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We are right in the middle of winter, and while we are ever so thankful for the blue skies and snowy adventures in our Mile High City, spring does not *officially* arrive until March 20th. Plus, we have all seen that looming snowflake in the forecast through May. Even with the adventure life readily available in ski towns, cabin fever is real.
Feeling antsy for warmer weather? Here are my six favorite ways to escape the cabin, stay active (indoors) and invest in my own self-care during the long Denver winter season.
Put the pedal to the metal.
Let’s bring the bike indoors this season, sweat it out and make shift happen at studios like Shift Cycle + Fitness in Sunnyside! Get ready to raise your heart rate, climb an imaginary mountain and cycle your heart out. I love ending my day with this high-energy workout. Not only am I literally letting go of the email life, but I’m also pedaling to the beat and channeling my best Lady Gaga all while forgetting about the cold outside.
“Beyond fitness, a cycling class can prep your mind and soul to conquer really hard sh*t. In every class we set an intention, practice gratitude and open ourselves up to making a shift in our lives and in our bodies,” says Whitney Herman, founder of Shift Cycle + Fitness. “When we conquer hard stuff on the bike and push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we find the power and fortitude to overcome daily stresses, insecurities, and negativity in our everyday life and start kicking ass at positivity and shining a little brighter.”
Eliminate that winter upper body hunch.
The cold in the air creates a reaction in our bodies to literally hunker down and hunch over for warmth and protection of our core. Perhaps each night you feel the shoulder crunch and neck tightness after braving a day in the Mile High or out on the trails. You need to release the tension and channel total relaxation. After a morning hike in the mountains of Evergreen, I treat myself to a Sacred Stone Journey Massage at Sacred Stone Day Spa. Featuring heated toe stones and chakra balancing, you’ll instantly kick that lingering winter chill. Customize the level of depth and your preferred pressure—then just climb into the heated bed and take a deep breath as your massage therapist spends a little extra time on your traps, neck, and collarbone this time of year.
From 0 to 95, bring on the BIG heat.
This might be blasphemy in Colorado—the home of the heated yoga studios—but I’m not usually a heated yoga human. Eeek! However, I will make an exception during winter. Snow on the ground? Sign me up for all the heat. BIG Power Yoga in the RiNo brings sweat and inspiring conversation! Experience the best heated flow followed by a lavender infused towel during savasana. Ahhh.
“The heat in Baptiste Yoga is often misunderstood to be designed to simply make the practice harder,” says Laura Rust, founder of BIG Power Yoga. “The truth is, the 95 degree temperature is intentionally used to help you get deeper into your body (everything is more malleable in heat, especially tight muscles!), help you detox and release old stuff (everything from physical toxins to toxic thoughts), and help get you out of your comfort zone in a way that calls forth full presence.”
Keep hydrated to keep healthy.
If you live in Colorado, you might have been infected with the gastro virus or perhaps the 6-week respiratory cough rocking daycares all over our sweet city. With temps dropping up and down, the flu is relentless, especially this time of year! Get your vitamins intravenously from the team of nurses that hold down the best IV treatment center in Denver, Hydrate IV Bar. It’s no secret that hydration is key to health and should be the main focus with the Colorado altitude, especially if you have a fireplace (hello dehydration!).
"We provide IV hydration therapy in a relaxing setting for deficiencies such as altitude sickness, low energy, athletic recovery, and general health and wellness,” says Katie Wafer, owner of Hydrate IV Bar. “Our custom IV solutions are safe and effective, and are formulated to help you feel better faster."
A sweat-worthy playground for adults.
I love walking up to Fitness in the City on Delaware Street and reading the big graffiti wall that tells me to ‘BE A GOOD PERSON’. Honestly, when I show up to sweat, I actually am a good person—way nicer than I was before. I love Stefan Olander’s Meta Circuit class because it’s like a playground for grown-ups. The circuit training style class focuses on cardio, movement, and fun. We swing kettlebells, run ladders, lift barbells and jump rope all in one class. Drenched, breathing heavy and sweat dripping after 60 minutes results in high-fives… and has you feeling pretty damn grateful for the work you put in.
Bounce out the winter blues.
Some days I really need to trick my body into working out with a fun surprise. Nothing beats rebounding on trampolines at Compass Fitness in South Denver. Owner and powerhouse trainer, Jillian Keavany, brings the sweat to the trampolines with Sound Off headphones to shake up your morning—or evening—ritual of movement.
“Trampoline workouts are a GREAT way to experience a high cardio experience without the high impact on joints! It's wicked fun (with a side of terrible, I like to say), high energy, and with a consistent high heart rate, burns loads of calories throughout,” says Jillian. “If you like to ski, this is the perfect cross-training workout for incredible leg and glute strength.”
However you choose to take care of yourself this winter, welcome spring with a little extra self-care and MINDBODY!
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: 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 we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.