A Meditation Practice for Improving Memory & More!

There are many things that we cannot change as we get older, good thing memory loss does not have to be one. A growing body of research suggests that a mind-body exercise could improve memory and cognitive function in older adults: specifically Kirtan Kriya meditation.

Studies conducted by the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation have shown that this particular meditation can be particularly helpful for the aging adult. The practice boosts cognition and help reverse perceived memory loss in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD).

Kirtan Kriya, a type of meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition, has been practiced for thousands of years to help bring the body, mind and emotions into balance to enable healing. This non religious form for meditation combines mudra (hand gesture), mantra (vocalization), visualization, and regulated breathing. The combination is a powerful stimulus for the brain.

It is a very detailed meditation that can most easily be practiced with a qualified Kundalini instructor. However, here is a link to a description of the practice to get you started at home.

Resource: http://alzheimersprevention.org/research/kirtan-kriya-yoga-exercise/

How do you practice Kirtan Kriya?    

  1. Repeat the Saa Taa Naa Maa sounds (or mantra) while sitting with your spine straight. Your focus of concentration is the L form (see illustration), while your eyes are closed. With each syllable, imagine the sound flowing in through the top of your head and out the middle of your forehead (your third eye point).
  2. For two minutes, sing in your normal voice.
  3. For the next two minutes, sing in a whisper.
  4. For the next four minutes, say the sound silently to yourself.
  5. Then reverse the order, whispering for two minutes, and then out loud for two minutes, for a total of twelve minutes.
  6. To come out of the exercise, inhale very deeply, stretch your hands above your head, and then bring them down slowly in a sweeping motion as you exhale.

The mudras, or finger positions, are very important in this kriya (see illustration below).

Kirtan Kriya finger positions (mudras)

  • On Saa, touch the index fingers of each hand to your thumbs.
  • On Taa, touch your middle fingers to your thumbs.
  • On Naa, touch your ring fingers to your thumbs.
  • On Maa, touch your little fingers to your thumbs.

Kristen O'Connor
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor 

Family Yoga!

When I had my first daughter 3 plus year ago I had no idea how to take everything I had been learning during my years of yoga practicing and teaching and apply it to how to be a compassionate, patient, and loving mother. I did have a great example to follow and I am thankful for a mom who was all those things.

It is one thing to embody compassion in the quiet morning hours when I choose to meditate, but it is another to try to live up to that expectation every hour of the day and in the middle of the night.

As I am encouraging her to think of something happy, we sing a quiet song together. We hug.  My daughter and I take a deep breath, and we both feel better. We are learning it together how to approach each new moment as mother and daughter. She taught me a mantra to go with a hand gesture meditation I wanted to share with her. "I feel much better".

The beauty and simplicity of those words stunned me and made me feel better. We try it together.

Touching the thumb to the tip of each finger repeat out loud.

Index finger: I

Middle finger: Feel

Ring finger: Much

Pinky finger: Better

I wish that there was never a time when I felt anger or frustration, but I have these feelings. I am aware of them.

When I do yoga with my 3 year old I do not teach her, I share it with her and try not to get in her way, but keep her coming back. I try to remember just how lucky I am to be joining in that moment with her whatever it looks like.

Today I have another daughter and I feel like it is yet again a whole new experience in being present. However, this time I am able to take a step back and see so much more clearly. Of course hindsight is always 20/20, but in this case the gift of presence is truly 20/20.

Make life an effortless and enjoyable game, why not? It doesn't mean that there are no times for serious, but to live in a state of stress is not good for anyone in the family, so why not make it fun for everyone.

Kristen O'Connor
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga Instructor

GET OFF YOUR BUTT RIGHT NOW! Your future self will thank you.

"I don't have time"

"I have to go to a fancy gym, buy expensive equipment"

"I have no motivation"

"I have no energy"

"It's boring"

Sound familiar?

My excuse is I don't have time. I am a busy businessman and I just can't spare the time. As I thought about this, I came up with a plan. Could I workout for just 5 minutes a day to start? We all have 5 minutes a day to workout. But starting a workout regimen is harder after a long period of inactivity. With this in mind, I created the 5-minute workout. It only takes 5 minutes a day that's it. EVERYONE has 5 minutes they can spare. 

I want to give the 5-minute workout book for free so you can continue to live healthy.

Download your 5-minute workout here.

Exercise Adds Years to Your Life

One study found that the average 65-year-old can expect an additional 12.7 years of healthy life meaning he will live disability-free until age 77.7. Highly active 65-years-olds, however, have an additional 5.7 years of healthy life expectancy — they will remain disability-free until age 83.4.

Without exercise, you increase your risk of a wide assortment of chronic illnesses. Here is a list of conditions and how many people have them:

  • Coronary heart disease (12.6 million)
  • Heart attack (1.1 million)
  • Diabetes (17 million)
  • Hip fracture (300,000)
  • High blood pressure (50 million)
  • Obesity (50 million)
  • Overweight (108 million)

Sitting around or lying around all day makes you weak. Do you want to live your life like this? 


ASK YOURSELF: How do you want to live your life? 
Do you want to add years to your life?


Your time is running out! You will not live forever. Get off your butt right now. Your future self will thank you! 


Jerrod Sessler
Owner & Founder Hot Feet Fitness 

The Wonderful World of Indoor Plants

 

“All I want is to plant some trees, save the bees and protect the seas”

Why plants…..

 

Uh they are amazing! No really though - they have so many benefits! They make your space look cozy and beautiful, they are air purifiers, they have feelings, they absorb noise and stress, concentration and production is improved, the list goes on.  Sooooo many people are afraid to get plants because the curse of the ‘brown thumb’ so I decided to make it super easy. Trying to research what kind of plant does well in a west facing window can be tiresome and super overwhelming. Here are my favorite indoor plants and where I keep them in my house and how much I actually remember to water them……

Boston ferns…..literally one in each room. They look cool - low maintenance and every room of my house gets a different amount of sunlight. The Pacific North West is literally the greatest place ever - you can pull off the side of any road and find a fern. This plant is one of the greatest air purifiers in the green family - it’s specialty is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is all over your house - glues, plywood, insulation, and everyday use home items (that’s an entire other blog!).  These little guys like indirect sunlight - so a corner of a room that isn’t in the window. Ferns like humidity so you can even leave it in your bathroom! Make sure the soil is moist and not to drown it, not only will it make a mess but it will stress the roots out.

Yesssssss - my next favorite is the snake plant! This plant comes from West Africa and has some really cool nicknames - ‘the mother-in-laws tongue,’ and ‘ the vipers bowstring hemp.’ This plant I keep in my bedroom, my office, and my sons room. This plant is extra special for a few reasons - it can survive a drought so you don’t have to remember to water it very often AND it has a very rare way of exchanging gases. The pores on the plant only open at night to prevent water from evaporating in the sun. Basically the plant will give you an extra boost of oxygen at night! NASA did a study on it and it can remove 4 out of the 5 main toxins in a home and you can give a cutting to a friend and they can grow their own!

Lastly, the reed palm. I have four in my kitchen, two in my living room and one in my bathroom. Another great air purifier! This plant’s filters out all the chemicals that can be found in furniture, cleaners, and almost every other household item. These green friends like a little bit of sunlight and a more drainable soil. I use soil with rocks in it…or if you don’t want to buy any of that make your own. I have a bunch of little rocks in my outdoor garden that I collect and mix it in my potting soil. These are a little more high maintenance because you have to remove dead leaves so that it encourages the rest of the plant to grow! They are slow growing but they take up corner spaces nicely and the leaves are beautiful!

 

Of course these aren’t the only indoor plants - there are so many!!!! My house is like a living jungle - sometime when I move plants around they start to look sad so I move them around to see where they are most happy. Just make sure you keep them out of drafty areas/heaters and make sure to tell them how pretty they are! Plants are living beings, they absorb stress; enjoy Mozart and help you breathe better!

Lauren Bragg, Hot Feet Fitness Live Healthy Program Coach, Yoga & Barre Instructor 

Hearty Vegan Sweet Potato & Vegetable Chili

Craving a hearty meal that satisfies the taste buds, but is easy on your insides too? Then try out this recipe from one of our instructors Elise! 

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp avocado oil

1 large red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 small sweet potato

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

3 cups veggie broth (check ingredients & make sure there's no added sugar)

1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn

1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can kidney beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can diced tomatoes no salt added liquid included

1 6oz can tomato paste

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp white miso paste

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 basil

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

handful of fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat.

2. Add onion and sweet potato and cook until onions are softened (about 5 minutes).

3. Add garlic, red pepper, and green pepper and let cook for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in chili powder, white miso paste, and tomato paste.

5. Add veggie broth, diced tomatoes, and the remaining spices and let everything simmer until

the sweet potatoes are completely cooked, about 10 minutes. (Make sure to check them

regularly so they don't get mushy.)

6. Stir in beans and corn. Let simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

 

7. Top with cilantro and enjoy!

Submitted by Elise Powers
Certified Yoga & X21 Trainer


Momentary Encounters with Balance

This past week, the Vernal Equinox came and went -- the first day of Spring, when we experience that half-and-half balance of daylight and darkness. The sense of equilibrium between the seasons on both the Spring and Autumn Equinox is a lovely invitation to explore balance in our day-to-day existence.

Striking a balance in a hectic life -- whether that’s a balance of effort and ease, of chaos and calm, of obligations and options -- can sometimes seem like an impossible task. Achieving a lasting state of perfect equilibrium sounds unachievable with the on-going pressures of family, career, bills, responsibilities, ad infinitum.

But perhaps that doesn’t need to be the goal. A beautiful reminder of this is the yin-yang symbol. It’s a familiar representation of balance, with light on one side and dark on the other, but my favorite part is the small bit of light that inhabits the darkness, and the small bit of darkness that occupies a patch of the light.



Let’s view the balance of effort and ease through the lens of the yin-yang symbol. Poses that may on the surface seem the very embodiment of ease (such as savasana or “corpse pose”) in fact require a fair bit of effort because it takes work and practice to quiet the busy mind and fully experience the restorative offerings of the posture. On the flip side, in poses that require more physical effort (for example, arm-balances like crow, or inversions such as headstand or handstand), one can find surprising pockets of ease. I find it is easier to let go of my to-do lists, worries, grudges, and other distracting thoughts when engaged in an asana that calls for greater effort from my physical body, and therefore it’s easier to be fully present in the moment.

It can be so helpful to remember that there is often effort within the ease, and ease within the effort. And once I open up to applying this yin-yang metaphor to more aspects of my life, the more achievable a sense of balance seems. Perhaps there will always be a little chaos in my calm (in the form of children’s toys strewn about or unfinished tasks on my to-do list when I pause to relax and read), and that’s okay. It encourages me to also seek (or create) rays of calm in the chaos.

Returning to the recent passing of the Equinox: its fleeting nature (only two days a year!) is also a much-needed reminder that a sense of balance isn’t necessarily a “destination” we can work toward and then settle down in permanently. Rather, it’s something that we may pass in and out of, periodically and momentarily, perhaps many times over the course of our lives.   

May you seek and find the interplay of yin and yang in your life, and may your momentary encounters with balance come more frequently than twice a year!


Kat Stein-Ross
Hot Feet Fitness Instructor 

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


We're bustin' the Myths!

Have you ever watched Mythbusters? It's a great show where they put myths to the test with science. As the manager of the studio I constantly run into myths that people have told me that they believe or have heard about the studio, our classes, the heat, and so on. So I figured, let's get to the bustin' (proving false) these common myths. Here are some of the more frequent myths I hear..

1) The studio must be HOT because your name is Hot Feet. 
The name Hot Feet depicts movement, activity and a sense of urgency which is important in a world that seems to be spiraling a bit out of control with regards to our health. But, in reality, it is just a fun name! And we aren't hot. The majority of our classes warm, not hot. We offer several unheated classes like Yin Yoga, Yoga Basics, Kids Yoga, and Mommy & Me Yoga. Hot gyms & studios are typically over 100 degrees which exceeds normal body temperature. Hot Feet studios are generally 85 - 95 degrees and we also host classes that are ambient temp. Due to amazing engineering designs of our ventilation systems, we use outside air to keep the studios fresh. We also enjoy using essential oils to freshen up our studios. 

 

2) Your a Yoga studio right?
We are a health & fitness studio! We offer 4 different types of classes all in 1 place. There is a cardio HIIT class called X21 (28 total body exercises in 21 minutes), BarreTwist (a high energy & cardio twist on barre, with a little yoga, pilates, and dance added in), Yoga (we offer SO many styles like Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Kids Yoga), and Korper Stretch (low impact total body stretch for restoration & stress relief). We know in our area there are yoga studios, gyms, personal training gyms, crossfit, and more options. We believe variety is the spice of life, and your body thrives off of varying your fitness routine. 

3) Do I have be to fit/thin/skinny/etc to come workout at the studio?
NO! We are not cookie cutter at Hot Feet. Hot Feet realizes that people of all shapes, colors, cultures, and sizes need to know there is a place for them.Unlike studios where you feel like you have to "know" all the rules before entering, Hot Feet is friendly and comfortable. HFF is a community first. No one at Hot Feet is ever going to hear someone say their feet are pointed the wrong direction or that they are negatively affecting the zen or any other rude or silly comments.The culture at a Hot Feet studio is warm and welcoming. We want everyone to feel comfortable, no matter what! 

4) It's only fitness classes correct? What else do you offer for services? 
We are more than "just fitness." We support our local community, offer classes for families such as Mommy & Me Yoga and Kids Yoga, and even offer wellness support services with our Live Healthy Program. We believe in being more than just a typical fitness studio. Learn the value of the kitchen work and couple that with the studio work to get the body you deserve and always wanted! Learn holistic proven techniques for living life that enable you to feel great and to thrive in every area. Hot Feet has developed a full-figured lifestyle training program called the Live Healthy Program. Team up with your Hot Feet Fitness community to achieve your dreams!

Come & enjoy a FREE DAY PASS anytime and see what the buzz is about. Click here! https://www.hotfeetfitness.com/Shop/Pass/default.aspx


Teanna G

Director of Operations & Studio Manager
Hot Feet Fitness  


We've got an APP!

HOT FEET UPDATE!
We now have an app for iPhone & Android. Download it & get connected to us!


WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE APP?
Track your progress on your own time, at your own place. Enjoy a workout at home, anytime, at work through a corporate program or on the go when traveling. No need to have special equipment or fancy clothing. Set your goals, and allow the flexibility of the app to give you the freedom you need to reach your goals. Pick from live or past classes and follow along with the instructor anytime, anywhere.

TELL US!
Are you interested in utilizing the app for classes? Could you use it for your corporate wellness program? Let us know how we can help. Send us your email to getfit@hotfeetfitness.com & we will keep you in the loop on future updates & make plans! 

Teanna G
Director of Operations & Studio Manager
Hot Feet Fitness 

We are turning 3! Come party!

SAVE THE DATE! August 11th, 2018.

We can’t wait to celebrate 3 amazing years of small business in the Burien community! Join us for FREE CLASSES all day. Here’s the class line up! 👣
  • 8:15am X21 Cardio Workout
  • 8:45am Korper-Stretch
  • 10am Power Vinyasa Yoga
  • 11am BarreTwist

    Then come back & enjoy the PARTY from 1:30-3:30pm. There will music, food, drinks, prizes, and more to enjoy! We will also raffle off PRIZES from local Burien businesses, and giving away 2 mountain bikes, a Vitamix & MORE!

    All are welcome! 👣 Questions? Email us at getfit@hotfeetfitness.com!