Author: Yogabydegrees

At Yoga by Degrees, we like to sweat so we turn up the heat in our classes. Heat during yoga practice has numerous benefits. It allows for a deeper cleanse of the body and boosts the body’s circulation. Heat loosens up the muscles and detoxifies the organs. Heat allows for greater range of motion in joints, muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body. Heat also has a calming affect on the mind and when the mind slows down and the heart rate picks up you have the perfect combination for a hatha yoga practice. Our classes are heated from 80º F to 105º F. Check out our website at to find the right class with right amount of heat for you.

Wellness Wednesday: Your Inner Circle

Happy Wellness Wednesday, guys!

This past month I have gravitated to the idea of spring cleaning of those I surround myself with. There come a point we feel the need to reevaluate the relationships we have in our life to ensure the relationships we hold are still warm and thriving. Little did I realize that I spent too much energy engaging in relationships that left me feeling apathetic, stagnant and exhausted. Recently I have longed for the relationships that left me nourished, back to my roots.

Life itself can be draining enough already without the ones that consume our energy levels constantly so its vital we plant ourselves in an inner circle that nourishes us to grow. This evaluation has little to do with being a selfish and everything to do with your well being. Our relationships should be mutual and synergistic. However, this could be difficult to learn as we may fall into the comfort of the length we have had this relationship. It may become blind to us that we no longer receive mutual support or we have kept ourselves trapped from negative energy, something we must give ourselves permission to free. While we may not want to completely eliminate a relationship, we have the ability to shift the boundaries of a relationship.

Doing so can give us the space we need within in order to grow and cultivate more ease in our life and inspire the ones we love to do the same.

Wellness Wednesday: Our Inner Child

As adults we are taught it is necessary to always act mature. We hide our lighthearted, playful sides and our work becomes dull. A spontaneous change in every day tasks may be the thing we need to free us from the all-seriousness life we live. If we continue to have a strict routine we are expected to live, we only become more numb as time goes on. We may forget the vibrancy that we can access at any time simply by becoming creative in our ordinary routine.

As we explore what spontaneous means to us, we transform what we once thought was mundane into experiencing life as if it was the first time just like a child. Letting the innocent part of us come out and play might be a way for us to feel the energy of our younger years as we also experience the notion of life in a pure way.

Consciously reminding ourselves of innocence we once had in our early years allows us to experience life fully with open arms. But as we grow older we acknowledge the problems of the world, we see the past as something negative. While we perceive these problems as negative, this negativity can impact the positivity in life. However a trip down memory lane ironically may be the thing we need to see that there is a wonder to everyday things. Connecting our inner child briefly here and there brings an uplift of interest to what we thought would never be lively again.



Wellness Wednesday: Is Fear So Bad?

Fear is this physiological response that we all have experienced when there may be potential danger. There are times, however, that fear dominates us so often that it keeps us from fully enjoying life. Fear is often viewed as a feeling that robs us from the life we desire by tearing us down to eventually turn us powerless.

But fear is an innate instinct. Fear can be healthy. Fear is something we work with rather than against. Fear invites us to grow. It encourages us to experience new situations, introduces us to new people and liberates us from the lack of momentum our life may have time to time. We may act out in fear and look back wishing we had made different action for a different outcome on a situation. When we learn that we can work with fear, we also learn that we have the powerful ability to observe our fear and make wiser decisions as we detach from such a strong emotional reaction. When our mind and soul are in alignment we create space within ourselves to take on a new experience of reality.

Overcoming a fear can seem like a big leap. Whatever it may be, it is essential to start small. When we confront a fear we have the ability to acknowledge and analyze our thought process, view the fear from multiple types of perspectives and then decide how we may act on our fear. The small dosage of adrenaline our body fires followed by a moment of calm can ensure that we are safe. As we continue to repeat this sequence we only gain confidence now that we learned we are never given more than we can handle. We learn that temporary discomfort is a small price to pay for the development of ourself and that fear really isn’t so bad.



Wellness Wednesday: Telling People You Love Them

Little does anyone know that I keep a folder of letters I have received from those in my life over a course of my entire lifetime next to my bed. These are letters I hold close as a friendly reminder that there are people who have warned my heart by putting the effort to express their love and appreciation. They are something I still turn to years later for an uplift from the mundane.

I think most people do not truly express their innermost feelings for others whoever that may be- friends, family, lover, teammate, student or teacher. I really do think everyone needs to hear that they are loved and appreciated more often.

Learning to express our love to others from our innermost self is vital for showing our most honest form of feeling. There may be times when we wish to tell someone that we love them or compliment them and feel vulnerable, something we all fear at some point. We fear the other’s reaction so we store what is on our mind and hearts inside. We may even miss out on growing opportunities as many words can fall unsaid. These few kind words can be remembered forever by someone we find special. When we crack this barrier we cannot help but feel raw and fresh all at the same time. In this moment we never regret for loving too much. Exposing our raw emotions lets us get our thoughts across with pure sincerity.

When we share love to those around we create an instant shift in attitude to ourselves and those around us. It becomes this wonderfully synergistic cycle that will remain within even in the most despondent times.

Compliment or express your love and appreciation for someone today!



Wellness Wednesday: The Entity Of The Small Moments

Our days are composited with many small moments that are interconnected to form this big picture that is our life.

These small moments can easily be lost among the clutter as we become overwhelmed by responsibilities, obligations, goals and tasks we encounter. In attempt to cope with the chaos of life we reminisce on days past or daydream on days ahead, straying us away from the present moment. We find it difficult to be present because there always seems to be more pressing needs that must be done. When the opportunity arises to spend time to ourselves we feel guilty that we may be neglecting our family, friends and even our work. While life can be insistent, these small moments can carry the potential to cultivate greater bliss we desire for days on end.

Drawing conscious awareness to the present moment is a practice. Resisting our urge to rush enables us to witness our ability to soften, expand and learn. We become more mindful of the space and environment we are in when we focus on our breath and movement. If we handle each small moment with care whether we percieve it as positive or negative we can learn to adore the entity of life itself. Our patience to embrace each small moment will teach us the expedition from one point to another will seem to take no time at all as we move through bliss that is the present moment.



Wellness Wednesday: Your Sacred Time In Solitude

When we hop onto our mat we may realize it may be the only time we have solitude in our daily schedule. With the fast forward momentum of today’s life, we feel compelled to make the most of each day being productive.

The activities, habits and rituals that sustain us then are the first to become sacrificed. In times we ache for rest it’s important to remind ourselves that our spiritual self should be involved in our list of priorities to cultivate balance in our lives.

Each task, relationship and situation we engage fuels our spiritual vitality. But sometimes we feel guilty that we may be neglecging our family, friends or work. We come very selfless. While being selfless is seen as being thoughtful, we must prioritize our favorite spiritual fulfilling activities and require ourselves to practice the power of saying no to other’s requests and overwhelming responsibilities.

As we participate in activities and relationships that leave us feeling whole, we commit to enriching our personal growth by diving deeper into the benefit of solitude. We then realize this time is sacred and something we prioritize in our healing journey.



Wellness Wednesday: Heart Over Head

Many of us were taught to value head over heart. We prioritize what our mind says and become conscious to what it says avoiding what the heart has to say. This habit can become ingrained like any other innate instinct we have.

However by shifting our awareness from our head to our heart we plunge into a wholesome place.

The anatomy of our bodies and psychology of our brains is something that is constantly being attempted to be understood. The brain itself is a miracle for the way it processes thoughts, emotions and the way it creates strategies and visuals. We can give great thanks to our body for the way it enables us to survive. Nevertheless we must never forget we can gain so much wisdom from our hearts. The mind and body interconnected allows us to reveal more about ourselves and others as a whole.

When we draw focus to our hearts, feeling is a concept we tend to avoid. We create barriers and walls as they are our first coping mechanisms we turn to during periods of distress. But the distress we are able to feel is varied by the joy we can feel as well. Together it adds depth and color to our lives despite seeing these emotions as positive or negative.

When we give ourselves permission to feel we begin to understand we are feeling at this time for a specific reason in this moment, time and space. In that we must trust the process as we are constantly progressing to evolve ourselves learning something new with every layer we peel back. Much can be revealed when we consciously observe heart over head.



Wellness Wednesday: Surrounding Yourself With Those That Feel Like Light

“Stay close to people that feel like sunlight.”

One of my favorite quotes that I read somewhere (probably Pinterest, let’s be honest) at sometime I needed to hear it. As someone who is introverted, I always valued quality over quantity. As we are impelled to move forward at such a high speed in our schedules we realize our time becomes sacred and we cannot afford anything less than the feeling of sunshine. So while we begin to acknowledge who our sunshine people are, we also realize along the way we become a better form of ourselves as we seek for this.

We interact with a multitude of people each day. As we consciously acknowledge our exchanges with each person we learn it becomes easier to distinguish who it is we should spend more time around and those we should stray away from. But sometimes it feels as if we do not have much control over who we are around at all times. But our ability to cultivate space to toxicity in the room is within us already as we can detach to maintain our own peace.

When we cleanse ourselves from those that drain us we nurture ourselves with those that respectfully enrich our lives with a growing space that provides support, love and comprehension.



Wellness Wednesday: Gratitude in Stillness

Happy Wellness Wednesday, yogis!

This past weekend felt longer as I had less responsibilities and more wholesome days spent with friends. I had the opportunity to fill my leisure time spent with activities no where near related to my responsibilities in which left me feeling whole despite the pause of forward momentum this year has had.

The sudden decrease in activity we experience after achieving an event, goal or breakthrough can leave us with a period of stagnancy as we attempt to find what step it is we must tackle next. This period can leave us questioning our purpose and values while we may even experience frustration or even depression all at the same time. As humans we strive to be the next better and best. We tend to seek for validation through others, thinking that someone must view us a certain way to feel content. However if we seek what brings us ease and peace moments of stillness can teach us the importance of simply existing without plan and move at our own natural rhythm.

Periods of stagnancy can feel unproductive as we do not experience instant change. However intention can transform our perspective. Setting our intention to simply be can introduce personal growth in many configurations. This period be a time spent in reflection as we understand why things are the way they are or an adjustment where we begin to set new values based off past experiences. Although we are not in a constant momentum, we can appreciate the stagnant energy to recollect and be prepared for the next wave of life.



Wellness Wednesday: Yoga Is For Everybody and Every Body

There is often the misconception that yoga is a women-only practice that requires flexibility and a green juice in hand. Although we see all the celebrities and Instagram influencers in their picture perfect down dog, we also see that yoga is being encouraged by top athletes, public schools, hospitals and even the U.S. military within the recent years as yoga is booming. The stigma that yoga holds is now breaking as we realize yoga isn’t for wussies. Together we are learning to love mindfulness and the benefits this ancient practice has to offer.

Yet, we are still intimidated to try it. The intimidation can come from many factors as it can be a challenge physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. We depreciate ourselves by making comments such as:

  • “I’m not flexible enough”
  • “I’m injuried”
  • “I’ll look stupid”
  • “Men don’t do yoga”
  • “I can’t sit still”
  • “Psh, I can’t touch my toes”

The list goes on…but this mentality can stray us away from the healing power yoga can offer to new students like Frank.

Meet Frank. As a full-time paramedic and passionate power lifter, he has learned one or two things about stress and the body.

“I started yoga to begin learning more about my body, to increase my flexibility, and to be more in touch with myself. While I like heated vinyasa, I enjoy coming to restorative. With my long hours of work as a paramedic and spending my off days powerlifting and beating up on my body, I get a lot out of holding deep stretches, and I enjoy how it gives me an opportunity to reflect on my past days of work and push through any difficulties that I may have had. The deep stretching in restorative gives me a moment to really feel my body, where I’m sore and where I can improve. I have already noticed a big difference in my connection I have with my body while in the gym. It just goes to show. Men do yoga, too.”

Everybody and every body can benefit from yoga. Yoga is meant to meet yourself exactly where you are in the present moment. That is why there are multiple styles, modifications and variations so you do what suits you best in the moment reguardless of your gender, injury history or flexibility and strength. Our hesitation to avoid yoga because of its stillness gives us the opportunity to really sit with our thoughts and dive into the roots of ourselves. That is why it is called a practice. We are constantly learning each time we step in further to evolving ourselves.