Category Archives: Yoga

12 Inspirational Quotes to Share–Part Two

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!! I hope you’re celebrating the overly-commercial day of love with someone special in your life.

A tiny little Valentine’s Day post before I get into the main post. Here’s what I did for Heath! For the longest time, we had always discussed how we’ve never gotten to go to a dance together. That changed yesterday. I won a ticket to our university’s Pink and Black Ball sponsored by the Women’s Outreach Center. I mailed his ticket to him in a card, for the utter surprise. I also made him this:

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They’re Valentine’s themed protein truffles! I also made him protein bars too, both using this delightful recipe from ProteinPow. Lastly, on a total impulse whim, I bought him a DragonBallZ figurine from a local anime/manga store (it’s Goku gone supersayan if you were wondering).

And because I love you, dear reader, here is the rest of my quotes! I split this into two entries because I got a bit verbose on the last entry, and I just kept finding good quotes. As you’ll be reading this, I’ll be at my meet. I’ll let you know what happens as soon as possible! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

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Filed under Health, Likes, Mental Health, Project Enrichment, Yoga

A Year Ago…

Doesn’t everyone?

Trying not to beat myself too hard on this one, but I learned first hand recently what sticking to a habit does to you. An old coworker/friend of mine had her yogi-anniversary this past week. She posted on Instagram some really inspiring photos about her mobility. She started as a complete beginner, in fact I was the one who helped encourage her to take up this habit, and I’m quite proud of her progress!

But of course, in terms of the “you can’t have nice things” point-of-view, I am beating myself up for not sticking with a practice so consistently. I am aware this is not a positive mindset. But I can’t let this wake-up-call go to waste. I just need to figure out how to positively apply this energy into not self-loathing, but self-loving behavior.

I started this 31 day journal challenge from the Art of Manliness and yesterday was the third day. Day three reads:

Decide on one positive habit you’d like to implement in your life. Whether seemingly mundane (like flossing) or perhaps life-altering (exercising every day), think of something you’d like to add to your life that will be beneficial. Then, think about the steps you’ll take to get there, and how you’ll keep yourself accountable.

Well, this seems like a no-brainer.

This coming week is my meet-prep week. I’m going to be lifting light, doing a lot of walking, and mobility work. I can’t think of a better time to try a daily yoga practice since I won’t be tired from lifting. I just downloaded the HabitBull app to keep me on track. I am aware that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. But maybe a week of daily practice will show me the benefits of doing some every day, thus encouraging me to do more. I just did a great standing poses routine for 25 minutes. I’ll report back on what else happens!

I want to be able to do this.

In other news, I finally joined the three-plate club. Deadlifted 315 this past week. Wow. WOW. I can’t believe it still. There was a slight hiccup when I staggered forward–wouldn’t have cleared the judges, but I still got it on raw strength. I tested bench earlier in the week and I got an unpaused 145. That’s pretty much what I expected there. Squat today–aiming for an unwrapped 275. Let’s see how that goes!

(Also, it goes without saying, I’m watching a LOT of Sailor Moon.)

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Unexpected Gift

via the Soulful Spoon

Weekend was extremely busy–some of this was my fault. I did choose to stay up to 4:00 AM on Friday night (technically Saturday morning). I also chose to stay up till 2:30 AM Saturday night (Sunday morning) to watch an NXT two-hour special. Side note: I’m now getting into professional wrestling. More on that in a different entry.

Therefore, despite all the coffee I drank Monday, and the Soda Stream “Red Bull”  I had at dinner last night, about half way through my three hour Organizations Theory class I was going to pass out.  I called Heath so that I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel going home, which I have done before–both the sleeping and the calling. My roommate just blamed it on the class, which certainly didn’t help, but I had feeling like taking a nap since lunch.

My original plan was to do like last week: wake up 6:30AM to do yoga, shower, breakfast, work 8-5PM, class 6:30 to 9:20PM, and then cardio for a little bit.

This week, 6:30 has been transformed into 6:50AM, I grabbed a shower and one of my home-made freezer breakfast burritos. I went through the rest of my day like the schedule above, because that’s the inflexible part. But, as I left the class, I realized I would be hurting myself if I went to do cardio.

Let me be clear, this cardio desire I had wasn’t a compulsion. It wasn’t punishment. It wasn’t to blast fat, to quote Denise Austin. I wanted to do cardio because I had been sitting for almost 12 hours with only a few breaks. I knew cardio would feel good for my body, which had almost been sedentary all day. So that’s why I was really proud of myself to put the breaks on and say “hold it–you might actually get hurt if you do this.” And, for once, ED didn’t scream in protest. I think he was tired too.

Heath made the suggestion on the way home that I do a video workout of some sort. I kind of poo-pooed the idea. But when I hung up and went inside the house, I realized that was precisely what my body needed. When I sit all day, my stupid tight hips get tighter. By the time I got home last night, they were aching. I took a moment, looked at my two Rodney Yee tapes and saw that there was a hip openers sequence.

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

So, last night when extremely sleepy, I did a gentle hip-openers sequence and the bonus restorative sequence (which honestly was just a lot of laying down, but I give no fucks). Thirty five total minutes on Monday! I’m thinking I should memorize the flow of that hip opener session so I can do it without Rodney. Some day, the seated wide-angle forward bend will be mine!

(Also, for your information, I learned if you look for “yoga gifs,” its mostly girls in yoga pants being sultry…sigh…great.)

Another gift I gave myself is a new way to journal. I am a daily email subscriber to Tiny Buddha. If you don’t already read their work, you should! I’t is daily bite-size enlightenment that always improves my mornings when I see it in my inbox.

I’ve been doing a daily gratitude journal for awhile now in the mornings that is separate from my regular evening journaling time. I am grateful for even the silliest stuff sometimes, like how I didn’t stress at all about being late to class last night. One thing I’m going to add to my gratitude journaling is this technique from this entry “3 Steps to Instantly Boost Your Self-Esteem.” While I’m doing pretty good on the self-esteem front lately, I loved the tips from their #2 suggestion:

Step 2: Create an activity diary for achievements, fun, and relaxation.

This step had the biggest impact upon my self-esteem by far. I was given instructions to list daily entries with an A (for Achievement), an F (for Fun), or an R (for Relaxation) besides each task or activity. I was also told to list small things for A’s to build up my confidence before listing bigger tasks.

These simple instructions transformed how I saw my time and, most importantly, how I viewed self-care. No longer did I think of fun and relaxation as frivolous or insignificant. I now saw them as equally valid to tasks and an important use of my time.

That’s such a wonderful idea! Yesterday I was pretty wound up about thinking how I had no time for doing anything for me. I proved myself wrong when, after I performed my Achievement (I read my chapter of my Orgs textbook that I had no desire to read during my lunch break…a seemingly small feat) and STILL had time to knock out a chapter of “The Golden Compass” by Phillip Pullman before I had to go back to work! I also allowed myself to light a soothing candle and read another chapter before I drifted to sleep as well. Scheduling self care like a boss.

smug face included.

I have a bad habit about playing hard (all nighters, days like last Monday) and having to rest hard because of burn out (NXT till 2:30 AM). Maybe this will help me give myself a priceless gift: balance.

How have you incorporated balance into your day lately?

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Filed under Adventures, Health, Mental Health, Project Enrichment, Yoga

Here I Am, Plus Yoga

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days on what it means to be me. This long weekend, at the first opportunity to jump back on the me-ness train, I did.

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Goodbye hair!

I got a pixie cut and donated 8 inches of my hair in order to get back to my roots, my more authentic self. The hair was a blending-in mechanism, make me like everyone else so I don’t stand out, don’t make any big waves.

But you know what, fuck that. Fuck stifling my voice, dampening my spirit and not being honest with everyone-including me. I got new nose rings, a shit ton of cheap jewelry at Claire’s and admitted to myself some important things about my own human nature.

I have friends again who aren’t bad for me. I have a lover who supports me 100 percent. I am growing beyond my self imposed prisons.

Deep breath. Release.

Good.

Now to the yoga!

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Second week of the yoga challenge did not go as planned (when does life)? My wellness center had free yoga classes all this week and I missed all of them. I had an appointment with a mobility trainer for 30 min, but I didn’t want to just count that as my yoga. So on Saturday night, I realize that I had not done a lick of yoga.

So I took out a new yoga anatomy book (I love anatomy books, never seen one like this!) and did the sequence they recommended for tight hips. Holy smokes, a full pigeon is practically impossible at this point, but I’m getting there. I didn’t get my full 30 minutes, but I did do as much as I could before midnight rolled around. I know I will get it this week!

In the land of podcasting, the GoodTrash Genre Cast covered 2014’s abysmal, yet fun, “I, Frankenstein.”

No, they don’t just turn into iPods and defeat the demon horde.

 

Speaking of demons and the afterlife, our “Nightbreed” episode has dropped, if you’re interested in crazy monsters and homoerotic subtext. Arthur blows it out of the water with his Queer theory reading, check it out for sure.

This coming Sunday, we’re recording “The Interview” after a fun communal watch after our “I, Frankenstein” show.

Finally, some reading for you that I picked up this Monday.

The New York Times discussed the power of writing to alleviate chronic stress, anxiety, and a host of physical ailments. I feel that’s what’s going on in this blog, so I must continue it!

A MyFitnessPal blogger discusses how to set good exercise goals. #8, Forgive Your Slip Ups, is super helpful for my tiny error on Saturday. I know I’m going to become more consistent in this yoga practice.

Roomie and I have been watching A LOT of Sailor Moon.

Calm determination.

Let me know your thoughts, goals, and dreams!

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Filed under Adventures, Goals, Health, Likes, Mental Health, Movies, Podcast, Project Enrichment, Yoga

First Full Week of 2015 (1/52 Week Yoga Challenge)

Happy Sunday Funday, dear readers!

I have been meaning to write this entry for awhile. Lot has happened in the short time we have been in 2015!

As you recall, this past week was my full first week back to work. This coming Monday, I’ve got school on top of it. Depending upon my tuition waiver (which may have a full time requirement), I’ll be one or two classes. Tomorrow, regardless of money though, will be my first day of Organization Theory. I’m rather excited for the course, although not so much the 8-5 work schedule followed by a class 6:30-9:20. Scratch that, 7:15 to 5. Why?

This first full week, we have free opportunities to try out the Fit/Rec center classes. Morning yoga will be a wonderful experience, I’m just certain of it. The earliness of 7:15 will not. On the bright side, if I have to sit all day and don’t have the time to lift, this will make my tight-hipped body feel much better.

Speaking of yoga, just in case you thought I forgot–

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

On week one of fifty-tw0, I went above and beyond my requirements! To ease myself back into doing yoga solo, I did this restorative sequence from the December 2014 issue of Yoga Journal. I lit some soothing  candles, and improvised in my room. I don’t have bolsters, just giant euro-sham pillows. I don’t have a block either, but I use my thrifted Poe anthology.

It's seriously the perfect size.

It’s seriously the perfect size.

I followed the instructions and took an hour to do this. The legs up the wall pose felt insanely good on my hips, which have been more tight than usual because of my 40+ hour work week.

The next day, I suggested to my roomie J that we do one of her Denise Austin videos. She suggested the “Fat Blasting Yoga.” Denise Austin is pretty early 2000s hokey and tries to turn yoga into aerobics , BUT she did a Sun Salutation vinyasa flow sequence throughout, and reminded everyone the importance of alignment constantly. I’d say a good 20 minutes were mostly performing flow sequences with modifications. I felt yoga-worked afterwards, if that makes sense. But, I am aware of the lack of training that she has, so if I need to use a yoga video to fulfill my yoga week requirements, I’ll stick to Rodney Yee tapes.

Overall, I am pleased with my performance. While I don’t have roll-over credit for this yoga scheme I’m doing, the fact I’ve done two more 30 minute chunks of yoga during week one is great!

Three more tidbits relating to this week. I have been in correspondence with Proud2Bme, an initiative of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which focuses on “building a nation where confidence rules”. It’s the place where I discovered Kate and her wonderful blog PB is Better than ED (a must-read for anyone alive on the planet). Kate, when I reached out to her, suggested I write for them as she has done in the past. Long story short, I have been accepted as an author for P2Bm! My first article is due January 30.

Basically, I am going to tell the story that I’ve been telling here for years–learning how to love my body through weightlifting. Telling this story on a public forum that will have my name attached is scary. It is scary, also, considering the fact that many of my friends and family will learn of my struggle. I know it has a happy ending because, hell, I’m living it. But the intimidation factor is huge.

Another tidbit is related to policy making in OK! I learned recently that a state legislator who I’ve known for a long time is coauthoring a bill about texting and driving. This is the “in” I’ve been wanting to have. He requested to read my policy analysis that I wrote on this topic for my first policy class this past fall. I hope it’s thorough enough for his needs. He’ll at least read the most important article, from which a lot of my content derives. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Lastly, as I was cleaning my room today, I watched the Director’s cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990) for GTGC. The beginning for me was challenging to get into (depictions of mental illness in media trigger some of my own anxieties), I enjoyed most of the film. The effects were delightfully gross out, not unlike John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). It didn’t drag like other 120 minuters I’ve seen. Craig Sheffer was very hot in this movie, and Cronenberg played creepy as if he didn’t know how to exist any other way.

It is LITERALLY as crazy as the poster looks.

Today, in my analysis, I’m going to justify why this film counts as a magical realism text. This is more of a formalist reading for me, but I feel like it deserves it. My other cohosts are going to talk about “Othering” and the AIDS epidemic of the 20th century. This episode should drop within the next week.

If you want to go waste an hour and a half, you can watch The Last Stand (with Arnie, love of my life) and listen to last week’s episode. Episode is definitely worth it though, so check them out.

Now I’m curious, how was your first week of 2015?

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All Aboard the Resolution Train

Now that I’m back to the real world after my Christmas trip, I wanted to make a short post about my New Year’s Resolutions. I like the philosophy behind Resolutions, but I know I typically make them too hard, too unattainable, too unspecific. I read a great post on StrongBrees about fitness-oriented New Year’s Resolutions, and she’s right–you can’t bite off more than you can chew or leave them unspecific.

When I worked at SSO, we had to develop performance review goals. The way you did this was through the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.

Also, I’m working from this worksheet for my New Year’s Resolution. I think this year, I’m going to only have one. I’m tired of failing on these, and I desperately need to do this. Honestly, this is one reason I’m doing the blog thing again. I need to feel that someone, somewhere is keeping me accountable (even if no one ever reads this blog, it feels like I am).

My New Year’s Resolution is to do yoga/mobility work for 30 minutes a week in 52 weeks in 2015. Let’s talk specifics.

1. Specific. What will the goal accomplish? How and why will it be accomplished?

Doing yoga for 52 weeks (with the option of adding more practice, but not doing less) will help in mental and physical health. It will relax and calm my anxiety-riddled brain and help with my constant tightness from lifting. It will be accomplished through classes, solo practice, and doing yoga tapes.

2. Measurable. How will you measure whether or not the goal has been reached (list at least two
indicators)?

Two indicators are mental and physical health. Mental health means I should be cleaner and happier in my brain. Physical health I should be more open and less tight. I will also write a weekly report documenting my progress to be posted here.

3. Achievable. Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Do you have the necessary knowledge,
skills, abilities, and resources to accomplish the goal? 

I feel like I’m making the goal too easy, but I’m glad I am for once. If I get my one day of practice, then any extra will be bonus. I have Iyengar’s book, DVDs, yoga friends, the ability to sign up for classes at the University, and a new subscription to Yoga Journal magazine, my initial inspiration. I just googled 52 weeks of yoga, and got a lot of hits. It has apparently been done before!

4. Results-focused. What is the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing the goal? What is the
result (not activities leading up to the result) of the goal?

I’d love to get better at some static strength moves, but those shouldn’t be the goal itself! It’s so tempting to say “I want to do a flag, I want to do a hand stand, I want to do a kettle bell pistol squat” but those don’t happen without a good foundation! The result of 52 weeks of yoga may be being able to do these things. I’m also aware it might not. I accept this!
5. Time-bound. What is the established completion date and does that completion date create a practical
sense of urgency?

Before January 1, 2016, I will have done yoga 52 times for thirty minutes. That seems very manageable. 26 hours. A little over one day of my life spent doing something good for me.

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my resolution for the week!

Happy New Year’s eve, y’all! I haven’t forgotten about my cool update posts, but I had to write this before next year!

 

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Filed under Goals, Health, Project Enrichment, Yoga