What if I told you there was a way to stay or get back into your favorite pair of jeans and it offered the side effects like glowing skin and a fabulous mental state? Would you be in? Excited? First you must know it’s not a magic pill and it’s not without a little conscious effort on your part! My trifecta of goodness for keeping the peace with my denim includes the following: (1) eating lots of veggies (2) yoga at least twice a week and (3) three days of sweat-dripping cardio a week of your choice! As a bonus, have a gorgeous stylist friend who asks you to pose in denim for her blog as an additional reminder to stay on track ;)
October has been the month of the yoga (tackling a new challenge every month until I turn 30 in May of 2013 – see the full list of 11×30 challenges!) and I have reveled in making little yoga sanctuaries for myself in the most interesting of places. I practiced yoga on our resort balcony, at the edge of the tide on the beach and in the shallow end of the pool during our recent Mexico vacation. I’ve been lighting candles and rolling out a mat in my bedroom before sleep to do a slow flow + Savasana before sleep. Collaborating with my yogi friends to create heart-opening and detox-twisting yoga sequences. And pretending to be a denim model in between all the yoga & work (kidding…)!
In addition to the obvious physical benefits - like looking good in jeans! – yoga has been a tool to calm my busy mind. I’m prone to stressing myself over small things. Learning to breathe in spaces, even when it’s uncomfortable has been life-changing. Yoga helps me keep my sh*t together, mentally and physically. With so many varieties, styles and teachers yoga is a place where neither my mind nor my body can become bored. “Yes, Erin… I hear you, I hear you. But really I want to know which yoga types are best for shedding a few pounds and toning up?” So sorry! Below are my favorite yoga classes for loving your ‘skinny jeans’:
Like sun salutations? The warm-ups at the beginning of most classes, where you begin in down-dog and flow through to mountain pose. Get your arms toned in this Chaturanga-heavy class style. And abs! You will be challenged by pickups and jumping jacks in the mix, making for a whole-body experience.
A lot of my friends are Baptiste-certified instructors, so I might be a little biased… Baron Baptiste created a completely butt-kicking, heart-pumping, confidence-boosting + toning style of yoga. The beautiful thing about Baptiste yoga is the empowerment aspect. There’s an additional component of tapping into your personal power in life through guided meditations. Ahhh… zen!
Bikram is not for the faint of heart. In my first Bikram class a woman the right of my mat set up her mat and laid down a set of oven mitt next to her towel and water. Mid-way through class, as we were all wading in our respective pools of sweat, she pulled out the mitts and used them to hold her planks and down dogs! In the class you can expect heat, 105 degrees, and 26 poses divided between standing and floor poses. You will sweat. You will connect with your breath. And some say you will experience a Bikram-induced euphoria. I suspect slight dehydration may be at play in that final claim. Drink plenty of water before and after a class.
Vinyasas and movement pair in a Bikram-comparable temperature and humidity setting. Classes are fast-paced. I find the heat helps me to go deeper into a poses than I do in non-heated classes. Remember your towel, water and to take child’s pose when you need it. You will feel the full-body workout – promise!
POWER / VINYASA
Power classes can be heated or non-heated; make sure you check the schedule or call the studio to find out if heat is part of the practice. Expect to build heat from the inside, even if classes are not heated. Classes incorporate flowing sequences of standing poses in long challenging holds with lots of Sun Salutations and your teacher saying “take a vinyasa” – the movement from Mountain pose to Plank to Chaturanga to up Dog/Cobra and back to Down dog.
Want more on picking the perfect yoga class? November’sWELL in L.A. newsletter comes with a yoga download – 17 yoga styles laid out in a pretty 2-page PDF along with my favorite inspirational yoga quotes. Sign-up here for it to arrive in your inbox on November 6th! Share below how yoga or a workout has changed your life.
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