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The following is a guest article from the internal Mindbody community.
Our world has turned upside down and not so much in the fun, handstand kind of way. We’ve been asked to stay inside, away from our local communities and our normal routines. As a student, not having access to my favorite yoga classes has been hard on both my body and mind (missing that hot yoga therapy sesh, le sigh). As an instructor, I worry about my peers’ livelihoods as their work comes to a halt.
The studio experience has been taken away from us.
In its absence is the opportunity to share our local favorites beyond their city limits. We have a chance to support our communities in new ways. We do that by sharing and participating in their efforts to deliver movement in innovative ways. We do that by offering support beyond our memberships. It’s up to us to help keep our small businesses afloat and our robust communities alive. The ask? Find new ways to support your favorite studios. Participate in the offerings they have created and share what they are doing. Connect with others about your experiences.
Got it? Okay, I’ll start. Here are mine.
Shine Yoga Studios
For you fellow yogis out there, this is my “home studio”. This Northern California studio is committed to its students’ home practice. Not only are they selling blocks, bolsters and mats for at-home use (prop-heavy savasana forever), but they are offering free yoga and barre classes via Vimeo. Live classes are also available. Sign up through the Mindbody app.
SLO Yoga Center
All you need is a Mindbody account to get access to this location's digital studio, where they feature nine free classes, ranging from gentle yoga to HIIT Pilates. Do yourself a favor and take the Flow and Stretch yoga class after a long day of #wfh (trust).
This beachy studio packs a huge punch. Join their Patreon for classes from the studio’s larger-than-life owner, starting at four minutes all the way up to a full, 60-minute sweat. Keep a lookout for live classes, promoted on their Instagram.
Spark Flow? Yoga Sculpt? Bootcamp? This studio’s variety will keep your body guessing. You will break a sweat with their free digital offerings - cough, cough, Power Flow. A mat towel is a must.
This Nebraskan studio has offered its community a virtual studio for years. Within the last week, they’ve added 120 percent more content (think yoga nidra, cycle, meditation, even audio runs). They even offer virtual kids classes, too!
Brass tacks: Studios can use your help financially. There are many ways to support your second homes during this trying time. I've actually seen friends send their favorite instructors (and stylists for that matter) support via Venmo. People are getting clever, and the outpouring of support is amazing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to see how you can help. It’s up to us to keep our communities alive as more and more of us shelter in place.
These are trying times, but we will get through it together, one virtual down dog at a time.
What are your favorite studios doing to keep their community connected and moving? Tell us (and tag us) on @Mindbody!
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes (or ones you've always wanted to try). Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.