Review Wednesday: Spotify

A little more than a month ago I took the SPINNING® teacher training. Soon after that I took the test (and passed), which made me a certified SPINNING® teacher.

One of my indoor cycling teachers has been my mentor and personal cheerleader through me becoming a yoga teacher and now an indoor cycling teacher.

One of the things he recommended was Spotify for my music for classes.

I have a good and varied selection of music in my iTunes library. But as a teacher of any sort of exercise class you need to keep it new and fresh. Buying songs regularly can get quite pricey.

I had heard of Spotify but had never used it. (It is now on my iPhone, iPad mini and laptop.)

You can use Spotify for free. But there are ads and you can’t play your music offline (meaning, if you aren’t on wifi you can’t play the music). Neither of those work for teaching an exercise class.

If you want to play your music offline, you have to hit the available offline button on each device for each playlist, including your song library.

Spotify gives you a free week of premium (no ads and you can play … Continue reading

My epic teaching day

Sunday was an epic teaching day for me.

I taught my first official indoor cycling class.

Wikipedia defines indoor cycling as an organized activity, a form of exercise with classes focusing on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity (race days) and recovery, and involves using a special stationary exercise bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting.

Wikipedia also mentions that indoor cycling is commonly called spinning. This is true. But SPINNING® is a trademarked term and must be used correctly. I plan to write a post later on explaining this.

I had taught three impromptu classes when there was confusion about the class schedule around Thanksgiving and another time when the regular teacher had to cancel class. I just played my music and we went with it.

Sunday my playlist of music was planned out and how we rode to each song with hills, sprints, endurance, seated, standing, running, etc.

I had a pretty full class with about 12 students. (The most you can have at my gym is 16 if all bikes are in the room and in working order.)

I had many friends there to support me and another cycling teacher who has been my mentor and … Continue reading

Burning calories out on the dance floor

On Saturday night Curt and I went to a wedding, which was attended by a few other good friends.

It was a beautiful ceremony and a great party.

Free flowing sparkling wine and beer among some other adult beverages. I took part in wine, sparkling wine and water. I had some delicious lamb for dinner as well.

I judge a wedding by the party. And this wedding gets great props for a fun DJ who played danceable (is that even a word?) music, which made for an awesome time.

I danced so much that my calves are still sore today.

(And my lower back is a little sore as well. That could have something to do with dancing in heels most of the night.)

I have been told I am a good dancer. And not to toot my own horn, but I think I am.

Regardless, I just get out there and have a good time and don’t really care whether I am good or not. My dancing includes a lot of jumping and use of my arms and hands. I really get into it and have a ton of fun.

Dancing is a great, easy and fun workout. All … Continue reading

7 minutes turns into 45

The exercise challenge in this month’s Monthly Challenge is to try out The Scientific 7-Minute Workout.

The timing of the routine itself I don’t agree with. But with some modifications I think it is a good and legit exercise routine.

My recommendation is to do each exercise for a minute instead of the 30 seconds the article states. And I also think to make it a good exercise routine is to do the routine three times instead of just once.

I finally had a chance to try out the routine on Thursday night.

I performed each exercise for a minute and I did the routine three times. It came out to about a 45-minute exercise routine. It was tough and sweaty and definitely a full workout. I was sore the next day.

Because I was using my phone for music and it was attached to my arm I didn’t have exact time on each exercise. So I just counted.

The original article states that between each exercise a rest should be done. I don’t think you need to rest between each one. But when you need to take a little break you should. I know I did, which is … Continue reading

Full workout at home

My routine was completely out of whack this week.

I got sick on Sunday and even though I felt better on Monday I decided to skip the gym and make sure I was back to healthy. (Plus I had a fever on Sunday, which broke Sunday night or Monday morning, and didn’t want to infect anyone else.)

Tuesday I hit my regular yoga class. Wednesday I had to stay at work later and planned to hit a later yoga class. But once I got home I was beat and had some work to do.

Thursday and Friday I had a training in the city (San Francisco). It went until 5 on Thursday and I knew I would never make my 6 p.m. spin class. I decided to wear a camisole tank top under my blouse. I shoved my flip flops and yoga pants into my purse (yup, it pays to have a big purse). I went straight from the BART station to the yoga studio with about 5 minutes to spare and quickly changed into my yoga clothes for class.

Last night Curt and I had a dinner to attend and I likely would not have made the evening … Continue reading

Home practice while in Missouri

I am in Missouri this weekend visiting my in-laws.

Being married to a hunter makes it an annual tradition to come out for the opening of deer season. My brother-in-law and his sons are here for the weekend as well.

I brought my travel yoga mat with me in the hopes of practicing a few times.

Marilyn, my mother-in-law, asked if we could practice yoga together today.

I was happy to oblige.

The two of us took a break from the hustle and bustle of the house and went down to the basement with our yoga mats, some of my yoga music and a few ideas I had.

We were probably down there an hour. We worked on stretching out our lower backs, a little balancing and some stretching. Before getting into savasana, we stretched out in banana, which is a great stretching pose.

It was a great home practice for the both of us. I taught Marilyn a few things and I got to have a buddy while practicing.

I look forward to another practice or two with Marilyn this weekend.

If you are in Tucson you gotta visit Mindful Yoga Studio

Mindful Yoga Studio, Tucson, Ariz.

1101 N. Wilmot (Speedway and Wilmot, next to Trader Joe’s)

Click here for map

My dad’s wife, Hilda, opened a yoga studio recently.

While in Tucson for my high school reunion I was able to visit the studio and take a class from Hilda.

I am used to attending classes at a small studio in my neighborhood with spendy classes. There are great teachers and classes and I love it.

Mindful Yoga studio in Tucson has two studios, a nice lobby area, a tea area, two bathrooms (and even a shower).

I took an 8 a.m. Morning Mellow Stretch class with Hilda. It was just what I needed.

The Morning Mellow Stretch is described like this: Good for beginners/continuing students and anyone desiring a gentle way to wake up the body. Incorporates slow sun salutations, with soft openings and mind-body awareness into a slow, meditative, calm practice. Perfect for beginners or even advanced practitioners wishing to slow down.

The day before I had traveled via plane, got into Tucson late, went to bed later than normal and didn’t sleep so great.

After class my back no longer hurt … Continue reading

Happy feet … walking

I decided to take today off and have a four-day weekend.

I accomplished a lot today.

I had a dentist appointment this morning. Then the car had scheduled maintenance. And I started the daunting task of de-cluttering the spare room/office/dumping room.

I took the car in a little after 9. The dealership offers courtesy shuttle service. It was a sunny and cool morning. I decided to walk home. The roughly 1-mile took about 20 minutes to walk and was quite pleasant. I listened to the morning DJs on my Radio.com app.

Once home I had some coffee and breakfast. And then the de-cluttering began.

About 12:15 or so Curt asked me if I wanted to go have lunch. (Curt worked from home today.) After lunch I walked back to the dealership, which was a pleasant and warmer 20-minute walk.

I got in about 2 miles of walking today with a 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class this evening.

Sometimes partner yoga is a good thing

I attended my kinda sorta regular Vinyasa flow class tonight. Since getting sick and with the holidays I haven’t been to that class in probably almost a month.

The class is slightly aggressive, which is the type of yoga I normally prefer. For me it is all about burning the calories. Though I do take some less intense classes to balance out my practice.

This Friday night class is supposed to have live music, which I was excited about. Unfortunately Gary got caught in traffic and didn’t make it to play the Hang, which I have been lucky to hear him play in other classes.

Today Lily had us partner up. I have to say I am not a fan of partnering up with another classmate. I don’t really know anyone and usually we are sweating. And well, I just don’t like it.

The first partner practice was to help your partner into handstand. She gave us an alternative choice if we weren’t inverting for whatever reason: Dolphin. I was uncomfortable working on this pose with a partner for a variety or reasons. I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone falling over or hurting themselves. And … Continue reading

Monitoring heart rate

At work we have a pretty nice little gym: treadmills; ellipticals; spin bike; free weights; weight machines; big TV and area to do yoga or P90X or whatever you want. Most of the cardio machines have a TV or some sort of media attached.

The guy at work who designed the gym (and took suggestions from me!) hosted a training session the other day to go over the AV equipment.

He showed us how to watch TV on the machines and control the channel changing. He also showed us how we can listen to our own music or watch videos from our iPhones or iPods.

The guy who sold my company the equipment came in to show us some tricks on the machines and answer any questions we had. He gave us some great tips, too.

The best one for me was about our heart rate. He told us how to figure it out. Take 220 and subtract your age. That number is your maximum heart rate.

I am almost 37 (so I am using that age for this). My maximum heart rate is 183. I was advised that you should try to maintain your cardio heart rate at 60% to … Continue reading