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.”
Colourpop Velvet LUX vs Ultra Blotted Lip
COLOURPOP - Lux Velvet Liquid Lipstick Collection I currently own the colors Puddin’ (burnt red orange) and Room Service (warm terra-cotta) and I’m loving them both as wearable everyday lip colors for warm undertones! The formula is mousse-y which I love, is not drying, feels like I’m wearing a balm when I press my lips together but doesn’t not transfer. The formula doesn’t last forever like a traditional liquid lip but stays on longer than other velvet lip formulas I’ve used. I am able to add many layers without any problems at all! COLOURPOP - Ultra Blotted Lip I’ve heard great things about the blotted lip and the formula indeed creates an “ombré” look on the lip. The formula dries much quicker than the LUX and does not transfer. Unlike the Velvet LUX, it’s not as comfortable rubbing my lips together. I do love the color I got (sleepy eyes), as it is one of the few rose nudes that work well on my warm undertone! However, I am not loving the fact that if I add two layers for a bolder look, the formula will pill on top of each other and looks streaky. I’d say the blotted lip is more of a lip stain, serving as a one layer wonder. Cheers to 💄
TIPS FOR GETTING LONG LASHES (that stay curled!)
I don’t have naturally long lashes. Or even full looking lashes. But I feel like I’ve found the perfect combo for naturally long and full looking lashes with the combination. Here is what I do! 1) CURL YOUR LASHES. (AND IN 3 PLACES) shu uemura - Eyelash curler What I mean by curling in 3 places is curling it once at the base of the lashes, once in the middle of the lash-length and once near the tips. This gives a very pretty, soft curl that actually looks like a curled lash compared to a crimped “L-shape” lash that you would get with curling in just one place. I’ve used this same eyelash curler for almost 10 years and it still gives me the BEST curl and actually lasts on my naturally very-straight lashes. (Obviously I have changed the rubber pads every 2-3 years too!) This just helps to fan out the lashes and point them upwards to show the full length. 2) DEFINE THE LASHLINE. DollyWink - Liquid Eyeliner I don’t necessarily draw on liquid liner every time but I’ll usually dot a few dots along the lash line to add some definition that looks soft from afar. This liquid liner is my holy grail liquid eyeliner because it’s super long-lasting and waterproof! 3) USE A LENGTHENING, DEFINING MASCARA. (waterproof helps too!) MAYBELLINE - Lash Sensational Curvitude Waterproof Curling Mascara I love a waterproof mascara because it never smudges or flakes, and it seriously holds a curl! This Maybelline mascara has a really nice curved plastic brush that pushes up the lashes to promote a curl. Probably the most curl-defining mascara I’ve tried in a looong time.
Ingredient Breakdown: Peptides
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids, imparting bounce and firmness. But collagen can be broken down by free radicals (hello, oxidizing fragrance/volatile essential oil compounds), smoking, UV rays, and age. Age contributes to collagen loss also because your body makes less collagen peptides after some time in your 20s. Topical collagen-containing products don’t work, as collagen molecules are too big to pass through the epidermis. Instead, use peptides to help it act younger and make more collagen! Peptides (also made up of amino acids) are small enough to get to the dermis where collagen is made. In response, skin should start making more peptides to form more collagen. Copper peptides are considered particularly beneficial, though the main benefit over normal peptides is their wound healing capability, making them wonderful for those with acne, on top of their anti-aging benefit. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer contains 9 varieties of peptides, including copper peptides, as well as a variety of amino acids, fatty acids, and humectants. I love this gel-cream, it’s wonderful as a multifaceted moisturizer that is light enough for oily skin and helps fight signs of aging. PAULA'S CHOICE - Peptide Booster contains 8 peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of humectants. No copper peptides, instead incorporating a variety of antioxidants, helping to contribute to the calmness of skin and prevent free radical-induced breakdown of collagen. An amazing anti-aging serum with a texture that sits between creamy and silky, sinking in quickly and giving my skin quite a bit of plumpness. This would be the best of the bunch for a multifaceted anti-aging peptide product. The Ordinary - "Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1% contains seven peptides -one of which is a copper peptide- plus a variety of amino acids and hyaluronic acid. It’s a simple yet effective serum that is a bit tacky and smells of metal, but the results are worth it. Applying it to a scab/large acne lesion nightly speeds along its healing noticeably- plus I see less hyperpigmentation develop afterwards. I can’t recommend this enough as a budget-friendly entry into peptide serums!
A Tale Of Three Snail Creams
I’m not gonna lie, my combination skin makes it hard for me to find good face creams. My t-zone tends to be oily while my cheeks tend to be dry. Sometimes, my skin would even fluctuate between dry and oily, which is simply annoying. I’ve tried three different snail creams before, one of which I’m still using at the moment. This is my verdict for all three, as someone with combination skin. DEWYTREE - Ultra Vitalizing Snail Cream This cream was the very first product I tried from this Korean brand, actually. My boyfriend gifted it to me during one of his trips to Korea. It costs around $22 for 80ml. I actually didn’t like this cream a lot, mainly because of the smell. It’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t smell like something you’d want to put on your face. It’s moisturizing but it didn’t make me oily, which was good. I could even wear it under my makeup as long as I only used a little bit of it. Coreana Winage Snail Magic Cream This is one of my favorite creams in the whole world. Just like the last cream, this was also bought for me by my boyfriend. More specifically, it was his mom who recommended this cream for me since apparently it has a very good reputation among Koreans. It costs roughly $30 for 100ml, which isn’t a bad price at all. I found it quite perfect for my combination skin. It moisturized my skin just enough to avoid dryness but it got absorbed pretty quickly too so I never became oily while using this. I wanted to continue using this after I ran out, but it’s not available in my country and my boyfriend wasn’t able to buy one again during his last Korea trip. Dr. G Black Snail CreamDr.G - Black Snail Cream If you have dry skin, and I mean really dry skin, this cream is perfect for you. It’s quite thick so I use it only at night. At roughly $50 for 50ml, it’s the most expensive of the three, but it works so well that I’m actually already on my second tub. This was also recommended for me by my boyfriend’s mom because apparently it’s a popular cream in Korea. I still prefer Coreana over this though, mainly due to how thick this is. It’s really more suited towards dry skin people than normal or oily skin people. Of these three snail creams, I’d say you should check out Coreana if you’ve got normal or combination skin, and Dr. G if you have dry skin. Dewytree isn’t so bad for normal or combination skin too, but you’re honestly better off with these other options.
HOW I FIGHT ACNE WITH MY SKINCARE ROUTINE
Acne comes from so many different reasons. But generally there are a few tricks that really help to prevent and treat them. SALICYLIC ACID: PAULA'S CHOICE - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Liquid Exfoliator Known for: combating whiteheads & blackheads by penetrating into the pores of the skin and unclogging them This exfoliating toner is amazing at preventing future breakouts because it’s so effective at unclogging pores and keeping them clear. My blackheads have also diminished so much since using this toner and I definitely can’t turn back. It’s quite strong so even I don’t use it every day and night. I’ll take it out only when I feel like my skin is getting congested (around 1-2x a week). AZELAIC ACID: PAULA'S CHOICE - 10% Azelaic Acid Booster Known for: gently exfoliating the surface and refining texture of the skin This is a great booster to mix in with moisturizer whenever I feel like my skin is breaking out a lot and very congested. It’s not super strong especially mixed into the last step of my skincare routine but definitely helps to smooth texture. RETINOL: SKINCEUTICALS - RETINOL 0.5 Retinol night cream Known for: speeding up our skin’s natural cell turnover to reveal newer and clearer skin I’ve used a retinol for more than a year now and I’ve seen the biggest improvement in my skin regarding breakouts and texture. I use it as the last step of my skincare routine every other day now and it’s just a great way to keep my skin healthy over the longterm. NIACINAMIDE: THE inkey LIST - Niacinamide Known for: helping to control oil production by renewing and restoring the surface of the skin against moisture loss Especially with living in a humid climate currently, my skin has been freaking out a lot. But this serum helps so much with promoting my skin to be balanced and self-regulating. My T-zone doesn’t get as oily but doesn’t feel dry either! SUNSCREEN: SKINCEUTICALS - Physical Fusion Uv Defense SPF 50 Okay sunscreen doesn’t DIRECTLY correlate with breakouts, although, there are definitely some that can cause breakouts for some people, mainly physical ones (so find one that doesn’t break you out)! This sunscreen doesn’t break me out and in fact helps with my skin durinf breakouts so much because it protects my skin from hyperpigmentation! The scarring that comes after a breakout can be just as annoying as the breakout itself but sunscreen helps so much to speed up the recovering and healing process! Do you have more tips for preventing breakouts to share?
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