Outdoor group yoga class

Yoga Classes in Hamilton and the Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has been a hot health topic for quite some time now and it has been gathering more followers as people shift toward a healthier lifestyle.

You probably already know someone who is excited about taking a yoga class. Or you may be considering doing this yourself, but don’t know where to start.

We’re here to help make sense of it all. We are going to introduce you to the yoga classes available in Hamilton for different age groups and preferences. You’ll learn about the many types of yoga classes, and three main styles of yoga. In addition, we’ll explore the benefits of incorporating yoga into your life, and the special benefits of experiencing yoga in a group setting. Getting a little more technical, we’ll touch on the power of proper breathing (exercises you can try now are included!). Finally, we’ll delve into the deeper side of yoga. Specifically, we’ll explore the eight aspects of living a purposeful life.

Whichever type of yoga you’re interested in, you can look forward to a multitude of benefits for your body, mind and soul. Evolve Massage in Hamilton can help you find a yoga class that’s right for you.

Yoga Classes in Hamilton for all Ages

When it comes to yoga classes in Hamilton, we’re spoiled for choice. Here at Evolve Massage, we offer classes to suit every age group.

Yoga for Adults

Yoga is beneficial to adults of all ages. After all, it 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. Later, we’ll explain all the types and styles of classes.

Yoga for Tweens

As children approach adolescence, developing the mind-body connection can help 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 (breathing) in an encouraging, fun and inspiring environment.

Yoga for Kids

Yoga classes for young children are free-form and fun. In these classes, the focus is on teaching the benefits of asanas (postures) and being present. For younger children who are learning to express themselves, yoga can provide a welcome relief from everyday frustrations. In addition, school-age children can perfect coping mechanisms and stress-management techniques that will support them throughout their lives. You can even sign up for prenatal yoga, mom and baby, and mom and toddler yoga classes!

Clearly, the entire family can enjoy yoga. It really is available to everyone regardless of age. Moreover, there are so many types of classes to choose from.

Types of Yoga Classes in Hamilton

Experience yoga classes in Hamilton

Because we each tread a different path, our choice of yoga class reflects our personal journeys and lifestyle needs. At Evolve Massage, we offer yoga classes to suit every spirit, body and soul.

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. However, you don’t 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 dynamic 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. As a greater challenge, yoga with Weights adds additional resistance to free-flowing Vinyasa to help you strengthen and tone muscles.

Relaxing Classes

Our relaxing Hatha and Yin 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. Because of this, it’s a great choice for students at all levels.

Gentle Hatha is a fantastic option for those with chronic injuries or joint pain. Conversely, Restorative Yoga encourages deeper relaxation through its practise of holding poses for an extended period.

Outdoor Classes

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

Where to Start

If you’re not sure where to begin, join us for Intro to Yoga and we’ll help you discover which yoga class is best suited to your physical, mental and spiritual needs. In the meantime, lets look a little more closely at the styles of yoga.

The 3 Main Styles of Yoga

Woman practicing yoga for spirit, body and soul

So, we’ve touched on three styles of yoga, specifically Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin yoga. Now, lets look at the differences between them.

Vinyasa Yoga: Dynamic and Invigorating

Vinyasa yoga encompasses many different yoga practices. In this school, the focus is on pranayama, and students aim to synchronize movement with their breathing.

Each Vinyasa class is unique and may vary in its pace. Accordingly, some include spiritual practices such as chanting, while others are more fitness-oriented and focus on improving strength.

Compared to Hatha, Vinyasa places less emphasis on asanas. Instead, students move continuously from one posture to the next. The focus is on aligning breath with movement. This encourages relaxation and mindfulness, enhancing the mind-body connection to achieve balance.

Vinyasa yoga is great for those who are physically fit or enjoy a challenge. Because it can be demanding, it is advisable to join a beginners’ class at the start of any yoga journey so the student can perfect the postures before exploring fast-paced Vinyasa.

Hatha Yoga: Gentle and Relaxing

Hatha is an ancient school which, like, Vinyasa, encompasses many different yoga practices. Each is perfect for relaxation.

Traditionally used in preparation for other spiritual practices, including meditation, Hatha uses both asanas and pranayama to bring peace and enhance our understanding of the mind-body connection.

Many people use Hatha to complement their spiritual journey, unifying the body, mind, emotions and spirit to bring harmony to every aspect of their lives. This school focuses on asanas and the physical practice of yoga, as opposed to other techniques such as chanting.

Gentle and nurturing, our Hatha yoga classes are a great choice for those suffering from chronic injuries, stiff muscles and joint pain. In these classes, students use props to support themselves through each pose, allowing them to hold the poses for extended periods and achieve complete relaxation.

Yin Yoga: Passive and Restorative

Founded in 1970 by the Taoist Pauline Zink, Yin is the perfect complement to the active Yang yoga styles we practise in our other classes.

This school of yoga focuses on the yin tissues — the connective tissues such as the bones, ligaments and joints. The approach is passive and requires students to hold poses for an extended period. Doing this challenges the body by placing light stress on unworked muscles, improving flexibility and increasing blood circulation.

Like Hatha, this school is centred around asanas. It provides a deeper understanding of the body, and students are actively encouraged to relax and shift their minds from yang (active) to yin (passive) states.

Students do not need any previous yoga experience to join a relaxing Yin yoga class. However, the long periods of holding poses do mean that many find the practice challenging when they first embark on their yin journey.

Each school of yoga brings something different to your body and mind. In any event, you can try them all at yoga classes in Hamilton. At Evolve Massage we practise all three main schools of yoga. Whether you’re looking to energize, relax or heal, there are yoga classes in Hamilton for you.

The Benefits of Adding Yoga to your Life

What makes yoga different from other workouts? What can it do for you?

Available and Convenient

Unlike other physical activities that may require specialized equipment or locations, yoga is accessible and can be practised even in your own home. This is because you mainly use your own body weight to effect the poses. The basic requirements are a yoga mat (if you practise on a hard floor) and clothing that moves with your body.

Builds up Flexibility and Strength

Through its poses, yoga helps you use your body and pushes its limits gently, without shocking it. Over time, you will notice that your flexibility will increase and you will be capable of performing wider moves with ease. Many of the poses will use your own weight to build up strength and help you achieve a lean, more defined look. When practising yoga, you get to learn how to control your body — and that helps you feel stronger and more confident.

Improves the Condition of your Whole Body

Yoga has a subtle impact over your body. Over time, your joints may regenerate more quickly because they are being used to their full range; this can relieve chronic pain or stiffness. Your core will be stronger, which helps your posture and breathing — things you will notice right away in your daily life.

Teaches you How to Control your Breathing Better

One of the main things yoga focuses on is breathing. It’s surprising how much a correct breathing technique can improve your well-being. In fact, better breathing enhances any other sport you are practising and sharpens your mind-body connection. It truly can shift your mood and relieve stress and negativity. You can read more about the importance of breathing further on.

Practising yoga mindfullness on a calm beach

Helps you Relax and Unwind

If anything sets yoga apart from many other physical activities, is the way it nurtures and trains your mind as it strengthens your body. During the poses, you learn to concentrate on each movement and focus on your breathing. This process keeps you in the present and eliminates possible distractions. As such, it can be an invaluable method to apply outside the yoga studio. With practise, these techniques can improve your sleep, your productivity at work and even your personal relationships.

It’s easy to see why yoga can become a way of life for some people. It’s a practice that adapts to your life as it nurtures new and healthy habits into becoming your second nature. Although its effects are often subtle and achieved over time, it won’t take long until you fall in love with it.

Clearly, the benefits of yoga are amazing. Without doubt, having a private yoga practice will enrich your life. But for a few bonus benefits, try group yoga classes.

Experiencing Yoga Classes Together as a Group

Healing yoga enhances your health and well-being, not to mention progress along your chosen spiritual path. And the energy of a group adds a further dynamic, increasing the intensity and benefits of yoga classes for mind and body alike.

Perfecting Practices

When you first begin practising yoga, you will find group classes offer a great support structure. Here, you can learn about asanas and pranayama under the guidance of a yoga teacher. You can amend poor posture, perfect your techniques, prevent injury and begin your journey within the safety of a group.

These classes are the best place to learn your limits. In class, an experienced yogi will teach you when you have more to give, and will not let you push further than your breath allows.

The act of going to a group session offers further benefits, especially at the start of your journey. Classes help you establish a habit of regular practice in those crucial early days. Moreover, yoga studios such as Evolve Massage in Hamilton are specially designed to reduce distraction and create a relaxing ambience. By making time to join yoga classes in Hamilton, you are committing to your journey. Best of all, you will be surrounded by other students on the same path. You can inspire each other to engage, focus and progress.

Common Purpose

As we each continue on our spiritual journeys, the people around us play important roles. We can learn much from the experiences of others. At the same time, group yoga classes give us the opportunity to consider different viewpoints. Even though we each might be traveling separate paths, we have a common purpose.

The pursuit of this common goal means great friendships are often formed within group classes. We all need a community, and creating a supportive, loving social circle helps to bring balance to our lives. Accordingly, coming together to practise and cultivate a positive group energy enhances our progression along the spiritual path, introducing us to new ideas that support our growth.

Group Flow

As fabulous as our new mastery and friends are, these are not the only reasons we choose to experience yoga together.

Companionship helps to keep us focused. In classes, we concentrate on our bodies and their connection to our minds and become completely immersed in the practice. It is a state Steven Kotler refers to in his book, The Rise of Superman, as “flow,” although others have called it “mindfulness” or “being present.”

Whatever you name it, this concept is one of the greatest gifts of group yoga classes – a collective awareness that helps us evolve to a higher state.

Your Journey

The mastery of any form of yoga takes discipline, time and focus. Since it is not an easy process, surrounding yourself with a like-minded community at group yoga classes ensures you enjoy your journey every step of the way.

As you continue in your practice, you’ll find that one of the most rewarding things you can master in a yoga class is breathing.

Why is Breathing Important in Yoga?

For people new to yoga, the biggest challenge often seems to be holding the poses and achieving those wide-stance or body-folding stretches. Because of this, breathing exercises can be overlooked, so they usually deliver great surprise when they start working. Learning how to breathe in yoga is one of the essential skills to achieve. If you take the time, you’ll discover that it really takes this practice and your general well-being to another level.

What Makes Breathing So Important?

It may sound like the most fundamental part of being alive, but the practice of breathing properly has to be relearned by many of us. In our hectic, fast-paced lives, it’s easy to get in the habit of shallow breathing, or chest-breathing. However, shallow breathing can impact your emotions and lead to fatigue or even headaches. This is because shallow breaths don’t allow you to use your entire lung capacity and they weaken the diaphragm over time.

How to Breathe Correctly

Did you know that you once knew how to breathe properly? Babies naturally use a deep type of respiration called abdominal breathing. You can observe how their bellies go up and down when they inhale and exhale. This is exactly the type of breathing you will do well to relearn.

In fact, abdominal breathing is learned by actors, athletes, public speakers and other professionals because it improves physical performance, creates mental focus and calms them down.

Abdominal breathing comfortably fills your lungs to their full capacity, facilitating optimal delivery of oxygen to your brain and muscles. In addition, deep breathing connects you with your body, improves your posture and increases confidence.

Give yourself plenty of time to practise how to breathe in yoga. Eventually, you will do it naturally, without thinking about it. Soon, you will notice changes in your entire system, from your blood circulation and endurance to your ability to achieve a more relaxed mental state. That’s when you can really relax and enjoy yoga’s benefits to a deeper degree.

Beginner Yoga Breathing Exercises

Holding a yoga stretch, achieving posture balance and controlling your movements involve both strength and optimal oxygen flow through your body. To try it, start with these simple breathing exercises.

1. The “Glass of Water” Technique

If you are not sure how to control deep breathing, concentrate on three areas in your body: chest, middle abdomen and lower abdomen. Divide your breaths between these three areas and be aware of how they move when you breathe. When inhaling, think of a glass being filled with water. First, the bottom is filled, then the middle and finally the top. Accordingly, take a deep breath and expand your lower abdomen, then the middle part and finally the chest, in a constant, fluid way. Conversely, exhaling can be compared to pouring water out of the glass. First the top empties, then the middle and finally the lower portion.

2. Breathing Retention

Some yoga asanas will involve holding your breath. To do this most effectively, practise holding your breath in a rhythmic, calm way, without puffing your cheeks or feeling pressure. Take deep breaths and hold them in for a few seconds before exhaling. Begin with short intervals and gradually increase the breathing retention. Doing this will train your mind to keep calm and your body to use your oxygen resources optimally.

3. Alternate-Nostril Breath

Nadi Shodhana, or alternate-nostril breath, is a gentle breathing technique that helps when you are panicking or having an anxiety attack. Use it to slow your heart rate and calm your mind whenever you need to do so. To perform this technique, close your eyes and use your right hand to hold each nostril closed in an alternating pattern. To do this, first, hold your right nostril closed and breathe in through the left nostril. At the peak of the breath, press on both nostrils and hold your breath for a few moments. Then release your right nostril and breathe out slowly. Hold your breath again at the bottom. Repeat the cycle by changing the order of the nostrils.

Learning how to breathe in yoga can help you hold the poses, and it will also teach you how to better understand and nurture your body. Yoga dedicates much of its philosophy to breathing and the benefits it brings to your body, mind and spirit. Thanks to this, practising breathing will bring happy results in all aspects of your life.

In addition to breathing, there’s even more to be gained from yoga. Yoga classes in Hamilton can introduce you to a richer and more purposeful way of life.

The Deeper Benefits of Yoga: The Eight Limbs

Yoga practioner meditating in peaceful space on a rocky cliff

Breath control and postures are important aspects of yoga, but the discipline goes far deeper. Its ultimate purpose is to create a strong bond between mind, body and spirit, resulting in a richer life.

Yoga Sutra was written at least 1,700 years ago by a sage named Patanjali. This guidebook of classical yoga serves to structure the practice into eight limbs, each covering an aspect of a purposeful life. Asanas and pranayama make up two of these eight limbs.

While no one expects you to approach yoga holistically from the start, it is beneficial to be aware of the eight limbs that form the complete path. Instructors may touch on some of these aspects in class and you can always choose to focus on them one at a time in your daily life. Let’s explore the eight limbs of yoga.

1. Yama: Universal Morality

Yamas deal with your moral conduct and values. There are five yamas that encompass a moral code in yoga: ahimsa is non-violence; satya is truthfulness; asteya is non-stealing; brahmacharya is right use of energy and aparigraha is non-attachment. Together, these guidelines help you to choose respectful and peaceful behaviours. As an ethical standard, they help you to develop a sense of integrity.

2. Niyama: Internal Observances

The second limb, niyama, teaches you to be closer to the divine through self-discipline and meaningful habits. Accordingly, personal observances give you a purpose in your own life and build up character. There are five niyamas in this limb: saucha is purity by living with clarity and single-pointedness; santosha is authentic contentment; tapas is purification through discipline; svadhyaya is the study of wisdom teachings and the self; and isvara pranidhana is finding your connection with the universe.

3. Asanas: Body Postures

The asanas form the most recognizable limb of yoga. Because of this, many modern practitioners focus on this limb as an immediate experience of yoga. Asanas are yoga poses, movements, bending and stretching that use your body strength and balance. Yoga postures help you heal the body and calm the mind. As they are learned and practised, asanas connect your body and mind, bringing you closer to a spiritual experience.

4. Pranayama: Breathing Exercises and Control of Prana

Pranayama is the formal practice of controlled breathing, connecting your respiratory process with your mind and emotions. The breath is the source of your prana, or vital life source. Learning more about pranayama can transform your stamina, posture, confidence level, state of mind and peacefulness. To get these benefits, you can practise pranayama by yourself in daily life or combine it with the asanas.

5. Pratyahara: Control of the Senses

The fifth limb of yoga is pratyahara. It focuses on withdrawal of the senses. By practising pratyahara more profoundly, you will learn how to focus your senses inward and isolate all external distractions. Now, withdrawal of the senses does not imply that you shut them down completely. Rather, this state releases you from knee-jerk reactions to external stimuli so they no longer cause disturbances in the mind or body.

6. Dharana: Concentration and Cultivating Inner Perceptual Awareness

This limb of yoga is the training of the mind to meditate. It could be said that dharana is the effect of pranayama and pratyahara achieving a balance and working together. Dharana is the active state of concentration that precedes the next limb, dhyana. In Dharana, you concentrate on an image, breath or mantra, and then repeatedly redirect the mind back to the subject. Once redirection is no longer needed, the next limb, meditation, has been achieved.

7. Dhyana: Meditation on the Divine

The seventh aspect of yoga is a state of meditation. Meditation interrupts the fluctuations of your daily mental activity, such as sensory knowledge, memory and imagination. When the mind becomes silent and its functions are regulated to work together as one, you can stop acknowledging meditation itself and just embrace it. Achieving this mental state requires intense practise and control over the other limbs. However, the benefit is that this deeper concentration of the mind enables you to separate illusion from reality.

8. Samadhi: Union with Your Divine Essence

Samadhi, the last of the eight limbs of yoga, is a state of consciousness that transcends the confines of ego. With samadhi, you are fully absorbed in the present moment in total awareness. Feelings of worry, judgment and fear no longer control you. You feel fully connected and in a state of bliss.

Now that you have a taste of the depth of yoga practice, you can continue your journey by digging more deeply into those limbs that might pique your curiosity through reading, online research and listening to your yoga class instructor. You decide to what extent you wish to take on this yogic way of life. But once you go beyond yoga postures and start working on your mind and spirit, you are being reborn into a different world perspective.

Yoga Classes in Hamilton: Try it Today

Feel the happiness of the yoga lifestyle

Yoga classes in Hamilton offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an invigorating workout or a restorative experience, Evolve Massage can offer you all the benefits of this ancient art, plus the added advantage of practising in a class setting with like-minded students. If you’d like to go deeper, try out a breathing exercise alone or in a class, or explore one of the eight limbs of yoga.

Ready to experience the benefits of yoga for yourself? Join a yoga class in Hamilton today. We’re ready to welcome you.

Relaxation yoga for weight loss support

Boost Your Weight Loss with Yoga and Healthy Relaxation

There is no question that the best way to lose weight is to reduce your caloric intake while engaging in regular physical activity. But did you know that you can maximize your weight loss with yoga and other relaxing self-care?

Eating ice cream in your pyjamas might seem relaxing, but it isn’t going to help you reach your goals. Instead, opt for a combination of these healthy self-care practices that will leave you feeling happier and lighter. You really can support your weight loss with yoga and other healthy forms of relaxation.

Help Muscles Recover With Yoga

There are several reasons why it’s helpful to incorporate relaxing yoga techniques into your weight-loss plan. First, if you want your muscles to give their all during your workout, you need to give them time to recover after heavy weight-bearing exercises and extended cardio sessions. Second, incorporating relaxing yoga helps you to avoid burning out. The symptoms of burnout, including feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, are the primary causes of people giving up on their healthy lifestyle. Finally, relaxing yoga is a proven stress-buster, helping you to handle the challenges that come by incorporating healthy eating and fitness into your daily lifestyle. 

Meditate Mindfully

Studies have found several positive physical effects of a regular meditation practice, including a reduced risk of heart disease, lower levels of depression and a reduction in the symptoms associated with many inflammatory illnesses. Schedule some time every day or every week to tune out to your favorite meditation app, or sign up for a guided meditation class, such as Relax & Refresh: Guided Meditation at evolve.

Warm Up at an Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas can reach temperatures of 54°C, speeding up your heart rate and forcing your body to work harder to cool you down. This metabolic process burns calories in much the same way as a workout. If that’s not enough, the warmth is super-soothing (especially in the cold winter months!). Play it safe (consult your doctor first) and begin with a five-minute sauna session, gradually working your way up to 30 minutes.

Indulge in a Massage

There are countless different types of massage, and each helps boost weight-loss efforts in a different way. Sports massage is designed with the athlete in mind. The registered massage therapist uses a variety of techniques to treat fitness-related injuries and, more importantly, reduce the risk of future injury. On the other hand, a relaxing hot stone massage can help you forget about worries related to body image, weight or fitness level. No matter which type of massage you choose, make sure it is delivered by a registered massage therapist.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

In order to lose weight, you need to give your body at least seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. A lack of sleep can mess with your body’s insulin levels, which ultimately causes your body to store fat instead of burning it. Similarly, adequate sleep is necessary for your body to balance its hunger-causing hormones (such as ghrelin and leptin). When these hormones are out of whack, it causes insatiable cravings for unhealthy foods. Improve your sleep hygiene by leaving your electronics in the living room, investing in light-blocking curtains and keeping your bedroom comfortably cool. Try relaxing evening yoga classes at evolve to help wind down from your busy day, such as Gentle Hatha Yoga class, Relax & Rejuvenate Yoga class, Gentle Yoga class, Restorative Yoga class, Reiki Restorative Yoga class and Yin Yoga class.

Take a Responsible Rest Day

Every fitness fanatic knows about rest days — those days when you aren’t scheduled to go to the gym or the running track. However, slouching on the couch with a bag of tortilla chips could undo all of the hard work you put in that week. Instead, engage in light activity such as walking the dog or splashing around in the community pool.

Pushing yourself too hard is a recipe for weight-loss disaster. It’s important to balance your diet and exercise routine with a responsible self-care regimen. Weight loss with yoga feels great. Following these healthy rest and relaxation tips will keep you feeling as good as you’re going to look.

Relaxing with tea, reading on a yoga staycation

The Benefits of a Yoga Staycation

If you usually feel tired after a vacation due to travel stress or overindulgence, consider a yoga staycation that will leave you feeling healthier, happier and relaxed!

Mental Focus and Clarity

Yoga staycations allow you to focus on your practice without the distractions of work and rushed agendas. You can pay attention to your own health and well-being at a relaxed pace, and you will meet like-minded people in your community. If you are a complete beginner, a yoga staycation is one of the best ways to try a daily yoga practice and experience its benefits for the body, the mind and the spirit. If you are going to yoga classes regularly but want to learn more, a yoga staycation represents a chance to focus more deeply on your practice.

Daily Yoga Classes

If your normal daily schedule does not leave any time for yoga classes, a yoga staycation becomes a chance to leave routines behind and focus on yoga, relaxation and well-being. A typical yoga staycation includes a yoga class once a day, with additional classes and workshops as desired. If you are a beginner, yoga staycations are a great way to try many types of yoga classes quickly, to inform your new yoga practice in a supportive environment. If you are an experienced yogi, you can take your practice to a new level of intensity. There are many benefits to experiencing yoga classes in a group. You soon will notice the benefits of a daily yoga practice, and you might be inspired to continue your daily practice on a regular basis.

Daily Wellness Reading & Meditation

Allow daily quiet time for reading about meditation, relaxation, yoga philosophy, nutrition and wellness. Add our wellness blog to your reading list to get started. Book a meditation yoga class to inspire your private daily meditation sessions.

Mindful Eating

Plan ahead for healthy meals during your yoga staycations. Allow time to savour and honour the preparation process. Cooking healthy meals can be fun and enjoyable; like yoga, it supports a balanced lifestyle. Smelling, tasting and feeling the flavours, textures and colours of food is a great application of mindfulness. Take a moment to feel gratitude for all the various elements that led to this eating moment. A week of healthy and mindful eating may inspire you to make permanent changes in your ongoing dietary habits.

Take a Digital Break

A yoga staycation can also be a break from social media, or it even can be a complete digital detox. A week without constantly checking your phone and your social-media accounts gives you time to de-stress, to enjoy being fully present, and to spend time mindfully in nature.

Try One New Thing

A week-long break from your usual routine provides an opportunity to experience something new and learn something new about yourself. A yoga staycation clears your calendar, giving you time to try something new and gain new perspectives on life and yourself. What activity, skill, group have you secretly wanted to try but didn’t have time to pursue? The creative challenge of stepping gently out of your comfort zone can invigorate your spirit. Also, if you have wanted to change something in your life, a yoga staycation is a chance to make that change.

Plan Your Yoga Staycation

When planning a yoga staycation, ask yourself what your priorities are. Are you looking for a staycation that involves some yoga but also a lot of time for reading, for a personal hobby, for social activities, for being a tourist in your own city of Hamilton, or for relaxing in Hamilton’s nature areas? Would you prefer an intensive week that focuses on yoga classes and workshops, meditation and yoga philosophy without too many additional activities? Make sure you know what type of a staycation you are seeking.

There are many ways to experience a yoga staycation, depending on your personal needs and preferences. A yoga staycation allows you to focus on your yoga practice with like-minded people and without the distractions of daily life. A week of yoga classes, healthy food, meditation and relaxation will leave you feeling energized and balanced — and you may even want to continue a daily yoga practice and mindful habits after the staycation.

Morning yoga classes in a group bring many benefits.

Rise and Shine: Benefits of Morning Yoga Classes

So you’re not a morning person and morning yoga classes seem daunting. That’s okay. Not everyone rolls out of bed energetic and ready to seize the day. However, making one small change to your morning routine could greatly enhance the quality of your lifestyle. Roll out your yoga mat in a morning yoga class, and you could reap the following fantastic benefits of getting your sweat on in the AM.

Improves Your Focus

You’ve got a long day ahead of you – piles of work, meetings, and running errands. The last thing you need is a tired, groggy brain. Luckily, there’s a great solution to this age-old problem – squeezing in a sweat session before work can actually help improve your focus and your cognitive abilities. In fact, studies have proven that working out is more effective at improving focus than downing a cup of coffee. So start making a habit of joining morning yoga classes and watch your productivity skyrocket.

Reduces Stress

By now, we all know that exercise helps lower stress levels. We also know that stress is extremely damaging to both our physical and mental health, which is why incorporating exercise into our daily routines is important. When you workout in the morning, you can banish stress from the get-go, which means that you can start your day clear-headed and stress-free.

Eliminates Excuses

Have to take the kids to hockey after school? Your significant other decided to plan a spontaneous date night? As the day progresses, plenty of distractions and obligations always seem to pop up, and it can be hard to say no to more exciting plans in order to hit the gym. If you squeeze in a morning yoga class, you’ll have fewer excuses to miss your daily dose of exercise – and you can hit happy hour. Seems like a win-win.

Fires Up Your Metabolism

We all know that we burn calories and boost our metabolism while exercising, but did you know that your metabolism stays fired up long after you workout? This effect is called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. Basically, if you work out in the AM, your body will be torching extra calories throughout the day, even if you’re stuck sitting at a desk. Exercising first thing in the morning ensures that your metabolism will be revving all day long.

Curbs Cravings

As the day goes by, our willpower seems to fade away, making those cookies and cake in the break room seem irresistible. Studies have shown that working out in the morning can help stave off cravings throughout the day, which means that you’ll be more likely to resist that free slice of post-meeting pizza.

Boosts Your Energy

Do you feel like a walking zombie until you take that first sip of coffee in the morning? Then you could significantly benefit from morning workouts, as getting your heart pumping early in the AM helps boost energy and wake up the mind so that you’re ready to attack the day. Who knows? Once you adopt a morning workout routine, you might even ditch coffee altogether.

Morning yoga classes might seem like a harsh schedule change, but nobody can argue with the myriad benefits of yoga in the morning. Evolve’s morning classes generally start between 9 and 10 am. View the full yoga classes schedule to plan your week. If work gets in the way, set your clock 30 minutes earlier than usual, and practice at home before heading off to work. Incorporating a morning workout into your daily schedule could be the key you’ve been missing to really seize the day.

Healing yoga practice and restorative yoga classes increase relaxation.

Yoga Classes and Looking After Your Health While Living with Hypothyroidism

Yoga classes and massage therapy can be a wonderful and healing part of your routine as you learn to live with Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid gland, is a thyroid disease in which the thyroid gland fails to produce an adequate amount of thyroid hormone. It’s an increasingly common condition, affecting more women than men. According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, it’s estimated that 1 in ten Canadians suffer from a thyroid condition and half may be undiagnosed.

Thyroid hormone is responsible for the body’s metabolism and use of energy. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland include poor ability to tolerate cold, fatigue, weight gain, and constipation. It’s not known what causes hypothyroidism; it may be caused by a number of conditions including autoimmune disease, radiation, and medications.

In the majority of cases, hypothyroidism is treated by supplementing the thyroid gland with levothyroxine, a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4). This medication is typically taken in pill form on a daily basis. In Canada, a common brand name for levothyroxine is Synthroid.

However, many people find that taking a daily dose of levothyroxine isn’t enough to make them feel well, or as well as they did before they developed the condition. If you too find that you’re struggling to remain healthy while living with hypothyroidism, the following may help.

Exercise Right

While hypothyroidism shouldn’t stop you from exercising, you may find that you can no longer maintain the exercise schedule you previously did, or that you now need a lot longer to recover from a workout than you did before you developed hypothyroidism. These scenarios are fairly common for people with an underactive thyroid gland, so it’s important to learn not to push yourself and recognize when you are overdoing your activity. If you’re struggling to stick with an exercise regimen, consider switching from any high intensity workouts to activities such as aqua aerobics or yoga. The benefits of yoga are many and the various types of yoga classes provide something for everyone. For example, Gentle Hatha yoga classes focus on breathing, basic poses, slow movements, and relaxation to enhance the awareness of the mind-body connection. Yin yoga classes involve passive poses that are held for up to five minutes in order to encourage the softening of connective tissue and induce deep relaxation. These types of activities will still provide a beneficial workout but will be less stressful on your body.

It’s important to continue exercising and remaining active. As well as the physical benefits you will gain, keeping physically fit in group classes can help you avoid feelings of depression, another common symptom of hypothyroidism.

Reduce Stress

It’s especially important that people with hypothyroidism be mindful of any stress they might be exposing themselves to. Cortisol, a hormone released when the body is in a stressful situation, can adversely affect the function of the thyroid gland, in turn exacerbating hypothyroidism symptoms. Take steps to ensure that you’re managing stress as best you can, and if you feel that you’re not coping, then speak to your doctor.

Massage therapy can be a huge source of relaxation and has many additional benefits. For example, hot stone massage therapy is a soothing option.
Another example, manual lymphatic drainage is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart.

It may be that you can cut back on some tasks or get support from friends or relatives with certain commitments you have. It could be that you just need to slow down. Put your health first and make any changes you feel you need to.

Gluten-Free Diet

Although there’s currently no scientific evidence to prove a gluten-free diet will help those with hypothyroidism, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest it might. This is especially true if you suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also called Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease and a common cause of hypothyroidism. With Hashimoto’s disease, the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The anecdotal evidence suggests that gluten triggers an attack on the thyroid gland; therefore, eliminating gluten from your diet may prevent such attacks.

Further anecdotal evidence has linked an immune intolerance in people with Hashimoto’s disease to dairy products. Again, it’s believed the body may mistake dairy for gluten, which triggers an attack on the thyroid gland.

If you’re failing to see improvements in your health while taking the medication prescribed by your doctor and are prepared to make modifications to your diet, with approval from your doctor, you may want to start by eliminating gluten or dairy, or both, from your diet.

Moderate Carbohydrate Diet

While a gluten- and dairy-free diet may help alleviate hypothyroidism symptoms, there is evidence to suggest that those with hypothyroidism should avoid a diet too low in carbohydrates. This is because insulin is needed to convert inactive T4 (which is what the thyroid gland produces) into active T3 (which is what the body’s cells use), and the production of insulin is generally low on a very low carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, restricting the intake of carbohydrate can cause a drop in blood sugar, which the body compensates for by producing an excess of stress hormones including adrenaline. The thyroid gland is needed for the production of stress hormones, so this process can be taxing on the thyroid gland. So you may want to check that you’re including a moderate amount of healthy carbohydrates in your diet if you don’t feel your health is as good as it could be.

Don’t look at hypothyroidism as preventing you from living the life you used to enjoy before your diagnosis. Yoga classes and massage therapy can be a part of your new lifestyle. All that’s needed are a few changes so that you can better manage your condition, and you’ll be more than able to continue to enjoy life and get the most from it.

Yoga and Chronic Pain: Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain, you aren’t alone. Many adults face chronic pain on a daily basis. Whether you’re dealing with headaches, fibromyalgia or arthritis, it’s important to understand how to learn to live with your pain and continue to lead a life that is as normal and healthy as possible. If you’ve been feeling down, don’t worry. Yoga and chronic pain are compatible, and yoga can help you improve your well-being.

How Is Chronic Pain Different from Acute Pain?

It’s important to understand the difference between acute and chronic pain. Although it’s easy to think that all pain is bad and uncomfortable, the truth is that there is quite a variation in these two types of pain. Acute pain typically lasts for a short period and has an apparent cause. For example, if you fall and break your ankle, you may suffer from sharp pain for a few weeks. If, however, you have headaches a few times a month and this goes on for years, you’re suffering from chronic pain. One of the primary issues with chronic pain is that many sufferers become depressed and anxious as time progresses without a viable resolution to the pain. Chronic pain may impact your personal life, and even your relationships, since the people around you may not understand how it affects you.

How Does Yoga Work?

Yoga offers an efficient way to learn how to meditate. You can use yoga or meditation while you’re having a pain flare-up or issue with your chronic discomfort. The skills you learn during yoga class or training will be transferable to your daily life. Additionally, you may find that the physical side of yoga helps calm your muscles, which leads to a reduction in physical tension. Some adults find that learning about yoga offers them a valuable way to stay fit despite chronic pain, while others enjoy the repetitious and methodical act of performing each pose during a yoga session.

Is Yoga Right for Me?

One of the primary benefits of yoga is that you don’t have to be in perfect shape or perfect health to begin training. The right yoga instructor will help you move from beginner to expert. You’ll learn how to achieve each yoga pose, how to control your breathing, and how to relax your muscles. Remember that for many chronic pain patients, tense muscles can dramatically exacerbate pain. Learning to calm those muscles can lead to feelings of wellness and fewer pain episodes.

No matter what type of chronic discomfort you’re experiencing, it’s time to start moving forward with your life. Yoga may help you accomplish this. Consider signing up for one of our yoga classes today so you can reclaim your life, minimize your pain, and enjoy new experiences.

Four Yoga Poses for Knee Pain

Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain, often caused by conditions like arthritis or injuries like torn ligaments. It can be debilitating and often means that people feel unable to do exercise. Yoga, a series of stretches, poses and breathing, which was developed in India thousands of years ago, can often seem particularly daunting to anyone suffering from chronic pain. But if you change your practice to suit your body, you can still do as much yoga as you wish. Talking about your knee pain to your yoga instructor can help you understand how to comfortably modify poses.

Here are a few favourite yoga poses for knee pain. These yoga positions improve the wellness of most people and will feel particularly good to anyone suffering from knee pain. Just remember that using supports is a great idea. Don’t push yourself, and remember to do only what feels healthy and good. Contracting the muscles around your knees as you practice will help you strengthen them.

Mountain Pose

You might think that mountain pose doesn’t entail anything except standing still, but it can help your body’s alignment. Learning to do mountain pose correctly will be useful in all areas of your life and make you considerably more comfortable, along with warding off further knee problems and pain. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and make sure that all four corners of your feet are pressed equally into the mat so that your weight is evenly distributed. Engage your leg muscles and make sure that your spine is straight; hold your head over your heart and push your shoulders down and back. Engage your quads and inner thighs while tucking your tailbone in and relaxing the muscles in your face. Inhale and exhale deeply eight times, making sure that your body stays aligned.

Bridge Pose

In order to do bridge pose, slowly lower yourself to the ground and spread out on your yoga mat, facing upwards. Make sure that your back is supported by the ground and move your shoulder blades beneath you so that your chest is open and you can feel your pectoral muscles working a little. Breathe in and out deeply before bending your knees and planting your feet firmly on the ground, at the same width as your hips and shoulders. Press into your entire foot and put your arms down at your sides, your palms pushing against your yoga mat. Then lift your hips off your mat, squeezing your glutes as you rest on just your shoulders. This will strengthen your hamstrings without putting too much strain on your knees.

Half Moon Pose

Make sure that you have a block for support, or maybe a small stack of books, and ensure also that you’re leaning against the wall. This pose will stretch your hamstrings and strengthen your legs. Stand with your back against the wall and separate your feet, with your right foot pointing towards the front of your mat. Lift your left leg off the floor so that it’s parallel to the ground – or however high feels comfortable – and use the wall and the block or pile of books for support as you stretch forward with your right hand. Inhale and exhale three times before gently moving back into a standing position and shifting so that you’re balancing on your left foot. Make sure that you press your standing foot firmly into the mat so that you’re balanced calmly.

Chair Pose

A great way to strengthen your knees is through chair pose. Stand with your feet and legs together, or with your feet separated – whatever feels better to you. Lift your chest and make sure that you breathe deeply. Resting your weight on your heels, sit back as if you’re sitting on a chair, and lift your arms. This will tone your legs and strengthen your core, while your weight is balanced in your hips rather than your knees. If you want extra support, lean your back against a wall.

Yoga is all about experimenting to find what makes you feel good in both your body and your mind. If you feel knee pain that goes further than a gentle stretch, it’s time to stop. (If you have health challenges, consult with your health advisor before starting a new activity.) Enjoy experimenting with these yoga poses for knee pain as you strengthen and protect your knees. You can practice these yoga poses at home, or you can learn about them and other poses in one of our yoga classes.

5 Great Ways to Exercise During Pregnancy – Yes Yoga is One of Them!

Keeping fit and getting regular exercise during pregnancy not only helps you to regain your pre-pregnancy figure after childbirth, but it also reduces stress levels and helps to prepare you physically for labour. Many women worry about harming their unborn baby through exercise, but there are several ways to safely exercise while pregnant, and here are five of them.

1. Yoga

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for pregnant women. It tones, strengthens and stretches your body, and it provides relaxation and inner peace. Practicing yoga strengthens your core, calms your mind and loosens up your body – all great practice for labour. There are specific prenatal yoga classes and DVDs readily available, but if you prefer to stick with your regular class, be sure to let your instructor know that you’re pregnant. There are certain yoga postures that you shouldn’t do while pregnant, or that will need to be modified while your pregnant. Better yet, sign up for yoga classes designed specifically for pregnancy. Try Evolve’s Prenatal Yoga workshops and classes.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise that is suitable for everyone, including pregnant women. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and joints in a way that you don’t find in most other forms of exercise. It provides a combination of gentle aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening movements in a safe environment where you’re unlikely to injure yourself. It supports a larger range of motion and helps you avoid overheating. As long as you take the usual precautions, such as avoiding food for an hour before swimming and keeping well hydrated, swimming is a safe and beneficial form of exercise during pregnancy.

3. Walking

One of the easiest and cheapest forms of exercise is walking. It’s perfect for those that are pregnant and for anyone new to exercise. Walking for 30 minutes everyday at a moderate to brisk pace, provides cardiovascular benefits, strengthens the body and increases flexibility. As long as you wear comfortable and supportive shoes and keep well hydrated, walking is ideal for pregnant women. Even if you have a busy schedule, walking is something that can be incorporated into your day-to-day routine. Try leaving your car at home when you go on short journeys, i.e. to the doctor’s office or picking the kids up from school. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or go for a 30 minute walk during your lunch break.

4. Weight Training

Weight training with free weights, weight-lifting machines or resistance bands can condition your body and strengthen your core. If done carefully with proper lifting technique, it can be a superb form of exercise for pregnant women, as it strengthens tummy muscles and your pelvic floor – both areas that are usually affected by pregnancy. As with yoga, some weight training exercises should be avoided or modified for pregnant women, so make sure that you discuss your pregnancy with your fitness trainer or sign up for a specific prenatal class.

5. Water Aerobics

Water aerobics, also known as aqua aerobics, is one of the safest forms of exercise during pregnancy because the buoyancy of the water supports the body. Your joints, which are already strained due to pregnancy weight are protected and there’s no risk of falling or injuring yourself while in the water. Like in swimming, the water supports a larger range of motion and helps you avoid overheating. The water also gives great resistance so you’ll still feel like you’re working hard to keep fit and healthy.

Whatever exercise you choose to do while pregnant, always do so only under the guidance of your doctor or midwife, and always listen to your body. If something hurts or feels wrong, then stop. Keep workout sessions to a moderate duration and frequency. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout. Move smoothly and with full body awareness. Avoid saunas and hot tubs. As long as you follow these tips, you’re on track for a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Reduce Back Pain with Yoga, Massage and Simple Lifestyle Changes

Eight out of every 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. An estimated one in three sufferers find the symptoms severe enough to affect their daily lives, including interfering with work. These figures come at no surprise, as back problems are more or less an accepted part of modern life.

What’s perhaps more surprising is that nearly nine in 10 sufferers never discover the primary cause of their condition, which makes it almost impossible to find a suitable cure. For the vast majority of patients, treating back pain is all about the reduction of symptoms, allowing you to lead as normal a life as possible while your body works to heal itself.

Here’s how to do that with some simple lifestyle changes that don’t require medical intervention.

1. Light Exercise

When you’re stricken with painful back spasms, exercise of any kind may not feel like the right thing to do. However, staying active as long as possible is one of the best ways to counteract the symptoms of chronic backache. Light exercise, such as walking or swimming will strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments to help support your spine in a natural way.

It’s important not to exercise your way through acute pain, as you don’t want to risk further damage. Make use of relatively pain-free periods to tone your back and reduce the recurrence of symptoms in the future.

2. Pain Management

Sometimes your back pain will feel debilitating regardless of what measures you take to control it. In these situations, soothing the discomfort is important. Pain and stiffness can quickly become a vicious circle where you’re too tense from the pain and immobile from the stiffness to release the spasms. Medication is often the only option here. When taking medication for pain, be careful that you’re not simply masking the symptoms and making them worse by moving when you should be resting.

For a more natural treatment, try alternating between hot water bottles and ice packs, pressing them into the painful area for ten minutes each whenever the discomfort becomes too great. Try relaxing in warm Epsom salt baths to ease muscle pain. A Registered Massage Therapist can also work wonders (Try Evolve’s Registered Massage and Hot Stone Massage therapy sessions.). Some people find that acupuncture and chiropractic therapy offer relief. Try a variety of therapies that won’t further aggravate your condition until you find what works for you.

3. Relaxation

Lastly, trying to relax as much as possible is important although naturally this is difficult when you’re in pain. Tension, stress and anxiety all tighten your neck and shoulders, putting extra strain on your back. This can cause you to tense up, further exacerbating the problem. Yoga (try Evolve’s Gentle Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Relax & Rejuvenate by Candlelight Yoga classes), meditation (try Evolve’s meditation class), aromatherapy, breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques can all be of great help during a painful episode.

4. Pay Attention to Posture

Light exercise will help to improve your posture, but it’s also important to be mindful of how you’re sitting and standing throughout the day. Try to avoid putting your back under too much strain. If you feel yourself slouching or bending, try pushing your shoulders outward and backward to gently move your spine into a straighter position.

5. Take Care with Sitting

More than half of people with backache symptoms report that they spend the majority of their day sitting down with poor sitting habits often playing a major role in the worsening of symptoms. If you spend your working days at a desk, it makes sense to invest in an ergonomic office chair to provide proper support for your back. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. It’s important, however, to always choose a solid chair that’s not too soft and giving and that supports your lumbar region.

It’s essential to make sure your chair is properly adjusted for height; your arms and thighs should be in a right angle position when sitting comfortably at your desk with your hands on your keyboard or desktop. Try keeping your shoulders relaxed yet upright and remember to get up from your desk and walk a few steps at least once an hour to reduce muscle cramping.

6. Sleeping

Back pain sufferers need to sleep like anyone else, but spending up to eight hours a night in a soft or lumpy bed isn’t ideal for the lumbar region. Your mattress should be reasonably firm so your body doesn’t sink into it and you should try to sleep on your back, which is the best position for relieving back pain. Although it may be relaxing to read in bed before sleep, this habit is particularly bad for your posture, so try to do your late night reading in a comfortable armchair instead.

7. Slim Down a Little

There’s no need to panic about carrying a few extra pounds, but being overweight will put extra strain on your back. Making the effort to shed even a little extra weight will help. If you’re already suffering from back problems, the extra misery of a crash diet is probably not the answer. By bringing the yoga mindset into your eating routine, you can transform your body into its healthiest version.

8. Quit Smoking

If you smoke, you’re probably already well aware of the many good reasons to kick the habit. However, you may not know that smoking can also contribute to backache among all the other health problems it causes. Not only can smoking cause degeneration in the spinal discs, but every bout of coughing places extra strain on your back and can quickly lead to spasms when you already have a weakness.

9. Comfortable Footwear

Poorly fitting footwear that makes it difficult to balance will eventually create problems, such as back spasms and back pain. Specially made orthopedic shoes can be extremely helpful, but even padded insoles can help correct poor walking posture. Avoid high heels whenever possible. If you must wear them, switch to flats when you can, i.e. when you’re sitting at your work desk.

Back pain can quickly make life a misery. Surgical treatments are to be considered if no primary cause can be found, but they are a gamble at best. Thankfully, making these simple lifestyle changes can reduce back problems to a level where they don’t interfere too much with daily life, allowing your body the chance to heal naturally.

Healthy Morning Habits

Have you ever felt like you got up on the wrong side of the bed, triggering a downward spiral that lingered all day? How you wake up in the morning has everything to do with how the rest of your day will go. With this in mind, it’s helpful to develop a healthy morning routine that will set the stage for a more positive and productive day.

Try adding these 6 wellness habits to your morning ritual:

1. Drink a glass of water right away.

If you’re waking up groggy and tired after a full night’s sleep, there’s a good chance mild dehydration is at play. While asleep, the only fluid you’re swallowing is saliva and that’s not nearly enough to keep your body hydrated. A full glass of water will help bring your cells to life and get your digestive system working. If you keep this habit up for awhile, you’ll probably notice better-looking skin and improved digestive function.

2. Pause before checking your phone or email

When you sleep with your phone nearby and check it as soon as you open your eyes, you create an exaggerated sense of urgency that can lead to a stressful day. Your mind will be much more clear and focused if you learn to wait at least an hour before checking emails, messages and social media. Instead of using the alarm on your mobile phone, invest in a real alarm clock—eliminating any excuse to keep your phone within reach.

3. Create a gratitude list

Instead of waking up with a sense of dread, try focusing on gratitude. Come up with a list of things you’re grateful for the night before and read it when you wake up. The longer the list is, the better. By the time you jump in the shower, your mind will be focused on positive thoughts. This can make all the difference in how you interact with others throughout the day.

4. Get outside

Take in some fresh air and natural sunlight as soon as possible. Weather permitting, get into the habit of taking a 15 minute walk each morning before doing anything else. Your body needs sunlight to produce sufficient quantities of vitamin D and if your workdays are spent locked up inside an office or warehouse, your best opportunity to soak up the sun’s rays may be in the early morning.

5. Move your body

If you start your morning with exercise, the rest of your day will seem less stressful. The physical movement and effort you make will get your blood pumping and restore alertness after a night’s sleep. Any form of exercise will improve your sense of well-being, including stretching and yoga (come to one of our Evolve yoga classes to get some morning routine ideas!). Walking and running are popular among morning exercise enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy the outdoors.

6. Eat a healthy breakfast

Skipping breakfast deprives your body of vital nutrients it needs to operate properly—it will have already gone a minimum of eight hours without food since your last meal. Instead of eating the same processed cereal you always eat, try feeding your body real nourishing food that will boost your metabolism and provide the fuel you need to get through the day. Eggs, oats, fruit, greens and breakfast shakes are excellent options that won’t take long to prepare.

Remember, your morning routine will largely determine how the rest of your day goes. Establishing healthy morning habits will ensure your day gets off to the best possible start. It may take some time for these new wellness habits to stick, but if you work on them one at a time you’ll soon see a difference that should inspire you to keep at it!