Fire Up Your Practice With These Types Of Yoga

Have you even caught yourself in your sixth sun salutation wondering what you’re going to have for dinner after class?

After the initial novelty of yoga wears off, you might find yourself reaching a plateau. You’ve mastered the basics, you know your Adho Mukha Svanasana from your Utkatasana and you’re just not feeling that motivated for your weekday classes any more. Time to turn up the heat and add some fire to your practice!

Ashtanga

If your practice so far has focused mainly on grounding types of yoga like Yin and Hatha, ashtanga could give you some much needed balance. This formidable flow focusses on mastering sequences before moving on to more challenging postures. With a focus on breathing counts and building heat in the core, Ashtanga will certainly fire you up for the day ahead. Bring a towel!

Rocket Yoga

Related to ashtanga yoga, rocket includes more advanced poses from the start. Expect multiple sun salutations followed by crazy arm balances, inversions and an incredibly satisfying savasana. Don’t be put off by the number of advanced poses in this class – there are always plenty of options for all levels and teachers are well trained in two finger adjustments. An inspiring playlist means you feel fired up for the whole class!

Iyengar

Although not strictly a fiery practice, Iyengar could provide the change of scenery you need. With a very strict focus on alignment, you’ll find yourself perfect basic asanas that you thought you had down already (anyone else hinging on their Downward Facing Dog?). Props are key in this practice!

Come along to one of our classes and see for yourself how firing up your yoga practice may be just what the doctor ordered! View our schedules here.

Unleash Your Inner Wild Thing: 4 (Realistic) Ways To Be Yourself More

No, we’re not recommending that you imbibe frog venom and undergo a life-changing hallucination (that’s a thing, by the way – it’s called Kambo). But we do have some tips on how to care less about what other people think, and act more like your weird, awesome self – starting today!

Say no when you’re just not feeling it

Don’t be afraid to be the one who says no the the fifth espresso martini of the night. They’re not that good anyway, and frankly that amount of caffeine so late at night will play havoc with your sleep pattern! If you don’t want to go and see an exhibition by your friend’s friend’s uncle’ super-cool girlfriend, don’t go. If people judge you for listening to your own intuition, they clearly aren’t fabulous enough to be your friend anyway.

Say YES when you are feeling it

Get unashamedly, embarrassingly excited about the things you love. A lot of us are scared to be passionate in someone poops on our parade, but by avoiding disapproval you’re missing out on some wonderful feelings of anticipation and excitement. The next time someone invites you to the opening of a yoga studio you’ve been waiting to sign up to for ages, cry “YES!” to the heavens (Hint hint: MoreYoga Brixton is opening this weekend!!)

Make sound effects

I know you do it. When you’re home alone, you put on weird voices, talk to yourself and even blow the occasional raspberry for no reason. How do I know? Because we all do it! It’s amazing how hilarious people find sound effects when you crack them out in group conversation. Two main benefits: immediately become the ‘funny one’ in your friend group and no longer have to fear letting a weird voice slip out by accident.

Use all of your body to speak

Tons of research has been done into how physiology affects your emotions, and it turns out that you can change how you’re feeling just by moving your body in different ways. Think about it – when you’re sad, you’re hunched up. When you’re happy, your whole body opens up. So give it a go when you talk to people – gesture with your hands, wave your arms (and your feet if you’re brave)! The science behind this is one of the reasons that exercise classes like yoga and crossfit make you feel so good afterwards. Making your body more expansive and expressive brings out the real you!

Let your weird hang out and remember your vibe attracts your tribe – and no one wants to chill with people who all act the same!

Make Mum’s Day With These Simple But Touching Gestures

Mother’s Day is here once again, and many of us will be scrambling last minute to grab gifts and cards. But are they really that personal? Here are three no-fuss gestures you can make that will show your mama that you appreciate her.

Buy her a yoga membership

Hey, so we are a little biased here, but a membership to a yoga studio might be just what the doctor ordered. A little me time for your mum to escape from the seemingly endless woes of the kids (thanks for putting up with me, mum)! You can even go together for some quality bonding time – after all, you’re never going to be short on laughs after one of you has gone bowling over in forearm stand!

Tell her why you love her

Mums can be complicated, but chances are that if you’re reading this article, you love yours. Tell her all the reasons that you love her – and if that’s too cringeworthy face-to-face, write her a letter. It’s amazing how little we say these things to our mums, even when we call them daily to moan about the fact that the beautiful shoes you just bought have a small scuff on the inside ankle or that the girl from the floor below in your office has the same coat and it’s soooo embarrassing.

Book her in to a spa

After all, she’s been carrying the weight of all our woes on her shoulders – she needs a massage! Bonus points for booking a nutritional consulation/ayurvedic reading too. Your mum will feel fabulous and take some new knowledge away with her that will keep her feeling good in the long run. This one takes no time at all but will leave you in mum’s good books for ages.

Take the time today to let your mum know you appreciate her. If your mum isn’t around for you to pamper, write down all the fond memories you had together and set an intention to model her best qualities. To all the mums out there – you are doing an amazing job. If your little ones aren’t big enough to pamper you yet, treat yourself! You deserve it.

MoreFit are currently offering half price memberships at our Brixton studio, opening on April 1st. To book in with our nutrition consultant, email info@morefit.co.uk.

Follow Your Heart: How to Spot An Imbalance In Your Heart Chakra

The Chakras are a key component of your yoga practice and each asana gives you a clue as to what your chakras are up to. If Camel Pose makes you want to scream, and Wild Thing has you uttering expletives not fit for the studio floor, you may need to do some work on your heart chakra.

The heart chakra (Anahata Chakra) is actually located just above the heart, and it works to balance the lower three chakras (navel, sacral and root) with the upper three chakras (throat, third eye and crown).This heart is traditionally seen as the balance between the world of the physical and the world of the spirit. Imbalance or blockage of the heart chakra is more common than you might think – have you seen any of these telltale signs?

If you have a blockage in Anahata Chakra, you may experience:

  • Shyness
  • Loneliness
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Finding it hard to forgive
  • Finding it hard to feel empathy

On the other hand, if your heart chakra is overactive, you may notice:

  • dependence on others for fulfilment
  • jealousy
  • high expectations of others
  • harsh judgement of other people
  • needing acceptance of others

And let’s not forget the physical symptoms! A lowered immune system (colds, flus, infections), heart and lung issues (heart palpitations common), poor circulation, high/low blood pressure, and respiratory and breathing difficulties are all symptoms of anahata chakra imbalance.

Eek! I have a blocked/overactive heart chakra! What now?

Sounds serious, but you don’t need to get to the GP for this one. The key to balancing out your chakras lies in food and exercise.

Go green

Green foods instil balance in the heart chakra, so chow down on dark green leafy veggies – think spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choi, seaweed (I’m not joking)… The list goes on! If you’re finding you just can’t face a mountain of the green stuff, whack it in a smoothie and get all the good stuff with none of the fuss. Toss in some green fruit and you’re good to go. Bonus points for eating the skin for extra fibre and adding a superfood suplement (spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, barley grass, matcha powder, green tea or maca powder).

Herbal remedies

Herbs have amazing healing and medicinal properties – you only have to look at their traditional use in China and India to know that they have incredible health benefits. If you fancy trying your hand at horticulture but the limits of London flat sizes has stopped you, try growing herbs indoors – even if you kill them within the week at least you’ll have a handful or two of lovely fresh herbs! Herbs for the heart include coriander, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, tarragon, rosemary, thyme and chives. If you really don’t have the green thumb for growing your own herbs, invest in some tasty herbal tisanes. A mint tea in the morning instead of the double-espresso-with-a-shot-of-vanilla-and-chocolate-powder is a refreshingly calming alternative.

Sophie Higgins is our in-house nutritional expert. For a consultation on how to open your heart chakra using your diet, email us on info@morefit.co.uk.

3 Key Habits That Will Instantly Boost Your Happiness

It’s the UN’s International Day of Happiness on March 20th and here at MoreFit we are focussed on making sure you are living your happiest, healthiest lifestyle. It’s a great time for us to make time for the things that are important to us – and most importantly, to take a good look at our own happiness and be grateful for it.

These three tips will boost anyone’s happiness, but we know that living a happy life can be easier said than done at times. Living in a modern metropolis like London can be crazy fun, but the busy city life takes its toll. If you’re feeling low, these habits will turn your world upside down (in a really good way).

Exercise

Yes, it’s probably the last thing you feel like doing right now. But once you get moving, your body and mind will thank you for waking up the endorphins you need to feel good. Not to mention that massive boost in self-esteem, personal power and social interaction you’ll get just from turning up! Book a yoga class to get that community support or grab a personal trainer if you’re feeling nervous about the group setting. It’s been proven time and time again that physical fitness affects mental health, so grab your gear and let’s go!

Music

Check your playlists – if you’re listening to Adele on a loop in the mornings, you’re definitely not going to start the day with a spring in your step. While there may be some guilty pleasure in wallowing to songs about doomed lovers, listening to sad songs when you feel down can actually increase your chances of feeling anxious, depressed or obsessive over particular events. Spend some time cultivating a playlist that will boost your mood and inspire you – if you’re stuck for ideas, start here.

Food

You know the saying – you are what you eat. And chowing down on cheesy chips for the third time this week will not have you skipping down the pavement singing joy to the world (unless you’re actually on the way to the chip shop again). Fast food is a great short term fix when you’re down, because making the effort to cook is nigh on impossible when the lethargy has set in. Start simple – fill up your fruit bowl, and promise yourself that whatever you eat, you’ll always have a piece of fruit first. Maybe add in a glass of water too. This tiny changes will snowball over time and leave you feeling far happier and less inclined to eat rubbish.

This little nudges can help you to pull yourself out of a low point, but if you’re feeling down for longer than two weeks, tell someone. Depression can affect anyone – it’s not your fault, and you deserve to be happy. Here at MoreFit, we are committed to making sure that your #internationaldayofhappiness is as joyful as it can be. See the links below for help and advice.

Talk to the Samaritans about anything at all here.

Not sure what depression is? Read more here.

Look after yourself with these tips from Mind UK.

How To Embrace Your Inner Bad Yogi

So here’s the situation – you have a Yin class booked at 7pm on a Friday but your hot colleague just invited you to work drinks. What do you do?

There are always occasions when the bad yogi in you will win. When as much as you really did organise your time to get to Vinyasa ten minutes early, you’re late because the last five minutes of the Good Wife were just too good to miss.

It’s time to embrace your inner bad yogi and own it. It’s a part of you after all, and the path to enlightenment means loving all parts of ourselves, right?

“Don’t go to class, drink a bottle of wine instead!”

Take a good look at this feeling and ask yourself a few questions before making a decision. First up – why do you want to drink? Are you thirsty? Are you stressed to the max? If so, there are other solutions to those problems and skipping class isn’t one of them. On the other hand, if you want to taste the sweet notes of a fabulous claret, go right on down and grab yourself your favourite brand. Wearing yoga pants while doing so will reduce feelings of guilt for not going to class.*

*No guarantee whatsoever.

“You’re already late! Just turn back now!”

No excuses. Get in there, strut your stuff through the rows of downward facing dogs, take your time settling in and join the flow as if you were born there.

“This adjustment is literally ridiculous.”

Even an incredible teacher can give an adjustment that just doesn’t feel right – it’s your body after all, and you know it best! If you’re not feeling good in an adjustment or you’re finding it way too awkward, say so. You could politely say “This isn’t working for me” or go for a full on Mean Girls “Can you not?”.

“Great class! Ooh… MacDonald’s!”

We’ve all been there. And the worst part? The serene feeling of having done something good by going to yoga almost justifies it! Before you reach for the fries, have some water and a piece of fruit. If you’re still craving the golden arches, dive in with no regrets.

Yoga is not just about smiling serenely and getting your alignment perfect. It’s getting to know yourself, what you want, and when you want it. So own your inner bad yogi and dump the guilt!

 

4 Ways To Kickstart A Healthy Eating Habit

The sun has finally got his hat on again and we are all starting to feel human once more. What a perfect time to clear out the pantry and refresh your eating habits! These four tips will keep your body functioning at the highest level it should be (and you don’t have to restrict yourself to do it).

Hydration

Water, water, water. We hear about this so often that it’s easy to forget to do it! If you are one of those eople who just doesn’t find a glass of water alluring, try adding lemon slices or mint. If you still can’t stand that, just promise to always have a glass of water before any other drink you have. Drinking enough water is essential for healthy digestive system function, and helps to keep everything moving along as it should. Eliminate waste and toxins from the body efficiently with 1.5 to 2 litres per day, or more if you exercise regularly.

Mindful eating

How many times this week have you shovelled in a sandwich while typing a report and whatsapping your best mate? Guilty! How you eat your food is super important for healthy gut function. Eat slowly, stop eating when you feel full, and avoid eating just before bedtime. Digestion requires a lot of energy, so take small bites, chew until your food is mush, then swallow completely before taking another bite – your digestive system will thank you for a load off!

Go for complex carbohydrates

Dump the white bread and pasta and replace it with the wholegrain alternative. The sugar in that white bread that is oh so addictive wreaks havoc on our gut lining, and can be a major contributor to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Bloating and digestive issues ahoy! Complex carbohydrates also have a bonus side effect – they keep you fuller for longer, so you won’t be feeling faint by eleven.

Fibre

Remember your mum always forcing Weetabix on you as a kid? There was a reason for it beyond trying to wean you off the sugary cereals of old (Coco Pops, anyone?). Fibre can help your GI tract stay ‘regular’, stabilise blood sugar levels, enhance healthy bowel function, prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol, support cardiovascular health, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Wow. All this for adding just a few buts of fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, pulses, and whole grains to your diet.

Interested in kickstarting a healthy eating habit this year? Talk to Sophie Higgins, our in-house nutritional expert, at info@morefit.co.uk!