Category Archives: Yoga

Tips for Staying Active as the Seasons Change

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Can you believe it’s December 1st already? Time has certainly flown by! But I guess that happens when you are busy preparing for your wedding, getting married and honeymooning on the beach. We said goodbye to the sunshine, the sand, the water, and paradise and are back to reality today. That reality is cold weather, shorter days and snow. Welcome winter.

When the seasons shift I usually find myself shifting my workouts. Personally, it’s one of my favorite things about the seasons. The shifts can be hard (hello darkness at 4:30pm) but I like that I’m forced to change my routine a bit, try new things, and mix it up. Here’s a few of my tips for staying active with the season change:

Adjust for daylight. I don’t love to run in the cold and the dark. I have asthma so it burns my lungs and I get easily spooked in the dark. Once winter is upon us I try to switch my schedule up so I run during my lunch break 1 or 2 days a week. This way I take advantage of the daylight and warmest temperatures of the day, decrease the number of opportunities to be scared in the dark and I don’t cut back on my running at all. Wins all around.

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Compromise. I’m not really a big fan of running during the workday. I hate messing up my hair, or having to shower in the office showers (just no). I’m also not a fan of packing up my running gear, shower stuff, and makeup and bringing it to the office. High maintenance? Maybe. Luckily I’ve found that a super cute gym bag, nice wipes (LOVE the Yes-To brand) and fun headbands makes this more fun. I usually skip the post run shower, use wipes to clean myself up, touch-up my makeup and throw on a fun headband to spruce up my boring ponytail. It’s a compromise but it gets the job down and helps me stay active all winter.

Hibernate. I LOVE hibernating the yoga or barre studio all winter. The studio is warm and cozy. And the workouts usually do a good job of opening and strengthening your shoulders and chest, which we typically close and weaken over the winter thanks to our efforts to stay warm.

 

Try something new. In addition to hibernating, I love trying new things. I’m much more likely to try the new spin studio or strength class in the winter. It’s fun and can brighten any cold, dark evening!

Embrace the season. It’s easy to want to hole up indoors, skip your workouts and re-emerge in the spring. But if you did that you’d miss out on all that winter has to offer. It’s honestly one of my favorite seasons. I always look forward to downhill skiing and even more so cross-country skiing. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and gives you an incredible workout! Snowshoeing and ice skating are also fun winter activities that will give you a great workout too. A few hours in the cold air, sweating and moving will reinvigorate you. When spring rolls around, you’ll be happy you enjoyed the snow and you’ll have some good memories too!

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The overall theme is to be flexible, and have fun! It’s the best way to stay motivated and stay moving! How do you stay active with the season change?

Just in case you need something to warm you up, I’ll be back soon to share scenes from our honeymoon in paradise! I’m also looking forward to giving you a look into our wedding day! Check back soon!

A special thanks to Target® C9 for sponsoring this post through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. I was compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

#PerfectVt

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This weekend Michael and I had the pleasure of going to Pittsfield, VT to experience #PerfectVT.  What is perfect Vermont?  Perfect Vermont is an all-inclusive getaway vacation in the Green Mountains.  They offer spaces where groups can learn, share and come together.  Not only are their facilities the perfect setting for a wedding they are also the perfect spot for elite endurance training, yoga retreats, corporate events and more.  They have two farms, the Amee Farm and the Riverside Farm.  Both are beautiful bed and breakfasts with lots of different spaces to meet the need of any event.

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A Warm Welcome

We started our trip with a stop to the General Store for a sandwich.  This was the original general store in town and still offers many staples in addition to sandwiches, warm meals, coffee and they even sell beer and wine.  Michael and I shared a mozzarella and tomato Panini with kale pesto and olive spread.  It was delicious and perfect for damp, rainy afternoon.

After lunch we headed to Amee Farm to check into our room.  We were greeted with a warm welcome and found our room to be so cozy and comfortable.  We both agreed we couldn’t wait to take a shower in the gorgeous stone shower with rain shower head!  The beds are memory foam, we have this at home and love it so we were quite happy to find the B&B had it as well!

Once we settled in we explored the B&B to check out the other guest rooms.  They were all really nice and many of the showers had body jets or multiple shower heads.  Apparently this was one of the requests of the owner.  After exploring Amee we headed down the road for a tour of the Riverside Farm.  This property is bigger than Amee Farm and has 3 main buildings with two smaller buildings.  The white barn offers a housing in a dorm style with 6 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a common area.  The brown barn has a beautiful space for a dinner, meetings, or even yoga.  The red barn also offers two different large rooms which are equally beautiful.  In addition the property has two smaller cottages that will sleep about 5 people, and offer common areas.

While we were there people were completing the death race.  I wasn’t familiar with this race but here’s the description from the website…

Every Death Race is it’s own uniquely brutal challenge, no two races are alike. The race, created by Ultra athletes Joe Desena and Andy Weinberg, was developed as a way for athletes to test themselves both mentally and physically. The Death Races take place in the unexpectedly challenging terrain of the Green Mountains in and around Pittsfield, Vermont and have lasted over 70 hours. We provide no support. We don’t tell you when it starts. We don’t tell you when it ends. We don’t tell you what it will entail. We want you to fail and encourage you to quit at any time.

Basically these are athletes who find an Ironman boring and need a crazy adrenaline rush!  You won’t find me doing one.  However, our host Tom, won the death race.  From the death race came Peak Races which does ultra trial marathons, snowshoe races and bike races.  Many of us are familiar with Spartan Races.  They were born out of the death race as a race for the masses.  Many of the elite Spartan racers live and train in Pittsfield.  You learn something new everyday!

Also over at Riverside farm are the stone steps.  It was rainy and cold so we opted out of the hike but the stone steps lead to the top of the mountain.  We’re told is offers gorgeous views and there is a stone building that is very “Shrek” like.

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The Stone Steps

We opted for a good book, a cup of tea, a warm fire and this gorgeous view from the living room of Amee Farm.  It was so relaxing and exactly what I needed on a rainy, cold afternoon.

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Tea and a View

Dinner was served downstairs in the Amee Lodge.  There was live music and amazing food.  Lucky for us, the chef who made our sandwich at The General Store also owns Vermont Farms Catering and prepared our dinner.  It was delicious.  We started with an asparagus and arugula salad.  It had asparagus puree, arugula, sliced asparagus, roasted red peppers and lots of shaved parmesan.  So good!  Dinner was a roasted pork loin with polenta, fennel and plum jam.  It was also amazing!  It tasted so good and my glass of red wine went perfectly with it.  Dessert was Pavlova, which is basically meringue.  On top was fresh whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries and fresh basil.  So good!  One of the things about the farm is that they source most of their food locally.  We love farm to table food so this meal was right up our alley.

We had such a great time chatting with some of the locals, learning more about the business and meeting other bloggers and couples looking to host their wedding at Amee Farm.  It was a really beautiful and relaxing evening.  They had a giant fire going in the fireplace and live guitar throughout the dinner.

We retired to our room around 9pm and really enjoyed the peace and quiet.  We were both so relaxed and it was nice to read before bed.  I slept so good and woke up feeling refreshed.  It must be the mountain air!  We started our morning with continental breakfast which was all fresh and local foods.  My favorite was the yogurt with granola and fresh berries.  Although the bagel with local jam on it was delicious too!

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Continental Breakfast

After breakfast we headed down the street to the yoga studio for a morning flow.  The yoga studio is also part of the property.  It too is an open space that can be used for just about anything!  It was so toasty warm and the flow felt great on yet another cool, damp day.

After yoga we headed back to the B&B.  I enjoyed a very relaxing and nice shower!  Rain shower heads are seriously the best.  Michael and I agreed we need one!

To wrap up the weekend we took a tour of Sweet Georgia P’s farm.  The farm is located right across the street from Amee Lodge so we just walked across the street.  They farm 10 out of 12 months of the year and operate CSA’s in the Boston area as well.  They grow everything from herbs to wildflowers to tomatoes to beets.  In addition they have about 200 chickens.  They also have a herd of goats!  Many of the goats were pregnant and expected to give birth any day now.  They are expanding their herd so they can sell goats milk and make their own goat cheese.  It was really interesting to tour the farm and it definitely was a good reminder about all the work that goes into the veggies and cheese I love so much!

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Sweet Georgia P’s Farm

I could see this being the perfect location for a variety of retreat types.  In addition to all the services we experienced there is an extensive trail system you can hike or run.  They also have a company called Great Bike Tours that rents bikes and leads bike tours.  If you had an endurance group training you could certainly get in a variety of cross training.  For wellness retreats you could combine farm tours and the experience of their farmers to incorporate healthy eating into it all of the fitness activities.  They’ll even teach you how to make goat cheese!  A yoga retreat would be amazing as well.  There are so many facilities to use for classes and with the farm to table food you’d be eating well too.  It’s even a great place to escape for a corporate retreat and really focus on the task at hand.

Beyond all of the beautiful facilities and good food, the people at Perfect Vermont are some of the kindess and friendliest people we’ve met in quite some time.  Tom and Erlin were our hosts and they couldn’t have been more accomidating.  They answered all of our questions, chatted with us and Erlin even taught our morning yoga class.  We also had the pleasure of meeting Peter.  Peter oversees all 9 businesses that are part of Perfect Vermont, including Peak Races.  We sat with him and his wife at dinner and had such a good time chatting with them!  They we’re really lovely!  Jessica the inn-keeper was so friendly and accomidating and made sure our stay was comfortable from start to finish.  Michael and I love beatiful places but we love them even more when they are run by good people.  I trust that whatever event you host at Perfect Vermont, you’ll be fully taken care of and feel so comfortable with the staff.  We certainly did.

The weekend was so relaxing and a nice break from the go-go-go of our lives.  Perfect Vermont definitely has a slower, more relaxed vibe to it.  We loved all of the food, the lodging and certainly felt that they had a lot to offer!  I’m already thinking about how I can make a yoga retreat happen there!  Thanks so much to Perfect Vermont for inviting us to attend the weekend and let us see why they named their company Perfect Vermont!

Have you been to Pittsfield, VT?  Would you attend a retreat at Perfect Vermont?

**Disclosure: I was offered an overnight, inclusive trip in exchange for a full review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**