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It’s not breaking news: the new year equates to a must-do, or you’ll be disappointed mentality. From cutting sugar to being kinder, every January 1st of my adult life I have penned a laundry list of New Year's resolutions.... and to be honest, every year I find myself feeling overwhelmed by my somewhat fictitious commitments. It only took thirty-something trips around the sun, but I finally learned my lesson.
I’ve officially ditched the traditional notion of resolutions for goals. After the champagne toasts are over and my yoga pants are on, I set goals. My personal mantras to make *me* better. It could be one or three, but I outline real, authentic goals that illicit an overjoyed feeling when it comes to a fresh perspective. Forget the whole new year, new you—I am now embracing the new year as a continuation of my journey. An exclamation point on my well-being.
But what really made me say goodbye to resolutions? Despite how much I enjoy sparklers and the dressy attire, these are the three reasons why I changed how I view the start to a new year. It’s about time we loved ourselves a little more and kicked some serious butt.
Real talk: Resolutions set us up for disappointment.
I once read a blog that said when you set expectations, you set yourself up for disappointment. Lightbulb moment: resolutions are just that. Whether it’s my wellness plan, work, or a relationship, I’ve found this truth to be, well, pretty true. So instead of making resolutions, I look at the new year as a chance for simple, positive guiding principles that can influence my actions each and every day. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself just because the scale doesn’t show that magical number you wanted to reach by a certain date or your busy calendar had you miss your gym session. Life happens—and I am finally realizing that.
Feel the focus: Find what's most important to you.
As we welcome a new year, find one area of your life you want to focus your energy on. For me, it’s all about mental (and emotional) wellness. By refining my new year's goals, I can shift my focus to one element of my life that I would like to improve on personally and everything else that benefits my well-being is an added bonus. Fitness, finances, relationships, balance—aspects of our life can feel overwhelming. Streamlining a relatable goal can help prioritize what is most important to you in the new year. And don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be a lofty goal either... find that one thing you are hoping to shift for an even more amazing you.
Note to self: It’s okay to fail. Seriously.
It took a long time for me to not feel guilty for not meeting (or exceeding) my resolutions. Why didn’t I do it right? Why couldn’t I make it happen? These negative questions would plague the lines of my journal just a few weeks into the new year. I used to feel like my resolutions were this hard deadline I must achieve. Now, by establishing goals and accepting that they can shift, I’ve created a sense of positive accountability, accepting that it’s okay to reset my priorities and update what I want to achieve as the year progresses. Maybe I didn’t stick to my meal plan by eating a homemade brownie at work. Or maybe I didn’t hit the bench press reps I was on track to complete today. But guess what? I enjoyed that treat. I still made it to the gym. Owning change and accepting accomplishments—even if they seem small—is something we should all be proud of.
So this new year, join me in ditching resolutions and setting goals! Watch out 2020; this is going to be our best year yet!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.