August 18, 2014

FIT CHATZ: Yoga with Phoebe Dykstra + Lauren Toyota

FIT CHATZ: It’s kind of like chit chats except with fitness and a “z” for added visual interest. Get it? Anyway…

With September just around the corner, there’s no better way to get in ~the groove~ for both your body and your mind than with a few sessions with your inner yogi. After a summer of rest and relaxation (for the most part), we’re all seeking a piece of mind so we can tackle the upcoming school year and the forthcoming challenges that come with piles of essays and your weight in textbooks. Needless to say, we were able to join our very best friends Phoebe Dykstra and Lauren Toyota for a session at Yyoga. Besides observing their ~yoga skills~, we also got their insight as to how yoga truly enhanced their lives and their friendship – and were subsequently inspired to grab our best friend and exercise our bodies, minds, and spirits to prep for this school year.




Photographer: Jackie Beale | Hair: Grant Butterworth @ Brenne Demelo Studio | Wardrobe: Onzie Yoga Apparel | Featuring: Phoebe Dykstra + Lauren Toyota




I’ve been doing hot yoga regularly for the last 4 years – and for me, it’s such a great physical challenge, but also a great emotional and mental challenge as well. It’s an all-encompassing practice and I’ve never felt so connected to any activity as I have with yoga.

When I first started practicing I think I did it because people around me were getting into it and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I was initially very frustrated by not being flexible enough, feeling achy and stiff, and not understanding the breathing. However, I was definitely just in my head too much. But I stuck with it because I had a vision of being a more centered and peaceful person – and I figured yoga would eventually get me there.


It was only within the last couple of years that it finally clicked. I started to get out of my head and into my whole body. Breathing finally made sense to me. That sounds strange but I think we ignore our breath and our ability to move and flow; I think we take it for granted.


Now, even though I love the practice, I still have many days where I don’t want to go – even though I know I have to. Having someone like Phoebe in my life that also “gets it” is a huge motivation. I’m thankful for having a connection with her through the practice of yoga and meditation as well as a pretty perfect facility in Yyoga. I’ve always found issues with every yoga studio I’ve gone to, but I really like what Yyoga has done and cultivated. I’m one happy yogi because of them!

Through a regular yoga practice, I’ve discovered a feeling and understanding for the power within me, and the connection I have to the universe. It’s brought a lot more physical and emotional awareness to my life and developed my intuition. I listen to my body now more than ever and it likes yoga. I hope you’ll be open to trying yoga if you haven’t yet, because the greatest gifts are waiting for you! Namaste!



Yoga! Wow, now THAT is a life changer. Since doing yoga regularly, I feel as though I’ve discovered the key to happiness. Major statement to drop, I know, but it’s totally true! Am I tired? Does my body feel clenched? Am I hyper-sensitive to energies? Well DUH Phoebe, it’s because you haven’t gone to yoga in a week! I’ve found that no matter what is going on in my life, if I don’t feel 100%, I know I can burn incense in my place and practice poses on my mat or pop over to Yyoga – and that’s a huge relief.


I started going to yoga as a little kid with my mom at our local elementary school gym. I found it boring as I am hyper-flexible…or “Rubber Girl,” as my mom calls me. I know now that flexibility is only one of many benefits to doing yoga – as yoga is for your body, yes, but it is also for your mind and spirit. I find when I’m doing yoga I’m drinking three times the amount of water and am choosing healthier, leafier vegan options verses eating foods with lots of sugar. Yoga really sloooooowwws me down; it reminds me to focus on my breath – even if only for a short period of time.


Having a friend to go to yoga with seems pointless, but it’s actually really great! Lauren and I started going to yoga together after work and it’s been life changing! If I am having a slumpy day, she will encourage me to come to class with her. Seeing her push her fear aside while trying to get up in her first handstand shows me that if she can do it, I can too! Sometimes I watch her chaturanga’s with a little bit of envy, a little bit of, “I wish I could do that” – but it’s really not a competition, she has her strengths, I have my strengths and guess what, you have yours too!

Yoga will be a part of my life for forever and beyond, even if I “fall off the train” I know I’ll hop right back on. Thanks for reading, we are now going to end this blog with one “om” – take a deep breath in through your nose.. OOOOHHHHHHMMMMMMM…. Namaste.




Posted by Fora Staff in Beauty, Featured
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