:

  1. Set up everything you need the night before.
  2. Take off your make up before you go to bed and avoid the temptation to overdo your makeup the next day. Even if it is to disguise your hangover, too much makeup will only make things worse.
  3. Have a cold shower in the morning and eat and drink something as soon as you can
  4. Last but not least, try to stick to the same family of alcohol all night; drink wine all night, drink cocktails made with the same liquor, or drink the same drink all night.

Why not CLICK HERE to purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programmes available on the SupaChick shop, and let me help you brush off any unwanted weekend cobwebs and kickstart your new week!

BE FIT, BE WELL, BE SUPA!

SupaChick x