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In my twenties living in LA, I had the best selection of yoga classes to choose from. Then I found Mary Beth LaRue’s class: a mix of softness, creative flow, and sweat combined with amazing music and her majorly meditative voice. Everything changed.
I remember when I would attend her classes in Venice Beach. I would try to keep my zen as beads of sweat started rolling out of every single pore on my body. I could feel the frown on my face saying, how long are you going to have us hold this boat pose? She would then call me out and remind the class to release the furrowed brow and breathe, breathe again because everything is a choice.
At around forty minutes into class, I finally found that I could breathe deeper, feel deeper and my sweat started to become a nod to the work I was doing—both physically and mentally. When you soften into your body, listen to your breath and feel the bliss in puppy dog pose (my favorite), that’s the mental sweat of yoga.
I connected with my now best friend Mary Beth, renown yoga teacher, Yoga Journal cover model, and my Rock Your Bliss business partner, to explore the five yoga poses that help me get my sweat on and elevate my practice, in both the physical and mental space. Grab a mat, get ready to flow and enjoy!
Hold on both sides for one minute each. If you can, extend your arms forward while flexing your lifted foot. Engage your core and breathe deeply. See if you can stay in this pose and in a compassionate headspace, even when challenged.
Hold for one minute and see if you can work up to two. If you’d like to engage your transverse abdominus more, tilt your hips an inch to the right then to the left, continuing for thirty seconds. Remember deep, deep breaths.
Balance in your sit bones as you hold here. You can keep knees bent and lift your chest high. Option to work toward straight legs. Hold for one minute.
Come into Downward-facing dog on your forearms. Spin your biceps forward and triceps back. If it feels okay in your neck, look forward toward your fingertips. Hold for one minute, then take child’s pose. Repeat once more.
As you come into downward-facing dog, bend your elbows with your forearms above the floor. Take five deep breaths. Rest and repeat twice more.
No matter where your skill level is at, the poses you practice can only better your well-being. Here’s to finding your flow (and a little sweat). Namaste!
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!