A Little Update…

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So it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything new on Naturally Nicola so I thought I’d give you a little update as to why…

The main reason is that my first book, Yoga Gym, was published at the end of last year and it has quickly grown into Yoga Gym workshops, seminars, recipe books, and online plans.

Yoga Gym Book Front Cover PNG

Most of the blogging I’ve been doing has been over on the Yoga Gym website – www.YogaGymRevolution.com 

On there you can find posts perfect for yogis and foodies alike including:-

Yoga articles:

10 Reasons To Do Yoga Everyday

Yoga For Inflexible People

How To Do A Handstand

Yoga For Athletes: 3 Post Workout Poses

Yoga For Weightlifters: 6 Poses You Should Be Doing

Food articles:

Meal Ideas To Fuel Your Workouts

5 Quick + Healthy Breakfasts

Yoga Food: Healthy Lunches To Support Your Workouts

 

You can also find the brand new Healthy + Happy Plan. This is a great way to practice yoga if you’re super busy and can’t always make it to a class – you get 4 new workouts every month, training plans, coaching videos, recipes, meal plans, access to members’ only discounts, and you’ll be the first to know about workshops and retreats. You can sign up HERE.

 

I LOVE hearing from you so if we’re not connected on social media then let’s connect!!

Facebook: Nicola Hobbs

Facebook page: Nicola Jane Hobbs

Professional Facebook Page: Yoga Gym Revolution

Instagram: @NicolaJaneHobbs

Twitter: @NicolaJaneHobbs

New Year. New Yoga.

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I love yoga.

I practice daily.

I teach between 15-20 sessions a week.

And my yoga mat is my safe space to go to restore and reflect.

But even I get bored with yoga every now and then.

So 2016 is all about exploring, creating and practicing new poses.

Creativity in our yoga practice is crucial to keep motivation high. If you know the basics then play with changing your arm position in warrior pose, invent different variations of plank pose to really challenge your core, and explore various leg positions in shoulder stands and headstands to help you see life from a different perspective.

Yoga is beautiful because it is rooted in history. Because we know how each pose strengthens our body and releases energy blockages to allow us to heal and grow. And yoga is also beautiful because it is continually evolving. And we can help it evolve by using our creativity to move our body in new and innovative ways. Play. Explore. Grow.

If you’re in a yoga rut and would like to reignite creativity in your practice then my next workshop is all about new creative poses.

Sign up to the New Year. New Yoga. Workshop.

Housewarming Cookies

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A house is not a home until you’ve baked your first batch of cookies in it.

Jim and I bought our first home together earlier this month and have spent the majority of our spare time unpacking and building flat pack.

But tonight, I did my first bit of baking in our new home and it smelt beautiful!

I wanted something quick, simple and nourishing and these chewy chocolate chip cookies are just perfect.

They take 5 minutes to make and 10 minutes to bake making them the perfect post-yoga treat.

They’re full of healthy fats from the almonds and coconut oil and are totally gluten free.

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Christmas Relaxation Meditation

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Christmas is exciting. It’s full of laughter and happiness and love.

Christmas can also be stressful. Shopping, cooking, organising, wrapping presents, cleaning up, stuffing the turkey, late nights, over-excited kids… can all take their toll.

So here is a little Christmas relaxation meditation you can do at home. Find a comfortable seated position and read the words to yourself or record yourself saying them and lay down somewhere quiet and play them back when you need a little de-stress.

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Top 10 Christmas Gifts For Yogis

Finding Christmas gifts that you are really excited to give can be surprisingly stressful. So I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite things that will make lovely Christmas presents for the yoga fans and fitness fanatics in your life.

From a luxurious yoga mat to a yogi shaped cookie cutter, here is a handy list of Christmas presents your fellow yogis will love (- and you might want to add a few to your Christmas list too!).

 

1. Yoga Gym: The Revolutionary 28 Day Plan For Strength, Flexibility & Fat Loss

Yoga Gym Book Front Cover PNG

Whether you’re a lifelong yoga fan or totally new to yoga, this book is the perfect present to inspire you on the mat. It contains over 150 poses and exercises and provides you with a 28-day plan to get you looking and feeling great  – ideal for new year fitness regimes. I put my heart and soul into writing it so I know you will love it!!

£12.99 www.yogagymrevolution.com

 

 

 

 

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How To Press To Handstand [video tutorial]

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The first time I saw someone press to handstand I thought it was impossible. The guy was a professional gymnast with powerful shoulders and an impressive physique.

It looked so graceful and so elegant. 

So I tried it.

And fell right on my face.

So I tried again and again and again.

And I fell again and again and again.

But each time I fell, I learnt something about the movement – how wide I needed my hands to be, where I needed to distribute my weight, where I needed to look…

And slowly… very slowly… I made progress. My feet started lifting off the ground. Just hovering at first. And then I worked out how to get my legs parallel. And then I had the courage to lift my legs all the way up (hint: just squeeze your bum once your hips are at a right angle and they’ll fly up!).

So here’s a tutorial to guide you through the pressing process. Enjoy!

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Quinoa Granola (gluten + grain free)

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When I first started practicing yoga I swore I wouldn’t become one of those hippie yogis who lives off kale, quinoa and avocados, drinks coconut water, and finds themselves standing in tree pose in the supermarket queue.

And guess what?

I have.

Yoga is not just something that you practice on the mat.

Yoga is something you practice at the dinner table.

At work.

In the gym.

In the car.

In front of the TV.

Walking the dog.

Brushing your teeth.

Every moment becomes one of awareness and connection.

And that is where quinoa comes in. The first thing that many people eat in the morning is cereal – processed, sugary, and lacking in any form of real nourishment. The sugar will cause a crash in energy, the gluten may make you bloated, and you’ll probably be hungry in a couple of hours.

So this quinoa granola is a different kind of cereal. No sugar. No gluten. No grains (quinoa is actually a seed!). Just natural high protein wholefoods. And it’s so simple to make.

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Yoga At Home: Backbends

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Sometimes we have the best intention of going to a yoga class but life gets in the way.

Maybe you’re late leaving work.

Or your child is poorly.

Or you just don’t have the energy to face a room full of happy clappy yogis.

Does that mean you have to miss out on that blissful chilled out feeling you love after a good yoga practice? No.

Practicing at home, on your own, in your own time, with no one telling you when to breathe or when to move onto the next pose is AMAZING.

Especially as you can use props that you don’t usually find in a studio.

Props like sofas and walls and chairs.

That’s exactly what this backbend tutorial is all about – using a sofa to deepen your practice.

Think melting heart, and wheel pose, and scorpion – all made simpler because you have a sofa to support you.

How great is that?! Give it a go a let me know what you think 🙂

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How To Do A Handstand

How to do a handstand

One of the most common things my students say to me about handstands is that they are scary.

I know.

I spent my first three years of practicing yoga totally avoiding them.

Even now that I can do them with confidence, I still find them scary.

But, you know what?

Sometimes we need to do the scary things.

And we need to keep doing them over and over again until we realise that being fearless isn’t about having no fear. Being fearless is about being scared and doing it anyway.

So I’ve created a handstand tutorial for you. To help you embrace your fear and explore how empowering it feels to be upside down. You get a whole new perspective on life from down there.

So have a go. Practice. Explore. Balance. Fall. Pick yourself up and go again…

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The Best Healthy Chocolate Recipes

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There are some days when all you want to eat is chocolate.

Even as a health conscious yoga teacher, some days, only chocolate will do.

And that’s ok.

You know why?

Because chocolate is good for you.

I’m not talking the cheap, sugar filled stuff that gives a quick burst of energy and then leaves you feeling grumpy for the next few hours until your blood sugar levels even out.

I’m talking about the real dark stuff. High cocoa solids (80%+). Organic and fair trade if possible. The kind that takes a few moments to melt on your tongue.

In Ayurvedic nutrition, pure cocoa is hailed for it’s anti-oxidant properties and its ability to reduce inflammation and LDL (bad cholesterol).

So next time you are craving chocolate, listen to your body.

Treat yourself to a small bar of the good quality stuff.

Or have a go at baking some of my favourite healthy chocolate treats…

Raw Chocolate Fudge Cookies – if you want something that takes 5 minutes to make that you can snack on throughout the week then these bites of chocolatiness are just perfect.

Super Gooey Chocolate Brownies – these are great for kids because they contain a portion of vegetables without them even knowing!

Chocolate Biscuits – these are a great alternative to shop bought biscuits and are vegan, paleo and gluten free.

Chocolate Fudge Cake – if you want something a bit more special then this cake is worth the effort. Rich, chocolatey and gooey – and 100% vegan and gluten free.

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