“Shutting Off” Your Mind During Yoga

Ever since I’ve started publicly loving on yoga, I’ve heard the same thing from so many people: I can’t do yoga because my mind just doesn’t stop! 

First off, I am the Busy Body Queen of the Type A folk, so if I can benefit from yoga, anyone can.

The biggest suggestion I have goes for any type of fitness tip: you have to want it. If you think yoga is a waste of time, you won’t benefit. Just like if you went to a Body Pump class and didn’t use enough weights to push yourself, you’d fail to see results.

I had gotten to the point where I needed yoga to work. I wanted yoga to work. I was desperate to find a way to slow down and calm my thoughts while still challenging myself at the same time.

I have come to find that yoga doesn’t require “shutting off” my mind. It simply requires me to focus my thoughts on the present. For me, while practicing yoga, that means focusing on my breath, the way my body feels, and what the instructor is saying.

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It’s taken work, but I have simply had to learn to refocus my mind from worries and distractions to the present.

If you’re a “my mind doesn’t stop” type of person who wants to try yoga, just know that it takes time! Don’t make up your mind after one or two classes. Work at it, and I promise you’ll reap the amazing benefits!

Nuggets of Wisdom

If you’ve been around for a few weeks, you know that lately, I’ve been loving yoga. (Please note that “love yoga” and “am good at yoga” are not synonymous.)

(According to the newest Men’s Health issue, Adam loves yoga, too.)

Before this year, I poo-poo’d yoga. I’ll admit – I didn’t think it was a “real” workout. But since I’ve started, I’ve noticed something: 90% of the yogis I’ve come across are lean and toned. So maybe there is something to this yoga thing…

I’m still keeping up with Body Pump, but the “yogi” status is a new fitness ideal that I’m chasing, and I’m genuinely enjoying the challenge (and savasana ;) )

While I’m loving the physical challenge that is yoga, I’m also enjoying the wonders it’s doing for my mental health. Each practice, the instructor always offers such valuable nuggets of wisdom, and I find myself having constant “ah-ha” moments.

Here’s yesterday’s “nugget” that stuck with me. I hope it resonates with you!

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Four Things Friday

1. As a non-Valentine’s Day celebrator, I best Valentine’s Day. As you know, Cory went to 6 AM Body Pump with me, but the fun didn’t stop there, my friends. After work we had a super-fancy dinner at Chick-fil-a. We split a milkshake on the drive home and spent the rest of the night lounging around. It was perfect.

 

2. On the way home from Chick-fil-a (while gulping down a milkshake),we stopped by Walgreens because Cory was APPALLED that I’d never tried a Whitman’s Sampler(?) “REALLY?! How could you have NEVER tried a Whitman’s Sampler?!” I then reminded him that he’s been my Valentine for the past 7 years, so if anyone is to blame… ;)

3. I made it to yoga this morning. I’m still super inflexible. I’m wondering how long it’s going to take before I can keep my legs straight during anything.

4. The winner of the Love Grown Foods Hot Oats give away is #69, Gina!

Congratulations, Gina! Please email me your mailing address to lunchboxdiaries[at]gmail[dot]com!

Have a great weekend, my friends! I’ll catch ya later! :)

The Couple that Namastes Together, Stays Together(?)

Today, Cory and I tried something new and took a yoga class together.

I hyped up this upcoming experience like nobody’s business because yoga at my old gym was totally perfect.

Cory, you’ll feel so relaxed and centered.

Cory, I LOVE YOGA.

Cory, the couple that namastes together, STAYS together. 

Cory. Get ready for your life to be changed. Forever. 

At this point Cory looked through the windows to my soul and told me to namastopit.

So, 5:30 AM came and I was ready and excited to calm the hell down and find my center.

Unfortunately, the instructor was a snobby substitute for the normal instructor. I was hoping for a nice Vinyasa flow, but she was more of a bougie show off than anything else. At one point, she asked the class “Do you guys do (insert random body-twisting pose here)?” And everyone shrugged, as best as the could while in bow pose.

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She replied in a snarky tone, “It really helps if you learn the lingo.”

At this point, I look to Cory, who looks just as hilariously as uncomfortable as I do, and I laugh out loud.

It felt worse than laughing in church during Station of the Cross.

Needless to say, Cory hated it and my words currently hold no weight in this household. I’m hoping to redeem myself soon.

Let’s chat – Do you and your partner workout together? If you’re single, do you have a workout buddy?

I’m Hooked: Why I’m Lovin’ Yoga

When I injured my ankle last month (which is doing much better by the way), my fitness routine inevitably changed. I had to take a chill pill, get creative, and step outside my fitness box.

Running and any sort of plyometrics were out of the question. Body Pump remained constant, but everything else had to fall to the wayside.

I needed something new. Enter: Yoga

Yoga was something I had never done before. When I was married to P90X, I tried the yoga DVD for five minutes before I rendered it useless.

This doesn’t make me sweat! I need to burn one million calories! Who cares if I can’t touch my toes!?

Needless to say, my tone has changed. Determined not to turn into a mushy mound of flesh, I gave yoga a try last week. I told Emily that I wouldn’t be trying the class alone, so she had to go with me. Neither of us were particularly excited, as we were both convinced we’d hate it.

Um. Wrong.

Guys, I don’t have one snarky or sarcastic thing to say about my yoga experience – other than the fact that “happy baby pose” nearly made Emily and I lose it.

Our class was at 6AM, and I left feeling absolutely energized, calm, and accomplished. Not ten minutes into the workout, I looked over at Emily and mouthed Oh my God, I’m actually sweating! 

Additionally, I had been a nervous wreck all week – just anxious about anything and everything (does anyone else ever get like that?) and I was blown away by how practicing yoga one time had such a positive effect of my state of mind.

With the little research I’ve done so far, I’m convinced that yoga needs to be a part of my regular routine. And I don’t even need to Google how great the effects are – look at my Aunt Janet! She is my fitness inspiration, for sure. If she does yoga, I do too! :)

Listen – I can’t touch my toes (yet), I don’t know the names of any poses besides Downward Dog, Child’s, and Happy Baby (yet), and I don’t move in a fluid motion (yet) – but I have a feeling I’ll be sticking around long enough to get there eventually.

If you’re a yoga pro or just starting out – make sure to link up with my friend Courtney – she has a great Yoga Challenge going on now!

Let’s chat – What’s your take on yoga? If you have a success story (i.e. you couldn’t touch your toes, but now you can) please share! 

It’s the Freakin’ Weekend!

It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby I’m about to have me some fun ;) I have SUCH a fun Friday ahead of me!!

This Friday is a little different because I have to go to work. Womp womp. But only for the first half of the day, so I really don’t have anything to complain about ;) Later on, Cory and I have a pretty flippin’ fantastic night out on the town planned. I don’t want to give it away until I have pictures to document it’s awesomeness, but I’m excited!

When I woke up this morning I felt like my body was just one huge muscle knot. Uh, I was stiff as a board. I had contemplated running to the gym this morning, but the windy/rainy/cold combo made up my mind for me – and I’m pretty grateful! I entered uncharted P90X territory this morning when I popped in X Stretch.

It was fabulous and just what I needed! My pal Tony started off by saying “Today we’re going to take care of ourselves.” Hey, I can’t argue with that! We (“we” like Tony and I are workout buds) started off with some yoga moves..poses..sun salutations? Whatever. Here’s my problem: My wrists hurt when I do yoga. Help me yogis- is that normal? How do I fix it?

Post-stretch I mixed it up a little in the breakfast world. I had to breathe into a paper bag enjoyed a PB&N banana (is it weird that every time I have to spell ‘banana’ I sing that Gwen Stefani song?’). It was delish and it hit the spot :)

I’m also enjoying a mug ‘o tea at the office :) I double timed it on the tea bags today. One just hasn’t been enough flava flave for me.

Just in case my day gets super busy, I wanted to post for Day Number 2 of the 30DPC :)

Day 2: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

Well, duh. That was pretty easy :)

Enjoy your Friday, my friends!! :D

Chit – chat: Do your wrists hurt during yoga – or am I so totally weird? Who is one person you couldn’t imagine your life without? Any fun weekend plans?