I’m a yoga teacher, not a doctor

In my teacher training, we were reminded that students would ask us all kinds of questions, including us being asked to diagnose something in a student’s body.

I love talking with my students before, during and after class.

Most classes I teach a student tells me it was exactly what they needed. Usually someone tells me they feel so much better after class.

Since I go with themes someone will tell me they are in the service industry and the feet sequence was helpful or they hurt their back earlier in the week and the low back practice made them feel better or the neck sequence felt so good for their strained neck.

Sometimes I have people telling me about an issue in their body that may or may not have anything to do with the sequence I just taught and they want advice.

I can give them advice on poses they can try to help with the issue(s) in the body or poses they might want to avoid. But that’s all I can do. I am a yoga teacher, not a doctor.

But if I don’t know I am honest about that. If it’s something I think I can do … Continue reading

Compressing, releasing in twists

This week the theme in my yoga classes is twists.

My mama is visiting this week and I asked her what she wanted the theme to be. (I already knew what she wanted. But I asked anyway.)

I have gotten a lot of great feedback from my students on this week’s sequence. They tell me they feel great, relaxed, stretched out, etc.

Twists are awesome for the body and do so many good things for us.

As I have been telling my students this week, twists help us with digestion, to detox, to de-stress, release tension and anxiety and help us keep our spine muscles mobile.

Twists compress and release your abdominal region, which can increase circulation to your organs and stimulate your digestive system, according to an article on Yoga Journal about healthy digestion.

When you twist you compress (squeeze) and when you release (soak) there will be a rush of fresh blood that will flood your digestive organs, according to DoYouYoga’s article 5 health benefits of yoga twists.

When you release, you re-introduce fresh blood, which can help cleanse the cells of any built up waste because with increased circulation comes increased cellular detoxification, also according to the … Continue reading

Yoga and pregnancy

I had a student recently ask me what poses she should not be doing while pregnant.

I told her what I knew off hand. But I told her I would do some research and let her know the next time I saw her.

So this, of course, has prompted a post.

If you are pregnant you should check in with your doctor and discuss any form of exercise, yoga included. Please make sure to discuss with your doctor since I am not a doctor and I am not your doctor.

After you tell your doctor and partner that you are pregnant you should tell your yoga teacher that you are pregnant. Sometimes we can’t tell because you are so early and/or aren’t showing. And if you are showing, we can’t assume you are pregnant because … what if you’re not …

From my own knowledge, what I have learned from my teachers and the research I have done online, here is some basic information.

Yoga poses you should avoid when pregnant:

Celebrating bumps and curves

Recently I saw stuff about Jennifer Garner and her baby bump.

Jennifer Garner admits she has a baby bump but is not pregnant on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

She’s had three kids and now there is a bump and she says it ain’t going away.

Society as a whole is so obsessed with women and their weight.

Why don’t we talk about men and their bellies? Wow, he musta put down a 6-pack last night and a bag of Doritos! How is he gonna show off his body in that bathing suit next month??!!

In the silly movie, Couples Retreat, all the women are in super amazing (dare I say, unrealistic) shape and the guy’s are a bunch of out of shape slobs. I realize our bodies can’t be perfect, but what message is that sending? This is the best picture I could find of the whole main cast.

Guess what, friends? You can have a “baby bump” and have never even had a baby.

It’s called a big meal, being bloated, stress, water retention, bad posture, a little extra weight on the tummy, etc.

Most of my life I was “skinny.” I seriously hate that word. And then … Continue reading

Women’s Issues & Yoga

I am coming around the corner and I can see the end … I graduate from Piedmont’s Deep Yoga teacher training program at the end of this month!

Last night in yoga teacher training we went over two topics: Women’s Issues and Being a Yoga Teacher.

I’ve been looking forward to the women’s issues topic as it is very important to us as teachers.

According to  a study done by Yoga Journal in 2012, 82.2 percent of yoga practitioners are women.

The women’s issues we discussed were the three transitions women can face in life: menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.

We did a yoga practice as if we were pregnant. Ann, who was teaching us last night, had us strap on “pregnant bellies,” which was a wool blanket and a yoga strap to keep it on.

It was a fascinating experiment, especially since I have never been pregnant. It was a great way to show us some of the physical limitations that can occur with a pregnant belly.

We talked about challenges each transition can face and the various yoga tips to help women take on the transitions safely for themselves.

My posting has been pretty sparse lately. But school is winding … Continue reading

Lovely day for a Guinness

I have never really been a Guinness fan. While in Dublin years ago I had a couple of the black stuff while at the brewery. And damn, it was good. I haven’t had any since … until today.

After my yoga class Curt and I headed out for brunch. I went all Irish. I had a Guinness and a shepherd’s pot pie. Wow, that pot pie was amazing (and probably super unhealthy). And the Guinness was nice to drink.

Curt and I came home from brunch and put in our garden. After our over-exertion we decided to head to our favorite local bar, McNally’s, for a drink. I decided to go for another Guinness. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Is Guinness good for you?

As I am researching there is no real clear answer to this question. Though leaning toward no seems better than leaning toward yes.

The calories and alcohol content tend to be lower than other beers.

According to Realbeer.com, a 12-ounce Guinness draught has 4% alcohol, 125 calories and 10 grams of carbs. (Just a reminder that a pint is 16 ounces.) I looked up a few other beers for comparison, all for 2 ounces: Blue Moon … Continue reading

Research that fast food before putting in your mouth

Guest Post: Alison

I remember when I could “crash diet,” skip a meal or two and my jeans would fit nicely. (Please note: Go Fit Girl! does NOT recommend crash dieting of any sort.)  Now that I’m nearing my late 20s, I’ve had a baby, and I’m breastfeeding, dieting takes more effort.  My body needs consistent calories since I’m not the only dependent these days and indulging in a Quarter Pounder can’t be remedied by skipping the next meal.  I’d like to say that I never eat fast food but I have to admit when I don’t have time to grocery shop, somebody else needs to do the cooking.
Fortunately, we live in a semi-healthy conscious society and fast food companies have started listing ingredients and nutritional information on their websites. And I now have a tool that let’s me save time without compromising my healthy lifestyle.  Discovering that a 6-piece McNugget meal (nuggets + fries) has 665 calories and 37g of fat freaks me out. How many times have I eaten that!?

There are some, but not many, options for me at fast food restaurants.  There are very few meals that I can order and eat as is.  Most meals require special … Continue reading

Getting in my daily water allotment

My friend Erica was recently told by her midwife that it was recommended that Erica drink 100 ounces of water a day. That is about 13 8 oz. servings of water. That’s a lot of water.

For today’s post I decided to track how much water I have consumed today. I am on my 12th 8 oz. serving for the day and it isn’t even 7 p.m.

I recently had a doctor’s visit and my doctor and I did discuss water intake. At the time the water bottle I was using regularly was a 20 oz. bottle. (Photo on the right.) My doctor told me three bottles a day was what I should at least be drinking. Anything over that was great, but not necessary.

I used to struggle with getting enough water in me every day. Now it seems so easy. Here are my tricks. First, I switched to a different kind of water bottle. I call my Camelbak water bottle my adult sippy cup. It seems to make me drink more water and it makes it easier. I don’t feel like it is a chore to drink water. I drink water on the way to work and … Continue reading

Mall walking great alternative in summertime

Guest Post: Erica

As you know, from a previous post, I loved to spin but chose to stop fairly far along in my pregnancy. I had to keep my heart rate below 140 and that pretty much meant sitting on my butt and slowly peddling along. It wasn’t fun so I decided to put spin on hold until Baby O arrived.

Between then and now I walked a bit, did prenatal yoga and whatever I could when I mustered up the energy (third trimester lethargy ya’ know).

Baby O (aka Finn) arrived July 7 and since then I have been dying to get out of the house and do something physical. It is “fry an egg on the sidewalk” hot here (we live in Phoenix) so we can’t walk outside unless we go around 5:30 a.m. So Finn and I have taken to mall walking. At first I was skeptical, but I have been converted.

It is not as nice as walking outside or having a destination, but it is nice to be able to get some exercise (albeit not too strenuous when walking behind lollygaggers) without overheating. I was surprised to see so many mall walkers in the middle of the … Continue reading

Guest Post: Erica

OK, OK, I guess it is now or never. I LOVE spin and this comes from a girl who hates exercise. When I started running a few years ago I really enjoyed it, but then I started having IT band issues and could not continue running. I was bummed because I had finally found something I enjoyed.

But, boy oh boy, running soooo does not compare to spin. I love the music, the dark room and the energy. I love that it kicks my butt almost every time. I love that I finish the class every time.

I love that I feel like the strongest, most amazing woman in the world because I just rode 10, 12, 15 miles on my bike every time (and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t know how to ride a “real” bike. But that is a whole ‘nother story).

For a while I was going to spin 2-3 times a week and I could see the muscles in my legs and butt almost immediately. One day my husband grabbed my upper thigh and gave me a look of surprise as he commented on how muscular my legs had become. Needless to say, … Continue reading