Friday Favorites – February 12, 2016

 

bricks

Happy Friday gang! Anyone else already looking towards the clock, hoping it says quitting time? I’m ready for the weekend! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Celebrating Valentine’s Day? We have quite a few plans today and tomorrow but Sunday and Monday are all about relaxing, staying warm and spending time together. I’m dreaming of a bubble bath, glass of wine and some couch time as well. Too bad my bubble bath won’t include a view like the one above. One can dream, right?

As promised, in regular Friday fashion, here is this week’s version of Friday Favorites. So, as you count down the hours until the weekend begins, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

This article changed my smoothies immediately! I had no idea there was a right order for smoothie ingredients! For weeks, I’ve been making smoothies but finding that they aren’t blending well. Turns out, there is an art to putting the ingredients in your blender. This morning’s smoothie blended easily, was frothy and smooth even with the protein powder, chia seeds and frozen banana!

Need motivation before this weekend’s long run? This woman ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days! I guess this makes this afternoon’s treadmill long run seem much more manageable!

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are so stinking cute! Did you know they fell in love on a double date?

Looking for a few tips to make your lunch even healthier? Check out this post which includes tips and tricks from some of the healthiest people, including my girl Anne!

The winter weather has me layering on moisturizer ALL day and night. I’ve gone through two tubs of this night time facial moisturizer which leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated when I wake up. Each morning and before any outdoor run, I apply a heavy layer of this moisturizer since it has SPF and evens skin tone, hydrates and smoothes the pesky wrinkles I have near my eyes.

Even though it feels like 12 degrees outside, Jenna has me craving Mexican and margaritas for dinner! Who wants to join for grapefruit margarita happy hour tonight?

These lip balms are traveling everywhere with me this winter as my lips are CONSTANTLY dry. I love that they add a natural hint of color while

This week’s workouts left my hamstrings so tight that last night before bed I spent ten minutes doing this yoga sequence for tight hamstrings. I think I’ll do it again this afternoon before this evening’s long run.

Speaking of workouts, I’m challenging myself to take four classes at Brooklyn Body Burn via ClassPass (affiliate link save $25 on your first month) this month. The class, which is often called the hardest workout in NYC, leaves my humbled every time but I know that it is a great way to get stronger. The megaformer is basically a Pilates machine on steroids and every move is a combined movement so you’re working multiple body parts. During Tuesday’s class Christine and I grimaced at each other no less than five times during class yet we both found ourselves signing up for another immediately!

Your turn – Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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Surviving Hot Yoga

Five Tips for Surviving Hot Yoga

As part of our staycation, Bo and I each had the opportunity to suggest workouts. On a whim, I asked if Bo would be interested in taking a hot, power yoga class at Tangerine Yoga, my favorite Brooklyn yoga studio. During the sales pitch, I told him that the studio felt like a boutique in that they provided cold, lavender towels, mats and didn’t have a horrible stench like other yoga studios. I also told him that it’d be a great workout and a nice post-holidays detox since he’d sweat a lot and it would spike his heart rate. What I never expected was for him to leave the class saying that he “loved the practice and their message” and would “definitely be willing to go a few times a month.”

Our first hot yoga experience was a success, but often times, a person’s first experience practicing hot, power yoga can be a nightmare. Whether it’s Bikram or another form of hot yoga, the experience can be overwhelming, miserable and intimidating if a few simple steps aren’t followed. Based on our experience together, here are five tips for your first hot yoga practice.

Invest in or rent a skidless yoga mat cover or at least an extra towel. Once you start dripping sweat, holding a safe and firm grip on your mat becomes very difficult. Wiping your mat in between sequences or covering it with a large, absorbent or “yoga towel” will help ensure you have a safe practice. Slipping can result in injury, so pay the extra few dollars to rent a skidless yoga mat or an extra towel to put on top of your yoga mat. Bo was able to rent a manduka mat from Tangerine for an extra $3 and he said that it was well worth it as it absorbed most of his sweat and gave him a firm foundation. These are three different options of various price points:

Manduka

Yogitoes

Good Karma Mat Towel

Arrive early and use the extra time to introduce yourself to the teacher. Whether you’ve practiced other forms of yoga multiple times or if this is your first time stepping foot in a studio, it’s important to let the teacher know it is your first time practicing hot yoga. The teacher can provide tips and also give you some understanding of what to expect from his or her class. Being aware of your level will also allow the instructor to provide the best adjustments possible and more guidance and direction to ensure you are able to follow the class. We arrived to the studio ten minutes early on Saturday which allowed ample time for Bo to introduce himself to the teacher, acclimate to the heat and relax.

Situate your mat in the back next to a wall. Much to my surprise, when I walked into the studio on Saturday, I found that Bo had already reserved what I often consider to be the worst spot in the yoga studio – far back, left corner against the walls. I immediately told him that I thought we should move in order to have the best class possible. But, then he explained that for a beginner, this was the best spot. By being in the back of the class, he could easily follow other students through the flow while not worrying that others would judge or watch his form. In addition, in the hot yoga class, having two walls near you means that you have half as many people dripping sweat on you and your mat.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Not only should you enter the yoga studio with a large bottle of water, but you should also hydrate in advance of class. Do not try taking your first hot yoga class hungover or with only coffee running through your veins. Believe it or not, people lose as much as 32 ounces of water during 60 minutes of exercise. Hot yoga, especially hot power yoga, is an intense practice which will leave you swimming in a puddle of sweat. In order to ensure that you can last the entire class and aren’t at risk of passing out, bring a large bottle of water or coconut water with you to class in addition to sipping on water before class.

tangerine power yoga

Wear the right clothing. One of the things that Bo and I both loved about Saturday’s hot yoga class at Tangerine was that we never felt judged. Hot, power yoga is not the time to be modest and worry about those few extra pounds. Instead, you should focus on the fact that you made it to class and do everything you can do be comfortable.  For most people, that means stripping off layers of clothing. People of all shapes and sizes were in the studio enjoying the 60 minutes of intense, physical exercise and emotional release on their mat. No one was staring at what we were wearing and everyone knew that the fewer clothes the better. I sported only a pair of shorts and a sports bra during the class and Bo wore his shortest technical shorts and a light shirt. In addition to sweat wicking top and bottom, an absorbent headband can help keep your hair in place and the sweat out of your eyes! 

Your turn: Have you practiced hot yoga? Love it or hate it? 

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Sky Ting Yoga

As promised guys, I have been trying lots of new studios so I can give you guys the inside scoop and I can begin to catch up on all the workout action in New York City. As you know, while I was living in Switzerland there were only two studios I visited, one was a seasonal spin studio and the other was my favorite yoga studio.

It’s so fun to be back in New York City and taking advantage of the boutique fitness scene. While it can be very expensive, I’m trying many of these studios through ClassPass or leveraging their new student specials!

It seems like every few weeks a new yoga studio opens in New York City.  Often it’s hard to understand what sets each apart from the other. On Yelp there are over 1,000 studios in the area and on ClassPass and FitReserve alone, there are over 100 studios in New York City!

But, when Well+Good, one of my favorite outlet’s for all things health and wellness, raved about Sky Ting Yoga, I knew I had to check it out!IMG_2357

Located on the edge of Chinatown, Sky Ting isn’t exactly easy to reach for most people. But, as soon as you walk through the studio, you are transported to a peaceful world filled with light, mellow music, friendly staff and an incredible yoga space. The staff was friendlier than most studios, making me feel at home and welcome even when I arrived sweaty and out of breath. Unlike many studios, Sky Ting includes mats and towels, so students don’t have to worry about lugging theirs or shelling out extra cash to rent.

Apart from the space and the friendly space, the primary thing that sets Sky Ting apart from the rest is the yoga space. After checking in you head back outside and ascend an outdoor staircase to the fifth floor studio.

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Skylights and large windows allow light to flow through and illuminate the bright white walls and wood floor. The only thing that fills the space other than light is a tall giraffe, which provides levity to any yoga class.

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The owners Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan who both previously taught at Yoga Vida, teach a unique yoga style known as Katonah yoga. The method brings together traditional hatha yoga, pranayama breathing techniques and strong vinyasa sequences. This mix allowed me to go from sweating and breathless to calm within just moments when I took Chloe’s class last week. Her yoga style and epic playlist quickly helped me realize why after only two weeks, the yoga studio is filling the Monday night class to capacity.

Jones

(Image source)

The only thing I must point out, is that even though I enjoyed the class and left feeling less stressed and standing a bit taller, is that I didn’t feel that I fit in. This sounds silly as New York City is filled with all types of yogis. But, in this Monday evening class, I felt as if I was at a modeling or actress audition. The majority of women in the class were taller, slimmer and tanner than me while having a California cool persona. Don’t get me wrong, that won’t keep me from going back to Sky Ting but it’s something I do feel I should point out in case that isn’t your crowd or style.

Their schedule includes both 60 and 90 minute classes at just about any hour you could want! They have six classes Monday through Friday and three classes on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in town on a weekend, I’ve heard that their Saturday and Sunday duo instructor classes with the founders, Krissy and Chloe, are wonderful!

Each class costs $20 though there are packages which reduce it down to $16. Make sure to take advantage of their new student special –  two weeks of unlimited classes for just $20!

Want to read more? Check out what Elle, Well + Good and Vogue had to say about Sky Ting!

Cost: $20 though packages can reduce prices to $16  Address: 55 Chrystie Street (at Canal Street) 4th Floor, New York City  What to wear: Your favorite yoga gear and a bottle of water will do just fine but don’t worry about lugging mats as they provide them!

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