She noticed a lack of diversity in group fitness and did something.
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If you’re a busy millennial like me, sometimes you forget to take time to practice self-care. I am a full-time public servant, a part-time masters student at Boston University, a full-time lifestyle blogger...and many times I’m assisting my family with the care of my newborn nieces. With all that going on, it's imperative that I take at least one day to address my self-care needs. That whole “sleep when you’re dead” mentality is probably one of the most problematic lifestyles to lead. Proper self-care has many benefits for your physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. And if you truly practice self-care regularly, you ultimately become a better person for those around you.
With that said, I take Self-Care Saturdays very seriously. My ideal Self-Care Saturday starts off with waking up at 10:00 am to drop off laundry. Then, once I’ve gotten the heavy lifting out of the way, I start addressing my body’s physical needs. One activity I recently picked up was boxing! If you’re in the Boston area and you have the MINDBODY app, you should check out Peter Welch’s Gym. Boxing is a full-body workout, and it allows you to take out all of your stress on a punching bag or in the ring. The first time I used MINDBODY to book a class, my first session was free! Now, boxing has been a permanent part of my Self-Care Saturday routine.
The next step in my Self-Care Saturday is going to the spa to get a facial and massage. Let’s face it, between sweating at the gym, dealing with everyday emotions, and the all-nighters that us grad students have to pull off, our bodies need lots of hydration and tension release. I never skip a Saturday at the spa because my facials have been vital to keeping my skin clear, and my massages release knots in my back. I am not a princess by any means; however, you don’t realize how important it is to get rid of tension in your back and your face until you start aging.
Now that I am fully relaxed, it doesn’t hurt to head to a salon to get my hair and nails done. Honestly, if I wake up slightly under the weather, a great pick-me-up is investing in my outside appearance. A little polishing here and there goes a long way. By looking through the MINDBODY app, I identified three new salons that do natural hair. This is pretty exciting for me, because I was having a hard time finding one near me.
Lastly, before the ladies call me to paint the town red; I have to make sure I curl up with a good book that has nothing to do with work or school. Reading has always provided me solace in the craziest of times. When my emotions are high, reading my favorite fashion book or even Harry Potter book gives me great vibes. Sometimes I read for hours then take a nap on some fresh new sheets to conclude the day.
My Saturdays often feel revolutionary because my week is so all over the place. For this reason alone, I am such a big proponent for taking time to rest, recoup, and rejuvenate!
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.