Mooooooooooooo!

if life gives you lemons dyslexicHI HI!!
Hello there! Here we are 3 weeks into the new year, we have started accomplishing our goals and working toward our intentions we set for ourselves just a short 26 days ago… ya?! Or maybe we are stuck in a rut, blaming ourselves for being lazy failures and choosing the couch over a treadmill or what not and so forth and so on.

Forget it. Today is a new day, we start TODAY.

I ate dairy yesterday. I blame the cardinals for my binge, but I had a couple of bites of bri cheese. Just a little bit. My head became a hot stuffy mess and that was the end. First of all. Disappointment. I love cheese. Yes, I stay away from it, but when I want just a little taste of it, I feel like I should be able to have just a little taste of it! Second of all it’s been a long while so it always surprises me when I have some and my bodies reaction is so crazy.

On the bright side! I found dairy free, gluten free cookie dough and not only JUST as dough, but as cookies, they taste like what I assume Heaven will serve when I arrive. (That’s me putting out positive vibes as though Heaven will accept me and such and such and such). Anyway. I’d love to share the brand with you, butttttt they already sell out like crazy and I’m not willing to part with them just yet (this is where hell starts to loom over me).

So dairy has my throat scratchy and my head stuffy like I’m coming down with a cold. Give it a day and it starts to remove itself from my system and voila. THINGS I KNOW.

Other things I know about dairy:
It screws with my hormones. Yea. PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom. It’s a mega hormonal imbalance and dairy is just going to make that rollercoaster a real record breaker.
I would love to go in to detail on this but the science is beyond me. The important thing to know is the hormone found in milk from a cow, Insulin Growth Factor-1, is structured the same as Insulin, and also functions similarly. The problem here is that we (women with PCOS) already have TOO MUCH OF THIS Insulin Growth hormone, and when we add to it we just add to the problems. Mo’ insulin’ mo’ problems. (We are insulin resistant, this causes a lot of issues)
Am I right?

I could go on and on about this, but I would have to really really think really really hard to figure out how to write it all down accurately and my brain and science and math are just in constant cahoots. So you’re going to get the super 1st grade version from me most often.

In addition to this IGF-1, you can also find testosterone, progesterone, prolactin, amongst SO many others in dairy milk. Women with PCOS do NOT need to add any of this to our diets either!!

Growing up we have been told calcium was crucial for stronger and healthier bones. Did you know that exercise is really healthy for bone density and strength too?

If you have PCOS, try removing dairy from your diet, just for at least 21 days and see how you feel when it’s gone.

Instead of dairy milk try ANY of the other alternatives available at most grocery stores:

-Flax seed milk, it’s delicious.
-Coconut milk- I love this, it does NOT taste like coconut water to me, I am not a fan of coconut water.
-Oat Milk- This is NOT gluten free, but it to me tastes like melted ice cream. I adore it.
-Almond Milk- If you have nut allergies, please avoid.
(avoid soy milk, regardless of what they say, it’s really not great for you. If you want soy, go with soy beans etc etc. Soy milk is very processed and can also screw with your hormones.. this is a shout out to people everywhere)

-Butter: Vegan Earth Balance , olive oil or coconut oil based are both really delicious.

Cheese: Daiya. This stuff is creamy and delightful. Sounds wrong, but trust your gut and Go with it. 😉

Dark// Chocolate- ‘Enjoy Life’ brands are great. These are all hypo allergenic like my dogs. It doesn’t shed, no nuts, no dairy, no gluten, no fun, but it IS delicious!

Ice cream: I have a serious obsession with So DELICIOUS brands. Coconut and almond based ice cream products. OH man. This is EXTRA good.

COCO WHIP- since I’m not willing to give you my cookie secret just yet, I’ll give you this one. Coconut whip cream is better than regular whip cream and it makes me want to dance on the regular. Go crazy.

Yes all of this will taste a little differently, but that is only because we are used to eating heavily processed foods. It takes us ABOUT 14 days to remove the crap from our systems, and 21 days for our taste buds to change. So hang with it. Healthier foods do start to taste better and the crap begins to taste like, well, crap.

Chin up! You will feel so much better, and again, you don’t know how good, good feels, until you feel great. Do your body a favor, it will thank you later.

SWEAT ONCE A DAY!

Here is a little exercise boost to increase bone density, just so you aren’t freaking out about not getting your calcium intake from dairy.

Let’s start with:

PLANK: We are starting hereeeeee Only because I completed a 42 minute plank last Wednesday, January 20, 2016 during peak week at Orange Theory fitness. I will never break a bone because of this day in history.

Keep your wrists below your shoulders and reach your heals back like you want them to touch the ground. Your hips will stay low so your spine can stay in perfect alignment from neck to tailbone. If you feel pressure in your low back, release your knees to the floor.

LUNGES:::10 each side.
Alternate. When you step out, take a BIG step so your knee stops directly above your ankle, NOT your toes. Use your heals to press back with, if you choose to use your toes, your knees will take this tension on instead of your glutes. And you need to work your glutes!

PUSH UPS:::20 (break as you need or work your way up to this number as the days go on)
I don’t care if you are on your knees or your toes, keep your hips up, if you feel any pressure in your low back, lift your hips slightly or drop your knees to the ground. No pain, hear me?

Squats::: 20

Please be mindful here, again, our knees really don’t want to deal with all of the work, so use your big butt muscles and work ‘em!
Sink back in to your hips. LADIES!! We are lower body warriors so USE this to your advantage! As if you were to sit back in to a chair .. SINK your butt BACK, not straight down because this is when our knees begin to protrude over our toes, our heals start to lift and our glutes stop working for us. WE GOT GLUTES> USE THEM!. So if you must, lift your toes so your heals have to dig in.

Repeat these few exercises 3 times. If you want more.. ADD PLYO. Yes!

Jump alternating lunges
Power push ups (clap between each or just press yourself off of the ground an inch or so and catch yourself with soft elbows-Never ever please please please, land (hands or feet) with locked joints.. knees stay slightly or deeply bent, same with your elbows.
Jump Squats.

And then! Take some yoga.

You can find free videos on youtube, or you can subscribe to some yoga channels. Or please, be my guest and come take a class ☺
And I love hugs, I think that’s also good for your bones, and your heart.

Happy January 26!

Get it!
yoga squad january 2016
This is my Lifetime Yoga Squad. I’m lucky to have them <3

OOOH I get it! Rise and Energize!

stubborn about your goals

Did you know the average person should consume around 1,700 calories a day? If you own a pedometer, a fit-bit, or anything that tracks your daily steps or counts calories burned, the ‘average’ person will notice that throughout the day, even when at rest, you will still manage to burn enough calories to bump your intake. Backing up just a bit, when I talk calories, I’m certainly not talking about empty calories (Cheetos, doritos cookies and cake), which provide the body with zero sustainable energy… I’m talking healthy protein and nutrient dense food-type calories… ok!

Me on the other hand, being the special scientific (complete mess) of a human being that I am (at least metabolism-wise), my caloric intake will vary from the “average person.”

So for fun, let’s pretend for a moment that my body worked like the ‘average’ person’s body. Let’s pretend that I burned calories efficiently and my body regulated blood sugar levels in stride. My current age, combined with my current weight, coupled with my physical activity level (5-7 days a week), would demand that I consume somewhere between 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day. However, because my body burns 30% or 300 calories less a day than the average person, I’m reduced to around 1,800 calories per day.

This seems like a lot of calories, especially when you are eating all of the right things. Eating all of the right foods takes practice, it takes practice as to what, it takes practice in figuring out the ‘when’ because you don’t want to find yourself at a 1000 calorie deficit at 8 O’clock at night and then shoveling your face full of food just to make up for lost time. So one of the obvious and very difficult pieces for me was eating before my workouts.

I have somewhat recently started doing this. MIND BLOWN, right?? Wrong. I know this is a “duh” subject, and being that I am a personal trainer myself, I fully understand the benefits and importance of this concept. However, with my body I have constantly struggled with it and it has taken me literally years to figure out what was going to work for me specifically. This (FINALLY I feel it!) helps to maximize my performance during my workouts and even helps to sustain my energy levels even after. So what to eat before you exercise?

I’ve tried toast and peanut butter (prior to my nut allergy days); I’ve tried eating bananas, half of a banana, turkey, chicken, etc., you name it, I’ve tried it. It’s certainly been an uphill battle. So much so that I was actually beginning to doubt the whole theory on eating before exercise. Experimenting with what would and wouldn’t upset my stomach, what wasn’t too heavy for plyometric exercises, and what was going to sustain me until I got to eat again. Then one day… I figured it out. Sayyyy whatttttt???

My preferred combination as of late has been my Isagenix Vegan protein shakes (berry flavor). Over the last 12 months, I’ve had at least one shake every day before my workouts.

I like to sweat early in the morning and I don’t like to wake up any earlier than I absolutely have to. This means I’m usually driving while gulping down the goodness and even then ingesting a shake so close to my workout has not only given me additional energy, but I have yet to experience cramping or an uneasy stomach during. This was a big deal for me.

If a shake isn’t your thing, I recently discovered Eat The Bear! Yea! Two options, for me!
‘Eat the Bear’ is a pre-workout powdered formula (ETB Uncaged 5.0) created JUST for pre workouts (among other things)! Not only do I love ‘Eat the Bear’ because of their name, and the message they stand behind, but the nutrients ETB packs their products with.

‘Eat the Bear’ or ETB is gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. They pride themselves in all products containing only natural, pure ingredients, and this is exactly why it has me so giddy! ETB has literally zero calories, but offers all of the nutrients necessary to provide your body with the energy required for high intensity workouts. If you need more you can add ETB to protein; they also offer a great whey protein option, and if you’re vegan or dairy sensitive, you can find an alternative protein that works best for you.

My body is picky, sensitive and otherwise irritable, so I must be very careful regarding what I eat and drink. Although you may think you don’t have to worry about your diet as much, make sure you give yourself what you need and when you need it in order to function properly and ongoing.

As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I am constantly moving; crashing mid-client or mid workout is simply not an option. So yes, do yourself a favor and eat or drink something PRIOR to your workout and make sure you get something in your system (protein) following it. You’ll be blown away by the results and all this talk about “exercise giving you energy,” won’t seem like such bull anymore.

Kill it!

For more on either of my pre workout meal or supplement preferences, simply follow these links below:

To search my favorite ‘Eat the Bear’ Products:
http://www.etbfit.com/product/uncaged-5-0-pre-workout-formula-powder/

To learn more about them and where they got their name and what they stand for:
http://www.etbfit.com/about-etb-fit/

To search my favorite Isagenix products:
www.kileybeal.isagenix.com

I LOVE FOOD! And other things… ☺

Thank you for always reading! If you ever have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.
love yourself

Patience

……I have none.

believeinmagic
Seriously though. Just as my blog stated at the beginning of the year, my resolution was to simply rest. I’m the high energy, high intensity, go until I die- kind of girl. I love a great workout. My body was BEGGING me for a break, and a break is exactly what it got.

I took 4.5 weeks of rest. From any sort of workout. I went on some walks and taught my yoga classes, but for the most part, I rested. This is a BIG deal for me, and if you are as in to feeling good and exercising, you understand, just ONE rest day can feel like the end of it all.

So this past week I finally got back in to it, I started with a 4 mile walk and then followed that up with a 2 mile run the next day. No big deal, since 4 miles is my natural go-to, distance, 2 would be a perfect “ease in to it” distance. YEAAAAA.
Like I said to my husband, “I was in a lot better shape when I was in shape.” I was SUCKING wind. Like mouth breathing.

I am impatient. I think this is where we fall off the wagon for our weight loss and workout goals. We, as Americans, expect instant gratification. I worked out THIs hard today, I’m THIS sore, and I expect to be down 5 pounds already. When the scale doesn’t move, we lose motivation. Patience. Patience is key.

This past week:
Saturday: 4 mile walk with one 12 lb dumbbell, 2 of those miles I kicked a soccer ball we had found along the way.
Sunday: 2 mile wind sucking, loud breathing, i had to stop and walk for a second- run. OK this may also be a result from the simple fact that I saw another runner about a quarter mile ahead of me and my goal was to catch her. Once I caught her, I couldn’t just slow down, I had to keep running, or so my ego said, at that same pace. So I did. My first run of two miles was at an average of a 7:51 minute/mile pace. I was dying.
Monday: 2 mile run, just because it sucked yesterday, doesn’t mean it’s going to get easier if I avoid it.
Tuesday: My long day, I teach 5 classes and was able to sneak in a few workouts along the way.
Wednesday: 2 Mile run, it was still hard, but it was getting easier.
Thursday: 1 Hour of hot yoga with my class
Friday: My frist day back at Orange Theory Fitness, and I was pretty certain I was going to die. But again, I enjoy near death workouts.. but I have to say, I couldn’t/CANNOT wait for that workout to feel doable again.
Saturday: Bootcamp/ Tough Mudder Training (crazy obstacle course training) at EastMark Community, followed by a 2 mile run.. THIS RUN, was the BEST run. All the way through at an easy 8:45 pace and no wind sucking at all. YAY!!
Sunday: I met my sweet Jody at OTF for my second beat down. I made it! I ran the entire time and I was absolutely shocked and pleasantly surprised at the difference from today compared to Friday. I was able to jog the entire time, recover, and hang. THANK GOD FOR JODY.
godnewnumber
So the key here! LISTEN to what your body needs. It’s ok to give yourself a break, and even if you are coming off of a year or more of a break, it’s always going to be hard at the beginning. This is where you breathe in, exhale, dig in and keep going. Because the pain is worth it. It’s always worth it.

Believe in yourself, it will be well worth it.
OTFweek1
SO for you! Here is a little workout you can do within the comfort of your own home:

20 Jumping Jacks
20 Push-Ups
20 Squats
20 Lunges (YES. each side)
20 Dips ( You can use a chair or bench for this exercise- Keep your back as close to the chair or bench as you can, lower yourself all the way down, press up)
20 Mt. Climbers
20 Bicep Curls (If you don’t own dumbbells, you can grab a milk jug, or anything that may be easy to hang on to, that won’t break and will provide you with a decent amount of weight.)
20 FULL sit ups

Repeat this cycle 3 times. Adjust the reps as you see fit.

Get it team! I hope your Valentines Day was full of love. <3 puppycookie

mevdayselflove

For the Love of Sleep

sleepy conversation
How often are you able to crawl in to bed at night and fall asleep without a problem? Your mind relaxes the moment your head hits the pillow and bam, you’re out cold, right?

For a lot of you, that may be the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard and yet the biggest wish you have ever had for yourself; fall asleep soundly without tossing and turning. Sure, we all have a night here and there where our mind runs wild with things we have to do tomorrow, or things we forgot to do today, people we forgot to call, and things we are afraid to forget in the morning. A gaggle of stress lurking in your body, your mind and ultimately targeting your nervous system. Then we start stressing about the fact that we aren’t going to get buy 5 hours of sleep, 4 hours, 3, 2…
Sleep deprivation can be caused by stress and in turn lack of sleep can actually create stress on our bodies. It sounds a lot like the chicken and the egg, I’m not really sure which came first, but it’s an ongoing cycle until we break it. So let’s do that!

Here is my secret and biggest tip; do YOGA. Make it habit. I have had so many students come up to me and tell me that they just had the best night sleep after their yoga class they attended earlier in the day.

Wondering if there is a way to get the benefits of yoga without having to attend classes or pay for a membership at a studio you can’t afford?

Here are a few of my favorite poses to help calm the mind, and relax the body.

Inhale the awesome, exhale the crap

3-Part Breath or Complete breath:

To begin lets focus on our breath. It is the one thing that keeps us walking around, waking up every morning, and sleeping every night. It sustains us. It sustains our movement, it sustains our emotional stability, it sustains our mental state. It is something we take for granted because without even thinking about it, it’s happening. It has our back. It’s on autopilot because we are constantly over stimulated by the outside world. All of this affects our nervous system. To allow your nervous system a moment to release, let’s breathe.

Whether you are lying down or seated, get comfortable. Begin by taking a really deep breath in through your nose, so big you feel yourself sit taller, or lay longer and then exhale through your mouth and feel yourself relax, feel your shoulders relax down your back away from your ears. Begin to breath in through your nose and back out through your nose. Continue doing so and just allow your breath to deepen on it’s own.

-Breathe in through your nose; breathe out through your nose.
-Inhale in to your belly; let your belly completely fill. Exhale, release your breath back out through your nose, actively press your bellybutton back toward your spine.
-Repeat.
-As your breath grows, allow your belly to fill, allow your lungs to fill, exhale from your lungs, your belly.
-Repeat until it grows even longer, and continue doing so. Try to maintain this breath throughout all of the following poses.

Supine Twist or Supta Matsyendrasana:

-Lay on your back. Pull your knees in to your chest and then release your arms open like a ‘T.’ Leave your knees to hover over your hips or chest.
-Allow both of your knees to fall to your right. Try to keep both of your shoulder blades planted on your mat.
-Intensity: To make this a little more intense, you can take your gaze to your left. For less intensity take your gaze to the sky or let your gaze fall to your right.
-Remain here for a couple of minutes before repeating this twist on the other side.

Benefits of Supine Twists
-Twists are great for detoxification. Think of your internal organs as a sponge and you are ringing them out. I love twists and when I teach or practice I try to incorporate at LEAST one twist in to the class.
-Help alleviate stress and tension being held throughout the spine
-Aids in digestion also.
-Stretch the glutes and stretches and releases the spine.
-Opens tight shoulders
-Quiets and calms the mind
sleepsupineTwist

Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana

I love forward folds because they allow you to connect with yourself, when you fold into yourself all that can be found is you. Letting go of the outside world, all of the external distractions, it’s just you.

Begin Seated with your legs extended long in front of you. Flex through your feet.
Reach your arms up above your head, think of yourself reaching toward the sky, get long.
-Leading with your heart and maintaining a flat back, begin to fold forward from your hips (not your low back) reaching toward your feet. Let your hands fall wherever. If they only extend as far as your shinbones; rest your hands on to your shins, that’s perfect.
-Come back to your three-part breath; stay here for 30 seconds or for 5 breaths. Then come up and out of your fold and exhale, release back in to it for another 5 breaths. You can repeat this for up to 5 minutes, or work your way up to a static 5-minute hold.
sleepblogforwardfold

***If seated is uncomfortable, you can take this pose standing: Standing Forward Fold or Uttanasana***
-Begin standing slowly fold forward, allowing your hands as well as the crown of your head to reach toward your mat, or the floor. Your gaze should be at your shins. -Feel free to allow your knees to bend slightly.
-To come out of this pose, slowly come up half way allowing the blood to rush from the top of your head, and then the rest of the way.
sleepblogstandingforwardfold2

Benefits of a forward fold:
-Stretches the hamstrings and strengthens and lengthens the spine.
-Massages the digestive organs
-Relieves digestive problems (ie: constipation)
-Stimulates the nervous systems
-Relaxes the mind and enhances your ability to focus

Childs Pose or Balasana

This is a very well-liked resting pose. Again it allows you to really connect with yourself, coming inside and allowing your focus to be on nothing but yourself and your breath.

-Begin in table-top position, walk your knees really wide and bring your big toes together.
-Press your hips back toward your heels
-Release your forehead to your mat
-Extend your arms out in front of you, or wrap them back around your sides toward your heels.
-Breathe

Benefits of Balasana:

-Stretches and releases tension throughout the back, shoulders and chest
-Alleviates stress and anxiety
-Stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
-Calms the mind and relaxes the body
-Normalizes circulation throughout the body

sleepblogbalasana

sleepblogbalasana2

Supine Butterfly Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana

This is one of my favorite poses. You can use this with or without supportive props. The point of this is to be as comfortable as possible, so prop yourself with blankets wherever and whenever needed.

-Begin lying on your back with your knees bent.
-Place the souls of your feet together and allow your knees to splay open.
-You can prop your knees by rolling blankets or towels up and placing them beneath each leg, or you can use pillows if you feel strain in your legs, hips or knees.
-You can rest your arms by your side, you can rest them on your belly, or you can take your arms above your head interlacing your fingers or taking opposite hands and grabbing opposite fore arms or elbows. This gives a little extra love to your shoulders.
-Come back to your breath.

Benefits of Supine Butterfly
-Grounding
-Calms Anxiety
-Reduces stress
-Soothes and comforts the nervous system, mind, and body
-Improves focus
-Reduces tension
-Relieves headaches

When you find yourself in an uncomfortable pose, change it or breathe through it. Please try to notice the difference between discomfort and pain. Never force yourself to sit through pain.

sleepblogsuptabaddhakonasana

sleepblogsuptabaddhakon

Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani

All you’ll need is you and a wall (maybe a towel or two and a blanket depending on preference). The easiest way to get in to this position is to sit next to the wall, as you lay back, sweep your legs up the wall so your booty should be as close to the wall as you can get it (within 6 inches or so). This will vary, if you have tight hamstrings; feel free to slide back a bit.
-If you have back pain, feel free to use blankets or towels to support you by resting them beneath your low back.
-Strain in your neck, roll a small towel and slide it underneath your neck.
-Rest your arms by your side or out to the side like a T. If it is more comfortable to rest them on your belly, feel free.
The point of this pose is to reverse the process of the blood flow.

Benefits of Viparita Karani:
-Regulates blood flow and helps those with high or low blood pressure.
-Improves digestion
-Relieves mild backache
-Provides headache relief even for migraines
-Alleviates stress and calms anxiety
-Relieves symptoms of insomnia and mild depression
-Stretches the back of the neck as well as the hamstrings and even into the calf muscles.
-This in turn can help restore tired feet or legs
-This is great for the reproductive organs for both men and women, including alleviating menstrual cramps.
-Can help with arthritis

I hope these poses help you find that sound nights rest you have been longing for. To help you find a little extra comfort, follow this link for your perfect bedroom addition. https://casper.com/mattresses)
All my love and gratitude, sweet dreams.

For any questions or comments, leave them here or feel free to email me.

#abchallenge

In honor of my absolute favorites at Boeing, I went ahead and posted a daily Ab Challenge throughout the month of July on my Facebook page. Today is August 1st, so today I shall add the challenge to my blog.
butterfly
Thank you for following along and enjoy! <3 DISCLAIMER: Please always consult your physician before partaking in any form of exercise. Modify for injury or fitness levels. You will build strength as we go, so do NOT beat yourself up about this. All reps and sets are simply SUGGESTIONS, do not feel you are cheating yourself if you do less than suggested repetitions. You are always welcome to do more. Make this work with your fitness level and your body condition. AND WITH THAT! DAY 1: Allow 30-60 Second rest between each exercise: **50 Jumpin Jacks- Begin standing, legs together, arms by your side. Jump feet apart, hands above your head (clap), Jump back to starting position- repeat. **40 Crunches- Lay on your back, knees can be bent, or legs extended. Hands behind your head. Keep your gaze high and space between your chin and throat, crunch up lifting your head, neck and shoulder blades off of your mat or floor. **30 Leg Lifts- Lay on your back, arms by your side, palms face down. Press your low back to your mat. Lift feet to the sky, flex your feet. Lower and hover both heels inches off of your mat. If your back begins to arch, you have gone too far. For extra support, slide your hands beneath your low back/sacrum. (You may begin with knees bent and you may choose to only drop your feet half way or less. This will depend on your strength. Do not compromise your back by dropping them lower than you know you should). **20 Bicycle Crunches (each Side-total of 40): Lay on your back. Hover knees above your hips. Hands come behind your head, allow your head to rest in your hands, do not pull your head up, straining your neck. Your core should be doing the majority of the work here. As you Exhale, lift both shoulder blades off of your mat, twist toward your right knee as your left leg extends and hovers over your mat. Inhale come back to center and repeat on the other side. **Timed Plank- Hold plank as long as you can. Write this down, for this will become your base time and we will continue to build from there. Keep your butt low. Your spine should be in one nuetral position from the crown of your head to your tailbone. Press the floor down and away from you. Plug your shoulder blades in to your sockets, allow for the shoulders to roll down your back. Reach your heals toward your mat or the floor. Engage your legs, Engage your core. You should feel this everywhere-NOT just in your arms. ****Double up***** Work your way back up the list for a challenge Enjoy! Go team! If you have questions, PM me, or Comment on this post. ________________________________________________________________ Rise and Energize- Day 2. YA! *25 Reps (Each Side)- Side Plank Hip Raises: Side Plank, On either your forearm or your hand, arm straight. Keep your core strong, and breathe! Drop your hip toward your mat/floor and raise it back up. Repeat 15 repetitions on the other side. *25 Reps (each Side): Oblique V-Ups- Lay on your side, it’s with your body resting sideways on your hip. Be sure to really extend your arm behind you so you feel the stretch in your abs, then crunch forward so that your legs form about a 45 degree angle and your hand touches your ankle at the top of the movement. You will want to use a lot of momentum and lift both shoulders off the ground. Try not to use any momentum, keep your back on the ground with one shoulder always firmly against the ground. Remember to exhale powerfully to really focus on the contraction on the top. *25 Leg Lifts: Laying on your back, take your arms down by your side, palms face down. Feet to the sky, legs straight, Drop your legs to hover over your mat/floor, bring them back to the starting position. Repeat. For a modification, slide your hands beneath your low back/sacrum (this will be important if you notice your back arching during this particular exercise). *25 Full Sit Ups: Knees bent or legs long, hands behind your head, lift all the way up to a seated position, slowly lower yourself all the way back down. (Slow down the eccentric (lowering) portion of this movement as much as possible, you are able to work your core on both the up and the down motions, so take advantage.) Repeat this routine 3 times. If you need more- Keep going! Alright team! Break! ______________________________________________________________ DAY 3! *20 Reps/ Each Side- Windshield Wipers: Lay on your back, arms by your side, palms face down. Feet high to the sky, keep your legs as straight as you can (if you need to bend your knees a little, do itttt!) Drop both of your legs to your right (don't let them touch the floor) Bring them back to center, drop them both to the left. Repeat! *20 Reps/ In & Outs: Begin Laying on your back, Exhale to lift and crunch Knees in to your chest, reach for your feet. Inhale and extend legs long, keep your shoulders lifted if you can. Repeat. *20 Reps/ Reverse Crunches: Lay on your back, keep your knees bent and hovering over your hips, arms by your side. Lift your hips up off of your mat toward the sky. Try to lift upward more than in toward your chest. If you want a little more, lift your shoulders off your mat, keep your gaze high. *20 Reps/ Each Side: Single Leg Extension: Lay on your back. Extend your arms toward the sky, reach through your finger tips. Lift your shoulders off of your mat. Begin with both knees in toward your chest, extend your right leg long to hover over your mat/floor. Keep your shoulders lifted and arms reaching, switch legs. Use your breath pattern as your timer as to when to switch sides. *20 Reps/ Bicycle Crunches: Begin laying on your back, knees hover over your hips, hands behind your head, with an exhale, lift your shoulders off of your mat, crunch toward your right knee as your left leg extends long to hover over your mat, inhale come back to center, exhale take this to the other side. *20 Reps/ Each Side- Scissor Kicks: Laying on your back, arms by your side, palms face down (again, if your back begins to arch, slide your hands (palms down) beneath your low back/sacrum for extra support). Both legs extend straight to the sky, flex your feet. Drop your right leg down (straight) hover over mat, You should be creating an 'L' shape with your legs. Switch according to the rhythm of your breath. For an additional challenge, lift your head, neck, and shoulders off of your mat. Repeat 2-3X GO TEAM, BREAK! You are stronger than you believe, When you feel like giving up, do one more repetition. YOU are incredible. Congratulations on reaching day 3. *******At anytime feel free to cover yourself in coconut oil and go check yourself out in the mirror, kidding, kidding. sort of. XO********* ______________________________________________________ Day 4 **50 Crunches- Lay on your back, knees bent, feet planted on your mat/floor hip width distance apart. Hands behind your head. Keep your gaze high, crunch up, allowing your abdominal muscles to do the lifting for you, your hands are simply behind the head supporting it, not lifting it. **15 Push Ups- Modification, Drop your knees to your mat, choose distance between your hands. Lift your feet. Regular push ups, begin in plank position on your hands, (toes tucked, quads engaged, core engaged), Choose distance between hands. (The closer together the more difficult) For Triceps Push ups bring your wrists below your shoulders, elbows spin back toward your feet, keep your upper arm bones, or your humerus squeezing your rib cage, if your elbows begin to flare outward, you can drop to your knees to make it a little easier, or make that your edge as far as depth is concerned. **1 Min. Plank (Or your base time from Day 1 +5 seconds), toes are tucked, knees are lifted, you can choose to be on your forearms or your hands. If you chose to be on your hands, press in to your fingers and the pads of your fingers to prevent extra pressure from dumping in to the heal of your hands. How? To do this, press your mat down and away from you until your fingers begin to stick, press firmly in to your pointer finger and your thumb. You've got this! Modification: Drop your knees to your mat. **30 Second Side Plank- Again, choosing to use your forearm or your hand to press up, it is much harder to distribute weight in to your fingers here. So Forearm plank may be your best option when beginning this exercise for the first time. Again you don't want to dump your weight in to the heal of your hand if you choose to use this option, or dump extra pressure in to your elbow if on your forearm. Press in to your entire forearm for stability and a much larger base. engage your core, lift through your hips. You can stack your feet or stagger them heal to toe. Modification: Drop your bottom knee. **15 Push Ups- Repeat steps above, or switch up your hand positions. Due to fatigue, feel free to drop your knees or your reps from here on. **1 Min Plank (or your base time from Day 1 + 5 Seconds)-Description above **30 Second *OTHER* side Plank - Side plank on the opposite side, Description above. **50 Crunches- Description above **15 Push Ups ** 1 Min. Plank (Or your base time from Day 1 + 5 seconds) **30 Second Side Plank **15 Push Ups **1 Min. Plank (or your Base Time From Day 1 +5 seconds) **30 Second Side Plank *Other Side* **1 Min Plank ( or your base time from Day 1 +5 Seconds) **2 Min. Wall Sit. Ya! ________________________________________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~day 5~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ **30 V-Ups: These are not the side V-ups, these will be straight up, touch your toes, V-ups. Lay on your back, take your arms up over your head (as if you are stretching as long as you possibly can) reach your legs long. With an exhale lift your feet to the sky, reach your fingers to your toes. You should be balancing on your glutes/tailbone here. (You should be creating the shape of a V with your body on the up, tap your toes and lower back down) Repeat **60 Bicycle Crunches (TOTAL or EACH side-your choice ): Lay on your back. Hover knees above your hips. Hands come behind your head, allow your head to rest in your hands, do not pull your head up, straining your neck. Your core should be doing the majority of the work here. As you Exhale, lift both shoulder blades off of your mat, twist toward your right knee as your left leg extends and hovers over your mat. Inhale come back to center and repeat on the other side. **30 Weighted Sit Ups: Begin on your back, knees are bent, feet are planted just hip width distance apart. Take a single dumbbell, or for more, add an additional dumbbell, If you have a weight plate, even better, if you don't have any of the above, a jug of water, something with some weight and easy to hold on to will do, get creative. Hold this against your chest, or near your chest (if using the dumbbells you won't be pressing them in to your chest.) Modification: If you are just beginning a workout routine, it is absolutely 100% perfect to complete a sit up without the weight. Work with what YOUR body needs. **60 Scissor Kicks: Laying on your back, arms by your side, palms face down (again, if your back begins to arch, slide your hands (palms down) beneath your low back/sacrum for extra support). Both legs extend straight to the sky, flex your feet. Drop your right leg down (straight) hover over your mat, You should be creating an 'L' shape with your legs. Switch according to the rhythm of your breath. For an additional challenge, lift your head, neck, and shoulders off of your mat. (when lifting your head off the mat, keep your gaze high and without strain to your neck. Your abs should be providing most of the support here.) **30 Toe Touches: Lay on your back, again stretching your arms up and over your head, legs are long and resting on your mat. Engage your legs, engage your feet, toes pull back toward your face. With an exhale sit all the way up and bend forward reaching for and either touching your toes, or close to them (ankle, shin, knees). Not all of us are able to easily touch our toes, so modify and let it go. It's still providing you with the same movement and benefits. Don't beat yourself up over this. **60 Mt. Climbers: Beginning in plank pose, wrists are below your shoulders toes are tucked and knees are lifted. Roll your shoulders down and away from your ears and engage your legs and your core. Your right foot will step forward, and with a slight hop, you will switch feet, left foot hops forward, right foot back. The faster the better, but focus on your core, focus on your form. If you begin to get sloppy with it, stop. **FORM FIRST. If you feel you can no longer complete the exercise without compromising your body's stance, or posture, please stop. Your body will begin to overcompensate in other ways potentially causing injury and it negates the benefits of the exercise. Only complete the amount of repetitions that are best fit for your body and fitness level. Happy Day! You are doing so great! Keep going! _____________________________________________________ Happy day Energizers, Today is Day 6 of the #abchallenge ! DISCLAIMER: Please always consult your physician before partaking in any form of exercise. Modify for injury or to accomodate your fitness level. You will build strength as we go, so do NOT beat yourself up over this. All reps and sets are simply SUGGESTIONS, do not feel you are cheating yourself if you do less than suggested repetitions. You are always welcome to do more. Make this work to best match your fitness level and your bodies condition. DO YOUR BEST. That's all that really matters here. Be proud of what you do accomplish, make this your focus. Luck and Love **40 Mason Twists: Balance on your tailbone/ sits bones- In yoga- Find boat pose. Feet are lifted from the ground, your back is also lifted. You can choose to add weight to this exercise for more of a challenge, or complete the exercise without it. -Without the weight, clasp your hands together, stay lifted, your core should already be working to hold you up. Roll your shoulders back and sit as tall as you can to stay balanced. twist your upper body to the right, attempt to tap your knuckles on your mat, come back to center, twist to the left. Exhale as you twist, inhale as you come center. With weight follow these same guidelines holding a dumbbell or two, or weight plate. Your choice. Go team! **30 Butterfly Crunches: laying on your back, take the souls of your feet together (resting the pinky/outer edges of your feet on your mat) knees are wide. Hands come behind your head, gaze stays high, Exhale to crunch, lifting your head, neck and shoulder blades off of your mat. Keep a space between your chin and your throat, do not strain your neck, keep your gaze high throughout the exercise. **25 Twisting Oblique Crunches (each Side): (if you have back pain or injury, I would not recommend you partake in this exercise). Laying on your back, bend your knees, plant your feet infront of your sits bones. Drop both knees to your right, stacking your legs, keeping your knees bent. Allow both shoulder blades to remain planted on the floor. If you notice one shoulder beginning to lift, press your knees further away from your arm. (The deeper the twist, the closer your knees are to your arm. Determine what works best for you.) Hands slide beneath your head (Simply for support). Gaze again goes to the sky. using your abdominal muscles, lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off of your mat to crunch, inhale lower. Complete 25 on your right side. Once completed, bring knees back to the starting position (perhaps you choose to take your knees in to your chest for a squeeze for a quick realignment of the spine), then allow both knees to drop to your left, repeating the exercise 25 times here. **30 Reverse Crunches: Lay on your back, keep your knees bent and hovering over your hips, arms by your side. Lift your hips up off of your mat toward the sky. Try to lift upward more than in toward your chest. If you want a little more, lift your shoulders (neck and head) off of your mat, keep your gaze high. **40 Twisting Scissor Kicks: Laying on your back, take both legs straight to the sky, flexing your feet so your toes are pressing back toward you. Reach your fingers toward your toes, arms extended. Exhale lift your head, neck and shoulders off of your mat, twist toward your right foot, tap your foot with your left hand as your left leg extends long to hover over your mat. Inhale, release your head, neck and shoulders back to your mat as your left leg comes high to meet your right, exhale repeat other side. When lifting and twisting try to reach both shoulder blades off of your mat. **1 Minute Plank/ OR your most recent and longest plank+5 seconds. For an added bonus, repeat 2-3 Rounds, or until failure. Ready. Team. Break! __________________________________________ DAY 7- One week down! Get pumped! Good things are happening and your strength is building! You've got this! **30 Jumping Jacks: Begin By Standing with your feet together, arms by your side. Hop your feet apart, reach your arms above your head, clap your hands at the top. Hop back to your starting position. Engage your core, repeat 30 Times! **30 High Knees: Begin standing. Right knee comes up to hip height, or higher. Keep your foot flexed, soul of the foot is parallel to the floor. Set your right foot on the floor, repeat on the other side. You can hold your hands out at hip height or higher to set a bar for your knee to reach every time it is elevated. Modification: Walk them, step one knee high then the other. For a challenge, complete these 30 as fast as you can-run 'em-. *30 Plank Jacks: Begin in plank position. Knees are elevated, feet are hip width distance apart. wrists are beneath your shoulders, fingers are spread wide. Engage your core, engage your legs, your shoulders relax down your back, plug them in. To begin: Hop your feet apart, hop them back to their starting position. Repeat. ONLY count every 'In' OR every 'out', not both. **30 Leg Lifts: We have done these a few times now, so you are probably pro. Begin lying on your back. Feet reach to the sky, flex your feet, soften your rib cage, stick your low back to the ground. If your back arches, slide your hands (palms facing down) Beneath your sacrum for support, otherwise leave them by your side. Slowly lower both legs to hover over your mat/floor, slowly bring them back up. Control this movement. **30 Crunches: Again, another one you have completed before. Begin lying on your back. Feet are planted hip width distance apart, knees are bent. Hands slide behind the head, gaze stays high. Exhale lift your head, neck and shoulders, inhale to beginning position. Repeat. **1:15 Minute Plank. OR, Your longest plank_10-15 seconds. Repeat 2-3 Times for a challenge. Tallyho! ____________________________________________ Day 8Day 8- your abs look great!

Invest in yourself.

invest in your life

My Best friend, Brenda and I at the most beautiful wedding last weekend. June 21, 2014

My Best friend, Brenda and I at the most beautiful wedding last weekend. June 21, 2014

I love to Travel. And I love to sweat, so when I’m able to combine the two I’m exceptionally happy.

Travel: It’s my first love, I wanted to be a travel agent more than anything growing up and would eventually graduate with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. Life is not worth living if you aren’t able to get out in to the world and open your eyes to new experiences, step out of your comfort zone where you are able to try new things, eat different foods, and meet new people. Your perspective changes tremendously with travel. It provides personal growth and when you are as lucky as I am, where I have friends everywhere, a husband who shares the same passion for both travel and food, I am able to grow existing relationships as well as plant new ones.

Sweat: If I don’t have the opportunity to work out once a day, or at the very least, every other, I get a little grumpy, this is especially true when I’m away from home. It’s SO important to me to get up and get moving before the day begins. My body functions completely differently when I’m able to get the endorphins pumping first thing. When I’m able to add the extra ‘happy dose’ to my current state of “I’m on vacation happy,” based on the fact that I’m on vacation, my happiness level tilts into overdrive. It makes the rest of my day enjoyable.

Endorphins: When you exercise (any form) your body releases a chemical called endorphins. They interact with receptors in your brain, which in turn reduce your perception of pain. They produce a positive feeling. It is at fault for creating the ‘runners’ high,’ post run, or work out feeling. In addition they act as sedatives. Endorphins are the all natural anti depressants which YOUR body can produce and provide for itself, no prescription necessary.

Vacation is great, but like most people, it’s hard to stick to a normal diet when we are away from the comforts of our own home. Sluggish is the word that comes to mind when I attempt to describe a day without exercise, but add that to a poor diet and you’ve got a recipe for a cup of fatigue an oz. of sleepy, maybe even a pinch of grumpy.

SOOOO you better believe, everywhere I go, I make sure I’m able to work out at least HALF of the time I’m away. At the VERY least.

This past weekend we enjoyed our friends in the beautifully humid St. Augustine, Florida. It was so beautiful down there and because my sister and I grew up spending our spring breaks with our best friend and sister from another mister down south, it was rather nostalgic.

This trip we chose to split our stay between a B&B (Bed & Breakfast) and a hotel with our B&B (Brenda and Brian). It’s always interesting planning my workouts because I have to improvise when it comes to A. Climate differences and B. environment.

Tips to sweat during your trip:

Everywhere I go I pack enough workout clothes to wear every other day and I always, always pack my tennis shoes.

-If you are staying in a hotel, check and see if they offer a fitness center or if your hotel will be in an area where you can get outside and sweat while enjoying the fresh air.
-Check the weather and pack workout attire accordingly.

For this particular trip I over packed, mostly because I knew the humidity would prevent me from being able to re-wear anything I’ve sweat in, even if just a little bit.

What’s in my suitcase?

– 2 lululemon cool razor tank tops. These are near favorite tank tops of mine and they are moisture wicking to boot.

-1 swiftly cool razor tank: This is so great, especially for the humidity. It’s breathable, moisture wicking, and is lined with silverescent, which prevents the material from growing the nasty bacteria, which would cause your clothes to eventually stink. This was a MUST for this trip.

-1 pair of Run Inspire II, Run Crops. These are hands down my favorite running crops and I literally wear them for every single run I ever participate in, it doesn’t matter the temperature. I love them!

-1 Pair of (Run) Speed Shorts: These are super breathable, moisture wicking and they fit great. I don’t love running in shorts, but I have also used them for to and from the beach as well. These are great, especially for the weather here in the dirty south.

-Brooks Ghost Running Shoes: I haven’t had to trade out my Brooks Running Shoes in MONTHS, and they are still holding strong. Running shoes can be expensive, they are definitely an investment, but it’s important to protect your feet and your joints. If your feet aren’t taken care of, the rest of your body is screwed from the ground up. Invest in yourself!

Sweat Once A day:

Our first morning we woke up in our quaint B&B, and I knew I was going to need to get up and run first thing in the morning if I wanted to do it at all. Because we weren’t at a hotel, I knew a fitness center wasn’t an option. I asked the sweet owner of our B&B if it was safe to run through the neighborhood, receiving a very confident “yes.” I went on my way. I just ran until I found myself at a busy street. Running is free, so always take advantage if you can. If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, choose running or walking. I wound up at the Alligator farm and decided it was time to turn back around and head home. HAHA! Oh Florida, how I love thee.

Blog- Sweat Jog1 Blog- Sweat Jog 2

JUST SAY PICTURE:

My sweet husband woke up with me and hit the gym after our 3AM late night the night before. We wondered down to the first level fitness center and were surprised to find a very small room consisting of 2 tread mills, an elliptical, an exercise ball and some light medicine balls. OK although this seems like a rather limited amount of options, it had blown up my initial options, which included all of, well. Me.

Although I went in with the intent of lifting weights, my plans had to be slightly altered.

Here was my workout on this sweaty Sunday:
THE MORNING AFTER workout:

**If you own a TRX Suspension Training System, you can do this full workout in place of the exercise ball.***

30 Reps/ 3 Sets: Body weight squats WITH the exercise ball. Of course this can be done without an exercise ball, but it helps with correct form and it allows you to get even deeper in to your squat.
For a variation you can add a medicine ball or weight plate If available to you.

Blog-Sweat Squat 1 Blog- Sweat Squat 2

20 Reps/ 3 Sets: Regular Body Weight Squats with a medicine ball. Beginning with arms overhead holding the medicine ball. Squat (keeping your knees aligned over your ankles) tap the medicine ball to your mat or the floor. Repeat.

20 Reps (10 Each Side)/ 2 Sets: Side Lunges, Start with feet together, holding medicine ball in hand. Step out to your right side, bend in to your right knee, and straighten your left leg. Sink your butt back as far as possible keeping the alignment of knee over ankle. Tap medicine ball to your mat or to the floor, Step back to center, repeat on the other side.

10-15 Reps/ 2-3 Sets: Pike with the exercise ball: Begin in plank position, quadriceps resting on the ball, hands on your mat. Use your core to pull your hips to the sky until your ankles or toes are pressing against the ball. Roll back in to your plank. Repeat.

30 Reps/ 3 Sets: Decline Push-Ups with Exercise Ball: You can choose your level of comfort. The easiest spot will be resting your hips and quads on the ball, hands on your mat. Proceed with push-ups. To make this more difficult roll the ball toward your feet until you feel you will be challenged sufficiently. Proceed with your push-ups.Blog- Sweat Plank2 Blog-Sweat Push up

20 Reps/3 Sets: Knees to Chest/ Abdominal workout. Again begin with your hands planted on your mat, your quads are resting on the exercise ball. Roll your knees in to your chest, the ball will end up beneath your shins, roll back to starting position. Begin again.

Blog- Sweat plank Blog- sweat Knee to chest

15-20 Reps/ 2 Sets: Jump Squats: Adding plyo to your workout will not only increase your heart rate, but plyometric exercises are great for bone density as well. These kick my butt, and I believe they have the ability to kick yours too. ☺!

20 (10 Each Side) Reps/ 2 -3 Sets: Reverse Lunges: Stand feet together, step back with the right foot in to a deep lunge, step forward in to starting position. Repeat other side. For more, add a medicine ball or weight plate if available.

 

Thank you husband, for taking all of these photos. I know it was a lot of work for you, but know that I do appreciate it. “Picture.”

Thank you for reading and supporting. All of my love!
You can find my beginning blogs here: http://kiles3.wix.com/rise-and-energize/apps/blog

Check in on my facebook page too, beginning July 1st, I will be posting a daily ab workout throughout the entire month.

Have a wonderful day, with Gratitude ☺

#thenudels The happiest couple.  We just love them, Congratulations Rachel and Marc!  And thank you for giving us such an amazing reason to travel to such a beautiful place. <3 Love you both.

#thenudels The happiest couple. We just love them, Congratulations Rachel and Marc! And thank you for giving us such an amazing reason to travel to such a beautiful place.

My Moment of Zen

blog twist“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom… when we are no longer able to change a situation- we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor E. Frankl holocaust Survivor

We can all take this quote and probably apply it to our own lives in about 50,000 different ways. I’m going to focus a little more on the change portion. I’m one who typically likes to resist change, but craves it all at the same time. I don’t like to feel trapped in a box with no way out. I always crave more, but have to then face that factor of ‘fear,’ which typically presents itself with every new endeavor. Running away from struggle, from challenge, from fear- it’s normal for me. This translates in to my every day life on… Every. Single. Level. From just trying something new, all the way to my yoga practice… which is also ever changing.

How can yoga be so detrimental to ones ego? Isn’t yoga all about letting go of the ego? I mean seriously. My fear stems from something as little as just feeling like “I can’t do that, because I’ll fall. Or ‘she can do it and I most definitely cannot, because well.. I’ve never tried. Though, I won’t try because there is still that good chance that I won’t be able to do it anyway.” That’s a load of crap. I’m over that. I run from things like (in yoga): back bends. Mostly because my back is tight, my shoulders aren’t open and I can’t get super deep in to them without forcing my body beyond its edge. Another yoga lesson: Listen to your body. Ego is always there watching and waiting, lurking around every corner just waiting for you to screw something up. Or that’s what I think it’s doing. EXAMPLE: A Yoga class. I decide I’m not going to try to come up in to wheel, which I haven’t even attempted since, Nam, because A. It’s a backbend and B. My shoulders aren’t open!! AGAIN! How the heck am I supposed to improve my backbends OR open up my shoulders by avoiding them both every time I find myself on my mat?! Stupid.

So I went home, attempted urdhva dhanurasana; (Full wheel) …and… Fail. I couldn’t do it. Why? Because I don’t practice it. Hmm. What a concept. So I tried it a few more times. Still, I got nada. I actually wasn’t mad, I wasn’t surprised, but the fact of the matter is, is that it is called yoga ‘practice’, NOT Yoga Perfect; something I remind every single one of my students, and yet I’m not even practicing what I teach. That’s probably not a great teaching skill. On the other hand it’s me warning them not to get to the point of where I have allowed my practice to go. The best part is, is that I used to be able to get in to full wheel, no problem. I just didn’t like it. So how do you grow when you prevent yourself from growing? You don’t. I typically justify it in my mind with: “I’ll do this the next time I come to my mat.” “I’ll do this next time, next time, next time.” Do you want to know what next time brings?? Probably the same conversation.

:::: Kasey and I were in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2007. Awesome. How often in ones lifetime are you going to be in Stockholm, Sweden? Maybe once, if you are me. But there we were, in the middle of this absolutely amazing town with history that dates back beyond the sheer existence of our own country and as we looked around this little circle we had found ourselves in; surrounded by small shops and restaurants, we noticed the Nobel Museum. Yes, the Nobel Museum. That’s kind of a big deal. We had just randomly stumbled upon this historic and infamous landmark and what did we do? Well, here’s how the conversation looked: “We should go!”-me. “We should go!”-Kasey “Or we could go over here and come back later.” –one of us. “How about we go next time.”-Kasey. “OK, we will go next time!”-Me. And that was that. OH YA!! Because there is going to be a freaking next time, right?? That was an epic, epic fail. One we laugh at quite frequently NOW, because we reference it every time we have one of our ‘next time,’ conversations. I think we’ve learned our lesson.. maybe. Hopefully.::::::

So, how do I get better with my practice? I am a yoga instructor who holds herself to the highest of standards. I can’t do a single inversion- maybe a headstand if the moon and stars align just perfectly, but comparing myself to other instructors is probably the worst practice of them all. So here I am with the mindset of “I suck at teaching yoga,” why? Because I can’t do a handstand? Who cares, it’s yoga. No stress, no judgment, and though I think I have let go of both of those things, I am constantly judging myself, I’m constantly comparing myself. But, how am I supposed to do a handstand without opening up my shoulders? And how am I supposed to open up my shoulders without practice?

I can take this theme and apply it everywhere in my life. I have some really great ideas but allow fear to overcome me and I shut down just as fast as the thought has come to me. I want to start my own business, but will I be good enough, will it be good enough, will I have the support I need to make it thrive? I’m quite certain that I am not the only one who has faced this dilemma.

I know that when I am confident, I get shit done. I know that when I am feeling the best of the best and as secure as secure can be, I can do anything. I can make decisions and I can make things happen. But the moment I miss a beat is the moment I stumble and lose that confident grasp. It’s like jumping rope, once you catch the rope on your shoe, your rhythm is thrown off and you have to start again. That’s usually when the excuses come rushing in.

So what do we do? We try again. We unroll our mats everyday and we try something new, because that is how we grow. No judgment, no stress, no ego. Just you (me), your (my) breath, your (my) mat, your (my) practice. Nothing else matters, no one else matters, if you (I) fall, you (I) get back up. If you (I) can’t keep up- so what? That’s why Child’s pose exists.

There is always time for rest; there is always time for a moment of rejuvenation. There is always time to get back up and do it again, whether you pick back up where you left off or start all over. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you just do it. What matters, is that I just do it. I have to just do it. Who says our dreams and passions need to be steamrolled by something that we’ve created in our own mind? Fear is nothing but something we have dug up and built on our own. That’s okay. As long as we can see past it, as long as we can climb over it and move on. Fear is just a character builder, right? Once we have conquered it, we can do anything.

And so… we shall. We shall overcome the fear, overcome the judgment, Life is what we make of it. Life is good. Yoga is forgiving, and our (my) ego needs a nap. It’s time to grow; it’s time to let go, because everything else is continuing on with or without you or me. Just like in Yoga. We grow.

I am a work in progress. Maybe THAT is what the hokey pokey is all about?

*This is a post from August 2013, but it is still relevant and I am still a work in progress. So I’m progressing and it is a part of this series where I am searching for more, expansion in my heart, strength in my back, and evolution in my overall practice. Thank you for reading and for your continued support!* With gratitude.

 

My Backbend

backbend1dancer

My Dancer

 

Memorial Day WOD

The American Flag flying high over the Pearl Harbor Memorial <3

The American Flag flying high over the Pearl Harbor Memorial <3

Sticking to it.

Ever have that feeling your workouts are just not cutting it? You are tired and your progress has plateaued? All it means is it’s time for a check in and probably a shake up.

What are you doing? What exercises do you prefer? What exercises seem to make the biggest difference in your body? Ask yourself these questions and switch it up. Decide what works best for your body as well as what workouts you enjoy and go with it.

Here’s a quick work out for you for your Memorial Day pre or post BBQ pool party!

Complete as many rounds as you want! We are doing high reps so give yourself a goal and make it work for you and your schedule. It can be one round or it can be multiple rounds, if you need, drop the reps. Go team, Break!

_____________________________________________________________________
40 Reps/ as many rounds as you can! Give yourself a 45 minute time goal.
_____________________________________________________________________
40 Squats (For more, add a hop)

40 Push Ups

40 Second Plank

40 Second Side Plank (right)

40 Second Side Plank (left)

40 Dips

40 Boat (V-ups)

40 Squat Thrusts (Bottom of a burpee)

Good Luck! And Happy Happy Memorial Day! Thank a vet, thank a sworn officer, thank a soldier because without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we are able to do every day!

Hope you are having a Happy and Safe Memorial Day weekend. XO

For the Love of Running

Just Running Through Life…

good for the soul

Like anything physical, we do it to feel good, to be healthy, to look good. The moment our hobby turns in to a competitive sport is the moment the feeling of EVERYTHING changes. We are no longer focused on the good of which these physical activities are providing; we are more focused on our times, our performance, our overall calories burned and our heart rate. It becomes more fact than it does feeling.

When we have to start reading our watches, our heart rate monitors, pacing our runs, are we doing it for the good of our bodies anymore? Are we even listening to our bodies? Or is it just a goal we have set for ourselves mentally beyond the physical aspect of it all? We want to win. Our society always wants to be first. “If you’re not first your last.” Right?

I got to a point in my running ‘career,’ where I felt terrible. I hurt everywhere, but I didn’t care. I was at an all time ‘fast’ and an injury couldn’t stop me, or at least I wasn’t about to let it. No, I didn’t feel good, my runs were OK, my legs hurt because I was typically running on and/or through injury, but my cardiovascular system was superb. It made me want to run faster. I wanted to maintain or beat my fastest times, over and over and over. I never gave myself any opportunity for recovery. Running a minimum of 4 miles up to 13 miles a day, 6-7 days a week with MAYBE a single recovery day, MAYBE, was wreaking havoc on my body. I didn’t care.

In my top drawer along with all of my pretty jewelry, I have this bomb.com heart rate monitor, and I have run some of my fastest runs with that little contraption wrapped around my wrist. Let me tell you, I have also never been sicker, more frequently injured, and it was beginning to take me twice as long to recover from those faster runs of mine. So in my drawer it now sits. I don’t use it to capture my current pace anymore. I don’t use it to push myself beyond what I would normally do. Why? A few reasons; 1. I’m not running for a place on a podium, 2. It isn’t my ‘career,’ I’m not being paid to do it. And 3. Because nearly one year ago I was running the San Diego Half Marathon and I felt terrible from the get go. ‘From the get go,’ I mean from the hotel room. I started my day clammy and ghost white on my walk over to the starting line. Let me remind you, I was just walking to the starting line of a 13.1-mile long run. Things were looking a little glum.

It was at mile 2, yes, only mile 2, which is where I noticed I was drenched in sweat. Like soaked. Let me remind you, we were in San Diego in June, it was overcast and 63 degrees, it couldn’t have been more perfect running conditions. I knew something was wrong because even though I was stopping at every water station, I was also drinking 2-3 cups of water and/or Gatorade, I could not quench my thirst. I was dehydrated and it is clear to me now, that at that moment I should have called it a day. Instead I decided I would glance down at my heart rate monitor, you know, just to ‘check in.’ Low and behold I was running an average of 8:10 minutes per mile, that included my water breaks. So needless to say, Ego chimed in and let me know that I was not about to stop, not now. I had a great thing going, sick or not, tired or not, knee pain or not, I only had 11.1 miles left and I was going to finish it damn it!

Well, upon completion of this fantastic (I use that term extremely loosely) run and aside from the worst knee pain, excruciating hip flexor pain and IT band tightness that I had ever experienced in all of my years of running, I ended up in the medical tent. 2 IV bags of fluid, Zofran, dextrose pumped in to my veins to help with my extremely low blood sugar levels, vomiting…. 3 hours later (Yes, one and a half times as long as it took me to run the race) I had color in my face, I could sit up right, heck I could even stand. I was so excited I was handing out post-vomit hugs to each of the paramedics and ‘my’ very own Doctor as I was on my way out of the tent…. dragging my left leg behind me.  I had totally forgotten about my left hip flexor.

The point of this story is, is that once a hobby becomes competitive, whether it be against your own personal times or others, we lose site of the real reason we are doing it, or at least we forget to pay attention to the most important piece of the equation: our bodies. Let’s face it, without our incredible flesh, bones and blood, we couldn’t achieve any of our ridiculously awesome goals.

I run so I can stay in shape, so I can keep my cardiovascular system conditioned and so I can spend time with my girls and catch up on their lives every week. THAT is what it is all about, for me anyway. It isn’t about my final time, it isn’t about my pace, it isn’t about the intensity of the person next to me. It is about me. It is about feeling good and that’s it.

It took me a while to get to this point. That goes for yoga too. No I don’t really care that you can come in to sirsasana from your prasarita padottanasana, no I don’t care about your pincha mayurasana, but I do like to watch it.  I love that you feel good when you are in the pose, and if that is why you are doing it.. then I love it. Do yourself a favor and attempt to avoid killing yourself just because you have realized you have an audience to entertain and/ or impress; that’s the moment injury can occur. Let it go. Let your ego go.

So now. I feel good. I am happy to go for a jog whether it be a 9 minute mile jog or a 5:30 minute mile sprint (and I’m talking MAX if it’s a sprint- it’s a single mile. ) I have even been walking more than running more recently because my long-term hip injury/inconvenience is now finally feeling better and I will do anything and everything in my power to keep it that way. So I listen, to my body, to my mind and to my breath because that is what we are supposed to do. The moment it no longer feels good is the moment we have to reevaluate and figure out what it is that does.

Enjoy the moment; enjoy the journey to the finish line, no matter if that finish line is your own or if it is a physical finish line at the end of an event. In the end, it isn’t about anything other than the journey. Isn’t that how we are supposed to live our lives too?

What would happen if you set aside your gadgets and you just took the sound of your breath, the breeze and birds and just ran based on how your body felt? What would happen? You would still be running 4 miles. 4 miles is 4 miles no matter your pace. You’re still burning calories, just do yourself a favor and attempt to listen. Your body is an incredible tool and a fantastic guide. It will tell you when it has had enough or when it wants more. So Lighten up, and seriously. LET. IT. GO.

The moment we no longer find happiness is the moment we have to determine what it is that made us happy to begin with.

Sometimes that is our biggest challenge.

Go Find your happy. XO

Monday’s fit feed

Feed your mind, body and soul and get your body moving.  I like to post mini workouts every Monday, because I feel Monday is the day people have the least amount of motivation and need something to give them a little extra push.  So here’s your push. MOVE

6-10 Sets of Each / 3 rounds

Squats (regular old body weight squats):  As you squat keep your knees above your ankles as best you can.  If they move beyond your toes, don’t squat so deep! it’s ok!

Calf Raises: Options:  Stand on the floor, the edge of a step or a curb.  Feet are parallel to one another. Lift up on to the balls of your feet, drop your heels back down, repeat.

Sumo Squats:  Feet are wider than hip width distance apart, toes turn outward, heels turn in.  Squat as low as you can go, make sure your knees track over the ankles (They are moving outward, not forward)

Superman: Lay on your stomach, arms reach forward (If you have limited range of motion in your shoulders or if you have a shoulder injury, you can keep your arms down by your side), In yoga this pose is referred to as “Locust,” Or shalabasana.  Chin is forward and with an inhale lift arms, back, neck, shoulders and head off of your mat along with your legs (keep the legs pulling toward one another, they like to splay apart when lifting. This takes a little extra work ;), but you can do it.  Keep your gaze low so you aren’t straining your neck.  Breathe deeply here. Exhale lower back down.  Repeat for the appropriate amount of reps.

Basic Squat with Leg Lift: Yes, like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, keep your feet shoulder width distance apart, squat as low as your body can go with the best posture as possible.  As you come back to the top of your squat, lengthen and lift your right leg to the side, bring it back to center, squat and repeat on the other side.

Push-ups: Because we can’t forget your arms! Modify by bringing your knees to your mat, OR hands to the wall or counter tops. This is a great way to work yourself up to regular push-ups with knees lifted!

Crunches:  Lay on your back, knees bent.  Find something to focus your gaze on above you to help maintain a neutral spine.  Hands come behind the head, they are only there for support, NOT to do the work for your abs.  As you exhale to crunch, only lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off of your mat.  Inhale to return to your starting position.  Slow and controlled and let the abs work for you!

Sweat and enjoy!

Happy Monday!