Heat Yoga Blog
Heat Yoga Blog
This is the Blog for Heat Yoga Studios.
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Adam
2:42 pm

Motivational Monday

priviledge
What did you take from your time on your mat today?

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Adam
10:30 pm

Wellness Friday with MAKwellness

Carbohydrates 101:  Oligosaccharides, Prebiotics, and Colon Health, Part Three
in MAKwellness
By:  Maria Kasdagly

 

What we eat affects how we feel. How food moves through our digestive tract and the secretions it produces are affected by the protein, carbohydrate and fat composition of our foods. Did you know that 70 percent of the cells that make up the body’s immune system are found in the wall of the gut?   So, what we eat also may affect the body’s immune response.

Gut Microbiota

The human intestines carries about 100 trillion microorganisms; that is ten times greater than the total number of cells in the human body.  There are over 500 bacterial species in the human gut and they account for over 90% of the cellular complex in the entire human body.  Bacterial cells in the gut can be; beneficial, neutral or harmful.  Focusing on the beneficial bacteria, the microorganisms perform a host of useful functions, such as fermenting unused energy substrates, training the immune system, helps control food allergies, lowers cholesterol, cancer prevention, regulates healthy development of the gut, and produces vitamins for the body, such as biotin and vitamin K.

Oligosaccharides

As discussed in part one, carbohydrates with 3-10 monosaccharides fall into the oligosaccharide category.  The three main types are raffinose, stachyose, and verbacose, which can be found  in onions, garlic, leeks, beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains. Plants with large amounts of oligosaccharides include chicory root, from which most commercial inulin is extracted.  It is estimated that North Americans get about 1-3 grams naturally in their diets each day, while Europeans get 3-10 grams.

Recently, a lot of attention regarding oligosaccharides is on it’s health-promoting substrates.  Many oligosaccharides are resistant to digestion and absorption by human enzymes and, therefore, reach the large bowel where they function as a prebiotic.

I have heard of Probiotics, but what are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible food components that support growth of certain kinds of bacteria in the colon (large intestines).  Simply put, prebiotics feed our probiotics (bacteria), so that the good bacteria can fight off the bad bacteria.  Health benefits include alleviation of constipation, reduced risk of infection and diarrhea, and improved immune response.  They were first identified and named by Marcel Roberfroid in 1995.

Roberfroid offered a refined definition in the March 2007 Journal of Nutrition stating:

A prebiotic is a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health

Oligosaccharides and My Diet

You can find oligosaccharides in the following list (as well as the vegetables listed above and whole-grains):

  • Wheat
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Yams
  • Chicory root
  • Artichoke (the root type, not the spiky globe)
  • Agave
  • Jicama
  • Bananas
  • Dandelion greens

In addition to the list provided above, food additives are also a good source of oligosaccharides.  Inulin and oligofructose are the most common food additives, commonly found in kefir and yogurts.

A Happy Colon is a Healthy Colon!

References:

  1. Björkstén, Bengt; Sepp, Epp; Julge, Kaja; Voor, Tiia; Mikelsaar, Marika (2001). “Allergy development and the intestinal microflora during the first year of life”. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 108 (4): 516–20.
  2. Kolida, S., Tuohy, K. and Gibson, G.R. (2000). “The human gut flora in nutrition and approaches for its dietary modulation.” British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin. 25: 223-231.
  3. Sauliner, D.M, Raffer, J., Rijkers, G.T., Watzl, B. and Antoine, J.M. (2010). “Guidance for substantiating the evidence for beneficial effects of probiotics: impact of probiotics on digestive system metabolism. Journal of nutrition.  140: 677S-689S.
  4. Boler, B.M.V. and Fahey Jr., G.C. (2012). “Prebiotics of Plant and Microbial Origin.”  Direct-Fed Microbials and Prebiotics for Animals: Science and Mechanisms of Action. 2: 13.

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Adam
10:20 pm

Thursdays Pose to Try

plank-muscles
Ardha Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose) can be a difficult pose but has so many benefits. It builds wrist, arm, abdominal, shoulder and back strength. If you are new to plank you can vary the pose by bringing your knees to floor or pressing heels into wall to energize legs. Every extra second or additional breath in this pose counts. So try to stay for one more breath! You can do it!

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Adam
9:48 pm

5 Things to Avoid Wrist Pain in Yoga

1) Do not let the area between your index finger and thumb lift from the mat

2) Firmly plug the entire thumb, entire index finger and base of the pinkie into the mat

3) Press the entire middle finger, ring finger and finger tip of the pinkie finger into the mat

4) Visualize the center of the palm of your hand as a suction cup lifting upwards

5) Avoiding collapsing weight at the base of the hand

 


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Adam
11:22 pm

Tuesdays Teacher Spotlight

Name: Shannon Brendel

Hometown: St. Paul, MN currently living in Elk River

Classes taught at Heat: A, B, B+

How long have you been teaching? 18 months

Why became a teacher?

A lot of teachers are super flexible and super strong, I'm average on both those counts making me a less intimidating and approachable teacher.  My passion is to make all kinds of people feel comfortable and welcome doing yoga. 

Favorite pose and why?

Down dog and chaturanga.  If I have 5 minutes and need to get the kinks out and feel refreshed, down dog is the pose I do.  It's so wonderful for lengthening the spine and opening the whole body!  Chaturanga builds strength.

Favorite tune to hear in class?  

Anything Sade, Lenny Kravitz, Marvin Gaye, Jill Scott

Motivational tip or favorite quote?

Cultivate friendliness toward those that are happy and doing well, show compassion for those who are suffering, delight in the virtuous and disregard the wicked.  Doing this creates peace of mind.- Yoga sutra 1:33

Advice to beginners?

Approach teachers after class if you have questions on poses (correct form, modifications, etc).  We get really excited to help you advance your practice and there may not be time in class to address issues.  Also let the teacher know if you prefer not to have hands on adjustments in class.

Where can we find you when not at Heat?

I'd like to say something glamorous and exciting like sky diving and drinking martinis but most likely I'm at home cleaning and taking care of 3 kids and 2 dogs.  Netflix and I are serious buddies.  I also foster dogs and enjoying finding them forever homes.

Who knew (fun bit of info about you)?                 

I was married in Vegas (but not by Elvis)! 

What do you emphasize in your class? What would you like students to gain from your class? 

Because I am challenged in a lot of poses myself, I look for ways to make the poses accessible to students of all abilities.  I'd rather you have proper alignment using a block than improper alignment trying to touch the mat at all costs.  I am also hopefully that balance between pushing too hard and pushing too little;  I want to challenge people but do it in a smart and thoughtful way. 

Tell us about other jobs (other than yoga teacher) that you do or what you did before teaching yoga:  

I used to be somewhat computer savvy helping people when their computers broke down. 

What have you learned about yourself, on the mat, that is applicable to life off the mat?

I am pretty focused on my mat.  I don't watch other students and I close my eyes a lot.  I've learned I need to end comparisons in my day to day life just as I do in yoga;  It's an ongoing process.  My husband says I am kinder and more patient now, though.

What difference have you noticed in your body or overall health since practicing yoga? 

Less pain and more mobility!! I look forward to aging with a mobile back and open hips.  


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Adam
3:50 pm

Motivational Monday

toes

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Adam
10:54 pm

Wellness Friday with MAKwellness

Carbohydrates 101:  Whole-Wheat May Actually Be White Bread with a Tan, Part Two
In MAKwellness
By:  Maria Kasdagly

Most brown bread is merely white bread with a fake tan.  -Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

You may think you know all you need to know about white vs. whole-wheat bread.  Selecting darker colored breads (i.e. brown breads) are better for me than white colored breads, right?  Wrong!  There is a lot more than just the color of your bread in making a healthy selection.

History of Refined Cereal Grains

We have been refining cereal grains since the Industrial Revolution.  Although nutrients are lost, people tended to favor white flour and white rice over brown.  A huge part of this had to do with wealth status; meaning that for a while only the wealthy could afford refined grains.  Refined grains were also favored because of the extended shelf-life and they are easier to digest because fiber and nutrients have been removed.

As the refining process improved, the epidemics of pellagra and beriberi soon followed (both diseases are caused by deficiencies in the B vitamins that the wheat germ contributed to the diet).  In the 1930s, with the discovery of vitamins, millers began fortifying refined grains with B vitamins, which did take care of the obvious deficiencies.  (Folate was added in 1996)  Great!  So “Wonder Bread” is truly wonderful!  Wrong again!  So many Americans consider such food healthy merely because it is low in fat.  Although supplementation will help treat deficiencies, it won’t solve our problem of chronic diseases- diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Is Soil Depletion of Nutrients to Blame?

In fact, wheat grown on American soil is not a nutrient-dense food to begin with.  Then millers take wheat and strip the food of any valuable part and then add bleach, preservatives, salt, sugar, and food coloring to make breads, breakfast cereals, and other convenience foods.   So, yes it is easy to think that our nutrient-deficient wheat has all to do with the soil and not so much the refining process, which many nutritional-supplement proponents claim.  The truth of the matter is that…Americans are not nutrient-deficient because of our soil, but rather due to insufficient consumption of fresh produce and hearty nutrient-dense grains…but that is a whole different topic

 Over 90% pf the calories consumed by Americans come from refined foods or animal products.  With such a small percentage of our diet consisting of unrefined plant foods, how could we not become nutrient-deficient? – Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Making Wise Choices

So we know that white bread isn’t our best choice because they are lacking the “good” stuff (vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting fiber), but we can’t just buy brown bread because the color convinces us that it is healthier.  Sometimes caramel color is added to the product to make you think it is the real thing when it really isn’t.  The most important factor in determining your bread is the ingredient label.  ”Whole Wheat” or “Whole Grain” should be the first or second ingredient on the label.  Even breads like rye or pumpernickel could be fooling you, so always check the label on what you are actually eating.  In addition, look at the fiber content- the ratio of fiber to sugar should be nearly equivalent (i.e 4 g of fiber and 4 g of sugar).  Lastly, sodium is added to many breads as a preservative, avoid breads that have over 350 mg per serving.

Shown is an example of three different bread labels.  Notice that the 100% Organic Bread does not add back in vitamins and minerals, as it is the purest form of the nutrient-dense wheat.

References:

  1. Fuhrman, J. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustainable Weight Loss.  (2003) Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY.
  2. Polan, M. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. (2008) The Penguin Press. New York, NY.
  3. Smith, E., Benbrook, C., Davis, D.R.  Grains: a in-depth study- A closer look at What’s in Our Daily Bread. Organic-Center (April 2012)

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Adam
10:26 pm

Thursdays Pose to Try

boy_bandw
Bakasana - Crow Pose Benefits: Builds arm, shoulder and abdominal strength as well as stamina Bakasana is a great pose to try if you are interested in inversions but afraid of headstand or handstand. The key to all poses is proper foundation so make sure your hands are shoulder distance apart, wrist creases parallel to front of mat, and fingers spread. You don't need super human strength to get into this pose but it's more about how to shift your weight and when to engage the specific muscles required in this pose. Some things that may help are to root down with the base of each finger (especially the thumb and index finger), actively push the floor away with hands, engage inner thigh muscles, draw the belly in and up, draw shoulders away from ears and spread across the shoulder blades. Give it a try!

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Adam
8:00 am

Five Types of Yoga Poses to Benefit Runners

Yoga is a perfect cross-training activity to keep your running world pain and injury free. It will help with stress in your body and mind. Adding a few key poses into your running will not only strengthen your balance, it will increase your body awareness and elongate your muscles. The following poses are not only great at releasing tension in the hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes, but they will also help you turn your attention to the finish line!

1) Leg Stretches will strengthen and stretch your legs to keep you injury free. 

Leg Stretch Poses: Warrior I, Warrior II, Triangle, Chair, Wide-Leg Forward Fold

2) Hip Openers will give your hips freedom of movement.

Hip Opening Poses: Pigeon, Cow Face, Happy Baby, Goddess

3) Core Muscle strength is key for good running form. 

Core Poses: Boat, Plank, Dolphin

4) Openness in your shoulders, chest and back will help you regulate your breathing and maintain good posture. 

Breath Poses: Side Angle, Camel, Bridge

5) Strengthen your legs, feet and ankles while you improve your mental focus. 

Balance Poses: Tree, Warrior III, Dancer


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Adam
8:00 am

Teacher Spotlight Tuesday

Name:  Jeanne Clauer

Hometown:  Coon Rapids

Classes taught at Heat:  

Gentle Flow, Heat A

How long have you been teaching?

3 1/2 years

Why became a teacher?

Teaching and helping people are a passion of mine. I love people!

Favorite pose and why?

Savasana.  Because it allows me to absorb my practice, relax and renew my body.  I always feel better after practice.

Favorite tune to hear in class? 

I like all kinds of music. 

Motivational tip or favorite quote?

Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage if the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow”.

Advice to beginners? 

Pay attention to your body and how it feels.  Remember to breathe.   

Where can we find you when not at Heat?

Spending time with family and friends

Who knew (fun bit of info about you)?

I was the high school mascot in my sophomore year

What do you emphasize in your class?

Breathing    What would you like students to gain from your class?  Staying connected to your breath calms the body and quiets the mind. Helps to slow down the beating of your heart and lowers blood pressure.  So focusing on breath is not only good in class but helpful outside of class as well. 

Tell us about other jobs (other than yoga teacher) that you do or what you did before teaching yoga:

I was a Development Specialist (trainer - teacher) for CenterPoint Energy until recently retiring.

What have you learned about yourself, on the mat that is applicable to life off the mat?

Every day is a new experience.  Live with patience and stay connected with breath. 

What difference have you noticed in your body or overall health since practicing yoga?  

I am more flexible, my core is stronger and I’ve learned how to breathe correctly. 


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