Turning up the heat with Bikram Yoga

This morning I woke up to a surprise visitor at my door ūüôā

Good way to start the day!

One of my July Health and Fitness goals was to try a new group fitness class. And today I did just that. As suggested by many of you, I decided to give Bikram Yoga a try.

Bikram Yoga is 90 minute class  held in a heated room. This form of yoga practice moves through a series of postures and breathing exercises that are scientifically designed to systematically work through the entire body.

I know for sure, that working out in the heat would be highly unappealing for alot of people, but it did not bother me and there is something ‘cleansing’ about having a good sweat.

They say that the warm room

  • Allows for greater flexibility,
  • Minimises muscle strain,
  • Reduces the chance of injury,
  • Promotes greater cleansing of the body, and
  • Helps build stamina and endurance.
For more details check out the Bikram Yoga Northside website.

At first the heat inside the room is overwhelming and I was told that it is normal to feel a bit dizzy and weak.  As the class progressed I really started to enjoy it. It helps when you have a great instructor! She was giving me extra support and guidance along the way as I was new and she also shared her story of how she came to find herself in yoga, which added a nice personal touch to the class.

I purchased a 30 day pass for $39, which I am hoping to make the most out of.  After the class I felt rejuvinated and well stretched out, which was well needed after my run yesterday.

After yoga I came home and made myself a salad with boiled eggs

I simply tossed together mixed lettuce, red capsicum and half an avocado.

To boil the eggs, I placed them in pot of cold water on the stove and brought it up to the boil for about 10 minutes. Tip: If the egg cracks, stir in some vinegar which stops the egg from going everywhere! 

I dressed the salad with a squirt of basil infused olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Highly recommend the olive oil. My mum bought a mixed selection of Cobram infused olive oils from Costco.  The basil flavour is the best for salad dressings!

My questions for you today are:

Have you tried Bikram Yoga? If so, how did you find it?

If not, does working out in the heat put you off it?

Also, for the foodies out there, what is your favourite salad dressing?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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Tips to make your morning better

I have always been a morning person, and today reaffirmed how much better the day is when it starts off relaxed and stress-free.

I arrived at work 45 minutes early. Yes, slightly misjudged how quick public transport takes. I went to a cafe, got a pot of tea and read my Kindle. Perfect start to the day.

Here are my tips for enjoying the morning:

Get prepared the night before.  Lay out your clothes and pack your bag.

Set your alarm nice and early.¬†I like to give myself at least an hour before I have to leave my house. This gives me a chance to chill in bed for a while, watch the Today show, blog, check Facebook, pack my lunch…

Give yourself time to enjoy a nice breakfast. I wake up ready and excited to break-the-fast. I love to sit down, eat my breakfast (Check out my breakfast ideas!) and have (at least) 2 cups of tea.

If I have scheduled in a workout for the morning here are my additional tips to get yourself out of bed

Mentally prepare yourself the night before.  If you have not visualised your workout and planned what you intend to do, it is always much easier to cop out.

Imagine how you will feel after your workout.¬†Surely better? Most people don’t regret a good workout.

Make sure you are doing something you enjoy.  If running is not your thing it is no point trying to force yourself into it (especially when you are dragging yourself out of bed for it!). Try a brisk walk around the block or else check out what classes are available at your local gym. I know my gym, Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Center have classes suitable for all fitness levels and preferences, ranging from Yoga to Body Attack to Aqua Aerobics. I am a big group fitness fan :). Another great morning option is Circuit Training -where you can build your own workout, tailored to your preferences in the comfort of your own home.

And if all these tips fail.. remember the hardest part of running is taking the first step out the door (and then climbing stairs ;)).

But once you have stepped out the front door, climbed the stairs and achieved your morning goal.. your heart is pumping, your mood is elevated and I guarentee you will feel better than you did before you began.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

How to make a date with exercise and stick to it

Especially during the colder months (as it is, here in Australia at the moment), I often struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed early or brave the dark, cold night after work, and exercise.  I do however love to be active, so when I do push beyond the barriers it is always worth it.

Here are some of my tips for staying motivated and sticking to your workout schedule:

1) Imagine how you will feel after your workout. The chances are, you will feel good. Use this to boost your motivation.

2) Just GO. Put your sneakers on, and get out the door!

3) Plan your workout around your interests. If you usually workout on a treadmill or at the gym, schedule your workout to coincide with your favourite T.V. show. If you prefer to workout outdoors, find out about local bushwalking or coastal tracks, that offer an extra level of stimulation and excitement to your workout.

4) Mix it up! Sometimes I find that I lose motivation when my workout routine becomes too predictable and boring. So why not change something about your routine. For example, if your training mainly consists of high intensity, cardio work add some yoga or pilates; exchange a run for resistance training or for the runners, change your focus from distance to speed (or vice versa).

5) Set yourself attainable goals, both short term and longterm.  I like to set my goals using one of the methods I learnt in my Psychology studies. This involves making sure your goals are SMART:

S РSpecific
M РMeasurable
A РAttainable
R РRelevant
T РTime-bound

¬†And if all else fails..¬†get new workout gear. Because who doesn’t love working out in new gym gear?

For me, running outdoors is just the best!

This view is my Sunday morning motivation

I am always looking for new ways to motivate myself. So please share with me your secrets!

What motivates you to stick to your workout routine?

And for the workout-gear lovers, where is your favourite place to shop for gym gear? 

*Please note I am not a personal trainer; these views are based on my own personal experience.