International Yoga Day and what 30 days of yoga did for me

Today is International Yoga Day

Today is International Yoga Day and what better way to honour this day than to share my 30 day yoga journey! I had only ever done two yoga classes in my life, about 5 years ago, so I thought I would challenge myself to doing 30 days of yoga to see how my body responds. I am a weight training junkie. I loved crossfit and running and everything fast, so you must know this was quite a scary idea! I know for a fact that my hamstrings are naturally tight and that downward dog was going to be my nemesis, but I pushed on, literally.

I had heard great things about Tree Natural in Umhlanga and that they had a great unlimited package for a month. That sold me on this idea and I signed up! What really sold me on the idea was Dr Megan Medina. You know those two yoga classes I had been to all those years before? Well this were taught by Megan and I LOVED THEM! I loved them so much that I had never forgotten her name. I only stopped because I switched gyms.

I went bout 4 days per week, sometimes 5 when I could make it. I was challenged mentally as well as physically. The first night I was zonked! I wanted to go to sleep at 6pm! The same the next day, but after the third day I was already sleeping so much better than I was before. My body was clearly in shock, because it was doing things it had never done before. I found it amazing that I could deadlift 105kg’s but doing something as simple as triangle pose had me shaking uncontrollably.

I learnt so much about myself through this challenge. I don’t think we challenge ourselves enough. I think we like comfort, safety and the familiar. We don’t push the boundaries enough. We don’t respect our bodies enough to know that it’s got us, it can handle us, and it will always trust us. We just have to trust it back.

30 days of yoga taught me:

  • Yoga is hard
  • Yoga is not just about flexibility
  • Yoga can get your heart rate right up
  • Yoga works muscles you didn’t know existed
  • Poses look easy on instagram but are really really hard
  • Yoga works the body and the mind
  • I felt more calm and focussed during the day
  • I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much
  • Your body starts craving the movement
  • Your mind is less cluttered
  • Your body responds quicker than you think
  • You sleep so well
  • You are motivated to push a little deeper each time
  • You learn to love the guided mediation of the teacher
  • You start following yogi accounts on instagram
  • You want to be better
  • Your flexibility improves in one month

 

I must say, all in all I was very happy with my progress! I took some before and after pics to note the slight improvements. I was really happy to move from using blocks or a strap, to not. It really is the small improvements that make a difference!

 

 

International Yoga Day

There are those terrible hamstrings!

International Yoga Day

I was happy with my progress! Megan says rather have a bend in your knees to keep your back straight and not rounded.

 

International Yoga Day

Blocks are so useful and versatile! Start off with them until you are more comfortable in the poses.

International Yoga Day

Slow progress is better than no progress!

 

International Yoga Day

I found that my lower back was also tight, not just my hamstrings. When I first started cobra it was actually painful, but it is so much more comfortable after a month of loosening it up!

International Yoga Day

This really isn’t as easy as it looks! My balance was shocking and my lower back was very tight. I am still getting there slowly but I am way better off now.

 

International Yoga Day

Goddess squat is no joke! Blocks definitely help to keep you more upright at the start.

International Yoga Day

So rounded and bad form to start with. Thanks hamstrings! Megan said to bend the knees to get a flat back and what a difference it made!

 

I am so excited to keep going on this journey and get to where I want to be. I know that will take a long time, but I am really happy with the progress so far.

You can find out more about Tree Natural’s yoga classes here and find them on Facebook here.

 

How did you get into yoga? Do you practice at home or a studio? Are you taking part in International Yoga Day in any way?

 

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How do I stay healthy in Ramadan?

As we head into the beautiful and sacred time that is Ramadan, I wanted to answer a frequent question I get asked by a lot of my muslim clients and friends.

Q: Can I train during Ramadan?

Ramadan

A: Yes you can. Firstly I want to say that if you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor first. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for the other. These are guidelines that are general and fine to follow if you have no existing problems that need doctor’s clearance.

Exercising during Ramadan is actually good for you. Your body is storing food at hours that it isn’t used to, so you’re essentially storing the high calorie meals as fat. The best way to counteract this is to train, and use up that fat as energy. Weight loss is the simple equation of calories in versus calories out. So, the calories that you expend by training must equal the calories you consume by eating if you want to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight then the calories you consume must be LESS than the calories you burn up during exercise. If you are not training during Ramadan, you are not using up those calories, therefore the calories you are eating are essentially not budging.

When you are fasting you will definitely be feeling tired and dehydrated. By fasting all day your muscle and liver glycogen reserves are reduced, causing you to experience low blood sugar. Whilst feeling this way I’m sure the last thing you feel like doing is exercising, but, it will actually help your energy levels as well. You really don’t need to keep your intensity level where it was before fasting, this month is very special and spiritual to you so make it more about reflecting and focusing on the health aspect of it. I would recommend it as a maintenance month and not a weight loss month.

I know many of the traditional foods to break fast are often calorie dense, pastries and sugary treats. These high calorie foods will be stored as fat due to the density of the calories. This is especially true when you aren’t exercising and working off the extra calories. Try enjoy these as treats once or twice a week instead of every night. You need a high intensity training session to work off such high density calories, and without the energy to exercise at such a high intensity you won’t be able to burn the calories off completely. So enjoy them, sparingly.

Muslim

Here are my guidelines and tips:

  • Exercise for maintenance, not weight loss
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week 30-40 minutes
  • Focus on weight training and body weight training instead of cardio
  • Have longer rest between sets
  • Do fewer sets per exercise
  • Reduce your volume of exercise and intensity
  • Strength training prevents muscle loss (so you keep that nice tone)
  • Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
  • Drink water when you break fast and keep drinking it to stay hydrated. The same in the morning
  • Avoid junk food as much as possible and treat it as an actual treat
  • Cardio will make you thirsty and even more dehydrated so stick to weight training rather
  • Eat according to your appetite, don’t overeat. Remember it takes your body 30 minutes to realise how full it is. So eat until you are still comfortable then wait.
  • Eat your protein and veg first so you don’t overload on pastries
  • Dates are really high in sugar, so don’t overdo it every night
  • Exercise 60-90 minutes before Iftar if you can, otherwise after you’ve had some dates is great too
  • If you are working, speak to your boss about the possibility of working through your lunch break since you won’t be eating, and leaving work earlier. Then you could go straight to gym, get in your workout and straight home to break fast
  • A lot of hunger is due to dehydration, so drink a glass of water first when breaking fast
  • You can actually lose body fat during Ramadan if you watch your calories and exercise. You don’t need to go at your usual intensity but look at it as being healthy and happy

 

This is a special month but you also don’t want to undo all of your hard work over the year.

Enjoy your special time

Jane

xxx

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to email jane@gijane.co.za

 

 

@gijane_zn

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Can I train during Ramadan?

I did this post after Ramadan last year, so thought I would repost it before fasting starts this year!

 

 

Q: Can I train during Ramadan?

Exercise

A: Yes you can. Firstly I want to say that if you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor first. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for the other. These are guidelines that are general and fine to follow if you have no existing problems that need doctor’s clearance.

Exercising during Ramadan is actually good for you. Your body is storing food at hours that it isn’t used to, so you’re essentially storing the high calorie meals as fat. The best way to counteract this is to train, and use up that fat as energy. Weight loss is the simple equation of calories in versus calories out. So, the calories that you expend by training must equal the calories you consume by eating if you want to maintain your weight. If you want to lose weight then the calories you consume must be LESS than the calories you burn up during exercise. If you are not training during Ramadan, you are not using up those calories, therefore the calories you are eating are essentially not budging.

When you are fasting you will definitely be feeling tired and dehydrated. By fasting all day your muscle and liver glycogen reserves are reduced, causing you to experience low blood sugar. Whilst feeling this way I’m sure the last thing you feel like doing is exercising, but, it will actually help your energy levels as well. You really don’t need to keep your intensity level where it was before fasting, this month is very special and spiritual to you so make it more about reflecting and focusing on the health aspect of it. I would recommend it as a maintenance month and not a weight loss month.

I know many of the traditional foods to break fast are often calorie dense, pastries and sugary treats. These high calorie foods will be stored as fat due to the density of the calories. This is especially true when you aren’t exercising and working off the extra calories. Try enjoy these as treats once or twice a week instead of every night. You need a high intensity training session to work off such high density calories, and without the energy to exercise at such a high intensity you won’t be able to burn the calories off completely. So enjoy them, sparingly.

Muslim

Here are my guidelines and tips:

  • Exercise for maintenance, not weight loss
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week 30-40 minutes
  • Focus on weight training and body weight training instead of cardio
  • Have longer rest between sets
  • Do fewer sets per exercise
  • Reduce your volume of exercise and intensity
  • Strength training prevents muscle loss (so you keep that nice tone)
  • Eat healthy, unprocessed foods
  • Drink water when you break fast and keep drinking it to stay hydrated. The same in the morning
  • Avoid junk food as much as possible and treat it as an actual treat
  • Cardio will make you thirsty and even more dehydrated so stick to weight training rather
  • Eat according to your appetite, don’t overeat. Remember it takes your body 30 minutes to realise how full it is. So eat until you are still comfortable then wait.
  • Eat your protein and veg first so you don’t overload on pastries
  • Dates are really high in sugar, so don’t overdo it every night
  • Exercise 60-90 minutes before Iftar if you can, otherwise after you’ve had some dates is great too
  • If you are working, speak to your boss about the possibility of working through your lunch break since you won’t be eating, and leaving work earlier. Then you could go straight to gym, get in your workout and straight home to break fast
  • A lot of hunger is due to dehydration, so drink a glass of water first when breaking fast
  • You can actually lose body fat during Ramadan if you watch your calories and exercise. You don’t need to go at your usual intensity but look at it as being healthy and happy

 

This is a special month but you also don’t want to undo all of your hard work over the year.

Enjoy your special time

Jane

xxx

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to email jane@gijane.co.za

 

Jane Kilian

Sport Science (Bsc.)

Exercise Science (Hons.)

www.gijane.co.za

@gijane_zn

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Getting to know Thando Tsekiso

I met Thando a few months ago, and she is one of those people that you instantly become friends with. She has the brightest smile, the biggest personality and the most beautiful heart. She also lets Fayinthemaze and I ask her the silliest questions and answers without skipping a beat. She’s an entrepreneur, social media influencer, and all around beautiful girl!

Let’s get to know Thando Tsekiso….

 

What does healthy mean to you?
Healthy means having your body, mind and soul all in good synergy and well balanced.

 

What is your chosen form of exercise?
My chosen form of exercise is chewing! Kidding ? I hit the gym, but mainly focus on cardio and a bit of weights to tone everything up.

 

What is your way of healthy eating?
My way of healthy eating involves an assortment of boiled vegetables and a great steak or oven baked chicken!

 

What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me kick starts with gym, a nap, breakfast while watching a sermon and checking emails & my social media. Then the rest proceeds uniquely as per each day’s requirements. Social media plays a big part throughout the day.

 

What would you like people to know about you?
I wouldn’t like to dictate to people what they should know about me. Just get to know me and they can figure it out.

 

What would you like people to know about your work/business?
About my work and business, I’m so passion driven with that project. We take great care for the quality we put out and our customer service. (Visit Wild Rose Boutique and have a look!)

 

Favourite work out song?
My favourite work out song has to be Future – his entire Purple reign & DS2 album.

 

Favourite exercise and why?
Favorite exercise had to be like attending a Stepping class… Or is it stepper? Yeah those classes are amazing workouts.

 

Favourite quote or advice?
Shucks, I have far too many fav quotes. Currently it has to be “Always remember – a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle…” simply because there’s so much power and light which unity and knowledge share holds, but us greedy humans fail to see this.

Being a blessing to another person will see your blessings fall right over you.

 

Follow this beauty on Instagram and Twitter

 

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