So You Wanna Be a Yogi?

Monday, February 27, 2012

via here

When I talk about doing yoga, the response I usually get is that people are curious about it but don't think that they can do it.  They think you need to be some kind of zen, granola, pretzel gymnast.  Not true.  

There's lots of different kinds of yoga and ways of practicing it. The part of yoga that I connect with though is building strength and energizing my body.  That may sound strange if you think of yoga as a typical meditation sort of activity.  It definitely can be that but the great part about yoga is that its all about YOU making it whatever you want.  Its about listening to your body and following that.  I just happen to love the strength that I feel when I practice yoga, so that's the part that I share with other people. 

My favorite way to practice yoga is by going to a class at a gym or yoga studio.  Sometimes you can also find smaller groups that get together.  The reason I like a class is because each class is different, the teacher has you doing different moves each time which is great for your body, its inspiring to see what other people can do, and the instructor can help you with your form.  I dont know about you but I always push myself harder when I'm with other people.

I don't have the luxury of a class right now so I've been practicing at home.  Since I started my 30 day challenge of doing it every day, I've been doing a lot of videos.  I like to switch up videos all the time because I get a little anxious when I know what's coming next, but also because like with any exercise you see faster results when you challenge your body to new things.  I'm a couple weeks into my challenge of doing it everyday and I'm happy to say I've only missed 2 days so far.  I don't feel bad about that either.  Some days you just aren't feeling it and thats okay.  But even after two weeks I've noticed SO much more strength in my arms.  I love that!  I love that yoga makes me so aware of my body that I can really feel my improvements.  Anyways....I thought I'd show you some videos that I've found that I like.  Yoga can be a little intimidating to start at a class, so trying it at home might help you.

Yoga is about recognizing how you feel and not competing with others. Its about doing your best. Try to not get caught up in the fact that you cant do all the poses that the instructor is doing. Especially if you've never done it before, you can feel SUPER awkward. Like falling over on your face awkward. But give it a month or two before you decide you don't like it. It gets better. A lot better. 

I've been looking for a lot of videos online and its hard for me to find one that I like. I'm totally picky....I don't like music, I don't like cheesy zen backgrounds, and I don't like it if the instructor is annoying.  If I get annoyed, I'm definitely not going to enjoy yoga.  So I added videos that I actually like.....but it'd be great for you to search for other yoga videos that you like.  There's lots that you can purchase on Amazon or watch for free on youtube.  

A couple if you're a newbie: 

She is a little bit nutty but this would be a good video to run through once or twice to get familiar with the most basic yoga moves and what they're called.  

I also like Jillian Michaels' video for yoga if you're a beginner.  It has yoga moves, but in more of a cardio focused workout with both beginner and advanced moves.  Its a good way to work up your strength for more traditional yoga.  Find it here.

My favorite yoga videos are by Bryan Jones. He has channel on youtube that has so many amazing videos.  His videos pass all of my tests: no music, he talks normal, he has a good mixture of quick to slow, and there's lots of challenges to work up to.

Power Yoga - This one is more challenging but great to see what your goals in yoga can be.

This one is the most challenging for me right now but I love throwing it into the mix sometimes to see how I'm growing. 

I'd love to hear about it if you try it out - see how you do or if you find any other videos that you love and wanna share. Also there's an awesome group of girls that are into motivating each other to be good to their bodies. They have lots of great ideas if you wanna join the group on facebook.  Good luck!

my week in photos

Sunday, February 26, 2012

via here

I made a pillow case! Its got a zipper and everything. I know.  here

These are my best sellers by far.  I tried to improve the photos and this is what I came up with. I kinda like it.

Where I live.  I'm a lucky girl huh?

Office marathon.  Thank you Netflix.

My daily yoga goal has turned into daily morning yoga.  Loving starting off my day with that.

Raspberry tea. 

Perry, one of the boys that I babysit. He's clearly nuts.

saturday breakfast

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I take my Saturday morning breakfasts pretty seriously.  I love em!  Since I'm not a morning person, during the week my breakfast is always making a smoothie and drinking it on the drive to work.  But Saturday morning I feast on good things.  

I noticed that when I think I'm going to take a picture of my food, I add even better things in there. So that means you'll probably being seeing more pics of my food.  Just a heads up. I hope it gives you ideas too.  

If you're not familar - millet is an amazing for you grain loaded with nutrition.  There's lots of ways to have it but, it doesn't have a strong taste so its great for adding to other foods.  I cooked a cup earlier this week and put it in a tupperware.  I've been adding it by the spoonful to my soup, salads, and obviously saturday morning breakfast tortilla.  It's good stuff. 

P.S. that recipe for a smoothie is probably my favorite drink on the planet.  It takes just like Orange Julius but not so sugary.  So its yummier. And better.  Sorry Orange Julius.  

Happy Saturday!  


Thursday, February 23, 2012

This is Evan. I watch him and his little brother a couple times a week.
He is 9.  He's really smart and good at school.  
He wants to be an actor.
Or a lawyer.
He started a Big Foot Club. Believing in Big Foot is a requirement and yes, when asked if I wanted to join I said, "definitely I do."  Evan even heard Big Foot while he was in the woods so don't be so quick to judge.  He's out there.
He also break dances.  I definitely need to capture that on video one of these days. But....Evan did ask to show off for the camera with some of his other talents.  So I obliged.  

I kinda love when someone is showing off and then totally embarrasses themselves. Don't you?

I Do Yoga in My Underwear

Monday, February 20, 2012

I don't know what got into me, but this morning I woke up and the first thing I did was my yoga for the day.  That's pretty amazing since I usually just turn the tv on while I ease into waking myself up, not wanting to get out of bed.  But the most amazing part about it was.........

Bind pose!  See that photo there?  Yep I nailed that pose today.   

A few years ago when I first started trying yoga I was about 35 lbs heavier and as beginner as you can get.  Most of the moves I couldn't do but just saw them as a goal to work up to.  But this pose, something about it bugged me.  I couldn't even get close to it.  I was in a class and I'd look at the girls in front of me doing it with ease it seemed.  I could bend over onto one knee (slightly) and reaching an arm under my leg and up to grasp hands......seriously? Not happening.  I felt like my hands were so far away from being able to touch that for the life of me I could not figure out how anyone did it.  I must have miniature t-rex arms.  

I tried it again today for the first time in quite awhile and was pretty shocked when I felt my fingers touch.  Wait? I'm actually doing it?  My fingertips weren't just touching.  I grabbed hands!  

I'm saying this partly to brag because I am so excited!! But mostly as a reminder that it's hard to see how far you've come sometimes when you're in it.  One thing that I love about yoga and certain other workouts is that it can be measured and it is undeniable when you've grown and improved.  I can feel my strength as I'm able to do more week after week.  If you're disappointed with where you're at now, look back at where you've been.  If you don't feel like you're farther along than where you've been, start now.  Tomorrow look back and see that you're stronger than yesterday.  

This video is INCREDIBLE.  I've got that t-rex arms mentality right now even after that speech I just gave.  But maybe....someday.....I could do something like that?  Its pretty inspiring to say the least.

I know most of my friends are brand new to yoga or new to the idea of even considering trying it.  I'm putting together some of my favorite videos and hopefully tomorrow I'll have some links for you to try out if your'e feeling adventurous.    

Happy President's day :) 

Green Smoothies

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm pretty in love with fuit or veggie drinks right now.  I have them as my actual meal or as a snack.  Just fill a water bottle up with juice and I'm set.  I love them at work to keep myself from snacking on other things. I love them in my car.  I love them everywhere.   Snacking on vegetables has never been my thing. I try sometimes because I feel like I have to.  But something magical happens when you blend your food up into a liquid mess.  Then I WANT  to have it.  

I made myself a green smoothie this morning.  Anything that I could find in my fridge that was green passed the test.    

 red kale
ice cubes

Warning: It took me a long time to acquire a taste for a drink like that.

I started making smoothies originally with yogurt and fruit only, then slowly started adding vegetables that weren't strong tasting. I started figuring out which combinations I could stomach (bananas go a long way in covering up other tastes).

Now I'm at a point where I actually crave those healthy shots to my body.  Especially if I didn't eat so good the day before.  It's like my body is screaming for some veggies again.  Kale! Spinach!  It's a good place to be at.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Part of my new sewing station - I put my thread on push pins into a cork board. Works great and looks pretty cool too.

My new bag, also available in my shop

I purchased Washi tape from here and I'm having so much fun with it! It works just like tape and whatever you put it on looks freakin cute people.

Revlon anticipated my new color obsession with their new color "Minted".  I then proceeded to dump the whole bottle all over my phone.  Don't try to clean up your phone with nail polish remover - it just doesn't work okay?  But I love it enough to go buy another bottle. 

There is a definite trend with my favorite color of the season. Minty.  I. Can't. Get. Enough.  Pastels and little bits of neon in general are in my current love list but minty green beats them all.  You'll be seeing more of it from me.  That's a promise I intend to keep.    

I've got a four day weekend ahead of me thank you Mr. Presidents.  I've been working hard on a makeover with my Etsy shop, not only photos but coming out with a new product line. And I gotta say I'm kinda crazy about it. So my goal is to get a big chunk of the items on my to do list for that done by Tuesday.  The makeup bag seen above is one of the products I've been working on.  And I've decided that I need to make that one mine.  

I'm going to see The Vow tonight and I can't wait!  I think I should sneak in a hike this weekend too.  And of course yoga is on my daily agenda.  I hope you doing something wonderful for yourself :)

Good Things

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What a GOOD day. Seriously.  It has taken me a month and 15 days before I really started feeling that rejuvenation of a new year and getting through the winter and feeling spring coming....but I feel it coming.  Because of my 30 day self love/yoga challenge in my previous post, I woke up this morning with the goal today of focusing on positive things.  Something about the phrase "self love" really stuck in my head.  It was pretty evident how hard I am on myself as each time I had a negative thought I consciously kicked it right out with the excuse that today I don't have to worry about that. Only good things. And I must say, it was very freeing.  I believe we do need some of those negative thoughts as they can be a reminder to always be improving and striving to become better than we were.  That being said, I know I don't allow enough self love to balance out the knowledge that I have so far to go.  

Some awesome things today:

---Leftover chocolate from Valentine's Day :)  Yes I'll probably be shaking from a sugar coma tonight but I feel like this still belongs in the awesome category.
---The Valentine that I got pictured above.  Pretty great eh?  My creative and awesome sister found the idea on Pinterest.   It makes me laugh.
---I finally found enough reasons to get an iphone. Awesome!  So that means that the first thing I did was signed up for Instagram.  I'm signed up as jenniferann1 if you like to follow.  Naturally I'm going to be instagraming fool so be prepared for plenty of pictures.  
---My goal of taking more pictures this year is going to be fulfilled.  Here's to crossing those resolutions off my list.  
----Did I mention I had a lot of chocolate today? And that there's still more for tomorrow?
---2nd day of yoga completed.  Check!
---Discovering the band Imagine Dragons and the following song, America, which will most definitely be added to my running/motivation playlist.

One of the girls from our great little yoga support group mentioned how self love ultimately results in being able to outwardly love. So true.  Negative thoughts consume your spirit and there's really no energy left to give to anyone else.  I love that those two go hand in hand, that as you spend energy on your own well-being, you'll have added energy to loves others.

30 Days of Yoga

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I heard about a challenge of doing yoga for 30 days and recommitting to self and outward love.   Yes please!  There was a period of time that i was consistent with yoga and it did amazing things for me.  When I first started the practice I felt awkward, weak, and felt like I belonged at the back row of the class.  After about 2 weeks I started noticing changes and being able to do certain poses that I couldn't do before.  After a month or two I felt strong, beautiful, and so proud of the person I was being.  I connected with yoga and let it do amazing things for my mind and body.  Lately I've been focused on weight loss and doing other forms of exercise. While any kind of exercise is great, I'm feeling a lack of motivation.  I'm totally in a rut.  This 30 day challenge came at the perfect time for to regroup and focus on self love while I'm gaining strength.  So excited to recommit to yoga.  

A group of beautiful ladies are motivating each other through this challenge and anyone is invited to join.  Check out this blog for the source of the goal and to find other's who are committed and writing about their experiences.  You can also follow along on facebook if you want to join in the goal.  

I'm going to have a hard time doing it every single day, especially on the days when I don't feel like doing anything.  I'm committed though. 30 days. This is happening! 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hey! So motivation kicked in suddenly and finally.  I did a little spring cleaning and finally changed the look of this here blog.  Notice anything different?  I've been struggling to make it look just how I want it while trying to learn the html language but I think I'll settle on how it is now.  I also renewed my goals of weight loss.  Current goals for me are working out 4-6 times a week and keeping my calories to a certain number.  As past trends have shown though, I'm motivated for a day or two with those goals until I ultimately talk myself into a treat, a pat on my back for doing so well the past day (or the past half a day).  Mac and cheese for lunch?  Yep I must deserve it since I worked out yesterday. That thinking happens all too often unfortunately which has the result of maintaining weight...not losing.    So since I'm more of a visual girl I made a calendar to have on my wall and account every day how I'm doing.  The new goal is to be able to check off the boxes for goals completed most days of the week.   I figure if I'm struggling to be able to check off the boxes then it'll be pretty obvious why I'm stuck at the same weight for the past 6 weeks.

Bonus.....if you have similar goals and want to have the calendars as well you sure can!  They're clickable and printable.  

I'll be adding the following months later on so check back in April if you want May and June and......

SOUTH JENNI. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.