Yupping: Yoga meets cupping in new combination class

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Yupping combines yoga and cupping. (WPVI)

As spring approaches, many of us are looking for that latest and greatest workout, and while high intensity training is a very popular way to get in shape, it can take a toll on your body.

Some local trainers say combining two recovery techniques - yoga and cupping - can maximize your performance and results.

Cupping is a holistic approach to healing and muscle recovery.

Michael Phelps was covered in the marks during last summer's Olympics.

"Your body needs rest. Your body is not going to work to its full potential if you don't allow it to rest and recover," Amy Carolla, owner of Balance Fitness in Philadelphia, said.

Carolla has introduced the new twist with cupping and yoga with instructor Alex Brazinski.

The combination class of yoga and cupping is called 'yupping'.

"Our goal is to include a lot of different recovery techniques," Carolla said.

Brazinski applies suction cups while you're in a yoga pose.

"The simultaneous stimulation of pulling up while you're stretching out is creating a large stimulus in that area," Brazinski said.

After several minutes, the cups are taken off. Brazinski says that's when clients are able to achieve a greater stretch and greater muscle mobility. He also says it releases toxins, creating better blood flow.

"So we are pulling that up to the surface so the lymphatic system can flush it out and more nutrients can come to the area," Brazinski said.

The practice does leave significant marks that last three to ten days.

"Which is a breaking up of the blood vessels and tries to increase a blood flow to the area which then causes the bruising effect," orthopedic surgeon Chris Selgrath said.

Dr. Selgrath says the bruises aren't harmful, but in very rare cases can be permanent.

Selgrath says while scientific studies haven't produced any hard evidence cupping works, it's not clear that it doesn't.

But yoga, he says, does.

In combination, Selgrath says the effects may vary from person to person.

"Whether it's a psychological placebo effect or there is some sort of underlying physiological effect, we are not exactly sure," Selgrath said.

As always you should check with your doctor before adding any new regimen to your fitness routine.

The yupping classes at Balance are offered in a semi-private setting.

ONLINE: Balance Philadelphia
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