Why Men Should Practice Yoga

I recently joined the social media ranks and began having conversations with yogis from all over the world. Every day I am seeing women AND men talking about their experiences with Yoga and meditation and the benefits for their lives. However, there are still a few (or maybe even a lot) of people who still genderize yoga as being a “woman’s” activity. As a male practitioner of yoga (I have been doing it for two decades now) I find this assumption disheartening and down right confusing. I can understand why some males may be intimidated by a room full of women who are well advanced in their yoga study (we’ve all been there). But men have no fear, yoga is for you. And if you are a women reading this with male friends, partners, family members, etc. this is for YOU TOO. Make sure you share with them and bring them to your next yoga class. Yogas always much more fun with friends.

Getting Physical!

Guys in general tend to be attracted to activities that are physically demanding like strength training, conditioning, or cardiovascular activities. Yoga provides this and allows you to increase flexibility and range of motion.

When first starting, yoga poses may appear difficult and overwhelming. You may be wondering, “how in the heck did she do that”. Making sure you breath, live in the experience and continue taking yoga classes is key to success in developing the strength and flexibility you will need for yoga. Furthermore, yoga is adaptable to each person’s body. There is no one mold or one “type.” Trust your experience
Health benefits

As a medical professional I have been using yoga as a form of preventative health measures for the past 20 years. Yoga has incredible influence on your life. Beyond the physical changes you will see you will feel more connected within your body: being more centered, grounded, and present and less stressed.

Why do you think so many people still think yoga is a woman’s thing?

 

I have found the Fountain of Youth…

For centuries mankind has been searching for a fountain to reverse the hands of time and to gain eternal life. Some of our ancestors created the tale of “the Fountain of Youth” as a legendary spring that restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Unfortunately, no one has found this fountain or lived long enough to speak of their quest. However, I believe we all carry the secrets to a prolonged and gratifying life.

 

An idea that began twenty years ago, the Wellness Training Institute was established in 2009 by board certified cardiologist, Dr. Michael Dangovian.  His main objective was to answer a critical question… How do you live your best life at any age? His center provides individual and group health and wellness services that take advantage of the education behind modern medicine and also embraces the wisdom of the ancient healing arts. We design programs to give you answers to the how and why you need to make choices and meaningful changes in your life. If your desire is to prevent health problems or if you have medical conditions that concern you, we are here for you. This approach (taking care of yourself through yoga, meditation, eating healthier, etc.) in addition to Western medicines helps in many aspects of our lives and although it can guarantee eternal life—your energy, spirit, and overall wellness will be magnified.

 

“It’s Too Hot Outside”: 3 Simple Actions to Improve or Maintain Your Health, Indoors

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Summer time is a great time to enjoy the sun, especially after long winters but can also be a dangerous one. Each summer the temperature seems to get warmer and warmer and instances of too much exposure to the sun, heat exhaustion, and dehydration become a constant reminder of the wrath of summer. I don’t want to strike fear into the hearts and minds of my readers but did want to prepare you all in case of emergency. Some outdoor activities like running, walking, playing basketball, hiking, etc may become more difficult at higher temperatures.

We really can’t do anything about the heat but we can improve mentally and physically by engaging in 3 simple actions: Stretching, Bending, and Flexing. I have provided specific exercises you can do while indoors so the heat can’t prevent you from staying healthy. These actions range from low intensity to high intensity. The order that I have presented them are great for building an exercise regiment. Feel free to add your own indoor activities in the comments box below.

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STRETCHING

Whether it’s putting on your socks while standing of doing a 20 minutes regiment, stretching is a great way to lengthen muscles and prevent injury.  Not only will you feel great it will allow you to execute the other actions much easier.  Simply touching your toes, reaching up to the sky, and other basic stretches are great ways to stay active, especially after a day at the computer.

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BENDING

Bending seems like the next logic action. Bending at the waist (front, to the right, then backward, and finally to the left ) is a minimal impact activity and should be a part of your daily routine. Bending your knees lubricates joints, tightens thighs, and is overall a good practice.

Livestrong.org suggests

grabbing both sides of a doorway with your hands, leaning back, and squatting a bit farther than halfway down.”

You’ll get the best benefit by doing these until you feel a burning sensation in your thighs.

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FLEXING

There are many ways “to flex”. Furthermore, your muscles are always flexing and releasing any time you are in motion and sometimes when you think you are being inactive. Some flexing exercises you can do while inside include:

Challenge Your Calves (Low”er” Intensity)

Simply “stand” on the tips of your toes and come back down to your heels. Make sure you press through the ball of the foot to get maximum strength. You know your body better than anyone, but also understand if you have never done this exercise your calves will be sore afterward.

Support Your Situps (Mid-Intensity)

Finding a situp board with padding allows the body to be placed on an incline and makes this sometimes dreaded exercise easier to do . Using a pillow or towels is a great way to offer spinal support and get a great work out

Lift a Load (well as much as you can handle) (High Intensity)

Hitting a gym (indoors) or using dumbbells at your home are great ways to build strength and cardiovascular health. Again you know your strength better than anyone else—don’t over exert your muscles. Start off light then advance your workout.

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GET 3 for the Price of 1

I would also add yoga to this list. Yoga encompasses all three actions I have included in this post. If you are interested in taking a yoga class and reap the benefits in an air conditioned facility you should check out our yoga classes that we offer every single day here at the Wellness Training Institute.


A little bit of “R&R” goes a long way…

massage

 

At the Wellness Training Institute, we focus on a wide array of therapies to enhance your health, body, and spirit. Our excellent massage therapist, Denise C. Purdy, CMA offers a plethora of theraputic massages. We have featured three of these types below. For a full list of our entire therapeutic massage menu, click HERE


A little R&R…..and D

Reflexology

Based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and head, which are linked to every part of the body this system is designed to relieve tension and treat illness.

Reiki

Developed in Japan this form of massage is designed to reduce stress and increase relaxation in order to promote healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.

Deep Tissue

A popular massage form, deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue

 

 

The 8th Wonder of the World: Yoga

Over the last 20 years I have been working with my patients in a unique way, integrating yoga, meditation, supplements and education into a traditional cardiology practice. This has enabled me to put education about  cardiovascular health in the hands of you, the individual.

One practice that I truly cherish is the practice of yoga.  There are many forms of yoga all of which focus on various elements of body, mind and spirit awareness.  The benefits of yoga certainly outweigh the cons in my eyes.  Some of these benefits include:

 

  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Decreased blood pressure by increasing blood circulation
  • A more balanced metabolism
  • Tolerance to pain increases
  • There have even been studies correlating yoga and a stronger immune system

Still not convinced?  Want to experience these awesome benefits in person? Then you should come to our weekly yoga classes. There’s a class for every schedule and level.  Take time for your body, if you don’t who will? We hope to see you there.

 

 

The Inspiration Behind “Food is Medicine”

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The content found below was from an interview I had with Examiner.com’s Kala Kumar.  I thought it would be great to share with you all my insights about the “behind-the-scenes” of Food is Medicine.  I hope to see you all there. For full interview,go to  Examiner.com

The concept of Food Is Medicine stems from the fact that everything that we eat influences our bodies on a very deep level. Clearly there are certain foods that are harmful and others that are healthful. If we make exclusively healthful choices we will fare much better. Because the Standard American Diet (SAD) is so poor, we have lost touch with what is actually hurting us. We think that if we eat only a little of a bad thing, that is okay, when in fact it is killing us very slowly. At FIM 3 we attempt to expand on sharing of information and recipes so that we can integrate healthful food into our everyday lives.

It is medically proven that a vegan diet can reverse heart disease, but it has to be a HEALTHY vegan diet. Too often I see people who are what I like to call “junk food” vegans. They are frequently in worse shape than their meat-eating counterparts. We concentrate on this concept very heavily in FIM 3.

Upcoming Event: Food is Medicine III

After resounding success , Food is Medicine is back with “Seven Steps to A Healthier You“.  This event will help you harness the natural power of food to reduce stress, enhance heart health and increase energy levels. Incorporating Michigan’s bounty of produce in everyday meals will be addressed, as will the healthy side of many of our cherished food traditions.

Back by popular demand, Chef George will demonstrate a colorful and festive assortment of salads and al fresco-style dishes while Dr. Dangovian addresses the health effects of our food choices.

Where: Wellness Training Institute

39242 Dequindre, Suite 103

Sterling Heights, MI

When: Wednesday June 15th, 2011, 7 pm

Cost: $30 which covers the talk, cooking demonstration, and tasting with refreshments courtesy of Inn Season Café and Whole Foods Market.

Seating is limited; advance reservations are requested at 586-795-3600.

 

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