Wonderfully Fit

Using Yoga Poses to Improve Your Health

Yoga Poses are the body and mind places you are trying to achieve through Yoga that are also called Asanas. The benefits of practicing Yoga is mainly to exercise, strengthen and tone your body’s muscles and exercise your mind. It takes a great deal of willpower and tenacity to accomplish each Yoga Pose and you have to have the discipline to practice your routine of poses or asanas daily.

You may or may not know that the effort required for yoga is certainly not easy (what program ids that actually works though!), but the total body benefit is worth all the hard work. The art of practicing Yoga exercises or Asanas can and will improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.


To be able to accomplish the Yoga Poses requires you to study each pose and perform it deliberately as you control your body and mind simultaneously. Learn the following different Yoga Exercises, Postures, and Poses in the following sections and then incorporate them into your routine.

Warm-Up Poses

In general, warming up depends on the particular style of yoga that you practice and your studio, class, DVD, or online training will show you the best warm up for the type of yoga you are doing.

Standing Poses – You should learn the following Standing Poses

  • Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose
  • Utkatasana or Squat Pose
  • Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend
  • Tadasana or Mountain Pose
  • Uthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle
  • Garudasana or Eagle Pose
  • Natarajasana or Dancer
  • Bakasana or Crow Pose
  • Chaturangsana or Plank Pose
  • Purvottanasana or Back Bend
  • Vasisthasana or Inclined Plank

Seated Poses – These poses can be done while sitting.

Sitting Neutral

  • Vajrasana or Hero Pose
  • Dandasana or Staff Pose
  • Baddhakonasana or Bound Angle Pose
  • Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose

Sitting Forward

  • Pascimottanasana or Sitting Forward Bend
  • Paripurna navasana or Boat Pose

Sitting Back Bends

  • Bidalasana or Cat Stretch
  • Ustrasana or Camel Pose
  • Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
  • Dhanurasana or Bow Pose

Sittting Twist

  • Ardha matsyendrasana or Half Twist

Inverted Postures and Balance Poses – These poses help to increase circulation, stimulate the brain, enhance glandular system functioning, and relieve pressure on the abdominal organs helping with digestion and blood flow.

  • Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand
  • Halasana or Plow Pose
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog
  • Setu Bandha or Half Bridge
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana or Full Bridge
  • Karnapidasana or Spider Pose

It’s recommended that people try and practice different yoga poses at home or even in the office or workplace but if you are feeling like you’re not able to complete a posture, please don’t push yourself. Yoga is not a competition so just relax, rest for a minute and try the pose again. Also remember not to try yoga poses that are beyond your capabilities.

If you attempt asanas that are beyond your level you can injure yourself which is not what we are trying to achieve with yoga! You might find it helpful to get some expert guidance through popular online training websites where a professional teacher can instruct and coach you through each Yoga Pose ensuring you are doing the exercise correctly.

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The Macronutrients of Nutrition

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Nutrition can be a confusing subject for the ordinary person. Of course we have all heard about vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, complex carbohydrates and sugars but how does it all fit together?

Well to start with, our bodies require certain amounts of macronutrients to survive. There are a few people who focus on one nutrient over another and they consume more of one and less of the others but in general we all need some of these nutrients and a healthy diet consists of a good balance of the all three macronutrients.


The macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates. Protein and carbohydrates both provide 4 calories per gram, while the more dense fat contains 9 calories per gram. A calorie is at its most basic description the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water 1 degree Celsius. While that is a rather confusing definition for most of us it is easier for us to just know that a calorie is just a measurement that we use to determine the energy content of food.

Due to this discrepancy of 5 additional calories per gram, it was believed for a few years that the fat in our diet was the main cause of the fat on our bodies. It has since been proven that this all too simple explanation is not quite true. The fat on our bodies is caused by a number of different factors including the eating of too many calories altogether be they from fat, protein or carbohydrates.

Protein is the building blocks of the tissues in our bodies and it is essential to all of the processes within our cells. Protein can be found in animal tissue, dairy products and eggs but also vegetarian sources such a beans, legumes and especially soybeans.

Carbohydrates are the main energy source of our bodies. A simplistic explanation of carbohydrates is that they convert to sugar in our bodies, which in turn provides the energy that we need. Carbohydrates can be further broken down into simple carbohydrates, which include sugar, candy, white flour and more and complex carbohydrates, which include whole grains and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates break down in our bodies at a very rapid level, causing energy swings and increased hunger while complex carbohydrates break down slowly which gives us sustained longer-term energy.

Fat was long misaligned as being bad for our health but that is not completely true. The saturated fats and trans fats are destructive to our bodies but there are also essential fats that we need to maintain good health. Those would include the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil and the fats found in nuts and seeds, avocados, olives and the acai berry. The bad fats are the saturated fats such as the fat found in animal products and the “fake” fats or trans fats that are created by hydrogenation.

The macronutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fat are the building blocks of nutrition and all of the rest of the positive nutritional factors, like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more are found within one of these three macronutrients.

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Workout Routines for Seniors

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Seniors are finally getting involved in the health movement! Move it or lose it! What is the best workout routine for senior citizens? And why should seniors workout? We will explore more on this topic during this article.

Did you know that there are some health insurance companies that will actually pay for your gym membership. When this was implemented several years ago, the insurance companies saved around 1.6 billion dollars in health care in the first two years! Senior citizens were getting into the gym, and getting fit and healthy!


Of course, if you have read any of my other articles, you know that I am a big advocate of weight lifting. And yes, this goes for you too, seniors. Lifting weights can really help with osteoporosis. If you don’t believe me, ask your doctor. Your doctor will tell you. I have some clients that have come to me because their doctor has told them that they have to get a personal trainer.

My hope for everyone and their health is that they get into the gym BEFORE their doctor tells them that they have to do it. Once you are at a place where your doctor tells you that you HAVE to lose weight, or you have to get a personal trainer, this can mean that your health is at stake. This always makes my heart just drop, because I know for many people, that a lot of their health problems could have been prevented if they had just lead a healthy lifestyle and gotten into the gym.

So, don’t be one of those people. Get in to the gym now. Also, for most seniors, it’s about getting back your mobility, your range of motion, and a bit of strength and energy. Yes, I recommend lifting weights, but, don’t go in and just start throwing weights around. Get yourself at least a month of sessions with a personal trainer. Many injuries can be prevented by just knowing where to place your hands or your feet during certain exercises.

One rule of thumb can be the ninety degree angle rule. Now, this doesn’t apply for every exercise. There are always exceptions to the rule. Basically, you never let your legs or your arms go past a ninety degree angle. For instance, if you are doing an overhead shoulder press, your arms above your head should each form ninety degree angles.

This way, you are keeping the weight in your muscle rather than your joints. But, if this isn’t making any sense to you, please take the time to seek out a personal trainer in your area. They can help you with all of your fitness goals and give you a great workout routine for seniors!