I sweated a lot in a Bikram yoga class

Let me say that I realize this post may cause dislike, disagreement, possibly anger … But this is my opinion and my feelings on hot yoga. And you are allowed to disagree.

I don’t believe Bikram yoga (hot yoga) is real yoga.

After experiencing it I will say it is some form of exercise? … yoga poses where you are in a super hot room and sweat like crazy.

If you like doing it I am not saying you shouldn’t do it. I’m just saying … it ain’t real yoga.

Over the past year or so I believe I have become a self-proclaimed yoga snob. In terms of the type of yoga classes I take, the teachers I study under and even the way I am trying to develop my skills as a teacher.

When I first started taking yoga in 2007 it was solely for exercise. And there is nothing wrong with that.

About four years ago I started taking yoga at a yoga studio. I found different styles of yoga and different teachers I enjoyed studying under. And I found styles of yoga and teachers I didn’t enjoy.

My normal practice consisted of Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga.

Once I … Continue reading

Thankful for yoga

Today is Thanksgiving. Many of us take today to reflect on what we are thankful for. I try to reflect on what I am grateful for on a regular basis.

I also try to remember that today can be very hard for some for a variety of circumstances and reasons. If that is the case for you, I hope that you can find some peace.

I feel very lucky and grateful for the life I do have.

There are so many things I am thankful for.

Such as: my health; my husband; my family; my friends; my job (there was a chance I could have been laid off this year); my amazing co-workers/friends; the supportive people in my life; my amazing readers/friends/supporters of Go Fit Girl! …

The list goes on and on.

But what I really want to reflect on today is yoga, my practice, my teachers, my teacher training, the discovery I am continually making and my growth in my practice.

Yoga is such a big part of my life. It touches so many aspects of each day in my life.

Here are some things on my what I am grateful for when it comes to my yoga … Continue reading

Yoga pose: Extended Triangle Pose

I practice yoga regularly–about three times a week. Sometimes more.

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) is a regular pose in my regular practice in both Hatha and Vinyasa classes.

Every yoga pose has an anatomical focus, therapeutic application and many benefits. On the Yoga Journal website many poses are broken down step by step on how to get into the pose, including Triangle Pose.

The site also includes contraindications and cautions; beginner’s tip; variations; modifications and props; partnering; preparatory poses; follow-up poses; and how to deepen the pose.

According to the YJ site, the anatomical focus is the thighs. (Great for part of this month’s Monthly Challenge.)

The therapeutic application is for stress. (Sounds like I should be practicing that pose more often.)

The benefits of this pose are great and endless. When I read a list like this I am reminded again that yoga is incredible and powerful and adds so much more to my life than just exercise.

The YJ list of benefits on Extended Triangle Pose are: stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles; stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine; and Stimulates the abdominal organs; helps relieve stress; and Improves digestion; helps … Continue reading

Working those butts, hips & thighs

I have struggled with the exercise part of this month’s Monthly Challenge. (And a little with the water part since I have was traveling and drinking a lot of beer. But I am back on track with the water intake.)

Travel usually makes it difficult for me to keep up with healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise.

While I was at my hotel in Austin I got to the gym a couple of times and made sure my exercises focused on butt, hips and thighs.

I learned my lesson while in Dallas and have decided for now it is not a good idea for my knee to run.

(I need to try glucosamine and get that in my system before I try the running again. According to Wikipedia, glucosamine is marketed to support the structure and function of joints and the marketing is targeted to people suffering from osteoarthritis.)

While I was in Austin last weekend I did a quick walk with an incline on the treadmill for about 30 minutes, then lunges with biceps curls, squats while holding extra weight and dirty dog while lying on my side, which is described in this Continue reading

Planning for my week

I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a choice I have to face every single day.

And part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is planning. Planning is a big part of my success with clean living. (I plan out meals and my exercise.)

Sunday mornings are my normal day to hit the grocery. And I did yesterday. I stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies and other items to keep me going for the week.

If I have time and motivation on Sundays I will cook up a few things for the week.

Sometimes during the week I will make a meal with two servings so I have a lunch later in the week as well. Which is what I did tonight.

Many times I make Sunday mornings my chopping day–where I chop up veggies for the week, whether for snacks or a stir fry or a meal.

My friend Monica recently mentioned to me that on Sundays she bags up her snack carrots for the week. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before. (I usually bag my carrots and get my lunch ready the night before.)

So yesterday I bagged up my carrots for … Continue reading

Practice yoga at home on the cheap

My friend Heather asked me if I could recommend some yoga videos for someone with limited resources.

So I did some research and here’s the cool thing I found: YogaGlo.

The YogaGlo site says: Take more than 1,000 yoga classes on your computer or on your HD TV whenever you want, in the comfort of your own home or on the go.

I reviewed as much as I could of the site without actually signing up for the free trial or a membership.

I do have a friend who has used YogaGlo and thinks it is great. And I trust her opinion. And a few of the reviews I read on the site appear to be positive. There are a few glitches, but that has to be expected with the World Wide Web.

The site has a great beginner center. Included are a variety of teachers, styles of yoga, levels and duration.

You can sign up for a 15-day free trial for limited access to the site or you can register for full access for $18 a month.

The videos I watched which show how to properly do a pose were well done. First they are listed under their English … Continue reading

Let’s celebrate National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month. I know that. But the weird thing is I am having a hard time finding a lot of current information on this.

In honor of of this month I thought I would FINALLY respond to a request from my friend Rosie.

Months ago she asked me for advice for someone who wanted to start practicing yoga.

When I started regularly practicing yoga a little more than five years ago I first started practicing at the gym. For me I was lucky, those classes were good beginner classes. And the instructors were well-experienced teachers as well.

When I started at Namaste I felt lucky then as well, too. All the teachers are pretty amazing and experienced and versatile. I have practiced with many yoga instructors, personalities, styles, types of yoga, class sizes, etc.

So here is my advice to Rosie and anyone else who wants it:

I suggest finding a yoga studio in your area and doing a little research on the instructors who teach at the studio. (You could do the same research on the yoga instructors at your gym.) The yoga studio website should have bios on the teachers and subs. And … Continue reading

It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

Continue reading

Back on plan, on my way to goal weight (again)

Right before Curt and I headed to Mexico City I weighed in super close to my goal weight. Like ounces away.

My hard work is paying off.

Like I said I would, while in Mexico City I ate and drank what I wanted. I had a lot of amazing food and beer and margaritas.

We did a lot of walking. So that usually helps when on vacation to keep the weight gain minimal.

And it was minimal. I am just a pound away from my goal weight. Easy peasy!

We flew back Saturday evening. Sunday morning I was attending my regular Vinyasa yoga class with Ashley.

And today I got back on plan and am tracking my food again.

And I also went to my now regular evening body conditioning class at the gym, while meeting up with my friend Monica.

While in Mexico I was careful with what I ate and drank. I avoided most fresh fruits and vegetables. I always drank bottled water. I used bottled water even when I brushed my teeth.

It was a bummer to avoid fresh fruits and veggies. But I had to be careful. And that paid off. I didn’t get sick.

Continue reading

I’m not interested in hurting myself

Today during my Vinyasa yoga class I thought about what Vickie, one of my yoga teachers, says to the class when she puts us into a challenging pose … I’m not interested in you hurting yourself or I am not interested in you hurting your insert body part here.

I have kyphosis. One time in a yoga class the teacher told everyone that old people have kyphosis, which can be true. But I have it, too. I have a slight curvature of the upper spine, which can give me lower back pain. I have weak back muscles and a weak core. A strong core makes for strong back muscles. I continue to strive and work on both.

In class tonight we focused a lot of work on our lower backs. Eventually I really started to feel it in my back. So I took a step back and focused  on not hurting myself and taking care of me.

I gave my back and body and mind extra time in Child’s pose tonight. And Lily, the yoga teacher tonight, came over and helped me get deeper into the pose. She has an amazing touch and is training to be a massage … Continue reading