Amp Up Movement, Slow Down the Mind.

Living a balanced, healthy lifestyle has been challenging. John and I have lost some weight, but we're definitely far from perfect when it comes to our diets. We workout often and track our activity with a Fitbit, but we still haven't found the perfect way to stay active.


Last June, right after a stressful school year ended, I was seeking at at-home yoga practice. Specifically, I was looking for something that I could follow at my own pace and still reap all of the health benefits of a solid yoga program. My sister-in-law owns a yoga studio, but the 30 minute drive was challenging for me to swing twice a week (or more). I just needed something I could do at home. Amping up my movement, while slowing down my mind was my intention. 


I stumbled across DoYouYoga.com, and subscribed to their YouTube channel and some of their Challenge playlists. It seemed I found a Golden Ticket! After about a week of daily yoga practice, which consisted of a 10- to 25-minute lesson or flow and a guided meditation, I started to notice a few things:
  • My flexibility was greatly improving. I wasn't able to do a backbend, a handstand, or twist into a pretzel, but I was able to get into the moves quickly and without pain. 
  • After about 2 weeks, I was attempting harder poses like The Crow, with a modification of course. I cannot even tell you what this was doing for my self-esteem.

from yogajournal.com
  • I was sore! But it it was a different type of sore than I'd experienced with other types of workouts. I think this is because yoga is low impact, but I can't be sure. 
  • Focusing on my breathing and clearing my mind became easier. As a result, at the end of a workout I felt physically stronger and mentally clear. Sometimes while I'm working out at the gym it's easy to check my phone, read emails, make mental to-do lists, and basically keep 'working'. Yoga forced me to quiet the noise in my head. 
To accelerate my yoga practice, I also talked with Heidi, a Beachbody Coach, and she hooked with up with a PiYo program. This program is also low impact and uses so many of the moves that I've learned over the last 8 months during my in-home yoga practice. I sweat more and get my heart rate up faster with PiYo, and it's a nice switch on occasion from my regular yoga practice. 


You'll remember that about 8 weeks ago I joined the Iowa Food and Family Project's blogger team for the annual Live Healthy Iowa Challenge. This is my second year on the IFFP team, but I have participated in the challenge with some teacher friends at a school where I used to teach. Our IFFP team consists of a bunch of my blogger friends. This accountability throughout the Challenge has helped me be mindful of wearing my Fitbit (the steps sync automatically to my Live Healthy Iowa Dashboard!) and the power of a team. 

Right now my girls Ally, and Katy, and Stephanie are crushing it with their level of activity! Please check out each of their blogs; you're going to love these women. 


What do you do to stay active? Have you tried yoga? 

I have a $25 Scheels gift card to give away to one lucky reader, courtesy of Iowa Food and Family Project! Just leave a comment and you're entered to win. I will draw a winner on the last day of our 10-week challenge, March 31st.


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5 comments:

  1. After years of trying to force myself to enjoy the gym, I got back into yoga. I had dabbled in it several years ago but now am practicing at a studio 3-5 days a week. It is my happy place. I love the simplicity of it and the fact that not only my body os healthier from it but also my spirit, mood and overall attitude. I leave feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. Lol. I also walk my pups several times a day to keep myself moving.

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    1. I love this. It's exactly how 'healthy living' should feel.

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  2. Yes. I love yoga. I've bern doing yoga for 4 years now. I pinched a nerve in my neck 4 years ago. Was told to try yoga, I was hooked. I live by a 2 mile trail. We use it alomdt daily. Fresh air while enjoying nature is ingredients for a healthy life!

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  3. I seriously need to work on creating an at home routine. I've tried lunchtime yoga at a studio but it's so hard to rip myself out of my day and makes it difficult to calm myself (although it probably helped when I did make it). I always notice a difference in my anxiety level when I'm consistently practicing yoga!

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  4. I have been part of so many gyms, I just hated going - the grunting weight lifters, the smell of Axe body spray, the monthly fees and the crowds were enough to make me dread working out, period. I decided that I was done paying $50 a month for something I didn't enjoy, so I bought some hand weights at Wal-Mart and set up my own work-out space in my basement. Now, I power walk outside on nice days, workout DVDs, body weight exercises and mini yoga sessions. I took yoga classes in college at Field of Yoga in Cedar Falls...it was amazing. I loved it so much, then Mary the owner/teacher closed the studio and I have not found a yoga space that clicked with me like that one did. Yoga made my mind clear, I felt so at ease & at peace when I would practice. 1 hour 3 days a week I was in a different world and it was awesome and bonus my body loved yoga as much as my mind - I lost about 15lbs (disclaimer: I was doing a Yoga Boot Camp and it was geared toward clearing your mind and feeling the burn).

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