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Wellness
Published Wednesday Jun 12, 2019 by Aly Raymer

Yoga #OffTheMat: 3 Tips to Practice Every Day

Yoga
Meditation
Expert Advice

I like to remind my students that yoga happens just as much off the mat as it does on the mat. The physical movement is just a tiny piece of the overall practice. So, how do you practice yoga #offthemat? 

Here’s a couple of go-to tips and tricks for you to try throughout your day, no matter how busy you are!

 

Practice Pranayama (breath work). 

Feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, stressed, upset? Block your calendar for 5 to 10 minutes and find a quiet place to sit—or put on headphones with relaxing music. Sit with your feet on the ground, hands in your lap, and close your eyes. Inhale slow and deep. Pause. Exhale slow and deep.. that’s one. Do this sequence up to 10 times and repeat. If you lose count (or focus), start from the beginning. Sometimes, I only get to three! That’s why it is called a practice. Once the timer goes off, take a moment to reflect on how you feel and then slowly open your eyes and tackle your day with a much calmer state of mind. 

 

Clean your space.

One of the five niyamas (the second limb of yoga dealing with self-discipline) “saucha” refers to cleanliness and clarity of your mind. In my opinion, a clear space can help keep your mind clear. Knowing where everything is and having a tidy space will also help you feel more centered and in control for when things in life become stressful or unpredictable. Protip: Feeling like you are in a rut? Re-organize your desk! Sometimes just moving things around can help bring a creative spark back. 

 

Do a body scan.

Need a reset in the middle of the day? Block your calendar for 5 to 10 minutes and again, find a quiet place to sit—or put on headphones with relaxing music. Try scanning your body mentally from head to toe. You can do this seated at your desk (just make sure it’s quiet, and no one will interrupt you). Take three gentle, deep breathes in and out and then close your eyes. Imagine a wave of warm, soft, and relaxing energy is slowly moving down your body from the crown of your head, to your shoulders, arms, torso, hips, legs, and feet. Spend about three to five breathes in each area. Once you reach the bottom, slowly open your eyes and feel the relaxed and clear state you have achieved! 

 

Last of all, practice gratitude daily—even on the toughest day. A bit of gratitude will remind you of the good things you have in life. Namaste!

Aly Raymer yoga MINDBODY
Written by
Aly Raymer
Yoga Instructor
About the author
California born and Boston made, Aly Raymer pursued a career in graphic design and marketing, only to discover life behind a desk was too stifling. Finding her purpose in the fitness community for over a decade, she’s built a following both in the studio and on social media as a lululemon ambassador and yoga instructor.
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

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.

1. Go at your own pace

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!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

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!  

3. Nourish your body

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.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

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.

5. Bring the right equipment

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.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!