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January 28, 2020
The Spark: Talking to Sweat Yoga’s Layna Dakin

Fans of Sweat Yoga’s Layna Dakin call her class magical and it’s not hyperbole — Dakin, who is the director at the popular Los Angeles hot yoga studio chain, is known for her workouts that are simultaneously playful and hard. She began her fitness career by teaching classes as an undergraduate student at the UMass at Amherst, before falling in love with the heated version of the practice. “I was buzzing for an entire week. I felt cleaner, more vibrant, and peaceful. It didn’t take long for me to want to share that,” she says.

We caught up with Dakin where she talks about the joys of puppy cuddle time, her love of THC-infused mints, and why sweat is good for your skin.

On her relationship with cannabis: I’m a casual user of vapes, gummies, and balms. It’s mostly at bedtime when needed and I think of it as medicine for treating daily stresses. I love CBD and THC-infused mints — they taste good and make me feel chill since I go for the low dose ones. I also love to rub a CBD-rich balm into my temples to get rid of any tension headaches. 

On how she defines wellness in the age of social media: It’s finding holistic balance of all the parts of our body, including our mind. I take plenty of time for myself and have no problem saying no. 

On her daily routine: After I wake up I’ll take my dog out for a walk. When I get back, I like to dance around my apartment for at least 5 minutes before getting ready for my day. Tea with honey for breakfast, lunch is something like a veggie wrap. In the evening I’ll eat dinner (chicken, rice, and veggies or Thai food) and then begin to wind down for bed. That means some chocolate for dessert and cuddle time with my dog. I’ll moisturize, mask and then read or listen to Harry Potter. I’ve read every book over 10 times each, so it’s the perfect way to shut off the chatter in my mind and relax for bed.

On the ups-and-downs of being a yoga instructor: I love helping people become the strongest, most focused version of themselves, both physically and mentally. But I’m still human and I have my bad days where I feel tired or emotional. You have to put that aside and show up for the students in the best possible headspace to help them grow.

On her favorite workout brands: My go-to brands are Beyond Yoga, Onzie, and lululemon. I look for comfort and sustainability — when you wash your yoga pants two or three times a week, and wear them over 100 times a year, you need them to be durable.

On her best wellness tip: Physically, you need to do something you enjoy since fitness should be fun. Choose an activity you look forward to doing! Nutrition-wise, you should add things that are healthy instead of omitting all the bad stuff. Eat the good things first and notice how you feel before reverting back.

On what you need to know before going to her class: Make sure to hydrate and get a good night’s sleep!

On makeup and skincare: Hot yoga has given me the clearest, brightest skin I could hope for and I think it’s because of the continuous cycle of sweating and rehydrating. That said, I do use exfoliator, toner, and rosehip oil every night before bed. I rarely wear makeup (it’s for special occasions) but I make it a point to never leave my house without lip balm.

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