When I participated in my 30 Day Yoga Challenge a few years ago, I tried a restore class, not really knowing what to expect. My initial reaction was that this class was wayyyyy too slow. I couldn’t sit there for 90 minutes and be with my own thoughts and holding poses for minutes at a time. That was until I went back to the class the following week and discovered my love for taking those quiet moments to breathe, meditate and just BE.
One of the poses we would put ourselves in and hold was legs up the wall. This pose turned out to be one of my favorites and I would find myself taking quiet time at home with my legs up the wall, just breathing and living in that moment. Something I need to remind myself to do more often NOW.
Some of the benefits of Legs-Up-The-Wall pose are*:
- Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
- Gently Stretches the back, legs, front torso, and back of the neck
- Relieves mild backache
- Calms the mind/anxiety
- Relieves symptoms of mild depression & insomnia
- Alleviates menstrual cramps
Next time I complain about any of the above (and let’s get real, I suffer from many of those, at least from time to time), tell me to get my butt to floor and throw my legs up the wall.
What’s your favorite yoga pose?
Do you practice regularly?
Let’s get real, lately it’s been one of the biggest struggles to get myself to do yoga, even though I know how beneficial it is for my mind AND body!
*Source: YogaJournal & CNY Healing Arts
Tomorrow I will hop on a plane and head to Kansas City for the week for work. I’ve got a few posts ready for the week but things might get a bit quieter; make sure to follow me on social media if you want to stay up to date, especially on any cool artists worth checking out.
In gearing up for this trip, I thought I would share my top tips for staying active while traveling…
- Pack your stuff – Simple as that! If you don’t pack your workout clothes, how are you going to get in a workout?
- Plan ideas – Whether it’s workouts you can do in the hotel gym or hotel room, local gyms to try, or a route for your run, come up with a few ideas. It will make it that much easier. Remember it’s okay if your workouts aren’t as long or as intense, the goal is to just stay active and get a little movement in while you’re away.
- Pick a Hotel with a Gym – So many hotels have small gyms these days which make it that much easier to stay active. If you have a choice when picking your hotel, make sure you’re picking one that offers a fitness space, even if it’s just a treadmill – it’s something!
- Give Yourself Extra Time – Even if it’s just an extra 30 minutes to get in a short run. If you don’t give yourself the extra time, then it becomes just another excuse to not stay active.
- Stretch/Yoga – Sometimes the best movement you can get while traveling is some stretching or yoga. Whether stretching out after a long (or short) flight or as a way to wind down from a long day, it’s a great way to get in a little movement.
How do you stay active while traveling?
A couple weeks ago I brought my friend Kristen with me to a show in the city. We decided to save ourselves the hassle of driving for this one and picked up the L at a stop not far from her house; on the L ride home we were talking about the gym and fitness. It’s important to note at NO point were we talking about our weight or a NEED to go to the gym to lose weight. Contrary, we were actually talking about how much we ENJOY going to the gym, doing yoga, etc.
The L was pretty empty with only a few people on it and while we were talking, we weren’t talking that loud. Shortly before one of the stops, a girl sitting near us got up so she could get off at the next stop. She looked at us and said “may I ask you how old you are?” I replied with my age and she said “You know you don’t need to lose weight, right? You’re way to young to be worrying about such things.” At this point I was extremely confused. I looked at Kristen who looked just as confused and I looked back to the girl and said “I’m well aware that I don’t need to lose weight” and she said “it’s only what you’ve been talking about for the last half hour…” and she got off the train.
Kristen and I looked at each other again in confusion. Aside from the fact that we hadn’t even been on the train for fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, we didn’t talk about the gym the whole time and like I said, never ONCE mentioned our weight in the conversation. But the whole interaction got me thinking – does going to the gym or talking about going to the gym mean we’re always looking to lose weight? Am I so wrapped up in my enjoyment of fitness and surrounding myself with people who feel the same way that I forget others don’t? Have I forgotten that there are people out there who don’t go to the gym, who don’t ENJOY exercise the way I do, and who strictly see it as a place that people go solely to lose weight? Are we forgetting the ever so important factor of maintenance? Was this girl just out of her mind?
I may never know the answers to these questions but it was definitely an interesting interaction that I felt worth sharing. With that said, I’ve been busy this week, so let’s take a look at that fitness I love so much…
40 mins elliptical
10 mins walk
4 mile run
Strength – chest/triceps/shoulders/abs
3 mile run
Strength – legs
15 mins yoga – TIU yoga
2 mile run
Strength – back/biceps/abs
Did anyone else notice what happened Wednesday? I DID YOGA! It was only a 15 minute practice but it was a good stepping stone to get back into the habit of practicing and to work towards my goal.
How were your workouts this week?
Are you someone who enjoys going to the gym?
I must admit, I’m still fighting a funk. I’ve been trying to follow my own advice for dealing with the winter blues, but I walked into my chiropractor’s office yesterday and said “may I please have an attitude adjustment?” No joke.
I’m trying to be careful and not let myself slip down the slippery slope of negativity so I’m asking for help when I need it, taking breaks when I need it, and making sure I keep active and eating healthy.
But one of the other things I need to be better about incorporating into my life again is yoga. I mentioned this the other week and I’m embarrassed to say I still haven’t done it. In fact, I’ve rebelled against doing it. I think about rolling out my mat and it’s like I instantly get crabbier.
The thing is, I KNOW how I’m affected by yoga; I KNOW I’m almost instantly snapped back into being myself; I KNOW it makes my body so much more relaxed; I KNOW this, but I’m still actively choosing to avoid it like the plague. So it’s time to change that. It’s time to bring it back into my life and make it a habit once again.
And I know I’m not the only one. In fact my chiro even said to me “yeah…I need to get back into doing it too. It’s been at least a month.”
So I’m challenging myself. For the next month, I am committing myself to yoga 3x a week. I don’t care if it’s three days in a row, three days in the morning, afternoon or evening, or three days split up and at different times each time. It’s just 3 days each week. And I don’t even need to go anywhere or spend any money. I have several YogaDownload.com sessions I already own (or if I really wanted to, I could get a few more for super cheap), a gym membership with yoga and BodyFlow classes I could take, and a gift certificate to a nearby studio. No excuses.
And I challenge you! Whether you’re practicing regularly, very minimally or not at all – set a goal and let’s beat these winter blues; let’s reconnect with ourselves; and let’s get back to yoga.
Have you been practicing yoga recently?
What’s your goal?