How to experience the ultimate wellness in the City of Angels.
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When it comes to our favorite weekend plans, getting a good sweat session in is always part of the agenda. But then again, so is brunch. It’s a San Fransisco staple. No matter the neighborhood, there’s always an awesome fitness class (and food spot) to feed your routine.
Whether you’re gathering the girls for self-care Saturday or looking to treat yourself to a new workout and tasty meal that won’t leave you feeling too guilty, here are our five must-try fitness studios and go-to brunch spots that are only a few blocks away.
Love Story Yoga + Loló
Neighborhood: The Mission
Full of soul, sophistication, and community, Love Story Yoga is everything we want (and love) when it comes to where and how we practice. Located on Valencia Street in the Mission, this beautiful and spacious studio is a trendy hotspot—literally. While you can score a great deal on a class at Love Story, we recommend booking ahead and bringing an extra towel because it gets *really* warm. After your flow, cool down as you wander a few blocks to Loló. With a Mexican-influenced cuisine, their colorful weekend brunch menu is on point. Our must-try? The crisp and cool kale salad.
Salt Fitness + The Grind Café
Neighborhood: Lower Haight
The name of this beautiful studio might imply you’re going to sweat—and that’s the truth. Offering a variety of the hottest HIIT group fitness classes, your muscles will definitely feel the burn at this go-to spot in Haight. If you’re looking to try something new that will kick your wellness routine up a notch, we suggest signing up for Barre Fight. This 60-minute full-body class is all about dynamic flexibility by fusing the benefits of kickboxing with barre. After you work those muscles, stretch it out and stroll over to The Grind Café where you can snack on local eats by neighborhood vendors.
MNTSTUDIO + Marlowe
A class at this chic Pilates studio is guaranteed to make your muscles shake, but in the most Instagramable workout space ever. Sweat it out with a low-impact workout that challenges all fitness levels. Instructors will have you focus on small, sculpting movements so you make the most of your Reformer machine. After class, your body will feel re-energized and renewed, just in time to walk through SoMa. A hip feast at Marlowe is the perfect compliment to your MNTStudio sweat session. Though SoMa gets a little quieter on the weekends, this restaurant is *always* crowded for Sunday brunch and lunch. We should add that no meal is complete without a Warm Deviled Egg.
Basecamp Studio + Blue Barn Gourmet
Neighborhood: Russian Hill
6 min walk
All you need is 35-minutes, and you’ll get a heart-pumping workout session at Basecamp Fitness. With a variety of HIIT classes that feature elements of balance, endurance, and strength, you’ll keep your body guessing with Basecamp’s super fun (and oh-so sweaty) workouts that not only better your body, but your mind as well. After rinsing off in their showers, make your way to Blue Barn Gourmet. A casual neighborhood staple, find a spot at the counter and order a fresh salad or pressed sandwich. Yum. Plus, you can add a variety of proteins to any salad so you won’t go home hungry after killing at Basecamp.
VRV3 Studios + Park Tavern
Neighborhood: Russian Hill/North Beach
Looking for a new workout that will boost your confidence—and strength? It’s time to make moves at VRV3. A welcoming studio that teaches everything from pole work to yoga and floor movements, you’ll learn to sweat it out in a positive space. With classes that focus on attaining better balance to choreographed movement, friendly instructors will help you tap into your best self. Following your workout, get a little extra fancy, grab the girls and make your way to Park Tavern. With an atmosphere of understated excellence, Park Tavern serves creative seasonal eats in a stylish space. May we suggest starting your meal with a Bellini and avocado toast? Count us in!
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.