7 Best Foods to Eat Before Yoga Class

There’s a persistent myth that you shouldn’t eat before yoga. It’s an understandable mistake to make. Many people worry that they’ll feel ill following food with an hour of contortions. But, eating before your class can help energize you and help your body burn energy more efficiently. It all comes down to eating the right foods before heading to your class. A few of the best choices:

1. Oatmeal.

A half-cup serving of oatmeal has enough protein, healthy carbs and fiber to help you stay energized and to stave off hunger until after your class. Top with fresh berries for a delicious extra-nutritious punch.

2. Fresh fruit.

Apples and pears offer energy, fiber and hydration to get you through your class. Bananas help with a good dose of potassium, which works with sodium to keep you hydrated. Melon contains a lot of water and fiber to help stave off thirst through class. Just be sure to avoid acidic fruits like citrus right before class. Acidic foods can lead to stomach upset during some poses.

3. Dried fruit.

Dried fruit like raisins, prunes and dried apricots all have the advantage of being very easily portable. The sugars in these naturally-sweet treats allows you to get a burst of energy. The fiber keeps you full and allows you to feel full throughout your class. 

4. Greek yogurt.

This creamy snack has plenty of protein to fuel your practice. The calcium is good for strong bones. The natural sugar in dairy products, lactose, gives you sustained energy to take you through class.

5. Avocado.

This natural powerhouse is a favorite of many health-loving people. The healthy fats in an avocado make this fruit nutrient dense, so you don’t have to eat a lot to feel full and satisfied. A dose of magnesium and potassium that is 60% higher than what a banana contributes helps support proper cell and muscle function. And, avocados help promote lean muscle growth and lower your cholesterol levels. Stick to half a fruit before practice to avoid feeling overfull.

6. Nuts.

Nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you energized and sated all through class. The magnesium and potassium contribute to your electrolyte levels. Pick nuts that are plain and unsalted so that you can benefit the most. 

7. Dark chocolate.

This is a smooth and indulgent treat that does not have to contain a ton of calories. Chocolate is known to keep blood sugar levels smooth and help boost concentration. Eat high cacao chocolate and savor it to enjoy the feeling fullness longer. 

By snacking in moderation before class, you will find that you feel better, more energetic and less likely to be distracted by hunger. Pick up a favorite food to eat before heading to a class at our Vacaville yoga studio and see how your performance improves.

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Is Aerial Yoga Right for Me?

aerial yoga right for youWhen you are looking at yoga classes, you will find that there are far more choices available than there were in the past. Aerial yoga, which is performed off the ground while supported by a soft fabric hammock, can look a little intimidating, especially if you are just getting started at yoga. But, this can be a great choice for people of all levels for a number of reasons:

1. Aerial yoga can relieve pressure.

Some poses, like inversions, can cause pressure in your back and hips that some people find uncomfortable or painful. With aerial yoga, you are not against the ground, so you will not have the weight of your own body pushing against you. This can make these positions easier to attain.

2. Aerial yoga is great for pain relief.

If you do yoga for arthritis, try out an aerial class to see if it is a good fit for you. Aerial yoga allows you to stretch and relax more easily. It releases endorphins, which can help cut down on pain and enhance your general feelings of well-being.

3. Aerial yoga can help you learn new poses.

There are some postures that can take years to learn. With aerial yoga, you are able to get the correct alignment more easily, allowing you to perform balance poses, back bends, deep stretches and handstands. And, in many cases, you can take the feeling of getting that posture right back to a traditional yoga class and enhance your ability to perform the pose in that setting.

4. Aerial yoga can give you a thrilling sense of accomplishment.

Who wouldn’t love gracefully moving through the air? Aerial yoga allows you to enjoy the sensation of inversions and deep stretches. And, adding a new skill to your set always gives a sense of empowerment and satisfaction.

5. Aerial yoga is great even for beginners.

The hammocks are securely anchored a bit about the floor so that you can move freely and safely. Instructors are deeply involved to ensure that all participants are able to properly attain postures or do a modified version if necessary. Our open-minded and caring staff is happy to help through moves and become more confident.

Adding a new activity to your life can often be intimidating. Visit our Vacaville studio for a class to see if you like aerial yoga and if it is a good way to continue to enhance your yoga practice.

Benefits of Aerial Yoga

benefits of aerial yogaAerial yoga is one of the fastest growing yoga styles. This style of yoga is practiced on hammocks or silks a few inches above the ground. Besides allowing you the exhilaration of swinging freely and living out your childhood dreams, it has a number of benefits that make it a great addition to your yoga practice.

1. Relieving compression.

Some poses, such as inversions, can lead to painful pressure when performed on the ground. You may wind up with pinched nerves or stress on joints. When these same poses are performed in a yoga hammock instead, you have the freedom from pressure that allows you to gain the full benefit from each pose.

2. Improving balance and flexibility.

Aerial yoga gives you more freedom of movement. This can allow you to move more deeply into each pose, gradually increasing your level of flexibility. And, adapting to the freedom of the yoga hammock will help you gain more body awareness and build balancing skills. Balance and flexibility are the two qualities that matter most for maintaining good physical abilities as you age, so developing them at any stage can have lifelong benefits.

3. Relieves back pain.

Most of us suffer from some back pain at one point or another. When you hang freely on a yoga hammock, it eases tension in your hip joints and in your spine. Between this, the gentle stretching and the strength-building benefits, you are likely to see a substantial improvement in any back pain.

4. Increases your strength.

Aerial yoga gets gravity working on your side to add some body-weight resistance and increase your strength. You will find that this is a great cross training exercise. The increased core strength you get from aerial yoga will carry over into your other athletic endeavors and into your daily life.

5. Appropriate for beginners and advanced practitioners.

While the acrobatics you see performed up high during shows take a great deal of time to master, there are poses and exercises for any level of physical condition. Hammocks can withstand up to 2000 pounds of weight and so are perfect even for people who are trying to lose some weight. Talk to your trainer about your level of experience when you start.

By adding aerial classes to your yoga practice at our Vacaville studio, you will find that they enhance your skills in other styles and that the benefits carry over into your day to day life. If you are ready to add some new excitement to your routine, check out our calendar to find an aerial class.

How to Get Started with Aerial Yoga

get started with aerial yogaAerial yoga can be a little intimidating the first time you see someone doing stretches and inversions in the air. However, this is an area of yoga that is more accommodating than you might initially think. To be prepared and ready for your first aerial yoga class at our Vacaville studio, remember the following:

1. Wear the right clothing to class.

Loose clothing can bunch up during inversions and get in your way. Wear clothing that fits tight against your body. Avoid items that have zippers or buttons. A long sleeved shirt or a tight-fitting jacket can help protect your skin against fabric burns.

2. Take off shoes and jewelry.

Aerial yoga is performed barefoot. Take off your shoes and socks before entering the studio. You should also avoid jewelry, watches, hair clips and any other items that can get caught in your hammock.

3. Hammocks are provided.

No need to buy a yoga hammock before starting class. They are provided by the studio. Once you have been practicing a while and know what you like, you can start shopping for a hammock for your own practice at home. Some people prefer hammocks with only a little stretch because of the stability they provide. Others like the flexibility of a hammock with more give.

4. Be aware of scents.

Wear deodorant to class, as it is easy to work up a sweat during an aerial yoga workout. Do not wear strong smelling perfumes, as they can cause irritation to people during class. If you have applied any of the studio’s essential oil sprays before class, wash them off before entering. The oils can damage the fabric of the aerial hammocks.

5. Wait for the instructor.

For safety reasons, instructor supervision is required when getting on or moving around on an aerial hammock. You should also limit yourself to a single person per hammock. Participants using hammocks should be under 300 pounds.

6. Discuss any physical limitations with your instructor.

If you have any injuries or limitations, take a few minutes before class to talk to your instructor. There may be modified or alternative postures you can do if you have trouble with any that are included in the class.

Once you are started, you will start to feel more confident in your aerial yoga abilities. Aerial yoga skills transfer well to other areas of practice. For instance, if you also engage in ballet bar workout, you will find that the flexibility and balance you gain from aerial yoga will make you more effective in this area, as well. Check out our class calendar and add this exciting variation to your workouts.

How Did Aerial Yoga Get Started?

how did aerial yoga get startedIt seems like not too long ago, yoga classes were a novelty. Now, you have a wide variety of styles to choose from, including hot yoga and now aerial yoga. How long as aerial yoga been around and where did it start?

If it seems to you that aerial yoga is something that wasn’t around all that long ago, you are right. This form of practice got started in 1991 in New York. The Broadway choreographer and former gymnast Christopher Harrison pioneered the first aerial yoga workouts with a group of gymnastic athletes who wanted to continue to do aerial moves after they retired from competition. His exercises included elements of yoga, dance, aerial acrobatics, Pilates and calisthenics. Together, the group became known as Team AntiGravity.

Soon, the practice caught on with other entertainers. Aerial yoga shows became common in venues that ranged from local Renaissance Fairs to art gallery openings to TV award shows and the opening ceremonies at the Olympic Games.

Since its inception, aerial yoga’s popularity has soared. Aerial yoga is now practiced all over the world. You can take classes in this style of yoga in Vacaville, New York or Paris.

Aerial yoga, which you will also see called, anti-gravity yoga, provides some benefits and sensations that cannot be found in other forms. There are aerial moves that can fit any level of fitness. People who are just getting started can benefit from a beginners’ workshop while there is plenty of room to grow and learn more complex moves as you advance.

This is a form of yoga that works very well in tandem with practices of other areas. People who do traditional floor yoga styles will find that they flexibility and strength they gain through those styles can help them achieve the positions they will use in aerial yoga. In turn, aerial yoga removes the compression that can make it difficult to achieve the proper posture and alignment that allow you to do each pose most effectively. Many practitioners find the acquisition of this new set of skills exciting and exhilarating. They also find that they get the benefit of a total body workout that makes them stronger and more fit.

Are you ready to add something new to your practice? Our Vacaville yoga studio has aerial yoga classes, as well as many others that can fit your specific needs. Check out our calendar to pick a class today.

Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

lose weight with yoga

Busy lives often mean that we don’t dedicate as much attention as we should to getting enough exercise and eating the right foods. Many of us try diets, only to gain the weight back again as soon as we return to old habits. To take excess weight off and stay healthy, we need a consistent lifestyle change. Yoga can be an important ingredient in the changes that can help us get to a healthy weight, increase our energy levels and feel much better.

Despite its gentle nature, with slow stretching and deliberate breathing, yoga has excellent potential to help you burn the calories needed to lose weight. On average, you can burn anywhere from 180 to 360 calories for every hour spent engaged in your practice. The calorie level you burn will depend on the type of yoga class you are taking. Power yoga styles like vinyasa and yoga fusion workouts can give you the best calorie burning boost.

No matter which style of yoga you choose, you get the benefit of deep breathing techniques. These help boost the performance of your lymphatic system, helping your body work more efficiently. This breathing also helps with stress relief and can help cut down on stress hormones like cortisone. People who suffer from chronic stress also use calories inefficiently. They are more likely to gain weight or to have trouble losing weight. When you are feeling more calm and centered, your body is able to metabolize the foods you eat the way that it should.

Another benefit that you take from any yoga class is a greater sense of focus and awareness. When you are fully present in your life, it is easier to make healthy choices. Consider the difference between absentmindedly grazing while you work and deliberately cooking and savoring a well-balanced and healthy meal. When you are more tuned into your body, you are more aware of the sluggish feeling that fast food or heavy meals can give you and how much better you feel when you choose lean proteins, whole grains and other nourishing foods instead.

Yoga is not just an exercise system. It is a mind and body connection that allow you to be more present and deliberate in your life. Sign up for a class yoga in Vacaville studio today. We have classes available for people at all skill levels and classes that can help you move toward any of your health and wellness goals.

What Are the Benefits of Hot Yoga?

benefits of hot yoga

When you begin the process of choosing the right yoga class for you, you’ll find that there are many styles available. One of the most popular right now is Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga. Hot yoga is performed over a 90-minute period in a studio where we maintain a temperature of 105 degrees and about 40 percent humidity. The higher temperature can provide practitioners with a wealth of benefits, including:

1. Improved balance.

Researchers at Colorado State University tracked yoga students through eight weeks of Bikram yoga. They found that, at the end of that period, those who practiced this style had greatly improved balance than when they began.

2. Increased flexibility.

The warm room helps warm your muscles, making it easier to stretch than it would be in a cooler studio. The heat helps you attain poses that you may otherwise struggle with and can help protect against injury.

3. Cardio benefits.

People performing hot yoga have a higher heart rate than people who are practicing in a cooler room. This makes even gentle stretches a good cardio workout, allowing you to work toward better cardiovascular health and better endurance.

4. Increased strength.

The Colorado study also found that people who are doing hot yoga enjoy an improvement in their level of strength, as well. Plus, yoga is a low impact exercise, so you have less chance of injury while you are building up your strength. These exercises are especially good for building strength in your core muscles, leading to better posture, more resistance to injury and less of the daily aches and pains so many of us deal with.

5. Weight loss.

When you are working harder, you burn more calories and lose more weight. If you are exploring yoga as a way to help yourself shed a few unwanted pounds, hot yoga could be the right fit for you.

6. Focus.

A hot yoga class is meditative and deliberate. Usually, you will repeat the same twenty-six poses and two breathing exercises. These help build enormously strong focus over the span of your class. And, you will find that that deep sense of stillness and focus extends to your everyday life even outside of class. You’ll be more capable at work, calmer when handling stress and enjoy a greater sense of peace.

We offer the hot yoga Vacaville residents are eager to learn. Our class schedules fit your busy life, with sessions available throughout the day on most days of the week. Take a look at our calendar and book your first class today.

What to Expect at Your First Ballet Barre Pilates Class

first ballet barre pilates class

If you are ready for a more varied and challenging workout, ballet barre pilates may be a great fit. In these fast-paced classes, you build endurance and strength through lengthening and strengthening exercises. They can be intense, but the upbeat music and camaraderie can make it some of the most fun you can have while breaking a sweat. A few things to know before your first class:

1. Start off by introducing yourself to your instructor.

You’ll get a quick rundown on the set-up and the opportunity to talk about any injuries or restrictions. When your teacher knows where you are starting, she can help you with modifications of moves and help you out with extra attention if you need it.

2. Wear the right clothing for an easier class.

Fitted tops keep your shirt from riding up if you bend over. Leggings and a tighter top also allow your teacher to observe your form and offer corrections. And, put aside your shoes as you enter the classroom. Ballet barre pilates is always performed without shoes. Regular ankle socks are okay for a first class. If you decide to continue, invest in a pair of socks with grips on the soles for a better workout.

3. There will be props.

The barre is the main prop that you will be using during your class. There may also be straps for stretching, a small, soft ball that you can squeeze between your inner thighs or balance under your feet and small hand weights for working muscle groups that cannot be worked through body weight workouts. Don’t worry about bringing props with you. We can provide what you need for your class.

4. Make sure you are well-hydrated.

Bring water to class so you can sip between moves to keep yourself from getting dehydrated. You may also want to bring a banana or another snack to eat afterward. This can help boost your potassium levels and help you recover after a tough workout.

5. If you can hold a ballet barre, you can do ballet barre pilates.

This is a challenging workout, but, there are modifications you can do while you get in the groove. The moves are easy to pick up once you have a bit of experience. By the time you have a few classes under your belt, you will feel right at home.

Looking for a full body workout that keeps you engaged and challenged? Check out the ballet barre pilates Vacaville, Hollywood and New York is crazy for. We have classes daily to fit your busy schedule.

Can Yoga Make You Better at Your Job?

yoga makes you better at your job

In the west, we tend to think of things as discrete and unconnected. We have our work lives, our personal lives, our families, and we don’t often think about how these spheres connect. Because of this, people are often surprised to learn that, when they start taking yoga for exercise, they can also benefit on other areas of their lives, including in their careers. A few of the ways that the yoga that you do on your own time can enhance your performance at work:

1. Yoga can help improve your focus.

The focus that you bring to your practice extends throughout the day. You’ll have better concentration and be able to complete tasks more accurately and quickly.

2. Yoga can help you get along better with your coworkers.

When you are tense, it’s hard to stay patient with the people around you. Yoga reduces your stress levels, allowing you to stay more calm and open when you are at work. And, because your focus is increased, you will be better able to listen and understand the people around you, making them feel better about working with you.

3. Yoga makes you more resilient and calmer in the face of change.

In a high-paced workplace, you have to be able to adapt quickly as situations change and new opportunities present themselves. You’ll have an inner stability that can keep you centered even when things around you are uncertain. That calm can help you handle any disturbances with grace, making you a more valuable asset to your workplace.

4. Yoga helps enhance your memory.

In a study on mindfulness meditation, they discovered that people who engage in regular meditation are more able to multitask because of their stronger memories. This allows you to move from task to task fluidly without losing track of what you are doing.

5. Yoga gives you more energy and enhances your health.

Between lost days at work and lower productivity when we aren’t feeling our best, illnesses cost the US workforce $576 billion every year. When you get more physical exercise, you reduce your susceptibility to illness as your body gets stronger. And, the lower stress levels that regular yoga practitioners enjoy also enhance health and improve your immune system. When you are feeling your best every day, you do better at work and often manage to skip whatever cold is going around the office this week.

By increasing your personal wellness, you can enhance other seemingly unrelated areas of your life, as well. Visit our Vacaville yoga studio to find a class that fits your life and your needs.

What to Expect at Your First Yoga Class

yoga classes

First Yoga Class

Doing something new can be both exhilarating and intimidating. If you are considering your first yoga class, you may be hesitant because you don’t know what to expect. Where should you set up? Will you be wearing the right clothes? What happens if you can’t keep up? Learning a little bit in advance can help you get prepared and put yourself at ease:

1. You’ll be more comfortable in the right clothes.

No matter what stock photos tell you, you don’t need to be wearing gorgeous and fashionable clothing. What is most important is comfort and range of movement. Layers are a good idea on your top half. This allows you to shed clothes if you get too hot during class. Pick a top that is somewhat fitted so that it doesn’t ride up when you are bent over. High-waisted leggings or yoga pants can keep your pants from riding down during stretches.

2. It’s best to show up about 10 minutes early.

Your teacher will probably want to ask you a bit about your previous yoga experience and whether you have any injuries that they should be aware of. Showing up early gives you a chance to set up your mat. For beginners, a place near the back is best.

3. You should find out about gear in advance.

Most studios have mats, straps, blocks and other yoga props that you can borrow or rent for the day. Once you have a few classes under your belt, you’ll probably want to buy your own mats that fit your preferences.

4. Take off your shoes and socks before class.

When you are entering the studio, you should take off your shoes and socks. There may be cubbies or a storage area for them. Yoga is practiced barefoot. If you have issues with circulation and cold feet, look into yoga socks that have grip material on the soles.

5. Don’t forget to breathe.

Breathing is the core of yoga. You may find yourself holding your breath during more challenging poses. Remind yourself to continue breathing steadily. Steady breath can help make poses more comfortable. If you have trouble breathing, you may be pushing yourself too hard. Consider doing a modified version of a pose instead.

6. Stay through Savasana.

The class will end with what is known as Savasana or corpse pose. This is a time where you lie on your back and relax. When you are new, it can be hard to force yourself to calm yourself and be still. But, this recentering is important if you want all the benefits of yoga.

Remember that yoga is not competitive and there is no way to be bad at yoga. There will always be people who are stronger and more experienced than you are. Go into our yoga Vacaville CA class open to learning and you will soon find your comfort level there.