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Did you know 76% of Britons say they try to take care of themselves physically, yet two in five are afraid of change when it comes to exercise*? Considering these findings, we’ve created a tried and tested guide on what to expect if you’re signing up for five of MINDBODY’s most popular fitness classes for the first time**:
25% of MINDBODY app users schedule a yoga session—making it the most-booked class on the app. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on flexibility, strength, and breathing to encourage physical and mental well-being. Not only is yoga good for those who suffer from aches and pains, but it’s also been proven to help decrease levels of stress and depression.
Nahid de Belgeonne, founder and director of Good Vibes, gives a few tips on how to be prepared for your first yoga practice:
“It can be a bit daunting when you first enter a yoga class but do make sure that you choose a class that is the right level for you. Wear clothing you can move around in; most people opt for leggings, a vest, and a layer on top in case they need it.
Get there early to let the teacher know that you are either a beginner or new to the class and always let them know of any injuries. Place your mat where you have a good viewpoint of the teacher so that you can see as well as hear the instructions clearly. The teacher will show you a few poses that you can rest in, typically child’s pose, be sure to take it up whenever you need it.
Yoga is a practice that cultivates your skill in action, so take your time to learn the basics, and you will find a more nuanced practice sooner than those who throw themselves into a class that isn’t suitable for their level.”
A newly trending type of fitness, roughly 6% of MINDBODY app users book barre classes. Combining ballet-inspired dance movements with Pilates and other strength training methods, barre aims to make you stronger while improving balance and flexibility. Make sure to take it easy if you’re serious about signing up—this workout be quite challenging at first!
Nahid tells us what to expect with this full-body workout:
“So, you’ve decided to step up to the barre? It’s a great class for sculpting the whole body, but especially the legs and butt. Wear clothing that fits you well like leggings, a wrap-around top, and socks.
Get to class early, so you don’t miss the warm-up; where not only are you warming up the joints, but you will also go through some of the movements that you will do throughout the class. There are a lot of repetitions, which means that you have time to perfect your technique, plus it’s always to music, so you’ll feel energised and elegant afterward!”
Although only 6% of people prefer to book Pilates compared to its sibling, yoga, Pilates is definitely becoming more popular. Similar to yoga, Pilates is a form of exercise that practices flexibility and muscular strength to fortify the stomach, improve posture, and help to elongate the spine without bulking up.
Nahid advises using props for Pilates:
“Mat Pilates is a great class to help you to cultivate a connected core. You’ll need to wear clothes you can move around in and might need to wear socks with a grip depending on the studio guidelines.
You might also use props such as a Pilates ring, resistance bands, or weighted Pilates balls. Be on time to class because you spend the first ten minutes warming up the spine, and muscles and if you miss this you may not be let in. Over time, all of your workouts will benefit from a more switched-on core.”
Although a lot of cyclists may prefer to spend their time outdoors, 4% book indoor cycling through the MINDBODY app. With elements like weather, traffic, or the use of expensive equipment, indoor cycling is often a more convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy this cardio-driven workout.
Nahid reminds us that position is key to your cycling performance:
“The first thing you need to do is make sure you know whether the studio hires out cycling shoes or whether you can rock up in your trainers.
Get there early for help with setting up your bike. The position of the seat and the handlebars are crucial to enjoying your ride or not. You can expect to get pretty sweaty at this class, so make sure you take a small towel and a bottle of water to keep hydrated. The ride usually consists of a warm-up, a progressive endurance ride, and a little choreography from a standing to a seated position, before the cool down.”
The fifth most-booked class at 3%, bootcamp is perhaps the most strenuous of exercises we have featured. You can expect military-style group challenges using a variety of equipment and routines conducted by a hands-on trainer. Bootcamp is a full-body workout, so get ready for short bursts of intensive cardio and rigorous training which helps reduce body weight, improve endurance, and increase muscle mass.
Nahid has a couple of tricks for an outdoor bootcamp class:
“As well as taking your trainers, water, and layering up for a bootcamp session, be sure to take dry clothes to change into as you are going to sweat and the weather might not be ideal. Listen out for the techniques for each burst of exercise and remember to breathe!”
Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, is all about trying something new:
“It’s no secret that trying something new for the first time can be daunting, however not only will trying something new spruce up your routine and keep you on your toes, but it will also give you the chance to fall in love with a different kind of workout!
If you’re ever in doubt about what to expect before starting a new class, get in touch with the venue and someone will be able to advise you on what to bring, wear or answer any other questions you may have about attending a new class.”
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.