Gym Bag Necessities

Since moving to MN, I  have switched up my daily routine quite a bit. One of the biggest changes was moving my workout from the morning before work to the evening after work. The struggle of packing everything I needed for the work day and workout quickly became challenging (and annoying) as I walked into work with multiple bags everyday. I now see the importance of having a good gym bag! Since I did not own a good gym bag, I recently treated myself to my new favorite belonging, the Lululemon Yin Time Bag.

This bag is amazing. It is very durable, the perfect size, and has tons of labeled pockets for just about everything you could think. There is a protected home for your laptop, separate small pocket just for your phone, and separated zippered pockets to store all your sweaty clothes and towels. It comes with additional longer straps and yoga mat straps if you need them!

So what do I keep in this lovely bag? I definitely keep things simple – fortunately, I do not have to shower at my gym or studio so I just keep the essentials.

 Here are a few of my gym bag necessities…

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  1.  Banyan & Bo Yoga Mat – durable and holds up great during a hot sweaty yoga class. This mat is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to splurge on an expensive mat..
  2.  S’well Bottle – there is really nothing better than cold water, totally worth the splurge
  3.  Stewart & Claire Lip Balm – all natural, nourishing lip balm to keep your lips from drying out – really clutch as winter weather approaches..
  4.  Secret Clinical Strength Lavender Deodorant – I haven’t switched over to an all natural deodorant yet (haven’t found one that can compete) but swear by this brand for now
  5.  Gaiam Yoga Towel – grippy and absorbs all the sweat during a hot yoga class – dual purpose for a great absorbent towel for any workout
  6.  Elastic Free Hair Ties (tons of them) – I mean hair elastics disappear all the time!! You need lots of back up..
  7.  Herban Essentials Cleansing Towelettes – I use these religiously for a quick face cleanse after class (you really shouldn’t let sweat hang out on your face for too long). They are also dual purpose and can be used  to clean your yoga mat!
  8.  New Balance Fresh Foam Sneakers – I swear by New Balance sneakers – whether its these fresh foam sneakers I use mainly for running or a pair of their 811 trainers for a good strength training session.

Okay – so now its your turn to go pack your gym bag and get moving! Happy Monday 🙂

Exploring New Studios: Core Power Yoga

Okay time to tell you about stop #3, which happens to be my new daily workout spot, Core Power Yoga in Maple Grove!

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I had heard great things about Core Power Yoga from a lot of different people over the past couple years. There was never a studio close by so I hadn’t had a chance to try it before moving here to MN. Now, I have a studio right down the street from my house! Core Power offers you a first week complimentary, so why not give it a try?!

I took my first class about two weeks ago, Yoga Sculpt at 5pm, and let me just say this is not your average yoga class! The class flows similar to a typical vinyasa class but incorporates barre moves, lots of weight training, and a few rounds of HITT style cardio! The class is in a heated studio which quickly adds lots of heaving breathing and sweat into the mix.

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Each class is different depending on the Instructor; some love the cardio and some do just the bare minimum. Every class is so challenging in a different way. I find my whole body shaking by the end of class and can already tell a difference in my strength after just two weeks. Anyone can take this class no matter what your fitness level or yoga experience is.

If you haven’t tried out a Yoga Sculpt class at your nearest Core Power Yoga studio I suggest you go this week – its free, so no excuses!

Exploring New Studios: The Barre

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My second studio stop in MN was at The Barre Studio in Wayzata. This is one of the only barre studios close to my new home, so I was anxious to test it out and see how it compares to Pure Barre (my workout of choice for the past three years). I signed up for the 9am Open Barre class last Sunday. Before I get into the class itself, I have to talk about the gorgeous studio and its unbelievable location. The Barre Studio is located in downtown Wayzata, right across the street to Lake Minnetonka. The studio is two stories; the first consists of the locker room and bathroom and the second level is where you can find the lobby, a small play area for daycare and the studio room. When you walk into the studio room for the first time you may gasp as the front wall is floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake! I gravitated right to the front row so my barre spot could be looking out the window entire time; talk about relaxing! Okay okay now onto the class…

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The class itself reminded me SO much of a Pure Barre class. It was broken up into a warm up, thigh sprints, seat work and abs just as a Pure Barre class is structured. All the thigh and seat work were the same moves (water ski, knee dancing, etc.). The Barre Studio had a very different warm up incorporating a lot more push ups and ab work which challenges you right from the beginning of class. The ab sequence at the end of class was also a lot different; the sequence used weights to give you an extra challenge. The music was much softer in nature than a Pure Barre playlist but there was consistent instructor encouragement during every exercise. I truly enjoyed the class and felt that it was very challenging. I am very happy to have found a good local barre class 🙂

For anyone local who hasn’t checked out The Barre Studio, I highly recommend you do soon! There is also a second location in Edina, MN.

Exploring New Studios: Surge Cycling

I am excited to bring back my exploring new studio posts now that I have the twin cities to explore! My first stop was at a spin studio very close to my new home called, Surge Cycling in Maple Grove, MN. Surge Cycling also has a second location in St. Louis Park, MN a little closer to Minneapolis for those living in the cities.

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My fiance, Justin and I were eager to get a good workout after too many days of moving chaos, so we searched around for a good spin class and ended up signing up for the 6 am Surge Jolt class at Surge Cycling. When we arrived the amazing instructor, Sarah, welcomed us, gave us a quick tour, and then showed us inside the studio room to get us set up on the bikes. Surge uses the new Keiser M3 Plus Indoor Cycle bikes, which I had never experienced before.  The bikes use magnetic resistance, offering a very smooth, quiet and effective ride. The class was 45 minutes long, filled with hill intervals and sprints, making for a very sweaty start to the day. The Surge studio goes basically dark and then the room quickly fills with colored lights  guiding the pace while the music gets loud and keeps you on beat.

Justin and I left drenched in sweat and were very excited to find such a great spin studio so close by! Surge definitely sets the bar high as I start exploring my way through the Twin Cities..

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stay tuned for more reviews and in the meantime check out Surge’s website for more information and their class schedule: http://surgecycling.com/