Category Archives: Exercise

Yoga home practice – 5 tips for beginners

Yoga home practice tips for beginnersI believe that there are plenty of amazing yoga classes and inspirational yoga teachers around the globe who will guide you through your yoga journey and will teach you all you need to know…Unfortunately you might not have an opportunity to meet such teacher or attend such class for various reasons (welcome to my life!). If you are still very keen on practising yoga even in this case than home practice might be a perfect solution for you. It might be tricky to start yoga home practice and stick to it, but it’s so worth it if you do. I am not anywhere near a yoga expert, I am a novice myself and I have been practising only for around two years. But there are so many small things I’ve learnt that really improved my practice. In this post I will share the most basic ones to actually get you on the mat in the first place and help to stay there. These are more on how to set up the practice rather than motivate. I truly believe that there are no tips for finding motivation as it can only come from the inside of each person. So here we go with the actual tips!

1. Do your homework first. Yoga is not a science, but it’s a practice that needs to be studied and understood. I don’t want to overcomplicate things in this post as I am still learning myself. Anyway, there are plenty of yoga magazines or yoga web sites that give you some basic information. Google will help you with this. You would really need to read about yoga styles like ashtanga, viynasa, bikram etc; sun salutations (if you go for ashtanga), asanas suitable for beginners and correct alignment for each asana. Also, when learning about new asanas it is important to pay attention whether they would not escalate any existing health concerns. For example, tree pose is one of the most basic asanas suitable for beginners, yet if you have ever injured your knee, it might worsen your injury. You need to remember that yoga does have healing properties but it can also hurt you. So if you have some serious health concerns it’s better to find yoga class dedicated to healing.

2. Find a good spot. It could be in your house, in the garden or even in the park where there is enough space so that you don’t bump into things when getting into asanas. If you just start yoga practice, it’s better be a quite place as well to help you focus. It could be a good idea to tidy up the place before hand, lit some candles and play soft music in order to create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere!

3. Get a non-slippery mat and comfortable clothing. It could be a yoga mat, rug or even a towel…as long as your hands and feet do not slide, it will work. Clothing should be very comfortable too to allow free movement. A cotton top and loose trousers or shorts should do it as long as they are not too baggy. I actually have lots of yoga photos on Instagram account wearing tight capris or leggins, but I usually practise wearing sweatpants!

4. Always warm up before practice.  This is if you go for a really physical kind of yoga like ashtanga. You are supposed to do sun salutations as a warm up in this case, but I find that it’s not enough and do rotating movements for all joints starting from the neck and finishing with ankles.

5.Don’t forget to breath. This is such an obvious point, but it’s just too easy not to pay attention to it. It’s a key to have a steady deep breathing during yoga practice. You need to move and align your body with the help of breath. At first you need to really focus on, but then you will find it comes very naturally and that the correct breathing makes it much easier to hold any asana!

The bonus tip: don’t ever feel discouraged if you cannot manage even basic yoga poses. It’s not some sort of competition and it’s ok if your asana does not look perfect. It’s how you feel inside that matters, all the rest will come with time!

Ok, I think that’s it from me for now. I do plan to write a bit more about my yoga journey as I learn new things every day. Please do share if you plan to start practising yoga. If you already practise, do you visit yoga classes or prefer to practise at home?

Three Small Routine Steps I Love

Balance Your Body & Soul

 

You know when you read articles where people reveal what are their little secrets to feel better or to look good…well I’ve decided to do one with my own discoveries. I will share three little beauty (and body) secrets that I feel really make a difference to how I look and feel!

1. Use Face Serums. It’s super easy step but is often overlooked and neglected by many women in their skin care routine (including myself till only recently). I’ve always been sceptical about layering products as I didn’t want to annoy my oily skin. So for me it’s been cleanser, toner, light face cream and face mask as a treatment maximum. How mistaken I was not to use serum…that’s what really treats your skin, I would go as far as to say that if you have a really good face serum it does not matter what other skin care you use. The thing is that if you have some skin concern like pigmentation, dry skin, sensitivity you won’t sort it out with cream or cleanser…serums on the other hand specifically target different skin problems and as they are so easily absorbed – they really make a difference! At the moment I am in love with Antipodes Apostle Skin Brightening & Tone Correcting Serum (£40.85). My next step is to introduce eye serums to my routine, but I am still making some research about it.

2. Eat one avocado every day. This is again such an easy thing that makes a huge difference. Ok, I know some people love avocado some people hate it, but ladies if you want to have healthy skin and hair just eat it. There is a whole list of super foods that are supposed to be good, but I’ve tried many and didn’t see the difference. With avocado I get the results – if I don’t eat it let’s say for 3-4 days I get so many breakouts and my hair doesn’t look good. Once I start eating it daily my skin gets better almost immediately (without changing anything else in my diet). For me avocado is the most reliable source of healthy fatty acids that are so so important for healthy skin and hair. I’ve never liked avocados that much, but now I got so used to eating it I get stressed if none is left in the fridge! You can do quite a few things with avocados, but I usually add it to salads or eat it on its own as a snack.

3. Yoga. This one is not as complicated as some people might think. I am not talking about doing fifteen inversions of headstand in one go. Even small 10-minute flow few times per week can make a difference. I practise yoga for a bit more than a year and I should say that I’ve never felt so much in piece with myself and with my body. I can wright about how I feel now for ages but I think I will leave it for another post. I will just say that through my yoga practice I’ve learnt so much about my body and I don’t treat it as my enemy anymore that accumulates fat in the places it shouldn’t…now I respect my body, I embrace it the way it is and I understand it much better. And I am not even talking how yoga effects my mind state. Again I could wright quite a lot here but in short it made me much more relaxed person and helps me to be very present and focused without wasting my thoughts on things that don’t really matter!

That’s my little every day routine steps that make my skin, body and mind feel much better… Hence making me a happier person. I hope this little list could help someone too!

Why exericise makes me feel happy

Why exercise makes me happy

I am one of that people who loves to exercise and to whom it comes very naturally. I am always active and do different things whether it’s yoga, running, strength-training or long walks. But I know that it is not the same way for everyone. People treat workouts as something really dreadful and try to avoid it at any cost. I think this is so unfortunate as we live in such inactive world that we need to make all extra efforts to keep our bodies working. From my personal experience exercise also makes you feel “right”. If I don’t keep my body active, I feel really down and measurable even if everything else is fine. Being physically active really makes a difference to my mood and how I feel. I will go a bit philosophic here and try to outline why I think exercise makes me feel happy. Maybe it will act as a little extra motivation for somebody to workout!

    • Look good – feel good factor. Everybody feels better with flat tummy and toned legs. Your body is your temple, taking good care of it is one of your main priorities. I will not even concentrate on this one as it’s so obvious!
    • Hormones of happiness. Our bodies are perfect machines at the end of a day and I am a strong believer that they are created for active life. Have you heard about hormones of happiness? Well, apparently they can be produced by our bodies while we exercise. And you probably guessed it right! They are supposed to make you feel happy. You see, everything is thought through in your body, just a bit of effort required from your part.
    • Time to catch up with yourself. I should stress here that I am a supporter of exercising on your own.  I think it’s a great idea to workout together with other people for fun or extra motivation, but exercising on your own can provide with such valuable “me time”. We always feel that we should spend some quality time with our loved ones, but do many fo us catch up with themselves? Exercise is the perfect way to be with yourself. It’s a good opportunity to learn what your body and your mind are capable of and how they can work for you…to make you happy and health. Like you know when you need to have a conversation with someone to learn more about them, treat your workout the same way – as a chance to learn something new about yourself. Trust me, you can be quite surprised!
    • A sense of achievementWell, this one is very important. Even when my day is not productive, I feel much better if I’ve done some sort of exercise. You just feel good about yourself as no matter how things are, you are doing something good for yourself. So my advice, when everything goes – do a workout, it’s good enough achievement even if everything else is messed up. And you can be very proud of yourself and feel like some kind of super warrior!

The bottom line is keep your body active and you might end up with slightly more cheerful outlook on life then you’ve had before!