Meeting My Fitness Inspiration: Cassey Ho

This weekend was a once in a life-time experience. Fitness leader, Cassey Ho, offered a complimentary live Pop Pilates class at Idea Fit here in Las Vegas! As soon as I found out, I planned my Popflex outfit.

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As mentioned in previous blog posts, I’ve been following Cassey’s page, Blogilates, on Youtube for over two years now. I first got hooked when I was looking for a hardcore fitness routine to get me wedding ready. Now, I’ve tried a ton of different workout from Insanity to P90X and more, but Pop Pilates was different.

For years, I’ve been attending Pilates and Yoga studios to get my workouts in. And yes, I love hands-on training from certified teachers, but I didn’t love the competition between other women working out. In Yoga, I haven’t come across too many vain individuals. Pilates is a completely different story. I loved the workout but never felt the community…until I tried Pop Pilates.

Pop Pilates is more than just a workout. Each video Cassey posts is a little fitness inspiration to love yourself where you are at. Working out shouldn’t just be about looking good; it should be about feeling good not matter your size. And there is a whole community of people working toward thats goal. Her program even offers tips on eating right for your body and rocking some body flattering gear.

So when Saturday rolled around, I was too excited sleep. I arrived at the Las Vegas Convention Center at 9:45AM to get checked-in for my class and get a seat close to the stage. Many other Popsters were already lined up outside of the ballroom waiting for the show to begin.

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The Blogilates team revered everyone up by filming and photographing participants as we hurried inside. The room quickly filled to its 400 person capacity and the floor became a sea of yoga mats. All across the room, ladies we decked out in Popflex gear.

About ten minutes later, Cassey came on stage and the crowd erupted. She wasted no time and jumped right into the choreography for the event. One hour later and I was sparking in sweat after a killer workout.

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The Blogilates fam hosted a complimentary Q & A with Cassey right after the class. It was so inspired listening to her talk about her fitness journey from vanity to strength. After her few questions, the team announced a surprise meet and greet with Cassey! I all but flew off my mat to get in line.

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As I stood at the edge of the stage, I ran through what I could possibly say to such a successful fitness leader. Her genuineness to her brand was astonishing. She really lived her values and never gave up when times got tough. As I walked on stage to say hello, I shared that my passion for Pop Pilates started when I began wedding planning. She gave me a hug, posed for a picture and completely made my day.

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Feeling so inspired by these few hours, I made my way over to the Director of her team and inquired about certification. By Spring 2018, I will be a certified Pop Pilates instructor! This opportunity is a God send and a dream come true.

Keep an eye out here and on social for more updates on my progress!

Silent Savasana with Dray Gardner

Las Vegas yogis are taking over every square inch of the community. From Yoga on the Lawn with Trufusion to practices at the Valley of Fire, the options are endless. Silent Savasana is a specific yoga experience that is blowing up the city.

Using the noise cancelling headphones, instructor Dray Gardner, teaches beginner and expert students the joy of yoga. I experienced my first class poolside at Red Rock Hotel and Casino.

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I arrived at 6:15PM on a Tuesday night and was astonished at how many individuals had already covered the pool deck. Silent Savasana team members had already set up a check-in table accompanied by a growing line. At the table, each person received their headphones and a battery operated tea light.

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I grabbed by items and found an open spot near the DJ. The deck was quickly filling up with yogis of all ages. The air was buzzing with excitement about the upcoming 75 minute practice.

Gardner began the practice with instructing everyone to place their headphones on and open their hearts. A local DJ spun instrumental mixes of popular songs that pulsated through one ear of the headphones. Gardner spoke through the other.

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I was expecting a somewhat easy practice seeing as there were so many levels present. Gardner had an entirely different agenda. We flew through challenging balance poses on four arms, hands and heads. He encouraged everyone to fall in and out and just let the day go.

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Photo by Silent Savasana

Through out the practice, Gardner shared his journey. In 2006, a doctor told Gardner he would need to undergo a serious back surgery. Refusing to do something so risky, Gardner reached for yoga and fell in love. One year later, Gardner attended his first teach training and has been helping people discover their inner light ever since.

We finished the practice as the sun went down bonding between the small candle light. I love yoga because of the freedom. The ability to fall in and out of poses with no judgement and just let yourself go. Silent Savasana helps you find yourself on your mat.

Silent Savasana is available all over the city including at station casinos, the High Roller at the LinQ. Checkout their full schedule of events here. Follow their social channels for more updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t Ignore Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

I never put a second thought to my dogs’ teeth. I always assumed they would be intact for their whole lives. But a few weeks ago I discovered I should have been paying attention to my pets’ teeth a long time ago.

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80% of adult dogs suffer from dental issues. What begins as normal tartar build up can actually lead to periodontal disease. For any of you unfamiliar with this, this disease is basically an infection that spreads throughout the mouth and can affect the heart, live and kidneys.

Much like people, animal teeth are necessary and if ignored, will lead to severe issues. Periodontal disease can also affect humans. It begins as gingivitis that can be treated and managed. It then progresses and can lead to early tooth decay and expensive dentist bills.

Luckily, veterinarians are making a big deal about taking care of your pets mouth. Most offices advertise dental cleanings at a discounted price. Still, they are a timely procedure that requires your pet to be under anesthesia.

If you can get a head of the plaque build up by brushing your pets teeth, those visits to the vet will be less expensive and less often.

FionaOne deep cleaning and three tooth extractions later – my littlest dog is on her way to proper hygiene. I have also invested in dog toothpaste and an additive to her water. In total, I spent about $400.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you don’t already have dental care in place, you can ask you vet or local pet store what items will work best for your pet.

Healthy Easter Snacks to Try

In my previous post, I shared how much it really takes to work off those delicious Easter candies. Here are some alternatives that still fit the holiday theme.

Fruit and Veggie Bunny

Pre-cut your favorite fruits and vegetables and build into the shape of a rabbit. Try grapes or blueberries for eyes, apples for ears and of course, carrots for whiskers.

Fruit and Veggie Egg Hunt

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Instead of filling those plastic eggs with jelly beans and candy, sneak in almonds, strawberry, raisins and apples instead.

Peep Fruit Kabobs

If you must have a peep, throw your favorite fruits in the mix.

Deviled Egg Chicks

What recipes and snacks have you Eastered out?

The Cost of Easter Candy

Easter candy has filled all of my surrounding stores and the temptation to indulge is unbearable. Staying on track with my health goals has got me looking for any excuse to say no. Pop Sugar recently ran a detailed  article on how many jumping jacks it take to work off the top-selling Easter candy. Check it out.

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So before you dive into a bowl of goodies, is 49 minutes of a vigorous workout worth it for one item?

Find out healthy alternative to these treats here on my post “Healthy Easter Snacks To Try.”

Clothing Feature – Popflex Active

I’m always on the hunt for affordable and comfortable workout clothing. From yoga, to aerials and HIIT, I need material that is going to last. After following Cassey Ho’s Blogilates workouts for a little over two years, I fell in love with her Popflex Active clothing line.

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In my collection, I currently have two leggings and a sports bra. And honestly, these are the most comfortable workout pieces I own. I no longer have to worry about adjusting my clothing mid workout. This super soft material stays in place no matter how I choose to feel the burn.

If you sign up for a free account, you can even get a huge VIP discount. You can shop by following the link here, (http://bit.ly/2jHWGYn).

The full line of the new edition, Dark Bloom is out now!

Trufusion Summerlin – Tru Hot Pilates

If you are looking for a class to kick your but with no mercy, Tru Hot Pilates is the group fitness class for you. Taking place in 95 degrees with 45% humidity, you’ll be sweating your entire day away. This class also gives you the opportunity to really dig into your muscles by using hand weights, a resistance band and a yoga block.

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I decided to break my normal morning workout schedule and give an evening class a try. From wall to wall, the HP floor was covered with a rainbow of mats. There had to be at least 30 people in this class which means the heat will only rise.

Aside from me, there was only one other newbie in the class. Everyone seemed to be well accustomed to the intensity of Tru Hot Pilates. From 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., the entire class went nonstop covering every muscle possible. We took a few resting breaks that were just enough to blow out your hot air and jump right back into the class.

We covered the entire body alternating between different muscle groups. Just when I thought I couldn’t do one more row, the class was transitioning into squats and we were burning another muscle group.

For any interested in challenging yourselves with this amazing class, make sure you arrive early and bring your game face. The results you put in will be the results you get out. Only you are responsible for obtaining your fitness goal.

Downtown 3rd Farmers Market

Downtown Las Vegas is quickly making its mark on the Farmer’s Market Culture with the Downtown 3rd Farmer’s Market. It’s located off of Casino Center and Stuart at an old train station.

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Every Friday, this abandoned station bustles with shoppers, crafters and home growers. From fresh fruits and vegetables to artisan breads and organic seasonings, this market is every foodies paradise. You can even find a new piece of jewelry, clothing or decor for your home.

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From wall to wall, the entry is filled with bright hues of greens, reds and oranges. Ripe avocados, apples, oranges, ect. fill wooden crates eloquently organized for shoppers.

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Heading toward the back, tables are lined with fresh herbs picked from the garden.

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There is even a section dedicated to artisan cheeses.

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One of my fresh finds was at the Spicy Camel Trading Company. Although specifically known for their buttermilk pancakes, the shop offered a variety of delicacies and spices. I picked up a bag of gluten-free pumpkin granola and one freshly baked cookie.This find cost me a whopping $8. Pretty good for organic snacks.

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The Downtown 3rd Farmers Market is open every Friday, varied by weather, from 9AM – 2PM. Many shops also accept Snap/EBT.

Yoga When You’re Sick

Uh oh. The season sickness has discovered me. Despite all the Vitamin C I’ve been downing and  my regular sleep and excise, I’ve been found out.

It started with a headache and has grown into exhaustion. If you’re like me, slowing down isn’t in your vocabulary. A break from my daily workout routine is the hardest part of being sick. But at this moment, even walking up the stairs is a feat of its own.

So here are a few Yoga moves that are okay when you’re sick. Remember, pay attention to what your body needs and don’t exert yourself. These moves are designed to relieve tension and help your body to find the relaxation it needs.

Reclined Twist

Benefits: full body stretch, releases tension, detoxify organs

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Supported Back Bend

Benefits: spinal stretch, reverses all day hunching from couch or computer

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Bridge Pose

Benefits: breaks up congestion, sends fresh blood to your head

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Plow Pose

Benefits: breaks up congestion

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Trufusion Summerlin – 60 Min. Vinyasa

My morning began at 6 a.m. with a refreshing and challenging 60 minute Vinyasa at Trufusion Summerlin.

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Led by Heidi Otero, this non-heated flow began in child’s pose as we began to ground ourselves into the room and within our breath.

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Heidi recited this quote and encouraged us to focus our thoughts – to let go of what happened this morning and just be present. Unlike many yoga classes, this style is completely subject to the preference of the instructor. Our focus for this practice was detoxification.

We were guided through heart pumping flows allowing our heart rates to raise and our bodies to elongate twisting out our holiday fluff. We traveled through several standing and balancing poses include basics such as Warriors 1,2 and reverse, Dancers and Eagle.

Once we moved to the floor, we continued compressions to ring out our bodies. Throughout the entire practice, there were opportunities for adding your own flair. This class is built to fit everyone’s ability and encourages you to add your own variations. After all, it is YOUR practice.

We ended in a traditional savasana and I was ready to take on my day. Whether your an expert or a beginning, this morning session is a good fit for every body.