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There’s one word to describe Namaste Fitness in San Diego, CA: community. This eclectic, all-encompassing studio offers something for everyone (and every level), which is just the way owner Ana Hutz wants it. As soon as you walk through the door, you know you belong.
Located 20 miles south of downtown San Diego amongst the carefully manicured Otay Ranch Town Center, Namaste Fitness is a not-so-secret workout haven in the South Bay. Whether you want to try something new—TBarreX, anyone?—or would like to move with intention, you'll find no shortage of exercise experiences.
So, what can you expect when you book a class at Namaste Fitness? We drove south one rainy Thursday to find out (and work out). Here’s everything you should know:
It doesn’t matter if this your first visit, or you’re a seasoned “Namaster,” you will immediately feel Ana’s passion for wellness throughout every single detail of Namaste Fitness. It has natural light pouring in from nearly every angle in the seating area, awe-inspiring and highly motivational quotes adorning the walls, and a carefully curated, sustainable in-studio boutique (warning: you’ll want to buy everything). Namaste Fitness is inspiration, self-love, and everything you want it to be.
Clean, bright, and bustling with a plethora of classes, Ana’s vision for wellness is anything but a one-room studio. With multiple areas outfitted for the workout of your choice, you can be assured you’ll work out in the right space—and yes, that includes a yoga wall (which, we are currently too afraid to try).
With over 22 different types of classes to choose from, there’s no shortage of opportunity for you to find the right flex for your muscles (and your mind) at Namaste Fitness. Pilates, Barralates, TRX, Heated Hatha—finding a class that fits your goals, age, skill level, and schedule is simple. Don’t know what a Barralate is? Namaste Fitness offers in-depth class descriptions, which are super helpful when booking. Plus, Namaste Fitness offers Childcare and Littles Yoga so you can BYOB (baby, not beer) and mat. And If you’re new to a type of workout or are looking to challenge yourself in class, they’ve nailed it in the instructor game. The hands-on instructors—including Ana—are friendly, encouraging, and approachable, which is what we found during our midday Heated Vinyasa 1 flow, thanks to the confident and calm Mikko. (More on this magical human below.)
After being welcomed into the studio by Mala bead-wearing Mikko five minutes before class (wow, she was quick to know we were newbies), it was easy to see she literally lives and breathes the spirit of yoga—and loves what she does. Oh, and she enjoys making your muscles work, even in a Vinyasa 1 class.
For a midday flow, it was quite crowded (but not cramped), and we found ourselves sneaking into spots between other students who seemed to space out their mats randomly. Guess they like sharing our sweat. Taking place in a room heated by infrared ceiling panels, it was easy to notice and appreciate the padded flooring as soon as you rolled out your mat. It was like practicing on 10 Manduka mats. Class started a few minutes late (a “grace period” for those of us that are always rushing), and the one-hour yoga practice was as diverse as the students. Mikko led with the traditional intention setting, and then we were off into Chaturanga Dandasana. Downward Dog. You know the drill.
As we flowed through everything from Warrior 1 to Chair, Mikko had us hold poses for longer than expected—our muscles were trembling. And the was sweat dripping. Honestly, it was more challenging for a level one class—but hey, we were there for a workout so we couldn’t complain. When our sweat towels didn’t seem to be doing the job, the lights went low, we folded down into Savasana, and Mikko performed a surprise singing bowl session. Talk about the perfect end to a trying class. We left with open minds, hearts, and hip flexors.
A quick cool down and a few selfies later, Ana’s event promotions (including a retreat to Puerto Vallarta) caught our eye. While Ana has created wellness and fitness magic north of Mexico, she encourages Namaste Fitness students to share their skills outside the studio through events and workshops. Whether you want to learn more about your chakras, are interested in taking flight with acroyoga, or if mimosas, brunch, and barre is your thing (maybe not in that order), it’s all about expanding your well-being—and having fun while doing it. Talking about brunch reminded us that Mikko’s class left us hangry with a capital H.
Craving something a little “fresher” to help us cool down after the heated flow, we stumbled upon Vitality Bowls for a quick midday feast. If you haven’t tried Vitality Bowls, all you need to know is that it’s a super awesome superfood café. The hardest choice of the day: do we order smoothies or açai bowls? Influenced by Mikko’s flow, we opted for the Warrior Bowl (with extra sliced strawberries). And channeling all things wellness, we walked across the street to Sephora for post-class face masks to-go—and maybe some mascara. We had no idea this wellness oasis existed in Chula Vista. Needless to say, we namaslayed our drive south to Namaste Fitness.
Ready to try a class (or two) at Namaste Fitness? Still debating if Barralates is right for you? Listen up to what owner and wellness expert Ana has to say about her studio—and trust us; you’ll be ready to book a class in no time at all. We will see you on the mat, at the barre, or over an açai bowl in the South Bay.
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.