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There’s one word to describe Namaste Fitness in San Diego, CA: community. This eclectic, all-encompassing studio offers something for everyone (and every level), which is just the way owner Ana Hutz wants it. As soon as you walk through the door, you know you belong.
Located 20 miles south of downtown San Diego amongst the carefully manicured Otay Ranch Town Center, Namaste Fitness is a not-so-secret workout haven in the South Bay. Whether you want to try something new—TBarreX, anyone?—or would like to move with intention, you'll find no shortage of exercise experiences.
So, what can you expect when you book a class at Namaste Fitness? We drove south one rainy Thursday to find out (and work out). Here’s everything you should know:
It doesn’t matter if this your first visit, or you’re a seasoned “Namaster,” you will immediately feel Ana’s passion for wellness throughout every single detail of Namaste Fitness. It has natural light pouring in from nearly every angle in the seating area, awe-inspiring and highly motivational quotes adorning the walls, and a carefully curated, sustainable in-studio boutique (warning: you’ll want to buy everything). Namaste Fitness is inspiration, self-love, and everything you want it to be.
Clean, bright, and bustling with a plethora of classes, Ana’s vision for wellness is anything but a one-room studio. With multiple areas outfitted for the workout of your choice, you can be assured you’ll work out in the right space—and yes, that includes a yoga wall (which, we are currently too afraid to try).
With over 22 different types of classes to choose from, there’s no shortage of opportunity for you to find the right flex for your muscles (and your mind) at Namaste Fitness. Pilates, Barralates, TRX, Heated Hatha—finding a class that fits your goals, age, skill level, and schedule is simple. Don’t know what a Barralate is? Namaste Fitness offers in-depth class descriptions, which are super helpful when booking. Plus, Namaste Fitness offers Childcare and Littles Yoga so you can BYOB (baby, not beer) and mat. And If you’re new to a type of workout or are looking to challenge yourself in class, they’ve nailed it in the instructor game. The hands-on instructors—including Ana—are friendly, encouraging, and approachable, which is what we found during our midday Heated Vinyasa 1 flow, thanks to the confident and calm Mikko. (More on this magical human below.)
After being welcomed into the studio by Mala bead-wearing Mikko five minutes before class (wow, she was quick to know we were newbies), it was easy to see she literally lives and breathes the spirit of yoga—and loves what she does. Oh, and she enjoys making your muscles work, even in a Vinyasa 1 class.
For a midday flow, it was quite crowded (but not cramped), and we found ourselves sneaking into spots between other students who seemed to space out their mats randomly. Guess they like sharing our sweat. Taking place in a room heated by infrared ceiling panels, it was easy to notice and appreciate the padded flooring as soon as you rolled out your mat. It was like practicing on 10 Manduka mats. Class started a few minutes late (a “grace period” for those of us that are always rushing), and the one-hour yoga practice was as diverse as the students. Mikko led with the traditional intention setting, and then we were off into Chaturanga Dandasana. Downward Dog. You know the drill.
As we flowed through everything from Warrior 1 to Chair, Mikko had us hold poses for longer than expected—our muscles were trembling. And the was sweat dripping. Honestly, it was more challenging for a level one class—but hey, we were there for a workout so we couldn’t complain. When our sweat towels didn’t seem to be doing the job, the lights went low, we folded down into Savasana, and Mikko performed a surprise singing bowl session. Talk about the perfect end to a trying class. We left with open minds, hearts, and hip flexors.
A quick cool down and a few selfies later, Ana’s event promotions (including a retreat to Puerto Vallarta) caught our eye. While Ana has created wellness and fitness magic north of Mexico, she encourages Namaste Fitness students to share their skills outside the studio through events and workshops. Whether you want to learn more about your chakras, are interested in taking flight with acroyoga, or if mimosas, brunch, and barre is your thing (maybe not in that order), it’s all about expanding your well-being—and having fun while doing it. Talking about brunch reminded us that Mikko’s class left us hangry with a capital H.
Craving something a little “fresher” to help us cool down after the heated flow, we stumbled upon Vitality Bowls for a quick midday feast. If you haven’t tried Vitality Bowls, all you need to know is that it’s a super awesome superfood café. The hardest choice of the day: do we order smoothies or açai bowls? Influenced by Mikko’s flow, we opted for the Warrior Bowl (with extra sliced strawberries). And channeling all things wellness, we walked across the street to Sephora for post-class face masks to-go—and maybe some mascara. We had no idea this wellness oasis existed in Chula Vista. Needless to say, we namaslayed our drive south to Namaste Fitness.
Ready to try a class (or two) at Namaste Fitness? Still debating if Barralates is right for you? Listen up to what owner and wellness expert Ana has to say about her studio—and trust us; you’ll be ready to book a class in no time at all. We will see you on the mat, at the barre, or over an açai bowl in the South Bay.
Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness.
Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.
When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.
Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.
“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day.
Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure.
“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.” - Dr. B
Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go!
With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike.
One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.
At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.
Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.
“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.