Monthly Archives: December 2016


Woman doing yoga

11

Dec 2016

Breathing during Asanas (Yoga Poses) Importance and benefits, Pranayama beginners guide

One of the hallmarks of classical yoga practice is a use of ujjaye pranayama – wave motion breathing. Ujjaye breathing and developing breathing exercise into pranayama enlivens our life-force. In asana practice there are three fundamental rules for the breath patterns.

1. Inhalation occurs as you extend the spine and exhalation occurs when you release tension in your body and relax.
When practicing yoga, our rhythmic breathing is harmonized to be at the pace with body motions. For example, starting with Tadasana (standing position), we lift our arm up and we inhale during this motion. The inhalation will be complete when the arms reach full shoulder flexion, with fingertips aimed at the ceiling. Similarly, when we exhale and we lower our arms to our sides and we slowly run out of breath when our arms touch our sides.

2. Inhale when you move to center or become erect and exhale when moving away from centered position.
It’s important that we are aware of motion and breathing patter and that we know when we are moving slowly into forward – bending position we extend ourselves, lightening our spine with each inhalation. We move forward with each exhalation.

3. Our breath awareness is constant, even when our body is stationary.
When we hold an asana (position) our attention should remain on the internal wavelike flow of ujjaye breathing. Our intention is to deepen physical pose by continually going into a wider range of motion.

Yoga regulates all four parts of the breath: the two motions (inhale, exhale) and the pauses that naturally follow the motions. Pauses are natural, provided there is no stress or any fixed attention. The natural rhythm is altered and the breath will be shallower and the pauses longer. Upon closer examination, you will notice, that the breath is not held nor does it stop.
While practicing yoga, is important that you are aware that when you inhale, you are going into the pose and opposite, you exhale when you are releasing the pose. When this method is repeated for up to six times it is optimal for slowing down your mind, deepening your breath and developing pranic energy. With classical yoga practice we usually stay in the pose for 2 to 3 breaths. With ashtanga yoga practice (physically more intense yoga practice) one motion is one breath (inhale or exhale).

Breathing pattern to stay in a pose for 2 to 3 breaths is useful for training concentration (dhyana) and integrating pranayama ratios into asana. It is very beneficial for improving your memory, gently strengthening your lungs with regular practice and it’s recommended for people with scoliosis. With holding a pose for 2 to 3 breaths, and repeating this method it helps our body at eliminating stress and hypertension. With yoga practice we can also extend our breathing and stay in the posture for 12 breaths. This is recommended for optimizing the effects of muscular strength or flexibility, especially when we would like to eliminate specific muscular and postural imbalances. Staying in pose for 12 breaths will help us develop optimal stamina in the shortest possible period of time. It is recommended to begin by holding the pose with good alignment and steadiness at a lesser number of breaths, then increase the holding time by 2 to 3 breaths. Per week. When you can hold posture comfortably and steadily for 12 breaths for two weeks consistently you can move on to the next level of challenge.

A fascinating view of breathing is obtained by watching those who are healthy and contrasting your finding with those who are unhealthy. For example, when you watch an infant sleeping, it is very easy to determine that it breaths using primarily the diaphragm by watching the abdomen rise and fall. There was a survey done in hospital by two scientist who were interested about respiratory patterns of heart-attack patients. They did the observation how these patients were breathing. Survey was done on 153 patients with heart-attack and they found out, that approximately 75% of all patients were chronic mouth breathers and 70 percent of these also exhibited open-mouth snoring. The authors of survey suggested, that it may be, that teaching the patient simple diaphragmatic breathing should be an integral pattern of the treatment process. Altering the thoracic pattern to diaphragmatic breathing could increase the efficiency of ventilation /perfusion, resulting in a decrease in the amount of work required by the cardio-pulmonary system. This could help reduce the strain on the heart.

The Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar can become the great high point of your morning practice. Sun Salutation is a beautiful sequence that can teach you to coordinate rhythmic breathing with body postures into a flowing routine. This suffices as a complete program when done for 15 to 20 minutes continuously. Surya Namaskar literally translated means “beautiful light, you are my own self”. Surya is one of the twelve mantra names for the Sun. In the traditional yoga practice of Sun Salutation, Sun is honored during the period of rising and setting, so that its energies can be taken in through the medium of mantra and pranayama – energetic breathing.

Precautions about which we all need to be aware of; if you have a bad back, be careful during exercise. When practicing bending poses you need to bend your knees. Cobra pose is safest if done without the use of your arm strength. It is also important, that If you notice stiffness in your wrists, do not bear weight on your flat hands, but do rather use your fingertips or knuckles.

The Sun Salutation is the most beneficial of the traditional yoga sequences. It may be done slowly and gently for meditative inner focus. It can also be done more vigorously over a 10 to 20 minutes period for an aerobic effect to strengthen your cardio vascular system. Sun Salutation poses can also be sustained or developing muscular stamina. The Sun Salutation is the most widely known series of yoga poses and all yoga teachers present it in some variation.

The Sun Salutation is a very powerful sequence of postures, which both strengthens and extend the long muscles of the front and back of the body. This is a unique sequence that it can stand alone, without the need for other practice to maintained health. It can increase hip and spinal flexibility with practice. This is remarkable routine, because it energize the body to the point that this is all you need to do to maintain optimal physical health.


Testosterone chemical structure formula

05

Dec 2016

Increase testosterone and growth hormone with intermittent fasting 16/8 – boost anabolic hormone secretion

Intermittent fasting increases testosterone and growth hormone levels

We have already discussed about the benefits of doing intermittent fasting and we also mentioned the benefits on secretion of testosterone and growth hormones in your body. Many studies have shown that any type of fasting – prolonged time without any intake of calories – increases levels of anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.

Having an abundant supply of testosterone and growth hormone makes the difference between being a proud man or just a miserable boy. Both hormones are highly anabolic and are therefore the primary male hormones responsible for a multitude of necessary body functions.

The positive effects range from strengthening bones, building lean muscle mass to driving your libido and increasing your sex drive, testosterone is also the key to healthy lifestyle. Natural testosterone levels peak for men around the age of 30 and growth hormone even earlier in your 20’s, both then begin to decline based on a number of factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress and genetics.

Low T-levels may come with symptoms such as mood swings, loss of sex drive, and decreased levels of lean muscle mass and the same goes for low growth hormone levels. Therefore it is vital to keep your anabolic hormones at optimal levels.

Intermittent fasting greatly increases your own body’s growth hormone (HGH) production

In this human study, the researchers discovered that after 24 hours of consuming no calories, growth hormone levels were elevated by a whopping 2000% from the normal baseline. Growth hormone levels and testosterone levels are highly correlated and highly anabolic. We can easily say that the results of this study are nothing short of amazing.

Growth hormone is just like testosterone an anabolic hormone and it is responsible for normal cell growth and faster regeneration. It also increases your body muscle mass and bone density and it also plays a major role in maintaining vital health of all body tissues, including your brain and other organs that are vital for your health. HGH also helps improve your sleeping patterns and improves REM-stage sleep. It is also known to boost overall energy levels. Growth hormone is the so called youth hormone as it slows down the effects of ageing and improves the regeneration of cells.

Since HGH typically decreases with age increasing it proves to slow down the ageing process. Please don’t think this is the youth elixir everyone is looking for but it certainly has some great benefits. As we know a decrease in HGH contributes to the decrease in lean body mass both in lower muscle mass, but also lowered bone mass which are all indications of aging. Here is a study that shows the benefits of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old.

During fasting, there is the spike in the early morning, but there is regular secretion throughout the day as well. Hartman et al study also showed a 5 fold increase in HGH in response to a 2 day fast.

Intermittent Fasting and Testosterone

As you will see intermittent fasting is really the best dietary “trick” to increase testosterone levels.

 

1. Did you know that every time you eat, your testosterone levels drop? It doesn’t even matter what kind of food you are eating, it could be only fat, only carbs, only protein or any combination of those. So eating every 2-3 hours doesn’t really help with raising your testosterone levels, it actually makes it harder for you. When your body is fasting you increase the time where your body has higher levels of testosterone available and you’re not negatively altering your hormones throughout the whole day. Read the research here.

2. The easiest and most effective way of burning your body fat is doing Intermittent fasting (12 hours in fasted state and your enzymes will shift to burning body fat as fuel). Studies on man have also shown that high testosterone levels correlate with low body fat percentage. One could argue dough if high testosterone levels are not the cause of lower body fat. Study

3. Another study done by researchers showed that short ramadan fasting in non-obese healthy man increased the serum Luteinizing hormone (LH) levels by a whopping 67%! Luteinizing hormone (LH) is the direct precursor hormone of testosterone.

4. That same study also showed that just a short period of fasting done by the same group of non-obese men increased the serum testosterone levels by an amazing 180%. This can be interpreted as a fact that intermittent fasting has an immediate and notable effect on your testosterone levels.

5. Even short fasting can induce autophagy. Autophagy is basically a process where your cells remove toxins and estrogenic chemicals from them. Any process that reduces or removes anything related to estrogenic toxins is basically pro-testosterone as estrogen and testosterone negate each other in some way. Study

6. Fasting also regulates leptin levels, and decreased leptin levels can stimulate testosterone secretion. It is interesting that when leptin enters the hypothalamus, testosterone levels decline (study, study, study) and it goes also the other way around, when testosterone increases, leptin decreases (study, study)

This post is much to short to go into details about every process in your body but at least now you know that intermittent fasting or any type of fasting is one of the best tools you could have or use to naturally increase your anabolic hormone levels such as testosterone and growth hormone. Intermittent Fasting is a relatively new way of eating that has been shown to have many benefits and one of them is to boost your body’s natural levels of key anabolic hormones.

Another great way to additionally increase you anabolic hormone levels is with a special way of doing exercise as explained here HIIT.