Heat Yoga Blog
Heat Yoga Blog
This is the Blog for Heat Yoga Studios.
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10:58 pm

5 Reasons to do a headstand everyday

1) Headstands stimulate and provide refreshed blood to the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. These glands are vital to our wellbeing, and are considered the master glands that regulate all other glands in the body (thyroid, pineal, and adrenals). 
2) When the adrenal glands are flushed and detoxified with headstands, we create more positive thought. Depression will decrease, as going upside down will almost always put a smile on your face. 
3) Improved circulation occurs with a headstand practice. Because the heart constantly has to pump blood upward to the brain, the headstand gives the heart a rest and reduces unnecessary strain. In addition, while in headstand de-oxygenated blood is able to flow more easily from the extremities to the heart.
4) Headstands increase digestive fire and increase body heat. The intestines are cleansed by reversing the pull of gravity, while releasing congested blood in the colon.
5) Headstands strengthen deep core muscles. To hold a straight headstand for an extended period of time, the practitioner must engage the obliques, the rectus abdominus and the transverse abdominus. To really engage and strengthen the core, pike the legs by lifting and/or lowering both legs at the same time when coming in and out of the pose.

7:33 pm

Tuesday Teacher Spotlight

Name:  Veronica Walters             

Hometown: Champlin, MN

Classes taught at Heat: Heat A

How long have you been teaching? Since Oct. 2013

Why became a teacher?  I enjoy helping people, yoga has so many benefits. Being a yoga instructor allows me to pursue my passion and be a humble guide for others on their personal journey.  Being a certified Reiki Master, I wanted to bring together these two forms of healing arts.

Favorite pose and why? Savasana because I love long meditations

Favorite tune to hear in class? I enjoy instrumental uplifting music, depending on the theme and mood of class will determine the soundtrack for that hour.  

Motivational tip or favorite quote? “In our struggle for Freedom, Truth is the only weapon we posses” ~ Dalai Lama

Advice to beginners? Yoga is not about being flexible! Yoga is about you!! 

Where can we find you when not at Heat? In an ice rink! We are a hockey family J

Who knew (fun bit of info about you)? I feel sunsets in my heart, a reminder that every day is a gift.

What do you emphasize in your class? What would you like students to gain from your class? In my classes we open the possibilities of exploring not just your physical body, but to bring awareness to what lies beneath the surface of who we are. By focusing on the energetic centers we can explore what governs the sublet body of a particular chakra, while bringing in to focus the physical area – for balance and in harmony.  Together we work on not only physical strength, but inner strength as well.        

Tell us about other jobs (other than yoga teacher) that you do or what you did before teaching yoga: I have a full time job on the opposite end of the spectrum; I’m a Project Manager for an Electronic Contract Manufacture.

What have you learned about yourself, on the mat, that is applicable to life off the mat?  I’ve learned to let go of expectations and allow for events to unfold how they are meant to.   By quieting the mind I am able to hear my intuition and divine guidance.  I’ve learned to look for the positive in every situation and feel gratitude more deeply. 

What difference have you noticed in your body or overall health since practicing yoga? I was in a car accident a few years back and used to have pains in my shoulders and upper back, these have completely gone away due to my practice! 

10:37 pm

Motivational Monday


4:06 pm

Wellness Friday with MAKwellness

Calories!  Everyone is talking about them and everybody is counting them!

By:  Maria Kasdagly IN



Calories!  Everyone is talking about them and everybody is counting them!  A few years ago I wanted to join the calorie counting fad, so I downloaded one of the trendy apps on my phone and started logging all the foods I ate.  I was so incredibly overwhelmed with the amount of work that went into each meal, maybe if I just didn’t eat it would be easier.  I rarely eat the same thing day to day and I usually make up some weird “salad “concoction from whatever fruit, vegetable, legume, or even nut I have laying around. However, I am a stubborn and determined girl, so I was going to keep counting!  Since logging my calories was so time consuming, I decided to get crafty and only eat the same things for breakfast and lunch and plan out a few rotating dinners just so I can count those darn calories easier.  What happened next was devastating…I ended up only eating protein bars and maybe a banana for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner, I became obsessive over everything I ate, I stopped listening to what my body needed, and completely lost the pleasure of eating food!  Well, what the heck I thought counting calories was supposed to help me feel better.  Totally not the case!

Food is more than just Calories!

For those of you who do count your calories I must ask, are you more concerned with the number of calories or the amount of nutrients consumed?  Sadly, when we merely count calories we aren’t thinking about nutrient density.  Yes, calories are important as they give us the energy we need to live.  However, I can eat 1000 calories/day of nutrient worthless garbage, be as skinny as a rail, and feel like absolute hell everyday.  Counting calories only gives you a number not your health.  In addition, when we count out every calorie we ignore our bodies needs.  For example, what if you just had one hardcore workout at the gym or were feeling a bit lazy and skipped the gym, but allowed yourself the same amount of calories for both circumstances?  Your body will ebb & flow each day depending on your output or lack their of, and being mindful to what your body truly needs will help guide you to optimal health.

So calories AREN’T Important?

NO!  I am not saying that calories aren’t important, but use them as a general guideline for optimal health.  For example knowing the amount of calories in different types of foods and where the calories are coming from (protein, carbohydrates, or fat) will help you make overall healthier food selections.  Over time you will learn that foods that are incredibly beneficial to your health are lower in calories naturally and you can eat a lot more of them.

How do I keep track and hold myself accountable?

I encourage all my cleanse participants and clients that their focus should be more on the quality of food than the amount of calories that are in the food.   However, foods can be mischievous as they can just pop into our mouths without us even noticing.  Those sneaky chocolate covered raisins!  Eating can often be a subconscious habit due to stress, boredom, or anxiety.  I tell all my clients to keep a food journal and to log foods eaten throughout the day, but don’t be too concerned about counting calories.  I also have them write down the time of day the food was consumed, how hungry were they before they ate, how full they felt afterwards, and how that particular food/meal made them feel emotionally and physically.  We can learn a lot about our dietary patterns by simply understanding when we are physically hungry or emotionally craving food.

So again, I encourage you to EAT FOOD!  Eat a lot of really good, nutrient dense, health promoting food!  If you eat for your health calorie counting won’t matter.

11:00 pm

Thursdays Pose to Try

Trikonasana - Triangle Pose

Benefits: Relieves back aches and sciatica pain, tones legs, open hips

Cues to focus on: 

  • Lift inner thigh up into groin and away from floor
  • Press the thigh bone straight back into hamstring
  • Draw the buttock flesh away from the waist to prevent arching the low back
  • Elongate all 4 sides of the waist
  • Draw shoulders and trapezius muscles away from the neck
  • Gaze towards your top hand, all four sides of the neck even

10:38 pm

5 Tips for a solid foundation in your yoga practice

1) Root weight evenly between all four corners of the foot - ball mount, pinkie side, inside of heel and outside of heel

2) Spread all toes wide

3) Firmly plant all toes on the mat

4) Keep the arch of your foot lifted and do not let it droop

5) Visualize a suction on the center of your foot


8:00 am

Tuesday Teacher Spotlight

Name:  Cassie
Coon Rapids
Classes taught at Heat: 
Heat A, B, B ADV, Warm 75
How long have you been teaching:  2 yrs
Why did you decide to teach:
Became a teacher because the impact that my own practice had on my life was profound...and I knew I wanted to share that with others!
Favorite pose:
Ustrasana is my favorite pose because it combines strength and vulnerability! 
Favorite song to hear during practice: is a chant "Gaytri Mantra" 
Favorite saying: dont over think anything...it creates a problem that was never there.
Where can we find you when you're not at Heat:
I like to hang out with friends and family of course! I also love to get lost in a bookstore...with a good read and a good cup of coffee;) 
Fun Fact:
I studied martail arts for several years...I have a black belt. I am also fluent in American Sign Language.
What do you emphasize in your classes: 
In class I want to emphasize the practice of mindful poses. Not throwing yourself into a pose just because...really learning to use your breath to find the pose that works in your body. And remember that pose may look totally different than your yogi neighbors pose!
What did you do prior to teaching: 
In my previous careers I was in retail management and office admin positions. 
What has yoga taught you: 
Yoga has taught me a deeper sense of awareness in my own body and heart. The practice of yoga allows me to be present, and connected day by day. Although I still struggle, I would say that by far I worry less, I have less anxiety, I have less headaches and over all notice a greater sense of clarity in my thoughts. Yoga is what keeps my heart and emotional life in check and balanced. I have had a lot of loss in my 38 years...and yoga has kept me a float. Actually better than a float... ALIVE and JOYFUL!! It is my passion...and Im so grateful for it and that I have a great studio and students to share it with!! 

8:00 am

Motivational Monday


8:00 am

Wellness Friday with MAKwellness

Carbohydrates 101: Why a High Carbohydrate Diet May Benefit You, Part Six

By:  Maria KasdaglyIn MAKwellness

For the longest time I always considered myself a “low carb” kind of girl, but now I know my diet is quite the opposite.  Actually, I don’t think I am on a “diet” at all…I just eat food!  The goal of this article is not to bash “low carb” diets at all, but rather to empower you to be a proactive participate in your health and not fall victim to another diet scheme.

What Defines a Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet limits or restricts carbohydrate consumption and is often used for weight loss.  In general, low carb diets focus on proteins, including meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, and some non-starchy vegetables.  Foods high in easily digestible carbohydrates (i.e. sugar, bread, pasta) are eliminated and low carb diets limit most grains, beans, fruits, starchy vegetables, and sometimes nuts and seeds.  Not all low carb diets are the same and some diet plans allow certain fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  The typical low carb diet includes less than 20% of your total daily calorie intake from carbohydrates (400 calories daily from carbohydrates*).   Whereas the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45-65% of your total daily calorie intake from carbohydrates (900-1,300 calories daily from carbohydrates*).

*Based on a 2,000 daily caloric intake

Carbohydrate Refresher

As previously discussed, carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages, and naturally occur in plant-based foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes).  However, some food manufacturers do add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar, which can be harmful to our overall health and waistline.  Our bodies use carbohydrates as our primary energy source.  Simple or complex carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, absorbed into the bloodstream (blood glucose), and then with the help of insulin the glucose enter our cells.  Glucose can either be used by our body for energy, stored in our liver, muscle, or other cells for later use, or is converted to fat.

The Low-Carb Theory:

The theory behind the low-carb diet is that by decreasing carbohydrate intake our insulin levels are reduced, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately helps you shed excess weight and reduce risk factors for a variety of health conditions.  Some low carb diets are ketogenic, meaning that they restrict carbohydrate intake sufficiently to cause ketosis (i.e. the Induction Phase of the Atkins Diet).  Simply, ketosis  means that our bodies are using fat for energy.

Weight Loss:  Everybody is Doing it!

Two-thirds of Americans and an estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide are either overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2) or obese (≥ 30 kg/m2), and this epidemic is not getting any better.  Unfortunately, many weight-loss programs don’t work or only offer temporary benefits.  Our market is bombarded with so many diet plans, diet pills, high-protein programs, shakes, and other diet trends that claim your success in weight loss, or at least provide you with temporary benefits.  Sadly, the term “diet” has turned into a fad and the pleasure and enjoyment of eating because something makes you feel good has long been overlooked.  These mass produced weight loss “diets” aren’t sustainable long-term, and some are very dangerous.  Truthfully, what good is a diet plan that helps you lose weight but now your health is at risk?

A High Carbohydrate Diet for Your Health:

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Since ancient times, plant-based foods, herbs, and spices have been used in the prevention of ailments and chronic diseases, including cancer. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated the correlation of fruit and vegetable consumption and the reduced risk of various diseases.  So my question to you is why would we want to limit these extraordinary fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole-grains, seeds, and legumes simply because their carbohydrate content is higher than lean proteins?  Studies have shown that high-protein diets, or diets rich in animal products and low in fruits and unrefined carbohydrates, are positively associated with colon cancer risk.  Are animal products the enemy?  Not necessarily, but they must be consumed in moderation and accompanied by an abundant amount of unprocessed  plant-based foods.  Dr. Fuhrman has a health equation that I live my life by:

H = N/C (Health = Nutrients/Calories)   

“Your health is predicted by your nutrient intake divided by your intake of calories.” Dr. Fuhrman

Don’t limit your health by the amount of carbohydrates in your food, rather enhance your health by eating plentiful amounts of nutrient dense foods.  Please note that I am not recommending you to stuff your bellies full of worthless carbohydrate crap, like cakes, sweets, pastries, and over processed refined grains.  My goodness friends, eat food–real, raw, nutrient loaded, juicy, health-benefiting, wonderful, amazing, and delicious food!  Your life and waistline will thank you!


  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Weight Loss.” Low-carb Diet: Could It Help You Lose Weight? Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Oct. 2011. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
  2. Zeng H, Lazarova DL. Obesity-related colon cancer: dietary factors and their mechanisms of anticancer action. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 2011:1-20.
  3. Li YY, Wicha MS, Schwart SJ, Sun DX: Implications of cancer stem cell theory for cancer chemoprevention by natural dietary compounds. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2011, 22(9):799-806.
  4. Erdelyi I, Levenkova N, Lin EY, Pinto JT, Lipkin M, Quimby FW, Holt PR: Western-style diets induce oxidative stress and dysregulate immune responses in the colon in a mouse model of sporadic colon cancer. The Journal of nutrition 2009, 139(11):2072-2078.
  5. Gonzalez CA, Riboli E: Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. European journal of cancer 2010, 46(14):2555-2562.
  6. Aparicio T, Kotelevets L, Tsocas A, Laigneau J-P, Sobhani I, Chastre E, Lehy T: Leptin stimulates the proliferation of human colon cancer cells in vitro but does not promote the growth of colon cancer xenografts in nude mice or intestinal tumorigenesis in ApcMin/+ mice. Gut 2005, 54(8):1136-1145.
  7. Newmark HL, Yang K, Kurihara N, Fan K, Augenlicht LH, Lipkin M: Western-style diet-induced colonic tumors and their modulation by calcium and vitamin D in C57Bl/6 mice: a preclinical model for human sporadic colon cancer. Carcinogenesis 2009, 30(1):88-92.
  8.  Fuhrman, J. Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustainable Weight Loss.  (2003) Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY.

9:36 pm

5 Signs You're a Yogi

5) Mid-day downward facing dogs are becoming your normal routine…and your boss is somehow okay with it.

4) When in traffic, you start your Ujai breathing. Even though it's okay in your car, people on the bus think you might have a sinus problem. Lets keep it to the car.
3) You subconsciously stand in Tree Pose while on the phone or in line for the grocery store.
2) You end all conversations with “Namaste.”
1) You start making up clever names for social events…like Vino Vinyasa and Zen of Zin. You can have yoga and a social life, right?