Robins 30 Day Challenge

Robin decided to do a 30-Day Challenge early in the summer. We saw her every day, the highs, the lows (there were way more highs) and she had such an enthusiastic attitude the whole 30 days!! We couldn’t help but ask if she would contribute to our blog, Robin wrote an amazingly honest account of her challenge, check it out!

photoWhy did you decide to do a 30-Day Challenge?

I decided to do a 30-day challenge as a birthday gift to myself. I talked about it at dinner one night with my family and with their support, I decided to start on my birthday! What better gift than the gift of health. The reason I did the challenge was to test myself, could I really do yoga everyday for thirty days and live to tell about it??!! Also, to see if hot yoga every day would help my back feel better – and no big surprise – not only did it help my back I’m pretty much pain free, I feel amazing. I’ve been dealing with low back pain for two years, had I known all I had to do was thirty days of Bikram Yoga I would have done this two years ago!  I have learned that I can be very strong one day and very weak the next but it is okay as long as I just keep showing up, that is what really matters. I feel like this is something I can do for the rest of my life, I can’t imagine my life not doing hot yoga. I guess I’m an addict, haha!

What were some of the challenges you faced?

One of the challenges I faced were evening dinners. We take turns cooking and I definitely needed a helping hand there. We also eat at 6:00 most nights and now we are pushing it till 7:00.

On day thirteen I’m not sure what was going on. I felt like I was never going to make it to thirty and was just tired and sore, I literally felt like I was dragging myself through the 90 minutes but I made it and just didn’t look back.

So why did you come back then after Day 13 what keeps you coming back?

What keeps me coming back, I guess is all the people I’ve talked to about pain and how hot yoga has helped them. How it’s helping me!

What are you struggling with currently in your practice?

I’m currently struggling with depth and strength. In my mind, I think I should be able to go deeper and hold myself stronger. And then I have to remind myself to just relax and be patient. We hear that all the time from the instructors but it’s so hard to implement it.

What is your favorite pose right now and why?
I’m really loving the camel pose when I come out and lay down I feel just awesome, like I’m on a cloud and my body is being supported in all the right spots. It’s kinda weird, but I like it.

What pose is challenging for you right now?

One pose I feel like I’ll never get is Eagle my leg just will not go around to hook my calf maybe one day!

What would you tell someone who is considering a personal challenge for themselves?

If someone is considering a challenge I would say really anyone can do it. Set a goal, then just stick with it –  don’t let anything get in your way. It also helps to look at your personal 10, 20, 30 day calendar to see if any major events are going to happen. I wanted to do a challenge but knew July would never work because we are going on a family vacation, although I’m already thinking of ways to find yoga while away!

Congratulations Robin, a 30-Day Challenge is no easy feat! Thank you for your strong example of strength, courage, and determination! You are an inspiration to all of us!


10 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Set aside time in your day and honour where your body is at and the beautiful changes occurring with your pregnancy. Practice loving compassion for yourself and baby. Prenatal yoga is one of the best things that you can do for yourself, as well as your growing baby.

We are looking forward to introducing regular prenatal classes at our studios in Nundah and North Lakes. Classes will go for 60 minutes, in a non-heated room, and will help you to maintain your peace, vitality, flexibility and breath during your pregnancy. However, as always, listen to your body while you practice and do as much as what feels right to you.

Some of the benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy include:

1. Develops stamina and strength

As baby grows within our body, more energy and strength is needed to be able to carry the weight.  Yoga poses strengthen our hips, back, arms and shoulders.

2. Balance

Our balance is challenged physically as the fetus grows within our body. Emotionally we are drained due to the increases in progesterone and estrogen. As we try to focus on holding and breathing through each yoga pose, we are able to fine tune our balance, physically and emotionally.

3. Relieves tension of lower back, hips, chest, upper back, neck and shoulders

As baby grows, more stress is put upon these specific muscle groups in our bodies.  We tend to have more of a lordotic/lower back curve due to the increased size of our bellies. Our hips get tighter due to the added pressure of baby’s weight in our bellies. As our breasts increase in size, our upper back and chest have more tension, along with our neck and shoulders.

4. Calms the nervous system

Through deep breathing, the nervous system goes into parasympathetic mode, which is responsible for relaxation.  When our bodies are in that mode, our digestions operate properly, we tend to sleep better, and our immune system is at its optimal.

5.  Preparation for Labor

You are working with conscious breathing during each yoga pose, which may sometimes be challenging. This transfers into the time of labor, allowing one to practice being “comfortable with the uncomfortable” through our breathwork.  As you inhale, you acknowledge the tension that is felt.  As you deeply exhale, you let go of it more and more with each breath.

6.  Connection with baby

A prenatal yoga practice allows us to slow down and focus attention on what is going on within our bodies. Through working with our breath and doing each pose, you become more aware of what is going on within.

7. Increases circulation

Circulation is enhanced within our joints and our muscles are elongated during practice.  Upon circulation of the blood within our bodies, swelling is decreased and our immunity is enhanced, creating a healthy environment for a thriving baby.

8. Breathwork practice

This is a good tool for labor during contractions.  If we are consciously breathing, our blood pressure and heart rate is regulated keeping us in parasympathetic/relaxation mode.  Calm mama equals calm baby.

9. Sense of community/sisterhood

It can be very comforting to be with a group of women who understand what we are going through.

10. Nurturing time

This time allows us to stop and slow down from our busy days.  Through the practice of yoga, you are setting intention in taking care of not only yourself, but of baby.

Five reasons to give Bikram Yoga another chance

1 – Healing – Bikram Hot Yoga has been used by many practitioners and teachers alike to help with and often alleviate back pain, knee pain, arthritis, and so much more. The raised temperature of the yoga room combined with the specific series of postures (done twice) & Savasanas help to realign your body. Through realigning yourself and learning to work the correct muscle groups, not only can you alleviate existing issues, but also ward off future problems. The yoga promotes the movement of fresh oxygenated blood around the body, assisting and promoting healing . If you have an injury, it is imperative to speak to your doctor/pyhsio/ chiropractor/ therapist etc., to confirm they believe you are in a fit state to participate in this form of strenuous exercise. We would then ask that you arrive at least 20 mins prior to the start of class to fully discuss your injury with BYC staff and your teacher. The yoga can help, but only if we listen to our body and our teachers. Never push into anything that is painful & never alter the postures to suit you. Even if we can only do 1% of the posture, but we are doing it correctly, in the correct alignment, we will see the benefit. A study in 2013, on the effect of heat & cold on the human knee, concluded ” Heat is beneficial in increasing muscle and ligament flexibility and may help reduce athletic injuries”. (Effect of heat and cold on tendon flexibility and force to flex the human knee Jerrold Scott Petrofsky, Michael Laymonand  Haneul Lee)
2 – Stress Relief –  You wouldn’t often associate sweating for 90 minutes in a room heated to 40C with relaxation, but we are here to tell you Bikram Hot Yoga is a wonderful stress buster! This may not have been your experience from your first class – it was not ours – but we promise, give it a few classes and you will understand what we are talking about!
3 – Improved Flexability – Research has shown that heating our muscles improves their flexibility, safely. The heat of a Hot Bikram Yoga Class allows practitioners to safely move deeper into posturers. If we listen to the feedback of our body and take  ourselves to the edge of our personal range, each and every class, our muscles listen and this range improves, improving our flexibility.

4 – Strength & Toning – All weight bearing exercise, when done regularly and correctly, tone and strengthen. Each and every posture in the Hot Bikram yoga serious is specifically designed to use your own body weight, to help build the strength and tone in your muscles. As you are using your own body weight, it is safe to practise everyday (should you so wish). In Bikram Hot Yoga, as with most forms of exercise, you only get out what you put in.  Moving into the postures alone will not magically transform your body. It is your effort level, combined with the design of the postures, that will create the results you want.

5 – Weight Loss – The cardiovascular nature of some of the class, combined with the strengthening effect of all of the postures, can lead to weight loss. However, exercise is only part of the weight loss story, combined with a health balanced diet, and this is where the real results are shown. Warning, if you are a ‘scale addict’: muscle weighs more than fat, so, as you are melting away your fat and building lovely lean muscles, the scales may not change, or they may even go up! However, the results will be obvious in how you feel (and in your clothes!). On this weighty note, we feel it is important to let you know that we believe that being healthy is what is truly important.

Health, generosity, kindness, enthusiasm, warmth: these are the qualities that make a person a beautiful and should make you feel beautiful! It is easy to say it, but not as easy to live it!
How about we change our perspective together?
Connect with yourself in the mirror and realise that you are beautiful. Beauty is a feeling that comes from within.  Cheesy as it may sound, try it!
We have one life and one body, in which to live. Treat it well.
Let’s build our body confidence together, in the room, on the mat. Build your strength, build your health, build your focus, feel the power that is you and your body. Work together to share your energy. You are beautiful. We are beautiful. Together we are all beautiful.

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