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The term “wellness” has become pretty broad these days. From buzzy supplements to CBD-infused everything, it seems like everybody is trying to sell the word in one way or another. So, when a place comes along that embodies an authentic approach to wellness, we get pretty excited. And then, of course, we share it with you.
Well, here it is, Denver: the real deal. It’s called Honey Elixir Bar.
Jocasta Hanson was working as a bartender and studying to become a therapist when her best friend, Boulder chef Matt Lackey, died in a climbing accident on Mt. Princeton. The tragic loss caused her to experience a journey of grieving and healing that serves as part of the inspiration for Honey. Her friend’s passing was “a powerful experience of how community heals together,” Jocasta shared with Fitt. That realization inspired Jocasta to put her grad school studies on hold. “I wanted to create a place that would hold the space for those looking for a healing connection—a place to gather, or a space to celebrate,” she says. Combining this desire with her passions for psychology, nutrition, health, art, and design, Honey was born.
Honey serves a creative and carefully crafted collection of drinks that nourish—a lineup of flavorful and functional sips, from kombucha and smoothies to chai and kefir. When it comes to ingredients at Honey, you’ll see it’s all about intention. Whether you’re craving a warm cup of calming cacao or a craft cocktail infused with antioxidant-rich ingredients like turmeric and goji, this café has something to satisfy.
Honey offers healthy snacks, too. In browsing the menu, expect small plates that pack a powerful punch, like sliced apple with house-made raw nut butter, a local honey sampler with gluten-free bread, and a seasonal soup and salad. The eatery tends to rotate in some vegan sweets from local bakeries too.
But it goes beyond a healthy menu for Jocasta. She doesn’t want Honey to be just another juice bar or kombucha spot—she aims to create a space that embraces all aspects of health, from how you nourish your body to how you nurture your brain. So, in the spirit of cultivating community and connection, and in addition to serving up those healthful sips, Honey offers workshops and hosts group meetings for those sharing common experiences, like a workshop focused on how the Jun (a fermented tea similar to kombucha but made with honey rather than sugar) she serves at the cafe can benefit gut health or a group meeting for those experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one.
Thought was put into every aspect of Honey, from the way tables are arranged to facilitate conversation to the acoustics that allow the sounds of voices and music to fill the space. Good vibes (literally) emanate from its core, with words of intention lining the ground beneath the flooring. Jocasta hopes to highlight the talents of the community, too, with rotating art exhibitions and a retail space stocked with goods from local makers.
Collectively, Honey Elixir Bar is a new concept to Denver. A healthy cafe redefining wellness, and a gathering space redefining community. And with a place that packs purpose and intention in every square inch, we had to ask—why the name Honey? Jocasta shared several reasons for choosing it, but her favorite one? “Honey is alchemized sunshine,” she says. “Bees turn the power of the sun into liquid gold.”
So, come in. Share a laugh. Let this place fill you up.
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.