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November 12, 2017

Liya Mar – Yoga Instructor

We are so very excited to introduce our newest team member, Liya Mar! You can catch her on the mat every Thursday evening at 6 PM for Yoga 4 Athletes and 7:15 PM for Slow Flow, starting November 30, 2017!

Liya grew up in a family with a regular meditation practice. She started her yoga journey when she was pursing her Ph.D. in Wisconsin. Yoga literally saved her from the chronic upper back shoulder pain which she suffered from the intensive graduate works. She finished her Vinyasa Yoga teaching training in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2017 before moving to Houston with her husband. She is currently studying for the NASM-CPT with an expected certificate in 2018!

Liya remembers, as a young child, meditation and breath work aren’t easy tasks, but with yoga, breathing and calmness comes naturally. Liya seeks to deepen her understanding of different lineages of yoga, as well as anatomy-based practices. She now teaches in schools, gyms and online. In her class, you’ll find inspiring music and strengthening sequences of asanas. Aside from yoga, she loves spending time in the gym, watching basketball, wondering in nature with her family and friends.

October 28, 2017

Building Hip Stability

As most of you know, I recently had hip surgery due to a torn labrum and damaged cartilage. I’ve been an athlete my whole life and have always had semi-tight hips. When I started my yoga practice, I went deep into working on hip openers. I honestly only worked on yoga poses for about 3 years, before putting strength exercises back into my routine. I was working so hard on just building flexibility that I stopped working on strength building and stability as much as I used to. What I’ve learned is that hip stability is just as important as hip flexibility. The root of my torn labrum was never confirmed from just yoga or just sports, I believe is from years of playing sports and my body’s anatomy (I have funky hips per my x-rays). I am just wanting to help share some good insight, on what I’ve learned through my own personal journey with movement. Overall finding a balance between flexibility & stability is crucial in your body’s health. The good thing is, if you’re already taking YAX and Yoga classes, you are doing the best thing you can for your body!

Working on Hip Stability vs. Hip Flexibility

When yogis talk hips, it’s generally about opening them. But your hips CAN be too open… Learn why balancing strength and flexibility in the hips is so important.

Hip strength is necessary in day-to-day life. Whether we are walking in the park, running for the bus, or cycling to work, the hip joint takes the brunt of the body’s weight and enables all of these fundamental actions. In short: Stable hips are a good thing—they carry our bodies throughout the day.

Understanding the Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint composed of two bones. The femur sits in the acetabulum, which is part of the pelvis. Covering the bones of the hip is the articular cartilage. The articular cartilage is important for providing a cushion and a smooth surface when the bones move on one another. Surrounding the acetabulum is additional cartilage called the labrum, which forms a lip around the cup-shaped bone to provide additional stability in the joint.

While it is helpful to understand the anatomy of the hip, what may be more even important (if a bit frightening) is knowing that one of the deepest layers of the joint, the cartilage, does not have any nerve endings. This means you may not be aware of any damage to the cartilage until it is too late. Although cartilage doesn’t have nerve endings, the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments do, which is why yoga can be helpful for tuning into the body to find a balance between strength and flexibility for health of the muscles and the integrity of the joints. By listening to our bodies with this sense of mindfulness we can begin to notice our strengths and weaknesses, which enables us to develop a nourishing practice that our bodies truly need.

Most athletes, THAT’s US! have extremely tight hips. So, hip openers are a great thing for us! But with all of the hip openers we practice, we want to balance it out and always stabilize and protect our joints.

3 Poses to Build Stability in the Hips

Bridge Pose, variation

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart and knees directly above your ankles. Place your arms on either side of your body with your palms facing down. Lengthen your tailbone toward the front of your mat. Lift one leg perpendicular to the floor (optional: bend knee). On your inhalation, keep your leg raised and lift your hips off the floor into a Bridge position. On your exhalation, with your leg still raised, lower your hips again. Repeat the exercise for 5 rounds of breath on each side.

Chair Pose, variation

For this exercise, hold Chair Pose with your feet hip-width apart. As you inhale, straighten one leg to the side and as your exhale bring it back to its original position. Repeat the exercise on each side 10 times or until the hip-stabilizing muscles start to fatigue.

Leg Raises

For this final exercise, lie on your side and rest your head on your arm. Bend your bottom leg to approximately 90 degrees so you have a steady base. Raise your top leg about a foot above the ground. Extend your lifted leg in a straight line from your spine and flex the foot. Hold for 10 breaths and relax the leg for 5 breaths. Repeat the exercise for 3 rounds on each side.

Deep Squat

This exercise sequence increases your core and hip stability and mobility. The movement takes your hips and legs in a full, deep squat and retrains your nervous system to activate your core and hips to generate stability in movement. It also functions as a warm-up before training and competition.

Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and your toes pointing forward in front of a step or a similar platform that you can put your hands on. Raise your arms above your head, and bend forward to place your palms on the platform. Lower your hips into a deep squat while keeping your spine tall and chest high. Hold the position for a few deep breaths.

Then raise your arms above your head, and push yourself up, keeping your spine in the same position without bending forward. If you have trouble doing the squat pattern, place a rolled-up beach towel under your heels for support. As you become proficient with the movement pattern and improve your posture, remove the heel support.

Hip Flexors

Hip stability also depends on strong hip flexors. These muscles, like the psoas, are responsible for functions like helping you to step up onto a stool; or lift your leg from a lying-down position.

Kneel on your right knee on the floor. Place your left foot on the floor in front of you. Place your right hands on top of your left thigh. Make sure the left knee is stacked over top the left ankle. Hold your torso upright. Tuck your tailbone under to make a long spine and in order not the compress your lower back. Contract your glute muscles to allow the hip flexors to relax and extend.

Toe Taps

The toe tap is a much more controlled and equally, if not more, brutal stability exercise for the hip. For this drill, you need either a mini band or a barbell. With the mini band around the thighs or barbell on your back, put all your weight into one leg and bend the knee slightly. Then reach out with your other leg, leading with the heel, and tap the ground out to the side. The goal with this drill is to look like a robot. The leg that you are standing on shouldn’t move. It should be bent and stay bent the whole time. The leg that is tapping the ground should be tapping so lightly that you could touch an egg shell but not break it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

-Kalynn

Sources:

ALICE LOUISE BLUNDEN

www.yogajournal.com

More on common myths about tight hips: https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/5-common-myths-athletes-tight-hips

 

October 28, 2017

Yummy Fall Chili Recipe

It’s finally cooled off in Houston, and we wanted to share this yummy Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili Recipe! This recipe is Vegetarian. So, you can keep it that way, or add in some ground turkey or ground venison if you have any hunters in the fam. Chili is the best for this time of year! So, get to cookin’ & get cozy!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile (see Note)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups water or vegetable stock
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets or online at penzeys.com
October 28, 2017

How to Stay Accountable & Healthy during the Holidays

Thanksgiving Celebration Traditional Dinner Table Setting Concept

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year! However, they have seemed to become the most stressful time of the year, especially living in Houston. So, before you start worrying over how many gifts you have to buy, what meals you have to make, what all you have to do before the end of the year, just STOP and BREATHE. Let’s change your habits this year, by slowing down, staying in your health routine and doing things that benefit YOU.

Do you love how you feel after a yoga class? Remember that feeling. Remember the little things that bring you to class each day. Remember the holidays are the best time, but only if you can really stop and enjoy them. We have put together some tips and ideas for staying accountable and staying healthy throughout the holidays:

Book Your Classes Ahead of Time & COMMIT. You know better than anyone else what you need each week, to have a successfully healthy week. So, don’t let little things get in your way. Prep on the weekend for a great week. Book your classes ahead of time. Go to the grocery store and start meal prepping some items so your week can be a little less stressful. Commit to your exercise regime. At the beginning of each week, write down in your calendar what days you are coming to yoga or workout. And show up. 

Get a Workout Buddy. Encourage each other daily, show up to class together and have fun with them! Have you joined our YAX Members Facebook group? It is a great place to find a friend, if you need a little help 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/354690811610604/

Take Vitamin C! It is the holiday season, which also means cold & flu season. Stay on top of your health.

Sleep. Get plenty of shut eye! Try for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This is the MOST important. The more sleep the more your body has time to recover from each day. Yoga & exercise help promote good, deep sleep! Duh! 

Drink more TEA. Trade that coffee for tea this season. Start sippin’ tea to calm your nervous system down. Our favorite brand is: www.highgardentea.com. You can order online & they ship to your house. Literally the best tea in the world! Our favorites: Overworked, Ginger Mint Revive, Sunrise Blend (as dark as coffee), Tummy Tea (for upset stomachs). They also have seasonal teas that are oh so yummy! These also make for great gifts! Hint Hint, for our last & final tip. 

Christmas Shop Early! This is my favorite thing to do. So, during the holidays, I can stay home, watch Christmas movies & wrap gifts! Start making those lists for what you want to get for your loved ones. So, when it is December, you can spend your weekends and week nights coming to classes and avoiding the CRAZY Christmas shoppers & traffic. Take advantage of Amazon, y’all. 

Looking forward to having a holly jolly season with all of you at YAX. We will for sure be decorating!

Much love,

Kalynn

October 25, 2017

30 Days of Thanks & Planks!

Planksgiving Challenge starts November 1! Anyone can join in by participating in the studio with other YAX team members, or completing each day at home. If you complete the challenge at home, make sure to take a video or snap a pic and tag @yogaathletex on your choice of social media!

Your goal for the challenge is to work your way up to holding a plank for 3 minutes, to get stronger arms and abs, while also showing your gratitude for everything positive in your life! So when thanksgiving rolls around, you won’t think twice about grabbing a second piece of your grandma’s pumpkin pie! Each day you will plank for a specific amount of time and write down one thing you are thankful for. So, let’s PLANK together with GRATEFUL hearts!

 

 

October 24, 2017

Cancellation + Refund Policy

Refunds for Purchases

Class Packs and Memberships
Class Packs and Memberships cannot be refunded or returned, extended, suspended, exchanged or transferred between persons. We will reinstate expired classes with the purchase of any class pack or membership package.

Terms: After all 3, 6 and 12 month(s) memberships, your contract will automatically renew to another 3, 6 or 12 month(s) membership unless you cancel your contract. A 30 day written notice is required for all Auto Renew Membership terminations. We cannot guarantee cancellations or refunds of subsequent payments if a termination request is made less than 30 days before your scheduled payment date. Please send all written cancellation requests to info@yogaathletex.com. Please note that all class pack and membership purchases at Yoga Athletex are non-refundable.

NOTE: We offer a 10% discount for teachers, military and first responders. Bring your ID in to the studio to receive your discount.

Merchandise
Products purchased in the store are final sale only. We do not issue refunds. There are no returns or exchanges.

Gift Cards and Gift Certificates
Gift Cards and Gift Certificates are non-refundable and non-returnable and can not be transferred between persons. If purchased for a specific pass, they can not be used as cash.

​Deposit for Teacher Training Programs
Teacher training deposits are non-refundable. Please refer to the refund policy for your particular teacher training in the syllabus and/or enrollment agreement.

Class Registrations and Cancellations

  • Class Registrations and Cancellations are done ONLINE ONLY. Classes are available for pre-registration via website or MindBody Connect App.* Please log onto your account and cancel from there.
  • If you cancel 2 hours or less before class begins, it’s considered a late cancellation. Starting January 2018, your account will be charged $5 for any class not attended, but checked in to.
  • We can not guarantee that we will receive or process your cancellation if you mention it to someone in passing, via phone call or email. That is why we request that class reservations and cancellations be done online.
  • If you reserve your spot but arrive late and class is full, you will be asked to come back to a different class.

Playshops and Events

  • You may receive a full refund if you cancel your playshop/event registration 30 days or more before the event via email.
  • If cancellation request via email is less than 30 days and more than 4 days prior to the event, you may receive studio credit towards any studio purchase.
  • If we announce an event as “SOLD OUT” or “FULL” at the studio or online, no credit will be given after announcement as you have taken a spot that could have been purchased by another student. Credit will be given if your spot is taken by a paying client.
  • No Refunds or Credits if canceled 3 days before the event.
  • Playshop and event refunds are subject to a 20% administration fee.
September 25, 2017

Spooktacular Super Legs Challenge

This October, it’s time to get freakishly fit! If you’ve fallen out of routine, it’s time to fall back in. This challenge is a great way to get you started, or keep you going as the spookiest of holidays approach us.

Every day in October, we have a challenge. Come in studio to complete (the short) challenge (almost) every day! Can’t make it in studio? You must post your completion on a social media platform and tag @yogaathletex or “Check In” to YAX to get credit. There are a couple ways to complete the challenge without being at YAX every day (although we would love that). Out of 7 week days, 6 are challenge days, 1 is rest day. Of the 6 days each week you can post online ONCE and you can double up in studio ONCE. So, you need to be IN STUDIO at least 4x/week. You can do it! This is how we’re going to get back in the swing of things – and get some nice legs along the way. 😉

What’s the challenge? Glad you asked. Complete the challenge below and wrap up the month with a halloween bash at YAX on 10/31! We are working our way towards 5 rounds of super legs! Best of luck, y’all! Let’s work on those “pumpkins“! 😉

August 9, 2017

Should I book private sessions?

Why should I book private sessions?

Are you new to fitness and looking for some direction? Are you a fitness veteran who needs a little extra push? Do you have a goal you are working toward? Or maybe just in need of some motivation and accountability?

As a personal trainer my mission is to develop individualized programs for each of my clients, catering to your specific needs and goals.

Every trainer will have their own style, experience and fitness philosophy. As for me personally, my goal for my clients is always overall health – physical, mental, and spiritual. I will be walking alongside you as you progress through your fitness goals, meanwhile developing discipline and motivation that flows into all areas of life.

With a private training program you will receive accountability that leads to consistency, customized workouts built especially for you and your body, and ultimately the strength, motivation and energy needed for everyday life.

Ready to go? Book HERE!

Kaci K., B.S., NASM-CPT

August 1, 2017

Member Testimonial – Megan G.

Plain and simple, this gym is in the top 5 best things to happen to me in my life. If you’re looking for a place that is absolutely NO JUDGEMENT, will work with you and help you regardless of how “in shape” you are, have previous injuries, or are just looking for a support system this place has it all! If you’re trying to get in shape and shed a couple pounds I can guarantee that if you commit to this program, it will absolutely work for you! Within about 5-6 months I lost over 20 pounds and counting! The best news about that, is I did it the right way, with no quick fads, so it was safe and healthy for my body and I’m more likely to keep it off. If you’re already convinced then read no further; however, if you still need a little bit more persuading let me go into a bit more detail.

I was a former collegiate athlete with previous injuries, so I hurt all the time, from the moment I stepped out of bed until I finally crawled back into bed. Therefore, I quit working out because the only way I knew how to work out was lift heavy and put a lot of strain on my body, and therefore I gained quite a bit of weight. I was unhappy, unhealthy, and ultimately was in grief for losing the first love of my life, soccer. Yoga Athletex could not have come into my life at a better time! I started going once a week and then twice a week and now I’m there about 4 days a week. After much convincing and persuading the girls at Yoga Athletex convinced me to try yoga. I went in there very reluctantly, and came out wishing I had been practicing yoga my entire life. I haven’t felt this great in years! After months of practicing I’m able to touch my toes! This may not seem like a great victory for some of you, but I’ve never been able to touch my toes in my entire life. Now I’m telling every single one of my friends they need to do yoga, whether they need help emotionally, mentally, or physically. By the way I was “that athlete” that thought yoga was lame and pointless, talk about making me eat my own words. These women have helped pushed me to be my best and supported me in some of my most difficult times. Yoga Athletex isn’t just a gym, it’s a family! If you’re a former athlete and feeling like a part of you is missing, or wanting to get into shape and need someone to push you, or feeling like you need a support system then go check out Yoga Athletex, because I promise you WILL NOT be disappointed!

July 31, 2017

Anatomy 101 – The Breath

We talk alot about breath at YAX, so I wanted to tap in to all the muscles used to achieve a powerful and controlled breath. In my classes, I ask you to evaluate your breath. Is it shallow or deep? Slow or fast? Where do you breathe from? Where do you send your breath? Most of us breathe unconsciously so this can be difficult to acknowledge. Breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system, which tells our organs (i.e., diaphragm and lungs) to function without conscious control. This autonomic nervous system also regulates digestion and circulation. Even though breathing is achieved unconsciously, if we can force a mindful and controlled breath, we can transform not only our practice but our well being. For example, you here me cue the belly breath or deep thoracic breath. This belly breath creates a larger capacity to take deeper, longer breaths. In turn, this leads us to tune in to the core where all the muscles exist, such as the scalenes, pectoralis major, external intercostals, internal intercostals, serratus anterior and diaphragm. Finally, there’s an energetic shift that happens when we’re able to control the breath. You may start to not only breathe in air but move energy throughout your body. When this is achieved, magic happens.

Get on your mat with us daily to see what this belly breath is all about. Book a class here!

Namaste to play,
Patricia B.

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