Sunday, January 25, 2015

30 Days of Yoga: Days 11-20


Well... I am addicted to yoga. I blame it on days 11-20 of this 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. Here are five things about days 11-20:

1. I am sleeping through the night-- deep and restful sleeps. I think it's the yoga.
2. I still haven't had any alcohol. I'm not giving it up for good because, why? It has been nice to detox, but I didn't really have a lot to detox from. I think I just liked the challenge. I can't wait to have a Two Hearted next week.
3. My pants are looser and my clothes are fitting the way I like them to fit. It could be from the no alcohol, or it could be from the constant yoga. We'll see when February hits!
4. My lower back still hurts every day, but the pain isn't as severe as usual. I decided on the day that I took the picture of the hyacinth bulb in the vase that I'm going to do yoga every day until the bulb blooms. Maybe my back pain won't be there anymore either. A fresh flower and a fresh back-- sounds like a good deal to me!
5. I went to hot yoga with my sista and sista-from-another-mista on day 17. Hot yoga is really disgusting and it doesn't really feel like yoga to me. I don't think yoga should make you feel so dizzy and gross. However, the minute it was over, I felt cleansed. It's all very confusing. I still don't think it's really yoga.

Bonus #6: God, my dogs are cute. Best yoga buddies ever.

In other news, the goal is to have my book proposal submitted to the publisher by the 31st. My brotha-from-another-motha is checking over the last sample chapter and then I'm sending it off. I care but don't care if it gets accepted. I just want to send it in so that it's done! That was the good thing about today's hot yoga session. I visualized myself finishing the proposal and emailing it to my bro instead of passing out from the heat. Then I actually sat down at my computer and did it-- after a long shower to rinse the rivers of sweat off of me, of course.

Monday, January 12, 2015

30 Days of Yoga: The First 10 Days

When I was eighteen, I was really into yoga and practicing three to four times a week. I could get into some complicated poses like crow and plow. I felt pretty good about yoga. During this time, I was also mediating a few times a week and I was so good at focusing and quieting my mind! Granted, I didn't have a smart phone that I felt too attached to-- just my mind and the space I was in.

I wanted to get back into yoga, so fast forward to me to thirty-one. As of Sunday, I've done yoga for ten days in a row. This is the most yoga I've ever done in my life, but I am no where near as flexible as I once was. That's okay. I'll keep working on it. I tried to meditate on Friday and I fell apart. There was too much happening in my mind-- how were the roads after all of the snow? Would I have to go into work? What about the evening? What was the plan? Ugh. It was exhausting, but that's okay. I'll keep working on it.

Despite the meditation failure, this has been quite an interesting ten days. I only have eight pictures because I didn't start recording this challenge until a few days in. I've already gotten quite a lot out of this practice:

1. I tried something new and painted my nails. This might sound like a shallow feat, but it was FUNN (Functional Understanding Not Necessary). :)
2. I spend every morning with Hannah the dog. Nipsy is not a yoga buddy-- I think the poses scare her away, but Hannah? She wakes with me every morning, follows me downstairs, and finds a way to be a part of my practice. I love having this little ritual with her. I was feeling bummed around the December because December tenth was our eleventh anniversary of adopting her. If it was estimated that she was three or four when we got her then, well, she's so old. I'm trying to enjoy all of my time with her and this is the perfect way to do it.
3. I improvised. I didn't have a yoga block, so I used an empty box of Kleenex. This made me laugh.
4. I drank more water and tea over the last ten days. That's just plain good for your health.
5. I decided since I'm devoting so much time to yoga over the next thirty days that I should just do a full body detox and not drink. I don't know if I'm going to last, especially because it's Kalamazoo Beer Week, but I just want to see if I can do it.

Here's to the next ten days! These are my favorite videos from the first ten days:
I have terrible back issues and I can tell Adrienne has had them too by the careful way she protects the back. I did the video on days 5-9 too. 

This video left me sweating and I really felt the detox happening! I can't wait to get better at these poses. 

Anyone else tackling this challenge? How is it going? 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chest Tummies

Just wanted to write an interaction that occurred between my three-year-old niece and me after Christmas dinner because it makes me smile every time I think about it.

My three-year-old niece had been pressing on my chest and staring at my boobs for almost the whole afternoon of Christmas Day. I get it, I wanted to tell her. They're huge.
        "Aunt Jen, what's in your tummies?" she asked in her little girl voice.
        "Well, we just ate, " I explained, "so my tummy is full of steak!"
        "Noooooooo," she said, "what's in your CHEST TUMMIES?" Then she pulled my shirt down.
        "These?" I asked, pointing at my breasts while holding the neck of my shirt up, since she was trying her hardest to pull it down again, "These are boobs." I pointed at her chest. "You have them too. They'll get bigger when you start growing up."
         My niece stared at me incredulously. She grabbed the neck of her shirt and looked down at her chest. Then she fell back on the couch laughing and screaming, "NOOOOOOOOOO!"
          I started laughing too. "Kid, you have no idea."


30 Day of Yoga is going really well. I'll give you an update this week! 

Monday, January 05, 2015

30 Days of Yoga?!

In my last whiny post, I wrote about how I've been sick for too long. That means I haven't worked out the way I like to work out in nearly three weeks.
Me on the inside (and eventually outside) without workouts.
Something I have been able to stick with is Yoga with Adrienne. She has a very helpful and comforting Yoga for When You Are Sick video that accompanied my pile of kleenex and cups of tea over the last few weeks:
I've written about this fantastic YouTube channel before and was pumped to see that she was starting a 30 Days of Yoga Challenge for the New Year. She'll be releasing a video each day for the whole month. Part of me is like, "Yoga every day?! Nope." The other part of me is up to the challenge of trying to do yoga every day for a month-- I'm curious if I can stick to it and how flexible I'll be after thirty days of focusing on yoga.

I just finished Day 4 and I love the way I feel already! In college I was really into yoga and meditation, but as I started getting into life I became more of a casual yogi. Sometimes I forget how much healthier I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically when I make time for yoga. Check out Day 4 if you're curious-- it's only 20 minutes.
Let me know if you're doing this challenge or if you're attempting a different challenge! I love having accountability partners when I'm focusing on my health and wellness.
Yeah... I can't do this pose. Yet. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Why, Body, Why?!

I've had the last two weeks off and I've spent them being sick. 
WTF?! 
UGH, so frustrating. I had plans for this break, but my body just decided to shut down on me. I haven't been able to work out except for some gentle yoga and I think I've been taking four naps a day. How is my body going to adjust to going back to work?

The worst part about this sickness is that there doesn't appear to be any medicine for it. I went to the doctor twice and both times she just said in no uncertain terms, "Buck up and wait it out. It's a virus." REALLY?! Nothing? Not even a placebo. Not even cough syrup for my hacking cough.
There's nothing like starting a new year feeling totally unhealthy and like there is no way you will ever be healthy again. I've never been sick for this long. I was a three-days-of-feeling-horrible-and-then-feeling-back-to-normal kind of sick person. Maybe getting into my 30s means being sick for inordinate amounts of time. 
Wah.

Wah.

Wah!

So, this is my first blog post of 2015. Seems like a promising year, eh? 
-___-
Hope all of you are in tip-top shape! Seriously, I do. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

#100HealthyDays

Since I'm on my "no refined sugar kick" and trying to develop more healthy habits, I've joined a Facebook group called #100HealthyDays to keep me honest.

It's been awesome.

It's December, so if you're like me, you're like...
Yeah. That's me this month at every holiday party, gathering, dinner... everything. As you know, I love food. And I'm not sad about that or trying to cut all foods from my life. But, I usually gain about five pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. That adds up over the years.

I wanted to make a conscious effort this month to be healthy and #100HealthyDays is keeping me on track. I'm posting more to the wall than I should, but I'm all in.

 The challenge isn't about losing weight or depriving myself of everything. It's about making one healthy choice each day-- being conscious. Not eating ALL THE FOOD on a buffet table. Eating cookies and then making sure I walk the dogs. Waking up and completing yoga for digestion before I go to holiday events:

It's been twelve days in a row of healthy behaviors. Only eighty-eight days to go. I dropped the #100HappyDays photo challenge on Instagram after seven days, so I'm winning this challenge right now! 

What do you do to keep yourself on track during this fluffy and sluggish time of year? 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Earworm Wednesday: Vaycay

Like an "I"m leaving town for somewhere to explore and eat and drink" vaycay. Not an "I'm leaving town to go see my family for the holidays" vaycay (even though I absolutely love seeing them).

It's a good thing I got my ticket to Bellingham, Washington last week. I'll be exploring and eating and drinking with my sister and one of my best buds soon enough. Going to Washington in February isn't going to be as warm as I'd like, but it's a place I've never been and there are mountains! I'm so pumped. Plus, we are flying in and out of Seattle-- we are putting aside a few hours to explore the city. I LOVE cities and I can't wait to get lost in Seattle. And Bellingham. One of my favorite podcasts, Here Be Monsters, is out of Bellingham.

I've been trying to stick to my Wednesday earworm posts for consistency-- I have been really busy over the last few weeks and I'm having a hard time finding something to write about. Ideas? Links to ideas? This is something Pinterest can't solve for me.

Today's song is one that picks me up and brings me back to Dakar. Now THAT is a city. I love it there.
Sigh. Get me out of town!!!!!!!!!!
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