Adventures in Hot Yoga

In the 90’s I used to take yoga at least two to three times a week. Yoga was a good counterbalance for all of the cycling, aerobics and strength classes that I taught (as many as 20 per week). The other thing that I loved was that I was able to slow down completely focus on myself for a change! Since then I am lucky if I take one or two classes a year.

I recently started renting space for personal training sessions at Priya Hot Yoga in my neighborhood. The studio is owned by three lovely gals: Eve, Katie and Kristin.

grand opening

Last week I finally decided to take a class. (Check out the details/benefits of hot yoga here.) I signed up for the introductory special – 30 days of unlimited classes for $40. After that, Priya has a selection of class cards and memberships. They are also part of the ClassPass network.

I wear glasses 95% of the time, but popped in a pair of contacts in anticipation of many downward dog poses. The class had six other participants in the beautiful studio. The front wall was a collection of multicolored distressed wood, a departure from the typical mirrored wall. I think that the lack of reflective material would make newcomers and yoga neophytes more comfortable.

studio

Our instructor led us through a series of Vinyasas featuring Warrior and Triangle variations. I found the flow to be challenging and enjoyable. The warm temperature was surprisingly soothing and seemed to enhance my performance. Yes, as a fitness professional I do have fairly good flexibility and range of motion, but only in certain muscles and planes. My body’s theme song would be “Hips Don’t Lie”!

We finished on the mat with a few hip (yes!) stretches before final meditation. Again, the warm temperature allowed me to relax, something that I was not always able to do at my gym’s yoga classes because the air conditioning would sometimes kick in unexpectedly.

If you are hungry or thirsty after class, Priya sells healthy goodies from Pure Fare and Down Dog Healing Cafe.

food

So far I have taken five classes, all of them challenging but enjoyable. My goals are to prevent lower pain from scoliosis and to be able to gracefully hop from position to position!

Have you tried hot yoga? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Benefits of Fall Exercise Programs

Happy Fall everyone!

IMG_3036.JPG

The Autumnal season brings cooler temperatures and shorter days. Shorter days means fewer hours of sunlight, which may have an effect on your mood. To beat the Fall “blues”, try exercising outdoors. If it was too hot during the summer to walk, cycle or play a team sport, the weather is perfect now. If you are new to exercise or trying a new activity, please consult your physician first.

Fall Into an Exercise Routine

According to a recent article on the Huffington Post, exercise can boost your endorphins, making you feel good, relieve stress and help you get a good night’s sleep.

IMG_3037.JPG

How to Get Started With a New Exercise Routine

After you have obtained your physician’s clearance, set short and long term goals. Long time goals are usually accomplished by working on the short term goals. For example, if your long term goal is to increase your flexibility and core strength, your short term goal could be to do yoga and Pilates at least once or twice a week.

IMG_3038.PNG

Be Smart About Exercise

Remember, when you are planning your Fall exercise routine, be SMART:

IMG_3019.PNG
Specific: Is running or walking a 5K your goal? Then you should walk or run.
Measureable: To keep track of your progress, use a pedometer or activity tracker to measure how far you walk or run each session. Record your time and distance in a journal.
Attainable: Many times people set unrealistic goals, i.e. “I want to run/walk a 5K in 30 days.” Set yourself up for success with a goal that is reasonably challenging yet doable.
Relevant: A new walker or runner needs to train at least three times a week for two months to be able to do a 5K. Make sure you are willing to invest that amount of time.
Time limited goals: If you don’t create a sense of urgency, you won’t be motivated to achieve your goal. Sign up for a 5K three months before you begin your program.

Are you SMART about your fitness routine?

Foam Roller Exercises

What is Foam Rolling?

The foam roller is used to perform self myofascial release (SFM) or self massage to help relieve muscle soreness and enhance flexibility. The roller can be used as a dynamic warm-up that incorporates SFM, balance training and core training.
Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Hip Self Myofascial Rolling

rollgif

Hip SFM stretches and releases tension from the hip muscles.
Sit on top of roller, both feet on floor.
Place right ankle on left thigh (or lower if uncomfortable) then shift weight towards right hip, right hand on floor.
Roll up and down the hip for 30 to 60 seconds.
Repeat on the other side.

Bridge on Foam Roller

roex2gif

Bridging on the foam roller strengthens the core and activates your hamstrings and glutes. The slightly unstable surface adds more intensity to a basic exercise.
In a supine position, place heels on roller hip width apart.
Engage core and glutes, exhale as you lift hips up.
Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, slowly return to starting position. Continue for 60 to 90 seconds.
For more intensity, perform the bridge with one foot on the roller.

Quadriceps Self Myofascial Rolling to Push up Position

roex1gif

This exercise combines SFM for your quadriceps and hip flexors with upper body and core training.
Begin in prone position on forearms, top of thighs on roller, feet off floor.
Engage core, move forward using upper body until roller is right above the knees.
Press up to pushup position leading with right arm and place balls of feet on floor. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, (more advanced exercisers can add a push-up) then come back down to roller and forearms.
Roll back to starting position. Repeat leading with the left arm. Continue for 60 to 90 seconds.
To modify, move forward using your upper body until roller is above the knees, then place your feet on the floor and lift the thighs off the roller to a plank for five seconds, then return to the starting position.

Hip Extension on Foam Roller

robinex1gif

The hip extension strengthens the core and glutes. The roller adds balance and intensity to this basic exercise.
Kneel on roller, place hands on floor, hands underneath the chest. You also do this exercise on the forearms. Feet are off the floor.
Extend right leg in back of you, foot flexed.
Contract the abs and glutes, lift the leg straight up.
Slowly lower the leg down without touching the floor. Complete 30 to 60 seconds on right leg before repeating with the left leg. To modify, keep one foot one the floor as the other leg is in motion.

Walkout with Push up on Foam Roller

robinex2gif

The walkout with push up on the foam roller dynamically stretches hamstrings, strengthens upper body and core. This is an advanced exercise!
Stand in back of roller, feet hip width apart. Hinge at hip, placing hands on roller shoulder width apart.
Engage core, roll roller forward until in push up position. You can adjust your feet if you need to.
Perform a push-up
Walk feet in towards roller. Stand up, repeat for 60 to 90 seconds.
To modify, roll the roller forward until you feel a slight stretch in the hamstrings, then roll back to starting position and stand up. The feet do not move during the modified exercise.

Ready to Go!

runstepgif

After completing the warm up your body will be ready for step sprints, hiking, a kettle bell routine or any activity that you love!

Photography by Sam Melendez

Happy September everyone! The summer flew by so fast, didn’t it?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

To get back on track I am hosting a weight loss game with Dr. Everett and DietBet.

20140526-141152-51112579.jpg

So if your summer activity consisted of ice cream and margaritas, we are here to help!

20140619-112118-40878633.jpg

Our game is called “Back to Slim”. Get it? Like back to school! It begins TODAY. Here’s how it works:
First, visit  our game on the DietBet website. The entry fee is $35. You will have four weeks to lose 4% of your body weight. That’s an average of six pounds or a clothing size down. At the end of the game, everyone who loses wins part of the pot, or you can donate your winnings to charity.

I will post something to help you during the game Monday through Friday. I would love your input!

 

Please Step Away From the Scale Ma’am

Today’s poster was inspired by a very happy personal training client.

20140806-124139-45699741.jpg

Everett Medical’s Open House

#summer
#fun
#popupartshow
#games
#dietbet
#optifast
#ayalasherbalwater
#skinnygirlcocktails

20140714-160337-57817034.jpg