Tag Archives: Yoga

Sunday Morning Catch Up

Standard

Hi Friends!  I’ve been MIA lately and missing you! Life’s been a little busy and there is only so many hours in the day which means sometimes this little blog takes a back seat.  Luckily, it’s a Sunday morning, it’s raining and we can catch up over a cup of chai tea.

I’ve been feeling so good lately when it comes to eating and workouts.  My eating habits are far from perfect and I don’t work out as much as I’d like but that’s really ok lately.  I feel like for so long I was caught up in how many workouts a week I was going to do, how long my workouts were and having a perfect combination of cardio and strength.  These days I don’t even plan my workouts, I go by the feel of the day and what sounds fun and interesting.  Some mornings I am up at 5:30am practicing yoga or going for a run.  Other days I reset the alarm, sleep in until 6:30 and go for a quick run, or do a 30 minutes barre workout after work.  The only constant these days is the 6am barre class I take down the street every Friday morning.  The variety challenges my body and helps tone my muscles, in fact I’m still losing weight and inches.  In terms of eating, we’re still loving salads and lean protein like salmon, chicken and turkey and it’s easy to stay on track with these good healthy meals.  We’re still learning and adjusting.  Some weekends we eat too many carbs or overindulge on date night but it’s ok- life is short.  I’d love to say that I drink a green smoothie everyday but that would be a lie.  Most days I do but other times I want toast with peanut butter and banana or a bowl of cereal.  It’s not perfect but it works for me!

Wedding planning has been so fun.  I don’t share our planning process and the details here as this is a space for running and yoga talk but it’s definitely a big project that takes up a good chunk of my time and truthfully keeps me from posting more frequently here.  I was a bit worried about planning our wedding.  So much so that I wanted a very small, intimate wedding of less than 50 people as I thought it would be easier to plan.  We are actually having over 100 people at our wedding but still hoping it will be intimate.  I’m so happy we’re planning a larger wedding with all the fanfare.  It’s been a really fun process so far and an experience I’m so happy to share with Michael and our families.  We just finished booking all of the major details and even booked our honeymoon!  I’m beyond excited for our big day and counting down the next 7 1/2 months with great anticipation.

The Big Day!

The Big Day!

Speaking of our wedding.  It definitely has me thinking about my race plan for the year.  You all know I typically run a marathon or half-marathon (or two) in the fall but with our wedding in November I’m not really sure I want to commit to that.  I’ve been enjoying the wedding planning process, mostly because I’ve set aside the time to plan it.  And the fall will be even busier with all the little details coming together, my bridal shower and the bachelorette party.  As, someone who thinks they can do it all, I find myself more often than not in situations where I’ve taken on too much and get stressed out.  I really don’t want to stress out about my wedding or a race.  Both are supposed to be fun.  So I’m thinking a may not run a fall race this year and enjoy this exciting time in my life.  I’m also really loving my workouts lately.  It feels so good to run for the fun and enjoyment of it, or skip a run and go to yoga or hit the barre instead.  I love the variety and the freedom to do what feels good.  What is up in the air is spring half marathon.  I’d just do it for fun, and not worry about time and PR’s.  Decisions, decisions.

On April 12th we’ll celebrate 6 months with Twila.  She’s been such a joy in our lives and makes us laugh every.single.day.  She’s so goofy and funny.  She has this little purple mouse that she plays with.  She’s always pushing it under the couch or in a closet and then comes and yells at you until you get it for her.  It’s so funny.  She’s really come around lately and been so snuggly and full of love.  I just can’t get enough.  There’s nothing better than the unconditional love of a pet.  And who can resist her silly bat ears and sweet eyes?!

Twila

Twila

I’m off to make breakfast! I’m thinking is a french toast and scrambled egg kind of morning.  Thanks for catching up with me friends! I’ll be back soon!

Tell me, what have you been up to?

Getting Fit with Gaiam

Standard

Hi Friends!  So last time I was here I talked about the workouts that are helping me lose weight.  Today I wanted to share a little bit more about the tools that are helping me to lose weight.  Back in January Gaiam offered to send me a few different workout products to test and use as part of their Get fit with Gaiam campaign.  As a yogi, I’ve always been a big fan of Gaiam and all they have to offer.  I’ve bought yoga videos, blocks, straps, mats and props from them and have been following them on social media for years.  I love their philosophy, and I love their products.

Goodies

Get Fit with Gaiam

I opted for the Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Block and the Banyan & Bo by Gaiam Premium Yoga Strap.  I was pretty excited for the cork block as I have a foam block at home at it’s just not quite wide enough or sturdy enough for poses like supported bridge.  This cork block is really wide and thick so I feel very safe and secure when using it for supported bridge or standing splits.  I was actually thinking I need to order a second one so I can use them as props to help deepen my backbends or when working on splits.  I also really liked the yoga strap, it’s nice and thick and doesn’t have any stretch to it.  I’ve found that some yoga straps will stretch when I use them to lengthen my hamstrings or open my shoulders.  This one did not do that at all and again felt really sturdy and supportive when using it.  I’d definitely recommend both!

Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Yoga Block and Banyan and Bo Premium Yoga Strap

Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Yoga Block and Banyan and Bo Premium Yoga Strap

The other item I received was the Step360.  I was hesitant about reviewing this as I was really worried it would be another workout item I’d never use.   I have to tell you, I’m so happy I decided to test this out!  With this winter being so cold and snowy it’s really given be another outlet to sweat it out.  So what is a Step360?  The step has 2 air inflated chambers with a solid surface on the top making it a combination between a step, a trampoline and a balance board.  It was super easy to set up, I pretty much inflated the air chambers and was good to go.  It came with 2 DVDs with a variety of workouts on it and a sculpting cord.  I absolutely love the workouts.  They are interval based and really easy to follow.  The best part is they are 10 or 20 minutes long.  The cardio based workouts do a great job of increasing your heart rate and working your agility.  The strength workouts with the use of the sculpting cord really work your whole body.  I’ve been sore after every workout! The Step360 has been really fun to use and has added a whole new dimension to my workouts.

Step360 by Gaiam
Step360 by Gaiam

A big thanks to Gaiam for letting me test out the Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Block and the Banyan & Bo by Gaiam Premium Yoga Strap and the Step360.  They’ve definitely made my workouts more fun and helped me to continue to live a healthy life!

Have you tried the Gaiam products?  Would you try the Step360?

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss: Workouts

Standard

So I’ve shared with you how Michael and I modified our breakfasts, lunches and dinners to help us lose weight.  Beyond the food and the portion control there is one other main component that has helped us be successful…workouts.

By now you all know that I love running and to run long.  I also love yoga for strength and stretching.   Occasionally I”ll find myself in the gym focusing on strength…until I get bored again and decide yoga is enough.  I don’t do intervals unless I’m chasing down a half-marathon or marathon PR and even then I’ll usually try to justify that I don’t need to do them.  As a college athlete strength sessions were how I got fast, and intervals were how I got faster.  After years of focusing on them, I was just happy to workout how I wanted, when I wanted.

Recently, I’ve been back to strength and intervals but in a whole new way.  And I  haven’t been running long very much at all.  I have to say, it’s making a difference and I see it in the tone of my muscles and the overall look of my body.   So here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to…

Barre Workouts.

Since November I’ve been attending Barre N9ne every Friday morning.  I absolutely love the workouts.  An hour flies by and I’m sore for days!  The class I take involves mat and barre work to tone your whole body.  Each exercise lasts about 5 minutes.  Typically it’s about 3 variations of small muscles movements done in sets of 12.  You repeat the whole sequence for each muscle 3 times.  It was amazing how quickly I started to see my muscles tone up!  In addition to my weekly barre class I also subscribe to barre3.  Barre3  incorporates some yoga into the workouts which I really like and it ties everything together nicely for me.  For $15 a month I have access to unlimited videos of barre classes that I can do at home.  With a set of 3lb. weights, an ab ball and my kitchen countertop I’m able to get a great workout in.  They have videos that are 10, 30, 40 and 60 minutes long.  Sometimes I’ll do a quick barre workout after a run or other days I’ll keep it simple and just do a 40 or 60 minute workout.  I love how long, lean and toned my muscles are looking thanks to these workouts.

Barre!!

Barre!!

Intervals.  

With all the snow and cold it’s been hard to run outside.  Lucky for me Gaiam sent me the Step360 to try out.  The workouts are 3o minutes long and are 6o second intervals that are cardio based.  They also have videos that are for strength and utilize a resistance band.  I usually combine a 30 minute cardio workout with a 10 minute strength workout.  This definitely does the job in terms of getting my heart rate up and working up a sweat.  I really like the workouts and find them really fun!

Step360 by Gaiam

Step360 by Gaiam

Yoga.

You didn’t think I could give up yoga did you?!  I love adding yoga in for more strength, stretching, relaxing and mind clearing.  It’s just something I can’t do with out!

Yoga!

Yoga!

Notice I didn’t put running in the list?  It’s because I really have only ran a handful of times in the last couple months and I don’t contribute it to my weight loss.  It’s kind of crazy to me because typically when I want to lose a couple pounds and tone up I just run more.  I’ve learned this time though that the variety and more so the strengthening is the key for me.  I’ve also learned that it’s not really about time either.  For many years I was so caught up in working out 5 days a week for an hour or so each day.  Now I really don’t stress.  I still try to workout 5 days a week but with work and life I end up working out about 3-4 days a week.  And an hour a day?  No way!  I’ve learned that I can get in a sweaty, effective workout done in less than an hour!

It’s been a really interesting few months in terms of working out for me.  I’ve learned a lot about what works for me personally and what doesn’t.  The best part is that I feel like I’m looking and feeling great these days!

What kind of workouts help you lose weight? What works for you?  What doesn’t?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily posts on healthy living, food and workouts!

Life in 2013!

Standard

It’s hard to believe that today is the final day of 2013.  It seems like just yesterday I was bundled up, running through the snowy streets and listening to Ellie Golding’s Anything Can Happen and feeling excited and hopeful for the year ahead…

January started with the completion of a long time goal…becoming a certified yoga instructor!  It felt so good to finally complete my goal.   I spent most of January and February teaching my first classes and finding my way as a new instructor.  January also brought my year of being a sponsored athlete for Athleta, which was all sorts of fun and exciting.  I even went outside my comfort zone and modeled in a fashion show for them! Michael and spent most of the winter hibernating and we even watched as we got 30 inches of snow in one storm!  It was a long winter, and having ran outside all winter I was happy to see spring arrive!

The spring brought a lot with it.  Most significantly we endured the Boston Marathon bombings, and the days that followed.  It’s still a memory that brings back many emotions and thoughts. Unfortunately it is something I’ll probably carry with me for years to come.  I’m grateful for my safety and glad I was just far enough away and most of all  I was relieved that all 150+ Team In Training runners were safe.  I’m also incredibly proud of how our city has moved on and the strength we have shown.

I traveled a lot for work this past spring, attending the Inaugural Nike Women’s Marathon Half in Washington, D.C. and the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon!  It was my first trip to DC so I made the most of every moment and saw everything from the Smithsonian to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and all of the monuments at the mall in addition to a trip to the Newseum!  My mom came with me to San Diego and my first trip to California!  We had a great mother-daughter trip exploring Coronado Island, the San Diego Zoo (amazing!) and enjoying lots and lots of delicious food!

Summer started with a trip to NY to see my parents and a staycation over the 4th of July.  I managed to go to the beach almost everyday, explored the World’s End Reserve in Hingham and the South Shore with Michael, and took a day trip to Newport to tackle the Cliff Walk and head to the beach!  I also started to think more about yoga and what I needed from my practice.  I signed up for 2 fall half-marathons and started training.  I was feeling really good with all of my workouts and training and loving it! In mid-July we lost our love, Brandy.  It was such a sad day as she was truly our little friend who greeted us when we came home with loud meows, snuggled with us whenever possible and followed us from room to room.  You were never alone with her by your side.  She was always little spoon and loved to fall asleep next to you.  Michael and I were heart broken and terribly sad.  As Brandy would have wanted we kept our best to keep on living and loving.  We spent the day together in Manchester by the Sea, tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding, had lunch by the ocean and spent the after at the beach.  We went to the track in Saratoga with Michael’s family and enjoyed many mornings at the backstretch (my favorite).  We headed to the Cape the following weekend for another adventure!  We explored Hyannis, spent my birthday eating pastries, exploring Provincetown, eating oyster and seafood ocean-side in Wellfleet and even watched Planes at the drive-in!  We worked the Falmouth Road Race and watched 35 Team In Training runners cross the finish line!  And to complete our tour of the Cape we spent the night in Martha’s Vineyard at a super nice hotel, enjoying a fancy dinner and exploring Vineyard Haven! We even saw President Obama playing golf!  We closed out the summer with one final weekend at the track in Saratoga!

Fall came quickly and was in one word, BUSY!  I got promoted at work not once but twice! We went to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania so I could be the bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding and watch her and her husband say I do!  And we welcomed this little one into our lives!  Twila brought lots of laughter and happiness with her funny little ways! We headed to Newport again to go the Wine and Food Festival.  It was a pretty amazing day in one of the mansions trying food and wine and loving every minute of it! The last weekend of September brought one of the most exciting things of the entire year…our engagement!  Michael proposed in our Sunday morning yoga class!  We celebrated over brunch and with our family and friends!

October brought back to back half-marathons!  We headed to Portland, ME for the Maine Marathon and Half where I had an incredible race and loved the scenery!  The following weekend I ran the BAA Half Marathon yet again and had another fun race!  We celebrated both with lots of delicious food!  At the end of October my parents came to help us choose our wedding venue.  We set our date and began planning for our November 15, 2014 wedding!  In November we met with caterers, went to multiple tastings and picked ours!  My mom, cousin and I found the dress of my dreams!  We celebrated Thanksgiving with Michael’s family and yoga! December brought christmas trees, work travel and holiday shopping!  I celebrated the holiday in NY with my family and even went skiing last week with my Dad and brother!

Beyond all the activities I managed to scale back in my commitments and started to really live by the idea that less is more.  I refocused on my yoga practice and even stopped teaching in an effort to reconnect.  I’ve also scaled back my running and workouts to give my body a chance to rest and recover a bit…the first time in years.  I finally feel like I’m in a great place with work and life balance and put my time first.

It’s been an amazing year and we can only imagine what next year will bring!  We can’t wait to get married and become husband and wife and hope to see so many more amazing things come our way!  Thank you all for following my life and journey, even as I’ve stepped back and have been blogging less.  I’m hoping to be writing a bit more in the year to come!

Happy New Year Friends!! 

“The Posture Never Ends.”

Standard

This morning as I laid in bed all snuggled up, enjoying the slowness of the morning and the day ahead; I reached over and grabbed my phone to check Facebook, and Instagram.   What struck me was the number of posts about people’s goals and lists of things to accomplish before the New Year.   Goals and lists designed to by completed by January 1st in an effort to start the New Year with a clean slate and fresh start.  I laid there thinking about my own life, what did I need to accomplish before January 1st to start the New Year with a clean slate?  I finally decided that getting a physical for the first time since college would be enough and that there wasn’t really anything pressing I needed to do.  Eventually I scolded myself for checking social media first thing in the morning, turned off my phone and picked up my book.

Meditations from the Mat

Mediations from the Mat by Rolf Gates

I was a week behind in my readings from Meditations from the Mat and thought I’d spend some time reading, and reflecting.  Day 35.

The posture never ends.

~Rolf Gates

To begin the passage he talks about Vinyasa yoga, flowing from one posture to the next with unbroken breath and meditation.  That the transition from one pose to another is a pose within itself, a pose often neglected as we look ahead to what comes next.

The lesson remains, however, that it is our tendency to pay attention to the postures themselves, but not to the spaces in between.  So it is in life.

We are always looking to what comes next. The New Year, the next relationship, the next job, the next item on our to do list…never noticing the between, the transition.

The reality is that the posture never ends, it just shifts from one form to the next, one lesson to the next, one opportunity to the next.  We remain life’s student whether we are inhaling or exhaling, in a relationship or out of one, saving the world or looking for a temp job.  The posture never ends.

…The illusion is that there is separation, levels of importance, beginnings and endings.  Yoga brings us to the understanding that the posture never ends.

It’s such a simple passage but it brought me back to my earlier thoughts of the New Year.  Many people feel that 2014 is a fresh start, a clean slate but in reality our past never leaves us.  Just as in yoga the pose before can affect how we feel in the poses that are to come.  But perhaps, the New Year is really just a big opportunity for us to all focus on the transition, to complete that to-do list before the New Year.  The movement from the poses of 2013 to the poses of 2014.  Maybe it’s an opportunity to transition mind fully, to set intentions for the next set of poses that will uplift us and fulfill us.  Maybe the New Year is not so much of a clean slate, but an opportunity to transition to a more healthy life, or a more fulfilling career, or meaningful relationship.  Maybe the New Year is the opportunity to be sure our feet are stable, aligned properly on the mat, that we find strength in our legs to lift us to that new pose in the year that lies ahead.

DSC2879-L

As we come closer and closer to the New Year, I encourage you to think about how you’d like to transition.  How can you align yourself on the yoga mat of life so you can find strength in your practice and life in the year ahead?  For me the transition is about continuing to find the mat, and to strengthen my practice.  About taking the time to be intentional and purposeful in my words and actions.  The transition about aligning myself to avoid the busy traps, and choosing things in life that fulfill me, rather than just give me one more thing to do.  It’s an alignment that makes me feel whole and uplifted, more positioned to take on the next year in my strongest form.

DSC2948-L

How are you transitioning to the New Year?  How can you align yourself to be stronger in the next posture of life?