New Year, New You

With a new year comes new resolutions, goals and aspirations. Maybe this year your resolution is to spend more time on the mat or eat better, maybe it’s about spending more time with family or saving more. Maybe you don’t know what to change, but you know you want to do something good for yourself this year. No matter what it is, make a promise to yourself that you’ll commit.

For those who committing to a healthier lifestyle, we’re sharing some of our favorite resolutions for 2015.

  1. Eat colorful: The brighter your plate, the better! Fill it up with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fat.
  2. Practice patience: You won’t lose 10 pounds in a week, but if you commit to bettering your mind and body and stay focused, you’ll get there.
  3. Try something different: If you’ve focused on vinyasa, think about checking out an anti-gravity yoga class. If you want to alternate running with a different form of cardio, consider kickboxing. There are so many options out there!
  4. Meditate: Give yourself as little as 5 minutes a day to quietly focus on yourself and reflect upon your day. It will re-energize you and leave you feeling better.
  5. Love yourself: Try to focus less on your imperfections and more on what makes you the special person you are. And when you look in the mirror, remember to smile!

Take your resolutions seriously, no matter how big or small they may be and don’t forget that small changes lead to big success. Here’s to a great 2015!

YLB - Hana Beach

A Healthy Festive Season

Between Thanksgiving and the December holidays, there’s more food around than we know what to do with. Family dinners. Holiday parties at work. Get togethers with friends. We’ve all fallen victim to holiday weight gain at one point or another, but don’t let the festive season be an excuse to stray from a healthy routine. We’re here to keep you on track with a few holiday tips:

  1. Stay consistent with your exercise regimen, whether it’s spinning at the gym, kickboxing, yoga, pilates…anything! Don’t break your good habits. It will only be that much harder to go back after the fact.
  2. Eat colorful – that means lots of fruits and veggies!
  3. Treat yourself at holiday parties, but don’t go overboard. While we all know that cookies, cake and eggnog aren’t good for us, extreme deprivation is worse. And chances are, you’ll end up eating too much of something else just to avoid your favorite gingerbread man cookie.
  4. Find small ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. Stretch in the morning, do some calf raises while cooking dinner or skip every other step when heading up to bed for the night.
  5. Don’t feel guilty. If you miss an extra day at the gym or indulge a little too much at last night’s work event, don’t worry about it and just start again.

Enjoy the holidays!

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Restorative & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Also known as yogic sleep or sleep with awareness, Yoga Nidra is a powerful and ancient meditation technique that originated from the Tantras. It is a state of consciousness in which we welcome our bodies to re-encounter the essential truth of who we actually are. Yoga Nidra gives us the opportunity to experience deep freedom and enhance the flow of our body’s energy. You not only relish the complete relaxation but also get to discover the incredible powers hidden in the deeper layers of the subconscious and unconscious mind.

So, if you’re in need of some deep relaxation, join us for our Restorative & Yoga Nidra Workshop with Flor! Please register ahead of time as space is limited. And as always, if there is room, you will have the opportunity to register the day of. We can’t wait to relax and go into a deep meditative state of zen with you!

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Peace. Love. YogaLB.

Summer Grooves 2014

It’s that time of the year again, yogis. Our Summer Grooves event is just right around the corner…and we could not be any more excited! For those of you who are new to Yoga Long Beach, Summer Grooves is a fun-filled evening with plenty of laughter, live music and yoga.

Sheri Celentano, the creative director at Laughing Lotus, will be stopping by along with the boys of Without George! A soulful evening filled with fluid asana, deep breathing and plenty of great tunes is just what the doctor ordered. So, don’t miss out on this special event!

We ask that you please sign up in advance to reserve yourself a spot. As always, if there are any extra spots available the night of, you will have the opportunity to register at the door. We can’t wait to see you there!

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Peace. Love. YogaLB.

It’s Not Too Late to Spring Clean Your Diet!

As Spring is officially coming to an end, we can only ask one thing: did you “spring clean” your diet? If not, it isn’t too late! Out with the heavy, winter comfort food and in with the fresh, in-season produce.

But why eat what’s in-season? In-season produce offers a variety of benefits. Products are fresher and tastier. They offer a greater nutritional value and are more economical. Spring eating rests upon maintaining a balanced diet. Foods that are nutrient-rich like fruits and veggies are perfect for this time of year. That’s why we’re keeping it fresh for spring!

So, in honor of spring, we’d like to share with you one of our favorite spring recipes (courtesy of allrecipes.com): chicken strawberry spinach salad with ginger-lime dressing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 teaspoons corn oil
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • ½teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ lime (juiced)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (stems removed)
  • 4 fresh strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons slivered almonds
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place chicken in skillet, season with garlic powder and cook 10 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, lime juice, ginger and milk.
  4. Arrange spinach on serving dishes.
  5. Top with chicken and strawberries, sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with dressing.
  6. Season with pepper to serve.

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Do you have a favorite spring recipe? Share it with us!

What’s Pilates All About?

Not sure what all of this Pilates talk is about? You’re not alone! Pilates is an exercise system that focuses primarily on strengthening your body’s core. Some exercises are performed slowly while during others, the pace is picked up just a little. Pilates has the ability to transform the way your body looks, feels and performs – it teaches body awareness. And like yoga, Pilates is an exercise of the mind and body; everything is done with intention.

And the benefits? They’re endless! Pilates builds strength without excess bulk. It’s safe and sensible in a way that will help you look and feel your very best. Pilates works the small, deep muscles that are needed to keep your body steady when walking and your spine both flexible and strong. It also lengthens your body and helps soothe any tenderness. Regardless of age or condition, it will work for you!

So, are you now wondering where you can get started? Yoga Long Beach, of course! Yoga Long Beach just started offering Pilates classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00-9:00am with Joanna. Single classes are $17 or you can use your membership packages.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Peace.Love.Yoga Long Beach

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Spring Awakening

Spring having arrived gives a means to change and renewal, right? Longer days, warmer weather and the blossoming of flowers are just a few changes that come along with spring. But what about our bodies? How does this new season affect them?

With all of these changes happening around us, it is only natural for our bodies to react. According to traditional Chinese medicine beliefs, whenever there is a season change, the energy frequency of the body may not be in harmony with the season’s frequency. So, now more than ever, it is very important to protect your body. Even if you’re not sick, prevention is key.

Load up on Vitamin C to prevent those flu-like symptoms. Remember that OJ that is not enough though. Opt for Vitamin C in pill form to reap the most benefits. Grapefruit seed extract and spirulina are also great alternatives when it comes to looking for a natural immunity booster. Lastly, another natural way to protect your body from this season’s changes is acupuncture. Acupuncture acts on a complex immune building system that regulates white blood cells directly linked to the fight against infections, allergic reactions, and even autoimmune disorders. But above all, eat well….no matter what time of year it is.

Do you have a favorite natural remedy? We’d love to hear all about it!

Peace.Love.YogaLB.

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New Year, New Yoga Practice

With the New Year well underway, what better time is there to take the plunge and better your health by establishing a new fitness regime? As Voltaire once said, “I have decided to be happy, because it’s good for my health.” We couldn’t agree more!

If yoga isn’t on your list of things to try, consider it. It’s never too late to start a yoga practice. Here’s the deal: if you can breathe, you can do yoga. Maybe your ideal practice includes lots of sweating – great, you can achieve that with yoga. Or maybe you just want to focus on your breathing in a more soothing environment. Put another check in the yoga box.

So what can you expect when you start taking yoga classes? New yogis will probably notice an increase in overall flexibility (don’t assume that you have to be flexible to start with in order to do yoga!). With practice, your muscles will begin to relax and release tension and tightness. You also may notice that you’re more in touch with your breathing, and that’s because the asanas (postures) are practiced in harmony with the breath. One of the most important things yoga teaches us is that your thoughts have the ability to affect your overall happiness and health….that consciousness and thoughts are not always the same thing.

If that sounds good to you, but you’re feeling a little overwhelmed joining a group class of more experienced yogis, we’ve got the solution: the absolute beginner’s series, which provides a basic yoga foundation. You’ll learn about yoga philosophy, breathing (pranayama), meditation as well as a variety of asanas. And, it all starts this weekend at our Long Beach studio! Dates are as follows: Sunday, January 19th from 2-4pm, Sunday January 26th from 2-4pm and Sunday, February 2nd from 2-4pm

See you on the mat!

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A Five Minute Savasana with…Eugene Feis

We recently spent some time with one of our new teachers, Eugene to get his perspective on all things yoga-related. Check out what he had to say:

How long have you been practicing for and what got you interested in yoga?

I have been practicing asana for 25 years, but I have been practicing yoga for the past 12 years. The connection between the body, mind, and spirit is what got me interested in yoga.

What is your favorite style and why?

All yoga styles have their benefits, but my favorite style is Dharma Yoga, with Sri Dharma Mittra. I also enjoy hot yoga, vinyasa yoga, and acro yoga.

What made you decide to become a teacher?

My becoming a yoga teacher was more an organic process than an intentional decision. It grew out of the admiration I have for all of my teachers.

What is your favorite posture and why? Which is most challenging for you?

All postures have their benefits, and I enjoy whenever I have the opportunity to be in any one. I enjoy any inversion, and the headstand is my favorite posture. The most challenging for me now is the scorpion pose.

Tell us things about yourself that have nothing to do with yoga.

A perfect day is watching the summer sun set over any beach. Absent that, I can get lost in my garden for hours, connecting with the Earth and all she provides. Of course, my family and friends keep me focused on all that is truly important.

Anything else to add?

Spirituality, consistency, and dedication are the hallmarks of practice.

If you haven’t taken one of Eugene’s classes yet (or even if you have!) we encourage you to come spend some time with him. His schedule is as follows:

Yoga Long Beach:
Wednesdays at 6:30pm
Saturdays at 10:00am
Sundays at 12:00pm

Plus, he’ll be leading a special partner workshop at our Long Beach location on January 12th at 1:30pm.

See you on the mat!
Eugene

A Soup Fit For A Yogi

We love this sweet potato-ginger soup recipe (courtesy of Yoga Journal) and just had to share! Sure, soups can be a dime a dozen, but this one is especially great for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s light on the belly, yet filling…perfect for a post-yoga meal. Plus the sweet potato will help satisfy your sweet tooth. And who doesn’t love a good soup when it’s cold outside?!! Whip up a batch and tell us what you think!

You’ll need:

3 large sweet potatoes or yams (about 4 pounds)
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

2. Juice 1 to 3 tablespoons of fresh ginger (you can use a juicer, a grater, or a garlic press). Set aside.

3. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for another 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Add broth and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.

5. Purée with an immersion blender, or transfer in small batches to a blender and purée until smooth.

6. Add salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon ginger juice and taste. Add more as desired.

7. Enjoy!

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