Looking to get flexible fast with yoga?
So you’ve started your yoga journey and realized just how inflexible you are.
Or maybe you just decided to do a little stretching this morning and noticed just how far away your toes are.
Maybe you have chronic aches and pains that led you to look into yoga and flexibility to heal them. Either way, you have come to the right place.
While there is no magic pill or magic stretch for increasing your flexibility overnight, there are tips, tricks, and methods that you can practice to get more flexible, faster.
Before we begin, we’d want to advise you not to compare your degree of flexibility and growth to that of others.
Individuals are born with varying degrees of flexibility, and some people have to work MUCH HARDER than others to get it (myself included).
It’s fantastic to have a buddy or renowned yogi to look up to and push you but keep in mind that this is your path and you should only compare your development to yourself.
1. Establish clear goals and use them to motivate yourself.
What is your motivation for attempting to become more flexible? Is it because you want to try your hand at the splits? Is it because you saw a specific stance and knew you had to be able to pull it off? Is it because you need to get rid of your lower back pain?
Find your cause and make it your aim. Allow it to encourage you to go on your mat and stretch every day.
The most important objective I’ve had since starting yoga is to be able to do the splits. I am pretty tall and extremely stiff, particularly with the hamstrings. I have to work on it EVERY DAY, but I do it because I want to get there and know that with practice, I can!
2. Determine which yoga postures and stretches are most appropriate for your goals.
There are several locations where you may improve your flexibility, as well as numerous yoga postures and stretches to help you get there. That being said, certain positions will help you get there faster and will be worth your effort more than others.
Some fundamental yoga positions for flexibility are listed below:
- Hamstrings: Forward Bend, Head-to-Knee Forward Bend, Half Splits
- Hips: Pigeon Pose, Crescent Lunge
- Back: Cobra Pose, Upward-Facing Dog, Camel Pose, Bow Pose
- Chest and Shoulders: Puppy Pose
3. Practice, Practice, Practice.
The following are some of the most often asked questions about stretching and flexibility:
- How frequently should I stretch?
- How much time should I spend stretching?
I wish there was a magic number I could tell you. I know I was seeking for it as I began my quest toward flexibility. The fact is that it all depends.
It all depends on how quickly you want to attain your objectives. It all depends on whether you become sore from stretching. It all depends on how much time you want to devote to it. Let us discuss about it…
How frequently should I stretch? If you want significant and measurable effects, you should stretch AT LEAST 3 times each week at a moderate degree of exertion. You should stretch every day if you want FAST results.
Some days may require longer and more intensive stretching than others, but you should warm up your muscles in some form at least once every day.
How much time should I spend stretching? Again, this is entirely up to you, however, stretching EACH muscle for AT LEAST 30 SECONDS is advised if you want to see significant improvements.
It’s much better if you can stretch one muscle group for at least one minute at a time. For example, because my aim is to perform the splits, I spend at least 1 minute in every stretch or position I do for my hamstrings and hips (because flexibility in both is necessary for the splits).
When stretching, extend as far as you can comfortably and hold the stance. When your body has adjusted and you feel the tension easing, try stretching a little more. Continue this method for the next 30 seconds to a minute.
You will likely experience mild soreness some days, but this is normal and does not mean that you have to stop stretching. Slowly ease into the stretch the next day, and the soreness will dissipate.
Be aware though that pain is not normal and means that you may have pulled a muscle. Make sure to start slowly, and listen to your body. Ease up when you feel any pain. An injury will set you back for weeks or even months.
It seems a little time-consuming, right? Well, this leads to our next point…
4. Let the TV be your accountability partner.
Yogis everywhere may cringe at those words, because yoga is supposed to be all about quiet time, meditation, etc. Well yes, that is true…
But I have to say, when you are working long and hard on your flexibility and repeating the same or similar stretches every single day, it can sure get BORING sometimes…
I find that it helps me to watch an hour-long episode while I stretch. It’s a good break from work, and it helps to keep me accountable to work out the full hour that the show is on.
Just make sure that you are still concentrating and focusing enough on the poses and your body. It should not be something that is so engaging or distracting that you can’t focus on your body and your goals.
5. Take progress photos.
I can’t stress this point enough. Please don’t read over it and discount it immediately. It has been THE most invaluable tool throughout my flexibility journey.
Photos serve as hard evidence that you ARE making progress. Flexibility can feel like slow work, and it can be very frustrating at times.
It can be enough to make you want to quit because you feel like you are getting nowhere.
I felt like that during my splits journey. I was forced to take a progress photo once, and I was blown away by how close I was! It didn’t feel like it at all. The problem was that I just couldn’t SEE it myself. This also helped to motivate me to work even harder!
Try taking photos every 2 weeks or so to see how quickly you are progressing. You can keep them on your phone or post them to Instagram (which is the best option, because you can compare your photos much easier, and they won’t get lost in your phone library).
6. Use props.
A yoga strap was another useful item I employed. It allows you to access difficult-to-reach areas and keeps your body properly oriented until you get the flexibility to go there without it.
A yoga block is another useful item. This one can also assist in ensuring that your body is correctly aligned and that your form is perfect till you have the flexibility to reach the ground. It’s also excellent for stretching.
They are both easy tools that can make a huge difference at the beginning of your practice!
7. Use a structured program FOR flexibility.
It can be a little overwhelming and very frustrating to get the process started, stay motivated, and stay on the right track.
I know that when I started, I was trying to work on everything at once. There were so many poses with so many different benefits. I ended up getting barely better at everything rather than much better at my goals.
Good luck in your journey, and if you appreciate this post on the 7 simple steps to get flexible fast with yoga then please leave any comments or questions you may have below!
How to Lose Weight if You Weigh 200 pounds or More
ÌIf you weigh over 200 pounds, this is probably a journey that you have attempted multiple times with no success.
But I’m here to tell you that the past does not matter. Only the present.
We’ve know that this amount of weight gain — the dreaded 200-lb mark — comes with a lot of emotional pain and baggage.
We’ve heard every story in the book from our clients:
- Not being able to keep up with your kids or grandkids in the yard
- Having to ask for an extender for an airplane seat
- And just the general weakness and fatigue that comes with that amount of weight
But there’s no need to blame yourself or anything else for this.
Let’s move forward and work on letting go of the dead weight — without the skepticism, misconceptions, and emotional blocks that we have carried with us from the past.
Let’s focus on the present and what you want from your future, including…
- Where you are going in your life?
- Where do you WANT to go? Who do you WANT to be?
- Think of all the things you have yet to experience in life…
The present is the only thing that you have power over anyway.
This process will take some time, but you WILL get there.
With the right mindset and the right tools.
I can promise you that and so can our clients, some of which have lost over 100 pounds with the steps I’m about to share with you.
Let’s take the journey to ONEderland together!
Here are seven basic steps you need to take.
1. Don’t Worry About Exercise (For Now)
Ummm what??? Is that a typo???
Exercise actually plays a pretty minor role in weight loss compared to diet.
In fact, a study done by Current Biology took 322 adults from 5 different countries through a calorie reduction weight loss program. They split the groups between those that did exercise and those that did not.
Shockingly enough, adding in exercise did not play ANY major role in calories burned or weight lost. And for those that saw changes, they were minor at best.
Instead of burning out your motivation trying to get that dreaded exercise in, save it for what really matters: what you are EATING.
Focus 100% of your efforts on what you are putting INTO your body.
Exercising will unnecessarily stress the joints, cause cravings, and is too much of a risk at 200+ pounds. And it’s often just not worth the willpower at the beginning of long weight loss journey.
We do, however, encourage going on daily walks and spending time outdoors, which is good for your health for a variety of reasons.
Only once you have established some healthy eating habits have reached some consistency with your diet should you worry about adding in more intensive exercise.
P.S. We’re not in any way saying exercise doesn’t help or doesn’t matter. Because it absolutely is.
We’re just being realistic about where your results are really coming from and what you should focus on in the beginning.
2. Do NOT Obsess Over Calories
This is another crucial mistake most people make when they weigh over 200 pounds.
You’ve likely tried a LOT of different diets and tried counting calories on more than one occasion.
It sucks, right? And it’s just no way to live, really.
It’s really helpful to be knowledgeable about where your calories come from and what’s inside the food that you’re eating.
But here’s the thing…
When you focus on eating the right foods, you don’t ever have to count a single calorie again.
But here’s the other thing with that and the reason why you may not have lost weight even when you were eating the right foods and counting your calories…
At 200 pounds, your body’s hormones hormones are likely pretty severely damaged due to the weight gain.
You’re likely suffering from high cortisol, excess estrogen, critically low testosterone, and insulin resistance, among others.
This actually causes our bodies to not be able to process ANYTHING efficiently — even the healthy foods.
We’ll discuss more about why this is and how to fix it in a moment.
3. Do NOT Make Small Changes and Expect Big Results
“Everything in moderation.”
Some fitness gurus will lure you in with this so that they can entice you with being able to still eat your desserts while dieting.
Minor changes will lead to minor results.
No, we’re not going to tell you that you have to give up sweets and all the things that you love forever.
But if you want to be serious about losing weight because you’ve gained a serious amount of weight — you need to make some serious adjustments.
According to the latest science, militant diets win out vs. standard diets. Those who lose the most weight in the first 2-4 weeks of dieting have the greatest weight loss results in the following year (1).
Therefore, losing weight fast will better impact you in both the short-term and the long-term. The most effective thing you can do is actually a cold turkey approach.
Would you rather lose 7-10 pounds in a week or lose 7-10 pounds over the next 2 months?
Losing weight FAST and seeing those results immediately is what will keep you moving forward.
Trust us on this one.
4. Heal Your Digestive Tract
Echoing what we addressed earlier about your body not being able to process even healthy foods properly anymore…
When your gut health is compromised, it loses the ability to absorb nutrients.
Your gut becomes “leaky,” and no, this isn’t just something that happens to people with digestion problems.
This happens to the vast majority of people who weigh 200 pounds and could stand to lose at least 100 of that.
The good news is that you can heal your leaky gut fairly easily.
Add some apple cider vinegar to your diet, a good probiotics supplement daily, and start eating the right foods.
The supplement will help kill bad bacteria and promote the growth of healthy bacteria alongside your healthy diet.
And on that note about what you should be eating…
5. Eat High-Quality Protein at Every Meal
One thing we know for sure is that most people that are trying to lose weight when they weigh over 200 pounds is that they almost never are getting in enough protein in their diet.
If they were, overeating would be nearly impossible. You would be too full from the protein and satisfied to eat more of the bad things.
Try eating 100 grams of protein for day, with plenty of healthy, fiber-rich vegetables to help you digest it, and see how hungry you are throughout the day.
Protein is the absolute best food for aiding in weight loss and helping you build muscle (which in turn burns fat faster).
Here are some recommendations:
- Lean chicken breast
- Grass-fed beef
- Whole eggs
- Low-carb protein powder
Eat 25g of protein at every meal, up to 100g per day, and see how hungry you are.
6. Do a Month-Long Carbohydrate Detox
The body needs a break from the excessive consumption to truly reset before you start trying to lose serious weight.
Try cutting out carbohydrates for month. All carbs. ALL THE CARBS.
(Expect some crankiness here.)
7. Drink Warm Lemon Water Every Morning
This one isn’t absolutely necessary, but we think it’s an important ritual to get yourself in the habit of doing during this journey.
Lemon juice is super detoxifying because of all of the natural enzymes present and it will help tremendously during this detox process.
Try squeezing 1/2 of a lemon into a warm up of water first thing in the morning before any coffee or anything else.
Make sure the water isn’t too hot or it will kill off some of the natural enzymes, and consider drinking it through a straw because the acidity can wear on your tooth enamel if you aren’t careful.
Also, only real lemon juice from an actual fresh lemon works here. No store-bought stuff!
8. Get a Serious Plan in Place
As we said before, serious results takes serious committment.
If you need some help, we want to help you get on board with a serious plan. It’s not hard and it’s not complicated.
Quite the opposite as it’s pretty simple and easy to follow, but without all the fluff that a lot of other weight loss plans have.
Beacuse this plan isn’t for the masses.
It’s for women — and specifically designed with women who weigh over 200 pounds in mind.
Don’t do this alone.
Do it with women who get you. Women who need your help too.
And please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article on how to lose weight if you weigh 200 lbs or more or if you have any questions for us!
How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories
If you have ever researched how to lose weight, there is a 99% chance you have been told about counting calories. How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories is quite a bit of controversy surrounding the topic.
This is because most fitness experts still subscribe to the “eat less, move more” mantra.
However, there is a problem with that. This theory operates under the assumption that weight loss comes ONLY from being in a calorie deficit.
Which is wrong.
Other things like hormone levels also play a big role.
It’s not just about how much you eat. What you eat is equally important. And designing a strategy around losing weight WITHOUT calorie counting is not only possible but something we do every day!
And we’re not saying by any means that counting calories is wrong or doesn’t work. Absolutely not. Because it does work for some people.
But it doesn’t work for a lot of people and for most of our clients.
Many people just feel that it’s not a great way to live — tracking every single calorie of every day.
Here are a few reasons why you may not want to count calories:
Weight loss is possible without counting calories.
If you eat the right foods, you don’t ever have to worry about counting calories.
People are notoriously bad at it.
So bad in fact that a recent study showed people underestimate their daily food intake by an average of 47% and overestimate their calories burned from workouts by 30%.
That’s a HUGE amount.
Even the use of apps isn’t foolproof as the foods are often added by users that are miscalculation serving sizes and related calories.
Calorie labels are inaccurate.
The USDA has shown that labels can be off by over 20% on the average package.
In this report published on Pubmed, 19% of meals provided by restaurants are off by 100 calories or more. Also, the less calories the food item had, the more likely it was that the food had more calories than labeled.
It’s boring and inconvenient.
Nothing is less exciting than trying to calculate every molecule of energy you are eating…
Except maybe watching paint try or waiting for water to boil.
Restaurants, weddings, parties, and basically anything “fun” makes calorie counting super inconvenient and inaccurate.
It makes people focus on the wrong things.
When the focus is on only calories, people begin to forget about the quality of food being eaten. Yes, you probably can lose weight eating small amounts of ramen noodles…
But will that give you clean energy? Or help your skin quality? Will it keep you full?
No. It’s for these reasons I don’t really subscribe to the “counting calories” mantra.
Here are our 10 tips for losing weight without counting calories.
1. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a technique where you specifically go period of time without eating.
No, it’s not starvation and it’s perfectly healthy with plenty of health benefits.
Think of it more like skipping breakfast or eating a late lunch and skipping dinner. When you aren’t eating, drink black coffee or peppermint tea to curb hunger.
Try having your first meal of the day around 11 am or 12 pm.
If it doesn’t work out for you, don’t sweat it and move on down this list.
2. Pair High-Quality Protein + High-Fiber Veggies at Every Meal
Protein will keep you full and help you burn fat faster and vegetables that are high in fiber will help you digest that protein.
- Egg omelet with vegetables or a side salad
- Lean chicken breast and broccoli
- Salad with salmon
These are some of the best meals to keep the body full without the excess calories.
3. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods Like the Plague
Avoid foods that come in cans, boxes, and bags as much as possible.
Even most “health foods” that come packaged wreak havoc on your gut health and your waist line.
They also often leave you hungry and feeling unsatisfied shortly after.
Limit your intake of sugar and all processed foods as much as possible. At least out of your every day routine.
4. Drink Water Like You’re in the Desert
Most people don’t drink enough water.
Everyone knows water is important, but drinking more can also help you lose weight. It has been shown to increase metabolism and eliminate pesky hunger cravings.
You’ve probably heard that 8 cups a day is about right but we find it’s easier to keep track of in ounces because “cup” size varies and people just forget.
Try drinking 100 ounces per day — spread throughout the day so you don’t have to move into the bathroom all morning.
5. Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet
Apple cider vinegar has a variety of awesome health benefits, including helping people lose weight.
Mix 2 tablespoons of ACV in 8-10 ounces of water and drink 30 minutes before meals for an added feeling of fullness.
I also drink apple cider vinegar in my water when I’m fasting or just generally trying to curb hunger throughout the day!
6. Eat More Protein
We already mentioned this once when it came to eating healthy, balanced meals.
But I can’t stress it enough.
Protein is KEY to fast weight loss and building more muscle, which in turn helps you burn fat even faster.
There is no way around this, and I talk about it in almost every article on this website.
If you want to lose weight naturally, your protein intake has to be HIGH.
Try eating 25 grams of protein at every meal.
7. Eliminate Most Carbohydrates
If you are not doing an intense weight training program or long distance cardio, you should eliminate carbohydrates from your diet as much as possible.
Because you are not doing a strenuous physical activity, the glycogen from the carbohydrates is being converted into fat on the body.
Eliminating them will help you detox, improve your gut health, and help your body process nutrients better when trying to lose weight.
8. Start Cooking With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, unlike other oils, has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce appetite.
In fact, studies have shown that people naturally eat 256 fewer calories per day when consuming coconut oil.
Just beware of the amount that you use, because it does contain a high amount of calories.
Start by swapping it out with butter and olive oil when you’re cooking.
9. Get More Sleep
As stated before, hormonal health is VERY important for steady weight loss.
The biggest factors that affect hormones are FOOD and SLEEP.
Get a minimum of 8 hours per night. Any less than that is a sign that something needs to be fixed in your life and/or diet.
10. Remove the Guesswork With a Solid Plan
Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article on steps to lose weight without counting calories or have any questions!
7 Perfect Yoga Poses for Plus Size Women
One of the many reasons yoga is so beneficial is because it is suitable for each and everyone! It makes no distinctions based on age, size, flexibility, body type, gender, or other factors. Here are 7 perfect yoga poses for plus size women.
Sure, some people have to put forth a bit more effort than others.
Some of us were born with a high level of innate adaptability (unfortunately I am NOT in that category). Some of us were born with a lot of natural balance (I, too, missed the boat…).
It may be a little more challenging for others. But you CAN do it, and you will be all the more grateful for it!
The journey is fundamental to yoga. It’s both cerebral and physical, and it’s all about evolving as a person along the way.
It’s not about being a specific size or having a certain amount of flexibility.
You are successful as long as you are growing and changing. A larger frame might make it more difficult to balance, keep oneself up, and reach particular spots.
These yoga positions are ideal for plus-sized ladies (modified yoga poses for overweight) who are just starting out.
- Cow PoseCow pose is frequently done in a flow or “vinyasa” with Cat pose, which is shown below. They are excellent positions of yoga for curvy body to begin with in order to warm up the body.Begin on your and knees, hands exactly beneath your shoulders and knees hip-width apart. Round your back as much as you can as you inhale. Tighten your abs and visualize a rope around your tummy, dragging it up towards the ceiling.Breathe deeply and, as you exhale, assume Cat posture (below).
- Cat Pose
Cat pose starts in the same place as Cow pose.You can opt to work the body in these two positions or merely go through the motions without feeling anything. Make sure you’re moving your body actively and feeling the stretch.Arc your back as you exhale. To increase the stretch in the back, push the buttocks out and the shoulders back.
- Half Lord of the Fishes
This type of spinal twist is a Perfect Yoga Poses for Plus Size Women for decompressing the spine and improving posture.We could all benefit from a bit more posture in our lives, right? Twist your body to the right as you exhale. You may lengthen the stretch even further by placing your left elbow on the outside of your knee as you rotate. Make sure you move your head in the direction you’re stretching to avoid straining your neck.Make careful to do the same on both sides.
- Bridge pose
This pose is fantastic for the booty!Begin by lying flat on your back, legs bent and heels directly below your buttocks. Focus on using your core muscles and rising up with your core rather than your hands as you lift.Consider your hands to be very light and only resting on the ground for support. Lifting up should be done by your core strength rather than arm strength.Hold this posture for 15 seconds, then work your way up to 30 seconds.
- Tree pose
Tree posture is a terrific one for balance, and it’s much more difficult than it appears.Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your heart. This position may also be performed with the arms straight up in the air, however, having your hands at your heart aids with balance.Bend one knee and use your hand to help prop your standing leg’s foot up.When you’re confident enough, try lifting your hands straight up in the air for an added challenge. You may also try closing your eyes, which will make your balance much more difficult.
- Warrior II
This position is excellent for toning your legs.The front foot should be directed forward, with the back foot at a 90-degree angle. Make an effort to get your bent knee to a 90-degree angle. You will feel your quadriceps working if you hold the stance here.Maintain a square posture with your hips facing the same direction as your back foot.
- Pigeon pose
Pigeon position is an excellent hip opener. Because of our primarily sedentary lifestyle of sitting on sofas and computer seats all day, the muscles in our hips are normally rather tight.This posture can help you build hip flexibility, which will allow you to execute numerous yoga poses better, such as backbends, triangle pose, side angle pose, or anything else that demands a lot of hip work.
If you liked this article on 7 Perfect Yoga Poses for Plus Size Women and have any queries, please leave them in the comments area below!