February 13, 2014
YAX is Plant Strong!
We didn’t coin the term, and no, we didn’t make it up! We just LIVE IT and LOVE IT!
What does “Plant Strong” mean?
Plant Strong is a nutrition philosophy that consists of getting most of our nutrients from plant-based meals. We don’t like to commit to the term “Vegan” because it doesn’t really describe our beliefs in nutrition. We eat mostly meals and snacks that come directly from whole foods. For example, we eat a TON of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, grains, etc. You would be amazed at all the vitamins, nutrients and protein God’s green earth has provided for us. That’s right, I said protein–protein from plants. We’ll dive deeper in to that in another blog post.
Although we were raised with extremely healthy eating habits, we haven’t always been plant strong. We grew up in Texas. Let’s face it. We have had MORE than our fair share of meat–steak, BBQ, chicken, fish. You name it, we have probably eaten it. We have dabbled in many different diets and fads–Body for Life, Paleo, Low-Carb and even Juicing–we’ve been there, done that. In fact, we love meat. It tastes so good, right?
So, why give up animal products?
Ultimately, the “casein” that is found in all animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) is the #1 culprit of most diseases and ailments we suffer from as a modern population. Intense, right? Unbelievable, right? Keep reading.
Over the past few years, we have expanded our library and have collected tons of research on this thing called plant-based eating. We have found it to be mind-blowing, invigorating and down right successful. We feel great, we look great, our skin is glowing and our immune systems are strengthening.
It all started with a documentary called Forks Over Knives. As we eagerly watched, we were overwhelmed with the plethora of information, scientific data and research. Learning about “The China Study” and being introduced to Dr. Colin T. Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn were the main components in our decision to become plant strong. The research these pioneers have done is truly the most impressive information we have ever learned. If you haven’t watched this film, do yourself a favor. Buy it on Amazon, watch it on Netflix, whatever it takes. It will change your life.
Since then, we have prepared countless recipes for ourselves, family and friends. We’ve played around with throwing an animal product in the mix and indulging in the occasional cupcake or glass of wine. That being said, we can safely call ourselves “Flexitarians”! But, the bottom line is our diets our mostly PLANT STRONG. We walk it, live it, breathe it, support it and suggest it.
Ready to make the change?
Contact us for more information on nutrition. We provide literature, guidelines, suggestions, recipes, grocery lists and personalized meal plans. C’mon! Pick up your fork and join us on this journey of eating as much nutrient dense food as you want. Trust us. It’s filling and delicious!
February 12, 2014
Hey Spring Branch Yogi’s!
We are excited to announce that we will continue teaching classes at the West Transition Campus Gym starting on March 4th, 2014! The second 6 Week Session will run from March 4th – April 17th, with no classes during Spring Break due to the gym being unavailable. We really have been loving the energy in the class and the progress everyone has been making. We are excited to see the continued improvement and it has encouraged us to become better teachers! Each individual has inspired us in their own way, so have been working on ways to better ourselves and our teaching style. We attended the Texas Yoga Conference in January to learn more ways to deepen the stretch in the hips, where we hold all of our anger, stress and fears. We were able to bring back what we learned to our Spring Branch Yogi’s and shared the wealth of knowledge with them!
We really want to take advantage of the size of the gym we are using by bringing more people, sweat and energy into the room! Our goal is to have a minimum of 20 yogi’s in the gym each class! So we are offereing a special deal for you…If you sign up and get a friend/co-worker to sign up for the 2nd 6 week session, we will offer you $10 off on your next package! So start spreading the word, and we will see you and a friend on the mat on March 4th!
To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you will be bringing your awesome self! 🙂
January 27, 2014
Due to the winter storm warning in Houston, we are canceling class for tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28th at 6 PM. Houston experienced hundreds of accidents last Friday and we do not want a repeat of that. Please stay safe, bundled up and off the roads, if possible. We will attempt to reschedule this class permitting schedules and facility availability.
And, since you will be all snuggled in to your warm home on Tuesday night, break out your yoga mat and give us 12 sun salutations! C’mon! You can do it! Relax into savasana and get a good nights sleep. 🙂
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. See you all on Thursday! Have a great week!
Patricia & Kalynn
January 7, 2014
Yoga Athletex is excited to announce a partnership with the Spring Branch Employee Wellness Program. Our wonderful mom, Darlene Evans, teaches in Spring Branch ISD, and has told us nothing but great things about their programs. We always knew we wanted to start with Spring Branch ISD, and we are excited to kick-off 2014 with a beginner yoga series for SBISD administrators.
As athletes, we bring a unique athletic aspect to our teaching style based on experience–don’t be surprised if class sometimes feels like a workout rather than a breathing session! Don’t get us wrong, we strongly believe in proper breathing and in getting the body to fully relax. This task is much harder than most would think.
Whether you are a teacher, administrator, secretary, janitor, parent or student, your mind is constantly spinning all day on what you need to do and get done. Yoga Athletex offers a class that allows you to escape your thoughts for an entire hour and learn how to focus on you! Yes, you!
We want you to enjoy this class. Working out should not be a drag! Lots of workouts are. We get it. We are hoping you will enjoy our yoga with body weight strength building classes to leave you feeling good about yourself, your body and your mind.
The first 6 weeks course will be for all levels, focusing on proper technique for beginners. We will work on similar movements for you to become familiar and comfortable with this type of workout, while also challenging you to new things. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Be sure to let us know you if you have any injuries ahead of time so we can make sure we have modifications and recommendations for you! Remember, listen to your body. It is yours, not anyone else’s. So get ready to push yourself to new levels this semester and learn how to LOVE your body!
SBISD Six-Week Yoga Course
December 4, 2013
Yoga offers tremendous health and wellness benefits for everyone. As a means of therapy, Yoga is becoming increasingly popular among athletes and sports enthusiasts. Here are 5 key reasons why Yoga can be beneficial for those involved in sports and athletic training programs.
1) Yoga enhances recovery – most vigorous sport activities generate lactic acid in muscle tissue. If lactic acid is not removed properly, it can adversely affect performance in future training sessions or events. Yoga exercises can help in the removal of lactic acid by gently circulating lactic acid out of muscle tissue and into the blood stream where it will make its’ way to the liver for processing. Yoga also has shown to improve sleep patterns. Proper rest and ample sleep are critical periods for an athlete’s recovery process.
2) Yoga restores balance and can help reduce injury. Many sport activities are dominant on one side of the body due to specific movements and joint loading. This mechanical dominance can create musculoskeletal imbalances that can generate chronic injuries. Yoga can be beneficial in reducing these tissue and joint imbalances.
3) Yoga improves biomechanics and energy conservation. Moving a joint requires energy. The more tension one has around that joint, the more energy is required to facilitate that movement. The goal of athletes is to have maximum performance with the most energy conservation. Yoga exercises that improve flexibility and joint range of motion reduce muscle tension and enhance sport biomechanics. This enhancement reduces the amount of energy needed for those movements, thus allowing an athlete to perform at higher levels and/or longer intervals.
4) Yoga improves body awareness and focus. Yoga employs physical and mental exercises that deepen one’s sense of body positioning and movement (proprioception). Enhanced proprioceptive skills are crucial in the development and progression of athletic training. Yoga’s use of breathing and centering techniques can be valuable tools for event preparation, routine and skill visualization, as well as stress/anxiety reduction.
5) Yoga improves breathing function. Yoga exercises, particularly pranayam exercises, have been shown to improve breathing mechanics and lung capacity. Focused breathing exercises develop one’s ability to maximize function of all breathing mechanisms (diaphragm and intercostal breathing). Maximal lung health is vital for athlete’s, especially for those who partake in aerobic-based sports and require efficient lungs to deliver sufficient oxygen uptake.
Caution for athletes doing Yoga. Although Yoga offers great benefits, athletes should be mindful of the type of Yoga they do and how it is integrated into their training program. For example, some styles of Yoga can be very vigorous (vinyasa yoga) or have dehydrating effects (Hot Yoga). An athlete adding Yoga to their program needs to insure that the style of Yoga does not introduce over-training or other adverse effects. As qualified coaches/trainers, we know how best to integrate Yoga into a training routine, keeping in mind the cycling of events and peak training periods.
Athletes can be too flexible! As much as one can see the benefit of being flexible, keep in mind that joints need stability. Over-training flexibility can reduce the ability of muscles, tendons, and ligaments to stabilize joint structures. Understand the nature of joint loading that is involved in particular sports and be mindful to not overuse Yoga flexibility exercises on those joints.
Finally, it may be easy for some athletes to try Yoga for the first time and feel they can jump into intermediate to advanced postures. Just like the sport they are coming from, they took years to build a foundation of where they are in that sport. This same approach should be applied with Yoga. Athletes, regardless of fitness level, should start with beginner classes so they build a foundation of all aspects of the practice: basic posture alignments, breathing techniques, and meditation applications. Many intermediate and advanced Yoga classes are taught in a manner that assume students have these foundations in place. Therefore, by skipping beginner programs, an athlete will miss out on crucial foundation elements.
Article by Kreg Weiss, BHKin
November 19, 2013
As yoga coaches for athletes, we pay special attention to each athlete’s individual needs. Sport specific training is very intense and we understand the different needs and abilities required for each sport and all different body types. Sport training can provide strength in some areas and weaknesses in others. Flexibility is a common necessity that is missing from most athletes. Flexibility is key in performing well. We are here to provide you with the appropriate guidelines for incorporating flexibility and balance training in your practice.
Guideline #1: Understand the Athlete’s Body
Athlete is a broad term, covering everyone from high school cheerleader to professional football player. Each sport will produce a different type of athlete.
Baron Baptiste, who has taught yoga to many professional athletes and who spent five years on the coaching staff at the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, sees one common theme in athletes’ bodies: one-dimensionality. “There is a lot of overdevelopment in certain areas, and in other areas there is underdevelopment,” he says.
We are here to help our students adapt to their practices to suit their individual needs, regardless of being on a team.
Guideline #2: Use Proper Sequencing for Athletes
Classes should be designed with a goal in mind. Classes should always begin with a warm up. Regardless if the athlete is already warm from practice, yoga will loosen up joints and muscles not used in the typical sport specific training. The middle of the class will help to build the athlete up to particular strength and flexibility poses, such as sun salutations and standing poses. A cool down is even necessary in yoga. Some cool downs can consist of a mindful practice, recognizing your core purpose and acknowledging your bodies capabilities.
Guideline #3: Treat Injured Athletes Kindly
As former athletes, we began our yoga practice as a healing mechanism. Most athletes will resort to yoga when all else fails. This is great because yoga practice can truly be medicinal. However, we are here to incorporate this practice to prevent you from ever having to resort to ONLY yoga practice.
The tightness of muscles an athlete acquires from rigorous sport training leads to risk of injury. While yoga is not a quick fix, a steady, committed practice will aid in prevention.
Guideline #4: Discourage Competition in Class
I know all too well that this is a very hard concept to grasp for athletes. Competition is primarily the focus of all sports. However, yoga practice is an individual practice to help you personally grow physically and mentally. Yoga’s emphasis on mental focus and being in the moment has direct application to sport. One very important factor of yoga is requiring you to focus. Focus plays a huge role in all sports. You must learn to block everything out and focus on a free throw, or standing at the starting line on a track. Learning to focus on yourself in yoga will increase your mental capacity to focus in a game.