Days 29 & 30:

Just a quick check in:

-Feeling stronger

-Holding poses longer 

-Understanding my body’s needs more

-Opening up more physically and emotionally

-Trying more by pushing the edge

-Still determined to ‘get’ or hold poses that I once thought I would never be able to do (headstand, crow, scissors…)
Still enjoying the journey and looking forward to practicing tomorrow!

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Day 28: Couples Yoga

With my husband returning from a 10 month deployment today was filled with TONS of excitement and I wondered if I would even make time to get my practice in. I resolved in my head that it would most likely be a meditate before bed kinda day and that was fine for me. I busied myself in the morning with all the normal mommy chores with an extra primping for the homecoming. Then it was off to a museum with a friend to kill some time so I didn’t go nuts at home. 

At the airport we waited patiently for about an hour and a half for daddy to greet us. And greet us he did. Bear hugs, kisses and tears were all in the mix and we just could not have been happier to finally be together. We settled into our home routine quickly because with a 9 month old, that’s what you do so schedules don’t get thrown off. My husband fed my son dinner and the smiles were beaming!  It was such a fun sight. Since he has Skype in for a lot of the bedtime stuff he was able to handle that like a pro too. 

After my son was quietly tucked away, my hubby and I had some alone time to catch up. He mentioned how sore he was after I asked why he was wincing when he moved certain ways. I knew about his neck pain as he had told me over the phone and so on, but this looked bad. Real bad. So I offered to massage a little bit and then told him I really thought yoga would help. He said he would give it a try. 

We just did child’s pose and table/shoulder stand. He loved it!  He told me he thinks he needs to do it more often!  It made my day even better!  Now we could connect with something I had fallen more deeply in love with with the one I love most (aside from my son of course!). 

Day 27: When Yoga Brings you hOMe

Entering the studio I practically skipped in to my favorite instructors class. Part of the reason I love this instructor is that she is so warm and welcoming to each and every person that walks in the door. Today there was a newbie and I saw the instructor ‘s magic and that of the studio take hold of yet another person. While everyone chatted I searched around for some of my yogi buddies. Unfortunately I did not see any of my usual friends. Being pretty exhausted from being too excited to sleep (my hubby comes home tomorrow!), I wasn’t really feeling up for making any new friends either. The chatter escalated as more people filed in and I began to shrink, to feel like an outsider a bit. From there the idea got in my head that it was just not going to be a good practice. I was too tired. I didn’t have any friends there. I was so ticked about a personal issue.  I wasn’t feeling a good vibe. Blah blah blah… 

Class started and there were a complete two minutes of silence. I have never started like that. There is usually a reading, maybe a couple breathes of silence, but never minuteS of silence. Those couple of minutes made me a little uneasy and out of my zone as well. And then the call came for OM and it was a booming, shake your core, powerful OM. It instantly connected me to the others in the class and made me feel my groove and my purpose again. 

We may come to our mat with the best of intentions some days and others may feel a little shake-y, but it is really looking for the small things each time you step on. Wether it be connecting to others or more to yourself, indulging in a cathartic Om or finding 1/16 of an inch more in a pose. The days where you feel like you are just pushing through to get to the end are sometimes the ones you need the most!  
For more fitness tips, recipes and motivation check out my Facebook page

Days 25 & 26: HYDRATE and STRETCH!

We hear it time and time again to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  And I will be honest, growing up I thought it was ‘weak’ when we had water breaks and people would guzzle water.  I wanted to show my coaches and teammates that I was too ‘tough’ to need water and I was willing to go 100% of the time at maximum effort.  Looking back now I really wish I had a coach tell me what I was doing wasn’t showing strength and determination, that it was actually malnourishing my body and causing more cramping and fatigue than the actual physical activity I was doing.

We NEED water to feed our body and allow it to work properly.  So much depends on this vital nutrient: our digestion, helping regulate body temperature, organ function, helping protect your tissues, spinal cord and joints and more!

How much do you need?  It depends on the person and I’m talking adults only here, but you should have half your body weight in ounces each day.  So if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces.

 

How do I get that much water in?!?!  Well here are my tips and tricks:

1- My number one tip is to find a water bottle you LOVE and carry it with you always.  Then when you see it, sip it.  Some people like to have a straw, others a wide mouth bottle, some love glass while others swear by their plastic ones.  I would say you have to try a few on to see what fits you best.  It may seem expensive at first but if you aren’t paying for water bottles all the time, it really ends up saving you money.  My go to is the one pictured by Rubbermaid.  I like that it doesn’t leak and I can flip the top easily on and off.  I also use a Nalgene bottle to carry my filtered water in to work so I can refill the Rubbermaid one.

2-Carry it with you ALWAYS.  IN the car, to work, the gym, baby play dates, doctors appointments…everywhere!

3-  Treat your water intake as part of your routine.  Wake up- drink a glass.  Make breakfast, drink a glass and then eat said breakfast.  Drink 16 ounces on your commute to work.  Have a glass before lunch, snack and dinner.  Have a meeting?  Drink another 16 ounces!  Any consistent activity you have in your day to day life, try and add water into the mix.

4- Use a straw.  It helps get the water in faster and you drink more than you normally would.

5- Flavor it up!  If plain water bores or grosses you out, add some fruit to it.  You can even do this and freeze them into a popsicle for a tasty treat 🙂 Checkout some yummy recipes here (flavored water) or here (popcicles)… more popcicles.

6-  Be frugal!  Order water at a restaurant instead of soda or an alcoholic beverage.  You’ll save some money in the process!  Or, if you really are craving that wine, make a pact with yourself to drink a full glass of water before and after you drink it.

7-  Eat your water!  No, its not cheating and you kill two birds with one stone.  Eat water rich foods like watermelon (duh!), celery, lettuce, soup with light broth and cucumbers.

 

So, that’s your hydration sections and as far as the stretching goes, I have a THERACANE to help out with that and it is AMAZING!  I got mine on groupon and have to say thought it was a bit intimidating at first.  But I read the little instruction manual and which knobs are best for certain muscles and haven’t looked back since.  It is amazing to give your muscles the massage they need and be able to apply the pressure you truly want with ease.  I really needed this in my life the past couple of days and am working on getting the knots out of my shoulders.  Your muscles need time to regroup and stretch out and this is the perfect way to get them some relief!

 

For more fitness and nutrition tips and tricks check out my facebook page or if you think you’re ready to get some coaching from me fill out this form.

 

 

Days 23 & 24: Feeding the Ego

Yesterday’s practice was filled with lots of wonderful energy and light hear redness from beginning to end as a couple dozen yogis joined together in friendly practice. But, as you may have experienced sometimes your practice can be thrown off by just one person, who could even be yourself because they’re throwing themselves around, taking everything to an extreme as their face wrenches in pain. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking your practice to a new level or feeling your way into a new or different pose when others may be doing the basic level of it, but let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced that person you KNOW is just trying to show off. 

While practicing today in an alignment workshop at a cool new studio for me, the instructor mentioned getting the ego out of the way in your practice and actually listening to your body to do the pose correctly. She demonstrated triangle and said the ego wants to put the hand on the ground to ‘show off’ but in reality her alignment was thrown off by forcing the pose. Her hips were thrown off and her shoulders were slumping. When she adjusted to the correct pose and alignment it looked 10 times more beautiful simply because she was in it and shining bright.

Throughout the workshop I could see so much of my own ego getting in the way of my practice as well. Since it was a small setting we got lots of attention and boy did I get tons of corrections!  It was great though, and nice to know how to feel into a pose better and understand more of what I should be doing and how to think about alignment as I flowed. I think for me it was and is just so easy to get caught up in the ‘power’ aspect of the usual classes I take that you feel inferior if you don’t reach a certain level of a pose.  In reality nobody is really watching what you’re doing and probably are pushing themselves just as hard, letting their body come out of alignment to try and reach new heights (literally) with their body. 
This was a great eye opener for me that I intend to take with me as the last two or so weeks of this challenge come to pass. 
For more workout tips, nutrition info and more checkout my Facebook page.

Day 22: Fueling Your Tank

After practicing this morning I had to run and get gas and literally fuel my car for what seems like the 10th time his week already. (My son has been going through nap issues and only seems to get sleep in the car.  I know bad habit- but I feel like the need for sleep outweighs all other ‘rules’…). Anyways, as I was fueling up I was reminded about an old saying about filling your cup before you have the ability to truly fill someone else’s. 

I have to be honest that it is only recently that I’ve really gotten this phrase. I have tried to be mindful of it and live that way (although some people think it’s being selfish). I have found that it truly helps me stop running through the list of things I have to get done and things I would like to be doing and actually focus on what is at hand. Sometimes that means making myself lunch while also making something for my son and allowing myself the first bite of food. I usually have a toy or something for him to be occupied with as well. 

As women tend to do, we put everyone else before ourselves but I’m telling you that it is OK to be a little selfish. Enjoy an extra 5 minutes in the shower, go for that walk around the neighborhood, indulge in a little massage every now and then. Once you feel full, you can then provide untethered attention to others. Those around you can tell when you’re not all in and it affects the whole mood of the situation. We are so used to running on 100 cylinders and ‘busy’ has become a badge of pride when in reality it means we are just doing a whole lot of things half assed. Take time to feed your soul each day and then clear the clutter from your to do list to dive down into what truly matters for yourself and those you love.