lifestyle · Yoga

HIIT vs Yoga

If you’ve been following my blog since it started, you’ll know that I am a yoga practitioner, a yogini if you will but because of a friend, I was able to try HIIT as well and here are my thoughts.

High intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT is a cardio session arranged as short bursts of very hard work. The whole point of high-intensity training is to kick up the intensity of your cardio. In order to qualify as true HIIT, you’ll need to push yourself to the max during every set. Rests are important in HIIT.

Exerpt from self.com

HOW IT WENT

So my friend, Jeremy, does hiit all the time and he brought me to his home gym.

The session started with stretches and warm up which my friend helped me with. The coach only went in when it was the actual workout.

The coach explained the sets that were prepared that day and explained the form and all before all the exercises started. Once everything was clear, he set the time (25 minutes) then everyone was set on their own to finish the set of exercises.

Boy oh boy, this was probably the most number of jumping jacks that I did my whole life.

Exercises consisted of 100 jumping jacks or single unders in intervals of 10 20 30 40 50 dead lifts.

After 25 minutes, a few minutes rest to hydrate and wipe up. Cool down and stretches were done.

HOW IT FELT

It was okay right after. I felt hungry and a little more energetic than usual but is still very tired. The next day was fine as well. I was able to go to work happy and finished my day just as I would any other day.

The 2nd day after though was a different story. I had back pains and my legs were a bit sore. This lasted for about 3 days, not to mention the fact that I only did half of the set.

YOGA
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

In this part we will focus on asana practice.

HOW IT WENT

Practices vary on how it starts depending on the teacher. Some practices start with encantations in sanskrit honoring the teachers. Most practices allow you to set an intention for your practice that day.

Teachers adjust the students when poses are not in good form.

Movements are related to one another, preparing you from one pose to another until you achieve your intention or peak pose.

Every movement is synchronised with the breath.

Practice ends in a resting pose (chavasana) followed by cleansing breathes and greeting each other after the practice.

HOW IT FEELS

Yoga relaxes and calms me after the session. There are also times when sessions would have the pick me up vibe to it depending on the class attended. My muscle pains and tension gradually decreased when I practiced more.

Overall thoughts

Personally, I would pick yoga over HIIT because of the gentleness of it. It also has other benefits in terms of mental and spiritual health.

However, I can see why people would like HIIT as a form of physical exercise. I can see that this would help you lose weight fast and the feeling of finishing the sets is quite fulfilling. It probably just needs some getting used to for me. It would probably be best to alternate these types of physical activities just to balance things out. 🙂 It really depends on your personality.

How about you, which one will you pick?

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep14: mermaid pose

Here we’ll combine the pose of the day and the actual pose because…..


I finally did it!

I’ve always wanted this pose for the aesthetic of it. I actually wanted to do this pose in La union but I wasn’t flexible enough and I can’t hook my elbow to my feet. Now the next time I go to the beach, I can be an actual mermaid on the shore. (Finally yaaaaaaaayy!)

How I did it (and we’ll compare it to instructions off the internet)

First we did poses for strengthening the arms and legs. Then we stretched through pigeon pose. 

Which must look like this

Then, I bended the extended knee and tried to hook my elbow to my foot. After that, I reached up to touch my hand bending my torso a little bit more as needed.

It looked simple but it’s actually an intermediate pose and you need to be flexible to actually sustain it. 

Here’s a vinyasa to help you ease into this intermediate pose:  click here

Now unto the health benefits:

Mermaid Pose stretches the quadriceps, hips, groins, back, chest, and shoulders. The pose also strengthens the core and pelvic floor, creates expansiveness through the front body, and can help improve balance.

Excerpt from doyouyoga.com

Namaste.

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep13: yoga mats and butterfly pose

Today let’s talk about the importance of yoga mats.

My hands can be really sweaty and this makes holding positions more difficult. I have to adjust from time to time even with my downward facing dog or chaturanga because I slip all the time.

I bought my yoga mat from aquazorb abang town center for 550 and it helped a lot with my practice. I slip less and I could now say that I can hold the poses better. This also helps with being hygienic since yoga towels are washable and the sweat during the practice can be washed off as opposed to it sticking to the mat. It also helps that this smells nicer (well depends on your detergent).

Buy a yoga mat, help yourself. It’s worth it.

Now for the pose of the day:

Butterfly pose or baddha konasana


(Photo from google)

How to do Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)

Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.

Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other.

Grab your feet tightly with your hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support.

Make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible.

Take a deep breath in. Breathing out, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor. Make a gentle effort to keep pressing them downward.

Now start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slow and gradually increase the speed. Keep breathing normally throughout.

Fly higher and higher, as fast as you comfortably can. Slow down and then stop. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect.

Press your elbows on the thighs or on the knees, pushing the knees and thighs closer to the floor.

Feel the stretch in the inner thighs and take long, deep breaths, relaxing the muscles more and more.

Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up.

As you exhale, gently release the posture. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.

Benefits of the Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)

A good stretch for the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region

Helps in intestine and bowel movement

Removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking

Offers relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms

Helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy

Contraindications of the Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)

If you are suffering from groin or knee injury, make sure you keep a blanket under the outer thighs for support. Do not perform this pose without blanket support. Also, sciatica patients should either completely avoid the pose or sit on a cushion to raise the hips. If you have any lower-back disorders, do the posture only while keeping the spine erect. Avoid rounding up the spine by bending forward.

From artofliving.org

Travel · Yoga

Geca does yoga ep12 (la union edition)

As seen in my previous post, my friends and I went to la union for some salt water and relaxation. It happened that I saw that there were yoga classes and I attended one just to see the difference with what I am currently practicing.


I reserved a slot a day before with the number provided on the posters and went  few minutes before my class to be familiar with the place. My yoga teacher was named teacher lala and we had our aqua firma session that day.

What is aqua firma?

This class is like doing yoga on a Stand Up Paddleboard but without the water! Take your practice to a whole new level of core power and balance as we incorporate Yoga postures with Pilates movements. This class is set to music with deep beats and rhythmic groove while we move through a sequence of postures designed to lengthen, strengthen and tone the body as well as improve balance, coordination, reaction time, and stability. Appropriate for all levels, anyone can enjoy this practice and feel successful.

From aquanimous yoga site

So basically it’s a mix of pilates and yoga and this was evident with the moves. Unlike my yoga practice, pulses instead of holding the pose are more prominent.


This class was performed on top of a stand up paddleboard but you always have the option to move to the mat as you please. This works on balance and core.

I noticed that in this setup, you realize what side of your body you rely more on. You tend to lean on one side of your body and for me that’s the right side. Lo and behold when I first fell of the board it was on my right side. Since then, I have been mindful of working on my left side in all aspects such as balance, strength and flexibility.

This felt nice since the ambience was great and you can hear the sound of the waves from afar. It was a good activity to cap off my vacation.

Namaste.

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep11

I went back to yoga after one week without it and felt really tight. Felt less stressed and more open afterwards.

Lately I’ve been feeling too stressed and yoga helps with my sanity a little bit. 

I’m sorry there will be no pose of the day today, but I will be uploading another episode which will have the whole shebang again.

Namaste.

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep10

Today we’re going to talk about the changes I felt in the past month.
I have been practicing yoga for about a month now. I try to go to the studio at least twice a week but sometimes I have to rest and skip due to errands and events. However, in the short span of time, I already noticed some changes in my body.

  1. I don’t crave for food that much. I heard that things that you crave for are reflective of what your body lacks and I guess since I dont crave that much, I am getting more nutrients that I need.
  2. It is easier to eat healthy. With lesser cravings, I now opt to get healthier options. ( I actually made a post about understanding how yogis can decide to go vegitarian and take care of their body better. See it here)
  3. I do not drink soft drinks as much (and noticed that during days when I don’t go to yoga classes are days when I look for it more)
  4. I feel less sluggish. 
  5. I feel more motivated to work. I don’t know if this is all in my head but yoga practice helps me focus more and recalibrate myself which makes work easier and less of a burden.
  6. I can see some improvements in flexibility! I can now put my head a little closer to the mat during forward folds and with straight knees too!
  7. I feel a little more stronger.

So far these are the changes! Hoping to see more positive changes soon!

Now for the pose of the day

Virasana

Virasana/ hero pose


In my beginner’s understanding the legs are like the opposit of the child’s pose.

Knees together with legs hip length apart with the tops of your feet touching the mat. Sit your bum in between your legs and try not to strain the tops of your feet/ankles. Bolsters or yoga blocks are recommended as needed.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Strengthens the arches
  • Improves digestion and relieves gas
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester)
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma

Here’s the full article from yoga journal.

Continue feeling better, friends!

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep9

Woah there! I can’t believe I’m consistently posting here. Good job self. Today I want to talk about healthy lifestyle.

I was so amazed at how yogis having the tendency to become vegetarian or vegan through time with their practice. As somebody who loves food, I can’t grasp the idea of not taking in meat. I have nothing against it, it’s just a personal preference. I am amazed at how they are very strict with their diet and how they can maintain it. 

I fully understood this weeks after I started yoga, with understanding your own body and the hard work you put into it, preserving and being careful with what you eat is not a hard thing to do.

Through understanding your body, you feel what’s good to you and what’s bad for you and you’ll do what it takes to feel better.

Personally, I haven’t craved for soft drinks more than usual (everybody who knows me knows how much I love soft drinks) and starting yoga I do not want to put my hard work to waste and stopped drinking it. At the moment, although I still give in once in a while, I can get a week or so without it and not crave for it. That’s a huge step for me! I’m working my way to healthy living.

Today’s pose:

Warrior pose I (virabhadrasana)


Since this is a relatively “famous” pose I would just be telling my experience regarding this pose.

This is one of the most done poses during my practice and here are some of what I learned from my individual practice and practicing in a class.

  • Feet shouldbe firmly planted on the ground. Both feet, even the one that is not facing front.
  • Pelvis should be at the center and not hinging forward. This for me makes the pose feel right and better although harder
  • Fingers together and activate arm muscles to help in strengthening.
  • Knee should be parallel to the ankle, make sure you can still see the top of your feet.

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas)
  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back
  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles

Continue feeling better, friends.