Enjoy nature your way with these beautiful outdoor spaces
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If you live in Los Angeles, you’re able to experience sunshine pretty much all year round. However, I’m sure you’ve been feeling the temperatures rising the past couple of months. I know I feel it where I live: DTLA.
I’d love to get to the beach more often to cool off, but getting to the west side in LA can be a bit overwhelming—with its influx of people, limited parking, and traffic. The stress and anxiety I feel when commuting from the eastside of LA to the west can feel a bit much. Luckily, LA is close to so many neighboring cities, so it’s easy to get away and treat yourself to a relaxing and rejuvenating day without having to deal with the infamous traffic. So much of living well is in knowing what your needs are. For me, traffic can be overwhelming and heighten my stress levels, so opting for a quick vacay is so necessary for me to reset before the busy week ahead of me!
My favorite nearby destinations are the beach cities in Orange County—Newport Beach and Laguna Beach specifically. If you leave LA at non-peak hours, it can take around forty-five minutes to an hour to get to these spots.
From a good sweat session to a holistic oasis, here are some of my must-visit places in Orange County the next time you plan a self-care day trip down south!
If the temperatures are cool enough, I do like to incorporate being active outdoors into my day. Starting with a morning sweat sets up my day for success. I’ve accomplished something healthy for my mind and body before lunch - it’s the best feeling! There are tons of hiking trails in Orange County, many of which will have views of the ocean or canyons nearby. Even getting a little walk along the beach can feel so nice!
If it’s especially warm out, there are tons of boutique fitness studios in Orange County that I enjoy as well. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are so many options ranging from strength training to restorative yoga. A few favorite studios of mine include F45 Training Newport Beach, Ra Yoga, and The 12.
F45 Training Newport Beach - One of my favorite things about F45 Training is that no matter which studio location you go to, the programming is identical. So, if you typically go to F45 in LA or any other city, you can explore F45 in Orange County and know that you are going to sweat it out in the same way as you would at your home location.
Ra Yoga - All the classes at Ra Yoga are heated; ranging from 75 degrees to 110 degrees, so you are guaranteed a good sweat! If you are looking to really work your body, there are strength-based yoga classes offered. If you prefer a calmer flow, there are restorative and even prenatal sessions that are more gentle for your body.
The 12 - This may have been the first Orange County-based boutique studio I’ve ever visited. The classes move quickly, with each day focusing on a different muscle group. It is a great gym to go check out if you’re also looking into nutrition coaching, as they want members to have a more well-rounded approach in achieving the health and wellness goals you have.
It’s important to note that wellness is not just fitness and nutrition; it’s about treating your whole self. I believe areas such as acupuncture, gua sha, and cupping are essential to rebalance your mind and body.
If you’re an active person like me, you can hold inflammation in your body from all of the workouts and movement you get into your life. All of the holistic approaches mentioned above can help drain your lymphatic system, reduce inflammation, and clear any blockage you may have in your body. Magnolia Wellness in Costa Mesa (a few minutes away from Newport Beach) is an excellent wellness haven to help ignite your well being.
Who doesn’t love a massage? BodyCentre Day Spa in Costa Mesa is an affordable spa experience that has been operating for over 20 years. They offer massage services as well as skincare treatments. It’s truly a full-service center where you can unwind after your very long day. Ranging from HydraFacials to spa samplers– where you can try a massage and a facial in the same package– they truly have it all. If you’re not ending the day with a massage - you’re doing it wrong.
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.