1: Set manageable expectations.
During the party season, it might be unrealistic for you to exercise as much as normal. Try setting aside some time to make a manageable plan. For example, if you normally do five workouts a week, schedule and one or two. That way, you won’t be disheartened by feeling you failed and also, if you manage more, you’ll feel extra satisfied. It’s all about staying motivated and if you set yourself up for a fail that will be much harder.
2 : Give yourself a break.
If you overindulge, forgive yourself. This is super important. Remember, when you start to give yourself a hard time you’re actually self sabotaging, by destroying your motivation and starting a guilt cycle that again deters positive steps and encourages binges to begin.
3: Allow yourself treats.
As well as feeling okay about slipping up you should actually schedule in periods sessions where you give yourself 100% permission to let your hair down and break the rules once in awhile. Then again there is no guilt, no de-motivation created importantly, more enjoyment.
4: Make some provisions for healthy snacks.
Make a big pot of soup or have some healthy snacks available in the fridge. We often go straight for the cookies and leftovers because they are in our faces at all times. If you see some nice appetising fruit salad or soup pre-made, you will be more likely to reach for it than if you have to go and prepare from scratch when you are already hungry.
5: Keep some sort of exercise going.
Even if it’s only one session a week and it’s not your normal workout style. Try to get in some sessions of physical activity. It will boost your mood and mean that you don’t fall out of an active routine completely. If you can get to a class, go for a walk. Even a short session counts. Don’t undervalue any positive actions you take. Even if it’s just in the interest of keeping the momentum going for exercising.
6: Schedule ahead.
Put down your work-outs in your planner or diary and book yourself in for the classes that you intend to do. Mentally making that commitment to your modest but significant work-out plans will help ensure that they materialise. Making it official that you are going to class on a certain day will encourage you to plan around it and prioritise to make it happen.
7: Choose a workout that is really fun.
Ehem… IHP …cough. If the thought of going to run on a monotonous treadmill is soul destroying for you, book in to one of your favourite classes so that your workout will be something to look forward to. Speak to friends and work-out buddies. Plan to go together so it’s a bit of an enjoyable event.
8: Give yourself a pat on the back.
Remember you need to nurture your own will-power. So for the one or two week period where are you know your routine is broken, take a super compassionate approach to yourself. Make sure you really appreciate all of the good things that you do even if they seem insignificant. They are not.
9: Think about balance.
Instead of being too strict with yourself, do what feels good then balance it out. Burn off extra calories consumed then we can forget that that chocolate ever happened. If you have a Fitbit or other similar app, this can be a really helpful tool however, we don’t need to get too technical or scientific about it. Just a rough idea of maintaining some level of balance and not giving up on healthy living entirely.
10: If you do fall rate off the wagon, beware the what the hell effect.
This is a psychological phenomenon well known in sports science where-by, when we feel we’ve messed up we are compelled to self-sabotage. We feel all our efforts have been rendered useless, so we give up. Having awareness of this pattern and noticing when it happens to you is the most powerful way to prevent it. So even if you did not manage to do any of the above suggestions in this blog, its OK. Be aware that it’s not only you who ends up feeling compelled to have pizza for breakfast sometimes and then feels there is no point of eating anything whatsoever that is healthy that day because your diet is already out the window. The most important thing to remember at times when perhaps your eating habits really are going a-wall, is that its never too late to put on the breaks and every small step you take to curb a binge really does count.
“Never too late, never too bad, never too old and never too sick to start from scratch and begin again.”
Before I starting working at Bikram Southside, Yoga was an unexplored world for me. Having recently graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Philosophy, and feeling a deep curiosity for spirituality and consciousness, I was naturally drawn towards the world of Yoga and meditation. However, I had always felt intimidated by Yoga classes, imagining a room full of beautiful, contortionist gurus who would have me looking like an unenlightened couch potato in comparison.
During my first class, all these preconceived ideas – literally – melted away. The heat and intensity of the class made entering a meditative state not only more accessible, but necessary! Everyone was so beautifully focused on their own practice, and I soon realised that nobody gave a sh**t what I looked like. Suddenly, I found myself welcomed into a wonderful new community, with an incredible focus on healing, transformation and growth (and lots of great banter too!).
The intimidation and insecurities I had associated with Yoga turned out to be nonsense. This taught me an important lesson: that by changing the stories that we tell ourselves about the world, we can transform the world we live in. We make up so many narratives about ourselves, about how others see us, about what will happen in the future. It’s all fantasy, until we can slip into the power of the present, and really embody life.
Yoga has helped me understand this on so many levels and has opened me up to new ways of relating to myself and those around me. During the two years that I have been working at Bikram Southside, I have strengthened both my body and my mind. By physically pushing myself beyond the limits of what I believed I could achieve, I have brought resilience, determination and confidence into all aspects of my life.
The emphasis placed on bringing attention to the breath in Hot Yoga and Pilates has for me opened a kind of portal into the self. Breathing occupies a special place, as it can be both a conscious and unconscious process. By bringing awareness and attention to this process, we can bridge the gap between the conscious and unconscious mind. Working in this way with movement and breath, both in the Hot Room and in my daily life, has allowed me to uncover and reprogram negative thought patterns and beliefs about myself and the world, and has given me the power to reshape my life.
Bringing awareness to the breath can carry peace, calm, focus and energy into each moment of our day, helping us dwell more in the present. Yoga has for me in this way facilitated a kind of re-birth into a new way of being.
Through this journey, I have now become a certified Breathwork Practitioner, with the hope to share the simple, but incredibly powerful practice of Conscious Breathing with others. I feel so much gratitude and joy for being a part of such a beautiful community and for the impact this has had on my life. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes me next!
There are so many amazing benefits to working out in the heat that we needed to write two blog posts! In our previous post we covered muscle strength, endurance, brain development, longevity and improved mood. Here are yet another five awesome reasons to work out in the heat!
Insulin resistance/blood sugar
Insulin is a vital hormone in the body that regulates healthy blood sugar levels. A recent study found that heat acclimation three times a week over 12 weeks created a decrease in blood sugar and insulin levels by 30%, which can have amazing results for those with type 2 diabetes and related conditions.
Balancing your blood sugar is also a great way to reduce those pesky sugar cravings and binge eating habits, which is always a welcomed bonus!
Increasingly doctors and chiropractors are recommending Hot Yoga and Pilates to their patients. High temperatures increase the release of anti-inflammatory hormones and healing white blood cells and are great healers of everything from arthritis to injuries caused by high impact sport’s.
Endorphins (A.K.A ‘happy hormones’) are also produced and act as natural pain-killers – we all <3 those endorphins! 😀
Many people don’t sweat enough, but this is such a powerful way for the body to release and eliminate toxins, chemicals and waste products stored in the skin, and cleanse and purify vital organs in the body.
As you sweat, your pores are opened and cleaned allowing for natural lanolin production, which softens and preserves your skin’s elasticity, giving you that beautiful ‘Bikram Glow’. You’ll leave class looking and feeling like a sparkling unicorn, we promise!
Exercising in the heat is also excellent for shedding a few pounds or toning and shaping your body.
A 90-minute Hot Yoga class is a great workout that can burn up to 1000 calories! Combine this with Heat Shock Protein’s ability to reduce the amount of stored fat by oxidizing fatty acids, regulate blood sugar, and strengthening the metabolism, and you’re going to start seeing great results in no time! Woohoo!
“I’m not interested in getting in better shape” said nobody, ever.
Improves Immune System
Heat Shock Proteins are also great at fighting off diseases and improving the immune system. When the body is exposed to high temperatures, they act by going into a kind of ‘Super Hero Mode’ and quickly target damaged areas. White blood cells and antibodies are created to fight viruses and increase the functioning of the entire body.
All in all, Heat Shock Proteins sound like pretty great guys to have around!
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for reasons NOT to exercise in the heat:
We would NOT recommend Hot Yoga/Pilates for anyone who loves spotty skin, colds, flus, sluggish bodies with pains and aches, and who doesn’t want to feel and look FREAKIN AMAZING!
For everyone else: sign up for our intro offer, £20 for 20 days unlimited access.
A lot of people know how great yoga is for the mind and the body. This is why they try really hard to fit the exercise into their daily routine. If you are someone who’s planning on doing the same thing, it’s important that you know exactly what yoga’s benefits are all about.
Below is a list to give you a clearer idea.
1. It makes you feel better
Like most exercise, yoga has this ability to increase the happy hormones in your body. Also known as serotonin, this happy hormone regulates mood, happiness, and anxiety. Getting low levels of it can predispose you to depression, poor sleep, impaired social behavior, and even memory loss.
So, the next time you’re feeling low and sad, get your mat and start doing your poses. The Camel pose, Head to Knee pose, and the Pigeon pose can make you feel fantastic in just minutes.
2. It teaches you to focus
When you have so many things going on in your life, it’s hard to stay focused. And when you can’t think straight, you’ll find it difficult to come up with the best decisions.
Consistent yoga practice can help you with that. A study found out and suggested that a brief yoga program can do a lot when it comes to enhancing attentive mindfulness and strengthening cognitive functioning.
3. It can help you lose weight
Yoga can help lose weight through a number of ways. For one, it can make you be more mindful of what you eat. It can also make you stronger in resisting cravings for unhealthy foods.
Physically, yoga can help you shed your unwanted fats. The results may not happen that fast but with consistent practice, you’ll see changes in your weight and how your body looks.
4. It helps detoxify your system
Performing poses after poses stimulate the lymphatic vessels which are designed to help get rid of waste, toxins, and other unwanted materials.
Additionally, performing yoga in a hot environment, such as what you do during a hot yoga class can help speed up the detoxification process.
5. It gives you a time to pamper yourself
With so many tasks at work and so many chores to finish at home, getting a “me time” isn’t as easy as it sounds. Doing yoga gives you the opportunity to catch up with your body and give it the time and attention it needs.
6. It teaches acceptance
Yoga encourages you to discover more about yourself and to be fine with what you learn. It teaches you to get to know your flaws and be friends with them.
7. It makes your skin look glowing
When you exercise, you boost your heart rate and blood circulation. With better circulation, more blood cells and oxygen get to your skin which leaves you with a natural glow after. And when you add heat to your routine, you get even more than that.
8. It makes you more flexible
Practicing yoga daily builds muscle memory which increases your flexibility. Now, this doesn’t mean that doing yoga today can make you instantly flexible tomorrow.
The process requires both time and patience. Stick to a routine and you’ll be able to see results soon.
9. It helps make you breathe better
One of the things you’ll learn with yoga is mindful breathing. The more you become comfortable with it, the easier it’ll get for you. And once you’re used to mindful breathing, you’ll be able to relax easily even during stressful times. You’ll be able to connect your mind with your body with ease and to let go of any negativity.
Exercising in a heated environment may seem uncomfortable and, well, a tad on the crazy side… but as it turns out elevated temperatures can work wonders for improving both your exercise performance and your overall health.
When the body is exposed to high temperatures, substances known as ‘Heat Shock’ proteins are formed, and function as a kind of shield to protect the body. New research from Rhonda Patrick, and others (yep her from the Jo Rogan show), has shown these have incredible health benefits. Here are 10 awesome reasons for choosing to exercise in the heat!
Muscle Strength & Repair
Working out in high temperatures both reduces recovery time and boosts muscle development.
Proteins in the body work to safeguard proper muscle functioning by repairing and rebuilding muscles during and after a workout. Heat Shock proteins speed up and enhance this process, so you’ll be a super-human hulk in no time!
An increase blood flow to the muscles brought on by high temperatures reduces the need for the body to rely on glycogen stores as an energy supply. Blood flow to the heart is also increased, so less effort is needed for the heart to pump blood around the body. This in turn leaves the body more energy for your workout and improves endurance.
A recent study on 6 distance runners showed that through regular heat exposure, just twice per week, they were able to increase their running distance by 32%!
Increased Brain Development
Heat acclimatisation can increase Brain-power. WOOHOO!
Studies have shown that regular heat exposure increases chemicals in the brain which repair nerve cell damage and increase the brains capacity for learning, memory and focus. Heat acclimatisation also helps increase in growth of new brain cells and the strengthening of existing ones- neurogenesis.
No wonder Bikram Yogis are so wise…
Heat exposure has been linked to longer lifespan. WOOHOO AGAIN!
Over 2000 men took part in a study where they regularly visited the sauna, and after a 20 year follow up the results showed that for those men who visited the sauna a few times a week, death by cardiovascular disease was 50% less likely, and generally mortality was decreased by 24%! High fives all round
Sauna use and the working out in the heated environment of a Hot Yoga or Pilates class triggers similar processes in the body. So, if you’re aiming to live forever, exercising in the Bikram Southside is place to be!
Heat exposure can improve mood and increase happiness!
More so than exercise alone, working out in the heat creates a flow of endorphins in the brain which can leave you feeling euphoric and even high. This is because the production of endorphins is not only increased by exercise, but also by the amount of fresh blood circulating throughout your body, which is increased by the heat.
You may have heard or experienced ‘Runners high’, well wait until you experience your first ‘Bikram Buzz’! Why not send your spouse next time you forget to do the tidying up.
Just do it
There are so many more benefits, we had to do another blog. Always remember to exercize with caution, as too much yoga has been known to cause really high levels of happiness, and Bikram Southside cannot be held responsible for subsequent behaviour.
Not tried it yet? Sign up for our intro offer, £20 for 20 days unlimited access.