When we think of exercising today we generally think of western sports and games, football and rugby, tennis and swimming or just going to the local gym. We can broaden our exercise horizons so much by looking at different ethnic ways to stay fit and in good health. Have you ever thought about learning a different type of dance for example as a way to tone up?
Dancing is a good way to release stress and express yourself, it can be so liberating, leaving your body feeling alive with energy and your mind relaxed and free.
We have so much choice at our finger tips to try something different and it’s exciting to see what else is out there to try, Flamenco, Belly dancing, Salsa, Tai Chi our choices are endless!
Yoga for your fitness and mind
The first and probably the most recognised of the ethnic influences has to be yoga. There are many different types of yoga now available, and so many that they accommodate all different types of needs.
If to unwind and de-stress are your main objectives, then there are plenty of gentle and meditative types of yoga to choose from.
Sivananda and Hatha yoga for example, they also embrace chanting as part of deepening self awareness, aiding the process to internalise your thoughts.
If you prefer more of a physical challenge, strong dynamic yoga's like Ashtanga vinyasa, power yoga or Iyenga yoga are great choices, they are very demanding on the body and give fantastic results both mentally and physically. The nice thing about these teaching's, is that it’s not about how flexible you are and who is better at getting into the lotus position. Working with these types of yoga is seen as a process of undoing, a non ego based method to realise the tightness within, physically, mentally and spiritually.
A great way to deeply purify and detox yourself is bikram yoga. It is sometimes called hot yoga as the room is heated to a whopping 40-45 degrees. The heat helps encourage the cleansing process, keeps the muscles warm, whilst helping improve flexibility. A huge amount of calories can be burnt in a one hour class, a massive 630cals on average! Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after classes as it’s not advised to drink during, and really important to keep hydrated.
Dynamic yoga's such as, Iyengar or Ashtanga yoga will challenge your cardiovascular system. In Asthanga yoga, Vinyasa's are used which are dynamic sequence of movements linking one posture to the next. These are also known as sun salutations. These vinyasas take both strength and endurance as they push the heart rate up and burn lots of calories, leaving little energy or need for a gym workout!