Sweat Yoga studio in Santa Monica

Sweat Yoga studio in Santa Monica | itsjoulife.com

My mat and me time. The sweat will be dripping, the inner peace building, the music capturing the soul. Hot yoga at Sweat Yoga studio in Santa Monica isn’t just a powerful and purposeful workout, it’s a rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul. I call it my morning therapy.

I’ve been consistently coming to Sweat Yoga in the early AM for the past several months and have seen a difference in toning my body, strength, calming my mind, and setting up my workday. Hot yoga strengthens, balances and detoxifies my entire body and mind as I move through challenging postures and connected breath. Turn stress = sweat.

Here are my Sweat Yoga studio highlights:

  • Come early, morning and evening classes are always crowded. The instructors always start out with an enjoyable and relatable story; is friendly, encouraging and sometimes hands on; has a calming voice that doesn’t lull me to sleep; and plays an eclectic mix of awesome music beats (think The Weeknd’s “Often” and Sylvan Esso’s “Coffee”). Fave instructors are: Paige Yeaton, Zoe Welch, and Brittny McCarthy.
  • Class format is engaging and creative: typically learn movements in a vinyasa flow, go through it guided by the instructor a few times, and then at your own pace, continue through a few more rounds. There is room for creativity as the environment is encouraging of exploring new moves and positions.

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{ jou eats } tender greens, santa monica

I’ve been a fan since its original West LA location in Culver City and this Santa Monica TG is the bee’s knees. Not only is it blocks away from Santa Monica beach and 3rd Street Promenade, this location is bright, clean and has a LA-worthy outdoor seating patio.

The Happy Vegan – makes a Happy Tummy out of me. The salad has even sparked a LA Times recipe article and a cult following for health-conscious eaters. (I’ll link the recipe link below) It has fresh, leafy romaine greens surrounded by mounds of their signature quad mini salads (Farro Wheat Salad with cranberry & hazelnuts, Bulgar Wheat Tabbouleh salad, Quinoa Salad with cucumber & beets and Green Hummus). Be Daring! Try making the Happy Vegan recipe.

Roasted Veggies – Perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, and carrots.
Rustic Chicken Soup – delicious and comforting chicken soup filled with chunks of potato, carrot, celery, leeks and thyme.

This is always my go-to dining spot when I’m near 3rd Street Promenade. Come on a sunny day, sit in the outdoor patio area and enjoy the weather and deliciously healthy food.

tender greens' happy vegan. favorite! via http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/jou-eats-tender-greens-santa-monica/tender greens' rustic chicken soup via http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/jou-eats-tender-greens-santa-monica/fun food art ! via http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/jou-eats-tender-greens-santa-monica/

Ocean View Farms

It’s official! We’ve fully assimilated into the Santa Monica culture now that Wayne and I have our own organic garden plot at Ocean View Farms. Located near the Santa Monica airport, there are over 500 garden plots and flower gardens that occupy six acres in the hills of Mar Vista/Santa Monica West LA.

I love this urban garden community space. We have a large 13×17 feet area to grow our own organic vegetables–before we switched plots we grew eggplant, zucchini, kale, broccoli, romanesco broccoli, peas, carrots.

On a normal day we water and often exchange garden advice with veteran members who pass by. It’s a great garden community and everyone is so friendly. We pay a small fee for annual dues and put in 12 hour community work hours a year. There is a tool shed where you can check out garden tools and wheel barrows. Water and compost is also provided!

Wayne waited 3.5 years on the list. Not sure how long it takes to get a plot now. If you plan on living around the area for the next several years, it’s worth signing up! Ocean View Farms.
So far we’ve accomplished our first goal: Make a salad entirely with fresh ingredients from our garden!

Here are some casual shots I took on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the garden.

cacti trio

cacti trio

neighbor's cute mailbox

neighbor’s cute mailbox

neighbor's rustic mailbox

neighbor’s rustic mailbox

pop of pink

pop of pink

main path. wayne in the far distance. greenhouse to the right.

main path. wayne in the far distance. greenhouse to the right.

compost just around the corner

compost just around the corner

compost bins: it's quite a system they got here

compost bins: it’s quite a system they got here

our cucumber plants !

cucumber de familia

king tree + main path

king tree + main path

i'm hungry

i’m hungry