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  • Kathy Ran

It's been a long year and dispite our best intentions, we ate a little more, rested a little more and perhaps partook in some bad habits. All of this has left some of us with unwanted pounds and a shape that we do not recognise. I call this my new Covid lockdown donut. The extra pounds are just around the middle and resemble a donut. I truley did my best to practice yoga 5 times a week and walked the dogs almost everyday for over 30 min. and I still gained weight. I think because the fridge and pantry was calling my name throughout the day and of course I was happy to answer.


So what can I do now? I have turned to the experts. Here are a list of top 5 tips to getting back our pre lockdown bodies from our very own Luisa Marie Quinn who is a personal trainer and certified yoga instructor:

1. Get a Training Partner to keep you motivated, in check and keep it fun.

2. Prepare your meals in advanced, keep your fridge organised with healthy food to avoid FAST GRABING those snacksAvoid refined sugars, keep to natural sugars eg. fruit and veg.

3. Try new fruit and make healthy snacks. Keep your snacks interesting each day

4. Treat yourself. Do not torture yourself regarding food. Everything is in moderation, just keep moving!


Throughout lockdown, we’ve all been waiting for the day we can get back to our local gym or yoga studio. However, as we reopen around the country, some of us might have felt unmotivated to return. We might need a new plan to get back into a regular fitness routine. There are a few things we can do to keep motivated and begin new healthy routines according to nutritionist and certified yoga instructor Martina Pokorna. Here are a few things you can do now to improve your health and to help with shifting that unwanted lockdown pounds:

  1. Have a portion of protein with every meal ( nuts, seeds, pulses and beans, avocado, olives, meat fish, eggs , poultry...) This will keep you fuller for longer and will assist to keep blood glucose levels balanced.

  2. Stop snacking between meals.

  3. Move your body daily (20 mins) walking, yoga , stretching, running, jumping, rebounding, weights.

  4. Sleep better - improve sleep by reducing caffeine & alcohol intake, reduce the exposure to blue light screens in the evening (TV, computer, laptop...) at least one hour before bed, have a bath or foot bat with Epsom/Magnesium salts before bed, read a real book, listen to calming music, meditate, practice gentle yoga (Yin).

  5. No late night eating- try to aim to have your last meal around 6/7pm to let your body digest and repair during the night.

  6. Stay hydrated- drink enough fluids daily (up to 1.5- 2 liters per day) water or herbal teas.

Even with our best intentions we have to realise that some things will have changed at our beloved fitness and yoga studios. Booking session times, limited member numbers, physical distancing, equipment not in use — these are all going to be the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future. All of this will be to our benefit as the level of hygiene will be extremely high and studio crews will be doing everything they can to keep members safe. And you’ll still be getting your workout in. Personally, I can't wait to see and visit with our amazing yoga community- it will be awesome to welcome you all back to our beloved studio and have some serious fun!


Take baby steps as you return to your fitness and yoga studios. It's important to stay healthy, but not push yourself to hard, kindness is key. You may have lost the drive but for both mental and physical health reasons, we all need to exercise. Exercise has so many benefits including: reducing the risk of health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, reducing stress and anxiety and improving your sleep. For these and so many more reasons its time to return to our routines and/or create new habits towards living our best lives- you don't have to do a lot, you just have to keep moving. We look forward to seeing you all again! Classes now available on: www.blacklotusyoga.co.uk


Resources:

Luisa Marie Quinn - instagram @luisamarie - personal trainer, fitness instructor and yoga teacher

Martina Pokorna - instagram @martinapokorna - helping men & woman to overcome anxiety naturally, mental well being support, nutritionist



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With the restrictions being lifted slowly, this may for some of us, feel like an exciting time. The gradual easing of lockdown means all the things we have been waiting for may soon happen. Like seeing family, friends, getting back to work and have some normal routines back. However, for some of us, this change could cause anxiety and affect our daily mental health. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to do all those things, it's just that the unknown can be a bit scary and make us feel apprehensive, especially when the news still changes daily and are faced with an uncertain future, but hope is on the way.



Here are some tips on dealing with the lockdown ending and how to help manage your mental health.


REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING

There are still a lot of unknowns with the COVID-19 pandemic and this can cause a great deal of anxiety for us. Worrying is manifesting something that you do not want to happen, so try to only think about the things that you can control and make a plan on how to manage them and try to stay present in the moment daily to curb your anxiety. Focusing on your breath for a mear 30 seconds can change your perspective.


TAKE SMALL STEPS

Don’t feel pressured to go any faster than what you are comfortable with. If people are putting pressure on you to do things that you do not want to do, then explain your concerns to them. Everyone’s reaction and way of dealing with the pandemic is different. What is safe for them, may not feel safe for you. And that’s ok.


SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINES

If you have found yourself getting into a lockdown routine (and many of us have!) try and change it up. Routines give a feeling of safety and it may be hard to begin a new routine, but is essential for our return towards a fullfilling life- go slow, but still go.


FOCUS ON WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY

Try not to spend too much time worrying about what the future looks like or what happened in the past, instead focus on what is happening today and take those baby steps- maybe a trip to your favourite store for 20 min. and make sure to follow all of the precautionary measures in place, retail therapy is what i am looking forward to, but in very small chunks.


AND REMEMBER TO GO TO YOGA

Yoga is a great way to promote mindfulness and create peace not only in the body, but the mind. We also return to our amazing supportive community and friends. This support is great on our quest to return to a bit of normality.


Our classes and trainings will still be limited in numbers and we have all health requirements in place. We look forward to seeing you all on the mat, in person, once again. But, for those wishing to continue on line, that option is still available to you.



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  • Kathy Ran

What you should know before signing up to a programme- we tick all the boxes


1. Who is the main Teacher and are they fully qualified?


How long has he/she they been teaching? They should be seasoned professionals.

Kathy Ran has been teaching yoga for over 22 years and is a senior yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and is highly respected in her field. Certifications in 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga, 200 hour Anusara Inspired teacher, She holds a masters degree in Physical Science and a BA in Education. She has done trainings in the US before moving here to the UK and holds her own Teacher Training School- Yoga Training Unlimited




2. How much of the programme is actually being taught by the main teacher?


Some programmes do not have the main teacher teaching a substantial part of the course.

Kathy Teaches 70% of the course as required by Yoga Alliance


3. How long has the programme existed? How many students have already been trained?


The longer a programme has been around and the more students who have graduated the better.

Our yoga training school has been around since 2005.


4. Who is teaching the anatomy section and what experience do they have?


Often times the anatomy section can be poor, boring or not really relevant to yoga. Make sure the person teaching the anatomy section is a yoga teacher so that they can teach you to apply your anatomy learning in the context of a yoga class.

Kathy now teaches the Yoga Anatomy section with her background in pyhsical science and yoga she make it all very comprehensive and practicle for all students on the course.


5. How many teachers are on staff?


A ratio of one teacher for every 10 students is good. Make sure the main teacher will be available to give personal attention and to guide you through the experience.

We only have an intake of 10 students so you get individualised attention and quality teaching experience.



6. Will you be ready to teach by the end of the programme?


Good programms should give you many opportunities to teach during the training and require you to teach classes outside of the training prior to the practicum.

Each student must teach to classmates weekly as well as host their own instagram class giving them extended experience.


7. Will you have taught one or more full classes to your classmates by the end of the training? Make sure that you will have this experience, as this will give you the faith in yourself to go out and start teaching.

yes.


8. Does the teacher offer any mentorship after the training?


If you need help or advice is there someone you can talk to after the programme?

Kathy is so helpful and always offers her time at no extra charge for all of those who seek guidance.


9. Is it possible to speak to graduates of the program?


Sometimes it is helpful to be able to contact a few graduates of the program to ask them directly about their experience.

We are happy to share all contact information of our past graduates.


10. What style of Yoga is being taught?


Make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the style of yoga that is on offer in the training.

We offer extensive training in Vinyasa Yoga and a taste of Rocket and Hot Yoga- Leaving each teacher highly employable and competent teachers.


11. How long is the program? If it is the basic 200 hours and it is an intensive it should not be taught in less than three weeks.

Our programme is 9 weekends over 5 months to allow time to absorb the material and practice. It is our pleasure each year to welcome eager studnets into amazing yoga teachers!



All Details on Kathy Ran's teacher training are located on: www.blacklotusyoga.co.uk

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