Tag Archives | yoga

National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month and while I got something of a late start, I’m thrilled to be celebrating.

In my 30 Day Self Challenge during August I talked about my love of yoga and how I was a bit disappointed that I have a bad habit of choosing workouts over yoga classes. After making a concerted effort during August to squeeze in more yoga, and after falling head-over-heels in love with Ritual Hot Yoga this Summer, I really wanted to dedicate a full month to my yoga practice.

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Enter CorePower Yoga. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat {moicontrelavie} you may have seen me doing headstands poolside in August. That was a seriously fun outdoor yoga event at the Phoenix Hotel. It was hosted by CorePower Yoga and I loved getting to meet the team and improve my practice with their guidance.

So what are my goals for National Yoga Month?

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While I am very interested in working on arm balances in general, I’m actually not going to focus on hitting any specific goals this month. My goal is really just to enjoy myself and focus on walking into the studio and letting go of the outside world.

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I took a Ritual Hot Yoga class this past weekend and they always have a mantra that they focus on for the day. I loved Saturday’s, which was: “Let it come.” Lindsay reminded us not to waste precious moments when the next moment will come regardless.

So slow down, relax, enjoy.

And let it come!

So be sure to stay tuned to hear about my experiences with CorePower Yoga and how much I enjoyed National Yoga Month!

Are YOU a fan of yoga? Did you celebrate National Yoga Month?

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30 Day Challenge: Results

At the end of July I published a post setting out some goals for myself for August – My 30 Day Challenge.

So what goals did a I lay out for myself? I made a list of three things that I wanted to try to incorporate more of in my life going forward, starting with August, all of which have a single purpose.

Slowing down.

Relaxing.

Enjoying the moment.

So how did I do during my 30 Day Challenge this Summer? Pretty good, actually. I could have done better, of course, but I have to say that I’m pretty proud of the positive changes that I’ve made this month.

Changes that I hope to push forward with for the rest of the year.

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{Activewear + Braids}

Meditation:

My goal was to meditate once or twice a day and I found that I do MUCH better at this in the mornings. I set an Outlook calendar reminder for myself daily, popped into a conference room, and zenned out for a few minutes.

At night I usually remembered a few times a week. I found that I did better at night after enlisting my boyfriend’s help actually. Once he started asking “did you meditate?” each night when we got in bed, I got more consistent with my evening meditations.

Gratitude:

I journaled every morning of August without fail. While my morning affirmations are usually all over the place in terms of content – August was all about gratitude. The people, the places, the experiences – I reminded myself just how lucky I am to have them all in my life. I also showed myself some love and wrote about my gratitude for different things that I do for myself as well.

Yoga:

While I only made it to a few formal yoga classes in August due to travel and scheduling issues, I very consistently did an at-home practice. Tara Stiles videos on YouTube, short sequences to warm up before a workout, restorative yoga stretches after my runs… I incorporated the various movements into my life a few times a week even outside classes.

Which is a good reminder for those who don’t have the time or money or drive to get a membership for a yoga studio. There are TONS of other options that can improve your practice and get you all the wonderful benefits of yoga without a price tag.

 So tell me – How was YOUR Summer? Have you set any goals for yourself?

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Fitness Goals: Splits

Welcome back to my 2016 Fitness Goals series! This is a 4-part series where I’ll be sharing four long-term fitness goals that I’ll be tackling over the course of the year.

In the first installment I talked about my number one goal for the year – Working on my booty. Squats, lunges, and bridges – Oh My!

Next I talked about the LONG TERM goal of staying on top of my personal health by moving every day. Yes – Every single day.

So what’s my third goal to focus on this year? Regaining my left and right splits!

I was a gymnast growing up and have retained a great deal of my flexibility. Toe touches? No problems! Basic yoga moves? Easy peasy Japanesey! But my love affaire with yoga in 2015 reinforced that I had lost some of my flexibility – Namely my forward splits.

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Something like this is NOT a quick & easy goal. It’s not something you can just force. It’s a long-term, work-on-it-every-day kinda thing.

So for this goal, in combination with my previous booty goal, I’ll be adding more stretching & yoga to my routine each week. You can also check out more on my yoga goals in my 30 Day Challenge for August!

Some ways I’ll get there? These great stretches!

Do YOU have a fitness goal for 2016? Tell me what you’re working on!

 

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Relaxing & Stress-Reducing Yoga Moves

Stress is a serious part of day-to-day life in our current society. And it’s become so commonplace that I swear we’ve started having “My life is more stressful than yours” competitions. A takeover by the ‘Cult of Busy’ if you will.

However, stressful lives, and the correspondingly high cortisol levels that result, can impact your health in a very real way. Causing everything from depression and concentration issues to high blood pressure, stomach ailments, and weight gain.

It’s important to slow things down and put some time & effort into relaxing and reducing your stress levels.

Here are a few stretches and simple yoga moves that can help you quiet the crazy, and relax – Anytime, any place. I love doing these before bed, they’re a great way to focus on your body and your breathing, and give your brain a chance to stop spinning so that you can fall asleep easier.

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Downward Facing Dog

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Cat & Cow Poses

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Pigeon {My absolute favorite pose, I could stay here all day}

What I’ve discovered about yoga is that you get out what you want from your practice. If you’re looking for something gentle and rejuvenating, that’s just what you’ll get.

So keep that in mind as you’re heading into a class or looking for a great yoga video on YouTube for an at-home session – Set an intension!

Do YOU have a favorite yoga pose?

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30 Day Challenge

I’m kind of obsessed with Snapchat right now, and one of my favorites is Chinae from GetFitBrooklyn. She just started a very inspiring 30 day challenge of new, healthy habits. Her journey includes tackling the Whole 30, taking daily walks, and meditation, among other things.

So what am I going to try out for my personalized 30 day challenge in August?

I’m going to work on relaxing and on reducing my stress levels. I’m pretty self-motivated when it comes to working out and healthy eating, so what I want to challenge myself to do, is to slow down!

I’ve been lazy when it comes to my meditation and gratitude journaling lately, and down right deficient when it comes to including yoga in my daily life. So for August my goal is to:

  1. Meditate 1-2 times a day
  2. Write in my gratitude journal every morning
  3. Do yoga 2+ times a week

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Meditation:

I’m not a great sleeper so meditation before bed is a great habit for me to get into. But unfortunately when I’m frazzled at night, I tend to forget. So this month will be able making it an important part of my wind-down routine. I’ll also try to squeeze in a morning meditation session, time permitting.

Gratitude:

I have a calendar reminder on my computer to jot down an affirmation each morning, but if I’m busy when it goes off, I have a terrible habit of snoozing or dismissing it.

No more!

I’ll be sure to write in my gratitude journal each morning – I love starting the day with some positivity to get things off on the right foot.

Yoga:

I love yoga. Love it.

So why don’t I do it more often? Because I have a terrible habit of choosing sweaty workouts instead. But that needs to stop. Yoga is the perfect way to move on active rest days, especially since I’ve been stressing my body lately with heavy weights and long runs.

So I am challenging myself to make these changes for 30 days.

To make these small improvements to my life daily life, in the hopes that they will outlast the 30 day challenge.

Are YOU up for a 30 day challenge?

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