Tips From Our Trainers

6 Ways Yoga can Bring more Balance to your Workout Routine


When we think of yoga, long deep stretches, lots of breathing and the relaxing effects of Savasana/resting pose come to mind. The benefits of practicing yoga, though, are not just limited to a calmer mind and a more flexible body. Making yoga a regular part of our workout routine also helps to increase cardiovascular endurance, strengthen our muscles, improve form and aid muscle recovery thereby preventing injuries.

In this blog, we are going to share with you six ways that adding yoga into your class schedule each week can help bring more balance to your workouts, improve recovery and help you feel stronger in your body!

It builds long and lean muscle

We all love “the burn” after a Tone & Flex (weight training) class, where our muscles ache for a day (if not more) afterward! Weight training relies on the principle of concentric contraction, where the muscles become smaller as they contract. Muscle fibers heal close together, resulting in that “pumped” look or feeling.


Yoga, on the other hand, relies on eccentric contraction, where the muscles stretch as they contract giving them a sleek and elongated shape. It also reduces muscle fatigue and tightness! It can, therefore, be a great pairing for your muscle or strength workouts!

It tones both large and small muscle groups

In yoga, we use both large and small muscle groups and move in many different directions (twisting, arching, rounding, etc.) which works muscles much harder than exercises that only use one motion and work one major muscle group at a time, such as squats or bicep curls.

This can also help with coordination and brain function!

It increases endurance and stamina

We have two main types of muscle fibers in our bodies; fast-twitch and slow-twitch. The fast-twitch muscle fibers which are primarily activated through high-intensity cardio exercise can generate powerful movements, but are low in endurance. If you are only focusing on cardio or high intensity classes / workouts, then your fast-twitch muscle fibers may be over-developed and you may be missing out on other components of training your body!

Through slow movement and holding postures, yoga activates the slow-twitch muscle fibers which can help to increase stamina and concentration. This in turn, can help in all elements of your training and strength, so that both types of muscle fibers are able to work better together!

It aids muscle recovery

Yoga supports the muscle-building process through its ability to aid in the overall recovery and repair of the muscles we may have worked out that week. Certain resting yoga postures allow the muscles to stretch and relax, thus increasing blood flow to the worked areas of the body. This increase in blood flow also brings an increase in oxygen, which assists the muscles in healing and growing stronger.


It improves form & posture

Due to its focus on alignment, practicing yoga can decrease risk of injury for other exercises and also improves the performance of everyday tasks like walking, sitting, twisting, and lifting. This focus on alignment can help to improve your posture and strengthen your core, which we use in so many aspects of our life! And, it can help reduce lower back pain and injury.

The breathing techniques taught in yoga can help bring more oxygen in your body and better control the way we move from one pose to another, and this is not something we generally learn in strength training and cardio routines. It can help us to improve our focus during movements, to increase our mindfulness during exercise to get more out of the movements and classes!

Yoga also increases our overall flexibility = better range of motion so we can reach higher and squat lower!  

It’s a well-rounded approach

And let’s not forget about that calm and peaceful feeling after a good yoga sesh! Yoga nourishes the body, mind, and soul, unlike any other exercise form. It can help to improve mental health, reduce anxiety and stress, and help you re-focus your energy in a really positive way.


So , our challenge to you this week is to give one of our yoga classes a try! Follow up your strength and cardio workouts with yoga for a beautifully balanced workout. And, make sure to let us know what you think and how you feel afterwards.

For the full schedule of classes and to sign up click on the link below!

See you at the studio!

- Sobia

Sobia Nusrat

Hi I’m Sobia and I teach yoga, Pilates and Zumba. My work-out philosophy is all about moving mindfully and working my body in different ways to keep myself healthy and fit and I bring the same approach to my classes. And I love being a part of the AWESOME Loyobo Family :)

Thinking about trying a Yoga class? Here's a few things to know!

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We totally get it - trying a yoga class can feel overwhelming. The pose names sound unfamiliar and are sometimes presented in a different language, and it can feel like everyone in the class seems to know what they are doing - except you! Although it might feel uncomfortable at first, the health benefits of yoga (which has been around for thousands of years), are plentiful and worth it! We promise. :)

To help you feel more comfortable coming to try out a class, we asked a brand new yoga participant what their top burning questions are about starting a yoga practice. Read below for our answers!  

What are the benefits?

Although many people roll out their mat the first time thinking about the physical benefits, traditionally yoga is about so much more. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system. In addition, yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other physical benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone.

Do I have to be flexible to do it?

No! Yoga is a practice of building flexibility, among other things. So come as you are, flexible or not, and you will soon start to see improvements in your range of motion!


Our instructors are always willing to provide modifications to those who are just starting out, and you can also use props like a yoga block to help you feel supported in certain poses.

Where do I start?

It can be intimidating to try something new. That’s why all our yoga classes can be adapted to the participant. The best way to start is to try a class! The instructor can give you lots of options and demonstrates the movements so you will be able to follow along.

Let go of the idea that you have to do it all “right” on the first try! Just show up with a curious mind and enjoy the freedom of movement that can happen when you let go of being perfect and getting it right. If you want to prepare in advance, you can read about different types of yoga or look up poses online before your first class, but it really isn’t necessary.

An example of a child’s pose. Hips tilted back towards the heels, arms stretched out overhead to open up the back and chest, resting the forehead on the mat or a block can be used to support as well.

An example of a child’s pose. Hips tilted back towards the heels, arms stretched out overhead to open up the back and chest, resting the forehead on the mat or a block can be used to support as well.

What are the poses I need to know to get started?

Some of the most common poses found in most yoga classes include child’s pose, downward facing dog, warrior poses, and sun salutations.

If you want to learn these basics poses before attending your first class, we will be hosting a Beginner Yoga Workshop in the Spring. This will be a great opportunity for you to ask questions and get your feet wet before diving all the way in!

What should I expect in my first class?

In your first class, focus as much as you can on your breathing. The instructor will explain and demonstrate different poses, but don’t worry if you can’t do them all on the first try. Yoga is an ongoing practice, and the intention as you start should be around getting into and feeling your body and learning the breathing techniques.

We hope this answers some of your questions about yoga and eases your mind on what to expect in your first class. If you have any questions that we didn’t answer here, feel free to leave a comment or email us at

Hope to see you on your mat soon!

- Jen Oke

Group Fitness & Yoga Instructor at Loyobo FIT


5 Easy Tips to Avoid Overindulging & Reduce Stress During the Holiday Season

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Hello everyone!

It is that time of year - the days are shorter and darker, our weekends are taken up by family get togethers and Christmas events, and the temptation to overindulge on holiday treats is almost ever present.

It’s a stressful time of year for a lot of people, so we wanted to share 5 tips to help you keep your sanity, avoid the post-holiday guilt, and help you to make it through the next few weeks.

1. Set your boundaries and remember to put your own health as a priority.

This is so important and why we put it first on the list. There is a lot of pressure over the holidays to participate in family functions, work events, or other types of social gatherings. It is so crucial to remember that you always have the power to set your boundaries and say no!

If something causes you a lot of discomfort, anxiety or feels more like an obligation rather than something that you enjoy, it is perfectly okay to politely decline an invite or to say no without giving a reason.

Depending on who is hosting the event and your relationship with them, you can even be honest and let them know that you appreciate the gesture and their desire to include you, but you are taking steps to make sure you are managing your stress over the holiday season which means limiting the amount of events you commit yourself to. Maybe even suggest a post-holiday get together instead, when things aren’t so busy.

If the person cares about you and your well-being, they will understand and appreciate your honesty.


So often we let ourselves slip to the bottom of the priority list during the holidays and it is so important to stay as consistent as possible and put yourself first! Your sanity and well being matters, so say no! :) And feel good about doing it.

This also means, don’t let your routine or habits completely fall off the wagon! Keep getting out to class, doing your yoga, taking your supplements, and moving your body. While it is okay to have days off, don’t think of the holiday season as a write off. It makes it so much harder to get back on track in January. Instead, make a plan and stick to it!

If you have trouble, don’t be afraid to reach out to a coach - that is what we are here for! We can help you find a balance and create a personalized strategy of helping you continue to make progress in your goals, even when life gets a bit more chaotic.

2. Get lots of sleep.

When we are tired, we are more susceptible to feeling stressed, making food choices that may not make us feel great, and frankly - feeling crabby and moody!

Holiday parties and family get togethers often mean late nights, so try to manage this as best as you can by planning ahead. Before leaving for an event, plan your exit time and try to stick with it, even if you feel pressured to say later (set those boundaries!). Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and you your body will thank you!

3. Avoid late night snacks.
This tip goes hand and hand with #2 - avoid eating and drinking late at night! Research has shown that hunger is perceived to be stronger in the evening, and stress hormones exacerbate the intensity of these cravings…. meaning you may not actually be hungry even though you are feeling the need to binge!


Research also shows that our bodies benefit from a period of fasting overnight, because then our body can focus on healing itself when we sleep and regenerating cells rather than digesting the food we ate.

So, once again, plan ahead and set a cut off time that allows you to get between 8 and 15 hours of fasting and you will feel so much better in the morning - in so many ways!

Seriously - a little bit of planning can go a long way and will help set you up for a successful, stress-free, happy holiday season!

4. Be conscious and choose your indulgences wisely!

Don’t eat something just because its there. Just because a coworker brought something in, or you are looking at a table filled with goodies doesn’t mean you have to indulge in everything!

We aren’t telling you to avoid it all, but just choose wisely. Ask yourself if it is something you really want and will enjoy, or is it just tempting because its there?

I jokingly call this the “waste of calories” line of thought. If there is a treat that you know you absolutely love, then yes - go ahead and indulge. Enjoy it and savor that moment! That is what life is all about and you don’t want to feel overly deprived.

But, if its a cheap sugary treat that you don’t even really like that much - then don’t waste the calories! Save it for the good stuff and you will feel way more satisfied (and less of the guilt!).


5. Drink lots of water and be mindful of sugary drinks!

There are many holiday cocktails and beverages that are very high in sugar: eggnog, hot chocolate, alcohols and liqueurs, artificial fruit juices, etc. Liquids can be a sneaky source of calories that are often consumed quickly, without a lot of thought.

So, be mindful of what and how much you are drinking! These drinks can cause your blood sugar to spike, which can again increase feelings

of hunger, stress and make you feel not so great - especially the for the morning after.

Try enjoying a glass of water before and after each alcoholic beverage at a party, or use a smaller glass size and limit the number that you have. It may also help to take magnesium, vitamin B and/or C supplements before bed, which helps the body to metabolize the alcohol.

What are some of the ways that you use to reduce stress over the holiday season?

We would love to hear from you so please make sure to leave a comment down below. :)

Of course - if you need us, we are always here for you so don’t be afraid to reach out.

We truly hope you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with family, friends and lots of joy.

See you in class!

- Courtney
Owner & Founder of Loyobo FIT