Take a Barre Yoga Fusion Class For an Optimal Mind Body Experience

It’s April, and we’re willing to bet more than a few of you have gotten behind on those well-meaning New Year’s resolutions. Well, why not get a fresh start with a new class? Maybe you’re familiar with our yoga classes, but did you know that we also offer strength training classes as well? Today we’ll be talking to one of our instructors, Jessica Gutstein, about her specialty – our Barre Yoga Fusion class! But first let’s tackle a couple of common questions regarding barre.

What is a Barre Yoga Fusion class?

If you’ve never heard of barre, don’t get confused – it’s not just for ballet dancers! Our 45-minute Barre Yoga Fusion class combines the essential elements of barre and yoga for an optimal mind-body experience. The low-impact, high energy Barre workout is designed to improve flexibility, tone, and strengthen the body through the use of small isometric movements, weights, and resistance exercises. The yoga elements of the class focus on breathing, lengthening the muscles, and quieting the mind. By combining these modalities, you will feel relaxed, recharged and ready to make the most of your day. This unique sequence is designed for all fitness levels.

Is a ballet background necessary to do a Barre Class?

No! You don’t need any ballet or dance experience at all to fully interact in and enjoy our Barre Yoga Fusion class. Barre was originally designed by a dancer, Lotte Berk, who started teaching in the 1970s and continued until she was well into her 80s. Some of her more famous clients included Joan Collins and Barbra Streisand. Because Lotte wanted both dancers and non-dancers to be able to reap Barre’s benefits, she designed the exercise to use basic dance positions that aid in developing muscle tone and core strength. Many Barre classes utilize a barre like ballet dancers do, however, it can also be done on mats on the floor or with no equipment at all. Barre can have therapeutic benefits as well and many have used it to ease back into exercising after an injury.

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Meet Our Barre Yoga Fusion instructor, Jessica Gutstein

Jessica has been practicing yoga since 2002, teaching yoga since 2007 and teaching barre since 2017. To the Seacoast community and Bryony Body, she brings years of experience as well as a love for the mind-body connection each exercise provides.

“Leading this class is the greatest joy for me. Each student arrives with whatever body and mind they were blessed with on that particular day.

My goal is to help quiet the noise that life is constantly throwing at us through movement, breath work and a grounded approach to full body wellness. I want students to leave feeling a sense of strength and space in their bodies and minds, ready to tackle their day.”

Why might someone enjoy a Barre Yoga Fusion class as opposed to just doing Barre or just doing yoga?

Our instructor, Jessica says, “A barre yoga fusion experience combines the core tenants of both a high energy barre workout with the meditative and healing aspects of yoga.”

The beauty and healing lies in the strength and stillness, grit and grace that this synergistic practice offers.

Jessica continues, “The practice can be modified for all fitness levels and emphasizes basics of breath, stretching/lengthening, body awareness and concentrated muscle and core development.”

What times and days of the week do you offer the class?

Our Barre Yoga Fusion class is offered at Bryony Body in Exeter, NH on Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:15am. To try it out, you can sign up on MindBody and if you’re a first timer, take advantage of our introductory 1-month trial membership.

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Join us at Bryony Body

Now that you have a better handle on Barre (excuse the pun), we hope you will come check out a class! We look forward to welcoming new students no matter your age, body type, or experience level. Barre not your thing? We have several other types of classes to choose from, including strength training and basic yoga which you can find on our Bryony Body Yoga and Wellness Classes page. We are committed to meeting you where you’re at, so contact us today so that we can help you get started on the next step in your wellness journey!

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Have the Winter Blues? 5 Ways We’re Investing in Wellness This Winter

Winter is hard. Our skin is dry and itchy, we’re vitamin D deficient and even going for a little mental health walk can seem daunting. Thanks a lot, February windchill.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the headspace that winter is never ending and our self-care isn’t as important. Thoughts can play over again in our minds, “Well if I gain these extra five pounds, no one will really notice because of all the layers I’m wearing.” “If I don’t get this pedicure it doesn’t matter because I’m in socks and boots for the next two more months.” But listen, you deserve to feel great even if the weather doesn’t. Here are some surefire ways to get back into the rhythm of your life so that the winter blues don’t keep you down.

Invest in loungewear

Sitting at home in the same old sweats can really affect our self-esteem. One of our favorite ways to spice things up is by investing in cozy loungewear sets or a new waffle knit sweater from a woman-run small business like VETTA or Darity (if you’re nursing or pumping.) Not only do they make you feel cute and comfortable, but you’re making your dollar count by supporting a small sustainable business. Get comfy!

Use a humidifier

Purchasing one of these handy little guys for the bedroom has been saving our sinuses this winter, and our plants too! You can find these for a decent price at a local big box store. As a moisturizer enthusiast, my lotions and body oils still just don’t cut it this time of year. Save your skin and your sinuses this season and find a humidifier ASAP.

Try heat light therapy

There are so many benefits to trying relaxation, muscle tension relief or detoxification in the winter months. One way us New Englanders love to relax in the dark winter months is with heat light therapy. Not only does it have positive effects on our mood, but it also provides many benefits for blood flow and cardiovascular health. You won’t have to look far for local heat light therapy, but if you have trouble finding somewhere, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.

Relax in a healing bath

You deserve a mystical escape from your everyday routine once and a while. Treat yourself to some holistic soap and organic wellness products from our local favorite, Rooted Body Co. and set up a healing bath with crystals, candles, bath salts, a glass of wine and some soothing music. Anything that will make you feel like you’re at a spa, right from the comfort of your own home. If you don’t have a bath, hang a Eucalyptus sprig from your shower head. Calming scents, especially while bathing, nourish our minds and bodies.

Nourish with soups & stews

Are you on a rabbit hole of soup TikToks lately? No? Just us? Soup tok is all the rage right now. Invest in a Crockpot or slow cook a soup on your stove midday while you finish your work into the evening. The scent of a warm stew brewing throughout the home is no match for winter dread. And if you prefer sweet over savory, treat yourself to a relaxing CBD baked good from our local favorite, Fairy Good Organics. We’ll take their triple chocolate brownies any night of the week!

Hopefully these tips and tricks inspire you to embrace this winter with a fresh attitude. The cold months are hard, but they make the spring and summer feel that much better. Get in touch with your body and don’t forget to indulge – you’ve got this.

Galentine’s Day: 5 Ways to Spoil Your Girlfriends This Month

You’re probably already aware of an immense pressure around the second week of February each year: Valentine’s Day. A stigma surrounds this holiday saying that we have to be in love, have the perfect relationship and shower our lovers with gifts. But why should extravagant love only be shared in romantic relationships, why can’t we spoil our platonic relationships as well? These are just as valuable relationships full of love. Continue reading for ideas on how to spoil your girlfriends this Valentine’s Day, they deserve it!

Food

There’s no better way to a person’s heart than through their stomach. Some say this only works for men, but we beg to differ. Whether it’s knowing your bestie’s favorite meal and cooking for her or taking her out to a hot new restaurant in town, share the gift of food this Galentine’s Day. Get dressed up, light some candles and have fun with it. Candle lit dinners are not strictly for romance, set the vibe right and indulge, it will bring you closer together and create the space for deeper conversations. See where The Bryony girls are keeping warm and well-fed on the North Shore this winter.

Crystals

Find a crystal that protects your friend based on her birth month or treat her to a reiki and crystal healing session at Bryony & Birch Different stones have different properties for protection and abundance that resonate with each zodiac sign in different ways. This way you can always be there in spirit, even when you physically aren’t. Not to mention… crystals and gems are beautiful decor to have in your home, so it’s a win-win.

Pamper Them

What better way to relax than knowing someone is gifting you the opportunity? There can never be enough self-care and a gift card for a manicure and pedicure appointment is a great place to start. If you have the budget to splurge a little more, a spa day including a massage or facial will really show your appreciation for their well-being. In our most recent holiday gift guide we cover all of our favorite ways to pamper our friends with gifts from local North Shore small businesses.

Cocktail Night

What’s more exciting than a cocktail night with the girls? Everyone comes prepared for the evening with a signature cocktail. You each take turns prepping your drink and presenting the cocktails with a grand entrance. Get creative with the themes of the drinks that are unique to your friendships. This is fun too because you can spread them out through the evening and everyone gets to be the star for an hour or so. February cabin fever setting in? Get out of the house to enjoy food and drinks at these Bryony & Birch favorites on the North Shore.

Flowers & Plants

Gardens and flowers raise the vibration of anyone’s home. If your girlfriend is already a green thumb, give her a new flower to plant and bring her joy. Getting in touch with our feminine energy is also getting in touch with our ability to nourish. If your friend is a little more glamorous or doesn’t enjoy gardening, a beautiful bouquet can also do the trick.

Ultimately you know your friends better than anyone else, so whatever feels sentimental to you and your crew will be special. There are so many ways to cherish love other than romance, so take a moment to celebrate all of the relationships in your life this Valentine’s Day.

 

Gratitude + Mental Health: Why They Go Together Like Turkey & Gravy

Have you ever sat around a table on Thanksgiving and been asked to share one thing you’re grateful for?For some, this is an easy request. “My job!” “My dog!” “My health!”

For others, this can literally be the reason they nearly faked a headache an hour before they were supposed to arrive. While it could simply be a fear of speaking in front of others, sometimes it’s that we’re subconsciously afraid to say what we’re grateful for. In a way, it’s like we’ll jinx it.

While we can’t do a whole lot for your stage fright, we can make quite a good case for expressing your gratitude (all year round.)

In this post, we’re chatting about the benefits of expressing gratitude as well as the gratitude practices we love.

Scroll down to learn more!

Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

#grateful is a thing for a reason. Just ask Robert Emmons Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude.

His decades of research shows that actively expressing your gratitude:

  • Improves your outlook on life and makes you more optimistic
  • Increases your confidence and self-efficacy
  • Improves your relationship with a romantic partner, friend or family member
  • Helps you make new friends and connections
  • Promotes better physical health (stronger immune system, less pain, lower blood pressure)
  • Promotes better mental health (Can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • Decreases feelings such as envy, resentment and aggression
  • Increases empathy, generosity and compassion
  • Fosters resilience

As we continue to live in the chaos that is the 2020s, it’s never been more important to take care of our mental health. Keep reading to find out the gratitude practices we love.

Gratitude Practices We Love

Now that we know how powerful gratitude is when it comes to our mental and physical health, let’s talk about all of the ways you can cultivate it!

1.) Create a Gratitude Wall or Board

Seeing what you’re grateful for every day is a powerful thing. Try creating a collage on your wall or make a board (similar to a vision board) that allows you to stick photos, words or drawings of the things you’re grateful for.

2.) Keep a Gratitude Journal

One of the most fascinating studies Dr Emmons did was on journaling gratitude.

“In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.” (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

3.) Meditate

Meditation is a great way to consciously show love for the things you’re grateful for. While you can simply sit and do this silently, there are some fantastic guided meditation tracks on gratitude on apps like Calm and Insight Timer.

4.) Get a Gratitude Buddy

Sometimes you need an accountability partner! Try finding a friend or family member that you either call, text or email every day and mutually share 3-5 things you’re grateful for.

5.) Say it Out Loud

One of the best ways to consistently express gratitude is to make it part of your morning and/or evening routine. The minute your head hits the pillow or your feet hit the floor, express your gratitude audibly! You could also do this when you get in the car or get home from work!

6.) Write a Letter

If you’re particularly grateful for someone – tell them! Writing a letter of gratitude won’t just make your day – it will make the recipient’s too! Even if you don’t send it, the act of expressing your gratitude will still work wonders.

7.) Call a Friend

Nothing brings us more joy than someone calling to say they are grateful that we’re in their life. Honestly, it’s soul-soothing to feel that love. Try calling a friend (or family member) and letting them know that you’re so grateful that they’re in your life.

8.) Look in a Mirror

Self-love isn’t selfish. Take a moment to look at yourself and thank YOU for showing up everyday. Thank your smile, your eyes, your ears, your hands… thank everything about you.

9.) Make It (Another) Love Language

If you’re in a romantic relationship, let your partner know that you’re grateful for them and why. This can be emotional or physical aspects. It will deepen your bond and connection as well as your appreciation and respect for each other.

10.) Prayer

Perhaps the OG of gratitude expression, prayer is a beautiful way to consciously give thanks for the people, food, opportunities and experiences in your life.

Meet Bryony Body Yoga + Meditation Instructor: Veronica Woodlief

In 2017, Veronica was diagnosed with Panic Attack Disorder and PTSD. Searching for a way to soothe the anxiety, she committed to a 40-day Kundalini meditation practice and her life has never been the same. Veronica knew instantly that she wanted to become a teacher and share the benefits of this practice with others, which is why she chose to complete the Kundalini Research Institute’s 200 hour YTT.

Veronica’s goal is to empower students with practices that promote a sense of inner peace, balance in body, mind & spirit, and a strong sense of self. She strives to bring a grounded approach to esoteric spiritual concepts and yogic philosophy so they’re relatable and easy-to-understand. Off the mat, Veronica loves cooking vegan food, reading, and spending time on the beach with her husband and two dogs.

Click here to book a Bryony Body class with Veronica!

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Introducing Bryony Body: The Exeter, NH Yoga Studio You Want To Know About

Bryony & Birch has expanded and we have a lot of feelings.

For starters, we’re feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the Amesbury community. For our collective to have experienced the growth that it has in the age of a global pandemic is a testament to just how many incredible humans call the North Shore home. You’ve shown up on our mats for yoga, in our chairs for hair, in our studio for photos and on our porch to celebrate and support local makers and shakers. Thank you.

While we feel like we still have so many more exciting things to come in Amesbury, our next step in evolving happens to do with one of our other favorite places in the world – Exeter, NH. As lovers of this quintessential New Hampshire town that’s just a quick 15 minute drive from the flagship Bryony & Birch studio, we’re thrilled to announce that we have taken over Yogasmith Yoga Studio and are introducing our first brick and mortar space solely dedicated to yoga, fitness and wellness.

Scroll down to learn more!

What is Bryony Body?

Bryony Body is where yoga, fitness and wellness intersect. Located at 175 Water Street in Exeter, New Hampshire, our light and airy yoga studio space offers yoga and fitness classes for all levels.

When Bryony & Birch Founder, Katie Cavic, first started conceptualizing Bryony Body, she knew she wanted it to be accessible, restorative, invigorating, and something that helps soothe and strengthen people holistically.

Katie and her fellow Bryony Body yoga and fitness instructors know that the mind, the body and the soul are all interconnected, which is why Bryony Body also offers treatments such as reiki and crystal healing, nutrition coaching and massage therapy. It doesn’t matter if you’re going there to center or sculpt, you’ll leave feeling guided, grounded and grateful.

Meet the Bryony Body Instructors + Therapists

Katie Kavic
Owner & Instructor

 

Jessalyn Hudgins
Studio Manager & Instructor

 

Tayla David
Studio Manager

 

Kiana Morano
Personal Trainer & Instructor

 

Jessica Benedetto
Instructor

 

Jessica Gutstein
Instructor

 

Carolyn Rubin
Instructor

 

Gail Picillo
Instructor

 

Sharon Gordon
Instructor

 

Jennifer Freeman
Instructor

 

Wilhelmina Bradley
Instructor

 

Allison Dugas
Instructor

 

Ankati Day
Instructor

 

Becky Kollmorgen
Instructor

 

Hannah Reed
Instructor

 

Veronica Woodlief
Instructor

 

Stacey Sargent
Instructor

Click here to learn more about Bryony Body’s yoga instructors here.

Where’s the Class Calendar for Bryony Body?

As people who love planning our days, weeks and months well in advance – we’ve got you covered!

Click here to view the Fall/ Winter Bryony Body class calendar.

Your First Bryony Body Class is FREE!

We’d love for you to come say hello and see what we do, which is why we are offering everyone their first class free of charge! Get in touch via yoga@bryonyandbirchstudio.com to book your free spot!

How do I Book Classes at Bryony Body?

The best way to book your Bryony Body class or wellness session is to head to Mindbody. There you’ll find our class calendar as well as payment and membership options for everything from Yoga Sculpt to 101 Personal Training Sessions.

With Bryony Body memberships starting from just $20 a month, we have options to suit those who want to do just in-person classes, just virtual classes or a mixture of both! We also adhere to the ‘try before you buy’ and ‘I’ve changed my mind for a moment’ ways of life, so you’ll find introductory trial memberships too.

3 Tips for Starting a Yoga Practice

We get it. Yoga can be intimidating.

For some people, it’s the quest of trying to reach their toes. For others, it’s the confronting thoughts they fear they’ll hear if they stop to be still throughout their day.

Here are our tips for starting a yoga practice.

#1 START SMALL
You don’t need to dive into a 90 minute power yoga session on Day 1. You don’t need to hold a pose for as long as your instructor said. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s your practice, your journey and your choice.

#2 EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS
Like pretty much everything in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga. Just because you didn’t resonate with breathwork, doesn’t mean a more physical flow won’t accomplish your same wellness goals. Try out different classes and instructors.

#3 CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Gratitude exercises are a great way to stay positive when it comes to finances, your career and even your relationships. Don’t forget to count your yoga blessings too! For example: give thanks that you simply showed up, even if you didn’t want to.

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Reiki + Crystal Healing to Treat Anxiety

On a scale of ‘I want to cancel all of my social plans’ to ‘I could really book an urgent appointment with a therapist. right now’,  how anxious do you feel at this current moment?

Are you stressed about COVID and the douche, Delta, they brought to the party?

Do you feel like you’ve committed yourself to too many work clients?

Is there a particular relationship you’re currently struggling with?

As a collective of people who are quite open about our struggles with anxiety, we’ll go first.

Right now, we’re sitting at about ‘Maybe a 12-minute meditation will help me be able to make it to 5 pm.’

To be completely honest, we’re stressed about a lot of things, but if we had to choose just one, we’d say it’s feeling emotional fatigue.

We are tired.

We’re tired of the roller coaster of emotions we experience every time another horrifying statistic or sad news story pops onto our feed. We’re tired of not being able to freely travel to see loved ones. We’re tired of worrying about how vulnerable a business is in the midst of a global pandemic. (And, of course, we’re tired of debating the need for vaccinations.)

While we might feel a bit stagnate right from time to time, we also know that we have the power to ease our anxiety and ramp up our energy levels! In the past, we’ve shared these 10 things you can do to manage your anxiety, but today we want to focus on reiki and crystal healing.

In this article, we’re sharing:

  • What reiki and crystal healing are.
  • Where to find reiki and crystal healing treatments in Amesbury, MA.
  • Signs you’re experiencing anxiety.

Scroll down to learn more!

What are Reiki and Crystal Healing?

What is Reiki?

According to the International Center for Reiki Training, ‘Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.’

What is Crystal Healing?

According to the School of Health, ​​‘Crystal healing is a holistic, non-invasive, vibrational energy-based system of healing. The technique uses precisely placed crystals either on and/or around the physical body. Crystals may also be laid in precise geometric patterns (grids) within the environment. Crystals absorb, focus, direct, detoxify, shift and diffuse energy as they interact with the electromagnetic forces and subtle vibrations within the subtle human or environmental energy field.’

Even though they’re very much their own therapies, reiki and crystal healing are often used together to help overcome both mental and physical pain. While we’d love to have a bouncer inside of us making sure nothing but ‘good vibes only’ are entering, it’s simply not realistic. We’re not immune to workplace confrontations, miscommunication on a group chat or strain on a romantic relationship. We’re also not immune to injuries, especially as we get older.

When we’re not in an optimal emotional and physical state, it’s hard to think rationally, remain resilient and perform at the level we strive to. Whether we’re aware or not, we absorb so much of the world around us – the good, the bad and the ugly. We like to look at reiki and crystal healing as a bit of a detox and reset. When everything starts to feel a bit too much or we feel stuck, it’s energy work that always helps us find our breath and our flow.

Where to Find Reiki and Crystal Healing in Amesbury, MA

You’re in luck because at Bryony and Birch, we have a wonderful reiki and crystal practitioner, Jaimee Cardella from Wild Tribe Wellness, who is able to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.

Jaimee is passionate about helping to relieve pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Her work is also intended to enhance your quality of life, boost your mood and may improve some symptoms and conditions such as headache, tension, insomnia and nausea.

7 Signs You’re Experiencing Anxiety

When you’re in the trenches of life, it’s not always easy to pause to reflect on how you’re actually feeling. Below are just seven signs you may be experiencing anxiety.

  • You wake up and feel worried.
  • Throughout the day, you’re nervous or worried about something going wrong.
  • You find it difficult to ‘wind down’ at night.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You worry about past, present and/or future social interactions.
  • You have difficulty breathing when overwhelmed.
  • You feel lightheaded and agitated in certain situations.

Ready to book your reiki and crystal healing session at Bryony and Birch?

Click here to get in touch to book your reiki and crystal healing appointment.

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Bryony Bootcamp: Where Yoga & Strength Training Intersect in Amesbury

While some people may prefer a solo run or to pop in earbuds for a weights session, at Bryony & Birch, we’re all about group training.

For starters, we know how hard it is to find the motivation to even show up to a workout when you have a never-ending to-do list as well as the last season of that Netflix show you’ve been binging calling your name… When you commit to a class, you hold yourself accountable, which increases your likelihood of showing up and actually raising your heart rate, which increases your body’s production of happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin! Yew!

Second, group fitness is a great way to connect with people who are likely to value the same things you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Amesbury or simply looking for people who want to feel stronger and more centered, stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new group of individuals could be the exact energy exchange you’ve been looking for.

And third, there are loads of benefits of doing Bootcamp style classes:

Benefits of Bootcamp Workouts

  • More accountability (You’re more likely to show up AND work harder)
  • More variety in your workout (You’re less likely to get bored or plateau)
  • More bang for your buck (Designed to work your whole body while building muscle and increasing your cardiovascular fitness… basically: two birds, one Bootcamp)
  • More opportunities to socialize with people who encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle
  • More cost-efficient (They require less equipment to run the class.)
  • Can be done both indoors and outdoors (Keeps things exciting all year round!)

Scroll down to learn more about Amesbury’s Bryony Bootcamp and to book your first session!

What is Bryony Bootcamp?

At Bryony & Birch here in Amesbury MA, we’re lucky to have a lot of highly skilled personal trainers and yoga instructors. While we offer loads of yoga classes and personal training, one of our most popular offerings is the Bryony Bootcamp.

Bryony Bootcamp classes are designed for all levels of experience. Together, we focus on strengthening the core so we can more efficiently tone the rest of our bodies while protecting our spine.

As lovers of a full-body workout that mixes traditional calisthenics and bodyweight exercises with interval training and strength training, no class is ever the same and often brings in elements of yoga.

During the warmer months (and when weather permits, all classes are held at the Lower Mill Yard/Heritage Park.

Monday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Tuesday
6pm Power Yoga with Katie Cavic

Wednesday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Yoga Sculpt with Jessalynn Hudgins

Thursday
6pm Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

Friday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Saturday
8:30am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Sunday
10am Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

Click here to book your spot!

Meet Bryony Bootcamp Trainer, Kiana Morano

As soon as Kiana Morano took her first steps, it was clear she was a natural-born athlete. Starting with gymnastics and then eventually gravitating towards lacrosse and volleyball, Kiana had an exciting athletic career right through college.

Today, she specializes in corrective exercises, strength training and most importantly- balance.

Kiana loves working with all people whether they are 8 or 80. By coaching them and showing them what confidence in the gym looks like and how it translates into confidence in life, she’s able not only to change a person’s physique, but also their mindset.

In fact, her favorite cue, which will be ingrained into each student’s head is, “Keep your chin up!”.

When Kiana isn’t in Tree Pose, she’s usually among the trees, hiking with her dogs Nala, Maverick and Ari.

Her goal for herself and others is to connect the mind and body so intimately that each person becomes a stronger, more grounded version of themselves.

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch Trainers

Bryony & Birch Studios Katie Cavic Teacher
Katie Cavic
Her Yoga M.O. – Smoothe, Sweaty & Challenging

Bryony & Birch Studio jessalynn Hudgins teacher
Jessalynn Hudgins
Her Yoga M.O. – Alignment & Posture

Bryony & Birch Jess Benedetto yoga instructor
Jessica Benedetto,
Her Yoga M.O. – Inclusive & Adaptable

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch yoga and wellness instructors here

Porch Fest 2021: Have Fun & Support Local

We officially kicked off our Porch Fest event series and are absolutely pinching ourselves!

Featuring live music, local food and beverages, small business pop-ups, a live art auction and raffle – we were able to raise money and awareness to sponsor local organizations and future artists initiatives!

When’s the next Porch Fest in Amesbury?

Aug. 20th, 2021 (rain date: Aug. 22nd)
Sept. 17th, 2021 (rain date: Sept. 19th)
Oct. 15th, 2021 (rain date: Oct. 17th)

Porch Fest is held right outside Bryony & Birch at 48 Main St. in downtown Amesbury. Click here for more information or to get involved!

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Looking for someone to shoot your brand photos, wedding or family portraits? Meet our Go-To Amesbury MA Photographer, Kate Donovan.

Heading to the North Shore for a mother-daughter trip? Here are Amesbury Activities to do with Mom.

Outdoor Yoga, Workouts, Runs & Activities in Amesbury: Summer 2021

It’s official: Summer 2021 is going to be back to (somewhat) normal in the North Shore!

With social distancing restrictions easing and vaccination rates rising, we’re feeling more hopeful than ever and are super excited to get back into the community as well as welcome our much missed tourists!

As Amesbury locals who know just how precious a North Shore summer is, you can bet your bottom that we’re taking advantage of all the amazing outdoor activities! From outdoor yoga in Amesbury to cycle loops that will take you through Newburyport to a monthly pop up Pure Barre class at the iconic Cider Hill Farm, there’s something on for everyone!

Scroll down to see our favorite activities to do in Amesbury (and the surrounding area!)

Outdoor Workouts, Races & Activities in Amesbury This Summer

1. Free Workout Series with Sweat Fixx

Together with the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, Sweat Fixx is offering a free 45 minute outdoor workout every Thursday evening in June that will have you doing timed circuits using your bodyweight and resistance bands. Worried about your fitness level! Don’t fret! Modifications will be provided for any higher impact moves.

What you need to know:
When: Every Thursday from 6 – 7pm in June 2021
Location: Next to the Amesbury Library (149 Main St)
Please bring your own mat, water and towel.

Book your spot on Mindbody here! (You can also book via Classpass!)

2. Monthly Pop Up: Pure Barre @ Cider Hill Farm

As always, Cider Hill Farm is winning our hearts with a summer Saturday morning Pure Barre class thanks to Pure Barre Newburyport! Scheduled for the first Saturday of the month, you’ll get to strengthen your core, tone your muscles and break a sweat while taking in a beautiful view! And after you’re finished, you can stroll through the farm to buy some of the best coffee, flowers and art in the North Shore!

What you need to know:
When: First Saturday of the month from 9 – 10 am
Location: Cider Hill Farm (45 Fern Ave)
First class is complimentary, registrations required!

Click here to learn more and to book your spot!

3. Stand Up Paddle (SUP) at Lake Gardner

We say SUP, but you can also kayak, canoe or simply swim at Lake Gardner! This is such a great spot to chill out with a book, picnic with friends or get out for a power paddling session! You can also go for a walk or run along the Lake Garnder trail to Battis Farm!

What you need to know:
Parking: 80 High Street
Lifeguards and toilets periodically provided in the summer.
Sadly, not dog-friendly in the summer months.

A note about access:
The Lake Gardner Beach swimming area is accessed by car from an entrance on High Street. The public can launch small boats such as canoes, kayaks, small sail craft, and other car top boats from the northern end of the beach.

Click here to learn more about Lake Gardner.

4. Outdoor Yoga with Bryony & Birch

That’s right! We are totally part of the outdoor yoga scene in Amesbury! While we hold a ton of indoor and virtual yoga classes, we love getting outside for a flow when the weather permits! It doesn’t matter what your level is, we hold a range of restorative yoga classes designed to help you feel calm, centered and balanced.

Bryony & Birch Outdoor Yoga in Amesbury MA Timetable:
Mondays
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins
Tuesdays
6pm Power Yoga with Katie Cavic
Wednesdays
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Yoga Sculpt with Jessalynn Hudgins
Thursdays
6pm Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto
Fridays
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins
Saturdays
8:30am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins
Sundays
10am Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

What you need to know:
Our indoor yoga studio, hair loft and boutique is located at 45 Main Street!
We offer a whole lot more than yoga classes!
Pop in and say hello!

Click here to discover the yoga and wellness classes Bryony & Birch offers and to book your spot.

Can’t make it in person? Not to worry! On the Bryony & Birch Yoga App (available on the App Store and Google Play), you’ll find restorative classes you can do from home that focus on mindful movements of the body and breath as well as power sessions designed to intertwine strength, balance and flexibility.

5. Amesbury Trails & Hikes

If you’re looking to get out in nature, we highly recommend planning a nature walk (or run!) in Amesbury. We have multiple options that cater to all ability levels making them super family friendly. While there are walks for every day of the week, our top three recommendations are the Town Forest Boardwalk (which will take you all the way to Woodsom Farm!), Amesbury Riverwalk Trail and the hike to Po Hill!

Learn more via:

Click here to view the full list of Amesbury Trails to explore!

6. Amesbury Runs & Races

If one of your goals this summer is to go from the couch to a 5k, it’s time to sign up for the Amesbury 5k and/or the Yankee Homecoming 5k Road Race! Scenic, fun and full of energy, it’s the perfect way to start your day and achieve your fitness goals! Alternatively, you can opt for one of our go-to 6.5 mile loops. Mapped by a fellow runner, it takes you across state lines to New Hampshire and back!

Learn more via:

Amesbury Days 5K – July 3, 2021
Yankee Homecoming 5K Road Race (Newburyport) – Aug 3, 2021
6.5 Mile Loop – Open all year round

7. Cycling Route – Maudslay State Park 13 Mile Loop

Looking for somewhere to ride your bike in Amesbury or Newburyport? We recommend (as do all of our cycling friends), the Maudslay State Park 13 Mile Loop! You can either power it the whole way or take plenty of stops along the way to take in the scenery. There are some seriously impressive gardens in there so we like to opt for a mid-morning coffee break!

Click here to map your ride!

8. DAM Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon

Are you training for a Tri? Looking for your next challenge? If you answered yes to either, you need to save the date: (July 11, 2021) because the Dam Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon is happening! After having so many great running, swimming and biking events cancelled, we couldn’t be more thrilled to learn that this epic Amesbury Triathlon is going ahead this summer!

Click here to learn more and to register.

What is Brand Photography?

We’re so glad you asked! Because just like outdoor yoga, we love us some good brand photography!

When we say ‘brand photography’ we mean a suite of professional images that represent your business visually, and fit with your visual identity through their use of colours, tone, props, sets and more. These can include photos of you, your team, your products, your process, your space and other things that make your business unique. BUT most importantly it shows the world what you’re passionate about.

The good news is: we offer this service! Welcome to BRAND WITH BRYONY…

What’s included:

  • Hair and makeup
  • Product shots
  • Headshots
  • Catered lunch
  • Exclusive use of the Bryony + Birch studio space
  • Photos with Kate Donovan Photography

Basically, we want you to picture your favorite made-for-Netflix movie montage scene and that’s what you’ll get when you work with us! We will help you and your brand find your best light. (And hopefully your new community!)

Click here to learn more and to book your branding package today!

 

10 Things You Can Do To Manage Your Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. (And that’s just the ones they know about.)

While there are numerous reasons for someone to feel anxious, it’s safe to say that the last few years have not been a walk in the park. In between a global pandemic and polarizing political climate, people have lost jobs, homes, and their lives. It makes sense that you’re feeling the way you’re feeling.

While it may make sense that your body is going into overdrive to try to cope with uncertainty, trauma or whatever story your thoughts are trying to tell you, it does not need to be this way.

Scroll down to learn 10 things you can do to manage and prevent your anxiety from creeping in.

1. Become aware of triggers

Becoming aware of your body and mind is the first thing that’s going to help you take control and start steering yourself in a better (less anxious) direction. More often than not, many of our daily habits can exacerbate or even cause our anxiety.

Substances that can make you feel anxious:

  • Alcohol – #hangxiety
  • Caffeine – #jitters
  • Sugar – #sugarblues

Alcohol, caffeine and sugar are all notorious for triggering anxiety because of the way they interact with our central nervous system. While they may give us a dopamine hit that rewards us in the short-term, they can cause your cortisol levels to rise and ultimately disrupt sleep.

2. Protect Your Sleep

Sleep is when your body & mind repair, you process emotions and ensure that your systems can complete their cycles and start fresh. It is incredibly important to get between 6 and 8 hours every night.

Our circadian rhythm, which is our body’s production of cortisol to be alert and melatonin to sleep, cannot function properly if your body is strung out on caffeine, working to digest red wine or is rapidly producing cortisol because you’ve been staring at blue light wavelengths on your phone.

Tips for saving your sleep:

  • Don’t drink coffee after 12 pm.
  • Avoid consuming more than 2 alcoholic beverages.
  • Look into blue light blocking glasses to wear indoors once the sun has gone down.
  • Leave your phone out of your room.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea

3. Move Your Body

While food is the most over utilized tool for medicating when stressed, exercise is the most underutilized. By raising our heart rates and strengthening muscles, we are stimulating our brains, building endorphins and providing ourselves with an outlet to exert anxious energy.

If you’re feeling anxious:

  • Go for a walk
  • Swim laps
  • Take a group fitness class
  • Head to the gym
  • Practice yoga (more on this soon!)

4. Build Your Energy

While exercise is a brilliant way to trigger the release of endorphins, which help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, there is only so much the body can give if you don’t have enough energy and oxygen in the tank. (Raise your hand if you’ve experienced the afternoon energy crash and need coffee or a beer to keep you powering through.)

Equally as important as moving your body, is taking time to do slow breath work, energy-building exercises from Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) or Tai Chi. An integral part of Chinese medicine, the concept of purposefully building energy has been practiced for hundreds of years.

Two treatments we really like are reiki and crystal work. Bryony and Birch has a reiki and crystal practitioner who is able to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities by moving her hands directly above your body. She also places crystals on different areas of your body to cleanse and regenerate new energy. These sessions help relieve pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression. They also enhance your quality of life, boost your mood and may improve some symptoms and conditions such as headache, tension, insomnia and nausea.

Click here to book your reiki and crystal healing appointment.

5. Practice Mindfulness & Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand and can be a fantastic way for you to gain awareness about your thoughts without judgement. While mindfulness is something you’ll do while talking, walking, eating or crafting, meditation is a practice done independently.

Sometimes guided, sometimes not – you can use meditation to overcome the noise inside and outside of your head. Arguably harder than going for a run, taking time to sit or lie with your eyes shut down can help you become greater than your thoughts and ultimately transcend into a higher level of consciousness.
At Bryony and Birch, our yoga instructors incorporate their own personal touches of meditation throughout class with inspirational quotes, some of their own words, some of favorite poets or something that resonates with them and connects to their class. While in Savasana pose, some of our teachers wind you down in a deep guided meditation.

Click here to learn more about Bryony and Birch’s in-person and virtual yoga classes.

6. Practice Yoga

When it comes to managing anxiety, yoga can be a fantastic tool to help you feel centered, grounded and in-control of your mind and body. We personally love starting our days with a yoga flow because it allows both our bodies and minds to set an intention for the day. Instead of facing the day in a reactive manner, our practice allows us to be proactive.

At Bryony & Birch, we offer all levels and numerous styles of yoga designed to help you untense your muscles, shut down your brain and finish feeling revitalized.

Click here to view the Bryony and Birch Yoga class schedule.

7. Tap Into Your Resilience

Resilience is essentially your ability to recover from or adjust easily to change or a negative event. But what happens when the changes and negative events keep coming and coming and coming? How far can we be pushed?

The good news is: thanks to all of the lovely scientists who have studied neuroplasticity, we have the power to change our minds and thinking.
Tips for building resilience:

  • Adopt a Growth Mindset (we recommend reading Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential by Dr Carol S Dweck.)
  • Recognize when you need to take time out to do breath work, take a walk or have a nap.
  • Reframe your thoughts. (Tony Robbins once said: “Life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you.”)
  • Put time between your initial reaction and your actual action.
  • Be clear on your values and goals. (If you’re not making value-based decisions, you’re more likely to find yourself in unenjoyable situations.)

8. Do a Digital Detox

We thought about putting your phone/ social media under #1, but really digital triggers are in a league of their own!

Even if you haven’t directly been affected by the hurt in the world, it’s common to experience compassion fatigue. It’s okay to take a break, re-center and come back when you’re ready and more equipped to do something positive with what you’re reading and seeing.

As for social media – it’s so easy to let these apps suck our time, make ourselves compare what we have to others and get caught up in an overly-filtered world.

Tips for unplugging:

  • Delete your social media apps from your phone
  • Delete your news app
  • If possible, delete your emails from your phone
  • During the workday, put your phone on airplane mode when focusing on a task
  • Avoid having the TV or radio on as background noise.

9. Speak to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a great way to find the mindfulness tools you need to help build your resilience and get objective advice regarding a particularly difficult situation.

While it may be difficult to find someone to see in person these days, there are plenty of people offering Zoom sessions.

10. Speak to an Integrative Medicine Practitioner About Your Gut Health

Your gut and brain are interconnected, which means when your gut isn’t happy, your brain isn’t happy. Do you feel your anxiety in your stomach? What are your bowel movements like? There’s a chance that inflammation in your gut could be making your anxiety symptoms worse.

Integrative medicine practitioners look at your diet, lifestyle and medical conditions to help treat the cause of your ailments, not just the symptoms.

Yoga in Amesbury and around the world

While we offer in person group and private yoga classes at Bryony and Birch in Amesbury, we also have a virtual yoga app that gets you a spot no matter where you are in the world.

Designed to make mindfulness and exercise convenient and accessible, the Bryony & Birch Virtual Yoga app is available in both the App Store and Google Play.

What you get for only $29.99/month

  • Unlimited live virtual yoga classes
  • 24/7 access to on-demand library of classes
  • In-studio classes (Subject to availability)
  • Outdoor classes (Weather permitting)
  • 10% off one salon service per month at the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft (located downtown Amesbury, MA)

 


App Store | Google Play

Virtual Yoga: Find Your Flow In Amesbury

If you’re looking for something that is going to help you feel more flexible, less anxious and a lot stronger, you’ve come to the right place.

Many of us have been teaching and practicing yoga in surrounding areas for years, but as Bryony & Birch found a home in Amesbury, our yoga practices have settled here too.

And thanks to the kick in the butt Covid gave us, we now have our own yoga app to give you a front row seat to all of our virtual yoga classes no matter where you are in the world (or the global health crisis is preventing you from attending a class in person!)

Amesbury Virtual Yoga Classes For All Levels & Flows

The thing we love most about yoga is that there is a level and flow for everyone.

It doesn’t matter if you’re rehabbing an injury and need a practice that allows you to feel calm and centered or you’re interested in building long lean muscles to help you run your next marathon, or you desperately need a way to manage your stress & anxiety, this ancient practice has something for you.

On the Bryony & Birch Yoga App (available on the App Store and Google Play), you’ll find restorative classes that focus on mindful movements of the body and breath as well as power sessions designed to intertwine strength, balance and flexibility.

Meet your yoga teachers:

Bryony & Birch Studios Katie Cavic TeacherKatie Cavic
Her Yoga M.O. – Smoothe, Sweaty & Challenging

 

Bryony & Birch Studio jessalynn Hudgins teacherJessalynn Hudgins
Her Yoga M.O. – Alignment & Posture

 

Bryony & Birch Jess Benedetto yoga instructorJessica Benedetto
Her Yoga M.O. – Inclusive & Adaptable

 

Bryony & Birch Studio Tayla David yoga teacher
Tayla David
Her Yoga M.O – Mind, Body & Breath

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch yoga and wellness instructors here.

 How To Get The Bryony & Birch Virtual Yoga App

Designed to make mindfulness and exercise convenient and accessible, the Bryony & Birch Virtual Yoga app is available in both the App Store and Google Play.

What you get for only $29.99/month

  • Unlimited live virtual yoga classes
  • 24/7 access to on-demand library of classes
  • In-studio classes (Subject to availability)
  • Outdoor classes (Weather permitting)
  • 10% off one salon service per month at the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft (located downtown Amesbury, MA)

Want to know the best part?

When you sign up before March 1st, you get 50% off your first month! (That’s a month of unlimited yoga classes for less than $15!)

Get 50% Off Your First Month

Scroll down to learn more about the benefits of yoga, tips for getting started as well as our upcoming challenge!

The Benefits of Yoga

A calm heart and mind. Need we say more? (Don’t worry, we will!)

  • Yoga’s mindfulness and breathing techniques can be used to help alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Yoga can strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles
  • Yoga can improve flexibility and help with injury prevention
  • Yoga can help improve your body’s circulatory system
  • Yoga can be an effective low-impact way to lose fat and gain muscle

 

3 Tips for Starting a Yoga Practice

We get it. Yoga can be intimidating.

For some people, it’s the quest of trying to reach their toes. For others, it’s the confronting thoughts they fear they’ll hear if they stop to be still throughout their day.

Here are our tips for starting a yoga practice.

#1 Start small

You don’t need to dive into a 90 minute power yoga session on Day 1. You don’t need to hold a pose for as long as your instructor said. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s your practice, your journey and your choice.

#2 Explore your options

Like pretty much everything in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga. Just because you didn’t resonate with breath work, doesn’t mean a more physical flow won’t accomplish your same wellness goals. Try out different classes and instructors.

#3 Celebrate your wins

Gratitude exercises are a great way to stay positive when it comes to finances, your career and even your relationships. Don’t forget to count your yoga blessings too! For example: give thanks that you simply showed up, even if you didn’t want to.

Join our upcoming personal accountability Bryony March Challenge: Yoga Every Damn Day

With warmer weather just around the corner, we want to take the month of March to come together with like-minded people to get our bodies out of hibernation mode and to create a new healthy habit that’s going to stick.

For 31 days, join us in our commitment to get to our mats every. damn. day. This could be for a flow class on the app or it could be you sitting with your eyes shut down for a moment of silence in your own time.

This challenge is about creating accountability and community. Since simply getting to your mat can be the hardest part of your practice, let’s take this time to find strength from within and from others to make our health and wellness a priority.

Ready to get started?

All you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you download the Bryony & Birch Yoga App (App Store or Google Play) so you can access yoga classes anywhere in the world!
  2. Click here to opt in with your email so you receive our daily habit tracker, teacher encouragement and access to our social community.

After months (and by months we mean A YEAR) of having to stay inside, we’re hopeful that the opportunity to venture outdoors, reconnect with family and friends and get back to our favorite pastimes comes with the seasonal change. We’re also hopeful that we will face the rest of 2021 with strong bodies and calm minds.

Get the Bryony & Birch Yoga App in the App Store or Google Play (Don’t forget your mat!)