My friend Renee and I have started a monthly hot yoga date tradition recently and I just wanted to share some of the great finds it's lead us to. Power Yoga Evolution in North Andover, MA is a fantastic studio that welcomes beginners and advanced students alike. Instructor Rob Iorio's Saturday morning 90 minute class was a blend of students encompassing many levels and he managed to instruct the workout to accommodate each of them. His "challenge yourself but still go at your own pace" approach really opens doors for someone who's just starting out but wants to really push what they're capable of. He also finds a way to balance a relaxing vinyassa flow with a bit of comedy and fun to keep it light.
Hot yoga in general is an activity that I've developed a love/hate relationship with. During the class, I won't deny that there are moments where I would rather be gouging out my own eyeballs with a spoon, but afterwards, the clean refreshed feeling is more than worth the agony. A couple of recommendations if you're trying out hot yoga for the first time: (1) Wear moisture wicking fabric clothes - and I mean down to your underwear. Cotton is not your friend as you'll be sweating more than you probably have in quite a long time. (2) Invest in a yoga towel, otherwise you'll be sliding all over your mat. (3) Bring a smaller towel too, just trust me. (3) Fill your water bottle halfway the night before and freeze it. You'll appreciate cold water when you're in a classroom that tops 100 degrees. (4) Don't eat to much beforehand, but definitely go into class nourished. I recommend a piece of toast with some almond butter. (5) Plan to eat right afterwards, you'll be ravenously hungry.
This past week, we tried the Sol Bean Cafe in Middleton for our post-yoga lunch date and I really can't say enough great things. The place has an earthy, artistic vibe to it creating a cozy feel. The menu consists of freshly pressed juices and smoothies, coffees, and an array of interesting and health conscious wraps and bowls. While nothing is overly innovative, the flavor combinations they use are one's I probably wouldn't have come up with on my own. This past week, I opted for a Lemon Zinger Juice (cucumber, spinach, kale, ginger, apple and lemon) and a Delightful Wrap (spinach, goat cheese, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, apples, pine nuts and raspberry vinaigrette on a whole wheat wrap). Both were absolutely delicious and satisfying after our workout.
I'm definitely looking forward to our next Saturday yoga and lunch date. If you're in the area, you should come join us!