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A faith-based yoga studio in Mariemont is offering new classes and an upcoming couples retreat to help strengthen you - mind, body and spirit.

Cincy Chic: What’s new at Worthy Yoga since we last chatted in June?
Brenda Westfall, Owner of Worthy Yoga: We have added two new classes to the schedule for 2018. There may be more to come as we are growing. We added an All Levels Class on Mondays at 5:30 with Lauren Pax. Here’s a description of Lauren’s class: Join fellow Young Professionals in a special one-hour young adult yoga flow. Each Vinyasa Flow class will be approaching and ope for all yoga practitioners. Lauren invites students to email her with their practice intentions before the class to help create a purposeful, community-centric practice. Together, we will use the power of prayer and mindful movement to manifest blessings.


We have also added a 9 am Thursday morning class with Amy Erickson called Balance + Restore. Here is a description of that offering: We live in a world that badgers us to work faster, be more efficient, try harder, and strive to win at all costs. I want Balance + Restore to be an oasis that offers opportunities to rectify the effects of stress on our lives – opportunities to be still, slow down, and wake up to the truth of the love and grace God has in abundance for us. Each class will include space for breathing in the goodness and grace of God and letting go of negative thoughts, listening to God speak through a passage of scripture, learning yoga postures that open our hearts to God’s transforming power, and resting in the reality of God’s love for us.

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about your Half-Day Retreats!
Westfall: These Half-Day Retreats have been very popular and fill up quite quickly. We are all on a journey of knowing more about who God is and knowing who we are. Retreats provide us with space to experience the integration of our heart, soul, mind, and spirit through yoga and, most recently, Expressive Arts. The Creator created us with an innate desire for expression. Our retreats each have a different theme/intention. We usually bring in special guests to share a multitude of modalities to deepen our understandings of who we are and why we are here.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything else new happening at Worthy Yoga?
Westfall: God is constantly making things new and giving us ideas for building community, serving community, and going deeper as well as creating space to be still. We have a partner yoga workshop for couples coming up February 10 as well as a workshop for golfers later in March. We have book studies, girl’s nights out, and private yoga group events. We are planning a workshop for anxiety and headaches and planning on offering prenatal classes in the future.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Worthy Yoga?
Westfall: Readers can check out our website for classes and events at www.worthyyoga.com. We’re also on Instagram and Facebook.

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Learn about a local lady who was inspired to launch a yoga studio as a way for people to exercise their faith (and body) in every day life.

 

Worthy Yoga takes on yoga as a process of continual adjustment and alignment. 

At Worthy, yoga is a practice not focused solely on the attainment of a pose. Instead, it is a process of continual adjustment and alignment.

It’s not unlike one’s walk with Christ, says Brenda Westfall, owner of the Mariemont-based Worthy Yoga. It is non-competitive, she adds, christian yoga is not about emptying the mind, rather it is a way to incorporate more of Christ in all parts of life: heart, soul, mind, and strength.

The inspiration for the business, launched three years ago, began when Westfall was involved with Holy Yoga Teacher Training in order to improve her own yoga skills.

“Soon after I completed my training, God put it on my heart to open a studio. I definitely felt inadequate but it was a step in obedience. Often times, Holy Yoga instructors will lead in a church, a YMCA or community center but God called me outside of the church,” she says. “I wanted to try to bridge a gap between Christians who might be uncomfortable with a traditional Eastern yoga practice and the yogi who is searching for something special. I also wanted to offer a practice that wasn’t too fitness focused as that’s where the comparison lies can start to creep in. Every bit of it, every style belongs to God and it can all be redeemed for His glory.”

Westfall thought of the idea from spending time with the God. “I sat down to meditate on it and God gave it to me instantly. I think it covers a multitude of meanings,” she says.

There are a variety of services that Worthy Yoga offers. “We offer a variety of yoga classes for all levels and barre classes. We also offer private yoga instruction for individuals. We also have book groups and bible studies,” Westfall says. “We host survival events including private small group classes, bridal party yoga and ladies nights out. We are hoping to bring back our Worthy Girls class this fall. The class is tailored to the heart and souls of girls age 10-14. I also offer private Reiki.”

Worthy Yoga is a unique business it’s a non profit in the Cincinnati area. It is set up as an LLC, but there are a few people who are volunteers. “We do this because we love people and believe in the benefits of this practice,” she says. There are special events and donation-based classes for organizations in the area. “I am super interested in developing Holy Yoga Teacher Training Scholarships for the undeserved, so they can take this incredible practice into their own communities as well. There is healing and freedom here and everyone is worthy!”

Worthy Yoga defines success by growing a community of people care and invest in each other. “If we could all begin to take ‘Namaste’ off of our mats and look at each other in the eye and see the light within as the Holy Spirit,” Westfall says. “This is our inheritance as Children of God. The Spirit is at work in each person. We just need to pause and allow the Spirit within to fan the flame in that same Spirit in another.”

If you want to keep up with what Worthy Yoga is doing, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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    What? You didn’t know that studded leather collars are so last year? Keeping up with the latest in animal trends is tough, but don’t embarrass your furry children. Maintain your status as a hip pet mama by checking out these pawsome products and services.

     

    Looking for Love?

    The unconditional kind, where you are adored everyday just for being you? Cincinnati.com and SPCA have taken a cue from the popularity of dating Web sites to help you find your four-legged perfect match. They’ve partnered to showcase one eligible bachelor or bachelorette each week, and these well-dressed dogs may make you believe in love at first sight.

     

    Posh Accommodations

    0208GIBBERMAN.gif Traditional boarding for your pet may leave an ache in your heart as you head off on a much-needed vacation. After all, you’re having the time of your life while your beloved animal sits in a cage, waiting for you to come home. No more worries! Today’s pet accommodations, like The Pet Spot in Norwood, pamper your baby during your absence. He won’t even notice you’re gone as he romps around at day care then retires to a private suite with its own television. For added luxury, treat her to grooming and training services during her stay. You’re likely to retrieve a pup or kitty who is just as relaxed as you are!

     

    Not Your Ordinary Tennis Ball

    Pet toys are becoming more interactive and focused on mental, as well as physical, stimulation. Some dispense treats while playing messages that you previously recorded, so your latchkey animal can hear your voice while you’re out. Ultrasonic squeakers are finding their way into today’s chew toys, keeping your dogs and cats happy without destroying your sanity. Even small animals and birds have more entertainment choices to reduce boredom. Hamsters can forego the standard wheel and get into a rodent race car they can “drive” around a track.

     

    Petscopes

    You no longer have to consult professional animal communicators to get insight into your pet’s psyche — just check his/her horoscope. Several Web sites, such as Animal Planet and iVillage, post predictions and mental insight based on your dog or cat’s astrological sign. Whether your canine is a Leo or your kitty is a Pisces, or you can only guess as to your animal’s birthday, it’s fun to see their future written in the stars.

     

    Sit, Stay, Super Star!

    “Lie down” and “shake” are so elementary! For all you stage moms, why stop at the basics when you can teach your dog to be a star, or at least to act like one? Once she’s mastered the foundational commands and can ignore distractions successfully, there’s no reason why she can’t progress to camera-worthy tricks like waving, crawling, dancing and playing dead. Call up Happy Tails in-home trainers your pet will soon be ready for her close up! 0708DEGROOT_FASHION.gif

     

    Pearly Whites Without a Trip to the Vet

    Studies indicate that proper dental care can extend the pets’ lives by several years, not to mention making their breath much more bearable. However, some stubborn breeds aren’t terribly cooperative with a toothbrush, and a professional cleaning involves anesthesia, which poses its own risks. Enter a new, drinkable dental care product for dogs and cats. HealthyMouth is made of entirely natural ingredients and tastes just like water, and it promises to reduce your animal’s plaque by 80 percent.

     

    Gourmet Kibble

    As we become more concerned with the quality of our food, this attitude is trickling down to the pet food industry. One of the latest trends is grain-free dog kibble. “Grains first appeared in pet foods 70 years ago to help manufactures reduce costs with inexpensive calories from carbohydrates. Carnivores do not have digestive enzymes in their saliva break down complex carbohydrates,” says Zach Day of PawshPup a Cincinnati-based online store for premium pet products. Similar to humans, animals with high carbohydrate diets can experience blood sugar fluctuations and problems with insulin resistance.

     

    “Most commercial pet foods feature two or more grains that exceed 40 percent of their dietary carbohydrates,” Day says. He recommends all pet parents research the foods they provide to their dogs and cats, and publications like Whole Dog Journal have good information.

     

    Social Petworking

      If your typing-challenged animal looks on longingly as you update your Facebook or MySpace page, don’t leave him or her out of the social network! Sites like MyDogFace.com, MyCatSpace.com and Fuzzster.com allow your furry child to post photos, make blog entries, and befriend other pets and parents. Just don’t expect your cat to work well with the mouse!

     

    Political Pets

    He may not have the right to vote, but surely your dog has an opinion about the upcoming presidential election! Hyde Bark Fashions in Hyde Park offers gear to let your pooch make his political feelings known. From elephant collars to donkey shirts, dogs can cast their ballots with style.

     

    1108SENSIBLE.gif Ga Ga over Doga

    Exercise is important for dogs, and most pups enjoy a good walk or run with their parents. The ultimate bonding fitness activity, however, has to be Doga. That’s what you get when you combine yoga with your dog. To add your pooch to your yoga practice, start by choosing a safe posture in which you can be stable and your pup can be comfortable. Get into position yourself, and then gently massage your dog before adding a light stretch to his or her legs. Let the dog sink into a relaxing stretch, then sync your breathing. With practice, you’ll both become more flexible and feel more connected.

     

     Whether we create Web sites for our pets or buy them fashionable clothes and health supplements, one thing is for sure: We love our animals for their cute, quirky traits, but even more so for their unconditional love. We want to reward them for that, and we do it in human terms. We appreciate a good manicure and a delicious meal, so we take them to the doggie spa and purchase the feline equivalent. It’s natural for us to want to spoil them with our gratitude, and that’s okay as long as we don’t do so in excess.

      

    It’s worthwhile to remember, however, that what we appreciate most about our pets is their simplicity. They communicate their feelings with snuggles, kisses and adoring gazes. Perhaps they best understand that the affection is mutual when we also keep it sweet and simple.

     

    PHOTO CREDITS
    Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography

    Location: The McAlpin

    Models: (left to right) Carrie Cameron and Socks;  Shawnette Vaughn and Boots; and Janet Prows and Rocco
    Makeup Artistry on Vaughn: Trina Paul

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    There is nothing quite like laying on the couch on a weekend morning and flipping through the channels only to find that 75 percent of them have infomercials running. Of course, over half of them are “guaranteed” ways to lose weight or get a kick butt workout from the comfort of your own living room. You start to feel guilty, are tempted to call the 1-800 number before the end of the program to get the special deal and decide it’s time to make a change. But before handing your credit card number over to a stranger, you decide a gym might be better.

    Problem. You hate the idea of joining a gym, you can’t seem to find the time, or you just don’t have the dough to fork out for a membership. Even worse—the thought of a sitting on the same piece of equipment that the guy with the visibly sweaty butt just sat on sends a full body shiver down your spine. Alas, there is still hope! Infomercials aside, there are a ton of things you can do, all from the four walls of your own home or the space of your backyard.

    Opting for a work out from home has its perks. You get to work on a schedule that is best fit for you rather than the gym’s, you save money not only on gas but also membership fees/dues and you can cast those fears of looking like you don’t belong. More importantly, you are doing something rather nothing.

    “DO THESE SHORTS MAKE ME LOOK FAT?”
    So why exactly do women choose a home workout instead of the gym? Jeannine Roth, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Jazzercise Instructor/Franchisee, says there are several reasons. First of all, it’s convenient and they can workout whenever they can squeeze it in. Second, there are the fears that and lack of self-confidence come along with attending a gym. “What is this thing for?” “Am I doing this right?” “Are they making fun of me?” “I’m too fat to be in here with everyone else!” “I look like a hobo in this outfit!” How many of us are guilty of buying new clothes just so they can look fashionable in that huge wall length mirror? Another reason is there possibly isn’t much income, and many women put their needs lower than others when it comes to their family.

    If any of these reasons so far have you nodding your head in agreement, or ypu just want to try something new, check out what you can do, and what you should avoid.

    THE FREE WORKOUT
    Roth emphasizes that a good workout consists of three exercises; cardio, resistance and flexibility. Of course all three don’t have to be done everyday, but you should get 3-5 days of cardio, and 2-3 days of both resistance and flexibility per week. Here are some easy (and free) ideas she gives for each:

    Cardio:
    For cardio, all you need to do is anything that raises your heart rate and keep doing that 20-30 minutes.

    1. Put some upbeat music on and dance, dance, dance! (editor’s note: to eliminate humility, close curtains)
    2. Walk up and down a staircase at home, your apartment or office building. For an added kick, use the bottom step for a modified version of step aerobics.
    3. Got kids? Grab a jump rope, hula hoop or get on the backyard trampoline. How about a dog? Throw a ball or chase them around the yard. Actively playing with your kids or pets adds up, plus it is great for bonding and just having fun!
    4. Dig through your garage or storage unit and break out the old bike or skates. Roth says that these offer both a great cardio workout and a lower body workout.
    5. In another month pools will be open or your’s will be functioning. Take a dip and do laps or stationary movements. Water aerobics isn’t just for arthritis anymore!
    6. Escape your home for a little while and enjoy nature with a hike. Even though this technically isn’t “staying in," it’s not the gym and it can very peaceful and serene.


    Resistance:

    Use your own body or items around the house. There are a lot of things you can do with no equipment.

    1. Push-ups, abdominal crunches/planks, squats, lunges and leg lifts can all be done equipment free. For a modified version of a push-up when it’s hard to do them off the ground, lean on a wall or counter and push yourself up using your arms (not your legs).
    2. No hand weights? Use milk jugs or water bottles filled with liquid or sand and adjust to desired weight. Canned goods are a good alternative to hand weights too. Use your cans of spinach to lift and then eat—you’ll look like Popeye in no time!
    3. Are crunches literally a pain in the neck and back? Roth gives this handy tip: roll up a small towel and place it under the small of your back for support.
    4. While you have that towel out, toss it on the floor, sit in a chair and try grabbing it with your bare toes. This helps strengthen muscles in your feet!


    Flexibility:
    Flexibility training is easy, free when doing traditional stretches and it really feels good. Any activity that focuses on lengthening muscles is great when working on flexibility, as well as anything that safely moves your joints through their full range of motion.

    1. Traditional stretches are self explanatory, but keep in mind not to bounce or strain. Stretching out those muscles should be a smooth and relieving feeling.
    2. Here’s another use Roth gives for a towel: “Let a longer towel assist you in a number of stretches such as a hamstring stretch in which you hold the towel with one hand at each end, loop it underneath the foot and allow the towel to give you leverage as you pull your toes toward you.”
    3. For a good stretch session, hold each single stretch for 20 seconds or longer, or 10-30 seconds for each static stretch.


    A WORKOUT UNDER $20
    For those of you that want to have that added kick, there are a ton of videos and tools for under $20. Resistance bands are great for resistance training, and you can even find them in adjustable strength sets. These little numbers provide numerous ways to tone up without the use of free-weights or machinery (check out the websites given at the end for great ways to use these too). Yoga mats are inexpensive as well, and are great for a bit of cushioning when doing any kind of floor routine.

    Then, of course, there are the videos. I think it’s fair to say that there are thousands of them out there. Roth says that these are great “for those who needs extra motivation and/or instruction as to what do and how to do it correctly,” and that “a good exercise video can be a useful substitute for a group class with a live instructor.” With such a vast selection, Roth does want to stress the importance of finding a worthy exercise video.

    Here are some tips she suggests:

    • Find a video led by a knowledgeable instructor who not only motivates you, but makes your safety their first priority.
    • The instructor should be demonstrating the exercises at different levels with modifications. You should be able to adjust the intensity to suit your own needs.
    • Find a video where the music and setting appeals to you so you will want to play it again and again.


    “AS SEEN ON TV”
    How tempting is it not to call within the next 30 minutes when Daisy Fuentes or Chuck Norris is showing how easy it is to get a full body workout in no time? And the deals—who can resist the equipment, two free videos and a food guide tailored to your body type—all with a full 30-day money back guarantee? A slimmer waist in 10 days, all by doing (insert product here) just 2 minutes a day! But wait, there’s more! You can get all of this for not $200, not $100, not even $50, but for one easy payment of $19.95!

    Sounds way too good to be true, and the truth of the matter is—it probably is. Roth’s opinion when it comes to “as seen on TV” items is you get what you pay for. A five-minute workout is not going to get you the proper results, much less the ones the infomercials claim you’ll get. Roth states, “There is no substitute for consistent exercise at the appropriate intensity for the proper duration.” However, she does say there is decent home exercise equipment that is sold on TV, but you need to be able to separate the good from the bad.

    Ask yourself:

    • “Does the item interest me?”
    • “Does it seem to be good quality and priced accordingly?”
    • "Will I actually use it?”


    When it comes to purchasing equipment, Roth emphasizes not wasting your money. If you don’t think you’ll use it every day then it’s a waste of your money, and you’re better off skipping the purchase. She feels that women are better off going in person to a store that specializes in such equipment so they can ask questions and try it out before making a purchase.

    GET STARTED!
    Are you now motivated to start an at-home-workout? Roth list these websites as the best for finding correct and informative routines (and they are free):

    1. www.acefitness.org This site provides lists of local certified trainers.
    2. www.shape.com/workouts
    3. www.collagevideo.com This site actually tests the videos they sell and rates them!


    Last but not least, Roth says to remember safety. Be sure to get clearance from your doctor, and if you are alone, keep a phone near you in case of injury or illness. Choose safe exercises that you enjoy, and change up your workout periodically to prevent not only boredom, but overuse injuries.

    Now all that’s left is to check the batteries in your smoke detector, because you are on your way to being one healthy, hot momma!

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