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Hypnotherapy Personal Training Weight loss

Need help with weight loss in 2020?

At this time of year, people often start stressing about indulging in too much food and drink and worry about falling out of their usual exercise routine. We totally get it!

However, no matter how much you’ve overindulged, please don’t turn to crash diets, diet pills, potions, detoxes, juices, or any other crap that tells you to stop consuming food in the name of losing weight! These ‘solutions’ aren’t the answer and you’ll only be wasting your money.

The healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a little less, move a little more and address any non-nourishment reasons for eating. Anything else is short term and won’t last.

If you would like some help with losing weight, we can help. We’ve got yoga and pilates classes to get you moving more, personal training for those who need more motivation, expert advice and some personal targets to hit, and weight loss hypnotherapy to work through those non-nourishment reasons for eating. Are you ready to start your journey towards losing that weight for good? We’ve got your back and you’ve got this! 

Get in touch

Contact us to ask about hypnotherapy for weight loss, personal training for weight loss or yoga and pilates classes.

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Personal Training Pilates Yoga

A Christmas workout

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our clients. May 2020 be a year filled full of achieved goals and happiness. If you’ve been following our 12 Days of Fitmas on social media, today’s bonus challenge is to stitch the videos together to create a festive workout for yourself. We recommend playing the videos in the order below. If you would like to automatically play the videos in this order without a break, we’ve also created a playlist for you on YouTube.

Day 1 – Pilates Posture
Day 7 – Pilates Warm-Up
Day 2 – Tree Pose
Day 8 – Lunges
Day 9 – Wall Sit
Day 10 – Towel Curl
Day 6 – Mobility
Day 11 – Half Burpee Bop
Day 4 – Boat Pose
Day 12 – Relax and Restore Meditation

Use Day 3 (Walking) and Day 5 (Look after yourself) on days when you’re feeling stressed and need to get out of the house.

Day 3 – Walking
Day 5 – Look After Yourself

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone. See you in January!

Contact us

To book yoga and pilates classes for the new year, visit our booking page. To book personal training, hypnotherapy or yoga/pilates one-to-ones, contact us.

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Personal Training Yoga

Can I just do yoga?

Written by Nat Young – Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist, Fitness Instructor and Yoga Teacher

This is a question I’m often asked and the short answer is “of course you can!” but whether you’ll reach your fitness goals with ‘just yoga’ is another question. Let me explain…

A well-rounded fitness programme will consist of exercises for strength, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. The NHS regards yoga as a strength building exercise (as well as the obvious benefits to flexibility), however, not all yoga is equal. If you’re doing Yin-style yoga, that’s not strength-based at all as it’s focused on flexibility of the joints and connective tissues. However, a strong Hatha, Vinyasa or Power inspired yoga practice such as our fitness-focused yoga classes is a different story! You’ll get strength benefits from these faster, stronger styles.

An important distinction to make is that all yoga is bodyweight-based so you won’t get the same ‘tone’ that you get from lifting weights (think ‘long and lean’ muscles!) In terms of lifting weights, how you lift them is important. Lighter weights and high repetitions such as those you might find in a studio weights class such as Body Pump will help with muscular endurance (so you train your body to be able to continue when it gets tired) but heavier weights and low repetitions such as those in a gym-based environment are better for building size and ultimate strength. Building muscle is also great if your goal is weight loss as a higher muscle mass will boost metabolism.

Lots of ladies worry about lifting heavier weights in case they bulk up too much but rest assured, it’s much harder for women to bulk up as we don’t have the high levels of testosterone that our male counterparts have. Yoga also doesn’t have a lot of pulling movements (it’s mainly pushing movements) so supplementing your yoga practice with exercises like lat pulldowns or rows can really help to keep the balance.

From a cardio fitness perspective, you’ll get some benefit from a faster paced yoga class but really it’s best to supplement your yoga practice with some dedicated heart-rate raising activities as well. Cycling, swimming, running or simply walking briskly are all fantastic for this. As long as you feel yourself getting breathless with the effort, it’ll be increasing your cardio fitness.

While balance is important to make your fitness goals a reality, it’s also important to choose forms of exercise that you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick with your exercise regime if you look forward to doing it! Consistency is key.

At Aurora we know all-round fitness is important, whether it’s physical fitness or mind fitness. That’s why we offer personal training and hypnotherapy as well as yoga. Why not get in touch to see how we could help with your mind and body fitness goals?

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Personal Training Sports Performance Hypnotherapy

Sports performance: The importance of mind fitness

Written by Nat Young – Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist and Yoga Teacher

Sports performance hypnotherapy
Nat Young, 2013

This is a picture of me after finishing the second leg of my first triathlon. It was a double super sprint distance – one super sprint triathlon in the morning, followed by another in the afternoon. It was also perhaps the scariest event I’ve ever taken part in due to the open water swim. I had only ever swam in open water once and that was about a week before the event (I won a place on the event the week before, so basically went into the event with no specific tri training!) 

It’s amazing how much we can achieve with sheer determination but one thing’s for certain – I couldn’t have got through it without Nick’s coaching support in the week leading up to the event. The ability to provide this kind of support isn’t easily learned but Nick is a natural coach at heart. This is what makes him a fantastic Personal Trainer!

Mind challenges

While competing, I also gained a huge appreciation for the mind challenges you experience, especially when you don’t feel prepared for your event. I’d taken part in several running events before the tri and had been lucky enough to have the time to physically prepare for all of them. This event therefore felt very different – I had one week to get ready. Being something new that I had never done before, I was already feeling outside of my comfort zone. Then there were all the ‘monkey chatter’ thoughts over whether I was up to the challenge and whether I’d made a mistake by choosing to compete with no specific training. My determination combined with Nick’s coaching got me through that. Then there were the thoughts I had as I was competing – with Nick watching from the sidelines, dealing with these was all down to me. ‘That person is in front of me – I need to beat them’, ‘Argghh why can’t I swim as fast as everyone else?’ , ‘My legs hurt’, ‘I feel sick’, ‘It’s really hot’, ‘Oh crap I’m hungry’. You get the idea…

Mental preparation

While I now have training in sports performance hypnotherapy and understand the science behind mind fitness, no amount of experiential training is a substitute for the experience you gain out there, experiencing those mental challenges for yourself. The whole experience taught me that mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation, if not more so. Without it, I don’t think I would have got over the finish line.

Get in touch

If you’re looking for a Personal Trainer or sports performance hypnotherapist to support you through your next fitness challenge (especially if that challenge is overcoming the barriers to get started), please get in contact so we can have an informal chat about how we can help you meet your goals. We can help you #getmindandbodyfit!

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Goal setting Personal Training Sports Performance Hypnotherapy Yoga

The Strength of the Human Spirit

Written by Nick Young – Personal Trainer.

What a weekend for sport! We had the cricket world cup where England won by the slimmest of margins. We had Wimbledon, where Djokovic won the men’s singles in a thrilling finale, again by very slim margins. And we had a Lewis Hamilton victory at Silverstone, where victory was decided by the timing of a safety car.

On a personal level I was delighted to help out Natalie this weekend at base camp for @racetothestones – a 100km trail run  along the Ridgeway, the oldest path in  the UK – where she was providing a much needed and welcome yoga based stretching programme for the entrants at the end of day one. And what an experience that was!

One thing jumped out at me in this very difficult event where I meandered and talked to some of the participants. There were young and old, male and female, supremely fit athletes looking for a personal best and relative beginners doing it for a good cause alike taking part, but with a shared sense of destiny and achievement. I was in awe of these competitors, and their ability and determinedness to work through their pain and tiredness to achieve the goal they had set out.

Self-Belief

What do all these winning people have in common? Well I think there’s a couple of things. The first thing is belief. As humans, we are all capable of way more than we think we are, we just have to believe in ourselves. Whether you’re a sportsperson taking part in your first or 100th event, or even in the business world or any other part of your life, with the right mental attitude and preparation you will be better at it.

That’s one of the things that elevate Lewis Hamilton or Novak Djokovic above the rest. As a personal trainer I of course know the science behind improving your performance or physical wellbeing. But a much harder nut to crack is the self-belief that you can do it.

Supporting roles

The second thing is the support they have built around themselves. Take a look at any top sporting star and it’s clear they haven’t achieved their goals alone. They have family, coaches, physios, nutritionists and many more among their entourage. These supporting individuals have a hugely important part to play in the success of these top stars.

That’s where I come in as a supporting player in your success. We may not all be sporting superstars, but we are all amazing in our own way. Using various tools such as coaching, goal setting and targeted sports performance hypnotherapy with Natalie, it is my privilege to work with you to bring out the best in you, to help you gain that self-belief and physical fitness that will elevate you beyond what you thought possible.

Any personal trainer (including me!) can come along and give you lots of exercises to do which will make you tired, and may make you stronger and fitter, at least in the short term. But as you can see, the fitness aspect is only one part of achieving your goals. Let’s work on those goals together.

For more information on personal training or personal coaching, click here or contact us for an informal chat.

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News Personal Training

Nick’s journey to personal trainer

Written by Nick Young – Personal Trainer.

Hi, I’m Nick, Aurora Mind and Body’s personal trainer and I’d like to tell you a little bit about me. You may have noticed over the last month or so that I’ve written a few blog posts at Aurora Mind and Body, but I realised I haven’t formally introduced myself. Today (19th May) is world IBD day, a subject that is near to my heart. IBD is totally ingrained in who I am, so this seemed like a good day to do it.

Looking back to my younger days I was quite an active child growing up but at the age of 16 while studying for GCSE exams, I began experiencing some worrying symptoms which would change my life forever. With numerous trips to and from the hospital to see specialists for tests, I was eventually diagnosed with a condition called Ulcerative Colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis

This condition is one of the main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and is often discussed as a condition that causes ulceration and bleeding of the lining of rectum and colon. As with many other autoimmune disorders it can affect the body in other ways too, such as fatigue, pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and anemia. I have experienced all of these symptoms.

While there is no cure, the symptoms can often be managed with medication although surgery can often be the end result. In my case, at the age of 17 I’d had so much time off through ill health and hospital stays and visits, that I left college early. When my symptoms were more under control through an extensive cocktail of drugs, I entered the world of full time work.  

Fast forwarding a few years, I started a career in the computer software industry, where I remain today. This is a varied and interesting job with many facets. Many hours of my day are spent sitting in front of computer screens looking at data, writing software, building and testing computer code and helping customers with queries. But one of the mainstays is that it’s quite a sedentary job and as I have to travel a long distance to work, I also spend quite a bit of time in the car.

Sedentary lifestyle

Many years of doing this, on top of the medication and a lack of physical activity on my part all took its toll on my body. Now into my thirties, I had done no real strenuous activity for many years. At the age of 35, my elder son was a strong swimmer having learned at school and my younger son wanted to learn but the school no longer offered swimming lessons. So I overcame my fear of the water and we learned together in the baby pool at the Oasis!

The gym!

Realising I needed to become stronger to be a better swimmer and to better support (or keep up with!) the kids, Nat and I joined us all up to a local gym which also offered a nice swimming pool. Having never set foot in a gym before and not knowing what to do, we took up the opportunity of a gym induction and signed up for some personal training with an amazing lady who taught us how to use the gym equipment safely. She would go on to transform my relationship with exercise.

Macho me!

I remember that first training session well… I’ll never forget it. Ego and a brain that thought I was still 20 took over. I did everything that was asked of me and then some. And then the session was over and I realised that the gym was upstairs and I needed to walk downstairs. Oh dear! I suffered with muscle soreness for days afterwards. This was the point in time where something changed in me, as I had a stark realisation of just how unfit I had become. I needed to get fitter and stronger to set a good example to our kids and make sure I could carry on doing the things I enjoy doing into later life. Most importantly, I wanted to keep up with the kids as they grew up!

Why I became a personal trainer

Some years later I wouldn’t say I’m a well-oiled fitness machine like some people seem to be. But for the first time, I’m actually ok with that. We don’t all have to be elite athletes to enjoy life, to improve ourselves and our mental and physical wellbeing (which are all closely linked). For many people (me included), the world of fitness can be quite intimidating, especially as a newcomer and when you don’t know what you’re doing, the advice and support of a caring and knowledgeable fitness professional can make all the difference. I’m lucky that in my case I had lots of support from my personal trainer and from my family. This realisation was the reason I decided to study to become a personal trainer myself, to ‘pay it forward’ so I can help others on their physical and mental fitness journeys. I’m enjoying the challenge.

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Personal Training Yoga

Why health forms are important

Written by Nick Young – Personal Trainer.

Whether it’s a yoga class, a personal training session or other physical activity, if you’ve ever taken part in a session with Aurora Mind and Body, we’ll have asked you to fill out a form about your medical and exercise history and readiness to participate (as should all exercise professionals). There are a few reasons why we do this and it’s not because we enjoy paperwork! We may also need to ask you a couple of follow-up questions depending on your responses to the form. 

fitness health forms

Firstly, and most importantly, we need to ensure your safety. If you have a health condition, some forms of exercise may be unsuitable for you or even dangerous to your wellbeing. In such a circumstance we always aim to be empathetic and helpful  but we’re not doctors. If we don’t know what your condition means from an exercise perspective, please understand that we may ask you to see your doctor for clearance before participating in some cases. It’s a part of the REPs code of ethics that all exercise professionals sign up to, to train you ‘safely and effectively’.

Secondly, we want you to get the most out of your exercise. We recognise that you’ve made the effort to invest in your personal health and fitness, and we want to encourage that. With no two people the same, what one person finds easy, another person will find difficult. There are many different ways of getting the same exercise benefit and if we know about any aches, pains or ailments before your session, we can modify those exercises to work with your body rather than against it.


“…it’s not because we’re nosey but because we want to ensure your exercise is as safe and enjoyable as possible

Finally, we have to consider the legal aspect. Some conditions require special training and we’d be considered negligent if we trained you when we don’t have specialist knowledge of a condition or limitation you have.  To do otherwise would be contrary to the REPs code of ethics that we adhere to. It’s therefore important that you’ve taken medical advice if you answer ‘yes’ to any questions on your health form.

We also know that your health and fitness changes over time, so even if you’ve filled out a health form before, we ask that you let us know if anything changes. We may also ask you to fill out a new form if you haven’t filled one out for a while. So as you can see, health forms aren’t required because we’re nosey but rather because we want to ensure your exercise is as safe and enjoyable as possible!