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Pride month fitness queer
Fitness
Published Monday Jun 24, 2019 by Amanda Peterson

4 Fitness Studios Committed to Creating LGBTQIA+ Spaces

Fitness
Bootcamp
Yoga
Cycling
Personal Growth

Earlier this month, I purchased an intro offer at The Yoga Standard. I was browsing the schedule and, to my surprise, there was a PRIDE themed class that was donating all proceeds to The Trevor Project. As a queer person, knowing my yoga studio was hosting a class that centered LGBTQIA+ folks felt reassuring, and my loyalty to the business grew stronger. 

Though the class didn’t differ greatly from its normal routine, sitting next to a man who adorned his eyes with glitter that morning just made me feel...better. The instructor fostered a space for reflections around identity and pride. I laughed, I cried, I sweat, and I left the class feeling fabulous.

While Pride Month is a great time for studios to show their support for the community, consistent support throughout the year is much more powerful. Being LGBTQIA+ inclusive is more than hanging up a rainbow flag or temporarily changing a business logo to rainbow colors. Here are some MINDBODY studios creating LGBTQIA+ inclusive spaces all year round:

 

Everybody (Los Angeles)

Everybody Los Angeles LGBTQIA+

This gym is “creating a radically inclusive culture for all bodies to move, strengthen, and heal.” My favorite part? They offer sliding scale monthly memberships based on income, which helps remove barriers for folks who are marginalized and/or low-income. Their list of teachers is full of gorgeous, queer, and diverse faces. Aside from their standard program classes, they also offer $5 community classes—some of which are bilingual (Spanish/English). And, they have gender-neutral locker rooms, which is a staple for LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces. Everybody Los Angeles is living and breathing inclusivity.

 
The Queer Gym (Oakland)
The Queer Gym Oakland
The Queer Gym 


This self-proclaimed “gym + safe space + house party” fosters a supportive community without the homophobia, transphobia, and body shaming. In addition to being unapologetically queer, this gym has no mirrors, which reduces barriers for folks with body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria. They take “gym buddies” to a whole new level by offering a monthly social calendar for members. With classes like “Oakland Booty” and “Tops ‘n Bottoms,” The Queer Gym promises lots of sweat, an encouraging environment, and a dang good time. 

 

Mark Fisher Fitness (NYC)
Mark Fisher Fitness
Mark Fisher Fitness


At Mark Fisher Fitness, “making health and hotness fun and inclusive” is their mission. As a member of their Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams (yes, you read that right), they promise fast results with a money-back guarantee. It’s not just rainbows and unicorns at MFF—their bright and vibrant space is filled with friendly trainers who are fiercely committed to your results and growth. 

 
Workout! with Erica Nix (Myo Movement - Austin)
Workout! with Erica Nix Myo Movement
Workout! with Erica Nix


Erica Nix is a body positive ambassador on a mission to make working out fun again. Her wild workouts are queer-centric and outrageous. Aside from her weekly class at Myo Movement in Austin, she also puts on events and pop-ups around Austin throughout the year.


Wanna sweat it out? Explore more inclusive and empowering studios through the MINDBODY app, or search on MINDBODY.io to booking everything from HIIT to hot yoga
 

Amanda Peterson
Written by
Amanda Peterson
UX Designer
About the author
Amanda is a designer with a fierce passion for inclusivity. Outside of her day job at MINDBODY, she plans Women in Tech events and is involved in LGBTQIA+ community initiatives. On the weekends, you can find her traveling across California with her pup, or journaling quietly in a coffee shop.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.