Now, more than ever, mind-body exercise programs are hot.
From 1998 through 2002, yoga and tai chi participation increased by 95 percent in the United States, according to American Sports Data (ASD) Inc. (ASD 2003a). By 2002, an estimated 11.1 million Americans were practicing tai chi or yoga and 4.7 million were doing Pilates (ASD 2003b). New participants are attracted partly by savvy marketing but also by the lure of programs that might offer them peace of mind as well as fitness gains.
Many group fitness instructors use traditional Pilates
exercises in the core-conditioning sections of their classes. However, some of these exercises are too difficult technically and can set the average participant up for frustration. If an individual doesn’t have the strength or the biomechanics to perform the traditional roll-up, for example, then she might use incorrect muscles and injure herself. Yet the roll-up is taught in most classes.
Tight chest muscles. Reduced flexibility in the torso. Strained shoulders and a sore back. Unfortunately, that’s the description of many amateur and weekend golfers. Golfers habitually bend and twist, bend and twist—all the while straining their backs and shoulders, forming muscle imbalances and inviting injury.
According to “Boomer Coalition Reality Check: When Boomer Optimism Becomes Denial,” a new survey conducted by RoperASW on behalf of the Boomer Coalition and the American Heart Association, Baby Boomers in the United States are very aware of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately this knowledge is not spurring them to take action to combat the disease. For example:
Only 47% of survey respondents eat a
healthy diet each day.
Only 55% exercise more than three
times each week.
If you incorporate yoga into your training techniques, you may be interested in the recent brouhaha surrounding Bikram yoga.
Bikram Choudhury, who created a 26-posture series that is performed in a heated room, obtained a federal copyright for his asana sequence. According to a February 8 Reuters news story by Elinor Mills Abreu, Choudhury “has sent cease-and-desist letters to more than 100 Bikram yoga schools and teachers, accusing them of violating his copyright and trademark by employing instructors [who] weren’t trained by him.”
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How many times have you
heard students say, “I just don’t have
time to do strength training and yoga” or
“I’d like to try yoga, but I don’t think I can be still for that long”? Take away their excuses with an inspired combination. By adding resistance exercises to yoga,
you create a more active and results-oriented class. This time-efficient format appeals to participants who want both strength and flexibility benefits in one stop.
As a plus-size person, are you curious to try yoga but convinced it won’t work for your body? The good news is you can benefit from yoga’s positive physiological and psychological effects. Practicing yoga can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways for you to become healthy, build confidence and self-esteem, and sometimes achieve weight loss.