Yoga Journey Continues At Opal

March 13, 2013

If you have been reading KERF since my Charlotte days, you might remember how much I fell in love with hot vinyasa yoga. I first tried it at Yoga One in Charlotte and then my favorite studio, Y2 Yoga opened and I really fell head over heels.

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Y2 had it all: heat, rockin’ music, lavender towels, great assists, challenging classes. Heck, I used to get up at 5:30am on a SATURDAY to go to Superflow class! [Yay for Charlotte friends!]

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So when I moved to Charlottesville, the first thing I did was to find the hot vinyasa studio. This place is so cool there just had to be one, right? After some searching and asking around, I realized there wasn’t a hot vinyasa studio here. Major sad face.

I tried Bikram but didn’t love it. I did a month-long trial at the Ashtanga studio here and enjoyed it but didn’t feel it was worth the cost long-term for me. My gym also has an amazing yoga program, but the rooms are always cold and the music never good! The closest I got to my beloved hot vinyasa was the 108 sun salutations that AYC put on one solstice. There are so many types of yoga for different personalities, and it’s the cool, modern style I’m after – in a warm-to-hot room. [I was in a class once at another studio when a student interrupted the class to ask the instructor to turn the air conditioning on – and she did! I was freezing by the end – brrrr!]

So this is all the long way of saying that we finally have a rockin’ yoga studio here in Cville!!

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Opal Yoga opened on Valentine’s Day. The studio features vinyasa classes, in heat (but not hot), with great tunes. It’s not quitttttte the same as the hot style of Y2, but it’s 90% there and I loved both of the classes I took so far.

The studio is lofty and gorgeous – love the Caribbean feel. There’s even a class set to Reggae music that I can’t wait to try.

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There’s obviously no childcare, so it’s hard for me to get to a class, but it makes it all the more special when I do. I have realized how hunched and stiff my body is since having a baby. Possibly from being pregnant and just not being able to move as much and possibly from all of the baby carrying, picking up and bending over I do now. Downward dog feels juicier than ever. I was humbled the first time I tried to do wheel – my body clearly doesn’t have the same flexibility it had when I was practicing yoga regularly. I would love to get to one class a week, but with a little one that’s going to be a challenge. I bought a 20-class pass on opening weekend, so I’m going to have to find time to make it work!

I went to a DJ class this week in the evening and woke up super sore the next morning. Yay for yoga burn.

Three keys to a fantastic yoga class [in my opinion]:

1) A very warm (preferably hot) room. Cold yoga just doesn’t work for me.

2) Vinyasa flow. I want to flowwwww. I like to hold poses like half moon for a challenge near the end of class, but if I don’t do at least 10 sun salutations to down-dogs I feel incomplete.

3) Groovin’ tunes. Some might feel that music distracts the mind but music allows my mind to become empty. Without music I just think but with it I get lost and get to that happy yoga mindset.

I haven’t found the perfect class at Opal yet, but I know my perfect match is there!

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Summer rooftop yoga? Yes please!

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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sara @ fitcupcaker March 13, 2013 at 8:24 am

Im in for summer rooftop yoga for sure. How fun would that be!

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2 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

Rooftop yoga sounds amazing! I’m a fan of music during classes too – one of the studios I go to used to do a Hip Hop class on Saturdays, which was really fun.

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3 Lindsey @ Pas de Deux March 13, 2013 at 8:36 am

Glad you’re enjoying Opal! Is Ina teaching there? I do Ashtanga with her, and I bet she would lead a terrific class! Rooftop yoga sounds fabulous–I would love to try it when the weather gets warm enough!

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4 Renee King March 13, 2013 at 8:41 am

Rooftop yoga sounds amazing and wonderful. It will put an extra set of relaxtion into the yoga. Hot room is a must, it helps your muscles to be a little bit more flexible in my opinion, and of course you sweet so, you are burning more calories. Not sure if that is a true statement, but I think it is the same consept as wearing a sweat suit when you run in summer, to make you sweat. Great post, as always

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5 Carly @ Snack Therapy March 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

That studio looks so cool. I love the floaty, light window treatments. They make for a very open space. I’m not a yoga fan myself (maybe one day), but it’s so exciting that you’ve found somewhere. Wahoo!

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6 Shel@PeachyPalate March 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

That sounds like my kind of yoga! The music would make it way more appealing!

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7 Tara March 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

I’ve been to a roof top yoga class and it was so fun! (I did end up people watching toward the end)

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8 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

Sounds like a great studio! I haven’t been doing nearly as much yoga since moving because I haven’t quite found the right studio yet. My gym’s yoga classes aren’t very good. I find they work for the super relaxing and stretching but not when I want a GOOD class.

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9 Christine @ BookishlyB March 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

Just out of curiosity, what music are you looking for? The studio I go to mostly plays you’re stereotypical New Age, but I took a clas lately where the instructor played everything from Elton John to Lady Gaga, and I loved it.

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10 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I like anything from mashups to Enya! Variety and recognizing them are best

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11 Amanda March 13, 2013 at 9:08 am

I teach Yoga, and one of the places I teach has limited heat. It is a challenge to do “cold” Yoga :) Also, you are right, everyone has to find their own practice. Good thing there are so many types of Yoga! I would love roof top Yoga somewhere. I can just feel the sun on my face now on this chilly day :)

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12 Lee March 13, 2013 at 9:15 am

I really wish I could find a yoga studio here in Atlanta that played good music. All I’ve found is silence or new age-y stuff. I want fun music!

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13 Katie March 13, 2013 at 9:32 am

Rooftop vinyasa….ahhh. I’m relaxing just thinking about it! I also love vinyasa, and know how hard it can be to find a class that fits what you’re looking for. Also, if you ask around you may find that another student has an older child who will watch mazen in the next room and can get you if there’s any issues. (thats what my yoga studio does).

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14 Karen March 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

Oh gosh, I vividly remember you falling in love w/yoga (and your adorable instructor!) in Charlotte. I agree that there’s nothing like a perfect-fit yoga studio and instructor. Here’s hoping you find it at Opal! (Love the space!)

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15 Jane @ Not Plain So Jane March 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

I think music is key to yoga as well! I’ve even taken yoga to popular music & that was a cool twist for a flow class. I just took a roof-top sunset yoga class in Venice, it was amazing.

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16 Leslie March 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

I haaate when yoga rooms are cold. When I’m laying there, sweaty, in the dark afterward, I sometimes pull a blanket on top of me because I’m shivering! I also like vinyasa. I went to that hot Bikram yoga place in Charlottesville when I was a student at UVA and I felt like I was constantly flipping and turning and all over the place…no flow!

Glad this place sounds good. If I end up back in Charlottesville, I’ll have to try it out.

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17 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

I hate the fish flop!

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18 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

I absolutely LOVE hot yoga, but I don’t love just regular yoga as much. I don’t know why, but for some reason my mind doesn’t wander/get bored as much when I’m thinking about how hot and sweaty I’m getting. My favorite place here in Chicago is Core Power Yoga!

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19 Lynn @ the actor's diet March 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

I miss my restorative yoga classes!!!

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20 Leslie March 13, 2013 at 10:07 am

Hope you find the class of your dreams. I just went to my first yoga class in maybe 10 years. I loved it! It was super relaxing and there was lots of stretching. Unfortunately, I was a guest at an expensive club so now I will be looking for a place too. Once a week sounds perfect.

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21 Clare @ Fitting It All In March 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

makes me so excited for my move to cville!!!

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22 Sarah March 13, 2013 at 10:36 am

That is right down the street from my office! I’m excited to have a place where I could maybe pop in for a class after work.

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23 Julia March 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

I practice at Y2 – love it! I’ve tried other studios in Charlotte, but Y2 is definitely my favorite!

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24 Alex @ Raw Recovery March 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

The yoga studio you went to in Charlotte sounds like my type of place! I got really into yoga when I lived in Philly last year and had the perfect studio a block away from my house and the membership cost was very reasonable. Can’t get better than that, right? Well, I moved back to Colorado (where you’d expect decent yoga studios) and I have yet to find one that suits my needs. I tried a Core Power class on Sunday but it really isn’t my style. I like a good workout to be a side benefit of my practice, not the primary focus. I really hope I can find a good one! I’m happy for you that you found a place that has pretty much everything you want!!

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25 Allyson March 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

Happy Registered Dietician Day :)

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26 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks!

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27 Leslee @ Her Happy Balance March 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

The reggae themed class sounds like a blast! Let us know what you think if you try it!

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28 emily March 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

Yay for good yoga! I love a warm class here and I will be so sad to lose it in the move.

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29 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite March 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

Glad you’ve finally found the “one” yoga studio! I don’t mind my yoga rooms to be on the cold side…because by the end of my power yoga I’m dripping in sweat anyway :)

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30 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh March 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

So glad you found a place that you love. That would be a great gift for someone to get you a gift certificate (if they have them) and an offer to watch the little one while you go! :)

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31 Dayna March 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

You should hire a college student to watch the baby periodically so that you can get there more often!

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32 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! March 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

Those are definitely my three keys to a great yoga class as well! At least those are the three things that I know will make me enjoy the class! I love flowing and power moves! Plus great music is always energizing and motivating! And who can forget getting a great sweat from the heat?!

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33 Caitlin March 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

aw i love the old picture of us :)

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34 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm

It’s so hard to find “the one” yoga studio or class. I had a favorite class and teacher but then they switched times and I haven’t been able to follow. Super major sad face. I’m counting down the days till Yoga in the Park starts back up here. My kids might be old enough this year to actually go with me so we can all rock our asana! ;)

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35 lee March 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Congrats on finding a studio that you like! Finding a good yoga studio/instructor is always on my list of “things I hate having to find when I move to a new place” (right up there with hair stylist and church) Even though I appreciate the broad spectrum of yoga styles, that also seems to make it even more difficult to find the right fit. Glad you’re finding yours! =)

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36 Maria March 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm

That studio is beautiful!!! Finding your “studio home” is definitely a big deal and I have yet to do that since I moved to a new city. A hot yoga studio just opened but I was so in love with my old studio that I’m having separation anxiety.

I hope you find the class that fits you perfectly soon!

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37 Jenny Michelle March 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I’m may be going to college near Charlotte next year! Did you know anyone that went to Davidson College?

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38 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Only ME!? And all my friends : ) Did you know that’s where I went? It’s a fabulous place to be!

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39 Jenny Michelle March 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I didn’t know you went there!! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years, I can’t believe I didn’t know. So it sounds like you had a great experience there? The only thing I’m worried about is the rigor of the classes and the size of the school.

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40 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I did! Class of ’05! The best part of Davidson is the academics – extremely rigorous but very rewarding. And it was smaller than my high school but felt so much bigger. Hope you love it!

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41 Janet March 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Have you tried BodyFlow? It is from the same company (Les Mills) that makes BodyPump! I know you said you don’t like “cold” yoga, but BodyFlow has a good pace to the class that you don’t even notice the temperature!

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42 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I haven’t ever seen one of those classes. They don’t have it at my gym.

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43 Janet March 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Oh, well you should try it out if you ever get the chance! It’s not just yoga, it combines yoga, tai chi, and pilates. It is a great supplement to BodyPump!

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44 Curry March 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I’ve gone as far as to write a biz plan and look at properties to open a Baptiste inspired yoga studio in Cville. The town is saturated with studios, but none of them offer the 90 degree 90 minute flow class. We need a baptiste studio – I go to down dog whenver I’m in dc. His style is the best for me.

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45 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Really!? I would support you any way I can : )

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46 Shanna March 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Kath, Thanks for the post highlighting Opal. I am looking forward to giving it a second shot soon.

Curry, I would love a Baptiste style studio in Cville! I went for years in Boston and was heartbroken to move and no longer had that as an option. Go for it!

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47 Lisa @bitesforbabies March 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Nice looking studio! I could never do hot yoga…I HATE sweating,lol!!!

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48 Miwa @ Motion for Peace March 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm

YAY for yoga!! Good for you for sticking with it and finding a studio that fits! Looks like a great place! =)

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49 Lindsay March 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I have always wanted to try hot yoga, but I’m very intimidated!

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50 Pamela March 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Next time you are in Wilmington you sh try a hot flow class at Be Unlimited. Lots of flow with lots of different and challenging postures, 104 degrees, great music (different style depending on instructor), and the awesome lavender washcloths at the end — my favorite part!

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51 Erin @ The Elliptical Chronicles March 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I did my first hot yoga class last summer and that’s what really kick-started my return to yoga, and I”m so grateful for it.

I totally agree with all your preferences for a good yoga class (especially a requirement of the room being AT LEAST warm).

Glad you found a studio you really jive with – also, it was really great of you to have tried out so many different studios and types of yoga!

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52 Tiffany March 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Hi Kath,

Great post! I would love to get into yoga and your post really inspired me :)

Did you hear google reader will be retired in July 2013! Do you know of another way we can access the blogs we love in an easy to read format? (its just so convenient to have a list of the blogs that are updated)

Thanks!

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53 KathEats March 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I just heard this and am looking into Feedly, which I like so far! It syncs with GR

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54 Tiffany March 13, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Thanks! I just added it. It seems great! I think the site is experiencing some difficulty though. The page will not load correctly.

But I love the layout and I think the pictures look better. Also, I love how you can choose your own color theme :)

By the way, the oats you made the other day sounded great! Can you share the measurements for the oats, buckwheat, water and cook time?

Thank you!

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55 Katherine March 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

There is nothing that compares to that amazing feeling after a good stretch!

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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56 Diana @ Eating Made Easy March 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I love yoga too and find it hard to find the time to go to a class I just joined My Yoga Online and it’s pretty great if you are a do it at home yoga gal. The videos are really high quality and there are endless ones to choose from plus it’s super affordable. I’d love to try hot yoga and have been toying with the idea of trying bikrum.

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57 Annie March 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Yoga essentials for me= a studio that actually emphasizes all eight limbs of yoga, not just asana or sweating for the sake of sweating (hot yoga).

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58 Mary Anne March 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I love yoga — but it’s gentle yoga for me all the way. Music doesn’t matter so much.

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59 Kathy W. March 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm

sounds good, but no Tanner. That Charlotte yoga had it goin’ on. ;)

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60 Dana Stern March 14, 2013 at 3:30 am

I love Yoga. Nothing makes me feel so relaxed and good about myself as yoga classes in the evening after work.

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61 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) March 14, 2013 at 5:42 am

Mmm…I just let out a sigh just THINKING of summer time rooftop yoga! How lovely would that be?

And the studio looks fantastic! I wish there were something similar around where I live…maybe something trendy like Opal will open up near me someday too. :D

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62 Lindsay March 14, 2013 at 6:18 am

SO glad you’ve found the right studio, here in Seoul I JUST found a studio that I love and now we are about to move! However I’ll soak it up now to keep down the relocation-stress;) I agree with you, the room needs to be warm-hot and I gotta have music to groove to!

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63 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 14, 2013 at 7:28 am

Vinyasa yoga is so much more fun for me. I would love to try a hot vinyasa yoga class–looks amazing!

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64 Liz @ I Heart Vegetables March 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

That sounds awesome! I took some classes at Hot House Yoga last fall and I really enjoyed it!

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65 Rachel March 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

Kath, you and Matt should totally open up a natural cafe/ yoga studio! You can serve your delicious oatmeal creations in the morning and his bread & beers throughout the afternoon. I’d totally make the trip from Georgia just to visit it :)

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66 Erin Motz March 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

I teach hot vinyasa classes! Granted they’re in FL, but still had to give myself a little shout-out! lol ;-)

I love the look of the studio! Cozy but modern. Hope you continue to love it!

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67 Fran March 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I would ask for that AC in a heartbeat. Sorry, the concept of hot yoga skeeves me!

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68 Rebecca March 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Off the topic of yoga…..Kath, I just saw you in a magazine ad for Rachael Ray’s dog food! I didn’t know you had a dog – (s)he must be camera shy :)

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69 KathEats March 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I was actually quoted for the people part of the feature – the dog trainer handled the dogs!

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70 Lindsay @ prettylittleparadise March 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm

that studio just looks SO pretty!!!!

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71 Vidya March 15, 2013 at 4:00 am

Sorry for asking a silly question. I am so clueless about yoga. What is the deal about the room being warm/hot?? Don’t you feel uncomfortable and sticky? Or does the warmth help reduce more calories??
Also I took only one or two yoga classes, though they are beginner level asanas I couldn’t do them easily as I wasn’t flexible at all :-/ I felt VERY awkward. I so want to start enjoying yoga and make it a part of my lifestyle!! Are there any tips you can share to improve flexibility or is it an inborn talent and can’t be developed??:-/

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72 KathEats March 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

It just helps me feel so much more limber. Plus I have issues with being cold so I prefer to do all exercise in warm rooms (Body Pump, etc. included)

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73 miss delisha March 16, 2013 at 6:02 am

i would so love to do yoga on a rooftop and enjoy the scenery whilst doing yoga – amazing! i go to hot yoga and having a hot environment during yoga is intense and helps you feel so much more better and stronger. its is really good for your joints and improves flexibility. its also good for releasing your stresses and excellent as a antenatal pregnancy scheme.

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74 Kim March 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I’m so happy you’re back to yoga. I have found that it’s my number 1 best way to get time to myself as a working mom. So good for the mind, body, and spirit. Have you ever tried Forrest Yoga? It’s my favorite style by far. It really emphasizes a relaxed neck which is good for me!!

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75 Kelly March 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I’m glad you found your way back to yoga. I’m with you. I love HOT yoga. I tend to gravitate toward any class that has hot in the title. I do love Bikram though but can only make it to the studio once a week. Is your yard big enough to have your own “yoga party”? If you know a local instructor you might want to ask about that when it gets a bit warmer.

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76 Ashley March 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Our taste in Yoga in very similar. I recently joined a hot yoga studio (1 of 3 in the entire state of good ole Mississippi haha!) I absolutely love it…especially hot power yoga! Like you said in your post, I will even get up at 5am for it!

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77 Grace April 5, 2013 at 8:07 am

Great looking studio and great to see the snow (i love snow) but that heating needs to be turned up full to warm a room of that size up lol

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