May 20, 2018
Meet Jenny! Equal parts inquisitive and intuitive, Jenny brings a unique level of technical, emotional and kinesthetic intelligence to her teaching. She is an experienced yoga teacher who has studied many modern movement and yoga systems including Forrest yoga, Yoga TuneUp, Functional Range Conditioning, strength training, bodywork, muscle testing and Eastern and Western energetics and anatomy. She has a knack for integrating the science and the “why” behind a movement with a deeply experiential “how” that gives the student the space to intuit and perceive through the breath and body. Join her for our upcoming summer mobility series!
Breath, Core & Spine: June 2
Conscious breathing is essential to moving in a freer, more powerful and integrated way. Your breath patterns organize your posture and nervous system in a way that can facilitate or inhibit your movement. The breath and the organs and musculature that it inhabits also constitute your most dynamic, adaptive and innate “core strength”. We will draw on this practice of breath as core strength to learn how to safely and more fully mobilize each segment of the spine. Expect self myofascial massage to explore different areas that affect breathing, pranayama practices to enliven from the inside out and a variety of carefully curated yoga and mobility work.
Hips + Lower Body: July 14
Starting from the feet, we will move up through the legs and pelvis to understand more fully how your typical patterns of walking, standing and hip hinging create a soft tissue and proprioceptive template that can inhibit or maximize your potential lower body mobility and power generation. We will explore how to transform this template with self myofascial massage, core and breath integration, passive & active mobilizations, daily functional movement habits as well as yoga and strength work.
Shoulders + Neck: Aug 4
Building on the skills learned in the Core & Hip/Lower Body workshops, we will explore how shoulder and neck stability and mobility is deeply affected by breath and core integration (or lack of) as well as fascial lines of tension that originate from the feet through the pelvis and core. With this in mind, we will learn to free up fuller range of motion as well create muscular positions of stability through individual joints of this area: scapula, shoulder joint, AC joint, and cervical spine. Through a variety of yoga and self myofascial massage, we will also learn to how to work in a way that relieves pain or restriction in these areas.
April 10, 2018
Ever what the heck we’re doing over at Yoga Athletex? We’ll here’s a little break down to the method behind all the madness going on in the HUSTLE room. All Athletex and YAX classes are high intensity explosive training and conditioning circuits designed to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat, build lean muscle, optimize the body’s hormone and physiological response to exercise while improving overall daily and athletic performance. I know, it’s a mouthful. But, had to get it out. It is truly made for EVERYone at ANY stage of athletic development (see LTAD model). Our circuits are made accessible to everyone regardless of age or fitness level through the use of progressions and regressions. Meaning we can modify or up-level most anything!
This type of high intensity explosive training triggers an improved physiological response to exercise by elevating activity of the endocrine system leading to increased hormone production (including growth hormone) which stimulates protein synthesis. This, in turn, leads to improved muscle growth, fat metabolism leading to a reduction in body fat, and increased metabolic rate for sustainable weight loss and effective weight management. It is important for people in the 30+ age bracket to participate in high intensity circuits, to stimulate hormone production because this is when a decline starts to take place. That’s right. I said it.
Our circuits will improve strength, speed, endurance, balance, flexibility, coordination, motor control and more through the OPT model used to build these circuits, approved by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). The movements are sequenced so that participants perform dissimilar consecutive exercises, promoting active recovery. Each circuit, throughout the year, aims to achieve performance in phase one (Stabilization Endurance), Phase two (Strength Endurance) and Phase five (Power) of the OPT model. We work to achieve high rep, low intensity sets within a 30 second period to fatigue the muscles, which will ensure that all muscle fibers are recruited. Clients who have been working with low reps and heavy weights for some time are often in dire need of a higher repetition strategy. As stated before, the neural and hormonal benefits of such protocols are much more effective for the speed and power state of the client/athlete than what has been previously believed and researched. It’s 2018, y’all. Don’t get complacent with 80’s training. You will find a full body workout with every circuit at YAX, work in every plane of motion and constantly be challenged to increase performance! Clients will optimize calories burned during the exercise, and will also experience nearly two times the post exercise caloric expenditure, in comparison to traditional workouts! That’s just an added bonus with no extra work. Can’t beat it.
In addition to our HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes, we also offer a full yoga schedule in our stunning FLOW room. You can move dynamically with breath as a means to sweat, restore and take active recovery. With styles from hatha, vinyasa and restorative, we have something for everyone. 2 for the price of one. Come get on the mat with us to really reap the benefits of our programming. Sign up HERE.
March 29, 2018
In light of the Masters starting this month, we’re doing a little spin off the golf course and taking it to the row.
Major Row Challenge: April 2-30 we’re featuring a different event each week.
Using the Row Machine, or Erg, complete each of the following four events during the timeframes indicated and log them on the challenge board. Meters can be completed throughout the week or all at once. This is an individual challenge. You do not need to belong to a team to participate. Meters must be entered on the challenge board. In studio meters only (to be done before or after class).
The Masters: Week 1, Apr. 2-7: 5000 meters *(50 pt. bonus if 5000 meters completed at once in under 20 min.)*
The Open: Week 2, Apr. 8–14: 500 meters *(50 pt. bonus if 500 meters completed at once in under 2.5 min.)*
The Championship: Week 3, Apr. 15–21: 2000 meters *(50 pt. bonus if 2000 meters completed at once in under 7 min.)*
The PYR (Professional YAX Rower): Week 4, Apr. 22–30: 10,000 meters
Who Can Participate
Anyone with a membership or package can participate in this challenge.
Incentives and Rewards
Participants who meet the challenge can enjoy: Name inclusion on the Texas Chalkboard displayed through May, a specially designed certificate, a YAX goodie bag and 500 Reward Points!
March 29, 2018
Not Seeing Results? Finding your sweat and shavasana every day is not enough. There are several other factors that go into being a well rounded, healthy athlete. Below are several areas to review and incorporate into your daily regime to build a better path toward total well being and start seeing results. Accomplish 80% of the below weekly and you are going places!
Eat WHOLE foods. Less processed food. More fruits and veggies.
Eat often. Fuel your body throughout the day with healthy fats, proteins and carbs (yep, carbs).
Drink ⅔ of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day! Stay hydrated.
Sleep and Recover
Get a minimum of 8 hours sleep every night.
Go to bed early, wake up early. Do what the sun does.
Sleep in a dark, quiet room (without your cell phone).
Don’t be afraid to take a cat nap before or after a workout.
Incorporate a weekly (if not daily) dynamic yoga and pranayama (breathwork) practice.
Find a hobby outside of sports or fitness (i.e., art, cooking, gardening, reading).
Attend mobility playshops.
Attend yoga for athletes and restorative classes.
Practice visualization techniques and meditation.
Incorporate more positive self talk.
Listen to motivating, positive music.
Find a present tense mantra: “I can touch 10 foot.” “I am an elite athlete.” “I am love.” “I can do great things.” “I have no fear.”
Surround yourself with positive, goal oriented people.
Make friends at YAX!
Build quality relationships.
Make sticky notes, write in a journal, set reminders. Do what you can to incorporate these practices into your daily life to heighten your overall success and build the WHOLE athlete. Ready, GO!
January 9, 2018
What is Functional Fitness and why do I need it more than anything right now?
Functional training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.
You need to be strengthening your muscles daily & stretching those same muscles to continue living a functional & healthy life. So, what prompted this blog is my wonderful mom. She is the Director of Wellness in Spring BranchISD and is leading a seminar on functional fitness today and asked me to describe what functional fitness meant to me. So, I brainstormed a little and thought, it’s actually really simple. What do you want to be able to do each day and can you do those things? Sure, maybe now you can, but what are you doing in your life that’s supporting proper movement so you can extend the years that you can do these things. I immediately start thinking about gardening and all of the movement that you need to do this pain free. Bending over, squatting, kneeling and pulling those darn weeds. Right now, I’m in month 3 of recovery from hip labrum repair arthroscopy surgery, and I can definitely not do any gardening, but I’m getting closer 🙂 I have been going to Physical Therapy 3 times/week to do my functional exercises to get me there some time this year (which is really exciting!). My functional movements have been extremely limited the past 3 months, unable to shower on my own, unable to shave my legs (big thank you to my mom for keeping my legs smooth when I had to go out in public!), couldn’t put socks or shoes on myself, couldn’t sit all the way down on the toilet without a hand rail, and the list continues. I saw how fast you can lose your strength and range of motion, and always want to train my body to be able to do what some people say are mundane tasks, like getting in and out of the car, or getting into the bath tub. I am in my late 20’s so I have gained my strength back pretty quickly, even though 3 months does not seem quick AT ALL! But, I can’t imagine being a little older when it is much harder to re-gain strength and range of motion. So, my point in all of this is to address the serious need for daily functional fitness. You never know when you are going to be limited, or lose your range of motion. Having some consistent training plan, will prep your body whenever that time comes (hopefully never for everyone) but realistically it could happen to any of us! It’s better to have something to work with then nothing and it’s better to start NOW then tomorrow. Not to get too philosophical, but this life is a gift and we should all be doing everything we can to enjoy it, take care of ourselves, and take care of our beautiful bodies. Even if you think you’re “not in shape” to “get in shape”- you need to let that go and just start. Start walking, take an easy yoga class, show up for a workout & do whatever you can! Just start & DO IT. My goal for 2018 is to get functional and encourage others to do the same!
Here are some common functional activities you need to be able to do, whether you think about it or not!
Getting in & out of the car
Getting out of bed
Stepping off a curb
Sitting in a chair/on toilet
Shaving your legs
Washing your hair
What Your Body Needs From You
Full Range Of Motion
Common Functional Movements To Help Keep You Living the Life You Want!
At Yoga Athletex, Patricia & I are both certified in FMS (Functional Movement Screens) that help us identify where we are showing imbalances in our bodies, limited range of motion & any asymmetries. We assess the body through various exercises, how it naturally moves and identify where you could use corrective exercises. We make personalized plans just for YOUR body, because we are all so different, and help you know what functional movements may be limited for you. We all have to start somewhere, and we believe we have created the perfect place to do it. <3
If you wanna chat more, just shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to book your FMS screen, sign up here: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=118632&stype=41&sTG=5
December 1, 2017
We wanted to share our personal favorite things list of 2017 with all of you! A little of what we have been loving lately, that make for great gifts or great self love items! We even are selling a few of these things in our studio!!
Of course this is on our list. We are tshirt/hoodie snobs, so we get the good stuff. Our new hoodie is super comfy & just perfect for the chilly mornings and evenings before & after yoga or your workout! Grab one in the studio for only $49!
Slow North Candles
These hand-poured candles are from our friends in Austin, Tx at Slow North (slownorth.com). They all smell so yummy and BONUS, we have them in our studio now!! So now you can grab one for yourself or for a friend! We even have these cute little gift bags, so all you have to do is decide who to give it to! $34.
Dr. Teal’s Epsom Bath Salts
Dr. Teals knows what’s up, especially for us athletes! These bath salts are perfect after a long day, or a tough YAX workout. Our favorites are Lavendar and Ginger & Clay. They feel amazing, they heal those achey muscles & joints and make you feel brand new. We get ours at HEB on Bunker Hill on our way home. 🙂
Lululemon Love Tee with Yoga Athletex Logo 😉
We love a good tee, but love a v-neck tee even more! You can workout, practice yoga, go out & sleep in these overly comfy v-neck tee’s. We love them so much we get our logo printed on them. Because Lulu doesn’t do wholesale for businesses, you can always pick one up & ask us to get the Yoga Athletex logo printed on them, if you love us THAT much! 🙂 If not, just enjoy them.
J Crew Dreamy Cotton Pajama Pants
These are our FAVORITE pants to sleep in! The name explains it all. We have them in all the colors, black, grey, blue, & stripped! They come in regular, petite, and TALL! 🙂 Grab these cozy pants here: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/pajamas/dreamy-pant/C3730?color_name=navy
High Garden Tea
We LOVE everything at this place, but a few of our favorites are “Overworked” “Tummy” & “Ginger Mint Revive.” You can order online here highgardentea.com since they are located in Nashville, Tennessee! And if you ever visit Nashville, go to their store it’s so cute!
Manduka Pro Mats
These lifetime guaranteed mats are THA best. We’ve both had ours for over 5 years and still use them everyday. We have these in studio in purple, teal, black, & sage green. We also can always order your favorite color & have it in the studio for you! $110 Regular, $136 X-Long for all of us tall folk.
We truly hope you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS this year & that this gives you some ideas on your holiday gift giving! We love supporting small businesses (duh) but it really does make a difference when you support small. Most of our goodies in our studio are from real people, making things they love, to support their dreams. So, this year think about supporting small, it helps in a BIG way!
Sidenote: If you already have all of these things, we also have GIFT CARDS in the studio that you can put any amount to. Give the gift of health this year!
Namaste To Play,
Kalynn & Patricia
November 12, 2017
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
ALICE LOUISE BLUNDEN
More on common myths about tight hips: https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/5-common-myths-athletes-tight-hips
October 28, 2017
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!
- 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
- 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
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!