Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Last dance performance of 2012

Last night I had the opportunity to perform Scottish dance at the Grand America. It was a great performance, with live music (my favorite bagpipe band) and some of my closest friends! It was a great way to continue feeling the Christmas spirit! If you are interested in Highland Peaks Dance Studio click here.

I hope you are enjoying the Holidays and the 12 Days of Christmas Workouts

Happy  Training! à bientôt!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Days of Calorie Burning & Self Improvement

Between the holidays and the new year approaching I feel like I am always on the look out for something to keep me in shape. If you are like me, eggnog or some other delicious treat is a large part of your holiday season. There are a multitude of motivating programs and calendars out there to get you going the way that you respond best, but here's an idea. Each day, for the next twelve days I will be posting what I am adding to my daily routine to keep the eggnog from sticking! I'll be focusing on variation throughout the week. If you work the same muscle group too often then the muscles become less efficient in their function, and you are at higher risk for overuse injuries. At the same time if you want to see improvement in anything then the exercise should be done 3-5x a week (the same principle applies to stretching and gaining flexibility). If you are looking to maintain your happy place then only 3x a week is perfect. In every conditioning program there is also a day of rest. You can choose what day that is for you, but my schedule and personal feelings align with keeping Sunday as that day of rest.

The best time to do anything fitness related is before you get busy. This is why I prefer the 6am yoga classes over the 5pm yoga classes. By the end of the day you will be tired and just want to rest, so make a goal to workout when you have the motivation!  Below I've laid out a general schedule that I'm going to follow.

1. Dec. 13 Abs (See Workout)
2. Dec. 14 Legs (See Workout)
3. Dec. 15 Back (See Workout)
4. Dec. 16 Rest Day (See Blurb)
5. Dec. 17 Arms (See Workout)
6. Dec. 18 Back (See Workout)
7. Dec. 19 Legs (See Workout)
8. Dec. 20 Abs (See Workout)
9. Dec. 21 Legs (See Workout)
10. Dec. 22 Back (See Workout)
11. Dec. 23 Rest Day
12. Dec. 24 Abs (See Workout)

I'll be posting these workouts on my website, but I will use this post to add links in case that is easier for you to navigate to the workouts from here. If you have an awesome workouts to share during this holiday please feel free to email me using the contact page on my website.

One extra note, while I will be enjoying more treats than normal, I am also making the goal to stay hydrated (by drinking water), and to control my portion sizes when it comes to the desserts. There will always be another pie to consume, or eggnog to drink, so why eat yourself sick?

Happy Training, and Happy Holidays! à bientôt!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quick and Easy Lunch or Snack: for Avocado & Tomato lovers!

Here it is, back home, my guest post with DIY Divas! As I'm going into finals this week I have found this sandwich especially useful multiple times. For those of you concerned about the contaminated alfalfa sprouts, you can substitute with red onions or some other delicious topping! I used sunflower sprouts. My mother is also into healthy food, and recommended sprouting your own in a jar! Either way, it is a yummy sandwich!

 I’m excited to be sharing a delicious (and super simple) recipe with you. 

This last week has been a busy one for me, with extra rehearsals, and performances. I kept my eye out for any quick snack ideas that I could use during future rehearsals, long study days in the library, or even a lunch I could pack quickly for work or school. Here is a fast sandwich for all the DIY divas out there that lead busy lives also! Credit goes to one of my fellow dancers who I “caught” whipping this sandwich together backstage. 

1/2 avocado (Sliced or not)
1 handful of sunflower sprouts (if you can’t get your hands on good sprouts substitute with red onion)
1/2 tomato (sliced)
2 slices of wheat bread

1. Place the avocado slices (or spread with a spoon if it is soft) on a slice of bread.
2. Arrange sprouts evenly over the slice of bread.
3. Place the amount of tomato slices you want on your sandwich.
4. Eat with pleasure!!

I'm sure that you could toast the bread beforehand, spread mayo on both slices if you want dressing, or use something other than wheat bread (pita bread, naan, lettuce wrap, etc). Needless to say, it is a simple, and delicious treat that is fast to prepare, adapt, and easy to pack in a lunch if needed.

If you want more fast recipes, exercise tips or references to great workouts then check out my website at OR visit my blog at

à bientôt!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guest Post with DIY Divas!!

Exciting news! My husband has helped me launch a website of my own, that has organized a lot of the content (but not all of it will show on the website) from the blog. I'm going to be using the website as a more specialized/professional tool, and the blog will continue to be more "intimate" or casual. The blog will have more "about me" and misc. workout posts, whereas the website will be more directed towards specific topics.You can see what we've done so far here.

Anyhow, my yoga buddy and dear friend is allowing me to guest post on her DIY blog, DIY Divas!
You can see the post by clicking here. I'll release this post on my blog and website in a few days to a week.

Thank you so much for your support!

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Core Blast!

What kind of fitness blogger would I be if I didn’t give you something to do in preparation for Thanksgiving feasting? So here it is, one of my favorite core workouts, ever. I put this together one day before ballet when I really wanted to increase my core awareness during class. I hope you feel the burn as much as I do, and enjoy your Thanksgiving feast guilt-free!

This core workout isn't limited to just Thanksgiving Day! ;) Below is a video that takes you through this workout! Or click here to view it on

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Easy Lunch; The Best Bagel with Cream Cheese Ever!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so food has been on the mind; and apparently there's a lot of delicious food I haven't tried yet in my life. My little sister introduced me to the most delicious lunch that is filling but not stuffy! I literally crave it now! The best part about it is how easy it is to make. I definitely want to start packing it as my lunch for school! 

So here's what you need:
Bagel (I used Thomas brand, "Everything" bagel)
Cream Cheese

1. Toast each bagel half until it is golden.
2. Spread desired amount of cream cheese
3. Place sliced tomatoes on the bagel
4. Salt and Pepper to taste

Packing it for a lunch:
1. Follow steps 1-2 above
2. Zip-loc bag after it cools down to prevent condensation
3. Bag the sliced tomatoes separately, you can even package some salt & pepper if you want or put it on the bagel before bagging it.
4. Prepare it when you are ready to eat it.

If you would rather have bread then you can use mayonnaise instead of cream cheese. On either of these "sandwiches" avocado would add so much flavor!

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BALLET CLASS with DMITRI ROUDNEV: Demonstration of exercises for music of Best of Ballet Class vol. V

Dmitri Roudnev was trained with the Bolshoi ballet, and the DVD description claims that his ballet students have less injuries. I am currently not taking a ballet technique class, and so this was a good option for me to practice at home. I do however have a mini studio and ballet barres at my apartment which makes it more convenient for me. But the exciting thing is that you can practice these exercises almost anywhere! Before I had my studio space I practiced in the kitchen on the tile floor, or in an empty studio during lunch at school. If you are a ballet dancer you will find a way, because your body, mind and spirit will crave the dance. Dmitri also has a thick accent which helps the class feel more authentic.

This DVD is meant for an Intermediate to Advanced ballet student. Nothing is broken down, and ballet terminology is used throughout the entire class. Dmitri will demonstrate the exercise once, then you are expected to do the exercise with the ballerina demonstrating how it should be done with the music. Within the first 23 min. you will have done a warm-up tendu, two plie combinations (one with more tendus), an additional tendu plie followed by a degage combination, and a ronde de jambe combination (which includes a "Russian" ronde de jambe! :) ). If you learn these combinations and know them by heart they would make a fantastic pre-performance warm-up or focusing exercise. There is apparently a CD with the music that accompanies the combinations, I will include a link to this CD at the end.

Next is a fondu, frappe (there are different methods on how to perform a proper frappe, so if this doesn't look like your frappe...don't panic! just adapt it to your method.), ronde de jambe en l'air, petit battement, adage at the barre, and a grand battement combination. And so by 43 minutes the barre is completed and you move to center. The barre combinations might not require an entire room, but some of these center combinations might. This is where it might be helpful to have the music on your ipod and practice it in a larger area.

Center is comprised of an adagio, tendu, pirouettes en dehors, fondu, balance, grand battement,  chasse, assemble, ballone, petit allegro/jumps, sissone, 2 grand allegros, fouette turns, and finishes the class with  saute-echappe.

This is an incredibly valuable resource for ballet instructors and dancers alike. An intermediate level in ballet technique is recommended for dancers looking into practicing these combinations in order to reduce risk of injury.

If you are interested in purchasing this Ballet Class DVD with demonstrations for each exercise click here.
If you are interested in purchasing the music CD that accompanies each exercise for personal practice click here.

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

PILATES: Intermediate Mat Workout with Ana Caban

You will see me reviewing a few different DVDs instructed by Ana Caban. She has danced all of her life and was introduced to Pilates while recovering from a back injury. Ana was certified through the New York Pilates studio. There are several different DVD covers for this DVD so as long as it is the same title with Ana Caban it should be the same workout. To the left I have posted the three different covers that I am aware of, the top being the DVD that I own (which also has a bonus 12 min. workout).

Ana has an incredibly lean and toned body, which is very motivating when it gets hard. Ana focuses on concentration, precision and coordination between the body and mind. Engaging and lifting the core and abdominals throughout the workout is an important key to getting the most out of it!

This is a great workout for your abdominals, lower back muscles, and legs. I feel warm (and sweaty), and ready to face the day! The workout lasts about 30 minutes, but she uses the time efficiently so that it is a beneficial workout! Make sure that you do warm up before you participate in DVD work-outs unless a warm-up is included. Warming up will help prevent pulled muscles or strains. Cooling down afterwards is also a good idea with some stretching and meditation.

I particularly like her smooth transitions and that she states the name of each exercise (and it is printed on the screen) which is so helpful in learning this movement vocabulary. For those of you who don't know what Pilates stance is, it is a slightly turned-out position of the legs, like a natural first position in ballet.

This is an intermediate Pilates workout, so that it keeps moving with minimal pauses for explanation. She does have a beginners DVD out if you are interested.

I recommend this workout to anyone looking to trim their waist, strengthen their lower back, tone their body or strengthen their core. 

If you are interested in purchasing this workout DVD click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Ana Caban click here to visit her website!
Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

MTV: Power Yoga with Kristin McGee

I hope everyone has had a good day! I know that I'm having a hard time focusing on my homework so this post was a nice outlet while awaiting the final votes for the Presidential Election. I actually saw this DVD while looking for some Pilates for my back, and was interested in seeing what MTV has produced. Unlike traditional yoga, this yoga is done to the music of Blue Six, which is like a pulsing mild techno or house style music. Kristin McGee takes you though a routine focusing on gaining flexibility mostly through dynamic stretching with some static stretching. 

Filmed in Arizona, I think at a Hilton hotel or resort, the scenery is lovely with rolling hills (or short mountains) in the background, and a beautiful stone patio. While I was doing research for a paper I turned in yesterday I decided to look into where Power yoga came from. In summary it is a popularized form of yoga that draws mostly from Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga methodologies. Power yoga, however, has the flexibility of being a different style per instructor, and customizable routines. This is often the yoga that you will see in gyms or conditioning programs. I was pleased to find out that Bryan Kest (one of my favorite Power yoga DVDs is his) is one of the "founders" of Power yoga. If you want to read more about where Power yoga came from click here for a good place to start looking.

This is a great program for flexibility that begins with a chest and shoulder opener. The routine starts moving right away and the instructor talks you through every movement like, "exhale, press to downward dog". The instructor demonstrates the routine along with three others all facing a different direction, and one of which is a man (proving to the world that yoga is for both genders). I like that you get to warm up before stretching your spine to the side or moving into the spine-twisting poses. 

I really like the transitions and postures that the instructor has chosen. They really focus on warming the entire body, increasing flexibility and building strength at the same time. After the spine-twists there are a series of balancing poses that then move into seated stretching poses. The routine finishes with corpse pose, and a comfortable cross-legged position.

Something I didn't know about this DVD is that there are a few minutes of ab-work pilates tagged onto the end of the yoga routine. This is awesome, it is like the cherry on a cupcake! Creating a core awareness and stability for the rest of the day!

I would recommend this DVD to any level of home yogi, although the level it is taught at is probably an Intermediate/advanced. If you have basic yoga experience or knowledge of some of the basic terminology and poses you will be able to work at it and perfect the routine. Kristin advises using the DVD about 3x a week or more to see results. I would have to agree with this.

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD on Amazon click here.

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Around the World Performance Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2012

For Christmas Around the World I have to sell a minimum of 30 tickets! I know I have more than 30 friends out there that want to see CAW, but in order for this to work there are a few steps to purchasing your ticket.
First go to the link below and enter the "$2 off for up to two tickets" promo code:
Then proceed to purchase your CAW tickets, and enter this code below which will say that I get the credit for selling the tickets.

This year is going to be amazing, we have changed the format to be in the "round", meaning better seats for EVERYONE and different choreography! The theme is also different this year, and there are some pretty cool "special effects" that will be used. :D I'll be performing Serbian and Russian dances with my team, and I hope most of you can come and see it! The other exciting thing is that they are allowing anyone over the age of 2 yrs old with a ticket! This eliminates the need for a babysitter for a lot of my friends!
If you are interested in learning more about this performance see the link below:

Love, Kathryn
Happy Training! à bientôt!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Peanut Butter and Banana Snack

Of course I forgot to take a picture until it was almost gone!

Sometimes I just don't feel up to eating an entire sandwich, but I'm wanting peanut butter, and bananas. So I looked in the pantry and saw some graham crackers and decided to try it! 

Ingredients: sliced banana, peanut butter, graham crackers

Instructions: spread the peanut butter over the graham cracker and place the sliced banana on top. You're done! :) 

This is an easy snack that you can take with you, on road trips, during rehearsal, or while studying. It isn't heavy, and it has nutrients and flavor! Super simple, super quick! I also imagine this would be a fun dessert if you substitute the peanut butter with Nutella or another chocolate spread!

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CRUNCH: Pick Your Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett

I have enjoyed the pilates exercises used in dance class warm-ups or conditioning-days in ballet, but in general I hadn't ever been tempted to try a pilates workout DVD until now. So I looked for some DVDs that matched what I was looking for and the first one that I will be reviewing is Pick Your Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett. This DVD includes three, 10 minute workouts, plus a bonus 10 minute workout. 

The Workouts are split into sections:
  • Belly (10 min.) -Mild core work to help you with the breathing and engaging your "powerhouse".
  • Butt (10 min.) -The bridge at the end was my favorite and where I started to feel the burn.
  • Thighs (10 min.) -My favorite workout on this DVD! I really focused on lengthening and straightening my legs during the appropriate exercises, which increased the burn factor for me.
  • +Bonus Total Body Pilates (10 min.) -My second favorite workout continuing the burn after the thighs section.
This DVD is great for beginners and true beginners. You can do one or all of the segments on the DVD. I did all of them back-to-back, and found that my two favorites (where I felt a burn) were the last two, thighs and the bonus routine. I still felt that it was worth doing the belly and butt sections since they were a good warm-up and introduction to breathing techniques for pilates.

This is not a shredding workout DVD but it is a good workout to get your blood flowing and get you breathing. I might supplement other routines I do with the thighs or bonus workouts. If you are new to core work this could be a great start for you! The only thing that I would change is adding a few more stretches. So make sure that after your workout you stretch appropriately the muscles that you worked. This will restore the muscles to their length and prevent "bulking".

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see below:
If you are interested in learning more about Ellen Barrett see her website:

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

POWER YOGA: for Every Body

I was happy with the Flow Yoga for Strength & Flexibility also released by Body Wisdom Media, so I thought that I would try this one out. Especially since I enjoy Power Yoga!

The routines are demonstrated by the individual picture on the cover. The cinematography makes me think that it was filmed less recently than the Flow Yoga for Strength & Flexibility DVD. And while the cover is badly photoshopped, I think it is interpretive and trying to say something like, "this is how you will feel after using this DVD in the morning."

This DVD is split up into three different categories, Beginning, Intermediate and Challenging routines. Because each category has so much content I have only completed one from each section thus far and I will come back later and update it as I complete more of them. My hope is that it will prove to be a good DVD for any level!

Here is what you will find on this DVD:

Beginning Routines: (From what I can tell this is for true beginners and inflexible people who are just starting to explore yoga)

  • Good Morning (20 min)-Begins with some stretches to help get the blood circulating. After you have completed the stretches you will move on to a highly modified sun salutation series. This includes the use of a chair and your mat. This would be a great routine for true beginners, those wanting to build flexibility (after some cardio, etc).
  • Good Morning Extended (40 min)
  • Invigorating Practice (40 min.)
  • Strength & Balance (40 min)
  • Balanced Energy (60 min)
  • The Full Workout (80 min)
  • Quieting Energy (35 min)
  • Good Night (15 min)

Intermediate Routines: (for beginners with some experience)

  • Good Morning (25 min)-The same first 11 minutes of the coordinating Beginning sequence with a lightly modified sun salutation. Good for beginners that are ready for the next level without the chair!
  • Good Morning Extended (45 min)
  • Invigorating Practice (50 min)
  • Strength & Balance (50 min)
  • Balanced Energy (65 min)
  • The Full Workout (1 hr 40 min)
  • Quieting Energy (40 min)
  • Good Night (15 min)

Challenging Routines: (for the intermediate to advanced home yogi)

  • Good Morning (40 min)-This one starts again with the same first 11 minutes used in all of the morning sequences. This is probably good because you don't want to do anything to crazy as your first routine in the morning. You continue into a longer and more advanced sun salutation that feels great in the morning!
  • Good Morning Extended (65 min)
  • Invigorating Practice (65 min)
  • Strength & Balance (70 min)
  • Balanced Energy (90 min)
  • The Full Workout (2 hr)
  • Quieting Energy (40 min)
  • Good Night (15 min)

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD on Amazon see below:

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hot (Bikram) Yoga Continues

I went back to the yoga studio and I got the 21 days for $21 deal. It just feels way too good, even if I don't make it every day I'm saving big time (drop in price is $25 per)! If you are local and interested in this deal just go to the class you want and ask for the deal. I think it is a limited offer because of their "grand opening" or something. But, it is definitely worth it!
Second time, I didn't get as nauseated or dizzy. It still felt wonderful on my sore muscles. I love going in the morning since it is getting cold outside, and the yoga studio is so warm and cozy! I did have some issues with balance today that can probably be attributed to my staying up all night Sunday working on homework and late last night registering for classes.

If you are interested in more details reference my first post on this studio: Bikram Yoga First Time

If you are interested in registering for a class see below:
Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas
Midterms are almost over, and I'm anxious to get back to my normal routines and blogging more consistently again. I also had an idea the other day, now that I have tried quite a bit to create my top ten list for intermediate/advanced workouts/routines and top ten for true beginners looking to start moving. These would be picked from what I have already blogged about and not from my future posts. You never know, maybe you missed some of the older posts.
Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BALLET BOOT CAMP: 2 with Jessica Sherwood

I have done a post already on Ballet Boot Camp: Stretch, I enjoyed this one because it warmed the muscles and prepared your body to stretch during the workout or even any extra stretching after the workout. Ballet Boot Camp: 2 was what I was next interested in trying. Someday I may try Ballet Boot Camp: 1, but for now let's focus on 2.

The warm-up is great, it consists of some core warming movements that roll through the spine and lengthen from your tail bone to the top of your neck. The second portion of the warm-up breaks down balancés (a weight shifting step in ballet). I love balancés and was pleased to find this was part of the warm-up! If this movement is new for you, don't get discouraged, place your hands on your hips until you get the feet, or go at a slower pace that you are comfortable with. With practice you will find it easier.

Her arms segment I felt in my upper back, which is a good thing since I know that I need to strengthen my back, but someone else might feel it elsewhere like the deltoids or triceps. I'm liking how Jessica is breaking down the exercises and alignment before each section in order to help you get the most out of the workout and prevent injury. Abdominal exercises include more than crunches but also include crunches. She is great at reminding you about your alignment! If I didn't have her talking me through these things I don't think I would be motivated to work so hard. After the glute section Jessica moves into more ballet.

The ballet section includes center barre consisting of plies, tendus, degages, rond de jambe, leg swings. She then has 5 choreography phrases all done to the same music because at the end she puts them in a pattern and you then have this long sequence to practice.

If you have never had ballet experience there are still exercises that you can do, mainly the first half to three quarters of the DVD. If you have ballet experience then you  may look forward to the second half of the DVD, which is titled "ballet basics" and "choreography." Although the combinations are simple, she teaches them quickly (picking it up quickly is a great skill for auditions), if you need to repeat the break down of the phrase, or pause then go ahead! If you have been doing ballet for a while then you may find it just good practice for technique rather than challenging.

This is definitely a great workout DVD, and I was sweating long before the end! My three favorite things about this DVD: works on toning, and strengthening lean muscle; stretches are included between exercises to prevent any bulking of the muscle; and it includes actual ballet technique.

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD from amazon see the link below:
Purchase from Amazon

 Happy Training! à bientôt!

Raw Food Ice Cream

Peach Raw Ice Cream
I'm one of those that craves ice cream, so to curb the craving in a perfectly healthy and easy way I make raw ice cream. This ice cream recipe has no sweeteners, and is a soft serve texture. My mom introduced me to this a couple years ago and I can't get enough! There was an original recipe in an amazing Raw Food cookbook somewhere, but it has since changed a little. When I re-find the book I will definitely update this post! Another fun thing about this is that teens, kids and babies alike love it, and it's a healthy alternative to ice cream. So here's the instructions:

5-12 min. to make (much easier than homemade ice cream) assuming you already have frozen bananas and including the time to partially thaw them.

Preparation: peel then freeze bananas 10+ hours (this is also a good recipe to use if your bananas are ripe enough for banana bread)

2-3 frozen banana halves (peel before you freeze in a ziploc bag)
1/2 c. your choice of fruit (fresh strawberries, half a large peach, pomegranate, etc.)

Servings: 2

Step 1: place frozen banana halves in food processor with your choice of fruit (let it sit for 5-10 min depending on how frozen the bananas are. Hint: you don't want the bananas to thaw all the way!! this will ruin the texture)

Step 2: Blend until it is a smooth texture.

Step 3: Serve immediately, just like real ice cream this melts!

In the images below you will see some of the steps and the finished ice cream in little custard bowls.
To demonstrate the change in texture depending on the fruit of your choice I made one using 3/4 c. fresh pomegranate seeds and the other using 1/2 of a large frozen peach.

My frozen ingredients
 Letting the bananas sit for 5-10 min.

 I added the pomegranate and blended it! Nice and smooth (excepting the seeds)
 My second batch was peach ice cream, this one is always really smooth!
 I love taking off the lid to see the texture
 You can tell that this one is thicker (pomegranate was less solid because it is essentially little liquid bubbles, whereas the peach is solid and added to the thick texture)
 Ready to eat!!
 Peach ice cream, and strawberry ice cream are my two favorite flavors using this recipe.
 Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BIKRAM YOGA: Hot Yoga 26 Postures

This post is about my first experience with hot yoga, or Bikram Yoga. First, this is my experience, and it may not be what everyone else experiences. Second, I am no doctor and my personal opinions are expressed below.

For those of you not familiar with hot yoga, it is a different method of yoga that is done in both heat and humidity. You can see this link to wikipedia for more information on Bikram Yoga. The breathing techniques are different than for example ashtanga yoga or vinyasa yoga. The temperature is approx. 105* F and about 40% humidity. Because of the heat I would recommend wearing something light on top (or no shirts for men) and shorts. I wore my yoga/running tank with some yoga shorts. We also put a towel over our mat and had a water liter water bottle by our side during the entire thing. This is also a form of yoga that you do not want to wear sweats during! The throaty breathing done during ashtanga is in order to warm your body. In bikram you are warming the body from the outside and therefore we only used that breathing technique for maybe the first five minutes. The rest is done quietly and for the most part in and out through your nose.

At first I was a little concerned at whether or not I could make it through the class--I'm on the tale end of a nasty cold, and my lower back/upper leg on my right side has been giving me fits. However I didn't need a single cough drop, and it cleared my sinuses enough that I could participate in the correct breathing techniques for most of class. I did not feel any pain in my lower back or leg where it usually is very painful just walking around campus (again this is my experience and may not be the same for everyone). Even now that it has been almost two hours since the end of the class my back still feels better than it did before I went in.

Triangle Pose
I feel energized, ready to take on the day, and my mind is clear. I can focus now, and relax. I feel like it was good for stress relief, and even meditation (if you are familiar with the sequence). I was also talking with my yoga buddy, and we decided this must be a really good form of yoga for runners or dancers recovering from injuries because of the heat which loosens up your muscles.

A note on nutrition and hydration: I did feel nauseous the last 10-15 min. of class, and from what I understand that is normal to feel nauseous (differing degrees for everyone-one guy said he gets nauseous at the beginning of class). If you do feel nauseous the teachers seem to be understanding, and our instructor advised that you not move until the nausea goes away. If you are on a diet that restricts your nutrient intake (which I don't necessarily approve of) then I can imagine hot yoga being dangerous and possibly some passing out or worse. Make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet the day before. We went to the 6 AM class and some people can keep a light breakfast down and others can't, just be aware of what your body can handle and be healthy! Most of all stay hydrated!

We were totally going to take a picture doing a pose after the class just to document the moment and include in this post. However, we forgot. So my husband was kind enough to take a picture or two of the two poses that I felt I learned the most. One that I didn't get a picture of but was one of my favorites was Garudasana or eagle pose, which I have done before with one of the Tara Stiles routines. I like to refer to it as "pretzel pose." :)

Toe Stand Pose
Triangle Pose- Different from the ashtanga warrior series, you do not place the hand on the floor and you want a triangle of negative space between the side of the torso and the thigh. You only go until the elbow is lined up with the knee.

Padangustasana (toe stand pose)- It was definitely challenging! I'm going to have to work at this one since it is pretty new to my movement vocabulary.

If you are interested in how to prepare for a class click here to see what the Brick Canvas studio advises.

If you are interested in the studio that we attended see the link below:

Bikram yoga studios are more difficult to find than other yoga studios, but if you look for one in your area hopefully there is one close by.

 Happy Training! à bientôt!