Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introducing the "Summer Butt Challenge" and the "7 Day Ab Challenge"

Hey All!

First, I have to start off by giving the necessary credit to these challenges.  They can be found on Skinnyms.com and were designed by Gale Compton (a nationally certified fitness instructor)!

Here is the link to Skinny Ms. Fitness:


"Summer Butt Challenge" :

So far I have completed days 1 and 2 and I am seriously feeling it.  Besides feeling the burn (literally... "butt burns" freakin' burn!) the thing I love the most about this challenge is that it starts off with a difficult and strenuous workout on day 1.  When facing a fitness challenge I always appreciate a demanding start because 1) it's a good way to gage your initial fitness standing so you can better understand and feel the progress you make as the challenge progresses and 2) it's a great motivator to conquer a kick-ass workout on day 1 of a challenge!

Here are two things I have learned so far:
1) Butt Burns are amazing.  These are a new workout to me and I plan to integrate them into my workouts even after this challenge is complete.  The best part is...you can do them anywhere all you need is a step/bench/chair!

2) Leg lifts are a completely different workout when you cross your legs.  Maybe it is just me, but I felt the effects of leg lifts 10x more with my legs crossed!  Just a little tip that I found good to know!

"7 Day Ab Challenge"

I have also completed days 1 and 2 of this challenge.  Unlike the Summer Butt Challenge, the 7 Day Ab Challenge starts off at a much slower pace.  After the first day I had to follow up the suggested routine with an ab workout of my own in order to feel the sense of accomplishment I was looking for.  However, with that said...day 2 definitely picks up the pace and gives you a much better workout.  I can really feel it today! 

Things to remember while tackling the ab challenge:

Everything is more effective when done slowly and with the proper breathing techniques!

Both of these challenges have videos you can refer to for demonstrations and instructions which make it easy to complete correctly and both challenges cram a great workout into a short amount of time (a max of 20 mins) which I know a lot of you appreciate!

That's all for now...I'm off to tackle day 3!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yoga for IC!

Hi everyone!

So, for those of you who don't know, a year ago I was diagnosed with a chronic pain disease called Interstitial Cystitis (also known as IC).  I won't go into much detail about what it is but, if you are interested in knowing more about it you can go to www.ic-network.com !  I am mentioning this because, since my diagnosis I have had to make many changes in my lifestyle.  Anything and everything I do can effect my IC and cause a flare-up including the soaps and detergents I use, the foods I eat, and everyday activities that I do.  It has been very emotional for me and it is not something I mention or talk about often. However, today I am excited (that may be a BIT of an exaggeration) to talk about it because I have found that bringing yoga practice into your life can be INCREDIBLY beneficial for IC patients.   Since I blogged last, I have gotten a yoga/Pilate's DVD that is geared towards people with IC and I have done it twice so far.  I am especially excited about it because I really enjoyed the DVD.  It has a lot of options to choose from (ie. what areas you want to target, how long you wish to practice for, etc.) and I was left feeling refreshed and accomplished.  It was a really good workout!

I had a 3 week long IC flare that left me feeling emotionally discouraged and physically debilitated that ended close to the time I started this yoga challenge. I am not sure if there is an association between my flare simmering and my yoga practice starting but I can say that it is such a comfort and a relief to know that I can now be active during a flare by practicing yoga.  I am anxious to see how continuing with yoga will help with my IC. 

On Monday I finally attended a class at a yoga studio here in Greensboro called Triad Yoga.  I have taken classed there before and I really love and appreciate the atmosphere!  I got a package of classes and look forward to attending more classes and working with the instructors! 

Between classes and DVDs I am doing really well with this challenge...only one more week to go!  What shall the next challenge be...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yoga Update

I have completed my first week of the 21 Days of Yoga Challenge.  I decided to start the challenge by doing my first few sessions in the comfort of my own home!  I have a collection of great DVDs that I have gotten over the years and wanted to put them to use.  I am SO glad I did.  Although I think a very important part of Yoga is feeling the energy of those who are practicing with and around you, I have found that practicing alone is personally a great way for me to have alone time that isn't consumed by thoughts and distractions.  It is just me focusing on the unity of my body and my breath.  It's very peaceful and a great way to start or end the day. 

I have a few DVDs by a Yoga Instructor named Shiva Rea.  I wanted to share her website with you because I think she is amazing!  Check it out at: http://shivarea.com/ .  Her DVDs are sold on the website and I suggest them to anyone who is interested in getting a really good yoga session at home!

Rejuvenation is the perfect way to describe my yoga experiences over the past week.  Since I have adapted to adult life, a new meaning has come to the saying "there are not enough days in the week," or rather "there are not enough hours in the day."  So bringing yoga back into my life this week has added two (very important) things to my everyday routine: calming alone time, and exercise!  When I say exercise, I really mean to emphasize because yoga is such a unique kind of exercise.  It brings such awareness to every fiber of your body.  It requires not only the basic fundamentals of a normal workout like balance, strength and endurance but it also requires the ability to enter a mental state that is a rare challenge in itself (at least for me).  I am sure this state of mind comes more easily as it becomes more a part of your daily routine with yoga. 

I look forward to exploring more about yoga and I will update soon with more thoughts!

Love, peace, and yoga!

Om Shanti


Friday, January 14, 2011

The start to my 21 days of yoga challenge!

So I just wanted to do a quick update! 

I plan to start my challenge this Sunday with a Vinyasa Flow class at Triad Yoga in Greensboro.  I have been here a few times and I absolutely love the environment so I am happy to return!

As far as my personal goals go...I want to make the commitment to myself to bring yoga back into my life and make it a part of my everyday (or mostly everyday) routine!  I also want to expand my yoga experience and try different types of practices.  Maybe I can top my 21 days off with some Bikram?!  That may be ambitious, but that is what this is all about, right?!

I want to finish with a quote that I got from Maureen Miller (you can follow her AMAZING blog at

               Yoga doesn't ask us to believe, it asks us to practice, examining our experience until we can witness the truth in the book of our own heart. ~Dave Stringer
I will update once I get started!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

3 Days In...

So my challenge began on Sunday, and so far I have attended 2 classes. This is quite normal for me, as I tend to do yoga pretty often during the week (hence my last post explaining that the challenge would not be the actual attending of class).

The first class I attended was an "Anusara-inspired Yoga Class." For those of you who don't know, Anusara is basically this: "The highest intention of practicing Anusara yoga is to align with the Divine. As we deepen our alignment with the Supreme, we step deeper into the flow of Grace." (http://www.anusara.com/) Although challenging, this was a slower moving class very focused on alignment. What I liked most about it, however, was the mind exercise that was tied into it. Our teacher, Buffy, started off the class with the theme of "You are beautiful" and carried that tagline throughout the class. What a feeling I had when I walked out of there!

Tuesday night I attended a Vinyasa Flow class in a heated room with the most amazing teacher, Billy. He reignited my love for yoga a little less than a year ago, and I am truly addicted to his class. He pushes you further than you believe you can go, but also comforts you when things may get a little too hard. His class is hard for me to describe because the feeling I have when I am there is unlike any other, and I know I'm not the only one who feels this way because his classes are always mat to mat.

I have no news as to where I am with the intentions I set at the beginning of this challenge. I believe it is too early to tell. I will say, though, that I am going into these classes more conscious of my intention and will be learning a lot along the way.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

21 Day Yoga Challenge

So...personally...the juice cleanse was not a success for me! I am so proud of you, Juli, for completing the three days and having the strength and willpower to do so! For me, it was a challenge once the work week started. I was not able to bring a juicer or blender to my office with me, and I realize now that the timing was just not ideal for me. The next time I try a 3 day cleanse I will be sure to do it over a period of time where I have 3 days off...or at least 2 out of the 3!

However, this next challenge really excites me! Juli and I decided that a 21 day yoga challenge would be great! This does not mean we will be going to yoga every single day for 21 days straight, but rather attend at least 4 to 6 classes each week for 3 weeks. As an avid yogi, myself, my challenge will not be to actually attend class but rather to challenge myself each class to try something new.

Jason Crandell said "Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are."

 Mary Glover said "For me yoga is not just a workout, its about working on yourself."

 I believe these two quotes tie directly to the challenge I am creating for myself.

 My physical intention is this: To find out how far I can really go. Rather than just moving through the poses, I will try to push it one step further. I have done yoga for about 3 years now, and feel minimal improvement in my actual yoga pose "skills". I believe this is because I have always just gone through the motions. And despite the fact that I have definitely become stronger (a chaturanga is a lot easier for me now!) I still feel like I could take it to the next level physically.

My mental intention is this: To challenge my mind and discover things about myself that I didn't know before. 

My challenge will start tomorrow and go for 21 days. I will update you guys periodically as to my yogi experiences. I will try different styles and different teachers, and set different intentions each time. Please join Juli and I in this challenge, as I believe all of us can use a little yoga in our lives! :) 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Home Stretch!

Day 3 has come and there is only 11 hours left of the cleanse (but who's counting?!).  Today I woke up and made myself juice that consisted of:
1 container of blueberries
1 orange
2 small apples
1 pear

So yummie :-)

I am really feeling the benefits of the cleanse now.  I feel like a restart button has been pressed.  I am refocused, re-energized, and rejuvenated! 

I look forward to waking up tomorrow and facing the new challenge of entering food back into my diet.  Now that I know the true feeling of hunger I have the power to really tap into myself when those feelings reoccur in the future and ask myself "am I really hungry, or am I just tired or thirsty?"  I hope to repeat a juice cleanse a few times a year to continue to reconnect my mind and body!

Hope you ladies are feeling as good as me on day 3!...