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31 Healthy Dessert Recipes For 2018

healthy dessert recipes

Healthy Dessert Recipes For 2018 That won't Ruin Your Resolutions!

Good for you .... You made your health and weight loss resolutions for 2018, and remembered to include healthy dessert recipes? 

That's a really smart choice!

At this time every year, so many people try to follow a clean eating diet and fail, because it ends up being too boring, and not giving their taste buds enough treats to keep life interesting. 

That's a real shame. 

There are so many healthy options which you can include in a balanced clean eating diet, that will satisfy your cravings for something sweet, and won't affect your waist line. 

Following are 31 of the best healthy dessert recipes that you can follow in 2018.  yes, that's a new recipe for every day of the month.

Click on each healthy dessert recipes title for the full recipe.

healthy dessert recipes

With just 23 calories, no sugar, melted chocolate or heavy cream involved, you wouldn't think this would be such a tasty treat.  

Just trust me, it is!

Only four ingredients needed to make this oh so simple recipe.  It's easy to make, and a great guilt free healthy treat. 

If you take a look at Amy's blog while you're there, you'll see that she's a real chocolate lover, and has some great recipes for tasty chocolate treats, that are healthy as well. So, I'm a fan!

healthy dessert recipes - oatmeal cups

At just 15 minutes baking time, and only a couple of minutes prep time, this healthy dessert recipe won't keep you waiting. 

It's a great treat to cook, because you can really add whatever you would like as a topping on the oatmeal, so you can add your favourite fruits or other flavorsome treat, to add some variety.  

breakfast desserts

Some countries actually have a second breakfast tradition, which I think is really cool. 

Even if you only have one breakfast, you should make sure that it gets your day started well.  

Ensuring that there is a good serving of protein included, will keep you feeling full, satisfied and with good energy for longer.  

This recipe ticks all those boxes, with a good dose of protein in the yogurt (I use high protein yogurt) and healthy grains which add fibre to your diet and help with good digestion. 

healthy dessert recipes -chocolate pancakes

Packed with 18 grams of protein and a good dose of fibre in every serving this is one satisfying healthy treat. 

Sugar free, gluten free, keeps you guilt free!

Just make sure you don't top them with too much cream if that's what your taste buds are telling you to do.  These are full of flavour already, and are great on their own. 

Healthy dessert recipes - Banana Cake Recipe

Bananas are a great food if you are into fitness, as they help recover electrolytes, and prevent cramps, and are a source of long lasting energy.

So baking a cake that contains a few bananas is a great idea for a healthy treat.  

Bake a good size cake, as it keeps for a while, and is a handy treat to have on hand.

healthy dessert recipes - baked apples

This is such a simple healthy recipe, with just seven minutes of prep, and 20 to 30 minutes cooking. 

I just love the taste of cinnamon with the cooked apples, it's got a bit of zest with the lovely smooth apple texture. 

I like to eat these hot or cold.

healthy dessert recipes

Another recipe with apples, just has to be healthy. Remember the saying? An apple a day keeps the doctor away. 

Well this simple recipe gives you a healthy treat that is super tasty as well. 

healthy dessert recipes - blueberry

With 18.6 grams of protein per serving, this healthy dessert recipe is a great choice to keep you feeling satisfied for longer. 

When I tried this recipe, I added custard on top with some chopped bananas and it was even more filling and gave me a great energy boost. 

Try it with your favourite added topping as well. 

healthy dessert recipes - fried pie rolls

My husband loves baked apple pie, and I was worried that this recipe from eating well just wouldn't pass muster with him. 

It was actually a great hit. The wanton pastry just changes the taste experience, and compliments that apples so well. 

These are great eaten on their own, but adding some healthy yogurt is yummy as well.

healthy dessert recipes - banana split

With 23 grams of protein and some great long lasting energy from the bananas this healthy treat is sure to satisfy both your appetite and taste buds.

I actually swapped the ricotta cheese out with high protein yogurt as a healthy option, that actually increases the protein content as well. 

healthy dessert recipes - protein pudding

This is another option for a breakfast dessert, to get your day started the right way. 

In fact recent studies have shown that eating breakfast desserts can be good for weight loss.  See the scientific study here.

And for those people who are including an extra protein supplement in their diet, this is a great way to include it as part of a meal. 

You can top this with any chopped fruits that you like.  I like to have it with chopped strawberries or whole blueberries. 

healthy dessert recipes - vegan peanut butter fudge

Such a simple recipe with only two ingredients. 

As someone who loves peanut butter, now that I've tasted this healthy treat, I can't believe that I never thought of making a fudge like this myself.  I'm so glad that I found Laura's recipe!

If you love dessert recipes then you should spend some time on her site, because she's like the queen of healthy desserts.

healthy dessert recipes - banana cheescake

This is another great recipe from Laura. Desserts are really her passion, and the recipes that she comes up with I think are just divine. 

Bananas are a great food for sustained energy, and I just love nuts, so given this recipe contains almonds, walnuts and cashews it's like it was just made for me:) 

healthy dessert recipes - mango rice

Mangoes are one of my favourite fruits, and rice is a great source of lean carbs, so as far as healthy dessert recipes go, this one definitely keeps me happy. 

I use brown rice, and I actually replace the brown cane sugar with a tablespoon of honey.  

I just love honey as a natural sweetener, which I believe contains so much goodness for our bodies. 

healthy dessert recipes - banana nut muffins

Annie's healthy desert recipes are a real treat. She seems able to find some of the yummiest, healthy fresh ingredients and combines them  to create recipes that will have your taste buds singing her praises too. 

I love the chopped walnuts, as I'm nuts about most nuts really:) 

These are great on their own, or you could try them with some healthy high protein yogurt, or protein ice cream for an extra good treat.

healthy dessert recipes - apples bars

I think that these are a great healthy dessert alternative to an apple pie.

These bars are really quick and easy to make, are super tasty either on their own, or sometimes I like to have them with a high protein yogurt or protein ice cream.

Just note that they should be eaten at home, as they get soft and so don't travel well. 

healthy dessert recipes - coconut puddng

Who doesn't love some coconut?

Erin's recipe is super simple to make, with some really healthy ingredients and you can make a big enough serve to keep for several days.

Who doesn't love chocolate cake? 

Problem is that usually when looking for healthy dessert recipes, you won't find a chocolate cake recipe that's actually going to create a truly delicious taste experience for you. 

When I tried this recipe from Mary's blog, barefeet in the kitchen, it was just the best.  With a lovely smooth moist texture and fully flavoured, this is healthy, but real, chocolate cake, so try it and enjoy!

healthy dessert recipes - peanut butter ice cream

Ice cream has to be one of the all time favourite desserts.  Most people wouldn't think of it being healthy for you, but with some creative twists it can be. 

This recipe from cookery author Roz Purcell ticks lots of boxes.  With high protein bars, banana's for a long lasting energy boost, and honey for energy and a shot of pure goodness, this dessert is really tasty and the energy hit leaves you feeling great.

healthy dessert recipes - yogurt pie

This is probably one of the simplest healthy dessert recipes that you will ever find. 

It's just two ingredients mixed together and frozen.  I use a high protein vanilla yogurt, and add some cinnamon spice for some extra taste.

The original recipe doesn't include the pastry base shown, but I just use a simple biscuit base pastry in a pie dish for this. 

healthy dessert recipes - chocolate mint slice

Chocolate and mint together are an awesome combination, that's sure to give your taste buds a blast of satisfaction.

I found this recipe on the Sarah in shape blog, and couldn't wait to try it for myself. You will find on Sarah's blog that she has been through her own journey developing an interest in healthy but tasty desserts. I'm so glad that she came up with this one, because it's just so decadent, but doesn't ruin your diet.:)

healthy dessert recipes - workout brownies

If you like chocolate then you should do yourself a favour and check out more of the healthy dessert recipes from this cook.  Her blog is actually called "Chocolate covered Katie", and if that isn't enough to convince you that she truly is worth following, then what if I told you that she believes in eating dessert every day. 

That certainly convinced me to try some of her recipes!

This recipe for workout brownies sounded just right for me, and it has become one of my favourite recipes. It's great to keep some of these on hand, as they are a good protein snack if I'm feeling peckish. 

healthy dessert recipes

I really love nuts!

So finding this recipe from Lauren Kelly made my day. Lauren is a nutritionist so I knew I could trust her saying that this was a healthy recipe, and I knew that I'd love the taste with the pecan nuts included. 

I like to add about double the cinnamon, but that's only because I really like it's flavour, so I'm adding extra to the original recipe.

healthy dessert recipes - chocolate avocado pudding

I love avocados, and they contain healthy fats which are an important inclusion in your diet. 

I use honey in the recipe, which I also consider to be a healthy way to add sweetness. 

Surprisingly the end dessert doesn't taste like avocado, but still contains all the goodness.  Not that I'm against the taste of avocado's, it's just surprising given that's the main ingredient.

healthy dessert recipes

Chocolate and coconut are such a great combination of tastes, and they really make this dessert a divine healthy treat. 

This recipe contains a good serve of protein and fiber.  Fiber is really important for your digestion and gut health, so I'm loving the combination. 

I add a spoon of natural bush honey to add some extra sweetness to the recipe as well.

healthy dessert recipes - peanut butter cookies

I often get caught eating peanut butter straight out of the jar.  I know, that's not a real healthy snack, and I'm  being naughty. 

So, I was really happy to discover this recipe by Lee.  She's obviously into fitness as well, so knows what it feels like to have to fuel your body properly. 

Containing protein and an egg, these healthy treats will keep you feeling satisfied, with a good energy boost.

healthy dessert recipes - cookies

This recipe by Faith is truly one of my favourites, because you get to use up those over ripe bananas.  Let's face it, they are always getting over ripe. 

These are super tasty, and I love to have them as a small guilt free treat with my coffee.

protein yogurt ice cream

Ice cream is such a treat especially during summer, but it's usually a guilty treat.  

This protein yogurt ice cream recipe is completely guilt free.  With a healthy serve of protein for long lasting energy, you can eat it on it's own or with your favourite fruit. 

healthy dessert recipes - chocolate bars

Chocolate, coconut and peanut butter.  Can you think of any three treats better than these together? 

I love this recipe by Shelly of Two Healthy Kitchens. It's loaded with taste with a great texture, and is gluten free, which is great for me because gluten can really mess with my stomach.

healthy dessert recipes - almond bites

I love almonds and coconut, both of which give you a serve of healthy fats in your diet, so this recipe by Kelly of Life Made Sweeter is a great choice if you are looking for a healthy treat.

With no baking required, this is a super simple recipe, and you can make up a batch and keep them refrigerated to have one with a coffee whenever you feel like a quick treat.

healthy dessert recipes - fig cake

Another gluten free paleo recipe which is kind to my stomach, I just love these cakes. 

I came across this recipe on A Healthy Life For Me, and Amy has done wonders with this recipe, that's healthy but still has heaps of flavor and a great texture.  There's lots of great recipes on her site, so do yourself a favor and take a look around once you've read how to make this cake.

I like being able to make the several small cakes and keeping them to eat as snacks when my sweet tooth calls. 

There's your healthy dessert recipes to enjoy

I love trying new recipes, and I just love healthy food in general.  I'm so glad that I also love to workout.

A lot of the "diets" that people are following, thinking that they are doing the right thing in their quest for weight loss, or the perfect body, I think are just depriving them of both proper nutrition, and the joy of good eating. 

I hope that sharing these healthy dessert recipes with you, will help show that you can really enjoy eating tasty treats, while still maintaining great levels of fitness.  I know that I do:) 

These are really some of the easiest to make, but most enjoyable to eat recipes that I have tried, and I hope that you enjoy some of them too.  

If you've got any other healthy dessert recipes that are personal favourites, please share them with me in the comments below.  I'm always happy to try new sweet treats!

Protein Yogurt Ice Cream

protein yogurt ice cream

Give your taste buds a treat with protein yogurt ice cream

Protein yogurt ice cream makes a great snack, or healthy dessert, that won't ruin your training goals.

Sometimes when you're chasing new health and fitness goals, whether they are related to weight loss, or gaining muscle and strength, you can start to feel that your meal plans are a bit bland. 

That leads to cravings, which leads to unplanned cheat snacks, which leads to feelings of guilt and affects your progress.  That's a bad path to follow. 

It's much better to plan to include some healthy treats in your diet, so sweet tooth cravings are taken care of, while still eating clean. 

If you need any extra convincing that yogurt is great for you, see all the details here.

This protein yogurt ice cream recipe is a perfect healthy dessert, as it's full of protein, which actually keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer, and helps with muscle recovery from your workouts. 

Protein yogurt ice cream ingredients

  • 1 serve of vanilla yogurt (I use high protein yogurt)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon spice
  • 1/2 glass of water
protein yogurt ice cream ingredient prep

Making your yogurt ice cream

This is a really easy recipe to make, with just a couple of minutes prep time, and pop the ice cream into the freezer.

Just a few easy steps;

  1. Chop the banana into slices
  2. Add the yogurt, banana and water into a blender
  3. Add protein powder
  4. Add cinnamon spice
  5. Blend until smooth
  6. Pour mixture into plastic cups and freeze
protein yogurt ice cream ingredients

I really like the cinnamon spice, but you can consider that optional if you just like a really pure vanilla taste.

The protein yogurt ice cream will freeze really hard, so I usually shift a cup into the fridge for about 15 minutes before eating, so it's a bit softer.

My husband has a real love affair with ice cream, and always has a tub of it in the freezer, so this recipe has given us a great healthy option so he still has a tasty treat that he can enjoy, while getting a good hit of healthy protein and yogurt.  That keeps everyone happy:)

If you are looking for some healthy dinner recipe ideas as well, then you'll enjoy these 31 clean eating recipes.

Enjoy, and stay healthy!

Breakfast Desserts Healthy Treat Recipe

breakfast desserts

Breakfast desserts recipe for a healthy start

Breakfast desserts might sound strange, but it's actually a great idea!

Why start the day being boring? 

In some countries within Europe including Bavaria, Hungary, Poland, Vienna and Austria, they traditionally even have a second breakfast.  So if they can create a tradition like that around breakfast, why can't we start our own?

I vote that we all start creating breakfast desserts, to get our days underway with a tasty treat.

Anyhow, fire up your taste buds with this super tasty and simple recipe, which is also great for your digestive health and keeps you feeling full for longer with a hit of extra protein. 

Breakfast desserts ingredients;

  • 1 portion of high protein yogurt
  • serve of fresh sliced strawberries
  • serve fresh sliced mango
  • 1/2 cup of healthy grains mix
breakfast desserts ingredients

Making your breakfast desserts

Soak the 1/2 cup of grains in 1/2 cup of water kept in the fridge overnight, to activate the grains so that they are easy for your stomach to digest quickly. 

Prepare a serve each of sliced mango and strawberries.  I include a fairly generous serve of both, because I just love sweet fruits, and they provide a real burst of flavour combined with the vanilla yogurt. 

Place a serve of high protein yogurt in a bowl

Add the healthy grains.  They will have absorbed the 1/2 cup of water and have swelled up a bit.  

mix the yogurt and grains together till the grains are well blended into the yogurt. 

add the sliced fresh fruit on top, and your healthy breakfasts desserts recipe is complete and ready to enjoy. 

How quick and easy is that! 

While I've called this a breakfast recipe, it's actually really handy to make this up and keep some in a container to eat as a filling snack throughout the day as well.

It's a tasty treat, that due to the high protein yogurt, will keep you feeling satisfied, with good energy, for longer.

If you are constantly craving sweets in your diet, it's a good indicator about your food personality.  if you'd like to find out more about your own food personality, try taking the simple test below;


Food Quiz: Food Preferences and Personality

fruit basket

Food Quiz; What do your preferences say about You?

A food quiz can tell you a lot about your food persona, and how you really relate to food. 

Are you really a healthy eater? 

Or do you cave in to emotional hunger occasionally. 

Take the quick food quiz and find out!

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Why your food preferences are important;

Cravings for different types of food, whether it's spicy, salty, sweet, fast food or natural organic can have as much to do with your personality as it does your taste buds. 

But whatever the reason, you can be very sure that your food preferences are going to have a major impact on your life. 

The foods you choose to eat will have an affect on;

  • Your energy levels
  • Your body fat
  • Your digestive health
  • Your strength / muscle density
  • Your weight
  • Your sleep
  • Your bone health
  • Risk of diseases including heart disease, cancer and diabetes to name a few.
  • Your mental health
  • Your immune system
  • Blood pressure
  • Your teeth 
  • Your skin / Acne
  • Cholesterol 
  • And many more; 

You get the idea.  What you eat will to a very large degree influence what kind of health and enjoyment you achieve in life. 

Food has an affect on us all, physically, mentally and many would say spiritually as well. 

food quiz

Food and your spiritual balance;

In Ayurvedic medicine practice there is a strong belief in eating to balance your dosha.  The spiritual nutrition principles are based around three doshas;

  • Vayu
  • Pitta
  • Kapha

By eating the correct foods for the dosha which is in most alignment with your shakra, you maintain harmony within the body, by soothing the dosha. 

Recommendations for each are;

Vayu - warm foods with moderately heavy texture. See more here

Pitta - cool or warm with moderately heavy texture and bitter, sweet and astringent tastes. See more here

Kapha - warm and light foods without much water. See more here

Have you taken the food quiz yet?

I hope that you're convinced that it's worth having an understanding of your food personality, and you've taken the quiz to find out. 

If not, jump back to the top of the page and start the quiz.  Whether you are really serious about it, or just curious, it only takes a couple of minutes to do, and just might help you to understand why you eat the way you do.

If you're ready for some great healthy eating, check out some of the easy to prepare dishes in these clean eating recipes.

Yoga Poses; How to do Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana

Yoga Poses; How to do Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana is a deeply relaxing pose which is great to include in a yoga practice for any level

To relax the mind, body and restore the spirit, regular practice of this pose will have great benefits.

You can try doing a simple Baddha Honasana pose to start with if the reclining pose is stretching too much through the groin.

At the end of a long day, try practicing Supta Baddha Konasana, and feel the lift in your spirits.

Watch the video below as Kerri McCubben shares easy to follow instructions on how to do Supta Baddha Konasana;

Some benefits of Supta Baddha Konasana

  1. Increased energy levels
  2. Decreased heart rate
  3. Reduced fatigue 
  4. Relief of panic attacks and anxiety 
  5. Reduced tension and stress
  6. Lower blood pressure
  7. Good for conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or PMS
  8. Provides a great stretch of the groin and inner thigh muscles.

Steps

  1. Begin seated in staff pose with your legs extended in front of you. 
  2. Bend your knees, pressing the soles of your feet together and draw your heals back towards your pelvis.
  3. Lean backwards and place your elbows on the ground.
  4. Close your eyes and internalise your thoughts.
  5. Breath deeply for five long breaths, feeling your chest and ribs expand and your body relax.
  6. Role to the side and come up into a seated position.

Tips

  1. Relax your belly to allow maximum extension through your spine.
  2. Breath deeply and naturally throughout
  3. Centre your mind and focus on relaxing through your entire body.
  4. Depending on your flexibility, you may find placing a block under each knee helps to keep you relaxed without over stretching the groin. 
  5. Place a small pillow behind your neck for extra comfort.

Learning to listen to your body is an invaluable benefit of regular yoga practice, and a relaxing pose like Supta Baddha Konasana can really help with this. Feel the stillness, and focus your thoughts throughout the pose while continuing to breath deeply to expand the chest. 

Once you're comfortable try some more of these 50 beginner yoga poses, for a well rounded yoga practice. 

Sagittal Plane, Frontal Plane & Transverse Plane

sagittal plane

Do you know about the sagittal plane and the other different planes of motion your body works in every day?

These days, our life-style has changed to become busier.

Sometimes we don’t spend time to better understand or reflect on our actions, nutrition, health and fitness decisions. Including how the way we train impacts on our body over time.

We need to care for our body, this amazing machine that we use every single day, and sometimes it’s important to spend some time to know more about it!

Since, I’ve been training, I incorporate diverse exercises to work my whole body.

Different types of cardio and weights training, to keep me in good condition to operate in my every-day life.

As happens to me sometimes, I got curious enough to want to understand, what does it mean to move in a plane, and why is it important at all?

If you'd like more technical details about the anatomical planes, then you may like to read this wikipedia page. I'm going to keep things practical here for you.

Let’s talk about the different planes, so we understand more why we should do each exercise we do in our training routine.

And the importance of including different moves in your workout, that work the body in all planes, in which we usually move.

The body moves in three motions or planes known as: Sagittal, Frontal and Transverse plane

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Before we go ahead with some exercises, let’s understand each plane.

Sagittal Plane:

Movements in this plane are flexion and extension. Also up and down exercises.

Frontal Plane:

Exercises in this plane are sideways movements known as abductions and adduction.

Transverse Plane:

Movements in this plane are rotational, internal and external rotation, pronation and supination. Most sports include rotational moves.

When we don’t work our bodies in all those planes, the body will start to have an imbalance. Because we start to develop strength in some muscles leaving others out.

The muscles you leave out become weaker, and as a result your posture changes and injuries start to appear.

So, let’s mention some exercises in each plane that will help us to keep the full body in balance. You should try to incorporate some of each into your workouts to keep the body in balance.

There are many exercises in the front sagittal plane that you can include in your workout. For now I will only mention a few of the main one’s being, squats, bench press and push ups.

Squats:

squats

This is one of the compound exercises, because squats involve practically the whole body. But, the work is focused in the lower body, and the muscles with major involvement are the quadriceps, hamstring and glutes.

There are different types of squats, but I will explain the classical squat.

The start position for squats is standing. With the bar placed above the trapezes, (Shoulders, behind the neck) with your feet separated at shoulder width, and back straight.

The squat move is performed by descending as if you are going to have a seat. Without bending the back, and ensuring that the knees don’t pass in front of the tip of your feet. Your legs forming at least 90 degree angle. Also remember to keep your head straight looking up.

Remember to push your bum back first. This keeps your back in the correct position as your knees bend to lower you into the down position of the squat.

Power yourself back up, by driving down through your heels to stand up straight again.

Push ups:

push ups

I love push ups! They are a great exercise for the upper body. You will work your arms, chest and core. While you develop strength in your upper body you are also shaping your arms.

Place your hands on the floor at shoulder width. Feet on the floor, with legs extended and push your upper body until your arms are extended. Then lower back to the floor and hold for few seconds, and repeat the move.

For more variations of push ups which you can do. Check out this post 

Bench press:

bench press

This is one of the most classical exercises in any workout routine and for sure nobody forgets it.

Bench press is a compound exercise, as it involves a lot muscle of the upper body and It is great for developing great strength. Bench press not only works the pectorals, you also are working your triceps, front shoulders and back.

The starting point to do bench press is lying on the bench with your feet placed on the floor completely. Create an arch in your back, without taking your feet from the floor; the bar must be over your chest, your arms wide creating a 90 degrees angle at your elbow.

Press the bar back up until you have almost locked your elbows. Then bring the bar down until your mid-chest, and press it up again, keeping the arch in your back and keeping your butt on the bench.

We have mentioned the sagittal plane above, and a few exercises that can be done in this plane. Now let’s bring up some samples of exercises that work in the frontal plane.

Side lunges, lateral dumbbell raises and military press.

Side lunges:

side lunge

This is an exercise for the lower body, mainly targeting the glutes, quadriceps and adductors. It is an excellent exercise to start with body weight, until you get the technique down pat, and it becomes easier. Then you can step to the next level adding dumbbells or a barbell.

Here is how to do them.

Stand with your feet and knees together. Contract your core muscles and take a lateral step with one of your feet opposite to it lunging toward the floor. Make sure the other foot is stable and the knee is not passing the toe, keeping the other leg moderately straight. Keep the upper body vertical while you are lunging back to the starting point, pushing off all the weight of the other with the tension to start again.

Lateral dumbbell raises:

lateral dumbbell raise

This exercise is mainly focus in shoulders (deltoids) and it is simple to do it.

Now I will explain the way to train your shoulders with lateral raises.

Stand straight holding dumbbells in each hand with your palm facing your body. Keep your core stable by squeezing it. Then slowly raise the weights until they are parallel with your shoulders, and stop at the top for few seconds. And then slowly lower your hands down to the starting point.

Military press:

military press

It targets shoulders and triceps, although your core will be involved as well to keep the stability in your body.

Military press can be done standing up or even sitting on the bench. I prefer to do it standing up. You can use dumbbells or a barbell. Put your feet at shoulder width, hold the barbell with your arms with width of your shoulders, placing the bar on your collarbone. Then press the barbell up until your arms are fully extend over your head, keeping your torso stable and then lower it back to the initial point.

To complete all the planes, it is important to understand the transversal plane, and which exercises we can do in this plane.

As mentioned before, all movements with rotation are working on the transversal plane. Let’s point out a few of them such as right or left cross (boxing), twisting crunches with a medicine ball and wood chop exercise, with a dumbbell or cable.

Right or left cross:

right hook

To perform this exercise always keep your hands guarding your chin, while the other hand is throwing the cross.

When you are throwing the punch your hand should be extended. Your left foot is in front of your right (if you are right handed, or the reverse if you are left handed “Southpaw”). Bending both knees a bit and remaining balanced.

When you are punching your body is rotating with the power coming from the full body.

Twist crunches with a medicine ball:

russian twist

I have been doing this exercise for quite a long time, and let me tell you how good it is for your core muscles. I started with a light medicine ball and I have stepped up in weight when the exercise becomes easier. Twist crunches is also identify as the Russian twist.

To do this exercise, lying on the mat, bend your knees and crunch your core at 45-degree approximately. Hold the medicine ball and swing the ball side to side, keeping the lower body straight and only twisting the core.

Wood chops with a dumbbell or cable:

dumbbell woodchop
dumbbell woodchop up

It is manly focused on the core muscles and the oblique.

To perform wood chops you must hold the weight with both hands, bend your knees as if you were squatting. Cross the weight over your body from the left hip to the right upper body, with your lower body stable while you are doing the rotation. Repeat the same move to the other side.

Now we understand how in our every day life every move belongs to a different plane of motion, such as sagittal plane, frontal and transversal plane to have a normal function.

And also knowing all these planes of movement, we now have the understanding to perform a proper training routine. Incorporating exercises which use each one to keep all your muscles strong, prevent injuries and bad posture.

Since you are interested enough in your fitness to read this blog, you should take a few moments to complete the latest fitness quiz.

To see how your health and fitness ranks, find out now by clicking here.

Yoga Poses; How to do Utthita Parsvakonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Yoga Poses; How to do Utthita Parsvakonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana is a great asana to create new energy in your body.  It helps expand the ribs down both sides of your body to allow deep full breaths.

Think about when you wake up in the morning, and stretch your arms above your head with a giant yawn.  That's opening up your sides to allow air into your lungs in a similar way. 

You need to pay attention to stabalising your legs and hips when completing Utthita parsvakonasana, so that you are well balanced to achieve the fullest stretch possible right through your body to the tips of your fingers. 

One of the greatest benefits of yoga, is learning to focus your mind, and this pose is great for that.  Ensure that you are focusing on the many different parts of the pose, from your feet, through your legs and hips, your arms and head, all at the same time. This trains your mind to focus on many things simultaneously.

 Watch the following video, as Kerri McCubben shows us how to do Utthita parsvakonasana;

Some benefits of Utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)

  1. Relieves stiffness in the back and shoulder
  2. Can relieve sciatica 
  3. Strengthens the ankles knees and legs
  4. Can help with menstrual pain
  5. Can help with lower back pain
  6. Provides a great stretch through the groin and hamstrings

Steps

  1. Come into Tadasana (mountain pose) 
  2. Bring your right leg back, while rotating both feet inwards, so that you end up almost pigeon toed
  3. Raise your arms up to shoulder height
  4. Draw your lower belly in
  5. Keep your arms and legs straight and strong, and turn your right foot out, pointing your toes to the right
  6. Bend through your right knee 
  7. Bring your right hand onto your leg and your left hand onto your hip
  8. Turn your head, taking your gaze up to the sky
  9. Place your right hand down onto the floor beside your right foot
  10. Reach your left arm up and over 
  11. Hold for five long deep breaths
  12. Release and simply come back up
  13. Repeat steps 2 through to 11, this time with the left leg / side. 
  14. Release and come back up again to finish

Tips

  1. Don't allow your body to drop or lean forward throughout the pose
  2. Keep your back foot pressed firmly into the floor
  3. Don't allow your front knee to go past your ankle. Keep it aligned with your front heel
  4. Focus on your breathing throughout

When you are completing this asana properly, with your breathing, mind and body in alignment, you will feel how yoga unites the spirit, mind and body as one. 

Utthita parsvakonasana works the whole body, so it's a good idea to complete the asana earlier in your routine, so that you can maintain good form without any fatigue having set in. 

If you'd love to get into more technical info about the extended side angle pose, then check out this Wikipedia page.

Looking for more yoga poses for your practice?  We've got 50 beginner yoga poses for you to try.

Keep practicing, and stay healthy!

Yoga Poses; How to do Parighasana – Gate Pose

beginner-yoga-poses-parighasana

Yoga Poses, how to do Parighasana

Parighasana, or gate pose is a great beginners level side bend, providing a great stretch through the side muscles and opening up the breathing, to be truly three dimensional. 

This asana is part of the yoga practice which was made popular by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th Century, called Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. often promoted now as classical Indian yoga.

Within this practice for each asana there are three important focuses of attention. Breathing system (pranayama), posture (asana), and looking place (dristhi), which importantly cover three levels of purification; the body, nervous system and the mind.

We should be mindful and focus on these as we complete our yoga practice, to obtain the most benefits.

Parigha literally means, the bar that shuts the gate, and your body resembles that bar when doing this pose. 

Coordinating your breathing while doing Parighasana will help to cleanse your system and relax your mind, calming nerves and helping with digestion.

Watch below as Kerri McCubben provides instruction on how to do Parighasana;

Some benefits of Parighasana (gate pose)

  1. Stimulates the abdominal organs and lungs
  2. Stretches the muscles of the torso, especially side muslces
  3. Repeated practice opens up the chest and shoulders
  4. Helps with breathing, as it stretches the muscles between your ribs (intercostal muscles)
  5. Can help alleviate respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies or colds
  6. Stretches adductor, hamstring and calf muscles
  7. Helps calm the mind, relieve stress and nerves

Steps

  1. Kneel on your mat with legs curled under
  2. Reach your right hand out to the side and take your weight on it
  3. Lift your pelvis up
  4. Extend your left leg out straight, placing your foot flat on the mat
  5. Tilt your pelvis forward drawing your lower belly in
  6. Extend your left arm up and bring it over so that you really feel the stretch through your rib muscles and down the side of your body
  7. Hold the pose for five long deep breaths
  8. Release, come down from the pose, relax and change to the other side

Tips

  1. Keep your stretched arm against your ear, and pull your shoulder blades together
  2. Look up at the sky, keeping your neck long
  3. Remember to breath deeply while you hold the pose
  4. Practice focusing the mind and feel the calming affect of the pose

Be careful when practicing Parighasana to keep your chest perpendicular with the floor and your torso straight.  Don't allow your body to twist and bend forward rather than to the side. 

For those who have had previous bad knee injuries or chronic knee problems, it's better to avoid this pose altogether.  You can do a similar side stretch while sitting on a chair instead, to achieve many of the same benefits. 

If you've mastered Parighasana, and are looking for more asana's to practice, then we've got 50 beginner yoga poses here for you to try.

Enjoy!  And remember, time spent working on yourself is always time well spent.

Yoga Poses; How to do Upavistha Konasana

Upavistha Konasana

Yoga Poses, how to do Upavistha Konasana

Upavistha Konasana looks hard doesn't it? Yoga poses come in all degrees of difficulty, and while I'm calling this a beginners pose, because it's a preparatory pose for other asana's, it is a challenging and intense stretch that will help center your mind as you release tension and embrace the pose. 

Wherever you are on your fitness journey, starting to incorporate yoga will bring benefits.  As someone who loves to run and lift, learning some of the foundational yoga poses really helps with my flexibility and lengthening muscles. 

Upavistha Konasana, or seated forward bend helps stretch the entire back, your hamstrings and inner thigh muscles

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Upavista means seated, and kona means angle in the Sanskrit language.  It's a really useful pose to use as preparation for most of the seated forward bends and twists.

Watch as Kerri McCubben of Home of Yoga New Farm demonstrates seated forward fold, below.  

Some benefits of Upavistha Konasana (seated forward fold)

  1. Stretches your adductors
  2. Stretches your hamstrings
  3. Calms your nervous system
  4. Is known to relieve sciatic pain
  5. Stimulates the abdominals
  6. Strengthens the spine
  7. The groin is released
  8. Activates your core musles

Steps

  1. Sit erect and open your legs to a 90 degree angle
  2. Point your toes up and align your knees while flexing your feet
  3. Inhale deeply and hold for a few seconds
  4. Keeping your lower back and abs supported, exhale slowly and fold forward reach your hands out to grab the outside of your feet, while you bring your chest to the floor
  5. Breath deeply while holding the pose for about a minute
  6. Exhale slowly, while gently coming back upright

Tips

  1. Remember to lengthen through your spine
  2. Make sure that your knee caps point upwards
  3. Don't allow your lower back to round
  4. Fold forward from your hips, not your waist
  5. Keep your legs engaged
  6. Move gently and at attentively and allow your mind to open up during the process
  7. Only bend forward as far as is comfortable, without experiencing any pain in your back
  8. If you have difficulty getting your chest to the floor, try lowering your forehead to the floor first, then your nose, and then your chin.  This will all help you progressively get your chest lower to the floor.
  9. If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees slightly

Let your thoughts become calm, and really relax into this pose, as while it's a challenge, you will also feel really relaxed once you've mastered it. Centering your mind while performing Asana's helps you to get the most from your practice.

Once you've mastered Upavistha Konasana, you will be keen to keep adding new asana's to your practice, and we've given you 50 beginner yoga poses, with benefits, just for that purpose.

How to do Dandasana – staff pose

dandasana

Dandasana; Because You Need a Good Foundation.

Dandasana looks really simple, but it's important to make sure that you're doing it the right way, because it is the foundation of all seated poses. 

The name comes from sankrit, and it's meaning is; Danda "stick" Asana "posture".  Read more here.

It's so easy for your every day posture to fall into a habitual forward slump. Most of us suffer from poor posture, and staff pose helps correct that for us.

When the spine is straight and shoulder back, our breathing naturally becomes deeper and more regular. The nervous system will become relaxed and the mind and body are in greater alignment and harmony.

Regular practice of Dandasana will give you improved posture, and if you've had any discomfort sitting or standing for long periods it will help improve that as well.  So it's a great regular asana for anyone slaving in the office!

Some benefits of Dandasana (staff pose)

  • Improved posture
  • Stronger back muscles
  • Stretches the spine 
  • Stretches through the shoulders and chest
  • Can help alleviate back or sciatic pain
  • Improves core strength
  • Prevent tiredness of the feet and calf muscles
  • Helps improve digestion

Steps

  1. Sit on the floor with your back straight and extend your legs out in front of you
  2. Now place your palms next to your hips flat on the floor. 
  3. Press your glutes into the floor and point the top of your head up to the ceiling to lengthen and straighten the back. 
  4. Inhale to lengthen your spine
  5. Keep breathing normally, and hold the pose for about 5 breaths or 30 seconds.

Tips

  1. Keep you heals in line with your hips
  2. Engage the soles of your feet, by pointing your toes back towards your body
  3. Draw your thigh bones in together and down towards the floor
  4. Think about lengthening the danda (staff) spine
  5. Draw your shoulder blades back towards each other
  6. Never flatten or round the lower back

If you've got really tight hamstrings you might find Dandasana difficult to do at first.  Try it sitting with your back up against a wall, or sit on a few blankets or books to elevate you a little more.

dandasana pose

Advanced Tips

  1. Take the pose into a forward bend; Known as Pashimottanasana
  2. Try challenging yourself to hold the pose for longer, keeping your legs fully engaged.

Seated staff pose is a great asana to include as part of your regular yoga practice.  If you are looking to strengthen your core, you can even try doing it while you are sitting watching TV or reading.

For more easy foundation yoga poses check out 50 beginner yoga poses with benefits.