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You kicked off 2019 full steam ahead! January and February were all about getting clear on your intentions and working towards your goals with unwavering ambition. Now, as we enter a new month with Mercury retrograde in our spiritual wheelhouse, you are being asked to slow down a bit and reconnect with your inner world.
Wait, did someone say slow down? You heard (or read) me right. March is your time to rest, reflect, and refresh. Just as an effective fitness regimen calls for rest days in order to gain the most from your physical workouts, so does your mind.
How can Mercury retrograde give your mental being that much-needed rest day? Mercury—the planet that rules your mind—goes into retrograde in the sign of Pisces throughout the month of March. This is when you need to take a step back in order to stay aligned with your 2019 intentions. Think of this month as your personal check-in time for your mind, body, and soul.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of my favorite tips and spots around Denver to help you embrace rest—and this month’s retrograde:
Yin Yoga is the complement to the traditional vinyasa style “flow” yoga we love so much. It is a more meditative approach to yoga in which you are holding restorative poses for longer periods of time to release the tension in your mind and body. Try an evening Yin Yoga class at Karma Yoga. Or if you can’t yet break away from the flow, try a Vin-Yin class at Oasis—which infuses both a vinyasa and yin style class in 60 relaxing minutes.
When your mind is overstimulated your ability to relax and stabilize your emotions does not function effectively. That can create a “flight or fight” response to even the smallest trigger. Denver traffic, maybe? In order to break this mental-emotional pattern, you must reduce the amount of stimulation around you and focus on stillness. For ultimate calm, try a float tank session at A New Spirit, where you can learn about (and experience) a revolutionary scientific approach to deep relaxation called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (or R.E.S.T.). If floating isn’t your thing, try VibroAcoustic Sound Therapy (VAT) at Vive Float Studio. This innovative approach to reducing stress uses mild sound and gentle vibrations to create harmony within the mind and body so that you may ease into a deep meditative space.
Many of you are hustling these days—hustling to achieve your goals, to grow your business, expand your network, or just taking care of your daily responsibilities. But, as you know, when you hustle too much you can compromise your diet, your immune system, and your well-being. Give yourself a real rest with an acupuncture session at Harmony Healing. Acupuncture uses specific points along the meridians of your body to enhance your recuperative power and immunity, support your physical and emotional health, and improve your overall function. I use acupuncture monthly to keep my hustle in check!
...to a massage that is! The benefits of getting a massage can’t be ignored, but many of you are not getting them on the regular. Well, this is the month to treat yourself and get one (or maybe three). Take the time to truly enjoy the hands-on healing that comes with a massage. My favorites? The ah-mazing Aromatherapy Massage w/ Paavani Body Oils at White Lotus Therapeutics. Or the Balinese Massage at Botanica Wellness, which combines acupressure, skin rolling, kneading and percussion. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
Whatever modality appeals to you, do that this month. Find the time to slow down and reconnect with every element of your being, especially during Mercury retrograde. Take that much-needed break so when April comes around, you will have a renewed sense of direction and passion for your life, your goals, and yourself.
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.