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Find your Om

You’ve decided to finally nurture your spiritual health, and start doing yoga – but after a quick google you’re lost. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good. If you’re well-versed in the yoga world, it could be a bit confusing as to what all the different names mean. 

So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). Here are some of the more popular forms, that accommodate beginners, so you can decide for yourself which one is right for you:

6 Types of Yoga to get you started 

Hatha

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. You can expect to go through a series of poses while utilizing breathing techniques as you move from one pose to another. Hatha yoga is designed to develop flexibility and improve balance. The end of a Hatha yoga class includes a Savasana—a short period of time where you lie down on the floor while letting your mind and body completely relax.

Vinyasa

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often play music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses. Expect lunging, bending and even doing some poses while upside down like shoulder stands and headstands.

Iyengar

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique.

Ashtanga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class.

Bikram

Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand.

Kundalini

Kundalini brings you to the more spiritual side of yoga. It was developed as a way to energize your body and calm your mind through movements, breathing and chanting. You can expect half of a Kundalini yoga class to consist of exercises while the remaining half is a combination of breathing, meditation, and relaxation.

Sanity Saver: Christmas Edition

With new strains of COVID emerging across the world, we know that there are many people out there who may be spending Christmas alone and without their families – some may be thanking their lucky stars that the in-laws have to stay where they are, but maybe the idea of Christmas cheer and family quarrels is what was getting you through this rollercoaster of a year. 

We say that it’s time to make the most of it. So what can you do to stay sane at Christmas? Prepare and prepare well. Below is a list of a few suggestions you can use to help you to stay sane during this COVID Christmas.

Manage your expectations

A traditional Christmas time comes along with a whole heap of expectations. There is that present we’ve been dropping hints about all year which we don’t get given. We end up shouldering all the cooking, washing and hosting when we were hoping our partner would chip in a bit – and let’s not even get started on who ends up cleaning up. This year is different – it’s time to make your own ideal Christmas. How does this look?

Relinquish control

You simply aren’t going to be able to control things and keep them the way you want them, especially this year. If you do have your family around you, it’s time to accept that things you can’t anticipate are going to happen anyway. There’s always going to be something that can bother you, if you let it. So decide in advance to let the little things go and stay sane at Christmas. More importantly, don’t allow your happiness and enjoyment of the festive period be conditional upon other people.

Create your own peaceful bubble

Before Christmas events start nibbling away at your tolerance and patience, practice creating an invisible peace bubble. How you envisage your bubble is down to you. The key is for it to be a quiet and safe place of refuge for you. Your peace bubble can be around you at all times, even when politics and religion get thrown into the mix with the third bottle of wine around the dinner table. Simply see yourself in your bubble with a smile on your face. Take a few slow and deep breaths and observe.

Prioritize your Mental Wellbeing

To stay sane at Christmas, there is no better time to start to looking after your mental wellbeing than right now. Meditation might be your method of dealing with the chaos and if it is, make sure you allocate time to meditate at least every day. Furthermore, meditation will help to settle you and re-energise your sense of powerful self. If you don’t already meditate, we highly recommend it.

If you just don’t get the meditation thing, that’s fine. Most importantly make sure you allocate time for yourself, doing whatever it is that makes your day more livable. It might be reading a book, sweating it out in the gym, running along the beachfront during sunrise, taking your dogs for a walk. Do something, whatever it is, that is good for you and makes you feel better than you felt before you did it. And do it every day from now onwards. If you are in a bad place mentally, you can guarantee that your experiences over the festive period are only going to head south if you don’t. So be kind to your mind and look after yourself.

Get started with Sudor

How to get Unstuck

Getting started can be so overwhelming – more often than not, fitness fanatics alike have found themselves at the start of their fitness journey and thought “where do I even begin?”. Your body, schedule and goals are unique to you. And your fitness journey will be too! But if you think a complicated training and nutrition program is the only way to help you feel your best, then this one’s for you – it’s time to simplify.

At Sudor we always preach that making small meaningful changes to your lifestyle will end up having the biggest impact. By creating a simple workout plan that suits your lifestyle, not only will it help keep your routine consistent but you’ll gain added benefits like more energy and even weight loss.

 

Simplicity Works

The most important part about your workout plan is consistency. If your workout routine is too complicated and doesn’t work for you, then you’re simply setting yourself up for failure and you’re far more likely to give up. By choosing the workouts you do and when you do them, your motivation will naturally increase and you might even find yourself looking forward to your daily sweat-sesh. If you don’t feel 100% confident in the workout plan that you’ve curated, here’s a simple plan: keep it consistent and keep it simple.

 

Workouts to get you started

At Sudor our goal is simple: we want to get the whole world moving more. We believe that you don’t need expensive equipment or overcomplicated exercised to help you reach (and smash!) your goals. These staple workouts will set you on the right path – they’re simple, easy-to-follow and above all – FUN!

Strength Training
Strength training is always a good foundation to start your fitness journey on. AS a form of resistance training, it helps you build muscle and lean-out and is one of the easiest ways to support your metabolism too! As an added bonus to an increased metabolism, you’ll also burn more calories.

There are plenty super simple upper and lower body strength workouts to get you started – think squats, push ups, tricep-dips and planks. These exercises require minimal to no equipment and are as simple as they get.

Walking
Not everything in your workout routine needs to get your heart rate sky-high! Walking is one of the most underrated exercises that we have available to us! While some see it as a pointless exercise, science says that people who focus on walking as a part go their fitness journey are more likely to adhere to their fitness plan. By including walking in to your busy schedule, you’re catching a break with some fresh air all while getting those steps in!

HIIT Workouts

Although it can seem intimidating, HIIT workouts are (simply put) just periods of rapid activity followed by rest. HIIT workouts aren’t only for advanced fitness fanatics, so pick a few movements that get your heart rate up, like jumping jacks, mountain climbers running or even swimming. Alternate between 30 – 60 seconds of all-out effort followed by a rest of the same duration. Challenge yourself to do a few rounds of your intervals and pat yourself on the back – the secret lies in an effective recovery. The quick change in rapid workout to resting helps increase your heart rate as well as your fitness levels!

Yoga

No, you don’t need to be as bendy as a pretzel to reap the rewards of a yoga session. Yoga helps you build muscle as well as stamina that will benefit you across multiple fitness techniques. A simple Vinyasa routine can do your body and your mind the world of good by reducing stress that manifests physically and mentally. For a variety of yoga flows, check out our yoga category on the Sudor App.

Let’s Talk about Gut Health

Let’s talk about gut health

Gut health is a hot topic. While still constantly explored, more information is coming out daily on just how important optimal gut health is. We’d go so far as to argue that gut health is one of the most important aspects of health. Studies have shown that a large portion of our immune system resides in the gut, and that gut bacteria plays a role in weight loss or weight gain, as well as overall health. Plus, the gut-brain connection is crazy powerful; there’s a reason they call it a ‘gut feeling’.

There’s more to gut health than just taking your probiotic and eating your probiotic-rich foods. While this is obviously super important (and recommended!) in supporting your gut, there’s so much more that goes into showing your gut some love! So, we’re here sharing the top five daily habits for gut health that you may not necessarily know about.

The Top 5 Daily Habits For Gut Health

These daily habits are easy to implement and can help supercharge your health and be the foundation for better gut health. If you can even carve out 15 minutes per day to do a Sudor workout, or even just a ten minute meditation, it will do wonders for your health. It’s all about calming that sympathetic nervous system. We all need to focus on gut health, no matter how healthy we are. Maintaining optimal gut health is so crucial for overall health – especially in a global pandemic. These daily habits for gut health can help get your gut health in check. Plus, these are all habits for an overall healthy lifestyle, so what are you waiting for?

Reduce that stress

Yes, we know. We all have stress, especially during a global pandemic. But, here’s the thing. Making an effort to fit even just ten minutes of stress reduction into your day is key, and so simple. Even just a few minutes per day is helpful! Reducing stress is so important for supporting better gut health. Think about it – have you ever had a knot in your stomach when stressed? This all has to do with the body’s fight-or-flight response. When your body thinks you are in danger (and stressed!), starts to ‘fight’ and protect itself. When your body is in this state, digestion slows to focus on the “threat” at hand. Often this threat is just stress, but the body doesn’t know any different. So, our body responds to intense financial, work, or home stress in the same way it would respond to being chased by a bear – which can cause our hormones to get totally out of whack, and our digestive system to be a mess.

Get the Body Moving

Regular movement, whether it’s a gentle yoga flow or a fast-pace run, is also important. Getting your body moving can help support better digestion. The body wasn’t designed to be still and stagnant – there and by moving we are able to fuel so much movement INSIDE the body! A sluggish lifestyle equals a sluggish gut – which is why studies have shown that regular exercise can positively change gut bacteria. But, the key is to stay consistent. It’s getting that daily burn in that makes a big difference. So, find the Sudor workouts that you absolutely love and make time for them like you would an important meeting. The more you move, the better you feel!

Drop The Sugar Habit

The first thing to realise is that refined sugar isn’t doing your body any good. Not all sugar is bad, however refined sugar is inflammatory, and can damage your gut bacteria. It’s best to avoid refined sugar at all costs. As you transition away from refined white sugar, try replacing them with natural options like raw honey or pure maple syrup, or even sugary fruits like bananas – just remember that these natural sweeteners are loaded with sugar too. Moderation is key!

Ramp up Your Fibre Intake

Fibre has so many benefits for your body! It helps you feed all the healthy bacteria in the gut and also keeps your metabolism regular. Plus, fibre helps keep us feel full for longer, meaning that we are less likely to overeat, so it’s helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. So, keep those little gut-bugs healthy by eating lots of fibre-rich foods. Some great options include dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, and rolled oats.

Stay Hydrated

Speaking of regularity, staying hydrated is also an important part of boosting gut health. Water is the most underrated aspect in keeping your body healthy! Drinking enough water can help keep you regular as well, a key part of maintaining optimal gut health. Try to have at least 2 litres of water a day. Purchase a good water bottle that you can keep on your desk during your work day and soon enough, finishing and refilling your water bottle will become a regular habit!

Reducing that Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

Recovery tips to reduce muscle soreness

More often than not, sore muscles after a tough workout are enough to keep you from doing the next workout. We spend so much of our time focusing on the movements that we’re doing during the workout, that we forget the importance of recovery once it’s over. While rest days are important and a key part of keeping our muscle growth consistent, it’s important to include proper warm ups and cool downs in our workout routines. 

Recovery might mean not exercising, but there’s so much more involved! We’re going to break it down in to our top tips to recover and minimise muscle soreness quicker to make sure you can bounce back to your next workout and arrive at your mat as the best version of yourself. We often associate muscle stiffness with exercise. Although it’s a really hard threshold to break through when you’ve just started working out, having sore muscles all the time shouldn’t be a continuous issue. It’s time to listen to your body and give it the recovery and nurturing it deserves!

Include a proper warm up

Keep it simple and bring yourself back to basics – stretching is a crucial part in anybody’s workout! Dynamic stretching has known to reduce risk of injury, improve mobility and helps make your workout more effective. Keep your dynamic stretching simple and make sure it gets your heart rate up.Being in a position of leadership, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way (and I’m sure I still have many more ahead of me!) but if I could go back and change them, I wouldn’t. I’ve learnt a lot from my mistakes and I try to use those lessons to help not just myself, but other women, too. 

Do a post workout cool down

Much like including dynamic stretching to get your heart rate up and muscles warmed up, it’s equally important to cool down after your workout. It might seem tedious after a tough session, but your body will thank you later! It’s important to bring your heart rate back down to its resting rate to regulate blood flow. Try going for a brisk walk and some stretching to help support your muscle recovery.

Refuel your body

Food and water are your body’s best bet at refuelling and replenishing! By not refuelling after a workout you’re starving yourself of really important nutrients, which is a recipe for dehydration. By having a healthy snack and reaching for your bottle of water, you’re replenishing nutrients and repairing and rebuilding your muscles.

Enjoy an epsom salt bath

Who doesn’t love a good bath!? After your workout, or during one of your recovery days, take the time to enjoy a warm bath and relax your muscles. Simply throw in some Epsom salts to dissolve in your bath and add a drizzle of your favourite essential oil to really add in that extra relaxation element.

 

Competitive Streaks & Fitness Freaks

Competitive Streaks & Fitness Freaks

2020 has been the prime environment for running out of steam and losing any kind of motivation. We’re missing the gym, our favourite restaurants, our loved ones — and the political climate isn’t exactly ideal, either. Things feel out of control, and we may just have too much on our plates trying to find balance in the chaos. With everything going on, feeling completely drained is easier than ever — and this directly impacts our motivation to work out. And getting out of our exercise routine keeps us in this rut.

Sometimes life happens and we can get a little off track. Family commitments pop up, sickness kicks in, or you get stuck with overtime at work. Then all of a sudden your exercise routine goes from regular to non-existent. We know what it’s like to have a really good routine and then something unexpected happens. So the question is—how do you get back into again? It’s time to harness your inner competitive streak and find that motivation again as we make our way to the end of the year.

Harness Your Inner Competitive Streak

Workout motivation looks different for everyone, but a little friendly competition seems to be the winning ticket. Whether you fly solo on your exercise journey or have an accountability buddy, studies suggest that a little competition goes a long way.

Tap Into Your Social Networks

In an ever-connected society, there are good sides to this digital world we live in now. We can take certain “features of online social networks” and use them to our advantage. Start a pool: get your friends together for a live workout program, and maybe add some incentive to the mix – the person who does the most classes in a week gets a free their coffee paid for at the end of the week. Simple incentive, with a high competitive drive.

Don’t Do It Alone

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t have to do any of this alone, and in fact, you’ll be better off if you bring some buddies into the mix. Social connection, even in digital form (especially in 2020), is crucial to our success both in and out of the gym. The power of social media is undeniable! And when done right, social media can increase people’s fitness motivation drastically. So use the tools you have on hand to your advantage — your body and brain will thank you.

Slide in to our DMs

Everybody needs somebody to hold them accountable during their fitness journey. Starting out isn’t always easy and not all days will be good days – which is why we’re challenging you to get in touch with us. While lockdown has brought about new ways to workout, we know that it can sometimes be lonely! Feel free to slide in to our DMs and we’ll be sure to keep you motivated!