By 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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
by Sara Stevens
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Key Focal Points of Yin Yoga
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.
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.
Bella'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!!
Welcome to BellaVita News! We will keep you updated on everything wellness! Enjoy your stay :)