yoga-spiration

I was a little discouraged on Friday after yoga. I take a vinyasa/restorative class and for whatever reason, really struggled during the flow portion of class. I was frustrated and while that subsided when the restorative portion of class came about, I left feeling disappointed in my body’s abilities. Still, I hit the mat on Saturday afternoon for my hip hop class. It was very challenging because of the chosen poses/sequences, but I left feeling proud of what my body allowed me to do.

Then, Tuesday rolled around…

Tuesday was kind of a strange day for me: I ate a pound of asparagus for lunch and then dreamed of dancing of french fries on the drive to and at the end of yoga.

I take a yin and restorative class on Tuesdays. I’d briefly considered taking a hip hop class this week but I really enjoy the stillness of the yin portion and always leave in such a great headspace (which is absolutely necessary with the treacherous threes my toddler is going through). As class ended, I was planning my next move: French fries from byChloe.

byChloe is just down the street from yoga and I decided to try it because my usual, Dig Inn, stopped serving their chili oil brussels sprouts last week and I am oddly affected. I looked at the menu beforehand and figured on a Greek salad (sans tofu feta & chickpeas) and air-fryer fries. Before I left, I grabbed some beet ketchup (holy moly) and chipotle aioli — what a lovely treat and a great way to top off a strong showing at yoga.

I am looking forward to Friday’s class and am hopeful that my body will be more willing to expand and experience growth. I’m also planning to change up some of my classes in the coming weeks. I want to try a strength & structure class and a different yin class. I’ll be sure to update on the different classes/instructors, as I’m looking forward to more experiences!

Additionally, I am considering getting a bolster and yoga blanket for my practice at home. I have one block but want to get a set of two as well. My goal in the coming weeks is to do more self practice at home and also start to add in some elliptical and weight training — nothing to overly exert myself, but just to aid in strength building. I’d like to have a stronger routine so that once the weather breaks, I can get out for walks more frequently and maybe the occasional run.

What are some of your exercise reflections and goals?

 

 

yoga with benefits

I was really excited when I got back to the mat last month and joined a studio that offers hip hop yoga (the class that originally got me hooked years ago). Since joining, I’ve taken vinyasa (heated), vinyasa + restorative, yin yoga, restorative, and the hip hop. There are other classes offered that I’ve not had the chance to take yet, but I’m interested in the slow flow and strength/structure classes.

I’ve been thinking about other things that have changed since I started attending classes. First and foremost is my exercise regimen. I had been doing at-home practice a few days a week but only for short periods of time and, instead, spend most of my time focused on cardio (elliptical) and some lifting. I’ve not done either of these in 2019 and while I hope to add one workout a week that includes deliberate cardio and lifting, I’m otherwise unfazed by how things have shaken out. In truth, I’m pleased with the shoulder definition I’m developing by attending yoga 3-4x a week.

My diet has easily been cleaned up. Sure, we did a revamp but I’m finding that it’s really easy to find balance — I’m eating vegetables (my favorite) and have cut grains significantly; I’ve also added some protein but not so much that I feel overwhelmed by it. Before I started yoga, I’d have oatmeal (2) for breakfast, maybe a sandwich or salad and pita for lunch, and then pasta and vegetables for dinner. I’ve been still indulging in a lot of carbs (thank you, potatoes & fruit) and am still having pasta for dinner, just not as often. I also have indulged in a couple of Girl Scout cookies the last few nights. It may seem silly but I accredit yoga for empowering me to be do what’s best for my mind and body.

In addition to diet and exercise, I’m drinking a lot more water, my clothes are fitting differently, and I’m falling asleep without melatonin (and staying asleep); most importantly, my anxiety isn’t getting in my way and I’m feeling a lot freer as a person, which  makes me a better wife and parent. Lastly, and this is silly but I have noticed that when I’m planning to go someplace (date night, out with my toddler, the grocery store), I am dressing better. I am no longer grabbing leggings and a tunic; instead, I feel more put together. I realized this when the jeans in my drawer were running low but my leggings were abundant.

While we’re on the subject of clothing: I used to online shop a lot. I didn’t only buy things for me; I bought for everyone in the house. My resolution for 2019 was to stop online shopping and I’m happy to report: So far, so good! I used online browsing/shopping to fill a void and occupy my mind when suffering from severe anxiety. I’ve not had any desire to shop online this year and the few things I’ve ordered for the house (things we need, which I do not count), I feel inconvenienced. This has been a pleasant turn around for me.

I’m in the city a few days a week, which gives me easy access to restaurants and shops. I miss living in the fray of thugs. When I first moved to the ‘burbs, I was miserable. We’ve since sold that house and moved to a beach town, which I love. We do a weekly date night but are typically only gone for an hour or two, so it’s not like we are in the city much otherwise. It’s nice to get to walk around and pop into stores or restaurants at my leisure. This is a favorite benefit of yoga thus far.

Of course, the last benefit I’ve found through yoga is that I’ve started to set weekly intentions. I grab my planner on Sundays and set my intentions for the week; these include self-care, family activities, yoga schedule, and other things that are important to my family and myself. A goal I want to get to is setting daily intentions but for now, this works.

What are some benefits you’ve found through your routines?

yoga & boston

When I lived in Boston, I was probably the healthiest I’d been since living in DC. I used to walk everywhere I could, I was training for my first half-marathon and I was going to yoga at a studio called Sweat & Soul regularly.┬áMy favorite yoga class there was hip hop yoga — what’s not to love: A heated room, hip hop music, and a vinyasa flow. It was a great workout and I was going twice a week.

I have tried several yoga studios in my area since moving to the suburbs but none of them compare, so I get bored and agitated during my practice. I’ve managed to do a good bit of at-home practice but it’s just not the same; and my husband, surprisingly, is not impressed by my jacking up the heat to recreate a studio feel.

My husband was traveling for work a few weeks ago and I spent a lot of time thinking about how to get back to that level of health and happiness. I scoured the Internet, but was unable to find any hip hop yoga classes on Boston’s north shore. I looked in my immediate area and maybe 15 miles in every direction. The only hit was ONE yoga studio in Boston’s Copley area.

I checked out the yoga studio online and took them up on their free first week offer. I attended Friday night’s restorative class and yesterday’s hip hop. I loved both but if I’m being honest here, I found far more benefits than just the yoga classes.

The studio is in a bustling area of the city, so after class both days, I walked to a restaurant and grabbed dinner/lunch to go. I got to walk around the city for a little before heading back on the MBTA and going home. I realized as I walked that being in the city gives me another type of energy. I truly love walking around — it brings me a great joy! Another thing I realized was how much these classes can lessen my mental load.

Currently, I am the go-to for all questions in the household, but if I’m gone (and off the grid, as I am during yoga and was before/after largely), nobody can ask me any questions. As a result, I had 3-4 hours on Friday and Saturday where I just got to be, me. It really helped me feel energized and after discussing, my husband and I agree that this should be a big part of my weekly routine. So, I am hoping to get there Friday & Saturday and then Monday afternoon before class and Tuesday evening.

Now, I have to keep this in mind as I meal plan. With hot yoga, you shouldn’t eat within four hours of class, so I will miss a few dinners a week that I’ll need to figure out. I think want to make sure I’m budgeting to grab something at Dig Inn, Sweetgreen, Cava, or other counter service places that offer loads of veggies.

I was pleasantly surprised at how great it felt to have that much time to myself and how the simple act of walking and grabbing a bowl of beets, brussels sprouts, and apples could make feel so great. I am looking forward to more weeks like this and more walking around once spring/summer are upon us. (It’s tough to be too excited about logging miles walking during a New England winter.)

What kind of exercise or activity makes you feel joyful?