I was contacted by and received a complimentary heart rate monitor from Beets Blu in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated below for the purpose of this review are mine.
Yoga can be so misunderstood!
You see, here's the thing about yoga, people somehow can't seem to get the image of a guru siting stark still, legs crossed, eyes closed out of their minds and write the physical expression of yoga (there are eight limbs) off as a second rate form of exercise.
Ugh... you'll hear some people say, I want a REAL workout.
Or, yoga's a nice stretch, but I need more...
I am of course generalizing, but as a yoga teacher I hear a broad range of reasons why people opt out of yoga.
Now if yoga is just not your thing in the same regard that running (unless I'm being chased by something very, very frightening) is not mine, I totally get it. We must all follow our exercise bliss.
But for those people who would commit to a yoga practice if they could, say...track their heart rate in the same manner they are able to on the treadmill or for those people who need quantifiable proof that they are burning calories whenever they exercise, then Beets Blu has come to the rescue!
Yoga is a form of exercise, but it's so much more than a form of exercise and because of this many people are confused about what it is.
Yoga emerged out of meditation. Yoga asanas or postures were developed as a way for yogis to engage their physical bodies and cultivate discipline in order to concentrate while deep in meditation. The physical practice of yoga traditionally, is secondary to the practice of meditation and breath work (pranayama).
To delve a bit deeper, there are 8 Limbs of Yoga- eight branches if you will emerging from the tree of yoga. The physical expression of yoga (asana) is merely one.
Yoga's 8 Limbs:
1. Yama (Proper conduct and personal integrity- think behaving in accordance to the Golden Rule)
2. Niyama (Self-discipline in relation to spirituality ex) meditating, saying grace, attending religious services, etc.)
3. Asana (The physical postures of yoga)
4. Pranayama (Breath control. There are many breathing practices associated with yoga that help us connect with our breath)
5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal from the outside world, focusing inwards and detaching from our senses)
6. Dharana (Cultivating deep concentration through practicing the many limbs of yoga)
7. Dhyana (Meditation as a way of quieting the mind)
8. Samadhi (Pure bliss and transcendence, the ultimate merge with the divine)
So you see, yoga is so much more than an hour of sweating it out on the mat.
But for many, it is just that.
In the West the physical practice of yoga has risen to the forefront and with good reason, the physical practice of yoga, the asanas are so healing and provide an ideal holistic workout. In pretty much every gym or fitness club you can find a yoga class these days.
Yoga provides a complete workout, particularly Vinyasa Flow classes where movements are linked together and between many of the standing poses one is asked to move through a flow sequence (hello cardio, core, strength training and stamina!!!!)
This physical practice of yoga is surprisingly demanding. One works on flexibility, stamina, strength training, core engagement and cardio simultaneously.
But unlike running on the treadmill or on the elliptical machine; unlike the exercise bike or circuit training where you can target certain body parts and measure your results- yoga comes without any fancy machinery or ways to concretely quantify your results.
Until now that is...
Thank you Beets Blu for making it so easy to track my heart rate!
I love my Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor! It is so easy to use and I'm able to get a complete assessment of my yoga workouts when I'm finished.
The Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor uses cutting edge EKG technology to collect accurate information and Bluetooth to send this heart rate information directly to your smartphone where your results are ready for you in the Health app.
How does it work?
1. Download the BB Utility App
2. Strap the Heart Rate Monitor on. It fits snugly against your skin around your chest area. I pulled mine right below my bra strap. The monitor is small, light weight and snug, I almost didn't notice it.
3. Connect your device to Bluetooth
4. Rock out on your yoga mat!!!!!!
5. When you're finished, remove the device and take a look at the Health App (this app is automatic with most phones) on your smartphone. Go to vitals, and heart rate and there you will find your data.
From your heart rate you can get an idea of whether or not you're working too hard or not hard enough when you exercise. It's a great way to set and measure fitness goals. You can also calculate the number of calories burned during a workout. Here's how:
C = (o.4472xH-0.05741xW+0.074xA-20.4022)xT/4.184
H= average heart rate (that number provided by the Beets Blu monitor)
W= your weight
A= your age
T= the length (time in duration) of your session in minutes
Now everyone is different, and every yoga session is different, but I learned that on average I burn between 450-500 calories per hour when practicing Vinyasa Yoga for an hour.
That's a lot of calories! And I had no idea until I began to use the monitor.
Now I have clear estimates to provide those potential students who would like to try yoga, but are afraid they won't burn enough calories during their practice.
As I said before, yoga isn't about burning calories. It's about being present and going inwards and expanding your boundaries. But for those who are skeptical about its merit as a full body workout, the information collected by the Beets Blu heart rate monitor is priceless.
I can't wait to strap my Beets Blu on and hit the mat!
The Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor is compatible with any smart phone and with the following apps:
BB Utility (this is the app I use- the results go directly to your Health app)
Map My Run
Strava Running and Cycling
Have you ever used a heart rate monitor to track your workouts?