Tag: stress

15 tips that have helped me: GET OUT OF A RUT

15 tips that have helped me: GET OUT OF A RUT

Hi all!

I’ll start by saying that I love instagram HOWEVER it definitely paints a “perfect” picture when in some cases, that’s not always accurate. The reason why I bring this up is because like most people, us “health and wellness” bloggers get caught up in a rut from time to time as well. No one is perfect. Recently, a few weeks ago, I was feeling stuck in a rut – lazy, a bit unmotivated, tired, lacking my usual “bubbliness” and of course on top of that, feelings of personal doubt and helplessness began to takeover my mind. I personally believe I do suffer from seasonal depression and when you’re stuck inside for a few days straight due to the harsh winds, snow, and below freezing temps, it can certainly take a tole on your emotions, some people (like myself) may be even more affected by this. When these types of emotions begin to pile one on top of another, I fall into a somewhat unhealthy behavior. These emotions in turn trigger my stress and anxiety therefore even worsening my sleep deprivation. I will be the first to tell you that the second I can feel my body lacking the sleep and rest it needs, it automatically goes into a fight or flight mode which leads to stress and emotional eating.

Though my usual go-to, stress eating meal sounds “healthy” in some regards (it’s certainly not a sleeve of oreos or a pint of ice cream), it’s still a form of over-eating for me as it’s not typically part of my “normal” intuitive routine. This meal may (and usually does) resemble something along the lines of a huge bowl of coconut yogurt, piled high with granola, almond butter, a crumbled up macrobar, and allllll the other goods. By the time I’ve finished this “parfait” (if you could even call it that…) I’m stuffed beyond the point of getting off the couch and I just feel my anxiety levels increase even more even though this was my form of so called, “curing that stress”. So, this unfortunately becomes a somewhat ebb and flow cycle depending on how long I’m stuck in this rut.

However, luckily, if I can find the motivation and determination within myself (which I usually do after a few days of this) I am able to slowly get out of this slump. Not going to lie, it takes a LOT of self-motivation and will-power, but MAN does it feel good when you finally wake up that morning knowing it’s going to be a GOOD day. Below are some quick tips, take it or leave it!

1.) Get Journaling!

I think I’ve listened to enough of Katie Dalebout’s podcasts to see the benefits behind jotting a few things down! I’ve taken some of her tips and now wake up every morning and ensure the FIRST thing I do within that hour of waking up is writing down THREE things that I’m grateful for. It’s seriously THAT easy. Takes less than 1 minute and overtime, you truly do feel the positive benefits of sharing your gratification.

2.) Meditating

I’d by lying if I told you I was consistent with meditating everyday. Trust me, it’s been a struggle for me. I’ve downloaded and tried a number of apps, but some mornings I just wake up with too many thoughts and can’t even bare the thought of sitting still for 10 minutes. HOWEVER, I can totally tell the difference between my days where I start with meditation verses those where I miss it completely. A good 10-minute guided meditation is a really nice way to check in with yourself and start getting out of that slump.

3.) Play Music

I’m absolutely a LOVER of music. Music is good for the mood, the soul, the bod – literally everything and can instantly bring your mood from 0 – 10 just like that. Since mornings are where you really need to take control of your day and start it on the right note, I find a few different styles help to get me back on track.

4.) Inversions, Yoga, or Just a good Sweat Sesh

Being upside down circulates the blood flow, helps to relieve anxiety, stress, etc. Or partake in some backbends and hip-openers to release those tied up emotions.

5.) As soon as the suns out, force yourself to walk for an hour & listen to a positive podcast.

Unfortunately living in Boston has it’s downfalls in the winter. There may be 5 days straight where its cold and cloudy. But, the second that sun peeps out, I force myself to get out, walk, and tune into a good podcast. Here are some of my fave ones:

6.) Feed your body with ALL the good mood superfoods.

Maca powder, raw organic Cacao Powder, coconut, spirulina, goji berries, hemp seeds, etc.

7.) Self-Care

Give yourself a face mask, treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi.

8.) Plan a trip or event to look forward to.

We just booked a trip to Colorado in the fall and I CAN NOT WAIT. Nature, Red Rocks Amphitheater, GOOD FOOD, quality time with the boyfraaan.

9.) Organize and Clean.

A lot of times when I’m in a funk, I blast music and get into a crazy cleaning mode. I can’t tell you how many times Justin has come home and I have a bag full of random things in the apartment that I’m either throwing away or donating. Sometimes purging items can be so beneficial to your own health. Plus a clean, organized space definitely plays a part in an organized life.

10.) Get rid of old clothes you don’t wear.

^ same concept as above.

11.) Help out a local charity.

Nothing helps more than giving back. It’s so fulfilling to help others out and you’d be surprised what karma you get in return.

12.) Cuddle with dogs (or bae).

I mean, does this even need an explanation?

13.) Get rid of the food (for now) that is your go-to when you’re stress/emotional eating.

Putting the emphasis on “for now” because I don’t believe these should be cut out indefinitely. I just sometimes need a week or 2 without them to set myself back to normality.

14.) GET SLEEP!!!!

I can’t stress this enough. Sleep deprivation is always the main culprit for putting me into these “ruts” in the first place. So even if this means staying in all weekend and rescheduling plans with friends – do it. You need that time to unwind and reset.

15.) Make to-do lists and get yourself back in a routine.

Hopefully a few (or all) of these tips can help you out if you’re ever feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. PS – you’re not alone. So many of us fall into this, so don’t beat yourself up over it. That will only make things worst (trust me, I’ve been there, done that)!

** LAST last bit of advice – FIND SOMETHING THAT INSPIRES YOU **

Here’s the WHY and HOW behind stepping up your morning coffee routine

Here’s the WHY and HOW behind stepping up your morning coffee routine

If you’re like me and find yourself scrolling through instagram daily, you’ve probably stumbled upon some new, jazzy “buzzwords” for coffee. Gone are the days when freshly ground and brewed coffee was just enough. The coffee standards have been seriously heightened thanks to the introduction of research and knowledge behind superfoods, ghee, MCT oil, collagen, and so on. I’m no expert or dietician, but I’ve certainly done enough research in this area to understand the benefits behind adding these ingredients to your coffee. Sure, there’s the “coolness” factor added in when you make at-home coffee look as frothy and instagram-worthy as your loyal, neighborhood barista. But, believe it or not, there’s more to this coffee-game then meets the eye!

To make this as easy as possible, I’m going to breakdown my superfood coffee for ya!

1) C O F F E E

— Obviously, you need to start with a fresh, fair-trade, 100% organic coffee. I’m a bit of a coffee snob and buy the coffee beans from Whole Foods. I have a coffee bean grinder (thanks Dad for the hand me down!) that does wonders — highly recommend if you’re into coffee and want to one-up your game. I’m a sucker for the OG (original) or Hazelnut.

2) M A C A P O W D E R

— Why Maca? WOMEN listen up here – this superfood powder has amazing benefits for both men and women, however, ladies definitely see an added plus to their well-being. The most widely-known benefit of maca is it’s ability to aid in balancing hormones, therefor reducing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, depression, etc. Additionally, here’s another fun one, Maca can increase a woman’s sex drive and function – oh HEEEYYY NOW. Enhancing ones mood and energy levels, aiding in fertility, and increasing bone density are among the remaining benefits of incorporating maca powder into your diet. You can read more on the reason behind these benefits via the Global Healing site.

3) C A C A O P O W D E R

— Why Cacao? Well for one, if you’re an intense, dark-chocolate lover like myself, why would you NOT add this chocolatey goodness to your coffee?! There are so many deliciously scrumptious benefits to cacao – some of the main ones being it’s insanely high in antioxidants per serving. Similarly to maca, it also has the ability to enhance ones mood, energy levels, sex-drive, balance hormonal levels, combat heart disease, resets your metabolism, improved digestion and SO many more facts that can be found on Daily Superfood Love.

4) A S H W A G A N D H A

— Why ashwagandha? If you haven’t noticed a pattern her ladies, this superfood powder is quite similar to cacao and maca in how it can help women in so many unique areas of wellness. As I’m sure many can relate, stress in this day and age, pops up regularly. Our mind, body, and of course our sympathetic nervous system, have a natural reaction to go into “fight or flight” mode which is where the root of our anxiety and stress come from. This special superfood powder has the ability to lower these natural cortisol levels, which in turn, can have such a powerful & beneficial affect on our overall wellbeing. As you know, high levels of constant stress can be so damaging on the body and can lead to a quicker aging process. Like maca and cacao, this root powder can aid in sex drive, mood, menopausal support, fertility, and interestingly, memory support. Again, more can be found on the Global Healing site around this superfood.

5) B U L L E T P R O O F B R A I N O C T A N E

— Why add bullet proof brain octane to your diet? Some of the benefits here include, supporting cognitive function, can aid in that morning “brain fog”, is a reliable and quick source of energy production, and can help your body metabolize and burn fat. Bullet proof brain octane is a energy source that can be found in coconut oil. However, this product is unique in that the brain octane is made with only C8 MCTs, which metabolize more efficiently into ketone energy than more common oils with C10 and C12 MCTs. All of these facts and benefits can be found on their site, Bullet Proof.

6) C O L L A G E N

— Why add collagen powder to your coffee? Well for one, it gives it that glorious froth we all love in our cup of joe! But, more importantly, collagen can help increase all aspects of beauty, health, and fitness in your life! In short, collagen peptides supply amino acids which are essential in helping to build new collagen in your body. The new collagen being rebuilt in your body help to maintain healthy connective tissues (which for athletes is essential) and can decrease injury towards muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Additionally, collagen can help in increasing bone mass density, restore and enhance your nails, hair, and skin by improving the elasticity and moisture. I love the Vital Proteins marine collagen and their Beauty Collagen greens, both of which I use daily. More on the benefits of collagen can be found on their site at Vital Proteins.

7) C I N N A M O N + A L M O N D M I L K

— Last but not least, I ALWAYS add a sprinkle of cinnamon (for taste and it’s ability to lower blood sugar levels) and a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk to my coffee blend.

Now that you know all of the ingredients and the benefits behind my superfood, bullet-proof, collagen coffee, all you need now is a blender of some sort. Add your usual serving size of coffee, plus add a serving size of each of the above ingredients (usually about 1 tsp or so – but the labels will direct you). Blend for about 30 seconds – 1 minute. You’ll notice the froth level went from a 0 to a 10 REAL fast. Pour and enjoy!!

go FLOAT

go FLOAT

Weird title, right…?

No, I’m not referring to the kind where you grab yourself a donut floatie and chill poolside. I’m referring to a float tank or what can also be referred to as a deprivation or isolation tank. My boyfriend and I first heard about these so called “deprivation tanks” via the Joe Rogan podcast. Joe Rogan is a regular when it comes to floating and certainly swears by it’s benefits. This “deprivation tank” may also ring a bell if you’ve binge watched the series “Stranger Things” on Netflix (I’ll get to this later in my post)! Anyway, if this is your first time hearing of such thing, let me try and do my best to give you the low down on what it is and it’s benefits.

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a FLOAT TANK?

Well, it’s essentially an isolated pod or tank that is filled with water (it’s pretty shallow – I’d say shin height) almost entirely saturated with 850-1,000 pounds of epsom salt. The water temperature is kept around 95 degrees to match your body temp, which thankfully feels like you’re jumping into a nice warm bath, but after just a few minutes, you realize that the feeling becomes almost imperceptible. The idea here is that it’s replicating the dead sea – as soon as you make your way into the tank and lay on your back, you automatically float weightlessly and effortlessly. As if you couldn’t pile on any more sensations to the mix, now take away all light and sound. You are now floating in a dark, quiet tank for 60 minutes. WOAH. And when I mean quiet, you literally can’t hear anything but your own breath (PS – they provide you with earplugs so that you can comfortably float in the water without any distractions like getting salt water in your ears).

So, what’s the benefit of floating in this type of environment?

Well for one, it is SO relaxing and if you can, even for just a few minutes, find yourself in a deep meditative state, the outcome is SO incredibly rewarding. As I was reading through the FLOAT Boston’s FAQ page, I stumbled across this term known as “Flotation REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) (which) triggers your physiological relaxation response directly, so you don’t need to meditate or focus or manage your thoughts in any way.” Pretty crazy!!

So in addition to the float tank being well, insanely relaxing, there are also a number of other beneficial outcomes. As you likely saw from my post last week on yoga moves to help with stress and anxiety – these feelings and emotions seem to be a highly talked about topic lately, which is unfortunate. It seems as though it’s almost become OK to be stressed, like if you’re not stressed, then maybe you’re not working or trying hard enough. With all of these added social pressures around us, we haven’t taken enough time to think about ourselves. Luckily, I’m starting to see a change here, especially in the blogger community where people are truly beginning to put themselves first. Self-care, self-love — all are BIG words and resolutions of 2017, which is AMAZING! Anyway, I know I’m a little off topic, but that’s an area I’ve felt really passionate about lately.

As I was saying above, taking 60 minutes of your day to literally just float in a dark tank seems crazy, right? Especially for those who have busy, non-stop schedules? Yes, I realize 60 minutes is a lot, but this is a great way to cut out any and ALL distractions and truly disconnect from everyone and everything. Also, I found out that a regular visit can help improve sleep as well!

Now that you’ve gotten the down low, I’ll briefly share with you my experience…

As you know, I’m living in the Boston area. There aren’t too many options, but I did stumble upon the amazing FLOAT Boston – located in Somerville, MA. Justin and I booked our float tanks for the same time, each for 60 minutes. They advise you not to drink any coffee before hand, nor to eat a heavy meal, as you want to be as relaxed as possible. As soon as we walked in, we were overwhelmed by a pleasing, spa-like calmness. We had to remove our shoes and replace them with terry-cloth slippers. We then took a seat in the small common area, where we were offered water. They were super friendly and informative upon our arrival, especially knowing we were new to this. Though we booked our tank for the same time, each person is directed into their own float room.

Once we entered our individual rooms, we were advised to shower off, strip down (so FREEEEING!), and put our ear plugs in. You then open the dark tank and make your way into silence. I found myself a bit tense at first and it took me a few minutes to totally let myself go. You truly do float weightlessly with your head just comfortably above the water. After probably 5 minutes or so of feeling my way around, playing with moving my arms and legs back and forth, I finally got over the “discovery” stage and began to try and free my mind and really embrace the full 60-minute experience.

I’m obviously not going to walk you through all 60-minutes of my thoughts but here are some ideas that I experienced.

Circa 2003 when Finding Nemo came out and there’s that scene deep, deep in the ocean where it’s literally dead silent and completely dark. Dory and Nemo see a light and Dory goes “hey conscience, am I dead?” Yep, that’s how I felt at one point.

Another thought that came up was, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be floating in space…like no destination, no idea where you’ll end up, you’re literally just floating there. Hard to describe, but the thought of space 100% came up.

Another thought was, Oh crap, am I going to fall into another dimension? Yes, this is where watching Stranger Things before hand was a bad idea. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you plan on watching it, do the float tank BEFORE hand 🙂

Besides my thoughts that came in and out, I definitely know for sure that I fell into a meditative state a few times during the span of the 60 minutes. It’s hard to say how long for, but I really tried my best to get there. I find it helps me concentrate by focusing on my third eye. I’m definitely new to meditation, so for beginners, you may find this as a helpful tip!

Towards the end, not going to lie, I think I slowly fell into a bit of a sleep which is not exactly where you want to be, but luckily I think it only lasted for a few minutes! They bring you back to awareness with some light classical music when your 60 minutes finished up. This was also a strange feeling as I couldn’t tell if I was beginning to make noises and music up in my head OR if this truly was the cue to get out haha.

Overall, I REALLY loved this experience. I came out feeling SO incredibly relaxed and definitely high on happy endorphins. If the price wasn’t so high, I’d be back weekly for sure. Unfortunately, given my tight budget, I’ll likely only be going every few months. Regardless, I definitely recommend the experience at least ONCE! Let me know if you have any further questions or comments 🙂

Happy Floating!!

*Featured Image taken from: http://superiorfloattanks.com/experience/

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Hello everyone!

For this weeks blog post I wanted to share with you some fairly simple yoga moves to help reduce anxiety, stress, worrisome, and so on! Trust me, you’re not alone. We all likely go through periods in our lives whether it’s personal or work related, where we’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless, unsure of ourselves, and so forth. There are so many natural remedies out there we can look to in order to help reduce the anxiety and stress we may experience from time to time. I myself have a strong type-A personality which leads me to put un-necessary added pressure on myself, which ultimately surfaces feelings of doubt, uncertainty and of course, can be the leading causes of my anxiety or stress I may experience.

As soon as I’m feeling any of these emotions bottled up, I now find myself naturally on the yoga mat – even if it’s for 10-15 minutes, to bring myself to the present moment, BREATHE, close my eyes, and truly feel myself and the stress go away as I flow through these poses. You only need just 10 minutes a day to incorporate these poses, whether it be first thing in the morning, mid-day, or just before going to bed. The last thing I want to call out is that no pose is PERFECT. We’re all at different levels, we all have various strengths and flexibility throughout the yoga practice. It’s important to not put to much pressure on whether your legs are straight or your back is perfectly curved – what’s important is to truly FEEL the stretch. Close your eyes and let your mind and body naturally connect. This feeling you will find is where yoga happens.

1) Dandasana – Staff Pose / Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee pose

How to get into pose 1: Sit on the mat comfortably with your legs stretched out in front, flex the toes and try to keep your legs together. Place your hands by the sides of your hips and ensure your mounds of your hands are firmly grounded next to you. As you firmly press into the mat, you should automatically feel your spine elongate.

*This is a great post to begin with before moving into Janu Sirsasana (the next pose below).

How to move into pose 2: Firmly ground one leg long into the mat. From staff pose, bend one knee in and place your foot on the inner thigh of your opposite leg that is lengthened and grounded into the mat. It also helps to soften your belly, engage you butt, and then inhale up and lengthen your arms above your head. As you exhale, fall forward, placing your body over your lengthened leg. It’s OK to have a bend in your knees as you really want to feel this stretch lengthen your spine and stretch your lower back. It’s also helpful to use a strap as a variation!

Additional benefits: helps with digestion, relieves menstrual pain, calms the mind

2) Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose

How to get into this pose: You can feel free to begin from staff pose (as explained above). From here, ensure your butt is firmly grounded and you bring your heels to meet. This will help to ensure you’re externally rotating your hips and this activation will help to intensify the stretch. Continue to lengthen through the tailbone through to your spine and grip your hands around the feet. Feel free to bend forward for a variation of this stretch.

Additional benefits: improved circulation, alleviates menstrual pain, hip-opener

3) Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose

How to get into this pose: This will feel like a mix between child’s pose and downward dog! Begin in table top by coming onto all fours. You’ll want to be sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and that your hips are inline with your knees. From here, you can begin to walk your hands out in front of you, keeping them lengthened. As you exhale further into the pose, you can begin to shift your hips back towards your heels. You should feel a nice stretch in your spine as you maintain a bit of a curve. Feel free to rest your head on a block or to the floor in front of you.

Additional Benefits: stretches spine and shoulders

4) Ustrasana – Camel Pose

How to get into this pose: **Before moving right into this pose, ensure you’ve properly stretched out your back with possible variations of baby cobra, upward facing dog, locust pose, or spinx!! This is important as the camel pose is a intense backbend stretch. To start, you’ll want to begin in a kneeling position, hip-width distance apart. Next place your hands on the inside part of your hips and push your chest open, while your shoulder blades then press towards one another (further expanding your chest open). From here, you can begin to gently lean your head backwards, but be careful of your neck, especially if you’ve had any injuries here! At this point, you can choose to move into a couple of variations as seen below. It tends to be easier with the blocks by your side or by curling your toes up to add extra length if you’re unable to move as deeply into the pose. Be careful not to hold this pose too long. Come up slowly and beware of dizziness and high blood pressure. You may choose to start with an easier variation and then move into a more challenging one on your second round.


Additional benefits: relives menstrual pain, eliminates constipation, increased stretch around neck, hips, butt, etc.!

5) Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall Pose (aka one of my FAVORITES)

How to get into this pose: First of all, this is easily my favorite pose to do. I love doing this while in bed right before I go to sleep. It’s such a calming pose and you can really feel the tingly benefits from it as it drains your lactic acid and circulates your blood. Before moving against the wall, you’ll want to think about your height/distance from the wall, your flexibility, and whether you’ll need any added support under your lower back for comfort. You don’t need to worry about being at a perfect 90 degree angle, just ensure you’re feeling comfortable with where your lower back and sit bones fall. This should NOT be a straining pose. You should be able to hold this pose between 5-10 minutes to soak up all of the amazing benefits. Try playing around with variations/different support using a blanket or a block, etc. Enjoy!

Additional benefits: insomnia, mild depression, headaches/migraines, digestive problems

Hopefully these moves help to reduce any of that stress and anxiety if practiced daily. Feel free to leave any comments, follow/message me on my instagram page @eatrunandallinbetween or email me at: pappascalli@gmail.com with any questions 🙂

When Life Throws you Lemons, Use a Planner…?

So, it’s been one of THOSE weeks. You all know what I’m talking about. One of those weeks where you simply breakdown for what you later realize to be a pretty dramatic emotional upset. For some, you may be in the midst of serious final semester crunch time, for others who are not in college, you’re most likely enduring the everyday troubles and stresses of work life. Regardless, there comes a point where everything seems to pile on all at once and you meekly have no sanity left to handle it. Now don’t get me wrong. For the most part, I actually enjoy having my schedule busy. I tend to be a pretty anxious person by nature and usually need to be doing something. BUT this is not to say I don’t absolutely love to VEG OUT. I mean, who doesn’t?! What is better than sitting in bed, munching on whatever your heart desires (because damn it, YOU deserve it!) and catching up on an emotional rollercoaster ride of episodes from Girls, Pretty Little Liars, and The Bachelor?? Seriously, nothing beats that. And if you’re like me and don’t get your chance to veg out at least once a week then you may slightly begin to lose all sense of stability.

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This emotional break down was basically a build up from the start of the week among the combination of stressful work hours (not to mention, I NEVER get hours and for some reason this week I was bombarded with money-making opportunities?!), early lift sessions, practice/workouts, and the lovely workload our teachers enjoy piling on right before Easter Break! Now, when I put it into retrospect, aka writing it all down like this, it really doesn’t seem TOO bad and I’m obviously being dramatic, but sometimes you just got to vent! Oh wait…I already did that too. After my emotional breakdown Thursday, where I found out that I had to wake up yet again before 6AM for work, I called up my mom complaining and then I moved on to beckon my boyfriend for comfort. My life is a joke and I’m a drama queen. I GET IT! However, you cannot tell me that you don’t relate to this. Normally, I can understand the loads of homework and I’m used to the morning lift sessions and normal practice hours…BUT when I get deprived of my sleep, than it’s just all dowwwwn hill from there. This bitchiness that erupts from my lack of sleep is quite similar to how I get when I’m hungry and don’t get food within that time-span that my hunger strikes. Basically, I turn into a crazy mess and resort to junk food. Yes, food, the key to ALL of my problems.

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But see HERE is the root cause of all my craziness. NO sleep. Deprivation in sleep literally throws my entire schedule and life for a loop. My work ethic goes down the drain, my running motivation plummets (thank god for mandatory practice time…), and lastly, my diet fails. I hate it! As much as I’d like to try and stay on track, no sleep = loosing my mind. So, I finally have a FEW seconds to relax and breathe and have collected my senses and finally opened up my (dusty) agenda book to find March 15th jotted down with my most recent plans. Whoops. So, as I flipped to March 22nd and examined the rest of the week, I realized that I should probably quit my stressing. Although I still have a few more days of hell, I at least have Easter break to look forward to come Tuesday night. Hallelujah! My advice to you; if you’re feeling extremely stressed and showered with a million things to do and your mind is racing…take a second and just write EVERYTHING down, as silly as even writing what time you’ll be showering at (if that’s something you need to do…I don’t judge). But seriously, this helps SO much! I just wrote down all of my homework, practice time, work hours, other random events, AND I laid my meal plans out for the rest of the week so I don’t let my lack of sleep destroy my diet. I guarantee this will make such a difference and allow you to clear your head, while giving you time to organize everything and ultimately save you time AND sleep in the end! LOL apologies for my rant. Still in “crazy-mode”, but I’m getting over it!!

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Don’t forget to catch up on my instagram account @EatRunAndAllinBetween – Follow me please, I’ve finally surpassed the 200 followers barrier, woohoo!!

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

So recently, my body has been failing on me. I wake up with back aches, head aches, tight legs, and so on…you get the picture. I mean it’s not like I don’t stretch after practice, (I probably could do a little more), BUT for some reason I still wake up and go through the day feeling pretty crappy. So as part of a new commitment to myself (and since I didn’t give anything up for lent…), I’m going to attempt to do at least 10-20 minutes of yoga everyday. Doesn’t sound too hard right? Yet, for SOME reason it is nearly impossible to find 10-20 minutes throughout the day where I feel a) relaxed (somewhat important for yoga…), b) energetic/motivated, or c) just literally don’t have the time! But then the more I thought about it, these are all just excuses. It literally takes waking up a few minutes earlier than usual, or squeezing in some night time relaxation before bed. And, the best part of it…it ONLY benefits me. So, I decided to finally stop complaining, follow my own words of advice and just fit it in my schedule.

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Today was my first attempt at this new challenge I’ve posed on my self. And you know what? It felt GREAT! Luckily Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays are a little easier to find time in my schedule since I have no classes. I finally got a decent sleep in last night, woke up around 9:30, made myself some coffee and oatmeal and then around 11 I did a short 20 minute yoga session. Easy as that! I looked around on youtube and found a session that sounded appealing and fitting for my needs at the time. You can find the morning routine I did by following this link: 20 Minute Yoga Class: Energy Boost

Basically this session was a great way to “open the heart” which in turn helps to boost your energy and just WAKE UP! This was perfect and was exactly what I needed this morning. This is also great because I didn’t sweat at all, it didn’t wear me out for practice later this afternoon, and it was a relaxing way to get a good stretch in for the day. Additionally, for years, I’ve been reading and hearing about how great yoga is for runners. As a team, we’ve done the occasional group yoga sessions during pre season and I absolutely LOVE those but I didn’t make an effort to keep that up as a frequent routine.

These benefits for runners (and for anyone in general of course!) include:

Increases flexibility and strength –> Many runners do yoga as a form for cross training or on an “off day”; ultimately yoga helps to realign and stretch the muscles and bones that runners strain everyday…this in turns helps to prevent injuries!
Post-Workout Recovery –> Hard tempo or interval workout on the track? Try some post yoga stretching after (of course with a protein bar before hand 😉 )…this well help with a good recovery!
The practice of Mindfulness and “being in the moment” –> Here’s something I ALWAYS need to work on whether it’s during a race, workout, run, or even outside of running. The combination of breathing techniques, patience, and relaxation can be great for this.
A sense of Balance –> Yoga will help both to create balance in life as well as keep you physically balanced while running.
Overall Improved Performance –> A more flexible body will lead to less injuries and increased strength which will ultimately lead to better performance! And don’t we all want that?!

*Check out ‘The Benefits of Yoga for Runners’ and ‘Yoga for Runners’ for more about these great benefits!

Based on the above reasonings, I’ve concluded that yoga rocks. Honestly, taking 10-20 minutes out of your day for yoga totally outweighs any other excuse you may have. Also as a side note…the above yoga mat pictured was a gift I got like freshman year of high school from PB teen. I obviously had unrealistic expectations than seeing as I’ve barely broken it out since 2006! I definitely only wanted it because it was pink. HAHA I’m the worst…so typical of myself. Anyway, like I’ve also said in the past…committing your time to yoga is YET another excuse to purchase some cute lulu lemon essentials 😉 Just saying.

So, what I would suggest is to find a few youtube sessions that have 10-30 minute yoga sessions for you to follow on your own in your room (OR outside when it starts getting warm out…that way you can work on your tan TOO!). If your school fitness center offers yoga classes…definitely suggest taking those, especially if you’re a beginner! And lastly, there are plenty of yoga classes popping up everywhere, so I suggest exploring outside of your school if you’re up for it! However, those can sometimes get quite pricey so keep that in mind 🙂

Hope this has inspired you try out some yoga. NAMASTE.
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*ALSO, be sure to check out my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween for my day-to-day meals and some workout pics!!
* {not my image pictured above}


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