Yoga for the shoulder-neck area

According to one of my favorite new yoga websites, about 30% of Americans suffer from shoulder-neck complaints! Here you can find out interesting facts about the cervical spine and how you can do something good for your shoulder-neck area with yoga.

The neck is probably the most familiar structure of the shoulder-neck area. Its strength lies above all in its great mobility. Nowhere else are the individual vertebrae so freely movable against each other as in the cervical spine. A movable cervical spine allows quick orientation through fine movements of the head. This is important for our perception organs such as eyes and ears and also for our sense of balance. This mobility enables us to spontaneously move our head at the decisive moment in everyday life (e.g. when looking over our shoulder while driving a car, or when we are nimble at the ball).

Shoulder-neck tensions are often the result of constant, one-sided strain and lack of movement, in the sense of a lack of mobilization and flexibility of the shoulder-neck area. Especially long work at the computer promotes neck tension, because there is a connection between neck and eye muscles.

Here you can find a little experiment: Gently place your fingertips on the neck muscles and perform powerful twisting movements with your eyes. Do you feel how the neck reacts? Then you can probably imagine what happens in your neck when you sit in front of the screen for hours: Namely NOTHING! So rather rigidity and finally tension. Of course, the neck needs some relief! Because a healthy musculature which does not tend to tension, thrives in an interplay between varied stretching and tension.

Here is a little exercise that you can do wonderfully at your desk: Inhaling lift the shoulders up to the ears, exhaling let the shoulders slowly sink down again. Repeat this 4-6 times and connect the movement with your breathing rhythm. Let the movement flow and allow yourself to breathe deeply and calmly. You have all the time in the world! While exhaling, feel the relaxation in the shoulder and neck area.

If you want to do something good in this area in the long run or if you are already suffering from (chronic) shoulder-neck tension, it makes sense to establish a regular yoga routine. You will learn many exercises for shoulder-neck area courses Do something good for yourself and get on the mat. I am looking forward to you!

Beginner Tips for Yoga

For me personally, yoga is not a sport or fitness. It’s much more than that. A philosophy of life that adapts to me and my needs. Yoga strengthens my body and mind. Yoga helps me to feel good after my running sessions and reduces my muscle soreness. Yoga lets me start the day balanced and smiling and find my inner peace when things get hectic again. Since I have been practicing yoga, I have been perceiving my body more intensively and my back muscles regularly thank me with less pain in the lumbar region.

How I started Yoga

Just do it. Without thinking much about whether I could do something wrong, I downloaded an app (YogaStudio) on my mobile phone and started practicing yoga. Every morning for 10-15 minutes. I ordered books and attended various yoga classes to get tips. Anyone who can breathe can practice yoga. Yoga is not about the best pose, not about the “even higher” and “even more headstands”. It’s more about you and your body feeling comfortable. And you only learn that with patience and time. During my first yoga sessions I found it difficult to concentrate on breathing (breathing is important, if not the most important point in yoga). I’m still having a hard time. The important thing is not to put yourself under pressure. Because that’s exactly what you want to minimize through yoga. In a nutshell:

  • I downloaded an app onto my mobile phone and practiced 10-15 minutes of yoga every day. There are also some online programs, so check fitness reviews that can help you get started with yoga.
  • I ordered a yoga mat, a yoga bag, and a yoga block so that nothing would stand in the way of my yoga units.
  • I bought two yoga books and read through which exercises there are and how they affect body and soul.
  • I now take 15-30 minutes every morning and start the day with a yoga session.
  • I didn’t put myself under pressure and therefore didn’t work hard on being able to stand on my head or dislocate my leg optimally. I just wanted to feel what yoga was doing to me. There is no right and wrong. Everyone feels and lives yoga in their own way.

How my yoga burn session is structured

I have been told that there are no binding rules for what a yoga unit should look like. With Yoga I want to get my circulation going, stretch muscles, release blockages and “refresh” myself physically and mentally. I always start with a short meditation (either a breathing meditation or just sitting still and relaxed). Then comes the asana part. In this part, I practice the body exercises in harmony with breathing. The main aim is to strengthen the spine. Finally comes the Savasana part. The deep relaxation where I have fallen asleep one or the other time.

Here are some additional tips

1. look forward to the time with you!
Try to see your yoga practice as a gift to you, as a mini-retreat from everyday life – not as a point to tick off on your daily to-do list.

2. Be free of expectations!
An expectation quickly leads to disappointment. Yogis call it dhukha, suffering. And this is to be avoided by Yoga. I went to yoga classes to see different yoga styles, having no expectations of them. People who are free of expectations are satisfied with what is possible. Yogis say it creates immeasurable happiness.

3. Be patient!
A saying goes, “The grass doesn’t grow any faster when you pull it.” Those who respect their current abilities also practice in the sense of Ahimsa, non-violence, a very important principle on the yoga path. Besides, no master has fallen from heaven yet. They’re taking care of themselves.

4 Yoga is a work in – not a workout!
Attempt to be free of competition, performance or weight loss thoughts on the mat. Your yoga practice should help you to calm down and get to know yourself better. Mobility and a more muscular body are a nice side effect, but never the primary goal.

6. how to tell that you are practicing yoga correctly
The yoga sutra, one of the most important yoga scriptures, says: The posture must be stable and light, the breath must flow calmly and evenly, and the mind must be aligned. If one of the three criteria does not apply, you are either over- or under challenged. This is something I first learned from a yoga DVD.

7. practice and everything is coming
“Practice, the rest will come by itself,” said Patthabi Jois, the “inventor” of Ashtanga Yoga. What he meant by that: Practice – not result-oriented! That is practice for the joy of practicing, not to have to achieve something with it. If you succeed, then you will be richly rewarded. By the way, this is also called karma yoga, expectation-free action.

How I dress for yoga

Comfortable. I put on what I like and what I feel comfortable with. On the internet, I see again and again pictures of women wearing long trousers and a bra. Personally, I love these outfits on the beach. At home, I like to put on wide trousers and a wide top.

How I Found the Right Yoga Burn Teacher

You have to try it. And just don’t give up after the first time. I did yoga only once and what just wasn’t the right yoga teacher for me. Each teacher has his own style and you have to find out which style suits you best. Find a teacher who inspires you and gives you a good feeling.

Where I practice Yoga

Everywhere. Yoga can actually be practiced everywhere. I personally make sure that I practice yoga on a firm and level surface. On the beach, I am attracted by the sound of the sea, but often I am annoyed by the sandy underground. Especially at the beginning, you should choose a place where you feel comfortable when practicing. A place where you can switch off and not have to think about the dirty laundry and the finished dishwasher.

10 Tips for Fitness Newbies

Fitness - 2 WomanThe term fitness beginner is widely used to refer to the athlete who follows a regular fitness workout for less than 7 months. As a beginner, pay particular attention to learning a clean technique and movement execution. Wrong ambition is out of place here. Your joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments need the time to get used to them in order to adapt to the new strain.

With our 10 advice and tips, we want to make it easier for you to get started with fitness training and help you avoid the most common initial mistakes!

Tip (1) – Get enough sleep!

Athletes who have a hard time building muscles often cannot regenerate as well as other athletes. If they don’t get enough sleep every night, their progress will be seriously hampered. At least eight hours of sleep should be enough, better still nine. To train again immediately before the end of the regeneration phase will put even more strain on the body and prevent muscle build-up – that is not the goal. Pause, rest, regenerate and build muscles is the motto!

Tip (2) – Patience and consistency!

Building muscles takes time, whether you do it easily or not. It requires patience, consistency and a lot of work. This is a hard fight. When the whole thing stagnates after a few months of training, lifting heavier weights or incorporating new exercises into the training plan and eating even more. Just don’t give up. If the calorie intake and the training intensity are increased, then also better results show up!

Tip (3) – Don’t forget to warm up!

Always start by warming up your muscles first, as warm muscles with blood circulation can absorb stimuli from stress more quickly. Use one of the many cardio devices to warm up in a studio. A skipping rope or puppet exercises are ideal for at home, so that the entire body is warmed up quickly. Another popular warm-up method is to do 1-2 easy sets with 20 repetitions during the initial exercise. For example when pressing the bench with the empty bar. Such warm-up kits or exercises can be performed before painful
Keep injuries or muscle tears away!

Tip (4) – Train the right muscle groups at the beginning!

Always start by training the large muscle groups such as back, legs and chest! For fast muscle building, thigh, latisimus or chest exercises are particularly suitable. When training these muscle groups, you automatically train smaller and smaller muscle groups such as biceps, triceps or shoulders. Only after you have completely trained a large muscle group do you move on to a smaller muscle group. For example, if you first train your biceps and then your back muscles, you can no longer give one hundred percent because your bicep is already pretired, and because he is involved in the pulling exercises, the maximum weight can no longer be moved or used. Remember to always train large and then small muscle groups!

Tip (5) – Make sure you get enough regeneration!

In the meantime, it has been established that muscle build-up can only be sustained if there is sufficient time for regeneration. Therefore, always wait at least 48 hours or even more (which is especially recommended for beginners) before intensively training the same muscle again. It is also important to get enough sleep, because the regeneration of the muscles is most effective in a long lasting deep sleep. Remember that the muscle does not grow during training, but during the phase where you regenerate it. With the training you only give the muscle the stimulus to grow!

Tip (6) – Always pay attention to your diet!

Workout - Sit-upsMuscles grow particularly fast with an effective combination of training and nutrition! Always pay attention to protein-rich foods such as fish, high-quality carbohydrates such as whole grain rice and oat flakes, lots of vegetables and the right fats such as from nuts. A frequent intake of small meals is also important, as muscle building requires a lot and sufficient energy. The appearance of a feeling of hunger is an important sign that your muscles need new energy. For example, check the Internet or fitness magazines for the latest information on healthy nutrition for strength athletes, as these tips and hints are constantly changing due to new scientific research results!

Tip (7) – Create your own training plan!

The creation of an individual training plan for your muscle build-up, which exactly records on which days you want to train which muscles, is very important for beginners. When creating the plan, make sure that you never train the same muscles one after the other, but change muscle groups and exercises during the next workout. It’s best to get help from a professional to create a plan before you copy a plan from a professional bodybuilder that won’t take you any further or even lead you to overtraining!

Here you can find our training plans for muscle building or fat reduction for fitness beginners.

Tip (8) – The correct repetition range!

If you train with a repetition range that is too low, your muscle building cannot be optimally developed. If you train again with a too high repetition range, your muscle building can also not take place optimally! We recommend training in a repetition range of 8-12 repetitions! From time to time you can also do 6 repetitions during basic exercises such as bench press and 15 repetitions during isolation exercises such as butterfly!

Tip (9) – Avoid alcohol!

Alcoholic beverages have a high number of bad calories, slow down their metabolism and interfere with their hormonal balance! Alcohol also contains substances that lower protein synthesis and testosterone levels!

Tip (10) – Complete the basic exercises / compound exercises!

Basic exercises in weight training are knee flexion, bench press and crucifix lifting. With these 3 exercises, you train several muscle groups at once. With the knee bend there are muscle groups like the quadriceps, leg bits, gluteus as well as under back area and the trunk musculature. When pressing the bench it is the chest muscles, the shoulder muscles and the triceps muscles as well as the trunk muscles. With the exercise “dead lift” you train your complete lower body as well as the back muscles. The arms and shoulders are also included. Basic exercises should always be performed at the beginning of the workout!

These 10 tips and advice should make it easier for beginners to enter the fitness training world. Maybe these 10 tips have answered some of your questions on their own. Follow these tips and advice and nothing stands in the way of building up your muscles. Get to it – and do it right!