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denver local wellness fitness
Local
Published Tuesday May 14, 2019 by Jacki Carr

The Power of the Unplug: 7 Ways to Disconnect in Denver

Barre
Meditation
Yoga

We are living in a digital world with information at our fingertips. Notifications and communications arriving by the second—making it increasingly harder to hit the power button (let alone airplane mode). I am a firm believer in a digital detox to keep my brain fresh, my thoughts comparison-free and my body fully present. As I finish the final chapter in ‘How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life’ by Catherine Prince, one quote really resonated with me:

“Breaking up with your phone means giving yourself the space, freedom, and tools necessary to create a new, long-term relationship with it, one that keeps what you love about your phone and gets rid of what you don’t.” 

But where does one start? I began thinking of my favorite places where I literally cannot (and do not want) my phone: on a mountain climber, out in nature hiking, on the yoga mat. These are the spaces I can explore my own digital detox and connect deeper to my mind and body. 

In Denver, escaping technology can be easier than it sounds. From a new workout class to the great outdoors, here are my seven favorite ways to disconnect:

 

Meet me IRL at the barre.

I love a slice of humble pie while my inner thighs perform tiny repeated movements and my muscles—that barely get any love in my real life seated in front of a computer composing emails and coaching clients—get that feel-good shake, shake, shake feeling in a barre3 class. With four locations in Denver— Cherry Creek, Highlands, Highlands Ranch, and Belleview Stations—it’s easy to find a class where you can forget your 5,452 emails! 

 

Disconnect to stretch.

Picture this: you lay down and close your eyes while a certified Flexologist opens those tight muscles with a customized stretch routine. That’s a reality at the StretchLab in Denver where you can choose between a 25-or 50-minute stretch session. I always request extra work on the hips flexors and hamstrings. Great for post-recovery, it’s a relaxing and safe space to stretch your mind (and muscles) sans phone.

 

Play at the park.

A far out favorite in the city, Wash Park is the place to experience nature in the city. Not only is the park a lush 155 acres with two lakes, but it also has a 2.6-mile run and bike path, ten tennis courts, two flower gardens, and volleyball nets. When the city feels, well, city-ish and the day gets screen-heavy, pop over to the park for a run, walk, pack a picnic or just get barefoot and feel the grass while reading a book!

 

Take me to The River.

One of my favorite studios to make shapes and find my breath on the mat is The River Yoga. Most classes are heated—not necessarily phone-friendly. With a dynamic offering of teachers, classes for the kiddos, and even daycare during certain times of day, this beautiful studio space provides calm in my busy schedule—especially when my breath is interrupted during a frenzy of notifications. Good news! They have two locations - one in Golden Triangle and another in Five Points. The River also leads Yoga on the Rocks classes at Red Rocks this month! 

 

Climb a mountain—indoors.

Feeling the hike but don’t have the time to trek to the mountains today? Don’t give up on your goal! TRANSFORM Colorado hosts a 30-minute class called Climbing on Versa Climber machines. We’re talkin’ about an awesome playlist, climb sequences to the beat, a lot (I mean A LOT) of sweat, hands, and legs moving at all times and intervals to keep you at a high intensity. Pack your phone; I dare you. 

 

Take a hike.

There comes a point in everyone’s week when screen time is at an all-time high. That means you need to hit the road and take a hike. The Flatirons of Boulder are breathtaking— like one of those ‘I cannot believe I actually live here’ moments. Grab your GPS and head to Mt. Sanitas for a 3.2-mile loop packed with wildflowers and nature-style staircases. Be ready to sweat as this hike is not easy, especially when you add that altitude, but it’s totally worth it. I suggest going early as this is a favorite and often crowded! Always remember to pack water–and leave your phone in the car.

 

Breathe in Boulder.

Post-hike, stick around Boulder to grab lunch then sweat it out at a sweet afternoon flow at Amana Yoga. There is a daily 4 pm Happy Hour YIN class at this beautiful studio during the week or a 4:15 pm YIN on the weekends that we highly recommend after that Sanitas hike to recover and rest. The yin of yoga to the yang of the hike is all about balance.

 

Speaking of balance, it is a gentle practice to explore time on your phone and get into your real life off the phone. Practice, and we will see you out there. Get your sweat on without your phone by booking your favorite workout ahead of time on the MINDBODY app or MINDBODY.io
 

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.