Contributed by Mary Lee
Starting the day with yoga offers health benefits far beyond those found on the mat. Yoga invigorates mind and body while reducing stress and leading to overall better health. Adding it to your morning routine sets you up for a day full of energy and focus. With the right mindset and preparation, you can incorporate a morning yoga routine without losing one minute of sleep.
Importance of Getting Quality Sleep
A morning yoga routine should support healthy sleep not detract or steal time from it. In fact, regular exercise can improve your sleep quality and increase your ability to stay asleep longer. When you regularly sleep seven to eight hours per day, the recommended amount of sleep for adults, you set yourself up for:
That’s a long list of benefits you don’t want to miss.
Make Time in the Morning by Preparing at Night
If you’re going to get those all-important hours of sleep, you need to start consciously thinking about how to prepare for an early morning. Late sleepers especially need to plan for early morning success.
Go to Bed Earlier
Many people overlook this simple step. If you’re getting up an hour earlier to catch an early morning yoga class, you need to get to bed an hour earlier. To help your body get ready for a new bedtime, try one of these tricks:
Make Morning Your Time
Going to bed on time will help in the morning, but it’s still going to take some adjustment. Part of that adjustment is a mental shift away from thinking about getting up as punishment or a loss. Think of early morning as a time that’s devoted to developing you, mentally and physically. It’s your time to focus on becoming the best version of yourself. If you’re still struggling to get going, try to:
Mary Lee is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She specializes in sleep's role in mental and physical health and wellness. Mary lives in Olympia, Washington and shares her full-sized bed with a very noisy cat.
MANILA – JUNE 19, 2017 – In celebration of International Day of Yoga on June 21, Beyond Yoga, Manila’s premiere yoga and fitness studio, has partnered with Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, to launch the Yoga for Smiles Challenge. The challenge is the first of its kind in the Philippines and will run from July to September to raise funds and awareness for children with untreated clefts. For the challenge, four Beyond Yoga studios will compete against each other to see who can create the most smiles by raising funds. Proceeds from each yoga class will benefit Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines. The winning studio will be announced during the celebratory event on October 7, Global Mala Day.
“Smile Train is honored to partner with Beyond Yoga to launch the Yoga for Smiles Challenge as it engages those who practice yoga to learn more about the challenges faced by children born with cleft lips and cleft palates. By bringing together their passion for wellness and the inspiration to create a better future for children in need of life-changing surgery, Smile Train hopes that this partnership will be able to reach more children who are in desperate need of help,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Country Director for Smile Train Philippines. She adds, “this is a remarkable event where yogis can practice with great purpose”.
“Beyond Yoga is excited about this collaboration with Smile Train. Yoga for Smiles Challenge puts into practice, one of the core tenets of yoga philosophy, which is seva or service to others. Service is love in motion and what better way to devote our passion for yoga than to help raise funds for children who are born with cleft lips and cleft palates. We are inspired by Smile Train’s vision and commitment to giving every child a chance to smile. The whole Beyond community looks forward to meeting the children that we will be able to help through our efforts,” said Benedict Bernabe, Head of Operations for Beyond Yoga.
Four Beyond studios will participate in the Yoga For Smiles Challenge. Each studio will be led by a celebrity ambassador and a yoga teacher who will encourage students to join and help create the most smiles by donating a suggested amount of Php 1,000. Progress will be tracked by a “SmileMeter” in the studios to make the competition exciting.
Team Greenhills will be led by actress-host, triathlete and celebrity mom, Aubrey Miles. Team QC will be led by Miss World 2013 Megan Young. Team Rockwell will be led by actress and Beyond Rockwell co-owner, Bianca King. Team Serendra will be led by actress, triathlete, yoga teacher and Beyond Serendra co-owner, Bubbles Paraiso.
The Yoga for Smiles Challenge is open to everyone – for seasoned yogis who would like to get a greater benefit from the practice which they already enjoy doing or beginner yogis who have always been wanting to try something new. They will be helping themselves through the beautiful practice of yoga and helping children smile for the first time.
For more information on the Yoga For Smiles Challenge, please visit www.igobeyondyoga.com/yoga-for-smiles.html.
About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children's charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org. For more information about Smile Train’s work in the Philippines, please contact email@example.com
About Beyond Yoga
Beyond Yoga is a leading yoga studio in the Philippines with five branches including Quezon City, Alabang, Greenhills, Rockwell, and Serendra. At Beyond, we believe that yoga is a transformational practice and that everyone should be able to experience its effects. Regardless of age, gender, fitness level, or range of flexibility, there is a yoga class that suits you. We offer a wide range of yoga styles including Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Ashtanga, Rocket Yoga, and Yin Yoga. And we complement this with other fitness systems, like Zumba® and AntiGravity®. Our internationally certified instructors will make sure that you will have a enjoyable experience in a safe and supportive environment. For schedules and rates, please visit igobeyondyoga.com. For more information about Beyond, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimmy C. Flaviano, Country Director, Philippines
Benedict Bernabe, Head of Operations
Fitness centres are mushrooming all over the metro these days. Aside from the growing number of new yoga studios, there is also an emerging variety of exercise trends that makes deciding on your choice of movement more challenging. City life has become a matter of balancing your time between work, family, and me-time and so, making the right decision on your exercise of choice is very crucial. It can spell the difference between a great workout or a waste of time and effort.
Our friends at Shape.com came up with a list of eight reasons why you should choose yoga instead of the more traditional gym workout. Heidi Kristoffer of Shape.com gives her take on the surprising ways on how practicing yoga can be a lot better than working out in the gym.
8 Reasons Yoga Beats the Gym
We're giving you another reason to consider yoga as your movement of choice. This month, we're offering first-timers to Beyond Greenhills, Serendra, and Rockwell a One Month Unlimited All Access Package for as low as Php 2,499. Try yoga, AntiGravity® Fitness, Zumba® Fitness, and Piloxing® for less than Php 100 per day. Call your branch of choice today!
Past the Mayan apocalypse that never happened, congratulations yogis and yoginis -- we made it into 2013! The ushering of a new year always comes the routine of the proverbial New Year’s Resolutions. Now that we are just about done with the first month of the year, statistics have shown that most resolutions have dissolved into thin air at around this time. How are you guys doing? The “2000-something will be my year“ spiel is something I’m guilty of. In other years, it’s “Why set a resolution?” talk you’ll hear from me, too! Whatever stance I assume to begin the year with, I always seem to end it exactly how I started – with my resolutions as just resolutions, and the supposed “Year of My Life” kind of ordinary. Negative habits resurface after a while, and before I knew it, I would land back to square one. It made me think.
Resolutions are always set in a negative context. They are usually about what we should NOT do, should NOT eat, should NOT think, and the list goes on. There is a lot of effort we put into what we want to CHANGE. As much as that works for a while, it’s not as sustainable as we think. We fuel whatever we give our attention to and if it is put into taking away from ourselves, it’s impossible to achieve something by simply muscling our way towards what we can’t clearly see ourselves doing.
I read through my yoga notebook and came across a word that made me realize what would change this pattern I can’t seem to break: Sankalpa. This Sanskrit word literally is defined as “intention” - directing our energy towards a goal we have chosen and surrendering attachment to the fruits of our efforts. We do it a lot in our asana (posture) practice and usually without much thought. Practicing Sankalpa is to embody a more positive quality into our lives; it is being instead of just wanting.
Photo from: http://besthomedecorators.com/
Change happens when you claim it. When you take control over the decisions you make and the way you shape your life because the truth is, quoting Will Lau of Jivamukti yoga, "The world you live in comes FROM you not AT you". It's easy to fall into the victim complex and make all the excuses to not go through something that challenges what we feel we are capable of and might have the tendency to bruise our egos. Change comes with difficulty though. I used to be a whiner. I used to fold whenever things got hard. Which is probably why my resolutions have never worked before! What yoga has taught me through the years is to take the good in with the bad, take a deep breath and approach these difficulties with a sense of receptiveness and acceptance because that is what I have at that very moment.
So this year, I am starting what I would like to call The Sankalpa Project. I am throwing away the tired New Year’s Resolutions and will make an effort to truly exude the things I intend to achieve. In 2013, I will BE more firm with and bound to the decisions I make. There it is, I claimed it and it is going to happen. What is your sankalpa?
If our lives are shaped by the choices we make and change comes from within, we all need to allow our sankalpa to be true extensions of who we are. It is easier to stick to whatever you start if you know exactly why you’re doing it and if that vision is absolute, our goals become easier to reach. The Universe conspires to give us what we work for if we open ourselves up to it.
Here we go 2013! It is going to be an amazing year. (I'm claiming that too.)
If someone told me that I would lose weight by the end of this year, I would’ve laughed. Not that I was conscious, but my weight was something that I always problematic about growing up (forever fat kid!) that I kind of just accepted that I was just going to be one of those people who would never be thin and I was okay with that since I didn’t care much for my looks. It was only at the middle of 2012 that I finally had enough and got my butt up and started to do yoga at Beyond Yoga.
My first impression of yoga was nothing short of confused. I honestly didn’t get the point of all of it when I was starting out. How was all this stretching and bending going to make someone lose weight? Well, I saw how people who would regularly practice yoga got thinner so there must have been something yoga was doing right.
I started doing yoga around July 2012 for 2-3 times a week and eventually started taking it seriously at around September 2012 by going 5-6 times a week. I wanted to look for a class that would help me improve my strength and flexibility and started taking Ashtanga, making it my main practice. Eventually, I started taking the other classes at Beyond Yoga as well and got into Power Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga for a faster, cardio-like style that would make me sweat and work on my strength, as well as Yin Yoga and Anti Gravity Yoga to improve on my flexibility. It was convenient that the studio had different kinds of classes to offer that I was able to focus on different aspects of my practice. The harder the classes got, the more I worked and the more I started to fall in love with yoga.
I always believe that environment plays a big role in enjoying something; I can definitely say that Beyond Yoga covered that aspect in my journey to weight loss. Entering the studio every day was always something I looked forward to when I would and take a class because, aside from the actually practice, what made It all enjoyable were the teachers, the staff, the students and even the general atmosphere of the studio. Coming into the studio was like coming home to family, a fun-loving yoga family. In the studio, I learned a lot of lessons that I practice in my day-to-day life. It was through my teachers that I learned patience, self-control, self-worth, and forgiveness to my practice and myself. From the staff and my fellow classmates, I learned how to be dedicated into something that you love and to understand with where you are in your practice.
It came to a point that I was happy that I lost weight without me realizing it and I was feeling good about myself that I stopped caring about the numbers on the scale but started to concentrate on having better form, better balance, better jump backs, better inversions, better binds, generally a better practice. Also, because I was concentrated in having a better practice, I wanted to eliminate the things in my life that were hindering me, and that meant stopping my vices, sleeping early and even eating healthier. Eventually, I guess from not constantly monitoring about the pounds I lost each week, I was able to lose more weight and got better at yoga.
I have always been a lazy person in general so the fact that I got to where I am in a span of 7-8 months still amazes me that I still can’t believe that I have done it. I guess it was all a matter of finding something that made you feel good about yourself, that’s what yoga, my yoga teachers, my fellow classmates, and what the whole of Beyond Yoga did for me. Through yoga and through the support I got from the studio, I finally was able to find something that makes me feel good about myself, that challenges me and helps me constantly strive to be a better person, not just physically but mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and everything in between.
I wish I can impart secrets to how I lost the weight, but I don’t. It was just purely hard work and discipline. I still have 20-30 pounds to lose, but I’m in not in a hurry. I want to be able to lose the weight while having fun and not starving myself. I don’t want to be skinny; I do enjoy my curves. I am looking forward to the day I finally reach my goal, but until then, I’m learning to love myself a little more each day.
Entrepreneur, lawyer, athlete, chef, homemaker, artist, student. It doesn't matter what we do for a living. What matters is how we live.