The following posts written by Kelly Berry have been featured on the VIDA fitness blog, serving 15,000+ members.
Summer Benefits at Aura Spa
Aura Spa at VIDA is making it a little bit easier to treat yourself. For all of August every weekday, VIDA members can take advantage of 60 to 90 minute massages and facials at 15% off the original cost. For all the tools and tips for planning that amazing spa day, staycation, or personal day from work (don’t worry your secret is safe with us), we spoke with relaxation expert LMT and RYT, Layne Curry. Here’s what we found out:
What is Aura Spa?
Aura Spa is a full-service spa tucked away inside the VIDA club at U Street, The Yards, Metropole, City Vista and Renaissance locations. While the spa is conveniently located within some of our busiest locations, visitors can expect to feel transported from the vibrant energy of the club and the city outside to a quiet and serene place. The spa conveys a softer side of VIDA with dim lighting, candles, aromatherapy, tranquil music, and detox water. It’s a place to unwind and recharge from the busy Washingtonian life.
Lots of options, how to choose?
The spa offers massages, facials, exfoliation treatments, the list goes on. If you’re struggling to decide which options are best for you, here are some general guidelines and things to think about:
One of the favorites for summer is the Detox Body Cocktail, which includes, 1) a microbead scrub to exfoliate, 2) a sea mask to replenish moisture into the skin, and 3) a body butter to seal in all that goodness! Layne recommends this treatment if you are looking to balance your skin and reverse some of the effects summer sweat and sun damage. All Aura services use Biotin products which are all natural and formulated for sensitive skin. The Detox Body Cocktail features a Baltic Sea mask that when heated naturally balances skin texture and adds moisture to areas that are in need of some H2O.
The signature Swedish massage is great option if you are looking to improve circulation and focus on the relaxation aspect. Pressure is light to medium using long flowing strokes, and aromatherapy of your choice is also included in this treatment.
If you’re looking for a way to alleviate more chronic stress and tension, Deep tissue massage might be your best bet. Strokes are slow or more forceful to tap into the connective tissue and trigger points in the efforts of repairing muscle damage from injuries or to relax tight muscles fibers that form from overuse. Something to think about as Layne reminds us, “Most of us sit at a desk all day in a flexed position and then head to the gym after work, go hard challenge the body - which is wonderful - but then we go back home and sit. That can be double trouble and cause muscles to seize, tighten and cause chronic pain. An excellent way to balance is through massage. Good for the muscles, good for the mind.” If you’re a health nerd like us and want to learn more about the effectiveness of massage to relax body and mind, check out this study here. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/massage/massageintroduction.htm
Another great compliment to a regular workout regime is the Sports massage, sometimes referred to as the “massage for athletes”. This treatment is similar to the Swedish but geared to athletes seeking to prevent or treat an injury by adding stretches. When muscles are more subtle, you are able to prevent injury and avoid the muscles from becoming short, tight and tense. As Layne explains, “Just like yoga, foam rolling or deep stretching, massage makes the body more adaptable to change and stress. When fascia and muscles are lengthened and open, the body can better manage the stress and demands you put on it without becoming compromised. However, where foam rolling and stretching can do a lot, only massage can get to the harder to reach areas, like under the shoulder blades, into deep hip rotators and close to the spinal vertebrae. Also, when you are passive in the stretch by relaxing on a table, that makes a huge difference to the result!”
What to expect & how to prepare?
If it’s your first time to the spa, no special preparation is necessary, except for booking your appointment of course. One note of caution, if you sunburned yourself badly at the beach or the pool, wait until the burn has subsided before coming in, your body will thank you. Same goes for fractures or wounds. Let your body heal!
Other things to keep in mind, have an open dialogue with your massage therapist. They do have magical powers but they’re not mind readers. Be clear with expectations when speaking to your massage therapist before the session. If you are experiencing tension or pain in a specific area say so! Clear communication will make sure that you get the most out of your session.
Ready to book your appointment? Visit www.auraspa.net to make a reservation at either the U Street, Metropole, City Vista, The Yards or Renaissance locations.
If you want to book an appointment with Layne Curry, you can find her at the U Street location, which also has a sauna and steam room directly connected to the spa. When not at the spa, you can find Layne teaching restorative and power flow yoga classes as several of the VIDA locations.
Athleta & VIDA Partner for the First “Power to the She” Fitness Party
Are you a fierce badass female? Do you support women empowering themselves to feel strong in their bodies and minds? Do you want to rock out to some killer beats? Do you want to channel your inner KNOCKOUT and POUND goddess? Do you like swag from brands like Athleta, Sephora, Bang Salon, Grape Intentions, Dry Bar and David Yurman? We thought so! Learn more about “Power to the She” below.
This Sunday is a Sunday Funday of epic proportions. Women and men alike are invited to come get their sweat on and workout with Tami DeVitis to celebrate fierce females and participate in “Power to the She.”
The party kicks off with a 75 minute KNOCKOUT experience at 11:15am Sunday, July 23 at VIDA Verizon and morphs into a POUND-rockout (complete with Ripstix) to release your inner rockstar! Finally, the party closes with swag gifts to treat yourself for a fitness job well done.
If you’ve never experienced a KNOCKOUT or POUND workout, here’s what you can expect:
Space is limited, RSVP is highly encouraged. If we reach capacity waitlist will be in effect. To RSVP for this Power to the She event please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Bro-ga?
We sat down with VIDA yogi, Mario Austin to get his take on yoga and explain why more men should take up the practice. We’ve compiled the essential bits of knowledge for those thinking about starting a practice and ways to get more out of your next group session if you’re already part of the yoga community.
Here Are the Top 5 Things Men Need to Know according to Yoga Instructor Mario Austin:
1. Yoga helps you build flexibility! So don’t worry that you’re not flexible when you begin.
“A lot of men tell me, ‘I can’t do yoga, I can’t touch my toes’, but what they don’t realize is that everyone has to start somewhere,” says Mario Austin. “When I first started I couldn’t do most of the poses but I had some great VIDA instructors – Chris Parkison, Alfredo Gomez, Todd Dubenzic, Dan McAnally, John Thurman – who told me to keep going and I’m glad I listened! It was hard work and it was humbling.”
2. No one is looking at you or judging you. They are too busy focusing on themselves.
“This is a big one,” says Mario. “So often I will hear, ‘I can’t go to yoga until I get good at it.’ Which is funny only because it’s a practice, you’re not going to be amazing at it at the start or everyday, but you keep showing up and working at it and you will see progress! Believe me. It’s a journey some days arm balances are there, sometimes they’re not, it’s always going to be different. If you can enjoy the process, it will make you stronger and allows you to appreciate being good to yourself and putting positivity out in the atmosphere.”
3. Yoga is one of the best outlets to bring calmness and support mental health.
“Yoga is not only a physical outlet, it brings a mental calm as well. Yoga is a tool to help us grow personally and to develop and nourish. I think it says a lot about a person if they do yoga and what we learn on our mat – how to access a tranquil state of mind, how to share space with others and transmit positive energy to others – we can take that practice outside of the studio. In fact, I would argue that we must accept it’s a responsibility of us all. More men should take up the practice. It says a lot about a man who takes enough pride in himself to put mental and physical health and wellness as a priority.”
4. Want a workout that builds a killer core, strengthens biceps, triceps and increases hip mobility? Do yoga.
“If you want to have a well rounded fitness program, yoga is it. Just from the foundational poses alone – plank is core! Chaturanga – there’s your ripped arms! When I first started practicing, I had to remind myself to go at my own pace, which sometimes means slowing things down. Often people think you have to keep up. However, sometimes only your body can tell you where you need to go. There’s also a lot of hip mobility involved in yoga, which for men is 100% needed. I love rigorous challenges in a practice everything from arm balances, core work, hip openers, but the important thing is to find a style and approach that works for you. VIDA offers so many styles and variety with our team of instructors, so there is definitely something for everyone,” says Mario.
5. Real Men Do Yoga. Find a brogi.
“If yoga is something you are interested in find a brogi (bro-gi),” says Mario. “More and more men are doing yoga. Yoga brings people together, promotes brotherly love and let’s face it, we could all use some more love and connection with community in our lives. Having another brogi to keep you on task and help motivate you can make a big difference to sticking with it. I also encourage yogis to ask your VIDA instructor for ways to modify or vary poses to fit your body type, and in that way making yoga poses more accessible and supportive.”
We want to hear from our fellow VIDA male yogis! Connect with us on social and use the hashtag #VIDABrogi to be part of the conversation. Mario teaches regularly at VIDA Verizon and subs at all VIDA locations. You can find him on the schedule here.