The don’t of using an inversions table

inversions table1

An Inversion Table is the best way to relieve your back pain and fix your stiff joints but if not used properly, you could seriously injure yourself and cause more harm than good really.

Any training equipment needs to be properly used and you need to make sure that you follow all the rules before you start with your intense training.

So, here are a few things to keep in mind while using your Inversion tables:

Don’t start too fast

One of the most common mistakes made by people who have newly bought their Inversion table is that they start their workout at a much higher intensity than their body is used to.

This can really cause an injury so always make sure that you start slow. First, get your body accustomed to a lower intensity and only then increase your workout pace.

Protect your ankles

Another common mistake made by users is to not wear socks and shoes during a workout or using an inversion table which doesn’t come with padded strapping.

This is important because this protects your ankles and feet from getting sore or injured because a lot of pressure is applied on them when using an inversion table. So, don’t neglect your ankle and feet, get a proper inversion table with necessary paddings.

inversions table2

Don’t go for a cheap quality

One of the most common errors made by people is to go for a cheap inversion table which is not made up of good quality and doesn’t provide you with a comfortable back support.

An inversion table needs to be durable and made of a good quality material for it to be able to help, so don’t cheap out on this. Buy a good quality Inversion table for yourself. Fitnessguyd’s listed the best one’s for 2017 so don’t waste your time or money on cheap low-quality ones.

Make space in your home

Another frequent problem that users complain about is that when they fold their tables and try to move them into the storage area, they suffer from back pains.

This is quite normal because if you are already suffering from a back pain, carrying a heavy load won’t help your case. So, avoid folding up your inversion table and make room for it inside your house itself.

inversions table3

Avoid an imbalanced table

Make sure that your inversion table is sturdy and balanced and won’t fall or break when you are using it as this could seriously injure you. So, always test your inversion table before buying it for yourself.

You don’t want yourself falling off and hurting you during an inversion table therapy now, do you?

Don’t overdo it

One of the most common mistakes made by people is to do all the exercise in one day itself. An inversion table won’t cure your back pain in just one day, it is a gradual process.

So, don’t overdo your exercise. Go slow and take it slow. Make sure that you increase your pace slowly with time. Don’t worry, it will be still effective if you take it slowly and not rush into it.

5 best Eco-friendly yoga mats for a peaceful, nature friendly and relaxing yoga session

Let’s face it, we all want our environment to be chemical and additives free when we are practicing yoga. Who wants to smell the rubber or all those chemicals emitting out of their yoga mats?

For this reason, people have started going for eco-friendly yoga mats which use natural rubber and jute for its construction. These are not only healthy for you but also provide you with a good grip.

Here are the best Eco-Friendly yoga mats that you could consider buying today and to know more about them in detail don’t forget to read reviews at fitnessguyd.com.

Manduka eKO Lite

Our top rated eco-friendly mat, the Manduka eKO Lite mat checks all the boxes as it is made up of biodegradable, natural tree rubber, this mat provides you a consistent and efficient grip which makes it easy for you to perform yoga without worrying about slipping and injuring yourself.

In fact, this yoga mat provides you a good grip even if you are sweating like a pig and its ripped texture helps you in maintaining the perfect balance. With this texture, the surface prevents your hands from sliding which makes it a popular mat among users.

Manduka eKO Lite

Jade Teal Mat

Jade is a popular company known to make biodegradable yoga mats which are constructed using natural rubber and without any chemicals. Jade Teal is not any different and provides you a PVC-free mat which is made of all-natural rubber.

The best part about this mat is that every purchase means the company donates $5 to a social or medical cause like ovarian cancer research, improved treatment, public education of the various diseases, etc.

This company also plants one tree for each sale which makes their yoga mats the best eco-friendly mats ever.

Jade Teal Mat

Barefoot Yoga Original Eco Mat

For a lot of people, this is the real deal as it uses an all-natural rubber with jute fiber for its construction to provide you with a mat that is chemical free and has a great grip too.

The jute surface might feel a little different but it still holds the no-slip and no-slide features of the yoga mat and the rubber part of the yoga mat provides you with the much-needed support and comfort that is difficult to find in an all-jute yoga mat.

Barefoot Yoga Original Eco Mat

Lululemon’s Supernatural Mat

Another amazing eco-friendly yoga mat which provides you with a great grip and a grounded feeling which practicing yoga. With this yoga mat, you can sure to practice comfortably and conveniently and don’t have to worry about inhaling any chemicals too.

Lululemon’s Supernatural Mat

Prana E.C.O Mat

Another great eco-friendly yoga mat which doesn’t contain any PVC or latex, this E.C.O mat, where the E.C.O stands for Earth Conscious Offering, is recyclable and the ultimate eco-friendly yoga mat.

You will find that the lower side of this yoga mat has a smooth, hard surface and the top side of this yoga has a surface which will protect you from slipping or sliding.

The top surface is also made to protect it from your sweat germs to keep your environment healthy and fit.

Prana E.C.O Mat

5 Yoga poses that are a must for winter athletes

Most of us love heading to the snowcapped mountains for our vacations and spend our time trying out various snow activities like Skiing, Snowboarding, etc. But without proper preparation, snow activities can be difficult to handle and can leave you drained of energy in just a few minutes. So how do you make sure that for the next vacation, you are all fit to take on your favorite activities without dreading the after effects?

Just practice these 5 yoga steps before your vacation or on a regular basis and see the results for yourself.

Sidebending Mountain Pose

This pose helps in toning your abdominal muscles which are prone to become tight due to lack of exercise making them lose their flexibility to make sudden turns and twists which are a part and parcel of most of the winter activities.

How to Perform: Stand straight with your legs a little apart. Inhale and raise your hands above your head and clasp your wrist with your other hand. Now exhale and bent sidewise while facing forwards. Hold this position for some time and then switch sides.

Sidebending Mountain Pose

Cobra Pose

This is one of the best ways to stretch your abdominals and also a great way to open up your chest which helps in improving your posture.

How to perform: With your face downwards and your forearms on the ground making sure that your elbows are beneath your shoulders, place both your hands underneath your shoulder and pull up, taking your body away from the ground. Make sure you stretch your neck as high as possible. Hold this position for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths. Come back to the ground while exhaling. Still confused? See video below.

Squats

This yoga asana helps you in building your thigh and knee muscles which are prone to most damage in an extremely chilly weather.

How to perform: Inhale and push your legs apart making sure your knees are facing in your toe’s direction and not inwards. Stretch your hand in front of you or above your head. Hold this position for some time and then exhale and go back to your original position.

Squats

Reclining Big Toe Pose

As we know that our hamstrings tend to tighten up frequently and this could limit your freedom of movement which might lead to lower back pains and knee injuries, this pose helps in loosening of your hamstrings so you don’t end up in pain after a performing a winter sport.

How to Perform: Lie back down on the floor with your both legs straight so that your toes are pointing upwards. Raise one leg up and hold on to the back of your thigh or hold the raised leg’s toe. Make sure you relax and not keep it straight if your legs start shaking. Ease it a little and you may even bend your knees a little for the initial sessions. Hold this position for 1-3 minutes.

Reclining Big Toe Pose

Downward Facing Dog

This pose helps in strengthening your wrists, arms, and shoulders. Letting your ankles drop towards the floor also helps in stretching your calves and hamstrings.

How to perform: Get on the floor on all fours while stretching your arms and relaxing your upper back between the shoulder blades. Keeping your knees bent, exhale and raise your knees and hips up so that you form a straight line with your back and arms. Let your head hang down and relax your neck. Take deep breaths and hold this position for 5 long breaths. Then slowly exhale and ease yourself back to your original position.

Here’s how it’s done

4 Yoga poses to help you look young and happy

All of us want to look and feel young but it’s hard to believe this when you are 30 and you see your first sign of wrinkles. So once we see the signs appearing, we turn to cosmetics being advertised and they promise of immortal youthfulness that how can we ever doubt them. But, while cosmetics might help you keep your young look from outside, it won’t slow down the process altogether, it is basically just a makeup and once you stop using it, you would be back to where you started.

Yoga can help you with this, it can slow down the aging process and actually makes you feel young both from the inside and the outside. Here are 4 ways to help you with just that:

Forward Bend

This simple yoga pose would instantly warm you up and tone up your hips. As getting old, a lot of people start facing hip problems which ultimately leads to not being able to walk properly in old age. So, to avoid that all you need to do is practice this pose and it will help you make your hips fit in no time. Another way this pose can help you with is by improving the blood circulation to your head.

What to do: Inhale and move your hands up with palms open similar to how it’s done in Suryanamaskar. Then exhale while bending forward and touch the ground with your palm. Hold your breath for a while and then inhale while rising back to your position again. Repeat this for some time.

Forward Bend

Warrior Pose

As you get old, a lot of people start facing the knee issues or some people actually can’t walk for more than a few steps at a time. This pose will help you with your knee and legs, it will tone them your knees, calves, and glutes which will make you fit to walk for long stretched or maybe run too.

What to do: Stand with your feet apart while keeping your right foot pointing to the side and left foot turned in slightly. Your torso should be facing forward. Exhale and bend your right knee a little. Inhale and lift your arms out to your sides and turn your head to your right. Hold this for 15-30 seconds and then switch sides.

Warrior Pose

Squat

One of the most basic poses, this pose will help strengthen your thigh and muscles which will help you in attaining more balance and control over your body. Say goodbye to knee pains and injuries!

What to do: Keep your feet slightly apart and keep your hands straight in front of you. Both your hands should be parallel to each other and at your shoulder level. Push your knees a little down as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Try to bend your knees as much as possible. Make sure your knees as pointing in the same direction as your toes and not bending inwards.

Squats

Seated Twist

Improving your flexibility and releasing tension in your hips and spine, this pose will help you tone up your stomach muscles and reduce double chin which comes with aging.

What to do: Sit cross-legged on your mat with your arms extended on each side and touching the mat on either side of their hips. Inhale and raise your arms overhead while lengthening your spine. Now twist gently to your right side while exhaling and lower your left hand to your outer right thigh and keep your right hand extended behind your back touching the mat. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Then switch the sides.

Seated Twist

5 steps to Lose Weight with a Yoga Diet

Nowadays more people are opting to do Yoga for staying fit and losing that unnecessary fat from their body but while Yoga will help you in losing weight, it won’t be possible without following a healthy diet too. So what should you do to maximize the effect of Yoga while trying to reduce your weight?

We have compiled a list of steps which you could follow to achieve the very same result:

Don’t eat when Bored

A lot of us have a habit of eating a lot of junk food when we are bored and have nothing to do. This is probably one of the worst things to do when you are planning to lose weight. This type of mindless eating just adds on more unnecessary weight to our body taking us back to square one.

So if you are in a weight loss program, it is advisable that you eat only when you are hungry and not when you are bored. If you feel like you are bored and tempted to eat something, just distract yourself by engaging yourself in some hobby or calm your mind with yoga but make sure you don’t eat unnecessarily.

Don’t eat when Bored

Control your food cravings

You see that hot delicious chocolate muffin and instantly your mouth starts watering, even though you had just eaten your fill like 5 minutes back. Don’t get tempted, I know it’s easier said than done but if you want to lose weight you will have to control your cravings.

Most of the time, we all get tempted by food just because we are looking at it and not because we are genuinely hungry for it. This could greatly affect your weight loss regime and take you back several days. So make sure that you don’t get seduced by food and eat only when you are hungry and feel like eating.

Regain your Food Metabolism

One of the reasons why you could be getting fat is because your food metabolism has slowed down which could be because your diet wasn’t good enough to start with and as a result now you are providing it with more food than it can burn.

You can increase your metabolism by making sure that you only eat healthy and nutritious food and making a general note of your diet. Take in a plant-based diet and drink lots of water and liquid supplements which will nourish your liver which is responsible for burning down fats.

Drinking lemon and water is also a perfect way to cleanse your body of excess food and helps in digestion of the said food. Just make sure you are active and eat healthily and in no time your metabolism will have corrected itself and you won’t have to worry about gaining weight anymore.

Regain your Food Metabolism

Eat a healthy diet

This is one important step while trying to lose weight, you can train as hard and long as you like but if you aren’t taking a proper, healthy diet then you can just say goodbye to your fit body. You can’t expect to lose weight while training and eating junk food.

Your diet plays a great role in shaping your health and so if you are planning to lose weight, you need to follow a diet which is suited for it. Eat a plant-based diet which contains a lot of vegetables and fruits, legumes, beans, nuts, etc. and fewer of animal products like fish, eggs, etc.

But make sure you maintain your diet according to the weather, your body type, workout levels, etc. The main thing is to ensure you take in a diet which helps you in weight loss while not affecting your health.

Avoid Alcohol and other harmful substances

One of the most important steps during any weight loss training is to make sure that you aren’t engaged in any kind of bad habit which could affect your health or training. If you are a smoker or an alcohol take, well it’s time you put a stop to those activities if you wish to lose weight.

If you go through weight loss training while still engaging in alcohol, it would be contrary to your weight loss training and will just make you fatter.

Alcohol has a lot of calories which is harmful to your body and tobacco is a harmful substance which affects the body functions in a negative manner, so it would be advisable to avoid all these substances while trying to lose weight.

Avoid Alcohol and other harmful substances

Lord of the Cosmic Dance Pose

Lord of the Cosmic Dance Pose This balancing back bend cultivates openheartedness and poise—and helps you uncover your inner radiance.

According to tradition, hatha yoga postures were first practiced spontaneously by sages during meditation. They named some poses for their resemblance to animals or natural phenomena such as trees or mountains. Other poses, suggesting more esoteric and symbolic meaning were named after ages and Hindu deities.

hatha yoga postures

Natarajasana is of the latter type—it’s named after Nataraja, the mythological “royal dancer” depicted in Indian iconography as a graceful figure with one leg lifted in dance, surrounded by a circle of flames. In Indian philosophy, Nataraja represents the dancing form of Lord Shiva, the all-pervasive Supreme Consciousness, who playfully and blissfully dances the entire universe into existence.

Natarajasana is a standing pose, a back bend, and a balancing pose all in one, so it has great physical benefits. The beginner’s version builds leg strength, opens the shoulders and chest, and enhances inner steadiness and poise. Natarajasana also provides a wonderful psychological lift. The name Shiva literally means “benign” or “noble.” Shiva, who is supreme goodness itself, is the reality that underlies all creation. So each time you practice Natarajasana, the pose can remind you of your own innate goodness.

To perform Natarajasana, first, stand tall with your feet close together. Take a breath and soften your skin and muscles. Relax your face and tongue, so you begin your posture with a lessening of self-will. Keeping a quality of soft inner expansion, hug the muscles of your legs and hips to the bones. With your legs strong and stable, balance on your right leg and bend your left knee behind you. Take hold of the left foot with your left hand. If this is difficult, hook a belt around your foot.

Square your hips to the front and slowly bend forward from the top of the right leg. Lift your chest and draw your shoulders back. Stretch your right arm out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Looking straight ahead, stretch your left leg up behind you, so the foot is raised to the height of the right hand. Turn the top of the left thigh in and roll the pelvis down to level the hips. Then draw the tailbone down and in. Keeping the pelvis and legs steady, turn the chest to the right until it is square to the front.

Natarajasana

Take five slow breaths. With each inhalation draw the heart forward and up and extend the back foot up and away from the pelvis. With each exhalation soften your inner organs and melt into a quiet, soothing state of mind. At the end of the fifth exhalation, bring your torso more upright, then slowly release the left foot. Mindfully reset the feet close to each other. Then balance on the other leg and do the pose again for five Slow breaths.

After performing Natarajasana on both sides, pause and contemplate the 5 holism reflected in the form of the pose. In traditional Indian iconography, the dancing Nataraja symbolizes the five active functions of Supreme Consciousness—creation, preservation, dissolution, concealment, and revelation—which play throughout the universe every moment. Each gesture of the limbs represents part of this fivefold creative dance. The same symbolism can be extended to the yoga pose.

Traditionally, the left arm of Natarajasana represents creative action in the world, and the back arm, dissolution or reabsorption of the creation back into the original Absolute. In Indian philosophy, the light of creation and the darkness of dissolution are considered equally valuable. To reflect this truth while performing Natarajasana, attempt to bring the hands to the same height.

The front arm also represents the power that sustains and maintains creation. Classically this power is symbolized by changing the position of the front hand so that the wrist flexes back and the palm of the hand shines forward. This hand position is called abhyaya mudra, or the gesture of fearlessness, whispering to us “Don’t worry, it’s all just a cosmic dance.”

The back arm, which is difficult to see when performing the pose, also represents the concealing nature of Shiva. Shiva conceals and limits his omnipotent and eternal nature by veiling universal divine consciousness in an endless variety of physical bodies. In every hatha yoga posture, we experience some physical limits in flexibility, strength, stamina, or balance. Cloaked in our physical body, we forget our divine heritage.

Watch this video for detailed information on this:

The standing leg of Natarajasana represents the power of constant remembrance that keeps the demon of forgetfulness underfoot. The pose teaches us to be grounded in the knowledge that, as supreme consciousness, we are essentially pure, worthy, and complete.

The uplifted or “dancing” leg represents the divine grace of supreme consciousness, which descends to lift the veil of ignorance from our inner vision. In the pose, we may feel a tremendous inner expansion of power, radiance, and freedom. This is the magic of divine grace revealing your true unlimited inner Self.

From Natarajasana we learn directly that we are a microcosmic expression of the fivefold creative power of universal consciousness. When getting into the pose, we create; when balancing, we maintain our creation; when coming out of it, we dissolve our creation. While struggling in the pose, we feel how our omnipotent nature is concealed. And yet when we have a breakthrough, we experience the revelation of our true nature—expansive, scintillating supreme consciousness full of goodness.

This article appeared in the January/February 1998 issue of Yoga Journal and is reprinted here with their permission.

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