Tag Archives: Yoga for weight loss

5 New Year Resolutions for New Yogis & Yoginis To Make

So 2014 was the year that you began your yoga journey in earnest.  And now, with 2015 almost here and happening,  perhaps you’re wondering how you can continue to develop your life on a yoga path, possibly without too many radical changes that might have you giving up by mid-year or earlier!   Well, here are 5 New Year Resolutions to make which will lead the way to a happier and healthier yogic life!

  • Regular Practice: This may seem pretty obvious but if you want to ensure yoga remains not just a relevant but an effective part of your life it is necessary to maintain a regular practice.   Yoga has immense benefits but as many people first turn to yoga with a physical need (i.e. wishing to increase their body flexibility, weight loss, etc) it can take a while to bring postures,  pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation together to reach that true harmony of a unified body, mind and spirit, which is,  of course,  the greatest benefit of yoga.    Of course, ‘regular’ may mean anything from 10 to 60 minutes daily for some folk or twice a week for others.  You yourself will know what’s best for you.  The point is, that in developing a good ‘yoga practice’,  the second part of that phrase is equally as important as the first!
  • Live the Simple Life:  In western society there is,  unfortunately,  a constant incitement to consume.   It is great to have the things that we need, no doubt about that,  but can we say that we truly need all that we have?   One of the primary principles of living a yogic life is ‘greedlessness’ (aparigraha).   So if 2015 is your year of moving towards a more yogic lifestyle then you could begin by removing – slowly,  if you need time – all the things around you that are unnecessary to living a more modest life.   Part of this journey is also to refrain from coveting what others have and learning to see the real riches in your life, which may include the friends and family that love you regardless of whether you have loads of gadgets or the time to pursue interests that got lost in the maelstrom of making and spending money.
  • Eat Your Greens:  Adding more veggies to your daily diet (and eliminating processed foods in addition) is one very easy way to resolve to live a more yogic lifestyle.   Outside of any moral reasons to develop a more plant-based diet,  there are huge health benefits to be had by increasing your consumption of vegetables.  These not only include increased energy levels and healthier skin, but a vegetable-rich diet is known to lower the incidences of many diseases  including obesity,  hypertension, diabetes and many heart-related illnesses.   Living a healthful life and making conscious decisions as to what you put into your body are all steps on the yogic path.
  • Take New Steps on Your Healthy Path:  Oil pulling,  herb infusions, keeping a gratitude journal, doing daily mediation?  Often when you begin a yoga practice and find yourself becoming more attuned to your body, mind and spirit you naturally want to start taking better care of yourself.   There are so many healthful ways that you can increase your well-being on a daily basis from the moment you wake to the minutes before you retire to bed.  This can include starting your day with 5 or 10 minutes of mindful meditation to taking up the ancient Ayurvedic technique of oil pulling (specifically, that means rinsing your mouth with a tablespoon of oil on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes).   This former practice can establish a positive mindset for the day ahead while the latter practice of oil pulling not only promotes oral hygiene but helps cleanse the skin and increase energy levels.
  • Put Yoga into Words and Actions:  The philosophy of yoga is one that promotes peaceful living (ahimsaor), respect for natural life,  being true to yourself and living with honesty and integrity.  That doesn’t mean turning yourself into a modern day Pollyanna, but by trying to be wise with your words, kind in heart and joyful in spirit you may just find that living the yogic lifestyle is more gratifying and personally gainful than you’d ever dreamed it could be.

Happy 2015!

 Siobhan01

Siobhan is the Head of Communication and Content withMuuyu and a co-founder of the company.  Born in Ireland she has close to 20 years’ experience working in the areas of PR, communication and journalism.  She is also the editor of the Muuyu blog.  Siobhan has been practicing yoga on and off for most of her adult life.  However it was while doing a post-natal yoga class when pregnant that she really began to connect with her practice and she has been a regular practitioner ever since.

Connect with Siobhan here.

If you liked this you might also like the below posts.  Just click on the pictures to go straight to the article.

Angela_Collins001               Green is for Go                 What does Yoga Actually Do?         Go Get Your Dreams in 2015!

 

 

First Ever British Yoga Festival

The first ever British Yoga Festival, organized by UK’s best-selling YOGA Magazine, runs next weekend (Friday 5th until Sunday 7th December) at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.

The Festival, which is expecting a turn-out of approximately 15,000 people from London, the UK and around the world, will showcase a host of yoga workshops, classes and demonstrations.  The line-up includes everything from Acro to Ashtanga with some Fierce Grace, Full Moon Flow and Yoga Rave  stirred in for those who like their yoga a little on the weird and wonderful side.

The impressively starry line-up of teachers includes Claire Missingham, Howard Napper, David Sye, Sonia DoubellRachel Okimo, Vena Ramphal, Dirish Shaktidas and Radhanath Swami.

YOGA Magazine and Festival organizers told Muuyu, “”When we launched in 2003 YOGA Magazine was the first dedicated UK monthly magazine to promote the benefits of a yogic lifestyle.  Now, after building up a solid reader base over the last 11 years, we felt that this was the right time to host our first ever British Yoga Festival due to the increasing appeal of yoga, and industry and reader demand for a yoga show to offer something different.”

With that in mind attendees can also look forward to a vast range of stalls and an array of activities including Ayruveda, diet and nutrition, green living and meditation and a full children’s programme.

To mark their first ever festival, YOGA Magazine will also be aiming to set a new world record for the UK’s largest indoor yoga class. This will take place on Saturday 6th December at 1.30pm and organizers are hoping for over 2,000 people to join in.

So if you’re in London next weekend, grab your mat and make your way to Islington.   To keep the industry thriving it’s important to support new and ambitious events such as the British Yoga Festival. And chances are you’ll  have fun, meet other like-minded folk and find a great class or workshop to do that you wouldn’t have had a chance to find otherwise!

For further information look here.

Siobhan01

Siobhan is the Head of Communication and Content with Muuyu and a co-founder of the company.  Born in Ireland she has close to 20 years’ experience working in the areas of PR, communication and journalism.  She is also the editor of the Muuyu blog.  Siobhan has been practicing yoga on and off for most of her adult life.  However it was while doing a post-natal yoga class when pregnant that she really began to connect with her practice and she has been a regular practitioner ever since.

Connect with Siobhan here.

 

Balance Out Indulgence: 3 Holiday Treats and 3 Ways to Burn Them Off

As a nutrition coach,  I work with clients all the time to help them understand that food has two equally important functions: as a source of energy and as a social, community and cultural phenomenon.  To focus on the calories alone is to ignore a huge component of what makes food so preeminent in our lives.

While it is critically important to our long-term health that we eat nutrient-dense foods and essential to a functioning planet that we eat as much local and organic fresh produce and animal product as possible, there is something to be said for eating all the foods we love–even the ones that aren’t so good for us–at least in moderation.

There is no time of year when the social function of food is more important than the holidays.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner in the U.S. and Christmas hot on its heels, temptation to indulge in all those “foods we love” is everywhere you turn.  One way to dig in to your favorite holiday treats guilt-free is to empower yourself with the knowledge of what it takes to burn off those extra calories with common physical activities.

I’ve compiled a list of three of most folks’ favorite holiday dishes and three corresponding workouts to help you stay on a healthy track from now to the new year.

Delicious Culprit #1: Pumpkin Pie

Nothing says fall flavors and the start of the holiday season like a little warm pumpkin pie.  This is my favorite dessert at this time of year.  Did you know that just one slice of pumpkin pie without whipped cream has around 300 calories?  When I found that out I little spot inside my heart died. The good news for those of you with a sweet tooth like me is that you can scorch those calories in no time. In fact, it’s as easy as riding a bike!  All you have to do is hop on your wheels and head out for a 5 mile ride.  This translates to about 35 minutes of cycling and, voila, you can call it even!

Delicious Culprit #2: Mashed Potatoes

Most of us try hard to avoid too many starchy foods but when it comes time to build a holiday meal, more often than not potatoes become the base.  Personally, I’m not a huge fan of mashed potatoes, but I’m willing to bet many of you are.  Just one cup of homemade mashed potatoes, prepared with whole milk and butter comes out to around 250 calories.  To burn this comfort food off you’d have to walk at a brisk pace for roughly an hour, covering anywhere from 3-4 miles depending on your stride.

If you like your spuds with gravy, tack on an extra 8-10 minutes of walking.  Here’s an idea: why not gather a group of family and friends for a nature walk to get some fresh air and improve digestion post-feast? It might just become a new holiday tradition.

Delicious Culprit #3: Stuffing

Stuffing, made with cranberries and nuts, has about 300 calories per 1 cup serving–and let’s face it, most of us go back for seconds.  This traditional and tasty side is often only prepared for Thanksgiving so it’s worth the carb-overload. When it comes down to balancing the scale, try a one-hour (or longer) Power Yoga class.  A slow-paced, stretch-focused yoga class won’t fit the bill here so make sure you aim for the kind where you really build up a sweat.

Need a little direction? Try my Fusion Flow class most Sunday mornings on Muuyu.  It’s my signature class which brings together the best of yoga, martial arts and plyometrics for a high intensity, mixed movement interval workout.  This fun and challenging class is geared towards building strength, power and stability in your body. Fusion Flow will make you sweat, keep you on your toes and leave you feeling the burn.

The bottom line with holiday feasting is that it’s all about making smart choices when you can, not dwelling on a little over-indulgence here and there, and putting your healthy efforts into balancing out the food you eat with the amount of physical activity you ask of your body – that way, when family and food come together in one beautiful space there will be no guilt, just joy and fun!

yoga, asanas, yoga for athletes, yoga for weight loss, yoga classes

Amy Rizzotto, RYT-200, is a food and fitness loving blogger, yoga instructor, nutrition coach  and studio owner based in Washington, DC. Amy’s passion is looking at the space where yoga and nutrition fuse for optimal athletic performance and overall mind/body wellness. MOAR-fit.com serves as her platform for sharing words of motivation, tasty recipes for health and workout tips. You can learn more about what she’s up to by following her on Facebook, Instagram, PInterestTwitter and Muuyu.

Bikram Yoga: 5 things to think about when you’re a teacher

Having taught Bikram Yoga now for nearly eight years I have noticed an evolution in my teaching style that, rather than being a replication of the standard Bikram Yoga training, is in fact a reflection of my own personal perspectives on how best to engage students in this style.  Things I now hold important I actually didn’t view as important in the past, and things that I once held as sacred I’ve since dropped from my teaching.

So for any certified teacher beginning their journey as a Bikram instructor here are 5 things that I’ve learned over the years that will hopefully give you something to think about in your classes:

 

1.Dialogue. It’s not important!

The Bikram Beginning Yoga Class Dialogue that instructs the 26 postures and two breathing exercises is a great tool to help any newly graduated teacher to stand up in front of a room and deliver confidence.  However I know teachers to this day that pride themselves on being ‘word perfect’, and yet have the same connection delivering their dialogue as, like I once heard a student describe, “a trainer at Sea World.”

What is important is the energy that the dialogue delivers. If you can genuinely project the fluctuations of energy that are vital in communicating each posture while keeping minds engaged and focused then you can lead your students in a really great class.

2. It’s only yoga!

I have seen teachers jump on the podium and become little Emperors: “Who taught you that? Never do that in MY class!

People are coming to the room with all sorts of issues, trying to heal and get better, and your job as a teacher is to let them find space and compassion, not a box and compression.  New teachers seem to think that this is necessary to be a good teacher.  It’s not.  It says more about you than anything else.

3.Savashana. It is quiet.  

How can you go from “100 percent effort, to 100 percent relaxation” in the floor series if you as a teacher are constantly nattering during rest?  Like music it is the silence between the notes the makes it beautiful and important.

4. Leave the Newbies alone.

New students don’t want to be constantly singled out, especially in their first class.  They just want to fit in and get through it.  Stopping the class and getting off the podium to walk over and correct a student is just bad teaching.  Do it subtly, possibly incorporating the correction into what you are saying during the posture.

5. Be authentic.

Whatever makes you happy. I know some excellent teachers that make me laugh constantly.  I know some excellent teachers who deliver brilliant classes without it being a comedy show.  Whatever your style is it’s got to be you.  And if you are friendly and authentic that’s how your classes will be.

Contact Matt here to request a class in Bikram Yoga.

Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yoga Teacher, Yoga for Athletes, Yoga for Weight Loss

Born in Zimbabwe, Matt Devine is CEO of Muuyu and has been teaching yoga for nearly eight years.  He primarily teaches Bikram or Hot Yoga.  As a former rugby player who needed reconstruction on both his knees, he has experienced for himself the therapeutic benefits of a hot yoga practice on the body.   He believes that part of yoga’s intense ability to heal is regulating one’s sleep patterns, as with longer, deeper sleep more healing occurs, and better sleep is a regularly cited benefit of hot yoga. 

Connect with Matt on Muuyu here.