In one of my previous articles (read here), I had requested Radhika to point out basics to remember while practising asanas. My second session with her was about the asanas which will benefit us runners. I will break this article in to couple of parts as it seems like there are far too many we can benefit from. No wonder, I was exhausted by the end of it. Continue Reading
Someone who I have utmost respect for, wrote to me recently asking me to cover the issue of stress incontinence on my blog. Stress incontinence (it effects men too but I will stick with women in this article) is something most women are shy of discussing and a lot of times it also prevents women from pursuing an active lifestyle in fear that they might embarrass themselves. It’s basically when you leak a little during physical exertion, running, coughing, jumping or even while laughing out loud.
It’s fairly common if you have given birth naturally or have been sedentary or overweight for most part of your life, as the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles around it become weak. During my pregnancy I had read about it as I was mentally prepared to give natural birth and started doing Kegels immediately post delivery and I continue to do them religiously.
I spoke to a few women who are suffering because of it and been reading a lot and watching a lot of videos as well. Of course seeing your doctor is most important and so is investing time in strengthening your pelvic floor via kegels.
What is pelvic floor muscle?
It’s the same muscle which we use to control and release the flow of urine.
How to do a Kegel?
1) Imagine squeezing a pebble with your vagina.
2) Each rep (or squeeze) needs to last 2-3 seconds to begin with. Do 10 reps 2-3 times a day which can be spread out. Increase your hold time week on week going up to 10 seconds
3) You will know you are doing it right if it’s only your pelvic floor is moving in isolation. You should not engage your glutes or abdomen.
4) Never practise kegels while urinating.
5) Breathe normally while practising it.
6) Be consistent, may be set a reminder 3 times a day as you can do them anywhere anytime.
7) Don’t overdo them. Overdoing any exercise is not good for you.
I have attached a very good video I saw where a physical therapist explains how to do the kegels right.
The idea of this article is to encourage women to come out and start talking about the real problems we face and not let anything stop us from leading healthy lives.
Apparently, one can combine kegel with some yoga poses like the bridge pose but I will read more about it, practise it myself and share it with you all soon.
Happy kegels and happy running.
I have been working out on my own and my routine usually includes light weighs, jump rope and a bit of yoga. But somehow I felt I wasn’t getting much out of the asanas I was practising. When I met Radhika, who has been practising yoga for 8 years now, I requested her to collaborate with me on an article on yoga for runners. However, the first session we did together turned out to be more of unlearning and learning the basics. I realised how floppy I used to be post every asana and used to let go my body too quickly. Before I do a couple of articles on some poses which will benefit us runners, I requested Radhika to write down some very important things she taught me. These are small things which make a lot of difference to the whole routine.
1. While doing yoga, the correct posture is very important and also maintaining it. Doing it the correct way will reap you benefits. You have to be aware of your position. Initially it will create a bit of confusion but with time, muscle memory will help you achieve the right posture without you even thinking twice.
2. Don’t force your body to do something its not ready to do yet. That doesn’t mean you don’t try . There are many stages to one asana. Don’t beat yourself down if you are not flexible enough to do them at that point of time. With regular practice, you will be able to do all poses.
3. At every step, make sure your body is properly aligned. Be conscious of your movement. If not , it can cause pain.
4. Every pose should be done with control and mindfulness. A simple table top pose can have huge results if you are aware of your body. Don’t flop and let go of your posture. Keeping increasing the level and working all the muscles. Every yoga stretch works all your muscles. A pose could be for your core, but at the same time you are working your arms as well.
5. Every asana should be performed for 3-5 breaths, with deep inhales and exhales. Breathing is a major part of yoga. Initially you will forget to do them, but try being conscious with time. Let the oxygen flow to every part of your body. Yoga is a mindful way of working out. At no given point of time, do you do any asana without being mindful of what you are actually doing . It is the connection of body soul and mind.
6. While performing any stretch make sure you your head is in line with your spine, and the crown of the head is towards the sky. Even with pose where you have to bend your neck either forward or backward, make sure you do it with control. No swinging your head. If not careful, you could hurt it.
7. Don’t rush the poses. Try doing it as slowly as possible in the beginning. Let your muscle get use to these poses.
8. In yoga specially, flow or a vinyasa is very important. A set of stretches for part of the body should be done in a flow. You move from one asana to another like a dance form. A smooth continuous flow, where one posture links to another.
9. At any time, if you are tired and you need to take a breather, come out of the current stretch with control, make sure you don’t lose composure and flow into a child’s pose.
10. At the end of any yoga session, savasanna is a must. It’s the time of the workout when you let your body parts rest, and let the blood flow everywhere. Your mind is in focus about each and every muscle in your body pulsating. Keep a control on your thoughts. Take notice of the breathing and relax.
*Pic courtesy – Karan Narang
You can follow Radhika’s blog at http://yogasini.com
I was sold the moment I heard about a mini city built for kids where they get to have fun by role playing and by getting to do all the things that adults do. There are no video games and no rides. Upon arrival (because it’s built like an airline arrival counter), we bought our tickets and were handed our “boarding passes” and went to the immigration counter to check-in to KidZania. At immigration, each of us were given an electronic tag, which they scanned every time Kabir did an activity and the tag also helps the mom or dad to track their kid(s). Continue Reading
CONTEST ALERT – What as per you is a good/fun gift for a runner? Share in the comments and you can win a Frap belt (3 giveaways).
Whoever said running was a cheap sport was so wrong. Even though, I still believe that a good pair of running shoes and, in case of women, a sports bra, is all one needs to start running. But slowly the greed creeps in. And we runners love any and all gifts related to running and some we are absolutely crazy about. So here’s your guide to buying that perfect gift for any runner you are close to, depending on your budget of course.
I was quite apprehensive about having a waist belt but I also feel the need to carry my phone, cash and car keys when I’m out. I gave it a shot recently and I didn’t even realise I was wearing one. It comes in nice bright colors and black. Priced at 1,399/-, Frap is an excellent gift especially for women.