Let’s be honest, 502 Power Yoga is always awesome, but it’s even cooler in the winter (not literally of course!) While the cold starts settling in, the holiday dinners get bigger, and the winter blues start singing their tune, 502 Power Yoga has a lot going on to keep Jack Frost from chilling you to the bone.
1. The HEAT.
This kind of a no-brainer, but I think it has to be said. It’s getting cold outside and the studio is always warm (about 90 degrees warm). Not only do power yoga classes provide that external warmth we crave during these chilly months, but it also helps create that internal heat (tapas) that we can carry with us throughout our entire day.
2. Yoga Helps You Stay Healthy
It is widely known and highly suggested that working out makes you less likely to get sick. Studies have shown that it can even prevent you from getting a cold. Not only do you sweat out toxins, but practicing hot yoga creates fluidity in the joints and more flexibility in your body. This is especially important as our bodies start to feel as stiff as holiday peanut brittle. Stay healthy this winter by sweating it out on your mat.
3. Avoid the “Holiday Hunch”
It’s come to that time of year again where we start wearing jackets, coats, scarves, and hats. Without realizing it, we naturally begin to hunch over to create more warmth in our mid-body (and to joyfully sip on that freshly brewed hot coffee/tea that warms our hands). Practicing yoga gives us the space to open up again. Taking time in those amazing heart and throat opening poses like fish, camel, wheel, and even upward facing dog, can help counter-act this “holiday hunch” and create more space in your physical body.
4 . Ward Away the Winter Blues
When it starts getting cold outside, I tend to go into hibernation mode. Yes, this is cozy and wonderful, but sometimes I get a little stir crazy. I can only carry on conversations with my dog for so long. That’s why I believe connection and community are so much more important during these chilly months–luckily, 502PY has a great one. Simply by just walking into the studio, greeted by familiar faces, is like getting a big hug and can clear the winter blues in an instant. The warm energy that’s shared by the teachers, assistants, energy exchange-er’s, and, of course, the ever-calm and loving Kelly Meadway, is the best reminder that even though we’re all bundled away in our separate homes, cars, and lives we are all still connected.
5. 40 Days to Personal Revolution
Instead of a New Years Resolution, why not make it a New Years Revolution. This 40-day program is truly the “meat and potatoes” of the studio and one of my personal favorites. Happening Jan 31 – March 13, this program encompasses all the practices of Baptiste Yoga (and then some!) including asana (yoga practice), meditation, inquiry, and diet. Not to mention, it also comes with an amazing group of fellow revolutionaries who will support you along the way and help get you through those begrudging “after the holidays” winter months. Trust me, you don’t want to miss participating in this program! #40daystoPR #whybaptisteyoga
6 . HOLLAAA for Yoga Malaaaa!
108 Sun Salutations, 12 different yoga instructors from all over the city, and one unforgettable experience. I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome 2016 than to breathe, move, and ignite the new year with 100+ other yogi’s all in one space. All proceeds benefit the Africa Yoga Project. Be up to something bigger than yourself this year and come to this amazing event happening January 2nd.
7. Hands on Assisting
If you love those amazing Savasana assists at the end of class, Hands on Assisting is your chance to learn the art of assisting. This is a full weekend dedicated to deepening your practice and learning the tools to effectively and appropriately assist others. January 23 & 24 are the days this “hands on” experience is taking place. Make sure there’s time in your calendar for this one!
Just because the days end earlier doesn’t mean your practice needs to come to a halt. We have a lot of fun before and after the holidays, and hope to see you all in the studio soon.
P.S. If you have kiddos getting cabin fever, 502 Power Kids is a great opportunity for them to stretch themselves and get all those jitters out on the mat.
Student Highlight: An Interview with Nicole Wiseman
by Melody Mayes
When my dear friend, Nicole Wiseman, happened upon the Baptiste Power Yoga studio just down the street from her home she was insistent that the 502PY community was different than other yoga studios. She is the reason I ended up here, sweating it out next to her on my mat. Nicole is always a giver of herself to others. I’m elated that I was able to sit down with her and dig a tad deeper into her yoga practice.
Describe your first experience with yoga: My first experience with yoga was nearly 12 years ago at the University of Louisville. I was looking for something that would motivate me to work out and a grade certainly helped. Prior to that class I wasn’t particularly athletic or really even that active. Sure, I walked to class and moved around but I would never say that I “worked out” and definitely wasn’t what you’d call athletic in high school. That yoga class came at a very challenging time when I was thinking about changing majors and career paths and essentially the trajectory of my life. It was a pretty pivotal moment and yoga happened to be a large part of it.
How do you do it all? : There are way too many important and worthwhile things and I can’t do them all. And it’s ok. I prioritize (and reprioitize) every day. I try to keep the most important people and things first and let the rest go. I schedule my yoga classes using the MindBody app because it keeps me accountable. That 2 hour cancellation window prior to class is coincidentally the same time period when I often would rather take a nap or catch up on Netflix shows. This keeps me honest and helps keep the rest of my life in balance. So far I’ve never regretted showing up on my mat.
Pose that causes you struggle: Crow pose. Freakin’ crow pose. I once asked Sarah if it was lack of arm strength, lack of core strength, fear of falling on my head or all of the above. She agreed that it was probably a little of all of the above. Every day I’m working at all 3 and getting closer. I’m also learning (trying to learn) that I am where I need to be and it will happen when it needs to happen.
What keeps you going when the going gets tough? I love a challenge. That’s one of the things I love about 502PY. They are forever offering challenges, whether they are single verbal cues in class like to breathe through the discomfort, physical cues from the assistants in class or structured ones like the September Sunrise Challenge.
*(That same attitude is how Nicole completed the September Sunrise Challenge AND was one of the winners.)
What pose gives you the greatest peace? Child’s pose. It helps me settle in and refocus on being present.
What does yoga provide on a daily basis? It gives me peace. It helps me focus. And Ujjayi breath. Strangely enough, giving blood is a great opportunity to practice ujjayi breathing. It’s funny because a lot of times they’ll ask me if I’m ok and I assure them that yes, I am and my breath is getting me through. Note: I hate needles so every time I give it can be a struggle. Another side note: my blood pressure has gone down each time I’ve given blood in the past year since starting at 502py!
Who inspires you? It probably sounds trite but truly everyone inspires me. The cancer survivors I work with daily inspire and amaze me because they keep showing up to provide support to those that are beginning a very similar journey as theirs and sometimes the person they support doesn’t survive, but they keep showing up and giving. Other yogis inspire me especially when I see someone that’s been struggling with a certain pose totally nail it. When I see anyone give of themselves in any way; that inspires me. Yoga has taught me to find inspiration and beauty in a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t have noticed before.
You won the Sunrise Challenge, now what?! It’s back to 6PM for me. That was a nice experiment but I’m still not a morning person.
Nicole enjoys spending her time with her husband, Mason, her supportive circle of friends and family, and doing awesome work as Assistant Director at Friend for Life Cancer Support Network (www.friend4life.org) and part-time with the Crisis & Information Center hotline. Say hello to Nicole next time you see her!
Next week is the start of the 2015-1016 Teacher Training at 502PY and for those who have signed up, there are probably a lot of questions with what to bring. Though you will want to take the usual items for a power yoga class (see some pro-tips here) you will need to add some additional items to your list. Here is the very unofficial, not-all-inclusive, 502PY TT packing list. All of these things are items that I found to be personally useful, have used again in various workshop/program capacities, and would recommend.
1. Bag – Choose a bag big enough for all your stuff, but that can be squeezed into a lobby cubby. Mine has a zippered part for wet clothes, this was an awesome feature, but if your bag doesn’t have a separate zipper for sweaty clothes, bring some Kroger bags for your post-practice goods.
2. Lunch Bag/Cooler – Nothing huge, just something to keep your cold stuff from getting up to 90 degrees in the steamy studio.
3. Water Bottles – I had two bottles, one for water and one for Powerade. Personal preference here but make sure you always have water with you and something with electrolytes to replenish. Coconut water is another great option in addition to your usual water. #Protip: Hydroflasks keep water cold throughout the day (and they are sold in the studio!)
4. Yoga Clothes – I recommend two full sets of clothes for each full day.
5. Comfort Items – For me this was Glide, deodorant, contact solution, and chapstick. #Protip: Vaseline on the brow can help keep sweat from dripping into the eyes.
6. Liquid BandAid – Lots of yoga means dried feet and hands in the winter months. I had cracks/cuts on my toes and this is the only thing that stayed on during sweaty classes.
7. Baby Wipes – a.k.a “showers”
8. Towels – Mat and hand towels. I also used two mats during teacher training, so I could have one drying and one in use.
9. Pens/Pencils – Bring extra, they get lost and you will loan them out.
10. Hair Bands/Bobby Pins
11. Electrolytes – Personal preference here and there are lots of options, I like Honey Stinger Chews and Powerade.
12. Study Materials – Breaks are for eating, changing, and studying. BONUS: Here are my online Sanskrit flashcards, because I love you all!
13. Nail Kit
14. Selfie Stick (Optional) – Because it’s fun to act like goobers.
Not Pictured: Binder, journal, and books. A watch. Food and snacks (bring a variety – sweet and salty, granola bars, fruit, sandwiches, salads, chips and salsa or guac – whatever you will actually eat and will not make you want to throw up after a few leap frogs). Wallet – I just threw my wallet and phone in my bag.
Fellow TT Grads comment below with your must-have items!
Most importantly, know that all you need is to show up ready and willing! And that CVS is right across the parking lot and Jimmy John’s delivers.
By Cat Larimore
Everywhere you turn, people are recommending yoga as a therapeutic physical exercise. Unlike running, tennis, and some other high-impact repetitive motion exercises, yoga is low-impact, incredibly varied and is accessible to all ages, sizes, and skill levels. It’s a practice—and that’s what it’s called, because it’s never expected to be perfect–that you can take with you as you age, constantly improving, customizing, and tweaking to adapt to your current conditions. There are dozens of styles of yoga, from very gentle chair yoga to the extreme heated classes in the Bikram tradition.
So where does Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga fit into this spectrum, and why should you try it?
It’s not “just stretching.”
In our Power Vinyasa classes, attention is placed on creating tapas (heat) and vinyasa (flow) by moving the body. A LOT. You will sweat and torch calories.
It isn’t too hot.
The room is heated (85-90º) to help cleanse the body and warm the muscles, but it is not heated to stifling temperatures that can be uncomfortable for some practicioners.
People are often surprised that a class at 502 Power Yoga typically includes high-fives, laughter, cheering, and applause. But that’s how we roll.
It’s in English…
It’s important to know the Sanskrit, but we’re aware that 99.99% of new students coming through the door will not know what “Prasarita Padottanasana” means but might be able to figure out what “Wide Legged Forward Fold” means.
…And the English isn’t “flowery.”
Instead of saying “offer your heart to the universe” in a pose, we will more likely say “press your collarbone forward.” When you’re in the middle of the flow you won’t have time to decode the flowery language.
You will leave empowered.
Our teachers are not just taught Sanskrit, they are taught how to be powerful, insightful leaders who are able to give you nuggets of transformation right there in your twisting triangle. You will leave a class at 502PY feeling LIT UP and empowered.
You will make a ton of new friends.
At 502PY, we push people outside of their comfort zone and make our yogis get OFF their mat and meet new people. And the craziest thing happens: You make new friends. We’ve witnessed many new friendships blossom out of our studio space.
You don’t have to be “good at yoga” to try it.
You do not have to be flexible to try yoga. You just have to be ready and willing.
It complements every other exercise out there.
Runner? Swimmer? Cyclist? Golfer? More than likely, the strengthening and toning exercises done in a Power Yoga session will help you in your sport of choice.
You will be helping yogis in need practice.
Our members’ monthly payments help support our Outreach program in which teachers volunteer their time to take yoga out into the community where it’s needed but not affordable: Children’s homes, prisons, etc.
Convinced? Try our studio for 40 days for only $40:
When you’re settling in for some deep hip opening in Half Pigeon, the last thing you want is to be distracted by your undergarments, or as a friend once called them, “unmentionables.” Instead of allowing yourself to focus on your breath, you’re thinking, “Is my underwear line showing? Is it twisting into an asana of its own? Can I adjust this wedgie without anyone seeing?”
It’s better to beat the bunch before you begin practice by being choosy about what you wear under your yoga pants.
Keep it quality
First, I recommend getting comfortable, durable yoga pants. It can be tempting to buy the cheapest option (guilty!) but you’ll pay in the end with the flimsy fabric showing what’s underneath. Real talk: my dear friend once called me out on the pattern showing through a thin pair of pants in Pyramid pose. Trust me, make the investment in a performance guaranteed product, like Lululemon’s Wunder Unders.
Keep it in line
Choosing what style to wear under your yoga pants comes down to personal preference. Some women prefer thongs because of the limited amount of fabric that is easily hidden and can help keep you cool in a hot practice. Others are comfortable with more substantial coverage, like briefs. Regardless of style, look for pieces that are designed to be seamless and won’t show a line.
Another option is to go commando. There’s no concern for anything showing through, and it’s more breathable. That said, be sure that you are properly covered when you practice in the studio.
Men’s shorts and pants tend to fit looser, although tight fits are also available. While you gents may not have to worry as much about lines showing through, you will still want to find undergarments that are comfortable to wear throughout a practice.
Keep it together
Lastly, you can get the best of both worlds by selecting yoga bottoms that have a built-in lining, such as Dear Kate pants and shorts.
My final piece of advice is to always test out your ensemble at home first. Do a few Sun Salutations in your living room to make sure that you can be a Warrior and not a worrier when you arrive at the studio for practice.