Happy Friday everyone!
I hope your week has been fabulous and that you are continuing in your positive daily goals whatever they may be. Have you been eating clean? What about exercising? Keep in mind that these two things combined together will help you not only physically but mentally as well.
For example, I just started doing HITS on the treadmill this week. I did 3 days straight and took an off day (mainly because my ankle was super sore yesterday). During these three days, I decided to completely cut out all processed foods. Let me tell you, that was difficult because I LOVE me some Kashi cereal or oatmeal in the morning. Regardless, just after 3 days, I noticed my change in mood and the way I physically felt. I had a ton of energy, was constantly smiling, laughing more, and felt stronger within my core. WOW. If this can happen in 3 days, imagine what it could be like if it were my permanent lifestyle.
So, just like that, I decided to apply this. Of course, I will allow myself occasional cheat meals.... aka chocolate. BUT, in order to practice discipline, the quality of the tiger, I will only allow it in moderation.
Fully committing to a life change like this takes dedication and perseverance. It takes a strong will to do so. I've come to find that it's easiest to say no to tempting things if you are already in the swing of saying no. This is an example of what I mean: if you are sitting at home with nothing to do and someone offers you ice cream, the chances that you will eat it simply out of boredom is pretty high. On the other hand, if you already dedicated an hour at the gym that day, the chances that you will say no to that ice cream is also high. This is because of our mind set. I know, I know... I feel like I have talked about this a million times. Seriously though guys, mind set is extremely important.
My Summer Yoga Journal :
Although I practice all the time, I would not consider myself biased. I honestly do think that yoga is an excellent form of exercise that purifies not only the body but the mind as well. Its various forms of healing has helped people of all stages: children, young adults, athletes, pregnant women, seniors, etc. There is a reason why the Buddhist people are typically associated with this form of exercise. Yoga is a physical activity that strengthens/lengthens your muscles, increases flexibility, decompresses your internal organs, and purifies your body of toxins. With that, it also helps you to clarify your mind and create internal peace by utilizing meditation techniques.
This entire summer, I have been away from my home in Los Angeles, and away from my home studio, Moksha Yoga LA. I have been spending time with family in Florida and have found it difficult to find a place where I feel at home and can practice. So, I decided to wander around during my Florida travels in order to find various studios to share with you. It's actually very fun finding new places because it gives me the chance to meet and interact with new people. Here is a list of fantastic yoga studios I have attended from my travels this summer:
Orlando Power Yoga- Orlando, Florida:
Seriously guys, if you are located in the Orlando area and looking for an amazing place to practice, this is it. It is my #1 choice. Because I am originally from Orlando, this used to be my home studio. OPY was founded by the lovely Kelly Senn who studied under Bikram Choudhary in Los Angeles. She received her 200 & 500 hour teaching certifications, attended multiple workshops, and basically has been kicking butt. She is an incredible teacher and role model. All of the teachers at OPY are phenomenal. If you really want to sweat, try one of Greg Duke's or Alex McCullough's power hour classes. If you like martial arts, you should definitely take a Budokan class with Reider Howe. You will not be disappointed with whichever teacher you take.
Yoga 365: The Hot Yoga Center- Clearwater, Florida:
This small studio is a hidden gem located right next to the beaches. I got the privilege to have a private session with one of the owners, former Tampa Ray Aaron Ledesma. He and his wife, Karen, opened up the studio a few years ago after Aaron discovered that yoga dramatically helped his back injury from baseball. Aaron shows a love for his practice and an extreme willingness to help others who have too suffered from athletic injuries. If you ever find yourself in Clearwater Beach, I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to take a class at this studio. You will sweat, you will learn, you will breathe, and you will have fun.
Florida Power Yoga- Land O' Lakes, Florida:
Talk about an intense work out. This is not your average power hour yoga class. This is power hour combined with the Insanity/p90x workout. Seriously. If you stray away from yoga because it is too slow for you or perhaps because you do not like Sanskrit verbiage, then this is the place for you. The energy is dynamic in this place. The studio is brightly colored and there's a happy and energetic feel that you can't shake lose. I received the chance to speak with the owner who is as bright as the walls you are surrounded by. I loved coming to class here even though there was a point in time where I may or may not felt like I was going to pass out. Regardless, the feeling I had when the class was over was completely worth it.
Palm Yoga- Tampa, Florida:
This little studio is tucked away within the heart of Tampa. I didn't know much about it so I decided to simply walk in and take the hot Vinyasa Flow class. I'm so glad that I did because I loved it. Although it was a little slower paced than I am used to, the instructor really goes through each pose with you so that you can understand exactly which muscle groups you are using. Not only is this informational, but also helps when practicing on your own at home. The class as a whole was extremely soothing and the environment was loving and kind. These qualities are extremely important because it gives me a sense of belonging and comfort. I know that whenever I am in Tampa and need some time to unwind, Palm Yoga is the place where I will be.
Namaste Yoga Studio- Tampa, Florida:
This facility was actually one of the first studios I visited in the Tampa area. I love it because the instructors are very personable and willing to create an environment suitable to your needs. The studio also has a spa located inside and a farmers market every Sunday!
Evolation Yoga- Carrollwood/Tampa, Florida:
I was pleasantly surprised with my experience at Evolation. At first, I did not know how to feel because the instructor initially seemed a little high strung for my liking. He took me off guard when he stated, "This is savasana, not snooze-vasana! I do not want you to close your eyes in this 'resting' pose." At first, I could not believe my ears. How could an instructor tell us not to rest in our resting pose? Although a little irritated, I continued. I am happy that I did because it opened my eyes to new ways of teaching and exploring yoga as a student. I was able to focus on different aspects of the physical positions rather than from the mind. Although this is not necessarily how I would teach yoga, I did appreciate the change. I spoke to the instructor afterwards and quickly learned that he was a really nice guy!
This may be a little tricky to take a class at because you would actually have to know someone or have a reason to be within this gate restricted community. If you ever have the chance to wander within the community, you should definitely stop by the athletic club. They completely renovated the entire building. Theres a yoga/pilates room, a spin room, martial arts room, weight lifting room, tennis court, and arcade! Let's just say this place is definitely a luxury sort of YMCA. As far as the yoga classes go, it is definitely a more slow paced experience. Keeping in mind that a majority of the people who use the facility are seniors, I was able to interact and learn from them. As a yoga teacher in training, it is very important that I learn from all wakes of life. If you are looking for a more extreme workout, I would not recommend taking a yoga class from this club. Go ahead and try one of their kickboxing or cycle classes!
As you can see, I love finding new studios to share with everyone. Although these are my last few weeks in Florida, I will be sure to post if I end up attending classes at any other studios.
Have an incredible day and remember to create positive change in your day.