The Essential Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Doing Hot Yoga

For all of you with a desire to try hot yoga, I highly recommend it.  It adds an element to yoga that helps you to stretch your muscles further, with a multitude of various other benefits.  So many people are nervous or afraid to try yoga because they are intimidated and have no idea what to expect.  However, it’s so worth taking that risk, as there are so many benefits of yoga, from physical to emotional to psychological.  In lieu of my certification to teach yoga in 2014 & my new(ish) blog Trends & Trikonasanas (oh yes, I went there…) dedicated to all things related to health & wellness, I felt inspired to try to take some worrisome aspect out of attending a yoga class by providing a simple template on what to wear (and some other good-to-know tidbits).  Oh, and if you’re in the Minnesota area, be sure to check out MNYoga Magazine– it’s free!- where in this month’s issue, I highlight tips for what to wear to and from the studio (or you can read the online version here)!

Hot Yoga
Hot yoga was one of those things that were on my perpetual bucket list, along with skydiving and traveling the world.  Finally, one day I just went.  And fell in love, completely.
aesthetics
Before you go, you should be aware of a few things:
Wear spandex.
There are a lot of positions where you are either folding forward or back, and trying to hold your baggy shirt from coming over your head isn’t fun (not to mention dangerous).  Many women choose to wear a sports bra and yoga capris or shorts.  Baggy pants will get weighed down by your sweat and add a lot of weight, not to mention will cause the same problem as with a baggy shirt.
Bring a towel.
Many studios will have mats to rent (which is convenient for your first couple times), and some may have yoga towels.  If not, you can use a regular towel, however, the dimensions are different than a yoga mat, making it much shorter and wider.  Again, it is fine to do this for your first time, but you’ll want to get a towel as you continue your yoga practice.  I swear by my Yogi Toes towel.
No shoes.
The rules that apply in daily life are totally different in yoga studios.  No shoes, no shirt, no problem (of course, this means women should wear a sports bra…).  When you enter, you’ll most likely remove your shoes in a designated place near the door.  I’ve never had any shoes taken or misplaced, as most studios lock the doors when class begins, but if you are worried, you can remove your shoes and leave them in your locker (on that note, most studios have locks you can use, but if you’re worried, bring your own to err on the cautious side).  Some people bring a pair of flip flops to walk around the lobby and locker rooms in so that they don’t have to be barefoot.  Either way, shoes and socks are basically not allowed in the yoga studio because they will make you slip.  If this totally freaks you out, you can get a pair of yoga socks, like these Gaiam ones, that have slip-resistant grips on the bottom.
Stay hydrated.
Many people make the mistake of not drinking any water until they get to class.  The key is to stay hydrated beforehand, which will make the heat much more comfortable.  In addition to drinking water, eat foods with a high water content to replenish electrolytes, especially after, such as grapes, pineapple, watermelon, and spinach.  If you’re really nervous, I recommend buying one of those big bottles of water that have electrolytes added, such as Smart Water.
Eat before, but not within 1-2 hours.
Eat lightly before to give your body energy, but give your digestive system at least an hour, preferably two, to rest after eating a large meal before moving your body in yoga.  If you need a pick me up within two hours before, choose a potassium-rich banana, an avocado, or a light and healthy smoothie.
The smell.
There’s a bunch of people within close proximity of one another sweating in a 105 degrees Ferinheight room.  It’s just one of those things that happen.  Some studios are worse (ahem, Bikram carpeted floors…) and some aren’t even noticeable.
The heat.
As mentioned, most hot yoga studios are set to 105 degrees Ferinheight with around 40% humidity.  For your first class, I would recommend taking a place closer to the back near the door or windows, as it is usually much cooler there.
The sweat.
You will sweat, some more than others- especially if you use body lotion.  Trying to fight it is futile…  You’ll only sweat more.  Nonetheless, the sweat acts as an amazing detoxifier for your skin, and makes the poses easier to get into, as there’s no friction as there tends to be with dry skin.
Workout Wear: Yoga Edition #2
Now that I’ve totally freaked you out, just remember: you’ll be totally fine.  Seriously.  In fact, you will wake up the next day a new person.  And you’ll want to come back for more.  Trust me.
Workout Wear: Yoga Edition

The Perfect Post-Yoga Outfit

Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have any questions at all!  And be sure to check out Trends & Trikonasanas for tips on all things health & wellness!
xo
 

5 Simple Ways To Increase Your Happiness This Winter

With shorter days and less sunlight, colder temperatures that make it difficult to enjoy any time outside, and the holidays over, it is easy for us to lose sight of our health and happiness.

Trends & Tribulations

Here are 5 ways to become happier this winter season:

1. Enjoy nature.

Although nothing can beat laying out on the beach in the summer, the winter is exceptionally beautiful and can offer some very unique experiences.  Try snowshoeing in a woodsy area, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, skiing, or even gather some friends and go sledding.

This could SO totally be you!!

This could SO totally be you!!

2. Break a sweat.

The cold weather makes our muscles tense up.  Moving your body releases those muscles, which feels amazing.  Plus, exercising releases endorphins, which comes down to a happier you.

3. Be social.  

While it often sounds daunting to go out in the cold weather (especially here in the frozen tundra known as Minnesota), getting together with a friend for coffee, a hockey game, or going to a spin class together is important to stay happy.  Engaging with other people can make this time of the year feel a lot less lonely.

Taking an hour out of your day to grab coffee with a girlfriend can boost your mood instantly.

Taking an hour out of your day to grab coffee with a girlfriend can boost your mood instantly.

4. Eat right.  

Enjoy the food you eat, and make healthy choices that you will feel good about after you have eaten.  Everything in moderation…including moderation.

5. Find silence.

Sometimes all we really need this time of the year is a little quiet time to reflect.  Whether it’s through meditation or simply sitting in silence while working or driving, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of life can do wonders.

Trends & Tribulations

What are some things that make you happy throughout the winter season?

Your Guide to the Best Post-Holiday Detox Smoothie Recipes

As the holidays come to an end, we are so often faced with the consequences of overindulgence.  We often feel sluggish, bloated, tired, and depressed from all of the alcohol, sugars, stress, and late nights.

smoothies

Sometimes, all we need is to get back on the right track to help revitalize our energy levels and find mental clarity once again.

These super easy to make smoothies will kick-start your way back to health and wellness.  A morning smoothie is also a fantastic complement to a new fitness regime so many people begin in the new year.  Read on for customized smoothies to restore your energy and vitality, and bring a glow to your skin.

healthy smoothies

For Morning Energy:

Citrus Wake-Up:

Pineapple, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon

For Refueling Energy:

Chia Mango Peach:

Peach, Mango, Dates, Almond Milk, Chia Seeds

Chia Mango Peach Smoothie

For Your Green-Smoothie Fix:

Healthy Greens:

Spinach, ginger, apple, celery, parsley, water

For Finding Calm:

Root Down:

Red beets, Yellow beets, Carrot, Orange, Ginger

Root Down Smoothie

For Detoxifying Your Body:

Antioxidant Acai:

Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Dates, Acai, Coconut milk

For a Quick Pick-Me-Up:

Strawberry Banana Protein:

Almond milk, Strawberry, Banana, Shredded coconut, One scoop of Vegan protein

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

For Post-Travel Jet-Lag:

Tropical Cleanse:

Orange, Pineapple, Mango, Lemon, Dash of cayenne

Orange Smoothie

For Balancing Out Your Blood Sugar Levels:

Cinnamon Almond Dessert Smoothie:

Almond milk, Cashew, Banana, Cinnamon, Espresso, Dates

Cinnamon Almond Dessert Smoothie

What are your favorite post-holiday cleanse tips?

Designer Spotlight: Live The Process

Live the Process

The founder of Live The Process, Robyn Berkley, worked on the forefront of the luxury fashion and lifestyle industries for over 15 years before she began practicing yoga and incorporating clean eating and healing into her holistic lifestyle.  After thoroughly exploring the world of wellness, she created Live The Process, which is an online health and wellness resource for impossibly busy, but balance-seeking people, like herself.”

organic gemini

Enter Live The Process: a guide to wellness and holistic health from a curated group of experts in Beauty, Fitness, Meditation, Nutrition, Energy Therapies and Quantum Physics, as seen through a modernist lens.

Live The Process offers succinct, sage and simple tips for people at every stage of a wellness journey to integrate daily.  It’s a destination for those who aspire to wholeness, but who — while navigating this lightning fast, complicated world — can’t dedicate every moment of everyday to that pursuit.

Inspired by the site’s innovative approach to wellness, Live The Process will offer a luxury active-wear brand presenting a modern interpretation of classic active-wear essentials.

Live the Process

Their collection includes unitards, leotards, leggings, t-shirts, accessories, and more.  What I especially love about Live The Process is their blog posts and interviews with experts, under categories such as “Balance + Awaken”, dedicated to alternative healing, “Inspire + Share”, dedicated to nutrition, healing, and holistic beauty, “Primp + Shine”, dedicated to beauty, health, and style, “Roam + Discover”, dedicated to travel, and “Nourish + Build”, dedicated to health, fitness, and clean food.

What I love most about Live The Process is that it’s so much more than just an apparel brand.  The website is a great resource for learning about unique ways to live a more healthy life, and what could be better than that?

Check out Live The Process, and let me know what you think!

 

Beauty Routine: 4 Things You Should Add To Your Morning Smoothie

simplegreensmoothies.com

A while back, I did a post regarding a DIY Banana Date Smoothie, and want to let you lovely readers how to make your morning smoothie even healthier.  While I usually start my day with a Green Smoothie (i.e. spinach and/or kale/chard/various green base), I also add various energy supplements and superfood powders to enhance its optimum health power and start my day right.

1. Green Superfood Powder

Green Superfood Powder, $29.99 for 30 servings

Green Superfood Powder, $29.99 for 30 servings

Taking a green supplement, especially when ingested in it’s powder form, is a convenient way to include your daily intake of green vegetables in your daily diet.  Chlorophyll helps to aid in cell-repair, and helps to detox the damaging cells in your body.  It also helps to reduce inflammation, aid in restoring a healthy acid-alkaline balance in the body, and helps to neutralize free-radicals, among other benefits.  Altogether, this helps to keep your energy levels up and makes your skin appear brighter and healthier.

2. Chia Seeds

Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds, $10.99 for 12 oz.

Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds, $10.99 for 12 oz.

They aid in weight loss by reducing food cravings and provide hydration for your body.  They are the richest plant source in Omega-3, therefore reduce inflammation (ahem, bloating!), as well as protect against heart disease and arthritis.  Although they are about the size of a poppyseed, once they are ingested, they expand in your stomach to make you feel fuller longer!

3. Maca Powder

Maca Powder, $14.99 for 8 oz.

Maca Powder, $14.99 for 8 oz.

Maca powder is rich is Vitamins B, C, and E.  It is great for women, as it relieves mood swings, cramps, body pain, depression, menstrual issues, and menopause.  As a bonus, it totally increases sexual libido and increases endurance.  Not only so, it helps to balance your hormones and promote fertility.  Another bonus for your skin: it helps to clear acne and blemishes, and will help to reduce sensitivity, which causes redness.

4. Acai Juice

Zola Acai Juice, $29.99 for 12 servings

Zola Acai Juice, $29.99 for 12 servings

The Acai tree is a palm tree native to the Amazon rainforest.  Brazilian natives discovered the healing properties of Acai thousands of years ago when they found it boosted their energy levels.  It has extremely high antioxidant levels (more than blueberries, raspberries, or any other fruit), as well as contains the highest levels of anthocyanin, which is found in red and purple fruits (such as grapes and berries), than any other fruits.  Also, it helps to boost immune and metabolic function and removes free radicals from our bodies.  The Acai berry contains more protein than an egg, which helps to keep your hair shiny and skin glowing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.28.30 AM

Some other great boosts to add to your smoothies:

Cinnamon

Natural Vanilla

Cacao Powder

Coconut Oil

Note: All or most of these products can be found at your local natural foods store (i.e. Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, etc.).

What are your favorite things that give you an energy boost?