If you follow me on Instagram, then you've noticed in my stories that I recently got into SoulCycle. I know, I know, it took me a while! I used to dread spin class, but once bit by the bug, I shortly became addicted. How much fun is dancing on a bike? Who knew! As a cardio compliment to my regular barre and yoga classes, it's now part of my fitness regimen. Of course, I love how inspirational and motivational the instructors are during class. Here are the top five lessons I learned at Soul so far... Enjoy!
Throughout the past few years, I've been incorporating massages into my self-care routine as often as possible. Working out about six times per week, I find them necessary to help break up Knots and give my muscles some tlc. Barre classes often make me feel tight and crunchy and SoulCycle's been rough on my hip flexors. Like a good yoga class, a deep tissue massage also helps to relieve stress and make me feel a bit lighter on my feet. In honor of Global Massage Makes Me Happy Day coming up on March 20th, spoke with Lynda Solien-Wolfe the Vice President of Massage & Spa at Performance Health to make a case for monthly massages.
Good news! More and more beauty brands are creating products for active women like us. Here are some of our favorite products to use before, during and after a workout.
Sculpting abs is hard enough as it is, but sculpting your lower abs is by far the most challenging. I was first introduced to this exercise, leg up taps, years ago in pilates and when the Bar Method started including it in their workout I was pumped. It targets your transverse abdominals and is extremely efficient.
Whether it's beating the 4 o'clock slump or just trying to wake up, I'm sure you can use an energy boost at some point during your day, Believe it or not, I don't drink coffee. After eliminating caffeine a few years ago in order to help keep my migraines at bay (see article here) I've taken to new techniques to boost my energy. Here are yoga poses that really work.
You guys know how much I love The Bar Method and I'm psyched to start the new year putting 100% into my classes. After all, summer bodies are made in the winter. Throughout my Bar Method Fitness Series, you'll find info on breathing for flatter abs, proper form and the importance of stretching for leaner muscles. Here, I sum it all up by giving you my top X reasons to become addicted.
Planking is hands down one of the best exercises you can do for your core, but it also strengthens and tones your back, glutes and shoulders. No matter what type of workout you're into, there's always room for a plank. During class at The Bar Method Hoboken, we do two planks and sometimes our teachers even sneak in a (much welcomed) third. Here, owners Melissa and Lucy share everything you need to know to make sure you're getting the most out of the exercise. From form to timing, we got you covered.
If you live in the Hoboken or NYC area, then you might be interested in a new yoga program I'm launching – a 4-week beginners series. Whether you're new to yoga and want to learn the postures before attending an open class or are already a practicing yogi and want to perfect your form, through private instruction you'll learn the classic postures and any modifications that'll support your movement. Email me to learn more.
As a hardcore yogi and #barrebabe, I understand the importance of stretching in order to look and feel my best, however I find many of my friends and readers tell me they skip it before or after working out. When it comes to The Bar Method, I appreciate that the class strategically fits stretching exercise in between the tucks and pulses to compliment the toning movements. I spoke with Founders of The Bar Method Hoboken, Lucy and Melissa, to find out just how important stretching is during a barre class and in life.
Since doing this fitness column about The Bar Method, a lot of you have been asking common questions about the class, so I thought I'd do a post to answer them. Founders of the Hoboken studio, Lucia Almeida-Oliveira and Melissa Opsahl took the time to fill me in. Here, find out how long it takes to begin noticing results, truths about muscle bulking and how to integrate the practice into your fitness routine.
Bar Method just celebrated their 16 year anniversary, but I've only been taking class (religiously) for two of them. During that short time, I've been inspired, made new friends and learned the technique that keeps my muscles lean and toned. The community alone at The Bar Method Hoboken is reason enough to go daily. Meet the ten teachers who encourage me to "get lower" and tuck with purpose.
Throughout my life, I've taken part in various workouts to keep myself fit. Dancing, cardio kickboxing, spinning, circuit training, yoga, pilates and of course, barre classes were always in the rotation. There was even a point in time where I obsessed over P90X videos in my own living room. Since moving to Hoboken, I've been dedicated to yoga and barre classes and find that they work best for my body type. In Bar Method classes, we don't sweat, we glisten, but the fine-detail toning is thanks to isometric movements. Here's how it works. Bye-bye burpees!
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I partnered with The Bar Method in Hoboken to bring you unique barre-inspired fitness tips each month. First up, let's talk about our core. Back in the day, I used to crunch every chance I got in hopes of toning my abs, but it wasn't until I discovered barre workouts, that I understood the true secret – it's all about your exhale. Game changing. Here's the deal..
The beauty industry tends to define beauty as ‘confidence’ and through advertising and the media, explains how by using the right products and learning a few tricks of the trade, confidence can be easily enhanced. Yes, that’s true, having my brows shaped to properly frame my face, having silky smooth skin and rocking a nearly flawless self tan all definitely make me feel more confident and therefore, more beautiful, but I’ve recently come to find that beauty is so much more than just that. This new understanding through self discovery changed not only my career path, but also my entire perspective on life and in this moment, I couldn’t be more fulfilled or grateful. Read about my transformation and new definition of beauty here.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I'm fitness obsessed. Working out, whether I'm in a yoga or barre class, is a form of meditation to me. When the Bar Method opened in Hoboken two years ago, I found myself immediately addicted and began attending classes four to five times per week. As someone who, loves to focus on technique, the isolated movements work for my mind and body. Bar Method is always my answer when people ask me why my arms are so toned. Fast forward to today, and I'm proud to announce that I'll be partnering with the Bar Method Hoboken to bring you barre inspired, monthly fitness tips.
One of my favorite parts of teaching yoga is that I can cater the playlists to each class. My favorite type of music to play and choreograph to is by far rock and roll. I get just as high from opening a flow to John Mayer's cover of Free Falling as I do when inviting my students to join me in a closing OM at the end of Dave Matthews' Crash Into Me. Chills. However, Pearl Jam's Release and Just Breathe take the cake. Here are some of my favorite playlists to teach and practice to.
I'm excited to announce that I partnered with natural beauty brands Jason, Alba Botanica and Avalon Organics to teach a free yoga class at a their event in NYC tomorrow night and you're invited. In collaboration with Care.org, the brands are celebrating women's empowerment in order to raise awareness and funds for their work in supporting Qach'Umilal Girls' Education and Leadership Project, which helps to give indigenous Guatemalan girls access to education. Read on for details.
It's been a year since I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training at YogaWorks and I am still so grateful that I had the opportunity to take it on. It was by far, the best personal growth opportunity I've ever had. I've never been stronger than I am today and have never felt more comfortable in my own skin. Besides teaching, my practice has drastically changed. Here's how:
I'm so excited to be hosting a yoga class for the Liberty Humane Society next weekend! The animal shelter is located in Jersey City, NJ and is where we recently adopted Leo. While this photo shoot wasn't very fun (it was war), I promise my class will be! The playlist will be rock and roll themed and 100% of the proceeds will be donated. Read on for details.
If you've been following my blog or Instagram for a while now, then you know I'm obsessed with working out (in a good way). While I'm most loyal to Bar Method classes and practicing yoga, I'm always up for a FlyWheel or SLT class. Lately, I've been attempting (key word) to run and it's left me incredibly sore – everywhere. When the IntelliRoll ended up on my doorstep, I knew I had a new best friend.
I'm excited to announce that starting next week, I'm joining the Pavana Yoga team in Hoboken and will be teaching on Mondays at 9:30am weekly. The studio is brand new, downtown and gorgeous. If you're into a Vinyasa flow class with intelligent alignment instruction and some light rock and roll (Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, DMB, John Mayer...), then this one's for you. Hope to see you on the mat!
Lately, I've been noticing that more and more lifestyle brands are taking a wellness approach targeting how they can become part of a healthy lifestyle and it makes me so happy. Beauty brands caught onto this a while back and began creating cleaner products and marketing them towards health enthusiasts like myself, but recent mailings I received proved that this wellness thing is way more than just "trendy." It's a lifestyle that's not going anywhere... Here are some of my favorite new products that are completely on brand.
It's sleeveless shirt season. Here are some simple ways you can work out your arms and pull off that cute halter top in no time. You're welcome.
This past weekend I attended Yoga Journal Live, yoga workshops and lectures with world renowned teachers, at the Hilton in midtown NYC. Literally, hundreds of workshops were held over four days, and people from all over the country attended. I felt like I was at the Governor's Ball on Randall Island running from stage to stage to see some of my favorite musicians perform. Only instead of having a drink in my hand, dancing my way through the crowd, I found myself carrying my mat, notebook and props from conference room to conference room amongst thousands of other yogis doing the exact same thing.
What do people love more than being comfy? Looking cute while being comfy. So get excited because the word "athleisure" is being added to the dictionary... early 2016. The sudden recognition should come at no surprise considering 90% of consumers wear fitness apparel for activities other than exercise, sports bras are now 20% of the bra industry and denim sales are plummeting and active wear pants sales are rapidly rising. Here’s a look at some of our favorite high-end fitness fashion lines.
We did it! Yesterday was my last day in YogaWorks Intensive Teacher Training and I'm feeling very emotional about it. When I tell you that this was the most rewarding and transformative experience of my life, I'm not exaggerating.
Can you believe that at this time next week I'll be a 200-RYT? Yes, a registered yoga teacher! Like last week, this week flew by. And despite my struggles with inversions last week, I'm have more faith (I actually got up this week!), and know that with practice they will happen.
Can you believe I'm already half way through? In just two weeks, I'll be a 200 hour certified yoga teacher! Even though the afternoons seemed long, this week actually flew by. The change of perspective I had towards the end of last week about the training (see week 1 post) really helped me dive in each day and take in as much as I can this week. I love it and the more I learn, the more I want to teach.
When I signed up for the YogaWorks Intensive Teacher Training with Chrissy Carter, I knew it was going to be like a bootcamp, but I had no idea how much work was really involved. Four weeks of a 200 hour teacher training, as opposed to a five month period (which is what many do) appealed to me, because like most New Yorkers, I like checking things off of my list and moving forward. Thanks anxiety. My intentions going into the training were to put yoga first, but of course still keep up my full time freelance career (pitching, writing, pitching, writing), blog and health coaching homework (I graduate IIN in March). With those expectations set for myself, I came home three nights this week full of tears.
Bar Method opened in Hoboken, so as you can imagine I've been diligently practicing my tucks and pulses. As someone who's taken barre classes on and off for years now all over the city, I've found that while they all share common goals, each company has their own strengths. With Bar Method, the super tiny movements and breathing exercises have already begun proving their effectiveness by sculpting and carving out my muscles just the way I want them. Yes, I know change doesn't happen over night, but we're moving in the right direction here.