Yoga Mat Cleaner

Yoga mats can get heckin disgusting.

It is definitely a good idea to clean your mat every now and again.

But how…..

A lot of popular yogis post fancy DIY formulas for mat cleaners you can ‘make at home’…whose home is yet to be determined. Not my home. I’d have to go on a shopping spree to even find half of the ingredients needed to make these cleaners.

Well I am here to tell you- all you have to do is find some sort of cleansing/anti-bacterial wipes or spray. It is not a complicated ordeal. You just wipe or spray your mat. Do it whenever you feel necessary. That’s it.

These are the wipes I use:  

 
I also use them for my body.. 

This is one of my yoga mats, nice and anti-bacterialized:

   

I have four mats…… One is legit as hell and woven in India. The other three are just different colored variations of this $15 mat I got on Amazon. So… Not sure what the point of this info is.

But anyways, clean your mat (or mats). But don’t feel like it has to be a fancy, exotic ~mat cleansing~ spray.

 

 

Advertisements

Start Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

The new year is a crazy time. The world of fitness & health gets more frustrating than usual- filled with people jumping into new fitness routines, people who vowed to make this year their year

We’re all guilty of this ‘new year, new me’ mindset. We start making promises to ourselves to change all of the things we didn’t like about the previous year. We tell ourselves this year will be different- we’ll get in shape, we’ll run that marathon, we’ll finally try those healthy recipes that have been bookmarked for months..

Why do we need the number at the end of today’s date to change to allow ourselves to be better? What is the purpose of waiting? Maybe it helps us put off our own health without feeling guilty, because ‘once January comes around things will be different’…’the new year is when I’ll get serious about working out’. 

Here’s my advice to you (& myself): START NOW!!!

Start researching. There’s a wealth of information for anyone new to the world of fitness & health & wellness. Here are some of my favorite user-friendly places to search:

  • BodyBuilding.com Sooooo many free workout plans, informative articles, exercise how-tos, & even supplements! This is literally how I built my lifting knowledge-base. 
  • Fitness Blender I just discovered these guys. Their YouTube channel has a plethora of at-home workouts that range from interval cardio to weight training.
  • Bad Yogi Official Erin Motz is a seasoned yogi who totally gets that most people who do yoga are not experts… She has lots of free classes that make you feel good about your imperfect practice 🙂

It’s going to take some time before you find a fitness regime you really enjoy. It’s going to take even more time before your hard work is gratified with visible results.

Experiment with different types of exercise. Figure out the different things you’d like to try now.

Make small changes each day so you don’t shock your system & give up when it gets too difficult too fast. 

Get a jump start on your 2016 goals!! Have fun, try new things, & never give up on yourself! 

I hope you all have a wonderfully funky final week of 2015. 

~peace & all good~

#YogisWhoLift

So it’s Monday night, 

I’m in bed because work in less than 8 hours,

& I’m deciding getting this post out of my brain & into the screen of my iPod is v important. 

#priorities (or bad decision-making, perspective is everything I guess)

This post is really important to me because it’s the result of what life’s been throwing at me recently. A while back I started practicing yoga via YouTube; admittedly, half the things I thought were yoga I have come to learn actually aren’t… So I was loosely practicing yoga. I started because I was going through things that made me question who I am. I mean really question who I am. I was losing faith in my core values that I had worked so hard to discover. I didn’t know how to disconnect from my anxiety. I was losing a battle to negativity, & I was losing pretty fast. I needed to do something. 

That something was yoga. 

Backpedal a few years & you’ve got the time when I started lifting weights. It was a similar situation, but my anxiety this time was coming from body image issuezzz. I was trying to learn how to be healthy & fit.. I decided to try a 4 week weight training program. I loved it, saw results, & have grown into my own style of lifting since then.. 

  
Yoga has literally changed every aspect of my life…I know it sounds cliche but it’s true. What I’m realising now is how much it’s impacted my lifting. There’s a lot to gain from a body-mind-soul approach to fitness.

Mental Strength: In my experience, exercise of any kind is more of a mental battle than a physical one. My body can ingest some food or caffeine & be easily tricked into feeling ready for my workout. My mind, however, takes more effort. Practicing yoga has srsly transformed the way my brain thinks about me. I don’t have as hard of a time getting through self-doubt, or convincing myself that I am worth that hour and a half in the weight room, or that it’s okay if I’m not lifting as much weight as other people. I’m totally cool with feeling awkward at the gym, & that feels like a really big accomplishment.

Knowing My Limits: No ego lifting! I am able to recognise when I’ve done enough. I can feel in my body & mind when I shouldn’t go further. Being in touch with my body has allowed me to get to this point. Yea I’ll try something & fail with flying colors, but I’m not trying something I know I cannot do with the fullest effort. If I’m not there, I’m not there- simple as that.

  
Form: Along with being connected to my body, yoga has helped me stay in touch with what feels right & what doesn’t. This has helped immensely with form! I don’t overthink my body positioning because I know I’ll feel it if I’m doing something wrong. Increased flexibility from practicing yoga has also improved my range of motion…aka more effective lifting & less chance of injury 🙂

Breathing: Breath is 100% connected to form. Yoga has taught me how to control my breath. Knowing how to control my breath helps me bring more oxygen to my muscles. More oxygen means more endurance…..& more blood flow for a sweet pump. ~swole~

Appreciation: I would vote that this as the most powerful benefit I’ve experienced from my yoga practice. I don’t measure progress by how I look anymore… If I can do a single extra rep I feel accomplished. If I work through my own self doubt, I feel accomplished. If I try to lift a new weight but fail, I know there was a time when I couldn’t even do the basic lift itself. I enjoy the smaller steps in my journey. I’m way less critical of myself. I don’t obsess over skipping a day at the gym, because I recognise the importance of taking care of my body.  I’m thankful for myself & all that I’ve been through.

So there ya have it- my personal experience as what appears to be two conflicting identities. Before my own journey I never really pictured lifting weights to have any connection to yoga. Zen meatheads? Um…..???? But as it turns out, the health of your body & mind are extremely connected. The love my yoga practice has shown to my physical exercise is the most clear example of this connection. 

I hope yall enjoyed this little exploration of my journey to mind-body-soul health!!

~peace & all good~

Detoxifyin Myself

I’ve felt a little under the weather lately. Not in an ‘I have an illness’ way…more in an ‘whoa I don’t feel my best mentally or physically’ way.. 

The beginning of this week was when I felt the worst & decided to make an effort to fix this crappy feeling. I was sitting at my desk & felt completely wired yet exhausted at the same time. My eating over the past days had been shit, I wasn’t getting any satisfaction from my workouts, I was tired as hell… Being attentive to my body helped me realise something wasn’t right. I took a break from lifting (sad face) & focused more on tending to my body’s immediate needs (happy face). 

   Taking time to put things on pause & just breathe has been much needed.. My sister says this pic looks like I’m giving my soul away LOL nah fam, I got full control of that 😉

Ive also been trying to cut out processed foods & coffee from my daily routine. (yes, ik it sounds terrible but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do..)

Now that it’s Friday & I’m a few days into this restart, I feel really good! The things that are working well I’m going to continue (duh) & see how much more detoxed I can get. To me, making a change like this isn’t about anything complicated- it’s about paying attention, noticing…how do I feel after eating certain things? How do my days go when I do certain things?

More fruit & vegetables: pretty self explanatory.. I’m back on my salad flow. Getting creative with the foods I bring to work & planning for how hungry I’ll ACTUALLY be rather than pretending a smaller amount of food will suffice. 

  Breakfast: instant oatmeal with peanut butter & a ground cocoa/flax mix

  Lunch: greens with beans, feta cheese, & seasoning
Coffee replacement: a large glass of ice water. I’ve been drinking it before even peeing for the first time in the morning & it’s actually made me feel really awake. More importantly, I didn’t tell myself I couldn’t have coffee…I just didn’t let myself think I need it..

Tea: What more is there to say?! Tea is the bomb! The variety of types, the soothing powers it has, the wonderful ness. Yea…basically. Also- tea is a good way to help ease your minds worries about a lack of caffeine. You’re not taking it away, you’re just having it in a less intense amount.. 

Vitamins: I decided to bite the bullet (or pills..) & go for a daily, guaranteed source of vitamins my body clearly is in desperate need of. I haven’t been able to give my body everything it needs- yet I’ve been taking so much out of myself by working out/working/being alive.. I’ve always been sort of skeptical about vitamins, but this change is way overdue. I’ve been taking the Shaklee Women’s Vitalizer pack of vitamins everyday & tbh I feel great. WHICH I JUST REMEMBERED THAT I FORGOT TO TAKE TODAY ….

Not sure if it’s a combination of everything I’ve been doing to refresh myself this week, but whatever it’s from I’m feelin it. If you’re feeling ‘bleh’, try some of these changes! It seems difficult but it really hasn’t been that hard.. I didn’t think about this as staying away from bad things, I’ve been thinking about it as doing more of what’s good. Positive change rather than negative change. 

Start feelin good yall! Don’t deprive yourself of anything, just replace what you don’t need with more of what you do need 🙂 Live in abundance…maybe not in the ways you’d like (financially, materially, etc..) but in the ways you can directly control (happiness, energy, etc). 

~peace & all good~

How Yoga Has Helped Me Fail

Yoga is a very complicated subject… I feel like it’s viewed as either something extremely boring, extremely spiritual, or extremely foreign. Maybe even all of the above. Maybe none of the above. 

What I do know, is that my yoga practice has helped me become more comfortable with my never-ending thoughts & my imperfect self. I’ve only been practicing consistently for about a year…but you’d be surprised what such a short amount of time can do! 

Flexibility has always been somewhat of a strong point for me.. I’m relatively strong (physically).. My balance is decent.. Yoga for me isn’t about these things that we typically associate with it. I’m not overly concerned with how on point my poses are, or how twisty I can get, or how long I can stand on my head (although being upside down is my favourite place to be). 

Clearly I’m not all about how perfect my poses are…

   Handstand? Nope. 
   Hips & shoulders aligned? Try again.. 

*the following image may cause you to laugh your abs on*

   My favorite fail ever captured on camera. I was trying to do a tripod headstand & fell as soon as the timer went off. Crying..I hope you are too lol.

For me, I’m more interested in how taking time to appreciate myself can improve how I deal with things. I enjoy the time my practice gives me to sit with my thoughts & acknowledge my mind. 

I like that I can just breath & observe the way my body & mind react to things I do. 

I like that I can fail a bunch of times & find it funny (also slightly frustrating…but more funny). 

I can use my body to give my mind what it needs at a given time. 

And just to re-iterate how hilarious/normal/OK it is to fail & get things wrong:  

  HAHA nope, not even close to correct. 
  Still funny.. & still not correct!!

So I hope this at least gave you a laugh, & maybe even gave you a new view on yoga. Do what you need & forget the rest!