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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.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!