Back Pain and Effective Preventative ExercisesApril 24th, 2018
Balance Yoga Practice – Seems to be ‘on trend’ with latest research findings on the prevention of back pain and effective exercise for body maintenance.
Nature has designed the body for movement particularly the back and especially the spine which is specifically designed and structured to withstand loading and twisting actions. These type of movements tone and strengthen the shoulders and back while promoting physical and mindful wellbeing within a structured yoga practice.
Among other health benefits, the practice at balance promotes good posture – balancing the front and back of the entire body – while enhancing back and spinal health.
This supports our everyday activities especially out with the studio and applies whether walking, standing, sitting or working.
Last week the Times newspaper highlighted the extent of the growing UK back pain problems noting that nine million people are estimated to suffer, while one in seven GP appointments are related to muscle and nerve problems, the majority of which are related to the spine.
A separate edition of the paper reported that medical experts estimated that approximately £140m was spent by the NHS on both drugs and operations in an attempt to ‘solve’ the problem but this had resulted at best in only marginal improvements for some.
It further highlighted the fact that movement and careful exercise were the most effective treatments for the majority of back problems and while sedentary lifestyle factors are the main contributor, the urban myth that ‘rest’ is a good cure still apparently persists.
People are sometimes unaware of how to isolate and target the kinetic chain muscles of the back of the body perhaps overworking the front of the body.
One of the most effective exercises tested, and a movement we regularly incorporate in our yoga classes, is the face down lying-back strength-shoulder raise.
- To prepare the starting position looks like the capital letter I when viewed from above and involves extending both arms straight out – shoulder width – pointing the toes away, while beginning to engage the abdominal muscles to protect the lower back and spine
- The focus is then on the breath; inhaling and then exhaling to generate most of the initial lift of the arms through the shoulders and upper chest, not the lower back. Holding for 3 to 5 breaths, rest and repeat
- On completion don’t forget to turn onto the back carefully bringing the knees together and in towards the chest as a counter movement, then supplement with a gentle supine twist.
Further increments and development can incorporate lifting the legs and variations of the arm positions, described in the article as the ‘I-Y-T’ movement to gradually develop more intensity as we gain more strength and flexibility in the back and spine.
The current series of Beginners Plus classes incorporate foundation exercises for the back and spine which can be performed simply at home or when travelling for ongoing health benefits, incorporating good technique to build strength and flexibility and help prevent injury.
See you in class soon!
Written by David Moore, Yoga Teacher at balance. David will be teaching the next four week block of Beginners Plus from Monday 30 April. If you are interested in booking, please contact reception on 0141 332 8800 or visit balance.co.uk.
Your data is important to usMay 25th, 2018
We know that you have probably been inundated with ‘GDPR’ emails but just encase you aren’t aware of what it’s all about, General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection of 1998 as of today, Friday 25 May 2018.
GDPR will significantly strengthen a number of rights: individuals will have more power to demand companies reveal or delete the personal data they hold about them.
You can find further information on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website
The Benefits of Regular StretchingApril 23rd, 2018
It’s not just massage that is good for you, partner assisted stretching is a real benefit. Remember to include basic stretches or even partner assisted stretching into your workout or daily routine.
Regular stretching has the following benefits:
- lengthens the muscle
- enhances muscular coordination and posture
- increases range of motion, energy and circulation
- reduces muscle tension
- and most importantly reduces the risk of injury
Stretching will help lengthen the muscles which will increase your range of motion, your body will require less energy to make the same movements and you will also have more flexibility in the joints thus reducing the likelihood of injuries acquired during workouts or during daily activities.
Muscles which are tight can cause bad posture, for example; tight chest muscles is one possible cause of rounded shoulders. Stretching the pecs and chest in conjunction with good back strengthening exercise routine. Strong back muscles will help pull the shoulders backwards reducing any slouch and will help keep the spine in a neutral position reducing any aches or pains.
With an increased blood flow to the muscles this will not only help reduce post-workout soreness and shorten recovery time, but it will improve overall health. Greater blood circulation helps promote cell growth and organ function. The heart rate will also lower since it doesn’t have to work as hard and blood pressure will become more even and consistent
There will be a larger supply of nutrients and vitamins to the muscles, thereby reducing muscle soreness and helping to speed recovery from muscle and joint injuries.
Written by Garry Saunders, Masseuse at balance. Gary recommends The Anatomy of Stretching by Brad Walker for anyone interested in learning more.
Garry practices massage at balance on Fridays 09:00 – 16:00. If you are interested in booking, please contact reception on 0141 332 8800.
Extending the Benefits of Your Yoga Practice with NutritionMarch 23rd, 2018
Ahhhh that feeling of calm and relaxation after a yoga session… Wouldn’t it be great if it could last longer? Well it can, through nutrition.
Both yoga and nutrition have the power to modulate your hormones and your brain chemistry.
Yoga exerts its relaxing and stress reducing effects mostly by modulating two substances in the body: it lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases the relaxing neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid).
So how can you achieve the same with nutrition?
How to lower cortisol:
Cortisol levels increase when blood sugar increases.
● Avoid or limit foods that spike blood sugar: refined flours and sugar found in white bread, pasta, biscuits, processed foods, coffee and alcohol.
● Increase fibers found in unprocessed whole foods that release energy slowly: sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans and whole fruits.
● Add proteins to every meal as they slow stomach emptying and keep you fuller for longer: organic meat and eggs, fish, beans, nuts and seeds.
How to increase GABA:
GABA is released when we drink alcohol, but luckily, we can achieve the same relaxing effect without the hangover.
● In order to produce GABA, your body needs vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. Make sure you include the following sources of these precious nutrients daily: Vitamin B6: salmon, lentils, spinach, sunflower seeds. Vitamin C: all colourful fruits and vegetables: papaya, peppers, broccoli, strawberries. Magnesium: pumpkin seeds, rainbow chard, cashews, cocoa, almonds. Zinc: sesame seeds, quinoa, shrimp, beans.
● Drink more tea: black and green tea contain the amino acid L-theanine which increases GABA production in the brain.
Want an extra boost? Don’t underestimate the power of herbs. Ashwagandha is a herb traditionally used in ayurvedic medicine, it has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, thereby reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
Namaste and bon appétit!
Written by Marie Pironneau, Nutritional Therapist at balance. Marie is offering free 15 minute consultations on Saturday 31 March. If you are interested n booking a slot, please contact reception on 0141 332 8800.
Another Good Reason to Drink Water: Hydrated Intervertabral Disc(s)February 7th, 2018
There are many reasons for experiencing back pain, one such cause, relates to the health of the spine’s Intervertabral Disc(s).
Intervertabral Discs (disc) make up one fourth of the spinal column’s length. They sit between the Vertebrae (bones), acting as cushions; the spine’s shock absorbing system. They protect vertebrae, brain, and other structures (i.e. nerves).
Discs are composed on an ‘outer’ Annulus Fibrosus and an ‘inner’ Nucleus Pulposus. Picture this arrangement as a donut with a jelly centre. The outer providing a strong radial support and the inner a movable gel-like matter.
Both the inner and outer tissues are composed of water, collagen, and proteoglycans (PGs). The water content can be as high as 88% in the nucleus pulposus, but varies throughout the day, depending on activity and hydration levels.
Help your Intervertabral Discs remain hydrated through a healthy, daily, intake of water.
Consider a glass in the morning, after eating and early evening.
Written by John-Paul Taylor, McTimoney Chiropractor at balance
12 Days of ChristmasDecember 20th, 2017
Wishing all students and patients a very merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!
All change at balance.co.ukDecember 1st, 2017
We love how this infographic shows how yoga transforms your body and we hope that our new website does the same for your experience when looking for treatment information or booking classes at balance.
We wanted to offer students more options and an easier way to book classes. When you click on the Book Yoga button you will be taken to our MINDBODY site. In the same way that you had to create an account to book classes on the old site, you will need to create a new log in. Once you have done this you can click on the relevant class that you are interested in and it will take you to an option to purchase a pass.
Yoga at balance is split into Classes, Courses and Workshops:
Classes run at the same time every week and to a term timetable of approximately 10 weeks, the first of 2018 being Mon 8 Jan – Sun 18 March. You can : attend the same class for a full term by purchasing a 10 week pass, a 10 Class| Flexi Pass allows you to select classes you want to attend within the term – you can select from Ashtanga Basics, General, Level 1, Level 2, Wake up Yoga, and Yin & Yang. There is also the option to purchase a Drop in if your diary doesn’t permit a regular practice.
Courses are a shorted block of classes (4-6 weeks) and include Beginners Start Up, Beginners Plus, Pregnancy Yoga and Post Natal yoga (mum and baby).
Workshops are specialist sessions and include our One Day Beginners Introduction and workshops run by our Principal Yoga Teacher, Gerry Kielty.
We appreciate the change can be difficult so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact reception on 0141 332 8800 or by email. We also welcome your feedback.
balance is growing…November 18th, 2017
In 2018, balance will be opening a new space at 114 Napiershall Street. This is an exciting time for us and we invite you to complete our short survey.
Within the new space, there is scope for a second studio, enhanced changing facilities, a fourth treatment room and an area to chat… Completing the survey will help us with ideas about the type of services and classes you would be interested in attending at balance.
There are six questions and it takes two minutes to complete.
Many thanks in advance for your suggestions 🙂