Archive | Exercise RSS feed for this section

Six.

13 Feb
Everything is changing. I swear, I can feel it. Don’t get me wrong, Yoga is huge. But, in a time frame of just five days, I have practiced Yoga six times. Yes, six. Do the math. Actually, looking back on my dailymile log, sometimes I had two sessions in one day. It’s pretty intense, but a good kind of intensity.

Today marked practice number six. Yes, I am practicing Yoga at home (to save money and the occasional embarrassment of farting mid Downward Dog), but today I ventured out to a local studio. A big thanks to my Lululemon Athletica Burlington Mall for the treat of a free Yoga class. It’s been a very long time since I attended a real class with other live bodies. The class was a nice treat, but I encountered one major problem.

Comparing myself to other Yogi’s. It’s tough. I know that I’m not that advanced and I can’t bend myself into pretzel like poses, but I compare. It’s not that I’m trying to “out do” the person next to me, but I do like the challenge of nailing an advanced pose. Whenever there’s an opportunity for a little twisting, etc… I always look around to see who’s doing what naturally. I look. To stop looking at others, I decided to wave my hand to the instructor and ask for guidance for one of the more challenging poses: Wheel. Of course, I explained that I never tried the pose before, but I wanted to try it anyhow. I did try and of course, everyone was looking at me which made me feel awkward. And then… I couldn’t even get myself off the ground. I felt like a failure.

But Yoga isn’t about failure. It’s about reconnecting yourself with your practice. Of course I’m going to struggle here and there. I get pretty impressed with myself when I was able to stretch more into Bow the second time around. It’s going to take time, but part of me thinks that because I’ve been practicing Yoga since college, I should “get” it by now.

What are your thoughts on self competition in a fitness class?

The Yoga Remix Challenge.

10 Feb
It feel so good to be back on the mat. Sometimes I wish I never “quit” Yoga. If you’ve never practiced Yoga before, but you’ve heard a lot about it… I suggest you visit your local Lululemon Athletica store and talk to an Educator about Yoga classes in your area. The store nearest me has free passes to various Yoga studios in the area, which is always great to discover which class is best for you. Back to the story… I do really love Yoga. It’s one of those things that once you discover it’s power, you feel so connected to what you’re really trying to achieve, instead of talking about it, or in my case… blogging about it!

Last January at my local Yoga studio, my awesome Yoga teacher who I haven’t seen since the Summer, created a Yoga challenge. The challenge was to take thirty Yoga classes in thirty days or to take five classes a week over a period of eight weeks. Of course I wanted to try it myself, but I was in a very different mindset then as to what I am now. I think I lasted a week on on the challenge, but stopped because life got in the way and I couldn’t regain my focus.

The Yoga Remix Challenge
Starting: Thursday, February 10 2011 // Ending: Thursday, March 10 2011
What: 30 Yoga sessions/classes in 30 Days
Where: Anytown, USA (and beyond) at your home or take classes locally
How: Log your workouts on dailymile
Why: Follow fellow challengers on dailymile and our challenge group too

C’mon… what do you have to loose? Let’s go.

Perfect Pair.

9 Feb
It’s tough to stay consistent and motivated when you can come up with a zillion excuses (and then some) why you shouldn’t. Excuses don’t get you anywhere. People always ask me if I run with a partner, and the truth is I don’t. Even if I had the opportunity to run with someone else, I probably wouldn’t. It sounds very black and white to say this, but if I’m relying on someone else to run with me or even work out with, and they can’t attend because I’m dependent on them, it doesn’t work. I think it’s just as important to be independent and do it yourself, because that’s how success happens.

Over the weekend, decided to rearrange some things and organize my room. The Yoga mat was tucked away, living in a corner of the room. I almost forgot I had a Yoga mat to begin with. I thought “if I move it into plain sight, maybe that will motivate me to use it more”. Therefore, I decided to move it right next to my foam roller. It’s important that I mention the placement of this is crucial. It’s new home is right next to my nightstand, across from my bed. Everytime I crawl into bed, I see it. To make everything simple, my YogiToes mat is rolled with my mat.

Why not make it simpler?

feb9-perfectpair

Also, I decided to put aside a simple Yoga outfit on the closet door. Both are Lululemon Not So Deep V Bra and Wunder Under Crop. So far, the perfect pair switch has been quite successful. Since then, I have practiced Yoga a total of three times and used my foam roller too. If I didn’t move the Yoga mat and it’s Power Yoga for Happiness 2 companion, I may not have used both otherwise.

Make a simple switch and get ready for a whole new beginning!

Hot and Cold.

15 Jan
Mother Nature brought presents. Two feet of a snow and a cold.

Needless to say, I’m still not feeling that awesome. I haven’t been eating that much the past few days. Except, it was super awesome to score two days off from the snow. The kids in the neighborhood were making snow forts and snowmen in their front yards. I wanted to be out there, sleeding and pretending I was five. Instead, I spent a full day in bed sleeping.

Now on to the good stuff (or whatever I decided to take photos of). On a positive note, I have been completely caffeine free for nearly a week. Every now and then, I’ll have the craving for a cup of energy, but I know it’s not going to do anything for me, except give me a crash a few hours later. This morning, I visited Starbucks to try their skinny caramel macchiatto.

jan15-breakfast

It was horrible. I added a lot of Splenda to sweeten it up because honestly, the sugar free syrups don’t typically do it for me because they’re so tasteless. It was good to try something new, but if I do order a Starbucks, it’ll be the original drink, but the decaf version.

In case you forgot, we are foodies. During the Winter months, my Mum is always making various soups from scratch. A few days ago, I had a bowl of delicious sausage soup. And, if you’re wondering – I ditched my Vegetarian diet recently (sorry to disappoint). For a sweet treat, I had a few small handfulls of homemade trail mix: peanut M&M’s, regular M&M’s, two kinds of raisins and almonds. It’s so good, see…

jan15-lunch

After lunch, I decided to visit REI. The nearest location is right down the street, and even though I’ve driven past it dozens of times, I’ve never been inside. Let me tell you, I was a kid in a candy store. Oh, it was heaven! I found myself browsing the various fueling gels, and CamelBak’s. In fact, I had to replace my first CamelBak Better Bottle, and my outreach to CamelBak through Twitter was a failed mission. I had to replace my bottle because it was leaking, somehow. I also picked up these treats, which I am eager to try.

jan15-fuel

I haven’t experimented with fueling too often, but I thought.. let’s try it! Also, I took some tips from Carrots ‘N Cake. I remember reading that she’s a fan of the GU vanilla bean. I was super psyched to see they carried it. I also picked up some others. There was so much to choose from, and I wish I asked someone who was an experienced runner, of what they like best. In the past, I have used gummy bears, but I didn’t chew them during my run. I was so focused on running that I couldn’t even deal with popping something in my mouth for an energy boost.

Next post up? Pushing beyond your fears.

Go Girl, Go!

30 Oct
You know, I have many favorite bloggies, but one of them is Carrots ‘N Cake. Personally, I love reading about others on their own fitness adventures and also those who lead a healthy lifestyle. I like reading about things they’ve tried (maybe a new recipe?) and the everyday things of life I also enjoy. But more importantly, she wrote about the importance of fueling for workouts. Of course as a newbie to fueling, I read up.

To be honest, pre-workout I either don’t eat or eat very little. I’ve found from experience that if I eat a big meal, I’m screwing myself over. I really need time to digest a big meal before I exercise (Yoga, running, walking… whatever I choose) that most of the time, I’ll eat a bar and go. But today, I decided to experiment with energy chews. I remind you, this is my first experience with fueling in this way but let’s go for it.

Initally, I reviewed what Tina wrote about fueling. I always see different “options” like energy blocks, sport beans, gel’s.. but frankly, I wasn’t sure what to pick! I decided to go with PowerBar Energy Blasts. Why did I pick them? Of course, I knew I’d be using them during my workout and the thought of choking on an energy block scared me. Pre-run, I chewed on two of these bites and waited. The energy came, and I knew I had to go fast.

During the workout, I refueled every ten minutes with one chew. It wasn’t a long run, but I wanted to try something different. I liked these, a lot. They didn’t taste bad, and were just the right consistency to chew as I go. In the end? I feel that the energy chews did dramatically improve my splits (thirty seconds apart!) and improve my overall workout. I’d like to explore other options too, but for my first time… not too bad.

How do you fuel for your workouts? Let the discussion begin.

Sunrise Session.

30 Oct
There’s something about getting back to basics that feels so good. Even though there are so many things I have yet to try that I’ve heard so much about (a la Body Pump?), I always find myself at the end of the day, doing what works best for me. Yes, I tend to dabble in a little bit of everything (I tried using swimming over the Summer but felt so clueless as to literally – what to do that I nixed the idea), but always have found my roots in Yoga.

Yoga

Waking up bright and early this morning (what is early? Let’s just say way before 8am), I decided to unroll my mat for a little sunset session. There’s something about giving a weekend morning a positive hello to kick off the morning. I’m a big fan of practicing at home (because it saves me $15 bucks each time I’d normally take a class in a studio) because it’s just me at my mat, versus easily comparing myself to everyone in the studio feeling slightly less of a person because I can’t swing those challenging poses. Thinking that it’s time for a little bit of a challege, I decided to attempt to channel my own Healthy Ashley. Of course in Yoga, there are several poses like Crane Pose that I’ve longed to nail, but never even tried because I thought I couldn’t, but this morning… I was able to get my feet off the ground for a few seconds and ta da, I did it.

I practice for strength and balance. Don’t doubt these Yoga muscles…

Up and Running.

9 Oct
Everyone has their thing. You could say, I’ve always been a fan of challenges. Trying things that maybe I will struggle with, just to see what I’m made out of. More often than not, do I surprise myself in the act of trying, and come up on top. Sometimes it’s just the getting out there part that is the most challenging part of all, not so much of it being a mental challenge.

In January I started running. Running on the treadmill (hate it), and my preference, the pavement. I have this sort of philosophical way of looking at it. The pavement is always there for you. Running is one of those things that I can (basically, you can) do anywhere. As long as you’re prepped and ready to go, you’re off and running. But it’s always there. I’ve had some really killer times, that I almost wonder “how did I swing that?”. Above anything, I’ve struggled to have both my physical and mental self running as one, in sync.

Times like the Boston Marathon are most inspiring. It’s one of those days, that even if you’re not a runner, you feel inspired to get out there and do it. I’m sure the training process is hell. It’s not going to to be easy, then again everyone has days like that. Days that you’re just not into your workout, but somehow you’re able to stick with it and just do it. You can give yourself excuses until the cows come home, but if you say you’re going to “try” you’ve already failed. I don’t “try” and run, I do it. I don’t “try” and challenge myself, I challenge myself. I get out there, put the excuses on the back burner, and do it.

There are inspiring communities such as DailyMile and my favorite, Lululemon Athletica group of athletes, who continue to inspire me day in and day out, to push myself to new heights. Of course with any physical activity, I’m not seeking perfection. Perfection is that of opinion, one that I try and avoid. Yes, I might have a dubbed “perfect” run, but I view it as it was how it was meant to be.

Get out there, challenge yourself and go for it cupcake.