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Ever Had a Headache After a Hot Yoga Practice? How Hot 8 Yoga’s Heat Helps You Get A Healthier Workout

The rush of fresh oxygen into the bloodstream has the ability to calm our nerves, focus our mind, and ignite our mental and physical endurance. If your practice includes Ujjayi Breath, you’ve experienced the power of fully integrating your breath with your practice. The combination of movement with breath is the essential union that unlocks the life changing abilities of yoga. Read More

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How Meditation Changes Your Brain

There are a lot of reasons why people think meditation doesn't work. It's too simple, or I’m not doing it right. How can sitting quietly for ten minutes and trying to focus only on your breath help you get more things done in the day? It doesn't work on me, or I can’t keep my mind still for that long. Read More

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5 Reasons To Start Your Teacher Training

Become An Inspirational Warrior Few people get the chance to create meaningful change in other people on a daily basis. But with each class, yoga teachers have the unique opportunity to stand in front of dedicated, open-minded students ready to be inspired. You will experience the life-changing benefits of your yoga practice and be able to pass that knowledge onto others. Read More

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Why you should try Yoga Teacher Training even if you don't want to become a teacher!

Whether you are interested in simply learning more about yoga, becoming self-employed, or adding teaching to your life, a YTT can be the perfect route. If you haven’t been able to find your community quite yet within your yoga practice, joining a YTT will lead you right to your yoga family. Surrounding yourself with a supportive group of like-minded people will give you the comfort and ease to dig deeper. And this will be just the beginning of your family! Read More

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Mood Boosting in the Heat

I have been depressed and anxious for as long as I can remember. My mom passed away when I was six and my father raised me on his own from there. He was fifty-five when he had me and struggled to connect with a young daughter. Whether it is chemical or simply the longing for deeper nurture, my mood has suffered. I have participated in many sports from a young age and I think that was the only time I felt high enough to get through that week or month. Read More

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Take a Deep Breath, Relieve Your Stress

Earlier this year, after I lost my temper and began arguing with my partner, he took a moment of pause and said, “Take a deep breath.” Even in my anger, I knew he wasn’t trying to be patronizing, he simply knew I was irritated and wanted to help me relax. This is his thing; he spends 15 minutes every morning meditating. But I don’t. I suffer from an all-too-common condition. Read More

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Fountain of Youth

fountain-of-youthMindfulness—that awesome reality check that let's you know just how little control you really have over your mind—is still worth the effort, and here’s why.

Meditation literally transforms cortical tissue in the brain - good. Mindfulness meditation has also been discovered to influence key aspects of human biology connected to cellular and body aging - very good. Cue choir, trumpets and fireworks. We all know that stress causes lots of physiological changes in the body, but did you know stress actually leads to premature aging? Scientists use telomeres - the ends of our chromosomes - as an indicator of cellular age. The length of the telomere shows how quickly a cell is aging. Therefore, when a telomere erodes away, the chromosome begins to degrade, signaling the cell to cease dividing or to die. Not good. So how can we change the length of our telomeres and our life? Scientists have found meditation to be an effective way to both slow the erosion of telomeres and repair and re-lengthen them. In fact, Elizabeth Hoge from Harvard University found that people who meditate have longer telomeres, and possibly longer lives [1]. Theories differ as to how exactly meditation boosts telomere growth, but more than likely it has something to do with the fact that meditation simply reduces stress. Everyone ages, some quicker than others, depending on the amount of stress they are regularly managing. Come lengthen your life with Hot 8 Yoga’s new Invigor8 Meditation practice Monday through Friday after your favorite morning classes! See you on the mat!

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Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training

yoga-sculpt-beach

sculpt - verb - create or represent (something) by carving, casting, or other shaping techniques

synonyms: carve, model, chisel, sculpture, fashion, form, shape, cast, cut, hew

I never anticipated enjoying a yoga practice which incorporates free weights and high energy cardio movements in a heated room. Heck…if you asked me 5 years ago if I’d like to attend such a class, I would’ve refused without a second thought. As a “traditional” yogi, having come from a very spiritual background, I frankly thought it sacrilegious to bastardize yoga in such a way. I stand corrected. Collaboration is what makes the creative world goes round. Fusion. The coming together of many ideas, to ultimately create something harmonious. And after my accidental transition into teaching Sculpt almost 4 years ago, I continue to find this harmony and synergy on a daily basis. I start off every Sculpt class, with a disclaimer - my personal belief on what this practice is intended to be.
“… a Power flow class, which with the help and addition of free weights, allows us to explore and isolate various muscle groups, ultimately enhancing and strengthening our vinyasa (or any other modality of yoga) practice.”
I find that the student attracted to this particular practice, is an individual who is seeking just that. Something relatable, i.e a weight lifting regiment, that also - whether consciously realizing this, or not - leaves the body (…and ultimately the mind), in a state of utter bliss. A lengthening and strengthening of muscles and connective tissue, through endurance and discipline exercises, that by definition carves, chisels, forms, cuts and creates, not just a healthy physical body, but more importantly, a healthy relationship with the physical body. And that, my friends, is the goal. To create a healthy, positive and loving relationship with the physical body. An awareness of feeling good. Because it’s this feeling good, that translates into a smile, a glow, a love for self. And Lord knows - a love for self is essential in order to love another. Isn’t that why we do yoga? A connection to love - for self, for another, for each other? Every class ends with; “…the light (and love) in me, acknowledges and sees to the light (and love) in you. “ For in that place, is the one love. The ultimate bliss. "So you’re telling me I can attain this with weights in hand, grooving to some deep house, at 105 degrees?" Yes, my yogi friends. Yes I am. Let’s collaborate and find bliss, shall we?

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Meditation Improves Relationships

In case you missed it, emotional regulation resulting from mindfulness was discussed in Part 1. However, mindfulness can also be practiced in order to improve relationships; and no matter what gender you identify with, or what kind of job you perform, improving relationships makes life a whole lot better…and easier!
“Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain that determines how much stress we experience and that is central in modulating our fear responses. For example, people with very active amygdala tend to experience more depression and anxiety.”
Study after study indicates that strengthening the trait of being mindful predicts: Increased response flexibility – Instead of responding in the same way to people or events with negativity, flip that emotion into something positive and see how that makes you feel. Decreased reactivity – Thinking about it, before acting on it, can be a good thing! Decreased emotional stress (in response to relationship conflict) – More deep breathing to keep things calm inside and on the outside. Improved ability to enter conflict discussion with less anger and anxiety – Clearly a winning strategy. In other words, decreasing amygdala activity through yoga and meditation can alter how we perceive ourselves in relation to others, but it also helps us deal with real life stresses in practical ways that lead to resolution. Less active amygdala, fewer emotional outbursts and more happy days! Start building your Hot 8 Yoga relationship by becoming BFF’s with yoga and meditation, and experience real improvement and satisfaction in your personal relationships! Monday through Friday, look for the "Invigor8 Meditation" classes beginning October 10th at all studios. See you on the mat! Source Material: http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Benefits_of_Mindfulness.pdf http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/11/mindfulness-emotional-stability-sleep_n_2836954.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kripalu/mindfulness-meditation_b_3238677.html

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Staying Cool When Things (Or Places) Get Heated

MINDFULNESS, a once obscure Buddhist concept, is now a vital component of yoga philosophy and practice. It can be defined simply as, a “moment-by-moment awareness”. In more clinical terms, it’s a state of psychological freedom that occurs when attention remains still and without judgment or attachment to any point of view. At HOT 8 YOGA, that familiar request by instructors to “stay in the present”, to have non-judgmental, moment-to-moment observations of the mind/body experience during class, is a constructive and comforting reminder. Emotional regulation is one of the specific benefits of mindfulness all HOT 8 YOGA members can enjoy. “When we ruminate, or get caught up in negative feelings, emotion regulation can be very helpful and healthy” [1]. Practicing mindfulness develops your ability to control negative reactions through the application of moment-by-moment awareness. For instance, let’s say you fall out of your vrksasana during class. You don’t get upset and storm out of the studio, humiliated! No way, because you check in with your body, take a breathe, sip water, pick up your foot and when ready, resume the asana, focused, in the present, and open to your outcome. When there’s stress, mindfulness helps with calming down and thinking rationally. The science shows that when mindfulness is practiced, an increase in pre-frontal cortex activity occurs; and in the amygdala, a gateway for depressive moods, such activity decreases [1]. Mindfulness techniques and meditations are also associated with increased activity within the limbic system, thalamus, and anterior cingulate cortex in the brain [1]. A regular mindfulness meditation practice can ensure: • Less rumination and negative thinking, over time • Higher positive self-awareness • Fewer depressive symptoms • Decreased negativity • Better working memory capacity and productivity • Improved attention span and focus when performing tasks INVIGOR8 MEDITATION, a mindfulness meditation class, launches at all HOT 8 YOGA studios weekday mornings beginning October 3. Come experience all the benefits of incorporating meditation into your daily routine! See you on the mat! HEIDI DILL SEP 21, 2016 Sources: [1] http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Benefits_of_Mindfulness.pdf [2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303604/ [3] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_does_mindfulness_control_behavior

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