YogaFever Clean & Safety Protocol

At YogaFever, we value the relationships we have built with our customers, community and our team members over the years. And we know that you rely on us to protect your health and safety while you are in our facility.

At this critical moment, your health is our highest priority. The fight against the virus of 2020 is not over, and we are committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of this disease in our community.

Working in close consultation with medical experts and health officials, YogaFever has developed a comprehensive set of protocols that meet or exceed the guidelines.

Below is a high-level overview of how YogaFever has reopened which we call “YogaFever Clean”. While not all inclusive, this summary will give you an overview of the comprehensive efforts we are taking as a small business to protect your health and safety all the while creating a plan that makes sense. Our staff is thoroughly trained on these protocols and plan, and we have applied these protocols consistently and aggressively.

YogaFever Clean represents a new way of doing business for us. And while we are committed to delivering the great service you’ve come to expect from us, your safety – and the safety of our team members – must be our highest priority during these unprecedented times.

YogaFever Cleaning Protocol in Response to the Virus Outbreak 2020:

HEALTH/HYGIENE

  • Do not touch your face or facemask
  • Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds should be done  after sneezing, coughing, or nose blowing, after using the restroom.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a (60% min) alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Sanitizing stations are installed logically throughout the studio.
  • All temperatures will be taken upon entering the studio.

YogaFever IC and STUDENTS must conduct health checks daily.  Do not come to the studio to work out sick.

  1. Do you have a fever?
  2. Do you have respiratory symptoms?
  3. If sick, seek care through your primary health provider.
  4. If found to have the virus of 2020, all ICs and students should immediately self-report and notify the owner Shannon Austin at info@yogafevergr.com (616) 805-3603.

INTERIOR ENVIRONMENTS

All mats and bikes are 6 feet – 8 feet apart from person to person.

In our common area, please wear your mask at all times. You are required to wear a face mask upon entering.

Only wear gloves when cleaning.  Gloves spread germs. Students should not wear gloves.

Each class will open doors 10 minutes prior to class.  Weather permitting, the external doors will be propped open before and after class for one less touch area.

HOW TO ENTER THE STUDIO

  • Please pre-register and pre pay for every class as size will be limited due to spacial distancing.  You will be charged automatically for a NO SHOW the value of the class which is $24 regardless of your membership level.  So, if you have an unlimited memberships and “no show” you will be charged $24.  If you booked a drop in and “no show”, that drop in class fee will be utilized.  There are no refunds for “no show”.  You have a window of 1 hour to cancel class with no penalty. Most studios are asking for 6 – 24 hours notice to not be charged a fee, we are simply asking for one hour to allow another member to slip in last minute.
  • There will be no lost and found.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Use the touch free check in station with your key card upon arrival.
  • Bring your own yoga mat, water, towel and spin shoes.  All weights and bands will be utilized in barre and sculpt classes. Those props will be sanitized before the class. After your class, leave props at your designated space to be fully sanitized by our team.
  • Our HVAC system is brand new throughout the entire facility. That includes all duct work, vents, and ventilation. We have 2 extremely high tech Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) units that measure CO2 levels throughout the space and filters the air inside. When a certain level of CO2 is met, the ERV motor turns on and exhausts air out of the room and supplies fresh air from the outside in. We have had these adjusted and turned on so that stagnant air is exhausting continuously and fresh air is continuously is being supplied. This is important as we are constantly cleansing the air inside the studio spaces and common areas. Our engineers have configured that with this adjustment our studio spaces including common areas are flushing 100% of the air every hour.
  • Several barre, yoga and sculpt classes will be live streamed to support our online community. The live stream is only recording the teacher or a demonstrator who will stay in their designated space at all times. These classes will not be able to be viewed later. They are booked the same way that a regular in studio class is booked.
  • No physical touch of any kind including hands on healing or physical adjustments will be made. Please respect personal boundaries and do not high five or hug in the studio. I know we all miss each other and want desperately to connect, but we must respect the barrier.
  • Studio B will be closed temporarily with the exception of private 1:1 sessions. All barre and sculpt classes will be performed next door at 1144 Wealthy Street, which was our temporary location during our rebuild. You must check in at 1154 (our usual location) and then head next door. All the same protocols are in place next door.
  • Studio C for spin classes will have regular in studio classes throughout the day with a limited capacity. While the studio does not have a live teacher, we will run $10 community classes that can be used by members for free where there will be YouTube classes played every hour on the hour. This means even if you cannot access a class with a teacher in studio, you still a “virtual in studio” RIDE. This may be more convenient for some as you can come with a small group and do a studio “take over” to get in your daily burn or just come alone and have the state of the art equipment to ride on with more privacy. All bikes will be heavily sanitized before and after each use.

CLEANING PROTOCOL

Yoga Fever has secured medical grade commercial cleaners, hand sanitizers, foggers, and cleaning protocol.

Yoga Studio, Barre Studio, and Spin Studio (after every class)

  • Wipe down all surfaces wall to wall
  • Wipe and sanitize all light switches and doors
  • Mop wall to wall with medical grade commercial cleaner
  • Foggers are used between classes to sanitize the air, floors and walls
  • Deep clean entrance, restrooms and common Area (2x day for retail, hourly for restrooms)
  • Sweep and mop wall to wall. Sanitize all walls, light switches and doors
  • Clean restroom fixtures, mirrors, door handles, counters
  • Sanitize all glass surfaces
  • Vacuum Walk off mats
  • Dust and Sanitize all low reach areas
  • Dust and Sanitize all high reach areas

*The sole purpose of this is to provide information about the safety of our facility. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you suspect you may have an illness or the virus of 2020, please consult your medical practitioner immediately.

Building Your Springtime Routine through Yoga, Nutrition, and Sleeping Patterns

Last week we dove into the basic principles of an Ayurvedic approach to spring. We talked about how the kapha dosha is aggravated by qualities that are heavy, cold, or moist, so we encouraged you to begin inviting in lightness, warmth and dryness through the food, activities, and self-care rituals you choose to engage in.

We determined that the best prescription is to develop a rhythm. In this season, you’re looking to identify a set of routines that help you gradually lighten your body, mind, and emotions.

Today, I dive into what your yoga practice, eating habits, and sleeping patterns might look like when following an Ayurvedic approach to spring.

Your Yoga Practice

Your practice this time of year should be stimulating and invigorating. I’ve seen our Yoga Fever instructors begin to ramp up their classes, filling them with high-energy, powerful flows.

However, I highly recommend an inclusion of both yin and yang classes this time of year. Cultivating both strength and flexibility will bring balance to the kapha dosha. Move rapidly through your sequences this time of year, but linger in the moments between. Use those opportunities to slow down and move mindfully.

When practicing at home, try some of these poses:

Sun Salutations- These sequences pump prana – or breath – through your body, filling you with oxygen. Move rapidly through these sequences, linking breath to movement, to relieve stagnation in your body and mind.

Backbends- Any heart opening asana will energize your body. Bridge pose, wheel, and wild thing all expand your chest, relieving any congestion in your respiratory system.

Dynamic forward folds- Whether seated or standing, forward folds tone your kidneys and bladder, regulating your body’s water content and emotions.

Twists- Wringing your body out through a variety of twists – like triangle pose – really detoxifies your organs and strengthens your metabolic fire. Talk about a thorough spring cleaning!

Nutritional Advice

In the winter months, we naturally gravitate toward sweet, sour, or salty foods to counteract the dry qualities of these bitterly cold months. Now that the temperatures are rising, eat lighter foods, focusing on pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes.

Make sure that lunch is your biggest meal of the day, so you’re not forcing your body to digest a large meal during the times of the day when your kapha dosha is sluggish. Also, aim to eat at regular intervals during the day, at least 3-4 hours between meals.

Best foods to eat this season:

Saute leafy greens – kale, collards, dandelion, spinach, or mustard greens – with ghee to cleanse your body and counterbalance congestion.

Opt for less sweet fruits, like cherries, blueberries, grapefruit, or granny smith apples.

Choose seeds instead of nuts.

Barley, quinoa, and millet should be your staple grains.

Kick up your seasoning game with spices like turmeric, ginger, cayenne, mustard, and black pepper.

Adjusting Your Sleeping Patterns

Before the sun reaches its ultimate summer equinox point, take advantage of the darkness and fight the urge to stay up late. You’ll have plenty of time to milk those hours come June.

To keep your kapha dosha in balance, go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and rise before the sun. Have you ever noticed that it’s actually easier to wake up at 5:30 a.m. than 6:30 a.m.? Providing you went to bed early!

When you do wake up, use those hours before the rest of the world wakes to get outside for a brisk walk or incorporate a vigorous yoga practice. We’d love to see you at our 6:00 a.m. hot yoga classes!

Cooling Yoga Poses for Your Summer Practice

Somehow we’re already in the middle of summer – can you believe that?! While it’s wonderful to be able to spend time at the beach, swimming in the pool, or taking long bike rides, there are times where it feels too hot for words, for life, for ANYTHING. Don’t let the heat slow you down too much. Let us show you a few techniques Ayurveda style to stay cool to beat the heat without losing your glow.

The heat of summer matters in our yoga sphere, as it tends to accelerate and heat our minds and bodies. This doesn’t mean that we should stop our regular yoga practice. In fact, our studio room is cooler than it is outside!!

According to Ayurveda, which is the traditional Hindu system of medicine based on the idea of balance in bodily systems, summer inspires the pitta dosha. The doshas are the bodily humors that create our unique, individual constitution. Fiery pitta energy dominates our environment in the summer (and some regularly all year long), which means we should be especially mindful of balancing this energy with our own cooling energy. The way we eat, the way we feel, and the way we maintain the layers of our being all can change according to seasonality.

Choose Yoga Poses that Release Heat

Try to incorporate the following categories of poses into your summer yoga practice.
Spinal twists: Twisting poses release excess pitta from your mid-abdomen.  Try seated spinal twist.
Gentle backbends: While some backbends build heat, gentle ones apply slight pressure to release tension from your mid-abdomen. Try baby cobra or cat-cow.
Forward folds: These physically cool the body and calm the mind and are essential to counteracting the heating qualities of more intense backbends. Try uttanasana or child’s pose.

Try a Gentler Approach

Certain yoga poses can help release pitta heat, but you don’t need to give up your favorite poses in order to stay balanced.

Keep these three pointers in mind as you practice the rest of this summer:

  1. Pace yourself during practice. Perform the more strenuous poses, such as sun salutations, more slowly and take longer breaths per pose.
  2. Focus on long, cooling breaths, rather than the intensity of your poses. Try for long exhalations, including the occasional open-mouthed lion’s breath to refresh your body.
  3. End on a slow note. Even if you practice more actively at the beginning of your session, be sure to end with a period of slow, cooling poses before finishing in savasana.

Don’t Forget the Cooling Foods

Ayurveda also focuses on balancing your food diet with the changing seasons, which means cooling off during the summer heat.

Always trust your body’s instincts, but I’d recommend focusing on these tips:
Eat vegetables and fruits with a high water content, such as melons, cucumbers, and leafy greens.
Avoid dehydration by drinking electrolyte-enhanced water or coconut water.
Certain herbs – mint, cilantro, cumin, and coriander – can actually reduce the pitta dosha.

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda or maybe what your constitution is (we all have one!!)? We will be offering a workshop in October and it is also incorporated into our teacher training program which starts in September. Contact the studio for more info or apply for teacher training (early bird pricing ends July 31) here: APPLY NOW

All About AcroYoga

Acroyoga is the newest experience that’s taking Yoga Fever by storm. Simply put, it’s a form of partner yoga that combines yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage. Among the two-person team, the person doing the lifter is called the base and the person being lifted is the flyer. We like to keep an instructor on hand to act as spotter too.

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 to trust your own strength and balance, but you’ll learn to extend that faith to another person. 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 next Acroyoga 101 for Beginners class on March 2 from 5:30-7:00 p.m (not a heated class). 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!

 

5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happier, Healthier You

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing and joyful holiday season and are feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually refueled. As you enter this new year of possibilities, I hope you take a few moments to thoughtfully consider your goals for 2018.

If you find it difficult to think of your new resolutions or are feeling discouraged about your capability to follow through with them, read on. We pulled together a list of five creative resolution categories – and we’re ready and willing to help you stay motivated this year.

Meditate- The practice of meditation truly brings out the best of you. It makes you wiser, sharpens your intellect, and boosts your energy. For us yogis, meditation will always require continual effort, for it takes work to commit to the difficult necessity of this craft. Since meditation is a cornerstone of a healthy life, incorporating it into your daily schedule is a great way to reduce stress this year. And that’s something ALL of us can relate to!

Make Time for Nature- A great first step to this intention would be committing yourself to spend more time outdoors this year. Leave the tech in your house and go for a weekly bike ride or pack a picnic and walk to your nearest park. Even this winter season, embrace your inner kiddo and go sledding or take a snowy walk to your neighborhood cafe. This unhurried time with nature provides bursts of intuition and creates head space for you to focus on your short- and long-term goals. To go even further, make it your goal to leave this earth a safe space to breathe for generations to come by planting a tree or conserving water.

Serve | Seva- Yoga philosophy encourages oneness and service, so consider a resolution based in giving back. Why not gather a group of yogis in your community and volunteer for a service project. It’s as easy as cleaning up your neighborhood, planting a community garden, or taking turns shoveling neighbors’ driveways.

Write More Often- The act of writing is one of the most creative and cathartic abilities we possess. And the great thing is, anyone can do it. Sure, you might not produce poetry or a novel anytime soon, but who’s stopping you from doing some daily journaling? Try writing down three things that bring you joy at the end of each day, or jot down interesting quotes or nuggets of info you hear during the day, followed by a few sentences of the feelings they evoked. As your thoughts pour onto paper, you’ll discover a healthy release of emotions and insecurities, helping you love yourself better and ditch that negative self-talk.

Introduce Yoga to Your Friends- Not all resolutions need to be so self-centered either. I encourage you to include your circle of friends in your plans for a happy and healthy new year. Consider how far you’ve come since you first began practicing yoga, including all the benefits it has had on your physical and mental wellness. Wouldn’t you like to spread the joy yoga brings you with your personal tribe? Take advantage of our affordable community classes to introduce a buddy to yoga or if you’re on a membership, you receive 2 free yoga passes for friends who have never been.

As you consider your resolutions for 2018, remember that they may take time to accomplish or to turn into a habit. Anyone can set a resolution, but committing to them is the real test. I suggest writing down your list of resolutions and placing it somewhere you can see them every day. Good luck yogis!

What are your resolutions this year? Please share in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

STILLNESS

Interestingly enough, one of the reasons we practice poses, or ‘asanas,’ in yoga is to help our bodies become supple enough to do the opposite: to sit in stillness and meditation. 

Take a minute to think about the last time you sat in complete stillness, without wondering what you were going to cook for dinner or how you were going to accomplish all your weekend activities. We’ve talked before on the blog about busyness and the way yoga can decrease stress, depression, and anxiety, but today I want to focus on one of the hardest components of yoga: stillness. 

Stillness is a skill. And like any skill, it takes practice. 

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO BE STILL?

Often, we’re instructed to “relax” and sink into a resting pose. As many of us can attest, “just relaxing” is a complex request. When we stop thinking about our breath, legs, core, and post-yoga plans, all kinds of scary thoughts can creep up to the surface. Mindful stillness is so challenging, you guys – even for the most experienced yogis.  

Over time, our busy lives leave us feeling exhausted, frustrated, and out of control. Yet, being alone with our deeper thoughts can be painful – so we tend to do whatever necessary to avoid moments of stillness. We add in activities and accept additional projects at work; we watch tv or turn on music when we’re home alone. While none of these activities are wrong in themselves, refusing to grant ourselves moments of genuine rest reduces our coping skills, sense of self, and even our relationships. 

HOW CAN WE PRACTICE STILLNESS?

This is why we infuse our yoga practice with moments of rest. We use child’s pose, sukhasana (an easy seat), mountain pose, and, of course, savasana to coax our bodies into stillness. Yes, it’s great to get active, to warm up the body, and to get nice and sweaty, but it’s equally important to do the opposite: create quiet and peace within the body.

The pause we take during these poses is not about falling asleep, hanging out, or waiting for the next movement. The pause is designed to foster a full awareness of our body and the way things are right now. We witness our breath flowing through our limbs, the way our heart beats, and the changes and evolutions that our bodies and minds go through.

When we do this, we experience an emotional release – from the day, from our stress or anxieties, from difficult relationships, and any multitude of other daily circumstances.

CREATING STILLNESS OFF THE MAT

Though we often are forced into moments of stillness when we step onto our mat, we don’t always allow our bodies and minds to totally obey, still retracting to those pesky thoughts and concerns. Not only do we each have room to improve on the mat, but we also need to put this into practice in our daily lives.

I know, adding time into your daily life for stillness sounds daunting if not downright impossible. Start small, with only five minutes of focused inactivity. Maybe you set your alarm for five minutes earlier each morning and spend some time in meditation or prayer. Or block out a five minute break at work and find an empty room with no distractions. Or commit to staying off your phone in the half hour leading up to bedtime to make stillness at night easier. 

Whatever you attempt, remember that your mind will continually try to rebel – but with practice you can help quiet it. 

 

Find time for rest. You totally deserve it.

 

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.

Tips to Help You Stay Healthy this Fall

After some truly bizarre late-October weather, I think it’s safe to say fall is finally here and shoot, winter is seriously sneaking up on us! It’s time to break out the cozy sweaters, go apple picking, and watch some football. However, this time of year can be tough on our health habits. It often becomes harder to stay active and eat healthy, not to mention the looming threats of flu season and holiday overload.

So, how can you maintain your steady exercise, eating, and other health habits during this new season? I have a couple ideas I’ll share that work well for me. What others would you add?

Get Outside– I actually find it easier to exercise in the fall; the cooler weather means less risk of dehydration and sweating profusely. Take advantage of exercising outside before winter arrives! It can be as simple as a bike ride around town or a pick-up game of football. You could also set a step goal, then encourage yourself to hit it. Try taking a walk after dinner or doing laps around the office periodically. 

Be a Smart Sports Fan– For those of you who enjoy watching sports, fall means that on any given day you can pick between football, baseball, hockey, and basketball. Even those who have limited knowledge of the rules still generally get excited for tailgates and Saturday afternoons with friends and some great appetizers. The problem comes when we overindulge in beer, chicken wings, and chili queso. Don’t let the fall sports season ruin your nutritional plans. Opt for making a veggie platter or ground turkey burgers instead of the fattier options. Your friends will be thankful for a healthier alternative too!

Take it Easy on the Pumpkin Spice Latte– Starbucks, and other brands, have been advertising this sweet fall drink for weeks now – did anyone watch that hilarious Facebook Live? In recent years, pumpkin spice has been all the rave and for good reason. What more can you ask of a warm, cozy, sweet, and nostalgic autumn beverage? However, they’re sky-high in fat and sugar, which adds up to hundreds of calories. If you just can’t say no to the occasional PSL, make your drink slightly healthier by selecting low- or non-fat milk, say no to the whipped cream, and ask for less flavor syrup. Otherwise, cinnamon is a great fall spice with its own health benefits that you could use instead of the sweetener.

Embrace Seasonal Superfoods– Just because the summer mecca of fruits and veggies is over, doesn’t mean you have to start eating poorly. Fall is actually a great time to load up on local superfoods. Consider taking a walk (or drive) to the Fulton Street Farmers Market to stock up on fresh produce. Apples are the easiest grab-and-go snack in the world. And pumpkins are good for more than just carving. They’re jam-packed with immune-boosting vitamin A and can be mashed, roasted, turned into soup, or used in baking. Sweet potatoes are chock-full of disease-preventing, cancer-fighting, and immune-boosting benefits. But put down the marshmallows when making them. Instead, bake them for 45 minutes and pile high with turkey and black bean chili, or loaded with kale and white beans! 

Live Aligned with the Season– Give yourself permission to alter your lifestyle. Whereas summer means never-ending activity, these shorter days and longer nights are a great excuse to work on your self-care. Make time to relax at home, under your favorite blanket. Maybe you start writing the book you always wanted to start, or enjoy extra time reading with your kids. Perhaps you decide to complete a home-improvement project, or just watch a good TV show! Allow autumn to be a chance to nurture yourself – seriously!

Commit to Your Yoga Practice– Whew! No more days of leaving the hot yoga room to an equally hot temperature outside. Honestly, hot yoga can be even more enjoyable when you know you have a warm place to look forward to on these chillier days. This fall, I’m committed to setting (and following) various health goals, such as the ones above. My last challenge to you, dear reader, is to set a goal for your yoga practice. Maybe you want to increase your visits to Yoga Fever: commit to attending 20 times in the next month. Maybe you’re feeling brave and want to experiment with inversions: suggest this goal to your instructor before class or ask for some pointers afterward. Or maybe you want to improve your mind-body relationship: think carefully of one intention that you can meditate on for the month.

Here’s to a happy and healthy season!
 

Coming Soon: Special Class with Girish

Going Deeper with Live Music

I’m a huge believer in the power of music paired with yoga practice – that’s why we play vibrational, yogic inspired music during all of our classes. But today I want to talk about something even more exciting: live music and yoga! 

I’ll highlight four (of many) reasons why merging live music with a yoga class creates such an enlightening experience.

Sets the tone of the practice– Think about the different styles of music you throw on with each kind of workout. Weightlifters might choose rock or rap, something with a strong beat to motivate them to lift rep after rep. Runners may select an uplifting pop song they can sing along to in their head to keep them from becoming bored on a long-distance route. Music plays a significant role in setting our mood. So, a sensitive live musician creates the perfect atmosphere for a yoga class to help us open our heart.

Allows for modifications– When I have a live musician following my guidance, I have the freedom to modify the class whenever I desire. For instance, I might decide to pause a flow to spend extra time teaching my students the proper form of a chaturanga. The musician, following my lead, will likely play softer to accommodate this valuable teaching moment, before picking the volume up to signal the students’ successful achievement. I love how student learning is magnified when my message is clearly expressed.

Pulls you deeper into your practice– I’m sure you’ve all experienced the difference between a live concert and a recorded song. Think back to the best concert or performance you’ve ever been to. Did you get goosebumps when the musician hit a high note? Did you close your eyes and breathe in the beauty of the moment? When it comes to yoga, listening to a live musician increases our sensitivity to our own gifts and strengths. We’re able to move deeper into the poses and reflect more clearly on our intentions. 

Supports musical artists– The more often we’re able to bring live musicians into our yoga studios, the more opportunities there are for local and global musicians to demonstrate their amazing craft. Why not support these hard-working and creative artists by bringing yoga and music together?

Well… I’m about to practice what I preach!  I’m thrilled to announce a special class coming to Yoga Fever this November. The famous yogi and musician, Girish, is coming to Grand Rapids to join us for a one-of-a-kind yoga session.

For as long as he can remember, Girish has been creating rhythm to accompany his life. While playing with jazz bands in college, he recalls: “During improvisational sessions there were these unexplainable moments of synchronicity and intuition that felt like magic.” 

This realization led him down an unexpected road to live as a monk for five years. There he studied Sanskrit, which led him to start combining music with Sanskrit chants. Now he revels in sharing what he has learned to help people of all ages, backgrounds, and traditions transform their bodies, brains, and lives through mantra and music.

Through the combination of yoga practice and beautiful live music, this 90-minute (not heated) vinyasa class is sure to leave you uplifted and renewed. Sign up today for the November 19th class – it is almost SOLD OUT.

 

Reserve your space today here:  www.yogafevergr.com/pricing
 

Teacher Feature: Dean Jeffery

Let’s talk about Dean!

If you’ve ever attended one of his classes, you’re already familiar with his soothing, compassionate, and empowering vinyasa flows. But we adore him so much that we want to share with you all the magical philosophies, opinions, and experiences that make Dean tick!

Dean’s First Foray into Yoga

Dean remembers that the very first time he dipped his toes into yoga was sophomore year of high school during band camp! But he says there wasn’t a specific experience he can pinpoint that inspired him to continue; rather, a collection of life events and classes turned him into a yoga junkie over time.”If I’m really being honest, then my perception of yoga back then was like an uncoordinated person’s version of choreographed dancing,” he jokes. 

He credits yoga for helping him through the difficult teenage years (which are rough for pretty much all of us!) as it gave him something that traditional anti-depressants and anxiety medications couldn’t do: offer a simple technique he could use to calm his nerves. 

Dean’s Joys and Challenges as a Yoga Teacher

We asked Dean what the most exciting part of being a yoga teacher is, and his answer is so terrific. He loves how his classes impact the energy of his students. For example, sometimes he’ll see someone who was visibly stressed when they walked into the studio now doing a little dance to the music during Downward Facing Dog. He also notes, “Secretly I love when people fall asleep in Savasana!”

Dean finished his yoga teacher training program about five years ago, studying under Michele Fife. The most challenging component for him was not the long hours of practice or memorizing Sanskrit terminology; rather, it was getting over his fear of being wrong or not fitting into a specific box. “Once you let go of the negative self-talk and discover your own voice and presence, you are finally free to grow – not only as an instructor, but as a human in general,” Dean says. Matter of fact, this is something we could all benefit from working on!

When you attend one of Dean’s classes, you can generally expect a creative vinyasa, usually in a slow flow format. His passion for music fuels his choreography and results in an epic rush when the entire class lets go of their baggage and flows together.

Why Dean Loves Yoga Fever

The things Dean loves about Yoga Fever is our inclusivity, diversity, and intention. “I would describe Yoga Fever as a studio with traditional roots, without feeling stuffy or antiquated,” Dean comments. Though our yoga classes vary depending on the instructor, they’re all infused with a combination of philosophy, asana, and a strong anatomical understanding of the body. Dean promises that you’ll always feel safe and supported, both physically and emotionally.

Dean’s Hobbies Outside the Classroom

If you’ve already found Dean on Instagram (@deanj914), then you won’t be surprised to learn that he loves cooking plant-based meals. He also recently bought a house in Eastown that he and his boyfriend are renovating (er, trying!) right now. He also works in marketing. 

Somehow, on top of everything else he does, Dean holds a number of yoga classes for charity. Watch out for an upcoming collaboration at Frederick Meijer Gardens!

Once you meet Dean, you’ll understand why he has formed so many amazing relationships with his students. He believes social media is a natural way to build a sense of community and uncover connections with strangers in the yoga classroom. (So, don’t hesitate to follow him on social media and strike up a conversation!) He’s also #honored to have been pronounced an official uncle to the new puppy of one of his students!