Mighty Heart Power Plate®

Power Plate Heart Health in AlamedaThere are many fitness goals that are spoken aloud and the most common goal we hear at Symmetry Yoga is, “I just want to get in shape!” While that takes on many different meanings based on the perception of the receiver, many can agree that improved cardiorespiratory fitness can be included in that definition. When your lungs feel capable and your heart feels mighty, you’ll certainly feel like you’re “in shape.” There are several tenets to what defines fitness (and being in shape).

Balance, flexibility, muscular endurance, agility, and cardiorespiratory endurance are just a few. The latter of those tenets is, arguably, the most important because it’s the type of fitness you can feel no matter what.

That’s where Power Plate® can make a difference. Captain Obvious reminds us that we rely on our heart and lungs to get us through even the most sedentary of days. For those that choose an active lifestyle (or those that want to begin one) it’s important to increase lung capacity and the strength of your heart. Do you know your resting heart rate? Check your pulse as soon as you wake up in the morning. If you want you can do this for three days and take an average, that will be your resting heart rate.

The lower the number (within in reason) the better. A low resting heart rate means your strong beautiful heart is pumping so efficiently that it doesn’t have to pump as frequently as other hearts. While most (consistent) efforts to get in shape will result in improved cardiorespiratory fitness, Power Plate® is a more efficient way of going about it. Here’s a quote from a study on the matter. “The results observed in the Power Plate® training group were comparable with the increases noted in those who followed an equal number of traditional fitness training sessions.

However, Power Plate® training was much more time efficient (average 25 min vs. 75 min).” It’s simple, if you want to make your heart efficient, you should train efficiently. Make the time in your schedule for 25 minutes to get in shape. Visit the cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda, Symmetry Yoga, to try one of our Power Plate® classes that’s sure to power up your heart and lungs.

Sign Up Now!

Mantras: Your Shortcut to Mindfulness

Alameda East Bay Yoga

More than at any other time in history, we are constantly surrounded by distractions of all kinds. Between work, social engagements, family responsibilities, and smart phones, it can be nearly impossible to give anything your undivided attention. But the good news is that there’s an ancient, tried-and-true solution to this problem, and you don’t have to look any further than the teaching team at Symmetry Yoga Alameda to find it!

The ancient yogis described the flighty, distractible wanderings of the human mind as “chitta vritti” which roughly translates into “monkey mind”. Much like an adventurous little monkey (think Curious George) our minds are constantly seeking the next source of stimulation and adventure. We’re almost always reminiscing about the past or wondering about the future, and almost never settled in the present, experiencing the here and now with total attention.

On the surface this may not seem like a problem, but the truth is we miss the best and sweetest parts of our lives if we can never quiet the “monkey mind” long enough to savor what’s right in front of us.

Mantras are an incredibly effective way to cut through the “chitta vritti” and focus the mind on something simple and easy, to help train the mind to chill out and let us just be present. Mantras can be words, phrases, or sounds that are repeated to help us step out of thinking mode and into feeling mode. The traditional yogis used Sanskrit for theirs, but Mantras can be anything that feels right to you. Kind of like setting intentions for your yoga practices, you can focus on a particular word (like “peace” or “forgiveness”) or even a wordless sound, like a hum.

The teachers at Symmetry Yoga Alameda are well practiced at incorporating powerful Mantras into our classes, to help our students “drop in” and get the most out of their meditative experience. The benefits of well-executed mindfulness exercises, like yoga, are far-reaching. Research has shown that mindful yoga lowers blood pressure, increases our tolerance for stress, and makes us more loving partners, parents and friends.

If you’re curious about how Mantras can help you live your best life, check out the schedule at Symmetry Yoga Alameda. The first step to inner peace is as easy as saying “Om”!

 

Yoga 101: What the Heck is a Bandha?

It’s another beautiful week at Symmetry Yoga Alameda, and this time we’re talking about one of the more mysterious and ancient parts of the Yoga practice: the Bandhas!

This is one of the exciting areas of Yoga, where modern science has been confirming ancient wisdom. According to the ancients, the Bandhas are energetic thresholds in the body, where the flow of Prana (aka “life force”) can be harnessed for our benefit through meditative practices. Thermal scans of human bodies have confirmed what the ancient Yogis knew: that different flavors of energy live in specific anatomical places, and that our focused attention can be used to influence that energy’s flow.

This ties in directly with the work of Yoga: to use our breath, focus and movement to “change the channel”, creating freedom and ease in our bodies and lives.

According to the ancient Yogis, there are three main Bandhas that can be consciously controlled with relative ease during practice. There are many other lesser Bandhas that more advanced meditation practitioners can employ, but the most important ones are Mula Bandha (at the pelvic floor) Uddiyana Bandha (at the diaphragm) and Jalandara Bandha (at the throat).

These three Bandhas (or “locks”) can be engaged and released as a valuable part of the yoga practice. Engaging Jalandara Bandha helps us hold energy in during breathing exercises (see the blog post on Ujjayi Pranayama for more information). Uddiyana Bandha helps stretch the connective tissue that anchors the diaphragm, allowing us to take significantly deeper breaths. Engaging Mula Bandha helps us strengthen the pelvic floor and, when combined with Jalandara Bandha, traps Prana and breath in the torso, enhancing the benefits of a number of poses.

Does this sound complicated? Well no worries! The team at Symmetry Yoga Alameda would love to help teach you more about the Bandhas, and how you can use them to enhance your yoga practice, and your overall health and vitality! Check out the current schedule and come give your system a tune-up. Your body will thank you later!

 

 

SUP Yogis | Alameda Yoga Studio

paddleboard yoga alamedaThe skies are clear and the air is warm on this beautiful island of Alameda, and it’s the perfect time to get out there and try something fun in the sun! That’s why the team at Symmetry Yoga Alameda is excited to bring you Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga!

Stand Up Paddleboarding (or SUP for short) is one of the most fun workouts you’ll ever experience. SUP takes place on a long, wide, and buoyant surf board, with a paddle custom-fit to your height. You plant your feet on the special grip-enhanced surface, engage your core, and use the paddle to navigate across the water. It’s a great opportunity to tone your arms and abs, it helps you strengthen your “balance muscles” (which are the first line of defense against joint injury) and supports your posture by strengthening your back and side-body.

The only thing better than SUP on it’s own is SUP plus Yoga, which offers all the same benefits as regular SUP times ten! The “balance muscles” get a great workout from yoga alone, so combining it with SUP is the perfect recipe for toned muscles and healthy connective tissues. This balance challenge adds more to every pose and enhances your focus on the practice. In our busy lives, it can be difficult to focus, but when you’re out on the bay, with the sounds of the water lapping on your board and the breeze in your hair, with an extra balance challenge to boot, you’ll be sure to “drop in” to your practice with ease!

SUP Yoga is a great way to get out in nature, build strength, burn calories, and integrate mind, body and spirit.

And here’s the best part: the Symmetry Yoga Alameda team will be offering a special SUP Yoga workshop September 18th from 10am-2pm. Check out the Symmetry Yoga Alameda workshop schedule to find out more!

 

 

What To Expect For Your First Power Plate® Experience

If you’ve wondered what all the vibrating is about, it’s time you step up to the Power Plate® to realize there’s so much more going on while standing on this cutting edge piece of machinery! Let’s talk numbers. If it’s your first time on the Power Plate® there’s a good chance that the machine is set to a vibration level of 30-40Hz. What that means is you now have an indication for how many involuntary muscle contractions are happening throughout your body during your workout. Yes, once you stand on the machine, it will feel like your muscles are shaking when actually they are contracting! At 30Hz for 60 seconds, that creates 1,800 (30×60) involuntary contractions per minute! Keep in mind, that’s just in one muscle! This is why standing on the Power Plate® is a workout in and of itself, and only 25 minutes is needed to accomplish what could take an hour in the gym!

In a previous post, we mentioned the Power Plate® improves bone density. Studies show, that Bone Density can improve with just 15 minutes a session at three days a week! Expect to feel how this is happening the first time you step up to the Power Plate®. The muscles contract and pull on the bone, which is how bone grows. Many mention the vibration reaching the top of the head when they hop up on the plate and stand tall. While this isn’t necessarily uncomfortable, it can be a surprise. The simple way to alleviate that sensation is to decrease the surface area in contact with the Power Plate®. If you lift your heels slightly or bend your knees taking you in to a squat, the vibration won’t be felt as high as the head.

Much like any form of exercise, it’s important to prepare your body before you begin. Be sure to hydrate before your first Power Plate® experience. Listen to your body’s thirst centers and energy level. Drink a tall glass of water in the morning to set the tone for your day and feel your brain (75% water) perk up. Some people (with lower hydration levels) have reported an itching sensation while on the plate, often on the bridge of the nose. This can be due to dehydration causing friction in the blood cells. We’ve found that a few glasses of water alleviate that problem pretty quickly.

Another important way to prepare your body for the Power Plate® is to select the right footwear. Due to the way the vibration moves, on three planes (X, Y, and Z axis), the Power Plate® will reinforce the posture of the user. We always encourage good posture for this reason during all classes. Certain shoes create poor posture (think: elevated heels) and certain shoes create a poor walking gait (think: flip-flops). For the experienced users, barefoot is ideal. If it’s your first time, a thinner-soled running shoe may work best.

If you’ve been wondering what all the excitement is about, stop by our cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda. Symmetry Yoga offers many options for first time students. Click here to sign up for your first class!

Complete Your Yoga Practice With Power Plate® Strength Training!

Alameda Fitness and Yoga Studio

Yoga can feel like another language to your muscles, that’s why it’s called a practice. Much like speaking another language, if you get out of practice, it can be challenging to remain fluent.

There’s a way to work on the nuances of your muscle’s “speech” by strengthening the muscles that support your Yoga practice. You can improve your practice before you even enter the studio. Sign up for a package of Power Plate® classes at the cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda, Symmetry Yoga. Holding high plank on a Power Plate® that’s vibrating at 40Hz for 60 seconds creates 2,400 muscle contractions (40×60) per minute, per muscle.

Just imagine what that will do for the stability of your low plank (Chaturanga Dandasana) during your Yoga practice. Some people have a weekly Yoga practice and some practice daily. Because Yoga and Power Plate complement each other, try adding one of the Stretch, Strength, and Balance classes on Power Plate® into your weekly practice. Mix that in with one of our Core classes and start to notice the difference in your strength during your Yoga practice. Depending on the Yoga class, your body may feel empowered or on the sharp end of a learning curve.

There’s a special brand of confidence that comes in the moment of stillness when your muscles keep you right where you want them to hold. In your head the phrase, “I got this” actually means something as you hold Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) for the first time without shaking. Your shoulders, low back, buttocks, and core can feel strong and stable in many other poses as well. The balance work that’s done in the Stretch, Strength, and Balance Power Plate® classes will make Tree Pose (Vrksasana) feel like standing at the bus stop.

It’s worth mentioning that all of this strength can, of course, come from a committed Yoga practice as you work towards your 10,000 hours of mastery. However, 2,400 muscle contractions per minute, per muscle is a powerful alternative to finding confidence in your Yoga practice if 10,000 hours isn’t realistic for your schedule.

Sign Up Today For an Unlimited Monthly Membership for Yoga and Power Plate!

Fitness Friday With Team Symmetry

Alameda Yoga Studio

Symmetry Health Center is not your typical Chiropractic office. There’s so much activity, education, and excitement happening all at once that you may wonder if you’re in the right place-especially on #fitnessfriday! You may find the energy level a bit higher on Fridays, since the team is preparing for weekend activities with a little extra pizazz! Find The Greatness in Fridays (TGIF) when you hear upbeat music that makes you want to move. Experience TGIF as the provider team and staff welcome you dressed in clothes that are designed for activity.

Yes, Fitness Friday is all about movement at Symmetry Health Center. While you don’t have to wait until Friday to move your body, it’s a great day to experience Symmetry Yoga in Alameda which is located inside Symmetry Health Center. We offer a 10 A.M. Gentle Yoga Class with Elena Kelly on Fridays, and Power Plate® classes are in full swing through the early afternoon! From 7:30am to 1:00pm there are six different options for Power Plate® classes!

Anything that you’re doing to stay fit on the weekends can be enhanced with Power Plate®. Are you sprinting, distance running, building a stronger core, or improving your balance? The cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda can help you improve your fast-twitch muscle fibers, slow-twitch muscle fibers, dynamic core strength, and ankle stability. Of course, classes on other days of the week can help you to grow stronger. But, Fitness Fridays will make for happier hours after a challenging work week and before enjoying the weekend with friends and family.

Ask the friendly front desk staff how you can get your hands on the new Symmetry Yoga water bottle-available with ANY membership purchase! Wrap your hand around 32 ounces of BPA free hydration with a secure top to avoid spills during your Power Plate® workout.

How will you celebrate Fitness Friday? Show us by tagging @healthyposture whenever you post to Instagram using the hashtag #FitnessFriday. We are proudly Celebrating Ten Years Serving the Alameda Community!

Sign Up For Classes Here

Do It In The Morning… Yoga

Alameda yoga studio

Alameda’s own Symmetry Yoga team is all about helping you develop habits that improve the quality of your life. There are countless reasons why practicing yoga in the morning is great for body, mind and spirit.

First and foremost, the body! Stretching in the morning is the first line of defense against injury. Our muscles and joints naturally tighten up as we sleep, as a part of the restoration and repair process, so it’s absolutely crucial to loosen everything back up as soon as we can, to prevent tears, strains and sprains. Morning Yoga also helps us realign our bodies, so our posture is better through the day and we reinforce good movement patterns instead of bad ones.

Next up: the mind! One of the most important parts of any yoga practice is deep, meditative breathing! When we breathe deeply, we oxygenate the whole body -especially the brain! Deep breathing leaves you feeling energized, focused and refreshed, partly because our muscles are being fed fresh oxygen and nutrients, and partly because the brain itself is getting more of the good stuff it needs to work its very best!

And finally: the spirit! Some of the happiest, most successful people in the world set intentions at the beginning of the day, to help channel their energies towards their optimal health, happiness and achievement. Getting off on the right foot is as simple as stepping on the mat and opening your heart each morning with the wisdom and guidance of our Symmetry Yoga teachers!

Check the Symmetry Yoga schedule for healing and energizing morning classes. You’ll be so happy that you did!

Reclaim Your Upper Extremity Gifts With Power Plate®

Power Plate Classes in Alameda

Rehab used to be such a dreadful word. It’s what one does when an injury attempts to sideline us from the game of life. But, there was just no vitality in a word as boring as rehab. At the cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda, we’d like to introduce Power Rehab! In one of our Power Rehab classes, you can do more than just rehab, you can reclaim your ability! Check out the Power Plate® schedule for our Power Rehab – Upper Extremity and Core Strength class.

The powerful feeling of cheering, applauding, or expressing excitement without holding back can be reclaimed. The proud feeling of multi-tasking, playing with/lifting children, or embracing a loved one without pain can be reclaimed. Any injury that has left one or both of your upper extremities (read: shoulder, elbow, wrist, et al.) in a diminished level of ability, can become a distant memory. If you’re not sure that this class is for you, come in for a muscle test. Many of us tend to favor one side over the other. Many of us don’t realize the damage that can come from years of using a mouse. (“Mouse shoulder” is an actual condition that tends to create unilateral weakness and rapid fatigue.)

During a Power Plate® class, members are often reminded to “power up” in order to reach the apex of a movement. Take a moment and imagine the power in every contracting muscle as you engage, focus your ability and rise up with power! Imagine what that feels like when you stand up. Imagine that determination coming from your mind and your body.

This class isn’t your normal rehab. This is Power Rehab and feeling the difference does more than words can express. Reclaim your ability to perform push-ups after slowly reaching the bottom of the movement, power up to the top! While the push-up exercise is only one example of an exercise that might happen in the Power Rehab class, it’s one that will strengthen both arms and the core. As the name suggests, the core (a network of muscles in the torso that help us to maintain ideal posture and balance while moving our bodies) is, arguably, the most important part of any fitness regimen.

Join Symmetry Yoga in Alameda to reclaim your power in the Power Rehab – Upper Extremity and Core Strength class. Sign Up Now!

The Secret To Improving Balance And Preventing Falls

Power Plate Fitness Alameda, CA

It’s the season of summer action movies and everyone wants the secret to those awesome hero skills. Sure, you could hire Marvel to provide special effects and a wire harness. Or, you could reserve a spot in class at the cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda. We can teach you how to improve on, the secret that all the heroes know, balance. Fitness is not just defined by strength, stamina, or body fat percentage.

There are actually 10 components of fitness that determine if someone is “in shape”. One of those 10 components is balance and it’s so important because we aren’t just going to stay upright by magic. Our body is constantly at work to maintain our postural control. Symmetry Yoga in Alameda has balance embedded in the name and this cutting edge Power Plate® studio will help improve your balance.

Our bodies are constantly learning and improving. When we begin a new strength-training program, the first few weeks of strength gains are actually a result of the brain learning when to fire which muscles and in which order. Our body learns to work smarter and the Power Plate® is an excellent teacher. “The Power Plate® generates vibrations that activate sensory receptors in the body, in turn provoking reflexive muscle contractions in leg and trunk muscles. As both sensory and motor pathways are strongly stimulated during Power Plate® training…” a recent study concluded that 12 months of training would result in improved postural control. See more details on that study at this link.

While training on the Power Plate® in Alameda will help to improve the other 9 components of fitness (Agility/Reaction Time, Body Composition, Cardiovascular Endurance, Coordination, Flexibility, Muscular Endurance, Speed, Strength, and Power) it will also improve bone density.

Wolff’s Law states that our healthy bones will adapt to the loads under which they are placed. The bones adapt to the load by becoming stronger with greater density. With Power Plate® training, the focus is on acceleration (via whole body vibration) instead of mass in order to improve the potential force (think: strength and bone density, specifically).

As your bones adapt to the acceleration (load) your bone density improves. If you’re ready for stronger bones, better balance, and preventing falls, step up to the Power Plate.  Sign Up Now for our $49 New Student Special!