Heat Up Your Life – and Your Yoga
By: Anna Lucas
It’s late Sunday morning. You’re bundled up, shuffling along North Barstow Street, decked out in your winter best—a nearly equal comparison to a super-sized marshmallow with your puffy down jacket, knitted scarf, head wrap, thick mittens, and clunky, insulated boots. The winter wind bites at your cheeks as you squint your eyes against the sun’s glare off the freshly fallen snow. Winter in Wisconsin–“Experience the cold that seeps into your bones.”
Then, you see “308 N. Barstow Street: Dragonfly Studio” where you stop and pull open the door. When you enter, you’re instantly bathed in warmth–the entire room heated to a comfortable 90 degrees. It’s as though you’ve stepped into a giant hug. The cozy air envelops your entire body, and every muscle immediately begins to release and your heart sighs happily. The rooms smells lightly of pine. There’s music playing and laughter ringing throughout the studio as you begin to notice a whole community of people talking and setting up their yoga mats on the golden, hardwood floor.
Welcome, my friend, to “90 Degree Yoga.”
Maybe you currently have your own yoga practice and have already discovered many of its diverse and plentiful benefits. Or, perhaps you have simply heard people buzzing about a class they’ve recently taken and are curious about what yoga might be like for you. Either way, what is “90 Degree Yoga,” anyway?
“90 Degree Yoga” had its humble beginning at Dragonfly Dance and Wellness Studio in Eau Claire, in January of 2014. Anna Lucas, owner of Crave Yoga & Wellness LLC, had recently fallen in love with heated yoga and was eager to replicate a similar class in the Chippewa Valley.
So, what can you expect? As with any yoga practice, it’s important to show yourself–your body and your mind–compassion. That’s why yoga is referred to as your “practice.” Because, no matter your skill level, we are all continual learners! Every person will be somewhere different on their yoga journey. Simply know that when you attend a class, you will find yourself in a community that deeply supports and encourages one another. Our environment is one of warmth, love, learning, and continual growth. All you need to bring with you is an open mind and maybe invite a friend. Expect to have fun, breathe, sweat, and move.
“But, I’m not flexible.” We hear this one a lot. More important than physically flexibility is mental flexibility. Allow yourself to be open to new possibilities. The yoga style taught is a Power Vinyasa Flow, which means that you will be led through a series of dynamic yoga poses that follow the rhythm of your natural breath. Movement through these poses (which are all guided by a certified instructor) will expose both your strengths and weaknesses. This is all a part of the journey. Letting go and breathing through challenges will not only give you strength, but will allow the tension in your body and mind to release further, thus resulting in increased range of motion and all over flexibility. Simply trust in the process.
But, why turn up the heat? The increased temperature gives your muscles a natural way to stretch and can also help to prevent injury. We “warm up” the body both through movement AND heat. The vast majority of hot yoga studios in the country crank up the heat to a steamy 98+ degrees, and you’ll undoubtedly leave class drenched in sweat. At Dragonfly Studio,we keep the temperature at 90 degrees to offer the benefits of heat and to evoke a light sweat to cleanse the body of impurities.
We delight in the diversity of our yoga students. No matter your past experience of yoga (or lack thereof) you are welcome! Come find your peace, ignite your passion, and unleash your power.
“Yoga is ultimately a journey into truth: truth about who you really are, what you are capable of, and how your actions reflect your life.” —Baron Baptiste.
Anna Lucas is a real-deal wellness advisor and owner of Crave Yoga & Wellness LLC. In addition, Anna is a healing touch (Reiki) practitioner, prolific write, national speaker, free-flowing yoga instructor, and an expansive grinner. Anna resides in Eau Claire (for now) and founded the blog “Flow to Be Free,” where she poetically shares her spiritual journey toward self-love, vulnerability, and living courageously.
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