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May 14th, 2012 2 Comments

I am a HUGE fan of group fitness classes these days because I just can’t motivate myself to go to the gym.  I never thought I would feel that way, but here I am, looking for excuses every day.  So, to combat this and get in a solid 1 hour workout, I carve out the time in my schedule for my trainer or a class.

GoRecess.com is a new site that instantly locateds the kind of workout you’re looking for near you.  You put in the type of exercise – yoga, cardio, bootcamp, spinning, etc – your location, and the radius you are willing to drive (or even better jog or bike!).  GoRecess then creates a detailed list like you see above.  Such a great concept because I’m always looking for a way to change up my workout.

Also, most studios will offer their first class for free, so if you’re on a tight budget, you can jump around for a while while you save up some cash and settle on your favorite.

If you’re in one of the cities I frequent, I reccommend these studios and gyms:

New York:

Los Angeles:

  • Soul Cycle - just opened in WeHo!
  • Equinox - group classes are totally worth the membership
  • UpDog Fitness - for spinning and yoga.  Take classes from Colin and Reilly.  Meredith for yoga.
  • Fitness Factory - “garage” style hideout where celebs train. Sam Upton is the best!

Houston:

Atlanta:

Austin:

I know I’m missing some; I can’t hit them all!  Please share your favorites in the comments below.  If you use GoRecess.com, let us know if you were pleased with the class you attend.

(P.S. Sorry for the blurry picture.  PC’s just don’t have the same quality of screen grab as a Mac.  I’ll replace it tomorrow!)

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How much does your environment affect you?

July 27th, 2011 1 Comment

When you go somewhere new, do you ever slow down to check out the place before you start searching for the person or product that brought you there?

I usually don’t.

The other day in yoga (yes, another yoga reference), the teacher told us to look around the room and check everything out before we started — see who else was there, notice the flowers, assess the light, check ourselves out in the side mirror, etc.  This accomplishes two things:  you don’t disrupt your practice with these meaningless distractions and by getting comfortable in your surroundings, you are more likely to explore and do new things instead of sticking to your routine.

Interesting concept.

It proved to be true for me in that class.  And the more I think about it, I believe it would work in real life scenarios as well.

I eat alone a lot so I usually sit at the bar.  When I get to a restaurant, I make a bee line to an available seat and settle in. Usually at this point I slow down and assess the scene.  But I believe it would actually make a difference if I began my scan as I start walking up to the building.  Maybe even a stroll around the dining area before I sit at the bar would be insightful.

This is only one situation.  Others are house parties, work events, and a new gym.

I think we are more intimidated by unfamiliar people and places than we realize.  And if we just stopped to check everything out, we could digest our environment and feel more at ease to talk to new people or explore on our own without the anxiety that we will be judged.

What do you think??

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This exercise is all you need to tighten your tummy

April 25th, 2011 2 Comments

Check out your secret weapon to a tighter tummy this summer!

I learned the “yoga block crunch” in Kate’s power Vinyasa class at Cura the other day.  A day later,  I felt like I lost a whole inch off my waist!  As I’ve reignited my yoga practice, my abs and leg have both become so much firmer and stronger.  Then this movement came along…It’s a killer, but in a good way.

The crunch is pretty technical, so pay attention.  It won’t work unless you meticulously perform it properly every time.

The Setup:

  1. Lie flat on the floor and put your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Flex your feet and push towards the ceiling with the balls of your feet, not your heels.
  4. If this is too challenging, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle.
  5. Take a yoga block or rolled up towel and place it between your upper thighs.
  6. Squeeze.  Hard!

The set up is challenging on it’s own.  So if your core is weak, start off by seeing how long you can hold this position.

Adding Movement:

  1. Continue to squeeze the block; don’t let up on it as you move.
  2. Inhale deeply as you lift you tailbone off the ground barely an inch.
  3. Pull your elbows in around your face.
  4. Exhale using your core to push the air out as you raise your shoulder blades as far as you can off the ground.
  5. Hold at the top until you have exhaled all of the air and contracted your abs completely.
  6. Lower down to your starting position and repeat 15 times.

The key points to remember: squeeze the block, lift your shoulders up all the way, and pull your navel in as far as it will go.

Worked like a charm for my pooch, and I’m sure it will for yours too!

(Cura Yoga has two studios in Houston that have tons of great power yoga classes!)

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April 12th, 2011 No Comments

“Let your breath

remind you of your responsibilities.

Don’t be distracted.

Breathe.”

 

Words from my yoga practice tonight. The meaning is literal to promote engagement, and I believe the same strength will come to me in the real world if I focus with the same intention.

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No more yoga excuses!

April 4th, 2011 4 Comments

A few  weeks ago I posted a weekly challenge for you to do one yoga class in a week.  So many of you commented that you feel the same way I do about the practice these days.

We really WANT to do it.

We know it will be GOOD for our body and soul.

We just don’t have the TIME to do it.

The time factor comes down to either your desire to push yourself to your body’s limit in the time you have allotted for exercise and yoga doesn’t fit that bill, or you simply can’t slow down your life enough to flow for an hour and a half.  Or, it could be a mixture of both.

One excuse I’ve used recently is that I don’t believe worthy and talented instructors exist in Houston/outside of LA and NYC.  That’s obviously absurd!  (As you would suspect, I’m a little high maintenance when it comes tot the gym.)  But it worked as a solid excuse for a while.

This weekend, I threw that out the window and ventured to Joy Yoga, which is acknowledged as “the best” in Houston.  I can’t say that’s true because the only other place I’ve tried has been FIT gym where I teach spin.  The instructors I practiced with there were in fact solid, but the frigid air and energy in the room did not create for a pleasurable environment. (See, I’m still making excuses!)

Back to Joy – I really enjoyed Stacey’s class on Saturday.  It was pretty straight ahead in terms of movements, poses, and flow, but I liked her energy and ability to calm my mind.  The latter is half of the battle for me.

If you’ve been using the “I don’t know where to go” excuse too, I encourage you get out there and try somewhere. One-fourth of the year is over, and I believe yoga to be a good way to focus on our intentions in life and access inner thoughts and struggles we might not know we have.  In my spin class, I encourage my riders to attempt this introspection, but in yoga, you’re pretty much forced to.

Usually your first visit is free, so it won’t cost you anything.  Here are my favorite spots in the places I’ve lived:

New YorkEast West Yoga, Equinox Soho

Los AngelesEquinox West Hollywood (Kim, Colin, Meghan, Stella), Up Dog Yoga (Colin or Meghan)

Houston - Joy Yoga (Stacey, Kaitlin, or Joy) If you go into Joy Yoga in Houston, tell them I referred you and you’ll get a week free!

If you want to recommend a place, please share it with us in the comments below.  We thank you in advance!

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Don’t think, just do it – weekly challenge

February 21st, 2011 2 Comments

Since I haven’t been practicing yoga regularly for a few years now, I find it really hard to get into a studio even once a week.  Even though I KNOW there are so many benefits to yoga I can’t get in other forms of exercise, it’s like pulling teeth to get myself to go.  So I haven’t.

I’m one of those people who wants to be as active as possible when I commit time to working out.

It’s hard enough for most of us to get the the gym. At least the constant motion of working out is distracting.  But yoga requires dedication to shutting out the world COMPLETELY and focusing on ourselves.

My challenge to you this week is to do one yoga class.

Find a studio, pay for the class – most will let you try one for free.  Do not make excuses, just go.

Shut the world out.  Commit to the catharsis of the movements not the physical challenge.

Try NOT to pressure yourself into having a “perfect” workout (whatever that means for you).  This will most likely be the biggest challenge for you.

Just go with the flow.

Breath.

Stretch your body and mind.

Purge.

Recover.

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Yoga Discount!

April 5th, 2010 No Comments

First order of business.

As promised I secured your 30 days for $30 at Bikram Yoga NYC!  And it’s a MTM exclusive discount :)

The publicist assures me the New York locations have been made aware you will be asking for this promotion in conjunction with my blog so you shouldn’t have any problems.  If you do, I know someone who can take care of it, if you know what I mean.

Kidding.  Just shoot me an email and I’ll get it squared away.

Now go get your sweat on.  After 30 days of unlimited yoga you’ll make this chick in the picture look like an amateur.  And you’ll have a tight tuchis.

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