Contributor: Saffron & Sage
Photographer: Saffron & Sage
We were made to move. Made to walk, to sway, to skip, to dance. We weren’t made to sit at a desk, still, for most of our days, only to come home and watch our shows or surf the Internet for most of our evenings. Our feet long to step, our legs long to run, our arms long to raise up, our hair longs to blow in the wind. The hotter days can tempt us to stay inside, revel in the air conditioning, catch up on our movies. We challenge you to move instead.
Yoga is not just meditative; not just exercise; not just strengthening; not just spiritual. It is all of these aspects. Yoga encourages us to be in the Present: right here and right now. To let your worries of the day fall to the side and simply focus on the pose presenting itself to you right now. Find a yoga class that happens outdoors, usually first thing in the morning. An early morning yoga practice will help you start your day grounded and present. It will also get your blood flowing, your heart pumping, and your muscles working. It will boost your metabolism for the entire day, in addition to boosting your mood, and decreasing your stress levels. Bikram yoga (hot yoga), will amplify these benefits, as it encourages your body to sweat out toxins, works you mentally on focus, inner-strength, and will-power, and gets you set out on the right foot for the rest of your day.
Zumba is a cardio workout and a dance class all in one. These classes are typically very upbeat, positive, energetic, and fun. A Zumba class after your work day will fight that afternoon energy dip and give you that extra push to finish out your evening without feeling exhausted or run-down. Another benefit of taking a cardio class during your day is it will encourage you to eat healthy meals. Grilled salmon with steamed broccoli and brown rice is a perfect follow-up meal to a fast-paced Zumba class.
Belly dance is not only exercise; it builds confidence. Belly dance teaches you how to isolate certain muscles; muscles you may not have known you had! It is a wonderful, feminine way to work your core—among other muscle groups—and let you see your body for the beautiful movements it can create. Plus, you get to wear jingly hip scarves and play with veils. How fun is that? Belly dance classes are supportive and encouraging, and they will help get you in touch with your body. There are many different styles of belly dance, and most big cities have teachers of various styles. Here in San Diego alone, we have Turkish, cabaret, tribal, and fusion belly dance.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on really moving this Summer. Try a few different classes and see what speaks to you this season.