Tag Archives: Yoga

Exercising during Pregnancy and the Benefits

Once blessed with the happy and life-changing news of Pregnancy, it is not time to leave the sneakers in the closet or to cancel your gym membership.

It is perfectly safe to do certain exercises once cleared by your Doctor.

Two types of exercises immediately ruled out are jumping and prone (on the stomach) exercises.

My clients train on the elliptical machine, cycle or walk for Cardio and sometimes throw in a bit of step work. However, weight training and resistance exercises for toning are usually the focus.

With time and lack of exercise, the skin will lose its elasticity and it is quite hard to regain. So as long as expecting moms feel comfortable exercising during pregnancy, it should be safe to exercise up to 7 or 8 months and to walk during the last month.

Once there is any discomfort during exercise, you should stop that exercise immediately and move on to the next one.

If cramping or extreme discomfort is experienced, give yourself a break from exercising that day.

Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy:

● Helps to have a quicker Postpartum Recovery
● Facilitates a faster return to Pre-Pregnancy Weight and Appearance
● Reduces Back Pain and Strain
● Reduces the Risk of Gestational Diabetes
● Shorter Labour and Less Complications requiring Surgery

I suggest the following Exercises to keep active and as toned as possible:

1. Elliptical training

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Training on the Elliptical machine (Photo: Heavy.com)

2. Cycling (On a stationary bike)

3. Walking

4. Squats

5. Lunges

6. Light arm work with Dumbbells for the Biceps and Triceps

7. Kegel Exercises 

Kegel Exercises also known as Pelvic floor exercises are quite popular during pregnancy. They involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles (kegel muscles) repeatedly.

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Kegel Exercise (Photo: http://www.ladycarehealth.com)

The exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help push the baby out easily during delivery. The exercises also support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. This in turn helps to deal with urinary incontinence that is a common problem during pregnancy.

***Kegel exercises are not strenuous or painful, but some persons may have discomfort so it is a good idea to discuss with your gynaecologist first.***

8. Supported groin and pelvis floor stretch with slight back bend.

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Photo: drsusieg.com

9. Yoga Exercises. E.g. Fierce Cat and Cobbler’s Pose

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Fierce Cat Exercise

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10. Exercises for the Glutes and Hamstrings

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Back Leg raises and pulses for the Glutes and Hamstrings (Photo: webconsultas.com)

By: Gabrielle Burgess (Certified Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist)

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Yoga Classes in Kingston, Jamaica!

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Photo: The Art of Living Foundation

Yoga is the gift of India to the world, thought to be the union of the Soul with God. Yoga equips one with a sound mind, peaceful spirit, healthy body and cures diseases. It does all of this in various ways.

October was Lupus Awareness month and I handed off some information to my Lupus Warriors that they could use for the months and years ahead.

The main areas that Yoga benefits everyone including persons with Lupus, are improved Flexibility and Mobility, Physical Energy, Pain Management, Stress Management, Mood and Coping, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Efficiency, Circulation, Strength and Stamina.

Other than relieving symptoms of Lupus, Yoga also helps with Insomnia, Strengthens the Immune system, Improves the Digestive process and Calms Anxiety.

Therefore Yoga helps to achieve and maintain an overall Healthy Lifestyle.

Lupus Awareness should go beyond the month of October and I would like my Readers to achieve and maintain a Healthy Lifestyle, so I found Yoga Practices in Jamaica that I recommend near you.

Recommended list with Contact Information for some Yoga Studios/Groups in Kingston, Ja:

Afya Jamaica 

Location: 2d Bamboo Ave. Kgn. 6

Website: www.afyajamaica.com/

Bikram Yoga Ja *Open 7 days a week

Location: 17 Latham Ave. Kgn.

Ph: 876-622-4571

Chai Studios

Location: Barbican Business Centre

Ph: 876-946-9595; 876-946-9596

Website: www.chaistudiosja.com/

*Yoga classes on Thursdays at 7:35pm

● Banyan Tribe Wellness & Yoga

Ph: 876-564-7559; 876-422-2550

Email: ourbanyantribe@gmail.com

Website: http://www.ourbanyantribe.com

By: Gabrielle Burgess (Certified Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist)

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How YOGA can Help with Lupus Flares

As Lupus Awareness month comes to an end, I would like to hand off some information to my Lupus Warriors that you can use for the months and years ahead.

Lupus can negatively impact joint health and flexibility. Persons with Lupus may suffer from a variety of symptoms such as:

● Painful/Swollen Joints

● Chest Pain associated with breathing

● Extreme Fatigue

….and the list goes on.

I have had clients with Lupus that wanted to increase their level of fitness and lose weight, but because of fatigue, they could not handle aerobics.

Yoga is the gift of India to the world, thought to be the union of the Soul with God. Yoga equips one with a sound mind, peaceful spirit, healthy body and cures diseases. It does all of this in various ways.

The main areas of benefit of Yoga and Lupus include improved: 

● Flexibility and Mobility

● Physical Energy

● Pain Management e.g. relieves inflamed, swollen ankles

● Stress Management e.g. increased self-control, confidence, discipline

● Mood and Coping

● Cardiovascular and Respiratory Efficiency

● Circulation, Strength and Stamina e.g. relieves swollen joints and lessens fatigue

Other than relieving symptoms of Lupus, Yoga also helps with Insomnia, Strengthens the Immune system, Improves the Digestive process and Calms Anxiety.

Therefore Yoga helps to achieve and maintain an overall Healthy Lifestyle.

The two types of Yoga to consider are Beginner/Restorative Yoga and Hot Yoga/Bikram Yoga.

For persons with Lupus, especially Lupus flare ups, I recommend Beginner/Restorative Yoga because it is quite gentle, using pillows and blankets for support, which is ideal for joint issues.

Hot Yoga/Bikram Yoga is more strenuous and should be avoided by novices.

***Persons, especially those with Lupus should always talk with a Doctor before beginning New Exercises***

Conditions to be Cautious about when doing Yoga:

● High Blood Pressure: Be careful when bending over

● Neck issues: Instead of looking up, look straight ahead e.g. Warrior pose

● Pregnancy: Cannot do Prone exercises or exercises such as ‘Downward Dog’.

***When there is Inflexibility, use a Block by the Knee. For Back and Hip issues, use a Towel/Blanket***

How Yoga Helps with Stress

Stress is a state of mind. Stress occurs when something feels wrong or you have it on your mind persistently. It is not a disease, but I believe it can give birth to several diseases such as Ulcers, Hypertension, Migraines, Heart attacks etc.

Our minds and bodies are in sync with each other and there are some things that the Doctor cannot help us with all the time. It is how you manage your mind or the stress.

Yoga assists with the control of Breath, especially during Physical Postures called Asanas. It is important during Exercises to Breathe properly and to find strength, balance and comfort within each posture. Breathing properly involves deeply inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. That is just scratching the surface with Breathing Techniques and Yoga.

5 Yoga Poses that Help with Lupus:

***Do NOT Perform Poses Unsupervised and without proper Instruction/Demonstration***

1. Auspicious Pose / Swastikasana  (Seated with hands on the knees. Legs are folded so that left ankle resides between right thigh and knee and vice versa.)

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Photo: http://www.findhomeremedy.com

It Relaxes the Nerves and should be done for 5 minutes with one area of focus.

2. Camel Pose / Ustrasana

Helps with Overcoming Pain, Increasing Lung Capacity, Improving Circulation and Respiratory Health.

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Gabby from Suga Lifestyle demonstrating how Yoga can help with Lupus Flare ups at the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica’s Annual Seminar last October 23, 2016.

Position should be held for 10-15 seconds.

3. Viparita Karani

Helps to Improve Blood Circulation.

There are two versions but it should be done preferably against a wall.

*Avoid if there are Back issues

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Photo: internationalyogafestival.com
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Advanced Viparita Karani pose (Photo: stylecraze.com)

4. Bound Angle Pose / Cobbler Pose/ Baddha Konasana

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Photo: Meraki Lane

Seated position with soles of feet together and body bent over with the hips open for 20-30 seconds.

Helps with Fatigue, Menstrual Pain, Stretching of the Inner Thighs, Circulation and Anxiety.

5. Mountain Pose / Tadasana

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Photo: http://www.findhomeremedy.com

Performed for 3 – 5 minutes with a gaze fixed forward. It helps with Relief of Pain and Inflammation.

*The soles of the feet should be grounded.

***Lupus Awareness should go beyond the month of October, so stay tuned for Yoga Practices in Jamaica that I recommend near you!***

By: Gabrielle Burgess  (Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist)

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Yoga in the Hills this Saturday!

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Zone in with Yoga and Meditation Practice by the best view of Kingston this Saturday on the lawns of Garden Cottage in Jack’s Hill.

The class will be conducted by Certified Yoga Instructor, Karin Wilson Edmonds and the cost is $2000JMD. RSVP by Email and pay at the venue.

Banyan Tribe Wellness & Yoga

Ph: 876-564-7559; 876-422-2550

Email: ourbanyantribe@gmail.com

Website: http://www.ourbanyantribe.com

By: Gabrielle Burgess (Certified Personal Trainer & Sports Nutritionist)

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Kingston Yoga Fest is this Saturday, June 24 at the Spanish Court Hotel!

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KINGSTON YOGA FEST is this Saturday, June 24 at the Spanish Court Hotel.

YOGA classes will be ALL DAY, starting from 6am and Showtime starts at 7pm with an amazing line-up of Reggae Artists.

Check out the website, http://www.kingstonyogafest.com for information on Tickets, the Schedule, Performers and more.

All Day Passes to include both the Yoga Classes and Music/Spoken Word Concert are available and Students get a special rate.

Contact Information:

Ph: 876-773-1577 (JAM); 310-497-7270 (USA)

Email: kingstonyogafest@gmail.com

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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FREE Yoga, Pilates & Belly Dancing at AFYA this Sunday!

If you are going to miss out on the Free Belly Dancing Class at Chai studios Tomorrow or would like a Weekend of Workouts to tune up that Summer body, check this out!

There will be a FREE Day of a mixture of classes at Afya this Sunday, June 4th.

*Call or Email to Register in Advance

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Afya Jamaica (Yoga, Pilates, Belly Dancing)

Location: 2d Bamboo Ave. Kgn. 6

Ph: 876-977-6735; 876-383-7669

Email: afyajamaica@gmail.com

Website: www.afyajamaica.com/

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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