5 Ways To Excel Your 30 Day Challenge

Over 60 SOMA members have already joined the Official Spring Challenge 2018, and we’re only on day 2. The Challenge goes from Monday, 23 of April till Wednesday, 23 of May. Our goal: take a minimum of 30 classes by 23rd of May. This is for fellow challengers (hello there!) and for those of you who are still thinking if this craziness would be possible.

1. PLAN IT

Preparation is the key for the Challenge. Look at the class schedule, add the classes you plan on taking to your calendar. For me, if it’s not on my calendar, it won’t happen. Give yourself a visual reminder of your daily commitment to your 30 day Challenge. Take note of any other commitments you have over the 30 days which might make you to skip a day and plan doubles for those weeks. Aim to do 7 classes a week (minimum) so you don’t get too far behind. The weeks you are feeling strong do more so you have some buffer for any days you might miss a class when life happens (or a bank holiday!).

Pack your bag for both SOMA and work the night before with everything you need: toiletries, change of undies, a snack and your water bottle for class. It takes little  extra time each night, but it will save you precious minutes in the morning and eliminated a way to talk yourself out of not going to class.

Finally be kind to yourself. This is a tough challenge. Postpone some work and social commitments and take life back to basics over the next four weeks. Fully cherish this time you are giving investing back in yourself.

2.  HYDRATE EAT REST

Water. Water. Water… and some electrolytes. This tip is especially for the Hot Yoga challengers. Up your water intake during the Challenge so you won’t dehydrate your body. It is important to drink water throughout the entire day before and after your practice. Gulping water between poses will not help you much and might make the class even more difficult as your stomach will be full. Try to drink at least 2,5-4 litres of water before the class and stop drinking excessively 1-2 hours before the class. As we sweat a lot it is important to replenishing any lost sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Add an electrolyte sachets/tablet to your  water or follow my trick to add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt and lemon in warm water — cheap DIY electrolyte drink (and makes the hydration tasty). On days you need extra boost add some honey to that drink. Hydration isn’t a choice, it’s a must. As a bonus you might get a pure glowing skin (to match you 30 day challenge smile).

Diet. Your body is pushed during the challenge so make sure you enjoy a balanced diet with protein, fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates. Up your protein intake and snack on nuts and seeds. As a general guideline you should try not to eat anything substantial two hours prior to your hot class. If you need to eat, stick to a piece of fruit or other small non-salty snack.

Rest. To help muscles recover make sure you rest and sleep enough. Spoil your hard-working body with Epsom salt bath end of each completed week (magic to aching muscles). 

3. EXPERIMENT

You will feel different each day. Your body will react differently every day, Therefore be flexible and experiment with classes and times you practice if you can. See what is  the best time to practise as it may vary. Maybe it will be easier to get an early morning class or perhaps later evening class will suit some days allowing you to go straight to bed after your hard work.

Try different classes. We are lucky at SOMA to have such a big range of classes and teachers to choose from. Become a ballerina a day or a fierce cyclist. Stretch and strengthen in different yoga classes if you have not done that yet. 

Balance and mix it up. When doing doubles for some of us yoga after TRX might be a good combo and you might find yourself going deeper to postures mentally and physically. For some of us the body heat produced at TRX might be too much for a hot yoga class after and yoga-trx combo might work better for example. Try different combos and see what suits you best. My tactic is to give the body 1 day rest so I do minimum 7 classes in 6 days and have one day rest. Yours might be different. Test it out, see what feels good. And if you have the chance go for yoga elementals SPACE class on Sundays! Your body will need the nurturing yin type yoga to balance all your active yang classes.

4. GET SUPPORT

Announce it. Tell the word that you are doing the challenge. It won’t only allow you to stick with it and making pulling out less likely, but your friends and family will be incredible aid to help you through. They will hopefully cheer you on, want to hear all your stories and maybe even help out with groceries, child care, you name it so you can take your class.

Your SOMA Community will be in integral part of the challenge experience. We will share the experience together, congratulate each other and push on as a community.  You should also mention to your teacher that you are one of the challengers -we teachers can give you really important advices that you might not normally get day in day out. The whole SOMA team is here to give you support and encouragement when you need it!

Join on the sociable vibe and stay engaged with challenge posts, daily pics and inspiring quotes (add hyperlinks).  The Interactive Leaderboard will keep an eye out for all the latest and greatest posts (make sure you tag #somachallenge and/or #somahouse for it go live).

5. JUST DO IT

Going a full circle to my point #1 -be prepared, but be also  ready to be unprepared. Many  surprising physical, mental  things and emotions might come up during the 30 days. In the end it is  a mind game. Take it day by day rather than getting too overwhelmed with 30 days. It is going to be incredible experience that you will  cherish. Just do it.

See you in the mat and my classes and let’s give each other a high five or a secret wink fellow challengers! We got this.

Follow my 30 days challenge on Instagram siru_yoga.

Psst!.. Stay tuned for Challenge update half way through.


SOMA Coaches Share Healthy Recipes

SOMA Coaches Share Healthy Recipes

Feeling like you need a little inspiration in the kitchen this spring? We asked three of our hot yoga divas to share their favourite vegetarian and vegan recipes and this is what they said. From savoury to passionately sweet, we’ve got three new ones for you to try.

Marianna’s favourite vegan chocolate hazelnut spread

Marianna admits that chocolate is one of her guilty pleasures so shares this rich, vegan alternative to your typical sinful dessert. This raw vegan chocolate hazelnut spread tastes like Nutella without all of the dairy and refined sugar.

 

 

Recipe

Siru's avocado mint cream bars
Siru’s avocado mint cream bars

Siru’s avocado mint cream bars – just, yum!

Gluten free, vegan and healthy – well, let’s go. These creamy treats have the healthy fats of avocados and the minty freshness to fit the spring weather. For those who love mint chocolate chip, these are to die for.

Recipe

Vanessa’s savoury brunch treat – Ottolenghi’s Torta Pasqualina

The famous vegetarian bistro is just around the corner from our studio and a great place to head after a workout or hot yoga class. We’ve spotted other SOMA members there on the weekend along with our other weekend warriors!

This savoury pie keeps well, so it’s a great dish to have in the fridge over the Easter weekend. If you can’t get chard, use spinach or another green. Serves six to eight.

Recipe


SOMA expert: Dr. Siru Virtanen

This month we sat down with our very own Dr. Siru Virtanen for an exclusive interview about life, fitness and candies (!)

How did you get into yoga?

Whenever anyone asks me this question it makes me giggle, because funnily enough before my first ever yoga class I strongly believed I wasn’t a yoga-kind-of –a –girl and thought yoga was boring, slow and not a proper workout. I preferred high-energy sports and spent all my free time doing bodypump, bodycombat and salsa dancing.
A friend of mine attended a bikram hot yoga class and I remember her saying that she never had sweated as much in her life and felt so amazing after. This stayed in my mind for one year and then one random day I decided I want to try this hot yoga stuff too and marched to Jen&Theo’s studio in Cambridge. The feeling of being completely cleansed by the effort and the sweat got me hooked straight away after my very first class. With my intro offer I went to as many classes as possible and then signed up for membership. I started attending classes 6 times a week and went to as many workshops and retreats I possibly could and was lucky enough to learn with some really great, inspirational teachers. Since then then I have practiced several styles of yoga, but bikram yoga/detox26 is always my first and strongest love. My passion for this yoga is based on the results I see in myself and in my students physically, mentally and emotionally. In addition to the occasional TRX, yoga is my only form of exercise and I never in my life felt better not only in my fitness but sharpness and focused mind.

Most challenging pose for you and why?

This changes from time to time, but currently it is (bikram/detox26) Triangle. I have flexible hips, but I need more strength on my thighs to build a stable, strong posture. This is the beauty of yoga –building the perfect balance of strength and flexibility in the whole body, and there is always something new to work on and to discover.

Top yoga tip?

The posture you hate is the posture you need the most. Never skip it –instead try even harder. Remember to always try 100% the right way, even if that means you are doing only 1% of the posture, it still means you are doing it and this is how you get the best benefits. Most importantly remember every day is different, keep an open mind. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.

Favourite SOMA class?

It has to be Hot Detox 26 –but that’s what I love about SOMA, there is so much to choose depending what your body or mind needs on a specific day. I also really love Elementals FIRE yoga and recommend everyone to try TRX Yoga Core – it’s great support for your yoga practice.

My masters in medical sciences and PhD in oncology has given me in depth knowledge of human body, anatomy and physiology.

Dr. Siru Virtanen

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Sweets –I used to have a real addiction to all sort of candies, but weirdly enough hot yoga helped with this too, my body (or mind) doesn’t crave them anymore. But during Christmas breaks –hello sweets! Horrible, I know.

How does your science background inform your yoga practice?

My masters in medical sciences and PhD in oncology (cancer research) has given me in depth knowledge of human body –anatomy and physiology and I apply this knowledge in several different ways in my own practice. I had a thyroid cancer scare myself 2 years ago and it was interesting to see how yoga practice helped my recovery from the surgery and kept my mind calm. I think my years of working in the lab as a meticulous cancer scientist probably makes me to think about the postures in very analytical way and I bring this precious to my practice and it also helps me in guiding my students.

Reveal your top yoga teacher pet peeve

hmmmm….do I have one? Ok, perhaps being late. Funnily this is something I also sometimes struggle with as I am often late with everything (except teaching)! And I guess we get annoyed with things that we find annoying in ourselves, but mostly this is my pet peeve because I feel bad that the student won’t have a good class if they are late and have to rush in. The class is not for me, the class is for the students, and I hope they can have the best possible class every time. Coming late can be distracting to yourself, to others, and also lead to injury if you miss some important warm up postures. Peek in before you come in and find yourself a spot quickly, but even better: leave few minutes earlier (*working on this too!)

I look forward to seeing you in classes and practicing with you at SOMA!