Well, it's been a long journey, but we have finally completed all parts of my Yin Yang weight loss system. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done! The purpose of this blog is simply to collect all the exercises in one place, so that you don't have to go searching through all the blogs to find them.
If you are wondering how long you should continue this routine to get the best results, the answer is: forever! Maintaining a healthy weight after losing weight doesn't require as much exercise, but it does still require exercise. So, if you were pushing yourself hard while you still had weight to lose, you can dial that effort back to 80% when you're goal is changes to simply maintaining your current weight.
Okay! That's it. On to something new next week. Happy Stretching!
Yang - Strength of Body
Walk like a Warrior: Warm up with this exercise. It integrates body, mind, and spirit. Even better, you can walk like a warrior anywhere: in your house, outside, in place facing the window, around a lake, etc. You can do it year-round. This video demonstrates the exercise at home, in place, near a window. When walking, keep the toes facing forward, and roll from the heal to the ball of the foot. Start with 1-3 minutes.
Up and Down: I go into great detail in this video about the many ways to do this exercise to get your heart pumping, build muscle, and burn fat. Be sure to start at the level that is appropriate for your ability, and work your way up.
Push-ups: Begin with 5-15 of each type (elbows-in and elbows-out), and work your way up to 30-50 of each, 3-5 times a week. Make sure you integrate deep breathing, emptying the mind, and evoking the spirit by putting the mind in the three forces: human, heaven, and earth.
Sit-ups: For people who are restricted and cannot do sit-ups from the floor, start from the chair. Slide to the edge of the chair with your butt, straighten your trunk, and hold it straight like a plank throughout the exercise. In the video, we show the three arm positions, as well as the three levels of difficulty on the floor. Again, choose what is challenging, but not painful for you, and work your way through each stage.
Counting Breath Cool Down: Finally, we cool down from all of the cardio and strength training with a simple method for slowing the breath and the mind. This facilitates relaxation and healing by bringing oxygen into the tired muscles and rebuilding them, regulating hormone production, and reducing stress.
Yin - Strength of Mind
Candle Meditation: This is the easiest of the self-guided meditations, so you want to begin here. To make things even easier, make sure to check the Fire Breathing and Tip-of-the-Tongue tips that I give down below the first video. If you don't have any candles lying around, you can always download an app on your smartphone, or use a candle meditation Youtube video to help guide you. Remember: make sure you are sitting comfortably, and begin with short sessions. Work your way up to 5, then 10, then 15 minutes.
Iron on the Wall with Fire Breath: Now that you've got that Fire Breathing down, you can utilize it during a gentle stretch. This will relax your entire shoulder girdle, neck, and upper back. You may even find that it helps relieve migraines and other forms of headaches. Remember to visualize the skeleton moving up, and the fascia, muscles, skin, and ligaments moving down. We don't do western style-stretching here! So don't do this for only 30 seconds and think you're done. Go for as long as you can, ideally holding the stretch for 2-3 minutes at a time. Breath deep and loud while you do this stretch, and imagine your soft tissues like ice, melting to water, and then evaporating like steam.
Water Breath: Well, now that you've mastered fire breathing, it is time in the workout for a more challenging task: water breathing. Slow, silent, and steady. That is what you should be thinking while you do water breath. If you can hear your own breathing, even that's too loud! Just like the candle meditation, work your way up to 15 or 20 minutes while doing this meditation in a workout. If you wish to only meditate by itself, not as part of a workout, you can go up to 45 minutes, but then make sure to walk around and stretch your legs for at least 15 minutes before sitting again.
Vitamin H with Water Breath: The same rules apply for this stretch as for the Iron on the Wall Stretch. You may not be as able to visualize the ice melting here, but make sure to keep your toes pointed forward, your legs straight, and tilt your hip bones toward the floor (you can think of it as tilting your butt up to the ceiling too, if that helps). This hip tilt makes sure that you put the maximum amount of stretch on your hamstrings as possible. Breath deep!
Embrace the Tree: This is a standing meditation, and some people may find it a bit tiring in the legs, but that is good. Practice it like you practice the other two meditations, working up to about 20 minutes. With this meditation, don't forget to picture the lower energy center. You can even hold a tai chi ball or something similar two inches below the navel if that helps you visualize.
Cloud Hands: Last but not least, you will put a slow, moving meditation to work for you by doing the cloud hands movement in addition to the lower energy center visualization and water breath. This exercise seems pretty simple on the surface, but when you combine everything we've done in this Yin routine do far, it actually requires a lot of concentration and control to do it correctly. Improve with this exercise in steps: first just do the motion, then incorporate the breathing, then the visualization. This is where your willpower and decision-making center really come into play and get a full workout.
Bonus Exercise - Add to either half of the routine
Lying Down Relaxation: Get comfortable on the floor, using a mat or blanket to protect your spine, and keep your hands and feet relaxed using sandbags or other weights if necessary. Empty your mind of any thoughts, and put your attention in your toes. Breath in and out, visualizing the energy enter your body through your nose, with your breath, and traveling all the way to your toes. Now move your attention up to include your whole feet. Next your lower legs. Now your knees. Are you asleep yet? It's okay if you are! This exercise is a great way to reduce stress, which can have a negative effect on our self-esteem, self-control, eating habits, and much more. Shed weight by shedding that excess stress!