1. Sleep more.
Pretty self explanatory, albeit not easy. Aim for little changes and go to bed 15 minutes earlier one week, and then another 15 the following week. Voilà, within two weeks, you’ve added an extra 3.5 hours of zzzz to the bank, which is going to make a massive difference.
2. Drink water.
Somehow, we are divided into two camps, people who drink lots of water, and people who live on tea. If you’re the latter, try and grab a glass of water with your tea. Habit stack progressively. Week 1, glass of water with your morning tea, week 2, glass of water with morning tea and at lunch, week 3, glass of water with morning tea, at lunch and with dinner. Within three weeks, you’ve upped your water intake from zero to nearly a litre 🙂
3. Walk more.
Walking is great cross training. Super for cardio. Good for the mind also. If you hate walking, you can make it more of a you thing by treating yourself to a good podcast or audiobook while you do it. Again, 10 minutes is better than nothing.
4. While in class, don’t do phone time, especially not social media.
We’ve all done it. Rushed into class late, on the phone, texting, or doing work emails. We’ve also been in class uploading stories of our exploits in real time. What all of those do though is take us out of the moment, and you’ll have one of those where class is over without you really having noticed that you’re in it.
5. Stuck? Frustrated? Shit’s not making sense? Ask your instructor.
If you’re not having a good time with the content taught in class, or you are stuck with a particular nemesis move, the hardest thing you can do to yourself is struggle alone. Ask your instructor for advice, before, during or after class. It’s their job, and they love love love helping you achieve your goals, and seeing you have a good time.
6. Get daily sunlight and fresh air.
Even when it’s overcast, getting outside will help with so many things. Incidentally, being out in natural light in the day, even when it’s overcast, helps you sleep better at night. Fresh air gives you a bit of a boost. If you have the luxury of being near some trees or green space, bonus points of Mama Nature’s calming effect on the human nervous system. Again, even 5 minutes is better than nothing.
7. Take breaks and recover between tries.
This is done for you automatically when you share a pole/hoop/silk with someone else. Bit harder when you’re flying solo lol! However, going in on another round of choreo, or that trick that’s quite hard after you’ve rested for a minute of two, took a breather and shook it off, means you’ve got more in the tank. Five tries on 75% will yield more benefits to strength, endurance, skill acquisition and power than 12 goes on 15% 🙂
8. Get to know your cycle and how it *may* impact how you feel physically and emotionally.
For some people, their cycle has no impact on how they feel or perform, some people are impacted quite dramatically. Some are somewhere in the middle. Knowledge is power!
9. Film yourself to self-assess.
Sometimes, we just need to see ourselves to understand what we are not doing, and click, that move makes sense. Filming yourself in class, especially when there is no mirror, or you can’t focus on what you’re doing if you’re simultaneously trying to check yourself out, your phone camera is your friend.
All to often we take a breath in, then go “hup”, and end up with a bright red face because we just did a 20 second sequence and haven’t breathed in or out. Breath will not just make everything more comfortable, but it’s also a great indicator on “readiness” for certain strength or flexibility holds. If you cannot physically breathe in a pose, even when trying to, a progression or variation that enables you to maintain a steady breath is what to go for to practice safely 🙂