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Local
Published Monday Mar 04, 2019 by Jacki Carr

Peace Out Winter Blues: 6 Ways to Self-Care in the Mile High City

Yoga
Cycling
Massage
Bootcamp

We are right in the middle of winter, and while we are ever so thankful for the blue skies and snowy adventures in our Mile High City, spring does not *officially* arrive until March 20th. Plus, we have all seen that looming snowflake in the forecast through May. Even with the adventure life readily available in ski towns, cabin fever is real. 

Feeling antsy for warmer weather? Here are my six favorite ways to escape the cabin, stay active (indoors) and invest in my own self-care during the long Denver winter season.  

 

CYCLING

Put the pedal to the metal.
Let’s bring the bike indoors this season, sweat it out and make shift happen at studios like Shift Cycle + Fitness in Sunnyside! Get ready to raise your heart rate, climb an imaginary mountain and cycle your heart out. I love ending my day with this high-energy workout. Not only am I literally letting go of the email life, but I’m also pedaling to the beat and channeling my best Lady Gaga all while forgetting about the cold outside. 

“Beyond fitness, a cycling class can prep your mind and soul to conquer really hard sh*t. In every class we set an intention, practice gratitude and open ourselves up to making a shift in our lives and in our bodies,” says Whitney Herman, founder of Shift Cycle + Fitness. “When we conquer hard stuff on the bike and push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we find the power and fortitude to overcome daily stresses, insecurities, and negativity in our everyday life and start kicking ass at positivity and shining a little brighter.”

 

MASSAGE 

Eliminate that winter upper body hunch. 
The cold in the air creates a reaction in our bodies to literally hunker down and hunch over for warmth and protection of our core. Perhaps each night you feel the shoulder crunch and neck tightness after braving a day in the Mile High or out on the trails. You need to release the tension and channel total relaxation. After a morning hike in the mountains of Evergreen, I treat myself to a Sacred Stone Journey Massage at Sacred Stone Day Spa. Featuring heated toe stones and chakra balancing, you’ll instantly kick that lingering winter chill. Customize the level of depth and your preferred pressure—then just climb into the heated bed and take a deep breath as your massage therapist spends a little extra time on your traps, neck, and collarbone this time of year.

 

YOGA

From 0 to 95, bring on the BIG heat.
This might be blasphemy in Colorado—the home of the heated yoga studios—but I’m not usually a heated yoga human. Eeek! However, I will make an exception during winter. Snow on the ground? Sign me up for all the heat. BIG Power Yoga in the RiNo brings sweat and inspiring conversation! Experience the best heated flow followed by a lavender infused towel during savasana. Ahhh

“The heat in Baptiste Yoga is often misunderstood to be designed to simply make the practice harder,” says Laura Rust, founder of BIG Power Yoga. “The truth is, the 95 degree temperature is intentionally used to help you get deeper into your body (everything is more malleable in heat, especially tight muscles!), help you detox and release old stuff (everything from physical toxins to toxic thoughts), and help get you out of your comfort zone in a way that calls forth full presence.” 

 

IV THERAPY

Keep hydrated to keep healthy.
If you live in Colorado, you might have been infected with the gastro virus or perhaps the 6-week respiratory cough rocking daycares all over our sweet city. With temps dropping up and down, the flu is relentless, especially this time of year! Get your vitamins intravenously from the team of nurses that hold down the best IV treatment center in Denver, Hydrate IV Bar. It’s no secret that hydration is key to health and should be the main focus with the Colorado altitude, especially if you have a fireplace (hello dehydration!). 

"We provide IV hydration therapy in a relaxing setting for deficiencies such as altitude sickness, low energy, athletic recovery, and general health and wellness,” says Katie Wafer, owner of Hydrate IV Bar. “Our custom IV solutions are safe and effective, and are formulated to help you feel better faster."

 

BOOTCAMP

A sweat-worthy playground for adults.
I love walking up to Fitness in the City on Delaware Street and reading the big graffiti wall that tells me to ‘BE A GOOD PERSON’. Honestly, when I show up to sweat, I actually am a good person—way nicer than I was before. I love Stefan Olander’s Meta Circuit class because it’s like a playground for grown-ups. The circuit training style class focuses on cardio, movement, and fun. We swing kettlebells, run ladders, lift barbells and jump rope all in one class. Drenched, breathing heavy and sweat dripping after 60 minutes results in high-fives… and has you feeling pretty damn grateful for the work you put in. 

 

REBOUNDING

Bounce out the winter blues. 
Some days I really need to trick my body into working out with a fun surprise. Nothing beats rebounding on trampolines at Compass Fitness in South Denver. Owner and powerhouse trainer, Jillian Keavany, brings the sweat to the trampolines with Sound Off headphones to shake up your morning—or evening—ritual of movement. 

“Trampoline workouts are a GREAT way to experience a high cardio experience without the high impact on joints! It's wicked fun (with a side of terrible, I like to say), high energy, and with a consistent high heart rate, burns loads of calories throughout,” says Jillian. “If you like to ski, this is the perfect cross-training workout for incredible leg and glute strength.”


However you choose to take care of yourself this winter, welcome spring with a little extra self-care and MINDBODY

Jacki Carr
Written by
Jacki Carr
Rock Your Bliss Co-Founder | Writer
About the author
Jacki Carr is a goal coach, writer, and yoga teacher with a real, honest style that helps connect people to their most powerful self. Co-founder of Rock Your Bliss, you can find Jacki in Evergreen, Colorado drinking another bulletproof coffee on her front porch with her husband, two daughters, and their pups.
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.