Category Archives: Fitness

Different Types of Yoga

Anusarya Yoga pic

Anusarya Yoga

Ben Shoval is a successful finance, technology, and real estate entrepreneur based in Seattle, Washington, where he serves as president of his firm, Shoval & Co. In his leisure time, Ben Shoval is an avid yoga practitioner.

While yoga may be an ancient practice, modern times have seen many different styles of undertaking it come into the forefront. Here’s a quick primer on three of the more popular yoga types:

Anusarya yoga was conceived by John Friend, an American practitioner, in 1997 and is one of the newer variations. Anusarya is based on the premise that all people are filled with an intrinsic goodness, and incorporate specific sequences intended to help students open their hearts, encounter grace, and shine their inner goodness.

Ashtanga is rooted in ancient teachings, which saw its western prominence rise in the 1970s. It is an intense yoga style that follows a specific sequence of postures that are always performed in the same order. It is typically regarded as one of the more demanding practices.

Vinyasa is similar to Ashtanga in that it is rigorous, but unlike the former, it is not predicated on a specific sequence of movements, but is set to music and focuses on smooth transitions from pose to pose. Where Ashtanga values consistency, Vinyasa values spontaneity.


Studies Show that a Long Brisk Walk as Effective as a Run

Brisk Walking pic

Brisk Walking

Benjamin “Ben” Shoval serves as the president of the Washington State-based company Shoval & Co. During his free time, Ben Shoval enjoys taking long walks.

Studies have shown that long, brisk walks have the same effectiveness as running in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which can lead to heart disease.

In a pioneering study that involved 48,000 individuals, researchers found that the important aspect is not the intensity of the workout but rather its duration. The study covered six years and involved more than 33,000 runners and 15,000 walkers.

Paul Williams, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, claims that the number of calories worked off in any given form of activity is key. He estimates, though, that those who choose to walk may need to walk for twice as long as runners run in order to achieve the same effect.

The Benefits of Practicing Yoga in Outdoor Settings

imagesA successful entrepreneur, Benjamin (Ben) Shoval currently oversees his firm Shoval & Co. while also pursuing a longtime interest in technology. Ben Shoval balances his professional endeavors with a number of additional interests, such as yoga.

According to an article in Yoga Journal, research suggests that the benefits of yoga are enhanced when yogis practice in nature. The article cites a Swedish study that found viewing nature, particularly the organic patterns in trees and other plant life, can increase central components of a fulfilling yoga practice, including internal focus and wakeful relaxation.

Along with these benefits, Amos Clifford, who leads the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy, asserts that transitioning from a yoga studio to an outdoor setting can help yogis increase their confidence and reinterpret their practice. The article also refers to field studies in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine indicating that people in forest environments have reduced concentrations of cortisol, a stress hormone, in comparison to people in urban environments.

The Five States of Mind Related to Meditation

Meditation pic


A established entrepreneur, Benjamin Shoval is the proprietor of Shoval & Co. Currently based in Seattle, Ben Shoval enjoys yoga and meditation.

In his commentary on the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, sage Vyasa identified five states of mind that form the concentration process. Each state of mind reveals something about distractions and how they hinder meditation.

These states of mind are:

1) Ksipta
In this lowest state, the mind is distracted and constantly disturbed. It cannot shake away the distractions that are haunting it. In this state, a person is agitated. He is unable to think, keep quiet, or listen attentively.

2) Mudha
In this state, the mind is stupefied. It makes things such as addictions and obsessions rewarding, and consequently debilitating. Those struggling to overcome this state can find peace through relaxed breathing, systemic relaxations, and yoga postures.

3) Viksipta
Here, the mind is distracted. It oscillates between calmness and restlessness. Though able to meditate, the mind cannot do it for long. It oscillates in confusion.

4) Ekagra
In Ekagra, the mind is very relaxed. It becomes one-pointed and is able to concentrate on a single thing. Attention is relaxed and the person is ready to meditate.

5) Nirodha
Here, the mind is absorbed completely in the object of focus. The mind experiences absolute stillness, shutting down all thoughts. It is the absolute condition of mind.

Top Walking Paths of Seattle

An experienced entrepreneur, Benjamin “Ben” Shoval has served as the president of Shoval & Co since 2004. A resident of Seattle, Washington, outside of the office Ben Shoval enjoys taking long walks through the city.

With more than 100 miles of trails in its 465 parks, Seattle has a trail for every fitness level, from dirt paths to maintained boardwalks.

Seward Park. With a wide 2.4-mile trail for biking and walking, this park covers 300 acres. The park features beaches, a garden area, and an old-growth forest. With multiple path options, it has something for everyone.

The Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Near the Myrtle Edwards Park and Elliot Bay Park, the park has wide, paved trails for biking and running. It also has picnic and exercise areas for people who want to take a break during their walks.

Warren G. Magnuson Park. The four-mile walk includes historic structures, public art installations, and sections along Lake Washington. Although it has designated walking trails, the park’s thick trees and brush require sturdy walking shoes.