Thursday, December 30, 2010

Get In Shape for the New Year

Two New Year's Resolutions postcardsImage via WikipediaWell, 'tis almost the season for New Year's resolutions.... You know, those promises you make yourself on January 1, and rarely keep?  While we don't focus a lot on weight loss around here (if you eat good foods and make exercise fun enough so that it becomes a habit, you won't need to think too much about that - the results will come for the most part automatically), this is a good article on putting together a realistic plan to achieve a healthy weight this year.

The 4 simple ideas here are ones we really agree with, and hopefully you will visit this blog, and our other New Holistic Living blogs for more ways to do just this in the year ahead.

A Weight Loss Plan That Works At Last
The New Year presents many fresh opportunities, including revamping the weight loss plan. Make weight loss goals be achieved this year.
Publish Date: 12/17/2010 23:14
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tips for Making Exercise More Fun

For most people, nothing gets you going like waking up in the morning with the thought of going to the gym to lift weights or jog on the treadmill.  (That was a joke.)

After a hard days work, the gym is often one place you don't even want to think about.  Sometimes, even the thought of exercising at home with your own equipment can be less than desirable. 

Sometimes, just trying to get and stay motivated to exercise on a regular basis can be a challenge.  No matter how you look at it, exercise can be downright boring and even tedious at times.

So, you may be wondering just how you can get the motivation you need to exercise on a regular basis, especially during the winter months, when there may be fewer fun outdoors activities you can participate in. If you've been wondering what you can do to make exercise more fun, you'll find some ideas below that just may help to make exercise more fun and a little bit easier.

First things first, you should exercise with a friend. You can challenge each other, help each other out, keep each other motivated and on track, make each other laugh or just make a game out of your exercise

You can also try something different.  If you go to the gym each and every day and use the same piece of equipment or use the same piece of equipment at home, you should try mixing things up. Reverse your routine or just change the order of your exercises.  (This is also good for your body as well.)

Man on monkey barsImage via WikipediaGo to a city park that has playground equipment and use the slide, climb on the monkey bars, do pull-ups, hang from your knees, just let your imagination guide you.  You don't always need to follow a strict routine, just get out there and have fun working your muscles.

An outdoor circuit in the park is also something you can try.  There are some parks that have circuit courses set up with a planned course where all you have to do is walk or jog to each station and then follow the instructions. If there isn't a planned course, then you should do a combination of jogging and walking, picking a distance of a  couple hundred feet.  Jog 100 feet then drop and do a couple of pushups, walk the next 100 feet  and then drop to do sit ups.

You can also ride a bike around your neighborhood or hike on a hiking trail.  A walk in the park or around your neighborhood is also a great way to get some exercise.  Doing yoga in the park or on a beach (if you have the opportunity and the weather is warm enough) is also a nice and relaxing way to  exercise both your body and your mind.

Playing a competitive sport is also something you can try.  A lot of cities have team activities such as softball, volleyball, tennis, soccer,  and so on.  These types of activities will not  only provide you with good exercise but they will also help you to meet new people as well.

Standing Barbell Curl exercise for Biceps-->bi...Image via WikipediaWhen you exercise, try to picture your muscles getting bigger.  It may sound a little weird, but research has shown that if you focus all of your thoughts on the muscles that you are working, they will respond better.  Try to watch them work with each repetition as your muscles contract and relax. (Many professional athletes use this technique while training.)

As you can tell, there are plenty of ways you can make exercise more fun and interesting.  You don't need to follow the same routine day after day, as you can do many other things to get in some regular exercise.

The important thing is that you should always try to incorporate exercise in any various form into your everyday life and make these habits the kind of habits that will last a lifetime.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Video - Quick Easy Cardio Workout

Merry Christmas Dear Readers, from all of us at New Holistic Living!

While giving (and getting) all those gifts today, remember to give your body the gift of exercise! Exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy, not to mention to keep yourself sane during the busy holiday season.

Here is an easy cardio workout which requires no equipment, and will get your blood moving and your muscles warm very quickly - repeat the video 3 times for a total of 18 minutes, and you'll have a quick-fix workout you can fit in even on a busy day like today.

(This one doesn't have words - music only - so be sure to watch for the tips on the screen.) Vary your pace as shown in the video to increase the effect of the workout and go easier on your body and heart. As always, be sure you are warmed up with some gentle stretches first, and if you are in poor heath or have a low fitness level, talk to your trainer or healthcare practitioner before trying a new fitness routine.

DOWNLOAD MY ebook "The Art of Fatloss!" if you want to lose fat around your belly, build a six pack, and have a better body than you do now. Easy to follow. Visit here: fit fitness cardio intensity workouts workout butt home ton...

Here are some other good workout videos, of varying difficulty levels:
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reduce Your Holiday Stress with Exercise

Even though exercise may not be the most exciting word in your vocabulary, it sure is a word with a lot of benefits.  Participating in daily exercise will not only make you healthier in general, but it can also diminish the effects of stress on your body (and mind) as well.

Think about all the times you have heard someone say "the doctor says it's stress related".  Normally people will laugh it off, concluding that doctors say that when they don't know the real answers or diagnosis.  The truth of the matter is that too much stress can play a role in many diseases.

To help increase your immune system and decrease your stress level as well, try exercise, as movement is the key word here.  Bending, stretching, reaching and walking.  There's really no need to buy any expensive equipment either, as you can simply implement more movement into your daily routine and reap the benefits.

Somehow exercising the dogs involves a lot mor...Image by colorblindPICASO via FlickrIf you like aerobic exercise, you can grab a partner and have a blast with one of the basic aerobic videos. (There are a number of fun ones on our website at  Or, you can simply go out for a walk and enjoy spending time together with a friend, your spouse, or your children.  As you may have heard, walking really is one of the best overall exercises you can do for your health.  As long as you have a pair of walking shoes, you can utilize this method of healthy stress relief.

As you go through your daily activities, make it a point to walk a little farther, bend down and pick something up without using a pick up stick or moving the item towards you with your foot.  This will stretch and exercise muscles that are often neglected. While you are sitting, you should also do some simple and quick stretches for your neck and shoulders.

If you enjoy sitting around watching television, you may want to consider buying a jogging board.  These padded boards will make running, jumping, or walking in place less stressful on your knees and joints.  They are easy to store as well and also very portable.

In many people's opinions, jogging boards are the best pieces of equipment you can buy.  They are also far cheaper than bulky treadmills and stationary bikes.

There are several different exercises that you can do to help you eliminate the stress in your life.  Walking is by far the best, as you can easily lose yourself and your troubles by walking in nature and immersing yourself in your surroundings.  Even if it is just around the block, walking can do wonders for your overall health as well as stress levels.

A public demonstration of aerobic exercisesImage via WikipediaIf you have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to consider a gym.  Working out hard, then sitting in the sauna is also a good way to relieve tension.  If your gym has a pool, you may find swimming to be very beneficial as well, as it provides a good, relaxing workout, but is less stress on the joints.

Regardless of the method you choose, fitness and flexibility is definitely a case of "use it or lose it." Getting some form of exercise on a daily basis is not only great for your body, but also for your state of mind as well. During the busy holiday season, be sure to take a break to fit in some form of exercise - your body, your mind, and your family will thank you!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fun Exercise Tip - Let Your Kids Be Your Exercise!

In this busy time of holiday shopping, cooking, entertaining guests, and all the rest of the crazy busy holiday bustle, we can tend to forget what's really important - our health, and our family and loved-ones. Here is a great article on how to incorporate both into your daily routine - even during this crazy week!

Footpath Over The A60. This footpath crosses t...Image via WikipediaLetting your kids be your workout is not only fun, but it's FREE, and good for both body and soul - for your entire family. Help each other stay fit and healthy, while maintaining your good spirits and your relationships at the same time. Check it out, and feel free to share your own fun family exercise ideas as well!

Minimalist fitness: your kids are the gym | zen habits
Kid learn most of all from what they see others doing, especially their parents. You can tell them things all day long, but unless they see you doing it, you're not teaching them much. When we go to the gym, they don't see us working ...
Publish Date: 11/16/2010 11:37
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Video - Ab Workout

This video gives a simple demonstration of a complete ab workout - no equipment required - this will get your core burning! If it's too much at first, just cut down on the reps of each exercise, and work your way up.  There are sets for all of your different abdominal muscles, so do at least a few of each set, even if you don't complete all the reps.

During recovery, I find it helps to relax the stomach muscles, breathe deeply, and lightly tap the abdominal muscles all over with closed fists. This can loosen up your muscles all the way up and lessen the burn for the next set. (Note: There are 8 different exercise sets, so start slow to make sure you can do at least some of each before your abs get too tired!)

Go to it, and keep those abs in shape this winter!

Abs Workout how to get six pack abs
Many people want know : " how to get six pack " or " how to Abs " , answer is easy : " Use this Abs workout " . Your Fitness instructor now is free, just click play and see this video abs workout , follow the music. We advise the better way for do th...

(Be sure to click the balloons to see the advanced instructions for each exercise before you do them.)
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

How To Target Your Stomach With Yoga

Yoga is a great part of any wellness routine, as it has the ability to both reduce stress and exercise the body. If you are trying to use yoga to target your midsection, well, that can be done. There are a number of yoga positions (called asanas) which exercise the stomach muscles. Bear in mind that some of these are more advanced than others. Assess your own skill and comfort level before trying certain asanas. If you are not sure you are able to do one asana, start with one that seems easier and work your way up once you have built some strength and flexibility. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

To perform this stomach-exercising asana, first lie flat on your back. Use a yoga mat or towel to cushion the spine. Bend both knees up to your chest so that your thighs touch the stomach. Hug your knees in place and lock your fingers. Now lift your head up so your nose meets your knees. Take a deep breath and hold it for thirty seconds before releasing and slowly lowering back to start. This exercise can also be done one leg at a time.

Dana hace Yoga en la PlayaImage by via FlickrBhujangasan
For this stomach exercise, remain on the floor, but roll over on to your stomach. Position your hands under your shoulders. Now, using your back muscles, raise your upper torso off the ground to that your head is upright. Be careful not to push with your hands. You want the muscles in your back to be doing the work. Hold this posture for thirty seconds, then lower yourself back to start. Even though you are using your back muscles to lift your upper body, performing the asana will assist in reducing belly fat and flattening your tummy.

The Bow
This stomach exercise is pretty similar to the previous asana, but more involved. It starts from the same position lying on your stomach, but in this exercise you curl your legs upward in addition to lifting your upper torso. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet come up toward your head. Grab your ankles and pull with your hands and push with your legs until only your stomach is on the floor. Your body should feel sort of like it is making a circle. Your knees should remain together throughout the exercise. Hold this position for thirty seconds before releasing and returning to starting position.
Hatha Yoga Class Boat pose - NavasanaImage by myyogaonline via FlickrPaad-Pashchimottanasan
Now that you have read the name of this asana, try not to be intimidated-- it is less complicated in practice than in pronunciation. It does, however, require a fair amount of flexibility, so you may want to start with something easier and build up to this one. Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms overhead. Your body should be straight from head to toe with all limbs extended. Point your palms up to the ceiling and put your hands together. Contract your stomach muscles to sit up, keeping your back straight and hands overhead. Bend forward and grab your toes with your hands, putting your head between your arms so it touches your knees. Hold the position for two minutes before releasing.

* Please note: All suggestions and articles on this blog are the opinions of the author or other contributors, and have not been evaluated for safety in your particular situation. One should consult with one’s personal fitness coach or healthcare practitioner before beginning any exercise program, especially if your fitness level is currently low.

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Some good Yoga DVDs:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All About Stomach Flattening Exercises

Here is a timely article - with many of us putting a lot into our tummies lately, you'll probably agree this one couldn't come at a better time!

Pick up practically any magazine related to health and fitness and there is sure to be an article on stomach flattening exercises. It is no surprise, this is what people want, flatter stomachs. Why do some people have flatter stomachs then others, and what are some ways to achieve this goal? These are a few questions that come up when the subject is addressed.

RaquelImage by P.C Images via FlickrTo answer the first question, why do some people have flatter stomachs then others, there are a couple of very logical answers and some that are not as logical. The logical reasons are the diets of individuals, a person cannot expect to eat chocolate cake every night and still have a flat stomach. The other obvious answer to this question is what people are doing with their stomachs. Some people spend time each day doing stomach flattening exercises, while others do not, they may eat right and hope that is enough to flatten their stomachs. The next few reasons include heredity and factors such as women who have been pregnant and certain medical conditions.

The next question, what are some ways to achieve a flatter stomach then is answered by looking at what causes a person to not have a flat stomach, basically the answers to the first question. Without a doubt stomach flattening exercises (combined with proper diet and calorie-burning exercise) are the best and quickest way to get a flatter stomach. Despite a persons good eating habits exercise is absolutely essential in getting the desired results. Good stomach flattening exercises will also combat the factors such as childbirth and heredity.

There is a variety of stomach flattening exercise available to choose from. All a person has to do is do a search on the internet for stomach flattening exercises to find many different ones. It is good to keep in mind that there is a difference between building good abdominal muscles and flattening the stomach, even though they are very similar. The person has to decide what goal is wanted for themselves. Stomach flattening exercises will generally include moves in which the person concentrates on sucking in their stomach, trying to "hollow it out" as they perform each move. If the exercise is intended to build muscle but not necessarily flatten the stomach, the exercise will not stress this point. Every exercise though will build muscle in the stomach, it is just a matter of what the person's primary goal is as they exercise and decide which exercises to do.

One thing to keep in mind as a person works on stomach flattening exercise is that the routine he or she does should include exercises that are meant to flatten each area of the stomach, and not just concentrate on one section, otherwise the person will not get the results he or she is looking for.

A flatter stomach can mean more confidence, better health and more overall strength. It is a reasonable goal to want to have a flat stomach, and is not unobtainable unless there is a specific medical reason for not being able to do stomach flattening exercises. Besides knowing which exercise will bring about the desired results, a person just needs the determination to follow through, remembering that a flatter stomach will not come overnight, it takes time, energy and dedication, but the results are worth it.

Check back here later this week for some suggestions for specific exercises to try....
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Video - Ski & Snowboard Winter Workout

To get you ready for all those fun winter sports, here is a quick and easy workout you can use to prepare your muscles for the challenges of the slopes. This video gives 4 exercises to strengthen your legs and core for the motions needed for skiing or snowboarding.

Have fun, and see you on the slopes!

Ski 'n Snowboard Winter Workout
Get in shape to prevent injury and day after sore muscles with this ski and snowboard winter workout series. *Sponsor: Lose More in Less Time - Personal Trainer Katrina gives you the best moves to do to get in the best shape this winter ...

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Get your Body Ready for Winter Sports

For those of you who think getting exercise during the winter is nearly impossible where you live, think again! It's time to gear up for one of the most exciting types of exercise (for many people) -- winter sports!

There is a wide selection of winter sports that you can participate in. This is a much better (and healthier!) option than spending the winter indoors being a couch potato. It is important to realize that your body will respond differently to winter sports. Many people find it is harder to breathe and they have to wear heavier clothing while engaging in the activity in most instances.

SnowbaggerImage via WikipediaYou need to take a very realistic approach to getting your body ready for winter sports. Take an honest assessment of your current fitness level and compare it to where you want to be. Then work hard to implement a successful exercise plan that is going to allow you to reach that goal. Don’t wait until winter starts to make changes so you will be ready for the various winter sports you want to be a part of. If you have any medical concerns you need to consult with your doctor before you begin any program to get ready for winter sports.

Try to spend up to 30 minutes at a time out in the winter weather walking or running. You should be able to do these feats without running out of breath. If you aren’t able to do this than work on it several days per week until you can. Eating a balanced diet will help you achieve this as well. Too many foods that we consume are full of carbohydrates and sugars that cause the body to feel tired. Eating right will help you have the energy you need and build lean muscle mass.

Once you have completed this without too much trouble you should start adding some aerobics and resistance exercises at least 15 minutes a day, three to four days per week. Make sure you are stretching during both of these projects to get your body in shape for winter sports. This way you reduce the risk of getting hurt while you engage in them.

Make sure you take the time to celebrate the success you have made. When you feel like you still have so much work to do, focus on what you have already accomplished. Nothing motivates a person to continue moving forward towards their overall winter fitness goals like identifying where they are at now compared to where they started from.

If you have a specific winter sport that you will want to engage in you need to look for exercises that are going to strengthen the weak areas of your body that are needed to do a good job at it. For example if you want to go ice skating you are going to need to build up strength in your legs and ankles.

Wintersport in Tirol / Winter sports in TirolImage by Nationaal Archief via FlickrFor many people that want to engage in different types of skiing, they need to improve their upper arm strength. You may be surprised at how much better you will be able to ski if your arms are strong enough to help with the balance instead of placing all the responsibility on your legs.

Make sure you pay close attention to any problems during your activity that may be a sign that you need to take a break or seek medical attention. If you feel pain in the chest, arms, or the jaw you should see a doctor. This can be a symptom of a very serious medical issue including a heart attack. If you get short of breath you should discontinue the sport and walk around until you are breathing normally again.

In order to enjoy winter sports to their fullest, you really need to be able to take your time to prepare your body. Building up the strength in your legs and arms will help you do well in the various sports offered this time of year. As you spend more time outdoors in the winter your will find your body is able to respond to the cold weather better than before.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Fun Ways to Exercise

It can be hard to stay motivated with your exercise program during the holidays, especially when you live in a cold climate, where outdoor activities are hard to find for several months. We are determined to do our part to keep you going through the winter season, with new, fun, and easy exercise tips and ideas!

Here are a few good recent ones which should give you some great ideas that you can try at any time of year, including right now!  Why wait for the new year?  Make a resolution to keep your fitness goals going, even over the holidays, and check back here often for more fun exercise ideas.

(We love all the videos mentioned in the second article, and you can find all of them in one place right here: Fun Exercise Videos.)

Fun Ways to Lose Weight and Exercise in 2011 – No Gym Required
Discover energizing fun ways to exercise and lose weight for 2011. Try Zumba® dancing, pogo jogging or home exercise to music to lose belly fat fast.
Publish Date: 11/26/2010 8:58

50Plus : Health : Fun ways to exercise at home
Fun ways to exercise at home. Article By: Katherine Griggs. Print; Share. Share|. /thumbs/?width=250&img=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. These workout videos make exercise fun -- in the privacy and comfort of your own home. ...
Publish Date: 01/31/2008 3:00

Fun ways to burn calories and lose weight | Fun exercise to lose ...
No one ever said that weight loss programs fun, but there are many possibilities, fun to lose weight and burn calories. If you are involved in activities you en.
Publish Date: 12/02/2010 7:03

Here are a few fun ones as well that you may want to try:

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

15 Tips for a Better (and Safer) Workout

For those who play sports or engage in other vigorous physical activity, injury is always a concern. Not only is it (really) no fun, but an injury can "sideline" your workout regimen for week or even months. If you are out of commission long enough, an injury can undo all of the progress you've made, no matter how dedicated you've been to your workout routine.

Here are some tips to help avoid injury and keep you moving ahead in your fitness goals. (Remember to consult your healthcare practitioner or trainer before beginning any new exercise routine, especially if your fitness level is low to start with.)

1. Stop and Go

If you play a sport that requires a full sprint, remember that a full sprint strains the muscles of the lower body. To combat this, do stop-and-go exercises. For example, run 30 meters at about 80 percent of your effort, slow to a jog for five to 10 meters, then run again for another 30 meters. Repeat this process five times. (Interval training such as this has also been shown to increase calorie burn and weight loss, over traditional steady "aerobic" exercise.)

Right knee-joint, from the front, showing inte...Image via Wikipedia2. On bended knees

Almost 3 out of four ACL injury occurs when players are landing or turning. If your knees are bent instead of straight, the risk of injury is greatly reduced according to a report in the JAAOS (Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons).

3. Cool down

Heatstroke is not something that can be easily cured like headache. To avoid it, stay cool and hydrated. Be sure the combined temp an humidity is less than 160. This is according to Dr. Dave Janda of the IPSM.

4. Get the proper equipment

Badly fitting gears or ill sized equipment can be a cause of  training injuries. The extra money spent on proper equipment goes a long way.

5. Do it the right way

Bad technique is just as bad as, well, bad equipment. Seek advice from pros and trainer, this advice are invaluable to your exercises or training.

6. Go West (or whichever direction)

If you're playing or training in multiple directions, your warm up should also. Move sideways, backward, forward and all the motions you might be doing. This allows your body to be prepared.

7. Have yourself filmed

The camera doesn't lie. Show your video to a person well versed in your training, so he can give a critique of your fitness regimen, and point out any improper form that could cause strain or injury.

8. Loosen the shoulders.

Even a slightly injured rotator cuff can shut down the function of a shoulder. You might want to include stretching to protect your rotator cuffs.

9. Take an early dip

Schedule your swimming sessions early. The less people in the pool means less of everything in the pool! (Though this is more a general health tip than injury prevention!)

10. Protect yourself

Wearing custom-fitted mouth guards reduces the risk of  injuries by as much as 82 percent, according to a study at UNC at Chapel Hill. Plunk out the cash for a custom-fitted mouth guard and it'll last for years including your smile and teeth.

11. Smooth out your tendons

Inquire about ultrasound needle therapy. These procedure is minimally by using ultrasound to guide a needle. The needle smoothens the  bone, breaks up calcifications, and fixes scar tissue. Thirteen out of twenty patients saw improvement, and the session takes only about 15 minutes of your time.

Jogging on a bright November morningImage by Ed Yourdon via Flickr12. Buy your running shoes after work.

Shop in the evening, the feet are swollen after a day of work. This approximates how your feet will be after three miles of running.

13. Do off road running.

If the surface is unstable, it trains the ankles to be stable, by building up the muscles and tendons that rotate your feet in all directions. Stronger and more flexible muscles are less likely to suffer an injury. (Just be careful starting out, so you don't injure yourself in the process!)

14. Know where you're going.

Whether its biking, or skiing, be sure to have a dry run down any path first. A lot of injuries can be avoided when you're familiar with the route taken.

15. Train hard.

Anxiety reduces your peripheral vision by three degrees and slows the reaction time by almost 120 milliseconds, according to an article of the Journal of Sports Sciences. When the going gets difficult, the veteran athlete rely on skills they've trained for and practiced. It keeps them cooler under pressure, widening their vision so they can see react much faster.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Video-Power Yoga

Once you've done beginner yoga for a while, or even intermediate, such as Jillian Michaels' Yoga Meltdown, you may wish to get into something a little more challenging. Power Yoga is a more intense yoga workout focusing on movement and moving poses, burning calories while strengthening and stretching at the same time, and is often done in a heated environment.

This video will give you a little taste of what Power Yoga is like, but for more, you can always find DVDs pretty cheaply (see below for the one mentioned in the video).

Power Yoga Total Body Workout
Clips from the Power Yoga Total Body Workout DVD by Gaiam, staring Rodney Yee ( ).

Here is the one from the video - you can find it here for under $10:

Give your body and mind the power it needs with Power Yoga: Strength DVD. Power Yoga uses a fast flow sequence designed to work arms, back and abs to build strength that's balanced throughout all the large and small muscles. Awaken and warm up your body and mind with Sun Salutations, boost upper body strength and burn fat with fluid, fast-paced sequences and finish with guided relaxation to feel focused, energized & empowered. Features Rodney Yee.

Power Yoga: Strength DVD with Rodney Yee
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