Showing posts with label YogaCamp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YogaCamp. Show all posts

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I Can. I Will.

When I woke up this morning, the water was not working in the apartment.  I went to investigate and saw an announcement posted in the lobby of our building. In Chinese. Super helpful, right?

Luckily, one of my Chinese neighbors came along to read it, too. We sort of had a conversation (I don't speak Chinese and she did not speak English), but by throwing out phrases like méi yǒu shuǐ (no water) and jiān (time, while pointing at my watch), she was able to tell me shí (10 - which I interpreted as 10:00). I thought the whole thing went rather well. And, the water came back on a little after 9.

Meanwhile, with no water...
Yoga Camp ended. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the free flow workout for the final day. I haven't been doing yoga long enough to just make up a flow on my own. Plus, I look forward to being led through an invigorating session. 

I tried to watch what Adriene was doing (she was un-mic'ed), but at times I did veer off to practice some of the poses that still challenge my strength or balance, or both. 

After my lackluster yoga session, I chose a cardio yoga workout from Booya for my 30 Day Pilates Body challenge "free day" choice. My internet was super stinky (translated that means it would start, stop, start...), and the instructor went really fast, but I was still able to get a good workout from Crossflowx. 

Most importantly, I had a moment during that workout. Since my knee surgery, I've lost a lot of strength in my left leg. The ongoing problems have made it hard to build it back up. Side plank variations on my left side are usually pretty dismal...until today! I was so excited to feel power doing these side crunches. 

This was a big milestone for me. I have been fearing that I wouldn't be able to get stronger. Today showed me that when you do the work, when you're consistent, when you have CAN reach goals, make progress, see change. It might not happen as quickly as we'd like, but it WILL happen. 

BTW, today is the last day to enter the Booya Cardio Blast Challenge. Don't miss out on the chance to win one of the awesome prizes simply by doing a cardio workout! You can signup here.

After my morning fitness excitement, I had to make another batch of banana peanut butter protein bars. They make the apartment smell so good and make a great healthy snack or dessert. 

What's your latest milestone?

This is not a sponsored post, but Booya Fitness will compensate me for signups made using my link. If you signed up today, thank you!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Embracing New Things

Life has kept me pretty busy around here lately and my blogging has suffered, but it has been for a very exciting reason. I promise to share an explanation soon!

Before I recap my last couple days of workouts, I want to share the new delicious, Lenten approved dinner I made last night. Cajun shrimp with spinach parmesan pasta. It was a hit!

I turned to yoga after my knee injury sidelined my running, but I didn't know how much I would come to love it. I look forward to walking into yoga classes now.

Wednesday: Flow Yoga class
Thursday: Mindfulness Yoga class

Both yoga classes this week showed me that my arms need work. I found a new 21-day arm strength challenge to supplement my yoga practice and help me strengthen my upper body. 

I decided to document my starting point. Here's how I looked on day 1. I'm already on day 4.

I haven't missed a day of the 30 Day Pilates Body challenge.
Day 9 - upper body
These side push-ups were new to me, but just as hard as regular push-ups. 

Day 10 - booty
Oh em gee! My booty was lit up with clams, tilted clams, and finally clams with leg extension.  

Day 11- a yoga workout (yay)
It was a nice muscle warming flow and it felt good to move through the poses with confidence.

Yoga Camp is almost over. These last couple of weeks, I've been saving the videos for days that I didn't attend a class. The daily practice has changed my body. I can now do poses (some easier than others) that in the past I couldn't or just barely did them. Camel pose from the day 29 video is one of those poses.

What's new in your life?
(recipe, exercise, workout, anything)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Stretch, Hike, Yoga, Cook

That was my Monday. 

30 Day Pilates Body challenge.
Day 6 - stretching
I'm not a mermaid, but I did like the mermaid stretch. I'd probably like it better if my hips weren't so tight, but it felt good nonetheless. 

I met the SWIC girls for the Monday hike up Nanshan Mountain. According to my Apple Watch, we climbed 56 floors. That seems like a lot to me. On the way down we ran into this happy guy. Or maybe he made us happy? 

It was such a pretty day for yoga camp day 27 on the balcony. Lower body work felt good today. For once there was a really nice breeze. I could've laid on the mat in Savasana all afternoon.

I finally joined the coconut oil party. I picked up this bottle a couple of weeks ago and have been adding little to my smoothies, but tonight I was feeling ambitious. Honey garlic shrimp (one of my favorite grilling recipes) in coconut oil. So good!

Coconut oil is so useful. I never knew there were so many different ways to use it. This article explains more than 100 uses for coconut oil around the house, cooking, health and beauty.

What's your favorite use for coconut oil?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Summing Up Sunday

It was a slow, quiet day around here. This morning I had a nice walk with mrC before he left on his trip...back to the Maldives (lucky guy). It is slowly warming up in southern China, so more and more people are out in the mornings.

I did yoga camp day 26. There were lots of well timed hamstring and quad stretches. My legs were a little stiff when I woke up this morning.

30 Day Pilates Body Challenge
day 5 - Upper body again (it was pick your favorite workout from the week).
Honestly I would have rather done a core workout, but we didn't have one (yet), so I gave my legs a rest. Plus I only do push-ups when someone is telling me to.

This little life saver has been put to use many times the last couple of days. Not only were my legs sore from HIIT class on Friday, but my trapezius muscles have been very tight (I think from all those shoulder presses we did). Laying on the tennis ball for a couple of minutes makes a huge difference.

That's it. I had some eats. Netflixed. 

I told you it was a slow day!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Twisted Yoga Benefits

I love a good twisted yoga pose. Especially first thing in the morning and today my yoga camp video delivered.

Twisted yoga poses have lots of benefits. This is good to know because some poses are downright uncomfortable! Now, whenever I feel like bailing out of a pose, I try to think about how good my body and mind will feel after.

Half Twist Pose:

This one challenges my bad posture. I have to work hard to hold a straight back and open shoulders. It's good for your chest, spine and back. It strengthens core muscles and encourages internal organ activity.

Thread the Needle (Revolved Child's Pose):

One of my favorites because it just feels good. Good for upper chest, opens shoulder muscles, and gets blood flowing to upper body.

Revolved Lunge Pose:

There is so much going on in this pose that it feels good when I hit it. The lunge part of the pose both strengthens the quad and stretches the hip flexors. Adding in the twist engages the core for balance and stimulates those internal organs. I also feel a good stretch in my upper body because I have tight shoulders.

One of the best ways to celebrate a good yoga session? Go on a sunshine walk.

Morning walks are just so much better with skies like this.

What is your favorite/least favorite twisted yoga pose?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

4 Reasons Morning Workouts Rock!

Another morning of working out is in the books. I love getting back to my routine. Not that I don't love a trip to the Maldives (I may mention this in every post for awhile, you've been warned!), but when I'm not on vacay it feels good to start the day with fitness.

Today I grabbed the iPad and got warmed up with Yoga Camp. The intention for day 18 was I Surrender.  I kept this on my mind during all of my workouts.

During yoga I tried to let go of my obsession to make every pose perfectly aligned. I surrender my need for perfection.

During the Fitness Bender: Butt & Thigh video, I pushed through the squat jumps even though my legs were burning by that point. I surrender feeling intimidated by shaky legs.

I learned about Fitness Blender from my friend Nicolasa. They have a ton of free workout videos.  I followed up my leg workout with Upper Body Workout. I surrender to the power of weights.

Finally I did a 5 minute ab workout from Popsugar. The last move was so hard, I had to stop twice. I surrender feeling inadequate for taking breaks.

Yoga, legs, arms, core. I was busy this morning and I love it! I'm sure there are lots of reasons why working out in the morning rocks, but here are some of mine:

1. Great way to wake up - getting moving always shakes off the sluggishness.

2. Sweat-n-shine then I'm ready for the day - I definitely have more energy to take on the day.

3. Rumor has it we work out more in the AM - for me this is so true.  Life gets in the way if I try to workout later in the day. It's easier to get it done first thing.

4. Starts the calorie burning furnace for the rest of the day - I don't know how this works, but it's ok with me if it's true!

After all that working out, I took my sweaty self for a walk to cool off and look who came out to play. My shadow! I haven't seen sunshine in about 5 days and wow, I missed it.

When do you workout?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Yoga Sunday on Lunar New Year's Eve

Happy Lunar New Year! (aka Chinese New Year but celebrated all over Asia)

Today I spent the day unexpectedly entertaining myself after mrC was called into work to start the plane and came back 7 hours later! A lot of things happen quickly in China (plumbing repairs, water delivery), but sometimes airplane parts get hung up in customs.

Sunday has become my rest day. I try to give my 45 (almost) year old body a break. Something I am just accepting and learning to do.

Today it was Yoga Sunday!

I have to admit that I feel pretty darn good after a session of yoga.

Tonight we are off to celebrate the Lunar New Year with friends. I expect to see lots of decorations and even more fireworks.

I know my US friends will be spending Sunday watching the Super Bowl. That's our plan for Monday morning!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday 5 {a little late}

Whew! What a busy week. I love when the week is full of activity and wears me out, but I miss checking in on the blog and sharing my adventures.

So since I'm a little behind (with zero posts) this week, I thought I would pick my top 5 moments to share:

Nanshan Hike - Mountain Monday was rained out and became Massage Monday for me (and oh my muscles needed that massage!). On Tuesday a couple of us made up the rain out and headed up the mountain. It was cold and gray, but we had a good time chatting and climbing. Nanshan Mountain peak has had a bit of a trim, so the views are now unobstructed and will be nice on a clear day.

Interval Runs - I did two 30 minute interval runs this week, giving myself more non-running days in-between. The first one was on the treadmill using my phone with the Nike app. The goal is time with a slow and easy pace. It was a good workout.

For my second run, I felt it was time to run outside again. I've been nervous about my knee "giving out" again, but the runs on the treadmill have boosted my confidence. This time I used my Nike watch. I kept the same routine: 5 minute WU, 3:2 run/walk, and 5 minute CD. It was another good interval run. I think the longer break between runs was a good idea.

Booya Skinny Jean Workout - I'm constantly looking for leg workouts because I still need to re-build the strength in my left quad, but I've also noticed that my pants are fitting a little snug lately. This was a GREAT workout. There's still time to enter the Booya Fitness Valentine's Day Challenge and win prizes for doing this workout. You can't lose! (sign up here)

Yoga Camp - I'm still enjoying my 30 days of yoga and it's because of how good the poses make me feel. I'm also loving the variety and when practice matches up with Instagram challenges.

Flower Market - Some friends asked me to join them on a trip to the Dutch Flower Market in Shenzhen on Friday. It worked out perfectly for me since YogaLife is closed for the Chinese New Year and it was a perfectly gorgeous day. We enjoyed a couple of hours of walking through the rows and rows of vendors selling flowers (obvs.), Chinese New Year decorations, and animals of varying kinds (birds, hamsters, bunnies, cats, fish, turtles).

A couple more things worth sharing:

A great article about facing the struggles of workout blahs: When workouts go bad: How I knew it was time to breakup with my workout.

Good tips for all us (ahem) over-40 runners and those who are close: 4 Things Over-40 Runners Do

I love quick little killer workouts that are fun too --> like this one: Cardio Dance Party

How was your week?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Choose...

To stick with this yoga camp thing. Besides the obvious benefits to daily yoga (think strength, flexibility, balance), I'm also gaining awareness of the power of positive thinking through daily affirmations. The one that inspired this post came from today's video session.

To get out and walk more. My goal is to learn more about my community. Slow down. Relax. The rain finally stopped and the sun came out, so we hurried out the door to enjoy a walk to the park. 

To nourish with my body with healthy foods. Like fruit. Instead of reaching for junk food. On the way back from our walk, we stopped at the store to pick up a few things and I found a large display of seedless white grapes (which are very difficult to find!).

To drink more water. This works in combination with eating healthier. Being hydrated will keep me from wanting to snack. I'm using the hint water challenge as motivation. And my Fitbit app helps me keep track.

What do you choose?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fitness Friday: Keeping it Real

Not every run, pose, workout is perfect.

It's one of the things that keeps me going. The challenge. To be stronger. To do better. To get fitter. 

Not so perfect examples:

I did not do Yoga Camp day 6 yesterday, which actually ended working to my benefit. There was no Pilates class this week (darn Chinese New Year!), so instead of trying to squeeze it in late last night, I did both day 6 and 7 this morning. Another bonus: day 6 was a core focused session.

The different time zones make US based challenges, well challenging at times. So, after getting nice and warmed up, I got caught up on some of the #flexandflow challenge poses that I miss because they're posted during my evenings. 

Follow the photos through my lizard poses and you will see where my imperfect body is today.

The left quad. Tight as hell. And that whole knee not bending thing. Not so perfect. 

This afternoon I went to the Booya Fitness website for some cardio. I've been loving Zumba classes on Wednesday nights, so I tried the Bollywood Workout. The only problem is my China internet connection. Not so reliable. At least I was able to complete this workout with only a few spinning ball pauses.  

The point? Just keeping it real. I like to focus on the positives, the success, but I don't want to give a false impression that I don't have struggles and challenges. And I fail. 

Sometimes I get back up right away and sometimes it takes awhile to reboot. No matter what, though, I don't give up.