Yoga for Cyclists

If you love cycling, you’ll be familiar with the feel-good factor exercise creates: hot yoga takes this to another level.

Cyclists use some muscles much more than others. Ideally, the ones used most become extremely strong and efficient. Our bodies have an amazing ability to adapt to the demands placed on them by training, but cycling for long periods can put our bodies at risk. Core muscles aren’t engaged equally well on long rides when we spend hours in the saddle, hunched over handlebars in an unnatural position. Hamstrings become tight. Hip flexors and glutes don’t fire as efficiently. These can all generate problems with our posture, leaving us prone to injury.

That’s why most cyclists will benefit from the corrective powers of yoga sessions. Hot yoga does not only help with injury prevention but has other important benefits too.

Whatever your distance or training goal, you’ll achieve it so much more quickly if you invest part of your training time in yoga. Imagine how much more efficiently you will be able to cycle with a strong core, flexible spine, with your muscles perfectly balanced and firing effectively. Yoga can help you become much more aerodynamic on the bike. You’ll transfer power more efficiently from your legs to the pedals, control your breathing and maximise your heart rate. Last but not least, a calm, focused mind is much better placed to make the fast paced decisions needed on our roads to stay safe.

In our studio, we enjoy working with a great mix of people. Our style challenges you to achieve your best, whatever your level of fitness. Where else will you find endurance athletes, cyclists and triathletes training for performance alongside beginners? The great thing about hot yoga is that each person will be able to find what they are looking for by adapting the movements to suit their needs.

So whatever your aims, whether that’s being first in your age category at a national sprint triathalon, cycling for charity in the Manchester sunshine with Cycling for The Christie, or just getting to and from your destination, please consider adding yoga in to your fitness routine.

To find out more, visit our home page or feel free to get in touch if you have any specific questions.

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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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The Yoga Magic Three: Mind, Body and Soul

Ever wondered why yoga works for so many people? Yoga acts on three different levels.

Mind

It’s simply this – after a busy, sometimes stressful, week it’s hard to still your mind and stop replaying things over and over again. In a 60 minute class you’ll get loads of space to completely unwind. You won’t have chance to think about work, your shopping list, what to make for tea, you will just be able to lose yourself in the music and in the here and now.

Body

Your body will thank you for your investment in posture and alignment. After a day hunched over a keyboard, stuck in one place or rushing about, you will have chance to unwind and relax your shoulders and neck. Your spine will decompress itself and you will create much needed space between your joints, warming and mobilising that golden synovial fluid that protects your joints.

You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling much more refreshed and ready for the new day. Better sleep allows your body time to produce those hormones that regulate hunger (leptin). Your blood pressure will typically lower, allowing the oxygen and nutrients to circulate round your body and work their magic.

Soul

Your mood will lift, and you will feel more relaxed and positive. You’ll leave the studio feeling a calmness, happiness and sense of achievement that will support you through the rest of your day.

Why not test it out? If you live in the Cheadle or Stoke on Trent area, come and join us to see if the benefits we enjoy from Hot Yoga are true for you too. Or, if that’s too far to travel, take the first few steps towards a more energised mind, body and soul by checking out yoga studios in your local area. Your future self will thank you for it!

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How To Prepare For Your First Hot Yoga Class

Before you arrive

Drink plenty of water before your class and bring some with you so you’ll stay hydrated.

It’s always wise not to eat a heavy meal before you exercise – we recommend you have a healthy meal or snack a couple of hours or so before you come to the studio. We’ll be sharing our top tips on nutrition in a future post.

Wear clothes you feel comfortable in – a baggy T-shirt or a crop top would be fine. Your choice!

If you have a yoga mat, bring it with you.

Allow extra time

Aim to arrive a bit earlier to your first class, so you can look round and get the feel of the studio, meet other participants, ask questions or raise any health concerns with your instructor.

Find a space

Ask where the instructor will be standing, then work out where you’ll feel most comfortable.

A position towards the front will give you a great view of the instructor, so you can copy their moves and check you are doing them correctly.

You may prefer to start on the back row – if that helps you to start off, go for it!

Everyone learns differently

No matter where you are, rest assured that you will get clear verbal cues telling you what to do, when.

If you’re a visual learner, you’ll get amazing demonstrations of your options: from simple poses, adaptations and modifications to the more advanced poses.

During the class

Yoga is not a competitive sport. Don’t feel you have to join in with every move. Listen to your body and pace yourself. In hot yoga classes, you’re always in control of your level of activity.

Relax, listen to the music and enjoy yourself. You’ll soon be making massive progress.

Before you know it, you will start to feel stronger, healthier and energised, ready to face whatever challenges come your way.

Book your class here

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 style of Vinyasa Yoga and with some laughter thrown in for good measure. It’s not a old fashioned 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 section, 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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The Science Behind Hot Yoga – Feel The Glow!

People often wonder what Hot Yoga means. Why would any form of yoga be any hotter than any other?

Good question!

You’ve heard how important it is for professional athletes to warm up before starting to exercise? Hot Yoga builds on the same science. 

Hot yoga classes are held in a warm room. The temperature varies from studio to studio but the basic idea is the same. When you exercise in a warm studio:

  • Your muscles become warmer and more pliable so you can achieve more.
  • Your body needs to work harder to maintain its optimum temperature and triggers natural mechanisms to cool itself down. The technical term for this is thermoregulation.
  • Your blood vessels go wider (dilate) allowing more oxygen and nutrients in, and letting more lactic acid out, helping to reduce fatigue. 
  • Your heart beats faster for a cardiovascular workout.
  • Blood comes to the surface of the skin so that heat can be lost. You start to sweat. Sweating is good for you. It’s our most natural way of cooling the body.
  • You’ll drink more – we recommend lots of water to replace electrolytes. Drinking water is the best way to detox as it flushes toxins from your system.

Repeated sessions of hot yoga workouts help tone your body, make it more flexible, more resilient and stronger. 

Most of all, it’s fun. You’ll feel energised as you enjoy the release of those feel-good hormones, endorphins, that give you that yoga high.

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Welcome to the Hot Yoga blog – thanks for joining us here!