Be The Person That Your Yoga Mat Thinks You Are

I just love that quote!!!  So true…when we are on our yoga mats we are thinking positive, healing, profound thoughts that we hope will follow us off the mat and into our everyday life.  Since starting my yoga journey, I have definitely benefitted from my practice.  I do feel calmer and more centered, but I also have had the summer off so I’m sure that is part of it too.  Here are some thoughts that I try to carry off the mat.

*ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE…YOU CANNOT POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP.
*JUST BECAUSE OTHERS ARE COMPLAINING OR SEEING EVERYTHING WITH A NEGATIVE MINDSET DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIR LEAN.  IF YOU ARE AT PEACE, GO WITH IT AND SEE JOY IN ALL SITUATIONS.

 

*I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS ONE ALL SUMMER.  WHENEVER I WOULD SEE SOMETHING THAT ANGERED ME OR BOTHERED ME, INSTEAD OF THINKING OR SAYING A JUDGMENTAL THOUGHT, I TRIED TO SEE THE GOOD IN THE SITUATION OR HAVE EMPATHY FOR THE PERSON OR PEOPLE.

 

*THIS HAS BEEN PHRASED IN DIFFERENT WAYS…ANOTHER QUOTE THAT IS SIMILAR TO THIS IS ENERGY FLOWS WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES.  IF YOU THINK POSITIVE, JOYFUL THOUGHTS… THAT IS WHAT YOU’LL MANIFEST.  IF YOU THINK NEGATIVE, JUDGMENTAL THOUGHTS, THAT IS WHAT YOU’LL MANIFEST.

 

When I’m at my yoga classes, this is the beautiful mat that I use.  I just got it and I LOVE It.  It is a Yohola cork mat.  Talk about no slipping!!!  I sweat a lot even though it’s not hot yoga and my hands DO NOT SLIP!!!  It is so great.  This company is in South Carolina and they have a green, sustainable business with great products.  This is the design that I got on my mat, but there are others to choose from.  There are also mats with no design and there are different thicknesses and types to choose from.  I got an Aura mat, but I emailed them because I wasn’t sure if it was the right one for me because my hands sweat so much.  They got back to me with a recommendation.  If these seem like the mats for you, click here (affiliate link) to explore the wonderful world of Yohola Yoga.  You receive a 10% discount with this link:)

If you order a mat, have a mat you love, practice on the grass…no matter how you yoga, I hope that you live your life off the mat with all the joy, calm, love and focus that you have on your mat.

Wanderlust 108 Boston for Yoga Lovers

I attended the Wanderlust 108 festival today in Boston and I can’t even express to you how awesome it was. It was supposed to rain all day and the bright sun came out giving a lovely glow all around the festival. The festival was held at the DCR Hatch Shell, which is where the Boston Pops perform on 4th of July. The setting could not have been more glorious and the energy was so positive and uplifting.

So let me go way back to before this festival came to town.  I was debating whether I was going to go.  I am a HUGE fan of Yoga with Adriene on Youtube and I follow her on Instagram and Facebook.  There was a post on her Instagram saying she was coming to Boston.  Wait!!!  What??!!  She’s coming HERE!!!  The post also said that if you emailed her “Find What Feels Good” peeps you would be put into consideration for a free ticket to the festival.  So after hyperventilating (not really), I sent off an email saying how much I loved Adriene and how she is the reason I got into yoga.

Well, I got an email back saying I was being offered a ticket.  Wow!!!  Not only was Adriene coming to Boston, but she gave me a ticket too.  So I headed down to Boston early this morning with me, myself and I.  I knew it was going to be a good day when I met some yogis in the parking garage and we all walked over to the festival together.  I checked in AND got a FRONT ROW SPOT for my mat.  Yesssssss!!!!

MINDFUL TRIATHLON

This was billed as a “Mindful Triathlon”, the first and only one ever.  The first leg of the triathlon was a 5k run/walk, which I couldn’t participate in because I have some hip issues.  If I did the 5k, I wouldn’t have been able to do yoga and yoga was my reason for being there.  While most people were 5k-ing, I visited the Kula market, which had lots of free samples, food, yoga inspired clothes & jewelry and the Adidas souvenir tent.  You didn’t even need to bring any food because there were so many free samples, including Late July and Yasso frozen yogurt.

YOGA AND MEDITATION

Adriene did a 75-minute yoga class, which was so awesome.  I love her style and have done many of her Youtube videos at home so it was the perfect flow for me.  She is very knowledgeable and also very funny so I appreciated her addition of little jokes here and there.  Adriene is compassionate and accepting and wants everyone to be comfortable in their practice no matter what level they are at.  After her class, there was a 25 minute meditation by Enrique Collazo.  It was a perfect ending to the practice with the breeze blowing off the Charles River.  Just perfect!!!

MEET AND GREET

After the meditation, Adriene made sure to take pictures and talk with all her fans.  She was humble, loving and just downright awesome.  So glad I got to interact with her.  If you haven’t experienced a Yoga with Adriene class, click here.  You will not be disappointed.

The Wanderlust 108 festival will be visiting Brooklyn and Washington, DC in September along with many worldwide locations.  If you love yoga, check it out.

That Yoga Journey? It Continues

That yoga journey…yeah the one I’ve written about several times on my blog…well it continues!!!  Every week I have learned something new about this wonderful body and soul exercise.  I am still a beginner, but I want to share the things I have learned in hopes that it helps other beginner or advanced yogis.

journey junkie

I continue to LOVE Yoga With Adriene…it has become my go-to and I can’t wait to do it each day.  A new find is The Journey Junkie, which is another great yoga website that has helpful Youtube yoga videos.  While Yoga with Adriene is very easy going and less structured…Allie from The Journey Junkie is a little more structured and a smidge more serious.  Each yoga instructor is a bit different, but they are both awesome in their own ways:)

As is the case with YWT, I learned about TJJ from a reader’s comment on my blog.  My blog readers have become my best resource!!!  The Journey Junkie has an awesome Facebook group called Live Your Journey.  You can join the group and get great daily inspiration, support and yoga education. It is such a positive, uplifting FB community.

yoga wheel

My newest tidbit of yoga news is the yoga wheel.  I learned about this prop from Live Your Journey and TJJ.  I haven’t purchased one yet, but have been researching them online.  If you haven’t heard of a yoga wheel, which I hadn’t heard of before last week, Allie has a great post on how to use them in your yoga practice.

photo from Amazon.com

mat spray

Finally, it you have or will be purchasing a yoga mat, you’ll definitely want to keep it clean and fresh smelling.  I do most of my yoga at home, but if you go to a yoga studio, you will be placing your mat on the floor where others have put their mats.  This means dirt, germs, and probably other yuck:(  I made this mat spray and I LOVE it.  It is all natural, smells wonderful and kills germs.  Give it a try…I use it for my yoga mat and my gym bag.

I hope that you are enjoying my yoga journey series as much as I am enjoying the actual journey.  The more I learn, the more I want to discover about yoga.  Finally, keep those comments and resources coming.

**this post contains an affiliate link**

Golf – A Challenge Worth Taking

I have been on vacation in South Carolina this week.  The weather has been absolutely perfect and I love just relaxing on the beach.  My husband and son always golf, which is fine with me because then I don’t have to worry about them complaining about being bored on the beach.  This year, however, I felt like I wanted to give golf a try because I had a little FOMO (fear of missing out) going on.

My husband and son were taking a lesson so I asked my husband to sign me up too.  Why not??  As the day of the lesson came closer, I wanted to cancel it.  I thought my time would be better spent on the beach. Cancellation fees would probably apply so I bit the bullet and went to the lesson.  I am really glad that I did.  My instructor Ali was awesome; she was very supportive, down-to-Earth, and easy going.  She gave me a lot of great tips and I felt really good about myself when I left the lesson.  The Steve Dresser Golf Academy is one of the best in the Myrtle Beach area.  My husband and son also learned a lot in their advanced lessons and club fittings.

At home, I had been to the driving range a total of ONE time before my lesson.  I had taken other lessons years and years ago.  The thought of actually playing a round of golf scared me.  I didn’t think I had enough skill to get out there.  Well, I decided that there was no time like the present to give it a try.  I am in one of the most popular golf locations in the US and there are golfers of all levels getting out there every day.

 

There is a par 3 course, Tupelo Bay, which is not far from the condo we are staying in.  My husband said it was only 9 holes and I wouldn’t need to hit it very far, being that it was a par 3.  Again, I figured we’re here in one of the largest golf meccas so no time like the present to give it a try.  Since the par 3 was just “mini golf on steroids”, we decided to do the executive course, which was a par 3 and 4 course.  Nerves set in as we pulled up to the first hole, but when I saw others who hit the ball like me, I felt a lot better.  I didn’t do great, but I hit the ball and I have my first round 9 holes under my belt.  I, again, felt pretty good about myself walking off that course.

Golf is on the television all the time at my house.  I have been to PGA tournaments.  I hear my husband and son say how much you need to practice and how aggravating it can be.  So why do I want to get into this aggravating yet fulfilling hobby?  It is something we can do as a family and I can go out with friends who golf.  When I posted that I was taking a lesson on Facebook, a friend commented that she was in a beginner league at home and why don’t I join?  I told her ABSOLUTELY.  She said it was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.  I may not improve my game, but fun and laughing are good for the soul.

So next step is getting some gear and just getting out there and doing it.  I am proud of myself because I am taking on a challenge of learning something completely new to me.  I have been writing a lot lately about my yoga journey and mindfulness, and this post may seem out of place.  However, I feel that taking on this challenge and being present in the moment of just concentrating on hitting the ball is just another way to be mindful.  Not letting every day worries and cares get in the way of my present purpose.

What is a challenge that you have taken on that has become a success for you??

My Continuing Yoga Journey

I recently wrote a post on the start of my yoga journey.  It’s been a couple weeks so I wanted to give an update since I’ve taken several more steps on my journey.  I hope this inspires others who are have been hesitant to try yoga to take the first steps on their journey.

Online Resources

First of all, one of my awesome readers mentioned that she did yoga with a Youtuber named Adriene.  I love when readers leave suggestions in the comments because it is helpful to me and I like to leave comments that are helpful to others.  It’s such a great community.  I gave Yoga with Adriene a look and now I am OBSESSED!!!  I feel like she is my new best friend…lol.

She is uplifting and chill.  I love her calm voice and playful nature.  The speed is just right…I can’t say enough about her awesomeness!!!  I am a kindergarten teacher and I have my students do yoga every day in class and I have incorporated some of Adriene’s shorter classes in our day.

Yoga Props

I have the tightest hips and IT bands on Earth.  My hip issues are the cause of said tightness.  I ordered some yoga blocks (affiliate link) which help support my legs in certain poses because I don’t have as much flexibility in those poses.  They are a life saver.

Modifications

Yes, as I’ve said above, I need to modify some of the poses.  This is partly due to my hip issues and tightness AND partly because I’ve just started the yoga journey.  I know that once I become more familiar with the poses and strengthen and stretch the muscles, it will become easier.  I found some wonderful resources for modifications.

courtesy of Yoga Journal website

My FAVORITE active wear retailer Athleta has a blog where I found a great post with wonderful visuals and suggestions.   When I googled yoga modifications, I found some great images from Yoga Journal.  They were exactly what I was looking for and it was easier to find them in Google images than their actual website.  The Yoga Journal website has a plethora of information on yoga and is a great overall resource.

I will continue to update my journey here.  Most of all if you have any more suggestions or ideas, please keep them coming.  As a result of your comments, I have learned so much from my readers and love the community we have.  Thank you. Namaste.

My Yoga Journey

I have wanted start a yoga journey for quite awhile.  I took some yoga classes years ago and never went back to it due to, now realizing in hindsight, I wasn’t quite ready for the full journey.  It will be good for my body and soul, therefore, I have decided to dip my toe into the yoga pool. I cannot remember many of the poses so I feel that I am a beginning beginner.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been to a yoga class in forever is because I will feel embarrassment.  What if EVERYONE in the class knows all the poses hence I am the only one who doesn’t know them?  When I give it a second thought, however, I know that most yogis want to spread their love and knowledge of yoga so I shouldn’t be embarrassed.  If any group can be understanding of a beginner, it would be this group.

When I look for local classes, I have seen some beginning beginner classes, but they don’t fit into my schedule.  I want to start this journey NOW so I decided to do some research and take the first step.  Much needed information and supplies are a click or stretch away.  As a result of said research, I discovered some wonderful realities.

EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP.

What do I need to start this wonderful journey?

Versatile clothes?  Yes!

Informational books?  Yes!

For the mind:  True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

For the body:  Mindfulness Yoga

Especially relevant…helpful videos?  Yes!

Do Yoga With Me

My Yoga Journey Click To Tweet

Okay…no more excuses and full speed ahead.

Finally, I would love to know any resources that you cannot live without in regards to yoga.  Please tell me about any music you listen to,  essential oils you use, videos you follow…I want to hear about all your yoga non-negotiables.  A yoga journey update will be forthcoming.  Namaste.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Foam Rolling

Foam rolling…have you heard of it?  What is it?  Why do it?  I am going to give you an overview of this awesome muscle “massage” and why I swear by it.  I have hip dysplasia, which started when I was about 3 years old when I had to get PT to walk.  My hips were fine all my life until I was pregnant with my son 15 years ago.  As a result of that added weight and the long ago dysplasia, I went from arthritis in my hip to the current state of my hip bone going through my pelvis.

Eventually, I will have to get a hip replacement, but for the past year there has been no deterioration so I am good to go.  Due to this ailment, I have limited movement in my hips, therefore, my IT bands are as tight as they can be.  (IT bands run from the knee to the hip on the side of the leg.)  Foam rolling is the only thing that gives me any relief.

Foam rollers are just what they sound like…a huge roll of foam…about the diameter of a log.  They come in different sizes, textures, lengths, and colors.  I have 2 different rollers:  one is smooth and the other has the texture of a mountain bike tire.  You roll whatever muscle you need “massaged” on the roller and, as a result, it hurts like %$#&*.  After you are done, however, it feels AWESOME!!!

 

Foam rollers are pretty readily available:  Amazon, Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.  In conclusion, I have included links to some wonderful articles that explain more about foam rolling and how to do it.  Although one of the articles is written for a running magazine, you can use these exercises for any workout or sport.  I don’t run at all because of my hip so believe me…foam rolling works for with sports and workouts.  Give it a try…it will NOT disappoint.

*What is a Foam Roller and Why does it hurt?  Breaking Muscle.com

*How to Use a Foam Roller Runner’s World.com

*7 Awesome Ways to use a Foam Roller Womens Health mag.com

OOTD: Affordable Fitness Style

I LOVE new workout clothes.  There is so much fun fitness style out there now and I get motivated to do my workouts when I have a new fitness OOTD.  Many brands of workout clothes are quite expensive and not worth their price.  There are also brands that are cheap, and there is a reason why they cheap…they just don’t last.  I have found some quality workout clothes that look great and don’t break the bank.

SNEAKERS

My absolute favorite brand of sneakers is Asics.  They fit my foot the best and are great quality.  There are so many great styles and colors to choose from.  Almost all of my sneakers have come from the Asics website.  They have an unbelievable clearance section with a great range of sizes.  I wear an 11 or 11-1/2 women’s sneaker and they always have my size in stock. Most noteworthy, free shipping and returns.

LEGGINGS/TIGHTS and SPORTS BRAS

Athleta is my absolute favorite place to get leggings.  The quality is fabulous.  There is a huge selection of prints, colors, thicknesses, lengths and sizes.  I have an Athleta store near me and they always have items on their clearance rack.  If you have a GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic or Athleta charge card, you can earn reward points for purchases.  The reward points accumulate into $5 credits that you can use at any of that family of stores.  If you find something on the clearance rack AND, in addition, use the credits you earn, you can get quite a deal.  I recently found the cutest sports bra on the sale rack, too.  The website also has a sale section, but sometimes there isn’t a huge selection of sizes.  You can also find plus and petite sizes on the website.

** Side note: C9 leggings/tights from Target were voted #1 by Good Housekeeping for durability, quality and fit.

SPORTS BRAS

If you want a no-nonsense, supportive, long-lasting sports bra, you should go to Old Navy.   In addition, I love that they have removable padding….key feature.  They have gotten cuter styles recently, but a lot of the cuter styles have low support.  I have had some of these bras for several years and they have held up very well.  I have no complaints whatsoever.  Furthermore, you can also use those reward credits for these purchases.

TANKS

I recently went shopping at the GAP and I love the GapFit section.  The fabric that the tanks are made of is so soft and hangs well on the body…not too clingy, not too loose.  LOVE them.  Again, hit that clearance rack and got some tanks for a STEAL.  I will definitely be visiting that clearance rack when I need, or WANT, some new tanks.  Reward credits can be use here too.

Most of all, I hope you found some useful finds in this post.  I am so happy to share fabulous finds with others and  I’d love to hear about your go-to workout wear brands…brick and mortar locations OR online merchandisers.

Finally, here is an Athleta link for $20 off $100 if you want to receive an even bigger discount.  ***affiliate link***

5 Energizing Interval Workouts that You Will Love

here are some interval workouts to use with the tabata stopwatch pro

I absolutely love the Tabata Stopwatch Pro app that I reviewed in my previous post. No compensation was given for reviewing the app…I just love it so I wanted to share it with others.  Here are some energizing interval workouts that you can program into the app and…BOOM…you are on your way to feeling great.

Fabulous Arms

This is a great arm workout.  You can add more circuits as you build up your strength.  This is the what the screen of the Tabata Stopwatch Pro looks like when I input the reps, circuits, etc.  I added a 45 second warm up in order to do windmills and crossovers to warm up my arms.  I actually needed 30 seconds to complete the 12 reps…you can input however many seconds you need to complete the 12 reps.

Total Body Tabata

Warm-up  Interval = 1 minute, Exercise Interval = 40 seconds, Rest Interval = 20 seconds, Number of Sets = 8, Recovery Interval = 0, Number of Cycles = 3.

Bodyweight Booty Workout

Warm-up Interval = 4 minutes (treadmill, elliptical, walk in place, etc), Exercise Interval = 1 minute, Rest Interval = 30 seconds, Number of Sets = 12, Recovery Interval = 0, Number of Cycles = 2, Cool down = however long it takes you stretch out

Legs and Glutes

Warm-up Interval = 2 minutes, Exercise Interval = 1 minute, Rest Interval = 1 minute, Number of Sets = 5 sets, Recovery Interval = 0, Number of Cycles = 2.  BE SURE TO SET HALFWAY BEEP FOR THIS WORKOUT BECAUSE YOU NEED TO CHANGE TO THE SECOND EXERCISE IN THE CIRCUIT AT THE  HALFWAY POINT OF THE EXERCISE INTERVAL.

60 Second Tabata

Warm-up Interval = 3-5 minutes of light cardio, Exercise Interval = 1 minute, Rest Interval = 0, Number of Sets = 6, Recovery Interval = 1 minute, Number of Cycles = 4

I have other workouts that I will be posting at a future date.  Hoping that these motivate you to try the app and get energized.  If you aren’t sure how to do some of the exercises, google them.  There are tons of videos that will show you how to do them.  Get out there and get moving:)

Fitness Obsession: Tabata Timer

home workouts taken to another level!!

I must admit that I have a new obsession to the Tabata Stopwatch app; a tabata timer.  I take an arms/abs and booty class at my friend’s fitness studio.  The instructor for the class always uses a tabata timer when we do our rotations.  It would give cues for when to start the exercise.  There would be three beeps when the rotation was coming to an end.  It would then tell you to rest.  I got so accustomed to this routine that it was hard for me to do classes any other way.

If you aren’t familiar with a Tabata workout, it is basically an interval workout with periods of high intensity exercises followed by rest periods.  Although I am using a tabata timer, the workouts I have done are not the true definition of tabata, which is more of a HIIT (high intensity interval training).  I do exercises with weights, squats, lunges, etc. followed by periods of rest. (I will be writing another post including some of the circuits that I have done or will be trying in the future.)

free in the app store

This is a description of the Tabata Stopwatch app taken from Itunes:

“Tabata Stopwatch Pro is the ultimate Tabata Interval Timer that works for ‘all’ your interval training needs. Use with Tabata, HIIT, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, interval running, sprints, etc.

Tabata Stopwatch Pro is a universal (both iPhone and iPad) feature packed interval timer for people who follow the Tabata training method. The main thing the Tabata app will aid you with is automating your exercise, rest, cooldown and other intervals. As simple as this sounds, it has a profound effect on your workout. You will be able to concentrate much better, won’t have to constantly count and honestly the whole workout just goes by faster. Try it with your Tabata, HIIT, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, interval running, sprints, and other workouts.

Designed with both beginners and advanced users in mind Tabata Stopwatch Pro comes ready to use with basic Tabata already set up for you. As you gain more experience you can customize all intervals to match your pace. You may even create and store your own interval presets to quickly change to different workouts.

Tabata Stopwatch Pro is loaded with beeps that help identify what part of a workout you are in, interval beeps for example tell you when a new interval has started. Tabata Stopwatch Pro also has voice support that announces intervals to further help you focus on your workout. Oh and what would an exercise app be without music, select your favorite tracks from your iPod and blast through that workout.

 

 

The Apple Health app is supported and the Tabata app will write your Tabata workout times, calorie burned estimates and heart rates (needs a chest strap heart rate monitor and Pro purchase) after each workout.

By far the best app for Tabata training available for your iPhone and iPad, Tabata Stopwatch Pro includes:

+ Pro grade Tabata timer.
+ Ready to use out of the box. Classic Tabata already set up for you.
+ Simple to use, just push play.
+ Works on both iPhone and iPad.
+ Comes with 2 beautiful themes.
+ Color coded display visible from afar. Colors represent the amount of energy you are using in an interval.
+ Customize initial countdown and warmup time.
+ Customize exercise, rest, recovery and cooldown intervals.
+ Adjust the number of sets and cycles to match your pace.
+ Jump between intervals in the middle of a workout as needed.
+ Build presets to support your multiple interval training needs (Pro purchase needed).
+ Pause your workouts if needed.


+ Works with the screen locked and in your pocket (Pro purchase needed).
+ Interval beeps for each individual interval. Need a separate beep to mark when it’s time to rest, no problem.
+ Interval vibration.
+ Continuous beeps.
+ Three second beeps.
+ Halfway beeps.
+ Voice assist so that you focus on your workout and not the screen.
+ Workout to music from your iPod.
+ Set music to pause to hear beeps and voice assist clearly.
+ Shuffle tracks or albums to suit your taste and workout.
+ Apple Health support”

In conclusion, I can’t say enough about how much I love this app…it has motivated me to do more workouts at home on days that I don’t have time to get to the gym.  Hope you give it a try and that it motivates you, too. *There was no compensation for writing this review.  I just wanted to share it because it has been helpful to me and I want others to benefit from it,*