Evolve how you think, eat, sleep and live with yoga-inspired wellness strategies.

Healthy Eating to Evolve Your Mind and Body

Trends in nutrition, like fashion, come and go – and the popular preoccupation with nutrition has fluctuated over the decades. In these post-modern times, the focus on a healthy lifestyle has become increasingly important to the average person. Today’s consumer finds it important to invest time and effort in quality nutrition, regular exercise and a healthy mindset – with millennials leading the way.

Bringing the Yoga Mindset into Your Eating Routine

The healthy living community has embraced yoga for its ability to offer multiple benefits, from mental and spiritual wellness to physical fitness. Yoga practice can be adapted to an individual’s specific needs, and its intensity can range from very gentle to a high-intensity workout. It can be practised with ease outdoors, at home and even on work breaks, as it does not demand special equipment.

Regular practice of yoga often affects different areas in your life. It gives you better control of your mindset, helping you get more in touch with your feelings. It also gives you better control of your body – and that shows in everything you do. Confidence leads to better relationships, while mindfulness moderates compulsive behaviour and anxiety. If you embrace yoga, it gradually becomes a lifestyle.

There is also a strong, though underemphasized, connection between yoga and healthy eating. Many people practise yoga despite unhealthy eating habits, so they don’t get to experience the full extent of yoga’s benefits as a lifestyle.

Food is something that can comfort you and make you happy; as a consequence, it is not easy to change your eating patterns and preferences. It also can be a matter of convenience: 41% of Canadians surveyed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation say they don’t have time to prepare healthy meals.

Healthy Eating Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore

Preparing your meals at home can be a huge money-saver, but its main benefit comes in controlling your nutrition. Healthy eating often is perceived as being expensive and time-consuming, but cooking and meal preparation can be incredibly adaptable to different lifestyles.

Life in a highly digitized community can be of great advantage to your goal of healthy eating. You can find motivation, inspiration and guidance by searching online advisors and publications. Each niche is now covered by specialized content, and you can find solutions for specific dietary needs.

The good news is that cooking healthy meals also can be fun and enjoyable; like yoga, it supports a balanced lifestyle. A balanced approach allows you some flexibility – unless you have a specific medical condition, you don’t have to reduce your options strictly, nor do you need to feel like you are on a clinical, bland diet. Food is about enjoying life and bathing your senses in stimuli. Yoga teaches mindfulness and focus, both of which you can apply to your eating, too. Smelling, tasting and feeling the flavours, textures and colours of food is a great application of mindfulness.

There is also the social aspect involved in preparing your meals at home. You can involve your friends or family members in the cooking process and really bond together. Websites such as Tree House Kitchen can give you plenty of recipe ideas and cooking tips, and can serve as a great inspiration for your meals. By putting together a menu for the day or week ahead, you’re involving yourself in a positive activity, whether you do it for yourself or for the whole family.

As with any lifestyle change, especially when it comes to exercise and nutrition, it’s a good idea to consult your health provider if you experience certain sensitivities or conditions. Create habits that fit your needs and lifestyle and keep learning about them. Practise yogic thinking, ask questions and experiment. Mindfulness can be very rewarding and lead to a healthier mindset and overall wellness.

Woman holding sore and tight neck trying how to stretch her neck.

Have Headaches and a Stiff Neck? Here’s How to Stretch Your Neck Effectively

Headaches and neck stress can sneak up on us without us really paying heed… until it becomes too painful or interferes with our activities and sleep.

While a headache can be a symptom for many conditions, it can be caused by poor posture. This is commonly the case if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer. Busy schedules often push us to bypass moments of self-care throughout or work day – such as stretching or massage breaks – that would prevent avoidable discomfort.

About your heavy head…

Your neck is constantly under pressure. It carries your head’s weight, which is about 10 to 15 pounds. (That’s 8% of your total body weight!) Optimal posture places the head’s weight vertically on the shoulders, but many times a day we lean forward, causing the neck to cope with greater force. Each time you lean towards your screen or check your smartphone, your neck is straining with more pressure. Be nice to yourself and learn how to stretch your neck!

Try these two simple stretches to relax your neck muscles and improve your posture. Repeat them several times throughout the day to keep your muscles more relaxed. (If you feel any discomfort or pain during any of these exercises see your doctor!)

A do-it-anywhere neck stretch

Give your neck a light stretch with this exercise. Either sitting or standing with good posture, keep your back straight and shoulders aligned with the hips. Move your head slowly and hold each position for about 20 seconds:
• Tuck your chin down while keeping your back straight. Hold and return.
• Lift your chin and tilt your head backwards. Hold and return.
• Tilt your head to the right by directing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold and return. Do the same move to the left. Hold and return.
• Turn your head to the right and to the comfortable limit of your motion. Hold and return. Repeat the same motion to the left. Hold and return.

Do the corner stretch

Open your chest to compensate for the neck-straining hunching posture we often take on.

  • Standing, face the corner of the room with your feet together.
  • Place your palms and forearms on each wall at a ninety-degree angle, keeping the elbows a little below your shoulders.
  • Gently pull down your shoulders while pushing your forearms against the walls and engaging your abdominals.
  • Take a step forward to lunge toward the corner, allowing your chest to lift slightly at you flow through this motion.
  • Hold, pull down your shoulders and lift your chest and abdominals in to the corner. Hold for about 20 seconds.
  • Step back and release.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

There are additional neck stretching exercises that deserve to be in your neck care routine. If you want to learn them or need any help with these stretches, book a consultation.

Stretching through massage and yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on calming breath, lengthening of muscles and opening of joints. Therapeutic massage offers another way to stretch out tight muscles. Massage can work through relaxation techniques or deep tissue treatments that can break up scar tissue.

Learning how to stretch your neck and making a habit of it can make neck-stress-induced headaches and neck pain a thing of the past.

Outdoor group yoga class

The Benefits of Yoga Classes in Hamilton

With so many different practices to choose from, yoga classes in Hamilton offer benefits to students from every walk of life.

Yoga Through the Ages

Yoga for Kids

Yoga classes for young children are free-form and fun. They focus on teaching the benefits of asanas (breathing) and being present.

For younger children who are learning to express themselves, yoga can provide a welcome relief from everyday frustrations. School-age children can perfect coping mechanisms and stress-management techniques that will support them throughout their lives.

Yoga for Tweens

As children approach adolescence, developing the mind-body connection can help them to support self-esteem and address anxieties of the type common during puberty. Yoga for Tweens is great for complete beginners, as well as for those progressing from the kids’ class. It introduces students to asanas and pranayama (posture) in an encouraging, fun and inspiring environment.

Yoga programs for kids and tweens are generally available during the summer and March Break.

Your Journey

Yoga is beneficial to adults of all ages, and can help us balance the pressures of busy lives, support our bodies as they age, and maintain optimum health. At whatever age you choose to begin your journey, you will find yoga classes in Hamilton tailored to your needs.

Hot vs. Non-Hot

Hot Yoga takes place in a heated studio. Many yogis choose this practice to enhance the detoxifying effects of yoga, boost calorie burn and increase muscle flexibility. You do not need to commit to studying only one form; you can pair hot yoga with non-hot classes, which take place at ambient temperatures.

Dynamic Classes

If you are looking to increase muscle strength, tone your body and improve fitness, then free-flowing, fast-paced Vinyasa classes are the perfect choice. At Evolve Massage in Hamilton, we offer a full selection of both hot and non-hot yoga practices, including Power Flow (hot), Core Flow (hot) and Yoga with Weights (reduced heat).

These powerful and energetic classes focus on enhancing the mind-body connection through continuous movement and are suitable for students at all levels. Power Flow links movements to breath and strengthens the whole body, while Core Flow focuses on postures to improve strength in the core and back. Yoga with Weights adds additional resistance to free-flowing Vinyasa to help you strengthen and tone the muscles.

Relaxing Classes

Our relaxing yoga classes provide an escape from the stresses of modern life, and feature something for everyone. Achieve peace, calm, and relaxation with Candlelight Yoga, Gentle Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga and other forms.

Candlelight Yoga is a hot class that delivers a welcome decompression at the end of the day. This class focuses on relaxing tired muscles, de-stressing and detoxifying your body, so it’s a great choice for students at all levels. Gentle Hatha is a fantastic option for those with chronic injuries or joint pain, while Restorative Yoga encourages deeper relaxation through its practice of holding poses for an extended period.

For a revitalizing experience, why not join us for Yoga in the Park? It’s a great class for meeting fellow yogis in Hamilton and is open to students at all levels.

Yoga Classes in Hamilton

When it comes to yoga classes in Hamilton, we’re spoiled for choice. Here at Evolve Massage, we offer classes to suit your preferred lifestyle. Join us and discover the benefits yoga can bring to your life.