Yoga Photo Shoots Are Lots of Fun

Jim Campbell, of OmLight Photography does lots of yoga photo shoots, mainly in the Boulder, CO area. A few months ago, July 7th, 2010 to be exact, Michelle (my fiance) first heard about Jim from an ad he placed on Facebook asking for volunteers to appear in a group Wheel Pose photo shoot and she really wanted to participate so I went with her to record some video.

The amount of people who actually showed up compared to the number who put themselves on the list as “coming” was disappointing, but the whole morning was super-fun. Jim didn’t want the girls to jump right into the wheel pose without warming up so he offered a free 45 minute yoga class in Chautauqua Park.

I was peer-pressured into taking part by the girls and Jim, so I didn’t get any of that recorded, but his assistants took some photos which you can see here. I’ve never taken part in any yoga class before because I’ve only done routines from P90X, Rodney Yee, or printed out from the web so that was a new experience for me. It was great having a new teacher with all new moves, some of which I could barely get through, and all while doing it outside on a beautiful cool Saturday morning in the grass. It felt great.

After everyone was warmed up, we all rolled up our yoga mats and headed up to the hiking trails to begin the photo shoot. Check out the video below to see how Jim got the girls prepared. Scroll down if you want to skip ahead to see video of the actual shoot.

In case you’re wondering where I’m at, I didn’t participate because I was recovering from a recurring back injury. There was no way I was going to try the wheel at that time. I can barely do it anyway. Once everyone was in place they all stretched into wheel pose as far as they possibly could while Jim and his two assistants took photos. Check it out.

Jim puts together lots of interesting photo shoots, such as in the dark, underwater, and in other crazy landscapes, so if you live in Colorado follow his Omlight Photography Facebook page and take part in his next shoot for a free class and fun times.

My Review of Power Yoga Strength with Rodney Yee

I just received a new Rodney Yee yoga video in the mail the other day from Gaiam and I have to say that I love it already. Power Yoga Strength with Rodney Yee (my cover doesn’t look like this one, so I’m not sure if it’s the same one), is kinda short at only 24 minutes, but it was designed as a beginners video for strength in Yoga. The only yoga I’ve done designed to build strength was from the P90X program, so this was a very welcomed change because I’ve actually grown kinda bored with Yoga X. I have been doing it for about 2 years now after all. What do you expect?

One thing that Rodney Yee doesn’t do is waste time. Although the video is a beginners video, he flies through the workout like you should already know all the moves. It’s not all that difficult, especially the second time through, but it would have been nice to have a slower introduction. The 30 minute video was done in a snap though because it was so much fun. After becoming more familiar with the routine, the pace seems much more doable. I’d definitely like to upgrade to tougher workout after this one.

In terms of building strength, I don’t think this video is any competition to the P90X Yoga X routine, but Yoga X is an advanced program. I haven’t tried an advanced strength program from Rodney Yee, so it’s not fair for me to compare the two. I can say however, that I’m going to continue enjoying this Rodney Yee video for a while. Check out the video below for the first five minutes of me doing of the workout at normal speed or check the second video to see the whole thing in high speed.

Here’s the full video of me doing the routine in high-speed

Build a Healthy Diet With Colorful Foods

I read a lot of various fitness blogs and follow plenty of people working in the fitness industry via Twitter and Facebook, and I can’t say that I remember anyone ever really mentioning anything about designing a healthy diet around the color of your foods.

That is until Bob Harper brought the contestants into his home and one of his tips was to eat a colorful diet. He mentioned that eating a diet that consisted of a broad spectrum of colors is healthy, because those colors are nutrients. He said bland and boring colored foods don’t contain the nutrients your body needs.

Since then, I’ve been seeing articles all over the place about this. I’m guessing Bob’s words have had quite an impact. In fact, before the Broncos game yesterday, Brady Quinn mentioned that eating colorful foods is the best way to maintain a healthy diet.

Here are couple of interesting articles I’ve found on the topic. Both of these talk more about specific foods and the benefits they provide based on their color. The third link leads to the video from the Biggest Loser.

Yoga or Weight Lifting – Should You Do Only One?

I just came across a great post from the Gaiam Life site about the question of being able to build muscle doing only yoga. Short answer – of course you can. Whether or not you should do it depends on the goals you have for your body. You have to understand that doing yoga allows you only to lift your body weight, so if you’re looking to build mass, you should instead be lifting weights.

Check out the article “Can Yoga Replace Strength Training?” for a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of choosing one training method over the other. Personally, I like to do both. I love doing yoga for strength, flexibility and relaxation. I lift weights because I want to build mass.

image courtesy of lululemon athletica

Exercise Can Make You Feel Full

You may have recently read one of my latest posts about how water can help you lose weight, with one theory being that it controls hunger by leaving you feeling full. Well as it turns out, a new study led by researchers at the University of Campinas in Brazil shows that exercise can do the same thing. The study shows that exercise restores the sensitivity of the neurons that help control satiety, which leads to a reduction in food intake and eventually weight loss.

It has been suggested by health experts that the neurons that control satiety in the brain send failed signals to the hypothalamus when a person consumes excessive amounts of fat. This results in uncontrollable food intake and obesity in more than 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

The subjects of the study, obese rodents, showed a decreased intake of food after exercise, due to signals of restored satiety in the neurons controlling their hunger. For a more scientific reason, the study showed that exercise increased IL-6 and IL-10 proteins levels in the brain, which increase sensitivity of the insulin and leptin hormones. These hormones control appetite.

This study shows just how important it is to include regular exercise into your daily life. Controlling both your satiety and burning calories is key to beating and/or preventing obesity.