New year, more amazing me.
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As 2017 fades into the rearview mirror, I once again find myself staring at a proverbial blank slate—OK, a Google doc—with that recurring, possibly life-changing question: “What do I hope to accomplish in this new year?” Of course, I want to workout more. Eat less sugar. Be more patient (I’m a Leo, so that can be hard). But what about trying something totally new? What about the little things?
Maybe it’s time to rethink this whole resolution idea.
This year, I’ve established six “resolutions” based on continual positive empowerment and self-improvement. Goals that bring me back to basics. Actionable items that challenge my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Things that encourage me to try—and stick—to something new. Hopefully, my list (and tips) will inspire you to reevaluate your goals and achieve new ones. Are you ready to join me?
A thank you text is great. But in 2018, I am breaking out the pens, paper, and getting back to snail mail. The power of gratitude is proven to be good for the soul—and it’s almost guaranteed a thank you note will make someone's day. If Jimmy Fallon can do it, so can I.
My Tips to Succeed: Plan ahead and buy a pack (or two) of colorful thank you cards. Keep blank cards + stamps at home and work so you can write one quickly when the time is right.
It's time to put my mind where (hopefully) my muscles are as I get ready to focus on flying high. Aerial silks and hoops, anyone? Not only can I work my way up into the air with this great full-body workout, it also makes for some pretty awesome Insta-worthy images.
My Tips to Succeed: Make it your new happy hour! Recruit friends who will commit to trying aerial, so you can hold each other accountable. Use the MINDBODY app on iOS or Android to discover aerial studios and book classes in your area.
Do you find yourself snuggled into bed scrolling through social media and answering emails? I do. Way too much. And I wonder why I can’t sleep well. It’s time for me break the bedtime cell phone addiction. Ignoring my cell is not always easy, but I’m committing to unplugging at least one hour before bed.
My Tips to Succeed: There are many ways to fall asleep faster, but one of the most important has to do with putting down the phone. Don’t get under the covers until you are ready to commit to shut-eye (and that means not answering work messages). Also, if you charge your phone in your bedroom, plug it in out of arm's reach.
This fermented gut-healthy drink continues to be all the rage, and with kombucha becoming even more popular and craftier in 2018, my ‘booch’ budget is going to make me broke. With many easy-to-follow tutorials on the internet, I am prepared to become a kombucha brewer (warning, there might be some trial and error stories to follow!).
My Tips to Succeed: Save your glass bottles from your previous kombucha purchases and use them for your homemade concoctions. Also, experiment with different flavors and recipes—I’m currently all about the tropical taste of pineapple during these chilly winter months.
Yogis unite! This year I will l use my musical festival funds and put them towards a weekend of Zen—by myself. No social media. No texting. No distractions. I want to detach and be inspired by the energy of those around me. Plus, festivals like Wanderlust and Camp Yoga take place in numerous locations so one might be just a short drive or flight away! Organizers make you feel super welcome, no matter if you’re a newbie to the mat (like me!) or a seasoned vet.
My Tips to Succeed: Book sooner than later! Sometimes there are ticket price breaks for early booking. If your finances allow, travel to a festival location far from home and spend an extra day before or after the festival exploring the area—that's my plan!
If you’re like me, I tend to use my time off at work to go-go-go on vacation. In 2018, I’m saving some time for a “mental health day.” More and more employers are encouraging employees to take mental health days, and I think it’s a great idea. Find time to unplug—and get some fresh air!
My Tips to Succeed: Plan ahead when it comes to your workload so you can ensure your mental health day is all about YOU. And if you’re comfortable, let your coworkers know your intentions. Make sure you are taking your mental health day for the right reasons, though (not because you stayed out too late last night).
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.