Sunday, January 24, 2010


This journey the last 4wks has been wonderful...I am officially a certified 200RYT yoga instructor. I can't say it was easy (but then it wouldn't be much fun if it was easy. All the girls in class where great, Lizzy at Urban Bliss in Lake Norman Charlotte was awesome teacher. Now the journey begins...the possibilities are endless. I want to go on and get certified in teaching child's yoga as well. Who knows maybe one day I will open my own studio. I am looking forward to teaching..I still have so much to learn (do we ever really stop learning).

Until we meet again..

Shanti (peace)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jump Start your Metabolism!!

Anyone who had a serious desire to either lose or maintain weight should focus on boosting their metabolism. There is a myth surrounding metabolism that you have no control over it, it's mostly genetic, it is what it is, and you have live with it! WRONG! You have to send your body signals that allow it to function more efficiently so you can rev your metabolism and burn more fat...even when you're doing absolutely nothing at all, like sleeping. A high metabolism will burn more fat and keep you more energized and active throughout the day. A slow, sluggish metabolism can result in a lot of unnecessary frustration when trying to lose weight. So let's give you some helpful info and steps you can implement to get your metabolism going!

1. Weight Training - I can't stress how extremely important this step is in firing up your metabolism. Your metabolism is proportional to the percentage of muscle your body carries. The more muscle you have the more fat you burn and the more calories you use for energy throughout the day. On the contrary, the less muscle you have the less fat you will burn and less calories your body will use for energy. The older people get, the more muscle they lose and the more their metabolism is compromised. Doing weight-bearing exercises is one very important way to ensure that your body maintains muscle.

2. Stop All Forms of Dieting and Starvation – Diets activate an instinctual starvation response in the body and the body's metabolism will drop significantly. Your body will start shutting down and start using as little of it's energy stores (aka calories) as possible while the body has a shortage of food.

3. Replace Steady, Consistent Cardio with Interval Training - Steady cardio is cardio like jogging and swimming that most people are familiar with, as well as cardio machines like the elliptical, etc., most people use at the gym. This type of cardio is really great for enhancing health but is not the best way to get your metabolism going because you're not challenging your body outside it's comfort zone. So if you really want to set your metabolism on fire, do interval training!

4. Never Skip Breakfast - Breakfast brings the body out of fasting...because when you think about it, you've just spent the past 7-8 hours without food (sleeping) and what you really need when you wake up is something healthy in your stomach to make sure your body does not go into it's starvation response mode.

5. Eat 5-6 Meals Every 2-3 Hours - Eating on a schedule ensures that your body is always being fueled and your blood-sugar levels remain consistent. This means that your body's metabolism and energy levels will remain constant. The body doesn't like erratic eating times and loves working on a schedule. A schedule means consistent positive signals to the body for efficient function. When your body knows you're eating, and expects you're eating, it will use, as oppose to store, all the calories you're consuming.

6. Eat Hot Peppers (THIS IS MY FAVORITE) Such as Cayenne Pepper, or Spices Such as Cinnamon- Capsaicins are the active ingredient in pepper. Capsaicin increases body temperature. When your body's temperature goes up, so does your metabolism. This is because the body needs to produce more energy to keep the body temperature elevated. Jalapeno's has a very similar effect on the body. I LOVE Jalapeno's and put them on anything I can!

7. Drink Green Tea - Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. Green tea also has lots of anti-oxidants that have tremendous health benefits. Try drinking a glass with every meal...but drink it hot, or warm. The colder it gets, the less potent it becomes.

8. Get at Least 6 to 8 Hours of Sleep - A lack of sleep produces a high level of the hormone, cortisol, which can get in the way of weight loss. Also, not getting enough sleep hinders results and progress you get from all of your hard efforts!! Less progress means less energy and improper recovery to make physical gains that will fire your metabolism!!

9. My favorite is Yoga - One of the key areas of focus (in yoga practice) for increased metabolic activity is the abdomen and the manipura chakra located in that area. The manipura chakra controls digestion and all organs in and around the digestive system. A strong and healthy digestive system means better immunity because the immune system virtually resides there.

Therefore, a poor digestive system and a sluggish liver are among the most easily identifiable reasons for a sluggish metabolism.

How then do you raise your metabolism when it is slows down or if it tends to be sluggish anyway? Asana (postures) and other techniques in yoga that work out your core can be very useful. Surya Namaskar (set of Yoga asanas) for example, is a system that works out the body and increases metabolic activity simply because it gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. Practices that strengthen the core and therefore the manipura chakra include certain pranayama (controlled breathing) that are dynamic.

Now start sending your body these positive signals and get your metabolism moving!