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fitness self-love tips
Fitness
Published Tuesday Feb 05, 2019 by Brittany Raine

How I *Finally* Learned to Love Fitness

Fitness
Yoga
Barre
Cycling
Bootcamp

One month into the new year and this is usually where fleeting feelings of frustrations start to run rampant. Maybe you didn’t hit your lofty goal of five workout classes last week. Or your perfectly planned schedule went down the drain. Maybe you did eat In-N-Out. Guess what? Life happens! Learning to love working out and finding a routine you want to stick to is no simple task. It took me until my mid-thirties to have that lightbulb moment. 

I’ve always been an active personplaying sports throughout college and trying every fitness class under the sun. As an adult, I began to view working out as a form of punishment to support my weekend behavior. Stuck in a vicious cycle of death by sweat, it took one incredible instructor and intense class to break my mindset. I decided to press the reset button on my routine. Here’s how I learned to love working out and how it’s *seriously* changed my wellness game. 

 

Will it be easy? Nope. 

I used to think I needed to work out to “fit in” at the classes my friends were taking. Working out to workout? That's silly! No one in class is an expert. Fitness is meant to challenge us. 

We are all here, a sweaty mess, trying to catch our breath and keep our muscles from pulsating out of our bodies while busting through that last set. Even if you didn’t hit every rep, that “I did it!” feeling post-class is one hell of an accomplishment. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, embrace it. 

 

Finding what you like is part of the fun.  

A few of my friends swear by Pilates. Others are all about cycling. Part of learning to love fitness is finding something you love. Or at least really like. If you aren’t engaged with your workout, then you’re going to lack major motivation. Just because your friends won’t go outside their reformer routine, doesn’t mean you have to, too. So, how did I find the workout(s) I enjoy? By trying different classes! Getting outside my comfort zone. From barre to circuit training and yoga, I gave myself the chance to experience a variety of workouts that fit my budget, thanks to MINDBODY.io. And to be perfectly honest, I ended up finding what I loved where I least expected it—at the squat rack. 

 

There’s no shame in failing. 

I remember my first hot yoga class. It was 90 degrees, I was most likely dehydrated, and my friend was nailing the flow in this humid jungle of a room. There I was—a sweaty mess that couldn’t get into Downward Dog. How about that bootcamp class where every box jump was, to me, an epic fail? It’s easy to feel insecure and defeated when you don’t perform your best. It’s important to remember that your wellness is a journey—with peaks and valleys. Somedays you kill it in class and some days; it’s just hard. Understanding and acknowledging that failure is part of your path is essential to learning to love the way you workout.   

 

Accept your body—and yourself. 

Self-love is a hot topic right now. Part of loving yourself is accepting your body and all its flaws. It took me years (and years) to get to this point. By discovering workouts that make me happy, inspired and stronger, I have learned to treat myself better, both mentally and physically. Where I once saw my thick thighs and broad shoulders as a “you just have bigger bones” burden, I now view them as beautiful body parts that power me through each and every workout to make me, me. 

Whether it’s stretching it out at yoga or bench pressing 10 lbs more every time I workout, I see how far I have come. I now see my body as a powerful temple of greatness versus you’re too curvy to fit into these designer jeans. My self-worth isn’t based on my body type or pant size, it’s based on how I choose to take care of myselfand that starts from the inside out.

Brittany Raine MINDBODY
Written by
Brittany Raine
Consumer Content Program Manager
About the author
A free-spirited farmgirl from New York, Brittany traded her job as a journalist and newspaper editor for the San Diego sunshine. Brittany now leads the curation of all creative content. There are rumors she was Middle Earth's warrior elven queen in a past life.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.