Yoga at the Gym (Pro vs Con)

I find that many people in the Yoga community look down upon yoga classes that are taught in gyms. As someone who is about to begin teaching at a LA Fitness here is my Pro and Con list.

Pros:

Exercise: Most fitness club yoga classes are motion based. Since their main mission as a company is to give you a healthy lifestyle by excercising they want the class to reflect that. This doesn’t mean that all yoga classes at the gym are fully vinyasa flows, but there is more of a goal to give you that “I just worked out,” feeling.

Less Expensive: Most gym memberships come with free group fitness classes. This means that with your gym membership, the company also gives you access to yoga classes. Yoga classes in the studio are usually around $22 a class in Southern California where I am from. This means going only once a week every month is going to cost you over $80!

All levels in one: I find that as a student in a yoga class I enjoy having people at different levels. I know you aren’t suppose to be concerning yourself with others during yoga, but it’s human nature. I find that I really like when there are other students that are more advanced than where I am so I can see more difficult adjustments. This overall makes you better at the asana portion of yoga.

Cons:

Environment: A yoga studio gives you an environment that I feel is more relaxing. Often times they use essential oils, which smell yummy and help relax you. They often also can have heated rooms and offer hot yoga. Often a fitness club is full of mirrors and other workout materials, which can be distracting.

Little to no spiritual side: In a fitness club there is little to no focus on meditation. This is the side of yoga that many people in our current society need. There are so many benefits to slowing down life in a world that is full speed and expectations.

Newer instructors: This can be looked at as a pro or con. The pro of a newer instructor is that they just recently finished their school and all the information should be at top of mind. The con of this is that they more than likely have less knowledge on all the holistic elements of yoga than someone who has been instructing for years.

Peace & Love

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YTT (Yoga Teacher Training): My Experience

Hi all!

I just completed my 200-hour YTT. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I went to New Zealand with YogaCaraGlobal. In this post I will talk about what we learned, the location, and my overall experience. Hopefully this will help you to decide if this is something you want to do or are interested in learning more about.

The Location: For the YTT I traveled all the way from California, USA to Tairua, New Zealand. I of course took this opportunity to not only travel around, but to become a yoga instructor. Here we stayed at Te Moata. Te Moata is a non-profit location that has over 400 acres of protected forrest. Here we had two rooms for learning, one we practiced meditation in and one we practice asana in. Of course we also had a  place to sleep.

For food we were extremely fortunate and had a French chef cook for us. He also use to be a pastry chef. Coming into this I figured we would only be eating vegetables and thought I would have to go without sweets. I was wrong!  That being said it was all vegetarian and vegan or gluten free if it needed to be. We ate a lot of curry, which I usually hate but was often very delicious. We also had a lot of beet and carrot salads, which I will hopefully be making a copy cat recipe for. Of course by the end of the 2 weeks all of the meat eaters could only think about a burger!

The only downside I could say about Te Moata is that there were a ton of flies! I have to say it’s very difficult to meditate and have flies landing on you at the same time. The only other issue was that I felt uncomfortable if I didn’t eat all my food, which meant I ate way WAY to much every time!

Education: We learned around 50 asanas. By this I mean we talked about what muscles are working, which ones were stretching, modification available, and of course the risks. It was very safety focused, which I loved. All of the students (6 people) found that one time or another they had been misadjusted. This was by far the most important lesson learned. The posture does not need to look like you see in Instagram, but it should feel right to the person in it.

Experience: This teacher training was even better than I expected. There were only 6 students, which was nice because we all got a long. We are all also in a group message and continue to update each other on our lives. It was also nice because we felt comfortable to talk about things we might not of otherwise. Both of my instructors did prefer slower more yin style classes, despite this they still loved my final vinyasa power flow.

In order to pass you had to teach a 1 hour class to all the students and pass a written exam. Both of which I felt fully prepared for thanks to my instructors. Over the 2 weeks we also learned about a lot of the holistic elements of yoga. Such as: pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, chakras, 8 limbs of yoga, and much more. Learning about this really engages the deeper aspects of yoga that I appreciate even more than the asanas.

If you would like to read more about their programs feel free to check out YogaCaraGlobal’s website. The 2 teachers I had were Angela and Ally whom were both amazing. I highly suggest this program because of the safety aspects that were taught. Feel free to contact me with any questions as well through my contact page!

Peach & Love

(note: They did not pay me to write this post, it was something I felt that should be shared to the world.)

Practice Makes Perfect?

As I begin my journey to become a yoga instructor I have been facing a lot of ammosity and disbelief. All of this just because I am unable to touch my toes (without bent knees!). In all honesty, yoga is not about just the flexibility that you have and wether you can touch your toes or not. People are often shocked that I am a yoga instructor, yet I can’t touch my toes. Well, I can touch my toes as long as my knees are bent. Yoga is also not just about your flexibility their is a spiritual and mental side to it as well.

Yoga in it’s translation means union. Yoga is the practice of the union of your body and mind. This means that you need to try to be mentally present and in the moment while you are putting your body in the strange positions also known as asanas. This is something I struggle with in every practice. I don’t know about you, but I live a fast-paced stressful life and I find it hard to step away from it for even an hour a day.

I personally do not believe that there is ever someone that is perfect at yoga. Yoga is a practice and even ancient yogis continued to practice. Just because someone can twist their bodies in funky shapes doesn’t mean they are any better at yoga than anyone else. Some people are naturally more bendy due to different bone structures. To learn more about this watch Grilley’s video on compression! It’s extremely interesting and a great lesson for anyone who is interested in yoga and practices.

Peace & Love

My Diet Belifs

I want to introduce this topic of well-being as having to do a lot with what you eat. I find that many yogis are vegans and vegetarians…I am not one of them. I believe in a well-balanced diet in order to be the healthiest and best you. This does not mean that I find either of those diets bad or good it’s just not what I have chosen for my life.

When it comes to diets many people start to follow the “fad Diets” these are the no carb diets, paleo, juice cleanses and many more. The issue with these are you loose the weight, but then gain it back very quickly. This is why I believe in a balanced diet. Theres a reason that we eat every type of food and why we need it to be healthy. Losing weight, gaining weight, and maintaining is an equation of calories in and out.

I will soon be posting on how I manage my weight and why you need certain foods in your diet like fat. I will also be writing about a juice cleanse or two, not as a method for losing weight but as a way to actually clean out the body from all the garbage and toxins are bodies are forced to digest!

Peace & Love

Why Blog?

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to give you all a little excerpt about why I have begun to create this blog. There are many reasons why I wanted to blog in the first place including being a resume booster(LOL!). But, if I was to do it for solely that reason it would just be about me not about yoga.

I have been practicing yoga on and off, a few classes here and there for the last 5 years. Recently, my passion has grown for yoga in a whole new way. Since I started college 3 years ago I found my stress levels were unusually high, and I found myself displacing that energy on those who surrounded me.

With the use of yoga I have now been able to learn to let go instead and live in the moment. Most people do not understand that yoga can bring you this, and I always try to describe it as a “mental state.” The only people who ever understand are the people who are regularly practicing. This isn’t something that happens after practicing once it’s a constant journey on learning more about yourself and becoming one with your true self.

Now I find myself practicing at the studio at least once a week depending on how busy I am with school. During summer break I went 5 days a week and that was the turning point for me. I now am on a hunt to become a yoga teacher. Currently I am signed up for Yoga Cara’s YTT in New Zealand(more on this to come!)

I hope you find all the different aspects of a yogi lifestyle as interesting as I do. I will be posting more on ways to improve your lifestyle with yoga, your practice and my overall journey!

Peace & Love