Tag Archives: confidence

Developing Cardiovascular Fitness Using Slow, No-impact Exercise

When folks speak of “cardio exercise” they usually refer to treadmills, stair-stepping, running, or attending an aerobics class. Many have been programmed to believe this is how we develop cardiovascular fitness. However, cardiovascular fitness can be developed in some healthy alternative ways.

The truth of cardiovascular exercise is having capable supply of oxygen in the blood. Understanding this can help  develop  cardiovascular strength using low or no impact exercise. We can even develop cardiovascular strength without moving at all!

Read on…..

Developing cardiovasular strength, low impact health yoga
Camelback hiking with YogaDoug,

I was living in old town Scottsdale, Arizona, the quaint little center of Scottsdale with the original buildings from the cowboy era.  Just a short distance from where I lived was Camelback Mountain, a small, but tall mountain in the middle of metropolitan Phoenix famous for hikers and runners. I enjoyed the steep uphill cardiovascular exercise it provided. An average hiker can make it to the peak in 45 minutes to an hour. The fastest time on record is 27 minutes by a local woman. The climb is strenuous and the decent can be dangerous bouncing from boulder to boulder.

My times were above-average, and I had record times on the decent. I could fly down that mountain in 14 minutes. I loved bouncing from boulder to boulder, but the impact slowly took its toll on my already challenged knees. After several months of this strenuous and challenging exercise my knees began to hurt…. a lot. So I stopped.Low impact exercise esier on the joints, yoga for health

I resorted to only practicing yoga. I went back to Bikram yoga and stayed away from any running and other fast-moving exercise altogether. For months I refrained from any traditional cardiovascular exercise, only Bikram yoga. This series are simple static poses that help rebuild connective tissue and increase blood flow.

Bikram Yoga, low impactexercise, yoga for cardiovascular strength

I practiced these postures with great determination and power. I used my breath to get through the strain of holding the static postures for up to 60 seconds. I felt very strong, but was concerned I was losing my cardiovascular fitness.

After six months, my knees felt great and I had a real urge to climb that mountain! I was a bit afraid that I lost the cardiovascular strength I created in my months of running.

yoga for exciting low impact cardiovascular health.
Tired of high impact exercise

The sweaty, heart pumping exercise of Bikram yoga is the most intense exercise I’ve ever done and continues to be the exercise I default to when I know my body needs rehabilitation, but I felt it was different from the running that traditional American exercise scientists say is what’s needed for cardiovascular fitness.

So early one morning I was fired up, feeling good and full of energy. I wanted to get outdoors and climb. The cross-trainer shoes were dusted off and I fitted myself for the climb. That morning I was expecting to do my best and just have fun.

I got there early enough to find a parking spot, consumed a little more water, tightened my laces and headed for the trail head. My energy was so high I began the flatter portion at the beginning of the trail with a  jog. That jog, however, just naturally became faster…..and faster. When the incline increased and the boulders came into the picture, my speed increased with it! I was feeling natural at a faster pace more than ever before!  In fact, as the hike went on I never slowed down.  I ended up sprinting three quarters of the way up the mountain, a feat I never even came close to before. My heart was under control and I felt stronger than ever.

personal power, cardiovascular strength yoga

Here I was, an avid yoga practitioner, but I was still a newbie to the deep learning experience of yoga. By not running and only practicing the compression and static postures associated with Bikram Yoga, I come to understand the reality of “aerobic” exercise. The key to strong aerobic capacity is the ability to increase the capacity for oxygen in the blood.  Strong breath with heart pumping energy is the key. What I found out is you don’t need the fast-paced high impact sports to do this. In fact, Bikram yoga brought my heart and breath rate up higher than any other form of exercise I’ve practiced, second to motocross of course.  I brought myself to the edge in every posture. It was Vo2 max to the max.

Today, the one thing I do regularly is deep breathing exercise. Deep breathing, in its own right, raises the heart rate. I have found even today, if I keep up with my breathwork, I can lift heavy weight and maintain an easy heart rate even if I’ve been away from exercise for several months.  I also see how people put extreme stress on their heart by not having the capacity to bring oxygen into the blood. The heart must pump harder to get what little oxygen there is in the blood to the muscles.

Yoga for cardiovascular strength and joint health
Inspirational yoga

It’s common sense. If you want to increase oxygen/blood capacity, practice breathing more. To increase the heart rate, it can be as simple as standing on one leg.  Try standing perfectly still on one leg for sixty seconds without wobbling and tell me how that goes.

“The bottom line is that the intensity at which you perform an activity determines if it’s aerobic or anaerobic.” –MedicineNet.com

The other powerful component to the Bikram series is its compression effect. Many yoga poses compress the body. They compress the skeletal muscles as well as the internal organs. This compression affect flushes the muscle by squeezing them. Mr. Bikram refers to this as “wringing out that dirty dish rag.” You wring it out and allow fresh oxygenated blood to rush in when you release the compression.  In doing this you are purifying the system and charging the body’s regeneration factor.

Yoga for joint health , cardiovasular power
Bikram Champion yoga rehabilitation specialist
yoga for well being health and personal strength
Be joyful and praise your light

So, between heart pumping, holding your body weight postures, powerful breathing, compression and stretches, you know there is way more to the asanas of yoga than meets the eye. You can build your cardiovascular power without ever running again…. and if you want the outdoors, just practice in your favorite nature spot. You don’t need a mat or any props. Learn to use your body the way the original yogis had shown us. The best thing of all is that the more you practice, the healthier your joints become because we all know what the common results of high impact exercise is (long term injury) and we all want to avoid that.

Discover an old science and new understanding of our body as a self-contained module for all your health and healing needs.


The Focused ones

How can you tell the person who’s got it going on, focused and visionarily strong?
They move with intent. They are not looking around wondering what everyone else is doing, subjecting themselves to vampires and thieves. 
The thieves I speak of are representative in the ethical guidelines of yoga the Yamas.

The five yamas, are self-regulating behaviors involving our interactions with other people and the world at large.
Ahimsa: nonviolence
Satya: truthfulness
Asteya: non-stealing
Brahmacharya: non-excess (often interpreted as celibacy)
Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed.

Non-stealing relates to the energy you take from another, be it physical or non-physical. In one glance a person can steal the moment you give them, define it and put it upon/into you. It may be a moment of inspiration and upliftment as in a smile or a disruptive and fearful glare defining their existence.
One who is self-sufficient, complete and confident will travel through time/space directly into the people and places that are essential for the creation of their desires.
We are all creators and healers, transformers of space. We define the space around us by focusing our attention in one direction or another. Those not focused on a path will wander aimlessly into the wild, and subject themselves to endless variations of others opinions, beliefs and endless suffering. I am not talking about physical wandering either. I am talking about the life path/dream one holds tightly to their souls energy from the point of waking from sleep every day.
Some wake with gratitude and vision and others wake with fear and confusion. 
It is summed up in a phrase molded by Irene Dunne: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
There is power in that phrase beyond a smile of approval.
The person with direction in their life is not taking their eyes off the road. They don’t need to be in random conversations with those babbling about their beliefs or fears, or looking around for approval in the eyes of others. When you take your eyes off the road you’re in danger of crashing, because those eyes can kill.
Stand in your path without the need for approval or acceptance. I knew a man who would always have to preface his words and opinions with pre approved acceptance from others in an attempt to persuade others and avoid his fear of disapproval. He was the most uncomfortable person to be around.
It doesn’t matter what you wish to create. Create with all your heart. Marilyn Manson is a great example. He’s one of my fellow Capricorn leaders, an intelligent man with a wildly creative soul with no need of approval from any human being. I love him.
Find your path. “You are never given a dream without also given the power to make it true.” -Richard Bach

Focus. Focused intention builds the dream.
Believe in your power. Believe everything is drawing you closer to your desires.
Stand forward. Walk forward, heart forward and spine tall. Walk from were you are now to the point of attraction for you each day. You will walk into the people and places that fit the joy you seek, the kindred souls of the angels that will guide you away from the thieves. This is the core power of the Law of Attraction.

Who are you?