Breathe: The only studio you need in Squamish

Moving from Vancouver to Squamish was a big change. I went from the hustle and bustle of downtown to the quietness of a mountain town. Squamish’s motto is “Hardwired for Adventure” and it is true, this town offers everything from mountain biking to incredible hiking, however the one thing I struggled to find when I first moved here was workout classes that I enjoyed. In Vancouver I would go to my Soulcycle classes and had endless options through Classpass, here I was struggling to find my workout grove.

Thankfully for social media I came across a post from Breathe Squamish. Breathe Squamish is a boutique infrared heated workout studio that offers group fitness, hot yoga, vinyasa flow, pilates, and barre fusion just to name a few. Now I must say, I have never really been into heated workout classes nor have I been very into yoga ( the harder the cardio the better is my motto) but once I took my first class I knew Breathe and I were true workout soulmates.

What is Breathe?

Before I get into the specifics of the classes I wanted to talk to you a little about what makes Breathe so unique and so rewarding for me; infrared and heat. I have known a long time the benefits of hot yoga, it eases stress and depression, helps your flexibility, and helps you burn even more calories ( just to name a few) however I didn’t know much about infrared until now.

Infrared panel heating radiates waves of energy that penetrate into the body elevating one’s surface temperature. It helps detoxify the body at a cellular level (where most of your toxins reside) while also burning fat,  de-stressing, and promotes healing. Trust me there are many more benefits but that would need a whole blog post on its own.

In my first few weeks training at Breathe I have tried a variety of different classes, some that I am used to like hit training and barre, and some that are a little outside of my comfort zone like yoga sculpt. Each one has offered different advantages, worked different muscles, and given me one heck of a sweat session.

My favourite classes

Infrared Yoga Sculpt: This isn’t your average yoga class, this is a full body yoga workout. You are in a heated infrared room so there are all the benefits that I mentioned above, and while you do go through salutations and flows, you are also using light weights to really sculpt your arms and abs. I absolutely am addicted to this class.

Infrared ABSoulte Booty & Infrared ABSolute and Arms : Saying that I LOVE this class would be an understatement. The class is fun and energetic and they play great pump up music. The workout is focused on strengthening and toning your core and glutes (for the booty class) and the arms for the other class through resistance training. You use weights, bands, and a ball and it really works deep into the muscles.

Infrared Barre Fusion: I have always enjoyed Barre classes (and have even blogged about some in the class) it helps you work the deepest and most neglected muscles in your body, but infrared barre fusion takes it to a whole other level. You combine ballet, yoga, and pilates. You work with the barre elongating your legs and working on movements that are sure to get your booty and abs burning. It is designed to increase cardiovascular strength while also helping you tone, sculpt, and lengthen your muscles.

Infrared Sculpt It: If you are looking for a total body workout this is the class for you. It combines cardio with the use of equipments like weight bar and balls to target everything from your head to your toes.

Infrared Candlelit Aromatherapy Yin: If you need an hour to really stretch, unwind, destress, and relax every single muscle in your body this is the class for you. As I have mentioned I am not much of a yoga person, that is until now. I have started to see the benefits of allowing your body to take a moment for itself. With my work I am constantly on the go, and so to just be able to relax for a full hour, I have realized what a blessing it truly is.

These are just a few of my favourite classes that I have had the chance to try out so far. They all offer something different, but each one of them focuses on toning and working your muscles. I am so happy to have finally found my place here in Squamish.
Do you live in the Squamish area and have any favourite spots I should check out?
Leave a comment below, would love to hear them!
xo
Mia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My experience with Pure Barre

My Experience with Pure Barre

I have been an athlete my entire life, but as a tennis player a lot of my focus was on speed and endurance. Since quitting tennis, I have been trying to keep my fitness up, but to me a  workout always meant cardio. That is why I was a little skeptical when a friend of mine invited me out to a barre class at Pure Barre fitness in Yaletown.

When I thought of barre classes, I thought of them as a sort of ballet class that wouldn’t really be much of a workout. I was completely wrong.

While I might not of gotten the sweat that I get in cardio classes, I got a workout unlike any other. The barre class was so much harder than I thought it would be because the class focuses so intensely on specific areas like core strength, stabilizing muscles in the shoulders and hips, and enhancing flexibility. This is reached by isometric exercises and continuous small moments that “burn out” the muscles. Because you are constantly moving and engaging small muscles you that you are really working deep in the muscle and targeting trouble zones like your hops, thighs, glutes and core.

Within just minutes of my first class my legs were shaking uncontrollably and the next day my body was so sore. As I said, it was so much more of a workout than I originally expected.

After a few weeks of combining barre into my weekly cardio routine, I started to notice a difference. I was already looking more toned in my arms and thighs and my posture was noticeably better (something that I thought was impossible). I have really fallen in love with my barre classes.

What to expect from class

You start the class with a light cardio warm up that targets everything from your toes to your fingers.

Once the warm up is done, it is straight to weights to target your arm muscles. You use one set of lighter weights and one heavier and again constant movement targeting shoulders, triceps, biceps, and upper back, while also moving into lunges and squats to make sure your entire body is engaged.

After weights it is straight to thigh work. To really “burn out” your thighs you use a combination of band work, ball work, and resistance against your own body weight.

This will be the moment when your legs really start to shake as you focus solely on one side of your body for several minutes before giving it a break.

There isn’t much rest for your legs as you transition quickly into seat work, targeting the glute muscles again using the band and ball for resistance.

Once you have really got a shake going in your legs (and as they say, embrace the shake), you make your way down to the floor for a very intense ab workout.

While it might be short, it is anything but sweat. You will once again use the ball to target both your lower and upper abs.

Finally you end the class with some back work and bridges before a very thorough stretch.

Types of classes 

Pure Classic 

The class that I have been doing the most and what I described above is the classic barre classic. The classic class is the original barre class that utilizes the ballet barre to perform the small, isometric movements I spoke about which are good for burning fat and sculpting muscles.

Pure Empower 
Looking for a bit more of a cardio workout? Look no further than the empower class. This is a more fast paced and dynamic workout that is 45 minutes long. It is definitely a challenging class that is more cardio centric but at the same time there are modifications for all fitness levels.
Pure Reform 
This really is a total body workout and is focused on more resistance based strength training as oppose to just body weight. I loved that it combined elements from Pure Barre classic, but had the added element of resistance bands and sliders to just give you a bit of a different workout.
Overall I am really loving my Pure Barre classes. After just a month of taking these classes I am seeing a difference when it comes to my arms and glutes. I am seeing my body becoming more toned and lean, and again my posture has improved ten folds. I am excited to see where these classes take me as I continue to mix them into my weekly workouts.

For more information about their classes make sure to check out their website;  http://purebarre.com/bc-yaletown/

Happy workouts my friends,

xo

Mia

 

New Years Resolution with the Practice Studio

I know that a few of you followed along as I shared by journey with the Practice Studio. For three months I worked with the amazing during my Whole Life Practice Journey. The journey, as I have mentioned in a few of my previous blogs focuses on four main pillars; fitness, nutrition, meditation, and life coaching.

The Journey 

While I shared the journey along the way, the lessons I learned, the changes I made, and the obstacles I overcame. I have yet to share the actual results of the experience. You know, sometimes life gets in the way and all.

Pillar 1: Fitness

When I started my fitness journey I was taking three to four classes a week and one day of personal training. Before we started the journey we set aside some personal goals that we were going to work towards over the next three months.

  • Loose 5 pounds
  • Loose 2% body fat
  • Work out at least 4 x a week
  • get involved more in outdoor activities and workouts
  • tone arms and abs

During the three months we mixed up our training routines so that I wouldn’t get bored (something that tends to happen when I go to the gym). We did workouts outdoors in the sunshine, different classes, and cardio & weight training.

By the end of the experience not only did I find workouts that I enjoyed, get a variety of training through incredible classes, and find more confidence in myself but I also reached the majority of my goals.

By the end of the three months, I lost 3 pounds, was down 1.7% body fat (the majority of the weight loss was in my arms and abs), was working out 4 to 5 times a week,  and was doing more outdoor hikes and bike rides.

While I didn’t reach every goal, I came close and was definitely taking steps in the right direction. Most importantly though, I gained confidence that I never had before and learned skills that I can apply to my everyday workout routines.

Pillar 2: Nutrition 

Before starting my journey with the practice studio I can tell you I sure struggled in the nutrition department. Of course I would order french fires with my burger, and yes I will have the dessert menu.

I knew that this was going to be my biggest challenge of all, but in my first meeting with Jackie I was surprised that instead of telling me what I can and cannot eat, she told me to create a food diary and also helped me come up with some goals for our journey.

  • Cut down on carb and sugar intake
  • Loose 5 pounds and 2% body fat
  • Become more confident with my eating habits
  • Cook more meals at home

One of the most memorable moments of my experience was going to the grocery store with Jackie and actually reading the labels and ingredients. I have always been a visual learner and so going through the store and learning how to make better choices was a big part of my journey.

It was also amazing to have an entire team holding me accountable, but in the most positive way possible. I would keep my food journals, and when I would slip up or cheat I wasn’t yelled at, instead I was told it was ok to indulge as long as it wasn’t every meal.

This was the biggest change in my lifestyle. At the end of the day I came close to my weight loss goals, but I have been cooking more at home, making healthier choices, and feeling better about my overall well being. I have more energy and am once again more confident in myself. Oh and about the cooking, it has become one of my biggest hobbies.

Pillar 3: Mindfulness & Meditation

As someone who is constantly on the go between work, my blog, vlogs, and then trying to have a social life in between, I struggle to find a healthy balance. Focusing on mindfulness and meditation has never really been  a priority for me.

Through the practice studio program though, I realized how important it is to focus on this aspect of my life more. During the three month period we came up with a few goals when it came to mindfulness and meditation.

  • Meditate every morning for at least 10 minutes
  • practice breathing exercises to help keep me calm and relaxed in stressful situations
  • Journal daily

I was able to reach all of my goals that I set and I must say I saw an incredible difference in my lifestyle and overall health. With the help of calming meditation practices and breathing techniques I have found ways to relax even when I have stressful events going on in my life.

Pillar 4: Life Coaching

When I first sat down with Jackie for our coaching sessions, it was a huge wake up call for me. I had never really taken the time to evaluate my life and what I was doing and if it was making me happy.

In just one sessions, I realized it wasn’t. I was working none stop to make ends meet while neglecting relationships with friends, family, and myself. We started to come up with goals on how to change this.

  • See my parents at least once every two months
  • Spend time with friends at least once every two weeks
  • Take at least one full day off a week for myself (while freelancing)
  • Try and find a job that allows me to do what I love, but also have quality time for myself.

Right away we started working towards those goals by creating schedules and calendars and really allocate my time to the right areas of my life. I was practicing better communication skills, and taking the time to figure out my true passions.

By the end of my coaching, I was having a better time with my partner, I was feeling more rejuvenated because I was acually taking time for myself, and I landed my dream job with the Weather Network. It is amazing what you can achieve if you actually set your mind to it (cliche I know but oh so true).

Next Step: New Year’s Resolution 

Now that I have shared my results, it is time to share my goals, and there is no better time to set some new goals then the new year right?

Goal setting was a huge part of the Practice Studio Whole Life Program because it truly holds you accountable to reach your goals, and it is something that I want to continue to focus on now that my time in the actual program has ended.

With an upcoming wedding and career as a national weather reporter, my physical appearance is really important to me. My goals are of course to continue to be healthy, eat right, and hey if I do lose some body fat along the way that would be great too.

My true goal though is to continue to focus on my fitness more so for my overall confidence. When I am staying active, working out, and feeling healthy I feel better about myself overall. I tend to have more energy, and that confidence shines in other aspects of my life.

I want to continue to push myself in my fitness and in my career. Strive to continuously be a better version of myself. Continue to grow strong relationships, and learn to love and forgive myself even on tough days.

And the best part is, I won’t be working on reaching these goals all alone. I am excited to announce I will be working once again with the Practice studio. Hey, pushing yourself to workout harder and to be the best version of you is always more fun with friends by your side right.

Cannot wait to continue this journey in the New Year, but in the meantime would love to hear some of your New Year’s resolution.

Fab fall workouts around Vancouver

I know that it is time to kiss summer good-bye and say hello to PSL, cozy sweaters, Halloween candy, and everything fall but that doesn’t mean it is time to say good-bye to our summer bodies. How I look at it, this is my time to shine at the gym so that I can have that extra slice of Thanksgiving pie, am I right.

I get it though, as soon as you put those bathing suits in storage the couch potato comes out in full force. The good news, I have found some incredible gyms in Vancouver that will help you stay motivated and in shape. They are fun, intense, and will make sure those abs will survive the winter.

Here are my top five workouts and gyms in and around Vancouver

1) Soulcycle 

I have absolutely fallen in love with Soulcycle recently. This isn’t your average spin class. It is a dance party on a bike but it is also a motivational and meditative workout that gets you sweating but also thinking about all the things to be grateful for in your life. The 45min spin class plays some amazing music, mixes different choreography, and has a weight track to make sure you work your entire body. It is also in a dim lit room so even if you cannot figure out the sexy corners, no one can see you so you can just have fun with it.  While you will be dripping with sweat by the end of this class, you will also feeling motivated and inspired thanks to the amazing instructors that really make you think about the positivity in your life. While the amazing workout will have you feeling great about your body, the class will have you feeling gratitude all day.

2)  Barre Fitness 

This is Canada’s original barre class and by far my favourite barre class in the city. What I love about Barre Fitness is that even if you aren’t a professionally ballerina with amazing co-ordination like myself, you can still have an amazing workout. Don’t expect intense cardio, instead this class focuses on working every inch of your body through movement with light weights, a bar, and bands. You will honestly tone muscles you didn’t even know existed, and will be feeling amazing after an hour long class.

3)BOX at Studeo Vancouver 

Every since I moved to Vancouver I have been trying to find a great boxing class and my prayers have officially been answered. This class is not for the faint of heart but it will get you moving and sweating instantly. The instructor will take you through a series of punches and then call out different combinations to target both strength and speed. In between your boxing sets you will do other cardio that targets legs, arms, and abs. It is a full body intense workout and I am officially obsessed.

4) Moksha Yoga

I must say I have never really been a fan of yoga. As a former professional athlete my coach used to make me take yoga for stretching, but I never really considered it a workout until now. I started taking the Moksha Power class and it has really changed my outlook on yoga as an exercises. The Moksha practice combines therapeutic and traditional yoga and the power class in particular really challenges you to keep you flowing with breath and observe your body and mind.  The hot part helps your body detoxify. It is an amazing workout.

5) The Practice at the Practice Studio 

I have talked about my love for The Practice Studio before. This gym really helped me change my life through their whole life practice. While they offer some amazing classes, The Practice is by far my favourite. This is their signature class and basically it consists of about 40 different stations of exercises that target your entire body. Everything from burpees to squat jumps will be covered. This truly is the perfect full body workout.

I hope that you will enjoy these classes as much as I do and be inspired to stay fit even during the winter.  I would also love for you to share some of your favourite workouts with me. I am always looking to mix up my fitness routine.

xo

Mia

 

 

Product Love: Smile Brilliant

 

“Smile,  it’s the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart” – Anthony J. D’Angelo 

I brush my teeth daily with whitening tooth paste, floss on the regular, and have even used white strips in the past, but nothing seems to last when it comes to keeping my teeth pearly white. Everything that I have tried so far has been an expensive temporary fix against red wine, berries, and coffee. I will sometimes look back at pictures or videos and literally cringe at how yellow my teeth look. Pretty embarrassing especially when it is part of your job to be looking your best on camera. I was on the search for a more permanent fix, and that is when I came across Smile Brilliant.

The Process 

Smile Brilliant is the #1 dentist recommended teeth whitening method. It  is basically an at home dentist. They create a customized professional whitening system. The Smile Brilliant team sends you a teeth whitening kit. You make your own teeth impressions and then mail it back to them to create the trays. By doing so, they insure that every single tooth is covered by their whitening gel. Once the trays are returned you start the whitening process. It takes on average seven to 14 days to start notice a difference in the smile.

I have now been using Smile Brilliant for about a week and a half, and I have already noticed a drastic difference. My teeth are clearly whiter and brighter. I haven’t really noticed any sensitivity in my teeth. Overall, I just have a lot more confidence when it comes to smiling in pictures and in front of the camera. 

The Before

The After

Deal of the Day 

The part I love most about Smile Brilliant is that it is affordable. While dentists can charge more than $500 for a teeth whitening service, Smile Brilliant is between $139-$169 depending on your teeth stains. But on top of that, you can get an extra 15% off by using the promo code “MIAWGORDON”. Just click on this link and getting whiter teeth my friends;

https://dealspotr.com/go/W8zSS

xo

Mia