Yoga Only Works if You Show Up

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There was a post I saw on Instagram that said, “Yoga only works if you show up.” I loved it, I reposted it, and now I’m going to blog about it because it couldn’t be more true. Sure, the practice of yoga has been around for years and years and years, but its popularity has grown immensely over the last decade or two. Many of you have shown up and jumped on this amazing bandwagon, and others of you may still be skeptical, although you’ve probably heard many speak its praises. Those of you who haven’t tried yoga may have told yourself, “I’m not flexible enough,” or “I don’t have the patience for that,” or, “I just need a real workout. One that makes me sweat.” Hmmmm. Let’s break some of this down, shall we? For those who are challenged in the flexibility department, consider this; yoga is an excellent practice to gain just that! It is also great for muscle strength, maintaining your metabolism, losing weight, and for cardio health. But you have to show up. You have to try. You have to keep coming back. There are many different styles of yoga, so if you are looking for a sweaty workout, consider a power or a “vinyasa flow.’ These classes are vigorous and can be challenging, you will definitely break a sweat, and most are geared toward all-levels. Do you know why? The instructors want you to show up and love it! They want you to reap all the benefits of the practice even if it’s your very first class. Sure, there might be a few minutes of quiet breathing and you might hear an “Ommm” or two, but the more you show up, the more you will understand the reasons behind those components of yoga too. Think calming the mind as one.

To “show up” is a loaded phrase. At least it is for me. When someone reminds me to show up, I interpret that to mean show up as the best version of yourself for the role you are given. For me, I need to show up as the best yoga instructor I can be on a given day, or the best mom I can be, or the best wife, etc. We all play so many roles, and if you pause before beginning your time in that role to say, “What does it look like for me to show up as XYZ ?” you bring some intention into it and you strive to be your best. How does this relate to yoga, you ask? By just showing up to class, you have already set an intention to better yourself both physically and spiritually. You have subconsciously told yourself that you are worth that time to work on you. You have shown up for yourself by putting everything else on hold to breath, move, and meditate. By showing up again and again and again, you are acknowledging your self-worth and your commitment to your overall health. Be the best that you can be. Always.

Want to know a secret that most yogis know that you might not? You see and feel the benefits of the practice after you leave the class, not necessarily while you’re in it. Here’s why. When you get a chance to practice yoga, you give yourself permission to drop right into the given moment. Why? Because you might be balancing on one foot, or breathing through a pose you find challenging, or listening intently on what the instructor is saying. You have literally no choice but to be in the moment. It’s amazing. There are few methods of exercise that give you that kind of opportunity, the kind where you aren’t thinking about anything else but what you’re doing right then and there. With the practice of presence in the moment grows the practice of awareness. The more aware you are of yourself, your surroundings, and the people in your life, the more you see those people and things for who and what they truly are. Life has a little more clarity. You begin to let go of things (and maybe even people) that no longer serve you or the life you are trying to live.  You begin to imagine the life you do want to live and you start making choices that support that life. Each time you find yourself on your mat, sure, that practice itself will be different each time, but what will stay consistent is a sense of shedding of layers, of peeling away the things that you don’t need anymore which will lead you to the life you’ve always dreamed of.  JUST SHOW UP!

I would love to answer any questions or concerns you may have at my all-levels Power Yoga classes at MAC, Thursdays 9-10 AM and Sundays 9-10:15 AM

WRITTEN BY:
Alli Pinkin
Yoga Instructor

Movement, Nutrition and Self-Care for Women – An Energy/Mitochondrial Approach

According to Monique Class, the Director at the Center for Women’s Health; the three most common health concerns facing women today is a lack of energy, a lack of motivation and brain fog. Our mitochondria convert the chemical energy from food into ATP, which creates energy for every cell in our body. Monique has several recommendations on how to increase mitochondria production within our bodies.

According to the American Heart Association, sitting is the new smoking. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase mitochondria and consequently increase energy levels. Movement in connection with a group enhances the benefits of exercise!

According to recent research at UCLA, working out with a friend or in on a small group decreases inflammation and increases the production of dopamine, which results in positive genetic expression.  Just 4-5 minutes of interval training releases serotonin and stimulates the endocannabinoid system which reduces stress, combats fatigue and increases brain function! Exercising two time times per week has been proven to decrease both depression and the chances of a cardiac event by 30% and reduces the risk of breast cancer by 20%. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for one of group exercise classes today!

There are also other ways to increase production of the mitochondria within our bodies, examples include following a ketogenic diet, itermittent fasting, taking a curcumin supplement and meditation are all avenues to get there.

Ketones can be transported to the brain and used as an energy source. Ketones also go into the mitochondria which results in an increase in energy and the creation of new mitochondria. Monique stresses that the Ketogenic Diet is not for everyone, if someone is already in an inflammatory state, suffers from an auto-immune disease or is insulin resistant, then the ketogenic diet is not for them. The diet is not intended for long term use, she recommends a maximum of 3-4 weeks.

Interrmittent fasting also increases the production of mitochondria. You can begin by fasting 12 hours from dinner to breakfast, with clear  liquids in the morning, 16 hours from dinner to lunch 2 times per week and then a 24 hour fast once per month. Again, intermittent fasting is not for everyone, so please check with your health care professional before you make any nutritional changes.

In conjunction with exercise, green tea extract, curcumin, resveratrol and meditation also have the same effect as the ketogenic nutrition plan and can offer a long term solution to decrease inflammation, increase energy levels and fight brain fog.

Come and take advantage of our 115 group exercises per week and experience the positive changes in your energy levels!

WRITTEN BY:
Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness
Holistic Wellness Coach
BA Psychology/Sports Nutrition
Food as Medicine Coach

How to Prep your Youth Athletes for the Spring Season

Even though we are only a month into Winter, Spring will be here before we know. If you are a Spring sport athlete, the preparation for your season should begin 6-8 weeks before your first full practice. That date typically falls somewhere around mid January. While there is no replacement for a well thought out exercise program designed specifically for athletic performance, there are some key areas you can focus on to help prepare for the upcoming season. Here is a breakdown of 2 important aspects that will help you prep for the Spring season:

Shoulder Health
A healthy set of shoulders may be the most important part of any spring sport. The majority of spring sports are either overhead sports or involve a heavy amount of shoulder activity. Two exercises stick out as vital to a healthy and strong shoulder complex: The double arm carry and the band wall slide.

To perform the double arm carry, simply grab two weights, one in each hand, and walk. Don’t allow the weights to touch your legs and keep as your posture as upright as possible. It may not feel like a whole lot is going on, but you are essentially performing a walking plank, working grip strength, and getting all the small rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder to fire.

To perform the Mini Band Wall Slide you’ll need a small loop band. Place it around your forearms and head to a wall. Place your forearms on the wall and stretch the band a bit. Slide your arms up, pushing from your shoulders and upper back, then back down again. This exercise works the necessary ability to protract your shoulder blades. In a healthy shoulder small muscles will fire and allow your shoulder blade to glide over your rib cage. When this does not happen we commonly end up with tennis elbow or other nagging arm injuries.

Deceleration
Defined as a reduction in speed or rate, this is usually the missing link to being considered “fast”. Coaches and trainers often focus too much on the acceleration portion of speed training. Think sprints, agility drills, or jump training. Everything done is focused on acceleration or force production. The ability to go fast or jump high is nothing without the ability to absorb and redirect force. Imagine having a fast car with brakes off a golf cart, it probably isn’t going to end well.

Perform these two very easy drills to work on deceleration: The Box Drop and an Up 2, Back 1 Cone Drill.

For the Box drop, start by standing on a 12 inch box. Hop off of the box and land on the ground with both feet contacting the ground at the same time. You should land in a ready position, accepting the force of the fall. A good way to know if you landed correctly is by freezing and asking if you were to jump from that position, would you have to move at all. If you decide yes, you aren’t bending enough.

The Up 2, Back 1 drill is a very simple one. Set up 3 cones in a straight line with about 5 yards between each cone. Start at cone 1 and sprint to cone 3. Once you near the cone begin to decelerate and at the cone reverse direction into a backpedal until you pass cone 2. Transition from the backpedal to a sprint back to cone 3. The focus should be placed on a smooth breakdown at cone 3 and an aggressive transition from backpedal to sprint. Drive your knees and extend as you transition into the sprint.

These drills and exercises are simple enough to implement on your own and will help to get you physically prepared for the spring season. If you are looking for further guidance and complete programming, consider one of our Sports Performance Institute programs or our upcoming Spring Camp!

Written By:
Matt Pudvah
CSCS, RPR-1
SPI Head Strength Coach

JANUARY 2019 HAPPENINGS AT MAC

MEMBERSHIP

1/1 – 1/17: $20.19 join fee + FREE GIFT when you sign up! Available at all three locations.

TENNIS

New Adult Tennis intro classes are running this New Year – what better time to start! Contact Chrissy to find out how clyons@macathletics.com
Pickleball: Weeknight and weekend times available. Contact Claudine to find out more: cwatson@macathletics.com
JDP Tennis: We have space for all kids! Contact Jess to find out what days your player can come and try it for free! programs@macathletics.com
Manchester Prep is accepting students for our online schooling support program. We have an unbelievable staff in place and we are accepting all students – not just tennis players! Contact Claudine Prokopis, Academic Service Director, cprokopis@macathletics.com

SUMMER CAMP

2019 Summer Camp Registration is now open! Check out our brochure and all the fun we have planned. Summer will be here before we know it!

AQUATICS

NEW! Violet is teaching water aerobics on Mondays at 11:30 AM!

FITNESS / GROUP FITNESS

1/10:
– Foam Rolling Workshop with Dr. Demarco at 10:00 AM – “How to Perform Corrective Exercises to Improve Posture & Anterior Pelvic Tilt” with Dr. Joe DeMarco
– 10 Week Session of TAI Qi / QiGong begins.
1/13: Yoga Basics Workshop at 4:00 PM
– Ditch the new year’s fitness resolutions and fad diets, and learn to live balanced!
– Participants can expect to lose weight, learn new exercises and gain confidence!
– “It’s a program everyone should do. It’s something that will teach you a balanced and healthy way of living for life.” – Rory
– “My blood sugar and cholesterol went down, my heart rate and blood pressure went down. I feel so much better and cant wait to get back to the club!” – Carol
– Small group training program starting 1/9/19
– Gentle Barre is specifically created for the member who wants to build long, lean, flexible muscles, but desires to learn Barre at a reduced pace and gentle approach.
– By the end of the class, members will know safe, functional exercises to maintain/increase balance, flexibility and strength, as well as how to track their progress along the way!
RUN FIT with Marnie and Nan – mlawler@macathletics.com
– RunFit successfully brings participants to a new level of cardiovascular fitness through a challenging 1-hour workout on the treadmill.
– NEW sessions starting in January: Tuesday/Thursday 5:00 AM, Monday/Wednesday 6:00 AM, Tuesday/Thursday 10:00 AM
– Most clients lose between 15-30 lbs within the 90 days and experience a notable increase in strength!
– Some clients have lost between 8-10 lbs within the first 2 weeks!
Sports Performance Institute with Matt – mpudvah@macathletics.com
– View Winter schedule HERE
– Designed for girls ages 8-12
– Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, hip-hop, strength training, TRX & stretching
– Free for iXL members!
BoSoma Dance – register with Jess: programs@macathletics.com
– Next session starting 1/22/19
– This program is designed to help you gain confidence in the gym, learn proper technique, get stronger, build muscle and burn body fat in a sustainable way!
– NEW! Nutrition add-on option: Learn how to eat based on your goals and how to fuel your body to perform. Lose body fat and gain muscle mass.

SPA

Introducing: Dermaplanning! A mechanical exfoliation that removes up to three weeks of cell buildup and vellus hair growth. Reduce hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Get that instant “WOW” factor! CALL TO INQUIRE: (978)-526-8900 x259
Save on self-care with prepaid packages! Prepay for any 6 or 12 $80 spa services and use them any way you’d like! Save 5% on 6 packs and 10% on 12 packs!

GYMAZING!

MOVIE NIGHT – Now all ages, all the time!
– 5:30 – 8:00 PM every Friday
– $10 per child
– Pizza and a snack provided
– OPEN TO NON-MEMBERS!

MAC FITNESS GLOUCESTER

– Smoothie Special: “New Year, New You”: $4.50

– NEW! MAC Coffee: $1.50
– FREE Yoga for all new members in January!

Cape Ann Chamber BUSINESS AFTER HOURS at MAC!

Wednesday, January, 16, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 PM
MAC Manchester Cafe
Open to the public!
Cash bar – Light appetizers – Door prizes

 

WWW.MACATHLETICS.COM