<![CDATA[BellaVita: Fitness & Wellness - Blog]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:27:31 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Unleash- Zumba + Yoga Mashup]]>Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/unleash-zumba-yoga-mashup

"The moment we realize that we write our own story is the moment we realize that we have control to do a rewrite. And unlike most movies, with you, the sequel is likely to be even better than the first." - Light is the New Black

On January 30th, 2018 at 101 West 15th Street, Bella Vita hosted the first event of the year, UNLEASH Zumba + Yoga mashup! To stick within the theme of the New Year, we featured black light, glow sticks, and candles to make it a fun & exciting experience for everyone.  

The event started off with inspirational speeches from both Bella and Carla, followed by an electrifying Zumba session with our stellar coach Meg. After this, Laura took the floor to stretch it out with some yoga! It was the best way to kick off the year by revising our resolutions through fitness!

Everyone came together to create a great sense of community which brought out the positive energy and unity. We have no doubt that 2018 is going to be a great year for our BellaVita family!
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<![CDATA[Healthy Vegan Fall Tips and Recipes]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 15:44:42 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/healthy-vegan-fall-tips-and-recipesBy Sara Stevens




     Fall is here and we start going into hibernation mode by starting to grab for heavier food that makes us feel warm and happy but can often times lead to  our clothes fitting a little more snug.  Now instead of turning all grizzly, we can still eat the comfort foods of fall that we are used to, but the healthier versions of them that won't make our waistlines expand as much.

​    
     There are so many diets out there that it is hard to figure out and determine which one you want to move forward with to maintain a healthy lifestyle that is best for you.  What we are going to focus on is going to be the vegan diet.  



​      Veganism is often misunderstood as too expensive or too much work and that there is no way that it can be maintainable or enjoyable, because it is so limiting.  But... that is not true, because with any diet and lifestyle, you just have to know how to shop smart and do your research on what you can and can't have and then just be prepared ahead of time.  In this blog, there will be a few tips and tricks to be a money savvy vegan and a few recipes that can get you through the fall season so you don't feel like you are missing out!



                                 Why Vegan??
     There are many reasons that people decide to go vegan.  One of the main reasons that people usually say right off the bat is "for the animals."  A lot of people feel much better knowing that they are not contributing to animal cruelty.   The more widespread answer though is that people decide to go vegan for their health.  With a vegan diet, when it is done healthily, your energy levels increase (who doesn't want that), your skin clears up because you are no longer eating or drinking dairy, which causes inflammation often showing up as acne, and often you lose weight on a vegan diet.   Also, future you will be very happy  because Vegans have a less likely chance of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure so not only are you saving the animals, you are saving yourself!  If you are not already leading a vegan lifestyle, maybe give it a go for a month and see what differences it makes in your life.    


​                                      Saving Money on a Vegan Diet

Fancy Packaging - I don't know about you, but when it comes to pretty packaging, I am a complete sucker.  There is nothing wrong with choosing a more fancy packaged product that is pretty much exactly the same as the plain one on the shelf right next to it, but if you want to save a few dollars then I advise you put the pretty package down and go for the one right next to.  There is no other reason than you will pay extra money for packaging that you are just going to end up throwing away anyway, you aren't necessarily getting a better product.

Organic Produce - It can be quite expensive to shop organic, but it doesn't have to be.  There are a few ways that you can get your organic goods without spending too much money, the trick is where to go.  You may not know this, but you could try places like Target, Walmart, and Costco to get a good deal.  They are known for their low prices and a lot of people don't think to look there, but "warehouse" type of stores are a hidden gem.  Obviously you need to make sure that quality is good, but you will more than likely get a great deal in these stores.  Costco is awesome because you can also buy in bulk, which in the long run will save you more money!  You can also check out Trader Joe's, they have an amazing selection of organic products at a smaller cost.  One of the best options though is to go to your local farmer's market and make a day of it!  Farmer's markets are a ton of fun, with so many different things to see and try and it is also great because you are helping support local farmers and going local is one of the best options when you are buying fruits and vegetables.   

Bulking up - One of the best tips for saving some money is to buy in bulk.  This is going to save you so much more in the long run, and you also won't have to go shopping for some key pantry items as often.  Now, not all goods can be bought in bulk but there are a lot that can be.  You can get nuts and seeds in the bulk Isle, they take forever to go bad and also they are very good on the go snacks. (A DIY tip: if yo ego pumpkin picking, take the pumpkin seeds and roast them yourself... can't get more savvy than that!). Also, spices are a great thing topic up in bulk as well as herbs if you don't grow your own.  Different kinds of flours are great to stock up on and also grains such as rice, oatmeal, and barley as these will probably be a staple in your diet.  Also, buy dried fruit in bulk, it won't go bad for a long time and it is also a good on the go kind of snack.  You could make your own dried fruit, but often times it is just easier to buy it since it can be a long process.


                                                                           A Couple of Tips

When you decide to go vegan, it isn't going to be an overnight success story, you are more than likely going to hit a few bumps along the way which is normal when trying anything new.  With that being said, here are a couple of tips to help you keep going:

Stay Positive - If you are feeling like you are about to give up, just refocus and remember why you started your journey in the first place, something as simple as that can keep you going and re-motivate you.  Also, don't think of it as all of the foods that you are missing out on but all of the new foods that you get to try... and remember there are sooooo many plant-based versions of the non-vegan dishes that you love.  You really aren't missing out!

​Meal Planning ​- It is not always possible to be able to cook all of your meals at home, but the more you plan them out and cook at home, the less you have to worry. When going out to eat, unless at a vegan restaurant, there can be some things that you order that have sneaky animal products in them but if you cook and prep at home, you have control and know exactly what is going into your food.  There is nothing wrong with going out to eat, other than it can get expensive if you do it everyday but f it something that you often do, you can still plan!  An easy way is to look at the menu before hand and know what is there that you can order that is healthy and vegan, when going out it is easy to be swayed by the more indulgent choices, but try and save those for special occasions... remember just because it is vegan doesn't always mean that it is healthy!  Another option that is a little more pricey but super convenient is using a meal delivery service, there are plenty that are out there that will portion your foods and make sure you are getting what you need and they will cater to your plant-based diet.  Never fear, there are options!!

Don't get Discouraged - You are more than likely going to mess up in the beginning and throughout your vegan lifetime, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Everyone has to start somewhere and learn along the way.  If you eat something that had butter in it, it won't be the end of the world.  The best thing to do is just accept it and move on and maybe ask the next time someone has made something or is going to make something if there is anything in it that is not vegan friendly.  You don't want to miss out on anything but still want to remain as close to your diet as possible.





​                                                                            Fun Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Latte
What you'll need:

2 tbs Pumpkin Purée
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups of non-dairy milk (almond, soy or coconut)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

 
Directions:

- Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat and whisk until it starts to steam.  
-When steaming, slowly transfer the ingredients into a blender and blend for about 20 seconds.
- When finished, pour a half cup of coffee of your choice and then pour the pumpkin mixture on top of it.
- Enjoy every basic fall moment of your PSL!!
 



Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

What you'll need:

1 cup oats
1/2 cup Ground Buckwheat
2 cups apple juice 
2 cups water
1/2 apple diced
Ground cinnamon to taste

Directions:

-Put dry oats and Buckwheat in medium pot over medium heat for about 6 minutes, you want them toasted.
-Meanwhile, combine liquids and cinnamon in a separate sauce pan and heat until hot.
-When hot, pour mixture into pot with the oats and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally.  
-Wait until liquid is absorbed and then serve.
-Feel free to add the diced apple on top and more cinnamon!



Fall Couscous Salad

What you'll need:
1 1/2 couscous
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 diced shallot
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 1/2 cups butternut squash (peeled, seeded and diced)
3/4 cup cried cranberries
1 1/2 cups apple juice, reserve 1/4 cup of cooked juice
1/4 cups canola oil
3 tablespoons red wine vingegar
salt and pepper



Directions:
-In a medium pan, bring water to a boil and add couscous.  Bring back to a boil and then lower heat to medium, cook for around 8 minutes or until tender.
-Drain in colander, set aside to cool in a mixing bowl.
-In a large sauté pan, set to medium heat and add the shallot for 1 minute.
-Add diced fennel and cook until soft.
​-Add butternut squash, cranberries and apple juice and cook for 15 minutes or until butternut squash is soft and the most of the apple juice has cooked down. 
​-Season with salt and pepper, transfer mixture to bowl with couscous, and reserve the rest of the apple juice for the vinaigrette.
​-In small bowl, mix apple juice, canola oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to tast.  Add to the couscous and add parsley.
-Let couscous sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.  This allows the flavors to combine.



Stuffed Bell Peppers

What you'll need:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small diced onion
​2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika

Salt to taste
Pepper
1 15oz can back beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups chopped spinach
3 cups quinoa
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
4 bell peppers, cut in half down the center.


Directions:
-Preheat oven to 375

-Add oil to large sauté pan, add onions and cook until soft over medium heat
-Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and add salt and pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes.
-Add black beans, spinach, quinoa, and tomatoes and mix together.  Cook until heated through.  
-FIll peppers with the stuffing.  Put in baking dish and cover with tinfoil.
-Bake for 25 minutes.
-ENJOY!!

















 





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<![CDATA[Back to Class]]>Tue, 05 Sep 2017 14:51:35 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/back-to-classBy Sara Stevens
​Edited by Tony Lin
       It is getting to be that time of year again, when hot summer days are turning into cool autumn nights. Soon, the sound of school bells and children playing in the school yard will be heard again and the smell of the cool, crisp air will be a reminder that the season is changing. Any time is a good time to get active, but the fall is a time to shape up and get back to class!  
     
       Autumn has always been special to me, possibly because it signals an end, but at the same time, gifts us with a new beginning. Between the changes in weather, the vibrant colors surrounding every corner you turn, and pumpkin spice everything, it is hard not to fall in love with this season. I usually feel inspired during this time of the year, almost as if I'm going through a metamorphosis because there are so many changes and opportunities to get me moving. With BellaVita, we have many great options for you to get started on your fall fitness journey!

       Some of the options that our Bellas and Bellos will have the opportunity to take advantage of are:

Zumba

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BellaVita offers some great Zumba classes, with some amazing, up-beat instructors leading the classes. If you want to really get your adrenaline pumping and those endorphins going, Zumba is definitely the class for you! With rhythmic beats ranging from Latin American music to hip hop, there is always a variety that constantly keeps the classes fun and unique. One of the best things about Zumba, besides getting in shape from dancing, is that you can take the moves you learned out of the classroom, and on to the dance floor, ultimately, impressing everyone with your new moves. How fun!  
 
Zumba is not only fun, but has many benefits as well!

Burning Calories: Since this class changes from slow and controlled movements to high intensity, it keeps your metabolism at a higher rate for a longer period of time. With your metabolism being kicked into high gear, it results in an extremely efficient fat-burning mode of weight loss.

Improves Confidence: Since Zumba is a social fitness experience, you get the chance to connect with other people while having fun and getting into shape. Not only that, but the experience to be able to improve your dance moves in a fun environment can give your confidence a huge boost and make you more comfortable with your body.  

Increases Coordination: Whenever I try to get my friends or family to take a Zumba class with me, usually the first thing I hear is, "I don't think it is for me, I have two left feet!" But the thing is that you have to start somewhere! With time, things start to make sense and honestly even the most experienced Zumba participants will go left when they should be going right, but that is part of the fun. The truth is that the older we get, the more we should stimulate the part of our brain that is responsible for coordination because it is one of the first things to diminish as we age. With Zumba being a multi-task activity with changing movements throughout the class, it ensures that we stay in shape but also improve our coordination.

Yoga

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BellaVita takes pride in its yoga classes and we have wonderful instructors to lead you through your yoga flow. With summer coming to an end and the reality of getting back into the swing of things, yoga is the perfect class to take. It will help you center yourself and be able to deal with your day-to-day tasks at hand with a calm and collected state of mind.  


​Almost everyone knows that yoga is good for you, but these are a few reasons why you should take advantage of our yoga classes:


Relieve Depression and Anxiety: With the stress in today's society, it is more than likely that everyone at one point has fallen into some sort of depression or have been hit with anxiety. There are ways to be able to control that though. It has been found that those who practice yoga have a considerable increase in their serotonin level and a decrease in their cortisol level, which can contribute to a greater sense of happiness and encourages a positive immune function.  

​Improves Flexibility: Yoga can be intimidating to someone who has never practiced it before or claims to have limited flexibility, but similar to everything you try, you have to start somewhere. If you keep coming back to our classes and practicing, you will notice that after a few sessions, you will be able to touch your toes when you initially couldn't a few weeks or days before. This is a result of your muscles gradually loosening, which is great because it can aid in reducing all of the aches and pains that you may feel on a daily basis. Plus, it is kind of cool to know that you can do some poses that you would've never imagined yourself capable of doing!

Improves Focus: Practicing can help you focus, because a key goal in yoga is to have you focus on the present and only think in the here and now. The benefit of the meditation in this class is that it can improve your coordination over time and it can also improve your memory. Yoga helps the mental building blocks in solving problems and to be able to better recall information. Distraction is a major hindrance in our world because we have so many gadgets, and things, or thoughts going on that we never really take a step back and just focus on the present.

Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle: A consistent yoga practice helps you burn calories, because you are always moving and this results in a higher heart rate. You are also equipped with an open mind during and after the practice that can lead you to take the steps to dig deeper into your eating habits and maybe take control of any weight issues you may have. You will be able to understand yourself on a deeper level and that may be a kind of therapy that will open you up to being more aware of what you put into your body. 

Pilates

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If you are looking for a more challenging workout that includes the benefits of yoga, then Pilates is the class for you!

If you are thinking about taking this class with BellaVita, you won't regret it.  
"What will I gain from Pilates?" Well, I'm glad you asked...

Amazing Abs: Pilates is a core-focused class. Throughout every movement, you are focusing on your core and making sure that you are using it the whole time maintaining balance. What does this mean? It means that throughout this class you will develop a stronger core that is elongated and toned, which means a flatter belly. Sign me up!  

Relieves Tension: We have all been tense at one point or another in our lives due to everyday stress, but we have become so used to it that often we don't even notice the signs anymore. Tension is not fun because it causes muscles to tighten, leading to muscle spasms and tension headaches. Through Pilates, you will be able to gently stretch and condition your muscles, which will lose you up and lessen your stress so it conditions you both mentally and physically.  

Increased Confidence: Someone who is confident often stands out in a crowd. Would you believe me if I said that the way someone holds themselves has everything to do with it? One of the most important concepts to take away from Pilates is that your posture is everything. With this class, you are aligning your body and elongating it, which will in turn make you look taller. When you stand tall, often you feel tall and that will lead to gaining a sense of confidence. Embrace it and be proud of yourself, you've earned it

1:1

      If any of our Bellas or Bellos are looking for more of a personalized fitness experience, we offer one-on-one training. Some of the private sessions that we offer are yoga, Pilates, one-on-one weight training. We also include nutrition plans and guidance, everything is personalized and fitted to meet your needs and fitness goals. This is definitely a great option if you want to get a little bit more out of your workouts. 



Special Announcement!

    We are excited to announce our next event!! Bring your dancing shoes and your positive energy because we will be hosting a "Back to Class" Zumba Bootcamp! It will be a combination of Zumba dance moves and High Intensity Interval training. We would love for you to join us  and get back into the swing of things!  Can't wait to see you there!
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<![CDATA[Namaste rosé]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 16:15:14 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/namaste-roseby Sara Stevens
 As the sun set along the Manhattan skyline, glasses of rosé were flowing along with positive vibes.  Our Namaste Rosé Rooftop event at Stonehenge's the Olivia seemed like it was meant to be, as it was held on a celestial day, a Solar Eclipse!  Seriously... what a better way to send out and receive positive energy  for such a special occasion?!?  
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Setting up on the rooftop at Stonehenge the Olivia- Take in that view!
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We LOVE working with Stonehenge because their resident lifestyle platform is like no other! The Olivia couldn't have been a better fit for last night.  The location was great, the views even better, and the people were amazing.  There was truly a magical feeling and it was all because of the Bella's & Bello's that attended.  You could feel the positivity radiating off of the rooftop!

The event started off with a brief intro by Carla & Izabella, followed by meditation and a motivational speech by the one and only Natalie Taly Elisha! Natalie is a force to be reckoned with, and truly such an inspiration!  As a young teenager Natalie was hit by a car in a drag racing incident as she was walking home.  The accident was life changing as the doctors were bracing her parents for the worst, but she pulled through and never looked back.  By the age of 24, Natalie had graduated college completely debt free and became an attorney.  Even more inspiring is that she established her own law firm dealing with estate planning and probate by the age of 26.  To top everything off Natalie has added a Best Seller title to her resume with her first book The Millennial's Guide to the Universe:  How to Live the New International Dream.  This girl seriously makes you feel that whatever you want to achieve, you can.  We couldn't have asked for a more amazing person to speak at our event, making all who were there feel unstoppable, and for that we would like to thank her for joining us!

​After Natalie's speech, our spirited yoga instructor Elbert led all of our attendees through a fun yoga flow while DJ Macho set the tone with his beats.  Everyone was united and moving together through the class and it was really a magical combination of people and environment.  At the end of the session, it was clear to see that everyone felt refreshed and more inspired. 




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Our Yogi's sending out energy into the world
To make the night more special, we had a wonderful group of sponsors that joined us.  Just Salad provided all of our guests with delicious after workout snack of avo toast that was raved about. Recoup beverages & Pure Brazilian Coconut Water helped keep everyone hydrated. Schweiger Dermatology Group joined us for the festivities by participating in a fun raffle for all of our clients. Pop!n, which is a mobile fitness app that gives clients with an unpredictable  schedule a flexible fitness solutions also came by for the event.  To all of our sponsors, we would like to say a huge thank you, without you this awesome event wouldn't have been the same!
Check out official event photos here
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<![CDATA[4 Tips to Improve Your Self-Care Game]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 14:09:15 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/4-tips-to-improve-your-self-care-game​Last week our very own yoga teacher and certified life coach, Kristen, presented at our Self-Care workshop. She talked about the spectrum of self-care activities, identifying personal stressors and triggers, and using self-care to reduce the negative impact of stressors. Now she's back to give you some more tips to incorporate self-care into your every day life.

4 Tips to Improve Your Self-Care Game

I can hear you now: Self-Care... Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Let’s be honest, most people only have time to grab a coffee on their way out the door and MAYBE they’ll eat a bagel (if anything at all) for breakfast. The idea of taking hours for “yourself” is never going to happen- you’ll be lucky if you even leave the office at a reasonable time.

Or maybe it’s your family consuming all of your time- they need you to do everything or else nothing is going to get done. You are lucky if you can even make time for a shower.

I hear you. I get you. I was you (the overly stressed part, not the mom portion…). Your responsibilities (work, family, relationships, whatever yours may be) are consuming your to-do list and there’s little time left for you to even sleep at night.

But here is a truth bomb: how present are you really for your responsibilities right now?

Are you finding yourself losing your shit on a regular basis? Are other areas of your life suffering due to your time-consuming/stress filled responsibility? Are you getting sick more often than you think is normal?

If you answered yes to any of the above then you may be physically present, but you’re not really performing at your best. Your all-consuming responsibility is only getting half (at best) of you. Like you may have heard before: if you keep refilling everyone else’s cup but never go back to refill your own, then eventually you’ll stop being able to even fill other people’s cups (or something like that).
“I hear you, but how the hell do I make time for this self-care crap if there is no time to spare?”
If you’re new to the self-care game, or have neglected yourself for a while, taking even a little time for yourself can seem overwhelming. I’m someone who quit a well-paying corporate job in order to incorporate more self-care into my every day routine. I am an extreme self-care aficionado, but self-care can be quite simple. Any task that you would do to take care of someone else, but you do for yourself is a self-care activity.


Here are 4 tips to improve your current self-care routine:

  1. Establish a why. For me, my mental health is my why. This is an internal reason to take care of myself. Sometimes it’s also helpful to create an external reason as well (remember the cup filling thing) like a person, passion project, or job that you want to be able to be more present or more effective with.

2. Make time for yourself. Like I said earlier a lot of people have this idea that self-care takes A Lot of time. This is just untrue. Preparing meals in advance so you can eat well even when you are super busy is self-care. Taking a 5-minute mental break from work, or people, is self-care. Even watching tv to give yourself something to focus on without using much mental capacity is self-care. My biggest advice for making time is change your mindset that self-care needs to take a crap ton of time and plan ahead for situations you know will be more stressful.

3. Keep a log of ALL of the self-care activities you complete. Make a mark on your calendar, create a list, or if your kind of type-A create a spreadsheet. The more you can visibly see that you are taking even small amounts of time for yourself the prouder you will be for doing so.

​4. 
Reward yourself for effort not success. Life is not perfect and stress is impossible to completely eliminate. You can make a goal to do x amount of self-care activities but something may happen to prevent you from doing so. That’s okay! I even consider being willing to change plans around your circumstances as a self-care activity! Celebrate you and your willingness to take care of yourself more.
 Check out more photos on our Facebook page! 
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<![CDATA[Yin Yoga]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:30:09 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/yin-yogaYin Yoga
Yin and Yang doesn’t only exist in polar opposites such as hot and cold and up and down, it also exists in Yoga! Yin is the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect; yang is the changing, moving, revealing aspect. This is true for Yin and Yang Yoga.
 
Mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health. Many people have a hard time combining the two. Yoga, especially Yin yoga, is great for clearing your mind, meditating and improving your flexibility. This specific type of yoga is ideal for allowing you to sit longer and more comfortably as it stretches your joints. Being that Yin Yoga helps ease your mind and perpetuating your joints, it is a great solution for people of all ages and athletic ability. 
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Key Focal Points of Yin Yoga
 
Stillness
Yin yoga focuses on Stillness. This calms and balances both the mind and body. Often poses are held for 3-5 minutes and sometimes as long as 20 minutes. During these postures, time is spent in meditation. The long stretches involved in this type of yoga reduce stress and anxiety.
 
Circulation and flexibility
In Yin Yoga, poses are held for several minutes and these poses stretch the connective tissue around a joint. When in a relaxed position, the body is allowed to stretch the connective tissue that would not typically get stretched in Yin Yoga. This leads to an increase in circulation, improved flexibility and greater joint mobility.


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 Energy Flow
Yin Yoga, commonly referred to as Daoist yoga, helps regulate the glow of energy in the body. Fascia, a web like matrix that surrounds and attaches to all structures within the body, is released throughout the body. Our body loses Fascia pliability during emotional and physical trauma.  Fascia affects our flexibility, stability, and is a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and perform daily activities.
 
Yin Yoga helps the mind and body in a way that Yang yoga cannot always provide. Like the Yin and Yang there should be a small about of the other in the heart of the opposite. 

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<![CDATA[BellaVita in the Huffington Post!!!]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:35:27 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/bellavita-in-the-huffington-postBella's & Bello's! 
Spring has sprung and that means new beginnings, a time to refresh & revive (as always take BV classes & discover healthy foods)! Speaking of NEWNESS have you checked out BellaVita's latest feature in the Huffington Post!?! Read  below and check out the full article here! *Hint* you might even see yo'self!!


Mia Berman, Contributor Mia Berman is a writer/performer with a humorous, satiric point of view
Gyms, Zumba & Spring Equinox
03/20/2017 02:01 pm ET 

Art of the Zigzag - All is Well-ness
I zigzagged around the net until I found some likely Zumba candidates, landing on the enchanting BellaVita (www.bellavitaworld.com). And what a world I discovered. Feeling like Mia Magellan, I embarked on a harmonic journey, exploring a land I’d never seen… a land where the focus is on the individual. In short, a Wellness Center with customized programs to integrate the mind, body and soul — and to enjoy life!


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STEFANIE HURTADO Laura Toyofuku-Aki, Core Yoga instructor, BellaVita, at The Olivia, Stonehenge www.stonehengenyc.com
Bella Abzug, Ciao Bella, & BellaVita.
The founder? A stunning, svelte, salad-loving Ukrainian named Izabella.
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Izabella Steele, founder of BellaVita www.bellavitaworld.com with her cherished salad www.justsalad.com
The Bellas I admire tend to be feisty and uplifting, from hat-loving heroine feminist Bella Abzug....
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Bella Abzug www.wedo.org
...to my luscious Ciao Bella espresso macchiato gelato indulgence...
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Ciao Bella Caffe Macchiato Gelato www.icecreamsource.com
...to the dynamic Izabella Steele. I figured anyone with an “A” name passes my test: consider Ella, Sia, Chiara, Shakira, and Rihanna.
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Izabella Steele
A woman after my heart, she graciously invited me to join a class. No charge. Her whole (and holistic) philosophy behind BellaVita is spread the joy. And MOVE.
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ALEXANDRA GALVIS Carmen, Zumba instructor, BellaVita, at Eddie Bauer www.eddiebauer.com
Actions, not just words. In fact, one week I suggested a favorite song for the Zumba class. Assuming she’d nod politely and then quickly forget about it, I was over the moon when she mentioned she had a surprise for me at the next class. Yikes! I almost fell down when I heard the first chords of Stand by Me in the final Zumba dance.
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Carmen, Zumba instructor, BellaVita, at Reebok Store www.reebok.com
The mission of BellaVita? Eureka! Balance — mind/body/spirit. Helping everyone to “live the best version of themselves.” Unlike pantyhose, there ‘s no “one size fits all.” Instead, an emphasis on compassionate community, as well as a personalized approach to wellness and lifestyle.
There’s a cornucopia of services, from boot camp to life coaching, for both kids and adults. Classes like Yogilates and Extreme Cardio Blast are limited in space. So there’s no smashing of tendons — only tender focus on the individual. No judgment. No bullying. No mind games.
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ALEXANDRA GALVIS Carla Minaya, Yogilates instructor and partner, BellaVita 360, at Eddie Bauer storewww.clients.mindbodyonline.comwww.eddiebauer.com
The fitness combo “mash-ups,” one-on-one coaching on nutrition and life action plans, the cardio burpees and muscle toning — it’s all about “improving your fitness, and having fun.”
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STEFANIE HURTADO Mia in Zumba class at The Olivia rooftop, Stonehenge (www.stonehengenyc.com)
For me, Zumba and fun are synonymous. Apparently J-Lo, Natalie Portman, Halle Berry, Olivia Wilde, and Eva Longoria agree. The choreography is a fast-paced combo of hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, and mambo, with a dash of squats here, lunges there, and the most contagious, energizing music ever.
What’s more, you don’t have to be Baryshnikov to do it. If you can’t grasp the steps, the idea is to sweat and, to quote Izabella, “JUST MOVE.” Now we’re talking.
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STEFANIE HURTADO April Pavlish, Zumba instructor, BellaVita The Olivia www.stonehengenyc.com
Izabella’s smile lights up the room, and she is the real deal. She lives, breathes and pirouettes positivity, not to mention healthy living. A divine blend of glory, she invokes a blend of Glori-a Vanderbilt and Glori-a Steinem – elegant, young, feminist, stylish, savvy, a real “sister” who is “inspired by her members every day.”
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ALEXANDRA GALVIS Izabella Steele, founder, Bella Vita www.bellavitaworld.com
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GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE, 1941 Gloria Vanderbilt www.visual-therapy.com
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Gloria Steinem www.histolines.com
Endorphins, Entertainment & Empowerment

Gloria Steinem says that “power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
Gloria Vanderbilt states one of the goals of life is being “in touch with one’s most personal themes — the values, ideas, styles, colors that are the touchstones of one’s own individual life, its real texture and substance.”
Izabella blends the two Glorias’ philosophies with empowering women’s souls, instilling a personal touch of style, value, entertainment and wellness. In essence, she’s creating a fitness haven with equal time, equal space and equilibrium....a space for compassionate community and true balance.
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www.consciouslifenews.com
Yup. You could say I’m done with ersatz gym sales marketing pushers, the ones who shut down some awesome, uplifting classes, despite the fact that they empowered a massive chunk of participants, keeping their mind, body and soul in balance— their chakras positively aligned.
BLOOD SWEAT & CHEERS
Let’s be honest. On reflection, it seems that the agony and anxiety often begins at the first thought of trekking over to the gym.
About half of all gym memberships rely on monthly fees and huge attrition. We all start off with a big bang theory and huge resolutions (especially around January 1st), gung ho on MetCon, TRX and suspension training. But as time —and snow— accrues, weather, fatigue and cooking kaboka squash, brisket and cassoulet recipes take over. Let’s face it. The number of workouts dwindle down, becoming inversely proportional to the dollars you spend on monthly membership installments.
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Green Apple Core http://www.abstractapple.co/the-core/http://encontrandotuequilibrio.blogspot.com
So by March, we’re pretty much munching on an apple core instead of working on our body core. Avoiding the treadmill instead of tackling it.
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www.gymjunkies.com
On the other hand, the team spirit that escalates from a sweaty spin class — maintaining the beat, the stamina, the classmates, and keeping up with the trainer — is contagious, uplifting and a bit cheerleader-esque.
After all, who doesn’t want to be part of the “club”? Acknowledged for finishing some grueling event? We all love to be motivated. I just prefer the zest of zumba to the rah rah of the pedaling gang.

THE DOME OF OM
So here we are on the brink of spring: the Vernal Equinox. Just in time for balance. Harmony. I for one would prefer a one-on-one tutorial in Whatever-it-is-that-makes-one-feel-tranquil. Whether it’s lavender sunsets over moonlit ocean waves, or climbing into a cozy treehouse to write haikus, or sipping scotch in a dive bar, we all should be living La Dolce Vita, the balanced, Bella Vita, the sweet, beautiful life.
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Izabella Steele with Mia BermanRooftop at The Olivia, www.stonehengenyc.com, www.bellavitaworld.com
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<![CDATA[Tis the Season of Giving ~Bring a friend for FREE for the entire month of December!~]]>Fri, 25 Nov 2016 05:13:27 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/tis-the-season-of-givingHappy Holidays!
We are thankful for our amazing BellaVita community and in the holiday spirit we invite you to bring a friend for weekday lunch time classes for FREE! 
Give the gift of health to your friends! To reserve their spot just ask them to fill out the new client form under the "new client" tab here and email us to reserve their spot! (Must be accompanied by a qualifying member, don't forget to have your friend mention your name. New clients only)

AND in the holiday spirit we are having our annual party on December 8th from 5:30pm-6:30pm ~Save the date & email us to reserve your spot! All proceeds from the event will be donated to The Flint Child and Development Fund. (Info below)
      Happy holidays can't wait to celebrate with you!
             xoxo
           Team BellaVita 
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<![CDATA[BellaVita Whine Up for Haiti Fundraiser]]>Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:16:33 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/-bellavita-whine-up-for-haiti-fundraiser
Our mission at BellaVita is to offer you complete wellness of the body, mind and soul. We encourage positive change by offering top-notch group fitness classes, personal training sessions, and a welcoming, compassionate community of instructors and health experts.

However, we also have a responsibility as global citizens: we need to promote change in the lives of people we've never met, in any way we can.

On Tuesday, October 4h, the Category Four Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti. It is the worst storm in Haiti in over half a century. The heavy rain and winds have destroyed villages, flooded roads, uprooted crops and separated landmasses. The death toll has been reported as high as nine hundred, and is still on the rise.

We at BellaVita have been deeply affected by this tragedy, and we want to play our part in the Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. And of course, what better way than a Zumba class?

Join April, returning from her back injury, and Quinn at noon on Sunday, October 16th for a Zumba class inspired by the reggaeton, Soca and dancehall form of Caribbean culture.

We are encouraging a suggested donation of ten dollars. All of the proceeds will go to Hope for Haiti, a nonprofit organization that is providing supplies to the victims of Hurricane Matthew. Check out their website: www.hopeforhaiti.com

We can't wait to Whine up for Haiti with you!


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Author: Written By our wonderful Zumba Instructor Quinn Roberts
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<![CDATA[A Weekend Breakfast Recipe and The Ballet Flow Experience ]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 13:06:04 GMThttp://bellavitaworld.com/blog/a-weekend-breakfast-recipe-and-the-ballet-flow-experience

​Happy Friyay! It's the start of the weekend!!! When I was little, the weekend = pancakes and it definitely still does for me but I need some lasting energy that'll propel me through the day and into the night. So, I go for these guys ^ ^ ^ Wow! Don't those look amazing?! Would you have guessed that they're actually pretty healthy? Containing lots of filling fiber and protein and healthy fats? And gluten free? And taste delicious? Too good to be true!

Here's my easy recipe:
1 serving
Dry Ingredients:
1/3 cup oats (blitzed until powdery) 
1 scoop vanilla Vega protein (this is plant-based protein. If you're not that into protein powders, just use 1/2 cup oats instead 1/3 and mix in a little stevia, honey, or maple syrup)
Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 egg white
Now, just mix the dry and wet ingredients together and pour into an oiled pan on medium/high heat. I like coconut oil but you can use butter too! Flip when the side down is golden brown and there are little bubbles around the edges of the pancake. After flipping, check if that side is golden brown too and cut into the pancake with your spatula to see if the middle has cooked. This recipe makes about 3 regular sized pancakes. When I've cooked all my pancakes, I like to cut up half a banana on top and spread about a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter (love Whole Food's pb!) on each cake and melt a piece of 85% dark chocolate in between them. The peanut butter and dark chocolate provide healthy fats and make the meal more filling overall. For nutritional info, feel free to ask. 
Y U M ! Enjoy your pancakes and your weekend!

Next on the agenda... Melanie's Ballet Flow class! I took it for the first time yesterday and loved how she combined yoga and ballet for a relaxing and toning class. 
The room was dimly lit and there was soft piano music playing. We started the class lying down and stretching out our limbs, taking poses like happy baby. Then, Melanie took us through a flow from standing into baby cobra and back into child's pose, waking up our bodies. She started off the ballet portion of the class with demi pliés focuses on each leg and then both, finally taking us into a grand plié and back up onto our tip-toes. The positions involved balance and focus; Melanie was the perfect guide, while also challenging us to shift our balance on to one foot or the other. After these positions, she took us through the flow again. Later on in the class, she added other challenging moves like chair pose, pictured above, to help tone the thighs and glutes. We went through another salutation and then into warrior two, with one leg forward and our bodies positioned towards the side of the room. She moved us from this yoga pose into another pose called goddess pose, which is also similar to a grand plié in second position! We completed the class with shavasana, resting pose, which was totally relaxing and rejuvenating. The class was a great combination of lengthening and strengthening poses. I left with better posture and in a better mood! Thanks Melanie!

Melanie's Ballet Flow class takes place at TADA on Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there!

That's all for today! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

XOXO,
The BellaVita Team 
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