Our Denver goal coach shares a few tips on re-treating yourself.
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One of the best parts about LA is that we are blessed with some truly beautiful green spaces and parks, the trick is knowing where to find them. That’s where we come in. Here are the perfect spots to take a walk, disconnect, and breathe in some fresh air.
Pack a lunch and head over to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills — you’re going to want to stay all day. Green and lush, it’s one of the largest inner-city parks in LA. And there’s so much to do! Fishing, hiking, barbecue pits, trails, and pretty much every type of sports court or field. Your only dilemma will be what to try first.
Everyone knows that Griffith Observatory is awesome, but the observatory grounds are pretty darn cool in their own right. Did you know the beautiful green lawn is also a scale model of our solar system? It’s true — the center of the solar system is right in front of the North Doors, and you can explore outward from there. Once you’ve finished venturing into space, don’t forget to snap a few pictures of the amazing city views before heading inside to check out the observatory.
With stunning views of LA and the Hollywood Sign, this cool little park in East Hollywood is the perfect spot to get away from it all. Picnic on the grass, take in some of the art, or watch one of the best sunsets the city has to offer. Fitt Tip: in the summer, get a group together for one of their weekly Barnsdall Friday Night Wine Tastings. Just make sure to snag tickets early — they sell out quick!
A vibrant urban park in the heart of downtown, Grand Park is packed with things to see and do. Bright pink benches, a giant fountain, and even a Starbucks in the park — what’s not to love? But the best part of Grand Park is that there’s almost always something going on: workout events, art shows, concerts, and food trucks. Lots of food trucks.
Right in the middle of the concrete jungle we call Westwood sits this little botanical garden on UCLA’s campus. It’s the perfect place for nature-lovers to get their fix while staying in the city. Enjoy the shady wooded areas, luscious plants, and little streams with turtles and fish. It’s hard to find a more relaxing spot in the middle of LA.
It’s impossible to talk about beautiful green spaces in LA without mentioning Palisades Park. This 1.5-mile park right off Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica provides some of the most picturesque ocean views in the city. Once you’re finished enjoying the park, simply cross the street and you’re steps away from some of the best restaurants in Santa Monica (Sugarfish, anyone?).
This seven-acre rose garden is truly a hidden gem. Adjacent to the USC campus, the entrance to the rose garden is on State Drive. Once you’re finished strolling amongst all the beautiful flowers, pop over to the Natural History Museum or watch a game at the Coliseum — both are only steps away.
Ever wanted to go back in time to Hollywood’s golden age? Well, a visit to Wattles Garden Park is probably about as close as you can get. The grounds of the Wattles Estate, on North Curson Ave., are lush and inviting. Enjoy the garden, the trails, and the peacefulness right in the heart of Hollywood.
It’s hard to believe that this 6.2-acre park in Santa Monica was essentially a parking lot a few years ago. This urban oasis features extra-special touches like fountains, sculptures, and lily pads, making it the perfect little escape. The paths are great for running, and there are also nice built-in dining areas for a lunch break.
A secret Japanese garden on the roof of a popular downtown hotel? Count us in. The half-acre space features gorgeous plants and flowers, fountains, ponds, and even a waterfall. While this luxurious destination is technically only meant for hotel guests, it’s completely worth it if you get the chance to go. Just ride the elevator up to the garden level (but shhhh!).
While it might be odd to think of a cemetery as a “beautiful green space”, we Angelenos know that Hollywood Forever is no ordinary cemetery. Walk the grounds and take in the history — you’ll see the final resting places of some of the world’s most famous people. And there are always events going on; seeing a concert or watching an outdoor movie at the cemetery is a truly unique experience.
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.