Should You Try Hot Yoga During a Pandemic?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

What is this hot yoga you’ve been hearing about and is it something you should try? And are hot yoga classes even being offered during the pandemic? Well, you are probably already familiar with yoga, the spiritual fitness craze that has inspired people everywhere to don their Lululemons while out and about, regardless of whether or not yoga was on the menu for that day, latte in hand. Okay, so maybe that’s a broad generalization, but you’ve probably seen the type — nothing wrong with that; those stretchy yoga pants are just so darn comfy and look more put-together than sweats!  

So, what does this hot yoga have to offer that conventional yoga does not?  

What is Hot Yoga?

First, let’s look at what hot yoga actually means. Unlike the comfortably moderate temperatures found in a typical yoga class, hot yoga turns up the heat – literally and figuratively! The temperature of a hot yoga class tends to range between a balmy 80 and 100°F. For some, this sounds nice and cozy, but just wait until you start moving your body … you’ll be breaking a sweat in no time! So why would someone want to roast themselves while in downward dog?

Hot Yoga = Happy Muscles

Think of it this way – when you get a massage, it’s done in a warm room and sometimes on a heated table. The purpose of this is to warm up your muscles so that they will be more relaxed and pliable. The massage therapist is able to get deeper into your muscles to help them release tension and improve your range of movement. The same holds true for your muscle when you’re working out.

It’s important to get your muscles warmed up to increase your flexibility and decrease your susceptibility to injury. If you find that your muscles are often too tight and it’s making some yoga postures too uncomfortable or completely inaccessible to you, you may want to look into a hot yoga class.

Hot Yoga Offers Impressive Calorie Burn

Of course, any type of physical movement burns calories and yoga is no exception. But, hot yoga really cranks up the burn, enabling you to blast through over 200 calories an hour. If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, calorically speaking, hot yoga will definitely get you the results you’re looking for.

Hot Yoga Can Lead to Increased Strength

If lifting weights is not your thing, you can still get the benefits of strength training through hot yoga. A 2008 study found that participants were able to significantly improve their leg strength by taking part in three weekly sessions. This is due to the intense muscle contractions that make up this sweaty yoga practice.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Hot Yoga is Beneficial to Your Overall Fitness

Hot yoga can be a great way to improve your overall fitness. The combination of high calorie burn and muscle strengthening may also help you lose fat. Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. It’s a win-win! Also, the practice has been found to have a calming effect, deeming it excellent for stress relief. And who doesn’t need some of that?

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Hot Yoga Classes

As with everything else in the world, the pandemic has affected how hot yoga classes will proceed. If you are hesitant to give this toasty form of yoga a try because you’re uncertain about new procedures in place, I’ll give you a rundown of some of the possible changes you may see so you’ll have an idea of what to expect.

To accommodate hot yoga classes, here are some of the changes yoga studios may be implementing:

  • You may need to bring your own yoga mat and props. For sanitation reasons, your local studio may not allow rentals at this time.
  • Class sizes will be limited according to what is currently allowed in your state. Yoga studios will need to allow enough space for social distancing.
  • Depending on your state, you may need to wear a mask at all times, unless you are on your yoga mat.
  • You may need to pre-register to take a class. This will help enforce the limited class size.

As long as you are feeling healthy and not exhibiting symptoms of illness, feel free to sign up for a hot yoga class and see what it’s all about. If you’re new to yoga, you can find an inexpensive yoga mat and props online or at your local discount store. This can help keep the costs down until you’re sure you’re ready to make a commitment to the practice. Once you’ve decided you love it, you can make the investment in a better mat. Trust me, once you have tried a high-quality yoga mat, you’ll never want to go back.

Find a Local Hot Yoga Class

Ready to give it a try? Check out this hot yoga directory curated by the Original Hot Yoga Association to find a class in your area. You can also do a search for “hot yoga near me” on Google. Be sure to check each studio’s website for the most current procedures in place.

Get Back on Track with Your Health and Fitness Goals with This One-Step Method

It doesn’t matter how far off the path you’ve strayed — you can always get back on track with your health and fitness goals with this one-step method. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow. You don’t have to wait until Monday. It doesn’t have to be a New Year’s resolution. Heck, you could’ve already broken your resolutions before the month of January even ends. It doesn’t matter! 

Every moment is a chance to start fresh. You can make a choice to do something that aligns with your health and fitness goals at any time. Even if you literally just did something that took you off your path toward the life you want. 

Are You Doomed if You Just Screwed Up Your Goal?

Let’s say you just went to town on half a chocolate cake and now you feel bloated and gross and regretful. When this happens, most people will think they screwed up for the day and that’s that. They give up. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We all have moments of weakness where we revert to our vices to handle some sort of discomfort in our lives. Whether it be from stress, sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, or even boredom, unhealthy choices tend to be our default response. Then we may feel guilty about those unhealthy choices afterward when we realize they never solved the initial problem. This can create a negative cycle.

So the key is to break that cycle.

Let’s go back to the example of overindulging in chocolate cake. In addition to the physical discomfort you may be experiencing afterward, there are probably some negative emotions attached as well. Maybe you’re shaming yourself for not being able to control yourself. Maybe you feel like a failure or like you’ll never reach your goals.

If one of your goals is to reach your healthy weight, this can be an especially tough situation since overeating takes you further away from reaching that goal.

The One-Step Method to Getting Back on Track with Your Goals

Getting back on track with your goals can be done in one simple step:

Instead of dwelling on all the negative effects of the unhealthy choice, you’re going to think of something you can do at that moment that gets you closer to your goals.

It can be something small but it’s best if it’s something you can do right away. It’s important to select an activity you like doing rather than making it a punishment for yourself. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to go for a run after overeating. This should be a pleasant activity that makes you feel good.

Here are some examples of activities to get you back on track:

  • If your goal is to get fit and you eat half a chocolate cake because you were stressed out about work, you want to choose an activity that puts you on the path to fitness. Instead of freaking out that the cake will set you back, move on and decide what you can do that would benefit your fitness. Perhaps go for a walk, do some yoga for digestion, hop on the trampoline, or any other physical activity that you actually enjoy. 
  • If you’re trying to quit smoking but you slipped and had a cigarette, choose to do something beneficial for your lungs afterward instead of beating yourself up. Do some breathing exercises for lung health or go outside and get some fresh air. Turn on an air purifier if you have one. 
  • If you’re trying to cut back on alcohol but you had a few too many, choose to nourish yourself with healthy foods and plenty of water to regain your equilibrium. Perhaps make a liver-strengthening smoothie or have a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea to support your liver. 
  • If your goal is to decrease stress in your life but you just blew up at your partner for leaving their dirty dishes in the sink yet again, you could listen to a guided meditation for stress on YouTube.

Why This One-Step Method Works to Get You Back on Track

The idea behind this simple one-step method is that it breaks the negative cycle of a negative emotion leading to an unhealthy choice then yet another negative emotion in response to that choice. Choosing not to dwell on an unhealthy choice and instead, moving on to an activity that gently redirects you back onto the path toward your life goals can help start a positive momentum that can grow stronger the more you do it.

The next time you fall off the wagon with your goals, try this one-step method instead of berating yourself. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down as long as you keep getting back up. Stick with it and you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals!

2020 Trends in Christmas Tree Trimming

If you celebrate Christmas, you probably have boxes of decorations stashed away, some filled with goodies for your annual tree trimming festivities. Most likely, you have some ornaments that have been in your family for years, a nostalgic reminder of holidays past. You may dutifully dig them out of their plastic tote, dust them off, and place them on your Christmas tree each year, making sure that Mom or Grandma notice during their visit that you have faithfully kept up the tradition. 

But have you ever been watching one of those heartwarming Christmas movies, perhaps on the Hallmark Channel, and observed the mandatory tree trimming scene only to pine for that so-artfully-decorated Christmas tree? Heck, even their hand-me-down ornaments seem to go perfectly with their other ornaments! Maybe it’s time to shake up your tree trimming tradition.

Check out some of the trends this year for decorating your Balsam fir for the holidays.

Flocking

One predicted trend this year is flocking, which is the term given to the appearance of snow on the tree branches. You’ve probably seen this on wreaths and garlands as well. If you’d like to “let it snow” on your decor for the holidays, take a look at this flocking tutorial

Masked Ornaments

If you’re like me, you may choose to pick up a new Christmas tree ornament each year as a way to commemorate that year or a special memory of a vacation spot where you selected the ornaments. What better way to commemorate the holidays of 2020 than with a gingerbread man ornament with his own little face mask!

Customizable Lights

This trend kicks the pre-lit tree game up a notch. If you’ve ever owned a pre-lit Christmas tree, you know how much easier it can make the whole tree trimming process. You’ll love the variety of options you’ll get with a tree with customizable lights.

The lights are controlled remotely by Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and can change color, brightness, and effects at the touch of a button or click of an app. And you’re not limited to just a pre-lit tree; the lights also come in strings to adorn any tree you choose for the holidays.

To learn more or to find out where to purchase these spectacular lights, check out the Twinkly site and light up your holidays in a special way!

Nordic Style

If you’re more of a minimalist, you’ll really enjoy this last one. The Nordic-style Christmas tree uses fewer ornaments and a simple color scheme. Simplicity rules on the Nordic-style tree, so select one or two colors for your ornaments and space them apart on your tree. For some inspiration, check out the examples here.

You’ll notice that many of them simply use white lights and ornaments. This may put a damper on your tree trimming party since there’s not a whole lot of work to do, but you could always spend more time baking cookies and making spiked hot chocolate … not a bad way to spend the holidays!

Whatever style you choose to trim your Christmas tree this year, what matters most is that you have fun with it. Your tree doesn’t have to look like something out of a magazine. It’s great to get inspired by ideas you see online but perfection is not the goal.

Keep the journey in mind. Put on some of your favorite holiday tunes, make a festive hot beverage, and savor the experience!

Try Yoga for Stress Relief This Holiday Season

As much as we enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling the holidays can bring, there’s also a lot of work involved. Calendars fill up quickly with holiday-themed events with family, friends, and coworkers. Your weekends are a blur and you find it hard to keep up with your to-do list. Ironically, the times when you’re the busiest are the times that you most need to slow down and take a break.

Yoga for stress relief is one of the best ways I’ve found to cope with the craziness of the holidays. 

When I let busyness get the best of me, my body and mind let me know. My back gets stiff and my brain gets mushy. I tell myself that I don’t have time to stop and do yoga because there is too much that needs to get done. Inevitably, I become less productive because I’m not taking care of myself as well as I should. I notice my concentration dipping when I don’t take time out for mindfulness and movement. Yoga combines both, so it’s an efficient way to fit them into your day. It doesn’t even have to be a long session for you to reap the benefits. Even on your craziest days, you could spare 10 minutes for a mini session, right?

No Fancy Yoga Supplies Needed

Don’t worry if you’ve never tried yoga before and you think you can’t do it because you’re not flexible enough or you don’t own a pair of yoga pants. Yoga is accessible for all bodies! You don’t have to own any special yoga supplies, or props, to be able to do yoga. All you really need to get started with yoga for stress relief is a towel or mat and comfortable clothing. If you do want to purchase some fun yoga supplies to get you in the mood for your session, one of my long-time favorite companies is Gaiam. Their yoga clothes are beautiful and everything they sell is high quality. I still have a set of their cork yoga bricks from nearly 20 years ago and they’re in perfect condition! 

Free Yoga Videos for Overextended Holiday Budgets

Yoga doesn’t have to break the bank! My very first yoga videos were on VHS (I know, I know…LOL) from Gaiam and I just fell in love. Nowadays, you can get their videos on their Yoga Studio: Mind and Body app with a 7-day free trial. There are also plenty of free yoga videos available on YouTube and you can search based on your interests and ability. In the morning you may want a yoga session that gets the blood flowing and perks you up. If you prefer the evening, there are some great yoga videos to help release tension that has accumulated during the day. If you’d like the ultimate relaxation before bed, there are yoga videos made to zen you out and get you ready for sleep. Honestly, sometimes you won’t even make it to bed before you doze off. I’ve ended many yoga sessions passed out on my mat!

Yoga for stress relief truly is an easy, affordable option to help you get through the holiday season or any time of year. If you make time to schedule in a short session three to four days a week, I promise you’ll feel the benefits! And if you really love it, maybe you’ll add some of those special yoga supplies to your holiday wish list. 😉

Sending lots of love and peace!

Are you struggling with stress? I can help!

Schedule a complimentary health consultation with me by clicking here.

Ask me about the 30 Days to Healthy Living! This amazing detox program is available through Arbonne. You can check out my site here for more info. 

October 2020- What’s a healthy breakfast alternative if you don’t want a smoothie?

What is a healthy breakfast choice if you don’t like smoothies?

When looking for healthy breakfast ideas, one of the most common suggestions you’ll come across are breakfast smoothies. These are great for so many reasons and can be customized based on your personal taste and nutritional needs. Breakfast smoothies are an amazing way to pack a ton of nutrients into a single glass! You can also sneak in some greens, which is super helpful since many of us don’t consume enough dark, leafy greens on a daily basis.

But what if you don’t want a smoothie for breakfast? Are there other options that are just as healthy? Thankfully, yes! If for whatever reason, you are just not digging the smoothie trend, I’ve got another idea for you. How about some overnight oats? Now, I do happen to be a smoothie lover, but as the weather has started to get cooler, I’m finding myself craving a hot breakfast in the morning. But I don’t want to give up all the health benefits of breakfast smoothies.

Overnight oats to the rescue!
Oatmeal has been touted as a healthy breakfast for quite some time, although the sweetened versions are not necessarily the best choice. Ideally, you want to use rolled oats and add your own flavoring, preferably without too much sugar. Believe it or not, overnight oats can actually be healthier than your standard bowl of oatmeal — and a lot tastier too!

Recipes for overnight oats use rolled oats as opposed to the heavily processed kind found in most prepackaged oatmeal. Rolled oats are rich in fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and copper. The beauty of this breakfast is that it can be customized much in the same way as your smoothie. All it takes is a little bit of prep time the night before and you’ll have a delicious, nutritious breakfast waiting in your fridge the next morning!

Ready to give overnight oats a try? Here are some of my favorite recipes:

While you may not want to mix in leafy greens with your overnight oats (ick!), you can instead stir in some green powder to get the benefits. There are plenty of other recipes out there to suit your fancy and once you see how easy it is, I’ll bet you’ll be hooked! Enjoy!

Sending lots of love and peace!

Are you struggling with stress? I can help!

Schedule a complimentary health consultation with me by clicking here.

Ask me about the 30 Days to Healthy Living! This amazing detox program is available through Arbonne. You can check out my site here for more info.