thrive yoga and fitness - bradenton, fl

We LOVE beginner yogis! No experience necessary.



Lessons Learned: A Look Back at My Thrive Yoga Experience

A little over a month ago, I was challenged to rediscover my yoga practice by completely immersing myself in the Thrive Yoga & Fitness experience. When the experiment began, I had some preconceived notions about where it would end up. I assumed that 30 days of yoga would help me regain some flexibility and hoped I would learn techniques to better handle my stress.

While these things did happen, I was completely unprepared for the deeper ways this experiment would impact my life.

Since I started regularly attending classes at Thrive, I’ve made new friends, connected with inspirational mentors, and found my second home. Throughout this process, I learned countless life lessons. Here’s a look back at a few of my favorites.

Learn to Bend, So You Don’t Break

A consistent yoga practice brings so much more than a flexible body. It calms the mind, improves concentration, reduces anxiety, and increases self-awareness. Erin’s Yinergy classes taught me that it’s okay to be vulnerable and simply let go. The warm and welcoming studio environment provided a safe place to do so. Because I was willing to let myself be weak, I now feel stronger than ever.

Savor the Joy of Stillness

Each of Thrive’s heated yoga classes pushed me well beyond my comfort zone. It was only after reaching a state of physical and mental exhaustion that I learned the joy of complete surrender. These classes taught me that in yoga, as in life, there are few things more pleasurable than a well-deserved moment of stillness and tranquility.

Celebrate the Small Things

During his Hatha yoga classes, T.O. taught me the importance of noticing and appreciating life’s smallest victories. Instead of always working so hard to push myself to the next level, I now take the time to step back recognize how far I’ve come. I’ve learned that life is much more fun when you are constantly finding reasons to celebrate.

To Conquer Your Fears, Get Out of Your Head

My first paddleboard yoga experience required me to dig deep and find my bravery. I learned that clearing your mind and focusing on breathing can help you get through almost any challenge. For weeks, I was terrified of falling off the board. When it actually happened, I simply got up and kept on going. This was the moment I realized that most of our fears are all in our heads.

Embrace Your Discomfort

Elizabeth’s Sunday Morning Yin classes helped me learn to embrace discomfort, push the edge, and find contentment in stillness. By clearing my mind of “I can’t” and inching closer to my goal with every exhale, I was able to achieve things I thought were well beyond my physical abilities. I now try to use the approach when tackling life’s everyday challenges.

Look for the Silver Lining

As we watched the devastation that Hurricane Harvey brought to Texas, many of us came to class with heavy hearts. Thrive instructors brought some comfort by reflecting on the stories unity and the outpouring of care that had begun to surface. As Erin so eloquently stated:

“Sometimes a gift is wrapped in dark paper.”

Little did we know at the time; Hurricane Irma would be soon turning her eye on us. As soon as the imminent danger had passed, the Thrive community rallied forces to collect supplies for some of the hardest-hit areas.

The studio served as a source of stability and comfort in a time when many of us were feeling exhausted and stressed out.  When we finally returned to our practices, Elizabeth was there with compassion, support, and an anxiety-busting class to help us get back on track.

What’s Next?

Although this project has come to an end, my journey is just beginning. I’m so thankful to be a part of the Thrive Yoga & Fitness community and can’t wait to see where the next 12 months will take me. If you aren’t a part of this amazing studio, you’re missing out. Stop by today to experience it for yourself. If you happen to see me while you are there, please come over and say hi.


Are you ready for one of the most unique yoga experiences ever? Join Elizabeth Jensen on Thursday, October 5th for “Moon Salutations to Rock and Roll.” Let loose and rekindle the joy in your yoga practice with this fun and liberating class. Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot today.

Are you ready to ROCK? Join us for an evening of yoga, fun, and Rock n’ Roll!


SUP Yoga

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga

Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga is a unique practice that takes place on an eight-foot fiberglass board out on the open water. Thrive Yoga & Fitness and SUP Dude have joined forces to offer weekly classes on Palma Sola Bay in Bradenton.

SUP Yoga, ThriveI had seen the gorgeous photos and heard other students talking about how much fun it was. I wanted to be part of the experience, but my nerves got the best of me. I put it off for weeks until Thrive studio owner Erin Geraghty and instructor T.O. Martinez convinced me to tackle my fear and give it a try.

A Beginner Friendly Experience

I arrived at the Palma Sola Causeway with a friend who was super excited to join in on the fun. We were both absolute beginners, having never been on a paddleboard before. T.O. was extremely patient and reassuring as he set up our boards and gave us some simple instructions. He pointed to a secluded cove across the bay and let us know that was our destination. Once we arrived, we would go through a yoga flow on top of our boards and then paddle back.SUP Yoga, Thrive

My stomach did a little flip as I started to question what exactly I had gotten myself into. I had zero confidence that I would be able to maintain my balance and the cove seemed an insurmountable distance away. As if they had felt my anxiety and arrived to offer reassurance, a family of dolphins appeared, jumping and frolicking just a few feet away from us. It was then that I knew I had made the right decision. This was going to be an epic experience.

Finding Balance

As we learned to balance and paddle, my quads were trembling, my shins were burning, and my heart was pounding with fear. T.O. stayed close by, reminding us to get out of our heads and focus on our breathing. Once I took his advice, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had expected.

When I began to feel more comfortable, I was able to look around and really enjoy the beautiful scenery. I started to calm down and felt almost as if I was walking on water. T.O. kept us motivated with a fun and upbeat playlist coming from his waterproof speaker.

As we approached the cove, the music switched to a more tranquil melody. The water was calm as glass, the temperature was perfect, and I felt a deep connection with nature that was almost surreal.

Yoga Flow

SUP Yoga, ThriveAs the class began, we were invited set an intention. This could be a word, a mantra, or simply a dedication to someone important to us. I decided on the word “bravery.” It was something that I repeated to myself throughout the practice, helping to keep me calm and centered.

A key fundamental of yoga is grounding yourself and maintaining the balance between the four corners of your body. This is never more important than when you practice on top of a floating board. You must keep your core engaged and think through each movement before executing it. You must clear your mind of distractions and stay absolutely present in the moment. Paddleboard yoga requires you to listen to instruction, make deliberate moves, and own it. Making unnecessary adjustments or second-guessing yourself is a great way to end up in the water.

T.O. led us through a series of sun salutations, adding more poses to each round. At first, I was barely able to transition fromSUP Yoga, Thrive sitting to standing. Forward folds were terrifying and every move seemed impossibly daunting. I surprised myself, though, and by the end of the day, I was flowing through sun salutations with the rest of the class. Savasana was greatly deserved and absolutely blissful as we relaxed in the sun listening to the birds chirping and fish jumping around us.

Paddling back across the bay, I reflected on the experience. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment and realized that this is exactly the kind of challenge that has been missing from my life. I’m definitely going to be incorporating SUP yoga into my regular practice.

Join the Fun!

Stand-up paddleboard yoga is offered every Sunday at 9 a.m. Participants must register online 24 hours in advance. The cost is $25 and includes rental of the paddle board, paddle, and life vest. You should plan to wear comfortable clothing and bring a bottle of water and sunscreen. Don’t miss out on this amazing experience, join in on the fun today!


Thrive Yoga & Fitness is super excited to be hosting Johan Hedstrom’s workshop at the studio this Saturday. He’s visiting all the way from Sweden and brings over 20 years of yoga and meditation experience!  Join us for a workshop by donation this Saturday at 1:30 PM. Register Today!

Sign up now! Recommended donation: $15


10 Reasons why Yoga Teacher Training is Right for You

(Even if you don’t have the desire to teach yoga)

Many people approach me about yoga teacher training usually say something like,
“I’d love to, but I’ve only been practicing for a short while,” or “I can’t do
arm balances yet,” or even, “I’m so inflexible, how the heck can I teach this?
You DO NOT have to be an elite practitioner to take a yoga teacher training. In
fact, you don’t even have to have the desire to be a teacher. I’ve compiled a
list of the top 10 reasons why Yoga Teacher Training might be for you.

1. You have been practicing yoga long enough to develop a craving for something more.
If you have thoughts like, “there’s something to this yoga stuff,” or “I crave more of this deep understanding of soul connection my teacher talks about,” then yoga teacher training might be in the cards for you. In my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training certification, my favorite part was the talk about connection with inner being. I enjoyed the poses for sure, but I really craved to make a connection with the deeper part of me, and the training helped me connect.

2. You feel stuck in your life or you are in transition.
In Chinese, the word Crisis also bears the same meaning as Opportunity. Learning the deeper parts of yoga helps us to navigate life more skillfully and peacefully. The experience rapidly accelerates your personal growth journey. When we apply the tools we learn in training to our lives off the mat, we find we are not so shaken by circumstances and in fact, we flip them around and use them as positives in our lives.

3. You have a calling inside of you to help other people.
You know this itch if you have it. This is for the Empath, the Nurturer, the Philanthropist. The best part about learning the depths of yoga is that you also heal yourself in the process. So if you have always been the one in your family that wants to help, yoga teacher training provides your with tools to do so.

4. You find that you understand the world through physical intelligence.
I was one of these people. I understood concepts more if I experienced them through my body. Everyone is different, but in some people the body’s ability to understand is greater other more orthodox methods of learning. By taking yoga teacher training I was able to hone in on my special gifts and that has expanded out into body work and the ability to connect with myself better on a mental and spiritual level.

5. You have been thinking about it for a while.
Thoughts are powerful my friends and intuition can navigate it’s way by using our thoughts to nudge us in the right direction. If the thought keeps popping in your head to take a yoga teacher training, but you convince yourself out of it over and over again, it’s time to listen. What you get out of our yoga teacher training will FAR exceed any reasons why you think you can’t do it.

6. You can do more than you think you can.
You’ve heard this before. You know it’s right. But, I get it, it’s scary. As Marian Williamson says, “it is our light not our dark that scares us most.” We are afraid to be that shining light, but our playing small does not serve the world. If under that fear exists excitement and freedom, that’s your soul speaking dear. Listen.

7. You want to cultivate a deeper sense of compassion and unconditional love for yourself.
The first two limbs of the 8 limbs of yoga we are introduced to the Yamas and Niyamas. These are Yoga’s ethical practices and observances. The first thing we start to do in yoga teacher training is learn to love ourselves and shower ourselves with compassion. You will start treating yourself different and as a result your relationships will become stronger and deeper, your understanding of the world shifts, and love starts to pour from your words and actions. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.

8. You want to connect to your soul on a profound level.
Yoga is not a religion, but when practiced enough with understanding of the 8 limbs, it does become spiritual. This causes us to seek less outside of ourselves and we start to realize our own power to be everything we need for ourselves. We become the change we wish to see in the world.. Yoga teacher training not only provides the tools for that process, but also shows you how to ground yourself during the process so even as you shift, you learn how to take care of yourself and others as you grow.

9. You want to lead a healthy, well-balanced life.
The yoga teacher training at Thrive Yoga & Fitness  includes modules on Nutrition, Life Coaching, and natural healing modalities such as Reiki and Acupressure. We go past yoga, which is healing in itself and we teach you about many complements to help you further integrate a healthy lifestyle and learn to teach these techniques to others if you choose.

10. You want to learn how to heal yourself and others.
Yoga is an ancient science and has medicinal healing qualities. Taking yoga teacher training deepens your understanding of the energy systems everyone has locked in their bodies. Through practice and technique, you learn how to unlock them, balance them, and turn your body into a healing machine.


If you find yourself nodding your head at any of these reasons and are ready to experience personal growth both on and off the mat, then fill out the form below for more information or contact

We begin March 9th 2018 and we are accepting no more than 10 people. Contact
I’m waiting.

YTT 2018

  • Thank you so much for trusting me in your journey. My heart is like a well that overflows for seekers of truth and knowledge. I also want you to know that I love to share the aspects of my journey within each class I teach. I have learned to open my authentic self to the world with all its wounds, imperfections, and beauty. I can tell you it's quite liberating and I highly recommend it!

    This experience will change your life. I look forward to growing with you.

    With Deep Love and Gratitude,
    Erin Geraghty, RYT-500
    Yoga Therapist and Owner/Trainer of Thrive Yoga & Fitness
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Thrive, stress, hurricane, yoga

Feeling Post-Hurricane Stress? Learn How Yoga Can Help!

After narrowly missing the brunt of hurricane Irma, all of us in the Bradenton/Sarasota area have a reason to be thankful. Even though we were very lucky, it’s been a harrowing couple of weeks. Most of us are feeling the physical and mental impacts of the experience. Our bodies are stiff and sore, our nerves are frazzled, and many of us are feeling emotionally drained.

Post-hurricane stress is a very real thing. In the midst of evacuating, dealing with lost power, and helping friends in crisis, my yoga practice once again fell to the wayside. It’s been over a week since I’ve stepped on the mat and I’m well overdue. Elizabeth’s Yin yoga class was exactly what I needed.

Yin Yoga Philosophy

One of my favorite things about Thrive’s classes is that I feel like I learn something new every day. Rather than simply leading us through a series of poses, the instructors take the time to explain the philosophy behind them. Today was no exception. Yin yoga, Elizabeth explained, is based on the traditional Chinese medicine philosophy of Chi. This is the belief that energy flows along pathways known as meridians.

Today we focused on the kidney meridian, the home of fear and anxiety and also the seat of wisdom. The series of deep stretches, held for three to five minutes at a time, was designed to help us to identify and sit with our fears. The idea is that a true breakthrough occurs once you are able to transform those fears into a surge of wisdom.

Benefits of Body Rolling

Today’s class also incorporated body rolling, the practice of using inflated balls to massage and loosen muscles and increase blood flow. We rolled out our hips and then slowly rolled the ball down the entire length of the spine. The combination of the ball and our body weight helped to lengthen, tone, and realign the spine while creating space between the vertebrates.

By the end of the class, I was in a much better place and felt more capable of handling the ongoing recovery efforts. Unfortunately, it’s still far from over. There is a lot of clean-up left to do, some people are still without power, and many others have suffered significant losses. Those of us who were lucky enough to suffer minimal damage may feel a sense of survivors-guilt. Almost all of us are suffering from sleep deprivation. We have been stretched financially and have a lot of catching up to do in the workplace.

Practicing Self-Care

In a time like this, it can feel a bit selfish to step away from life’s demands long enough to take a yoga class. Take it from me, it’s worth it. The hour I spent taking care of myself put me in a much better position to help take care of others.

Are you feeling post-hurricane stress? It’s more important now than ever to practice self-care. Check out Thrive’s class schedule and sign up today. You will be glad you did!


Yinergy for Enhanced Flexibility

If you’re looking for a truly immersive yoga experience, look no further than Thrive’s Thursday night “Yinergy for Enhanced Flexibility.” Studio owner Erin Geraghty fills the class with captivating personality and inspires her students as she merges a traditional Vinyasa yoga class with a deep Yin practice.

Learning to Let Go

It had been an extremely stressful week for me and I was feeling the physical effects. Before class began, my muscles were tight and tender and my nerves were feeling raw. This was a time when I needed yoga the most, yet I was distracted and having trouble getting grounded.

Almost like she could read my mind, Erin opened the class with an invitation to use the time on our mat to create space within our bodies. She asked us to open up and allow room for detachment from our circumstances. We were encouraged to let go of anything outside of the room, at least for the next hour, and focus on our breathing. Erin reminded us of one of the simplest and most important yoga principles:

“Without breathing, there is no yoga.”

Today’s practice was focused on releasing and strengthening the sacroiliac (SI) joints in the lower back, opening the shoulders and hips, stretching our calves, and improving balance. Throughout the class, we used blocks, bolsters, straps, and balls to enhance and deepen our practice. Erin showed us how to use the props to make some of the poses more comfortable, allowing us to fully surrender.

Gong Meditation at Thrive Yoga and Fitness in BradentonAs we settled into a reclined twist on top of our bolsters, Erin gently placed a weighted sandbag over each of us with a gentle whisper of “Let it go.” I have never felt so peaceful and relaxed in my life. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, we were misted with a fine spray of essential oils and greeted with the gorgeous sound of a singing bowl. 

As we rested in Savasana, Erin blessed us by singing the most beautiful version of Bhagavad Gita Dhyanam I have ever heard. The experience was nothing short of magical, and the feelings that surfaced remained with me throughout the rest of the evening.

I can honestly say this was one of my all-time favorite yoga experiences. I will definitely be attending more of Erin’s classes in the future. This particular class is held every Thursday night a 5:45 pm at the Thrive Yoga & Fitness studio. You can learn more and sign up by visiting Thrive’s class schedule page.



Have you registered for Karine Woodly’s “Chakra Tuning and Manifesting Dreams” workshop? During this 3-part series, Karine will teach us how to manifest our dreams through visualization, guided meditation, journaling, vision boards, and restorative yoga postures. It will take place at the Thrive studio on September 9th, 16th, and 23rd. CLICK HERE to learn more and register today!

Thrive, Yoga, Brunch, Anna Maria Island

Om Nom Yoga Brunch Club

Today was a day filled with so many of my favorite things. How can you not be happy when your day includes yoga, cute dogs, island adventures, new friendships, and a delicious brunch?

The morning began with a 10 a.m. Yin yoga class at Thrive Yoga & Fitness. Under the guidance of Elizabeth Jensen, we focused on a slow and deep opening of our back and hips. This is an area of the body that holds a lot of our stress and tension. A few students, including myself, mentioned that the class brought out a flood of emotions and frustration. Together, we worked through it until our bodies let it go and we achieved a feeling of calm and tranquility.

Thrive, Yoga, BlogCinnamon the yoga pup made a guest appearance. This adorable little Yorkie sits quietly on her own blanket and observes the practice. At times, it’s almost like she understands exactly what we’re doing. Cinnamon is an integral part of the Thrive family one of the many things that make this studio is so special.

After class had ended, we introduced ourselves and discussed plans for brunch. Three of us decided to carpool out to Anna Maria Island and since we were a few minutes early we took our time wandering around the shops on Bridge Street. We all enjoyed shopping so much we almost didn’t make it to brunch on time!

The island location of Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Bridge Street Pier offers a great casual outdoor dining. They served up a delicious selection of food and drinks and we all enjoyed the gorgeous view. Even though some of us started out as strangers, conversation flowed as if we had been friends forever. We discussed many different topics including family, travel, pets, vegan eating, and roller derby. One student, Christine Olson, passionately told us about the loss of her daughter, how it drove her to start To Inform Families First (TIFF), and her work to spread the initiative across the country.

Thrive, Yoga, BlogAs we drove back to the studio, we all reflected on our new found friendships. The day ended with hugs goodbye and promises to keep in touch.

Thrive Yoga & Fitness is so much more than your typical yoga studio. Erin and her staff are passionate about creating a sense of community and it’s clear that what they are doing is working. Be sure to follow the Thrive Yoga & Fitness Community on Facebook so you don’t miss the next Om Nom Yoga Brunch Club!


Are you ready to take your life to the next level? Karine Woodley is hosting a 3-part workshop: “Chakra Tuning and Manifesting Dreams” at the studio on September 9th, 16th, and 23rd. Learn more by visiting

Thrive, Yoga, Workshop

Body Positivity, Presence, and Empowerment Workshop

Thrive Yoga & Fitness and Elizabeth Jensen recently hosted a Body Positivity, Presence, and Empowerment Workshop. Elizabeth, who is studying to be an Ayurvedic physician, began the workshop by walking us through the basics of ayurvedic medicine and how it applies to body positivity.

Introduction to Ayurveda

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. In its simplest form, the practice is centered around achieving an ultimate state of health by maintaining a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

We each completed a short quiz designed to help determine our individual Dosha, or mind-body type. Your Dosha influences your predisposed body type, personality, and habits. Understanding your Dosha can help you understand your body’s natural tendencies and how to handle energy imbalances. There are three primary Doshas:


People who are primarily Vata have an infectious enthusiasm and are exciting to be around. They can be sensitive and gravitate towards routine when they start to feel anxious. Vata’s tend to be naturally thin with a light frame and may frequently feel cold. An unbalanced Vata can result in nervousness and anxiety.


Pitta is a fiery personality that is generally on top of things. Pitta’s are usually of a medium build and weight and tend to have a strong appetite. When unbalanced, Pittas may be prone to inflammation, digestion, and skin issues.


Kaphas are generally wise, comforting, and calm under pressure. They have a strong build and excellent stamina. The drawback is that Kapha can manifest itself as stagnation, routine, and body heaviness.

When the quiz was completed, we each moved to a corner of the room to represent where we fall on the scale. Elizabeth asked us to take a minute to recognize our differences and honor who we are.  She encouraged us to live in harmony with our unique nature and stop striving to be something we’re not.

Yoga as Empowerment

At the end of the presentation, Elizabeth invited us to step onto our mats for an empowering yoga practice. She reminded us that Thrive, Yoga, Empowermentyoga is not about proving what your body can do, but rather improving what it can’t. Yoga is about taking a moment to shift your perspective and looking at things from a place of self-love. This allows you to embrace a sense of accomplishment when you find yourself doing things that had previously been a struggle.

As we flowed through the practice, together we repeated phrases like:

“I am strong.”

“I am forgiving.”

“I am enough.”

At the end of class, Elizabeth invited each of us to come forward and select a scroll, a pen, and a gratitude journal. Each scroll contained a different empowering message. Much like a fortune cookie, it’s thought that each person will choose the scroll that is destined for them. The one I chose couldn’t have been more appropriate:  

“I am imperfect and yet my imperfections, like any great work of art, are what make me a masterpiece.”

 Thrive, Yoga, Workshop

I’m confident that every person who attended today took away something life-changing. Thank you to Thrive and to Elizabeth for creating this incredible workshop.

What’s Next?

Karine Woodley is hosting a three-part Chakra Turning and Manifestation workshop at Thrive on September 9th, 16th, and 23rd. She will teach us how to manifest our dreams and lead us through energy work, restorative postures, guided meditation, journaling, and vision board creation. You don’t want to miss this! Learn more at

Thrive, Yoga, Yinergy, Blog

Yinergy at Thrive

Yinergy is a fusion of energetic Vinyasa yoga and the slow, deep stretching of a Yin yoga practice. This unique class offered by Thrive Yoga & Fitness in Bradenton brings together the best parts of two very different yoga styles.

During the first 30 minutes of class, students warm up with a moderately-paced flow series. Practicing Vinyasa flow in a heated room helps loosen and prime the muscles, making them better able to release tension. The second half of the class is a time to slow down and allow the body to settle into a deep stretch.

My Thrive Yinergy Experience

My first experience with Yinergy at Thrive was Taylor Blair’s 6:30 class on Tuesday night. She opened the class by asking if there were any areas of the body we wanted to focus on and whether there were any injuries that needed to be addressed. She invited us to close our eyes, focus on our breathing, and set an intention for the practice.

During the Vinyasa portion of the class, we moved through sun salutations, hip stretches, and core work. I worked up a serious sweat and was just starting to feel like I couldn’t take the heat any longer when it was time to transition over to the second half. There was an incredible sense of relief when the heater switched off and the room began to cool.

I now fully understand the idea of priming yourself physically and mentally before a Yin practice. By the time we reached the second half of class, my mind and body had both been pushed outside my comfort zone and I was completely ready to surrender.

Taylor led us through a series of poses that stretched the entire body from the bottoms of our feet to the top of our heads. Each pose was held for about three minutes. She challenged us to find contentment in the poses and lean into the discomfort. By the time class had ended, I was completely relaxed and my joints and muscles felt loose and free.

Thrive, Yoga, Blog, Gong MeditationTaylor wrapped up by sharing information about some of the cool events coming up at Thrive. This Sunday, August 27th there will be a Gong Meditation at the studio at 4:00 p.m. Resident Gong Master Ed Russell will conduct a symphony of spiritual healing using 4 different gongs to completely embrace us with healing energy. I’m new to meditation and am really looking forward to this unique experience. There is a suggested $15 donation for this event. Register now by clicking HERE.

Yoga, Thrive, Blog, Vinyasa

Warm Vinyasa Flow

As I arrived at the Thrive studio on Saturday morning for Renee Vecek’s Warm Vinyasa Flow class, the first thing I noticed was the feeling of camaraderie among the students. As we milled around waiting for class to start they chatted about their week, family events, and recent vacations. One student even brought fresh-picked fruit to share with some fellow classmates. It’s clear this class has a strong and consistent following. 

Going with the Flow

Unlike many of the other classes I’ve attended at Thrive, there was very little in the way of introduction this morning. We jumped right into flow sequences and continued for the entire hour with very few breaks.

Yoga, Thrive, VinyasaRenee seemed to know most of the students by name and gave shout-outs throughout the class for a job well-done. With a strong focus on core work, strength moves, and a fast-paced flow, I would categorize this as an intermediate to advanced-level class.

Heating Things Up

Practicing yoga in a heated room is said to increase muscle flexibility and replicate the hot and humid conditions in India where yoga originated. While temperatures in a traditional Bikram hot yoga class reach about 105 degrees, warm classes are set slightly lower. By the time we finished today’s class, the room had reached a balmy 94 degrees.

Warm Yoga Tips

Preparing properly for a heated yoga class is the key to having the best possible experience. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Don’t Forget Your Towels!

Due to the hot and humid conditions, profuse sweating is to be expected. Covering your yoga mat with a grip-backed towel will help with slipping. You will also want to bring at least one or two hand towels to mop sweat from your face and body as you practice.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after class. I suggest bringing a 32-ounce or larger bottle of ice water so you don’t have to worry about running out during class. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids after class is done and avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol.

Take it Easy

Until you get used to the heat, you may find that you feel dizzy or light-headed. This is especially true during an intense class. Don’t push yourself too hard. Take breaks if you don’t feel well, or step outside the room to cool down if necessary. You may feel drained after class, so plan to take it easy for at least a few hours if possible.

Although this class was a bit of a struggle for me, I have to admit that I felt awesome after it was done. My body responded positively and I slept better at night than I have in a long time. If you’re looking to kick your yoga practice up a notch, check out Renee’s Saturday morning Vinyasa flow – you’ll be glad you did.

Upcoming Workshop

I’m super excited about Thrive’s upcoming Low Back, Hips, and Self-Care workshop on Saturday the 26th at 1:30 p.m. Studio owner Erin Geraghty will share her secrets for realigning the low back and hips to ease chronic pain. The workshop is almost sold out, so if you’re interested, register today.


Hatha, Yoga, Thrive, SUP

Thrive Hatha Yoga (Beginner Friendly)

Today I was privileged to practice with two first-time yogis and several other beginners. Instructor T.O. Martinez began the class by explaining the fundamentals of yoga and the importance of connecting breath and movement. He encouraged us to turn our focus inward, pay attention what was happening on our own mats, and disregard whatever else was going on around us.

Celebrating Milestones

Every yoga teacher has his or her own unique style, and T.O. is no exception. He created a sense of trust and openness by sharing stories of struggles with his own practice and how yoga helped heal some of his physical ailments. He encouraged us to take note of our limitations and to celebrate the “milestone poses.”

Milestone poses are the ones that at one time your body simply could not do. When yoga is practiced consistently, you become stronger, more flexible, and develop a greater sense of balance. As your body adapts, you often find that your abilities grow and you are able to do things that used to seem impossible.

Taking the time to recognize and celebrate these moments is a huge part of what yoga is all about. I greatly appreciate T.O. for the reminder and plan to take this with me throughout my practice.

Hatha Yoga, Explained

Hatha yoga is a slower practice where you spend more time in each pose rather than flowing through sequences. This allows you to focus on your alignment and challenges your muscles. There are no mirrors in the Thrive studio, so students must tune-in to how they feel rather than worrying about how they look. This can be a challenge in itself, but the benefits are well worth it.  

With Challenge Comes Accomplishment

Although this class is beginner-friendly, it would be a mistake to think that means it’s easy. On the way out, all of the students commented that the class was slightly more challenging than expected. They also said they felt an awesome sense of accomplishment and couldn’t wait to come back again next week. 

Thrive’s hatha yoga class is the perfect addition to a beginner or intermediate yoga practice. Experience it for yourself by joining us at 7 pm at the studio on Wednesday nights.

Are you looking for even more yoga adventures? T.O. also teaches stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga in Palma Sola Bay on Sunday mornings. CLICK HERE to learn more!