Freedom in Structure

After teaching the Hatha26 class at Hot Feet this past month, one of my students and I had a yogi-geek-out conversation about the more subtle benefits of a yoga sequence that never changes. We concluded that knowing what to expect results in a freedom to explore limits and examine details within its structure. In the practice of Hatha26, because the sequence remains static, the variable is the individual.

 

The predictable nature of the Hatha26 enables the yogi to exercise their mind as well as their body. For example, after learning the sequence, a yogi can change the focus of their practice to careful listening, deliberately not anticipating or moving forward before it’s time. For others, remaining mentally present throughout a class is a challenge and thus, the focus of their practice can be to exercise and strengthen their ability to “be here now”.

 

Before class that very morning, while driving my daughter to school, I noticed I had entirely tuned out of the details of my regular route. Over time I had begun driving faster than a good neighbor should and I wasn’t noticing anything but the road in front of me. I had become inured to the beauty all around and I was rushing to hurry through what I had apparently begun to see as mundane. Beauty was everywhere but, for some reason, I had compartmentalized the practice of examining the details of my predictable sequence.

 

Enter yoga. After class that evening I realized that my approach to the Hatha26 should not be limited to the studio. While the exploration of new routes and new practices is surely worthwhile, there is also value in the routine. The routine, any routine, can be explored on many different levels, in many different ways. I arrived home that evening with a renewed purpose, intent on seeking other ways to appreciate the minutiae of life more purposefully; to “be here now” even if here is the familiar; to purposefully explore all of life’s redundant practices intentionally, with an appreciative attitude. Easier said than done, very much like yoga.

 

It’s a safe bet that you and I are the same. We both have routines that have become unexciting; monotony has set in and we would like to find a new route because we’ve got the itch to explore and we all relish the feeling of something new. Maybe that itch is more serious than a simple drive home; maybe it’s a relationship, or that sneaky negative self-talk, or perhaps you’re struggling with what you do to pay the bills. Whatever that something is, I challenge you to notice and appreciate the freedom of its predictability. Choose to see something beautiful in the small details of your routine. Spend some time today listening carefully. Explore your limits and even if you think you know what comes next, don’t anticipate.

Stacy Manning
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor

The Wonderful World of Indoor Plants

 

“All I want is to plant some trees, save the bees and protect the seas”

Why plants…..

 

Uh they are amazing! No really though - they have so many benefits! They make your space look cozy and beautiful, they are air purifiers, they have feelings, they absorb noise and stress, concentration and production is improved, the list goes on.  Sooooo many people are afraid to get plants because the curse of the ‘brown thumb’ so I decided to make it super easy. Trying to research what kind of plant does well in a west facing window can be tiresome and super overwhelming. Here are my favorite indoor plants and where I keep them in my house and how much I actually remember to water them……

Boston ferns…..literally one in each room. They look cool - low maintenance and every room of my house gets a different amount of sunlight. The Pacific North West is literally the greatest place ever - you can pull off the side of any road and find a fern. This plant is one of the greatest air purifiers in the green family - it’s specialty is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is all over your house - glues, plywood, insulation, and everyday use home items (that’s an entire other blog!).  These little guys like indirect sunlight - so a corner of a room that isn’t in the window. Ferns like humidity so you can even leave it in your bathroom! Make sure the soil is moist and not to drown it, not only will it make a mess but it will stress the roots out.

Yesssssss - my next favorite is the snake plant! This plant comes from West Africa and has some really cool nicknames - ‘the mother-in-laws tongue,’ and ‘ the vipers bowstring hemp.’ This plant I keep in my bedroom, my office, and my sons room. This plant is extra special for a few reasons - it can survive a drought so you don’t have to remember to water it very often AND it has a very rare way of exchanging gases. The pores on the plant only open at night to prevent water from evaporating in the sun. Basically the plant will give you an extra boost of oxygen at night! NASA did a study on it and it can remove 4 out of the 5 main toxins in a home and you can give a cutting to a friend and they can grow their own!

Lastly, the reed palm. I have four in my kitchen, two in my living room and one in my bathroom. Another great air purifier! This plant’s filters out all the chemicals that can be found in furniture, cleaners, and almost every other household item. These green friends like a little bit of sunlight and a more drainable soil. I use soil with rocks in it…or if you don’t want to buy any of that make your own. I have a bunch of little rocks in my outdoor garden that I collect and mix it in my potting soil. These are a little more high maintenance because you have to remove dead leaves so that it encourages the rest of the plant to grow! They are slow growing but they take up corner spaces nicely and the leaves are beautiful!

 

Of course these aren’t the only indoor plants - there are so many!!!! My house is like a living jungle - sometime when I move plants around they start to look sad so I move them around to see where they are most happy. Just make sure you keep them out of drafty areas/heaters and make sure to tell them how pretty they are! Plants are living beings, they absorb stress; enjoy Mozart and help you breathe better!

Lauren Bragg, Hot Feet Fitness Live Healthy Program Coach, Yoga & Barre Instructor 

Hearty Vegan Sweet Potato & Vegetable Chili

Craving a hearty meal that satisfies the taste buds, but is easy on your insides too? Then try out this recipe from one of our instructors Elise! 

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp avocado oil

1 large red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 small sweet potato

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

3 cups veggie broth (check ingredients & make sure there's no added sugar)

1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn

1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can kidney beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can diced tomatoes no salt added liquid included

1 6oz can tomato paste

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp white miso paste

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 basil

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

handful of fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat.

2. Add onion and sweet potato and cook until onions are softened (about 5 minutes).

3. Add garlic, red pepper, and green pepper and let cook for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in chili powder, white miso paste, and tomato paste.

5. Add veggie broth, diced tomatoes, and the remaining spices and let everything simmer until

the sweet potatoes are completely cooked, about 10 minutes. (Make sure to check them

regularly so they don't get mushy.)

6. Stir in beans and corn. Let simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

 

7. Top with cilantro and enjoy!

Submitted by Elise Powers
Certified Yoga & X21 Trainer


A Summary of the X21 Workout

An excerpt from a trainer summary of the X21 workout...

Throughout this X21 certification journey I have learned a lot about both myself and the people around me. I have learned the true meaning of dedication and practice; passing along health and wellness, meeting people where they are at, wherever they may be. The goal at Hot Feet Fitness, and with X21, is to help every single person be their best possible self. If we don't address where we currently are we will never be able to address moving ourselves forward. Becoming healthy starts as a thought, turns into an intention, turns into an action, and we bloom. X21, in my experience, is really about finding that boundary, the power to bloom-- and pushing it.

The drive for health, the drive for fitness, the drive for treating your body right, actively eating healthy foods, meditating regularly. The drive to educate ourselves and others about our collective environment. These are our expectations. As a public face of the Hot Feet Fitness community I am compelled to both pursue and lead in these realms of health. Eating a plant-based diet, no processed foods, no meat, no dairy, less carbs, more living produce. Simple foods, with the notion that 80% of our effort is put into our diet, and 20% into our physical and mental health. Maintaining emotional stability, navigating a positive pursuit, sharing that positive energy with whatever room I'm in or with the members in the studio. This is what makes us leaders. Armed with the knowledge to share. What I am excited to soon be certified in sharing the X21 workout. X21 is a high intensity, body weight based workout. It is simple at its core. Each workout consists of 28 bodyweight exercises, 45 seconds a piece, for 21 minutes in total. "Twenty-one and done!" As they say. Just to note, a bodyweight based exercise is one that that you can perform without the use of any weights, props, or machinery. We do encourage you to use a yoga mat as it helps with gripping the floor throughout the various exercises (and a water bottle, of course!), and we do offer advanced options with simple resistance tools such as 3-5lb weights, a lightweight ball, floor sliders, etc. However, all you really need is yourself and the floor. This is the power and the simplicity of X21.

X21 always opens with the instructor introducing themselves and X21, mentioning techniques and tips to the members before their workout, and offering reminders to listen to their bodies and push themselves when they can. The instructor also reminds each member that they are welcome to add props if desired, and outlines which props (if any) they will be adding into the workout for more advanced variations.

Then, the workout opens with deep squats. The first exercise we do in every single class (day or night) is deep squats. The same is true for sprints, being the last exercise of each X21 workout. The rest of the exercises in between are all curated and lead by the instructor. These exercises might consist of things like pushups, burpees, lunges, etc, and often reflect the specific instructor's individual teaching style. Often the workouts are designed to flow up and down, working out all the different parts of the body consecutively.

Overall, I am so insanely appreciative of the amazing opportunity that is Hot Feet Fitness. Everyone in the vicinity of being possibly associated with this place has only been positive facing. The community is strong, and the member-base is growing. I can see the longevity of the vision that Hot Feet as a business model is fostering, and I can see the utmost of benefits to the members and surrounding communities.

Thank you so much for believing in me to represent Hot Feet Fitness as an X21 instructor. It is truly an honor to carry this torch. I have begun on a path of furthering my inner self more deeply than I ever thought was possible. I call each of my classes my X21 family, because that's truly how I feel when I am surrounded by such boundless life all around me. I could not be more grateful for the life I am living every single day. Thank you! Now, let's push it.

Brianna Lee
Hot Feet Fitness X21 Workout Trainer


 

 

Momentary Encounters with Balance

This past week, the Vernal Equinox came and went -- the first day of Spring, when we experience that half-and-half balance of daylight and darkness. The sense of equilibrium between the seasons on both the Spring and Autumn Equinox is a lovely invitation to explore balance in our day-to-day existence.

Striking a balance in a hectic life -- whether that’s a balance of effort and ease, of chaos and calm, of obligations and options -- can sometimes seem like an impossible task. Achieving a lasting state of perfect equilibrium sounds unachievable with the on-going pressures of family, career, bills, responsibilities, ad infinitum.

But perhaps that doesn’t need to be the goal. A beautiful reminder of this is the yin-yang symbol. It’s a familiar representation of balance, with light on one side and dark on the other, but my favorite part is the small bit of light that inhabits the darkness, and the small bit of darkness that occupies a patch of the light.



Let’s view the balance of effort and ease through the lens of the yin-yang symbol. Poses that may on the surface seem the very embodiment of ease (such as savasana or “corpse pose”) in fact require a fair bit of effort because it takes work and practice to quiet the busy mind and fully experience the restorative offerings of the posture. On the flip side, in poses that require more physical effort (for example, arm-balances like crow, or inversions such as headstand or handstand), one can find surprising pockets of ease. I find it is easier to let go of my to-do lists, worries, grudges, and other distracting thoughts when engaged in an asana that calls for greater effort from my physical body, and therefore it’s easier to be fully present in the moment.

It can be so helpful to remember that there is often effort within the ease, and ease within the effort. And once I open up to applying this yin-yang metaphor to more aspects of my life, the more achievable a sense of balance seems. Perhaps there will always be a little chaos in my calm (in the form of children’s toys strewn about or unfinished tasks on my to-do list when I pause to relax and read), and that’s okay. It encourages me to also seek (or create) rays of calm in the chaos.

Returning to the recent passing of the Equinox: its fleeting nature (only two days a year!) is also a much-needed reminder that a sense of balance isn’t necessarily a “destination” we can work toward and then settle down in permanently. Rather, it’s something that we may pass in and out of, periodically and momentarily, perhaps many times over the course of our lives.   

May you seek and find the interplay of yin and yang in your life, and may your momentary encounters with balance come more frequently than twice a year!


Kat Stein-Ross
Hot Feet Fitness Instructor 

A New Yoga has hit the Block!

Hatha26 is a stripped down practice of the moving meditation formally known as Bikram.  While, traditionally, these 26 postures are performed in a 105 degree room with 40% humidity, that will not be the case at Hot Feet. We will be practicing these postures in an 80 degree room with around 25 - 30% humidity. I am very excited to share this practice with you, especially with you yogi’s out there that have a desire to explore this style but have been understandably apprehensive regarding the extreme heat integral to a traditional Bikram studio.

 

If you’re wondering what makes this practice different than the many other classes Hot Feet currently offers it’s this: our other yoga styles are, to me, like a box of chocolates. Not only are they a treat, you also never know what's coming next. In contrast, Hatha26 is a set sequence of postures, each asana is intended to compliment the previous pose. The sequence, in my opinion, is where you find the yoga magic. In other words?  The predictability and familiarity of the sequence is where you discover the very different YOU that arrives on the mat each and every practice. The Hatha26 practitioner will eventually find that knowing what is to come reveals an entirely different aspect of their internal exploration because, when each practice involves the same asanas in the same sequence, the yogi is freed from thinking about what is coming next and, therefore, can escape their mind and spend some focused time in their body. It challenges the yogi to actively listen to the teachers instructions and to move, without anticipation, to the next posture. It is a practice of patience.

 

You’re invited to arrive and imbibe in 51 minutes of being in the moment, to leave your interpersonal baggage checked at the door and think only about the words spoken and your reflection in the mirror. 51 minutes to think about strength, balance and breath alone. 51 minutes to remind yourself that you are strong and capable of handling what’s coming next, without expectations.

Stacy Manning
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor



Picture Credit: Unsplash

Reason to Retreat: How Wellness Retreats can Benefit You!

As a society, we tend to praise hard work and workplace dedication...

 

So much so that it reflects our current health-care system and workplace vacation policies. Of all the countries in the world, America is one of the few that do not offer paid time off. Employers that do offer time off may provide 12 days on average for their employees. Compared to the 20 day average of European countries, we are a little far behind.

 

In the past decade, the rise of self-care and wellness practices has showered the general public with information and opportunities to treat ourselves. More and more people are realizing how pivotal self-care is in preventing us from burning out. We are starting to accept the idea that we cannot pour from an empty cup, that personal time to recharge is needed, and that in order to recharge, sometimes we need to get away.

While a strong self-care practice at home is beneficial, wellness retreats can offer the time, space, and distance we need to disconnect from the demands around us. Studies have shown that people who attend retreats receive longer-lasting benefits that those who simply practice at home (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5149565/).

 

The obstacles, concerns, anxieties, and habitual routines that are present in daily life are no longer there. While in a retreat, you can create your own world where you are allowed the chance to experience yourself differently while practicing self-connection. Whether its’ a weekend retreat nearby or a week-long experience abroad, retreats can leave you feeling recharged and rejuvenated, ready to take on life once again.

 

Retreats can be an intense, they can be an investment, but being able to experience self-connection without any of the distractions and being able to fully immerse yourself in your journey are what make retreats such a powerful experience.

 

If you are interested in experiencing a retreat for yourself, check out the few below being offered by your Hot Feet instructors below!

 

Discover Spain Cultural Immersion and Yoga Retreat

Host: Diana Ratsamee

May 11, 2019 - May 18, 2019

October 12, 2019 - October 19, 2019

 

Explore the intimate, authentic, and raw parts of yourself through travel. With travel and tourism on the rise, it has become easier than ever to get lost. And while getting lost may be part of the journey, eventually, we all yearn to find ourselves. Discover Spain goes beyond the tour by inviting you to dive into yourself through mindful practices and activities led by our team of experienced travelers, spiritual healers, and yoga teachers. We will stay with you as we traverse our inner selves through authentic connection with Andalusia.

 

Contact: info@dianaratana.com

Diana Ratana
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga & Barre Instructor 



Picture Credit: Unsplash 

Under Pressure!

“Perhaps I should just bury myself and become a diamond after thousands of years of intense pressure.” ~ Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

 

I believe Mr. Snicket was onto something with regards to pressure and its purifying fire of change, albeit his time frame is a smidge off.

Let me explain.  

Intense pressure applied to simple carbon forces its atoms into orderly alignment in a way that, once revealed by a lapidary, produces a captivating, light-gathering diamond. Light is invited to move through it, reflect, refract and dazzle; the diamond’s sparkle demands your attention and its deep transparency is mesmerizing.
 
If you’re lucky, you have met people that possess the same facets. They are somehow different and utterly captivating in their deep transparency. They are the type of people you want to be near, to glean just what it is about them that makes them sparkle so.

It is my observation that people of such presence have known pressure intimately. They have not only faced pressure, but have leaned into and endured it. They are those among us who have learned and, most importantly accepted, that in order to realize a greater spiritual maturation they must remain in the heat; they have accepted the pressure for the transformational force that it is and have learned to see it as an opportunity to be blessed by the experience. In other words? They are the kind of person that has cultivated the ability to find comfort in the discomfort.

When a yogi chooses to apply pressure to oneself through the practice of asanas, this very type of transformation is underway, one meditation at a time. When a yogi show’s up for a class they are consciously and intentionally applying multi-faceted pressure to push themselves; pressure to breathe with movement and not simply gut it out, pressure to find their very edge and equal pressure to let it go, to counter their maximum effort with savasana, a conscious practice of relaxation.

On the mat, under pressure from both within and without, is where we find that we are capable of withstanding more pressure than we realized.This is where we can discover comfort in the discomfort and more stillness than we thought we could endure. Yoga asks that you show up, no matter the external pressures of your day and lean into your practice; yoga reveals your ability to do hard things and begs the question; “What other pressures are you capable of withstanding?”
 
My guess? More than you think.

Stacy Manning
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor
 
 

Picture Credit: Unsplash

Your Body is Built in the Kitchen!

OUR HEALTH & OUR BODIES ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN!
 
Check out some of our favorite recipes for making your body feel super good. Even better, give them a try this month! 

Our Favorite Smoothie, Snack, and Morning Kick Off Smoothie
1 cup of almond or coconut milk
1 spoonful of almond/walnut/peanut butter
1 frozen banana
1 scoop of non dairy protein (pea, rice, or hemp protein are good ones)
4-5 ice cubes
 
Our Favorite Vegan Pumpkin Energy Balls 
3 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal (try gluten-free thick cut oats)
1 cup organic Pumpkin Puree
1 cup organic Peanut, Almond, Cashew, or Sunflower butter
2/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
4-6 Tbsp ground flax seeds (if ‘dough’ seems too wet, then add more ground flax, if it’s too dry, add less…start with a smaller quantity)
1 cup small chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, chopped peanuts, coconut flakes, or any combination of mix-ins that equal 1 cup total
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 
1-2 scoops Vegan Protein 
 
Snack
One of our favorite snacks when we are on the go or need a little pick me up is to mix raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and almonds together in a plastic snack size bag and grab a banana. Keep this in your car, or on the counter top when you are feeling a little hungry or craving some sugar. It will help satisfy the tastebuds! 
 
Morning Kick Off
Every morning when you wake up and before you eat anything, drink 12-20 ounces of luke warm water with half of a fresh squeezed lemon and a shot of apple cider vinegar. This is a great jumpstart for your system and helps cleanse the body out of toxins. Try it! 

"The path towards feeling good means gaining a deeper understanding of what is truly important to you, then taking tiny steps towards holding your needs in balance." ~Dr. Mark Hyman
 
Teanna G
Studio Manager
 
 

There's an APP for that!

 

"I just wanted to thank you and everyone at Hot Feet for providing the new class videos on the app... I have been so slammed at work lately, and really wanted to go to yoga yesterday to help myself unwind. Unfortunately, after battling traffic, walking the dog, and making dinner, it was already 7:20 and I wasn't going to be able to make the last class. I decided to try Serena's Power Vinyasa Flow video at home and it was so awesome! I got a great workout in on my own schedule, and it was exactly what I needed. 
 
I am really enjoying being a member of this community and everything you are providing. Just wanted to share my appreciation! Have a great weekend :)"
 
~Mallory R (Hot Feet Member) 

Join Mallory and Workout, Yoga, Barre, Stretch, and Meditate with us no matter where you are!

DOWNLOAD OUR APP TODAY! 

https://www.hotfeetfitness.com/app