Staying Fit After 40

Staying Fit After 40

It’s never too early or too late to begin focusing on your health. Whether you’re a life-long fitness lover or recently decided to make a change, seeing health and fitness as a way of life rather than an obligation will help you stay motivated and consistent on your health journey for the years to come. It’s important that we stop seeing wellness as separate from the rest of our life and ignoring all of the ways it helps us to thrive beyond just the physical. Pursuing health and fitness in a holistic, balanced way will help you flourish in your 40s and beyond.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

The physical and mental benefits of regular exercise are numerous, regardless of your age. Regular physical activity after 40 reduces risk of heart attack, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and decreases likelihood of type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. Exercise also helps build stronger bones, joints, and muscles, increasing your flexibility and balance.

The mental benefits of exercise are vital in maintaining your mental health and increasing longevity. Exercise releases serotonin and endorphins into your brain and has proven to be extremely effective in reducing stress. The older we get, the more important these things are for our overall quality of life.

No matter when you begin your exercise journey, these mental and physical benefits are available to you and increase as you stay consistent in your routine.

Incorporating Fitness Into Your Everyday Routine

If you’re just beginning to prioritize your health later in life, it can seem intimidating to sign up for a fitness class or walk into a gym. You might want to start by making small changes, like taking a walk during your lunch break or biking to work instead of driving. These small changes made over time will help you stay motivated and avoid becoming defeated or overwhelmed in your journey. As you gain confidence and stamina, begin incorporating strength and balance/flexibility exercises alongside your regular aerobic activity.

If you’re in your 40s and already have a regular exercise routine, there’s no reason to slow down or pull back because of your age. Continue to push yourself and try new forms of exercise while making sure to prioritize rest and recovery.

Focusing on your physical and mental health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and plenty of sleep will help you flourish at any age. It’s never too late to begin your life-long journey of self-care and self-love.

Benefits of Cardio Exercise

Benefits of Cardio Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise (“cardio”), or aerobic exercise, is fundamental for health and overall well being. Aerobic just means “with oxygen,” so any exercise that gets your body moving and your breath heavy can be cardio exercise. These exercises that increase our heart rate help to increase our aerobic capacity (how well we can use our oxygen) and offer numerous benefits for our heart and overall physical health. Let’s explore what these benefits are and see why cardio is so important.

Benefits of Cardio Exercise

You might gather this from the name, but yes, regular cardiovascular exercise improves overall cardiovascular health! This helps to reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Regular physical activity also helps regulate blood sugar and strengthens our immune system.

Cardio exercise is often associated with weight loss, and it’s true that the blood-pumping, heart-racing, heavy-breathing state burns serious calories. Compared to most other forms of exercise (like weight lifting, yoga, or pilates), cardio does burn more calories per session. And unless you’re doing vigorous high-impact workouts, cardio doesn’t require the same recovery period as strength training or weight lifting, so it can be incorporated into your daily routine with ease. When paired with a healthy diet, frequent cardio exercise can be a great strategy for losing weight in a healthy way.

Cardio isn’t just good for your heart—it’s also great for your mind. Cardio exercise sends endorphins to your brain that will leave you feeling happier (think “runner’s high”) and reduce stress, leading to increased energy during the day and more restful sleep at night. Regular cardio can even improve memory capacity and help fight against the loss of brain tissue that comes with aging.

Examples of Cardio Exercise

Convinced yet? If you’re ready to start incorporating cardio into your routine, the good news is that most forms of cardio are simple and free. Examples of cardio exercise include:

  • Brisk walking or running
  • Swimming
  • Indoor cycling and outdoor bike riding
  • HIIT or high intensity interval training
  • Elliptical or stair climber
  • Jumping rope
  • Dancing
  • Sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc.

Because the key to a healthy routine is long-term sustainability, be open to experimenting with various forms of cardio exercise until you find an activity that you truly enjoy (dance party, anyone?).

If you’re ready to experience the physical and mental benefits of cardio exercise, join us for an indoor cycling class: yogafevergr.com/classes/schedule/

What is Cross-Training?

What is Cross-Training?

What is Cross-Training?

Once you find a style of workout you enjoy, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine. Other forms of exercise might seem difficult or intimidating, so you avoid them altogether and stick to what you know. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with focusing on one form of exercise, you might be missing out on potential results and the opportunity to increase your overall strength. Cross-training is one way you can keep achieving results and avoid getting in a rut.

Understanding Cross-Training

Put simply, cross-training means practicing a different form of exercise than your typical routine, or regularly incorporating a variety of workouts that target different muscle groups. The purpose of cross-training is to improve your fitness and performance by increasing your overall strength and fill in any gaps or shortcomings created by your typical form of exercise.

Although any exercise is good exercise, being intentional about the type of cross-training you choose can help you achieve your goals and build strength in specific areas you want to improve. For example, a runner might swap out one run a week for a 30 minute HIIT, or add an indoor cycling class to their weekly routine to increase their endurance. Someone who practices yoga frequently might benefit from adding in strength-training sessions to build their overall muscle, flexibility, and core strength.

Benefits of Cross-Training

In addition to helping you build strength, one of the main benefits of cross-training is avoiding mental boredom and burnout. No matter how much you love your yoga sessions or your cycling class, you may find yourself feeling complacent and seeing slower results if you focus all your energy on one type of exercise. Trying different types of workouts might be the boost you need, challenging your mind and body to stay engaged and achieve new goals.

Incorporating different workouts in your routine will not only help you keep things interesting, but it will also help you avoid injury from over-exertion. Cross-training allows certain muscles to rest and recover while you focus on others, and will even allow you to continue training if you do experience injury in one muscle group.

Focusing on full-body conditioning will give you a higher level of strength in whatever workout you choose to do and improves your overall endurance, agility, and balance. Switching up your workouts also keeps your body from getting too well-adjusted to your routine and will help you continue to see results over time.

This week, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and incorporate cross-training into your routine. The options are endless: yogafevergr.com/schedule/

What is Barre?

What is Barre?

Today we’ll explore the basics of what barre is, the equipment it uses, and discover the unique benefits of this form of exercise.

Barre was created by ballerina Lotte Berk in 1959. After a back injury, Berk began combining her normal ballet routines with her rehabilitative therapy exercises and formed what we know today as barre. So what is barre, exactly? And how different is it from ballet and other forms of exercise?

Basics of Barre

Barre is a form of full-body exercise that combines movements and positions borrowed from ballet with low-impact, repetitive strength exercises, designed to isolate and strengthen muscles. Barre classes often rotate through sections focusing on arms, core/abs, and lower body, repeating small isometric movements targeting one muscle area until muscles are fatigued (yes, you’ll be shaking!) While these movements are the basis of barre exercise, modern barre may include “fusion” classes, incorporating barre movements alongside cardio, HIIT, pilates, and more.

Equipment Used in Barre

Although barre gets its name from the use of the ballet barre, that isn’t the only piece of equipment used in barre exercise. Many barre classes also incorporate resistance bands, sliders, hand or ankle weights, or exercise balls. Body weight movements are often included and, when used, weights are kept light due to the repetitive nature of the exercises. Participants may exercise in bare feet or in socks (socks with special grips may be preferred).

Benefits of Barre

Barre is often praised for its ability to help isolate and tone lean muscle throughout all parts of the body. The slow, repetitive movements used allow you to work muscles in a more focused way than traditional strength training exercises (think squats, push ups, or mountain climbers). The low-impact movements of barre are also significantly easier on your joints than high-impact strength training. In addition to building strength, participants can expect to see increased flexibility and a stronger core. Another benefit? Improved posture and balance. And, like all forms of exercise, barre is beneficial in improving overall health, reducing stress, and increasing mental clarity.

You definitely don’t need a dance background to experience the benefits and fun that barre classes have to offer, so don’t let that intimidate you! In fact, no prior experience or knowledge is required to participate in barre. Whether you’re a total beginner or a former ballerina, barre is a fantastic option for ​anyone​looking to build strength, tone muscle, and increase their mind-body connection.

Schedule your first barre class with us at ​yogafevergr.com/schedule

*Blog post written by Jordan An

what is Buti yoga anyway?

What is Buti Yoga Anyway?

Do you ever have a sudden urge to throw on your favorite song and dance around the room? Are you tired of putting yourself through grueling workout sessions just to lose weight? Are you ready to experiment with a fierce new combination of yoga, strength, and cardio?

If this sounds like you, wait until you learn about BUTI yoga. It will rock your world!

WHAT IS BUTI YOGA?

BUTI yoga is a unique practice, known for it’s cardio-intensive bursts of tribal dance, primal movement, and conditioning. Created by celebrity trainer Bizzie Gold, it’s designed to offer a calorie-scorching, body-sculpting, and dynamic yoga practice.

I’m not going to lie. When I first heard about BUTI yoga, I was intimidated. It sounds intense, right? But once I learned more, and watched a few videos, I discovered I was really intrigued to try this soulful and playful form of exercise.

The word ‘buti’ is a Marathi Indian term for “the cure to something that’s been hidden away or kept secret.” The movement involved in a BUTI class is designed to help everyone develop body confidence. It will help you fall in love with your workout, break through emotional and physical barriers, and transform your body.

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF BUTI?

As I mentioned, BUTI yoga is a physically-demanding sweat session. Yet, it’s approachable for all-levels. Just as in our regular yoga classes, you’ll begin where you are and grow at your own pace.

In a BUTI class, you can expect explosive movements, a quick pace, killer ab sequences, and lots of upbeat music – there’s nothing dainty about this practice! However, it will allow you to kick all that repetitive weight lifting, sit-ups, and elliptical work to the curb. The infectious group energy, filled with hoots, hollers, and lots of movement, will carry you through the experience.

HOW IS BUTI UNIQUE?

In Bizzie Gold’s creation, the signature strengthening approach is called Spiral Structure Technique (SST). The major movements you’ll do in BUTI are designed to activate all of the abdominal muscle groups. While most crunches and ab exercises only target the front part of the core, the reality is our abdomen is cylindrical. This method will build lean, strong muscles.

WHAT ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF BUTI?

The movement involved in BUTI yoga focuses on removing obstacles to our first and second chakras. The power that originates in these chakras often gets muted, resulting in tight hips and closed minds. BUTI yoga follows the lead of many cultures – such as Native American and African tribes, that have dance rituals using hip and pelvic spiraling. So in BUTI, you’ll sweat with intention, seeking both physical and emotional benefits.

GOT ANY TIPS FOR ME?

Wear yoga clothes and prepare to sweat – A LOT (no heat is even necessary!!). Drink water before, during, and after the process. Obey your body when it needs a break; it’s always okay to take a different movement or pose, or to simply rest. Share energy, strength, and a few giggles with your tribe (aka, your classmates).

Most importantly, you’re gonna have to leave your judgment at the door. Yes, you’ll be doing some movements you’ve never done before. And yes, it’s going to feel weird and scary at first. But if you can commit to celebrating yourself exactly as you are in this moment, you’ll find a community of fellow warriors willing to lift you up.

At some point, you’ll stop wondering what everyone thinks of your gyrations and simply enjoy the freedom to move in new ways. Though you may not instantly love everything about your body, I have a feeling you’ll feel much more at ease with yourself.

acroyoga fundamentals

All About AcroYoga

Acroyoga is a form of partner yoga that combines yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. Among the two-person team, the person doing the lifting is called the base and the person being lifted is the flyer.

Why We Love Acroyoga:

This joyful practice is about having fun and challenging your body and mind in a new, fresh way. Often, we get so stuck in our daily rut of work, household chores, and family responsibilities that we fail to bring play and joy into our lives. And, let’s face it, we can take our yoga practice very seriously at times.

But in Acroyoga, laughter is a regular, consistent component, brought together by the natural playfulness of bringing two energies together on one mat. The great thing about acroyoga is that it’s a form of building each other up – in the most literal sense.

Acroyoga is for Everyone (No Experience is Required):

One of the first responses we hear when holding an acroyoga class is “I could never do that!” Actually, YES you can. Just like traditional yoga, acro accepts you where you are and guides you through the necessary building blocks at whatever pace you need. Sure, some background with flexibility and strength makes the physicality of acro easier, but it’s definitely not a requirement. Acroyoga is physically demanding, but the communication you have with your partner is equally as important to helping you be successful.

The Best Partner for Acroyoga:

You may think that larger people do the lifting and smaller people do the flying; or that men lift and women fly. Not necessarily the case. You’ll find that technique is much more important than strength.

Honestly, the best partner in acroyoga is someone you can laugh with! I totally understand the intimidation factor that comes with this practice, so having an adventure buddy by your side will help you take that leap into an exciting new world of play and fitness. Whether it’s a stranger turned best friend, a significant other, or a sister – whoever you have the most fun with will be your best acro partner.

The Biggest Challenge in Acroyoga:

Hands down, the biggest challenge students of acroyoga face is trust. Our society is conditioned to tackle our tasks independently, stubbornly refusing to rely on others. Acro flips that norm on its head, creating a fun, safe space to return to the basics of what makes a strong community. You’re forced to have faith in one another, clearly and directly communicate your needs, learn to work together, and then fly – together.

Not only will you learn the basics of Acroyoga but you’ll learn to trust your own strength and balance. You have to give up some control when flying, but surrendering to the balance of your base offers a peace you can’t get anywhere else.

Are You Ready to Fly?

We’re hosting our Acroyoga workshops throughout the year, be sure to subscribe to be in the know on our next fly sesh. In this partner based offering, we’ll explore basic stretches and partner drills, along with therapeutic flying, simple L basing, and standing poses. Rest assured, you will also learn partner safety and how to spot these poses with others! This 90-minute workshop is all about having fun and allowing yourself to play with new friends and old. Bring your sweetie, friend, or brother and let’s freakin’ fly!

 

Yoga Nidra Meditation

Yoga Nidra: A Powerful Meditation Technique

Yoga Nidra, commonly known as yogic sleep, is an immensely powerful meditation technique that is easy to develop and maintain.

While you rest comfortably in savasana, your instructor will vocally and systematically guide you through the practice. You’ll start at one end of your body and work all the way to the other. Yoga Nidra instructors speak rhythmically: “Right big toe, right little toe, top of the foot, the heel of the foot, calf muscle…”

By bringing your attention repeatedly to these sensations in your body, you become habituated and can even forget the sensation altogether. This forgetting of the space around you lets you draw your attention inward.

Benefits

Anyone can do Yoga Nidra: While not everyone can participate in intense vinyasa flows, everyone – from children to seniors – can practice Yoga Nidra. All you need to do is lie down on the floor, though it can be done seated if necessary.

You cannot incorrectly practice Yoga Nidra: All you have to do is follow the voice – whether instructor or recording – as it guides you. You’ll experience something new each time, which is great! And falling asleep is even okay, as you’ll still receive the benefits from your unconscious mind.

It’s a simple way to reduce stress: As you can imagine, feeling well-rested is life-changing, but Yoga Nidra also improves symptoms of anxiety and depression for many practitioners.

Yoga Nidra is easy to incorporate into your life: Since it’s always guided, you will experience less frustration compared to trying to clear your mind all on your own. Also, this practice can be as short as five minutes or as long as an hour.

It helps you learn about yourself more intimately: Yoga Nidra offers a space to explore whatever you need and come face-to-face with long-held emotions.

Structure

Start by setting an intention for your practice – whether your goal is to relax and rest or to dig into a particular emotion or sensation.

As you wait for your instructor to begin leading you, take a few moments to scan your body. Move your awareness from top to bottom, preparing for the guided meditation to follow.

Throughout the practice, be aware of your breath. Simply observe the natural flow of oxygen and the rise and fall of your abdomen. Notice the flowing energy that your breath stimulates throughout your body.

Welcome your feelings and thoughts without trying to change any sensations or emotions that are present. As you sense each one, try to welcome its opposite within your body. For example, if you feel worried, call up feelings of serenity. Experience sensations of joy or bliss that spread throughout your body.

As you transition back into your waking life, pause to take a moment of reflection and gratitude for the time you’ve taken to benefit yourself.

Indoor Cycling

Get on your bikes and RIDE

What is indoor cycling?

Indoor cycling is a form of exercise using a stationary bike that focuses on endurance, strength, interval training, and recovery.

Known as an exhilarating, dynamic, and challenging form of exercise, indoor cycling is also quite accommodating for those with joint issues, making it a cardio workout with less pressure on your knees and feet.

Additionally, it works all the major muscle groups, including your core, upper body, back, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower legs.

What are the benefits of indoor cycling?

Indoor cycling is a tremendous way to burn calories; on average, students burn 400 – 800 calories per class. It also boosts heart health and lung capacity. However, it is recommended to  attend 3-6 classes per week to gain the full benefits available to you.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to indoor cycling, like most group classes, is the great sense of community.

What will YogaFever’s cycling classes look like?

There are 2 different types of indoor cycle rides. We will be combining these two styles to make it a one of a kind experience.

Beats/Rhythm Ride— picture it, the lights are off, the only light you see is the kick-ass orange and yellow led’s simulating a disco up above you, in front of you and behind you. The music is bumpin’ and your body is moving to the beat. Your instructor is lifted up on a platform at the front of the room motivating you to be your BEST AUTHENTIC SELF on and off the bike. It’s here that you start to break an intense sweat. Your body is pedaling to every beat in the instructor’s playlist and you are officially one with the experience.

Metric Ride – This is where you challenge yourself along with your fellow riders to climb intense hills, hit high speeds, and track your RPM, heart rate, calories scorchin’ and more. Lights off, music UP and the race begins. This is where the sweat starts to bead on your chest, your upper lip and even the back of your neck. You’re in it to win it and you can’t be stopped. Ahead of you is a lit TV screen with your name on it, tracking your every pedal, every heartbeat, every movement. It’s here you go beyond your limits to beat Susie Q and Joe Blow on the bikes next to you and have a healthy competition between friends and community members. The instructor is getting louder as you are peaking to the finish, encouraging you to take it ALL THE WAY. And low and behold, you DO.

Join us in studio for indoor cycling to experience both a rhythm ride and metric ride. No experience is necessary for these 30 to 45-minute classes, but all students should bring a pair of indoor tennis shoes or clip-in shoes specific to cycling. We totally want you there on time as we need to get you familiar with adjusting the bike, and acclimated to the space.

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Nourishing your body before and after hot yoga

Nourishing Your Body Before and After Hot Yoga

As you know, yoga involves movement, twisting, and turning. The last thing you want when you’re busy flowing through a new sequence is to experience a stomachache, bloating or gas (EEK!). But it’s really hard to fuel our bodies correctly. Sometimes we accidentally eat gassy veggies before class and other times we forget to drink an adequate amount of water.

As yoga instructors, many of our students ask what to eat, when to eat, and how to hydrate properly in order to enjoy a successful yoga workout.

We think this is a great question and hope we can show you some simple tricks to staying healthy and energized throughout your yoga practice. Especially in the heat of summer (hello 95 degrees, Grand Rapids – we feel you!), it can be tough to keep our body full of the nutrients we need to make it through intense work outs and hot yoga classes. So let’s use this summer season to practice being intentional about what we put in our bodies before and after yoga class.

Why is this so important? Glad you asked. When you have the right amount of food and water in your body, you’re able to build and tone your muscles. But when you fail to do so, your body finds itself in “preservation” mode, too busy trying to provide basic energy and unable to create new muscle.

6 Tips for Nourishing Your Body the Right Way

Time It Right: So, when’s the best time to eat before yoga class? Ideally, we ask you not to eat 2 hours prior to yoga. However,  it doesn’t hurt to load up on a 200-300 calorie healthy snack an hour or so before class. This will keep your stomach from rumbling obnoxiously while also providing enough time for digestion.

TIP! Bring some apple slices and peanut butter with you to work so you can munch on them before heading to class or grab an orange. Oranges are 87% water content and are loaded with vitamin C. They’re perfect for adding some quick hydration. 

Avoid Fatty Foods: You probably already know this one, but before any workout, you should stay away from fatty or greasy foods (Duh). Focus instead on foods with fast-acting carbohydrates or lean protein. Your body can use this energy immediately to provide the boost you need.

TIP! Carrots and hummus is a light, easy snack that will give you the energy and nutrients you need. Save the tofu burger & fries for a once-in-a-while thing (and not before you hit class). Although I must admit, I am a bit of a french fry addict!! I do stick to eating them after class (pinky swear).

Bring an Eco-Friendly Water Bottle: At Yoga Fever, we strongly encourage you to bring an environmentally friendly water bottle to each and every class. We also sell Essentia H2O with electrolytes at the studio in the event you forgot to pack one along. Bring water into the studio with you and remember to drink it whenever necessary (even during the class). We won’t always remind you to hydrate so be conscious of your intake before, during and after.

TIP! When your instructor offers the opportunity to skip chaturanga and go straight to a downward dog, use the extra time to hydrate if needed. Listen to your body – it’ll tell you when the time is right.

Snack Smart before AM Class: It’s hard enough to drag your sleepy a** to an early morning yoga class (we get it), let alone trying to throw in eating properly before the crack of dawn. We recommend eating as lightly as possible before class, then consuming a solid breakfast afterward.

TIP! For your sunrise yoga session, opt for half a cup of oatmeal, half an avocado, or a small handful of avocados. A cup of tea works well, also.

Befriend your Blender: Oh how I heart my blender!! Some of the best pre-workout snacks are healthy, protein smoothies. These fruit and veggie-filled drinks are all the rage these days, so it won’t take you long to google a recipe you like. If you head to yoga straight from school or work, mix it up in the morning and keep it in the fridge during the day.

TIP! Hydration is super important before yoga, so try adding ingredients like green tea, oranges, pineapple, or mango. The antioxidants will also prevent muscle soreness.

Hydrate and Replenish: The first thing you’ll want to do after rolling up your mat is to drink some H20 and maybe even add some electrolytes to your water. Electrolytes help you replenish the much-needed nutrients, sodium and minerals your body lost during your sweat sesh. We keep Emergen-C electrolytes at the studio for our staff to sip on between classes. You can purchase it at Costco or any local pharmacy. Whatever you do, just be mindful to keep your water bottle near you for at least an hour after class, although your body may crave extra water for the rest of the day.

TIP! You can also add in some other, naturally-hydrating drinks like fruit juice or coconut water. Even foods like cucumber, watermelon, and pineapple (all chilled) are a great post-hot yoga treat.

Remember, these are only suggestions. There are certainly additional food items you can add to the list. And it’s important to note that everyone’s body is different. Listen to yours to decipher which foods it can digest well and which are better left for an off-day. And after hot yoga, stock up on your lean protein by eating yogurt, drinking low-fat milk, or snacking on turkey and hardboiled eggs. We’ve also heard chocolate milk is a great way to rehydrate after extra muscle building (who knew?).

Most importantly, remember that these tips are designed to help you focus on your practice. We want our yogis to be fully invested in each hot yoga session, not worried about becoming dehydrated or depleting their adrenals.

STAY HYDRATED GRAND RAPIDS.

How to choose the right mat for hot yoga

How to Choose the Right Mat for Hot Yoga 

Yoga mats are a game changer when it comes to a sticky, sweaty yoga practice. Recently, I was far from my yoga home and decided to test out another hot studio. However, I did not have my favorite mat with me as I was out of town. I figured no big deal, I’ll just rent one. The studio in and of itself was fabulous. It hit most of the checks on my “list” as to what makes a great hot space.

  1. Beautiful and clean studio and lounge
  2. Adequate space to flow and breathe
  3. A yoga teacher who was clear, creative, and enthusiastic
  4. Knowledge of alignment and body mechanics
  5. The heat was seriously on point

But one major thing missed the mark: their rental yoga mats did NOT provide appropriate grip and safety. This completely changed my practice from stellar to super disappointing.

I suppose I’ve been blessed to practice on great mats in my hot yoga practice, which has led me to take for granted the superior traction that’s necessary to have an out of body hot yoga experience. So when I tried practicing on a lesser quality mat, I was unbelievably distracted by the possibility of my downward dog being split in two from my slippery hands and feet! Let’s just say: that hot yoga experience was not my usual “you’re Wonder Woman” experience.

If you’re going to practice hot yoga, and feel like a superhero the entire time, invest in a yoga mat and/or towel that is intentionally designed to manage intense heat and sweat. Otherwise, you’re only cheating yourself because your practice will be so distracted from holding on for dear life, that you won’t be enjoying the practice (which is clearly the point).

A couple tips: Just because it has a famous brand name, doesn’t mean it’s the best for hot yoga. And resist the urge to buy a yoga mat from your local pharmacy, home goods store, or supermarket.

So, what should you look for in a hot yoga mat? 

Consider the Thickness– The weight of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it will be. Too thin and your knee may experience pain during low lunge; too thick, you may feel a weakened connection to the floor – making you more wobbly in balancing poses.

Standard yoga mats are about ⅛ inch thick, which is a great option for hot yoga. If you know you have sensitive knees, go thicker so your yoga experience isn’t uncomfortable. If you’re always on the go, try a wafer-thin mat that you can fold up and fit in a suitcase.

Go for the Grip– There’s nothing worse than slipping and sliding around on your yoga mat during an intense, hot class. This is the exact opposite of what the practice is supposed to be doing for you. We want to take ourselves out of the world of frustration and become one with the experience at hand, not over effort to stay in place. When you shop for your perfect mat, be sure to check the material. You’re looking for a closed cell mat or one with a microfiber towel on the top and rubber base. This will keep you grounded while also absorbing your sweat. Make sure the mat description says it is used for ‘hot yoga’ and if it doesn’t do the trick (after the break in period), return it or send it back.

Don’t Skimp on the Cost– Though I’m all about saving money when possible, a high quality yoga mat is worth the splurge – especially when you’re committing to a consistent hot yoga practice. If you choose the cheapest option, it will not hold your dog and will quickly become a slip and slide. Keep the inexpensive mats for the traditional yoga room or your at home practice, not the hot space. In the hot space, it will absolutely deem useless as the minute you sweat, all grip is lost.

Choose Support- At the end of the day, your yoga mat is your safety net and your right hand man. You carry it everywhere, it rides shotgun in your car, and you shed a lot of negative energy on it. It will always catch you when you fall (unless you bought it at CVS). Choose one wisely, one that supports you 100% through every down dog and every life changing experience.

If you have any questions at all, let’s talk! Seriously, email me, call me, or stop into the studio. We sell some amazing sweaty yoga mat options from Lululemon that will 100% hold you in place.  Always choose a local business to purchase corporate goods, as they make a commission on that wholesale. Happy sweating!