5 Ways to Find Joy Every Single Day

See below post I wrote for classpass blog as a classpass ambassador!

5 Ways to Find Joy Every Single Day

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With the rise of gratitude journals and daily affirmations, you likely know how important it is to see the silver lining. But when you are stressed from work, your relationship, friendships or finances, it can be tough to take a moment and look at the things that are going right, instead of the ones that are causing you anxiety. As hard as we try to be mindful and present, let’s be real: sometimes it feels as though we are in auto pilot and life is passing us by. But if you’re always thinking ten steps ahead of what’s happening right now, you’ll never be able to savor the beauty found in some of life’s simplest – and yet, most impactful – moments.

If you want to see – and savor! – the joy of your life every single day, here are five effective strategies that will help you experience the happy parts, no matter what:

Move your body

Exercise is the key to living a happy, balanced life. But if you hate running and you force yourself to log miles, you probably won’t admire the flowers blooming along your path because you’ll be focused on how sore your legs are. The solution? Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and look forward to going to. Yoga is especially great after a long stressful day because it gives you strength and peace of mind. Also, when you feel like you have not eaten the healthiest throughout the day, exercise can help you restart your habits. Lastly, it will help boost energy when you are feeling tired!

Choose your company wisely

Having a good friend is important in keeping your morale high and focused. Even if you just need a quick pick-me-up from a friend, a two-minute phone call can go a long way. Friends help brighten your day and studies have shown that healthy, supportive friendships help you live longer, as well as boost your immune system.

Friends help you feel connected to something outside of yourself; sometimes we feel trapped or smothered inside our own thoughts, connecting with friends and help us get unstuck. But just like you’re being mindful of your thoughts and your perceptions, be choosy with who you decide to share your time with. A negative attitude can make it even harder to see the happiness around you.

Listen to good tunes

Music has the ability to change your mood almost immediately. Just consider your favorite class: it probably has the right type of songs that motivate you to push harder and faster. Take time creating a playlist that will get you out of your seat (and your head!) and dancing, and continue to add new upbeat songs to help get through rough days. If you need help getting started, find inspiration by following ClassPass on Spotify.

Write down the good stuff

If someone compliments your shoes or you get a good review from a co-worker, you feel good. Or, even noticing a stranger help another stranger out can help you see how much goodness there really is out there. Why not take five minutes – legit, that’s all it takes! – to document the things that made you happy? We’re sure you can find at least one each day.

If journaling is too old school, write it on your smartphone notepad! (Psst: some journal ideas here.) Seeing on paper (or on your phone) the encouraging, inspiring things that happened during the day will reinforce positivity in your life and help you keep happy thing at the forefront of your mind.

Be mindful of your thoughts

We’re definitely our own worst critics and often, the language we use to talk to ourselves is not the same we use with our co-workers, friends or frankly, strangers. Tell yourself, “I can do this” or “I can get through this” or “I deserve this.” It is important to speak kindly to yourself and always view yourself is an empowering way. Daily affirmations reinforce a positive outlook any person should have. A positive attitude toward oneself is key to maintaining happiness and emotional stability.

Shaina Gordon works in the mental health field in Atlanta, GA. She is originally from Miami, Florida but made her way up to Atlanta to be with her family. When she is not relaxing doing yoga, she i

 

Classpass Ambassador

As of February 2016 I became a classpass ambassador. My love for classpass keeps on going! What does it mean to be an ambassador, one might ask?

An ambassador will have alot of opportunity to promote themselves and classpass on social media.

I am getting little financial benefit from being an ambassador but I have received a free pryme vessel to try out the product definitely needs some work, I would not recommend it at this time). Keep an eye out for upcoming posts on ambassadorship and my fitness journey!

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See below my feature in the classpass blog


Define Body class at Define Atlanta

“It’s a great full-body workout. The teachers are encouraging and give helpful hands-on corrections. I love that! Plus, it’s a nice studio and the staff is very friendly. It’s the perfect way to start your day.” –Shaina

Check out my favorite studio of the month

 

Be HOT Yoga

Be HOT Yoga just added to classpass!

Be HOT Yoga Atlanta (inside Urban Body Studios)

730 Ponce De Leon Pl NE

Suite A, Atlanta GA 30306

$17/class, class packages offered

Be HOT Yoga is inside Urban Studios on the beltline. Brace yourselves it is 105 degrees Bikram style Yoga. I tried Be HOT 75 (Level 1 Class) with Ayodele Murphy. This classes teaches about 28 postures in 75 minutes. This type of yoga you hold the posture for a minute usually on each side on the body and then do a second set for holding 30 seconds on each side. The teacher will say “change” when you stop holding that one particular pose.

This class is great for stretching and detoxing. I cant remember the last time I sweat so much. Additionally, it is a great class to increase your balance.

Ayodele was fantastic. She sat at the front of the room in  a chair while giving instructions, occasionally walking around to give hands on assist. Her instructions were very user friendly (especially for beginners).

What to bring: LARGE water bottle, yoga mat (urban bodies provides towels)

Recommend: Yes

Sweat level: extremely high (wear as little clothes as possible)

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Urban Body Fitness- Gym Time

Urban Body Fitness

500 Amsterdam Ave NE, Atlanta 30306

$58/monthly membership

Free 1 week trail

I feel stronger, more fit and better about myself since I became a member of classpass. However, I recently found out from this class that I can barely run a mile. The classes I tend to take promote strength, balance and technique not necessarily cardio.

This class is a GREAT idea.This is a nice change to the classpass routine.It is basically an hour of gym time, you are on your own in the gym. They have a huge weight room, several treadmills and ellipticals and a few row machines. This gym does offer cycling and yoga classes as well.

Also, it is nice because you dont necessarily have to be on time since its not an actual class where there is an instructor. I signed up for a 5pm class and went straight from work and arrived at 4:30pm and began working out at that time.

It also made me appreciate classpass because those kind of gyms are very intimidating. There were a lot of men lifting weights, looking all muscly. I like my classes with mostly women where im not scared to work out in front of.

Chicken Rollatine Stuffed with Zucchinni and Mozzarella

I had a friend over last night and this is what I made. It was delicious, healthy and easy. I also served sabra hummus with pita chips as the appetizer and publix chocolate cake for desert (not so healthy). Chicken recipe taken from skinnytaste!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I used garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 medium) zucchini, shredded
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Romano cheese (or parmesan)
  • 3 oz part skim shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • olive oil non-stick spray

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Wash and dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. When hot saute the garlic 1 minute, or until golden. Add zucchini, 1/4 cup Romano cheese, salt and pepper and saute about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. When cool, add mozzarella cheese and mix to combine.

Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 3 tbsp of zucchini-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down.

Combine breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tbsp of Romano cheese in one bowl; in a second bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper.

Dip chicken in lemon-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spraywith oil spray.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

I served the chicken along with quinoa (in the quinoa I added crumbled feta cheese, lemon and cucumber) and Caesar salad.

West coast yoga, Tammy Stokes 

“I want to vomit” what I was thinking but the girl next to me said it first

I have been to this studio before for their west coast work outs but I wanted to try a class with the owner Tammy Stokes. It was everything I thought it would be !

The hardest core fushion work out I have EVER done.

Tammy Stokes: Tammy is known for Tammy Stokes lifestyle. She is known for her creative style of fitness and creating her own classes at her studio. She has trained NEne Lekes (real housewives of Atlanta) and a guest on Dr.Oz. Tammy does not mess around. She has the most fit body I have ever seen.

She emphasized through out the class that she does not like to warm the studio but our body will give us natural heat… And it sure did. It is technically a yoga class but there was so much movement. Even the cool down is non stop.

There are no inversions in this class but it does always come back to traditional yoga poses. This is a power flow, core fusion yoga class. Expect your heart rate to be up the entire 60 minutes.

What to bring: They do supply yoga mats but they are gross so bring your own. Also bring a towel and water.

Rating: 5

Sweat leaving: high

Recommend : yes

Orange Theory, Emory Point, Alex…

Orange Theory is not on classpass…and according to the not so friendly lady at the front desk “It will never be on classpass!” She said it like classpass is a cult or something.

Anyways, I wanted to try it to see what all the hype is about and also to compare it to BLAST.

It is very similar to BLAST. However, there are some differences: first they do recommend you wear a heart monitor because through out the class you can check your heart rate on the screen in the room. The goal is to get your heart rate in the orange color (your highest potential), hence the name Orange theory. However, they do not provide the heart rate monitors, they gave me one last night but only because it was my first time. Their heart rate monitors do not work (at least mine did not). When I was sprinting on the treadmill, it said my heart rate was in the 30s and it was in a grey color (the lowest color).

One thing I really like about orange theory is that they have a monitor showing you exactly what you should be doing on the weight bench, it shows a person doing the exercise and portrays how many reps of each exercise you should be doing (BLAST does not have that).

Luckily, I went with a friend because they did not explain anything to me. You enter their work out area and they split you up between the treadmills and the weight benches. From there you do intervals of various work outs. On the treadmill, it varies from base (4.5-5.5mph), push (1-2mph above your base) and all out (sprint) and then various inclines along with those.

What to bring/expect: Wear shoes, bring a heart monitor if you have one and a water bottle. Expect a high intensity interval training work out. Lastly all classes are different. The instructor did inform the class that it was a strength training class. I assume there are different themes to each class.

Do not take this class with this instructor Alex (they dont give out last names like classpass does), he was piss poor. He does not correct or help you. He seemed like he was just going through the motions. At the end of the class, he said “good work everyone,” in the most monotone voice you can imagine.

If you work/go to school at Emory you can get a $20 discount a month

$149/monthy unlimited classes

$199/10 classes

Recommend: Yes (with a different instructor)

Sweat Level: High

Rating: 4

Core Power Yoga 2- Heated Power Yoga, Jen Fl Fleming

It is finally here! Core Power Yoga opened in Ponce City Market and joined classpass. I did a Core Power Yoga- sculpt last week in Minneapolis through classpass, it was amazing! I could not wait for Atlanta to open their studio.

I liked the heated power yoga but I like the sculpt better.

Power yoga: is 60 minutes of power flow yoga in 101 degree room. A million chatturangas and hard ground ab work.

Sculpt: I think you get the most full body work out. You either have 3,4 or 5 lb weights (i recommend 3lb it is your first time). The beginning is power flow yoga with several chatturangas. Then they combine the weights into the yoga. For example, during warrior 1 you hold the weights and pulse. Also, the instructor threw in some cardio (jumping jacks) to keep your heart rate up. then they go into lower body (squats, lunges while using the weights) and then ground work with abs. You still get your yoga fix while increasing your heart rate and toning your entire body.

what to bring: yoga mat, water bottle and a towel. Towels cost $1 if it is not your first time. Mat $2 to rent. Beginning October 1st Ponce City Market is going to start charging for parking, so download the parking app. Core Power yoga will pay half the cost.

FYI the showers look amazing (I didnt use them), they remind me of Exhale showers. the only thing is they do not provide towels, robes and shower shoes. But they provide shampoo and conditioner, looked like good water pressure and nice facilities. I would definitely try a 6am class and test out the showers (ill let you know).

Recommend: Yes

Rating: 4.8 (I loved it but got a head ache because it was so hot! Hydrate!)

Sweat level: High

Sacred Sweat Yoga, Advanced Practice- Maggie Hanley

In the last two weeks, I have been solely taking yoga classes. My intention is to become more lean and flexible. I was hesitant to take this class because I dont consider myself advanced. My inversions are WEAK!

However, I wanted to see what it was all about.

This class has potential but I did not like the instructor.

There were ONLY 4 people in the class, my thoughts were great we will have individual attention from the instructor. The instructor did not help me once. She was going so fast, there was no time to even get help with any posture. She even said “this is my ninth day in a row teaching so bare with me.” I assume the flow was supposed to be fast because it was advanced but it was not taught well.

What to expect: Bring water, they only have water for sale. Also bring a yoga mat and towel. It is 95 degrees in the yoga room. The class is all vinyas flow, flowing fast through all types of poses. There were no inversions. There were a lot of chataranagas and Warriors.

vision of the studio: the studio has a great location, not a lot of classpass studios in east Atlanta, especially yoga.

Rating: 3

Recommend: no:

Sweat level: high

Pure Barre- Decatur, Loren Pratt

I have come to the realization that a class is only as good as its instructor. I will be honest I am not a huge fan of Pure Barre. I had this perception that they were snobby dancers that were not great instructors. They also did so many “tucks and tilts” that I had no idea what they were talking about.

HOWEVER, I was in Decatur for a training and had some free time so I wanted to give Pure Barre another chance. Turns out I loved it! There was still some tucking that I was confused about but the instructor was the best Barre teacher I have ever had! She was matter of fact, easy to understand and very hands on!

What is Pure Barre (or “Barre” in general)? It’s a total body workout that utilizes the ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements, which burn fat, sculpt muscles and create long, lean physiques.

What can you expect to do in class? You’ll do VERY small movements with your body using very light weights (2-4lbs dumbbells) or no weights at all. You’ll also use a small ball for specific movements as well as a resistance band. You’ll take time to stretch in between activities. Don’t expect any breaks. If you need water, you’ll have to make time to drink.

What to wear? Your cutest outfit – Seriously! This class is the place you want to show off your new Lulus because people look good and you’ll feel a bit out of place if you’re wearing an old t-shirt. You should wear yoga pants/leggings and socks. If you decide you like the class, and want to do it again, I’d recommend buying “Barre Socks”, which have small grips at the bottom. They sell them at each location for +/- $12.

The vibe: The women who teach this class can be intimidatingly beautiful, (so can the participants). Also, everyone who attends seems to know the drill, so if you’re new the teacher plays a big part in your first experience.

What to do when you get there: Grab a ball, a resistance band, and a set of weights. Then snag a spot near a ballet bar with a mirror. There is no “front” in this class, so no need to worry about that. If you are near a mirror, you can really see if you’re doing the poses correctly. Also, you’ll be able to sneakily spy on the people around you to see if you’re doing the right movements.

What’s the “tuck”: You’ll hear them say “tuck” a lot in class. This just means contract your pelvis muscle and tuck your hips under.

Parking at Decatur location is a little annoying. You need to grab a coin from inside and park on the public parking deck on Church St

Rating: 4.5

Recommend: Yes

Sweat Level: Low