Our blog features positive stories that will keep you motivated and inspired. Find healthy recipes, wellness tips, workout ideas and much more.

woman practicing yoga and meditation

4 Tips to Ensure a Restful Sleep

By | Dance, Fitness, Nutrition, Soul Connexion News, Wellness, Yoga

We all know that a good night’s sleep is crucial for optimal function throughout the day. Getting enough rest can enhance our ability to concentrate, increase productivity and help to improve our mood.

As much as we would all like to consistently get a good night’s sleep, many individuals struggle with unpredictable sleep patterns.  While some are diagnosed with sleep disorders, for others, just making some small changes could improve your quality of sleep. Follow these simple strategies to begin to develop better sleep patterns.

Stick to a routine

Pick a time to wake up every morning and a time to go to bed every night and try to maintain this as much as possible.  In addition, avoid watching TV, using the computer/phone, working or bright lights 30 minutes prior to going to bed as these things tend to keep you at an alert state.  Instead, choose to spend some time reading, listen to soft music, take a warm bath or enjoy a warm herbal tea.

Modify your evening eating habits

You should allow three hours of digestion time after a meal before attempting to go to sleep.  If you need a small snack before heading to bed, try nuts, yogurt, fruit or vegetables. It is also important to avoid caffeine, spicy and highly acidic foods in the evening as they could interfere with your sleep.

Make your bedroom a haven

Avoid eating or working in your bedroom.  Allow this to be a space designed for rest and relaxation. In addition, make sure the space is sleep friendly.  Keeping your room at a cool temperature and the ability to make the room dark for night, will allow for a better sleep.  If you struggle with noises, try ear plugs or white noise such as a fan.

Do something active each day

30 minutes of daily activity can greatly enhance your ability to sleep well at night.  However, it is best to exercise earlier in the day.  Avoid an intense workout within 2 to 3 hours of bedtime as this can actually stimulate the body.  If you choose to exercise in the evening, try gentle stretching or yoga as these can help to promote sleep.

woman practicing yoga and meditation for sleep

group of friends working out dance yoga fitness

Don’t Be Defeated This January – Keep your Promise to Yourself

By | Dance, Fitness, Nutrition, Soul Connexion Blog, Weight Loss, Wellness, Yoga

Dance has been shown to reduce stress, build physical endurance, and increase productivity. If you are looking to achieve new lifestyle and fitness goals, then adding regular exercise to your lifestyle will benefit you!

The problem that many people face when it comes to exercise is consistency. If you struggle with exercising regularly, then social group exercise is for you!

Social exercise involves attending a group class and working personally with an instructor in this environment. Group dance classes have been scientifically shown to support mental health, physical health, and personal development.

Here are the six reasons you should take a group class to achieve your new years resolutions:

Receive Support

The benefit of being in a class with other students and an instructor is that you will receive support. The instructor and fellow classmates can encourage you when you reach a stagnate period. They will also inspire you when are having difficulty progressing, or struggling to execute a move.

Connect with Like-Minded People

The most effective way to stay motivated and consistent is to surround yourself with people who have the same goals. Your personal goals can become very daunting when you are working at them alone. A fitness group connects you to other people who can support you and regenerate your fitness/lifestyle motivation.

Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can really inhibit productivity and motivation. A great way to support both your personal and professional goals is to build an active lifestyle. Attending a dance, fitness, or yoga class regularly encourages mindfulness and self-appreciation. This will in turn build a positive mental relationship in all aspects of your life.

Avoids the Need to Find Time

Sometimes, we don’t want to exercise simply because we don’t know what to do. Find a style of working out that most interests you and commit yourself to that every single week. By doing so, you are removing the need to prepare and schedule time for exercise. You will be more likely to do it, knowing that you have already blocked off un-interrupted time in your busy week to invest in your health. Instructors will prepare the classes, give you new ideas, and support your growth. Each week all you must do is show up, and your instructor will take care of the rest! This makes exercising that much less time consuming.

Holds You Accountable

There’s just something about seeing people who look forward to seeing you! Each week, you and your classmates can expect that you will break a sweat together. Group classes keep you accountable to your goals because your presence in a class will be noticed AND missed. A structured group class encourages your attendance because you know you have paid for that time in advance and may as well make the most of it. A lack of structure and commit may lead you to convince yourself that you will make up this missed time at the gym. However, this gets tricky because all of a sudden, exercise will become unimportant and you will have missed weeks or even months before you know it!

Keeps You Structured

Tasks that have been blocked out in advance are much more likely to be completed. A group class provides structure as the classes are at the same time, regularly, and weekly. Think of it like a university class, if the classes where whenever you wanted to go, you would probably attend a quarter of the classes, but you will regularly attend smaller classes in blocked periods. The same is true for group exercise – the structure they provide encourages regular participation and attendance.

I hope this list has given you some ideas on how to further your fitness and lifestyle goals. Soul Connexion is a community of people becoming healthier and stronger together. Experience our studio culture and discover why more people are choosing Soul Connexion! Visit us today and check out our dance, yoga, and fitness classes.

Author: Akech Mabior

 

two women fitness working out

 

Dance Builds Confidence – Words from a Former Student

By | Dance, Fitness, Soul Connexion Blog, Wellness

 

Throughout my childhood, I initially starting dancing at home and soon fell in love. I started by copying dance moves I would see on TV, but quickly desired to learn more. I was so passionate at the age that I even went out to purchase dance instructional DVDs. When I was young, I only ever danced at home since I was a very shy person, but my life changed once I reached high school and learned that dance is offered as a school elective. I made one of the best decisions for myself when I decided to jump on the opportunity to dance! It was through these high school dance classes that I truly gained confidence. Once I became confident in dancing around others, this same confidence started to appear in all aspects of my life – school, work, relationships and putting myself forward!

Dance instills a sense of achievement

In high school, I struggled with precalculus math. I desperately reached out to my teacher for help and he said, “some people just aren’t good at math”. This prompted me to believe that I would never have a stable career – I felt crushed. With emotions high, I walked into my dance class where we learned new dance moves and choreography. Not only did this help me reduce stress, but the concept of learning something new and mastering something difficult truly gave a sense of achievement. It impacted me because it taught me that I can learn and that I do have a lot to offer. Dance has provided an opportunity for growth and development in a visual way. I loved it so much that whenever I would dance, I always left happy and with a positive mindset. This change in mood pushed me to constantly take on new challenges.

Dance reduces shyness and builds assertiveness 

I have always been the student that sits in the corner at the back of the room because I wanted the least possible attention on myself. When I started dance classes, the instructor would always have us rotate positions and take turns performing at the front. This pushed me to be more assertive and confident in myself. The more often we did this, the more I found myself wanting to dance right in front of the mirrors. I genuinely lived through the dance mantra “practice makes performance”. I quickly began to perform assertively and confidently, and I loved every moment of it. Fast forward to now, you will find me sitting at the front or centre of a room whether that be classroom, office or forums.

Dance improves communication skills

Communication is an essential life skill and the best way to develop effective communication is through practice. Dance gave me opportunities to utilize and master this skill by cooperative work. As a dancer, I remember always having to communicate with classmates to perfect choreography. This taught me to use both verbal and non-verbal cues for movements and directions. I had to learn to assess a situation, to respond and communicate accordingly. The same principles of dance class communication were applicable to my everyday life. This was especially transferable to my school group projects where I had to communicate with my classmates in friends to carry out tasks. Effective communication gave me the ability to be in new situations and have the confidence to handle those situations.

Dance builds a better self-image

As most young adolescents, I struggled with my self-image.  There are images constantly circulating the media that insinuate that we are not attractive enough nor good enough, reinforcing the doubt and struggles that exist for most men and women (especially teens). The first thing dance showed me was a positive relationship with my body. I was moving and using my body consistently. Exercising regularly meant that I was treating my body better and that led to me feeling better about my body. By being present in dance class I learned to be present in my own movement, rhythm, and flow. In that moment and time, I was free from comparing myself and was in tune with my own beat. These many small moments of being mindful and present in my body and seeing my body positively and treating my body kindly developed a positive relationship that has been enduring.

Are you ready to start dancing?

Take the plunge and register for a winter seasonal program today – it is never too late to learn.

Author: Akech Mabior

 

NEW Lifestyle Gift Boxes

By | Holiday, Soul Connexion News
We are super excited to launch our NEW lifestyle gift boxes! We have hand picked the best products and items for the dance or fitness lover in your life. All boxes are $65 + GST (with a value of $80+) and come wrapped and ready to place under your tree – Christmas shopping made easy.

Check out a video of our new Ballet Box here and visit reception to purchase your gift box today. Available while quantities last.

THE PERFECT HOLIDAY
STOCKING STUFFER