A Professional Yogi Says Now Is The Time To Start An At-Home Practice
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, fitness looks and feels differently right now, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As ironic as it sounds, staying indoors can actually open the door for you to try new programs and practices sans outside judgements or gym phobias you might be harboring. And because an international pandemic is bound to bring up feelings of stress and confusion, it’s important to choose exercises that not only benefit your physical health, but that also cater to your mental health as well, like yoga.
Contrary to the perception that whimsical posts of wellness gurus standing on their heads in designer leggings shape, yoga is so much more than just stretching one minute and striking complicated poses the next. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic discipline that connects the mind, body, and soul through a combination of physical poses, flows, and meditation. You also don’t need to be flexible to hop on the mat and begin. You just need to approach the practice with an open mind and an open heart.
To find out how beginner yogis can kickstart their own at-home practice, I reached out to Julie Weinstock, a RYT® 200 certified yoga instructor who teaches classes at Drunk Yoga® in New York City.
Read on to find out how you can find your zen during this time and thereafter.
Q: Why is now the perfect time for beginners to start an at-home yoga practice?
A: Yoga encourages you to look inward and understand how you feel and react to current circumstances.
“One of my mentors used to describe yoga as “the practice of dealing with the consequences of who you really are.” It’s hard for me to think of a better time for people to get acquainted with themselves.
Aside from allowing us to dive inward, yoga teaches you a lot about dealing with the unexpected. We can’t always control what’s happening around us (hello 2020!) but we can find our breath. We can choose to respond mindfully, rather than react impulsively. Another mentor of mine used to say, “Life gives us situations and we make them problems.” Yoga is essentially “How to Deal With the Unexpected 101.” How will you show up for yourself when things get tough?”
Q: What kinds of equipment or props do you actually need to start an at-home practice?
A: Start with yourself and a soft surface.
“The great news about yoga is that the most essential piece of equipment is yourself. Especially if you’re just beginning to practice yoga, I would say limit your purchases to a mat. In time, you might consider ordering a yoga block or yoga wheel. Until then, you can absolutely use household items to deepen your practice. To replace a block, you can use a few hardcover books or even a firm pillow. If you’d like, you can also bring in a blanket for savasana. (I suppose quarantine yoga could include a savasana Snuggie.)”
Q: What are some of the best resources beginner yogis should take advantage of right now?
A: The internet.
“When it comes to class recommendations, there is no “one size fits all.” Some yoga classes will get your heart racing, others are much more restorative. Yoga is generally a more introspective experience, but one of the companies I work for makes class about community and is centered around interaction. It comes down to personal preference.
For those seeking community, I recommend (and teach) Drunk Yoga®. Drunk Yoga classes are designed specifically to cultivate joy. No, you don’t actually get drunk! In fact, you don’t even need to drink to participate. You can choose from a traditional wine yoga class or even opt for coffee yoga. Fun twist: (pun intended) classes are led with beverage in-hand. Expect laughter and dance moves.
For those seeking a good sweat sesh, I’ve come to really love taking Y7 classes. Y7 generally offers hip hop hot yoga. Yes, you read that right! While their studios are closed at the moment, you can absolutely access their classes on their website. Some classes you need a membership for (which comes out to $16/month) but they’re offering a free one week trial at the moment.
For those looking to get their feet wet and maybe sample a few different types of yoga, I recommend apps such as Down Dog and even Peloton®, (yes, as in the bike) that are offering free trials to their users right now. YouTube is also one of my favorite resources for finding free workouts. Different people connect to different instructors so don’t be afraid to search around a bit for the class that you will most enjoy.
I personally am offering virtual (Vinyasa) corporate classes, and will soon be opening classes to the public. To keep up to date with my teaching, you can find me on Instagram @jwuless.”
Q: What are some ways seasoned yogis can get creative with their at-home routine?
A: Listen to your body.
“I’m so sympathetic to those struggling to transition from studio classes to their living rooms. Yoga can be practiced anywhere but there’s something truly special about feeling the collective energy of a room. It’s what I miss most about teaching in person.
To anyone looking to spice up their at-home practice, here’s my advice: If an idea simultaneously thrills you and terrifies you, that’s what you should be doing. That’s where your magic is. Yoga is much more than headstands or brand name leggings. Dig a little deeper. After all, they say the only way out is through.”
Skincare Trends of 2020: Yass 👍 or Pass 👎?
Hey there! There have been numerous skincare trends that have been going viral this year. Although just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it’s effective. ☆ ANTI-POLLUTION If you live in a city, you’re likely exposed to all types of pollution such as free radicals, UV exhaust fumes and even blue light screens are part of the problem (source: HuffPost). I live in San Francisco, CA and definitely deal with the issues mentioned above especially pre-covid. Studies have shown that those who live in larger cities age faster than their suburban counterparts and there is a correlation between air pollution and suffering from skin problems. DE’s D-bronzi and c-firma claim to fight against these issues. •C-Firma contains 15% l-absorbing acid and 1% Vitamin E which create a hardworking complex that help neutralize pollution and environmental stressors (source: byrdie). This product is one of my HG and I use this religiously. I have seen improvements regarding scars and hyperpigmentation and I think the anti-pollution effect is just a bonus •D-Bronzi contains raw cocoa powder which mimic the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D without the damaging effects of UV rays. I am not convinced this will do more than your typical tinted moisturizer with skincare ingredients. However I do love this product especially during the summer time. This also help me darken my foundation needed. • I love how my favorite skincare products contain anti-pollution protection, but I’m not convinced simply because there hasn’t been enough research. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy products specifically for anti-pollution purposes. ☆ANTI BLUE LIGHT •My tinted sunscreen from Elta MD contains ingredients that can potentially protect the skin from blue light damage. •I honestly don’t agree with the anti- blue light hype. Research show that dermatologists are not fully convinced that blue light protection products will do more than a mineral sunscreen with a strong dose of iron oxide. ☆ NIACINAMIDE + HYALURONIC ACID •Both of elta and supergoop sunscreens I own contain Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. •HA has been proven to plump, moisturize the skin and niacinamide has a ton of benefits to the skin. It strengthens the skin’s barrier allowing it to hold moisture better for prolong hydration •I am on board with the HA and niacinamide trend. Research shows that both of these ingredients are beneficial to the skin. Long story short, I am not on board with anti-pollution and anti- blue light skincare products simply because not enough research has been done. However, skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid and niacinamide is a different story! I believe those two ingredients are definitely worth the hype! If you made it this far, congratulations because I know that was a lot. Thank you for reading :) Francesca 💋 #CheriePartner
Hair Growth Remedies You Need To Know
We all crave long luscious locks, right? I know I do. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with Rapunzel-like hair. Hair growth depends on several factors, including diet, environment, and genetic history. However, some remedies can help keep strands healthy, ultimately allowing them to grow long and strong. I’m sharing my favorite hair growth hacks that I swear by. About My Hair: I personally have very dry, long, curly hair. I tend to get a lot of breakage because of heat styling and occasional chemical treatments (highlights). My biggest hair concern is keeping my hair and scalp healthy. My Go-To Hair Growth Products: Biotin: I take 1 biotin pill every day. While this may not be suitable for all (always ask your doctor first), I did get an OK from my doctor to take them. I do think they really make a difference. I’ve tried a bunch of biotin brands before, and these seem to work best for my hair. Plus, they're pretty inexpensive. You get a 3-month supply for under $20. These are made with coconut oil as well, which helps keep hair hydrated. Briogeo - Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager Scalp Massager: Healthy hair starts at the scalp! Once I learned that I’ve never looked back. I use my scalp massager by Briogeo around 2-4 times per week to give my scalp some much-needed love! Massaging the scalp helps improve blood and circulation. When you have increased blood flow, the hair follicles are getting more nutrition. This specific massager from Briogeo was just under $20. Every time I use this, my hair and head feel incredible after. Hair Growth Tips: #1. Don’t use too much heat. Take it from me. I have scorched my hair so many times. #2. Eat a lot of protein. #3. Don’t over brush wet hair. I only use a wide-tooth comb on my hair when it’s wet.
NEW 🚨 Anti-Irritation CBD Lip Balm 🍃
Kosas partnered with a brand called Flora + Bast, which sources pure, unprocessed CBD products for skincare and wellness. Together, they made this lip balm. It gives you a lot of ingredients for the cost, and is great for dry, acne-prone skin. I would recommend it the most for people who do sports, or in Fall/Winter weather. 🌿 INGREDIENT BREAKDOWN 🌿 ￼MAIN : Full Spectrum Cannabis Extract 50 mg Full Spectrum cannabis is the unprocessed version of CBD. It keeps all it’s aspects and nutrients, including THC (but less than 0.03%, so it won’t make you high). Research shows that CBD reduces sebum production and soothes irritation- making it ideal to control acne and redness. Our bodies naturally produce a cannabinoid called anandamide- without it, you have dry, irritated skin. CBD naturally helps replenish that. 50mg is potent for a lip balm. Some balms have 10 mg, so this is definitely not cheating you on ingredients. For other parts of your skin, CBD recommendations can go as high as 350 mg to treat pain. So 50 mg is a good range for the thin, sensitive skin on your lips. ￼Hyalauronic Acid A natural limp plumper that’s naturally derived from sugar- So it’s super unlikely to cause a reaction. We have HA naturally in our connective tissue. It keeps us lubricated, and it can bind ~1000 times its weight in water. What this means for your lips is that it’ll hold onto hydration, making them look plumper. ￼Konjac Root This pairs perfectly with HA. It has glucomannan, which holds ~50 times its weight in water. It’s turns the balm texture into a gel, and is antimicrobial. Together with HA, they have a plumping, anti-wrinkling effect. ￼Extra Ingredients Boy this little balm is packed! Here’s just a few more moisturizers it contains: castor seed oil, jojoba esters , grape seed oil, avocado oil, mango seed butter, rice bran extract, etc. 💕 APPLICATION 💕 My lips are prone to flaking because of harsh acne medication. They also get easily red and irritated. This balm is advertised as creamy and soothing. When I apply it, it goes on thick- but doesn’t look thick. It has a natural-ish finish that leans glossy. It feels perfect for winter because it’s so creamy. And it feels a little minty- Which I found really relaxing. The product didn’t just sit on my lips- After hours, it felt like it had absorbed its moisture. The texture reminds me of theNeutrogena - Lip Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15 ($2.99 for 0.15 oz). But that product has a much shorter ingredient, with castor oil as its main moisturizer. Kosas product ($20 for 0.17) is priced higher, but it’s worth it for all the extra ingredients you get. If you have sensitive lip concerns, this product is worth checking out. Its slim packaging makes it easy to slip into your bag, and it’ll keep chapping under control.
Briogeo Scalp Revival at the Sephora Sale
The November Sephora sale is coming up soon, so I wanted to tell you all about my thoughts on these Briogeo Scalp Revival products. Note: I will not be talking about the shampoo. I really love Briogeo as a brand. Their Curl Charisma line has really helped me bring my curls back to life. However, I have super sensitive skin all over my body and this includes my scalp. I have to treat it right or else I get HELLA itchy and I also get dandruff occasionally. Here are my thoughts and experiences with Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Conditioner and Scalp Treatment Serum: ￼Briogeo Scalp Revival Conditioner: Briogeo - Scalp Revival Charcoal + Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner ok, so you can clearly see that I’ve rated this 1/5 stars... but let me explain why: my hair is SO DRY. It’s really frustrating having to use lightweight products near my scalp, but having to use super thick creams on the rest of my hair. I thought this product might solve that problem by, you know, conditioning my hair a good amount all around. Nope. This conditioner has the same consistency as their shampoo, just minus the exfoliating beads...they describe it as a “gel conditioner” but it freaking lathers dude like a conditioner LATHERING?!?! No thank you. It dried out my hair so badly and did not give me any type of moisture whatsoever. So, obviously, this is not the right product for my hair type, but who would benefit from this? I would definitely recommend this conditioner if you have the oiliest hair on the planet. Like, wash your hair daily oily, no curl, no texture, just pin straight hair. That is the only type of hair I’d recommend this to. I got this in a travel kit (2oz) which I would recommend picking up if this sounds like your kind of product! ￼Briogeo Scalp Revival Treatment Serum:Briogeo - Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Serum ok, so we are obviously full 180 here. Let me tell you about my lover. My partner in crime. The treatment serum. Oh my gosh. This has SAVED my scalp on multiple occasions. I use it every other time I wash my hair, so probably twice a month. It’s a lightweight serum that treats itchy and dry scalp but it doesn’t make your scalp oily AT ALL!! I love it. I part my hair into sections around the front hairline and crown where I get the itchiest, and apply it while my hair is wet after I get out of the shower. It’s kind of pricey (1oz for $32) but a bottle lasts forever for me. Like, at least a year! I highly recommend this for those with an itchy scalp. Ok, but why tea tree and charcoal? They have healing and cleansing properties for your scalp without being overly harsh or stripping to your hair. Briogeo’s products are 6-free: no harsh sulfates, no parabens, no silicones, no phthalates, no artificial dyes, no DEA. This supports healthy overall hair. Have you tried anything from Briogeo? #CheriePartner
A quick Cheat guide to choosing the right Acid ✨
I find this Flowchart to be a cheat guide to start with your Chemical exfoliation routin. 😊✨ Exfoliation is one of the steps in your skin care routine that can elevate your current routine from good to great. So often I find my skin starting to feel a little bit dull, and I realize that I have been leaving out exfoliation. When I wake up after a night that I have applied a chemical exfoliant, (I really like The Ordinary’s 7% Glycolic Acid, Sunday Riley's Good Genes) The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution SUNDAY RILEY - Good Genes All in One Lactic Acid Treatment I notice my skin has a much more rested and fresh look. Also, my skin has that 'Glass skin' look and feel. My textural irregularities get even and my skin tone is evened out! Some of the skin concerns that exfoliation is great for targeting include: 🌻Enlarged pores 🌻Uneven skin tone/Hyperpigmentation 🌻Rough skin texture 🌻Fine lines So… back to the big question: ✨What does exfoliate mean? Skin is consistently renewing its cells, by shedding its surface layer. When dead skin cells are flushed away and a fresh layer of cells comes to the surface, the new layer is younger and smoother in appearance. This process is frequent in younger skin, however slows with age. The process of exfoliating is advancing the process of removing dead skin cells and revealing the fresh new layer of healthy skin either physically or chemically. Physical exfoliators are granular, using natural beads or crystals that are rubbed on the skin, sloughing away the dead cells on the top layer of skin. Chemical exfoliants work by targeting the bonds between cells, breaking these bonds, allowing the dead skin cells to break away. Chemical exfoliation is able to penetrate deeper into the skin, targeting congestion that is associated with clogged pores leading to acne. In short exfoliation simply means to shed away dead skin cells with the help of a product. Want to know which exfoliating acids are best for your skin? Follow through the flowchart in Image above to figure out which is best for you! Here are some options/products I love and you can choose from: The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution SUNDAY RILEY - Good Genes All in One Lactic Acid Treatment The Ordinary - Mandelic Acid 10% + HA NATURIUM - BHA Liquid Exfoliant 2% The Ordinary - Salicylic Acid 2% Masque THE inkey LIST - Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) Gentle Exfoliating Toner TULA SKINCARE - Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Toner Allies of Skin - Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum
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