Building stronger arms through Yoga


I was at work the other day and a co-worker of mine who takes Yoga classes suddenly started pumping a 20-pound dumbbell he had nestled in his cubicle.
Being that he does this rather frequently, I asked why and his response was
“Oh, my yoga classes don’t do anything for my arms.”

I looked at him puzzled and luckily for me, I had a draft of a book with photos of some yoga balancing poses and asked him if he had tried or even knew of them. Surprisingly, he said no and was now eager for me to demonstrate them to him.

This made me wonder, just how many other yoga enthusiasts are of the mindset that Yoga may be inadequate for building arm strength.

If you are such a person, nothing could be further from the truth.

Yoga is fantastic for building strength in the arms and although you may never see your biceps bulge through your T-shirt sleeves, I will say you will see an increase in arm strength and endurance that may not occur in perhaps other forms of exercise.

Moreover, some basic Calisthenics like Push-ups, the Plank, and the Dive-bombers do borrow heavily from Yoga.

In my opinion, if one is looking to increase strength in the arms through Yoga, the best exercises to focus on will be the one and only Sun Salutations first.

From experience, when I was having difficulty holding endurance building poses such as the Wheel, Bow, Peacock and Crow Poses-with their variations-for a good enough length of time (say an average of 90 seconds and beyond), I discovered by sheer chance that in increasing the number of rounds of the Sun-Salutations (Exercises) mentioned earlier to at least 24 straight rounds, I could hold any of the poses above for a quite a while.

It will be safe to say that is because the muscles are warmed up by this powerful
combination of systematic poses for the otherwise moderate to strenuous demands put on them.

In addition, when I started adding Hindu-push ups (a straight yoga derivative as it’s basically Downward Facing dog meets Cobra Pose repeated in sequence) for an occasional source of variety in working out, these same Sun Salutations increase my endurance to be able to perform a good amount of this Yoga poses.

That considered, in addition to the Sun Salutations (24+ rounds) the other poses one should focus on for increasing strength in the arms would be the following:

1. The Wheel Pose
2. The Inclined Plane Pose
3. The Bow Pose
4. The several variations of the Peacock Pose
5. The several variations of Crow Pose
6. The Side and Regular Plank Pose

In addition, to some degree, even the simple shoulder-stand when performed in conjunction with it counter poses-The Bridge and Fish pose, can definitely come in handy for using Yoga for increasing arm strength.

You know what else, each of these poses also come in extremely useful for toning up the abs and offering in some cases a deep tissue massage to your visceral organs. Bet you free-weights can’t do that eh?

So next time you like my co-worker-think or run into someone who thinks Yoga can’t do much for their arms, be sure to tell whoever is applicable to try the poses above, along with the wonderful Sun Salutations.

This will be a classic case of ‘trying is believing”, so give this suggestion a shot and you will be almost guaranteed increase in the strength of your arms using Yoga that is in no time.

Why Breakfast Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, that doesn’t stop millions of Americans, and people around the world, from skipping breakfast or opting for only a drink of coffee. The truth is that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and you will have a much more healthy diet if you include breakfast in your daily life.

 

Breakfast is rightly named—breakfast. When you sleep, you are not eating for 6 to 9 hours at least, and more if you haven’t eaten since dinner the night before. Therefore, breakfast is the first time you’ll be eating anything for a very long period of time. Some nutrients, like proteins, cannot be stored in the body and are therefore not present, so the body needs you to replenish the “low” levels of such nutrients. Breakfast is like the match that lights the fire. It truly is a very important source of energy for your body in the morning.

 

Eating breakfast in the morning also helps you avoid some illnesses and disease. For example, your sugar levels are probably out of whack from not eating for many hours, so having breakfast levels out the number of sugars in your body, helping to prevent diabetes. Eating a healthy breakfast also helps you to provide food to your stomach so that you don’t overeat at lunch because you are so hungry. Overeating leads to obesity, which comes with a whole host of problems, including heart disease.

 

Healthy breakfast foods, like eggs, fruit, or bran cereal are also a good source of many of the vitamins and minerals a person needs during the day. If you don’t eat these things in the morning, it will be hard to make up for that loss later in the day. Remember that without the proper amounts of nutrients, your body will not function correctly. When you eat a healthy breakfast, it also makes you choose healthier foods during the rest of the day, so that you continue to get the proper nutrients needed for your body.

 

Setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to eat breakfast every day can truly make a great difference in your diet. In the best case, your breakfast will include foods from at least three different food groups. For example, you can have whole grain toast (bread food group) with peanut butter (protein food group) and a banana (fruit food group). Top that off with a glass of milk to drink, and you’ve even hit a fourth food group. Breakfast does not have to include heavy pancakes and sausage meal every day to be healthy, and even grabbing a single piece of fruit or a muffin is better than skipping the meal completely. Breakfast is important to your health!