Lumity’s 21 day yoga plan with Maude Hirst
-Jan 29, Hannah Hargrave , Fitness -
For a fresh, new fitness regime you can get long lasting results from, why not consider taking up yoga? Vikings and Tudors TV star Maude Hirst was a self-confessed sceptic of yoga and meditation until it changed her life. Now she’s launched her own bespoke mindfulness business EnergyRise and has shared with Lumity her top tips for making yoga work for you in as little as 21 days.
Three weeks doesn’t sound like a very long time to turn you into a fully fledge yogi – especially if you’re convinced it’s not your thing – but with some guidance from Maude you can turbocharge your wellness and discover the undeniable benefits of yoga.
If you think that it won’t give you the workout you need to get fit and healthy you’d be wrong. Because yoga can do so much for your mind and body including relieving stress, aiding weight loss, building muscle, reducing cholesterol and increase energy too.
Maude says: “It is a wonderful practice that through the combination of breath and movement brings a balance of strength and flexibility to the body, while helping to quieten the over thinking mind. Leaving you feeling de-stressed and calm.”
So if you’re game for changing your lifestyle for the better here’s what you should know:
There’s a yoga routine to suit everyone
If you’ve only ever considered yoga from afar, then you may have been duped into believing it’s only for lean, mean, flexibility machines. You may think you’re too old or too out of shape to reap the rewards of yoga. But that would be like making a sweeping statement that exercise isn’t your thing. What many people don’t realise is that there are numerous different styles and techniques, meaning anybody can get involved.
Related: A beginner’s guide to hot yoga
“There are so many to chose from,” says Maude. “From power to yin (a chilled practice) to hot yoga. You just have to find what suits your individual needs and you’ll never want to stop. It’s about discovering the one that makes you feel so good you want to go back again and again. Not only that but it’s also important to love the teacher you have so you feel inspired.”
If you’re unsure of where to begin Maude’s bespoke practice can help you too.
“Don’t give up, there’s a practice for everyone,” she says.
‘You don’t have to workout every day’
Unlike so many wellness challenges which insist you do something everyday for a month or more, Maude says you don’t have to commit to a daily routine from the get go, in fact if you’re beginner she suggests easing yourself in.
“I think commiting to a daily practice to start with can feel overwhelming, so I suggest starting with adding in a yoga practice that you love a few days a week and gradually building it up as your strength and love for the practice increases.”
‘Make yoga a habit’
When you’re ready, whether that’s after one week or at the end of three consider a short 10 day yoga challenge. The reason for this isn’t to ensure you commit to a workout every day for the rest of your life, it’s simple to make your yoga a habit, like brushing your teeth or making your bed.
“At the end of that ten days you can truly say you’ve given it a go and it’ll become habitual,” says Maude. You’ll also likely realise you do have time for a daily workout, or at the very least a little mindfulness.”
Related: How to adopt a healthy new habit
‘Yoga is exercise’
When time is limited, the thought of carving out another half an hour or more for exercise can seem almost impossible. But the good news is yoga can be your cardio and strength training, meaning you can focus on yoga and stay in shape, even if you pop your other workouts on the back burner for a few weeks.
“There are many different forms of yoga,” adds Maude. “Some are more strong than others. If you are practicing a power yoga, you can gain the same benefits of other exercise – strength, flexibility but with the added benefit of creating mental clarity and calm.”
Once your 21 days are up you can figure out a fitness program which incorporates your other workouts too – if you want to.
‘Test the waters’
Yoga isn’t a one size fits all, so if you step out of your first – or second or third – class feeling completely out of your comfort zone, don’t quit.
Explore your area for different classes and alternate teachers and try to have fun doing it. You can even test the waters with different yoga techniques from the comfort of your own home first, so that you have an inkling as to what will work for you and what won’t.
“Keep going until you find one that works for you,” explains Maude. “You will get there.”
If you want to see and feel results you do have to be consistent in your workouts.
“You will see a big improvement pretty quickly if you continue with a regular practice,” Maude tells Lumity. “Big changes may not happen overnight but it only took me a few days to realise it was something I wanted to do consistently.
“Do what you can, as regularly as you can.”
‘Learn to breathe’
Breathing techniques have long been touted for their ability to create calm and reduce stress and anxiety. When it comes to yoga Maude insists: “It’s the mot important part of your practice.”
Don’t be deterred because of this, because you can easily learn how to boost your body using your breath.
“The teaching should be guiding the breath but having a good connection to your breath really helps to get you out of your head and into your body – giving you the best benefit.”
You will get the most of your yoga when you have enjoy it and so Maude’s final tip is “have fun with it”. While commitment is important, taking yourself too seriously will only lead you to feel frustrated or annoyed if you don’t find the perfect practice right away.
“You’re trying things you’ve never tried before, so enjoy it,” says Maude.
Laugh at yourself and learn to relax and you’ll get the very best out of your new found love of yoga.
Find out more about Maude’s ‘EnergyRise’ bespoke yoga and meditation practice and learn what it can do for you.