Yoga and Childhood Anxiety

September 3, 2019

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, anxiety is the leading health issue among children, even elementary school children. Sara Dimerman, a Toronto-based psychologist, told the CBC that school environment, peer pressure, and parental decisions may be at the root of increasing childhood anxiety.

What can parents do to support their child and reduce their anxiety? One study suggests that yoga may help.

Studying Yoga in Children with Anxiety

The study compared two groups of anxious third-grade children. One group received normal care for their anxiety, which included counseling from a social worker and other activities.

The second group of children received mindfulness instruction and participated in ten sessions of yoga for forty minutes before the start of school, over the course of either the fall or spring.

Results indicated that yoga had a positive effect on the children. Those third graders who participated in yoga and mindfulness had, on average, higher emotional quality of life and scored better on a psychosocial questionnaire than their peers who did not participate in yoga.

Researchers also engaged with teachers to discuss the benefits of yoga. Teachers found yoga to be a useful tool in the classroom. According to the study’s authors, teachers “reported using yoga more often each week, and throughout each day in class, following the professional development component of intervention.”

Other research has found that children receive similar benefits from yoga and mindfulness practices. Children with ADD or ADHD, Asperger’s, and depression may all see symptom improvement after yoga. Research also indicates that the emotional benefits of yoga and mindfulness may last for the long-term.

Yoga for Your Child

In the study, researchers designed a yoga program which included, “breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and several Vinyasa and Ashtanga poses appropriate for third graders.”

Our Hatha and Restorative yoga classes fit the bill, with gentle and calming movements that are meant to reduce anxiety and stress. Our yoga instructors can adjust these programs to be achievable for young children. You may also maximize the benefits of yoga by having your child attend classes at an especially stressful or challenging times in their life.

Generally, children tend feel more anxiety at the start of the school year, as well as when they transition into key school years such as grade three, six, and nine. The study’s authors chose grade three students precisely because this year is a challenging transition.

“Our initial work found that many kids expressed anxious feelings in third grade as the classroom work becomes more developmentally complex,” Bazzano said. “Even younger children are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, especially around test time.”

If your child is struggling with anxiety, or facing a challenge or transition, signing them up for a yoga class may help them self-regulate their mood and flourish. Contact us today for more information on our yoga programs for children.

Older adults can take advantage of the latest training equipment to better their health. Don’t worry, what we have in mind doesn’t require you install an app and doesn’t have a touch screen. However, it will target specific challenges older adults face, and will reduce your likelihood to fall. We’re talking about the TRX system and the suspension training it allows.

Advantages of Suspension Training

The TRX system hooks securely into the wall and has two elastic lines with secure handles on the ends. All exercises involve holding the handles with your hands or feet. The system can take the full weight of almost all people, which means that it is a built-in fall prevention mechanism. If you stumble while holding the TRX handles, the system will support you.

The TRX system provides resistance quite similar to free weights. However, it is much more flexible. You can adjust the intensity of the TRX workout on a moment’s notice, simply by walking closer to the wall for less challenge, and further away for a more intense workout. This saves you the trouble of switching out weights, including bending down to store one pair while you grab another.

While many seniors use the TRX system while standing, it can also adapt perfectly to exercise while laying down. This can help seniors who are recovering from falls to exercise their upper or lower body without risk of falling again. The system lends well to gentle, low-risk exercises that can help you maintain your strength when you otherwise may not have been able to.

In particular, seniors in downsized-homes or retirement complexes will appreciate that the TRX sytem doesn’t take up much space, especially when compared to other exercise equipment.

What Older Adults Can Achieve with Suspension Training

As suspension training gives seniors the benefits of weight training with reduced risks and greater flexibility, you can target many different aspects of health that are particularly important for seniors.

This includes:

  • Grip strength
  • Core strength
  • Ligament and tendon flexibility and strength
  • Overall balance and stability
  • Joint mobility
  • Bone strength
  • Gait
  • Posture

Many of these advantages, especially strength, cannot be well-developed by seniors in typical low-risk activities like swimming and cycling. Suspension training is a great option for seniors to get these rare benefits without adding to their fall risk.

Suspension training can also help reduce chronic pain. One study, conducted in Germany, found that after weeks of TRX training, 36 percent of the seniors reported their musculoskeletal pain had decreased.

Get Started with Resistance Training

At Absolute Pilates, we have the TRX system and the professional guidance you need to get started, safely. Learn the best TRX exercises for seniors in a safe environment and how to adjust the level of challenge to suit your ability. We can also teach you to target specific advantages that you need to improve your overall quality of life. Contact us anytime for more information on our TRX sessions.

The Best TRX Exercises

July 12, 2019

The TRX suspension trainer is an incredibly versatile tool. Using just this tool and gravity, you’re able to work out any part of your body, even in a small space. Plus, you can scale your TRX exercises to any fitness level and it will always engage your core.

On the other hand, the TRX is such a versatile tool that you might not know where to start with it. We thought we’d share the best TRX exercises we’ve found to help strengthen every part of your body and start or diversify your TRX workout.

Try These TRX Exercises:

  1. One Leg Squat

You can do normal squats with the TRX but to really take advantage of the extra stability the TRX lends you, try out one leg squats.

  • Step One: While holding the stirrups, lean backwards and raise one leg.
  • Step Two: Keep your back straight and core engaged while you squat with your other leg.
  • Step Three: Raise yourself. Repeat on the other leg.
  1. Inverted Row

Working both of your arms in a rowing motion couldn’t be simpler with the TRX suspension trainer.

  • Step One: Put your legs hip-width apart. While holding the stirrups, lean back.
  • Step Two: With your arms relaxed and straight, turn your palms to face each other.
  • Step Three: Keep your back and legs straight, and your core engaged, while you bend your elbows and pull yourself towards the anchor. Relax your arms and repeat.
  1. Lateral Lunge

Often when using TRX, people move backwards and forwards, but neglect to move sideways. Moving laterally is an important step to build and maintain your flexibility and symmetry.

  • Step One: Set your legs further apart than your shoulders. Point your toes forward.
  • Step Two: Hold the stirrups slightly in front of your shoulders.
  • Step Three: Keeping both feet planted, bend your right knee and sink down to the right.
  • Step Four: Use the handles to stabilize yourself as you lift back up to standing. Repeat on the other side.
  1. Rotational Ward

Ready to build core strength? A fan of yoga? This one is for you. It looks simple, but if you pull hard, you’ll challenge yourself.

  • Step One: Stand sideways instead of facing the anchor point.
  • Step Two: Put the foot closest to the anchor point forward and the other slightly back.
  • Step Three: Place your hands flat together. Place them in both stirrups.
  • Step Four: Push your hands forward, together. The further you go, the deeper the burn. Keep your core tight.

If you find any of these exercises too challenging, move your feet back from the anchor point. If you want to increase difficulty instead, step closer. In this way, the TRX suspension trainer grows with you, without having to add weights.

Interested in more instruction on how to use your TRX suspension trainer with proper form or in targeting a certain area of your body these exercises don’t cover? Contact us at Absolute Pilates. We can help you find the right exercise to accomplish your goals.

At Absolute Pilates, we offer both Pilates and yoga classes, so we often get asked about the difference between the two. While it’s true that they are quite similar, these workouts are different enough that most people have a strong preference for one over the other.

Here we’ll take a look at the key differences so that you can decide which type might be best for you.

The Core Differences

Pilates and yoga are both full-body workouts that focus on improving strength, flexibility, balance and breathing. However, Pilates focuses on the strength aspect, while yoga usually focuses more on flexibility and breathing. Most of the time when you’re in a Pilates class, you’ll be on the ground. In a yoga class, you’re more likely to be switching from standing to ground work, depending on the style.

Another key difference is that many people choose to practice yoga as part their spirituality. Even if you don’t choose to do that, you will still find most yoga classes are meditative and help you focus your mental energy on your goals. Not as many people consider adding their spiritual practices to Pilates, which tends to be more intense. Plus, Pilates involves counting reps and keeping track of sets, which doesn’t leave as much room to think.

You can learn even more about the differences between Pilates and yoga by reading about the specific kinds of classes we offer.

Pilates Classes

We offer several different Pilates classes which all offer something a little different: 

  • Osteo-Pilates: If you’re looking to add a little of that yoga flexibility and balance into your Pilates class, this might be right for you. While the class is designed to decrease the risk of fractures for those with Osteoporosis, anyone can participate and reap the benefits of better balance and bone health.
  • Stretch and Lengthen: This class also focuses on stretching more than your average Pilates class but has fewer bone health benefits than the Osteo-Pilates class.
  • Matwork Challenge: If instead you want to lean into the benefits of Pilates and improve your strength and endurance, this class will challenge you and even boost coordination.
  • Mom and Babies: After you give birth, you might be drawn to Pilates because of its focus on the core muscles, which need to recover and strengthen after your pregnancy. This class allows you to bring your little one and is a bonus bonding experience for both mom and baby!

Yoga Classes

Our yoga classes focus on those benefits that yoga does best, including breathing, focus and flexibility.

  • Hatha yoga: When most people think of yoga, they imagine Hatha yoga. It teaches beginner poses and focuses on breathing and calming to reduce cortisol and improve your focus.
  • Restorative yoga: This class is designed to align your body and mind with slow, purposeful movements that activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The benefits include lowered blood pressure and heart rate, lessening chronic pain and anxiety, and increasing oxygen levels in the blood.

There’s much to be said for the benefits of practicing both Pilates and yoga as you need both strength and flexibility to be healthy. If you’re ready to sign up for a class, feel free to register here.

benefits of massage therapy

Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing and therapeutic massage? If you have an injury or condition that impacts your physical wellbeing, you may consider pursuing massage therapy to promote healing. Few people realize that massage therapy provides so many benefits for the body, mind and soul.

Heal Your Body

Traditionally, people seek massage therapy when they have an injury or an illness to treat. There are a wide array of targeted massage therapy techniques available and depending on the method you choose, massage therapy can help you recover from a variety of diverse health conditions and injuries. For example, sports massage can help restore your range of motion, strengthen weakened muscles, extend and relax tendons and much more.

Another popular kind of massage therapy is trigger point massage. It helps with conditions that involve nerve pain, including:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetes
  • Repetitive movement injuries
  • Pain from poor posture
  • Nerve compression causing back and leg pain.

Other forms of massage therapy can also treat:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Post operative pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Problems from sitting at your desk.

Massage therapy can increase your circulation, which boosts your cardiovascular health and supports you as you seek to improve your health or performance.

Support Your Mind

Massage therapy isn’t just a physical treatment, there are powerful mental and emotional benefits as well.  According to the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario, massage therapy reduces:

  • Stress and stress related conditions
  • Symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Massage therapy has such a positive impact on your mental well-being that cancer patients are using it to support them through chemotherapy and other difficult treatments. Massage therapy can reduce their nausea, fatigue, and depression. Those with other serious conditions, like Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, or those receiving hospice care also use massage therapy to increase their quality of life.

Those who are not suffering from a serious condition or a mental health disorder will still enjoy the effects massage therapy has on their mind. It helps you to sleep better, relax and can make your more productive in other areas of your life.

Express Your Soul

Massage therapy hasn’t traditionally been an aspect of many Western religious or spiritual practices, so few have considered incorporating it into their spiritual life. But elsewhere in the world, the spiritual potential of massage therapy has been noticed and praised. Ancient Chinese and Indonesian massage therapy practices closely intertwine spirituality with physical touch. In Hawaii, a spiritual practice of giving and receiving massage, called Lomilomi massage, is used as an effective treatment to heal the mind and body.

Perhaps it’s this knowledge of the long tradition of religious massage therapy in the East that has inspired Westerners to try incorporating massage into their own practice. Many spiritual communities now offer or encourage massage therapy as a way to connect with one’s soul or strengthen one’s beliefs. There is even a Christian Massage Network that offers massage as “a union of physical and spiritual healing for the mind, body, and soul.” If you’re a spiritual or religious person, you may find nourishment for your soul on the massage table.

Contact us at Absolute Pilates and schedule a massage to see what physical, mental, or spiritual benefits message therapy can offer you.  

Baby

Being a Mommy to a new baby is a demanding job! From managing feedings and nap time, to comforting them when they cry, to soaking up all the beautiful moments – it can be difficult to find time to focus on your health.

Are you struggling to find enough free time for yourself to exercise? Do you often feel tired and sluggish from not getting enough active minutes in a week? Are you hoping to put your health first? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you ABsolutely need to try one of our Mommy and Me Pilates classes!

At Absolute Pilates, our Mommy and Me Pilates Class is specifically targeted to women who have recently had a baby. The best part?! Your baby will have just as much fun as you do.

FitnessExplore the Many Benefits of a Mommy & Baby Pilates Class

Our Mommy and Me Pilates class is all about making Moms from all walks of life feel confident and comfortable. We do this by offering a program that is geared towards different ability and experience levels.

Whether you were a Pilates pro before you got pregnant or have never tried it before – our classes are geared towards your unique ability level.

Your post-natal body is a representation of the beautiful little being you created and we aim to help you stay healthy and active while achieving your individual body goals, whatever they may be. Our class is designed to safely target areas that new moms are usually most interested in working on (like regaining strength and muscle tone in the pelvic floor, back, and abs).

Our experienced instructors are moms themselves – they know that having a baby is a 24/7 job and can help you meet your fitness goals through safe, post-natal exercises in an accepting and fun environment. Need to take a break to feed? Or change a diaper? No problem! You’ve got our full support and understanding.

Meet Other Moms

In addition to the fitness component, our Mommy and Me Pilates class is a great way to get out in the community and meet other new moms. Being a new Mom can sometimes be an isolating experience, especially during the winter months, but our class is a warm, welcoming place to meet other women with shared experiences.

Your child will have fun too and enjoy the opportunity to interact and meet other babies. Mommy and Me Pilates is sure to brighten your spirits during this cold and grey weather!

Model Healthy Habits

Demonstrating healthy habits to your child from a young age is important. Children who see their parents valuing and prioritizing their health and fitness are more likely to do so themselves.

Love Your Body

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes! Our goal is to help you fall back in love (or stay in love) with your body. With a diverse range of exercises, our overall focus is on health and wellness through a participatory and adaptable approach.

Get started on your path to a healthier, happier lifestyle for you and your little bundle of joy. Contact us today to register in our Mommy and Me Pilates Class. We look forward to meeting you and your little one.

Ready to Try TRX?

January 22, 2018
TRX

Are you interested in trying a different approach to exercise and exploring new ways to get fit? Have you considered combining cardio with strength training to sculpt your muscles and achieve incredible results, based on your own personal fitness level and at your own pace? If so, TRX training may be just what you are looking for.
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Namaste Your Way

December 29, 2017
Yoga

We all have an image of yoga practitioners gracefully flowing into a pretzel-shape, and pausing for a deep breath. Some people make it look so easy you might wonder, is yoga really exercise? Oh yes! (more…)