The Secrets of Fat-Burning

Are you ready to tap into the incredible potential of your body’s natural fat-burning abilities? Come celebrate every movement and make your fitness journey a joyful experience! Learn how to burn fat and how the art of dance combined with targeted workouts can help you transform your body into a dynamic fat-burning machine. Oh yeah — all while you’re having a lot of fun!!!

Your body stores calories as fat to keep you alive and safe. There are many gimmicks that claim to amplify fat burning, such as working out in the fat-burning zone, spot reduction, and foods or supplements that supposedly make you burn more fat.

If you intend to reduce the amount of fat stored in your body, learn how to burn fat through a variety of types of exercise instead of seeking a quick fix that is not likely to work. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Burn Fat

  • Exercise consistently
  • Perform a mix of high, medium and low-intensity cardiovascular exercise
  • Lift challenging weights
  • Try circuit training
  • Include compound exercises
  • Watch your stress levels
  • Get enough sleep
  • Increase your total daily energy expenditure
  • Eat the correct number of calories for your goal

Basics of Burning Fat

If you’re trying to reduce your body’s fat stores, knowing how your body uses calories for fuel can make a difference in how you approach weight management. You get your energy from fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Which one your body draws from for energy depends on the kind of activity you’re doing.

Most people want to use fat for energy. It may seem that the more fat you can use as fuel, the less fat you will have in your body. But, using more fat doesn’t automatically lead to losing more fat. Understanding the best way to burn fat starts with some basic facts about how your body gets its energy.

The body primarily uses fat and carbohydrates for fuel. The ratio of which fuels are utilized will shift depending on your activity. A small amount of protein is used during exercise, but it’s mainly used to repair the muscles after exercise.

Higher-intensity exercises, such as fast-paced running, cause the body to rely on carbs for fuel. The metabolic pathways available to break down carbs for energy are more efficient than those for fat breakdown. Fat is used more for energy than carbs for long, slower exercise.

This is a very simplified look at energy with a solid take-home message. Burning more calories matters more than using fat for energy. The harder you work, the more calories you will burn overall.

It doesn’t matter what type of fuel you use when it comes to weight loss. What matters is how many calories you burn.

Think about it this way—when you sit or sleep, you’re in your prime fat-burning mode. But you probably don’t think of sitting and sleeping more as a pathway to losing body fat. The bottom line is that just because you’re using more fat as energy doesn’t mean you’re burning more calories.

Myth of the Fat Burning Zone

Exercising at lower intensities will use more fat for energy.2 This basic premise is what started the theory of the fat burning zone, which is the idea that working in a certain heart rate zone (around 55% to 65% of your maximum heart rate) will allow your body to burn more fat.

Over the years, this theory has become so ingrained in our exercise experience that we see it touted in books, charts, websites, magazines, and even on cardio machines at the gym. The trouble is that it’s misleading.

Working at lower intensities can be great, but it won’t necessarily burn more fat off your body. One way to increase your calorie burn is to exercise at higher intensities.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid low-intensity exercise if you want to burn more fat. There are some specific things you can do to burn more fat and it all starts with how often and for how long you exercise.

Burn Fat With a Mix of Cardio

You may be confused about exactly how hard to work during cardio. You may even think that high-intensity exercise is the only way to go. After all, you can burn more calories and you don’t have to spend as much time doing it.

But having some variety can help you stimulate each of your energy systems, protect you from overuse injuries, and help you enjoy your workouts more. You can set up a cardio program that includes a variety of different exercises at different intensities.

High-Intensity Cardio

For our purposes, high-intensity cardio falls between about 80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). Or, if you’re not using heart rate zones, about a six to eight on a 10-point perceived exertion scale. What this translates to is exercise at a level that feels challenging and leaves you too breathless to talk in complete sentences.

But you’re not going all out, as in sprinting as fast as you can. There’s no doubt that some high-intensity training work can be helpful for weight loss as well as improving endurance and aerobic capacity.

You can get the same benefit from short workouts spread throughout the day as you do with continuous workouts. For example, a 150-pound person would burn about 341 calories after running at 6 mph for 30 minutes.3 If this person walked at 3.5 mph for that same length of time, they would burn 136 calories.

But, the number of calories you can burn isn’t the whole story. Too many high-intensity workouts every week can put you at risk in a number of ways.

Potential Risks

If you do too many high-intensity workouts, you put yourself at risk for:

  • Burnout
  • Growing to hate exercise
  • Inconsistent workouts
  • Overtraining
  • Overuse injuries

If you don’t have much experience with exercise, you may not have the conditioning or the desire for breathless and challenging workouts. If you have any medical condition or injury, check with a healthcare provider before training.

If you’re doing several days of cardio each week, you would probably want only one or two workouts to fall into the high-intensity range. You can use other workouts to target different fitness areas (like endurance) and allow your body to recover. Here are some examples of how to incorporate high-intensity workouts.

One way to incorporate high-intensity workouts is to exercise at a fast pace. You can use any activity or machine for a 20-minute workout at a fast pace, but the idea is to stay in the high-intensity work zone throughout the workout. Twenty minutes is usually the recommended length, and most people wouldn’t want to go much longer than that.

Tabata training is another form of high-intensity interval training in which you work very hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for 4 minutes. In this workout, you should be breathless and unable to talk.

Additionally, interval training is a great way to incorporate high-intensity training without doing it continuously. Alternate a hard segment (e.g., running at a fast pace for 30 to 60 seconds) with a recovery segment (e.g., walking for 1 to 2 minutes). Repeat this series for the length of the workout, usually around 20 to 30 minutes.

Moderate-Intensity Cardio

There are a variety of definitions of what moderate-intensity exercise is, but it typically falls between 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. That would be a level four to six on a 10-point perceived exertion scale. You are breathing harder than usual, but can carry on a conversation without much difficulty.

Schedule your day around exercise instead of trying to squeeze it in when you can. Making your workout a priority increases the chances that you will accomplish your goal. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) often recommends this level of intensity in its exercise guidelines. The lower end of this range usually incorporates the fat-burning zone.

Moderate-intensity workouts also have some great benefits. For instance, even modest movement can improve your health while lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also, it takes time to build up the endurance and strength to handle challenging exercises. Moderate workouts allow you to work at a more comfortable pace, which means you may be more consistent with your program.

You also can usually get into the moderate heart rate zones with a variety of activities. Even raking leaves or shoveling snow can fall into that category if you do it vigorously enough.

Examples of Moderate Intensity Workouts

For weight management, you would likely want the majority of your cardio workouts to fall into the moderate range. Some examples include:

  • A 30- to 45-minute cardio machine workout
  • A brisk walk
  • Riding a bike at a medium pace

Low-Intensity Activity

Low-intensity exercise is below 60% to 70% of your MHR, or about a level three to five on a 10-point perceived exertion scale. This level of intensity is no doubt one of the most comfortable areas of exercise, keeping you at a pace that isn’t too taxing and doesn’t pose much of a challenge.

This fact, along with the idea that it burns more fat, makes low-intensity exercise popular. But, as we’ve learned, working at a variety of intensities is ideal for weight loss. That doesn’t mean that low-intensity exercise has no purpose, though.

It involves the long, slow activities you feel like you could do all day. Even better, it includes activities you usually enjoy, such as taking a stroll, gardening, riding a bike, or a gentle stretching routine.

Low-intensity cardio can be something you do all day long by doing an extra lap when you’re shopping, taking the stairs, parking farther from the entrance, and doing more physical chores around the house. Exercise such as Pilates and yoga are at a lower intensity but help develop your core, flexibility, and balance. They can be a part of a well-rounded routine.

Importance of Consistent Exercise

It may seem like a no-brainer that regular exercise can help you burn fat. But it’s not just about the calories you’re burning. It’s also about the adaptations your body makes when you exercise on a regular basis. Many of those adaptations lead directly to your ability to burn more fat without even trying.


Here are some benefits of consistent exercise.

  • Become more efficient: Your body becomes more efficient at delivering and extracting oxygen. Simply put, this helps your cells burn fat more efficiently.
  • Have better circulation: This allows fatty acids to move more efficiently through the blood and into the muscle. That means fat is more readily available for fueling the body.
  • Increase the number and size of mitochondria: These are the cellular power plants that provide energy inside each cell of your body.

Lift Weights to Burn Fat

Adding more muscle by lifting weights and doing other resistance exercises can also help with burning fat.6 While many people focus more on cardio for weight loss, there’s no doubt that strength training is a key component in any weight loss routine. Here are some benefits of weight training.

Burn Calories

If you lift weights at a higher intensity, you can increase your afterburn, or the calories you burn after your workout. That means that you burn calories during your workouts, but your body continues to burn calories even after your workout while your body gets back to its resting state.

Keep Metabolism Going

A diet-only approach to weight loss could lower a person’s resting metabolic rate by up to 20% a day. Lifting weights and maintaining muscle helps keep the metabolism up, even if you’re cutting your calories.

Preserve Muscle Mass

If you are restricting calories, you risk losing muscle. Muscle is metabolically active, so when you lose it, you also lose the extra calorie burn muscles produce.

To start, choose a basic total body workout and do that about twice a week, with at least one day in between. As you get stronger, you can do more exercises, increase intensity, or add more days of strength training. It may take a few weeks but you’ll eventually see and feel a difference in your body.


To burn more fat when strength training, here are some strategies that you can utilize.

  • Incorporate circuit training: Circuit training is a great way to burn more calories by combining high-intensity cardio along with strength training exercises. You keep your heart rate elevated by moving from one exercise to another with little or no rest while focusing on both cardio and strength in the same workout.
  • Lift heavy weights: If you’re a beginner, you should work your way up to heavy weights over time. Once your body is ready for more, lifting heavy weight forces your body to adapt by building more lean muscle tissue to handle that extra load.
  • Use compound movements: Movements that involve more than one muscle group (e.g., squats, lunges, deadlifts, and triceps dips) help you lift more weight and burn more calories while training the body in a functional way.

Get ready to groove, sweat, and dance your way to a healthier, fitter you at ABC Fit Studio! Discover the joy of movement while torching those calories and sculpting your body. Call us at (949) 305-3310 and visit our Instagram @abc_fitstudio for inspiration and community.

Reference: [https://www.verywellfit.com/body-into-fat-burning-machine-1231548#toc-lift-weights-to-burn-fat]

The Healing Power of Sound Baths: A Harmonious Journey to Wellness

In the pursuit of holistic well-being, one practice gaining popularity is the sound bath. Often referred to as a sonic massage or meditation, a sound bath offers a unique and immersive experience that has been recognized for its profound healing benefits. This ancient practice has immense therapeutic potential and combines passive yoga poses and resonant sound frequencies.

What Will I Experience?

This immersive experience will have participants lie down or sit comfortably while being bathed in the soothing tones and vibrations produced by crystal bowls, gongs, chimes, and other natural instruments. These resonant sounds create a therapeutic environment that promotes deep relaxation and restores balance within the mind, body, and spirit. As participants are experiencing the sound bath, they will be guided into a deeply meditative state that is sure to leave them feeling comforted and relaxed.

How Does it Work?

Scientifically, sound waves can influence brainwave patterns, promoting a state of calmness and reducing stress. The rhythmic vibrations produced during a sound bath can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing a relaxation response while lowering heart rate and blood pressure. The harmonious sounds also trigger the release of endorphins and encourage the production of beneficial neurotransmitters, enhancing mood and reducing anxiety.

What Are the Benefits?

The healing benefits of sound baths extend beyond relaxation. Regular participation in sound bath sessions has been reported to alleviate chronic pain, enhance sleep quality, boost immune function, and improve cognitive abilities. The deep meditative state induced by the sounds can aid in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Additionally, sound baths can promote clarity of thought, creativity, and self-awareness, allowing participants to experience a heightened sense of well-being and personal growth.

Sound baths do not just have physical benefits, but spiritual benefits as well. Sound baths can impact our spiritual well-being, facilitating a deeper connection with oneself and the surrounding universe. The vibrations and harmonics produced during a session can help clear energy blockages, rebalance chakras, and promote energetic alignment. Many participants report a sense of spiritual awakening, inner peace, and a greater sense of interconnectedness with others and the world around them.

Event Details and Registration

Sound baths offer a truly transformative experience that harmonizes the mind, body, and spirit. Join us on a journey of self-discovery on August 18th, 2023, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm as Christine takes us through this full-body restorative experience! The cost is $10 for members and $25 for non-members. Visit our socials or give us a call at 949.305.3310 to get in on this amazing, healing experience.

Chakras and Yoga

Are you curious about the fascinating world of chakras? If you’re a yoga enthusiast or someone looking to deepen your practice, you might have heard of chakras. They are believed to correspond to different aspects of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In yoga philosophy, these seven main chakras are seen as vital wheels of energy that influence our overall vitality and balance. Learn more about chakras below.

Healthcare professionals often praise the benefits of maintaining balance in your life. This could mean eating a nutrient-packed diet, exercising in order to reduce stress or seeking out positive activities to keep your mental health strong. 

Balance is also an integral part of yoga — and not just physically. Sure, yoga is associated with building muscle strength and flexibility, but many people also find practicing to be a spiritual experience. In other words, yoga gives your well-being a boost. 

What are chakras?

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you might have heard the term chakras mentioned in relation to certain poses or practices. In Sanskrit, the word chakra means “wheel” or “circle,” and it’s a concept historically associated with ancient India, as well as Tibetan Buddhism and other faiths. 

You can think of chakras as places in your body where energy — in yoga terms, prana — congregates or is concentrated. “Chakras are centers of a life force, so to speak,” says yoga therapist Judi Bar, E-500 RYT, C-IAYT. “And they’re reinforced by our breath, by positive thoughts, by eating healthy, and by exercising, to name a few. This life force, or this energy in our body, responds or expands to more positive things.” 

In yoga parlance, prana travels around the body between chakras via channels called nadi. These channels also come into play with acupuncture, a form of ancient medicine that involves tiny needles pricking the skin. “When a needle is put into the body during acupuncture, it follows a line through our body that helps to support energy and clear energy,” Bar says. 

Just as your energy might ebb and flow due to different external forces — for example, being stressed out or sleep-deprived — chakras can also be affected by things such as lifestyle habits and emotions. This is because chakras are intertwined with the mental, emotional and spiritual parts of your body. 

The seven chakras

There are seven chakras, each of which corresponds to a different section of the body and a different color. (Sometimes you might see these chakras linked to a different part of your endocrine system or nervous system, although that’s not backed up by scientific studies.) Chakra names were originally written in Sanskrit, although these are the names we typically call them today.

Here are the seven chakras and their associated colors and locations on the body. (Note: Sometimes the colors of the upper chakras vary depending on the school of thought associated with them.)

Root chakra  

Color: Red 

Location: Bottom of the tailbone  

Sacral chakra 

Color: Orange 

Location: Between the tailbone and the belly button  

Solar plexus chakra  

Color: Yellow 

Location: Belly button area  

Heart chakra  

Color: Green 

Location: Center of your chest  

Throat chakra 

Color: Blue 

Location: Pit of your throat 

Third eye chakra 

Color: Indigo 

Location: Between your eyebrows 

Crown chakra  

Color: Purple 

Location: The top of your head 

How to align or balance your chakras 

Simply taking time out to relax can start to get your balance back in shape. “Let’s say I’m not pushing for a deadline, or I’ve had a good meal and I’m able to take a nice walk with my dog after work or after dinner,” Bar says. “My body, my mind, everything feels a little bit better. I’m allowing that flow to come through me. Nothing is blocking that energy, which happens when I’m feeling fear, or feeling insecure or nervous.” 

Doing yoga is also a great way to balance your chakras. In fact, each chakra has a corresponding different yoga pose and can also respond to our breath and meditation practice.     

However, Bar stresses that even if you focus your movements on one chakra, you’ll feel benefits across multiple places. “It’s just like when you move your leg,” says Bar. “It will affect another part of your body. There’s no one pose that affects only one chakra. When you do one motion, it will affect others.” 

Mountain Pose [Root chakra]  

This pose involves you standing up straight with your knees slightly bent and your feet spread apart enough so you don’t feel off balance, while moving your shoulders back slightly and breathing slowly. 

“Mountain is the basis of all poses,” Bar says. “This pose is about standing tall and focusing on grounding our legs on the floor. That’s one of the best poses we can do for our first chakra, because our root chakra is about our attachment to the Earth or being grounded.” 

Bar adds that mountain pose in particular is a good example of movement that affects many chakras. “When you do mountain pose, it’s very specific to the lower part of the body,” she says. “But just like how all our body systems are tied together, if we’re starting to align and get the energy moving a little bit better in one of the chakras, it’s going to affect the whole system.” 

Knee-to-Chest [Sacral chakra]  

Done while you’re laying down, this pose will find you pulling one or both of your knees to your chest, so you look like you’re curling up into a ball. 

“You’re hinging right at the hip socket,” Bar says. “And as you’re pulling in, that’s a really nice second chakra pose. This is pretty accessible. People can even do that in bed.” 

Spinal twist [Solar plexus chakra]  

The spinal twist is done while sitting on a mat or a chair and aims to zero in on your belly button. “As you stay tall while sitting, point your knees, hips and toes in one direction,” Bar says. Then gently twist your torso, looking over your shoulder, and taking three slow, deep breaths before turning the other way and repeating on that side. “As you lengthen your spine to begin to move, and as we twist, we’re hitting that solar plexus area.” 

Fan pose [Heart chakra]  

A modified version of the fish pose, the fan pose aims to open your chest up. “You’re opening up like a fan,” Bar says. “Put your hands behind you and hold the seat back with straight arms, while you’re seated. Then pull your shoulders back and just gently look out.” She adds that the fish pose is “really hard” and could cause a neck injury, so it’s best to avoid that.  

Neck stretch [Throat chakra]  

This is another pose adapted from elsewhere, the bridge pose, which emphasizes the impact of movement. Drop your chin so it rests on your chest and roll your head from side to side while being careful not to strain too hard. “It opens the back of the neck,” Bar says, “and it’s getting blood flow all around the neck to that center.” 

The Gaze [Third eye chakra]  

Bar says there are a few ways to embrace this pose, but that the “safest and easiest way” is to focus your gaze with the intention of clear seeing. “In meditation, it could be that you’re gazing at a candle,” she says. “But, generally, in a room, you would focus on an object ahead of you that’s not moving. It could be something in nature if you’re outside. Or it could be you’re just sitting here, gazing forward and letting your eyes relax a little bit, with that soft focus.”

Modified downward dog [Crown chakra]  

In yoga’s downward dog pose, you’re placing your hands and heels on the floor and bending over, so your body is in a V-shape. However, to do this with a chair, you can place your hands instead on the seat of a chair and bend over, keeping your knees bent or straight and pulled back. Once again, the idea is you’re getting some blood to flow to your head. 

Breathing exercises and meditation 

In addition to doing yoga, breathing exercises or meditation can also provide overall balance. “In general, meditating, relaxing and breathing will certainly affect and help to balance chakras,” Bar says. “Conscious breathing in it of itself is good. That can help you be a little bit more balanced, be a little bit more present. If you downregulate that stress response overall and calm your thoughts, your systems are going to work better.  

Focusing on a particular area of your body during breathing and meditation (which is sometimes called chakra meditation) can also be helpful.“My first introduction to a chakra meditation was a teacher that just said, ‘OK, think about your tailbone area, and let’s picture a beautiful bright red apple or a red ball or a red light, and feel the warmth of that red,’” Bar recalls. “And you may even see or feel some dark spots, or you may feel it being very bright and vibrant. Notice what you’re feeling with it, and take a big breath in, with the intention of letting go of any tension. That’s very specific of a chakra meditation, and it would go through all the colors.” Not everyone can see or feel in this way, but don’t be discouraged — it is still working. 

The importance of finding balance

At the end of the day, it all leads back to balance. “When we talk about a balanced lifestyle, it’s that you exercise, you have good work, you have family and friends, you have spirituality, you have education,” Bar says. “This goes with that big picture idea of balancing our mind, body and soul. It makes a whole person. It gives good balance. 

“It’s basically the same thing when we talk about energies. If we’re neglecting some part of our behavior or some part of our life, it’s going to reflect in the energy of our body also. We’re one integrated system. Everything works from each other.”

Ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery through yoga practice? Join us at ABC Fit Studio, where our experienced instructors will guide you on a transformative path of alignment. Call us at (949) 305-3310 and follow us on Instagram @abc_fitstudio for inspiration and community.

Reference: [https://health.clevelandclinic.org/chakras/]

Embrace Your Body

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for overall health and well-being, but the idea of exercise can be daunting, especially for those who are overweight. However, the benefits of regular physical activity cannot be overstated, and it’s crucial to find safe and joyful ways to move your body. In this article, we’ll explore some tips for safe and enjoyable movement for people of all weights, to help you start your fitness journey on the right foot. And we are a GREAT safe, fun place to begin — with variety, support, professionalism, and kindness. 

A simple word we all hear often — exercise — makes many people cringe. Unhappy childhood memories of school sports or gym classes, flat-out physical discomfort, guilty reluctance, or trouble finding time or pleasurable activities may help explain this. Additionally, for some people with obesity, fear of falling or injury is a high barrier to activity, recent research suggests.

That finding has important implications for health and well-being. So, how can we make movement safe and joyful for people of all weights?

Why be active?

As you may know, being physically active helps combat anxiety and depression. It prevents bone from thinning and tones muscle, helps you sleep better, lowers your blood pressure and blood sugar, and improves your cholesterol levels. It would take numerous medications to do all that routine physical activity can do for you.

Weight loss programs often incorporate exercise. Research shows that exercise helps with weight maintenance and may help with weight loss. Beyond burning calories, regular exercise also builds muscle mass. This matters because muscles are metabolically active, releasing proteins that play a role in decreasing appetite and food intake.

What does this study tell us?

The study found that many people with obesity fear injury and falling, which interferes with willingness to exercise. It followed 292 participants enrolled in an eight-week medical weight loss program in Sydney, Australia. All met criteria for obesity or severe obesity. The average age was 49; one-third of participants were male and two-thirds were female.

At the beginning of the study, participants filled out a 12-question injury perception survey. The majority reported fear of injury or falling, and believed their weight made injury more likely to occur. One-third said that their fear stopped them from exercising. The researchers also recorded weight, height, and waist circumference, and administered strength tests during the first, fourth, and last sessions.

When the study ended, the researchers found that the participants most concerned about getting injured hadn’t lost as much weight as those who did not express this fear. Those who hadn’t lost as much weight also tended to have the highest scores of depression, anxiety, and sleepiness.

Fear of injury fuels a dangerous cycle

As noted, exercise is healthy at every weight: it protects your heart, lowers your blood sugar, boosts your mood, and tamps down anxiety. It also builds balance. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking prevents bone thinning.

If worries about injury or falls cause people to avoid exercise, they miss out on the balance-building, muscle-and-bone-strengthening, and mood-enhancing benefits of regular activity. They may be more likely to fall — and possibly more likely to experience fractures if they do.

Find a blend of activities that will work for you

Everyone, at every weight, needs to find ways to exercise safely, confidently, and joyfully.

  • Start low and go slow. If you’re not currently active, start by simply sitting less and standing more. Try walking for two minutes every half hour. If you’re afraid of falling, try walking in place or alongside a friend or loved one who can provide security and comfort.
  • Ask for guidance. Consider joining a YMCA where you can engage in supervised activities, or ask your doctor for a prescription to physical therapy to help you improve your balance and build your confidence.
  • Try different activities to see what works for you. Walking is a simple, healthful activity, but it’s not the only form of activity you can try. You might enjoy swimming or water aerobics. Try pedaling a seated bike or an arm bike (upper body ergometer) that allows you to stay seated while you propel pedals with your arms instead of your feet. Adaptive activities and sports designed for people with physical limitations and disabilities are an option, too. Depending on your fitness level and interests, you might also consider dancing, biking, or anything else that gets you moving more often.

Lastly, keep in mind that many people suffer from anxiety, and a fear of falling is not insurmountable. If you’re really struggling, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

If you’re looking for a place that celebrates your body and focuses on joyful movement for all, ABC Fit Studio is here to help. Call us at (949) 305-3310 and book a class to experience our inclusive and empowering environment for yourself. Follow us on Instagram @abc_fitstudio for inspiration and community.

Reference: [https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/safe-joyful-movement-for-people-of-all-weights-202303152902]

How Yoga Can Help Manage Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects millions of women around the world. While there is no cure for it, there are ways to manage its symptoms and improve quality of life. One such way is through the practice of yoga. Yoga has been shown to reduce pain, improve flexibility and strength, and alleviate stress and anxiety. Explore the benefits of yoga for endometriosis with ABC Fit Studio.

Restorative Goddess Pose

This relaxing pose helps relieve pelvic pain, reduce abdominal tightness, and balance your nervous system.

Gondek recommends this pose, explaining, “Restorative Goddess Pose allows for deep relaxation and opens the chest wall, hips, and inner thighs. It also calms the dorsal vagus nerve, which is in charge of our fight-or-flight response.”

  1. Place a bolster under your thighs, just below your sitting bones.
  2. Use yoga blocks and cushions to create an incline support.
  3. Lie down with your spine and head supported by the cushions.
  4. Relax your arms out to the sides with your palms facing up.
  5. Focus on breathing deeply.
  6. Hold this pose for 3–10 minutes.

Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

This twist improves spinal mobility and stretches your chest, back, and glutes.

“Supine Spinal Twist is a great way to release lumbosacral and abdominal myofascial restrictions that are common with endometriosis,” Gondek says.

“It also opens the chest and brings awareness to the breath through focused activation of the diaphragm and lateral rib cage expansion. It can even help with endometriosis-related digestive issues such as constipation or bloating.”

To support your low back and sacrum, place a pillow or yoga block between your knees. Place a pillow under your knees if they don’t reach the floor.

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Extend your arms straight out to the sides with palms down against the floor.
  3. As you inhale, breathe into your belly and lower ribs.
  4. As you exhale, lower your knees to the left side.
  5. Take 5 deep breaths.
  6. Pay attention to the stretch and lengthening sensations on the sides of your ribs.
  7. Return your knees to the starting position.
  8. Repeat on the right side.

Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Happy Baby is a gentle hip opener that improves flexibility, reduces anxiety, and encourages peace of mind.

Gondek says, “This pose is great for releasing pelvic floor muscles, low back muscles, inner thighs, and hamstrings. Endometriosis can cause these muscles to become tender and restricted due to pain-related movement or posture compensations.”

If your hands don’t reach your feet, place them on your thighs or calves or use a strap over the arches of your feet.

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Bend your knees toward the outside of your chest.
  3. Face the soles of your feet toward the ceiling.
  4. Place your hands on the outsides of your feet.
  5. To create resistance, use your hands to press your feet down.
  6. At the same time, press your feet up into your hands.
  7. Focus on releasing tension in your hips and pelvic floor.
  8. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

This gentle forward fold promotes relaxation and inner awareness. It gently stretches your spine, hips, and glutes, helping to alleviate tension, cramping, and stress.

For more support, place a cushion under your forehead, torso, or legs.

  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Lower your hips and place them on your heels.
  3. Place your knees together or slightly wider than your hips.
  4. Hinge at your hips to fold forward.
  5. Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body.
  6. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes.

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

This pose has a calming effect and improves circulation, softens pelvic muscles, and alleviates cramping.

  1. Sit on the floor with your right side against a wall.
  2. Lift your legs and place them against the wall as you lie on your back.
  3. Place your hips next to the wall or slightly away.
  4. Place your arms alongside your body or place your hands on your belly.
  5. Hold this position for up to 15 minutes.

Reclined Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

This pose gently stretches your abdomen and pelvis and helps relieve pain, bloating, and discomfort.

To reduce the intensity, do this pose one leg at a time. To support your head and neck, create an incline support using blocks and cushions.

  1. Start in a kneeling position with the insides of your knees together.
  2. Move your feet wider than your hips, with the tops of your feet touching the floor and your big toes turned in toward the center.
  3. Rest your buttocks on the floor between your feet.
  4. Lean back, using your forearms and elbows for support.
  5. Gently ease your way onto your back.
  6. Place your arms next to your body at a slight angle.
  7. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  8. Return to a seated position.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This relaxing pose calms your nervous system and relieves stress. It alleviates tightness in your hips, pelvis, and inner thighs. It also gently stretches your stomach, which can reduce pelvic discomfort.

For more support, use blocks or cushions under your knees. You can also use a block or cushion under your chest.

  1. While seated, press the soles of your feet together with your knees out to the sides.
  2. Lie down on your back.
  3. Place your arms alongside your body or place your hands on your belly.
  4. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes.

Garland Pose (Malasana)

This squat strengthens your pelvic muscles and helps relieve pain, cramping, and digestive concerns. It gently stretches your low back, hips, and thighs, which increases flexibility and circulation.

For support, you can place a block or cushion under your heels or hips or do this pose with your back against a wall.

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips.
  2. Press the palms of your hands together.
  3. Turn your toes out to the sides slightly.
  4. Bend your knees and slowly lower your hips into a low squat.
  5. Press your heels into the floor.
  6. Lift your pelvic floor and elongate your spine.
  7. To deepen the pose, press your elbows into your thighs.
  8. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that you do lying down. This relaxation practice alleviates anxiety, depression, and stress.

It can also help manage chronic pain, release tension, and improve sleep patterns.

Tips for practicing yoga with endometriosis

To make the most of your yoga practice, pay attention to and honor how you’re feeling each day.

Notice your physical, mental, and emotional response to each pose. Use your breath to focus your awareness on any areas of discomfort or sensation. Avoid poses that put too much pressure on your abdominals, cause pain, or make symptoms worse.

Gondek recommends using props such as bolsters, blankets, and yoga blocks to modify poses and provide support.

She explains, “This helps to decrease muscle guarding, which can occur when we are experiencing pain. It gently supports the joints and muscles so that we can fully relax and release into a pose.”

At ABC Fit Studio, we understand the importance of finding balance and living pain-free. Our instructors are experienced, highly trained, fun, and very interested in promoting your well-being. Call us at (949) 305-3310 to find the class that works best for you! Follow us on Instagram @abc_fitstudio for daily tips.

Reference: [https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/yoga-for-endometriosis#poses-to-try]

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