Mommy & Me (Baby) Classes (Yoga and Pilates)

I have been wanting to try Mommy & Me (Baby) classes at Mind the Mat Yoga Studio, since the week I found out I was pregnant. My friend Mariana went with her baby (Jasper) when she still lived in the area and she really enjoyed the classes. Along with her, I also know a couple of other mamas who have participated in the Mommy & Me classes at the studio and they too were really impressed.

The studio offers Mommy & Me classes in pilates, yoga, and barre. However, because I was recovering from my c-section I wasn’t able to do any type of exercising with the exception of walking, until I got cleared from my doctor. This was disappointing for me, because I really wanted to take Zoe to the Mommy & Me¬†classes earlier, during my maternity leave – instead I finally just got to take her, this last week. We joined Piper and Lindsay at the Mommy & Me pilates class on Tuesday, and then went to the Mommy & Me yoga on yesterday (Friday).

Both classes are for babies before crawling age.

MOMMY & ME PILATES

The pilates class focuses on lower body, mainly glutes. This class is definitely a workout for the mamas. I was squatting and sweating while Zoe stayed in her car seat napping. It is especially important for breast-feeding mamas to get a good booty workout in considering breast milk is made from the fat from your booty.

zoe at pilates

MOMMY & ME YOGA

The yoga class is less intense then the pilates class. The first half of the class is for the mamas and focuses on the core muscles. The last half of the class is for the babies. This part was by far my favorite part, because nothing is better then having your baby smiling.

Zoe absolutely loved it. During the first half, while I was stretching, Zoe was watching me, smiling. Then during the second half, it was Zoe’s turn. I took her out of her car seat, and stretched her toes to her nose. I bicycled her legs, rotated her hips, stretched out her arms, and legs.

These classes are great!

While taking care of a baby, it¬†is easy for a mama to forget to take care of herself. However, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things. It can be really hard to find time to work out especially when you don’t have family to help watch your little one. This is why I love these classes. There are very few workout classes that allow you to bring your baby with you, and most gym daycares don’t allow young babies.

I will admit that I have never been to a louder class. Some babies were screaming their heads off, but because we are all mamas in the classroom, screaming babies do not even phase us.

If you are a mama in the DC area who has a baby who isn’t crawling yet, I highly recommend trying these classes. And if you are a mama to be, try their¬†prenatal yoga class¬†– it is amazing!

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Prenatal Yoga at Refresh Yoga Studio (28 weeks pregnant)

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

 -Buddah 

This Saturday morning, I met up with my friend Rita, for some prenatal yoga. bumps rita and meg

Rita is about one month a head of me, due date July 19th. She too is expecting a baby girl. So many baby girls are being born, these days.

If you have read my previous posts, you may already know… for the last month I have been doing prenatal yoga, and it has become my new found love. I have tried prenatal yoga at JounreYoga and Mind the Mat. But today, Rita invited me to join her at the studio she has been practicing at – Refresh Yoga Studio in Old Town, Alexandria.

refresh yoga

Rita and I started our morning with a 40 minute walk around Old Town. The weather this Memorial weekend has been amazing. So our walk was refreshing. I also saw another mom, with the BOB running stroller, and asked her how she liked it. She claimed it was the best baby item she owns. Everyone loves the BOB! I haven’t heard one negative thing about it.

Our walk ended at the front door of the yoga studio. Although, the studio space was small, it had positive energy and a very zen yoga like vibe to it – my favorite type of vibe! The room was small and so was the class, only six moms to be, and one instructor. But the smaller class size was nice, and more personable. The less people you have the more attention you get.

Erin was the instructor, and she was fantastic. Like most prenatal classes she opened the class with us introducing ourselves and telling the class how far along we are. This week I am 28 weeks. Happy – first day of the 3rd trimester – to me!! She also customized the class, by asking us what we wanted to work on. Most of us wanted to work on hip openers. She also wanted it to be an individual practice, so we quietly chose our own word to focus the class around. I chose Courage.

This class started out relaxing, but as the class went on became more strength building, with some squats, warrior poses, down dog, and prenatal push ups. It ended relaxing with a gentle scalp massage, and a cool towel over our eyes.

yoga mat prenatal

Some of my favorite things during this class was the breathing techniques, and the combination of relaxing and strength building. This combo really made the class a full body workout.

I also really enjoyed some of the postures, such as, down dog, dolphin pose, goddess pose, pigeon pose, warrior pose 2, peaceful warrior, triangle pose. I also like the squat work and the prenatal push ups. I use to be the push up queen, but didn’t know they were safe for pregnancy, but I am definitely going to include more push ups to my workouts during the week.

Over all, this was a great yoga practice, and a lovely studio. I definitely plan on going on a regular. Being pregnant, has opened my mind to different kinds of work outs and yoga poses. I have been having a lot of fun trying the different studios and instructors in the area. Each class is so different, and each instructor has something to offer.

PREGNANCY UPDATE

It is hard to believe that today, I am 28 weeks pregnant, or in other words 7 months pregnant. It is the first day, of the 3rd trimester for me. I really can’t believe how fast this pregnancy has gone by.

In a way pregnancy is much like long distance running. The first few miles you feel uncomfortable, but once you find your groove, you can comfortably keep running. When you take it one mile at a time, you begin to really enjoy yourself.

When it comes to pregnancy, most women are the most uncomfortable in their 3rd trimester. For me so far, everyday that goes by, I am feeling more and more comfortable. And¬†because I don’t have much more to go,¬†I am living in the moment, and enjoying this pregnancy more and more.

It is a pretty amazing thing, creating life.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

The Courage Wall in my neighborhood goes VIRAL!

Every Saturday, at my prenatal yoga class, Sarah, my yoga instructor sets a theme for our daily practice. Two weeks ago, the theme was Courage. She was inspired by the Courage Wall that sits across the street from the studio.Courage wall

The wall is a big chalk board that reads¬†the words, “I wish I had the Courage to…”¬†Courage wall words

There are buckets of chalk provided, to allow people the opportunity to express their deepest fears, challenges, goals. The wall has inspired, motivated, and opens up the Courage conversation to the community.

So at the beginning of yoga class, we went around the room and verbally expressed what we wish we had the courage to do during our pregnancies. It was very awesome, because we could all relate to each other. I found myself nodding my head when one yogi said, she wish she had the courage to ask for help. Another yogi wished she had the courage to stop working sooner with out feeling guilty. One wished she had the courage to physically slow down. Many of us think we can do exactly what we were doing physically before we got pregnant, but that is not always the case.

Then just last week, my jaw dropped, while I was watching the Today show and saw the Courage Wall. I had no clue the wall went viral. But there it was on TV, with Matt Lauer interviewing Nancy Belmont, from Alexandria, Virginia, as she explained the community chalkboard project.

Courage Wall Today show

After yoga this week, while I was heading to the Del Ray farmers market – they have the best strawberries. I walked passed the wall, and saw Nancy the lady from the Today show interview. I immediately congratulated her for the interview on the Today show, and told her how amazing the Courage wall is. She had a film crew with her, and asked if I would do a small interview on film. So I did.

I wrote on the wall…

I wish I had the Courage to…

Let loose, and be less controlling. Be carefree, go with the flow. Courage Wall Aspiration

I explained to her, that I have never thought of myself as a controlling person, until I got pregnant. I’m not controlling when it comes to other people, but I like to be in control of myself, physically and mentally. But one of the hardest things I have learned is during pregnancy, you have no control over anything. ¬†All you can do, is be the best healthiest person you can be. But at end of the day, you really just need to trust in your body, to create and grow a baby for you.

She totally agreed with me…

Then she asked me, “What’s going to happen when the baby comes…”

I told her… I’ve read one baby book, and am currently reading more. By reading the baby books, I will definitely have the information I need. But I don’t know exactly how it will be… I need to meet my baby first. I can plan as much as I want, but it may not go as planned or maybe it will. ¬†I am hoping to have some control, but again, I don’t know exactly what will happen, so I need to be a little flexible and just roll with it. Although, it may sound that I am unsure right now, one thing that I am very confident about, is that everything will be amazing and work out just the way it is meant to be. I’m excited and can’t wait!

As she smiled, she agreed with me, telling me she has three children, and that’s exactly how it goes.

Has anyone else seen the Courage Wall? Do you have one in your neighborhood?

If you are in Alexandria, Va, I highly recommend you, stop by the Courage Wall and write an aspiration. Reading others, will bring you inspiration too.  Also watch the interview on the Today show, here.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

 

Prenatal Yoga at Mind the Mat Yoga Studio

One of my absolute favorite times of the week are my Saturday mornings. Usually, I wake up early, and hit the running trail for a long run. But now, because I am pregnant, my body has changed so my fitness goals have changed. Now that I am pregnant, I have been using these mornings to practice prenatal yoga, at my local yoga studio Mind the Mat. When else will I have the opportunity to do prenatal yoga, better take advantage now.

Although, I am really missing my long runs, at the same time I am loving my yoga practice. Because the class is so popular, I arrive to the studio early, to find a spot close to the mirror. I lay out my mat, make sure my water bottle is full, and patiently wait for class to begin.

prenatal yoga bag

At the beginning of class, we go around the room introducing ourselves, telling the class how far along we are. Sarah, the class instructor, also gives the class a focus theme. Last week I was 26 weeks, and the class focus was courage. We each revealed, what we wish we had the courage to do. Today, I am 27 weeks, and the class focus was on our favorite childhood game. We each laughed, as we went around the room and exposed our favorite game.

Then the yoga begins. 

It ends up being a full body workout. The major focus is on  strengthening areas of the body that need to be strong for labor. We practice deep hip openers, preparing us for labor. We also work on arms and back, for carrying baby later. We work on strengthening the pelvic floor, and do some core strengthening poses that are safe during pregnancy. We also practice some poses that are great positions to use for natural child birth.

About the Studio

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Mind the Mat yoga studio has two locations, but I have only practiced at the Del Ray location. I love Del Ray. It is an awesome area, filled with lovely local boutiques and delicious restaurants. It is also a very artistic neighborhood. Today, after yoga, I hit up the farmer’s market, which I plan to do more often.

About the Instructor

Sarah, the instructor for the class, is awesome. She provides us with the yoga poses we need that are both safe for pregnancy, but also the ones that strengthen, and make us sweat. Her class also is very yoga like, and when we need to cool down, very relaxing. She definitely provide a great balance.

My favorite part

One of my favorite things about the class, is the community feel. Its a class full of mom’s to be with the same priorities and goals. We all want a healthy, fit pregnancy, with the ultimate goal to bring a child safely into the world.

prenatal yoga class

Last week, Sarah did a head count, because the class was so large. We had 20 mom’s to be, 22 babies to be, and 2 instructors. This was a total of 44 yogis. I thought this was amazing!¬†

Have you practice prenatal yoga?

© sweat1xdaily 2015

 

Pregnant Fitness goals and Prenatal Yoga

In my last post, I talked about our amazing spring vacation, aka, our Babymoon.  It was during that post, I revealed a secret that I have been keeping since November РErik and I are 6 months pregnant, with a baby girl arriving August 15th.

bump selfie 2Because fitness/healthy lifestyle is my passion, and the theme of this blog, I am going to continue focusing blog posts on sweating. And trust me, now more than ever, I get questions daily about my fitness routine. People constantly asking, what I am doing fitness wise, now that I have a baby bump.

Everyone is different, and every pregnancy is different. And what I have found is, the fitness things I use to do, I am not preforming at the same level as I did before. My body is working hard on developing another human, that has become the priority.

Also, because this is my first pregnancy, and I don’t know how to be a pregnant woman – I’m just following all the rules. I’ve never done this before, I’m just learning, and now at 6 months, I am finally content and ¬†comfortable with being pregnant.

When it comes to fitness, I have taken it down several levels. No bikram yoga, heavy lifting, or marathon training for me, my fitness goals have changed from setting a new PR in my next race, to bringing a child safely into the world.

Although, I have taken it down a notch, there has been a lot of things I have been doing to stay active during this pregnancy. I have been taking long walks with my dogs. I have been focusing on body weight exercises, and doing similar weight lifting routines as before with lighter weights. You haven’t seen me in the gym though. I have been doing all of these exercises, outside near the running trail. ¬†I also took on swimming, and now that the outdoor pool is opening soon, I plan to swim every morning. I also plan on getting a hike in at Great Falls.

But out of everything,  over the last month, I have been doing Prenatal yoga, and it has ironically become my favorite thing.

My running buddy, L, just had another baby, and when I mentioned I was going to try prenatal yoga, her response was… “Oh, you aren’t going to like it.” She thought, because I am use to more intense work outs, I would be bored.

Well for the last month, I have been going to prenatal yoga. I have tried two different studios in my neighborhood, JourneYoga and Mind the Mat, and I have to say, I love it.

prenatal yoga

The opportunities to train for a¬†marathon are endless…

There will be plenty of times to get my sweat on at Bikram…

I can always hit the gym to lift heavy…

But what other time in my life will I be able to participate in prenatal yoga? Only when I’m pregnant. So now is the time to be in a yoga room, with a community of mamma’s to be. All of us safely practicing deep hip openers, that will prepare us for labor. All of us, with the same, priority and goal.

To all the mom’s out there – What is your favorite prenatal workout? How did you stay fit and healthy during pregnancy?

© sweat1xdaily2015

Carpe Diem & Balance

6a011168668cad970c016302eba872970dLately, I have been craving yoga, and thinking about Balance, and being present.

I read a lot of fitness and healthy lifestyle blogs. Whether it is the sport they participate in or the diet they choose to follow, some of the athletes of these blogs, seem obsessive and extreme in some way or another. For example, body builders are putting on more gains during the off season and become even more lean weeks leading up to their show, claiming they are bringing an even better package to the stage. They are counting every macro, and the debate of which diet plan is constant – should I eat clean, or will IIFYM be a better choice? When it comes to long distance runners… They are running even more races, and some are choosing to run further distances.

All of these athletes are inspiring because they show passion, dedication, and hard work.

It is hard to tell in blog world, what the truth is… Just because someone only blogs about running, or prepping for a show, doesn’t mean, that is all they do. No doubt about it, these sports are time consuming and those who participate in them are very passionate about the sport they choose, but they do have rest days, and some are parents, and they go to work everyday. See my point?

Lately… I have been seeing these athletes ease up a bit and begin to talk about some of the other things in their life, and some have even talked about the importance of balance.

The more I think about it, the more I realize I need to work on balance in my own life. It is hard to juggle everything, and when one point of life gets busy others need to take the back burner, right? Not in all cases. By planning ahead and setting time aside for each task things can get fit in. It is important to figure out what your priorities are… Don’t let one part of your life take over.

I have read a couple blogs where the athlete made their sport and diet their life, and they ended up getting burned out or injured. They realized they needed to be more balanced. Actually, by being balanced they saw better results mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Balance is important in diet as well. Stop choosing a label (paleo, gluten free, vegan, low carb, clean eating, IIFYM,) ¬†to describe your eating habits. Start eating balanced healthy meals. Instead of obsessing over food, lets fuel our bodies. Nutrition isn’t restrictive, it’s healing.

 

Another aspect of life where balance is important is when you goal set. As I said in previous posts, I am a “goal digger.” I always set goals, and try to reach them. Once I reach them, I set new goals. Goal setting is very important, it is a glimpse of what you want for yourself in the future. It helps you challenge yourself and keeps you on track. However, you need to be balanced too. By always worrying about the future, you make forget to live in the present.

This is true for me as well. I love the word Carpe Diem – seize the day, but I don’t always live that way. I need to stop focusing on the future and start being more present, seizing the day.¬†large

 

How do you stay present? How do you stay balanced?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

It’s not your regular old gym clothes…

This last year, I took a business building class. At this class, I had to describe my daily fashion identity by using only one adjective. This was a very hard task. I thought to myself, I am so many things. Some days I feel artsy, other days I feel sporty. Some days I dress edgy, while other days I wear vintage. I love mixing and matching. I easily find inspiration, everywhere.

Although, all of the above is true, I stared to narrow it down… there is one thing that all the above share. And whether what I am wearing is edgy, vintage, artsy, or sporty, what I realized is that in one way or another, they are all girly and feminine.

Do you remember Clueless?

This is by far one of my favorite movies from the 90s. I was 10 years old when it came out, and I remember watching this movie, thinking how cool all of their outfits were.

Look at those gym clothes…

Clueless

Now looking back, I realize that I was the Clueless one, and the point of putting them in these outfits was to show how clueless they were too.

There is no way that those gym clothes were functional. Try running a 5k in those and you would end up with horrible chaffing. Although, they were not functional, what they were, was trendy.

Trendy and fashionable is what I loved about the gym clothes worn by Cher in Clueless, back in the 90s. Today, Trendy, fashionable, and functional is what I look for in my running gear, yoga, and workout apparel.

I love fashion.

I love expressing myself.

I have done previous blog posts on fashionable gym clothes and functional running gear. Why? Because it is important! When you look good, you feel good. Specific clothing is made, for specific sports. When you wear the proper gear for whichever sport you are participating in you preform better.

So although the gym clothing in Clueless were not functional, they were trendy. Now a days you can have the best of both worlds. Now a days workout clothing, running gear, yoga apparel is both fashionable and functional.

I normally love lululemon, and I have to admit most of my wardrobe is lululemon. However, lately I am loving Athleta. In the past, I always thought Athleta looked older, like it catered to my mother’s age group. But right now it is looking trendy, for the younger fashionable athlete. I am loving everything.

After I made a couple purchases in the store, at the register, I was asked how I had heard about Athleta. I have always known about Athleta however, I was inspired to go to the store, because of this image I saw on instagram.

athleta 4

Who wouldn’t want to go it to the store after seeing this amazing image? I actually have been finding most of my inspiration from images posted on instagram. It is by far my favorite form of social media. I now follow Athleta along with some of my other favorite stores, and people. If you aren’t following me on instagram yet, do it, @dorseyml.

These are some other inspiring images. I actually have those pants!!

What athletic brands are your favorite? Do you shop at Athleta?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Other posts you may like…

New workout challenge #29daysofIWill

Lately, I have been posting a daily work out photo on Instagram and Facebook. Because of these daily work out photos, I have gotten a lot of questions and comments from curious followers wondering what this new challenge is.

Let me start out by saying I am not an Under Armour ambassador or work for Under Armour in any way. I am simply an athlete who loves Under Armour and is a part of the Under Armour fitness community, What’s Beautiful. Along with the motivation and support this community gives me, there is also a new challenge called 29 Days of I Will. This is how it works…

Set up a profile page on What’s Beautiful. Every day for 29 days one of the Under Armour ambassadors will announce a new workout challenge that you will complete. You can find this workout video and/or photo on What’s Beautiful, but also on Instagram. You will then take a photo or video of yourself completing the workout challenge. Post this photo/video on Instagram using #29daysofiwill. Also post it on your Whats Beautiful profile. To see other athletes completing the challenges too you can search #29daysofiwill.

I have been doing these workout challenges in addition to my other workout routine. Some days I simply can’t fit it in at the same time of my other workout routine so it forces me to do night workouts. What I love most about these challenges is that they get me out of my comfort zone and get me to try new things that I would have never considered trying.

Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3
Today was all about suicides. I haven’t done suicides since I was on the tennis team in high school. I remember hating them. But surprisingly this time I found them really fun. I did 3 tennis courts worth. And plan on hitting the tennis courts more often.

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Day 4
Today was a pool workout. 5 50 meter laps. After each 50 meters do 10 dips and 10 push ups adding 10 more reps after each lap. Example lap 3 would have you do 30 dips and 30 push ups. I didn’t have a pool so I substituted laps in the pool with laps around the track. I went to the local high school’s track and surprisingly it was really busy. I was happy about this because I love being surrounded by other runners. It was definitely a different vibe from the trail, but it was a good vibe. There was also a local running club there too doing track work outs. I have always wanted to hit up the track but just never got to it. I am thankful I finally got there and look forward to doing more track work outs. I was also lucky it was a warm night in December and I was able to wear shorts.

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Day 5
Today I learned a new Yoga Pose called Fallen Triangle! I love this pose.

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Day 6
Was to sign up for something you have never tried before. I am still deciding on what this will be so I skipped this day. I promise I will get back to this.

Day 7
Today was a circuit workout.

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So this is what I have done so far. Today is day 13 for this challenge. So as you can see I have some major catching up to do. Hopefully, I’ll get caught up soon. The one negative thing about this challenge is that I am a morning runner and do most of my workouts in the morning before work. Unfortunately, the ambassadors post the daily challenge mid morning. This does not work for me because I like to plan my work outs the night before. Other than that it is fun to learn new yoga poses and workouts to include with my runs and current weight lifting plan. It’s not to late. Check out this challenge!!

Do you use social media to learn new workouts and find inspiration and support?

Yoga: The Art of Transformation- an Art project at the Freer Sackler

MY YOGA STORY 

Five years ago, I went to my first Bikram yoga class. There were only two Bikram yoga studios in the area, so I ended up at the Falls Church location which was a hole in the wall studio that smelled like burning incense. It was love at first sight and immediately, I became addicted to this sweltering hot sweaty form of Hatha yoga.

YOGA BECOMES MORE POPULAR

Since then, three more Birkam studios have recently opened in my area. And yoga is everywhere. You can even find the DC yoga community practicing on the National Mall during the Cherry Blossom Festival, every spring. I also have opened my mind to other forms of yoga – practicing inverted poses, and arm balancing poses.

Is Yoga trendy? No I don’t thinks so. Yoga’s existence is old very old, but yoginis world wide are now more than ever spreading the word, of how healing yoga is. The word is being spread in many ways, including through art.

YOGA ART EXHIBIT

Yesterday, my sister and I headed to the Freer Sackler Gallery, to see an art exhibit on the history of Yoga. The exhibit was called Yoga: The Art of Transformation.

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The collection was made up of statues and painting borrowed from 25 different museums form India, Europe and the US. It explored the diversity, history, and how yoga evolved over time. The exhibit touched on philosophies, transformation goals, and the importance yoga has in multiple other religions. It revealed how yogis and yoginis effected society.

From the exhibit, the idea that one can find enlightenment through extremes, such as heat or freezing cold really stuck with me, because I love Bikram and other forms of hot yoga. I also liked the idea that yogis would wash themselves in water to gain purity, because it reminded me of a Christian baptism. It is interesting how much similarities are found in one religion to the next.

WHAT YOGA MEANS TO ME

The world can be a negative place sometimes, full of critical people that are constantly judging. It is a human’s nature to be competitive, striving to be the best person one can be. And what I like best about yoga is how accepting the yoga community is to all people. It is not about who can do the best scorpion pose, instead it is about the process, the journey, to enlightenment. It is about the constant trying, the life long practice, to perfect each pose, and heal the body.

What does yoga mean to you?

If you are in the DC area check out the Yoga exhibit at the Sackler.

© 2013 sweatdaily

Marathon Update: Yoga & Long Run.

“But the longer and further I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind- a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.” ~ Scott Jurek

People often ask me why…

Why do I run?

Why do I lift?

Why do I enjoy hot yoga?

No one explains it better, then Scott Jurek… so if you haven’t already, read the quote above, because that is the answer to the Why.

This week has been a really strong workout week for me.

I ran a short four mile run on Sunday night after I got off work. This run really kicked off my week in a positive way. It felt really rejuvenating. I didn’t look at my watch. I just ran. I ran some down hills and ran some up hills. I ran fast, and worked up a good sweat, even though the night was breezy. I’ve realized how much I have missed these quick mindless runs, and have wished I had included more of them during my marathon training. So for this last month of my training, I am definitely going to do more of these. They get my fast twitch muscles moving, and they free my mind from trying to keep a slower more consistent pace.

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No complaining here! It was gorgeous outside! My favorite kind of running is the kind in the fall when you can wear running shorts and a long sleeve shirt!!

 

On monday, I didn’t run, I lifted. I love lifting and it has been really hard to fit in both marathon training and lifting. I am trying to keep as much muscle mass as I can, because the stronger I am the better I run. So far I feel strong, and injury free, but it is a struggle with all the running to keep the muscles. At this point, I am just maintaining, but once I complete the marathon I will be back in the gym, hitting the weights hard. Can’t wait!! ūüėČ

On tuesday, I was hungry. As an athlete nutrition plays a huge role. You have to fuel your body in order to perform at your best. The week before, I didn’t meal prep and found myself desperate, at times even with hunger pains. So I went to MOM’s Organic Market and stocked my fridge full.

On wednesday, I completed an easy 5 miler.

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On thursday, I completed an easy 8 miler. I ran three miles on the trail and then took a loop around the monuments. It was gorgeous.

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On Friday, I did an easy 4.5 miler, and then completed a hot yoga class, with my sister, E. We tried a new studio, called Mind the Mat.

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I had been wanting to try this studio for a while now. I am just so stuck in my ways and end up going to Bikram always. I have been practicing Bikram yoga for 5 years. Out of those 5 years, this was my second time trying a different type of yoga. I am going to write a full review about it this week so stay tuned.

Today, Saturday, long run day! I have been pretty bored doing the same trail over and over again. Today, however, I abandoned the trail and ran 13 miles through the city. My sister, E, came with me. This is the first run during marathon training that I have actually run with someone. It was way better than running solo. We ran tons of good hills, we even ran through the zoo.

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We ended up lost over near the Tenleytown PR at Partners. I couldn’t believe I was that far away from my car.¬†The only negative thing about city running is the constant stopping because of street lights, and all the people on the sidewalks. Overall, it was a great run! I am happy to say that 13 mile runs now feel easy.

Next week is my 21 miler, which I might make into a 22 or 24, we will see how I feel. I’m ready to push past my limits. I’m pumped to practice one last super long run. Then it is all tapering from there.

Do you prefer running in the city or on the trails?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Post Workout Drink

Everyone who lifts, knows protein is the best thing for your muscles to repair and grow.  This is true, so I always try to have a protein shake with in 30 minutes after my workout. However, July is here, which means hot and steamy, air smothering days.  And although, I have found a new passion for weight lifting, my love is for running, that is where my heart is and always will be.

Week 1 of Marathon training is over. I am officially in marathon training mode. And training in this hot July weather, has made me craving something a little more refreshing then my traditional protein shake. Protein shakes are great ways to refuel, but after a run outside in the heat, my body needs hydration.

Well after flipping through the pages of my favorite cook book, Super Natural Every Day, I found the perfect drink to hydrate me post run.

Cucumber Cooler

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cucumber
  • A couple cucumber peels
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 cups of ice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • mint leaves or you can garnish with a cucumber slice or lime wedge.

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender until slushy like consistency.
  • Pour into class and Enjoy!
  • Garnish with mint, cucumber slice, or lime wedge. (Your choice)
  • Store in a pitcher in the refrigerator for up to a day or freeze as popsicles.

Cucumber is a Super food. It is a good source of silica, which helps promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. It is also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. Cucumbers are also 95% water, but always remember to chose ones that are organic because pesticides can be hard to remove from skins.

*This would also be a wonderful drink after Bikram Yoga!

Questions for You…

  1. What is your favorite post workout drink?
  2. How do you hydrate and prepare for the heat?
  3. Do you like cucumber flavored drinks?

© 2013 sweatdaily

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Get your beauty sleep!

This week I really took things easy. I needed a good long week of rest. I ran on Monday. I slept in on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Rest is very important! I can’t stress that enough.

When you lift heavy you create little tears in your muscles. For muscle growth, these tears need to repair. Repairing happens when your body is at rest.

When you run far your body creates lactic acid, which makes muscles sore. Adequate rest and hydration helps flush the body of toxins, reducing soreness and inflammation, preventing injury.

Your body is capable of repairing itself, but it needs rest and hydration in order to do so. It is designed to repair. It wants to repair. So listen to it.

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On Friday, I’m back to grind. I hit the gym hard. It was amazing how much energy I had after a couple days of rest. I worked my back and arms, by combining super sets and active rest periods into the mix.

I have come to the conclusion that I prefer circuit training, supersets, and active rest periods, oppose to heavy lifting with less reps. Simply because it gets me a lot more sweaty. However, I know there is a time and place to do each one. If your goal is to build muscle then lift heavy with less reps. If your goal is to burn fat and build endurance then circuit training, and active rest periods are necessary.

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Always remember that when lifting heavy you should NEED to take at least a 1 minute rest period in between sets. You should feel so tired and out of breath that you need to take a rest before moving on. If you are able to move on to the next set then you are not lifting heavy enough.

MARATHON TRAINING

I have completed the Livefit trainer and because I love it so much and saw amazing results I am repeating phase 2 and 3 again. This time with a closer focus on clean eating, carb cycling, lowering my sugar intake, and upping the protein shake and water intake I am also going to customize the trainer according to what my body needs.

The plan for this coming week is to continue to take it easy with a couple of heavy lifting sessions mixed in. The reason why is because my Marathon training will be starting in a week, and I want to make sure I am physically refreshed and mentally ready.

Marathon training is going to be interesting this time around because I will be training with L. This will be her first full 26.2, so I am going to teach her everything I know about running this distance. I am also going to continue weight lifting and yoga during my training. I also want to cross train on my bike. It will be hard to juggle everything, but it will be important to do so.

I also wanted to mention that I was featured on Fit Blogger.
Please head over there and read my article.
I hope you enjoy it!

To all the Dad’s out there, including mine. I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day!

© 2013 sweatdaily

I’m in love with ALEX AND ANI…

I’m in love…

with ALEX AND ANI…

With the exception of wearing my Garmin when I run, I use to never wear anything on my wrists. Two years ago, I bought my first Michael Kors oversize boyfriend watch in rose gold. I loved it so much that I rarely went a day with out it (being a hairstylist this kept me on time for all of my clients.)

A couple years ago my sister became pretty obsessed with Pandora. I love the idea of wearing a charm bracelet, but never took the plunge – those Pandora charms can be really pricey.

Being introduced to ALEX AND ANI…

I was first introduced to ALEX AND ANI from E who had received it as a gift. Later, on Instagram my cousin has posted a pic of her ALEX AND ANI collection. I was really loving the way ALEX AND ANI looked, and the idea behind it as well.

The day we first met…

Back in April, while heading down to the GT waterfront, for the NWM expo, I noticed ALEX AND ANI, located on M street. I told L, that after the expo we have to take a mandatory stop at ALEX AND ANI. L wears tons of bracelets and I knew she would fall in love too.

What is ALEX AND ANI…

ALEX AND ANI is a company that sells charm bracelets. However, these are different from you traditional charm bracelet. Instead of having a bracelet that you had charms to, ALEX AND ANI are bracelets that have a charm on them already. You never add more charms to the bracelet, but rather buy another whole bracelet with another different charm. The idea is to have a collection of bracelets that end up being charm bangles. They come in silver or gold. You can choose to have all silver, all gold, or a mixture of both. Each charm represents the vibe or energy you give off, and helps reveal your true identity. They have a variety of different charms, including tons of yoga inspired charms.

So below are the ALEX AND ANI I have…

Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani 2

Sometimes I wear all of them. Sometimes I switch up the order. The possibilities are endless.

This brand being from New England, now has 2 locations in the DC area. One is located on M street in GT, the other in National Harbor.

Questions fro You…

  1. What brand do you love?
  2. What accessory do you wear everyday?
  3. Do you have any ALEX AND ANI?

© 2013 sweatdaily

It is worth the money!

I am definitely a¬†fashionista…

always have been…

So why would that change when I work out?

well it doesn’t…

On a normal day, I work out early-morning before I head into work. On rare days, something will come up or I may have a desire to do a double, so I head to the gym late-night. However, there was a particular day a couple months back when, I had to squeeze my sweat session in, during my break at work. On this day, my co-worker complimented me on my lululemon tank top.

She said, “Wow! You are going to work out in that… It is way to cute to sweat in.” Then when I told her I purchased the tank she so desperately desired from lululemon, she claimed lululemon was way to expensive, and she just couldn’t justify spending that much on a shirt she would be sweaty in.

Running… and why you should invest in the proper gear.

I see people all the time running in a simple t-shirt and shorts. I don’t judge. But I will tell you this, when I was a new runner I too wore a t-shirt and shorts. However, it didn’t take long for me to began to experience chafing, and blisters on my feet. I felt suffocated running in a heavy wet sweaty cotton t, and when my blisters became blood blisters, I knew something had to change. That was the day, I bought a pair of running shorts, a proper sports bra, and even running socks. And wow, what a difference. ¬†So yes, I run in high tech running gear, made from ¬†sweat wicking materials, and these items can be pricey, but I¬†have never been so comfortable running, and they look cute too. ūüėČ

One of the reasons why I love running is because it is such a simple sport. You can run in an old t-shirt and barefoot if you choose to. But for me, I’ve been there, done that, and learned that having proper running clothing/gear is worth every penny.

Although, I am a runner now, that wasn’t always the case…

Growing up, I played tennis. 

Out of all of the sports tennis is by far the most fashionable. It was when I played, and even more so now. Venus and Serena Williams are the ones to thank for this trend. They began designing their own tennis skirts and dresses. They turned heads with their bold fashion choices. They make statements with their daring looks, breaking boundaries beyond the traditional preppy white. At one point, they wore beads in their hair, and you will never not catch them wearing an array of jewelry.  Some people find this distracting. I find it FIERCE Рthey are fearlessly expressing themselves, while being bold, and challenging traditions, evolving the sport, while influencing others. They even influenced me.

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In high school, when I played varsity tennis, I definitely embraced the fashion side of the sport. My tennis team picked out new team outfits every year. I had a collection of tennis skirts and dresses, even a tennis bag, to transport my rackets, and gear from practice to matches. You may be thinking, damn that girl was spoiled, but I played tennis everyday. 

If you are going to be playing a sport everyday, like I did with tennis, and now do with running, then it is worth it to invest in some high quality clothing and gear. Honestly, it is very important to get the proper gear for any sport you invest time in. For example, although I don’t practice Bikram yoga everyday, I still do it enough, that I have an drawer full of hot yoga shorts and tops. I also have my own mat, bag, and towel. Investing in the proper gear will make you feel more comfortable, and in the end help improve your game.

© 2013 sweatdaily

Breakthrough NOT Breakdown.

OMG I am so terribly sorry… I hope you can understand…

I HAD to push my writing to the back burner, because of the crazy busy holiday season. But things are starting to slow down a bit so I am going to, as my yoga instructor would put it, breath deeply… slow down, cherish this time… because life will get crazy busy again, before you even have the chance to blink your eye.

And now that I have started to write, I have realized I have so much good knowledge to share with you, but I will break that knowledge up in to a couple different posts, and keep this one short and sweet.

For the last three days I have been, sweating, breathing, detoxifying, stretching, and strengthening my body in Bikram’s torture chamber. That means I have been going to Bikram yoga.

It has been really interesting though, because I have had a different instructor each day. Although, the 26 postures and the 2 breathing techniques are the same,  the classes have been so very different.

Wednesday, 12/26/12, Cameron taught my bikram class. The room was the hottest. The yoga was continuous, holding the poses, resting briefly, and then moving on to the next pose. This made the yoga more cardiovascular.  I had to take a knee for a minute or two, half way through class, but I got up and continued on finishing strong.

Thursday, 12/27/12, Jamie was my instructor. There were tons of newbies in the room. Because of this the class was much more slower moving. It actually ended 15 minutes late. However, Jamie really focussed on form, and corrected several people in the class, including me. He pushed me on Standing Head to Knee/
Dandayamana-Janushirasana. And got me to understand how to do Toe Stand/ Padangustasana. ¬†Also on Locus/ Salabhassana my feet were always pointing out, which he corrected. I though this class was great, because it was a smaller class and the instructor really got to work one on one with us. I have been practicing for five years, and although, I know I am no where near perfect on these poses, when class sizes are two large it is hard for the instructor to catch ever small little incorrect thing. But these small changes make a HUGE difference. I am proof… because today…

I had a breakthrough….

Friday, 12/28/12, I woke up this morning thinking I may skip class, and go running instead. But I received a text from my friend K, and she was excited to go. So I got dressed, grabbed my mat/towel/ice water… and headed over. Shelly was teaching class. The room was pretty packed today, but I felt good and strong, and more flexible than I have been in a very long time. ¬†All the running makes my body so stiff. The warm up poses went well, and then it was time for Standing Head to Knee/Dandayamana-Janushirasana. Breakthrough! Finally after 5 years of practice, I can completely straighten my left leg, and as for my right leg, it is almost there. I know it has taken a very long time but I am not very flexible, so this is big for me. I just continued to kick my leg out. I breathed into the pain and tension and boom I was there. I finished the rest of the class strong. I left totally drenched with sweat. ¬†It felt good pushing my body to its ultimate limit.
Plus I was in great company. Thanks for coming with me, K!

I don’t have any pictures of yoga class today, but I do want to share with you a yoga bag I hand knitted.

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You can find more photos and details on how I made this yoga bag, on Cashmere&Silk.

© 2012 sweatdaily

For my Yoga lover

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Sorry I have been so busy I haven’t had much time to write blog posts. However, I am always in search for inspiration. So this one is just a little cute something for all my yoga followers. I can’t remember where I found this, but I hope you can relate to it, and have a laugh.

Enjoy!
P.S. I will be posting some longer more quality posts in the next couple days. So keep your eye open, for some book reviews and my half marathon recap.

Hot.. Steamy… Sweaty… Love affair.

Let me tell you a secret…

I have had an on again, off again, now on again, love affair with Bikram.

It is a hot…

It is a steamy…

It is a sweaty…

type of love.

So I am back on and this is why?

This week was the first week of December. Where I live, it is not unusual to have unpredictable, sporadic weather conditions. ¬†So earlier this week, ¬†when the sun began to shine and the daily temperatures hit a lovely 65- 70 degrees, I wasn’t totally surprised. With that being said, there was no way I was going to skip out on a run. I couldn’t waste these beautiful days. I had to take advantage of this fabulous December weather.

So I did.

I ran fast.

I ran in shorts.

I ran testing my new Brooks PureConnects.

This morning however, the temperatures began to drop. Although, the sun was out, it became a breezy and cold 45 degrees. So instead of running, I hit up Bikram.

For those that don’t know what Bikram is let me explain…

Five years ago, I had a desire to try yoga, but for those that know me well, know that I crave intensity in everything I do. I didn’t want to pay for a yoga class, where I would be meditating and relaxing. I wanted to a challenge. I wanted to sweat. I wanted to see results.

For those that know me well, also know, I research everything. So of corse I looked up different forms of yoga, and came to the conclusion that Bikram would be the best fit for me.

Bikram Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga, created by Bikram Choudhury. The class is a 90 minute class. It consistes of 26 postures and 2 breathing techniques (26 +2). The postures are preformed in 105+ temperatures, working the whole body. Bikram is extremely detoxifying and healing. You will leave drenched with sweat and totally rejuvenated.

Bikram is always the same routine. Because of this, over time, you really get the opportunity to improve your body, and prefect the poses.

My first Bikram class…

I was super excited and just couldn’t wait to try this new type of exercise.¬†So five years ago, on a cold winter night, I got off work and stopped by my mom’s house. She was the only person I knew that would try anything with me on such a short notice. I told her that we were going to try a hot yoga class. I told her to grab the shortest shorts she had, and the biggest water bottle she owned.

In the last few years three new Bikram studios have opened in Northern Virginia alone. But back five years ago, the studios were limited, so my mom and I headed to the one in Falls Church. Like most Bikram studios, this one was a hole in the wall. My mom was a tad freaked out at first, but we completed the first class, feeling amazing afterwards.

My Bikram experience continues…

I began to practice regularly 4-5 times a week. When my best friend, Mariana, came home from college, I convinced her to come along with me. She too fell in love with it and began to practice regularly. We loved it so much, that on the rare occasion we would complete a double – meaning we would practice two times in one day.

It was amazing, how much our bodies changed. Our upper bodies- mainly arms and shoulder became toned. Our posture improved. Fat melted away from our midsections. We became more flexible. Our skin improved. We drank more water/coconut water, and craved a healthier diet. We felt rejuvenated, more energized. Everyday, I wanted to sweat buckets, and craved the heat.

New Studio’s opened…

Bikram Tysons: One of our favorite instructors from Falls Church, opened his own studio out in Tyson’s Corner. A lot of the regulars from Falls Church followed him. My friend and I would make the drive as well. The studio is by far one of the prettiest ones in the area. The classes are always packed full, with tons of regular yogis, some so amazing that they could teach the class. Because of this, the classes have a really awesome energy, but make sure you go early to reserve your favorite spot to lay your mat. The heat is always cranked to the max temperatures. You are guaranteed an intense class.

Birkam Yoga Arlington: This is another one of the newer studios in the area. I recently moved, so this location is way more convenient for me. So although, I love Falls Church and Bikram Tysons, this year I plan to go to the Arlington studio more often.

When ever I go to the Bikram Tysons, I have to arrive 20 minutes early just to get a spot in the room, at Bikram Yoga Arlington, this is not the case.¬†Every time I have participated at the Arlington studio, I have gone to the 10 am class and it hasn’t been too busy- which is a kind of nice. This studio is also the cleanest studio I have been too.

Today’s Yoga Class

L and I at Bikram.

L and I at Bikram.

When I drive out to Bikram Tysons, I have to leave my house an hour before class started, hoping and praying I will make it in time. (That is how bad the traffic is here.) I am totally stressed out when I arrived.

Today, I hit up Bikram Yoga Arlington and it literally took me five minutes to drive there, and I found parking right away- score! L and I had plenty of time to set up and relax before class started.

At first I didn’t think the room was that hot, but now I am thinking I was really dehydrated, and just didn’t begin to sweat until the middle of the standing postures.

Because it was my first time back in a month or so, I didn’t want to push myself too far, over stretch, and injure myself. Plus my muscles were tight from all the running.

In the end, it was a really good class. I felt so energized after. It felt like a full body massage. I definitely want to fit Bikram back into my schedule at least 2 times a week, if not more. I also want to try some other forms of yoga. I have a feeling that inverted poses are in my near future, what can I say – I just want to be upside down.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you tried Bikram?
  2. What kind of yoga do you practice?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Backbends

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Now that’s a backbend!
This morning I woke up with stiff shoulders and a sore back! Can you remember the last time you did a backbend? Backbends are so healing, and we don’t do enough of them. Make sure you get your backbends in daily. Christy Turlington does her backbends in a dress.

108 beads.

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From an early age I was always drawn to prayer beads. I found them beautiful, and comforting. However, the rosary was the type I was most familiar with. I grew up attending Catholic school, with a rosary always wrapped around my wrist.

My first encounter of Mala beads was in 2008, when I was traveling through, Greece and Turkey, but at the time I had no idea that these strands of beads were Mala beads. However, along with the evil eye and pashminas, the Mala beads were at every street vendor cart.

A year or two later, I began to read the ever so popular book, Eat Pray Love. The author Elizabeth Gilbert, wrote this book in order to find balance and discover her ultimate identity. She wrote the book in the creative form of a strand of Mala beads.

In her introduction she explains everything. The traditional Malas has 108 beads. 108 is the perfect three digit number multiple by three. Adding up to nine, which 3 x 3 = 9. And for anyone who ever studied the Holy Trinity, three is the number representing balance. So therefore, Elizabeth Gilbert told 108 tales divided into 3 sections, Italy, India, and Indonesia. (I highly recommend this book.)

The point of the beads is to keep the attention of the person during prayer. One bead is touched for each Mantra. It helps one stay focussed during meditation. Mala beads have been used for centuries and actually helped inspire the creation of of the Holy Rosary.

Although, I am Catholic, and still have a passion for praying the Rosary, I also love practicing Yoga. I have been practicing Bikram yoga for four years now. Bikram yoga is hatha yoga practiced in a room that is 105 degrees. Yoga for me started out as an intense detoxifying workout.  However, now I also enjoy the restorative spiritual side of yoga as well.

Being Catholic, I have always found the Holy Rosary beautiful, but it is for prayer and not a fashion statement. It actually is sacrilegious to wear around the neck. However, Elizabeth Gilbert, says in her book, that when she traveled through India especially through holy sites or Ashrams she saw a lot of people wearing Mala beads around their necks.  I like the idea of wearing these beads around my neck. I also like the idea of protection and the energy each strand of beads can give, depending on their color or what they are made out of.

With that said, I pray on my Rosary, but I wear my Mala. And I wanted to share with you this company I fell in love with. Last year I discovered, Tiny Devotions, and they make the most beautiful Mala beads.

The founder of Tiny Devotions, Diana Charabin, has an interesting story. She was introduced to Mala beads at her first yoga class. ¬†Soon after she too read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat Pray Love. ¬†After finishing Law School, she had this deep desire to be in Bali, so that is where she went, leaving behind everything in Australia. When she arrived to Bali she participated in yoga teacher training. After she completed her training she found herself longing to be creative. She began to collect the rudraksha seeds of Bali and began to make Mala beads.

Later she headed back to Canada to continue her career in Law. But still wanting to follow her calling to inspire others she decided to yet again leave Law, and start Tiny Devotions, her company where she can make and sell her Mala beads and other yoga inspired jewelry.

One of my favorite parts about Diana’s beautiful Mala beads from Tiny Devotions, is that along with the sacred rudraksha seeds she also includes a crystal stone, or semi precious gems of some sort. This gives each strand of beads a unique personality and an energetic quality. ¬†Watch Diana Charabin tell her Story¬†here.

I own three different strands of Mala beads from Tiny Devotions. Today I wore my Marathon Mala to work.

At work.

Marathon Mala, by Tiny Devotions.

Even some celebrities like Megan Fox, are wearing these beautiful Mala’s.

Photo found on Capricious Yogi.

Bottom line- Tiny Devotions has the most beautiful Mala beads. This company is awesome, beautiful, creative, and inspiring.

© 2012

Gisele Bundchen and Yoga

I don’t know why, but randomly I started searching google images for Gisele Bundchen’s yoga pose that was published in a 2010 Vogue issue. I actually came across this wordpress blog post about the beautiful super model’s ugly yoga pose. This post is super funny and sums up how I feel.

From Vogue 2010

The image above is the one found in Vogue, and this is what I have to say about that…

When I first saw this vogue issue 2 years ago, I actually got really annoyed. I thought Vogue had a lot of brilliant people working for them, but I guess I was wrong. It is clear that they don’t really know their shit, because if they did.. they would tell gisele to LOCK her KNEE!

always remember lock your knee, kick back and up, reach forward.

me doing yoga in yellowstone

me doing yoga in my mom’s living room

© 2012