30-Day Yoga Experience

This is a brief overview of my recent 30 day Yoga experience. We would love to hear what experiences you have made! Why a 30 day Yoga experience? I used to work in a typical 9 to 5 office job in London. My typical day would start in a rush to catch my bus and then squeeze myself on the overcrowded and hot underground to commute to the office located in always busy central London. My colleagues and I would then sit on our desks for hours with a maximum of an hour break which we might use for a little walk around the office blocks – or not. I would often feel imbalanced after such a day – mentally tired and stressed while physically stiff and restless. Going to the gym and movement practice in the morning helped against the stiffness but didn’t really benefit me mentally. The busy local gym actually stressed me out even more. In Summer long walks, movement and meditation in the park were a great balance to the busy office day. However, in Winter this was no real option as parks were closed before I would leave the office. I needed to tackle this feeling of imbalance and remembered the positive effect of some Yoga lessons I had attended when I was a teenager. These were great thanks to a wonderful teacher who taught me about Yoga meditation, breathing, as well as basic poses and ways to stabilise my body (sometimes activating the right point can make a huge difference). Yoga is ideal to find your personal balance as the practice aims to go...

40-Day No Messing Challenge

If you had to get someone in the best shape possible in 40-days, what would you do? A friend recently put this to me and it got me thinking, and my thoughts have turned into the following article. It is a long read, but it covers all your bases, so take mini-stretching breaks as needed and plough on. Why 40 days? Not a great length of time to achieve much in life really, but it’s short enough to be a do-able and realistic goal, and long enough to see changes and motivate the transformer to go for another 40 days. One thing we know is there are no magic pills, and long-lasting results come from keeping the head down and making training and movement part of your way of life. People do, however, respond well to shorter time-frames, helping them to stay focused. Three essentials for success with a training program:   -a good plan -consistency -optimal recovery and regeneration (food, sleep, stress-management) So for the purpose of this experiment, we have 40 days to get into the best possible physical condition. First thing in this case is we don’t have any time for the biggest problem anybody faces in a successful transformation: Poor compliance. The process of creating and changing habits is probably the most difficult part of the puzzle, and one which deserves the greatest investment of your efforts to begin with. Start small and gradually build healthful habits into your life. But for now, we will assume that the superpower of our friend here is the ability to instantly engrain good habits, because for this to...

Claochlú coirpe #1: Cailleadh meachán

Braitheann an corp agus an sláinte atá bronnta orainn go formhór ar an slí maireachtála a leanann muid. Mar sin de, chun athrú mór a chur i gcrích, níl aon draíocht i gceist; caithfimid ithe mar is ceart agus slí maireachtála níos gníomhaí a chruthú. Bíonn an corp agus anam faoi bhláth nuair a chothaíonn muid an corp le bia glan agus bogadh flúirseach. Sin é. Chuir Ailbhe Ní Riain cúpla ceist orm ar na mallaibh le haghaidh tionscnamh ollscoile. Seo thíos an chéad ceann; tá súil agam go gcuidíonn sé le dhaoine aicsin a ghlacadh inniú. Cén sórt aclaíocht is éifeachtaí chun meachán a chailleadh, agus an bia is fearr ithe? Go hiondúil nuair a bhíonn sé mar sprioc ag daoine meachán a chailleadh, tagann rud amháin ar intinn: rith. Don chuid is mó ní hé seo an bealach is slaintiúla ná is éifeachtaí seo a bhaint amach. Cinnte, oibreoidh sé ar feadh tammaill, oibreoidh aon sort aclaíocht ar dtús nuair nach bhfuil an corp cleachtaithe leis. Ach an rud a fhéicimid go minic ná go bpiocann daoine suas gortaithe as bheith ag cur isteach na mílte fada ag rith, tagann srian ar dul chun cinn ar ná scalaí, agus éiríonn an duine díomuach. Ag an am céanna, thiocfadh leat a rá gurbh é an módh aclaíochta is éifeachtaí ná an ceann a bhaineann tú sult as agus a chloífidh tú leis sa fad téarma. Marsin más é rith do rogha, thar barr. Ach ní gá mothú go mbeadh iachall ort rith má tá tú ag iarraidh crut a chur or do chorp. Tá beallaí eile ann atá níos cinéalta ar na géaga, agus b’fhéidir...

Nutrition Template for Fat Loss

There is more to fat loss than nutrition. We know that. We need to accumulate plenty of low-intensity movement every day, we need to occasionally lift heavy things and move at high-intensities, we need to sleep well and we need effective stress management.  Pretty straightforward. But then we come to nutrition and there is consternation and confusion. Certainly, some aspects of nutrition are subject to debate.  Is consuming too much protein damaging? How much is too much? Can athletes thrive on high-fat diets? Is organic really worth the extra cost? There are lots of interesting opinion, and some more compelling than others. But today, I want to focus on what is not debatable and provide an effective nutrition template that will work for most people, most of the time. To begin with, if you are still buying into the low-fat dogma, that’s the first thing we need to address. Snap out of it! Haven’t you heard about Ancel Keys and his Seven Countries Study in 1953 that got us all into this mess? If not here’s a two minute video from Fat Head that will fill you in. “It’s become part of the zeitgeist. Everybody knows saturated fat is bad for you. But when you start looking at the medical literature, and you root back through and find out where this whole idea came from, it’s bogus.” Michael Eades, M.D   If you want to learn more how everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong and why, read Nina Teicholz’s recently published book The Big Fat Surprise. Or the infamous Good Calories, Bad Calories that kicked off...

Are you making sense in the Gym?

Avoid these mistakes, get stronger quicker, and leave in one piece. There are many wonders to be observed from day to day in a public health and performance centre, yet for every beautiful act of calisthenics and perfectly executed movement pattern performed, there are a hundred more strange and hazardous attempts at weightlifting going on.  Of course, every gym should be equipped with vigilant instructors ready to intervene during these oblivious efforts of self-harm, but when you leave a lot of people into a big room with lots of heavy objects, strange things invariably happen.  They say that the brain is the most complex object in the known universe containing around 100 billion neurons with Internet-like capacity, which makes the capacity of humans today to do stupid things in gyms all around the world all the more compelling. The motto of Hippocrates, ‘First do no harm’, is widely regarded as the number one principle for strength coaches when training athletes and so it should be with anybody training themselves.  The second principle, logically enough, should be to do something useful that is helping to reach your goals. Check out these common mistakes of your average gym-goer, and if you can just set that giant ego aside for a while we can make amends and really start making the most out of your time in the gym.   Mistake Number 1: Doing Random Stuff One of the more bewildering sights in a gym is watching someone arm themselves with a couple of tiny dumbbells and moving them around in some random fashion with no rhyme or reason.  I often play...