Walk It Off | Alameda Yoga Studio

Walk it off Alameda yoga

The elders in the neighborhood used to suggest that the children “walk it off” if they fell and hurt themselves. Such advice can be perplexing as it’s not based on science, rather machismo. “Be tough and never let the world see you buckle” is the underlying message. But, what if there was a way to walk away from an injury? This isn’t meant to over promise the spectacular gift that is Power Plate®.

This post is meant to highlight a recent scientific study that concludes Power Plate® training improves walking function (as defined by walking speed) in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. It’s worth mentioning that SCI patients range from the moderate (able to rise to standing) to the extreme (quadriplegia). For the study in question, there were “17 subjects with SCI, all of whom had the physical ability to rise from sitting to standing (using upper body support) for at least one minute.” These patients had begun Physical Therapy (PT) and were showing signs of improvement. Then an intervention happened to add whole body vibration to their therapy regimen. “After 12 sessions of Power Plate® intervention, an increase in cadence, step length, and intralimb coordination was noted.”

The intralimb coordination, also known as contralateral movement, is important to an efficient gait pattern as it provides the most balance and stability. Stand up for a moment and take a few steps around your office or apartment. With each step, be sure to move your right hand forward every time your left foot moves forward and vice versa. Exaggerate the movement as you walk around your space. Pay attention to the rotation in your hips. That contralateral movement helps the hips to rotate allowing for a longer stride after the rotation of the hips.

If you want to see more of this, watch some Olympic runners in slow motion. Part of the class curriculum at the cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda, Symmetry Yoga, is coordination. Focusing on contralateral movement and balance through dynamic single-limb support helps class attendees to maintain an efficient gait pattern, increase their walking speed, and walk away from injuries stronger than ever.

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Cellulite: An Optional Part of Life

Alameda Power Plate Treats Cellulite

Summer comes late here in the Bay Area. Sunshine and warmth will continue through September’s end. Your body is ready for the beach. Don’t let any magazine article or social media tell you any different. The muscle, fat, and skin of your body are ready to go out and wear what you want in the September sun.

Whenever the word cellulite is written on a screen or in a magazine, a reference to “suffering” isn’t far behind. (See what I did there.) Women don’t suffer from cellulite. That is to say, there is no physical pain or emotional trauma from the cellulite itself. It’s just a collection of collagen. Women suffer from societal judgment of their bodies. Cellulite is referred to as “orange peel” or “cottage cheese” because of its appearance. To be criticized with such words can cause suffering to be sure. All bodies are beautiful in their individuality.

All bodies are welcome at the cutting edge Power Plate® studio in Alameda, Symmetry Yoga. While cellulite is a naturally occurring phenomenon, Power Plate® classes can make it an optional part of life. We believe in body acceptance. We also support all humans in their physical goals. A study, performed by the German Sanaderm Clinic, investigating the effects of whole body vibration training on cellulite has proven that Power Plate® reduces cellulite significantly. “In six months, the whole body vibration group exercising on Power Plate® achieved a 32.3% reduction of cellulite on thighs and buttocks. The group exercised two to three times per week, in sessions of 8-13 minutes plus 24-48 minutes of cardio.”

As you may know, Power Plate® improves blood circulation. Cellulite occurs “when circulation within [the] web of connective tissues becomes blocked, cellular waste stagnates, and these tissues harden as the skin loses its elasticity. The puckering or “mattress” effect is caused by this act of shriveling, dimpling, and adherence of the skin to tissues underneath.” If you’ve ever been to our office in Alameda or Oakland, you’ve seen the diversity of our staff, clientele, and Power Plate® enthusiasts.

All humans in all shapes have found vitality through whole body vibration training. Weight loss, strength gains, and even a reduction in cellulite has kept them coming back for more of our 25 minute classes, several times a week. Come in and see for yourself how you can achieve almost any fitness goal with the help of Power Plate®. Sign Up Now!

 

The Power Plate® Origin Story | Alameda CA

Alameda CA Power Plate Studio

When people walk into Symmetry Yoga and they see the Power Plate®, they often ask where it came from or how long it has been around. “I’ve never heard of it!”, some exclaim. The shock is understandable when you see a class full of people squatting, lunging, planking, and pressing and you feel a fear of missing out. The last thing that we want to do is keep the Power Plate® a secret. But, some are apt to write it off as a new gimmick.

The Power Plate® is not a gimmick and the technology is certainly not new. If you remember your Physics lessons, it’s no secret that the output of force is determined by multiplying mass times acceleration. In order to improve our force output (i.e. get stronger) we often reach for more mass and lift heavy weights in order to overload our muscles, push them to the point of fatigue, and grow stronger through a detailed workout plan. What happens when you’ve reached your peak and lifting more weight no longer feels safe?

That’s when you boost the acceleration! At least that was the bright idea that Russian scientist Vladimir Nazarov had when he applied the Power Plate® technology to the training of the cosmonauts in the Russian space program. His goal was to help prevent the cosmonauts’ muscles and bones from deteriorating in space.

That was several decades ago and about 20 years ago, the gold-standard in vibration technology found its way into the Olympic training center. Guus van der Meer and others marketed what would eventually become the Power Plate® back in 1999 and everyone that has used it has heralded its results.

Today, there are Power Plate® studios all over the world. You have one in your own backyard on the island of Alameda. Symmetry Yoga has lead the charge in bringing this revolutionary device to the public. Any one of our Power Plate® classes will quickly show you why so many celebrities and professional athletes use Power Plate® to grow stronger and/or rehab from injuries. Take a look at the class descriptions and
sign up for the class that fits you best.

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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