Eagle Pose, the Barometer of My Day

It’s hard to pin down my favourite pose – it varies depending on the day, the emotion, the mood and the music.

But if I had to choose my favourite of the moment, it would be the Eagle Pose. There’s just something about tying yourself in knots that appeals! Eagle Pose, for me, leads to so many different options. However flexible I’m feeling, I can always challenge myself to feel that amazing stretch across the shoulders and enjoy the precarious nature of the balance. It’s a fitness barometer – I can tell what my day has been like from this pose and then I can work to unwind and de-stress if necessary.

Let us know what your favourite pose is by voting here:
What is your favourite standing strength pose?

Yoga for that Summer Body

“Will I get abs?”

We often get asked this question and the simple answer is yes. Everyone has abdominal muscles, but often we hide them behind those-things-we-eat-but-know-we-shouldn’t-have!

If you’re curious about yoga, you’ll most likely have heard it strengthens your core, but may not have understood what this means. Your core is made up of eight muscles that work together to stabilise and control the force we produce in all our everyday movements.

People tend to try and train the superficial muscles (or abs, often mistakenly called a six pack) whilst forgetting about the deeper core muscles that hold everything together.

That’s where our style of yoga helps. By popular request at Bolton Hot Yoga we often have several tracks that concentrate on developing these deep core muscles alongside a balancing track to work the back muscles that are so important for core strength.

Too far away to come and feel the burn with us? We recommend that you look out for a local hot yoga studio as expert guidance really helps, but at a pinch, you could always put on your favourite piece of music, push back the furniture and try these at home. You could soon be well on your way to that summer beach body!

Clockwise, from the top left: nose to knee pose; bridge pose; side plank; plank; intense pose; chaturanga dandasana.

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme.

Yoga for Weight Loss

Our style of yoga is perfect for weight loss, if that’s your aim. Our flowing style with strong isometric holds will challenge and shape your body, building muscle and helping you lose those pesky inches.

Making big lifestyle changes? We are here to help and advise on diet and exercise, motivation and behaviour change. If you have a wedding to go to, a beach holiday planned or if you just want to tone your body, we can help. Our classes are thoughtfully designed to help you reach your fitness goals much more quickly, and our friendly group will support you through your journey.

Aways been an emotional eater? We can help you identify your triggers. Our tips on how to make mental and lifestyle changes will help you lose weight and keep it off.

A common mistake is to reduce your calories too much. Most specialists confirm that only around 1 to 2 lbs loss a week is sustainable. Anything more may eventually work against you. So many people crash diet and lose weight fast only to find it returns in abundance. Sometimes called yo-yo dieting, this means you can lose weight but can’t keep it off in the long term.

Your body tries to protect you from famine in very sophisticated ways. Firstly it slows your metabolism. You enter starvation mode with everything geared towards survival. Jobs the body normally performs are jettisoned while resources are diverted to core parts of the body – heart, lungs etc. Your skin, hair, bones, teeth and nails may suffer if the body perceives it is starving for any length of time.

Extreme calorie restriction makes it more likely you will lose weight quickly, but without a well-tailored exercise programme, it is likely that your muscle mass will be lost first. As soon as you return to your normal style of eating, the weight is likely to return. Without an exercise regime, any weight regained is disproportionately stored as fat, ready to face the next ’emergency’.

That initial muscle mass loss should never be the aim. As we age, we need to maintain as much muscle mass as we can. Muscle doesn’t just tone and shape our body, it helps support our bones and makes us stronger and more resilient. Muscle mass actually increases your basal metabolic rate, which means your body needs more calories at rest. In the simplest terms, this means you can enjoy more food while maintaining the same weight.

Losing weight is a fairly simplistic formula really, energy in versus energy out. If you get the balance right, you maintain weight. Get the balance wrong and you either lose or gain weight.

So please don’t feel you need to cut your calorie intake radically. A better goal is to reduce your calories by 300 – 500 a day, make healthy food choices and move around that bit more. Then be patient. Gradual weight loss will not only help get you in shape, but will change your lifestyle and eating habits so you keep the weight off.

This information reflects our views about exercise and nutrition. Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme.

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Five Tips About Hot Yoga

There are several things about our style of yoga we want you to know.

First and foremost, we go with the flow. Our style of yoga is a mixture of Tai Chi, Yoga and with some Pilates thrown in for good measure. It’s not a traditional style and you won’t find exactly the same routines week after week. By going with the flow the moves come naturally to challenge and stretch us further.

We recommend that you give yourself time. It won’t take you long, maybe just a couple of classes and you will soon feel at home. Everyone starts somewhere and we are all different – that’s why our classes have options for everyone. Choose the path that feels right for you and before long you will notice the change as you get stronger, fitter and more confident.

Try to avoid comparing yourself to others in the room. Everyone comes with their own strengths. Some of us have been practising for years and others are totally new to exercise, let alone yoga. By all means, look at other people to check your pose, but try not to judge your performance. We won’t!

Allow yourself to breathe deeper into each pose. Your body can do more than you give it credit for and your mind can sometimes try to convince you to give up long before your body needs to. Steve Peters, Psychologist to British Cycling, wrote about this in his book ‘The Chimp Paradox’.

It can take years to perfect some of our more advanced poses and some of us will never be able to achieve a couple of them. It’s the journey towards them and the personal gains that we all strive for – that millimetre extra in Eagle Pose, that second longer in the abs track, that bit further in Dancers Pose – all these leave us with that great sense of satisfaction. At the end of each class, we realise just how much we have achieved.

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