The Best Mind-Body Workouts & Yoga Wear To Soothe Your Stressed Out Soul
RECONNECT TO YOUR "NOW"
I'm stressing! So this blog post is as much for me as it is for you. If you get worked up thinking about your check list of To Do's that still need to be checked or snap at your loved ones because, well, they just happened to be standing there, then it's time to stop what you're doing and CHECK-IN WITH YOURSELF. Don't go to that crazy place that makes you feel physically and emotionally exhausted (I've been there and it ain't pretty). Instead, breathe and take notice of the things in your life that are absolutely fantastic. We rush through our lives and often forget to enjoy the "right now" part and everything that's led up to it.
The good news is that checking-in with yourself and re-connecting to your present moment can be active and fun, like in the mind-body workouts below. They'll put your mind at ease, reduce muscle tension and help dissolve stress related to your past or future (because if it's not one, it's the other). I'll be right there with you, one inhalation and exhalation at a time!
BEST MIND-BODY WORKOUTS & FASHION TO MATCH
Pure Yoga NYC classes: Pure Yoga is a fancy Equinox-style yoga club in NYC. You'll find a ton of amazing yoga classes here ranging in style, temperature, intensity and pace (click here for class descriptions). These are my favorites: Restorative Yoga, Zenyasa, Hot Power Yoga (with instructor Dana Slamp), and Rock Your Chakras (with instructor and co-creator Carlos Rodriguez). The last 2 are heated and move at a faster pace--they're designed to loosen and tone you up while keeping your mind at ease. Carlos designed Rock Your Chakras to incorporate cardio and strength moves for a full body workout. You'll use lightweight medicine balls and still feel like you hit the gym hard. Restorative Yoga & Zenyasa are less rigorous classes with elements of Buddhist philosophy and seated meditation.
Pure Yoga is a great spot to escape the hustle & bustle of the city and of your life. The yoga rooms are serene, the music (if used) is calming, and the equipment is always clean and orderly. It's the type of place that will inspire you to don posh yoga attire, and less of it if you like (especially for hot classes). Pair a Bijubee patterned top and bottom for a fun, light-on-your-feet look that you can be layered with a tank or t-shirt.
BodyArt: Created by fitness celeb Robert Steinbacher, BodyArt combines yoga, pilates and dance with classical breathing techniques to provide stabilization training and mental relaxation. This workout vacillates between holding poses and slightly faster cardio moves to open up your tight spots, release tension and make you more aware of your body as a whole. Take this class at Crunch gyms nation-wide (search for BodyArt classes here).
Looser fit yoga-wear that follows your body's every move without sticking to you or weighing you down is optimal for this kind of workout, especially since you'll be up and down a lot. Tanya-b makes a Tie Dye Halter top that's to die for. It's soft and comes in various color combinations to match your skin tone, eyes or nail polish. The halter has a built-in bra shelf but I recommend wearing a seamless bra (like this one) for additional support. The Fold Over Capri Pant is perfect for BodyArt, keeping you cool without restricting your range of motion, and the ruching on the fold over band will flatter your waistline.
The Tanya-b collection is co-designed by 2 yoga-loving partners, Karin Ulmander and of course, Tanya Boulton who's a directing manager and instructor at Pure Yoga. That's her in the photo below.
Karin & Tanya saw a need for body-hugging yoga apparel with zero cling factor that looks sexy on or off the mat. Their collection is a godsend to women who live in their workout clothes.
Zenergy: A dynamic fusion class and mind-body experience that mixes traditional yoga poses with strength training intervals. Created by fitness pro, Maryanne Blake, this workout will definitely clear your head and flush your worries away. You have to pay attention because it's unlike any fitness class you've ever taken! And the results speak for themselves--just take a look at Maryanne's physique! She's a mom of 3 for heaven's sake--who ran long distance races while pregnant! Now that's impressive, but she claims it's Zenergy that keeps her in top shape.
Athletic and restless types will love this workout because your body is moving at all times. Even slower movements engage multiple joints and require focus and balance. Plus, you're not on the mat the whole time and there's plenty of core work involved. You can even add light weights for more of a challenge. Zenergy is currently offered at Reebok Sports Club/NY and The Sports Club/LA in NYC and Boston (look up classes here: www.thesportsclubla.com). In January, Zenergy will be on the class schedule at The Sports Club/LA in Washington DC, Miami, and San Francisco.
Enhance your Zenergy workout with functional accessories like Toesox (for slippery surfaces and a better grip), your very own Jade Yoga Fusion Mat (it's the best yoga mat ever made), a Bobble filtered water bottle (recyclable) and a Vera Bradley gym bag (quilted in various designs--gotta love the paisley!).
The Yoga Sequence with Sabina Stahl: A highly invigorating and instructional Yoga practice taught by the enchanting well-being goddess, Sabina Stahl. The Yoga Sequence is offered as private sessions, group classes at The Standard Hotel in NYC or Central American retreats. It's a mind-body workout that brings you back to what is organic and intuitive, opening you up to your inner self. Sabina teaches you how to focus your breathing and muscle engagement to develop a yoga practice that's less forced and more manageable.I love Sabina's "create your own destiny" approach and her step-by-step direction makes challenging poses completely possible for the non-expert. Peacock? Flying crow? No problem!
The Yoga Sequence is an original lifestyle concept which Sabina lives, eats & breathes. Sabina tends to shy away from marketing hype which she clearly doesn't need because her peaceful aura sells the The Yoga Sequence for her. She's a special kind of yogi that's easy to warm up to. Flow through her Yoga Sequence in Alo Sport apparel that feels as good as it looks. My favorites are the Origami Asymmetrical Tank and the Bamboo Legging with peekaboo button enclosure at ankles. I love the stand-out details that give these pieces a bit of edge without trying too hard.
Check out the view from Sabina's Yoga Sequence class at The Standard Hotel in NYC. The 3rd floor yoga studio overlooks the Hudson River, the High Line, and provides a panoramic view of the city. Try and experience it at sundown!
So there you have it...mind-body fitness & fashion is therapeutic, athletic and very cool. Take a day off from pounding away at the StairMaster and get started on what you should be doing more of: checking-in with yourself and re-connecting to your present moment.
IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!
Leave a comment sharing your favorite mind-body workout, studio or fashion item and you'll be entered to win a Pure Yoga 3-day and 1-day membership pass that can be used at both NYC locations.
I'm also giving away the Alo Sport tank and legging featured in this article in a size large. Please indicate which prize your heart desires and I'll post the winners (selected randomly) on Friday, Oct. 29th. Good luck!