Can yoga keep you young?
Wayne Léal (SYT) has contributed this article about Super-Ager yoga to our blog.
What are your thoughts on Super-Ager yoga? Can yoga really keep you young?
JUMPGA is a hybrid of two disciplines: rebounding and yoga, creating an entirely new movement plan. It was originally developed for ‘SUPER-AGERS’ who want to future-proof their body to combat age-related changes. It has introduced yoga to the most resistant people and become the go-to class at Champneys - the UK’s No1 health spa.
Using the rebounder as a prop during yoga sequences enables you to feel the benefits of the postures regardless of your level of flexibility, age or physical condition. It can help you access postures you might not otherwise be able to do. It will help modify the poses as you learn the fundamentals of yoga. Placing your hand on the rebounder in the Half Moon pose, for example, can help you to lengthen the spine and deepen the stretch. Similarly, lying on the rebounder can strengthen your lumbar spine in poses like Bridge.
It was Iyengar’s ingenious use of props that helped practitioners at all levels to gain the sensitivity of a pose and receive the benefits over time, but without over-extending themselves. Students were able to practise the poses and breath control with greater effectiveness, ease, and stability. It is yoga for exercise for the “average” person. By keeping the yoga element simple, we teach easy to perform postures, so no matter how inflexible or unfit people think they are, our teachers have seen it all before.
JumpGa will prove to be the most powerful form of exercise: a complete holistic cycle – from ecstatic jumping expression to the quiet meditative state of savasana. Physically, it produces molecular changes in muscle similar to going for a long run and lifting weights, thus it provides the same fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time, the benefits of yoga asana are well documented: flexibility, focus, breath awareness and core strength. By adding the JUMPGA aspect: The resulting increase in your metabolic rate can last for up to 24 hours. During this time your body continues the accelerated breakdown of sugars and fats, processing of oxygen and building of muscle – no matter what you do.
The great news for calorie-counters is that rebounding puts the numbers on your side. If you weigh 75 kilos and go for a 30-minute jog, the energy you expend will be equal to about 175 calories. The same time spent doing JUMPGA cardio burns 205 calories and its way more fun!
The yoga asana helps you focus on flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. It becomes a whole-body workout that strengthens your heart and lungs, boosts your immune system and tones and flexes the muscles all at the same time.
The great thing about rebounding is that you can simply just get on and bounce to improve your wellbeing, or push you fitness levels through the roof with a JUMPGA sequence of cardio yoga, plyometrics and calisthenics, making it the best all round training program for flexibility, core strength and cardio.
Exercising on a rebounder makes the standing yoga postures more challenging and the cardio workout is better than a standard steady rate cardio program because it works all of the muscle groups.
Improved flexibility - Jumping on a rebounder strengthens and lengthens muscles improving flexibility.
Increased bone density - Exercise can strengthen bone density as well as muscles. Increased bone density helps to prevent broken or fractured bones and osteoporosis.
Improved joint, tendon and ligament function - The strengthening of joints, tendons and ligaments can help to reduce the chances of some forms of arthritis and lessen the pain in some arthritic joints.
Development of balance and coordination - Balancing on a rebounder is unlike balancing on anything else. The rebounder floor is constantly moving and jumpers must be aware of their centre of gravity at all times.
Wayne Lèal’s new book Lone W•O•L•F is out now.