Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book this year. I haven’t quite finished it yet and that’s why you haven’t been privileged to a Fave Reads Friday post on the book yet. But, I thought that it was time for me to define my own Happiness Project. The book has been very inspiring in many ways and made me consider many aspects of my life and ways that I have chosen to live in regards to a yoga lifestyle. Yoga has helped me in my relationships, my professional career, my parenting, and with my mental and physical health. It’s help me define who I am and what I stand for. Now, after a weekend of teaching yoga, I have the ultimate goal of my own Happiness Project….MY BODY!

Continue reading “Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project”

Fave Reads Friday #7 – Reading List 2017

Happy Friday Everyone! I haven’t done a Fave Reads Friday post in quite some time, but it’s something I want to do more regularly in 2017. Last year I did a great job of reading a lot of books, but that left a lot of unread magazines. This year I already know I will be doing some reading for work, so I’ve planned to scale back on the book reading some and spend more time clearing out magazines and emails and sharing with you what I learn. So, here’s my Reading List for 2017: Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #7 – Reading List 2017”

Workout Wednesday #1 – Body Weight Basics for HIIT

So, I’m going to try and make this a weekly endeavor to share either a yoga series or some other workout with you. Try being the operative word here as some of these goals have fallen by the wayside in the past. This week I want to share a short video with you of the HIIT routine I am doing.

While I am a fitness professional with multiple degrees and certifications, this workout is unsolicited, unsponsored, and not intended as advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything; nor is it an exercise prescription that will meet your personal needs, likes, and abilities. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having health problems and before starting any new exercise routine.

I decided that I like a very short workout on Mondays to get my week started and not to set myself up for disaster. It’s something I can do in my upstairs, so no need to worry about the weather. It requires little or no equipment, depending upon how you choose to do the exercises. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete and works almost all major muscle groups. I’ve done it twice now and have decided that it will stick for awhile for sure. (I usually know after the first few times if it’s something I’ll keep up.)

Two years ago in April I tried to HIIT regularly for awhile and I enjoyed it, but something told me that I should do MORE and that didn’t workout too well. I had some great links to more about what HIIT training is in that post and I’ve talked about it a few other times in regards to other types of HIIT/Tabata/Interval training. For this go around I found a Tabata timer that I liked and then wrote out 8 different exercises I knew I could accomplish multiple times for 20 seconds each. I am able to complete 3 rounds right now in the allotted time I have each Monday and with how little my body has truly exercised over the last month or so.

After 3 takes and much editing….hope you enjoy!

Have you done HIIT/Tabata/Interval Training before?

What is your favorite short workout?

What do you do to start out the week?

Meditation Monday # 23 – January 2nd and Finding Contentment

Happy 2017! Today I decided to stick to my plan of just doing what I can do each day. I put a minimal amount of things on my schedule for today and I’m slowly taking care of each of them. One was to try and get this post in and that meant also doing a meditation today. It couldn’t have been a better one!

Gates’ Day 72 post opens with:

Gates asks, “What else is there, after all, than the stuff of our daily lives?” (p.98) So, I too asked myself that same question. Today I had alone time with my oldest at breakfast and as I drove him to school. I love how smart and kind he is in the way he sees the world. Today my youngest asked me to watch him as he did ABC Mouse, then helped me with my workout. He and I had a tickle fight over whether or not he’s wearing pants today. I love that he is crazy and sweet in his interactions. And today I ate food that tasted great without concern for what it was; I wrote and meditated; I worked and exercised and cleaned and organized…..I did my regular daily tasks, but truth be told….I’m happy to be back to the mundane from the holiday season.

It may be raining here today, but I am enjoying my work, my life, my days that I have been given.

How has your 2017 started out?

What makes you most content in the world?

One Day to Go – Looking Forward to 2017

The past two days I’ve been on a posting frenzy! Well, 2/2 that is. So, I thought I’d make a run for it with 3/3 today. I’m already aware of the fact that I WON’T be posting on Sunday. It’s New Year’s Day in this country and I’m having a party. You’re welcome to join us, but not really because I can only cook so much in my slow cooker. But come in spirit….take the day off from the online world and revel in your IRL friends (if people even still use that sort of speak).

So, I only have a brief post for you today about looking forward to 2017. Continue reading “One Day to Go – Looking Forward to 2017”

Currently December 2016

I’m back! Well, sort of. I’ve been away from my blog for a full month now. Why? By choice mostly….I’ve chosen to prioritize other things that I had going on. Also, because I’m pretty sure that I’m suffering from a little holiday depression. It’s almost the end of the year and a lot of people are looking back at their 2016 and reveling in the things they’ve accomplished. Others are looking forward to what will happen in 2017. I am in a third group…..somewhat less optimistic and trying to wrap my head around what comes next.

See, I didn’t accomplish everything I hoped to do as far as my 30 Days goals went. I even tried scaling back on numerous occasions. I tried to maintain a fitness streak through the holidays and had to abandon that due to my unwillingness to run in this cold this year. Yet, I don’t quite feel like a failure. I determined awhile back that this would be the year of self study….Svadhyaya. And I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, so check that off the list!

And the summary of it all is this….I am one girl, aged 36, on a mission to live the best life I can and to instill in my children the best confidence and values that I can while I am here. I am not perfect, nor do I aspire to be. I am a fitness professional who sometimes struggles to make exercise a priority. I am a yoga teacher who sometimes yells and loses it. I am me….I am still here….taking it one breath at a time; and I will be for some time more.

So, 2016, Thank you for your service. And as for 2017 I’ve decided this:

Each day I will arise and say not “what needs to be done today?”, but rather, “what can I do?” and then I will do what I can and be happy with the results. I will strive for a more minimalist approach to expectations, work, and things that don’t give me joy. I will stop looking around at all of the unfinished and feeling guilty, but instead look at what has been done and feel successful.

How will you live your 2017? Which are you: The kind that looks back, forward, or stuck in between?

Thank you to Amanda for allowing me a place to dump my thoughts!

Currently September 2016 – The Yoga Project

Biggest Pet Peeve – Posts that don’t post on time!

So, it’s Friday the end of September and I’m sure some of you are wondering: How did the 30 Days of Yoga go?

Well, it went better than expected and reignited my love of a daily yoga practice so much that I have a new plan for 30 Days of Yoga in October! But we’ll get to that in a minute. First a little reflection on the process.

At the beginning of the month my practice was heavily focused on the Asana and Pranayama limbs of yoga, but I ended up spending the end of the month in Dhyana….meditation. In total I meditated for 16 days this month using the Gates book and finished the section on Yamas just in time for the end of the month. The biggest portion of my meditations were spent on the idea of Aparigraha or Letting Go. There’s a lot of that needed in my life, but the best part of letting go was opening space for something new…..for more yoga!

This week’s meditations and reflection on the month, in particular,  have taught me that I still have some work to do on the Yamas. It’s a daily struggle and not something that comes easily in certain areas.

  • Nonviolence
  • Honesty
  • Nonstealing
  • Moderation
  • Nonhoarding

Which brings me to October and the start of the Niyamas…The Sustaining Practices.

How will I be sustaining my Yamas? By having 5 Yamas Friday for the month of October.  I will look back at the week and reflect on the best example of me living My Yoga Life through the Yamas.

How will I be sustaining my physical practice….my Asanas? Every odd numbered day of the month I will be working on the first of the three poses that I wanted to master this year. October’s Pose of the Month will be Garland because it pairs best with the knee recovery exercises I’ve been working on. I also plan to take pictures along the way to chart my progress.

How will I be sustaining my Dhyana? On the even days of October I plan to meditate using the Gates book. It has taken me 795 days to get from the intro of Meditations from the Mat to Day 61 in the meditations. I had planned to finish that book in one year and now it seems necessary for my continued progress in life.

So, expect updates along the way and 5 Yamas Fridays each week. Come back Monday for Mini Movie Monday – Exercises for My Back! I hope you have a great weekend and Join Me for 30 Days of Yoga October!

How are you living the Yamas?

How are you sustaining your yoga?


TOLT – My 37th Year

Immaculate Baking Company Yellow Cake Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting....Happy Birthday to ME!
Immaculate Baking Company Yellow Cake Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting….Happy Birthday to ME!

My 36th Birthday was on Tuesday and to celebrate I did a 5k on Sunday morning. You can read my Race Report here. Then I read a post on Tuesday by Tracy at Fit is a Feminist Issue that sparked my thoughts for the next year. I made a lot of resolutions in January (read the recap of them here) and I’ve been slowly working on them these last 9 months. But, now September is almost over and I’ve completed my 36th year of living on this Earth. So, what comes next?

Here is my short list of things to accomplish before I turn 37 in TOLT fashion. Thanks Amanda, as always, for hosting!

  1. Finish my grad school research paper and have it published (see yesterday’s post).
  2. Continue my yoga journey by completing the Level 2 training with YogaFit. Lucky for me one is coming to my current town in January! Hello Christmas present!
  3. Run in two more competitive events….an 8k and a 10k (setting the bar a little lower not to give up but to be realistic about what has happened with my training of late).

I’m sure I’ll have an enormous “to do” list come January for 2017, but here’s the start.

Do you meditate on the year to come?

What will you accomplish before your next birthday?

Currently August 2016

I thought that for today I’d take it all the way back to my ambitious long list. Here’s an update, in a few words each, on what I’ve accomplished so far this year.

  1. See the world – Did I mention that I lost my glasses at one point? And I haven’t done much in the way of traveling of late.
  2. Follow through and finish what I start – I am still working on this list, but there are many tasks that still sit unfinished. Currently I’m working on a workshop that I started reading for in June.
  3. Face my fears – I think my biggest fear is that I am lost right now and I may be depressed, but I’m too afraid to find out for real. Especially after reading this book.
  4. Get some more education/professional development – I attended two trainings in June and am now able to teach a few more workshops, but I want to accomplish a little more this year.
  5. Accept responsibility for my mistakes, take ownership and ask for forgiveness when necessary – Man have I ever been trying to own up this year!
  6. Embrace my love of the scale – I’ve been tracking my weight from time to time and like knowing that it’s not in charge of me and I also don’t fear it.
  7. Compete – Did I mention that I’m doing a race in less than a month?! I scaled back, but still….it’s getting done!
  8. Reconnect – I have spent more time reaching out to friends and really trying to spend more time with the friends that I value. I was grateful to have my friend Sarrah come to town three times in the last two months!
  9. Prepare – My little notebook calendar has helped me to stay on track a lot better and we’ve had a few mishaps with Kindergarten (I forgot to label the date on the lunch this morning), but overall feel way more prepared than previously.
  10. Write more – I’m here…now…and I think this year has been my best so far as far as number of posts.
  11. Read – Did I mention I’ve almost completely finished my book list, plus some?
  12. Make new things to eat – This was new last week.

    breakfast cookie
    I used Crazy Richard’s chunky peanut butter instead of almond butter, some frozen blueberries we picked at Lewis Farms earlier this year, and a mix of applesauce and honey instead of coconut oil because I didn’t have any and I make my own blueberry applesauce that worked perfectly with this recipe.
  13. Ask “Why?” – My yoga is coming along more and more each semester. I need to get back to a daily practice, but that’s a 30 day challenge I’m giving myself soon.
  14. Bump up the mileage – Like I said earlier, I’ve scaled back on the runs, but today I went out after Kindergarten drop off instead of early morning and logged a few more miles. Still waiting for the humidity and heat to really die down for this one.
  15. jumpGet the photos under control – I’ve been trying to get into more pics for another goal I set earlier this month. I forgot to post this one….so I hope you enjoy. Have you ever been to a trampoline park? Ours has a ninja warrior type course in the back and I tried a ton of the obstacles and made a fool of myself. Thank goodness my kids are young!
  16. Go pro! – Stagnant here due to lack of funds to move forward. But, I did decide to stop hosting so that I could be real instead of just pro and poor.
  17. Rest – I was all about this when my knee got injured.
  18. Get wet! – Still no pool membership, but again….lack of funds is preventing a few things.
  19. Relish sweetness – My kids and I are having so much more fun these days.
  20. Treat myself to gear – Yep, a few things here and there, but the new running shoes are coming……
  21. Awareness – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate – I can’t even begin to tell you how much this has been helping me lately!
  22. Strength – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate – Not always in physical measures.
  23. Flexibility – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate – Not always in physical measures.
  24. Balance – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate – Working on balance of life as a whole.
  25. 3 better yoga poses – My yoga is slow going as I’ve devoted so much more time to running, but I’m being more conscious of my practice…..come back tomorrow for more info on that.
  26. Clean out the friendship fridge – I’m just not throwing effort where effort is undeserved.
  27. Fitness measures outside of running and yoga – This has been a hard one for me as I find that running and yoga are what fits best into my life right now. Although, I want a Kettlebell for my birthday.
  28. Just Say No! – I think this one has been a benefit and a negative of late. I’m saying no to more crap from other people, but I’ve also given myself the permission to stop on runs when I know I can push through. There’s a fine line between saying no to doing something because it’s truly too much and saying no because it’s easier….
  29. Be someone – Thank you to the followers who followed me over to the new site. 🙂 I’m grateful for each of you!
  30. Check in! – Here I am and I’d love to hear from you about  the following two things:

Have you long forgotten your resolutions?

What struggles are you facing in your fitness life today?