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Posts Tagged ‘hot yoga’

bilbl_superThis is the first full week of summer!  Even though the #TIU #bikiniseries is over, I’m planning to kick my workouts into high gear this week.  The great thing about Tone It Up is that the weekly workout schedules don’t stop.  I’ll be following their toning plan throughout the summer, and beyond.  Here’s this week’s plan:
Monday: C25K, W5D3 (which includes running for 20 straight minutes!) + Vinyasa Yoga in the late afternoon.***
Tuesday: stair workout with a teacher friend + TIU new toning (coming out early Tuesday afternoon)
Wednesday: C25K, W6D1 + Warm Yoga Flow + TIU: Bridal Babe Workout + Honeymoon Ready Routine
Thursday: Hot Tapas Yoga (similar to Bikram)+ TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Friday: Hot Tapas Yoga + C25K, W6D2 + TIU: Daisy Duke Workout (3 rounds) + TIU: Hula Booty (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Saturday: Giant 5K w/ Di  (walking) + TIU: Cowabunga

***Today, TIU had the suggestion of going to a yoga class this afternoon, or doing one of their yoga routines. I’m so thankful that they suggested this, because I remembered that I had 19 yoga classes that I’d purchased last summer and were about to expire July 31st.  So, you’re going to see yoga on my schedule several times a week from now until then.

Now that the Bikini Series is over, I thought I’d start a little challenge of my own – getting in 150 miles by the time I have to go back to school for my first teacher workday on August 15. I’d love for you to join me.

I post my daily workouts on Instagram, so follow me (or look at the sidebar of this blog) to see what I’m doing!

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As you guys can tell if you’ve been reading the blog lately, I’ve been taking full advantage of Breathe‘s 40 days for $40 offer that I bought earlier this month.

Last week I went to my first hot “tapas” yoga class there, and tonight I attended my second, so I thought I’d write about my findings.  The class isn’t called Bikram because in order to be designated a Bikram class, the instructor/style has to follow the method developed by Bikram Choudhury – “a set series of 26 yoga poses, including two pranayama exercises, each of which is performed twice in a single 90 minute class.” ( source: http://yoga.about.com/od/bikramyogahotyoga/a/bikram.htm)

I’ve taken Bikram at YogaSource many times with many different teachers and enjoyed the predictability of the class.  It’s always the same 26 poses, done twice.  The first time held longer than the second.  Bikram is very athletic – you’re striving to hold the pose, reach deeper, or wrap stronger.  I know that if I attended that class on a regular basis, I would get inspired by my progress with each pose.  Since it’s always the same exact ones in the same order, my improvement would be measurable. As it is right now, I can get into some of the poses, but many of them require me to significantly modify the original pose.  Which I’m fine with, because I know I’ve worked to the best of my ability.  Even as a sporadic student, I always leave the class feeling accomplished.

With hot yoga, it’s just that – yoga poses done in a heated room.  The class that I attend on Tuesday nights is very relaxing and therapeutic, just as you’d expect a yoga class to be.  The teacher, Joan, is so supportive, encouraging, and gentle.  She reminds us constantly throughout the class that whatever we can do is where we should take our practice.  Very non-competitive.  I leave feeling better about myself.

I’m planning on taking the Thursday night hot yoga class this week, which has an entirely different teacher, and it will be interesting to see if/how that experience compares.

Both classes help the body release built-up toxins, though sweating.  I walk out of each studio feeling as if I’m floating – like I’ve just risen from a sauna or steam room.  The benefits of both Bikram and hot yoga are clear:

Practiced regularly, this deep body cleansing practice will give you better circulation, a stronger immune system and higher energy levels.”

At this point, I can’t really say that I like one practice over the other.  Each has their place in my heart for different reasons.  My competitive side likes the challenge of Bikram, while the side of me that needs encouragement and soothing loves the hot tapas yoga.  In both, I love the feeling I have as I’m driving home – one of complete contentment, relaxation, and calm.

Plus, you really can’t beat the calorie burn with heated yoga – look it up on any calorie calculator and you’ll be amazed.  I burn well over 1000 calories (1156 in a 75 minute class, 1387 in a 90 minute class) each time.  Of course individual results vary, depending on how much you weigh, but no matter what, the burn you can achieve doing something this good for your body and mind is remarkable.

I highly recommend trying some form of hot yoga – if I can attempt it, you can, and should, too.

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It feels so good to be back!  I seriously feel as if I’ve been gone for weeks, instead of just a few days.  Actually, I guess it has been about a week since I posted on this blog, which is much too long. I really missed getting my thoughts out and being able to read all of your blogs.  (I still haven’t caught up yet, but I promise I will, soon). When I got home on Wednesday night, I slept for 12 hours and then it’s been go, go, GO since then.  Lots of fun stuff, but this is the first time I’ve had to sit and write a long update.

My time away was better than I expected, from a work standpoint.  The team of people I was working with was great, and we all got along really, really well, which is awesome, considering that none of us knew each other ahead of time.  The assignment was tough, and it involved long, long days – we’d leave the hotel at 7am, get back around 5:30, quickly change, and then start working again until about 10:30 or 11pm each night.  Rinse and repeat for 3.5 days.  Whew!  I’m glad I went and had the experience; not only is it a great thing to add to my resume, but the whole trip really made me appreciate where I live and work so much more.  Sure, there are problems, but nothing like what I saw.  It’s good to be reminded of how lucky I am.

Foodwise, I tried to make healthy choices, overall. Breakfasts were muffins, bagels, and cinnamon bread (respectively), but I used portion control.  Lunches were the worst because they were provided by the school and I didn’t have a ton of choice in the type of food.  The first day was great because they got us Subway, so I had a turkey sandwich on wheat with all the veggies and no mayo.  Ideal.  The next day it was a taqueria that had absolutely nothing healthy on the menu – NOTHING.  I ordered a chicken burrito and only ate half of it because it was just kind of gross, especially after I saw that one of the pieces of chicken had fat attached to it.  YUCK!  The last day was a burger joint, and at this point, I didn’t want to risk getting bad chicken again, so I ordered a patty melt without fries.  Not the best choice in the world, but given the options on the menu, it wasn’t the worst either.  Dinner was a lot better because I was able to choose from a larger menu.  The first and last nights I had a delicious salad with mixed greens, grilled lean beef, and lots of veggies (dressing on the side).  The second night I gave in and had a filet mignon because we were staying at a steakhouse/cattle ranch/spa place, and it just felt like you had to have a nice steak at some point.  I know what you’re thinking, “you also had steak in your salad the other two nights.”  I ate more beef last week than I normally eat in two months!  Still, all of the steaks were lean, and I got lots of veggies in at dinner, so I felt good about those choices.

The thing that killed me was the candy and treats they had out for us ALL DAY LONG.  I was actually surprised that I was tempted, because I normally don’t like chocolate that much.  I think it was because I was writing this huge report and was sort of in a “study mode” eating thing.  I didn’t have a ton of candy, but I did have about 5 Halloween-size pieces per day.  Which is a lot for me.

I didn’t workout either.  There was seriously no time.  The first day we took a tour of the entire campus that we were evaluating, so I did get some steps in that day, but after that it was work, work, work (sit, sit, sit).  I wanted to go to the gym, but I was so exhausted at 11pm when we’d finish working that I had absolutely no energy.  I was hoping to wake up early and hit the gym then, but it didn’t open until 6:30 and we were leaving at 7am each morning.  No time to get there, workout, and then shower and get ready.

I did get lots of water in each day, which was great.  I also felt fabulous in the dresses that I bought to wear.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get any photos of myself in them, but I’ll wear them again, and I’ll snap some then.  Dressing up for this evaluation actually reminded me how much I like dressing nicely for work.  I can wear anything I want to work – jeans & a sweatshirt, pants & a sweater, dresses, etc.  This winter I’ve been wearing lots of jeans/sweaters or sweatshirt (on Fridays) combos, and they always make me feel sort of schlumpy.  Wearing the dresses, and knowing that they looked good on me really made me feel good about myself.  So, I’m going to start wearing nicer outfits to work, beginning this coming week.  Now that the weather is just starting to get a little warmer (today we had highs in the mid-60s), I can finally wear some of the cuter outfits again.

I’m really glad to be home and to be back on track.  I had absolutely nothing in this house when I first got back, but finally made it to Trader Joe’s on Saturday morning.  It’s so nice to have the fridge, freezer, and pantry fully stocked with all my healthy food and snacks.  I’ve said this before, but it really makes me feel comforted and organized to have plenty of food in the house. I make great choices when I have lots to choose from – when the food starts getting sparse, I’m more likely to make a bad decision.  You’d think it would be the opposite, but it’s not.

Quick Weekend Recap – I don’t want this to be too much longer, because I’ve already had you reading for quite some time now, but I had a great weekend, and wanted to share with you.

Friday night I went out with my Alumnae Food & Wine Club from my high school.  I absolutely love being the “president” of this club because not only does it combine two things I love – food and wine – but I also get to do event/party planning, which I adore.  If I could make it in that business, I would change careers in a heartbeat.  We went to a nice restaurant in a nearby town and had a great dinner.  The food was great, but the conversation was even better.  Better still was the fact that the photos turned out better this time than last.  I still look bigger than I think I am, but at least the camera angles were a bit kinder this time.  I’m hoping that by next month’s outing on April 23 I’ll have shed some true weight and will be able to see a bit of a difference in the photos.

Saturday was a boring day – grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and grading essays.  I did buy myself a gorgeous ranunculus plant that I absolutely love.  It’s a bit more pink in the photo – in real life it’s a richer color, but this gives you an idea of how beautiful it is:

Lots was accomplished, but nothing too exciting to write about.  It was nice to have a night to myself.

This morning I woke up super early – 3:30 (4:30 with the new daylight savings time) because I was going to be going to hot yoga with my sister, and I didn’t want to be late.  Well, let me back up.  I didn’t really need to wake up until about 6 or 6:30, but I was so worried that I’d oversleep and be late that I guess I just woke up.  I do that sometimes, quite often, actually.  If I know I’ve got a big day ahead of me and cannot risk waking up late, I’ll automatically get up ridiculously early.  My body’s way of making sure I’m awake on time, I guess. The yoga studio wasn’t fancy, but the teacher was good. My sister loves yoga and I’d been wanting to go with her, since I enjoy it too.  She goes at least twice a week, and it definitely showed. She was so flexible!  I was really proud of how much she could do, and she inspired me to try to reach her level.  (My sis is shaped similarly to me, and although she weighs about 40 pounds less than me, she has quite a bit of weight to lose, too).  She definitely inspired me.  I told her that I want her to come to the yoga studio I usually go to (although it’s been over a year since I’ve been) because it’s a lot fancier and I think she’d enjoy getting pampered a bit.  Plus, the moves in the hot yoga class are completely different than the ones we did today.  Also, it’s a lot hotter at my studio, which I enjoy more.  Today’s class was a bit warm, but not even enough to really break a sweat, and at the class I’ve gone to at my studio, I’m literally dripping with sweat when I’m done.  I love it, because it feels like you’ve just emerged from a great sauna or hot tub.  After yoga, we headed to coffee, and had a very deep conversation about a range of subjects.  I don’t want to share the specifics out of respect for my sister’s privacy, but let’s just say that I think she is amazing, and I hope that our conversation helped her realize how much she deserves out of life.

Other highlights for today – I was able to drive my convertible with the top down.  It was a bit chilly, but if the sun is shining and the temperature is reading anywhere in the 60s, I’m putting that top down!  🙂  Tonight I made a great dinner for myself – steamed asparagus, sweet

So, that’s about it.  I’m so happy that I’ll be back this week to my normal routine, including regular blogging.  I’m going to go catch up on all of your blogs now.

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