I Made It On The View


Confession: I have been a fan of The View since the first season (PS, they are on season 20!). There is just something about Hot Topics that pumps me up, especially now that the political climate is so insane. When I saw that you could submit a video of their new line dance “The View Slide” and they may air it on TV, I thought it could be fun to create one. In January, I held my annual YogaSport Team Summit where the staff (teachers, assistants, desk staff, designers, etc.) gets together to practice yoga, set goals, discuss the year, learn about each other, and have some good old fun.  As one of our team building exercises, we learned and performed the dance.

Just a few days after I submitted the video, one of The View producers emailed me asking if we could re-record it from the front so we could be included in their next segment. Eeeeeeeekkkkkk!  About half of Team YS could make it for the re-recording, which made it onto National TV.  While it’s not a seat at the Hot Topics table, I will take it!

I Was Featured on Oprah.com!

THE POSES YOGA INSTRUCTORS USE TO START THEIR DAY RIGHT

Whether they sprang out of bed and want to keep that momentum going or they’re feeling achy because they slept funny, these five yogis know just which move to do first thing.

Published: 22 June 2016

Written By: Emma Haak of Oprah.com

Oprah.com Angela

Seated Twist

Favorite of: Angela Wagner, owner and instructor at YogaSport Dallas

Why it’s great in the morning: This move can offer relief for stiff backs. “I tend to curl and scrunch my body up while I sleep, and twists help release any tightness I’m feeling in my back,” says Wagner. “This posture also reminds me to lengthen my spine before I get ready for work.”

Expert instructions on how to do it: “Start by sitting cross-legged on the floor. Keeping both legs bent, lift your left leg up and plant your left foot on the outside of your right thigh. Twist your torso to your left, connecting your right elbow with your left knee. As you breathe in, press your left hand on the floor directly below your shoulder and draw your spine and chest up. Don’t let your back round—if you feel it start to round, focus on pressing your hand into the floor a little harder and lengthening through your spine. As you breathe out, twist a little deeper. Hold for a few deep breaths, then repeat on the opposite side.”

Read the story at oprah.com.

From Gym Rat to Yoga Mat

Sarah Ingredients of a Fit Chick logo

Sarah from Ingredients of a Fit Chick featured me in her blog today. Read about 6 of my favorite, and very practical, reasons to practice yoga. Welcome to 2015 everyone, it’s going to be a great year!. Visit my post here. (Oh and there might just be a discount code for my DVD’s at the bottom of the article, keep on reading!!)

YogaSport Featured in Dallas Observer

YogaSport, my yoga studio, was featured as one of the top six yoga studios in Dallas. This is a BIG deal since there might be as many yoga studios in Dallas as there are Starbucks. OK, maybe not THAT many but trust me, there are a lot. And we are pretty awesome. Read on!

Best of Dallas

SIX BEST YOGA STUDIOS IN DALLAS

By: Lauren Smart & Katie Womack of the Dallas Observer

Posted: April 10, 2014

Dallas Observer YogaSport class

We’re bending over backward and sweating through our yoga pants for you, Dallas. For this list of Dallas’ best karma palaces, Katie Womack and I combined our yogi knowledge and crawled out of child’s pose to try new studios. We downward dogged for days on end to present you with the following round up of the city’s best yoga studios. Namaste, Dallas.

YogaSport
YogaSport is a tiny, no-frills studio tucked into a shopping center above Gloria’s on Lemmon Ave. While they welcome all levels, this is a seriously hard-core yoga studio that teaches Baptiste-style power yoga. The instructors are excellent and the classes are fast-paced flow classes that will challenge your physical and mental strength and kick your ass – and your arms and your thighs and your back and your shoulders — into shape. Oh, and you’ll sweat. Literal buckets of sweat. This is partly because the studio is heated to 90 degrees, but mostly because Baptiste power yoga is a fantastic workout. Want some definition in your arm muscles? Try doing what feels like a million chaturangas per class at an aerobic pace.

This little studio has a changing room and cubbies for your belongings, but there are no showers and you’ll need to bring your own mat and towel. The one studio space is well, intimate, so you’ll get to know your neighbors if a class is full, but the energy is high and the vibes positive. There are two to four power flow classes available per day, with options as early as 6:00am and as late as 8:00pm.

Notes:
-A handy online app makes keeping up with the schedule and signing up for classes easy.
-There’s a strong sense of community here. A bulletin board in the dressing room features pictures of featured members and messages from staff.

Price: It costs $18 to drop in on a single class, but a variety of packages are available to members. New clients are offered unlimited classes for one month for only $39. After that, members that set up monthly auto-pay get unlimited classes for $109 per month.

Location: 4140 Lemmon Ave., Suite 280

Read the story on Dallas Observer.

Yoga for Relaxation

At over 38 weeks preggo, I definitely need some relaxing stretches in my life.  However, you don’t need to be pregnant to gain benefits from relaxing yoga poses.  Follow the simple sequence below to de-stress and add some calm into your body.  You can make it as long or as short as you like but I suggest holding each posture (or doing each movement) for at least 1-2 minutes each.  Add some breath and voila, you are doing something really good for your body. For my power yogis who like to flow, see the picture gallery at the bottom for how and when to add in Downward Dogs to connect the poses.  And thank you to my assistant Bella for her help in this photo shoot.

Start with a simple yoga pose to warm up and move your spine. This is called Cat Pose (I think Bella must know this!) Pull your belly in (if you can), tuck your chin and press your hands into the mat until you feel a rounding between your shoulder blades.
Start with a simple yoga pose to warm up and move your spine. This is called Cat Pose (I think Bella must know this!) Pull your belly in (if you can), tuck your chin and press your hands into the mat until you feel a rounding between your shoulder blades.
Drop your belly, pull your shoulders back and gaze forward (or up if your neck is cool with it). Continue to slowly move from Cat to Cow to Cat to Cow until you feel like your spine is warm. You can also add a slow side to side hip movement if that feels good on your spine.
Drop your belly, pull your shoulders back and gaze forward (or up if your neck is cool with it). Continue to slowly move from Cat to Cow to Cat to Cow until you feel like your spine is warm. You can also add a slow side to side hip movement if that feels good on your spine.
To stretch your chest muscles, grab a strap or towel, straighten your arms and stretch your arms behind you. It's ok if your arms have a bend in them. If you are really flexible, you may be able to interlace your fingers and not use the strap. It's important to keep your chest and head lifted while you do this pose.
To stretch your chest muscles, grab a strap or towel, straighten your arms and stretch your arms behind you. It’s ok if your arms have a bend in them. If you are really flexible, you may be able to interlace your fingers and not use the strap. It’s important to keep your chest and head lifted while you do this pose.
Hook a strap or towel around your right foot and draw your lower back into the floor by engaging your abdominal muscles. Keep your shoulders on the floor and your chest relaxed. If you need more of a stretch, gently pull your foot towards your body.
Hook a strap or towel around your right foot and draw your lower back into the floor by engaging your abdominal muscles. Keep your shoulders on the floor and your chest relaxed. If you need more of a stretch, gently pull your foot towards your body.
Keep your shoulders and your left butt cheek on the ground as you extend your right leg out to the right. Keep your foot flexed and only go to where you feel a stretch. Extend your left arm out and look over your left shoulder.
Keep your shoulders and your left butt cheek on the ground as you extend your right leg out to the right. Keep your foot flexed and only go to where you feel a stretch. Extend your left arm out and look over your left shoulder.
This is one of my favorite neck stretches. Start by drawing your left ear to your left shoulder (the typical neck stretch we all know well). Keep your ear dropping towards your shoulder and look down to the left side of your body. Once you cannot move your head anymore, hold and breathe.
This is one of my favorite neck stretches. Start by drawing your left ear to your left shoulder (the typical neck stretch we all know well). Keep your ear dropping towards your shoulder and look down to the left side of your body. Once you cannot move your head anymore, hold and breathe.
Simply tuck your toes (you may have to manually invite your pinkies into the stretch) and sit on your heels. While this is a simple stretch, it can be very intense. Take deep breaths and build up your tolerance by holding it a little longer each time. Aim to sit for one minute in this pose. It's incredibly healthy for your feet, arches and your legs and yes I KNOW it's challenging. Relax your jaw and breathe!! :)
Simply tuck your toes (you may have to manually invite your pinkies into the stretch) and sit on your heels. While this is a simple stretch, it can be very intense. Take deep breaths and build up your tolerance by holding it a little longer each time. Aim to sit for one minute in this pose. It’s incredibly healthy for your feet, arches and your legs and yes I KNOW it’s challenging. Relax your jaw and breathe!! 🙂

Preggo Power Yoga Sun A Modification

Below is a very short and homemade video (yeah, I know we recorded it the wrong way :), showing how I am currently modifying my Sun A’s at 29 weeks preggo. A few things I have found to be helpful…

  1. Keep your feet hip width distance apart. You and the baby bump are less likely to get smooshed.
  2. Bend your knees during half-way lift and place your hands on a block, your shins or legs if it’s too far to reach the ground. Do what is most comfortable.
  3. Do Chaturanga on your knees.
  4. Skip Up Dog and do a push up instead.

As always, talk to your doctor and listen to your body. Do what feels right for you.

Preggo Power Yoga Modifications

Now that I am in my 27th week of pregnancy, my power yoga practice is getting, well, let’s call it…interesting.  As always, check with your doctor before continuing your regular practice. If you have the green light, here are three modifications that will help you flow (vs. waddle) your way through your practice.

CHAIR POSE – Spread your feet the width of your hips, and yes you can spread your feet as wide as you think your hips are. Feel it out, you will know what is right for you. I highly recommend doing this anytime you would normally put your feet together. Stepping your feet together was so pre-preggo. Live in the now.

 

 

 

BOW POSE – Once it’s no longer comfy to be on your stomach, do all “belly backbends” on your side. If you can’t seem to reach your feet anymore, no worries, just reach towards them and enjoy the opening in your front body. If you feel like you are stretching your bump too much, ease off and enjoy a cozy rest on your side. Hey, you are pregnant, give yourself a break.

 

 

TWISTING CHAIR – It’s not recommended to do deep twists during your pregnancy, and honestly at this stage of the game, you not only won’t want to, you won’t be able to. This modification gives you plenty of space for your bump yet allows you access to stretch your upper back muscles which really need some lovin’ right about now. You can apply this modification to any twist. Remember, the block is your friend

Back in Time

 

Baron and Angela 2003
2003 (I swear I wore a bandana before I met Baron!)

I just finished packing for my trip to Baptiste Teacher Training Level 3. Normally preparing for a week long training with my teacher and mentor, Baron Baptiste, is par for the course. It’s something I do at least once a year as part of my commitment to my certification and my own training as a yoga instructor. However, this training is different. This time I return to Tulum, Mexico, where I went to my first Baptiste Bootcamp in 2003. Even though they always scared the crap out of me, there was always something exhilarating about the idea of going to (and getting through) a bootcamp. It was almost like a yoga badge of honor. “I did Frog Pose for 25 freakin’ minutes, what did you do this week?!”

In August of 2003, I was what I like to call a baby yoga teacher filled with enthusiasm and promise. I had a few weekend trainings and Yoga Journal Conferences under my belt but no official yoga certification to speak of. I had large classes at 24 Hour Fitness and high hopes of owning my own yoga studio. I had even bought the URL www.yogasportdallas.com. I had life pretty much figured out. Ha!

I arrived at my first training scared yet excited. I am not going to lie, it was a tough week. Eight people left the training for various reasons. Some didn’t like the use of swear words, some were angry because they thought it was a yoga vacation (it clearly stated in the application that it was far from a retreat) and some just weren’t on board with the general intensity of the week. I, however, was in heaven. I appreciated the discipline and intensity of the training. We had 4-5 hour morning practices, we didn’t get to change our yoga clothes for our journal and share sessions, there was no schedule, we didn’t eat lunch before 2pm or dinner before 10pm and there were no chairs for our 4 hour lecture sessions. But, I didn’t know any different and I didn’t really care. I left that training changed forever. I left knowing that I would permanently change my career, open my own yoga studio and that I had found my yoga home.

Almost ten years later, I return back to my roots in Tulum. I feel a different kind of excitement. The fear is gone (except the part about getting my yoga butt back into shape, I am no longer 25). I am a completely different person. I return as a business owner, senior yoga instructor, yoga teacher trainer and a wife. I have seen myself grow in astounding ways throughout the last ten years. I have also seen so many of my yoga teacher friends as well as the Baptiste community grow in amazing ways. The trainings are no longer called bootcamps, they are simply teacher trainings. Our practices are not 5 hours anymore (darn it, I really do miss that part), we get to journal in dry clothes, we have a tentative schedule, we eat, well, I’ll let you know about this one and we have chairs! Real chairs people!

This week I look forward to connecting with old friends and seeing the training through a different set of eyes. But, most importantly, I look forward to spending a week dedicated to re-charging and re-energizing so I can be an even better version of me. Because in the end, that part of the experience has never changed.

Where are your roots? Have you thought about revisiting them?

COMMENTS
Jenny
Love this! You inspire me. 🙂

An Army of Support

Eight years ago today, I was a terrified 26 year old, opening a yoga studio on Lemmon Ave. I remember being so scared that I couldn’t sleep. What if no one shows up? This question has haunted me in my life. What if no one shows up to my party? What if no one shows up to my step or spin classes? What if no one shows up to my yoga studio? Oh crap, this is a really big deal. I can get over a scarcely attended party and a step class with only a few dedicated divas. But an entire business? What was I thinking?

These were the thoughts in my mind and in my heart on May 15, 2004. I knew that my dedicated few from 24 Hour Fitness and the seven other places that I taught would at least come by for a class. I knew my super awesome friend Holly H. would come as much as she could (and she did for 30 straight days). But then what? My dad had given me a small business loan, a set of wings and essentially said, “Fly Baby Girl.”

I will never forget the first few days and even the first few years of the studio. It was exciting, don’t get me wrong, but it was challenging. I was shlepping towels to my condo to wash them every few days, getting there early to clean the space, learning how to HTML code my website (blog website? not available yet!) and oh yeah, teaching a lot of yoga! There were many days and nights where I thought, ‘Is this worth it?’ The sexiness of owning a yoga studio had disappeared and reality had set in. I wasn’t a full time yoga teacher with a cool space. I was a small business owner, marketer, maid, tech gal, designer and oh yeah, I taught some yoga too.

At year three, I was done. Mending a very broken heart, alone, broke and tired of having crappy health insurance, I was OUT when my three year lease was up. My dad, who had been my biggest supporter (but silent partner letting me make all decisions thus far) said, “I really think you are so close. Give yourself just one more year. Ask your landlord if he will extend one more year. Do everything you have ever wanted to do. Drain the bank account and if you are going to go out, go out BIG.” I thought long and hard and really didn’t want to keep going but the Barrese’s have a skillful way of convincing you to do things you never thought you could or would do. And being my Dad’s biggest fan, I just couldn’t let him down.

It’s Real!

So I extended my lease. ONE YEAR. That’s all I had in me. I told my yoga students and staff. I rallied them, was honest about my decision and asked everyone to show up. Ask? I had never thought of that! I hired a brilliant woman to re-brand the studio and the yoga man logo was born. With a fancy new design, new website, testimonial video and an army of support, YogaSport took off. Year four was a true breaking point in my career and in my life. I realized that I can do this and that asking for help is not only OK, it’s necessary for success.

On May 15, 2012, I look back on a roller coaster of eight years that I simply wouldn’t trade for anything. I have grown so much as a person, friend, daughter, partner and yoga teacher/mentor. Today, I look at The YogaSport Community (YSC) and am in awe of what she has become. Our incredible staff of teachers, and assistants and pretty much the coolest people in Dallas all work, play and sweat at 4140 Lemmon Ave. Aside from my home with my hubby and fur babies, it’s my favorite place to be.

So I thank each and every one of you who has shown up at YogaSport. You probably thought you were showing up just for you. But here, you are never alone. Without even knowing it, you were also showing up for me, the teachers and The YSC. YS is no longer my studio. She has a life, energy and excitement all of her own. I look forward to eight more years of sweat, smiles and seriously awesome yoga. In the comments below, I invite you to share what YS has meant to you.

In love and light,

Angela Wagner (formerly Barrese, I also found the love of my life in year 5!)