Category Archives: Yoga
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This is such a pretty bunch of clover. It gives off a sense of energy that Spring is near. Today is all about energy! The #FitIn5 Challenge is a 5 minute Sun Salutation to create energy in the body and mind. First I stand in mountain pose, inhaling arms up then exhale to forward fold. I then inhale and lengthen my spine to half lift and exhale to forward fold and then I step back to plank. I take a breath and then lower to chaturanga/low push up position on the exhale, and then inhale into upward dog. I then exhale to downward facing dog. I take another breath and step forward as I exhale into forward fold. I inhale as I come back up to mountain pose and begin again. Five minutes to more energy! Let’s Go!
Remember a bad attitude breeds negative results! Stay positive!!
How are you spending your St. Patrick’s Day?
Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
Hi, if you are interested in yoga and eating a healthy, easy to cook lunch, you might like this post. If not, don’t read it 🙂 The first photo is a personal yoga goal I have been working on. It is a version of Scorpion. I use the wall for support, and because I am scared to death not to. The other day I balanced without my feet on the wall for like 5 seconds (as shown in the picture), excited! I am still working on it, I know I can do better. Do you have a yoga pose you have been dreaming of mastering?
The second photo is lunch today! Easy to prepare and healthy to eat. I used lean ground turkey (browned before put in the crock pot), 1 can black beans (drained), 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles (<3) and 1 packet of taco seasoning mix. I dumped everything in the crock pot and mixed together. I cooked it on high for 3 hours. The husband made tacos with a hard whole grain shell. I am having mine over a fresh bed of nutrient rich spinach with a little taco sauce and a tiny bit of cheese on top. Looking forward to lunch today. Try a taco salad without the shell to save some calories 🙂
Click on the link above and you will see one of my favorite poses that I include in my classes. It has many benefits. It strengthens and stretches the legs, stretches the hips and spine, opens the chest to improve breathing, relieves mild back pain, stimulates the abdominal organs and improves sense of balance. I love the Yoga Journal website. I click around on it often finding interesting articles and new information all the time. I am always learning new things about yoga and fitness. There is always something and someone else I can learn from. Have you done yoga recently? What is your favorite pose to stretch the legs? I look forward to my class tonight which will include revolved triangle pose.
This blog is written by me and it expresses my opinions and experiences. Consult your own physician before beginning a new exercise or nutrition program.
Do you work for hours at a desk in front of the computer? Do you find yourself slouching most of the day? Have you developed back pain and fatigue? I have had many clients over the years in this situation. We live in a “seated” world today. We do not move as frequently as we used to. If this sounds like a problem you have, take little breaks during your busy day to just walk a bit and do a little stretch to help combat your daily fatigue.
One of my favorite yoga stretches is downward facing dog. This stretch is fantastic for lengthening the spine and relaxing the back muscles (strengthens and tones the upper body too:). To do this stretch, I start with a couple of deep inhales through the nose and exhales through the nose. I come on to all fours in a table top position. I then lift my hips toward the sky. As I gently open the hamstrings, I let my heels drift to the floor. I do not force the stretch. I spread my hands like starfish creating a strong base through the upper body. I let my head hang relaxed between my arms. I am gently squeezing the muscles in my legs keeping and active stretch throughout my body. I breathe deeply and steady as I feel my back lengthen and relax with each breath.
If the corporate world is tying you up in knots, take a deep breath, do a little down dog, and exhale. Your back may thank you.
Disclaimer – This blog describes my own experiences and my opinions. Consult your own physician before beginning a new exercise or nutrition program.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Feasting will begin, then on to Holiday parties with more feasting. Blah! I love the holidays with all of the decorations, festivities, meaning, family, friends etc. I do not love the shopping and the excessive amounts of food that always seem to tempt me. I think now is a great time to set new health and fitness goals. Why wait around for the New Year? I will go ahead and work on myself now. Setting new goals will help me become disciplined during these tempting times. So here is what I have been pondering.
I finally watched Food, Inc. It was eye-opening. I knew what it was about, but I never took the time to sit down and watch. The Husband and I have been talking here and there about cutting back on meat over the past couple of years. I cook a fair amount of vegetarian dishes anyway, so after watching the documentary I thought now would be a great time to challenge myself, however, The Supermodel Piper may not enjoy those 17 days. Let me make this clear, I am not converting to be a vegetarian, I am just going to challenge myself to go meat free for a period of time and get creative with plant-based meals. It will be very interesting to see how I feel after this challenge is over. This is how this goal will go down. I will not eat beef, pork, or poultry for 17 days beginning on October 31, 2012. Why 17 days you might ask? Well, my first Thanksgiving feast will be held at my Dad’s on November 17th and I am sure beef, pork, or poultry could be involved. I would not want to offend the cook. 🙂
Remember at the beginning of the Workout Warrior Challenge when I said “If you state to someone your goal you will probably become more accountable and disciplined to reach your goal? Well anyway, this is my new fitness goal. I will run a total of 200 miles between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Sounds exciting, does it not? I will tell you that I have not been running distance mileage since 2010. All of my runs have been usually 2.5 to 4 miles each. I have no desire to run distance so all of my 200 miles will be a compilation of short runs. I will just have to do bunches of them which will be the fun part; short and sweet.
Now I think you all may know I love to practice yoga. I confess I have not been practicing as much as I would like to, so my new yoga goal is to conquer a couple of poses I have said before I wanted to learn but never really followed through with. I will conquer the Firefly and Scorpion yoga poses by December 31, 2012. Whew! I am scared now. This is good though. I believe the way to change and grow, mentally and physically, is to challenge yourself. I will definitely be leaving my comfort zone but I think that is the only way to reach my goals.
Now, how am I going to go about reaching these goals? First, not eating pork and poultry will be easy, but beef is tasty. I will be strong and come up with some delicious plant-based dishes. I may not even miss it at all. I will be glad to share my exciting new meals. Second, if I run 3 miles every day until December 31st that will total 183 miles. Looks like I will have to up some mileage. Now I am not going to run every single day but I will do a few 4-5 milers and probably some short two-a-days:) Note: I do not run on the treadmill, so all of my running will be outdoors. Another note: I hate cold weather so I sure hope we have a mild November and December. Now I am more scared of this than I am of attempting Scorpion! Challenge to Change, Challenge to Change. Now for Firefly and Scorpion (pics are below so you will know what I am talking about). I have to step it up on my practice. I teach yoga 2 times per week now. I am going to practice 3 more days on my own, specifically poses to prepare me for these two challenge poses. I am tired thinking of this, but it is exciting all at the same time.
Some of you may think I am nuts for thinking this is exciting. It is exciting to me because I know the sense of accomplishment and growth I will feel at the end, which will be worth the effort that will go into getting there. I will also take a before picture of myself and document the whole journey to see what happens to me mentally and physically during the next 2 months. Follow my little journey, it may give you a giggle or two.
I had to find pics because I can’t do these yet. The first picture is Firefly. I took the picture from www.yogajournal.com Credit to David Martinez. The second picture is from www.about.comCredit to Barry Stone. Looks like fun 🙂
Do you make New Year Fitness Resolutions? Are you going to wait or make it happen now?
Hi. This is an update of my progress in The Workout Warrior Challenge. I can tell a difference already in my strength. My legs are firmer and it is only the second week. I have heard from a few of you that have also have experienced positive results, so keep it up! Make sure you comment and let me know how you are doing.
WOW#2 started great. I did 6 rounds in the 20 minutes for the day 1 workout. My goal for day 3 is to increase my weight(I used a 15 lb KB) for the sumo squats. My goal for Thursday is 7 rounds in 20 minutes using a 25 lb DB for the sumo squats.
I did Day 2 yesterday. Runs with Tabatas! My total time was 18:39 with the 800m run. I felt good. I modified one round on the lunge jumps. I know I can go faster on my runs and I will lower my time when I do this workout again on Friday.
Today I will be Sweating Pink! Every Wednesday for the rest of October I will wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. Join in and put on your pink (boys too:) and Sweat Pink during your workout. I always try to think about the challenges that many people with cancer face on a daily basis. I look at how strong they are and it inspires me to push and work hard to do the best that I can and be the best I can every day. I have so much to be thankful for.
A friend challenged me to do these handstand touches to see how many I could do. It is harder than it looks. I completed 30. I will practice on that. I got in handstand (not a very good one though) and alternated taps on my abdomen.
I was just goofing off attempting eight angle pose. I have not attempted this arm balance in a while. It needs a little polishing but not bad.
Well it has been a great week so far. I hope your week is going well. Let me know how your workouts are going. Did any of you do the stir fry?
How about a quick challenge? How many burpees (without the pushup) can you do in 1 minute? Get it done! I want to know your number. Remember sweat everyday and love it!
Have you ever wondered if you can lose weight by practicing yoga? I have heard different answers to this question. My answer to the question is yes. Yoga is a great way to incorporate movement into your life. I believe a regular practice, a nutritious and healthy diet, some cardiovascular exercise, and plenty of sleep will help achieve weight loss. The type of yoga you practice may make a difference. A power yoga or vinyasa yoga practice that involves vigorous movement will help accelerate weight loss, as well as tone, strengthen and stretch your body all while calming the mind.
It is all about body awareness. One of the many benefits of practicing yoga is increasing body awareness. A regular yoga practice will help achieve the mind-body connection. When you have that connection, you are more aware of your body’s strengths and weaknesses. You may start to really think about what foods you eat and begin to eat healthier which will play a huge role in weight loss.
Another benefit of a regular yoga practice is decreasing stress. We all know the way the world is now, with economic issues, fast paced lifestyles, lack of sleep and poor nutrition can cause plenty of stress to the body. According to Prevention Magazine, studies have shown that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity-a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as body fat.
Yoga is not a fad. It has been around for thousands of years. I believe in yoga and all of its benefits. Bonus- it is free. All you need is a little time to take care of yourself. So do what you have to do, maybe it is to get up 20 minutes earlier or watch less TV. Whatever it is, make a little time for yourself and your health. Like I have said before, your health is your wealth, so get up and do some yoga:)
Iron Yoga is one of my favorite types of yoga to practice and teach. I have been doing Iron Yoga for about a year and I can definitely feel the difference it has made. It is a blend of Power Yoga and strength training. I use 3 lb dumbbells during this practice. These are my top 10 reasons why you should at least try it. If you have a chance to try it, you will not regret it.
- It is two workouts in one, which is more efficient and less time-consuming than training body parts separately
- It strengthens and tones all the major muscle groups combined with deep stretching
- It improves muscular endurance
- It increases functional strength
- It promotes lean muscle mass which can increase metabolism
- It improves body awareness
- It sharpens concentration and mental focus
- It improves coordination, balance, and body symmetry
- It produces a sense of calmness and strength at the same time
- It increases flexibility and range of motion
This is an example of an exercise I do in Iron Yoga. This is chair pose combined with an arms extended reach and pull. Combined with steady rhythmic breathing this pose tones and strengthens the lower body, the core, the back, the shoulders and increases mental focus. After about 5-6 steady yoga breaths, a forward bend is done to deeply stretch the body and calm the mind.
Have a great day:) Namaste.