Your 15

Can you believe it? It’s December! This year flew by.

My morning routine is usually the same. I wake up somewhere between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

I practice my home yoga practice for about an hour. I head downstairs for my coffee and breakfast. Then back upstairs to get ready for my day.

The majority of my days I have a morning class. (Four days a week I have a 9:15 a.m. cycle class, one day a week an 8:30 a.m. yoga class, four days a week a noon yoga class …)

When I head downstairs for my coffee and breakfast I usually sit and enjoy my quiet time. Depending on the day and when I actually get downstairs I have anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to have my breakfast.

My goal is to sit and enjoy my meal and coffee. I open the blinds of the patio doors and watch the rain, the birds, the same guy running for the bus or whatever is going on outside and I sip my coffee.

When I was working 40+ hours a week with a usual 2-hour total a day commute finding 15 minutes to just be was tough. I drank … Continue reading

Celebrate being grateful

I am excited to announce I will be teaching a special yoga class at Turtles Yoga & Wellness on Thanksgiving morning, which is two weeks away.

My class titled: Celebrate Being Grateful is from 9-10:30 a.m.

Join me on Thanksgiving morning for a yoga class where we practice gratitude while recognizing how blessed we are in this life.

We will come together for a Hatha alignment-based practice as we move mindfully while breathing deeply.

We will explore yoga poses that aid in digestion.

We will also open our hearts with some supportive Restorative Yoga poses to end our class.

When I still lived in Oakland I absolutely loved that the yoga studio(s) I regularly attended hosted Thanksgiving morning yoga classes. What a beautiful way to start the day and prepare us for what I call Crazy Time (end of the year and holiday season).

My teaching schedule around the holiday is slightly modified.

On Wednesday, Nov. 25 (day before Thanksgiving) my cycle class is canceled. But my 8 p.m. yoga class is still scheduled.

On Thursday, Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving) I will have a sub for my morning cycle class. I will be teaching my special yoga class at Turtles that … Continue reading

Being mindful of me

I practice a lot of yoga. And I cycle (while teaching indoor cycling) five times a week.

I teach 11 yoga classes a week (and sometimes a private session) along with my cycle classes every week.

As a teacher I give to my students physically, emotionally and mentally.

All teachers need to take care of themselves.

On Wednesday night while teaching my evening yoga class I started to notice my low back aching (not an uncommon thing).

Once class was over I noticed it more. And by the time I got home it was quite bothersome.

I had my dinner and got ready for bed. I then practiced a couple of Restorative Yoga backbends: heart opener over a rolled blanket and supported bridge with a bolster.

I have Kyphosis (upper hunch back) and Lordosis (lower sway back). Low back discomfort or pain happens at times for me.

I took it easy the next couple of days while teaching. Cycle I didn’t ride as hard. I was mindful with my modifications with students in yoga. I like to be helpful with props and getting what students need. I made sure to be careful and not bend over as much as I usually do.

I … Continue reading

Exercising Kegel muscles

One of my long-time friends and readers mentioned that jumping rope or jumping in a moon bouncer is difficult … post child birth without … err … umm … peeing your pants.

Since I don’t plan to have children luckily for me I won’t experience this.

But she brought up Kegel exercises.

And what the hell, I decided to do a post about it.

And the stuff I found online, uh, wow!

Wait, does everyone know what Kegel exercises are?

If you get embarrassed easily, you should stop reading now.

OK, you were warned.

According to Wikipedia, in 1948 Arnold Kegel published information on pelvic floor exercise (Kegel exercise), which consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, now sometimes colloquially referred to as the “Kegel muscles.”

Did you know you can buy an exercise device for this? Check out the Super Kegel’s Exerciser.

I don’t need no stinkin’ exerciser. I can do them myself, in fact I am doing them as I write this right now.

Many women joke about Kegels (the way they are usually referred). But sometimes they can be important for some serious issues.

The Mayo Clinic has … Continue reading

Healthy living at 40

Right now in my life I am the healthiest I have ever been in my whole entire life.

And I’m 40.

I’m at a healthy weight. I eat pretty healthy. I drink alcohol in moderation. I rarely have soda. I exercise regularly. My stress levels are fairly low. I drink a lot of water. I practice yoga almost every day.

I teach five cycle classes a week. That means I do about an hour of cardio five times a week. I have a home yoga practice where I practice the sequence I teach four to six times a week. (I squeeze in a yoga class as a student myself occasionally. Wish it was more often.)

I am not the lightest weight ever in my adult life. (I am about 35 pounds lighter than when I first started my quest to lose weight in October 2006.)

But just because you are skinny or thin doesn’t mean you are healthy. Ever heard of skinny fat? I believe I could have been skinny fat, when I could eat and drink whatever I wanted and not gain weight.

I wrote about skinny fat in the past titled, Skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

Skinny … Continue reading

Empowering girls through yoga

On Saturday I volunteered at the Girl Power Summit at a middle school near where I live. I taught the girls yoga.

The girls were second to seventh graders. The girls were in or will be in programs designed to keep girls active and healthy with mentorship and leadership.

I taught five groups of girls. (There were probably between 40-50 girls per group.)

They participated in all kinds of activities that day: yoga, dodgeball, Zumba, hip hop dance, crafts, gymnastics and an obstacle course.

The idea for Saturday’s event was to motivate and inspire girls in their ability to make healthy lifestyle choices, and create positive change in their lives and others with encouraging positive self-esteem and cultural and community pride.

It was fun, challenging and exhausting working with the girls. I don’t have a lot of experience teaching kids yoga. So this was definitely a learning experience for me.

Before yoga they played dodgeball. That was a wild game. Then I had to calm them down for yoga.

I found that the girls were very receptive to breath work and were quite good at it. And it was a great transition from the ball game to our yoga practice.

There were no … Continue reading

Enjoying vacation

Since the end of 2006 I have been a fairly healthy person.

In October 2006 I joined Weight Watchers and started on the venture to lose about 30 pounds.

In March of 2007 I started regularly exercising, which still continues to this day. (And now I teach other people to exercise and practice yoga.)

I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it is easy. And sometimes it is a struggle.

Since I am healthy the majority of the time I allow myself to be unhealthy (or go off plan in the WW world) from time to time.

When I travel I want to enjoy food and drinks without having to worry about my caloric intake. Sometimes I am great with the exercise and other times it suffers. (I have been getting my yoga practice in every day since we have been here.)

But here’s the thing, I have fun while on vacation and then when I get home things get back to normal and healthy again.

Curt and I are in Las Vegas with friends for a long fun March Madness weekend.

There is sports watching, a little gambling, lots of eating and drinking (especially the cheap brewed … Continue reading

Supporting, encouraging & challenging students is what teaching is about

I am currently working at LA Fitness (and soon another gym) as a cycle and yoga teacher. Click for my schedule here.

I have taken indoor cycling classes as a student for seven to eight years.

Indoor cycling is a cardio workout on a stationary bike where the students are guided by an instructor to ride hills, sprints, jumps, etc.

Even though I have started to teach regularly I still try to take a class occasionally from another instructor. I like to just be a student sometimes. And I can also get ideas from other teachers and maybe even hear a new song.

My philosophy as a cycle teacher is very similar to my philosophy as a yoga teacher. I believe you take care of your students in a loving manner. You remind your students to honor their bodies. You encourage, support and challenge but never humiliate or make them feel bad. Things, of course, can be misinterpreted at times. We are human beings. I try to be careful as a teacher to never make my students feel bad when I ask them to make adjustments (whether in yoga or cycle).

Before I moved to Portland I was a fairly … Continue reading

Getting ready to Spring Forward

Twice a year I write about time change. (Read last year’s Spring Forward post here.)

It’s that time again to Spring Forward (Sunday at 2 a.m.). I am not a fan of time change.

I seriously don’t get the point of it. I grew up somewhere (Arizona) where time change doesn’t occur.

So to my Arizona family members who can never quite get the time difference: Starting Sunday we will be on the same time.

This is the advice I like to give on how to deal with time change:

Momentum is not a muscle

This is gonna be a smorgasbord of a post …

First, I am now an LA Fitness employee, a yoga and cycle group fitness instructor. Starting soon I will be teaching three cycle classes and one yoga class with the hopes of adding some more yoga classes.

I’ve been taking yoga classes at the town house community fitness center. And I have had the opportunity to sub three of those classes already. I subbed a yoga class at another gym near me.

I took a body conditioning/body sculpting class on Wednesday. I have the possibility to teach this class as well after some training.

I haven’t taken a class like that in more than a year. Wow, two days later and I am still sore.

As we were working our weights the teacher reminded us that momentum is not a muscle. That really stuck with me.

Sometime back I wrote a post about how it is important to use form and not momentum when weight training.

I just might have to steal that phrase and remind my students one day that momentum is not a muscle.