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Hot Yoga Changed My Life After Experiencing Caregiver Burnout

A few months ago I felt that I would NEVER get back into my exercise and fitness lifestyle. I felt almost hopeless that I couldn't find the time to commit to any routine.

In between taking the kiddos to school, cooking, cleaning, bath time and a little one still under one year...I felt my routine was based around the kids.

Not to mention that I was STILL recovering from child-birth. I'm not sure how some mom's loose all that baby weight, get toned and have a 6 pack almost after having a baby.

Anyways, with all of the pressure of motherhood weighing on my shoulders, I felt more than ever to get some 'me' time.

Yes, I know what you are thinking..."a mom never gets 'me' time". And you are totally right. I can't even go to the bathroom without little hands under the door, or someone asking me to button up their pants for them.

But, I strongly believe that if us mom's can't take care of ourselves then how are we going to have the energy and mental clarity to even focus on taking care of others?

The caregiver burnout is a real thing.

Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. It may be accompanied by a change in attitude, from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially.

The Cleveland Clinic explains the caregiver burnout so well. Caregiver burnout "is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. It may be accompanied by a change in attitude, from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don't get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially".

Like me, I'm sure every new mom has likely—at one point or another—felt as though she can't take on just one task. Don't get me wrong, having a baby is absolutely wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

But taking care of a little person every single waking minute of the day is tiring.

Not to mention those feelings that you get when you're on the edge of losing it or like the weight of everything (baby's schedule, dishes in the sink, work you have to do today..) And that's not even the end of the list!

Of course, caregiver burnout doesn't just come about from a long list of tasks. There is a lot of emotions and mental load of life with a new baby and with kids is exhausting in ways others might not see.

It's important to know that the signs of burnout can start small and grow at varying paces depending on other life situations.

Especially if you have a new baby in the home opportunities for rest and taking time for you is essential. It really does depend on how much support you have. I was lucky to have a good support system after I gave birth to lessen the mental load, but some couples might not have that.

Symptoms differ from person to person but feeling stressed (physically and emotionally) is probably the biggest starting symptom to each of these most common signs of burnout:

  • Withdrawing from others

  • Losing interest in things you once loved

  • Sleep problems

  • Changes in appetite

  • Feeling exhausted or like you have low energy

  • Having trouble controlling your worries

  • Feeling less hope

  • Feeling emotional—sadness, irritability, or anxiety

  • Feeling like you need a break (more than just wanting a break)

It is so important to be able to have downtime structured in our lives in order to function well. Something that I have learned throughout four pregnancies that is that you don't always have to be busy when the kids are asleep.

For example, if your baby is taking a nap, just lay with her and cuddle. You can enjoy quiet time holding and cuddling your baby while reading a book or watching your favorite movie.

This lets you get the quiet time you need to be a better parent while letting your baby get the safety and security of having you there next to them.

Hot Yoga, Here I come!

The standard practice of yoga is something that most people are aware of. According to research conducted by Yoga Alliance in 2016, a survey estimated that 36 million Americans practice some form of yoga. That was up from 20.4 million in 2012.

Hot yoga is practiced in a similar way to standard yoga and you still incorporate a range of poses into your session. Hot Yoga actually uses high temperatures in order to promote more sweating, unlike standard form of yoga.

An average hot yoga class can range from 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. By using heat, the muscles are able to stretch further and you become more flexiable.

Now that you have a little background info about Hot Yoga, you might be wondering what does Hot Yoga have to do with caregiver burnout?

It has everything to do with caregiver burnout.

Before my youngest daughter was born, I was doing a lot of HITT training and cardio. Obviously, I couldn't just dive right into my old routine after not being active in over a year.

I had decided to take Hot Yoga as a way to build up my health and fitness routine AND to prevent caregiver burnout. I had already found myself on medication for anxiety, so I knew I needed an 'outlet'.

I was also starting to experience some of the other symptoms of caregiver burnout such as sleep problems, withdrawing from others and my eating habits changed. I needed help.

I will share what I had learned from my experiences in Hot Yoga classes and tips if you decide to try it out for yourself.

Two Different Types of Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is a form of yoga performed in hot and humid conditions. There are two types of hot yoga: Bikram and Vinyasa yoga.

The exercise was developed by Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga in the 1970s. Bikram developed the roots of hot yoga from the traditional hatha yoga practice.

The hot temperature in hot yoga was devised to simulate the intense temperatures of India.

The other key type of hot yoga is called Vinyasa. The difference between Bikram and Vinyasa is the transition from one pose to the next. Within the Vinyasa Yoga, the movements flow from one pose to another.

Vinyasa hot yoga also offered more variety. The structure of the classes was less rigid and can be found in a variety of studios.

The heated Vinyasa classes are normally taught at a temperature of 95-98 degrees Fahrenheit and the slightly lower temperatures make Vinyasa yoga more suitable for beginners..

Benefits of Hot Yoga

Flexibility: You are able to move deeper into their stretches.

Cardiovascular health: More strenuous and help to burn more calories

Breathing: Help increase your lung capacity over time.

Sleep quality: Help improve their sleep quality.

Stress reduction: Reduced stress levels.

General wellbeing: Strengthens the heart, clears out the veins, cleanses impurities from the body, and boosts the immune system

My experience with Hot Yoga

Hot Yoga can be scary or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Just like with any workout, you are always in control. Everyone was a beginner at some point. It just takes simple courage and the right mindset.

After I, myself, had gathered my thoughts and courage, I had enrolled in a popular Hot Yoga Studio and signed up for a In-Studio Membership so I can get 4 Hot Yoga Classes a month.

The price wasn't bad either. It was about $80 a month, which is about $20 per class. It was actually one of the cheaper Yoga Studios where I live, but I'm glad I spent the money, because it was well worth going.

My instructor recommended that I arrive at least 10 minutes early to enjoy the heated room prior to class starting. This was actually a very nice, calming experience. Especially with the anxiety that I was experiencing starting something new.

I was asked to bring a yoga mat, bath sized towel and water.

The Hot Yoga class was an hour long, which was a perfect way for me to get away, feel like I'm getting in some exercise and try to relax at the same time.

You might can find classes that are 90 minutes long, but it's always good to check with hot yoga studios near you.

The instructors there were really amazing and were so incredibly knowledgeable. I couldn't ask for better instructors. I made them aware that I was entirely new to yoga, especially Hot Yoga, and they were so patient and kind. Not to mention it was a really good calorie burning exercise.

I honestly thought I would never go to a Regular Yoga class, or even a Hot Yoga class...but, I think this is something that I will be able to stick with a make it apart of my health and fitness routine.

General Hot Yoga Safety Tips

  • Stay hydrated

  • Wear breathable and lightweight clothing.

  • Pay close attention to how your body is feeling throughout the class.

  • Stop straight away if you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy. Leave the room and recharge in a cooler location.

  • If you have pre-existing health conditions, yoga at a normal temperature is heavily advised, or you can talk to your doctor before hand.

Have you tried Hot Yoga? If not, would you be willing to try it? Why or Why not? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!

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