Get Hot and Sweat

My latest obsession: Hot Yoga

Where have you been all my life?

Yoga has been a part of me on and off for the past three or four years. Due to constant schedule shifts in my life, I went from attending my gym’s yoga classes three times a week for a few months to once a week or not at all for the next few months, and so forth over the course of those three to four years. As my gym membership has recently expired and I am seeking new fitness goals and interests with more flexible class sessions (cross fit / MMA gym and yoga studio), I attended a free hot yoga open house Saturday the 28th of January at Fire Shaper.

As my first hot yoga experience, I left with mixed feelings. Being a free day, the studio was packed. Mat stacked upon mat with little to no room to stretch. At one point I felt sweat from the man behind me drop onto my foot. Disgusting. It was also a 90 minute session. Being unaccustomed to the heat and the lack of oxygen from the large crowd and being improperly hydrated, by the 70 minute mark I was ready to pass out.

The positions were relatively simple. Nothing too strenuous or complex. As someone who has practiced yoga before, I found them to be a bit dull and quickly found myself counting down the minutes to freedom as the water was pouring off of me. Slowly dripping down the small of my back and across my forehead, even into my eyes during the inverted positions. I left feeling sticky, a tiny bit looser, but mainly dehydrated and tired. Within 30 minutes I developed a splitting headache turned migraine from the dehydration and was forced to lie down for a bit.

Despite the disappointment of the open house, I ended up jumping on their sale price for newcomers of one month unlimited hot yoga for $39. How could I not at that price? My cousin also snagged the deal.

My cousin and I attended our first actual class at 6:15AM today. An ungodly hour. The class was small and consisted of the really intense yogis. With about 10 other pupils, we had all the room we could hope for. The heat was bearable and there was air to be had! This instructor was different from Saturday’s class and pushed us into flow movements and complex balance positions. With the small class size she was also able to provide some individual attention.

I left feeling elongated, open, and read to experience my day.

Vegan Yogurt Experiment

While strolling the aisles of Whole Foods, I spotted a few new additions to the yogurt aisle.

I used to be big into Greek yogurt, consuming a cup of 0% Fage on a daily basis, no fruit, honey, or sweetener required. I loved the thick, almost bitter taste. So good. With my high raw vegan conversion, yogurt is no longer in the picture.

The two products I spotted were SO Delicious Greek Style Coconut Milk yogurt and Amande Cultured Almond Yogurt. Out of sheer curiosity, I decided to try.

So Delicious® Cultured Coconut Milk, Greek

If you’re craving a probiotic fix and making your own coconut probiotics is impractical, this really hits the spot. With a fairly straight forward ingredient list, four live cultures, 8g of dietary fiber, 2g of protein, 30% Calcium, vitamin D, B12, and magnesium, this is a powerhouse little snack.

I purchased the vanilla flavor and found the taste to be pleasant, but a little bit sweet. The yogurt was thick, not quite up to the standards of Fage Greek yogurt, but very satisfying. However, it was not smooth and creamy. I am unsure of how to describe it… not gritty, but a little textural rather than smooth. Not a turn off to the yogurt, just a difference between this and cow’s milk Greek yogurt

amande cultured almond milk peach

Light and smooth with a very clean peachy flavor, not sickly sweet, but fresh, almost like a real peach. A little short on vitamins in comparison to the coconut yogurt, lacking certain vegan fundamentals such as B12. But it does contain six live cultures versus the four of coconut and a decent amount of fiber and protein. Check out the ingredients and nutritional information.

This yogurt was very smooth in comparison to the coconut yogurt. It was not as thick, but more in line with regular yogurt versus Greek. Very tasty and very satisfying. If you’re a fan of the Light and Fit brands, this reminded me of those, but tasted a lot less artificial. Otherwise, similar consistency.

Overall, I prefer the SO Delicious. The thickness and overall nutrient content make it a winner in my book. For a vegan, 30% B12 is a big, big deal. Let me know if your thoughts on any other brands!