When it comes down to it, the time we spend working out is a fairly small fraction of our day. If we break it down, doing an hour workout, even if you did it every day, takes up less than five percent of your week. But how are we utilizing this portion of our week can have a lasting effect on so much more of our lives, from how much our bodies ache after playing catch with the kids to your mental clarity heading into your big work presentation. We want to be sure you get exactly what you need out of your time in the studio. To do that, here’s a few of our tips for making the most out of your workouts. 

Set Intentions

In order to get what you’re hoping for out of a workout class, it helps to consider what it is you’re looking for. It might seem obvious, but it can be easy to assume we know what we want out of our workouts while glossing over the details if we don’t take the time to think about it and it’s much easier to achieve our goals if we’re able to talk about them in tangible, measurable ways. You want to improve your quality of life? Does that mean being able to play high intensity sports with your friends or taking more opportunities to walk outside? You want to use your workouts to support your mental health? Does that entail motivating yourself to stick to regular workouts or allowing yourself the grace to do what feels right in your body each day? Take a couple of minutes to think about what you want out of your workouts, even if its just as you’re walking in the door to the studio. 

Listen to Your Body

It’s great to set workout intentions, but if you aren’t practiced in doing so you might not yet know how ambitious you tend to be when setting goals. If you tend to push yourself to the brink, you may benefit from realizing when working hard turns past the point of productivity. If you set goals that aren’t achievable, you might end up getting frustrated by your lack of progress. On the other hand, if you make your goals too easy, you might meet them and still feel dissatisfied with your progress.Check in with yourself regularly to see how the workouts you’re doing are making you feel. Our team is also there to support you in picking classes or modifying movements to best suit your needs. 

Be Present

Between all this goal setting and checking in, you might be thinking you’ll have a lot on your mind during class. On the contrary, while we encourage you to take a couple minutes to check in on your goals or to not how movements feel in your body, once your class actually gets started we encourage you to set all that aside and focus on class. 

Especially in our yoga classes, mindfulness and meditation both play an important role in our classes. Meditation, as explained by Headspace, is “about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective” whereas mindfulness is “the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now, fully engaged with whatever we’re doing in the moment”. While these definitions share some similarities, for our purposes you can think of the differences as meditation being more of an activity within itself. At times, we may sit on the mat and meditate or practice meditative movements, while mindfulness is a state to carry with you throughout your activities. These aspects of class are just as important as the physical aspects of class, which is why leaning into the mindset is so integral. Even in more high intensity interval styles classes or other non-yoga offerings, if you take the time to focus on your workout and your workout only while setting the rest of the world aside, you might be surprised by how positively it affects your life, both in and out of the studio.