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Whey Concentrate vs Whey Isolate: Which Whey Protein is Right for You?

When it comes to protein there are lots of choices on store shelves. From the standpoint of digestibility, full spectrum amino acid profiles, ease of mixing and taste, whey protein is often thought of as the superior form of protein. When choosing a whey protein though, there several elements to keep in mind to know which one is right for you.

Let’s start with where whey protein comes from. All whey comes from milk. It is separated from milk during the cheese making process when the milk separates into cheese curd and liquid whey. While the solid cheese curd goes on to be made into all kinds of wonderful cheeses, the liquid whey can be used to make whey protein.

In its original liquid state, whey is a mixture of mostly water with some protein, fat, carbohydrates and lactose. Once it arrives at the processing facility, it is carefully filtered to remove excess fat, lactose, carbohydrates, and any other naturally occurring ingredients. Eventually, after enough of those ingredients are removed, the remaining product is approximately 80 percent protein. So, for every 100 grams of powder you’ll get about 80 grams of pure whey protein. This 80 percent protein is known as a whey protein concentrate.

If you continue to filter the 80 percent protein, you can remove a little more lactose, carbohydrates and fat, which creates a whey protein isolate that provides up to 90% protein. So in this case, 100 grams of powder would give you about 90 grams of protein.

You might think the 90 percent isolate is your best choice, but this may not be the case. Though there are differences in absorption speed and bioavailability, one of the key factors to keep in mind is lactose content. An isolate contains almost no lactose whereas the concentrate contains a small amount of lactose.

If you are lactose intolerant, whey concentrate may cause some bloating and even gas. You’ll know if you have a lactose sensitivity after your first protein shake; no protein shake should ever leave you feeling bloated. If you are lactose sensitive, opt for the isolate.

If you have no lactose sensitivity, either type of protein will be fine. Assuming you can use either, here are a few more characteristics that may help you make your final decision. Whey protein concentrate is the best choice if your goal is to maintain a healthy weight and you’re using shakes in between meals to help keep hunger at bay. It is actually digested a little slower than an isolate.

This means it will help you feel full longer, which is a good thing when you are working towards a weight-loss goal. Another great feature of whey concentrate as compared to an isolate is a lower price point.

If, on the other hand, you are engaged in an intense form of physical activity and want to maximize muscle recuperation, an isolate may be a better choice as it is absorbed faster and is easier for the body to break down and use.

So what’s the bottom line? If you are lactose intolerant, go for the whey protein isolate. If you are simply looking for a great quality protein to support overall good health, help meet your weight-loss goals and save money, try the concentrate. If you are a hard training athlete, the isolate will serve you best.

 

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Superfoods!

What is a superfood?

Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don’t. In this article we talk about several foods that are considered super and what health benefits they offer.

Tomatoes

Why they’re super: They contain lycopene, an antioxidant rarely found in other foods. Studies suggest that it could protect the skin against harmful UV rays, prevent certain cancers, and lower cholesterol. Plus, tomatoes contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.

Blueberries

Why they’re super: These berries are full of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals (agents that cause aging and cell damage). The antioxidants in these berries may also protect against cancer and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Kale

Why it’s super: Move over spinach, you’ve got some fierce competition. Kale contains a type of phytonutrient that appears to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian. Though scientists are still studying why this happens, they believe the phytonutrients in kale trigger the liver to produce enzymes that neutralize potentially cancer-causing substances.

Black beans

Why they’re super: A cup of black beans packs 15 grams of protein, with none of the artery-clogging saturated fat found in meat. Plus, they’re full of heart-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and energy-boosting iron.

Broccoli

Why it’s super: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain phytonutrients that may suppress the growth of tumors and reduce cancer risk. One cup of this veggie powerhouse will supply you with your daily dose of immunity-boosting vitamin C and a large percentage of folic acid.

Salmon

Why it’s super: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which the body cannot produce by itself. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, improve circulation, increase the ratio of good to bad cholesterol, and may slash cancer risk. Salmon is a rich source of selenium, which helps prevent cell damage, and several B vitamins.

Oats

Why they’re super: Full of fiber, oats are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients. They contain a special type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Magnesium works to regulate blood-sugar levels, and research suggests that eating whole-grain oats may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

 

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Yoga for pregnant women

Many women have written to us asking whether it is safe for them to do yoga during pregnancy. Most pregnant women find that yoga has both emotional and physical benefits. However, they tend to be unsure about what yoga poses offers the most benefits and which yoga poses they as pregnant women should avoid.

How yoga helps pregnant women

Practicing yoga offer many health benefits for pregnant women. Research as shown that yoga helps pregnant women to develop good breathing techniques and to relax. Better breathing and relaxation will help pregnant women to better deal with the physical demands of pregnancy. The benefits of better breathing and relaxation will help during labor, birth and the early stages of motherhood. Yoga helps pregnant women to relieve stress associated with pregnancy. Pregnant women who have taken prenatal yoga class found it to be a great way to meet other soon to be moms and share their journey toward motherhood together.

Things pregnant women should be careful about when doing yoga

It you are attending a regular yoga class, tell your yoga instructor that you’re pregnant, and which trimester you’re in. If you’re attending a yoga class that is specifically geared to pregnant women, all the better.

After your first trimester, don’t do any yoga pose or asanas that can reduce blood flow to the uterus. This includes any yoga poses that involve you lying on your back. Such yoga poses can reduce blood flow to your uterus which is not good for the baby.

Don’t do yoga poses that require you to stretch your muscles too much. In particular, avoid doing yoga poses that stretches your abdominals. Being pregnant releases relaxin, which enables your uterus to expand, but this results in the softening of your connective tissues. The soften connective tissues means as a pregnant woman, you’re more susceptible to injuries including strains and pulls. Therefore, it’s best to avoid yoga poses that require strenuous stretching.

During your second trimester, your center gravity changes so it is important to keep your balance when doing yoga. If you are doing a standing yoga pose, we recommend that you do such standing poses with your heel to the wall or a stable chair to give you support. This will ensure that you avoid losing your balance and falling. You should always remember to keep yourself well supported to prevent injury to yourself and your baby.

Stay away from hot yoga or Bikram. Steer clear from hot yoga like the plague if you are pregnant. According to researchers, pregnant women working out in such an overheated room exposes their growing fetus to risk. The high heat could adversely affect the healthy development of your baby in the uterus. So hot yoga is a definite no no during pregnancy.

During yoga practice, its important when you bend forward, hinge from the hips, leading with the breastbone and extending the spine from the crown of the head down to the tailbone. This technique will give more space for your ribs to move and will make breathing easier.

During yoga poses, always keep your pelvis in a neutral position by engaging the abdominals and slightly tucking the tailbone down and in. Doing this will help to relax your buttocks muscle (your glutes) and hip flexors, and will reduce and prevent sciatic pain down the back of your leg, which is a common symptom in pregnant women. By keeping your pelvis in a neutral position and engaging you abdominals, you can prevent injury the connective tissue in your body that stabilizes your pelvis.

When you bend forward while seated, it’s a good idea to place a towel or yoga strap behind your feet and hold both ends. Avoid compression your abdomen by bending from your hips and lifting your chest. If you find this movement to be too difficult if your belly is too large, you can place a rolled-up towel under your buttocks to elevate the body, and spread your legs slightly to give your belly more room to move forward.

Avoid doing yoga pose that require deep twisting movement. If you doing a mild twisting yoga poses, be careful to avoid putting any pressure on your abdomen. You can twist more from your shoulders and back rather than your waist.

Be mindful of your limitations. It’s a good idea to be in tune to your body. Listen to what your body is telling you. Don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable. When you feel the even the slightest discomfort, stop. This will ensure that you don’t do anything that will harm you and your baby. If necessary, you can modify the yoga pose so that you are completely comfortable. Good yoga instructors will always help to customize the yoga class to suit pregnant women.

Safe yoga poses for pregnant women

Butterfly stretch

Cat-Cow

Cobra (in the first trimester, if you feel comfortable doing this face-down pose)

Seated forward bend (with modifications as described above)

Side angle pose

Standing forward bend (with chair for modification)

Triangle pose (with chair for modification)

Yoga poses that are dangerous to pregnant and should be avoided during pregnancy

Backbends

Balancing poses on one leg (unless supported by chair or wall)

Camel

Handstands

Headstands

Upward bow

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Does fruit make you fat?

Fruit is healthy, full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat and calories. Today we will discuss the truth about fruits and the myth that it will make you fat!

The old adage that your body is a temple is well known and still has relevance today. Without a solid foundation a temple cannot be successfully constructed and will eventually collapse. The same holds true for the human body.

The importance of nutrition is imperative as the foundation of any successful fitness program. The core of this foundation should be based around food. Just as certain compounds are necessary to build a solid foundation in a building, specific foods are necessary to build a solid nutritional foundation.

Why Fruits Are Important!

With the advent of so many nutritional approaches to achieve the ideal look, numerous inquiries regarding the practice of omitting fruit, fruit juices or any of its derivatives from a diet have surfaced. Fruit is a healthy food, full of nutrients, high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat and calories. It is a common practice for bodybuilders during pre-contest preparation to omit fruit from their diets, as it should be for anyone looking to minimize body fat. We will discuss the chemistry behind the efficacy of this practice.

Our bodies can only absorb monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, or fructose), the single units of sugars and starches. Once absorbed through the small intestines into the portal vein, and then circulated into the bloodstream through the liver as blood glucose, our bodies can put glucose to work in three ways.

The Three Ways Our Bodies Put Glucose To Work

  1. It can burn the glucose immediately for energy if blood glucose levels are not at a stable level of 20 grams blood borne glucose circulating per hour.
  2. If it is not needed for energy immediately, then it is converted into glycogen in the liver or muscles. The liver has the capacity to store 100 grams of glycogen. The muscles have the capacity to store between 250-400 grams of glycogen, depending on muscle mass and physical condition. Liver glycogen supplies energy for the entire body. Muscle glycogen only supplies energy to muscles.
  3. If the body has an excess of glucose, and all of the glycogen stores are full, the surplus glucose is converted to fat by the liver and stored as adipose tissue (bodyfat) around the body. If needed, fatty acids can be burned as fuel (BUT the fat cannot be converted back to glucose).

Now that we have outlined how our bodies use glucose, we will discuss why fruit (fructose or fruit sugar) is detrimental in an attempt to maximize fat loss. Since muscles have the specific purpose of contraction, they have a limited number of enzymes for glycogen synthesis. Muscle only has the necessary enzymes to convert glucose (and nothing else) into glycogen. The liver, however, is able to make glycogen from fructose, lactate, glycerol, alanine, and other three-carbon metabolites. Muscle glycogen, which is similar in structure to starch, is an amylopectin (branched chained polymer containing hundreds of glucose units). Unlike muscles, which can only supply energy to themselves through the stored 250-400 grams of glycogen, the liver is responsible for supplying energy to the entire body.

If You Have Fruit Or Fruit Juice The Following Conditions Occur

Referring to the three ways the body uses glucose, assuming that blood glucose levels are adequate, the glucose will then be stored as glycogen. Muscle does not have the necessary enzymes to synthesize fructose into glycogen; therefore the liver converts this fructose into liver glycogen. It would only take three, 8-ounce glasses of orange juice to fully replenish liver glycogen stores. Since the liver is responsible for supplying energy to the entire body, once its stores are full, a rate limiting enzyme in glucose metabolism, which is responsible for signaling the body to store glucose as glycogen or convert it to fat (phosphofructokinase), signals the body that all stores are full. If the glycogen stores are signaled as full, then the third way our body uses excess glucose is to convert it to fatty acids and store as adipose tissue. In essence, fruit sugar is easily converted to fat.

Many may be asking why then is fruit low on the glycemic index? If it does not cause a sudden release of insulin, then how could it ever be a poor food choice? Once the fructose (fruit sugar) enters the liver and liver glycogen is already full, then it cannot be used by the muscles for glycogen or energy production.

It is converted to fat and released back into the bloodstream to be stored as adipose tissue. The low glycemic response is based on the fact that fructose leaves the liver as fat, and fat does not raise insulin levels.

This is the biochemistry behind the recommendations to limit fruit in your diet. As mentioned, fruit is a very nutritious food full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in calories and fat. If your goal is to exclusively to minimize bodyfat, then it is advisable that you consume more complex carbohydrates, which will go to replenishing muscle glycogen stores rather than fruit, which will only replenish liver glycogen stores, and is useless in muscle glycogen replenishment.

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An introduction to CrossFit

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a program developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected.

According to the CrossFit website: “CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.”

This high-intensity workout is extremely varied and all about getting the most bang for your workout buck. A CrossFitter will likely never do the same routine twice in one week and each workout will usually last between 45 minutes to an hour.

CrossFit gyms are usually large warehouses (often referred to as the “box”) which offer group classes where an individual may choose to workout anywhere between three to five times a week. CrossFit coaches either develop their own daily workout or follow the “WOD” or Workout of the Day from the CrossFit website.

For example, a typical CrossFit WOD may look like this:

Sample WOD:

20 Min AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)

100m Run

2 Burpees

2 Deadlifts 185lb

2 Pull-ups

AMRAP means that you will do your best to complete as many rounds of this sequence as possible in the time allotted; in this case 20 minutes.

What do people love about it?

CrossFit classes are high-intesnity group classes focused on the philosophy of high-intensity interval training or HITT, the belief that more intense exercise in a shorter amount of time is more effective.

CrossFitters are also part of a unique culture and philosophy. Many CrossFitters follow a specific diet, namely the Paleo Diet, and are fitness fanatics or former athletes who thrive off of competition and a team atmosphere (but that doesn’t mean non athletes can’t reap the CrossFit benefits).

CrossFit addicts love the communal environment of this workout regimen and appreciate the verbal encouragement and support that they gain from their teammates and coaches while they exercise.

Sometimes criticized for just how intense the workout can be, CrossFit teaches its followers to accept discomfort, push your body to its limits and therefore bring yourself to a place of maximum impact. CrossFit operates off of the belief that you should train your body for the unknown and be physically prepared for almost anything.

While this philosophy may be intimidating to some, it is inspiring and motivational to its followers.

Tips for Trying CrossFit

If you’ve never tried CrossFit before and you think it may be the right workout for you, here are some helpful tips for staying safe:

  • Go to a few different gyms, talk to the coaches and get an idea for what the workout entails. Most CrossFit gyms offer a free introductory class to beginners considering joining the program. This is a great way to meet your potential CrossFit coach.
  • Be sure to make your coaches aware of any previous injuries before attempting any CrossFit exercises. If you have a serious pre-existing injury you may even want to speak with your doctor before purchasing a package for this high-intensity program.
  • Before attempting CrossFit you should have a basic understanding of general fitness. “You wouldn’t add weight to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so don’t add weight to a squat with poor form.” Be sure to take an “On Ramp” or “Elements” course to ensure you’ll complete WODs safely and effectively.
  • Scale your workouts. This is something that is discussed a lot in the CrossFit culture. To “scale your workout” means that you, as a beginner, cannot lift as much weight as CrossFit Chris who has been doing this for years. This also applies to intensity and knowing when your body has reached its maximum capacity.

For all medical questions speak with your doctor and consult your CrossFit coach.

 

 

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The real true meaning of “namaste”

Just like a handshake in the West, Namaste, is away to greet and farewell one another in India and parts of southeast Asia. This greeting is done by pressing both hands together and holding them near the heart with the head gently bowed and saying, “Namaste.” Namaste is spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

The Namaste gesture represents the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The purpose of the Namaste gesture to acknowledge the soul in one by the soul in another. We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation.

For a yoga teacher and a yoga student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.

Ideally, Namaste should be done both at the beginning and at the end of yoga class. Usually, it is done at the end of yoga class because the mind is less active and the energy in the room is more peaceful. The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward her yoga students and her own yoga teachers and in return invites the yoga students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.

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How running preserves your thinking skills

We all know that exercise is good for the heart. Now, medical researchers have discovered that running is not only good for the heart, it’s good for the brain too.

According to a recent University of Minnesota study, aerobic exercise in your 20s may protect the brain in middle age. Physical activities such as running, swimming and cycling which are good for your heart, led to better thinking skills and memory 20 years later.

In the article published in the world renown journal, Neurology, scientist state that the results of the research provided additional evidence the brain benefits from a healthy heart, or good cardio fitness. Cardio fitness is a measure of how well the body absorbs oxygen during exercise and transports it to the muscles.

As part of the US study, researcher at the University of Minnesota tested almost 3,000 healthy people with an average age of 25.

The researchers believe that the findings of their study should remind young adults of the brain health benefits of cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes.

Participants in the study were given treadmill tests of cardiovascular fitness during the first year of the study and again 20 years later. The participants were asked to run for as long as possible before they became exhausted or short of breath.

Cognitive tests taken 25 years after the start of the study measured memory and thinking skills. People who ran for longer on the treadmill performed better at tests of memory and thinking skills 25 years on, even after adjusting for factors such as smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Total fitness

People who had smaller time differences in their treadmill test 20 years later were more likely to perform better on the executive function test than those who had bigger differences.

“Many studies show the benefits to the brain of good heart health,” said study author Dr David Jacobs.

“This is one more important study that should remind young adults of the brain health benefits of cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes.”

Dr Jacobs said a concept was emerging of total fitness, incorporating social, physical and mental aspects of health.

“It’s really a total package of how your body is and the linkage of that entire package of performance – that’s related to cognitive function many years later and in mid-life,” he told BBC News.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “A growing body of evidence suggests exercise may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and much research has shown a link between healthy habits in mid-life and better health in old age.

“Investment in research is vital to better understand how we can protect our brains as we age.”

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What is yoga?

What is the definition of yoga exactly? Today, most people associate the term “yoga” with hatha yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise. While the West has only know about yoga in the last few hundred years, yoga has an even longer history. Yoga has been an important part of India’s rich spiritual tradition for thousands of years. Patanjali was first author to systematized the practice of yoga around two thousand years ago. Patanjali in his renowned work, Yoga Sutra, sets out the yoga into eight limbs system (ashtanga).

What are the eight limbs of yoga?

1st limb of yoga: yama – Moral codes

The yama limb set the following five standards for how to treat others:

Ahimsa: Promote non-violent, non-harming actions and thoughts.

Satya: Strive for truthfulness in speech and action.

Asteya: Abstain from cheating, stealing, hoarding, or envious thoughts.

Brahmacharya: Act responsibly with sexual relations.

Aparigraha: Avoid attachments and possessive behavior.

2nd limb of yoga: niyama – Codes for self-purification and study

Niyama set the following five standards for self-discipline and spiritual observance along the yogic path:

Saucha: Cleanliness.

Santosa: Contentment.

Tapas: Cleansing fire of practice.

Svadhyaya: Self-inquiry and study of the sacred scriptures.

Isvara pranidhana: Surrender to the Divine.

3rd limb of yoga: asana – “Seat” or physical postures.

Asana most-literally means “seat,” and hatha yoga postures help students open and cleanse their bodies in a way that is conducive to seated meditation.

4th limb of yoga: pranayama – Breath extension

Pranayama means “breath extension” and consists of various breathing exercises that help students focus and calm their minds.

5th limb of yoga: pratyahara – Sense control

Pratyahara means “sense control,” and is a practice where advanced students turn their focus inside rather than being overwhelmed by external stimuli.

6th limb of yoga: dharana – Concentration

A precursor to meditation, Dharana means “concentration” and is practised when students focus their minds on one specific thing such as respiration or sensations on the body.

7th limb of yoga: dhyana – Meditation

Dhyana means “meditation,” and it is an advanced stage in practice where students achieve an uninterrupted period of concentration without any internal thought.

8th limb of yoga: samadhi – Enlightenment

To reach samadhi is to become one with the Divine. Also referred to as Nirvana or Enlightenment, Samadhi is the ultimate stage along the yogic path. Beginning yoga students are usually more concerned with the pain and discomfort in their bodies than they are with Samadhi, so these days, most yoga classes focus primarily on the physical aspects of yoga which are often referred to collectively as hatha yoga.

What is hatha yoga?

The word hatha means “sun” and “moon,” and hatha yogis see the imbalance of opposing forces in nature as the cause of suffering. Hatha yoga unify the sun and moon, the body and mind, the masculine and feminine.

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What are the different types of yoga?

With so many types of yoga to choose from, you can be forgiven if you become a little confused. People who are new to yoga are often overwhelmed by the various types of yoga that is being practiced today. To make things easier for you, we have written a brief introduction of the different types of yoga below:

what-are-the-different-types-of-yogaHot yoga Hot yoga in practiced in a room or yoga studio that is heated to 37 degrees Celsius. In hot yoga, the high heat causes you to sweat and detoxify. You will sweat away toxic and polluting element through your skin. Another purpose of the heat in hot yoga is it helps you as a yoga students to work deep and safely to strengthen their and lengthen your muscles and connective tissues. We highly recommend that you have a bottle of water ready to replenish and keep your body hydrated. Bring a towel and be ready to seriously sweat!

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga

Known simply as ashtanga yoga, this is one of the most popular types of yoga practiced today. The most well known teacher of ashtanga yoga is Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in India. Ashtanga yoga is a set series of postures linked together by vinyasas (flowing movements connected by breath). Ashtanga yoga classes are usually taught in a ‘Mysore style’, which mean students self practice in the presence of a teacher who helps adjust and correct the student’s posture where required. In ashtanga yoga, the breath, bandha (internal locks), and the dristi (point of focus for the eyes) are the most important elements while practicing asanas. Pattabhi Jois often tells his students, yoga is “99% practice, 1% theory.”

Power yoga

Power yoga is a modern style of yoga which developed from ashtanga yoga. Many students who are new to yoga find the modern power yoga is easier and more accessible than ashtangya yoga. Power yoga classes tend to be athletic and dynamic than ashtanga. With power yoga, students move in and out of postures which have been carefully coordinated to the breathing pattern to help maintain internal heat, keep the heart rate constant, with the aim of increasing strength and flexibility.

Yin yoga

Yin yoga is slower and more gentle type of yoga that was introduced to the United States in 1986 by the American yogi, Paul Grilley. Yin yoga practice involve holding postures for three to ten minutes. During yin yoga classes, students learn how to relax their muscles. By relaxing their muscles, student are able to access their body’s connective tissues. Yin yoga is a very calming style of yoga and students have commented that yin yoga is almost like a form of meditation because it is so calming and relaxing.

Anusara yoga

In 1997, the American yogi, John Friend, developed anusara yoga. Anusara yoga is considered to be one of the most fun and playful types of yoga. Anusara classes emphasize what John Friend refers to as “the 3 As”: Attitude, Alignment, and Action. The principle of Alignment is designed to help students develop a deeper appreciation of yoga postures. At the same time as being fun to practice, Anusara yoga is also quite athletic and challenging even to intermediate yoga students.

Iyengar yoga

Iyengar yoga was named after one of the world’s leading and influential yogis, B.K.S. Iyengar, from India. B.K.S. Iyengar has written books and developed yoga methods which are now studied and practiced by almost all yoga teachers and students. Iyengar yoga classes mainly focus the principle of alignment, that is the precise way in which the body should be positioned in each asana in order to generate maximum benefits to the yoga student and avoid causing injury to him or her. Iyengar yoga often adopts the use of props including blocks, straps, and bolsters as part of the yoga class. Asanas in iyengar yoga are often held for long periods to maximize their effects.

Jivamukti yoga

Jivamukti yoga is a distinct yoga style that was developed by two American yogis, David Life and Sharon Gannon, in 1986. Jivamukti means ‘liberation while living’ and jivamukti yoga classes are aimed at creating this experience by students. Jivamukti yoga classes integrates chanting, asanas, music, meditation and devotion into a vigorous physical practice. Jivamukti yoga involve the following five key elements into each class: 1. Scripture – this involve studying ancient yoga teachings and Sanskrit chanting. 2. Bhakti – this requires yoga students to understand that the goal of all yoga practice to reach the realization of God. 3. Ahimsa: this element emphasize an ethical and compassionate lifestyle involving vegetarianism, animal rights and peace and non-violence. 4. Nada yoga: this element the yoga student to develop a sound body and mind through deep and careful listening. 5. Meditation: this element aim to help students to connect with their internal spirit.

Integral yoga

The influential yogi, Swami Satchidananda, introduce integral yoga to the United States in 1969. His teachings have had a major impact on many modern yoga teachers and students. The key to integral yoga is integration. Integral yoga aims to integrate the various aspects of the body and mind through postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation, and meditation. Integral yoga classes integrate the use of all these elements to allow students are greater sense of health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

Ivananda yoga

Swami Sivananda was one of Swami Vishnu-Devananda’s students in India. In 1959, Swami Sivananda developed the Sivananda yoga style. Sivananda yoga classes incorporate the use of traditional yoga postures which were practiced for centuries in the Himalayas. Sivananda yoga has a series of 12 postures, breathing, diet, chanting, scriptural study, and meditation.

Kripalu yoga

Kripalu yoga is a gentler style of yoga which require students to use yoga poses to explore, deal with, and release emotional and spiritual conflicts. Kripalu yoga was developed by the yogi Kripalvananda and one of his disciples, the yogi Amrit Desai, in India. Kripalu yoga has three stages: Stage 1: Firstly, students are required to focus on posture alignment and coordination of breath and movement. Postures are only maintained for short durations during this stage. Stage 2: Secondly, student include meditation in their practice and postures are held for prolonged periods. Stage 3: Lastly, the practice of postures becomes a spontaneous “meditation in motion.”

Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga was introduced to United States by Sikh master, Yogi Bhajan, in 1969. Prior to introduction to the United States, it was a secret type of yoga was only practiced by a small exclusive group of yoga practitioners. The work “kundalini” means awareness, and the aim of kundalini yoga is to stimulate the life force which resides at the base of the spine, and encourage the energy to flow through the body. Kundalini yoga is practice using a combination of classic postures with breathing, chanting, and meditation.

Viniyoga yoga

Viniyoga yoga was developed by T.K.V. Desikachar, the son of the yoga master, T. Krishnamacharya. In developing the viniyoga yoga style, T.K.V. Desikachar, was inspired by the teachings and philosophy of his father, T. Krishnamacharya. Viniyoga yoga involves adapting yoga practices to meet the needs of each individual students. The aim of viniyoga yoga put students on a path of self-discovery and personal transformation.