Teacher Feature: Sabrina Johnson

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Sabrina approached her first Bikram yoga class in the summer of 2012 unsure if yoga was a good fit for her.  She was always active in sports growing up but after her first class at the Bikram Yoga NYC Studio on the Upper West Side, she knew that yoga was exactly what she needed.

A senior teacher she admired said “give me 60 days and I’ll change your life” and Sabrina was up for the challenge. She did her first 60 day yoga challenge and never looked back. Far more than recognizing the physical aspects of the practice, the meditative part was just what she needed to thrive in the hustle and bustle of New York City.  No matter what goes on in your daily life, the opportunity to seek peace and calmness is ever present within yoga. While learning to let everything else go within the sacred space of the studio, Sabrina continued to practice and learn about the true art of being present.

In turn, Sabrina helps others find their peace both passionately and professionally. She completed her Bikram yoga teacher training in the fall of 2015 in Thailand and her Yin Nidra and Hot HIIT trainings in 2016. Her love and passion comes first from being a student, as she enjoys learning each day she enters the studio. Sabrina hopes to travel the globe to continue sharing and spreading the joy of yoga throughout the world. 

 

 

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Your Body’s Powerhouse – What is it?

By Monique Crous, Head Hot HIIT Instructor at BYNYC

In a Hot HIIT class we spend a lot of time strengthening not only the abdominal muscles, but the lower back muscles, the glutes, the muscles around your hips, and the pelvic floor. These muscles work together to create a supportive corset for the trunk of your body. As a group, we refer to these muscles as your “Powerhouse”.

powerhouse

The term “Powerhouse” was created by Joseph Pilates to describe the place in the body from where all movement and energy stems. All movement should begin from the center and move outward to the limbs. It is the Powerhouse that gives us energy, strength, stability and control.

When we strengthen the muscles of the Powerhouse, our posture becomes supported and our shoulders can relax. Our chest opens, allowing it to expand and contract easily with the breath. The neck and head are aligned and can move more freely, and it relieves stress in the hips, legs and feet. So in your next Hot HIIT class, when the instructor tells you to pinch that penny in your bum and tighten up your glutes, pelvic floor, and stomach, tighten them up and find your center!

powerhousecharly

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Posture of the Week: Pranayama

Because of sedentary habits, most people use only ten percent of their lungs, never allowing the lungs too reach their maximum expansion capacity. As a result, they are susceptible to bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, shortness of breath, and dozens of other breathing problems. Standing Deep Breathing teaches you to use the other ninety percent of your lungs. This exercise should be done before any kind of physical activity because it expands the lungs to their full capacity, it increases circulation to the whole body, waking everything up and preparing the muscles for action.

Posture Tips:

  • Concentrate more on breathing through the throat than on what your arms and head are doing.
  • Be gentle when you push your head back, especially if you have any neck or shoulder pain. As you practice more, your neck will get more flexible but don’t rush the process.
  • As a beginner you may not be able to breathe in for 6 seconds. Don’t be discouraged. It takes time to learn how to control your breathing but with consistent practice not only will you be able to breathe in for 6 seconds, you will soon be able to breathe in even longer and you will notice a tremendous affect on your ability to focus and concentrate.
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Supercharge Your Health with 3 Habits

By Ania Dunlop, a BYNYC Healthy Living Series writer from Food for Zen

With spring just around the corner, most people let their New Year’s resolutions slide as life gets in the way. But don’t wait until 2018 to get motivated again. Start with small, sustainable habits and think of wellness as a journey. Forget overly ambitious detoxes or training regimens. Adopt one healthy habit and, when it becomes a part of your daily routine, graduate to the next one. Your health journey will become a smooth ride without the usual overwhelm.

Here are my top 3 tips to clean up your diet for good.

1. Start your day with warm lemon water

After an overnight fast, your body is dehydrated so this will ensure you are hydrating properly for the day. Adding lemon juice will help detoxify and stimulate your digestion (and elimination, which is super important for a health body). To make your morning lemon drink, warm a cup of water, squeeze juice from half a lemon and sip slowly. For bonus points, add a teaspoon of raw apple cider and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  

2. Build a rock solid immune system with these two supplements

Probiotics
The human body houses more than a trillion of bacteria, an ecosystem called a microbiome. You might say we are more bacteria than human! These good bacteria, called probiotics, live in symbiosis with us, helping us digest food, keep our immune system strong and regulate our moods. However, our modern lifestyle, full of stress, poor diet, medications and environmental toxins, can throw off this delicate balance and turn these friendly inhabitants into pathogens. People with disregulated microbiomes often feel tired and toxic, suffer from food sensitivities, acne, and have weak immune systems. So if you are prone to colds or digestive issues you might want to build up your little bacteria friends.

how-to-make-sauerkraut

Adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee, miso and tempeh to your diet is a great way to “supplement” naturally. But if you are not a fermented food lover, I recommend a good probiotic with multiple strains, 25-50 billion units daily.

Vitamin D
While actually a hormone, Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin affecting thousands of genes. Originally linked to strong bones, it’s essential to keeping your entire body healthy, from fighting off infections, reducing inflammation to protecting us from a long list of scary diseases like cancers, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s and Crohn’s. Vitamin D is the superhero you need to pay attention to. 

To get Vitamin D, you either need sunlight exposure or supplements because it’s difficult to get it from food alone. In my hemisphere, it’s almost impossible to get enough Vitamin D from the sun between the months of October and April, so supplementation makes sense. I recommend Vitamin D3, which is the active form. While not a standard test, ask your doctor to test your Vitamin D levels. The general consensus is that the optimal level is at 50-70 ng/ml (or higher for cancer treatment).

3. Eat one pound of vegetables a day, every day

It does seem daunting, doesn’t it? How do you fit eating the rainbow into just one day? Let’s break this down and start with why. Study after study shows that eating 7 or more servings of vegetables a day reduces your risk of dying by more than 40% (cancer 24% and heart disease 31%). If it came in a pill form we would all be popping it!

Vitamins and minerals in plants keep us healthy, but it’s also the phytonutrients that work synergistically with our bodies that provide us with a secondary function of fighting off diseases and increasing our longevity. Merely taking a multi is not going to cut it, you need the real stuff!  

veggies

One pound of vegetables is between 5-10 cups (depending on the type) and I recommend eating 50% raw and 50% cooked. You don’t have to go full vegan to get the benefit, just build your meals around veggies and get them into every nook and cranny of your diet. 

I used to dismiss vegetables because I didn’t know how to make them taste good and didn’t link them to health. Now that I’m motivated by living a long healthy life I blend greens for breakfast, cook up a vegetable soup or salad with protein for lunch and make a big pot of vegetable curry for dinner.  

Find your motivation! Whether it’s a healthy glow or a slim waist, adopting a whole food (mostly) plant based diet is the single most important health-building habit. 

Keep in touch with me at foodforzen.com

3/14/17 Storm Warning Updates

ok-512Last Updated: March 13th – 11:00am

OPEN

Status: No Cancellations – We are monitoring announcements from the Mayor’s Office about any Subway, Bus or Rail disruptions and at this time do not have any class cancellations to report. Please check back for further updates. 

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One Fire Festival March 30th – April 2nd

We are thrilled to be involved with the One Fire Festival again this year! The 2017 event is taking place in Bethesda, Maryland from March 30th through April 2nd and features special events, trainings and workshops from Craig Villani, Jimmy Barkan, Mary Jarvis, Esak Garcia, Zeb Homison, Jeff Chen and our very own Donna Rubin! Donna’s lecture on Saturday, April 1st from 2pm to 3:30pm will focus on important yoga tips to be sure you stay injury free. 

Tickets are on sale now at onefirefest.com

About The Festival

ONE FIRE FEST WAS BORN OUT OF OUR DESIRE TO CREATE A GATHERING SPACE FOR THIS GLOBAL + DIVERSE HOT YOGA COMMUNITY.

We are all connected by a deep respect and gratitude for this sequence and the path that made it accessible to us today. As the hot yoga world evolves, we seek to co-create a space for all hot yoga lovers to gather. We hope to change the conversation around hot yoga to one that is fruitful, engaging, educational, inspirational, and spiritual. We support all expressions of yoga, and we hope to open the minds and hearts of all to allow us to embrace each other with all our different practices and philosophies.

OUR MISSION IS:

TO HIGHLIGHT THE BEST OF THE HOT YOGA WORLD
We’ve created platforms for leaders of our community to share their insights, methods and techniques. They don’t all agree, and that’s ok.

TO BUILD BRIDGES WITHIN THE HOT YOGA COMMUNITY
One Fire is the first festive environment for hot yogis to gather in. No agenda, no competition, no drama. Just lots of good sweat, laughs, and memories.

TO CONNECT THE HOT YOGA COMMUNITY WITH OTHER YOGA TRADITIONS
We love the 26+2 practice. And we are also open to exploring and learning other styles and traditions.

One Fire Festival 2016 from One Fire Fest on Vimeo.