Staying in Shape While Traveling

shape while traveling

Some of us need to travel regularly for work. Others are getting ready for the holidays and trips across the country to see far flung family. And still others are getting away for a special vacation with their partner or some friends. And, while these trips are often hectic, it is still important to keep up your regular exercise routines so that you aren’t playing catch up when you get back home. A few ways to keep on top of workouts during travel:

1. Bookmark a few yoga videos on your video network of choice.

YouTube, Amazon Prime, DoYogaWithMe and other sites have a number of free yoga videos to follow when you aren’t in town and can’t make it to class. Choose ones that use minimal props so that you are able to fully participate even when you want to travel light.

2. Search for local fitness parks.

More and more cities are developing free-to-use outdoor parks where adults can work their way through activities. Some are simple exercise trails with small activities along the way, such as pull up bars and balance beams. Others offer outdoor elliptical machines and other amenities that visitors can use freely.

3. Set a reminder in your phone.

If you put a daily reminder to get in some exercise into your phone, you are more likely to keep the date with yourself instead of getting wrapped up in travel-related activities. Make it for a time that you are likely to be unoccupied with other tasks, such as first thing in the morning.

4. Download a yoga app.

There are a number of free and paid apps that provide audio direction and images of poses. These can lead you through a series of poses to give you a complete yoga routine to start your day. Depending on the app, you can choose poses that are prop-free or ones that use the yoga aids that you have brought along, such as blocks and yoga straps.

5. Get there by walking.

Whenever possible, pick scenic walks as your mode of transportation when you are away. Not only will you get more exercise, you will get to explore the city you are visiting far more thoroughly. Choose “walking” on Google Maps to find the quickest route. Or, check out apps like Walkanomics that can help you find the most scenic paths between one place or another.

By making regular physical activity a priority, you can travel without losing the physical gains you’ve worked so hard for. Add exercise to each day to make your trip more enjoyable and for a healthier time out of town.

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What is hiking yoga?

hiking yoga

If you’ve checked out our upcoming workshop calendar, you may have noticed something different: we started offering a Hiking Yoga workshop at the beginning of October. Besides the benefits of a change of pace, there are a lot of reasons that we’re happy to offer this unique workshop. A few reasons we’d love to have you join us:

1. Adding some cardio to your yoga workout burns extra calories.

By alternating between stretching and getting out to move, you increase the fat burning benefits of your yoga class. If part of your reason for your yoga practice is losing weight, you will find that adding some cardio activity allows you to reach your goal more quickly.

2. Getting out in nature lifts your mood.

Studies showed that people who got their exercise outdoors received a bigger mood elevation benefit than people who worked out indoors alone. By adding our hike in the middle, we get you out into the fresh air and natural surroundings, allowing you to get a boost that lasts all day.

3. Alternating yoga with walking improves mental cognition.

Get the blood pumping and feel sharper by getting outside for a refreshing hike in between our two gentle yoga sessions. You will find that you think faster, enjoy better memory and feel more alert all day after you are done.

4. It increases endurance.

When you begin with gentle stretching, add in a refreshing hike, then finish up with more soothing yoga, you’ll find that you are able to build endurance without feeling worn out. Day by day, alternating these activities can help make you able to go on longer. This helps your athletic performance in other activities, gives you more energy to get through your day to day tasks and means that you can get farther out in nature and enjoy what time in the woods has to offer.

5. It offers a change of pace.

Find that you are getting bored with your regular yoga practice? Adding some outdoor hiking in the middle allows you to get a different workout and make your everyday practice seem fresh and new again. By occasionally mixing it up with hot yoga, ballet barre Pilates and other classes, you can work more muscle groups and keep yourself more engaged.

Your daily yoga practice can and should be something you look forward to. By adding a new dimension, you allow yourself to develop new skills and abilities, find new ways to find a peaceful inside place and increase your strength. Join us for this outdoor yoga adventure.

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Yoga Class Etiquette


Joining a new yoga class can give you the jitters. You may feel like you won’t know what to do. However, most classes are very tolerant of beginners. As long as you observe this yoga class etiquette, you will fit right in:

1. Avoid perfumes.

Before heading to class, avoid applying cologne, perfumed lotions or scented hair sprays. The scents of these can be overwhelming during physical activity, particularly in a small classroom.

2. Show up to class on time.

Try to get there a few minutes before class starts. This way, you have time to get your stuff stowed and your mat set up without delaying or interrupting class.

3. Remove your shoes outside.

Shoes should never be work into a yoga studio. Take shoes off before you enter and stow them in the provided storage space or in your yoga bag. If you prefer not to practice in bare feet, you can buy yoga socks that will cover your feet while still giving you the grip you need.

4. Stagger mat placement.

Look behind you to assure that you did not place your mat right in front of someone else’s. By staggering the mats, it is possible for everyone to have a clear, unobstructed view of your instructor.

5. Keep conversation minimal.

While some classes are more social than others, take a class or two to see how the rest of the room behaves. Many people prefer to keep the first few minutes before class quiet so that they can turn inward. You can use the minutes before class for quiet and centering meditation.

6. Turn off all your electronics.

Nothing is more jarring than the electronic beeps and tunes your phone makes when people try to get in touch. You can set up a pre-programmed “quiet time” using an app like Silent Time if you are worried that you will forget to turn your phone off before class or turn it back on after.

7. Be respectful about questions during class.

Many yoga instructors prefer that questions be reserved until after class. If you aren’t sure how to do a pose or if you need assistance, keep your question in mind so that it does not interrupt others’ concentration. Your teacher may move through the studio during class, which will give you an opportunity to quietly ask when she comes to you.

8. Clean up after class.

If you are using the studio’s mat and equipment, be sure to wipe them down before returning them. Ensure that you leave everything where it belongs and that the room is in the same shape it was before you entered.

In the end, it comes down to showing respect for your instructor and your fellow students. By observing proper etiquette, you can make others’ experiences at our Vacaville studio as pleasant as your own.

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Staying Cool While Exercising


High temperatures can lead to dangerous overheating during exercise. Vacaville temperatures will continue to stay high for at least another month. These tips can help you stay cool while keeping active with indoor and outdoor pursuits.

1. Work on heat acclimation.

Regularly exposing yourself to short bits of heat while exercising helps increase blood volume, which allows your body to better cope with high temperatures. Do about 10 minutes of jogging, cycling or lifting outside each day. You can gradually increase the amount of time to get more used to the heat.

2. Wear breathable clothing.

It’s a myth that cotton breathes well. It may even make you feel hotter. Workout clothes made of synthetics that are specifically designed to wick away sweat can help your body do a better job regulating its temperature.

3. Drink regularly.

Small, regular sips can keep you hydrated and cool while you exercise. Do not wait until you are thirsty, since you may already have sweated out precious fluids by then. Your water should be in an insulated bottle that keeps it colder. You can also freeze a small amount of water in the bottle before filling it to keep it colder longer.

4. Dump cold water over your head.

This, obviously, is just for your outdoor workouts. The sensation of the cool water can help you override overheating. You can even start cooler by taking a cool shower before heading to your workout.

5. Use ice.

Rubbing ice on pulse points can help cool you down during a long, outdoor workout. Some ultra-marathoners keep cooler by filling a scarf with ice and wrapping it around their neck.

6. Stay in the shade.

Keeping out of direct sun can make outdoor workouts easier in hot weather. Find a tree-shaded area in your yard or a public park to help keep cool.

7. Work out early or late.

Switch from a mid-day workout to one just before you go to work. Or, wait until sunset to get access to cooler weather. It’s hottest outside between 10 am and 3 pm, so if you can avoid those hours, you can keep yourself cooler all throughout the hot weather.

Most importantly, listen to your body. If you are feeling faint, weak, dizzy or nauseated, these can all be signs that you are close to heat exhaustion. By avoiding the worst of the heat and making plans around it, you can keep yourself cooler through the end of the summer while still enjoying your favorite activities.

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Pilates and Your Health

The Fitness Mood Connection

Exercise can be rewarding in and of itself, but many of us are seeking benefits outside the enjoyment of a class. When it come to improving your health, Pilates can be one of the best choices you can pick. A few of the benefits that make it a perfect health-booster:

Strengthening Your Core

Ballet barre Pilates helps you work your whole body in a way that makes your core muscles much stronger. This, in turn, helps you excel at other athletic activities. It also helps you avoid injuries. Whether you are engaging in a competition sport or just engaging in everyday activities like lifting small children and working around the house, the extra core strength can help you avoid strained muscles and other day to day hazards.

Stress Reduction

The focused concentration and control that Pilates requires can significantly cut down your stress levels. Since high stress has been linked to everything from insomnia to high blood pressure to a depressed immune system, everything you can do that cuts down on your stress levels is a good thing.

Easing Back Pain

Two out of three American adults experiences back pain at some point. For many, it’s a chronic condition linked to injuries or the repetitive stress of a desk job. Pilates improves flexibility and strength, allowing you to rebalance and experience far less pain. Cutting out chronic pain aids concentration, boosts the immune system and even makes you less susceptible to mood disorders like depression.

Improved Flexibility and Balance

When sports researchers wanted to reduce the incidence of injuries in college football players, they had them undergo balance and flexibility training. The players had significantly improved performance and far fewer injuries after adding this to their routines. Likewise, doctors recommend that, as we get older, we work on balance and flexibility to avoid the falls that can cause broken hips and other damage.

Better Heart Health

In a study on heart patients, researchers found that those who did Pilates in combination with 30 minutes of cardio a day improved far faster than those who did cardio alone. Since heart disease is one of the most common health conditions suffered by Americans, adding this early on may be able to help you avoid issues and stay healthy throughout your life.

Ballet barre Pilates is not just for women and not just for people who are already in athletic shape. We have classes available for people at all skill levels and we are willing to meet you where you are. Are you ready to make a healthy change? Check out our class calendar to find a ballet barre Pilates class here at our Vacaville studio.

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The Fitness-Mood Connection

The Fitness-Mood Connection

Sometimes, life seems to take all the effort you have to remain on an even keel. Depending on the source, it’s estimated that anywhere from 9.5 percent to 26.5 percent of people in the US suffer from a diagnosable mood disorder in any given year. It takes all the tools we have available sometimes to keep our heads up when things are not going well. Study after study has found that exercise and physical fitness can give your moods a powerful boost.

An Immediate Mood Boost

Researchers have found that moderate exercise can boost your mood in as little as five minutes. The reasons for the improvement are varied. Concentrating on exercises can distract you from problems. The endorphin boost that exercise brings on is also a powerful mood enhancer.

Improved Self-Esteem

When we exercise regularly, we can feel ourselves become stronger and more capable. The satisfaction you get from a difficult yoga pose or a perfect inversion in an aerial silk can give you a boost that lasts for days. And, chances are good that shedding fat and building muscle will make us look better, too. Together, these can give you a serious boost in self-confidence that can help combat feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.

A Path to Social Connection

Anyone out of college can tell you: it gets much harder to meet people when you are an adult. An exercise class or a team sport can give you a venue where you can meet people who share at least one of your interests. Social connection is a big factor in maladies like depression. Get out around people who you enjoy on a regular basis to keep up your social connections and to help elevate your mood.

Long-term Mood Benefits

The subtle rewiring that exercise provides for your brain doesn’t end when your workout does. In a study on people with depression, people were divided into groups who either took an antidepressant or engaged in a regular exercise routine. At the end of four months, they discovered that the group who exercised had the same sort of improvement as the group who took antidepressants. But, what is even more exciting is what they learned later on. When researchers checked back in a year later, they found that the group who had kept on exercising had the lowest relapse rates for depression. By staying active, they’d keep themselves in remission and on a more even keel.

There’s no one exercise program that’s a perfect fit for everyone and no one approach that will work for all. But, if you are looking for a way to feel happier and to elevate your moves, you could just find what you’re looking for in our studio. Check our calendar to schedule a class today.

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8 Top Benefits of Ballet Barre Pilates

You don’t have to be a ballerina to add barre to your workouts. Ballet Barre Pilates gives you an excellent workout that improves strength, flexibility and balance. A few of the top reasons to add a Ballet Barre Pilates class:

1. It targets multiple muscle groups at the same time.

Ballet Barre Pilates is a very efficient workout, allowing you to work several areas at once. You’ll be doing two to four motions in every move, which includes stretching, pulsing and holding. This raises the heart rate, making it a great aerobic workout, as well.

2. It increases body awareness and coordination.

The benefits of a barre workout do not end at the end of class. Ballet Barre Pilates works underused muscles and makes the connection between your mind and body stronger. You will find that you have better balance and coordination, leading to better athletic performance in other areas, as well as an increased level of confidence and satisfaction.

3. It helps shake up your routine.

When exercise classes get boring, it gets harder to pull your gear together and head to a class. Ballet Barre Pilates is different from the other activities you’ll take on, adding variety and interest to your exercise routine.

4. It improves your endurance.

Ballet Barre Pilates includes many small movements done at a fast pace. This raises your heart rate an allows you to develop the capacity to push yourself farther than before. You’ll find that you can run longer and faster, spend more time at hard outdoor chores like gardening and even squeeze more fun out of a day on the beach.

5. It builds core strength.

Ballet Barre Pilates is excellent at working you core muscles during every move. This helps you avoid injury, improves your posture and improves your performance in other sports such as tennis.

6. It improves bone health.

As we get older, many of us will encounter concerns with the strength and health of our bones. A workout that strengthens your muscles increases the tension on bones, causing your bones to become stronger. This can help you avoid issues like osteoporosis later in life.

7. It helps you lose weight and improves your appearance.

A workout that targets large muscle groups is great for burning calories. And, when you add in the toning that you get from Ballet Barre Pilates, you will look stronger, slimmer and more trim.

8. It increases flexibility.

The bends and stretches in a Ballet Barre Pilates working help increase your range of motion. This can make it easier to do tough poses in other exercises like yoga. It can also help you avoid injury when you are out for a run or just engaging in everyday activities like playing with your kids.

Ballet Barre Pilates can be done by health conscious people at every level of fitness. Talk to one of our instructors about adding a barre class to your routine.

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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.

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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.

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