Keeping Calm—during busy times of the year

This year seems to always be CHAOS. Maybe that’s just the mom life talking, but end of the school year, planning summer vacations and figuring out how to fit kids into camps along with fun days and work and family seems to be quite a feat in the midst of all the other hundreds of things you are already doing.

Teachers are wrapping up school work and end of the year parties, work doesn’t slow down, traffic towards the beach is a nightmare, and all in all we are just trying to keep our heads above water til summer hits and we can (hopefully) press snooze a couple times and CHILL!

I

FEEL

YOU.

So, how can we find some peace and quiet and stillness in these crazy times? My advice to you—wake up early, go to bed on time, and give yourself that time in the mornings to start your day doing whatever it is that makes YOU happy. I’m not just talking ‘yoga’ or ‘meditation’ or the things that work for me…because truthfully, I have neglected those things as of late (I’m admitting it). I’ve been diving into self care—enjoying a quiet hot shower instead of rushing through rinsing off (which I do about 2 to 3 times a day because of my class schedule, practicing a more diligent skin care routine, finding books that are light easy reads and just enjoying a few pages here and there, REALLY cleaning my kitchen, sewing for my daughter, making fresh juice in my juicer we all know I’m obsessed with, fitting in a quick gym workout after a class or maybe stretching a bit or taking a walk outside…it’s different every day but I’m learning to listen to my body and take a little time for myself—and it makes a huge difference in my day and how much more I can give of myself to my kids and those around me.

The things that work best for me when I seem to be ‘at my best’:

  1. Wake up early. Period. It’s the one thing I find every successful blogger, self help expert, millionaire, etc. to have in common. The morning time is glorious—it’s light and inviting and a new start verses the night that is dark and ending. Embrace a new beginning instead of another closing.
  2. Live by my planner—plan every day and write down all the things I need to do. There is something so satisfying about marking things off a list! My first husband actually used to do this and it has stuck with me.
  3. Maintain the house just a little bit each day—when you wake up clean up what you see that you CAN in 10 minutes. Do it again at the end of the day. At least rinse the dishes and put them in one side of the sink so that next ten minutes you can just wash them or load the dishwasher—or have one of the kids do it! Start a load of laundry or change out a load in these 10 minutes—that can be a load a day which will make your weekend or catch up day drastically lighter on the workload!
  4. Turn off notifications on your phone. I have been TERRIBLE about letting myself be too available in some of my work and it has caused so much stress, anxiety and over committing. Not I have to actually CHECK to see who has contacted me (I do make myself available for those that would be trying to reach me for my kids). This has been life changing.
  5. Lastly, do make time for yourself. WRITE THIS IN YOUR PLANNER. Whether it is a workout class, a daily walk, that time to wake up and get ready and make yourself feel your best, or even just treating yourself to a healthy meal or a coffee—PLAN THIS and DO IT and ENJOY IT!

You are responsible for your own happiness; make it happen! Don’t let the chaotic responsibilities we all have get you flustered!

And if yoga or meditation IS your thing, try these postures to help maybe ease your mind and help you start your day calm, cool and collected—or wind down to rest for the night! Remember that our yoga practice is not always about the sweat—it’s more about connecting with your breath and your body. Some poses are meant to stretch you, some are meant to bring fire and heat and intensity to your movements, and some are meant to detoxify or even just slow your blood pressure and help bring ease to your body. Use these to relax!

Downward dog—but walk the hands back to get your hips higher and heels closer to the mat. This will help you tap into your breath, stretch your side body, engage your core and help stretch your legs.
Waterfall—or do against a fall for feet up the wall—this helps reverse the natural flow of our body from our usual upright position during standing, sitting, walking, etc. It is calming, grounding and restful.
Standing forward fold—you can press your fingers to the floor or relax and let your upper body drape forward. This let’s gravity bring some length to your spine and also stretches the backs of the legs; keep your weight moving slightly forward instead of into your heels.
Peace pose; a gentler version of pigeon. This is sometimes called pretzel in other practices; bend each leg at 90 degrees and sit up right trying to ground both thighs or fold forward. If you are naturally more open here, you can shift into pigeon by extending the back leg and turning the front of the thigh to the floor. This is calming, grounding, and peaceful and you can also add a twist over the front leg by walking your hands to frame the front thigh.
Stack the ankles—or sit in any posture with legs crossed that help you relax. You may want to sit on a blanket or block to bring ease to the lower back. This is a great way to just sit, bring awareness to your breath and give yourself a moment of quiet. Focus on breathing more than anything else and you just may find your mind taking you somewhere else!

Heart Openers + Emotions

In the yoga world we try to sequence (choreograph) our classes and practices to help the body do a variety of things.

Sometimes it is truly just to relax, breathe, and feel back with yourself.

Sometimes it is to sweat, feel stronger and accomplished–change your body physically which of course works back to our mental needs, too.

And sometimes it is all about energy work–security, creativity, empowerment, love, confidence, intuition, and overall balance and understanding.

In February–with Valentine’s Day, what better time to focus on opening that heart space and how to tap into those loving emotions. Whether you need to cultivate love and kindness for frustrating or lonely times–or want to celebrate love and admiration of someone in particular and of course for yourself, these postures may help!

Start with grounding yourself; whether you believe in energy work or not–heart openers can bring up some emotions and feelings you may not understand or even recognize are speaking to you! Let your body release them and listen to what your body is telling you!

Things to remember:

WARM UP: never go straight into your back bends! Warm up the front of your hips, warm up your arms and shoulders, and make sure you warm up adequately for the level of challenge you are hoping to achieve! (a little back bend needs a little warm up–a BIG back bend needs a LOT of warm up)

Don’t overdo it! If you feel tingly, pinching, sensations in your nose or fingers–STOP!

BREATHE while in your pose!

In cobra, we stay low to the ground. It actually is fairly suitable for warming things up; keep your elbows by your side and use your upper back strength to lift the shoulders as if you want to press them back behind you.

In upward facing dog, we take cobra to a higher intensity–be sure you are warm for this one for sure! Arms should be extended and engaged, thighs should be engaged+drawing toward one another+and off the mat, and you should feel more LENGTHENING in your spine than back bending!

A standing back bend is also one was to open the chest and explore upper body movement–but without losing that sensation of grounding through the feet! Pictured above may be too intense for you, so try just looking UP first!

ADD a back bend in other poses! In this grounded lunge, the shoulders are pressing back and the chest is opening toward the front of the mat and eventually upwards. There are MANY postures that allow heart opening possibilities! What others can you think of? How about pigeon, tree pose, and warrior 3?

ADVANCED back bends look cool…but can actually cause you hard–so be sure you are balanced, ready for deeper bending and have the core stability to try things like scorpion and king variations! Scorpion variations is one popular term for inversions allowing the feet to drop down behind the head; a king version is a more popular wording for reaching back for one or both feet with both hands and bringing them to the head (such as in dancer and pigeon).

Remember, the fullest expression of the pose is NEVER a requirement and can be dangerous–so stay where you are and work to what your body craves…not what you see on instagram!

Bend and open and feel all the love this February!

B+Y

What do I wear to class?

A common question we hear when someone decides to start attending classes is ‘well, what do I wear?’

First and foremost–be comfortable. Especially in the beginning–just wear what you would be able to move in and feel confident in. As you figure out which classes you enjoy most you will easily find what styles and fits of athletic clothing you like for each class.

For classes you will be moving quickly and doing a lot of large movements–you will probably want things that are more fitted, especially for your bottom half. This allows you to move without feeling tangled, and probably is more comfortable as your body warms up. Leggings can help keep heat in, too and that helps with circulation and flexibility during the class! You will want a good supportive sports bra for you ladies; in athletic classes, if you are larger in the chest you will want to look into sports bras with wider straps. They will be more comfortable and not pull so much on your neck–and this goes for outside the studio too (can help reduce shoulder tension, headaches, and even help your posture). Shirts are up to you–if you like to stay warm try a snug dry fit long sleeve tee. If you prefer tank tops, try something that lets you move easily but stays in place. For classes like yoga, more fitted shirts tend to be less distracting; for barre and other fitness classes, looser tops are fine because you are not ‘upside down’ much and don’t have to worry about the top moving around.

For gentle yoga classes and other classes like YIN and meditation, really anything is fine. If you prefer fitted clothing–wear it. If you want more relaxed fitted things that feel comfortable–wear those! You also may want layers in these classes since you won’t be creating so much heat in your body.

There are ALL kinds of brands out there–there are all kinds of fabrics and styles and fits. Trendy, basic, bright, subtle…you name it–you’ll find it. There are also all price points from affordable items at Wal-Mart and Target, to high end brands at boutique studios and specialty stores like Dick’s and Lululemon.

We don’t carry much athletic apparel in the studio anymore–but you can shop our online boutique with Zyia Athletics HERE! Check out our suggestions below for classes we offer:

Fav bra–the bomber bra; a lot of support, a lot of colors and a lot of bang for your buck!

Fav leggings–for compression and feeling supported and held in tight, try the light n tights! For comfy movement and super soft fabrics for yoga and really anything–try any of the luxe line!

Fav tanks–for a comfy tank that fits great and not too snug try the swirl tank. For more fitted dry wicking styles try the copper charged tank or horizon muscle tank.

Fav lounge and loose fitting pants–oh the jogger life; so comfy and functional. All the joggers are superb–and if you want a snugger fit that functions as a legging but has more a jogger look, try the ascends. For some just all around comfy pants, try the unwind joggers.

Fav pullovers–the velvet sweatshirts are so soft and perfect fitting. The namaste tee and yoga shawl is also a fav for wearing to class or even out and about!

I didn’t know y’all ‘work out’ there?!

We hear this…like every single day. And we love the response when someone tries any of our fitness classes. It’s a mix of surprise with ‘that was really hard’, a sigh of relief when that cool towel touches their face, and a bit of eagerness to try another one.

Yes…we ‘work out’ at The Barre+Yoga Room.

Yoga is NOT just stretching; in fact most of what you see on tv, instagram (ESPECIALLY instagram), and maybe picture in your mind as being ‘yoga’ is only about 10 % of it. Like any other methodology, dogma and practice–it has evolved SO much from where it started, been through chains of lineage and founded by new students that became teachers and evolved their own styles and beliefs on teaching.

This means just like there’s a lover out there for every person and a church for every believer–there’s a yoga practice for every body!

Within B+Y we have traditionally trained instructors mixed with new fitness ideals. We then sprinkle in different backgrounds and lifestyles for each of our teachers and you have a variety on our teaching staff that will help you always have a class to look forward too–and never feel you are just doing the same thing over and over again.

If you want a WORKOUT, try THESE:

PULSE 30 | 60 | 90 – this class is heated to 85 and uses tons of props for weights and resistance. There is a combination of pilates inspired core work, barre and traditional fitness ‘moves’, and power yoga to help you tap in, tone up, and zone out.

FLOW+CORE – ah, another fav. All the core with all the flow. We heat this class to 90 and help you burn out your abs and flow til you can’t flow no mo’. Movements are set to hip hop music to bring the fire to your workout.

HOT FLOW – a great mix of yoga, 90 degrees, moves that seem like nothing in the moment but will give you some soreness the next day

Cardio Barre+Yoga and Barre Xpress – any of our barre classes are going to light your legs on FIRE! We sweat and we sweat HARD with barre–so prepare yourself. You’ll work your entire body every class and end with a cool down stretch to keep those muscles lengthening.

If you want to STRETCH and RESTORE sore muscles or RELAX your mind and spirit–try these:

Gentle Yoga – a perfect place for beginners or those needing more of a mental practice than a rigorous workout. This class moves a little slower and lets you stretch and feel at ease.

YIN – YIN is a fav with so many because it’s low, restful and never heated…in fact it’s kept chilly in the room most of the time. In yin we stress joint space and connective tissues in our bodies to help relieve tension and other emotions we may be holding on to, as well as physical stresses that can effect our posture and overall ease in the body.

Practicing With Prayer – This class is set to popular Christian and uplifting music and weaves scripture throughout the practice. If you need a safe place to land, are looking to get back to your faith or maybe just need some positivity in your week–this is a gentle yoga class with some yin like postures.

If you have questions–message us; but yoga is a spectrum and there truly is a place for the toughest gym rat to the anxious busy body.

Come practice with us!

Welcome

We’ve worked really hard to keep our space simple, inviting, and growing for more than two years now.

From two instructors and a small schedule, to classes every single day and a staff that keeps the space running, clean, and happily evolving to suit our communities needs–this studio has become more than a place to practice yoga and to workout. It is truly a space to nurture your spirit, make friends, feel inspired, and find your footing.

We have big plans for the year ahead, hope for more growth and opportunities, more faces through our door and more to give back to our people.

Thank you for supporting us–we hope you allow us to keep supporting your mind and body needs in return.