Open House:
FREE CLASSES

In tumultuous times like these, we need our movement practices more than ever. The stress is ever-present and something is changing every day. Yoga, fitness, and mindfulness practices are the steady constant we need to feel our best and stay healthy and strong inside and out. 

We all know that exercise is one of the cheapest and most effective tools to combat stress, improve immunity, reduce comorbidity, and improve our resilience. Sometimes we just need a motivation to take action.  

That’s why we’re so excited to invite you to join us for free classes all day on Saturday, October 17th virtually or in-studio. Try any of our transformative offerings and walk away feeling the best you have in months.  

Staying safe at home? We’ll be live-streaming all classes, so sign up for the Virtual Class that day and we’ll send you a link to join in on the fun. 

Save your spot today!

Schedule

7 am Blaze Flow (our take on Vinyasa yoga)
9 am Inferno Weights (cardio and strength training in a party atmosphere)
11 am Hot & Heavy Express (be your strongest self ever)
12:30 pm Blaze Yoga (our signature, life-changing class)
2 pm Inferno H.I.I.T. (the fastest and most fun way to get in shape) 

Class sizes are limited due to social distancing measures, so you’ll be asked to WAITLIST. Never fear! We’re adding everyone by hand. Keep your eyes peeled for an email or text letting you know when you’ve gotten off the waitlist.  

Get on the waitlist!

What to Expect

Life is a little different post-COVID. All class sizes are limited to ensure social distancing and you’re required by the State of New Hampshire to pre-register for all classes attended. That means we can’t have anyone just show up the day of the open house. If your Cousin Joe wants to come with you, be sure he signs up in advance! 

Remember, if you’ve saved a spot, someone else can’t take class at that time. Please show up 10 minutes early to all registered classes or cancel on the MINDBODY app at least 12 hours prior to class. Late cancel fees apply. 

We’re also required to discourage “congregating” as much as possible. Come to the studio wearing your clothing for class to reduce the lines for the changing rooms as there is limited space. 

You’ll need a yoga mat, large towel, and a bottle of water. Forgot yours? No problem. They’re available for sale at the studio. 

When you arrive, don your CDC-approved mask to keep others safe and our doors open. Students without a mask will be denied entry. You’ll be asked to sanitize your hands when you arrive, submit to a temperature scan, and answer a quick health screening.  

Once you’re inside, our welcoming staff will show you around and lead you through an amazing class.  

Be prepared to work hard, sweat, and leave walking on clouds.  

See you there!

Understanding Intra-abdominal Pressure (IAP) to Optimize Your Practice

The yoga and fitness industries have done a disservice to their clients for decades (centuries?). They've passed on information about trunk stability and core strength that don't pass the test of science or biomechanics.

Sucking your stomach in or exhaling when you're lifting a heavy weight is one of the least strong positions you can create.

Back in the 80s, Arnold and his fellow body builders used to practice blowing up balloons and hot water bottles to create what we now understand as IAP. When you know better, you can do better. If you're feeling pain in your lower back, the low hanging fruit is to see if you're really pressurizing in your trunk or just randomly contracting your belly muscles.

We’ve created this simple video to help you feel it in your body and understand how to apply it across all movement disciplines in your life from gardening to ballet, and from laundry to Balancing Stick.

When you learn to use this simple technique, you'll feel stronger, be stronger, and on your way to eliminating back pain.

One Simple Hack to Transform
Your Standing Bow Pose

Too many of us lack the hip extension necessary to do much in Standing Bow pose. We run out of mobility and compensate by over-arching the lower back or rotating the standing hip.

The result is a posture that looks like it might be deeper, but is actually a regression in terms of mobility and control.

That's why we've created this video to help you understand the requisites for the posture and show you what you can do about it.

Follow the instructions for the simple active range exercise inside and start seeing changes in your mobility, range, strength, and control. Your joints will feel better and you'll know you're doing the pose in a way that maximizes benefit to you.

Try out the exercise inside and learn the honest truth about your active hip mobility. Once you've cried yourself to sleep, let's get to work.

That’s why we made you this quick video, so you can understand the pose, get to the bottom of your compensation patterns, and start seeing results in your practice.

So You Want a Juicy Booty?

Too many of us lack the hip mobility to make glute-building exercises effective. When we lack hip extension, the lower back offers to jump right in and compensate. We arch the spine instead of engaging our posterior hip muscles in squats, deadlifts, bridges, and yoga poses. You’re definitely not going to get a big round booty by arching your lower spine.

Learning how to control your spine from the front is the first step in optimizing how you do glute exercises so you can save yourself an aching back and make LL Cool J proud.

Listen, if you want to build strength in your posterior you have to stop pretending your lower back is a butt. Check out this quick video and start making booty gains.

Top 3 Most Important Elements in Optimizing Your Workout

Life is busy and it's not always easy to find time for yourself, your practice, and your health. Everyone needs you and there's always one more task that needs your attention.

That's why when we get to show up on the mat, we want to be sure we get the most out of that time. These three factors are the most important elements of optimizing your workout.

How to Choose Your Weights
for Inferno Hot Pilates

When your weights are too light, you won't feel a lot from the exercises. When your weights are too heavy, you'll end up using your traps or your lower back instead of building strength in the target muscles and joints. No one wants to get half benefits from a workout and no one wants a sore lower back!

Our teachers plan your classes based on the type of weight you’ll be using. Choose a heavy weight for a “light” shoulders day and you’re going to have to leave the weights on the floor the whole time. When you arrive at the studio, the teacher will tell you what type of weight to choose for that day. This will vary based on the type of exercises and the number of sets or reps we’ll be doing. It has nothing to do with what you lift at the gym or what you did in class last week.

We've created this simple video to help you understand the meaning of "light", "medium", and "medium-heavy" in Inferno Hot Pilates+, so you can choose the right weight for our impeccably-designed classes. Learn to choose the right weight for you and for the class at hand so you can optimize your workout and leave feeling amazing every time.

Our Commitment to You

At Blaze, we operate on four foundational values: Heat, Health, Community, and Trust. We are on a mission to support our community to take charge of their health, to heal their wounds, and amplify their lives so they can maximize their impact on the world.

Keeping our students safe within our walls has always been at the core of each of those values. We work hard every hour of every day to keep the studio safe, clean, and adhere to the highest of ethical standards. In a time of heightened awareness, here’s what we do every day to keep you safe.

Five Simple Steps to Break the COVID Funk

As quarantine starts to drag, too many students are reporting to us that they’re struggling to motivate, feeling stuck, bloated, and generally blah.

The secret to creating change when you’re feeling like trash is to pluck the low-hanging fruit. Start with steps that are free, easy, and give you immediate results. It’s usually all the motivation you need to get the ball rolling on making the big changes you want to make to live a life you love.

Stay Connected to Your Practice in Uncertain Times

Now more than ever, we need the stabilizing practices of yoga, meditation, and exercise in our lives. People are under a tremendous amount of stress and often trapped without access to their usual stress relief.    

That's why we've curated an online library of dozens of classes Blaze members can take in the comfort and safety of their homes that’s growing daily. Your teachers have been working around the clock to be sure you have uninterrupted access to the therapeutic methods you’ve come to rely on in your self-care arsenal. "Together" online, we'll get through this pandemic and continue to thrive as a community.

Get in on the action:

1) Join our private online group Get Blazed Live for info, links, and passwords.

2) Sign up on MINDBODY for Online Classes

3) Login to our online library and stream great class!

Grab an online class today and find your center again.    

With over 40 online classes archived and at least 2 chances to livestream every day, we've got what you need to get through these uncertain times.    

New to Blaze? On quarantine across the country? Grab 30 days of online access for just $30.

Hot & Heavy

Too many fitness buffs out there are constantly sidelined by injury and over-training. It’s easy to get discouraged from your goals and resigned to watching from the sidelines or doing what you love in pain.

That’s why we created our Hot & Heavy program to help you get after your fitness and make gains without destroying your body in the process. We take the intelligent sequencing and alignment focus of our transformative Yoga and Pilates classes and apply them to heavy lifting and dynamic movement so you can get a killer workout and walk away feeling better and stronger every day.

Are you ready to find out what you’re made of and start surpassing your wildest dreams? Save your spot in Hot & Heavy today!

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Inferno Hot Pilates Plus

Everyone knows that lifting weights is good for your heart and your bones, but who has the time or the motivation? The weight racks at the gym are intimidating and most of us feel under a spotlight getting started.

In Inferno Hot Pilates Plus we take our transformational IHP class and add weights and bands to get you in the best shape of your life. Suitable for beginners or advanced athletes, we’ll teach you the ropes and challenge you to be your best. We use bumping music and club lighting with group motivation to help you find strength you didn’t even know you had. Each class can be tailored to your individual needs and goals.

You’ll walk away feeling powerful, elated, and strong. Book your first Plus class today!

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Inferno Hot Pilates

Separating what works from the rest of the noise in the world of fitness can be so confusing. There’s a new fad or IG influencer every other day.

That’s why we offer Inferno Hot Pilates here at Blaze. Based on the scientific research of Dr. Izumi Tabata, IHP is the most effective way to get in shape…fast. It’s high-intensity interval training with powerful group motivation that blasts your cardio and builds stability and control in your glutes, core, and shoulders. We run the class with club lighting and motivating music so you can work your tail off and have a blast at the same time.

Forget about the next person selling you their 28 days to six-pack abs. Get on your mat in IHP and walk away feeling strong, powerful, and ready for anything.

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Hot Vinyasa Yoga

Modern living leaves too many of us disconnected from our bodies and living with chronic discomfort. It can feel like a frazzled mind and junk body is a necessary side effect of being alive in this century.

Hot Vinyasa to the rescue! Our athletic flow class takes you from warm up and alignment sequences to deeper postures and playful flows with vinyasa principles. By linking movement with your breath, it brings your brain into the present moment so you can experience the benefits of meditation while you work with your body. This special combination trains you to both manage and banish stress before it goes too far.

You’ll leave each class feeling strong, resilient, and deeply centered. Find peace today.

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Hot Yoga Plus

It’s far too easy to let the demands of modern life take precedence over taking care of number one. There’s always someone who needs one more thing or a deadline you just can’t miss.

That’s why we created our Hot Yoga Plus program to help you make the most of your “me time” with these special classes that are both a workout and a work in. We use music and meditative cueing to help you tune in to the present moment so you can banish stress and focus on you.

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Original Hot Yoga

Too many of us walk around in a body that belongs to a stranger. Life, stress, injury, and illness can leave us feeling disconnected and like it’s all downhill from here.

At Blaze, we believe your best years are yet to come! That’s why we offer our original Hot Yoga to heal your broken bits and get your body and mind in top condition. This class was designed for the modern body and helps to counteract the negative influences of daily life. It’s the most accessible and effective yoga discipline in the world, designed to improve function and movement of every part of your body, so you can get back after your goals and dreams.

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Pillars of Blaze:
Heat

At Blaze we operate toward the radical vision of a world without suffering. It is our mission to support our community to take charge of their health, to heal their wounds, and amplify their lives so they can maximize their impact on the world. To support these goals, we function from four core pillars.


Heat is at the core of our values at Blaze. Heat amplifies every chemical reaction and wildly reduces the risk of injury. Too stiff for yoga? Try hot yoga. The heat is the secret sauce that makes our hot fitness modalities so effective.  

You’ll find an element of heat in all of our offerings. We believe in sweating daily because sweat is a powerful antiseptic that can help boost our immunity and resistance to ambient bacteria and disease. Sweat contains many of the same components as human urine and while it’s not a heavy lifter, it can reduce the detoxification load on our kidneys and liver.

Heat therapy has been shown in several studies to relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce the production of excess cortisol, and increase the production of “feel-good” hormones in the body. In our exploratory study, hot yoga reduced symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome in recovery by 80% on average.

We also use the heat to help build a sense of urgency. Your life is now. The time is now. We only get one shot at this life. Let’s get after it!

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Pillars of Blaze:
Health

The second pillar of all we do here at Blaze is health. Without our health, everything else we do in life suffers. It’s hard to be a kind, generous, productive person when you feel like garbage. When we take care of our bodies, we walk through life a better partner, leader, parent, child, friend, employee, and community member. By making commitment to our own health, we make a commitment to our entire community.

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Pillars of Blaze: Community

Bringing people together is what we do best. Our thriving community is the most supportive group of caring individuals you’ll ever meet. We sweat together, struggle together, challenge each other, heal together, and laugh together.

We are able to host this incredible community because our staff is dedicated to building community and fostering human connection in everything we do. Our staff exhibit impeccable integrity in all of their actions and work daily to ensure that all people feel safe, welcome, and seen when they walk through our doors. Our community members follow suit in their behaviors, showing the new members around, asking classmates about their new puppy, and lending and ear to a long-time yoga friend.

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Pillars of Blaze: Trust

The fourth pillar of our studio is trust. To work together and transform our lives, we strive daily to create a culture rooted in trust.

We believe it is our responsibility as a small business and as teachers to earn and maintain the trust of the people we serve and the community that supports us.

That trust starts with an unshakable commitment to integrity in all that we do. We hold ourselves, our teachers, and our community to high moral and ethical standards. Blaze will always be a safe place to practice, to heal, and to thrive. We practice our craft wholeheartedly with kindness, compassion, courtesy, and respect to all.

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STOPTOBER 2019

Did you know that alcohol consumption within the low-risk guidelines recommended by the American Medical Association can still have a negative impact on mental and physical stamina and performance? Many people are now considering the ways that even what is considered “normal” use of alcohol is affecting their health and physical abilities.

After all, does Tom Brady drink during football season? Or any season, for that matter? There’s a reason he’s the G.O.A.T. Let’s explore it. Together.

If you are interested in this type of self-exploration, consider joining us for  STOPTOBER, a 30-day self-inquiry where we explore the effects of alcohol use on our mental, emotional and physical performance simply by taking a break from it.  

The program:
We know there are a lot of online communities out there offering support. STOPTOBER 2019 is a local group for individuals who practice at Blaze Yoga & Pilates and SteamHouse Hot Yoga & Pilates. Online support is helping millions, but all too often the missing piece is shared experience. This platform will provide an opportunity to join together with others in your hot fitness community behind a common goal.

Have you ever wondered if alcohol was a crutch holding you back?

Have you ever wanted to stop, but didn’t feel you could for social or emotional reasons?

Have you ever wondered if drinking is getting in the way of your self-care or crushing your goals?

According to One Year No Beer 92% of people who took the STOPTOBER challenge reported feeling happier and 73% reported dramatically improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and weight loss.
Join LADC Barb Dugan for a special challenge to explore your relationship with alcohol. In the online group she will offer a daily prompt for the month of October to inspire group discussion and personal motivation in addition to providing access to the latest research and resources for the sober-curious.

To Join:
Sign up for STOPTOBER here. A link will then be provided for you to join the Closed Facebook Group STOPTOBER.  Registration ends at 9:30 PM on September 30 (at which point the group status will go from "Closed" to "Secret.”)

Cost: $30


STOPTOBER is not appropriate for anyone who considers themselves an “alcoholic,” or who has been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder or any other substance use disorder.

The Original Hot Yoga Association
(OHYA  just say “OH YEAH!”)

At Blaze, we teach only the most effective Hot Yoga & Pilates methods in existence. We’ve carefully chosen our training and offerings to meet our personal mission to help people be their best so that our community members can positively impact the word.

Our yoga system in particular is the most impactful, therapeutic yoga discipline available. That means that every student has a chance to heal and thrive from whatever life has handed them to this point: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

All of our teachers are certified under the standards of the Original Hot Yoga Association. By working OHYA, we ensure that you always have access to the best instruction available in the world. Learn more:

The Original Hot Yoga Association is on a mission to preserve and promote the therapeutic practice of Original Hot Yoga, by creating and upholding standards and resources for studios, teachers, classes, and trainings. OHYA is dedicated to moving the Original Hot Yoga community into the future. Our association of studios and teachers is the largest and most respected resource for authentic Original Hot Yoga Studios around the world. Our board of credentialed instructors, owners, and service professionals vet studios to ensure they are meeting the highest of standards.

OHYA Studio Directory

Central to OHYA’s mission is the Studio Directory where over a 150 OHYA studios are listed. All studios on the OHYA Studio Directory are owned by either Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher or graduates of OHYA approved trainings with at least 10% of their classes dedicated to 90-minute Original Hot Yoga. Look for the OHYA “Studio Partner” seal when searching for studios to find those that offer the Original Hot Yoga, so yoga enthusiasts can discover the real Original Hot Yoga with highly-trained instructors and traditional, therapeutic, 90-minute 26 & 2 classes.

OHYA Teacher Directory

‍The OHYA Teacher Directory ensures that our community of highly-trained and experienced teachers have a professional association to protect and promote their certification. To join the OHYA Teacher Directory, all teachers must have graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training or an OHYA-approved Teacher Training and complete a six-month internship before earning their Level 1 seal as an Original Hot Yoga Teacher (OHYT). ‍

Continuing Education

To maintain their seals in the OHYA Teacher Directory, teachers commit to a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education taught by OHYA-approved Continuing Education teachers every three years. OHYA offers a listing of Continuing Education for teachers to find all options to fulfill their continuing education requirements. This ensures that all OHYA-certified teachers continue to grow their understanding of the lineage, posture mechanics, and teaching methodologies from the most experienced teachers in the field. ‍

OHYA-approved Teacher Training

OHYA created Approved Teacher Trainings so our studios could identify teachers that met our exacting standards. OHYA-approved Teacher Trainings are for students who want to pursue a career in teaching the Original Hot Yoga.  More and more studios are hiring graduates of OHYA Approved trainings in addition to CBYT(Certified Bikram Yoga Teachers).  

Visit the Original Yoga Yoga Association to learn more and to find the Original Hot Yoga worldwide.  Download the App by searching Original Hot Yoga in your phone’s app store.

Commit to 90 Blog Post

In today’s stressed-out culture, too many of us have all of the information, are doing all of the “right” things, and yet we still feel like garbage. Living a healthy life has become just one more task on the endless to-do list. Taking care of yourself shouldn’t have to be so hard.

In the Commit to 90 program we teach you to cut through the noise of the wellness industry and tune into your own body’s unique needs. Our innovative program brings the latest science and most effective techniques to the table to take the pain out of taking care of you.

You’ll finally be able to address your movement and fitness goals, deepen your nutrition education, and make lifestyle changes that turn the life you live into the life you’ve always wanted.

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Teen Yoga Network

Taking care of their bodies is a skill too many children don’t learn in school.

In today’s fast-paced society, too many kids are over-stimulated mentally and under-stimulated physically. The CDC estimates less than 10% of teens get the recommended 60 minutes per day of exercise.

Studies indicate youth who engage in yoga and mindfulness disciplines show not only improved academic and athletic performance, but increased resilience, grit, decreased emotional lability, and reduced perceived stress. (insert dad and kids pic)

At Blaze, we believe parents set the best example for the next generation. To encourage parents to introduce their children to Yoga & Pilates, we offer several classes during the week where children under 18 can practice for free with a paying adult.

Check out the available classes below and sign your child up today!

First Class Prep Check List

If you've gotten this far, you're ready to take charge of your health and your life. You're ready to do what it takes to feel your best so you can be your best and have massive impact on the world around you.

Here’s the plan:
1.    Grab your intro month here.
2.    Sign up for your first class.
3.    Change your life.

To get ready for your first class, follow this simple check list:

Hydrate
: You don't need to drink a gallon of water, but it's best if you have more than a cup of coffee before your first class. A good place to start is to take the number of pounds you weigh and divide it by two. Drink that number in ounces of water each day.

Fuel Your Body: Movement, exercise, and yoga requires energy. To be sure you feel your absolute best, fill your body with quality fuel. Eat a light meal 1-3 hours before your first class.

Pack Your Bag: You'll need a few tools for your first class.

  Wear light, athletic clothing and be prepared to sweat
  Bring a yoga mat, large towel, and bottle of water.
  We have showers, so feel free to bring your dop kit and an extra towel so you can get ready and get on with your day.

Blog Takeover by Just Ask Nora!

By Nora Hapny

Our whole goal here is to help people feel good, to feel like they are a part of something so they can bring all their unique gifts to the world, said Sara Curry who owns Blaze Yoga and Pilates in Portsmouth, NH with her amazing partner Jaylon, while leading #justasknora in my first ever active yoga interview! Sara is a mega boss, yogi goddess and overall BA inspirational mama to oh so many of us. She has created an inclusive culture at @blazeyoganh where we all can come together in sweat during Hot Yoga, Hot Vinyasa, and Inferno Hot Pilates classes. I’m beyond grateful to have spent the month of April immersed in this world of sweat, love and respect.

There are many incredible programs going on at @blazeyoganh including the Sober Yogis program that combines therapeutic supports outside of the studio and regular yoga practice to reduce post-acute withdrawal symptoms and enhance sobriety. Sara and I discussed this in detail during our interview so go find that in the stories or look online at their website for more info. They have also created a comprehensive life program in partnership with Erin Holt that encourages students to slowly build healthy habits (from yoga and using food as fuel to mediation and sleep) over a three month period with our Commit to 90 program. They’ve partnered with Erin because of her commitment to fighting back against diet culture and supporting people’s health, healing, and personal growth!

Hot yoga has so many wonderful benefits for your mind, body and life. I have practiced Bikram yoga all over the world and @blazeyoganh will always hold one of the warmest spots in my heart. The way Sara & Jaylon give to this community is immeasurable. This community is lucky to have you and all the teachers at Blaze, thank you for helping us sweat our shit out and leading us with such open hearts. Now pop over and join their sweat collective, it’s a game changer!

How Hot Yoga and Pilates Makes You Money

Say what? Showing up for hot Yoga and Pilates is going to increase my bank roll?
You know it!

We build grit:The number one reported predictor of high school graduation in kindergarten-aged children is grit. It out-paces money, talent, and intelligence. Grit gives you the motivation try again when you fail and to work harder when you don’t have the skills you need yet for the job at hand.

Achieving your goals and making the money flow take hard work, effort, and hustle. It means sticking with it even when the going gets tough. Practicing Hot Yoga and Pilates steadily builds grit, determination, and will power: giving you the strength you need to make your dreams reality.

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You're not busy

Top Five Reasons You Think You’re Too Busy for Yoga and are Lying to Yourself

It’s super on-trend right now to be busy. Business-y business types are so busy. A single mom working three jobs is busy. Your retired Aunt Cindy is busy.

How are you? Busy.

You’re not actually that busy. Our single mom with three jobs sure is busy. The rest of us? Not so much.

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Fueling Your Body for High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training classes like our Inferno Hot Pilates classes are the most effective methods known today for improving health and fitness in the human body and seeing results quickly.

Contrary to what the seven billion-dollar diet industry is telling you, approaching a HIIT workout in a calorie deficient can actually undermine the effectiveness of your workout.

Do you want to show up and smash your workout and make the most out of your time in this studio? Click below to learn from Functional Nutritionist Erin Holt how to fuel your body so you can approach your fitness in true beast mode.

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Breastfeeding and Hot Yoga: Postpartum Concerns

I’ve had a lot of questions from students lately about postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, and Hot Yoga. This pose will address a lot of those questions.

When can I return to yoga?

Most physicians recommend you wait at least three weeks postpartum before resuming yoga to allow your pregnancy hormone levels to drop, as they do dramatically at two weeks postpartum, and stabilize.  Some want you to wait six weeks until the placental scar is fully healed. With that said, who wants to look at their postpartum body in the mirror with a pad stuffed in their spandex? You may want to wait until your flow is reduced to panty-liner levels.

You’ll also need to take into consideration how you are feeling, sleeping, and recovering.  If what you’re doing causes your flow to increase that is a sure sign you are doing too much, so slow down. Personally, I returned to classes five and four weeks postpartum with my two pregnancies, but had been doing some yoga in my living room since three weeks PP to help alleviate the Hunchback of Breastfeeding. As long as you are practicing with mindfulness, yoga is an adaptive practice you can make safe at any time.

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What if you were more than a number?

Losing ten pounds won’t make you comfortable in your skin.

Just one more diet. Just this last ten pounds. If I just get a tummy tuck. If I could get rid of these wrinkles/cellulite/this mole/this scar/these bat wings/stretch marks/this hair.

Then, I’d feel good. I’d be happy. I will have arrived at my best life.

And it’s all a great big lie.

If you don’t love yourself right now, this very moment as you’re skimming over this article on the screen of your device, you won’t love yourself after the transformation you think you need.

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Practicing Yoga with Benign Positional Vertigo

A bout of vertigo can put the brakes on a lot of daily activity. Can you still practice yoga? Will it help? Will it make it worse?

As with most questions in life, the answer is, when in doubt, go to yoga.

I have suffered from motion sickness and periodic bouts of vertigo throughout my life. It wasn’t until my early thirties that an ear exam revealed I have Meniere’s disease, a genetic condition shared by my father and sister, and an explanation for vertigo at such a young age.

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Comfortable in My Skin

When I took my first Bikram Yoga Class, I was 22 years old. I was a landscaper by day and a heavy drinker by night. I paired my Budweisers each day with at least one dozen American Spirits, if not two. My job was hard on my body and my best friend and I relaxed at the end of the day with some well-deserved brews.

After my first class, I felt amazing. The class itself was hard and uncomfortable, but after I felt light and happy. At the time, I didn’t know anything about the “yoga high” or what was happening in my body.

I felt amazing, but had the perfect excuse not to return. I was too young to need this type of yoga.  It was hard and I was uncomfortable for several hours out of the day.  Yes, it’s only a 90-minute class, but I suffered from severe anxiety. I was uncomfortable from the moment I agreed to go until I was leaving the parking lot.

I have lived my whole life uncomfortable in my own skin.

So I quit. It took me five years to get back on the mat again.  At this point in my life, was no longer drinking, but still smoked a pack a day.  I started out small, going to class a couple of times a week.  The classes were still as hard as I remembered, but I had lost the bloat that comes from drinking a six pack of tall boys a night and that made the classes more tolerable.  My lungs burned in class, but not enough to keep me from craving that all-too-welcoming post-yoga smoke.

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I am Not Good in the Heat and Other Excuses

“I’d try hot yoga, but I’m not good in the heat.” I’ve heard that at least a hundred times or variations on the theme. “I hate heat.” “I can’t handle heat.” “No, really, I hate the heat.” “I tried it and I couldn’t handle the heat.”

I am the bearer of both good and bad news.

These are not reasons. These are excuses.

The good news is that now that you understand it is an excuse, you can take action. The bad news is that this is just an excuse and not a reason not to go to class.

The human body has a tremendously efficient and responsive thermoregulation system. Except in cases of illness, it does a wonderful job of constantly adjusting to changing external and internal temperature changes.

Yoga and Osteoporosis

We would like to believe that our bones will always be as strong and healthy as they were in our youth. Unfortunately, around the age of 30 we all reach peak bone mass. Our job at that point is to maintain at all costs as much bone as we can. Osteoporosis is not limited to women, but a much more common diagnosis. Bone loss begins for most women in perimenopause, but bone loss numbers jump dramatically during menopause due to dropping levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Bone density is no joke. The figure on the left shows healthy bone; the figure on the right shows osteoporotic bone. No one wants to enter their golden years on fragile pins. Luckily, there is hope.

In addition to a healthy diet high in calcium and Vitamin D, yoga can be an excellent tool in helping maintain peak bone mass, slow bone loss and prevent fractures. Yoga is a weight bearing activity that creates torque on the bones to help build bone density, much in the same way you build muscle strength, through Wolff’s Law. Bones get stronger and stay strong when they are called upon to do more.

Yoga also helps to improve balance to prevent falls as we age. Improving spinal alignment reduces the risk of wedge fractures in the vertebral bodies that lead to that stereotypical, kyphotic, osteoporosis look. Yoga improves flexibility, lubrication of the joints and range of motion, all of which contribute to preventing the most common hip, wrist and vertebral fractures associated with osteoporosis.

Powerful, successful women

We have seen a troubling trend in class recently: mature, successful, adult women fainting.  Powerful, successful women in the prime of their lives falling down on the floor in the middle of a yoga class. Women aged 40-70 years old. Career women. Mothers. Caretakers. Lovers. Brilliant and inspiring powerhouses. Women who regularly take care of 100 different things a day. Experienced and seasoned yogis, blacking out doing a pose they have done at least a hundred times. The common thread underlying these episodes? Food.

By food I mean, not enough.

Women who haven’t eaten in 24 hours. Women who have had less than 200 calories since they woke up. Women who consider egg whites and steamed vegetables enough fuel to last them 8 hours. In each case, the woman who had fainted was shocked when I suggested that starving her body might leave her light-headed during exercise.

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Practicing Bikram Yoga After a Mastectomy

Don’t let surgery limit your practice. Physical therapy is a must to improve range of motion and quality of life going forward. And, what do you know, the handouts and pamphlets with which I was sent home depict exercises straight out of the yoga tradition. Following are notations of how I modified the postures. Please incorporate what benefits your physical situation; don’t feel limited by my experience.

First, you will experience pain so move slowly into the postures. That being said, don’t let your fear of pain limit your achievements. Many times I stopped reaching at the same point I left off during the previous class, or even at a weeks old measure. I went through all sorts of pressure-relieving  modifications during the cobra series savasanabecause I assumed it would take months and months AND months to bear weight. It didn’t.

Test your limits every class. I’m not saying it’s okay to pop your stitches, but your body and your abilities change every day. It’s a good idea to check them every day so you don’t get stuck in last week’s temporary inability. For convenience, I’ll refer to a ‘well side’ and ‘surgical side’ to avoid all the rights and lefts.

Bridget Dubravsky is a Certified Yoga Instructor from Maine. She is also the author of Bikram Yoga and Breast Cancer.

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Breast Cancer and Bikram Yoga

September 27, 2013 

Hi, I’m Bridget. I’m your yoga teacher and I am seven months cancer free.
During a routine mammogram in January they discovered a large area of concern. On that Wednesday doctors performed several wire insertions, core samples and a biopsy. While the procedures were not incredibly painful, I was anxious and didn’t know what to expect or what to feel from one to the next. I practiced breathing slowly in through the nose and slowly out through the nose to head off the rising panic and to give myself a calming focus. I get savasanas now and how comforting it is to be still in the standing series.

They sent me home with ice packs, gauze, bandages and a very misshapen profile. The swelling continued as did the bleeding. I stopped practicing that week. And then I started to talk myself out of teaching that Sunday morning class. You know how it is. Just like with my practice or rather my excuses not to practice: ‘Ok, you can stay home just this once. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and, of course, oh why not?!? This is the perfect excuse.’

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Battling Diabetes through Bikram Yoga

Type 1 Diabetes also known as Juvenile Diabetes or Diabetes Melitus is a genetic condition usually affecting children.

Juvenile Diabetes has nothing to do with an unhealthy lifestyle, eating too much sugar, or lack of exercise. There is genetic abnormality on chromosome six that causes the white blood cells of the body to attack the insulin-producing portion of the pancreas killing the hormone which enables the body to metabolize carbohydrates. Without insulin a person will die because there is no way for the cells to get the nutrients they need for survival.

When I was 10 years old, I lost 30 pounds in one month. I was lethargic and unable to wake up for school.  My parents were convinced that I was depressed and did not want to attend school. When I went to the doctor a blood sugar test showed that my blood sugar levels were in the 600s (normal range is 80-120).  A blood sugar this high can lead to coma and eventually death.  It was determined that I had Juvenile Diabetes.

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Can You Practice Hot Yoga During Pregnancy?

began a blog to be of assistance in helping you to make educated decisions about exercise during yours.

At the studio, we’ve had several women in low-risk pregnancies have their doctors tell them that they could not practice hot yoga while pregnant, with little information on the classes.  Please take the concerns of your physician or midwife seriously.  Women with high-risk pregnancies must first obtain a doctor’s note to participate in classes at Blaze Yoga and Pilates.

Many doctors, however, incorrectly assume that practicing in a hot room is akin to being in a sauna or Jacuzzi and that is where their concern develops.  Both a sauna and a Jacuzzi are much hotter than a standard hot yoga class.  The biggest difference is the inability for the body to cool itself when in a sauna or Jacuzzi.  Sweat (evapotranspiration) and moving air (convection) are the cooling mechanisms for a practicing yogi.  Neither of these are existent in a Jacuzzi and only one (sweat) in a sauna where the air is heated up to 40 degrees hotter than a Bikram Yoga or Inferno Hot Pilates class.Naturally, many pregnant women have concerns about hot yoga during pregnancy.  

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Clean and Green

One of the primary pillars that makes Blaze Yoga and Pilates is our commitment to a GREEN approach. We believe strongly that all of our actions should contribute to a cleaner and greener studio, region, country, and planet.

With that in mind, we are always working to offer the most effective, green, sustainable environment possible so that we can all thrive, together.

Is the studio clean? I'll start to answer the first question with a question back: have you met my husband, Jaylon? He steam cleans our carpets at home for fun. At the end of a long, hard day, he just wants to hot steam-mop the kitchen floor.

A rare sighting of Jaylon in his natural habitat.

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Yoga as a Tool in Healing: How to feel better

Kyle Maiorana and Erin Holt of the Funk’tional Nutrition podcast this week to talk about what role yoga can play in healing chronic pain and illness.

Both women are registered dietitians who work to help their clients develop personalized plans for health that cover all aspects of their lives. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work they do and wait anxiously each week for the release of the next episode. Topics cover everything from healthy fats to good sources of animal protein, and from the benefits of CBD oil to understanding diet culture. They also host people in the fields of health and wellness to share their unique areas of expertise.
I had the great pleasure of joining

Will I pass out in hot yoga?

The short answer to the question is: it’s highly unlikely.

Many new students have heard horror stories about yoga classes so hot that people were dropping like flies and being carried out of the room. Most of these are embellished or frankly fabricated. Like any tall tale, there’s always a kernel of truth: usually survival stories from teacher training where they try to burn you down metaphorically so you can rise like a phoenix from the ashes. You won’t find that in a general public yoga class.

I sat down this morning and tried to count how many times I’ve seen people pass out in yoga. I couldn’t even fill up one hand. I’ve heard stories of more than that, but in 17 years of practicing and teaching Bikram Yoga, I’ve only seen three people “go down” in a class.

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Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday is back on Saturday, November 24th. Join us for free classes and special sales the Saturday after Thanksgiving!

We love you all so much and can’t wait for the opportunity to show our gratitude to this amazing yoga community by offering free classes for you and your friends and family and special discounts on yoga and accessories.

Save your spot in the free classes below!

 25% off retail does not include food or CBD
Intro Month for the price of a drop in! $20 for 30 days unlimited
Special! 5-class card for $79 one day only!
Special! 50-class card for $739 one day only!
Special! Annual Unlimited for $1,099 just $91.58/month!
Autopay Ten Card for $150 automatically renews every ten classes or six months

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Practicing Yoga While Sick

Can I practice when I’m sick?

It’s a question we get at the studio often. As with most yoga-related questions,there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

First and foremost, if you have something contagious, please stay home and keep it to yourself. We once had a student undergoing treatment for a persistent MRSA infection practicing at the studio for four months without telling us.

Lucky for all who were practicing at that time, our sweat contains powerful antiseptic peptides in dermcidin. The best feature of dermcidin is that it attacks the microbes’ cell walls, not something to which a microbe can develop resistance.

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Welcome to Blaze Yoga and Pilates!

We are thrilled to welcome you to the studio and to our wonderful community. Here, I’m going to share some tips to help you get the most out of your time with us.

We offer the most effective hot yoga and Pilates techniques available in the world from the best trained teachers who can help you meet your goals and heal your body. Whatever your goal, whatever your challenge, whatever your limitation, we are confident we can help.

We are on a mission to help people take control of their health and wellness so they can feel great and have a positive impact on the world.

You may have heard some crazy stories about hot yoga and Pilates. We’ve made this short video to help you thrive through your first class:

Donna Carberry Memorial Fund

In 2011, the BYP community lost a very special member when Donna Carberry passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Donna was loved by all who knew her. She loved life, her family, hiking, nature, running, music, and yoga. In her own words, Donna was “in love with love.” Her bright smile lit up every class she attended.

Throughout her fight, Donna continued to practice yoga with us. She’d enter the studio with a huge smile every day and always shared her gratitude for each day and each class, despite the effects of chemo or when the cancer degraded her bones.

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Top Tips for Getting and Staying Hydrated for Yoga and Pilates

Hydration is key to having a great class and good hydration is more than just pounding water. Here are some quick tips to help you stay on top of your game.

eight central pillars

At Blaze Yoga and Pilates, there are eight central pillars that serve as the foundation for all that we do.

With the support of these core values, we are able to uphold our mission as a yoga studio to support our community members to take charge of their health, to heal their wounds, and amplify their lives so they can maximize their impact on the world.

By practicing our eight pillars, we are able to achieve our vision that our studio is able to create a robust and impactful community that ushers positivity and change into the world.

Commit to 90

Our powerful Commit to 90 Whole Life Challenge is back and better than ever!

We’re so stoked to team up with Functional Nutritionist Erin Holt to bring you our new and improved Commit to 90 Whole Life Challenge.

Commit to 90 is a 90-day challenge that rewards you for taking care of yourself. Instead of blasting out classes every day for a month like we’ve always done in our September 30-day Challenge, we’ll focus on building a regular, steady practice. CT90 is designed to help you make informed decisions around nutrition, learn to fuel your body, heal your relationship with food, build community connections, and make time for activities that enhance your life.

How Yoga Enhances Recovery

As a culture, we have become very familiar with the suffering and loss associated with substance use disorders.  We are also quick to notice the psycho-biological symptoms associated with them. What we may not be as familiar with, and completely unprepared for, however, is the discomfort associated with Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS.  PAWS refers to abstinence-based biological changes that occur once an individual has made a decision for change and entered recovery. It is the abstinence-based biological symptoms of PAWS that makes early recovery so uncomfortable and hard to understand, and therefore extremely difficult to maintain.

Join us for a special lecture on Yoga and Sobriety Monday, October 8th at 5 pm.

Hot Yoga and Back Pain

This testimonial is the story of my personal recovery from debilitating pain from herniated discs through the practice of the therapeutic Bikram Method Yoga.  This yoga gave me back my life. In the depths of my pain, I remember sitting in the car with my husband outside one of our favorite restaurants crying. I couldn’t even imagine enduring the suffering of a nice, romantic dinner. The thought of sitting for 45-minutes was pure torture.

The following is my story and experience. I have included a posture-by-posture list of my personal approach to the practice for back pain-sufferers. I offer the information to help you on your way. People write me daily asking if Bikram Yoga will work for them. I am not a doctor. It worked for me. It has worked for hundreds of my students. The principles work.

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Why do some yoga poses hurt?

Yoga should never hurt.  

Your back is gonna hurt like hell.

We often confuse pain and stretching

Yoga is all about getting to know you.  Your body. Your mind. Your Self. Much of our daily lives revolve around ignoring the way we feel so we can get through the day and get our work done. We ignore our aching hips on the two hour commute as much as we avoid movements that remind us of what it feels like to live in this body.

When we first start to move every part of our bodies in yoga, the sensations are unfamiliar and we can frequently categorize the uncomfortable sensation of stretching or moving a joint through full range of motion as pain.

Backbending when you haven’t done it in twenty years hurts. Clearing mineral deposits from your elbows hurts. Tensing up when you are trying to stretch hurts. Bringing back full range of motion to a hip that only sits in a chair or a couch hurts.

Ask yourself, is this pain or the sensation of
stretching?  As a general rule, pain means stop and discomfort means go.