Guest Post: Top Three Yoga Mistakes with Yogi, Dena Dodd Perry

Yoga is our zen spot and the way we first bonded and became this crazy Batman and Robin style blogging duo.  Yes, we fight crime and do yoga…you didn’t know?  But we definitely have experienced the whole “Am I doing this … Continue reading

Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner: Mat Mist

Ahh yoga class, the glow of the candles, the collective sound of OHM, the stinky sweaty scent on your mat…wait.  A smelly yoga mat can totally ruin your one shot of the day to unwind.  You want your mat to be so fresh and so clean but without all the chemicals.

Namastay on your mat with Mat Mist. Mat Mist is a new aromatherapeutic, essential oil spray created by Brooklyn, N.Y.­based yogi, Cassie Cosgrove.

Just spray it up, roll it up and your mat is good to go.

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We were offered 4 blends to spray after our Sun Salutations.

  • Lavender Sandalwood Geranium: Calming lavender preps the chill atmosphere and sandalwood adds energy to your inversions. We like to use this as a bedroom spray for easier sleep.
  • Thyme Douglas Fir: Get in touch with nature with the earthy scent of Fir.
  • Lemon Myrtle Peppermint Vetiver: Fresh citrus and cooling mint can warm up a cool practice.
  • Meditation: Breathe deep without the incense and make your home into a studio with this relaxing scent blend.

Mindful Mat Mist Ingredients (image courtesy of Mat Mist):


Mat Mist Musts-

Ecofriendly:

  • No need for wipes or paper towels (note: for a very dirty mat, like beach and park yoga, Mat Mist will not deep clean your mat)
  • Bottles are from recycleable PET

Anti-Germies: Each of the essential oil combinations included in the line are known for their antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, and/or antiviral properties.  All oils are therapeutic grade, distilled carefully to retain the plant constituents known for medicinal properties.

Yoga Studio Friendly: Scents dissipate quickly to prevent you from being “that yogi” who perfumes the room.

Community Focused: Mat Mist donates 10% of profits to good causes and charitable sustainability organizations

Multi-purpose: Use it as a room fresher, both in the air or on sheets or furniture.

Cost: Mat Mist products are sold in a 2 ­ounce  ($11) or four ­ounce (MSRP $18) spray bottle.  Mat Mist also offers a subscription opportunity (MSRP $75/2oz or $108/4oz) where you receive new special ­edition mists seasonally throughout the year. Get fresh in your practice at matmist.com.
*We received samples of Mat Mist for review. We were not compensated for our opinions.*

Yoga 101 @ Studio Three Chicago

Do you wanna know a secret?  We’ve been practicing yoga for years.  It’s what brought our friendship to fruition.  BUT! We’ve never taken a Yoga 101 class until now.

Studio Three’s new FREE Yoga 101 class offers a format that is accessible to anyone, from new yogis, to sweaty gurus (especially those who need patience practice).  So don’t be nervous if you’ve never ventured into this world of open mouth tongue out breathin’.  We checked it out 2 Saturdays ago and checked our assumptions at the door.

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First Impressions:

Studio Three’s yoga studio features linen covered decorative lamps (good for staring at in a hard pose), hardwood floors and natural light to induce relaxation.  Studio Three also features cycling and interval training in its other 2 studios.

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Attending your first yoga class can be intimidating.  You know, those people all stretching and showing off their wacky legs behind their head poses.  However, our teacher, Todd Rhoades, was bubbly, welcoming and accommodating to all in the room.  Luckily no one in our class was stunting either.  Todd is multi-talented and has a background in yoga, and dance.  This evident in his grace and ease at talking through poses.

Note: Emily DeBouver and Maggie McElhiney are teaching an “It’s Britney B*^#h” dance class on March 25th at Studio Three if yoga’s not your thang.

Format (may vary by teacher):

We began with pranayama practice, breathing in one nostril and out the other, sometimes feeling like a drowning hippo.  Prana what, now?  It’s a breathing practice for yoga to help you be in tune with your gorgeous bod.  We then moved on to sun salutations with an explanation and demo of each step.  Class may seem slow if you are used to quick vinyasa flow but we were sore after and learned a ton.  Classes can cover a variety of topics including etiquette, form, history and/or alignment.

Where: Studio Three, 648 N Clark Street
Chicago IL, 60654

When: Saturdays, 1:45-2:45 pm

Bonus: This Saturday, March 19th, is Yoga 101 with QUICHE AND MIMOSAS!!

Sign Up: First, sign up for an account. Next, schedule yourself!

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Already experienced?  Studio Three could appease many a yogi with styles from Forrest Yoga (from the amazing Allison English) to Hot Power, Flow, or challenging Hi-Def (integrated yoga and strength training).  We gots to go back and give another try another style.

*Update* 3/25/2016 Yoga 101 will morph into Power Yoga 101 for April.

 

Nike and JW Chicago Fitness Showcase!

Ready to warm up this weekend? Join us for a heart pounding, music bumping workout with Nike and JW Marriot Chicago this Saturday, 12-2 p.m, to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Where:  JW Marriott Chicago – 151 West Adams Street Chicago, … Continue reading

Exhale Spa Evanston Studio Opening

Ready to transform your trouble zones in the new year?  One of our most beloved boutique fitness spots, exhale spa, is expanding from Chicago to a new location in Evanston.  It’s only a hop, skip and a jump from Northwestern University, … Continue reading

Free Workouts in the New Year: Part 2

In the new year, would you prefer barefoot or lacing up your kicks for a jog?  Either way we got you covered (and for cheap too!) with Part 2 of our Free Workouts in the New Year blog.

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Running

Fleet Feet Run Clubs

With 9 different Chicago area locations, you could run with friendly folks every day of the week.  Fleet Feet fun runs include themed runs like Chick’s Night, Pint Night as well as new running gear demo events.

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Shake Shack monthly runs

Looking for Pavlovian fitness techniques?  Trendy burger chain, Shake Shack, hosts monthly fun runs on the second Tuesday of every month with a twist.  Your reward for running: A free shake, beer or discounted burger!  Details here.

City Fit Girls

Starting in Philly and imported to Chicago, City Fit Girls strives to give women and comfortable and supportive environment for stretching their running legs.  Chicago fun runs are Wednesdays at 6:30 pm in Lincoln Park.  More information available here.

Yoga

Community Yoga

Chicago has an infinite amount of yoga studios and many of them aim to give back to community with donation based or free yoga classes.  Our top choices are Zen Yoga Garage (Logan Square), Tejas Yoga (South Loop) and Pilsen Yoga Tribe (Pilsen) at Thalia Hall.

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Yoga at your fave clothing store

Whether you rock Lululemon, Athleta or Lole, each of these clothing stores encourage community yoga with weekly or monthly free yoga and strength training events.

Yoga With Adriene

This talented Texan yogi is friendly, silly and cares enough to share the gift of yoga classes with us!  She is currently running a YouTube 30 day Yoga Camp to your daily yoga flow fluidly flowing.

 

YogaWorks Guest Post: 5 Yoga Poses for Jump-starting a Home Practice Sequence yoga

We’ve had this lingering intention…the intention of rising with the sun and doing yoga to get the day started right.  This intention turns into slapping the snooze button for 30 minutes and then grumbling out of bed.  As the sun’s coming out a little more these days, we thought we’d seek some expert advice on a sequence that might give us the structure we need to make daily yoga a habit!  Enter Sarah Ezrin, a Los Angeles based yoga teacher,  Lululemon brand ambassador, purveyor of joy, and our guest yogi!  Sarah also teaches for YogaWorks and the online MyYogaWorks platform which offers over 500 online classes and 24 hour access so you can get that at home yoga guidance.

Sarah offers 5 starter poses to help us and you build your home practice!  Pictures are courtesy of photographer, Julia Heredia, are were taken during Sarah’s Costa Rica retreat (jealous….).

5 Yoga Poses for Jump-starting a Home Practice Sequence by Sarah Ezrin

  1. Child’s Pose – Child’s pose is no child’s play.  A great posture for grounding one’s energy, it creates a conscious shift inward as one is literally folded in upon themselves.  Come to kneeling on the floor big toes together, knees slightly apart and sink the hips back toward the heels, laying your belly over the top thighs.  This pose can be restful with the arms relaxed by your sides or made more active with arms forward reaching energetically.  Elevate the head with a block or even stacked fists is as it will align the spine and create space for the neck and shoulders.  Feel free to repeat throughout the sequence as needed.

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  1. Cat/Cow Breath – Open the heart and awaken the core with this pair of postures.  Practiced dynamically (meaning moving with breath) this set warms up the spine.  Start in a table top position, aligning wrists under and shoulders and knees below hips.  On an inhalation, create a backbend by lifting the chest bone up towards the ceiling and gently taking the gaze up, back of the neck long.  Exhale round the back tremendously by pushing the palms into the floor and hollowing the bellybutton.  Gaze toward the naval.  Repeat five times (with an inhale/exhale counting as a single rep) following the natural flow of breath.

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  1. Downward Facing Dog – Probably the most notorious of yoga poses, no practice is complete without a down dog!  Lengthen the spine and release the entire back body, which gets stiff from hunching over those iPhones.  Start in a table top position, pressing the hands evenly into the floor.  Tighter shoulders will benefit from having the hands slightly wider than shoulder’s width.  Curl the toes underneath and begin to lift the knees off the floor while extending the hips up and back.  Start with the knees slightly bent and work lengthening the spine.  Straighten the legs and press the heels toward the floor.  You are looking to create an inverted “V” with your body.  If the spine feels rounded, the lower back or hamstrings (muscles at the back of the legs) may be tight, so keep the knees slightly bent to get more length.  Make a long spine priority over straight legs.  Beginners may experience wrist pain.  Be sure the entire hand is pressed into the floor at the knuckles and fingers lengthen forward actively.

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  1. Reverse Warrior – Feel both beautiful and strong with this expansive standing pose.  Tone the outer hips and lengthen the inner legs, while the added side stretch expands the lateral body improving breath. Start in a wide stance, arms out shoulder’s height and feet as wide as the wrist (about a leg’s distance).  Turn the right leg out from deep within the hip and the back leg and hip facing inward slightly.  Bend the front knee until the thigh is level to the floor, tracking the front knee and ankle.  This is Warrior 2.  On an inhalation, lean back placing the left hand lightly outside the left leg and stretching the top arm overhead.  Hold for eight full breaths or play with the pose dynamically moving in and out from Warrior 2 with breath.

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  1. Supta Baddha Konasana – Often, the most potent poses in yoga are the quietest.  Soothe the mind and nervous system, while also releasing the hips.  Start lying on the back with the knees bent and feet flat onto the floor.  Allow the inner knees to fall open like the wings of a butterfly and gently place the soles of the feet together.  Pulling the heels inward toward the groin will create a stronger release of the inner thigh.  Rest one hand on the heart and the second on the belly for more grounding or take the arms overhead and grab elbows to stretch the side body.

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Just for the record, #5 is a Chi Organic Girls go-to pose for relaxation.  Check out this sequence to find your zen (and maybe find a reason to get out of bed earlier) or share your favorite yoga sequence with us.

Your Fittest Week Ever

Don’t give up on those resolutions yet!  Chicago land is popping this week with low cost and free fitness workshops, health and nutrition seminars and fun events.  Oh and it’s nice-ish outside so you could attempt to brave the outdoors…so, take that winter!

Wednesday Jan 21

Speaking of running, isn’t it more fun with a pack?  Join other lady runners at Fleet Feet Lincoln Square for Chick’s Night.  Runners and walkers are welcome and routes range between 3 and 6 miles.  Can’t do a Wednesday?  Run clubs are also available on other weeknights through Fleet Feet.

Thursday Jan 22

“Shake and pop. Shake and pop.”  Do you ever imagine you’re dancing at a club during your cardio classes?  Your dream is now a reality!  Join Flirty Girl Fitness, live DJs, 3 different dance instructors, back up dancers, lights, sound, and fellow cardio heads at the first ever Club Cardio Concert at Sound Bar.  Tickets are only $15*, cheaper than the usual drop in, and drinks are available for purchase.  This is for the grown and sexy so 21+ only allowed.

Are you trying to explore food allergies or gluten free living?  Bountiful Eatery is hosting a gluten free meetup from 7-9 pm on Thursday.  Holistic Health Coach, Joy Duginske, and Gluten Free Mom, Tiffany Hinton, will share tips and thoughts on gluten free lifestyles.  Attendance is free!  RSVP here.

Friday Jan 23

Do you ever tip toe around your living room pretending to be the Black Swan?  Ok, maybe that’s just us.  Aspiring adult ballerinas and hip hop heads can take free classes at the Joffrey Ballet (GASP! So exciting) at Free First Friday.

Free First Friday

Joffrey Ballet, 10 East Randolph

12:00-1:00 pm Keep Fit Ballet with Kim Sagami
1:15-2:15 pm Pilates with Zineb Chraibi
6:30-8:00 pm Intermediate Ballet with Lynne Alberding
6:30-7:30 pm BeMoved with Jennifer Edgcomb
7:00-8:00 pm Hip Hop with Dantriell Houston

Saturday Jan 24

Whew!  You made it to the weekend.  Now chill and enjoy the fine art of meditation at 9 am with Hamsa Ayurveda and Yoga founder, Monica Yearwood.  No need to register!  Just show up and experience the brain changing power of meditation.

Free Meditation Group
Saturdays, 9 am (open and ongoing). Hamsa Center, 3807 N. Lincoln Avenue.

And then hype yourself back up with free and intense cardio from CrossTown Fitness at the South Loop Lululemon store.  Join Kailee Martin at 3 pm at the Roosevelt Collection.  You must register online to attend.

Photo courtesy of Cross Town Fitness

Sunday Jan 25

2015 is a year for dancing!  Learn some Latin moves for free and heat up your winter at the South Shore Cultural Center with Chicago’s Winter Dance.

Winter Dance, South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

  • 2-3pm – Lisa “La Boriqua” Latin Street Dancing (salsa lesson)
  • 3-5pm – Viva! Marc Anthony Tribute Project (live salsa band performing two 50-minute sets)

Relax with an UpLIFTing Retreat!

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As the weather grows chillier and your work load picks up, it becomes essential to practice self-care.  We love opportunities where we can treat ourselves and retreat from the overstimulation of life WHILE helping others.  Next weekend you can do just that!

Experience an upLIFTing yoga session and contribute to children in need.   LIFT (Leading India’s Future Today), founded in 2004 in Chicago, opens a world of possibility for its students.  LIFT supports a holistic learning and leadership development program for boys and girls in Tamil Nadu, India.  LIFT educates children, creates leaders and transforms communities of highly motivated, underpriveledged students.  Learn more about LIFT at www.liftusa.org

The event will feature a ohm-some yoga class with mini Luna bar snacks to refresh yourself after your workout.  Strap on those ultra comfy yoga pants and get ready to relax on the mat! http://lift-foundation.org/uplifting-retreat-2014/

 

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Be Healthful Retreat: A Holistic Health and Wellness Retreat

The Healthful Guide Presents:

The Be Healthful Retreat: A Holistic Health and Wellness Retreat

Event: Be Healthful: A Health & Wellness One Day Retreat

Hosted By: The Healthful Guide and In Good Taste Magazine

http://behealthfulretreat.eventbrite.com/?aff=IndustryAffiliates&afu=87145668223

Oh DANG! Workout classes all day, mini spa treatments, juicy samples

#BeHealthful will partner with In Good Taste Magazine, Whole Foods, Karyn’s Raw, and other health and wellness leaders in Chicago for an all ­day wellness retreat and holistic health industry event at Moonlight Studios.  Get ready to be educated, entertained, and inspired!

Be Healthful will offer a series of pop­ up fitness classes, workshops given by wellness professionals, healthy eats, and over 20 health conscious vendors.  The retreat will provide an oasis for guests to recharge and reset for the week ahead.  All will leave pampered and energized.

Thirty percent of ticket sales will be donated to the official charity beneficiary of the event, Charity4LIFE.

The one day retreat is an “open ­house” meaning guests can come and go throughout the day and can build their own itinerary. Upon registration, guests can reserve their spot in what workshops/yoga classes they want to attend, and also the times that they want to visit each vendor for their spa services and wellness consultations.

What is included in the registration fee ($39.00) and $10 OFF code: CHIORGANICGIRLS

  • ­ 10 yoga and pilates classes (you can take as many as you like throughout the day) Moksha Yoga, Exhale Spa, Pilates Pro Works, Abigail Simon of Joffrey Ballet, Yoga Six, Tru Body Yoga, Yoga Loft, Flex Pilates, and more.
  • ­ 7 workshops including Ayurvedic detoxes, reflexology workshops, nutrition and motivational talks, cooking demos, and more.
  • ­ Spa services including: full body spray tans, facials, oxygen treatments, light therapy sessions, scalp and shoulder massages; mini makeovers including makeup consultations and hair styling, and more.
  • ­ Wellness consultations including: detoxing consults, posture examinations, tongue examinations, mind and body consultations, and more.
  • ­ Food and Beverage tastings including juices, a variety of plant ­based cuisine, vegan and paleo baked goods, artisan teas, and herbed popcorn. (guests have the option to purchase goods from vendors at guests discretion)

Oh DANG! Workout classes all day, mini spa treatments, juicy samples…what are you waiting for?  Come join us because we all need a chance to recharge and pamper ourselves.

About The Healthful Guide:

The Healthful Guide is a plant based dining and healthy living directory for the city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Healthful is dedicated to bringing more awareness to living a nourishing and holistic lifestyle. Their core belief? That life is all about being Healthful. To learn more visit http://eathealthful.com