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Namaste Fitness Sign
Local
Published Wednesday Mar 04, 2020 by Brittany Raine

The Best Zen Experiences in San Diego - This is Namaste Fitness: A South Bay Haven

Fitness
Yoga

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:

 

You Belong Here sign

There’s something special about this warm and welcoming wellness enclave.    

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). 

 

Namaste Fitness Instructors

Namaste Fitness’ classes (and instructors) are powerful—and purpose-driven.  

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.)   

 

Namaste Meditation

It was a one-of-a-kind yoga flow.   

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.    

 

Peaceful, Happy, Whole Sign

We suggest embracing the Namaste Fitness experience.  

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. 

Brittany Raine MINDBODY
Written by
Brittany Raine
Consumer Content Program Manager
About the author
A free-spirited farmgirl from New York, Brittany traded her job as a journalist and newspaper editor for the San Diego sunshine. Brittany now leads the curation of all creative content. There are rumors she was Middle Earth's warrior elven queen in a past life.
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar