Recap: Yoga In Central Park by Yoga on the Fly x Lyfebulb

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Tuesday, May 16th was a perfect spring day. The temperature was in the mid to high 70’s, the sun was out, and the weather was breezy. If that alone was not enough to make one feel happy and at peace, add in the yoga.

In partnership with Lyfebulb Patient Entrepreneur, Elizabeth Feinstone, and her co-founder Avery Westlund of Yoga on the Fly, we hosted an afternoon yoga class in the middle of Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. As guests arrived, they were greeted with a yoga set up that included mats by Yoga by Numbers and canvas goodie bags curated by Yoga on the Fly that included soothing essential oils by DoTerra, a discount code for Satva yoga clothing, customized Yoga on the Fly hand sanitizer and chapstick, and a Fiji water bottle.

Photo by: Krista Bonura

While waiting for the class to begin, guest picked their mats and quickly formed friendships with those around them. Both Elizabeth and Avery went around introducing themselves to guests, making it a comfortable environment for everyone.

Photo by: Krista Bonura

Once the class was about to begin, guests were given a set of headsets by SoundOff TM. The headsets are a part of Yoga on the Fly’s business model, that allows anyone to engage in a yoga class while traveling, by going into a private mini studio at the airport, choosing an instructional video on a (provided) iPad, and doing yoga while being instructed through the wireless headset.

Once the headsets were on, all outside noise and hustle and bustle of New York City disappeared.

Photo by: Krista Bonura

Avery led the beginner level class, which was perfect for everyone in attendance. The class ended with a very fitting tree pose.

Photo by: Krista Bonura
Photo by: Krista Bonura
Photo by: Krista Bonura

At the end, everyone was zen. There was no better place to be at that moment, then right there in Central Park.

“It was a beautiful evening for yoga in Central Park, and a perfect way to end the chaotic day. New friendships were formed, old friends reconnected, and everyone left smiling. Thank you to Lyfebulb, Sound Off headphones, and Yoga by Numbers for their enthusiasm and making the evening a success!”
– Elizabeth Feinstone, Co-founder, Yoga on the Fly

“It was a privilege to bring together the Lyfebulb and Yoga on the Fly communities and to partner with SO and YbN on such a gorgeous spring night in Central Park! We had blast and look forward to teaming up again and growing our mindful, supportive community! Stay tuned for future event details on our instagram at @yogaontheflyllc!”
– Avery Westlund, Co-founder, Yoga on the Fly

Goat Yoga Workout Trend Comes to the Upstate

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The Internet’s latest obsession and the hottest workout trend, goat yoga, has come to the Upstate! Split Creek Farms in Anderson is now offering 2-hour long “Goat + Yoga” classes that let baby and adult goats roam free as yogis work through basic poses. The wildly popular classes, which have all had waitlists, are followed by a farm tour and goat cheese tasting. Jennifer Martin has a look…

The Boxing Yoga Mash-Up Workout for a Fierce Body and Calm Mind

The latest hybrid workout may seem a bit of a mismatch, but if you think about it, boxing is a lot like yoga. There’s a choreography to the way punch sequences fluidly string together to keep you moving. “The best fighters have a flow to their fight—it’s rhythm, energy, and breath—just like yoga,” says Olivia Young, founder and instructor at Box + Flow, a studio in New York City that brings the two disciplines together. That inspired pairing makes for the ultimate power couple, where each workout beautifully plays off the other’s strengths. Boxing is a seriously sweaty conditioning workout and a potent way to blow off steam, yet it forces you to hunch over a bit, tightening the front of your body. Yoga, on the other hand, may be low-intensity, but it opens up your shoulders, chest, and hips and stretches your arms, releasing the front of your body, Young explains.

Do the two back-to-back, and you create this ideal balance in both your body and your mind. “Because boxing is so adrenaline-heavy, following it up with yoga forces you to gradually slow down, stretch out your muscles, and end your workout feeling calm, not hyper,” says Young. Think of it as getting in your HIIT as well as out of your head, all in one deeply satisfying session. (BTW, short HIIT sessions might be better for you anyway.)

For this at-home version of Box + Flow, Young swapped in hand weights for a heavy bag. You’ll hold 2-pound dumbbells for the entire boxing portion to provide similar resistance to throwing punches at the bag. “Using light weights forces you to fully extend your arm during each punch so you engage more upper-body muscles,” Young says.

Your session starts with a bang: combinations of the four classic punches (jab, cross, hook, and uppercut) and two defensive moves (the slip and weave). “The energy behind every punch you throw comes from engaging your abs and rotating your hips, which is why boxing is such a great core sculptor,” says Young. This shadow-boxing circuit will also spike your…

How To Properly Plank

Planks are a great yoga pose. There are two types of planks- a high plank and an elbow plank. Do you know the difference? Check out the why and the how for each plank below:

High plank

Why?
Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and abdominal muscles

How?

  1. Start in table top.
  2. Keep shoulders and hands as they are.
  3. Step feet back so you’re up on the balls of your feet.
  4. Balance your weight evenly between both hands and feet. Imagine you are in mountain pose. Suck belly button in and up to elongate and straighten your spine.
  5. Feel as if your lower back is pressing up.
  6. Make sure shoulders don’t pass wrists.
  7. Breathe here.

Check your position in a mirror if possible, or ask a buddy to watch. If your low back is swaying, you have several options:

  1. Pike your hips to decrease the curve in your spine.
  2. Bring knees down if necessary, but be sure to keep your abdominal muscles engaged.

Or, if you’re not ready for a high plank, start with your knees on the floor, so there is a straight line from the crown of the head to the knees.

If you’re unable to exercise with a mirror or a buddy, or can’t tell where your body is in space, time your planks (from your feet or knees) in 10-second increments, then return back to a table top position.

Note: A plank is about trying to equally distribute body weight. Our bodies feel and work differently daily, so doing a plank might feel differently day to day.


Forearm plank

Why?
Strengthens wrists, arms, back, and abdominal muscles

How?

  1. Start in table top position.
  2. Bring your forearms to the ground.
  3. Align your shoulders over elbows. Your hips will naturally shift backwards.

    You have 3 options – place palm face down on the ground, bring each hand into a fist, or bring both hands together and interlace your fingers.

  4. Press your hands down into the ground.Step your feet straight back so the balls of your feet on the ground.
  5. Balance your weight evenly between both forearms and feet. Imagine you are in mountain pose. Suck belly button in and up to elongate and straighten your spine.
  6. Feel as if your lower back is pressing up.
  7. Make sure shoulders don’t pass elbows.
  8. Distribute weight in forearms and hands/fists and not on your elbows.
  9. Breathe here.

Once again, if you’re unable to exercise with a mirror or a buddy to see if your low back is swaying, time your planks in 10-second increments, then return back to a table top position.

 

 

 

 

Move over, yoga pants. How Kit and Ace created clothes for work — and meditation

Morning meditation at the Venice location of the Kit and Ace retail showroom.
Morning meditation at the Venice location of the Kit and Ace retail showroom. (Kit and Ace)

In the time-honored tradition of waxing nostalgic over old photos, it’s safe to say that future generations might look back at pictures from the mid-2010s and ask, “So, were you always on your way to the gym?”

Such is the legacy of athleisure pieces, the just-won’t-quit trend that’s swept the country, particularly casual, athletic Los Angeles, birthplace of the Juicy sweatsuit (which is also in the midst of a comeback of sorts).

But Kit and Ace, the Vancouver-based brand with a few shops in Southern California, is not competing in the race to be the next haute brand you sweat in. So as brands court yoga instructors and runners to evangelize, Kit and Ace is after the next wave: meditators.

What started as a California exclusive — meditation sessions in their airy, light-filled stores, where free sparkling water and friendly salespeople abound — has turned into a nationwide program. Each shop is partnering with mindfulness coaches to run meditation sessions.

“If athleisure is athletic apparel trying to go street, then we’re going for streetwear that performs the exact same way as our activewear,” said JJ Wilson, who co-founded Kit and Ace in 2014 with Shannon Wilson, his stepmother. (JJ Wilson’s father, Chip, founded Lululemon Athletica in 1998.) And to be clear, his definition of street means day and evening looks that appear more like the wearer is on their way to a boutique hotel bar rather than, well, barre class.

“When Lululemon started, there were a few yoga studios on the coasts,” said Wilson. “Now, we’re seeing the seeds of that with meditation, with places like Unplug Studio in Los Angeles and MNDFL Meditation in New York.”

So why not turn stores into grassroots meditation studios?

“Creating an experience in an in-store…

Beer Yoga Is Totally a Thing, and We Want to Sign Up ASAP

When it comes to getting your zen on, the options are seemingly endless. From Bikram yoga and Vinyasa flow to power yoga and goat yoga (yes, that’s a thing), anyone seeking to reflect while improving their flexibility and strength can find a proper outlet to do so. And now, there’s a new type of yoga: one that caters to the beer-lovers of the fitness world.

BierYoga, which was founded in Germany, naturally, “is the marriage of two great loves: beer and yoga,” according to the organization’s website. Each class incorporates beer drinking into yoga poses, whether it’s by balancing the bottle on your head or taking a few sips while settling into a pose so yogis are downing an adult beverage (or two) throughout the course of the session. Sounds…

10 Things You Get From Yoga Besides a Tight Booty

The following post was originally featured on Fit Bottomed Girls and written by Karen, who is part of POPSUGAR Collective.

If you are not already practicing yoga it might be time to give it a try. The practice of yoga is more than simply stretching! Done properly, it’s an awesome workout for your body, mind and soul. Here’s why!

10 Reasons to Try Yoga

1. De-stress. Slow, deep breathing eases workday tension. And bonus! It’s healthier than downing a couple of martinis.

2. Increased flexibility. Increased muscle elasticity helps protect your body against injury.

3. Improved balance. Virtually everything we do, from walking downhill to toting groceries to riding a bike — they all require balance.

4. Range of motion (ROM). Could your golf swing use a little oomph? How about your…

At 98 Years Old, the World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher Shares the 1 Mantra She Swears By

At 98 years old, Tao Porchon-Lynch is inspiring our lives in more ways than we’d imagine. As one of the new faces of Athleta’s Power of She campaign, Tao, the world’s oldest yoga teacher, is sharing what it means to live a positive life, and it’s really empowering. After being told in 1926 that yoga is “unladylike,” she was motivated to learn tree yoga, and now, she’s spreading her journey of spirituality across the world.

“Anything is possible; nothing’s impossible. When you wake up every morning, say,…

Miley Cyrus Got Her “ASStanga” Kicked by a Post-Holiday Yoga Session

Miley Cyrus isn’t waiting until the New Year to jump-start her post-holiday wellness regimen. After a long week of celebration and indulgence, the performer and passionate vegan dove right back into her ashtanga yoga practice . . . and she definitely didn’t take it lightly. Cyrus nailed a ridiculously challenging…

Skip the Ibuprofen and Do These Yoga Poses For Menstrual Cramp Relief

Got cramps? You’re not alone. Many women suffer from severe menstrual pain (known as dysmenorrhea) with sharp, throbbing, burning, or nauseating cramps in their lower abdomen and back. The cramps may come right before you get your period or during, but thankfully they go away when your period is over.

These crippling, can’t-get-through-your-normal-day kind of cramps are caused by uterine contractions and can be aggravated by emotional stress. They tend to cause headaches and a really heavy flow — twice the fun. Some women take pain meds to deal, but you may want to give these yoga poses a try, since getting your body moving (and out of fetal position on the couch) can really help with cramps.

Half Bound Squat

Hip pain can be part of the whole cramp scene, so stretching them out feels really good. Here’s how to do Half Bound Squat.

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hips-width-distance apart. Bend your knees, and lower your hips all the way down. Take a peek at your feet, and see if you can press your heels out, bringing your feet parallel.
  • Press your elbows against your inner knees, and lengthen through your torso. Hold like this in a Wide Squat for five breaths.
  • Then bring your left arm between your knees. Lower your left shoulder as far under your left knee as possible, so you hug your knee with your armpit as you reach your left forearm around your back with your palm facing away from your body.
  • Reach your right arm up as high as you can, bend your elbow, and bring the back of your right palm to your lower back. If they’re close enough, hold your right wrist with your left hand,…

How To Avoid Some Of The Most Common Sports Injuries

How To Avoid Some Of The Most Common Sports Injuries

Fixing up and looking sharp just got less painful. Hackney-based miracle bodyworkers Fix London have set up an outpost in the basement of athleisure brand Ron Dorff’s store in Covent Garden. The one-stop injury repair shop offers sports and remedial massage, plus introductory yoga classes for men who aren’t up on downward dog but really should be.

“We wanted to create a flexible space that would give something to Ron Dorff’s customers and allow us to have a base a bit further into central London,” explains osteopath Luke Selby of Fix, which is also planning to expand, appropriately, to the former Athlete’s Village in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. “So it worked on lots of levels.”

Whether it’s Olympic swimmers covered in cupping circles or gold-medal winner Andy Murray doing Pilates, the counterproductive “no pain, no gain” mentality is slowly being replaced by a growing understanding of the importance of regular maintenance. (Well, if you ignore the gym memes.) You wouldn’t wait for your car to break down before you took it to be serviced.

Besides, it’s not just about injury prevention, but building a balanced – and therefore stronger – physique and enabling optimum performance, too. “You don’t have to come in because something’s broken,” says Selby. “You might just want to be a bit healthier, or achieve a goal. We’re trying to not just put a plaster over something, but help you be the best that you can be.”

Until your next MOT, apply these quick fixes from Selby and one thing you won’t be is crocked.

The most common mistake that men make in the gym is throwing themselves into something too hard, too quickly. You see someone else doing an exercise, but rather than get someone to talk you through it, or taking all the weight off and really getting the feeling of how you should do it, you chuck 100kg on the bar. That’s when you get injured.

The other is after you’ve had a layoff. Either you’ve been injured or busy at work or away travelling. So if you’re a runner for example, you say, “OK, I’m just going to do a little run.” And it feels good. So then you do 20 miles. Maybe your brain, your muscles and your heart and lungs can do 20 miles. But your ligaments and tendons can’t, because they’ve softened up. Be patient and understand that you’ll get back up to your previous level pretty quickly. But only if you’re disciplined until then.

Don't throw yourself back in at the deep end after a layoff

Another mistake is not enough cross-training. Maybe you’re quite bendy and willowy and you could really do with strengthening but all you do is loads of yoga and long runs. So that’s why you’re bust: because you don’t have enough structural support.

Lots of men assume that if they’ve got an ache or pain, it’s because that area is weak. So if you’re tennis player with a rotator cuff injury, you strengthen your rotator cuff. Then you go out and play and it’s still bust… So you strengthen it some more. Probably you’re too strong in that shoulder, or you’re overusing it because you’re not using your lats or obliques, or your opposite hip is weak….

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