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Common Fitness Myth Debunked:  For Women – Strength Training will make me Bulky.

 This fitness myth is mainly a concern for the female population. I have probably been asked this question by about 80% of my female clients when they came in to see if weight training would be right for their goals.   Good question though, because if I were female, I don’t think I would want to train to look like an N.F.L. linebacker. But this myth could not be further from the truth.  Yes, strength training will build muscle, and NO, you will not look bulky. In fact building muscle is necessary to control weight. When you add lean muscle mass to your body, you are resetting your metabolism to burn more calories.  The general rule is for every one pound of lean muscle mass that you put on your body, you will increase your metabolism by 50 calories per day. Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy, or, burns calories. Metabolism measures the number of calories required to keep your body functioning. Basically, if you have a sluggish metabolism you are a less efficient fat burning machine. If you increase your metabolism, you will burn more calories and burn more fat.

The average woman will put on a little less than one pound of muscle per month if they are doing intense weight training three to four times per week. As they plateau with their strength gains, they will eventually plateau with their muscle gain. The main thing to remember about muscle is this:  One pound of muscle takes up only 1/3 of the space of one pound of fat.

 As explained, adding muscle will increase your metabolism, helping to burn off fat stores on your body. If you burn off one pound of fat, and put on one pound of muscle, that muscle will only take up 1/3 of the space, a net 2/3 less space.  Adding muscle will have the benefit of giving your body a toned tight look, not a bulky look.  The only way women can bulk up, is if they are eating to gain weight. As they gain more fat, they will be putting on more muscle underneath the fat, and appear more bulky. 

 Lastly, do not look at men as an indicator of how much muscle you will put on. Men have vastly higher levels of the hormone testosterone in their bodies. Testosterone is needed to build muscle. Men are much more predisposed to build bulky muscles.  So don’t worry about bulking up.  Think more of strength training as a way to sculpt that perfect lean body.

 Holistic BodyWorx can help you to transform your body. We have a group of very experienced professionals ready to teach and motivate you to help you attain your fitness and wellness goals.

 Holistic BodyWorx offers Private training in traditional personal training, Pilates, Yoga or a combination of these disciplines depending on your individual goals. Contact us at 905-281-3737, www.holisticbodyworx.com, 4259 Sherwoodtowne Blvd. just of Hwy. 403 at Hurontario.

 Article written by Roy Gowans - Co-owner and Personal and Group Fitness Trainer at Holistic BodyWorx Pilates, Yoga & Wellness Studio in Mississauga


Pro Athletes Turning to Yoga

Professional Athletes Turning to Yoga for Big Rewards

What do Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens football club and LeBron James, pro basketball player for Miami Heat have in common? They all practice yoga to help improve their game.

These professional athletes and countless others are breaking the stereotype associated with yoga, says  Roy Gowans, Co-Owner and Personal and Group Fitness Trainer at Holistic BodyWorx in Mississauga.   “When we think of someone who practices yoga, we most likely picture a young female with a svelte dancer’s body who can do the splits with a smile on her face,” says Roy.  “Not so anymore.  Professional athletes are turning to yoga due to the massive benefits like improved posture and muscular and skeletal alignment, improved flexibility, aid in injury prevention and injury recovery, plus practicing  yoga can help an athlete focus and remain calm allowing him or her to make better decisions in a game situation.”

Toronto Blue Jay third basemen Brett Lawrie practices hot yoga to stay flexible, according to an article in Sportsnet written by Shi Davidi (Jan 22, 2014). Says Lawrie in the article; “I’ve been doing hot yoga in order to get flexible and stretch muscles. Laying on that turf throws my hips off — so I’ve focused on flexibility. The more flexible I can be, the better my body is going to respond.”

LeBron James, Forward for the Miami Heat American Pro Basketball team began practising yoga while in Cleveland and continues in South Beach, according to an article written by Jordan Zirm, STACK media called 10 Athletes and Teams You Might Not Think Would Practice Yoga (September 17, 2012, www.stack.com) .   James is quoted telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer (2009): “Yoga isn’t just about the body, it’s also about the mind and it’s a technique that has really helped me.”

In the same article, Zirm mentions that Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis raves about yoga. Zirm mentions an interview with Lewis and ESPN in 2010 in which Lewis said; “I do it for a lifestyle, and that’s a better motivation. If you’re gonna be training for a lifestyle and be a man, then you try all different things.”

Yoga enthusiasts at BodyWorx in Mississauga include soccer players and hockey players, among other athletes.

Love Yoga? Take a Teacher Training Course and open your eyes to a whole new world. 

In North America most of what we think of Yoga usually brings to mind a Heated Studio where sweat is dripping down our foreheads as we transition from Upward dog into downward dog and then to the next intricate posture. We walk away from the class feeling energized, calmer, body feeling open, tight muscles now just a memory.  But after doing classes for a while some of us start to want a little more from our yoga. What else is yoga doing for the body?  What about breathing techniques and meditation?  What about the philosophy?

The physical yoga that you practice at a studio, gym, community center is Hatha Yoga. It may be called something else whether it be vinyasa, power, flow, classical but it is all based on Hatha Yoga postures.  Hatha Yoga can offer so much more than just the postures though.

At Holistic BodyWorx in Mississauga we are a registered school with the Yoga Alliance. We offer a very comprehensive yoga teacher training

In our teacher training course you will learn how to do, teach and sequence the posture, but most importantly you will learn why you are doing the posture. Each posture has been developed to positively affect a bodily system whether it be your nervous system, digestive system, endocrine system,  respiratory system, muscular and skeletal system, etc.. You will learn how to heal your body whether you are suffering from back pain, asthma, diabetes or any other disorder.

Not only will you learn all about the physical benefits of yoga but also about the energetic benefits of yoga. In yoga we have a physical body but we also have an energetic body. You will learn all about the major energy centers called the chakras which run up and down the spine, along with the minor energy points called the nadis.  If you have ever gone for acupuncture, shiatsu, thai yoga massage or reflexology; all these therapies help with the physical body but also work to release blockages that we may have in our energetic system which can lead to drains on our energy, and ill health culminating in disease.

A teacher training program will introduce you to the mysterious worlds of the Pranayamas (yogic breathing techniques), Mudras (symbolic bodily gestures), Bhandas (Locking actions creating mass amounts of energy), Shatkarmas (powerful cleansing and detoxifying techniques), and meditation (technique to quiet the mind).  

A favourite of yoga teacher training students is studying the spiritual aspects of yoga in yogic philosophy.  While you will learn to control your body, you will also learn how to control your mind. In Yoga we talk about the monkey mind. Our minds jumping from one thing to the other like a monkey jumping from tree to tree. Yogic philosophy helps to calm and focus the mind while recontexualizing your world view. It is very common for the student to finish the course and feel like the whole world has changed; now softer, sweeter, and more supportive.

If you are looking to take a yoga teacher training program Holistic BodyWorx in Mississauga offers course year round.


Some Inspirational yoga quotes to remind you why you do yoga

"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” - B.K.S. Iyengar.

"Basketball is an endurance sport, and you have to learn to control your breath; that's the essence of yoga, too. So, I consciously began using yoga techniques in my practice and playing. I think yoga helped reduce the number and severity of injuries I suffered. As preventative medicine, it's unequaled." - Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame." -B.K.S. Iyengar.

"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." Unknown.

It’s reversing the aging process. I can do things with my body now that I wouldn’t even have thought of doing when I was an athlete, a teenager. So that keeps me going. – Sting.

"Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents’ our living in the most full and whole way. With yoga, we become aware of how and where we are restricted -- in body, mind, and heart -- and how gradually to open and release these blockages. As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed. We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves. Our lives begin to flow -- or we begin to flow more in our lives." - Cybele Tomlinson.

"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny." – Upanishads.

Pilates or Yoga:  Which one is right for you?
yoga pilates in mississaug brampton etobicoke oakville

Depending on your fitness goals, you may choose to practice yoga or Pilates exclusively, or include them both in your workout regimen. While there are certainly differences between yoga and Pilates, they complement each other well and are both low impact workouts. Simply put, the difference between yoga and Pilates is that between East and West. Both systems build strength and flexibility; the difference between them is not so much physical as it is philosophical.

What is yoga?
The aim of yoga is to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit. Yoga views the mind and the body as one. Given the right tools, one can find harmony and heal themselves.

While some people think of yoga simply as physical exercise, it is actually a complete, holistic system for overall health and well-being. Having been practiced for thousands of years, yoga includes everything from physical postures (asanas), to meditation, breathing (pranayama), and relaxation techniques. The most advanced forms of meditation and self-realization are also a part of yoga.

Why practice yoga?
When it comes to achieving both physical and mental well-being, yoga exercises are by far the most effective and time-tested practices known to mankind. Yoga asanas effectively strengthen and tone the body, increase flexibility, improve balance, and relieve stress. However, the most significant benefits of yoga asanas come from their profound effects on the internal systems of the body.

By bending, stretching, twisting, and flexing in the various postures, you bathe your internal organs with oxygenated blood. You also are massaging the organs leading to better function. Yoga asanas soothe and tone the nerves and regulate the endocrine system, which is responsible for the production of hormones—one of the keys to both physical and mental health. They also improve digestion and elimination, strengthen the respiratory system, and tone the reproductive organs.

Yoga is a wonderful complimentary system to all other forms of exercise and sports training. It helps the body to work more efficiently through flexibility and keeps the body healthy. It has become a staple in the training of pro sports teams including Hockey, Basketball,
Football and Soccer.

When you spend an hour in a yoga class, you stress seems to melt away and you emerge wonderfully relaxed and refreshed.

What is Pilates?
Derived from ancient yoga asanas, the Pilates exercise system was developed by Joseph Pilates over 80 years ago. Like yoga, Pilates is a mind/body exercise utilizing synchronized breathing coordinated with movement. Practiced for decades by dancers for strengthening and rehabilitation, Pilates has become very popular in recent years. Although Pilates works the entire body, the primary focus is on the core muscles (think torso - abs, back, hips, glutes and stabilizing muscles).

Why practice Pilates?
Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. Pilates is very beneficial for strengthening muscles without shortening them or bulking up. Joseph Pilates believed that a strong “power house” (core) was the energetic center of the body. If your power house is strong your body will be strong. Pilates improves balance and overall strength, stabilizes and lengthens the spine, improves posture, and can help prevent injuries and aid in injury rehabilitation.

People recognize seasoned Pilates practitioners by their perfect posture coupled with a lean long look and amazing abs!

Mudras - Gestures
mudras yoga  mississauga

Do you ever wonder why you are asked to hold your hands or fingers in a certain way during yoga postures or in meditation?  The reason is you are performing a mudra.  The translation of the Sanskrit word mudra is ‘gesture’. 

Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which can alter your mood, attitude and perception and can lead to a deepened awareness and heightened concentration. 

A mudra can involve the whole body in a combination of posture, pranayama (breathing), bandha (locking actions), and visualization, or it can be a simple hand position as shown to the left in baivara mudra. 

The reason why mudras are effective is they manipulate prana (energy) in the body. Our body is made up of energy, and performing a mudra helps to redirect the energy within rather than have it leak out of the body.

A brain research paper published in the National Academy of Sciences in November 2009, demonstrated that hand gestures stimulate the same regions of the brain as language.

Matyasama - Fish Pose
matyasana fish pose yoga mississauga

The fish pose is wonderful asana that affects our health positively in so many ways. This pose stretches the intestines and helps with all abdominal ailments. It is a wonderful posture for your lungs. It helps to improve asthma, and relieve chest ailments such as bronchitis. It regulates the function of the thyroid gland and stimulates the thymus boosting the immune response.

Who's practicing yoga?

Now in her fifties, Madonna is one of the fittest celebrity females out there. Aside from her physically demanding shows, she practices yoga daily. "I've been practicing yoga for a while now, and it's an incredibly powerful and positive force in my life,"

The LA Lakers
This high flying basketball club practices yoga as a team a few times a week, claiming that the practice has helped to increase balance and coordination and helps them to prevent injuries during games.

Sports Teams
Other sports teams that are using yoga to train include The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Chicago Cubs

Television and film stars
Sex in the City stars, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis do yoga

Angelina Jolie buffed up for Tomb Raider with yoga!

Oprah is such an ardent believer that she has her staff doing yoga once a week! She's devoted an entire segment on her show to yoga with celebrity teacher Rodney Yee and has the benefits of yoga listed on her website, along with testimonials from stars and ordinary people.

It’s reverses the age process.

Christy Turlington
Yoga really purifies your organs and your blood. The real lesson yoga brings you is learning to be present-

Bow Pose - Dhanurasana
bow pose - dhanurasana yoga mississauga

The Bow pose is a very important pose in Hatha Yoga.  The entire alimentary canal (pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) is reconditioned by this posture. 

This asana aids in digestion, fights constipation, and removes gastrointestinal disorders.  The flexion of the spine revitalizes all the spinal nerves by increasing circulation, and strengthens and realigns the spine. Bow pose is also beneficial for diabetes, incontinence, and menstrual disorders, while improving the functioning of the liver, kidneys and spleen. 

Halasana - Plough Pose
Halasana Plough pose yoga mississauga

We know yoga is great for flexibility and building and toning muscles, but most don’t realize the amazing benefits of yoga for the rest of the body.

The plough pose is a perfect example of a posture that not only improves the flexibility of the spine, and strengthens the abdominal muscles but also affects most of the internal systems of the body.

 It is a wonderful pose to massage all the internal organs, activating digestion, relieving constipation, indigestion or heart burn, revitalizing the spleen and the adrenal glands, promoting the production of insulin, and improving liver and kidney function. 

The plough pose also tones the spinal nerves which improve our nervous system function calming our bodies and minds. It stimulates the thymus gland which boosts immune function. It also regulates the Thyroid balancing the body’s metabolic rate.  Think about that next time you have your legs over your head wondering what you are doing. Now you know!







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