Reason to Retreat: How Wellness Retreats can Benefit You!

As a society, we tend to praise hard work and workplace dedication...

 

So much so that it reflects our current health-care system and workplace vacation policies. Of all the countries in the world, America is one of the few that do not offer paid time off. Employers that do offer time off may provide 12 days on average for their employees. Compared to the 20 day average of European countries, we are a little far behind.

 

In the past decade, the rise of self-care and wellness practices has showered the general public with information and opportunities to treat ourselves. More and more people are realizing how pivotal self-care is in preventing us from burning out. We are starting to accept the idea that we cannot pour from an empty cup, that personal time to recharge is needed, and that in order to recharge, sometimes we need to get away.

While a strong self-care practice at home is beneficial, wellness retreats can offer the time, space, and distance we need to disconnect from the demands around us. Studies have shown that people who attend retreats receive longer-lasting benefits that those who simply practice at home (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5149565/).

 

The obstacles, concerns, anxieties, and habitual routines that are present in daily life are no longer there. While in a retreat, you can create your own world where you are allowed the chance to experience yourself differently while practicing self-connection. Whether its’ a weekend retreat nearby or a week-long experience abroad, retreats can leave you feeling recharged and rejuvenated, ready to take on life once again.

 

Retreats can be an intense, they can be an investment, but being able to experience self-connection without any of the distractions and being able to fully immerse yourself in your journey are what make retreats such a powerful experience.

 

If you are interested in experiencing a retreat for yourself, check out the few below being offered by your Hot Feet instructors below!

 

Discover Spain Cultural Immersion and Yoga Retreat

Host: Diana Ratsamee

May 11, 2019 - May 18, 2019

October 12, 2019 - October 19, 2019

 

Explore the intimate, authentic, and raw parts of yourself through travel. With travel and tourism on the rise, it has become easier than ever to get lost. And while getting lost may be part of the journey, eventually, we all yearn to find ourselves. Discover Spain goes beyond the tour by inviting you to dive into yourself through mindful practices and activities led by our team of experienced travelers, spiritual healers, and yoga teachers. We will stay with you as we traverse our inner selves through authentic connection with Andalusia.

 

Contact: info@dianaratana.com

Diana Ratana
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga & Barre Instructor 



Picture Credit: Unsplash 

Under Pressure!

“Perhaps I should just bury myself and become a diamond after thousands of years of intense pressure.” ~ Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

 

I believe Mr. Snicket was onto something with regards to pressure and its purifying fire of change, albeit his time frame is a smidge off.

Let me explain.  

Intense pressure applied to simple carbon forces its atoms into orderly alignment in a way that, once revealed by a lapidary, produces a captivating, light-gathering diamond. Light is invited to move through it, reflect, refract and dazzle; the diamond’s sparkle demands your attention and its deep transparency is mesmerizing.
 
If you’re lucky, you have met people that possess the same facets. They are somehow different and utterly captivating in their deep transparency. They are the type of people you want to be near, to glean just what it is about them that makes them sparkle so.

It is my observation that people of such presence have known pressure intimately. They have not only faced pressure, but have leaned into and endured it. They are those among us who have learned and, most importantly accepted, that in order to realize a greater spiritual maturation they must remain in the heat; they have accepted the pressure for the transformational force that it is and have learned to see it as an opportunity to be blessed by the experience. In other words? They are the kind of person that has cultivated the ability to find comfort in the discomfort.

When a yogi chooses to apply pressure to oneself through the practice of asanas, this very type of transformation is underway, one meditation at a time. When a yogi show’s up for a class they are consciously and intentionally applying multi-faceted pressure to push themselves; pressure to breathe with movement and not simply gut it out, pressure to find their very edge and equal pressure to let it go, to counter their maximum effort with savasana, a conscious practice of relaxation.

On the mat, under pressure from both within and without, is where we find that we are capable of withstanding more pressure than we realized.This is where we can discover comfort in the discomfort and more stillness than we thought we could endure. Yoga asks that you show up, no matter the external pressures of your day and lean into your practice; yoga reveals your ability to do hard things and begs the question; “What other pressures are you capable of withstanding?”
 
My guess? More than you think.

Stacy Manning
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor
 
 

Picture Credit: Unsplash

Your Body is Built in the Kitchen!

OUR HEALTH & OUR BODIES ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN!
 
Check out some of our favorite recipes for making your body feel super good. Even better, give them a try this month! 

Our Favorite Smoothie, Snack, and Morning Kick Off Smoothie
1 cup of almond or coconut milk
1 spoonful of almond/walnut/peanut butter
1 frozen banana
1 scoop of non dairy protein (pea, rice, or hemp protein are good ones)
4-5 ice cubes
 
Our Favorite Vegan Pumpkin Energy Balls 
3 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal (try gluten-free thick cut oats)
1 cup organic Pumpkin Puree
1 cup organic Peanut, Almond, Cashew, or Sunflower butter
2/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
4-6 Tbsp ground flax seeds (if ‘dough’ seems too wet, then add more ground flax, if it’s too dry, add less…start with a smaller quantity)
1 cup small chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, chopped peanuts, coconut flakes, or any combination of mix-ins that equal 1 cup total
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 
1-2 scoops Vegan Protein 
 
Snack
One of our favorite snacks when we are on the go or need a little pick me up is to mix raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and almonds together in a plastic snack size bag and grab a banana. Keep this in your car, or on the counter top when you are feeling a little hungry or craving some sugar. It will help satisfy the tastebuds! 
 
Morning Kick Off
Every morning when you wake up and before you eat anything, drink 12-20 ounces of luke warm water with half of a fresh squeezed lemon and a shot of apple cider vinegar. This is a great jumpstart for your system and helps cleanse the body out of toxins. Try it! 

"The path towards feeling good means gaining a deeper understanding of what is truly important to you, then taking tiny steps towards holding your needs in balance." ~Dr. Mark Hyman
 
Teanna G
Studio Manager
 
 

There's an APP for that!

 

"I just wanted to thank you and everyone at Hot Feet for providing the new class videos on the app... I have been so slammed at work lately, and really wanted to go to yoga yesterday to help myself unwind. Unfortunately, after battling traffic, walking the dog, and making dinner, it was already 7:20 and I wasn't going to be able to make the last class. I decided to try Serena's Power Vinyasa Flow video at home and it was so awesome! I got a great workout in on my own schedule, and it was exactly what I needed. 
 
I am really enjoying being a member of this community and everything you are providing. Just wanted to share my appreciation! Have a great weekend :)"
 
~Mallory R (Hot Feet Member) 

Join Mallory and Workout, Yoga, Barre, Stretch, and Meditate with us no matter where you are!

DOWNLOAD OUR APP TODAY! 

https://www.hotfeetfitness.com/app
 
 

How To Embrace Change and New Beginnings

Change is inevitable in our lives. Whether they be major life transitions such as starting a new role, moving to a new place, starting/ending a relationship, or minor changes like a shift in the seasons, we are ever-changing beings, constantly moving and constantly transforming.
 
These transitions can bring exciting and invigorating new elements to our lives. They can also be stressful and bring mixed emotions. Whatever transitional state we are in, it is key to remember that these times are pivotal moments for self-reflection and discovery. As we move forward along our journey, keep note of these points below to help you in embracing the changes around us and in ourselves.
 
Acknowledge that change is difficult
Change can shake your sense of identity, making you question your decisions and even yourself. It’s natural for us to define ourselves by our surroundings. When we take ourselves out of our normal elements, we’re left feeling lost, confused, and sometimes even afraid. It’s important to recognize that these feelings aren’t abnormal and that they are a part of this process. Without change, there cannot be growth. Let this be the catalyst in your transition when you start to feel challenged. This brings us to our next point:
 
Take change as an opportunity to challenge yourself
Often times, we become accustomed to our routines and daily schedules. This is one of the reasons why change can be so difficult. We fall into the comfort of monotony, the known, and the expected. Transitions are an opportunity for us to get out of our comfort zone and start practicing new habits. As you incorporate these new habits into your life, you’ll begin to adjust to this once new and scary situation. The fear and uncertainty will start to wear off and you will exude confidence. There is no better feeling than mastering a challenge, but in order to do that, you must first take the risk. 
 
Keep in mind that while staying the same is comfortable, veering off into the unknown can be exciting space for growth. 
 
Be mindful to the moment
It’s easy to get bogged down by all the negative feelings that can come with change. When you start to feel overwhelmed with uncertainty, take a mindful moment for yourself. This could mean taking time to dive back into your practice, turning inward with meditation, or taking part in an activity that can calm your angst. Remember that these feelings are temporary, but the growth that you will experience will stay with you indefinitely.
 
Reflect and document
Being in transition is a time for growth. It allows you to not only evaluate where you will be heading in this journey, but also where you’ve come from. Take this time as you make your transition to reflect on yourself, where you’ve been, and where you’ll be going. Look at the parts of yourself and your life now that you value most. Maybe you can ask yourself how you can bring those parts to this new phase of your life. Reflect on what changes you’d like to make. As you reflect on these questions, feel free to use the Indian Journals Paperback journal provided in your box to document your thoughts and internalize the lessons learned from your past experiences.

Diana Ratana
Yoga, Barre, & Meditation Teacher 
Hot Feet Fitness 
 
 

 

The Balance Between Work and Life: Tips To “Having It All”

With technology making us accessible around the clock and competition in the labor force incentivizing longer hours, balancing work and life seems to be a more and more difficult feat. In the society we live in, we praise hard work and dedication. We come from the land of opportunity where success is what you make it. But when it comes to resting and replenishing, there often isn’t much said to that regard. Recently, the ‘self-care’ and ‘wellness’ movements brought to light the importance of taking care of yourself, but what can that really look like in a world that demands our attention?


When I first started my job in corporate IT, the company I worked for boasted that work, life, balance was of the utmost importance. As I found myself wrapping up meetings around midnight, I quickly learned that no other external entity can promise you this. Only you can. While work, life, balance can mean something differently to each person, we can all agree that finding the harmony between your duties at work and the things you want to have in your day to day life at its very essence.


In order to have it all; work, life, balance, we must first make ourselves and our time a priority. We have no problem prioritizing the demands from work, family, or anything else. Why not do the same for ourselves? This means learning how to leave behind the guilt of putting aside anything that may disrupt your peace, if just for a moment. People who give overtly have a natural tendency to feel guilty for not meeting the needs of others. There is even a sense of pride around how selfless one can be. While these can be seen as admirable traits, putting your needs aside for too long will wear you out. Imagine a life where your last priority is yourself. How exhausting and empty can that be? No one can ensure our contentment or happiness more than ourselves. Set aside some time in the day, every day, where you are your first priority.


Secondly, set boundaries with your time and your priorities. If you’ve scheduled time for yourself, someone else, a particular task, etc… be attentive just to that. Examples could look like leaving your laptop outside of the bedroom so that your room is a rest only zone, putting a sign up at home so that people know not to disturb you, or silencing your phone during meals. Set these boundaries so that you and others know that the energy you put into whatever you have dedicated yourself to in that moment is sacred.

 

Finally, make it a routine. Change doesn't come overnight, neither does balance. Once you set a rhythm to your actions, you’ll see the world around you begin to adapt to your actions as well. It won’t be easy to do at first, and it will seem more convenient to just answer one more call from work or shoot off that last email, but we must remember that if we allow our work life to filter into our personal life, we begin to lose that balance that’s so important to our health and happiness.

Diana Ratana
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga & Barre Instructor



It does a Body GOOD!

Freggies. 

It's a fun word that means fruits & veggies! At Hot Feet, we are focused on our health by not only working out, but also by eating healthy. Your body is built in the kitchen! 

Freggies is a local organic produce delivery service we LOVE, because they truly offer something BETTER. The produce is fresh, organic, local, and delivered to your doorstep. It does your body good, and it's all seasonal produce so you know your body is eating the best of the best. 

Here's a great FAQ if you want to know more about it!

  • Can I get Freggies at work?
    Yes, and Yes! You can set your delivery address to your work address or get your coworkers fired up about Freggies... 

  • Do you have any quick, easy and healthful recipes?
    Yes, we periodically post our favorites here. If you have some recipes that you would like to share, please send them to us! 

  • What comes in a FregPick?
    We pick what goes into a FregPick box. To see a sample of what may come in a FregPick: Mixed Fruit & Veggie. The beauty of a FregPick is it is inexpensive and you can set it up to automatically show up once a week or every-other week! Note that the contents of the FregPick can change at any moment based on produce availability. 

  • Is Freggies organic produce locally grown?
    We like to say that all of our organic produce is local to someone. Of course we do our best to use local farms when possible but some of the time we have to go elsewhere to get the variety that our members want year round. We only work with certified organic growers. 

  • Your pricing seems low for organic produce. How & why do you do that?
    Our prices are lower because we purchase direct and we don't have the high overhead expenses of a grocery store. We just have delivery trucks!  We do however ask that you realize that you should expect about five percent of your order to be bad when you get it. This may sound astounding but the reality is that we can't see through the produce skin. Sometimes produce can taste bad even though it looks fine on the outside. Sometimes a bad piece sneaks through our eagle eyes or is hidden within a box. This is part of the nature of this business. Let us know of any of it that you see right away and we can credit you or add some replacement items to your next order with Freggies! 

  • You don't carry an item I want!
    Please let us know about the items you want. We pick from a list of hundreds of available items each week in an attempt to provide the most common and popular items. We do accommodate special orders. The best thing to do is email your request to info@freggies.com and simply let us know what you are looking for and the quantity. We will bend over backwards to accommodate these requests. If you know well in advance (a week or two) that you will need something, please try to let us know as soon as possible. 

  • Do you serve offices?
    Yes we do! Contact us directly to hear about the services we have specifically for office environments. 

  • Do you deliver produce to restaurants?
    Most definitely! Contact us directly to hear how we can serve your restaurant.  

  • Is all the produce organic?
    Yes, Freggies supplies all organic produce! 

    WHAT'S A BOX HAVE? Check out the picture below!

How and Why You Should Start Meditating

Meditation is the art of understanding the mind.There are incredible benefits to incorporating meditation in your life, however, starting the practice can be the most difficult step. In fact, there are many misconceptions about meditation that turn people off from even starting. When I ask people what they think meditation is, often times they say it's “emptying the mind” or “not thinking”. Coming into meditation with this idea is a guarantee set up for failure because it is impossible. It is impossible to “empty the mind” or “not think”, the mind was designed to think.

Knowing this, we need to have a clear and attainable approach to meditation; it is simply that meditation is the ability to witness your thoughts and not react. To simply observe them and let them go as needed. Being able to possess this skill can have a life-changing and a profound impact on you. It can make a huge difference on how you approach your life, change your perspective on how you interact with others, enhance your compassion, allow more clarity to your life, increase focus and emotional stability, and reduce overall stress.


Ways You Can Meditate:

Knowing that meditation is the process of understanding your mind and thoughts is the first step we can take to start meditating. From here, we next practice the art of relaxation. With meditation, you cannot start until you are comfortable and relaxed. It can take a long time to learn how to get there as we unwravel the layers of your subconsciousness, but there are a few practices we can do to get there.


  1. Moving Meditation
    This involves quieting the mind and directing complete attention to a task in the moment. Typically, yoga, fitness classes, and other forms of physical activity are the most common practice.

  2. Guided Meditation
    This involves verbal instruction from a teacher through a meditation practice.

  3. Sensory Meditation
    This is also a guided practice that focuses your attention on a physical stimulation.

  4. Mindfulness Meditation
    This is a focus on the mind itself, understanding and embodying the idea that we are not our thoughts, emotions, or actions.


In order to meditate, the first step always is to be comfortable and relaxed. Whatever actions or activity that can get you there is purely up to you. Going through the process of understanding what it is that can bring you relaxation is a powerful tool in itself and is part of the meditation process. Some key things to note as we step into a meditation practice is that you cannot force it. You cannot force clarity, but we can prepare ourselves. You must also avoid avoiding, allow experiences to penetrate themselves fully in your practice. While in this, allow yourself to experience without acting. It is possible to experience pain or pleasure without being driven to act on it. And finally, allow your practice to be an opportunity to watch yourself. Give yourself the space, time, and love to accept yourself authentically without judgement and as you are.

 

HOT FEET FITNESS IS STARTING MEDITATION CLASSES! DO YOU WANT TO COME TO A DEMO CLASS? DROP US AN EMAIL TO LET US KNOW! getfit@hotfeetfitness.com. 

Diana Ratana
Hot Feet Fitness Instructor

My Story

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember and easily get overwhelmed with work and life. A friend suggested going to yoga as a way to help with stress management a few years ago. I went to many yoga studios, and while they were all great, they just weren't lasting matches. A little over a year ago, I found Hot Feet and loved it. I went for a few months, but stopped going because of a family emergency. My time has been juggled between family and friends and work for the past school year (I teach kindergarten and first grade in Seattle). I really missed working out regularly, especially going to yoga, and decided I needed to get back at it. 

I started with working out on my recumbent bike and doing intermittent fasting. However, I wanted to do more. This summer after school got out, I decided it was time to get back to Hot Feet. My first class back, I realized that what I had been missing was coming to yoga. The community at Hot Feet is unlike the communities at many other yoga studios. I always feel welcome when I walk in the door. When an instructor gives me guidance on a pose, it is in a way that is encouraging; I don't get embarrassed as i have other places. As a bigger girl,  I don't feel judged when I am in a class, even if I can't do something perfectly. There is a growth mindset at Hot Feet where everyone is working on something alongside everyone else - just like in a classroom. 

Since starting the recumbent bike and fasting, as well as coming back to Hot Feet this summer, I have lost 15 pounds! I have found a way to better and more successfully manage my stress levels and anxiety. Thank you for welcoming me back with open arms. I plan on using some of the things I have learned about yoga with my students this year. We had a yoga session this week during Kindergarten Jump Start and they LOVED IT! 

Here's to many more years of Hot Feet!

Rachel P.
Hot Feet Fitness Member


Just Show Up!

CHEERS. Have you seen the show?
It was a constant in my house growing up and I remember singing the theme song. "You wanna go where everybody knows your name!" every time the show was on the screen. It got me thinking about where we all go every day and how we can experience the polar opposites of being "welcomed in" or feel "isolated" because we just don't seem to fit the mold. Have you experienced this? Maybe at school on your first day, starting that brand new job, moving to a new city, walking into a church, etc. Everyday we are experiencing these comings & goings into communities. What if you never open the door though? What if you never give yourself the chance to experience something because you are too scared, overwhelmed, self-conscious, busy, and so on?

This is where I want to share a story about "Crystal." She's someone that I met a couple months ago while working at the studio. Here's how my interaction went with her.
 She walked into the studio right after I was done with taking X21 (our cardio high intensity interval training class) with trainer Elise and I happened to be behind the front desk. She was new to the studio and I could tell a little overwhelmed by what she walked into. I asked her how I could help & she said she wanted to know about what we offered for classes and when. She was a Veteran, so we talked about her discounted membership, which made her really excited.
Then we started talking more about what classes she should try and she started getting anxious. She told me, “Maybe I should go move my car before we talk because everyone seems like they are in a hurry to get in & out of class & I don’t want to take up someone’s space,” and even said when I suggested X21, she said “I’m too fat for that class.” I was taken aback and sad that this is how she felt, so I literally just said, “Stop that right now. Don’t do that to yourself. It’s ok. You would be fine in that class or any other. Just come.” And immediately I saw her relax.
This got me thinking back to the show Cheers and how there are probably so many other people like her (maybe you?) who may feel like this when you go somewhere for the first time. You just want or don’t know that you need a safe place or a kind word to encourage you to make the step forward. By just showing up, and coming in the front door.
We have all been “someone new" in the various stages and places in our lives, and we all could use a word of encouragement or a “hello & welcome" when we embark on a new journey. At Hot Feet we take the time to do just that. We get to know your name. We connect. Because we all need each other.
Teanna G

Studio Manager and Operations Director