Feeling Hot…Yoga Hot

Dim lights, soft music emitting all around me, sweat trickling from my body on to the floor, heart beating fast and my muscles pulsating, I close my eyes as I steady my breath to focus on enjoying last few minutes of the class… 30 minutes later I am bouncing down Regent Street, with my body feeling exhausted but deliciously light at the same time…

A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely yoga session at Marshall Street Spa in Soho. A 1.5 hour session was centered around increasing flexibility in hamstrings and hips. Increased flexibility and mobility is one of my physical goals for this year, so I was really happy with the focus of the yoga flow for that day.

Our instructor was very friendly, with calm and soothing voice. She took us through the sessison with good pace, allowing for enough time in each posture, providing alternatives for harder or easier options, and generally being very helpful in correcting our form without too much of ‘hovering’ around.

The class itself was not a typical bikram yoga, it was a slow vinyasa flow. Our instructor kicked things off with slow and gentle stretch, with postures gradually increasing in intensity and complexity until I looked at my friend next to me and we both laughed…Because at that point we knew that the class was set to be not exactly ‘a walk in the park’. And we were glad it wasn’t, the class content was just right – challenging but accessible, ensuring that we are on track in developing our flexibility and endurance.

What I really like about the studio was that it had a clean calming decor with dimmed lighting. I feel the lighting is so important, it really helped us to centre, focus, and really get into our practice. Hey, who wants glaring lights, on top of the ever present heat, and sweat trickling into your eyers?!

Soooo..would I come back? I sure would 🙂 Hot yoga will build muscle tone, improve flexibility, aids in weightloss (your heart rate goes up and you sweat buckets!). It also increases metabolism post session, improves the lymphatic system and flushes out toxins (did I mention sweating in buckets again?), not forgetting the reduction in stress.

A few things to note before you attend a Hot Yoga class:

Consult your Dr before attending the class if you have diabetes or a cardiac condition

Hydrate well before your session and bring water with you

Bring Two Towels. The temperatures and sequences in hot yoga are designed to make you sweat — there’s a good chance you’ll be dripping by your third pose.

Wear regular yoga sweat wicking clothes. Steer clear of baggy items (uncomfortable with all the heat and sweat) or cotton (will just trap sweat).

Don’t eat right before the class, leave at least 30 minutes for digestion

Last, but by no means least, be patient with yourself and your body. Like with any exercise, and in fact life itself – its all a journey 🙂

Fancy trying Hot Yoga at Marshall Street Spa? Open to all levels, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned yogi. http://www.everyoneactive.com/hot-yoga-marshall-street

New You

Hello 2016! New year, new me! Sounds familiar? Thousands set fitness resolutions this time of year but how many really succeed, what does it take? Perhaps the key here is identifying how to start.

Goals
Set challenging, but realistic, measurable and achievable goals, be specific. “Losing 5lb by March 2016” is by far more effective than ”having new hot body in 2016”. Break these goals into manageable chunks and do not underestimate the power of cumulative effort. One action everyday will compound to big changes down the line. C. S. Lewis quotation springs to mind here – “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but you look back and everything is different”.

Method
Choose what suits you, your budget and schedule. The new uber cool gym may have all the new machines and on-trend classes, however would high membership cost and location really benefit you? Are you simply looking to be more active? Perhaps scheduling in weekly runs and incorporating some body weight exercises at home or post/pre run will do the trick to kick start your fitness?

Mind set
What is your mind set – do you need to address how you approach any new challenges? We live in the world of instant gratification, however if you want to get to end result, prepare to knuckle down one step at a time. Prepare your mind for consistency, perseverance and patience. Be kind to yourself if you don’t see results instantly. They will come, if you keep on going.

Inspiration
Inspiration is absolutely vital to spur us on and keep our eye on the goal. Choose your inspiration sources, have a few, the more the better! How about a great playlist to push you though the workout that you didn’t particularly want to do that day?

How about a friend that smashes his/her fitness goals? A person that you see in your gym looking good and consistently showing up to train. Have a chat with them, ask questions, guaranteed they will be flattered and happy to help. Or perhaps a picture of someone that is looking great that you can stick on your cupboard door would deter you from that sugary treat and spur you to have a piece of fruit instead?

Lastly remember fitness is a journey and lifestyle choice, enjoy the ride one step at a time. Who says you need a new you? You current self is good enough, you can just strive for a better version. 😉

Emm x

The Science of 'Happy'

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?”
– Gabrielle Roth

I find when I disconnect and quieten the mind, I find a sense of calm and quiet joy. But it only works if I really go for it, really chase the simple pleasures and follow the white rabbit.

The ‘happy’ and joy that I found on Sunday started with a specific goal: shopping. Simple, consumer driven ‘thing to do’ on Sunday that so many undertake. But then we decided to pass though Greenwich to get breakfast, and I saw in the distance beautiful tops of autumn trees of Greenwich park, I guess they called out to me. So instead, we grabbed a snack on the go and headed to the park, enjoying autumn walk in crispy, sunny air among the golden trees. We walked all the way up to a beautiful view and sat. Enjoying the view. Watching People. Watching dogs. Watching birds. In the quiet simple awe and appreciation of life.

It did get chilly so to warm up we kept moving, ended up outside Trinity Laban Conservatoire Of Music & Dance. We heard though the windows the students playing and singing “Flashdance What A Feeling”. I could not resist a cheeky impromptu lil’ boogie! Then we stood and watched the river, its splashy waves and and sparkly shimmer of the sun hitting the water… Then headed home

The joy was immense, the feeling of happiness abundant, and not a penny spent on a new leather jacket! No retail therapy, no science of ‘happy’.

Em x