This blog is for all of my northern hemisphere yogi’s (and those prepping well in advance for the southern summer or winter even) who are keen to get out into nature, breathe in the fresh spring air and start moving their bodies to feel good!!
We see a lot of posts at this time of year focussed on getting ‘bikini’ body ready, I’m not going to preach that to you because let’s face it, you’re already bikini body ready, you’ve got a bikini I’m sure and it’s really only the confidence factor that you need to get back (perhaps).
So here are the tips that I have for you incorporating yoga, tried and test by someone (a.k.a. me) who has attempted to come out of the winter hibernation ahead of time….
1. Lie on the floor and do some ab(dominal) work, some of my current favourites you can find in the super cheap e-book ‘Ab-Asana’s’ by The Southern Yogi (you might know her on Instagram), not only do these ab-asana’s help to work away some of the ‘lining’ we’ve built up during the winter, but they’re a great way to instantly warm the body. So if you’re thinking it’s wayyy too cold to ACTUALLY warm up when you step out the door and running isn’t your thing, start with some abs and begin to warm from the core. I use these at the beginning of my Vinyasa classes to instantly get everyone warmed up, sweaty and awake for the rest of the class.
2. Touch yourself. It doesn’t sound right typing that out, but what I mean is during your practice allow your hands to rest on your thighs, or your belly or even pull up your prana socks (in uttansana, your forward bend gently sweep your hands up and down your legs to move the energy or prana up and down your legs). This helps to build confidence in your own body and a little bit of self -loving never goes astray!
3. Go for long walks, rug up, put your woolly hat on (if needed) and tie up your hiking boots. Try to walk at a sustained pace for around 1 hour, not letting your heart rate get too high but enough to feel good. This will not only release endorphins and help to burn fat and build cardiovascular endurance but will give you a great hit of fresh air – we can all do with a little more of that. And when you're out there remember to stop, take in the view, acknowledge where you are and take a deep breath, the practice of mindfulness and incorporating breath in addition to your walk will take it to another level (it's all yoga right?!).
4. Add one ritual that you want to do into each day or week (I recommend day to keep it regular), whether it be dry body brushing, some stretches from Elle Fit’s (@ellefit on instagram) 'Get Bendy' Ebook or drinking a particularly nice herbal tea to detox every night before bed (check the caffeine amount in the ingredients with that one), you’ll soon find that your ritual will make you feel instantly better no matter how tough your day was and might even help you wake up a little better knowing you’ve got something to look forward to.
5. Invest in a class, my recommendation would be yoga, but if that’s not your thing or you want to try something new look for a barre or cycle class to try. The most important thing is that you have a routine class that you attend either once a week or a few times a week that makes you feel great! There’s plenty to choose from and often there are options for monthly payments at a better rate than your casual class and it motivates you to get your monies worth. If you're going to a yoga studio already, make it a habit to try a new class or teacher each week, they may not be your 'style' from the outset but your body will love you for trying some new movements, even if they are slower or more relaxing. Plus yoga is a great cardiovascular work out, breathing properly can expand your lung capacity without even going for a run!
Now that I’m heading towards my European / Northern Hemisphere summer (8 weeks to go!!) I’m going to be investing in all of these things and more, so join me and let me know how you are going by commenting on my facebook page (Yoga Kiss) or following my instagram account @yogakiss.